Message Boards Message Boards

Energy Practices

everyone practices, no one arrives

Toggle
everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/9/15 7:03 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Chris Marti 11/9/15 7:24 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/9/15 7:33 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Colleen Peltomaa 11/9/15 8:06 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Colleen Peltomaa 11/9/15 7:54 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/10/15 12:37 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Richard Zen 11/10/15 8:08 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/11/15 12:19 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Derek 11/11/15 6:25 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/11/15 1:37 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Chris Marti 11/11/15 5:36 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/11/15 7:42 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/11/15 8:24 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/11/15 10:01 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/11/15 10:19 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/12/15 1:11 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Scott Kinney 11/12/15 7:34 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Richard Zen 11/12/15 8:19 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/12/15 10:38 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/12/15 1:58 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/12/15 6:17 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Dada Kind 11/12/15 7:11 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/12/15 7:34 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/12/15 9:33 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/12/15 9:50 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/12/15 11:41 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/13/15 9:03 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/13/15 1:17 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/12/15 4:50 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Jinxed P 11/11/15 10:26 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives J J 11/12/15 11:57 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/9/15 8:58 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Psi 11/9/15 9:33 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Richard Zen 11/9/15 10:38 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Noah 11/10/15 12:56 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/10/15 12:59 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Noah 11/10/15 1:10 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/10/15 1:15 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Zed Z 11/10/15 1:56 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/10/15 8:14 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives MangaDesuYo 11/11/15 9:16 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/11/15 11:40 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Eva Nie 11/11/15 12:02 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 11/12/15 4:58 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives MangaDesuYo 11/13/15 12:25 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives C P M 11/11/15 9:39 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives S. Pro 11/18/15 11:46 AM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/18/15 5:50 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Noah 11/18/15 6:02 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/18/15 7:11 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives Noah 11/22/15 8:35 PM
RE: everyone practices, no one arrives This Good Self 11/23/15 3:45 AM
everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 7:03 PM
Every time I come to Dho, I see countless threads about practicing this and that, and yet hardly anyone ever achieves anything meaningful or sizable.

And then a post like this one will draw answers such as:

"oh I used to be depressed all the time and since meditating for 10,000 hours, I'm just depressed 80% of the time".

Yeh??  WOW.  You think that's worth the effort???

I actually reckon most of the people are either lying to themselves or living in a dream world.  Having had a lot of experience on a stock market forum, where 99.9999% are liars and dreamers, I can see the same pattern of posting here.  No one is realistic.  No one is real about life.  The reality is so harsh, no one is prepared to face it - hence all the dreaming.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 7:24 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Maybe you're not using the right yardstick.

emoticon

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 7:33 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Maybe you're not using the right yardstick.

emoticon

Well yeh, stock market forums are unusual.  Lots of Indians (who seems to be on another planet they dream so much), and low intellect dudes who lie continuously to themselves.

Here we have high intellect people who seem to be lost in their own thought processes, incapable of pragmatism.

Where are the real people?  They're not online that's for sure.  And even in real life you'd walk a million miles to find one.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 7:54 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hello CCC, You gave me a chuckle. I'm not laughing at anybody. I'm laughing, with some relief, at how many lifetimes it has taken me doing similar practices. This may be the lifetime I really "pop". But only if I do the practice and understand the workings of the mind. And god grant me enough years to complete the work.

Today I was very impatient with my clearing partner, frustrated that he can't see how he's creating his own misery; and then I went into my meditation practice and handled my emotions and decided it would be okay to give him more time, and I was able to contemplate his return to an unlimited being. Grace and mercy never end.

The mind likes to use time as a "yardstick" emoticon

However, you did me a service to bring up your observation and if I felt I were not making progress I would want to correct that. I'm very happy with my practice, and what slows me is the material I have to work with, meaning the condition of my mind. It is all turning out to be for good because if my mind had not gotten the best of me and me being so miserable I would not have started asking the right questions which brought me to my practice and with this level of dedication.


BTW, I got what you said about people lying to others and to themselves.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 8:06 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
I can empathize with your frustration but that too eventually gets resolved if one keeps up their good practice.
I agree with you - It is important to be sure a practice comes out of a good working theory of the mind and how to take it apart.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 8:58 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Every time I come to Dho, I see countless threads about practicing this and that, and yet hardly anyone ever achieves anything meaningful or sizable.
Depeneds on what you consider meaningful or sizeable. 


And then a post like this one will draw answers such as:

"oh I used to be depressed all the time and since meditating for 10,000 hours, I'm just depressed 80% of the time".

Yeh??  WOW.  You think that's worth the effort???
Compared to what?  Not meditating and being depressed all the time?  What would you do with your time instead that would be better considering that you would be depressed while doing it?  Plus often meditation feels good and you feel good afterwards so isn't that reward in itself?  What is it you think a person should be doing that would be better? 

I actually reckon most of the people are either lying to themselves or living in a dream world. 
I don't really follow you, if someone says they meditated a lot and went from always depressed to partly not depressed, how is that not realistic? 

Having had a lot of experience on a stock market forum, where 99.9999% are liars and dreamers, I can see the same pattern of posting here. 
The same pattern is everywherre it's a human pattern.

No one is realistic.  No one is real about life. 
No one in the ENTIRE DhO eh?  Is that statement of yours for sure realistic?


The reality is so harsh, no one is prepared to face it - hence all the dreaming.
Some say everything is a dream anyway, even the harsh parts.   

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 9:33 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Every time I come to Dho, I see countless threads about practicing this and that, and yet hardly anyone ever achieves anything meaningful or sizable.
It seems to me that some minds have been liberated to varying degrees.
 I do not know what you want to see as meaningful or sizable?
Throwing Fireballs? Raising the Dead? Levitation? Walking on Water?

Knowing when to buy APHB ??   

$5.79

http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=aphb&insttype=&freq=1&show=True

Or not!!  lol

And then a post like this one will draw answers such as:

"oh I used to be depressed all the time and since meditating for 10,000 hours, I'm just depressed 80% of the time".

Yeh??  WOW.  You think that's worth the effort???
I am investigating if I experience depression anymore, because and since you brought it up.  My initial repsonse is that I would not know how to conjure up depression anymore.  Maybe that response will change upon reflection and over time, who knows?  I do feel twinges of sorrow from time to time, but not what I would call depression.
I actually reckon most of the people are either lying to themselves or living in a dream world.  Having had a lot of experience on a stock market forum, where 99.9999% are liars and dreamers, I can see the same pattern of posting here.  No one is realistic.  No one is real about life.  The reality is so harsh, no one is prepared to face it - hence all the dreaming.
There is Aging ,Sickness,  and Death.  Those are facts, and as facts must be faced up to to truly start Investigating.  Investigating is an antidote to telling lies, dreaming and fantasizing.  I agree, Reality is harsh, but, it is what it is.

But , I have no real point to make, and I am not here to Preach or proselytize.

Fear and Greed, are near the root...

Have you read 

Trading for a Living by Dr. Alexander Elder?  used for $1.14, good book , lots of wisdom, Library might even have it.

Market is driven by fear and greed

http://smile.amazon.com/Trading-Living-Psychology-Tactics-Management/dp/0471592242/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447126119&sr=1-2&keywords=trading+for+a+living

Psi

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/9/15 10:38 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Every time I come to Dho, I see countless threads about practicing this and that, and yet hardly anyone ever achieves anything meaningful or sizable.

And then a post like this one will draw answers such as:

"oh I used to be depressed all the time and since meditating for 10,000 hours, I'm just depressed 80% of the time".

Yeh??  WOW.  You think that's worth the effort???

I actually reckon most of the people are either lying to themselves or living in a dream world.  Having had a lot of experience on a stock market forum, where 99.9999% are liars and dreamers, I can see the same pattern of posting here.  No one is realistic.  No one is real about life.  The reality is so harsh, no one is prepared to face it - hence all the dreaming.

You're too flippant with your comments. People have a conditioned baseline for happiness that no matter what circumstances arrive, it rebounds to whatever baseline you're conditioned with. Meditation slowly chips away at it and if people only get 20% better that's actually OUTSTANDING!

BTW I'm much more than 20% better off. How about 95% better off. emoticon

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 12:37 AM as a reply to Colleen Peltomaa.
Thanks for the understanding Colleen.

Eva - Meditation is just such a weak, pathetically slow and unreliable process.  I fucking hate it.  People seem to think it's going to lead somewhere good.  I do it because, as you say, what else is there?  It's the best of many possible shit solutions.

Psi - I haven't read that book, no.  Have read many others along the way.  My understanding is that each trader takes from the market what he believes he is worth.  I've never seen an exception to that rule.  All the systems, algos, patterns, machine learning, inside info etc etc - means nothing.  Worthiness determines wealth.

Richard - flippant because I've realized that there is virtually no love in the world.  Apart from a couple of brief instances in my personal life, it's just not something I see for myself or anyone else.  The modern mind has evolved to prevent its growth.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 12:56 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
@OP:

"oh I used to be depressed all the time and since meditating for 10,000 hours, I'm just depressed 80% of the time".


I post stuff like this all the time, and mean it.  I have experienced huge changes in my life.  I went from being on a ton of medication, barely gettng by, living with my parents, and not being able to function in any meaningful way, to quitting meds, moving alone to a new city, and being able to completely support myself financially and psycho-emotionally.  Meditation did this for me.  I don't know exactly how and why, but through basic cause and effect observations I can say with confidence that meditation was the main factor (or at least its "side effects").

Where are the real people?  They're not online that's for sure.  And even in real life you'd walk a million miles to find one.


Dude I am so real.  Okay, I'm being facetious.  But for real, I like to video chat, and meet in person, with dho people, for the exact reason you are highlighting.  Let me know if you want to google hangout or skype.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 12:59 AM as a reply to Noah.
Can you tell me how to meditate when I'm in pain (physical and emotional), without making everything a lot worse?

Your instruction (if you can help) will need to be very differnet to everything else I have already read and tried.

Thanks Noah.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 1:10 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Well, I think you should try using the law of attraction to facilitate the universe sending you a solution.  Concentrate once, for five to ten minutes, every day, on the exact, positive, opposite of the shittiness that you are experiencing.  Also, pick an anchor phrase to repeat that encompasses the best possible scenario solution for you.  Return to this phrase three times throughout the day.  This is just a mental-verbal repitition and doesn't require much concentration.  Repeat this effort every day for a month.

See it as just an experiment and refuse to put any pressure on the outcome.  Its just another thing to try.  When you begin to feel doubt or frustration, just strongly insist to this inner voice that your just doing an experiment, no big deal.  

Most pragmatic dharma people are not into law of attraction.  For me, its stupid real, and I don't get why more people have not discovered this.  When I read from people like you who have tried a lot of different mind-hacks, I tend to think that you already have the tools, you just need more positive, energetic momentum to get you to use them with the right intensity and in the right context.  

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 1:15 AM as a reply to Noah.
ok.  I like that.  Thanks.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 1:56 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
What's wrong with daydreaming? Harsh reality, whatever it may be, operates as a constraint. I do what I have to do to make my living, but I like daydreaming, doing stupid nothing type of things and even meditating. And I do these because I can.

Anyways, dear Three Characteristics, why don't you cut some slack to yourself and also to others. As I see it, despite (or probably irrespective of) the efforts of the so-called pragmatic Dharma movement and many others, the topic of awakening/enlightement/etc is still by and large unresolved. There are maps and models and names for attainments or whatevers, but I think the uncertainty is larger than what we really know. I think it doesn't matter what we say. Meditation works for some and not for others. And so what?

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 8:14 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Paweł K:


Difference between arrival and struggling is that people who arrived entered different stream, the one which go in right direction, direction of bliss, nibbana and all the good stuff. Second group try to turn the stream they are in with a stick and wonder why it doesn't work. One can enter stream of noticed things, noticed sensations, or one can try to notice things, notice sensations. Difference between real Stream Enterer and fake one is that real do not notice anything, do not do anything, merely enter stream in which things are noticed.

From all the countless Stream Enterers all the way to Arhats on this site how many even know what streams of experience are? How many can experience them totally as they are. How many see their selves (even subtlest ones like no-selves, etc) as streams of sensations and can navigate them, tune in and out of them, redirect action potentials inside their mind, etc. easy stuff .... my guess is: very few. Most haven't even noticed nonsensicalness of three characteristics. Like really, those are gross concepts, that need fairly large area of brain activated projecting lots of stuff to work and comprehend and that this comprehension is valid in specific model of reality projected by those areas and have nothing to do with more immediate experience.

Enlightenment is rare, not impossible.
Lack of result can be caused by doing things wrong or simply not being ready for progress.
'Arrival' is like abandoning aching self and experiencing something else instead. It is not about fixing anything. Most people are not ready for such development. It require a lot of knowledge about own mind to be ready to accept such solution as valid and not cruel. When mind is well enough understood this seems pretty easy, straightforward and old way of trying to fix things seems as self-inflicted torture caused by stupidity and ignorance.

Daydreaming? Delusion?
We are all dreaming and we are all deluded. Some people just create nicer dreams than others and have delusions that have more practical sense. Typical delusion is creating pain and suffering to make reality seem more real and make other unpleasant thoughts for the same purpose and to keep motivation high (to not suffer more). Why not do the same but with bliss, self-motivate with going from less pleasure to more pleasure? End effect of what will be done will be similar with exception that second version of visualization will be all pleasurable, abundance of bliss. Causing suffering to oneself seem pretty stupid in comparison. And the most stupid thing is that most people do not try this all-pleasure version or at least think it have to be worked for, repaid with suffering and thus they avoid it. And fact is that streams of both suffering and bliss are unlimited. How do you want to experience your life? Suffering or bliss?
Thanks very much pawel.  I feel like this is quite a valuable post you made.

This sentence:  "And the most stupid thing is that most people do not try this all-pleasure version or at least think it have to be worked for, repaid with suffering and thus they avoid it".

I realized this is how I thought when I was about 14yo.  Later on, I came to see that this style of thinking is related to self-worth, ie. if the self is only worth so much, then yes, you only get so much pleasure before having to 'pay' for it.  Even though I realized this was how I made sense of everything in my world, I couldn't change it.

-- How should I progress with this in order to feel bliss instead of suffering?
-- Also, can you explain this sentence further please:  "One can enter stream of noticed things, noticed sensations, or one can try to notice things, notice sensations".  Does that mean - 'apply less effort'?

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/10/15 8:08 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:

Richard - flippant because I've realized that there is virtually no love in the world.  Apart from a couple of brief instances in my personal life, it's just not something I see for myself or anyone else.  The modern mind has evolved to prevent its growth.

Read and learn:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201203/why-women-cant-find-good-man

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201204/why-are-men-frustrated-dating

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pieces-mind/201204/understanding-validation-way-communicate-acceptance

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/healing-and-growing/201509/start-new-relationship-the-right-way

People feed on neurotransmitters. You want yours and they want theirs. Give them neurotransmitters but DEMAND to get neurotransmitters in return. Don't just act, but truly filter out the shitty relationships in your life. If you value and respect yourself people will give it to you. People who want things one way towards them are greedy narcissists. Shoot them out of a cannon.

Secondly you need to understand human envy. Buddhists talk a little about it but not at the same depth that (some) Christians do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Y8dVVV4To&list=WL
Rene Girard CBC

https://www.russellsage.org/publications/envy-scorn-down
Envy up, Scorn Down

We always get two messages in life: "Be the best you can be" and "don't be too good!" Follow the first one and ignore the second one, but it's going to be a bumpy ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7G4AOX55Qs

I'm going to be doing tons of speeches on this stuff and it represents hours of my life so don't thank me too quickly and don't waste it!

Oh yeah: I would also read Self-Efficacy by Albert Bandura (dense brilliant read) and Self-Determination Theory from Deci and Ryan (especially on Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence).

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 12:19 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Thanks for the understanding Colleen.

Eva - Meditation is just such a weak, pathetically slow and unreliable process.  I fucking hate it.  People seem to think it's going to lead somewhere good.  I do it because, as you say, what else is there?  It's the best of many possible shit solutions.
Yeah, I often wonder why change and improvement is so often like dragging anvils from one's neck up a steep hill.   But meditation is a tool and only as good as the wielder.  I also think you make much better progress by doing a bunch of things coming from various angles, psychology stuff, stuff like Noah describes, exercise, eating healthy etc, all contribute, alll effect mood and health and work together, meditation is just one part of it, IMO. 
Psi - I haven't read that book, no.  Have read many others along the way.  My understanding is that each trader takes from the market what he believes he is worth.  I've never seen an exception to that rule.  All the systems, algos, patterns, machine learning, inside info etc etc - means nothing.  Worthiness determines wealth
If you are saying expectations determine outcome, then I would agree with you.  And the good news, to change outcome, you 'only' need to change expections.  But if you expect bad and negativity everywhere, of course that is what you will find.  It's a bit of a viscious loop, and getting out of it is difficult, but doable. 

Richard - flippant because I've realized that there is virtually no love in the world.  Apart from a couple of brief instances in my personal life, it's just not something I see for myself or anyone else.  The modern mind has evolved to prevent its growth.
You determine your own outlook and standards and guidelines.   If you compare everyone to perfect purity, yes, everyone will probably be sorely lacking.  But then again, I think personally that those who have nothing more to learn do not spend any more time here on Earth.  So of course those that are left will be less than perfect.  You choose if you want to pick on every aspect of imperfection and wallow in that perceived lack, or if you also want to notice the counterbalancing good things, because both are present.  To wallow in fantasy and day dreams is no more unrealistic than to wallow in negativity and angst and only see the darkside.  But I do remember back when I was full of anger and bitterness myself, the light side just pissed me off, I remember how I hated pretty flowers, they just seemed so obnoxious.  Maybe they just reminded me of something I lacked or something.   My life got better as I gradually worked through all that hate and anger.  There was no way to escape from it either since it was a part of me, the only solution was to work through to the other side.  
-Eva

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 6:25 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
C C C:
Thanks for the understanding Colleen.

Eva - Meditation is just such a weak, pathetically slow and unreliable process.  I fucking hate it.  People seem to think it's going to lead somewhere good.  I do it because, as you say, what else is there?  It's the best of many possible shit solutions.
Yeah, I often wonder why change and improvement is so often like dragging anvils from one's neck up a steep hill.   But meditation is a tool and only as good as the wielder.  I also think you make much better progress by doing a bunch of things coming from various angles, psychology stuff, stuff like Noah describes, exercise, eating healthy etc, all contribute, alll effect mood and health and work together, meditation is just one part of it, IMO. 

This is a very good point, Eva. If you look at traditions like N8FP, what we call "meditation" was only one-eighth of a complete lifestyle reform program. Nobody ever advocated just "meditation" on its own.

CCC, as for your point "Meditation is just such a weak, pathetically slow and unreliable process" -- I actually observe two categories of people. It's true that SOME people make little to no progress. On the other hand, SOME people make amazing progress: complete transformations of consciousness. Moreover, I suspect that the distribution of people who post on Internet message boards is skewed toward the no-progress crowd, thus giving a false impression.

Of course, I have my own ideas about what differentiates the no-progress practitioner from the amazing-progress practitioner. There are certain factors that cause people to end up in one camp versus the other.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 9:16 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
There are very very few people I know personally that actually got some where in more or a less permanent conscious kind of state, not nessecarily practicing something from buddhism, but yoga as well...

But the impression I get on this forum is that those who claim to had success with noting are always big big talkers, most of their post are many words but don't actually get to any point... and even when ataining the so called "stream entry", it's like they just had a one time "firework" experience happening that claims to be stream entry, and that's it...

And then they show you off the insight and perspective they got to "understand" from meditation, which a normal person with normal life experience (never ever meditated) could just as well figured it out, or seen/understand it that way.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 9:39 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hi C C C

I would like to see a well designed study that would measure the relief of suffering after 10,000 hours of meditation.  My guess is that it would be possible for some to have a 20% reduction (which as Richard points out, is nothing to discount), but my guess would be the norm would be much higher. Some of the studies I see now are based on weeks of practice, which in my opinion, is not enough.  Benefits are available all along the path, but it takes effort.

I've had the opposite impression from you, of mediators claiming high attainments only after months of casual practice.  I see no reason why mastery in meditation should be faster than any other pursuit, for example, math, physics, music, sports, career...  10,000 hours is the norm that I would consider for a high level of development.

I've been involved in hiring software developers out of school.  So, they start out with four or so years of study at University, plus independent pursuit prior to that.  Let's estimate 40 hours a week, so that puts them at about 8000 hours when they start their career.  I've found they don't reach the point of being a solid professional developer until after 2 to 3 years of full time work, that's when they cross the 10,000 hour threshold. I would consider that the level of basic professional competence. Sometimes it takes longer. It is true that occasionally you get an outlier that can progress much quicker.

And it is important to stress that progress will occur all along the development process (not in a linear way).

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 11:40 AM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.
MangaDesuYo:

And then they show you off the insight and perspective they got to "understand" from meditation, which a normal person with normal life experience (never ever meditated) could just as well figured it out, or seen/understand it that way.
But isn't that just how enlightenment is?  We have all heard many wise words, even just in fortune cookies.  The knowledge is everywhere, but what people don't do is apply it all the time every second to themselves.  Sure it's easy to see how OTHERS are not doing it all the time but what is really hard is seeing how YOURSELF is not applying it all the time.  Most people are logical a lot but then some emotional area comes up and the don't apply, the don't even see that they aren't applying it.  It's a blind spot, a weak spot, where even though you know on some level it is not right, you still do it.  Others around you tend to see it easily but you are blind to your own blind spots and they to theirs. 

How many people walk around berating themselves for not doing stuff that another part of them thinks they should be doing?  It's a lack of integration and they have'nt fully sorted those areas of self yet.  But the knowledge itself is nothing Earth shattering, we've all heard it many times.  Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.  You are the same person in many ways, just your understanding of self can be so much better, you could understand much better your unhealthy patterns, illogical thoughts, etc that you had before and you sort many of them out, which leads to much increased peace. 

Once you sort out a bunch of your own bs, then you can perceive without all your own bs contaminating every perspective.  In the seeing, only tthe seen, they say.  It's like if you are angry all the time, all you see is things that piss you off, and they keep pissing you off.  But its not things that are really doing it, it's your contaminated perspective and the way you are concentrating your attention to continuing feeding it with selective attention to mostly those things and then developing stories in your head and going over them over and over.  And then wallow in it more and more and churn it up.  But if you are not sucked into the drama, then you can look and see that right there is a horrible thing and right there next to it is an amazing wonderful thing, and that is how life is.  Neither deny the horrible, nor the wonderful and amazing, life is both.   

IMO, enlightenment has to do with learning to see the drama, angst, judgement, recrimination, and delusion of the stories we tell ourselves all day long.  Once we can see those things, then we can learn to see without all those things, but IMO, it need not be some mystical magical thing and the stuff you see is the stuff that was always there right in front of your face.  It's the same stuff everyone sees except that the lens you are perceiving it through is more clean which makes it look different and more clear to you.  (different yet the same)
-Eva 

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 12:02 PM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.
MangaDesuYo:
There are very very few people I know personally that actually got some where in more or a less permanent conscious kind of state, not nessecarily practicing something from buddhism, but yoga as well...
I think that is because different people are putting different levels of effort and willingness into it.  Say you have 2 guys that both work 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.  Both show up on time every day and do the basic work that the boss tells them to do.  But for the first guy, that is all he does, and the second guy may even have gotten very very efficient and quick at what the boss has told him to do.  Whereas the second guy also is lookign to help others around him and is always looking for ways to improve the functioning of the company, go the extra mile of the customer, perceive areas that need improvement, etc and he works at getting that done.  The second guy is not satisfied with just business as usual and basic functioning, he is always looking for areas where he can grow himself and the company, improving the filing system, clean the dust out of the corners, etc, he is not even afraid to shake up the system a bit if he sees it is not well designed.  Now should the first guy expect he is of equal value and deserve the exact same pay scale as the second guy?

IMO, meditation and self improvement is like this mythical pair of workers.  If  you are just showing up and doing the basics (I meditated 4 hours a day without fail and can do all the jhanas quickly) , even if you do it dutifully, it's not going to lead to the same outcome as guy number two who has his shovel out with an attitude of wanting to dig through his bs no matter how deep, stinky, or gross.   

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 1:37 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Thanks for the understanding Colleen.

Eva - Meditation is just such a weak, pathetically slow and unreliable process.  I fucking hate it.  People seem to think it's going to lead somewhere good.  I do it because, as you say, what else is there?  It's the best of many possible shit solutions.

Richard - flippant because I've realized that there is virtually no love in the world.  Apart from a couple of brief instances in my personal life, it's just not something I see for myself or anyone else.  The modern mind has evolved to prevent its growth.

...Can you tell me how to meditate when I'm in pain (physical and emotional), without making everything a lot worse?

-- How should I progress with this in order to feel bliss instead of suffering?


Hi CCC

I think it is really really worth separating the kind of dharma practice talked about here, with the kind of thing which you are looking for, which is having a better emotional experience of life and having less negativity about the world.

Every time I meet people who are trying to get awakened to experience less emotional pain, their awakening trip is exactly as you describe it, a fucking waste of time.

This forum, this flavour of dharma, is simply not going to help you in the current state you are in.

Joining a sangha of really nice people, having some wonderful romantic partner, having peaceful and enjoyable life where you are not faced with endless futile negativity (which is pretty much what the world can seem like), having a fulfilling job/lifestyle, some good active/creatve hobbies .... why not do that?

I am not saying that this hasn't helped some people, or that it's impossible, or that meditation doesn't help.

but you ask, where are all the people going "hey I'm really happy now after doing heavy insight practice" - maybe that's not what people came here for. It's like going to a chess convention and asking why is no-one is dancing, therefore chess doesn't work!. You assume that people want to improve their lives in the same way that you do, but that is not true for everyone.

for me personally, I had a very very fulfilling life in every mundane sense - job, hobbies, love, dog, friends, habitat, emotions. If you would have asked me, "do you wanna feel happier more often or sad less often" - I would have said "no! I don't wanna live in Disney movie".  then I started doing dharma practice, with no obvious hope to change anything about my life or emotions.

with all care and respect, the best that meditation can do for you in the state you are in, is what it has done - i.e. increase your frustration to the point where you realise, quite humiliatingly,  that sitting with your eyes shut can't fix your life. It can only show you how you need to obviosuly sort your own life out.  stop hiding in the idea that the meditative journey can change things that you are currently too stuck to change yourself <3

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 5:36 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
I gotta weigh in and agree whole heartedly with the last comment. I started practicing to relieve stress and so on but quickly learned that a vipassana investigation practice would efficiently lead me to an understanding of what I am and how experience is constructed by mind. That might help me be more relaxed and less stressful but not necessarily and almost certainly not very quickly. 

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 7:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Update:

I'm starting to think that good living is just about forcing positive thoughts.  A really crude and uncompromised forcing of the mind in a desired direction.  Nothing subtle, nothing nuanced, nothing layered.  Reject any thought that doesn't feel good.

The chosen direction is anything that creates a good feeling.  Success is absolutely everything in life. 

I wonder if people who succeed with meditation are succeeding because they bought into the belief that it works and it is worth doing.  You sit down and you start watching the breath with an unrecognized expectation... and that's what you get.  If that's the case, how indirect is that?  Better just to expect to feel good without all that sitting.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 8:24 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
CCC,

I concur with positive thinking being enormously beneficial. I highly recommend doing the 7 day positivity challenge. You can read about it in Emmett Fox's book "The Seven Day Mental Diet". Tony Robbins also popularized a version I believe. Completing that challenge was very difficult, and took me dozens of tries, but once I finally got it it was life changing.

As per meditation, the science behind it at this point is beyond dispute. Hundreds of studies are published per year on its efficacy. Read up on the brain studies on the buddhist monks like Matthieu Ricard that were done by Richard Davidson. A good summary of it can be read by Daniel Goleman in his essay "The monk in the lab" or something like that..anyway..

I think a problem with people here not getting  great 'emotional' results is the lack of samatha practice. Dry insight is destabilizing, scary and won't fix your emotional stuff until the end. A far better road if you are looking for emotional improvement is doing samatha and metta first. How good is your concentration? Can you focus on the breath for an hour without getting distracted? Can you reach jhana? I've been so blissed out from meditation retreats that when I got back home and had sex with beautiful women it was just 'meh'. Like eating a fast food joint you used to love after having had lunch at a world class restaurant.

Meditation can work, you can make rapid progress, but you have to put in the work. Are you doing a solid hour or two a day? Do you have your morality trip in order..so that it's not messing up your sits?

Besides meditation, I recommend the following, all based on research (I used to work in a research psychology lab studying well-being)

1. Have quality friend and romantic relationships
2. Exercise (at least three times a week, better with other people)
3. Diet (highly recommend something akin to Paleo, Whole natural foods, etc)
4. Quality Sleep
5. Positive thinking
6. Get off the damn computer and get out in nature...hike/bike/ etc
7. Meditate (shamatha and metta) an hour or two a day.


Do those things and you will enjoy life. How many are you doing right now?

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 10:01 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:


1. Have quality friend and romantic relationships
2. Exercise (at least three times a week, better with other people)
3. Diet (highly recommend something akin to Paleo, Whole natural foods, etc)
4. Quality Sleep
5. Positive thinking
6. Get off the damn computer and get out in nature...hike/bike/ etc
7. Meditate (shamatha and metta) an hour or two a day.


Do those things and you will enjoy life. How many are you doing right now?

Number 6 I do a bit of, but it doesn't help.  Number 5 might not be possible, but I'm going to try.  The others are impossible without already feeling good.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 10:19 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Jinxed P:


1. Have quality friend and romantic relationships
2. Exercise (at least three times a week, better with other people)
3. Diet (highly recommend something akin to Paleo, Whole natural foods, etc)
4. Quality Sleep
5. Positive thinking
6. Get off the damn computer and get out in nature...hike/bike/ etc
7. Meditate (shamatha and metta) an hour or two a day.


Do those things and you will enjoy life. How many are you doing right now?

Number 6 I do a bit of, but it doesn't help.  Number 5 might not be possible, but I'm going to try.  The others are impossible without already feeling good.
Exercise and diet are impossible without already feeling good?  Sorry, don't think that's gonna fly.  It's your choice to do or not do something.  But you may want to wonder why, if you TRULY want to feel better and more happy, why are you not doing everything you can think of that might help with that?  Why procrastinate, make excuses, and not do some of it?  Why ignore the ideas you don't like and why is it that you don't like them in the first place?  There is a good angle for self inquiry and lots of it, and I suspect we all have areas like that to work on but the worse your problem, the more important it is.  When you have all parts of you in agreeement, then there is no procrastination and excuses, instead you just do it.  If you are not doing what you think you want to do, then you will want to start looking at the aspect of you that does not want to go along with that program and why.   

I think many people come to the mat thinking that if they put in enough hours, their suffering and pain will kind of evaporate or get whisked away by magic.  That's why if you go with that attitude, it doesn't work.  That crap has to be shoveled out and straightened out by yours truly.  No one will fix it for you and meditation can't fix it for you either, meditation is just a tool, it has no power by itself.   

As for positive thinking, if you truly dedicate yourself, there are tons of psych practices designed for it, you could go through them and test every one of them if you wanted, it would be an interesting experiment.  There are tons and tons of ways to go with it, or you could just roll over and say you can't or don't wanna instead, there is always the 'poor me I am trapped' attitude that you can fall back on.  But the first step of any project can be a baby step and still count.  ;-P
-Eva

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/11/15 10:26 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Jinxed P:


1. Have quality friend and romantic relationships
2. Exercise (at least three times a week, better with other people)
3. Diet (highly recommend something akin to Paleo, Whole natural foods, etc)
4. Quality Sleep
5. Positive thinking
6. Get off the damn computer and get out in nature...hike/bike/ etc
7. Meditate (shamatha and metta) an hour or two a day.


Do those things and you will enjoy life. How many are you doing right now?

Number 6 I do a bit of, but it doesn't help.  Number 5 might not be possible, but I'm going to try.  The others are impossible without already feeling good.
That's nonsense. You are just making excuses, it's the irrational negativity. Studies have shown that simply walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes 3 times a week is as good at fighting mild depression as taking drugs. You don't have to already feel good to do it. Just go exercise. Do 50 squats and 25 pushups right now. A symptom of depression is not feeling like exercising.  You have to overcome this and force yourself. You will feeel better afterwards. If you catch yourself coming up with excuses "I don't feel like it"..say.."Hey CCC quit being a whiny bitch and just do it."  Pardon my french, but I sometimes just telling it like it is is more effective than hand holding. 

and watch this TedTalk by Dr. Steve Ilardi on depression. It's absolutely fantastic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drv3BP0Fdi8

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 1:11 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Exercise has NOTHING to do with depression. 
Diet has NOTHING to do with depression. 
I have tried both approaches separately and in combination many, many times.

The number of these fucking academics who think diet and exercise cures depression makes my blood boil.  Speaking of liars and dreamers - academics rank amongst the best.

Social connection - yes, that can help if you have mild depression.  If you have anything more severe it will aggravate things obviously (because everyone rejects people in pain).

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 7:34 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Exercise has NOTHING to do with depression. 
Diet has NOTHING to do with depression. 
I have tried both approaches separately and in combination many, many times.

The number of these fucking academics who think diet and exercise cures depression makes my blood boil.  Speaking of liars and dreamers - academics rank amongst the best.

Social connection - yes, that can help if you have mild depression.  If you have anything more severe it will aggravate things obviously (because everyone rejects people in pain).
To borrow a quote "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."

You seem to have defined your own daily practice, beliefs and discipline. I wish you good fortune on the path you've chosen.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 8:19 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Exercise has NOTHING to do with depression. 
Diet has NOTHING to do with depression. 
I have tried both approaches separately and in combination many, many times.

The number of these fucking academics who think diet and exercise cures depression makes my blood boil.  Speaking of liars and dreamers - academics rank amongst the best.

Social connection - yes, that can help if you have mild depression.  If you have anything more severe it will aggravate things obviously (because everyone rejects people in pain).

If you want to deal with depression I agree with the above list but especially with self-talk. What I find best about meditation is how you can nudge your thoughts, intentions, awareness all day and that skill can be used in other areas like purposefully talking positive about yourself and I mean this as not just sitting down and talking to yourself positively.

Talk to yourself positively (as a meditation practice) while pursuing goals. "I can do this...watch me do that...I failed at this because my skill isn't good enough yet but if I increase my skill I can try again with better results." Once you get good at this the only other thing is that you might still get rejected through envy and you'll have to learn new skills to deal with that as that is my problem right now.

Remember any skill you do requires lots of repetition. It'll feel glib at first to do positive self-talk but when the self-talk matches positive actions it won't be glib. (Pamela Butler is a good source for this)

Positive self-talk + Action = Healthy Mind States

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 10:38 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Exercise has NOTHING to do with depression. 
Diet has NOTHING to do with depression. 
I have tried both approaches separately and in combination many, many times.

The number of these fucking academics who think diet and exercise cures depression makes my blood boil.  Speaking of liars and dreamers - academics rank amongst the best.

Social connection - yes, that can help if you have mild depression.  If you have anything more severe it will aggravate things obviously (because everyone rejects people in pain).
You have to understand that your attitude of "Nothing works, there's no hope, its all futile" is a SYMPTOM of depression. It is not reality.

There are hundreds of well designed studies that prove diet and exercise really really help. There are millions of people who have used diet and exericse to help them overcome their depression.  They all say otherwise.

Or of course everyone else in the world is wrong and you CCC are the genius who stands above them all an is right. What do you think is more likely?

But I'm not here to argue with you, as you suffer from depression you are not capable of rational thought. You will find the negativity in anything. My guess is you gave half ass attempts at both exercise and diet for brief periods, and then declared it didn't work.

Join CrossFit (friends, social acceptance,  exercise), and they also push a paleo diet.
Do the positivity challenge ..any though "This won't work" is a negative thought that you are trying to kill.

It's about small upward spirals. I've been depressed too. You aren't some unique snowflake. This is what worked for me, what has worked for millions of others.

And see a psychologist.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 1:58 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
There's just not a single obvious reason why diet and exercise should have any connection to depression.
Bernd:


There are plenty. Depression is caused by a prolonged stress response in the body.  Exercise and diet have both been show to reduce the hormones and neurochemicals that cause the stress response, while at the same time producing feel good hormones, neurotransmitters, and endorphins.  During depression much of the sadness can be attributed to a diminished amount of dopamine, neuroephephrine and serotonin, all of which are increased by exercise.  Endorphins also act as analgesics, which reduce the feeling of pain the body ( a symptom of depression). Other factors include the thermogenic response during exercise which warms certain areas of the brain causing a subsequent feeling of relaxation and reduced muscle tension.

These benefits don't just occur during exercise or shortly after..but will last for over a YEAR in studies that have done such follow - ups

So there are plenty of biological reasons..The scientific literature on this is overwhelming..Here is just one meta-analysis for you to read..

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/


Note how CCC's argument is completely logical, while yours consists of alleged impressive studies


So by completely logical you must not based on any of sort of evidence or reasoning? Because that's what his claim is. Mine is based on established scientific facts, pragmatic intervention studies, and human biology.
You won't kill negative thoughts by practicing some naive brute-force positivity if those thoughts are there for a very good reason. That approach is very limited.
Those thoughts are not there for a good reason. The vast majority, if not all negative thoughts are inherently irrational. This a cornerstone of both Buddhist philosophy and modern psychology.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 4:50 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
@C C C

Depression is a very loaded word so we need to be a bit careful saying this or that fixes depression

for the purpose of this thread, it might be useful to talk about 2 different but related sides of depression.

1. total meaninglessness leading to lack of desire for life

2. overwhelmed by negative emotions and negative thought content. positive emotions not firing.


Many people who end up on this forum or in dharma have 1 - meaninglessness. The only actual fix or cure for meaninglessness is enlightenment.

HOWEVER just meaninglessness does not cause people big problems. If you just have meaninglessnes, then you will get by and if you are lucky you find dharma practice and cure your need for what MCTB calls "fundamental insight".

the (2) - Overwhelmed-by-negative-stuff -  however is linked to meaninglessness. But they do NOT have to go hand in hand. Overwhelmed-by-negative-stuff is what causes people problems as it prevents clear operation of Being.

For Overwhelmed-by-negative-stuff, perhaps meditation can help. HOWEVER meditation is likely to increase meaninglessness so can backfire.

The best way to fix Overwhelmed-by-negative-stuff is Positive Stuff. All the advice here is good.

The thing is you are right - Positive Stuff cannot possibly fix meaninglessness. So when people suggest jogging as a cure to fundamental meaninglessness, in a logical sense, you are right to tell them to fuck off.

but Fundamental existential meaninglessness is not a problem. Your problem is a very mundane one - lots of negativity. And the best cure for mundane negativity is mundane Positive Stuff. Basic boring shit. Routine, other people, commitments, stopping bad habits. anything which takes energy out and away from the swirling dark inward spiral of me-and-my-problem.

The annoying thing is, the mundane negativity tries to tie itself around the enlightenment trip, thus confusing the whole system.

( a short aside - I had diagnosed "depression" when I was 17-22 ish (am 35 now). I "cured it" through routine, happy hobbies/exercise, getting a job which I found rewarding. Basically filling up my time with scheduled 'postive things' that involved other people. It was a good strategy at that time.)

one more useful thing - there is a tremendous conceit in depression, something which wants to be specially fucked up in way that no-one else is, and no-one else can possibly be, despite us being the most average textbook case of depression possible.... it's the most beautiful and incredible twisted way of being special that the ego tries. notice how much dark, twisted pleasure there is in being able to say that one has depression, to talk about "my depression", to talk about things that failed..... can you notice the pleasure in it?



Jinxed P:
C C C:
Exercise has NOTHING to do with depression. 
Diet has NOTHING to do with depression. 
I have tried both approaches separately and in combination many, many times.

The number of these fucking academics who think diet and exercise cures depression makes my blood boil.  Speaking of liars and dreamers - academics rank amongst the best.

Social connection - yes, that can help if you have mild depression.  If you have anything more severe it will aggravate things obviously (because everyone rejects people in pain).
You have to understand that your attitude of "Nothing works, there's no hope, its all futile" is a SYMPTOM of depression. It is not reality.



RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 4:58 PM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.
to say more. when I had diagnosed depression aged 20ish,
one of the deep roots of it was existential meaninglessness.
but the things which actually caused the problem were mundane negative habits
so routine, etc, stopped the negative habits and made life work

but it did not cure the root of my depression, in this sense.
actually it hid it.
but life worked very well, so I was a happy, capable, and key - emotionally robust - individual
then later in life, as a happy and emotionally robust individual
the core of meaninglessness arose in a playful way, like finding an old childhood toy,
and we played the dance back to the source together.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 6:17 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Bernd,
I don't doubt any of those mechanism. My personal experience confirms the notion that better diet and some (or a lot of) exercise will improve your well-being enormously. Guess what? I'm doing both and don't regret it. Guess what else? According to the usual psychology questionnaire (BDI) I still have depression, though a bit less severe. And I can't say I'm surprised in any way. As long as there is a basic conflict in the mind, it will produce these adverse consequences, no matter how well they're mitigated by diet/exercise.


Ok, so ..you agree with me? I never said diet and exercise alone will cure depression. I said it would help. I gave him a list of 7 things he can do on his own, and the eigth of seeing a professional. Diet and exercise are just two.

If your gripe with me is because you have misunderstood me to believe that diet and exercise alone will cure depression, then all we have here is a misunderstanding.
1) There is a very real causal reason why those thoughts exist


There are people with terminal illnesses who are happy, tibetan monks who were tortured in chinese prisons for years who remained happy. I can guarantee that neither you nor CCC exist in a situation that is so horrific that it is not possible to mentally ok in. The problem lies in your overly negative attitude and interpretation of your situation.

Anyway, I'm a pragmatist above all.  Try the positivity challenge. It worked for me, but I don't want you to trust me it works, see for yourself. Give it a shot. At this point, what do you have to lose?

Here it is, although the audio kind of sucks. I can't find the written version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTm9r3QXqvg


Here is Tony Robbins explaining it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWFObD9XsmE



RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 7:11 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
I agree with the usefulness of positivity bit, but on the other hand one may confuse the value of positive thinking with the notion that one can be cured from depression by an act of will. One may then begin to (at some level) believe life is all about exerting our will through thought etc. Trying to will oneself out of depression could make things worse. In most cases some degree of surrender/acceptance would be helpful, at least some times. Also, one may feel even more hopeless if they're unable to think positively at a given time.

http://reichandlowentherapy.org/Content/Goals/surrender.html

A relevant quote from this page, "Healing is not an intellectual function. No clever mind can order healing in injured tissues. The cortical monkey decorates doubt and embellishes fear. Clever thinking is of little value in coaxing rebellious muscles to abstain from excessive contraction. Individuals with pain syndromes know that the pain of muscle spasm in the back or neck cannot be relieved by mere talking. Nor does the deep anguish of depression abate with so-called positive thinking. What is needed is true spiritual surrender." - Majid Ali

Agreed with the posts about exercise and diet. The habit of establishing the habit of exercising/dieting can be extended to other areas of a depressed person's life to good effect. Also, self-esteem boost, confidence, etc etc.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 7:34 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
I agree with the usefulness of positivity bit, but on the other hand one may confuse the value of positive thinking with the notion that one can be cured from depression by an act of will. One may then begin to (at some level) believe life is all about exerting our will through thought etc. Trying to will oneself out of depression could make things worse. In most cases some degree of surrender/acceptance would be helpful, at least some times. Also, one may feel even more hopeless if they're unable to think positively at a given time.

http://reichandlowentherapy.org/Content/Goals/surrender.html

A relevant quote from this page, "Healing is not an intellectual function. No clever mind can order healing in injured tissues. The cortical monkey decorates doubt and embellishes fear. Clever thinking is of little value in coaxing rebellious muscles to abstain from excessive contraction. Individuals with pain syndromes know that the pain of muscle spasm in the back or neck cannot be relieved by mere talking. Nor does the deep anguish of depression abate with so-called positive thinking. What is needed is true spiritual surrender." - Majid Ali

Agreed with the posts about exercise and diet. The habit of establishing the habit of exercising/dieting can be extended to other areas of a depressed person's life to good effect. Also, self-esteem boost, confidence, etc etc.

So far, forcefully willing positvity is not working.

Will continue a little while longer.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 9:33 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I looked up that dude Majid Ali, and I have never seen someone more sickly looking.  His skin is a blue-grey colour, like near death.  His mouth and eyes are very, very sad.  His hair is unhealthy, he has bags under his eyes.  God, what on earth is he doing giving advice on depression????

http://alihealing.org/2015/10/21/spiritualitys-ladder/


I haven't got the energy to reply to all the posts above, but I am taking them in.  Thanks all.

For positivity I am repeating continuously "I am a good person, I deserve success".  Over and over and over like a lunatic.  Starting to get a small change now.  See if I can build it.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 9:50 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
The dude seems to have little knowledge of proper lighting and camera settings.  Almost anyone can be made to look bad in certain conditions and a cheap photo setup can add all kinds of strange palor to people.  You can see here he looks pretty healthy: http://majidalimd.me/2015/05/18/scientists-discover-mental-health-may-begin-in-the-bowel-and-gut-microbes/ .  He also has a very quiet spoken demeanor but that does not mean he is depressed.  Being a foreigner, he may well be acting in a standard way for professionals of his location.  Perhaps he had not considered he would be judged on such superficial merits.  ;-P  

Anyway, seems on the surface of things like you have taken one or two of the suggested ideas and tried them in a short term superficial way, and are now not satisfied because you don't feel a big improvement already.    And you have kind of seemed to ignore other of the advice like diet and exercise.   Maybe I am wrong and you are really taking this in more than I am giving credit, but it's going to be a longer road if you cling really hard to your old ways that are not working for you.  On one hand you say you want to feel better but on the other hand you seem very reluctant to make any major heartfelt changes to your regular routine.  Yes, positive thinking helps but you will want to do some research on habits that promote and practice it, if we could all just do something just by trying to will it for 24 hours without having much idea how to do it in the first place, well then we could all be enlightened in 24 hours!  And if anyone had any few very easily simple and fast natural ways to solve things like depression, then that guy would make a million dollars! 

Instead, change is usually more like stacking blocks one by one until they gradually make more and more difference.  And there will be ups and downs, it's not always a straight line.  Noah here has been a good example, you can see how he tried many avenues over time, all he could think of as likely would be my guess and even some that maybe didn't seem likely, psychology, new age, meditation, etc.  And some of those things worked for him and some didn't but over time he learned and built on what did and with that, he has really improved his life over time.  I know that it is hard, when you are already in certain mindsets, to feel proactive about helping yourself, however that is going to be the fastest way to improvement.  None of us have a magic pill or method that will fix all problems when a part of you is still clinging to those problems.  Bad habits are a bXtch to change but luckily they still are changeable.   I know looking back at how i used to be, there were many habits and thought processes I had that perpetuated my problems greatly and although those things seem obviously wrong to me now, at the time when I was mire din them, it was very hard to see my way out of them.  Nevertheless, to get out, I think what I needed is a certain amount of faith that if others have done it, then it would be doablel for me too, and also just a certain amount of effort to keep trying bit by bit.  Those two things together plus time tend to lead to success.  Yeah, you are right, it's not always easy though, but looking back, it has been well worth it.  
-Eva     

[quote=
C C C]I looked up that dude Majid Ali, and I have never seen someone more sickly looking.  His skin is a blue-grey colour, like near death.  His mouth and eyes are very, very sad.  His hair is unhealthy, he has bags under his eyes.  God, what on earth is he doing giving advice on depression????

http://alihealing.org/2015/10/21/spiritualitys-ladder/

Then again... maybe only someone has had this knows what to do.  christ knows.
The confusion continues.

I haven't got the energy to reply to all the posts above, but I am taking them in.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 11:41 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Reporting a definite but small change with the following technique.

I went for a walk (which I do every day, and doesn't change my mood, only exhausts me).

As I walked I repeated:  "I am a good person, worthy of success".  I managed to maintain this robot-like repetition for maybe 60% of the walk.  The rest of the time I reverted to negative thoughts unconsciously. 

Importantly I made no effort to believe the words.  Just a zombie, machine-like repetition.

Will repeat later tonight.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/12/15 11:57 PM as a reply to Colleen Peltomaa.
Colleen Peltomaa:
Hello CCC, You gave me a chuckle. I'm not laughing at anybody. I'm laughing, with some relief,


Yeah, this is part of the problem.

You're not meant to deflect the criticism, and absorb it, and then treat it as another one of those life lessons in a passive way, like: “haha, oh, you're so right, that makes so much sense.”

You're literally supposed to be offended, realize how much of a fraud you are, and then take that energy and change, you should be embarrassed, but also angry at CCC.

This deflective problem is so prevalent in the spiritual community, that I have no idea how to extricate anyone from their self-constructed cushions of denial. If every time I point out how much of an avoidant, “pussy-eatin'”, dickhead someone is, and they just absorb it with:

“Yes, you're so right, I was so wrong before, I have now realized.”

That person has just escaped again.

Literally, there is nothing to talk about. Just go take care of your kids, go get laid, do your laundry, homework, taxes, and there will be no cause for meditation, search, or mental health. All stress is just bought from those problems. I mean seriously, if you got laid, or had a partner, had work, money, and food, and some entertainment (drinks with friends, eating out, seeing a movie, bonfire at the beach, book club) on the side: what would be the cause for complaint?

You wouldn't spend any time on these forums. But people are so interested in justifying their problems, that they have zero emotional energy to even use to overcome them.

Please don't respond to my overly critical, and obviously out-of-line and insulting post with: you're right.

I'm not right, you're right. Justify yourself, I am wrong, show me how wrong I am, you know I'm wrong. Be angry.

Thank you,

Bye.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/13/15 9:03 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Reporting a definite but small change with the following technique.

I went for a walk (which I do every day, and doesn't change my mood, only exhausts me).

As I walked I repeated:  "I am a good person, worthy of success".  I managed to maintain this robot-like repetition for maybe 60% of the walk.  The rest of the time I reverted to negative thoughts unconsciously. 

Importantly I made no effort to believe the words.  Just a zombie, machine-like repetition.

Will repeat later tonight.
Good job!

I was going to recommend the following technique of going for a walk and just listing everything you are grateful for.  Doesn't matter how small.
- I am grateful for toenails
I am grateful for sunlight
I am grateful for trees
I am grateful for air

Do this for the duration of your walk. You are creative enough that you should be able to come up with something new to be grateful for (hair,eyes, intelligence, clouds, water, etc) for the whole time. But if you hit a blank spot, just revert back to something you already said.

Tips for the Positivity Challenge.

There are two aspects of being successful in this challenge. The first is improving mindfulness of your thoughts. You have to be aware of what you are thinking in order to catch your negativity before it turns into ruminations. As soon as you think a negative thought "Walking makes exhausted",  you need to jump on it and reframe it as positive.."Walking burns calories and keep my limbs loose" ..You might think a negative thought every 2 seconds. That's fine. As long as you jump on it and reframe it immediately.

Of course this type of mindfulness of thoughts is strenuous and tough to do. You'll forget often and go minutes and probably hours before remembering "Oh Yea, I'm supposed to be reframing negativity!" The key is to just reward yourself for remembering, and get back to reframing. Progress is noted by how often you are reframing your negativity.  Make it a game..how many times can you reframe your negativity in the next hour? Keep the game going all day...Get better and better as the hours go by.

Eventually, through your constant reframing, negative thoughts will appear less and less. This is the second mark of progress. At first you mightthink a negative thought every 2 seconds, then every 5 seconds, then every 30 seconds, then every minutes..etc..eventually hours will go by before you think anything negative.  This is extreme progress.

It takes work, it's strenuous, and it will absolutely be the greatest thing you ever did for yourself. It was for me.

Here is the most important point. Do not give up until you have succeeded. What is complete success? Going 7 straight days without getting lost in negative rumination for more than two minutes without reframing.  It might seem a Herculean task, but it gets easier over time. It took me many many tries to accomplish this. But even in those attempts, it helped tremendously. Even going a single day without getting lost in rumination is extremely beneficial.

Good luck , pal. Keep me updated on results.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/13/15 12:25 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Paweł K:
-- How should I progress with this in order to feel bliss instead of suffering?

Why people do not feel bliss already?
a) they overuse pathways in their brains until they are tired and feel real pain when used
b) they use pathways that lead to suffering and do not use those which lead to bliss

re a), there is need to change pathways
I could write unreasonably long wall of text about it but this would probably accomplish nothing so I write simple hint: fruition = pathways change. You can set yourself in such a way to do it all the time, basically let mind choose best pathways instead of sticking with one just because it feel like 'you'. You need to let yourself fade away all the time. Basically each new moment being new person without any continuity.

Its achieved by defaulting to background, the Nibbana.

re b), its like changing course of river, dig new riverbed, at least something like it, then block flow to old pathway so it cannot go where it used to and river will flow Where it can: to new pathway.

-- Also, can you explain this sentence further please: "One can enter stream of noticed things, noticed sensations, or one can try to notice things, notice sensations". Does that mean - 'apply less effort'?

If done properly there should be no effort at all.

No activity need or ever needed you to put any effort into doing it. Whole concept of how mind work which we conceived as very young children was not well thought and wrong assumptions were reinforced by parents, siblings, and pretty much everyone else. Some people get it better, seem to do things as if without effort. Why is that one person need it and others do not?

Effort is but a bunch of tensed muscles. It does nothing except interfering with actions and perception taking away awareness and creating drama around everything. It is also worth noting that things as effort happens as way to relieve strain caused by using mind wrong way and those behavioral pattens naturally fade out when using mind in right way (that is experiencing Nibbana all the time, see beginning of this post) so its not about using effort to have no effort as much as just experiencing Nibbana which itself does not need effort to be experienced.

Is there a certain technique you practice that made you reach fruition (change in pathways)? 

How about getting to hard jhanas? (I say hard jhana on purpose because I consider them to be the "real ones"... Anything special you practice to get there or is it just the normal feeling the breath sensations at the nostrils? 

Sorry about it coming out of the blue, just curious hearing about others practices after reading their perspectives and experiences 

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/13/15 1:17 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed, great bunch of advise there!  Yeah, that's approx the way I got myself out of my negativity.  It started with me observing more and more the thoughts I told myself.  I began to notice that it was mostly very negative, even the positive was grudging and usually capped off by a negative.  (ex: I am having a good time now, too bad it won't last, etc)  Basically I spent my whole day telling myself how my life sucked and I sucked, then justifying the telling of it by saying that I was only saying it because it was true and I was being 'realistic.'  But it was not all true, I had a roof over my head, food on the table, decent health, friends, etc.  People are happy with far less.  But if I noticed people were happy with far less, then I would just use that to beat myself over the head more, that I was ungrateful, greedy, spoiled, etc.  I was the expert at using anything to beat myself up with.  If you pointed out anythign I was doing wrong, i would take that info and beat myself with it.  It was a carefully woven trap that I had encased myself with, but the trap was basically made out of habits, I had to observet he habits carefully and work on them one by one.  I had a whole lifetime of habit and a lot of momentum going in one direction so it took a while to change the flow, peel through the layers of habit etc. 

I think a lot of the reason retreats work is because you are blocked off from your old life and habits and are told what to do and think the whole day and those are all new habits and thoughts that for most people are more healthful.  But once you are back in your old life, people tend to fall back into old habits.  The key to success is to change your thought habits not just in special environments but in your regular environment.  It takes some consistant effort, especially if you are one that has a huge crap ton of bad habits like I did, habits that I had been carefully practing and enforcing for decades, but it's a very powerful method once applies and can counter all manner of bs if applied consistantly.  Thanx to Jinx for taking some time to explain some good methods.  Yeah, there were many many times when I fell back into negativity, forgot to practice, or whatever, and at such times, it was very easy to fall further back into negativity by berating myself further for my lack of avoiding negativity.  (you can see the irony there but that's just how sneaky these habits can be..)

One thing I really learned is that I did not have to be stuck with a dysfunctional and unhappy me.  And looking back, I now realize that I was programming myself every day and every minute by the constant barrage of negativity I told myself, thought about, fantasized about, etc.  So the key to escape was to start inputting new programming.  At first it was slow going because the new programming conflicted with the old programming that I had accumulated for a lifetime, but the more I input the new programming, over time it made a difference and the flow started to shift.  I realized that many of my problems were a natural result of my negative choices and thoughts.  The bad news was that no mystical magical thing was going to wash all those probs away for me but the good news is over time I realized that I had the power to do that myself all along, that I did not have to rely on luck, spirituality, or any fickle thing to fix it for me but that I could fix it myself as long as I kept diligently chipping away at it.

I personally attribute the vast majority of my spiritual progress to this kind of consistant all day long repeated self observation and gentle but consistant attempts to realign 'unskillful' thought processes.  After about a year, it was very clearly very much working, after several years, I had gotten done with most of the heavy work that needed doing.   After I had worked on all the thought processes, there was just bare emotion left visible, at this point I worked on observing that and trying to understand it better.  This was less obvious going than the thoughts were but with effort, I did make some progress understanding the emotions as well.  In that process, I finally seemed to have thrown off the mantle of the depressed feeling that would sometimes lay over me so heavily.  I don't know if it 's totally gone forever, but interestingly, I no longer fear it.  I feel like if it comes back, I will just handle it, I feel like it can no longer have strong power over me. 

I think it bares consideration that meditation was developed in a different culture/cultures that had different thought habits and ideas.  In many ways, our current lives are different from those times and there may be issues prevalent now that were not so common back then.  Our culture carefully programs us through TV and media to be certain ways since birth, there may be a stronger need to countercondition against that these days than there once was. 
-Eva

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/18/15 11:46 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Taking anti-depressants, prescribed by a psychiatrist, did a great deal for me.
I sadly didn´t take them sooner ;-)

That´s how life goes. I´m very well now. And each day I "practice" gratefulness. I remind myself of the positive things in life and
try to be less a controller.

Getting medication was a really worthwhile thing and I know many for whom it was helpful.

Cheers

Sven

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/18/15 5:50 PM as a reply to S. Pro.
Thanks Sven,

Have tried probably 20 or so drugs.  Anything effective will cause migraine after a while.

I'm in a very bad place.  Massive struggle every day.

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/18/15 6:02 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Thanks Sven,

Have tried probably 20 or so drugs.  Anything effective will cause migraine after a while.

I'm in a very bad place.  Massive struggle every day.

Yo CCC, 

Been doing the law of attraction?  You seemed interested.  If so, keep going, and give it some time.  If not, start!

-Noah

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/18/15 7:11 PM as a reply to Noah.
Thanks Noah.

I got bogged down with feelings of intense fear lasting days. 

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/22/15 8:35 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Thanks Noah.

I got bogged down with feelings of intense fear lasting days. 

As part of the LOA paradigm. let it be known that these feelings, regardless of their intensity, are purely false belief, and therefore can not continue in the face of your intention to feel good!

RE: everyone practices, no one arrives
Answer
11/23/15 3:45 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Thanks Pawel, Noah.

Last night I realized something.  A very deep body relaxation and clear mind must preceed LOA work.  I did about an hours worth.

Regards