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What does it mean to be alive?

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by olmate, May 28, 2011.

  1. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    After re-reading my earlier post I believe that I was experiencing some “growing pains” that passed.:eek:

    As a remedy I enclosed a Joke that seems appropriate:

    Zen Master goes to NYC

    Love,
    Ramai
     
  2. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    I feel these comments are very true and enjoyed Ramai’s eloquent analogy. My experience is that through personal suffering you can gain a better, or at least more informed perspective to be taken when others are seen in similar circumstances.

    Interestingly, after reading some news stories today it seems to me that it is all relative. What one person may consider (or report as) suffering another may consider inconvenient or simply ‘they way life is’. Also some people can be caught in suffering, either by not learning from it or by making it part of there egoic self that they are actually proud of :eek:.

    :)

    Paul
     
  3. Ramai

    Ramai Member

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    Hi Paul,

    I agree with you and Olmate, suffering can be used as a catalyst for growth and learning. It certainly made me ask myself who is feeling suffering, who am I, who are they, where am I?
    What questions did suffering evoke in you?
    Love,
    Maria
     
  4. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Maria,

    Below are my questions regarding your question about questions :)

    Some of the questions that have (and still do) pop(ped) up into my head in times of my own suffering have been slightly more egoic than yourself :eek:
    Why me?
    What makes me different to ‘them’?
    Why don’t they understand?
    Who are they to judge me?

    I mentioned this in my last post because this was me up to a few years ago, I would get frustrated with others not seeing my suffering and want to have it appreciated, I wanted rewarding for all that I have been though with praise and acknowledgement of how ‘tough’ and ‘resilient’ I was. Looking back its funny in a way because I was suffering more because I wanted others to see/reward my original suffering :eek:. The mind is nuts sometimes when you stand back and look at its logic :D

    Another question that has popped up, is “How would others cope given my circumstances?”. This had two meanings to me. First off, “how would other people try to facilitate a change in the situation?” and secondly, “how would others that are doing very well in there own life, cope in my situation?”

    From the first question I might be able to put myself in other shoes and find new approaches, the second question would normally end up with a “They’d find it tough too”. I wouldn’t be looking to feel great/strong (as per above) for going through the suffering – but that the difficulty I had with the situation was a reasonable difficulty and I shouldn’t beat myself for finding the going tough, anyone would :)

    Unfortunatly I tend to only get to these questions once I have passed through at least some of the questions I listed above :confused:, although when I do catch myself, I find the questions “Who is feeling suffering?”, “Who am I?” nice to reflect on. They show me that I am not my past memories or my future projections but just a bundle of sensations and energy :).

    Who are they?” For me it throws up a whole heap of other questions. Why are people in the situation they are in? Do they deserve it? Who deserves what? What help would I want in there situation? Aren’t they just like me? I could go on, an interesting question to ponder.

    Where am I?”, I’m intrigued in what context this has come up, is this in reflection to where you are at a place in your life, in a physical location or a type of thought like “Who am I?” that helps dissolve some degree of ego etc?

    For me my percieved suffering has made me more understanding, compassionate and thoughtful, or maybe it has just shown me that I would like to be more of those things. I know I have long way to go do this path but I am thankful for having made a start none the less. :)

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  5. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    A few thoughts to consider.

    As you seem willing to look into the suffering ( and not just bare it) you might ask yourself if you are aware of the suffering. That is ask the question, "who is suffering" and the answer is rightly "I am." Next, can you sense a separation between the suffering and the awareness of the suffering? Is your mind suffering or is it your body? Is it something else? What is the suffering like? Notice whatever it is you are feeling when you are suffering. Whatever you notice that you feel at that time is what that particular sufering feels like, for you.

    To discover what and how things are we can start by taking them apart. Suffering has multiple components. The sensations of suffering and the awareness of the suffering and our not wanting the suffering. The awareness is like the witness. The witness can decide to drop the clinging to the suffering (the wanting it not to be there). Just let it go. Some of the suffering may remain but the component that we add to it by not wanting it to be there can be dropped. And the suffering wil be less. As this process is repeated the suffering can disolve completely.

    Michael:)
     
  6. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Paul,
    Your insightful comments are spot on, for you, like myself and many others here, the discovery has started to happen. Once the belief that there is no “real” separation has started, it will not stop. :) or :eek:

    As we progress with this insight we may find ourselves putting the teachings, methods, practices, and paths down. We may find less reason to return to any outside guru or book knowledge. We will find that the truth we have been seeking is right under our noses in the midst of the experience we are having now.

    Suffering only happens when there is personal identification with whatever emotion is appearing and when the emotion is not allowed to follow its natural course.
    The true natural course is to appear and disappear fully and uninterruptedly within awareness. This flow is disrupted when, instead of recognising the awareness within which the emotion is appearing, we emphasize thoughts within our story. This strengthens the ego, the suffering.

    Anger (or another emotion) is nothing more than energy in the body. Does anger, whispers to you, “I’m your anger, I’m happening to you.” NO! It’s only thought that and says, “I am angry” Thought takes ownership of the anger, and turns it into a personal viewpoint that it is carried over in time and made into a story of “I’m angry”

    As we relax thoughts and recognise awareness in all situations. The rest will come! Who knows when, but once started it will not stop.


    Michael,
    I see what you mean here :), if we take it one step further.
    We as humans have three hallmarks, suffering, seeking, and conflict. These three do not come from thought (mind) as such. They
    come from the belief in separation.

    For example, we tend to hold onto or focus on emotions that we perceive as good, but as emotions are just passing, we seeked to rediscover this good emotion, the conflict comes from and resisting those emotions that we deem to be bad and therefore are in conflict with our seeking of the good emotion. Which creates the cyclic suffering.

    Not sure if that makes sense :) but I'll leave it as is

    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  7. chrissponias

    chrissponias Member

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    I believe that ‘to be alive’ is to pass through a constant process of transformation and evolution.

    Sometimes instead of evolving we get stuck. However, everything is part of the same process. Sometimes we have to stop and delay. We have to learn something different, abandon old ideas, and do a lot more. This is a very long process.
     
  8. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Karmoh,

    Thanks for your thoughts :).

    It’s an interesting one this, initially to understand you need knowledge but to be free you need to drop your concepts, attachments and ideas. But how do you drop your concepts, attachments and ideas? Hmm, best dig out some knowledge on that….In a way I feel I am stuck in a loop, between just dropping things and knowing how too to drop them…I have a feeling I’ll be spinning around for a while. It’s interesting :), frustrating :mad: and paradoxically amusing :D all in one!

    I agree, personally I feel that I will at some point experience ‘grace’ as Edwin puts it and once I do I’ll be struck by how easy and obvious it all is. I don’t know why I feel like that, just a sense I have, but I don’t have a ‘need’ for it as much as I did, which may or may not be a beneficial move on the part of my mind.

    This ties in with what I mentioned above so again I agree – once on the path your likely to carry on, also the further the walk the more nice scenery you’ll see to encourage you to keep walking. Having said that, sometimes I catch myself thinking that I’m actually trying to walk down a path which starts and ends right now :confused:.

    Hi Michael, wise words indeed - the only comment I have is thanks for sharing :)

    Paul
     
  9. chrissponias

    chrissponias Member

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    Very interesting, really. This is what we should do.

    Sometimes we feed our suffering because we keep concentrating our attention in our pain. It’s very hard to fight against the instinctive tendency to constantly think about our own pain. We have to work with this matter and stop following this tendency.
     
  10. ella1985

    ella1985 Member

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    Understanding the concept of a “living thing” is a late developmental achievement.
     

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