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AF and daily practice
Answer
7/3/19 3:19 AM
Hello. I do not have a daily practice. I have stumbled upon AF from being on the finders course. People in the AF communbity seem to discourage daily practice. I am pragmatic, I want to be FREE, what is recomended regarding daily practice? thank you
I have just read Daniel blog on said questions and am starting my experiemnt today. Thank you

RE: AF and daily practice
Answer
7/3/19 3:24 AM as a reply to mark harris.
I don't recommend AF. It tends to lead to emotional repression and dissociated states where you're spiritually bypassing negative emotions - you're experiencing them, your body is going through them, everyone around you can tell, but you're cut off from it. It's the opposite of a spiritual or human practice. It's very controversial and many people have had really bad experiences with it.

RE: AF and daily practice
Answer
7/3/19 3:25 AM as a reply to J C.
thank you.

RE: AF and daily practice
Answer
7/3/19 4:43 AM as a reply to mark harris.
The topic is very complicated.

Attempting an extremely quick summary of a possibly very long discussion:

If you stick to reasonable first principles, such as paying gentle, kind attention to what you are feeling and wondering why (being mindful and inquisitive regarding of feelings and mind states), paying attention to how you are experiencing this moment of being alive (mindfulness and investigation of your immediate sensate world), paying attention to something pleasant about experience (cultivating rapture), and the like, then it is hard to go far wrong, and many who do these have noticed benefits.

If you begin to chase emotional elimination, then it is definitely true that people here and other places have reported some mild to severe problems as a result of that fixation and focus, as denial and repression are sticky and tempting traps to be ensnared by, as JC points out.

Best wishes sorting all this out.

Definintely keep your wits about you and listen to the feedback of those around you.

Daniel

RE: AF and daily practice
Answer
7/5/19 7:32 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


If you stick to reasonable first principles, such as paying gentle, kind attention to what you are feeling and wondering why (being mindful and inquisitive regarding of feelings and mind states), paying attention to how you are experiencing this moment of being alive (mindfulness and investigation of your immediate sensate world), paying attention to something pleasant about experience (cultivating rapture), and the like, then it is hard to go far wrong, and many who do these have noticed benefits.

If you begin to chase emotional elimination, then it is definitely true that people here and other places have reported some mild to severe problems as a result of that fixation and focus, as denial and repression are sticky and tempting traps to be ensnared by, as JC points out.



My concern is that these reasonable-sounding first principles are unbalanced. Each, as part of a whole, balanced practice, is not harmful, but when taken together without the counterbalancing parts, you end up getting problems in the direction of emotional repression. This is especially true in the AF context where they explicitly teach that emotions are silly and to be avoided.

Why not just be happy all the time? It's a natural and understandable wish but it leads to a great deal of suffering, denial, repression, and ignorance.

Specifically:

 * wondering why you're feeling what you're feeling can easily slide into thinking you shouldn't feel "bad" feelings, or trying to push them away.

 * Paying attention to how you're experiencing this moment of being alive can easily slide into pushing away the moments where you're not liking how you're experiencing it.

 * Paying attention to something pleasant about experience can lead to ignoring, denying, or pushing away the unpleasant aspects of experience.

This practice should be counterbalanced by noticing and paying attention to suffering especially in pleasant experiences, resolving to avoid spiritual bypassing, and making an effort to fully feel even the difficult emotions.