nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

a person, modified 6 Years ago.

nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
Hi there,

So my meditation has been spurred by terrible pain.  That seems to be how it goes.  If you hurt enough, you start meditating enough using whatever practice you were taught.  Or, you seek out a good practice.

In any case, what seems to help me is that when I'm in a situation and I'm resisting some part of it....for example, when I resist the tension I feel when I look into another person's eyes...by thinking to myself, "this is real", it seems to immediately become less threatening.  I was in therapy a moment ago, and although I was happy about what we were talking about I couldn't get over the fact that I had trouble looking directly into my therapists eyes.  I was looking for all sorts of ways to get around the tension and solidity that was arising...trying to push past it or bulldoze through it, trying to just "bear" it and such.  but as soon as I thought to myself, "wait.  this tension is real. this is a real, authentic part of this situation", something changed.  it was as if a normal part of the situation was unlocked.  the tension was fine.  reminds me of the story where milarepa enters his cave and finds it filled with tiny demons.  he falls to his knees and prays that they will leave, he tries everything to get them to go away, so saddened that the demons are overtaking his situation.  he feels completely screwed.  once he finally accepts their presence, they disappear.

just wondering if anyone here can relate.

peace.
a person, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
For example, right now I'm anxiously awaiting replies to this post.  And I'm like, "Oh shit.  That's real!"  Nothing shameful about anxiously awaiting replies to a post.

Of course, I've done a lot of mindfulness meditation practice and devote a lot of time to being aware of my body.  So I am not sure if it's so easy for anyone.  Seems very related to actualism since my logic usually goes, "What, at this very moment, am I not accepting that will make everything bearable once I do?"

Shame is real.  Embarassment is real.  Love is real.  Pleasure is real.  Your natural way of showing compassion is real.  Rejection is real.  Emasculation...hatred...the stuff you have trouble talking about...but it's not like by acknowledging an emotion or thought, it needs to be built upon.  It's just a way of accurately concentrating the mind...although I guess that this is where my wisdom ends.  Because you can probably choose, at the point of acknowledging the realness of something, how to continue working with it but I can't say I have all that much experience in that territory.

Peace.
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Jean B., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 213 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I like your view, it makes sense to me. I've also noticed that acceptance, once tried and adopted, is much easier than resistance. I had a lot of experiences lately in which I've been avoiding part(s) of experiences, recognized it, allowed it and immediately felt much more present and at ease. A simple acknowledgment often is enough.
a person, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
Jean-

I agree!!! Integrating the parts of experience, as my non-buddhist-yet-oddly-spiritually-in-tune friend said.
Eva M Nie, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
Kinda has some things in common with noting and mindfulness, basically you are making more conscious and observing more carefully some things that used to be a bit less than conscious and a bit more under the radar.  Once you put these things on the table and scrutinize them, instead of just kind of avoiding/ignoring them, then a lot of the power seems to go out of them not uncommonly, it's like logic and observation expose them and weaken their hold.  IMO, a large part of my development has come from me understanding more of things like that which used to be under the radar.   
a person, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
Eva -

It's sort of like letting your room get messy. What's so tragic is the unwillingness to be mindful is so similar to that basic impulse to let stacks of papers pile up by your front door or put off doing your laundry. It's literally the same feeling...

If you let a sensation become background information, it controls ya. Oddly though, I find that trying to sap a sensation of its power doesn't work sometimes. I just have to accept them instead. What do you think? They wind up getting sapped, but occasionally it's a very long winded process of acceptance and oobservation.
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tom moylan, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
howdy ap
i feel your pain...well not really..

lots of us have been started on our way due to the natural questioning of "the rules of the game" after experienceing some great loss or existential crisis.

we all tend to make a big deal of our own pain, of course, and find it difficult to put it in a general, non-personal context. focusing on the "elemental" or the "basic sensory" aspects of experience keeps the boil low as opposed to an overwhelming steaming emotional cauldren...at least that's the party line.

shinzen young has a somewhat formulaic way of rendering suffering as things such as "pain X resistence = suffering" and other such constructs. i think it has some validity but my not be very practically helpful in many cases.  i don't know if this helps , or is even germain, but i hope it does.
a person, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
Hey thanks tm. I'll try to remember to read about that. That seems to be the case...the rules of the game become too claustrophobic after a certain point, so one is spurred between the two choices of eithet whithering away or growing using the only tool they've been given: dharma. Yeah pain alone still spurs resistance, but the resistance seems to be the only thing we have any control over (when the pain is physical or otherwise big enough). equanimity is almost stumbled upon by concentration and chance, it seems.
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Ian And, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
a person:

but as soon as I thought to myself, "wait.  this tension is real. this is a real, authentic part of this situation", something changed.  it was as if a normal part of the situation was unlocked.  the tension was fine.  reminds me of the story where milarepa enters his cave and finds it filled with tiny demons.  he falls to his knees and prays that they will leave, he tries everything to get them to go away, so saddened that the demons are overtaking his situation.  he feels completely screwed.  once he finally accepts their presence, they disappear.

just wondering if anyone here can relate.

Congratulations. Welcome to the club. But keep going; don't stop there. With your insight, that is. Keep working at it. Pondering it, rolling it around in your mind, seeing it from difference angles until it becomes familiar and second nature. Just that is liberation!

a person:
Seems very related to actualism since my logic usually goes, "What, at this very moment, am I not accepting that will make everything bearable once I do?"

Shame is real. Embarassment is real. Love is real. Pleasure is real. Your natural way of showing compassion is real. Rejection is real. Emasculation...hatred...the stuff you have trouble talking about...but it's not like by acknowledging an emotion or thought, it needs to be built upon. It's just a way of accurately concentrating the mind...although I guess that this is where my wisdom ends. Because you can probably choose, at the point of acknowledging the realness of something, how to continue working with it but I can't say I have all that much experience in that territory.

I'm not into the modern propensity to be fascinated by actualism. So, I have no interest in it. Never felt the need to improve on what was already a perfect system of study (i.e. the Dhamma) if only people would learn how to use it properly. But modern people, in their haste, are always looking for short cuts, and in their race to find an answer to the conundrum which troubles them, they scurry past everything that has already been laid out for them to be able to make their way. It is all there (in the discourses) waiting to be discovered, but no one wants to spend the time to discover it. It's sad, really. A commentary on these strange times.

However, you might do well to heed what he later said (and implied), namely, that shame, embarrassment, love, pleasure, rejection, greed, hatred, ignorance etcetera are all just momentary ghostly posits in the ever changing continuum we quaintly call our perception of time (or duration, or a stream of consciousness). These states of mind arise, persist for a moment, then fade away, like a puff of cigarette smoke lingers in the air for a moment before disappearing. What is real about a puff of smoke? It is the closest thing to nothing there is! One moment it is there, and the next it has vanished, just like our states of mind. What is real is only what we make REAL! Everything else is just a phantom of our conditioned perception which we take for reality.

Yet, if you can see this with insight and wisdom, you can end the emotional reactions that you associate with these states and relax in peace, never fearing their arising on the morrow because you see them for what they are, as the empty "things" they are.

One caveat here: this doesn't mean that these "things" don't have meaning in the conventional world in which we live. You just have to make allowances for the duality that you perceive and play with that social perception accordingly.

In peace,
Ian
a person, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: nailing mysterious phenomena as "real"

Posts: 27 Join Date: 11/12/13 Recent Posts
Thank you Ian! This is exactly what I needed to hear. And it is true. It seems like when I am aware of experiences as "cigarette puffs", the chain of causation starts to break down. Suddenly whatever drama has me snagged is just a cluster of sensations...slightly visual and physical and emotional, I should probably look for tastes and smells more. Suction seems to be what snags my attention.

I haven't actually studied actualism very much but I noticed how popular it was on here.  What you say is interesting because I have met people who seem to embody Buddhism better that most people, yet they don't study it. This one guy met up with me and was excitedly discussing the chakras and how life is about " integrating the parts of our experience", andit's so strange because he's never been to retreat but he seems to possess insight! So maybe actualism is for the casual Buddhist...those who attained stream entry in a past life.

It is very sad and strange but I think that, once one has studied the dharma enough it becomes their duty to subtly teach people about it. Thus in a sense, although people look everywhere for answers in life besides buddhist teachings, eventually they may meet someone who can teach them about them...albeit, in a way that isn't repulsive and agressive.  I am horrified when I think about how frequently suicides are happening all over the globe. Those poor folks emoticon

One of my friends...he's like 25....thinks that reality boils down to what he calls " deities". Personality spirits that have entered our mind-body complexes. I asked a couple I know who have been endorsed by the dalai lama about him and they said to stay away from his thinking. What do you think?