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Daniel M. Ingram, 14 hours ago.

Liferay 7.3 Upgrade Done! Please us know in if it is working properly. Important

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Dear All,

The remarkable Manish has managed to upgrade Liferay, the platform the DhO runs on, to version 7.3! This is a remarkable accomplishment, as Liferay upgrades have proved mind-boggling difficult, with each one we have done taking teams of people over a year each with many errors and failures along the way. Many thanks to Manish! If you find any errors, glitches, problems, or areas for improvement, please let us know in the dedicated thread below "Liferay 7.3 Feedback." Thanks!

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SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Mark Van Der Westhuizen, modified 5 Years ago.

SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/1/10 Recent Posts
Seraphina Wise:

I have been free of the human condition since 9/22/10 at 3:30pm in the afternoon.


Seraphina Wise, 'I' salute you with a mixture of joy and envy.

How did you do it? What pushed 'you' over the edge? Did you have any prior attainments? Do you think insight practice is a worthwhile preparation for someone who aspires to AF, or do you think it's better to drop other practices and go straight for the goal?

Regards,
Mark
Craig N, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 134 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Mark van der Westhuizen:
Seraphina Wise:

I have been free of the human condition since 9/22/10 at 3:30pm in the afternoon.


SW, 'I' salute you with a mixture of joy and envy.


I've been meaning to say this since I saw that post too.

Congratulations Stephanie! I'm so happy for you, and yes it made me jealous too haha and then I thought "are you going to waste your energy feeling jealous or are you going to do something about it?"

I would love to hear any pointers, in particular on how to self-immolate, that you might have to offer.

Craig
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 3158 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Me, too.

D
ManZ A, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 105 Join Date: 1/12/10 Recent Posts
Me, three.
John White, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 61 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
wow - so very wonderful Searphina - incredibly inspiring
Craig N, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 134 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Thanks for posting this Stephanie. Much appreciated!

Craig
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Steph S, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 637 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
This is awesome news, Stefanie. Thanks for the journals too. Reading about progression along this path is so helpful. When I did read your post in the other thread that you were actually free something must have clicked. I was going back and forth between EE and PCE the whole day at work (which has been a challenge for me to do at times). Then later that day, while at the beach watching the storm clouds and the sunset, I had an epic PCE that lasted through the whole next day.. the longest yet.

It's wonderful that there's another happy and harmless person out there in the world. Makes me so happy to have people like you, Tarin, and Trent alive and kickin. Here's hoping to join you as actually free very soon! I've been practicing relatively on my own with occasional advice from you three, but I'm wondering if I should have more regular guidance to get there faster. Seems like it worked for you. emoticon
ManZ A, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 105 Join Date: 1/12/10 Recent Posts
Wow, very inspiring read and great to hear!! It seems I hit that stage that you describe and keep falling back down to the 'self-centered' state due to some sort of fear and loss of pure intent, can't quite put a finger on it yet. Anyways, did discussing these things in person with Tarin help a lot? A lot of people seem to reach AF or remember PCEs from meeting actually free people. I think Trent lives in the same city as me (Dallas?) maybe I'll send him a message.

On a side note, do you also have no dreams now, with less need for sleep, no hunger pangs, and all that?
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Jeff Grove, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Hi Stef,

What a wonderful world to live in. Congratulations and also to Christian, may your progress inspire people to discover their own self in process


cheers
Jeff
Mark van der Westhuizen, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/1/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for your reply, Seraphina. It looks like the recipe is pretty simple: something to evoke the qualities of a PCE or similar, and willingness to take it all the way. That's good news.

SW:

suggested that I be in good company and be good company, be naive; he suggested that I stay as close to the PCE as possible. I took these instructions quite to heart and earnestly pure intent.

Upon applying such pure intent, realizations came quickly.


I'll try it. Thanks.

Regards,
Mark
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Christian Ballhaus, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
BOOOO !!! SW BIG UP !! Welcome to the Club, seems like we get slowly but surely the thing rollin on this forum. Next time around we all could hire on the MS Actualis ;-) I will be the ships cook then !

Congrats
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Christian Ballhaus:
BOOOO !!! SW BIG UP !! Welcome to the Club, seems like we get slowly but surely the thing rollin on this forum. Next time around we all could hire on the MS Actualis ;-) I will be the ships cook then !

Congrats


Sounds good BoogieDownBalhaus. Be looking forward to your home cookin' next time I jump across the pond.

s.
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Christian Ballhaus, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
Youre both welcome. I will prepare some amazing 3 course shit for ya. Lots of sensate input on top of the already ever perfect experience. Whoo I will pop a nice bottle of champagne for my brave girl ;-)))))))

Phantastisch SW, freut mich unendlich, Du hast mir den Tag versüßt !
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Christian Ballhaus:
Youre both welcome. I will prepare some amazing 3 course shit for ya. Lots of sensate input on top of the already ever perfect experience. Whoo I will pop a nice bottle of champagne for my brave girl ;-)))))))

Phantastisch Steph, freut mich unendlich, Du hast mir den Tag versüßt !


Ich genieße deine freche Beiträge, Christian! Du bist ein Original Rude Boy! (Perhaps that is more correct than the first one...)

(Ich spreche kein Deutsch, habe ich den Google Übersetzer!)
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Christian Ballhaus, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts



Ich genieße deine freche Beiträge, Christian! Du bist ein Original Rude Boy! (Perhaps that is more correct than the first one...)

(Ich spreche kein Deutsch, habe ich den Google Übersetzer!)


Look at you ! Good girl ! Hahaha ;-) Laughing Tears right now. Seems like the google translator is on par with some serious Voodoo shit. Ok Stef youre now doomed to have the time of youre live. Youre now ready for some real shit. Here we go. First of all read this : http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/audiotapeddialogues/infinitudeistheboundlessness.htm then take a walk down on the countryside watch the sky look around and realize in its wholeness what Richard is really talking about. And ohh please dont tell me your whole body wasnt filled with orgasmic like sensations ;-)
Luciano de Noeme Imoto, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 75 Join Date: 6/2/10 Recent Posts
Hello SW,

Becoming free of the human condition is a physiological occurrence, centred at the nape of the neck (the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain), wherein the ‘lizard-brain’ mutates out of its primeval state ... but if this mutation is not allowed its completion one becomes enlightened. To become spiritually free the ego-self (‘I’ as ego) must die/dissolve ... all genuinely enlightened beings point to a single edifying moment of awakening (with a variety of descriptions) wherein the personal self (or ‘being’) transmogrifies into the impersonal self or ‘being’ (or non-self) ... and which ‘being’ (often capitalised as ‘Being’) exists timelessly, spacelessly and formlessly. To become actually free the soul-self (‘me’ as soul) must also die/dissolve ... the total extirpation of ‘being’ (and thus ‘Being’) itself.

From http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/default.htm

However it is perfectly possible to be freed from the ego-self without consolidate any spiritual content.
Information and knowledge, well digested by a sensible human mind in this postmodern world, help to avoid that old trap of Enlightenment.
Happily, to become virtually free today that physiological occurence is unnecessary. Probably that ‘lizard-brain’ mutation out of its primeval state is to much randomic to be artificially achieved.
So, the Direct Route is a consciousness mutation instead.
In this context, the *actual* and complete (or perfect if you want) AF still to be claimed by another human being since Richard in 1992.

As Richard noted recently, integrity is the beginning, the middle and the end on the wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom.

From http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/path2.htm

Not so paradoxical after some contemplation over this assumption and its premisses, I ensure.
Luciano de Noeme Imoto, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 75 Join Date: 6/2/10 Recent Posts
Just for the record, then, here is a by-no-means exhaustive check-list of the main properties pertaining to an actual freedom from the human condition (in addition to the outstandingly magical property spelled-out further above):
1. No identity whatsoever.
2. No affective faculty at all (including its epiphenomenal psychic facility).
3. Utterly impervious to, and freely functioning without, both affective ‘vibes’ and psychic ‘currents’.
4. No separation (an actual intimacy) whatsoever betwixt this body and every body and every thing and every event.
5. Eternal time (no movement of time whatsoever) as expressed in, for instance, ‘this moment has no duration’.
6. Infinite space (the direct experiencing of limitlessness).
7. An apperceptive awareness (whereby all thought emerges from the full field of consciousness) of being alive/being here.
8. As a flesh and blood body only (sans the entire affective faculty/identity in toto) one is this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.
And this is truly wonderful.


And truly randomical, my fellow Richard ...

Despite of this fact, a surrogate check-list of the main properties pertaining to a consolidated virtual freedom - via direct route - from the human condition would be:
1. No social identity whatsoever.
2. No active affective faculty at all (including its epiphenomenal psychic facility).
3. Almost impervious to, and freely functioning without, both affective ‘vibes’ and psychic ‘currents’.
4. No conflict (an actual relationship) whatsoever betwixt this body and every body and every thing and every event.
5. Eternal time (no more psychological time movement whatsoever) as expressed in, for instance, ‘this moment has no duration’.
6. Infinite space (the direct experiencing of limitlessness [of the spatial universe]).
7. An apperceptive awareness (whereby all thought emerges mainly from the full field of consciousness) of being alive/being here.
8. As a flesh and blood body only (sans the entire affective faculty/identity in toto activated) one is this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

This is a commomsensical definition to consciousness mutation.

Be safe. Be sincere (i.e. don´t lie to yourself).

Luciano
Craig N, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 134 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hi Luciano

May I direct your attention to the following information on the Actual Freedom Trust's website:

SUBSCRIBER NO. 10: Does anyone have any thoughts on why the brain stem thing did not occur? Perhaps certain parts of the brain were so barely functioning the brain did not take it as a ‘major event’? Thanks!

VINEETO: According to Richard, now with this new information, the turning over in the back of the neck was obviously only connected to him becoming enlightened. Some other enlightened Beings have reported similar occurrences.

from http://actualfreedom.com.au/directroute/10.htm

As this has already been answered by Richard, might it be more productive to take up the issues you raise with him instead, since he's the person who described the brain stem thing, and he's also the person who confirmed that Peter, Vineeto, Tarin (among others) are actually free?

Craig
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Is there a post missing here? I am curious too =).
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Beo Beoman:
Is there a post missing here? I am curious too =).



Hi,

Yes, my post caused a little hullabaloo in my personal life when someone googled me for a matter unrelated to topics we discuss here; so I deleted the entry. However if you are interested, or if anyone else is interested, I have the text saved and would be happy to send it to you directly.

Stefanie
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
I am a relative newcomer here, and have just begun a serious practice. I can claim no attainments whatsoever, so I speak with no authority, based on no experience. I was drawn into this website by Daniel's book. I do have one source of authority, however, and that is my own perspective as a person who wants to do serious work. On the basis of that perspective, I have to say that I am dismayed by this thread.

Parenthetically--it seems that portions of SW's journals that were referenced here last night have been expunged. But those of you who are already posting here know what I'm referring to.

Back to business: I see a person I respect--Daniel--who in his book warned people against being "bliss junkies," chasing after a specific experience. This, again, is what I *see*--maybe it's not what he's doing, but it's what I see. I also see (or saw) a woman who considers it an accomplishment, a sign of enlightenment, not to have any feeling when her child is suffering. Now as a mother myself, I can verify that it is not a good thing to identify our own egos with our kids--but the Buddha valued compassion for a reason. So I'll ask you this: would your freedom survive intact the experience of watching your child die a miserable death? In other words, is there a limit?

I never heard of AF before coming here, but I know that Buddhism has been around for a long time. I tend to trust an established tradition of many centuries' standing over a reclusive Australian (or American, or German, or anyone) claiming individual insight, even if he thinks his insight can be successfully brought to others. I also am not impressed when a woman who claims to have attained freedom talks in her journal about dreaming about Richard in a manner that makes her sound like a groupie. Again, I'm not saying she *is* a groupie, but that she appears so to me. (I trust you recall the specific comment I'm referring to.)

I offer these remarks with every respect for you, enough respect that I am willing to tell the truth about what I see. If one of your goals is the enlightenment of others, then it might be helpful for you to know how one of those others (me) is responding to what is offered here. I also am aware, although I haven't read the older posts, that I may be reopening some wounds. I am not out to stir up trouble.

Peace. I'm going to hit the "Save" button now.
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jane,

To your questions:

"Now as a mother myself, I can verify that it is not a good thing to identify our own egos with our kids--but the Buddha valued compassion for a reason. So I'll ask you this: would your freedom survive intact the experience of watching your child die a miserable death? In other words, is there a limit?"

The word compassion means, literally, to "suffer" (pati/passion) "together" (com).[1] Were my child, or any person for that matter, to die a miserable death, and I were not to die that same miserable death, the experience of "suffering" that miserable death "together" would be little more than a delusion. I cannot suffer my daughter's death nor can she suffer mine. But to the question, "is there a limit?" the answer is no. There is never a reason, even the death of one's child, that one should suffer. My suffering would not stop her death nor would it resurrect her. Of what use, then, is my grief to myself, to my (presumably deceased in this scenario) child, or to anyone who knows me?

Furthermore, there are people dying every single day, every single moment--children and grown ups too--and our experience of those is far less pronounced, in general, because they are not related to "me."

There is a story about the Buddha and the mother of a dying child. A woman, who had a child very late in life, experiences the death of her child. And she is so distraught by this death that she refuses to release the child's body for burial or cremation. Everyone tries to reason with her to no avail; finally realizing she will not listen to reason, they send her to the Buddha. She arrives there and lays her child's dead body before him, begging him to perform a miracle for her. Realizing the illogical state of her mind at that time, the Buddha tells her, "Alright, I will do something for you. Go and collect a bowl of rice from a house where no one has died and return here." The woman is very happy and goes out to collect the bowl of rice. But every house she goes to she is turned away for someone who lived there has died. She goes through the entire town seeking a house where there has been no death only to discover that there is no such house. By the time she is done, she realizes the futility of her grief and regains some peace.*

***

Jane writes:

"I never heard of AF before coming here, but I know that Buddhism has been around for a long time. I tend to trust an established tradition of many centuries' standing over a reclusive Australian (or American, or German, or anyone) claiming individual insight, even if he thinks his insight can be successfully brought to others. I also am not impressed when a woman who claims to have attained freedom talks in her journal about dreaming about Richard in a manner that makes her sound like a groupie. Again, I'm not saying she *is* a groupie, but that she appears so to me. (I trust you recall the specific comment I'm referring to.) "


Perhaps before dismissing actualism on the basis of its newness you could try to cultivate a few pure consciousness experiences and take a look around for yourself.

As to my being a groupie, I am inferring (and correct me if I am wrong) that if I had written in my journal that I dreamt of having coffee with Richard, or taking a walk with Richard, as opposed to having sex with Richard, you would have reached a different conclusion about my being a groupie? (I draw this inference on the use of the words "in a manner" to be specifically about the sexual content of the dream.) If my inference is correct, then it seems to me that you value sex in a way that doesn't apply here. Your perception of me as a groupie, then, has more to do with what you think about sex than it has to do with what I've written about Richard. You could examine your assumptions around sex, what it means to you, what having sex with someone implies in your mind, and what conclusions it enables you to reach.


Jane writes:

"I offer these remarks with every respect for you, enough respect that I am willing to tell the truth about what I see. If one of your goals is the enlightenment of others, then it might be helpful for you to know how one of those others (me) is responding to what is offered here. I also am aware, although I haven't read the older posts, that I may be reopening some wounds. I am not out to stir up trouble."

I appreciate your honesty. I don't know what wounds you refer to, but I assure you there is no need to be shy on my account.


Stefanie





[1] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=compassion&searchmode=none

*This is a story I have heard on the 10-day Vipassana courses I sat at S.N. Goenka centers.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
SW:


The word compassion means, literally, to "suffer" (pati/passion) "together" (com).[1] Were my child, or any person for that matter, to die a miserable death, and I were not to die that same miserable death, the experience of "suffering" that miserable death "together" would be little more than a delusion. I cannot suffer my daughter's death nor can she suffer mine. But to the question, "is there a limit?" the answer is no. There is never a reason, even the death of one's child, that one should suffer. My suffering would not stop her death nor would it resurrect her. Of what use, then, is my grief to myself, to my (presumably deceased in this scenario) child, or to anyone who knows me?



***


As to my being a groupie, I am inferring (and correct me if I am wrong) that if I had written in my journal that I dreamt of having coffee with Richard, or taking a walk with Richard, as opposed to having sex with Richard, you would have reached a different conclusion about my being a groupie? (I draw this inference on the use of the words "in a manner" to be specifically about the sexual content of the dream.) If my inference is correct, then it seems to me that you value sex in a way that doesn't apply here. Your perception of me as a groupie, then, has more to do with what you think about sex than it has to do with what I've written about Richard. You could examine your assumptions around sex, what it means to you, what having sex with someone implies in your mind, and what conclusions it enables you to reach.







I have two questions:

First, why then is compassion one of the fruits of Buddhist practice, if it is both incoherent as a concept and not desirable, which is what I understand you as saying (and please correct me if I'm wrong about what you are saying)? As a side note, it seems that what the Buddha was doing in your story was allowing the woman to move on from a paralyzing grief, not claiming that all grief is useless, although I suppose at the highest level of Enlightenment a person might be free of it.

Second, if sexual activity is no different from having a cup of coffee or taking a walk with someone, why is refraining from sexual misconduct singled out in Buddhist teaching as one of the five precepts? Another side note: I did not say you were a groupie, but that you came across as one (to me) in the description of your dream.

I admit that I have not been altogether open to AF as a practice, but this particular thread caused my impressions of it to take a nosedive. I would really like to know how one can pursue PCE as an enduring state, when the first of the three concepts is impermanence. Daniel drummed this into his readers in his book: whatever it is you're experiencing, it doesn't last, it's not satisfying, and it isn't you. AF seems to be in line with the third of these, but not the other two. Are you intentionally abandoning the three concepts, then? This question is not only for Stephanie, but for everyone on this thread who either has or wants what she has.
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Just to offer my take on one part of your answer, since the other can be better answered by others...


I admit that I have not been altogether open to AF as a practice, but this particular thread caused my impressions of it to take a nosedive.

My initial reaction to AF was also quite negative, for various reasons. But I realized most of those reasons were caused by my ego, such as: "what? another thing to try to do to be enlightened? but i just finally settled on MCTB! agh!" or "this writing is strange and weird and hard to follow", or by projecting my feelings onto what was being said. But after softening up a bit, and actually reading the words and not projecting extra things onto them, it's pretty simple, makes a lot of sense, and also seems to work (not only Richard has it, but Stefanie, Tarin, Trent, etc...)

EDIT: I'll put this in too:
I would really like to know how one can pursue PCE as an enduring state, when the first of the three concepts is impermanence.


AF isn't a continuous PCE. PCE just offers a big hint. Much in the same way that having attained Stream Entry, that attainment is "permanent", meaning your mind is forever changed in some manner, the same is true of AF: it's a realization (as far as I can understand), and just like you can't undo Stream Entry, you can't undo AF.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Beo Beoman:

My initial reaction to AF was also quite negative, for various reasons. But I realized most of those reasons were caused by my ego, such as: "what? another thing to try to do to be enlightened? but i just finally settled on MCTB! agh!" or "this writing is strange and weird and hard to follow", or by projecting my feelings onto what was being said. But after softening up a bit, and actually reading the words and not projecting extra things onto them, it's pretty simple, makes a lot of sense, and also seems to work (not only Richard has it, but Stefanie, Tarin, Trent, etc...)

Thanks for writing,

I guess I'd like to know what you mean by "work"--work for what? For creating insight, wisdom? For putting a person beyond suffering? And why abandon Buddhism--because it's more complicated, more difficult? Because I'm getting the distinct impression that one does abandon Buddhism.

Laurel
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:

I guess I'd like to know what you mean by "work"--work for what? For creating insight, wisdom? For putting a person beyond suffering?


"Work" in terms of ending suffering. Out of all the people claiming to have done so, Tarin, Trent, et al the other AF people seem to have most successfully reduced/eliminated it. What worked especially well for changing my opinion about it is reading this THREAD: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/600967 , where Daniel Ingram, who has accomplished all he writes about in MCTB as far as I can tell, talks about his experiences with AF. Recommended reading!

And why abandon Buddhism--because it's more complicated, more difficult? Because I'm getting the distinct impression that one does abandon Buddhism.


Depends what you mean by Buddhism. There are numerous sects. heaven realms, hell realms, morality, conduct, this, that, Zen, Mahayana, dogma... Just re-read MCTB chapter on Buddhism vs. the Buddha for more. I have heard at least of one Buddhist who disapproves of what MCTB says as he felt it abandons Buddha's teachings too much, for example. I'll assume by Buddhism you mean "the techniques laid out in MCTB" for now... correct me if I'm wrong.

And why abandon a technique? I suppose one would evaluate both techniques and see which is more effective, and if another one seems more effective, then there's no reason not to. That being said I think what I've done so far with MCTB has been a great preparation for pursuing AF more effectively.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Beo Beoman:
What worked especially well for changing my opinion about it is reading this THREAD: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/600967 , where Daniel Ingram, who has accomplished all he writes about in MCTB as far as I can tell, talks about his experiences with AF. Recommended reading!



Thanks for the tip--I think I may have stumbled onto that thread before, but somehow failed to make sense of it. To be honest, I still can't make sense of any of it. But at least the painful question "Why did Daniel do this!?" is getting answered.
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jane,

You ask:

"First, why then is compassion one of the fruits of Buddhist practice, if it is both incoherent as a concept and not desirable, which is what I understand you as saying (and please correct me if I'm wrong about what you are saying)? As a side note, it seems that what the Buddha was doing in your story was allowing the woman to move on from a paralyzing grief, not claiming that all grief is useless, although I suppose at the highest level of Enlightenment a person might be free of it."

If we were talking about compassion as it relates to Buddhism, your comment here would apply. But since we are talking about compassion as it is understood in actualist practice, your comment doesn't apply. I am not saying that compassion is incoherent; rather, by pointing out what the word actually means, I am attempting to show that what compassion asks of you is that you suffer and that suffering is not curative of conditions (like death).

If you can grant that "at the highest level of Enlightenment a person might be free of it" then surely you've accepted the point that to end suffering is worthy of pursuit, even in the face of a child's death. Isn't everyone here trying to attain "the highlest level of Enlightenment" and/or end their suffering entirely?

You ask:

"Second, if sexual activity is no different from having a cup of coffee or taking a walk with someone, why is refraining from sexual misconduct singled out in Buddhist teaching as one of the five precepts? Another side note: I did not say you were a groupie, but that you came across as one (to me) in the description of your dream."

How did we get to sexual misconduct? Sexual activity is not the same as sexual misconduct, first of all. How does my dream about, or even if such were to occur actual sex with, Richard, relate in any way to sexual misconduct?

And also, why apply Buddhist notions about "sexual misconduct" here?


You ask:

"Are you intentionally abandoning the three concepts, then? This question is not only for Stephanie, but for everyone on this thread who either has or wants what she has."

Yes. I do not practice Buddhism. Do you understand that actualism is not the same as Buddhism?
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Greetings, Stephanie et al.,

SW:


If we were talking about compassion as it relates to Buddhism, your comment here would apply. But since we are talking about compassion as it is understood in actualist practice, your comment doesn't apply. I am not saying that compassion is incoherent; rather, by pointing out what the word actually means, I am attempting to show that what compassion asks of you is that you suffer and that suffering is not curative of conditions (like death).


You ask:

"Second, if sexual activity is no different from having a cup of coffee or taking a walk with someone, why is refraining from sexual misconduct singled out in Buddhist teaching as one of the five precepts? Another side note: I did not say you were a groupie, but that you came across as one (to me) in the description of your dream."

How did we get to sexual misconduct? Sexual activity is not the same as sexual misconduct, first of all. How does my dream about, or even if such were to occur actual sex with, Richard, relate in any way to sexual misconduct?

And also, why apply Buddhist notions about "sexual misconduct" here?


You ask:

"Are you intentionally abandoning the three concepts, then? This question is not only for Stephanie, but for everyone on this thread who either has or wants what she has."

Yes. I do not practice Buddhism. Do you understand that actualism is not the same as Buddhism?


I understand that actualism and Buddhism are not the same thing. I am trying to understand the extent to which they might be compatible, but even more than that, I am trying to understand why a person might begin by practicing Buddhism and abandon that practice for actualism. I am beginning to think, though, that this is a rather pointless concern to have, because what other people are doing is their own business and doesn't prescribe what I should or should not do. Yet people like me do come here in the hopes of learning from others, so to that extent I suppose it is relevant. So, why would you choose actualism over Buddhism? And more to the point, why, if you began with Buddhism, would you abandon it?

Based on your responses to my questions, I gather that my concerns about the five precepts or the three concepts are irrelevant, so I won't pursue those points any further with you (other than to say that they remain relevant to me, since I am pursuing Buddhist practice and not actualism). One point of clarification, though: I mentioned the precept relating to sexual misconduct only to point out that for Buddhists, sexual activity is an area of human behavior that is important enough to warrant a precept of its own. There aren't precepts about taking walks or drinking coffee! But as I said, these concerns are irrelevant to you.

Laurel
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
One point of clarification, though: I mentioned the precept relating to sexual misconduct only to point out that for Buddhists, sexual activity is an area of human behavior that is important enough to warrant a precept of its own. There aren't precepts about taking walks or drinking coffee!


My guess is that sex is an activity which can be potentially unsettling / bring needless complication to one's life while pursuing the end of suffering... more so than drinking coffee, for instance. But it seems many people do well enough living a non-renunciated life and succeeding.
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
I understand that actualism and Buddhism are not the same thing. I am trying to understand the extent to which they might be compatible, but even more than that, I am trying to understand why a person might begin by practicing Buddhism and abandon that practice for actualism. I am beginning to think, though, that this is a rather pointless concern to have, because what other people are doing is their own business and doesn't prescribe what I should or should not do. Yet people like me do come here in the hopes of learning from others, so to that extent I suppose it is relevant. So, why would you choose actualism over Buddhism? And more to the point, why, if you began with Buddhism, would you abandon it?

Based on your responses to my questions, I gather that my concerns about the five precepts or the three concepts are irrelevant, so I won't pursue those points any further with you (other than to say that they remain relevant to me, since I am pursuing Buddhist practice and not actualism). One point of clarification, though: I mentioned the precept relating to sexual misconduct only to point out that for Buddhists, sexual activity is an area of human behavior that is important enough to warrant a precept of its own. There aren't precepts about taking walks or drinking coffee! But as I said, these concerns are irrelevant to you.

Laurel

Hi Laurel,

You ask why "I" stopped meditating and started practicing actualism back when. There is a post, "my" first post here, under another handle "S Kyle" that answers this question. "I" was also skeptical of actualism when I first encountered it. Then "I" listened to Dan and Tarin's Hurricane Ranch discussion. At some point in there "I" also had a PCE (I cannot now remember if the PCE was before or after "I" listened to the Hurricane Rance discussion). If you haven't listened to it, I suggest maybe doing so.

A month or so before "I" found the DhO, and Daniel's book, "I'd" completed a 10-day Vipassana course (my fourth). "I'd" had some fairly significant experiences and insight there and returned home quite changed. Yet despite a tremendous decrease in suffering, there was still some undercurrent there, something left undone. "I" was fortunate enough to have time and space and freedom to spend many hours in meditation. If you have ever sat a Goenka course, you will know that much is not explained there in terms of jhanas and other states one might experience if one meditates a lot; "I" ended up looking around to be able to understand some of what "I" was experiencing. This is how "I" found Daniel's book and the DhO.

Then, "I" read the threads on actualism, read (some of) the site, and listened to the previously mentioned discussion. When "I" decided to practice actualism it wasn't out of a rejection of Buddhism per se. It was an open, speculative, adventurous endeavor. "I" had a PCE, so "I" kept cultivating them. So this is how "I" came to it. At first, "I" tried to keep up with my twice or thrice daily sits; but soon, as the PCE became a more common feature of the day, the mechanism for moving awareness through the body was often in abeyance (as I was in a PCE most of the time), so meditation didn't happen in the way "I" had previously understood it. So "I" stopped meditating.

If you could experience a PCE, then you could compare it to your usual experience and make a determination about whether or not actualism might be something you'd want to pursue and from there undertake a thorough engagement and examination of it. During the time that "I" was skeptical about actualism, "I" just thought "I'll try this PCE thing and if it doesn't work out, go right back to the cushion." But the PCE thing worked out really well.

As for the point about sexual activity/sexual misconduct, I think that the elision in your previous posts between sexual activity and sexual misconduct is worth exploring. Even in a Buddhist context, sexual activity is permitted for lay people; so the fact that you introduced the idea of "misconduct" suggests a need to examine one's ideas about sexuality in general.

Stefanie
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Stephanie et al.,

Thanks for the clarification. I don't yet know what I'll do. I'm glad I spoke up because otherwise I'd have just drifted away from DhO in a state of funk. I've got some meditation retreats coming up, and so far my meditation practice has really been wonderful, although I am only really working on access concentration at this point. I don't pretend to be in a position to argue with anyone, only to testify to how things seem to me. I might try PCE but am right now experiencing fear. I still don't want to give up the "I" no matter how much she suffers! Maybe I have the comforting thought that with meditation, that moment of reckoning is a lot farther off--haha! But I think what I'll do is work on the concentration first. I'll also work on keeping an open mind.

One more point on the sexual issue: I have been thinking this over more and more, and I guess I'm nervous about anything that suggests a personality cult centered on Richard. If in your dream you'd looked deeply into his eyes and called him "Daddy" I probably would have had the same reaction! Plus, yes, I'm nervous about anything that smacks of sexual exploitation, and I do know why that is an issue for me.

Best, and with sincere good wishes for your continued freedom,

Laurel
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
Stephanie et al.,

Thanks for the clarification. I don't yet know what I'll do. I'm glad I spoke up because otherwise I'd have just drifted away from DhO in a state of funk. I've got some meditation retreats coming up, and so far my meditation practice has really been wonderful, although I am only really working on access concentration at this point. I don't pretend to be in a position to argue with anyone, only to testify to how things seem to me. I might try PCE but am right now experiencing fear. I still don't want to give up the "I" no matter how much she suffers! Maybe I have the comforting thought that with meditation, that moment of reckoning is a lot farther off--haha! But I think what I'll do is work on the concentration first. I'll also work on keeping an open mind.

One more point on the sexual issue: I have been thinking this over more and more, and I guess I'm nervous about anything that suggests a personality cult centered on Richard. If in your dream you'd looked deeply into his eyes and called him "Daddy" I probably would have had the same reaction! Plus, yes, I'm nervous about anything that smacks of sexual exploitation, and I do know why that is an issue for me.

Best, and with sincere good wishes for your continued freedom,

Laurel


Hi Laurel,

I think in terms of the mention of sex in my original post which is such an issue for you, you are confusing what I wrote with your projections/perceptions of sexuality in general. First of all, I wrote about something that happened while I was dreaming, not something that actually happened, as I have never met Richard in the flesh. And even if I had met Richard in the flesh, and had sex with him, there is nothing to suggest that it would be sexual exploitation except your fertile imagination. I am not sure how a dream, that I had, could possibly equate to sexual exploitation.

If I may point out? It seems to me that you are nervous about sexuality in general and I wouldn't bring up the point again except that it continues to be of concern to you as post here. To what extent, do you think, and this is essentially rhetorical (meaning, please do not think that you must answer it here) in nature, that your notions about sexuality might be causing you to suffer?

As for your fear--many months ago when "I" experienced fear, "I" was offered a useful instruction in that regard. I will attempt to reproduce it here. It was suggested that when one is feeling fear, to tap into that feeling and see it's other side. So there is fear on one side, and perhaps anticipation on the other. Examine both feeling states and see how you can take the feeling of fear and experience it as anticipation, which will lead you back more quickly to feeling good, which will lead you to feeling excellent, which will ultimately enable a PCE to happen.

Stefanie
Nad A., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
SW:
As for your fear--many months ago when "I" experienced fear, "I" was offered a useful instruction in that regard. I will attempt to reproduce it here. It was suggested that when one is feeling fear, to tap into that feeling and see it's other side. So there is fear on one side, and perhaps anticipation on the other. Examine both feeling states and see how you can take the feeling of fear and experience it as anticipation, which will lead you back more quickly to feeling good, which will lead you to feeling excellent, which will ultimately enable a PCE to happen.

Stefanie


Hi Stefanie,

Anticipation... Is that instruction the same as trying to experience fear as 'thrill'? Tarin suggested an exercise like that to me. I couldn't get it to work but it's something I still try to set up and practice. Is it the same idea?
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Stefanie K Dunning, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 49 Join Date: 9/2/10 Recent Posts
You ask:


"Hi Stefanie,

Anticipation... Is that instruction the same as trying to experience fear as 'thrill'? Tarin suggested an exercise like that to me. I couldn't get it to work but it's something I still try to set up and practice. Is it the same idea?"

Aye; it is one and the same and the instructor one and the same.

Stefanie
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Jeff Grove, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
I might try PCE but am right now experiencing fear. I still don't want to give up the "I" no matter how much she suffers!

Laurel


Hi Jane,

I remember the fear felt when "I" reacted to the very thought that "I" could be extinguished yet when I investigated the only trace of a self found was the experience, like the shimmer of heat on the horizon mistaken for water.

This fear contained the seed for growth, self-discovery and freedom and a good place to start your investigation


thanks
Jeff
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Jeff Grove:
Jane Laurel Carrington:
I might try PCE but am right now experiencing fear. I still don't want to give up the "I" no matter how much she suffers!

Laurel


Hi Jane,

I remember the fear felt when "I" reacted to the very thought that "I" could be extinguished yet when I investigated the only trace of a self found was the experience, like the shimmer of heat on the horizon mistaken for water.

This fear contained the seed for growth, self-discovery and freedom and a good place to start your investigation


thanks
Jeff


Jeff,

Thanks for this comment. Fear has been uppermost in my life lately, but it has also started me on this path.

(Jane) Laurel
Nad A., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jane,

Maybe things will be clearer when you realise that actualism is not just different to buddhism, it's the complete opposite. It's closer to normal atheist-materialism than it is to buddhism, in my opinion. You make an understandable mistake though, it's rather amusing that here in this small category on this forum lies the total negation of everything else on the forum emoticon.
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
Hi Jane,

Maybe things will be clearer when you realise that actualism is not just different to buddhism, it's the complete opposite. It's closer to normal atheist-materialism than it is to buddhism, in my opinion. You make an understandable mistake though, it's rather amusing that here in this small category on this forum lies the total negation of everything else on the forum emoticon.


Well that is what Richard says, that Actualism is 180 degrees opposite to Buddhism, among other spiritual traditions. I disagree, though. Not to say that Richard is a Buddhist... but it is about ending suffering, and nothing Richard has said when describing the Actually Free state seems to contradict anything Buddha was saying. E.g. take a look at the Bahiya Sutta:

Buddha:

Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.


In the sensed, just the sensed, indeed - just what is at one's touch, sight, taste, etc., and no "self" to get in the way. UPDATE: Someone wrote a 34 page document on this topic, so you can read that if you like to know more. (original link).

That being said it is pointless to worry about what one calls what, whether this or that is Buddhist or Actualist... keep the goal in mind, and use whatever technique best gets you there!
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jane Laurel Carrington:
I also see (or saw) a woman who considers it an accomplishment, a sign of enlightenment, not to have any feeling when her child is suffering. Now as a mother myself, I can verify that it is not a good thing to identify our own egos with our kids--but the Buddha valued compassion for a reason.


Also might be interesting for you to read this particular excerpt from Stefanie's introductory thread:

S Kyle:

Initially I found it difficult to experience a PCE/EE while parenting or to maintain one if I was in that space upon the commencement of parenting. (I am divorced and share 50/50 custody w/my ex, so I have what seems like quite a lot of "solo" time.) But I started going for walks with my daughter around sunset and this was a helpful integration of "parent" mode and pce/ee mode. In fact, while on one of these walks, the way I saw her really shifted. I ceased to see her as "mine," and so there was really nothing to "do" in terms of shaping her behavior. Approaching her in this way has destabilized much of the usual parent/child tension. It is really so simple...I just let her be. I am sure the parents who read this will cringe and maybe that will be perceived by some as uncaring or irresponsible, but analytically speaking, I would have to disagree.

I think being in that mode makes me a much better parent. In much the same way that when I am in that space I don't feel a centralized identification with "Stefanie," I also don't feel that identified with my daughter. I also see her as something "happening" so nothing she does can anger me (including say, "I hate you," or smearing BBQ sauce on the couch) because while I am in that space she can't really insult "me," or make me upset about "my" couch.

Lately she has picked up the habit of spitting (she is 4, btw) while at summer camp from some older kids. And of course I've told her repeatedly not to spit, but she sort of ignores me. I tell her not to spit not because it irritates me, but because I know this is a violation of social norms and I need to instruct her. There is no passion in my instruction, it is very rote actually.

Scene:

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Some tme later.)

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Repeat ad nauseum.)

End scene.

When I went to pick her up at my ex's house, she spit, and he flew off the handle and I was kind of watching him, her, the spit, etc. etc. unfold and he was like "Hello?? Aren't you going to do something?" So I just turned to my daughter and looked her in the eye and said, "Please, don't spit anymore." (Of course this had no long term results.) But I have a very good memory of childhood and of having had an abusive, very reactive parent. So I know that while 4 year old children will definitely outgrow the habit of spitting, they will quite likely hold on to the memory of an irate (and scary) parent for a long time. A non-reactive attitude, which is my norm, even out of PCE/EE mode, is much better in the long run. I just don't see the super-clingy, overly reactive way of parenting as a good thing.

I have read on this forum some debates from anti-AF people that they think PCE's make one more prone to danger because one wouldn't be motivated to avoid it. Well, yesterday I was in PCE/EE mode and I was at the park with my daughter and another woman and her daughter. And storm clouds rolled in. It was magnificent! They were so dark and gray and fat, and there was a lot of lovely, strong wind, which once the children were assured that no tornado was coming, they relaxed into it and let the wind blow them around. Well, about 10 minutes into this lovely pre-storm activity, lightening struck a tree and an electric line right next to the park. A fire started and the electric line made these bass-like booming noises. Well, my friend that I was with started running away frantically, with her child. (Which was also funny because I drove and had the car keys...but I digress...) I just sort of calmly gathered up my daughter and walked away. She was incredibly shaken up and afraid, and I felt nothing except maybe some intense interest about the sound of two forms of electricity meeting (the line and the lightening). But no one was harmed, or even close to harmed, and it was fine.
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Jane Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 196 Join Date: 12/29/10 Recent Posts
Beoman,

Thank you so much for sending me this, and for the link to the other thread. I have been reacting in a rather ignorant way to one thread out of context, which had compounded some already negative impressions I'd formed of AF and the entire website connected to it. I guess I'm not the only one to have had doubts about it.

I do agree that being a reactive parent is not in the least helpful. I am not ready to take the leap as far as Stefanie does, and I don't know if I will ever be ready, nor even whether I want to be, but that is not something a person decides intellectually, but arrives at through experience.

I will say one thing I've noticed about AF, especially after having read the Stefanie Kyle thread: it seems that people go there after having a long-standing meditation practice, or at least some of the people on this site.

Thanks again, and I'm going to read, listen, and work more and talk less for awhile, although I'll continue to ask questions.

Laurel
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: SW's Path to Actual Freedom

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Jane:

I am trying to understand why a person might begin by practicing Buddhism and abandon that practice for actualism.


In my case, by having had a few PCEs, and seeing for myself what a delightful way of living they are. You can put your fears to rest.

Jane:

I will say one thing I've noticed about AF, especially after having read the Stefanie Kyle thread: it seems that people go there after having a long-standing meditation practice, or at least some of the people on this site.


I went for AF about 1 year and a eight months after starting my meditation practice. I don't view them as mutually exclusive at all, I use meditation to sort out emotional issues.

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