Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    18 Mar '19 05:46
    There's much bashing of the Spirituality of others. On a different note, I thought to create this thread. In here, you have an opportunity to share how your spiritual practice has brought you peace.

    I'll provide an example. I have had moments, after meditation, when I was fully accepting of the world as it was. That is the most peace I have ever felt in my time of existence.
  2. SubscriberFMF
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    18 Mar '19 07:131 edit
    @bigdoggproblem said
    There's much bashing of the Spirituality of others. On a different note, I thought to create this thread. In here, you have an opportunity to share how your spiritual practice has brought you peace.

    I'll provide an example. I have had moments, after meditation, when I was fully accepting of the world as it was. That is the most peace I have ever felt in my time of existence.
    I don't know about "spiritual practice" ~ there were prayers, I suppose, but I look back on that now as having been a form of meditation rather than the 'communication' I used to believe it was ~ but, that aside, one life experience that brought me a memorably intense feeling of peace - in a kind of in-the-eye-of-storm way, but lasting far longer than the respite from a passing storm does - was the birth of my first child after my wife had spent a dicey month in hospital leading up to it.

    There was another similar period after my second child was born but not quite so magical and indelible as the birth of the first.

    Were they instances of "the most peace I have ever felt in my time of existence"? I'm not sure. I shall ponder that over the next few days.
  3. Stargazing
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    18 Mar '19 09:10
    About 2 weeks after recently giving up work and relocating to the coast. Pretty much every day is bliss now.
  4. SubscriberGhost of a Dukeonline
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    18 Mar '19 09:11
    @divegeester said
    About 2 weeks after recently giving up work and relocating to the coast. Pretty much every day is bliss now.
    Great to hear!
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    18 Mar '19 10:44
    @bigdoggproblem said
    There's much bashing of the Spirituality of others. On a different note, I thought to create this thread. In here, you have an opportunity to share how your spiritual practice has brought you peace.

    I'll provide an example. I have had moments, after meditation, when I was fully accepting of the world as it was. That is the most peace I have ever felt in my time of existence.
    Would you say that moments when someone is "at peace" ~ as you intend it to mean for the purposes of this thread - don't count if there was a strong sense of excitement?
  6. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    18 Mar '19 18:241 edit
    @fmf said
    Would you say that moments when someone is "at peace" ~ as you intend it to mean for the purposes of this thread - don't count if there was a strong sense of excitement?
    I wouldn't say that. I didn't start the thread with an idea of limiting what people could share. Who am I to say a person can't feel both of those things at once? Maybe it's possible.

    Edit: actually, I think it is possible; for example, with a romantic partner. Been there myself. I felt excited at the discovery of her - a person that matched me so well - and at peace, because I could be my true self around her.
  7. Subscribermoonbus
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    19 Mar '19 11:57
    @BigDoggProblem

    The moment when I realized that my life has meaning and purpose, that my particular set of abilities could be focused on a useful task, gave me peace and still does.
  8. Standard memberCalJustonline
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    19 Mar '19 17:32
    @BigDoggProblem

    Thanks for a refreshingly different OP, BDP.

    For me, being at peace is not a steady state, but it is assisted by meditation and when I focus on living in the moment.
  9. Standard memberCalJustonline
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    @CalJust

    Having said that, my best periods of "being at peace" is when I am alone in nature, preferably a Wilderness area. Bliss!
  10. SubscriberGhost of a Dukeonline
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    19 Mar '19 18:23
    I know it sounds like a joke answer, but I find peace in the bathtub. No electrical distractions. Clarity of thought.

    (I have in the past referred clients for flotation therapy).
  11. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    19 Mar '19 18:32
    @caljust said
    @BigDoggProblem

    Thanks for a refreshingly different OP, BDP.

    For me, being at peace is not a steady state, but it is assisted by meditation and when I focus on living in the moment.
    I don't think it's possible to be at peace all the time, but it is nice to have some sort of way to feel more peaceful at times.

    I am a procrastinator; I tend to get overwhelmed by the list of stuff that needs done. I am trying to get back to a mindset more like:

    - Can I do anything about it right now? If no, don't worry about it right now.
    - Is there once more important thing to get done? Yes? Do that, and focus only on that.
    - Don't go to the other extreme and get so in to crossing things off the list that it will be remembered as an exceptional effort and thus seem more intimidating to do when fallen behind in the future.
  12. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    19 Mar '19 18:33
    @ghost-of-a-duke said
    I know it sounds like a joke answer, but I find peace in the bathtub. No electrical distractions. Clarity of thought.

    (I have in the past referred clients for flotation therapy).
    Hey, whatever works. Sometimes the lack of external distractions helps.
  13. Standard memberSoothfast
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    20 Mar '19 01:231 edit
    I am getting closer to achieving a daily meditation practice. There are many kinds of meditation I try, depending on where I am and what I'm doing (if anything), but at night I strive for at least 20 minutes of shikantaza meditation on a pillow set upon a cushion.

    "Shikantaza" is Japanese for "just sitting" or "nothing but just sitting." It is sometimes described as goalless meditation: you go into it with no expectations or plans. What happens happens, and the less you expect, the better the potential results. Goals are cravings: desires of the ego. An isolated sense of self is precisely what Zen (and more broadly Buddhist) forms of meditation are designed to weaken. The meditation is usually done with eyes open, and you're attuned to your environment but not engaging in any one specific sight, sound, or sensation. You're not in a trance, you are alert (a state of "silent illumination" ). Any thoughts that may spontaneously arise during the practice are not suppressed, but rather left to pass by without attachment or engagement.

    When I do meditation for any length of time I find an increased inner peace, and it can last long after I cease the meditation and go about my business. I find I feel greater empathy, less anxiety, and am less prone to irritation or anger. Longer sessions of good quality give me a glimpse of the interconnection and interdependence of all things, and show up the pointlessness of hatred and division.

    Many Zen Buddhists have a phrase: "Just this."

    There is no Promised Land, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, and there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The land just is, and you are connected to it. The fence is mere delusion, and all is as good here as there. The rainbow is as good as gold. There is no Savior: you are responsible for your own salvation. All you need saving from is your own delusion, your own cravings, and your own ego. Any sense of separation from others is a cause of suffering.

    I have felt this firsthand now, though just glimpses, and certainly I am nowhere near "Enlightened." But I am moved to carry on with my practice until such time as I am able to get instruction from others. Just sitting. Just walking. Just driving...

    Just this.

    Thanks for this refreshing thread in an otherwise depressing forum. I am still a convinced atheist, but no longer have the heart for the old battles.
  14. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    20 Mar '19 02:491 edit
    @soothfast said
    I am getting closer to achieving a daily meditation practice. There are many kinds of meditation I try, depending on where I am and what I'm doing (if anything), but at night I strive for at least 20 minutes of shikantaza meditation on a pillow set upon a cushion.

    "Shikantaza" is Japanese for "just sitting" or "nothing but just sitting." It is sometimes described as ...[text shortened]... depressing forum. I am still a convinced atheist, but no longer have the heart for the old battles.
    That's cool. A lot of mediation, for me, is about slowing the racing of my mind. I suppose that is a "goal", but one that I find helpful.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Edit: about the "old battles" - I used to think those were of great importance. Now, I'm more of a "let people find their own path" type of person.
  15. Standard memberSoothfast
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    20 Mar '19 04:37
    @BigDoggProblem

    Yes, the term "goalless meditation" is not one I would have coined myself. Surely everyone meditates with some kind of goal in mind! But the term is used in a certain context, it seems to me: when you sit down to do shikantaza meditation, you don't do it with any expectation of achieving its loftiest potential reward, which is attaining Enlightenment and "buddhahood." Going into meditation with such an expectation will defeat the very purpose of doing the meditation.

    I think in some ways there is an analogous notion in some varieties of Christianity: you don't do good works with the expectation of receiving heaven as a reward. If you do, heaven will elude you. Rather, you do good works because it's the right thing to do. So, your actions have to come from the heart, and not be motivated by selfish thoughts.

    So anyway the idea in Buddhism is that while there are all kinds of philosophical writings, sutras, precepts, and so on, to have any chance of really "getting it" you have to meditate. Precepts and dharma talks give structure to the philosophy, and you can certainly live by them, take them on faith, and accept them intellectually, but the idea that we are all interconnected and the concept of "self" is delusional will still not be felt. Our "true nature" cannot be explained in analytical terms, or reasoned using logic. But our true nature can become clearer to us through meditation: quieting the intellect and letting it present itself to us. So, going into meditation with explicit goals in mind will muddy the waters with thoughts and analyses, and so be self-defeating.

    One of the more supernatural aspects of Buddhism is the idea that it can take many lifetimes before we become awakened to our true nature, but every attempt at awakening creates karma conducive to achieving awakening in a later lifetime. As there are different stripes of Buddhism, there are many variations on this theme. In the West there are secularized versions of Buddhism that strip away these supernatural elements, which is a good place to start for a veteran atheist like myself. 😉

    I'll stop here, since I'm kind of hijacking the thread at this point.

    To bring the thread back on track, I'll give another example of a moment when I've been at peace. In January I took 7 dry grams of psilocybe cubensis (magic mushrooms). Holy crap, I saw it all! Everything was One, and I understood it all, and I was totally at peace. I can't even describe it. But this "awakening" was not come by via the discipline of meditation and following precepts, so it's just a happy memory. True awakening through meditation is more lasting, from all I've read, and results in changes in a person that stay with the person day after day for life (as long as meditation continues to be practiced). Shrooms last only a few hours; still, they provided me with a "proof of concept" of Buddhist precepts. Something to aim for in my daily practice.
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