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Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/27/18 5:21 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Yilun Ong 3/27/18 8:09 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/27/18 8:36 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Yilun Ong 3/28/18 7:58 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/28/18 8:49 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Yilun Ong 3/28/18 8:52 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Andromeda 3/27/18 6:50 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Anna L 3/27/18 7:45 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/28/18 9:09 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Andromeda 3/29/18 6:53 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/30/18 2:58 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Andromeda 3/30/18 6:53 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/31/18 6:29 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/28/18 9:04 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation John Wilde 3/29/18 1:49 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Anna L 3/29/18 6:27 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/30/18 3:14 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Anna L 3/31/18 3:30 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation terry 3/30/18 7:31 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 3/31/18 6:45 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation terry 3/31/18 2:15 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Alice S 3/31/18 12:53 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Anna L 3/31/18 3:38 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation terry 4/2/18 5:23 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation D. 3/30/18 3:16 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation seth tapper 3/29/18 4:06 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Anna L 3/31/18 4:09 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Yilun Ong 3/31/18 5:45 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation terry 4/2/18 5:47 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation svmonk 3/31/18 9:05 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Bruno Loff 4/1/18 11:17 AM
RE: Psychedelic motivation Yilun Ong 4/1/18 5:39 PM
RE: Psychedelic motivation svmonk 4/1/18 10:02 PM
Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/27/18 5:21 AM
Here is a thought about psychedelics and meditation.

People who meditate find different things to motivate them keep doing. Of course some people are talented, and simply enjoy doing meditation most of the time, and that is enough for them. However I personally mostly find meditation to be boring most of the time. It's not a matter of lack of pleasure, even when the meditation is blissful, my mind is wired to be too intellectual and meditation doesn't really put any bloodflow in those brain areas (and these brain areas are how I make a living, so letting them dwindle is too drastic an option).

For most people, myself included, there is the fact that they suffer, that they see that there is something wrong in their perception, and that prods them on. But doing something because you suffer is not very inspiring, as motivators go. One needs a carrot, and not just a stick. So meditators often find other, more positive motivational support.

Some get excited about the philosophical ideas surrounding the language with which the practice is described. "Self" this "atman" that and so on. A large fraction find solace in self-image related ideas "I meditate hence I'm becoming a better person than I used to be". Others are engaged by belonging to a community. It's all good, it all works to some extent. I engage in these modes of finding motivation, and as long as such stories aren't taken very seriously (e.g. really believing you are god, or beliving you are better than others, or believing everyone in your sangha really is your friend), I find there is no real harm in engaging with them.

To me, perhaps the main positive motivator for my meditation practice, is a certain quality of experience that arises during psychedelic experiences. A certain delightful open sensitivity, which always feels heart-nourishing, meaning-granting, and which I wish I could transport to my daily life, into my baseline mode of experience.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/27/18 8:09 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Dear Bruno,

Having recently come out of slapping myself silly, with maps and frameworks and more frameworks (teachings even of the Buddha, well especially of the Buddha as I take it especially seriously), I have found that any framework is limited, very limited in fact. I have suffered as I tried to fit this poor being into these frameworks and f$%king hell do they not fit reality. As I try more and more to squeeze cubes into round holes, the more I realize the impossibility of what I am trying to do. Model myself after what amounts to >100 people's ideas of what enlightenment or what arhathood is? Had I gone any further, I'd be the Messiah in a Thailand crazy house.

Along the way though, me being quite an open person, I have thrown off certain boundaries and with respect to your derision of "believing everyone in your sangha really is your friend", I have found that having physically met/interacted more/what is of conventional friendship/etc. are just stupid boundaries/conditioning that we have slapped on and taken of as reality. It is another conceptual framework. I have communicated with quite a number of guys here off of this site. We talk like good friends and have sincere exchanges, definitely not limited to dharma. In fact most of our conversations aren't about dharma. There is love there if you drop that framework.

I would go about my day and question these frameworks as part of my off-cushion mindfulness routine, the delight in debunking them and exploring the new limitless areas, cannot be looked down upon. As I go on dropping these boundaries, what I do get from this journey which includes meditation, is freedom. Freedom, my friend is why I am doing this at all. Truth comes a distant second, for what is truth if it doesn't set me free? 

Love,
Monk(ey)

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/27/18 8:36 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
That is a bit of a tangent to the topic, I'll PM you instead.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/27/18 6:50 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
To me, perhaps the main positive motivator for my meditation practice, is a certain quality of experience that arises during psychedelic experiences. A certain delightful open sensitivity, which always feels heart-nourishing, meaning-granting, and which I wish I could transport to my daily life, into my baseline mode of experience.


Have you tried working intensely with the brahma viharas? That's the practice that has for me produced the most consistently entheogenic states and it transports well into daily life. It took a lot of effort to get them more or less on tap but it was definitely worth it.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/27/18 7:45 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Agree! Metta, Brahma viharas, Yoga asana, fire Kasina and devotional practices will get you there. But you have to do it A LOT. My baseline experience changed when I made my whole life about meditation and yoga practice - total commitment and radical surrender. 

I’ve not tried psychedelics, but my system is super sensitive to all medications and substances so I prefer to induce my ASC endogenously! ;)  Eating a raw vegan diet and going alcohol free also greatly enhanced my ability to experience pleasure/rapture in meditation and in life in general. (Again, I think I’m very sensitive to toxins?) 

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/28/18 7:58 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I hope I didn't come across as specifically angling at anyone in particular or sounding like I know it all. I do have this issue of thinking of ideas/concepts as hives. We infect each other with ideas and fall into various hive mentalities e.g. a certain church, mentality, capitalism, racism, etc. THE mode of spreading ideas in this age is through the internet, not face to face. Just look at the good/bad it has done. If I see some concept that isn't true (to me), I find the calling to question it as my little way of contributing to this world. The thousands of views from hundreds of viewers have the choice to decide the truth for themselves. So just saying again that there is more human behind the keyboard than a warrior AND this journey. What is the point of my enlightenment if it does not bring better interactions with others? If it will send me to a cave watching luminosity alone, I am ending it now. BUT there is so much truth in that the path is fabricated by perceptions/etc. (how many Dark Nighters out there are Dark Nighting simply because of an unquestioned belief in the maps?), if an enlightened caveman is what I believe/desire/perceive/fabricate, I am sure that is what I will eventually get... [I see both kinds of recluse/social enlightened monks in Thailand]

And I heartily second the BVs: The juice of the path. Without it, I'd be chewing coffee beans instead of drinking it, but that is another option there...

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/28/18 8:49 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I hope I didn't come across as specifically angling at anyone in particular or sounding like I know it all.

As far as I'm concerned, rest easy. Given our history here, I would feel very comfortable in calling you out if I thought you were sounding like a know it all, knowing you would give such criticism serious thought. I.e. you have accrued my respect. I myself was told a few times that I sound like a know-it-all, which feels odd given how doubt-filled my mind is.

I just replied via PM because it veered a bit too much off topic (psychedelics & motivation), but if you wish to include others in the discussion feel free to repost your reply, and my private message, in a new thread.


Yilun Ong:

What is the point of my enlightenment if it does not bring better interactions with others?


You seem to be suggesting that enlightenment has no point unless it brings better interaction with others... well that is an idea I strongly disagree with.

I would rather not assume that enlightenment brings better interactions with others. That tends to make me think of myself as a goody-goody person, which leads to an inflated ego and worse interactions with others. So maybe it does, maybe not.

Although I suppose that one of the purposes of this thread is what motivates us to meditate. For me: mental peace, and the psychedelic thing I was trying to point at with my first post.

For you, apparently, the idea that you will come to a place where you will better interact with others. Fair enough.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/28/18 8:52 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
For you, apparently, the idea that you will come to a place where you will better interact with others. Fair enough.

YES! Just sharing my view here that I find that most valuable - To be in a 'place' where I can help others and enjoy the BVs... emoticon

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/28/18 9:04 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
Bruno Loff:
To me, perhaps the main positive motivator for my meditation practice, is a certain quality of experience that arises during psychedelic experiences. A certain delightful open sensitivity, which always feels heart-nourishing, meaning-granting, and which I wish I could transport to my daily life, into my baseline mode of experience.


Have you tried working intensely with the brahma viharas? That's the practice that has for me produced the most consistently entheogenic states and it transports well into daily life. It took a lot of effort to get them more or less on tap but it was definitely worth it.


I have never given that practice any consistent effort. There is one caveat for me, surrounding that practice, which makes me hesitate in engaging with it. It is this: I do not wish to live in a condition where I wish well upon everyone. I have come to think of that as being an extremely arrogant point of view, as if I would not give onto others the minimum credit required for them to be in a position where they could displease me. Instead I will always "love" them, no matter what. That raises a red flag for me. Perhaps someone better than myself could pull it off, but I think that arriving at such a state I would be at the apex of my natural narcisism.

But of course I am guessing that there are many ways of practicing such things, and loving-kindness is just one of the brahmaviharas. The same objection applies to equanimity: what does it mean about how much you respect other people, if they would be unable to move you from a state of equanimity? If someone you respect criticizes you, for example, it is expected and natural and healthy that this causes you to question yourself (and what self-questioning is sincere if it does not lead to a loss of poise?).

I can't say the same about the other two, if one were to take "compassion" as empathetic sadness, and "empathetic joy" as empathetic happiness (which I'm not sure is correct). I have never tried developing such states as a form of practice.

I could also be totally misunderstanding what the brahmaviharas are, and then I would hope you will gently set me straight.

More precisely: how do you practice these states, what happens when you do (phenomenologically), and to what long term results does it lead, for you?

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/28/18 9:09 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Agree! Metta, Brahma viharas, Yoga asana, fire Kasina and devotional practices will get you there. But you have to do it A LOT. My baseline experience changed when I made my whole life about meditation and yoga practice - total commitment and radical surrender. 

I’ve not tried psychedelics, but my system is super sensitive to all medications and substances so I prefer to induce my ASC endogenously! ;)  Eating a raw vegan diet and going alcohol free also greatly enhanced my ability to experience pleasure/rapture in meditation and in life in general. (Again, I think I’m very sensitive to toxins?) 

I do not like meditation nearly enough to make my whole life about meditation. It's not just that it's boring and difficult, which it is, it's also that I find it to be mostly meaningless as a purpose in itself, meaningless unless it includes other things. Sure there is all the things you learn about how the mind works, that's cute. But I would be just dandy if I could take my mind to the mechanic, so he would fix it without any effort or learning from my part, and be done with meditation for good.

I am hoping that devoting my whole life to it is not necessary to fix what needs fixing, because if it is, I'm afraid I may well live forever broken.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/29/18 1:49 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


I have never given [the practice of brahmaviharas] any consistent effort. There is one caveat for me, surrounding that practice, which makes me hesitate in engaging with it. It is this: I do not wish to live in a condition where I wish well upon everyone. I have come to think of that as being an extremely arrogant point of view, as if I would not give onto others the minimum credit required for them to be in a position where they could displease me. Instead I will always "love" them, no matter what. That raises a red flag for me. (...)
I could also be totally misunderstanding what the brahmaviharas are, and then I would hope you will gently set me straight.

More precisely: how do you practice these states, what happens when you do (phenomenologically), and to what long term results does it lead, for you?

This thread might be a good opportunity for me to clarify my own [mis?]understanding of what the brahmaviharas are all about.

I can conceive of them in two ways. The first (and least appealing to me) is like a moralistic injunction to *cultivate feelings* of love, compassion, well-wishing and equanimity, to paste these feelings over the top of normal human emotions and, in effect, hang out in an insulated cocoon, safe from one's own wayward tendencies and also cushioned from the force of other people's feelings. If that's what brahmaviharas are, then I too have little interest in them, and can see why you'd consider it narcissistic and arrogant.

The other perspective (much more appealing to me) is: When you're not under the influence of petty personal emotions like anxiety, frustration, spite, jealousy, self-image based insecurities, status concerns, etc.... what's left?

For me, a state that's clear and simple and not dominated by personal issues is far from indifferent, aloof, oblivious, uncaring or unreachable by others. There's a disposition of well-wishing, compassion, consideration, and a fundamental okayness that may or may not be accompanied by feelings, and it's quite without effort. I'd pull back from saying these are the intrinsic qualities of an untroubled person, but to me it feels that way. It feels like my natural disposition when it's not being messed up by some petty personal concern or other.

Applying the label brahmaviharas to that fairly simple and modest combination of qualities might not be accurate. The 'real' brahamaviharas might be much more grandiose than that. Then again, maybe they're exactly what I think they are, but as so often happens, an air of moralism, sanctimony or religiosity surrounding them has distorted them beyond recognition.

I dunno.  But I do think the latter are compatible with (y)our psychedelics-inspired aims. And in that case, the way to 'practice' them would be to hold them as an orientation and a guide, rather than a set of feelings to cultivate.

(But if I'm flat-out wrong about this, I'd like to know, and will stop misusing the term).

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/29/18 4:06 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Michaelangelo - I hear - spoke about finding the statue already inside the block of stone.  His job was just to cut away the extra stuff.  

In my mind, there are stories that arise in which a Seth is the lead character.  I was wronged.  I made a mistake.  I am worried.  I am outraged.  I am in love.  I am so great.  I am so bad, etc.   Sometimes these stories are verbalized as thoughts in my mind, sometimes it is just the context in which I sit. 

When these stories subside, that experience of openness you talk about is there.  Obviously, has always been there.  I first encountered it using drugs, but that lead me to think it was a state I had to do something to get into.  Just sitting has revealed, that in my mind, it is what this really is.  I wasted a lot of energy meditating to try and somehow evoke this state. A better metaphor, for me, is winding down until thats all that is left.   

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/29/18 6:27 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Re BVs... only a saint could instantly generate genuine unconditional love for every being in the world. However, cultivating compassion for others is a helpful start. 

2 useful techniques I have used: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/chademeng-tan/cultivating-compassion-me_b_401048.html

Also, this text below from Ram Dass:

This person has feelings, emotions and thoughts, just like me.
This person has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me.
This person has at some point been sad, disappointed, angry, or hurt, just like me. 
This person has felt unworthy or inadequate, just like me. 
This person worries and is frightened sometimes, just like me.
This person has longed for friendship, just like me.
This person is learning about life, just like me.
This person wants to be caring and kind to others, just like me.
This person wants to be content with what life has given, just like me.
This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering, just like me.
This person wishes to be safe and healthy, just like me.
This person wishes to be happy, just like me.
This person wishes to be loved, just like me. 
 
Now, allow some wishes for well-being to arise:
I wish that this person have the strength, resources, and social support to navigate the difficulties in life with ease.
I wish that this person be free from pain and suffering.
I wish that this person be peaceful and happy.
I wish that this person be loved. 
Because this person is a fellow human being, just like me.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/29/18 6:53 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

I do not like meditation nearly enough to make my whole life about meditation. It's not just that it's boring and difficult, which it is, it's also that I find it to be mostly meaningless as a purpose in itself, meaningless unless it includes other things. Sure there is all the things you learn about how the mind works, that's cute. But I would be just dandy if I could take my mind to the mechanic, so he would fix it without any effort or learning from my part, and be done with meditation for good.

I am hoping that devoting my whole life to it is not necessary to fix what needs fixing, because if it is, I'm afraid I may well live forever broken.

In response to your comments about the brahma viharas, I will say that it sounds like you are very confused. But before addressing that, I'd like some clarification about your attitude toward practice. Let me paraphrase to see if I understand.

Basically, you want to expend minimal time and effort, experience no pain/discomfort/boredom in the process, and not only be relieved of all suffering but have life be as pleasant and interesting as a 24-hour drug high. Is this what you're saying?

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/30/18 2:58 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
Bruno Loff:

I do not like meditation nearly enough to make my whole life about meditation. It's not just that it's boring and difficult, which it is, it's also that I find it to be mostly meaningless as a purpose in itself, meaningless unless it includes other things. Sure there is all the things you learn about how the mind works, that's cute. But I would be just dandy if I could take my mind to the mechanic, so he would fix it without any effort or learning from my part, and be done with meditation for good.

I am hoping that devoting my whole life to it is not necessary to fix what needs fixing, because if it is, I'm afraid I may well live forever broken.

In response to your comments about the brahma viharas, I will say that it sounds like you are very confused. But before addressing that, I'd like some clarification about your attitude toward practice. Let me paraphrase to see if I understand.

Basically, you want to expend minimal time and effort, experience no pain/discomfort/boredom in the process, and not only be relieved of all suffering but have life be as pleasant and interesting as a 24-hour drug high. Is this what you're saying?

I've been around meditation forums too long not to see where this is going. Go find another target for your  oneupmanship. Lol you are nowhere near the level of mastery at that particular skill, compared to the best I have witnessed. Perhaps you lack experience, or maybe you just lack finesse. Try someone yonger next time, it's a lot easier.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/30/18 3:16 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
My limited understanding of the BV's:

It gets humanity, as a whole, closer to Buddhism's endgame. Think about in terms of Kant's 'Categorical Imperative':
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
Instead of thinking about it from a limited,utilitarian perspective(i.e. what gets me more more pleasure or pain?) the BV's can seem a little too 'sweet'.

But if you think about it from ' What if every human was like this?', then you can sort of get the idea behind them. If we all assumed the good in each other, and truly and sincerely loved each other, then the suffering on this earth would probably go down drastically. It's essentially about being the change you want to see in this world.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/30/18 3:14 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Re BVs... only a saint could instantly generate genuine unconditional love for every being in the world. However, cultivating compassion for others is a helpful start. 

2 useful techniques I have used: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/chademeng-tan/cultivating-compassion-me_b_401048.html

Also, this text below from Ram Dass:

This person has feelings, emotions and thoughts, just like me.
This person has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me.
This person has at some point been sad, disappointed, angry, or hurt, just like me. 
This person has felt unworthy or inadequate, just like me. 
This person worries and is frightened sometimes, just like me.
This person has longed for friendship, just like me.
This person is learning about life, just like me.
This person wants to be caring and kind to others, just like me.
This person wants to be content with what life has given, just like me.
This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering, just like me.
This person wishes to be safe and healthy, just like me.
This person wishes to be happy, just like me.
This person wishes to be loved, just like me. 
 
Now, allow some wishes for well-being to arise:
I wish that this person have the strength, resources, and social support to navigate the difficulties in life with ease.
I wish that this person be free from pain and suffering.
I wish that this person be peaceful and happy.
I wish that this person be loved. 
Because this person is a fellow human being, just like me.
Yeah, well, if the practice is described like that, then I have experimented with it in the past, but it makes me think I don't really need it.

I am a natural empath and all of the above thought/feeling patterns come to me with extraordinary ease. My sister tells the story that when I was a child, I would cry when loosing a game, for I had lost, and I would cry when I won a game, for the other person had lost. Empathy is a deep personality trait of mine, and I have lived with it for many years, and in fact if anything I suffered from the tendency to overempathise, and this didn't lead to the best results, and I had to learn to cut back.

The way I have come to see it, only those who admit their own position of fragility, are deserving of the resulting empathy for their condition. And when someone does that, my empathy response is immediate and unreserved, be it friend or foe.

How about the following: what are the concrete outcomes of your practice of the BVs? How did it change you?

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/30/18 6:53 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I value and respect people who are honest with me in their communications and so I try to do the same for others. Do I lack finesse? Maybe. It's definitely not one of my strengths. But it certainly wasn't my intent to provoke you to such a degree and I apologize for being overly blunt.

I was simply trying to be helpful in pointing out that, unless I've misunderstood your position, maybe there's room for improvement in your attitude toward practice. Our attitude is one of the few things in life that we actually have control over and it makes all the difference in every thing that we do. You can change it. Nobody wants you to be "forever broken," least of all me.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/30/18 7:31 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Re BVs... only a saint could instantly generate genuine unconditional love for every being in the world. However, cultivating compassion for others is a helpful start. 



I wish that this person have the strength, resources, and social support to navigate the difficulties in life with ease.
I wish that this person be free from pain and suffering.
I wish that this person be peaceful and happy.
I wish that this person be loved. 
Because this person is a fellow human being, just like me.

aloha anna,

   May you feel secure, free, happy and loved. Really.

   (buddha faces buddha; bows all around)


   
   I once expessed to a wise teacher (friend) that unconditional love was impossible in practice, as we are conditioned beings, and have prior commitments and so on. He told me, not at all. He explained that you just make it a practice to love all you can, while preserving your integrity, your commitments and your on-going ability to continue caring for others-and-oneself. Whatever you need to protect. There is a middle way between being appropriately humble and enlightening the world. We all have our balance, we all do what we can. To know of oneself, "I am doing the best I can," really know it in the moment and not take for it granted, is all one can even aspire to. Even the aspiration, in the moment, is enough, and may be called "unconditional love."

   There's a story in the MN about a poor couple who loved to listen to dhamma talks. Between them they had only one square of cloth, so they would alternate attendance at the talks, because you had to be dressed, and they would go back to their hut and relate what they heard to each other. The monks were having their annual cloth drive, whence they would sew donated cast-offs into patched monk's robes. The couple were so moved as to donate their only cloth for the monks' drive, even though they could no longer hear the monks talks. This is similar to the desert fathers, who would sell their prayerbooks and scriptures for money to give to the poor, while they wove reed matts and baskets for their poor living. When I first began thinking about this, I thought it was excessive, and inappropriate to uphold such behavior as a model. Now I think that maybe anything you find yourself clinging to is a fetter. Dhamma being as free as air, and not contained in words.

   If this is being saintly, well...we can at least be inspired to such devotion to freedom as had the poor couple, and the desert fathers. 

bless you, dear,
terry



from the tao te ching (feng/english trans)


Twenty-six

The heavy is the root of the light. 
The still is the master of unrest.

Therefore the sage, traveling all day, 
Does not lose sight of his baggage. 
Though there are beautiful things to be seen, 
He remains unattached and calm.

Why should the lord of ten thousand chariots act lightly in public? 
To be light is to lose one's root. 
To be restless is to lose one's control.

 

Fifty-nine

In caring for others and serving heaven, 
There is nothing like using restraint. 
Restraint begins with giving up one's own ideas. 
This depends on Virtue gathered in the past. 
If there is a good store of Virtue, then nothing is impossible. 
If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits. 
If a man knows no limits, then he is fit to be a ruler. 
The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time. 
This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation, 
The Tao of long life and eternal vision.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 6:29 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
I value and respect people who are honest with me in their communications and so I try to do the same for others. Do I lack finesse? Maybe. It's definitely not one of my strengths. But it certainly wasn't my intent to provoke you to such a degree and I apologize for being overly blunt.

I was simply trying to be helpful in pointing out that, unless I've misunderstood your position, maybe there's room for improvement in your attitude toward practice. Our attitude is one of the few things in life that we actually have control over and it makes all the difference in every thing that we do. You can change it. Nobody wants you to be "forever broken," least of all me.


Replying to this is off-topic, I will PM you instead.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 6:45 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
To know of oneself, "I am doing the best I can," really know it in the moment and not take for it granted, is all one can even aspire to. Even the aspiration, in the moment, is enough, and may be called "unconditional love."


I like this view. If this is what is meant, then I definitely need more practice along these lines.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 12:53 PM as a reply to terry.
Hi Terry,

What a beautiful, well written response.  The tao te ching 59 really resonated, too. 

Thanks!
Alice

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 2:15 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
terry:
To know of oneself, "I am doing the best I can," really know it in the moment and not take for it granted, is all one can even aspire to. Even the aspiration, in the moment, is enough, and may be called "unconditional love."


I like this view. If this is what is meant, then I definitely need more practice along these lines.


aloha bruno,


    In truth, all sentient beings always do the best that they can. Our curse as humans is that we tend to compare ourselves with others. Given there are seven billion people on the planet, that means many people are better than us, we are pretty mediocre and not much can be expected of us. (Monks who thought of themselves like this were "rice bags and clothes hooks" in rinzai's parlance.)

   It isn't reasonable or fair for us to judge ourselves against what we imagine others to be. If we want to use these feelings of failure, use this guilt and anxiety to better ourselves, we can toss out those scales of judgment and fashion new ones. We can judge ourselves as more or less awake, more or less aware of ourselves as "doing the best we can." If our ambition is to be awake all of the time, to practice incessantly and never give way to anger, hatred, greed and delusion, then while we have this aspiration, while we practice this way, we are 100% on our new scale, and perfectly happy with ourselves and our effort. Any time we feel guilty or disadvantaged, we can return to being aware we are doing the best we can, and feel fine about ourselves, in the moment, the present, the only moment which matters. The past is memory, the future is expectation: the present is action. All we need to feel good about ourselves all the time is to be awake, because we are awake in the awareness of doing the best we can. Not "trying" to do the best we can - to say "I'm trying" sounds egoic and whiny, while saying, "I'm doing the best I can" has dignity and reflects self respect. I realize that self esteem is not the aim of practice, but guilt and a basically false low assessment of oneself and one's capabilities causes a lot of unnecessary problems which insight can (and should) eliminate. (My latest understanding of guilt is that it results from not being "caught up" fully in the moment with all our faculties quivering with alertness.)

   It isn't about feeling better, it's about seeing clearly. Seeing clearly just incidentally makes you feel better. People are obsessed with happiness. Like love, they reify it and desire it as a substance. In truth, we only know we are happy in retrospect. If we want to be happy, all we can do is live life every minute as best we can, consciously. I take refuge in being awake. Happiness beams forth when we drop any concern with it.

    Zen might say, as in the platform sutra: Assume everyone else is consciously doing the best they can; assume you are not, and remedy that with constant attention. Meaning don't judge others and try to be 100% present and thus perfect. In that state of perfection nothing is impossible. In that state of perfection no one is better than anyone else, all are equally perfect.

   Just don't compare. (And don't listen to advice!)  (should be a smiley with a wink)


gassho,
terry



in the shobogenzo, dogen quotes the following koan:


When Nangaku Ejō first visited the Old Buddha Daikan Enō, the Old Buddha said, “What is it that comes thus?”
Nangaku thoroughly explored this mudball with his Master during a span of eight years. Finally he made his move, which was his thorough exploration with his Master, saying to the Old Buddha, “I have realized what you meant when I first came here. Upon receiving me, you said, ‘What is it that comes thus?’”
Thereupon, the Old Buddha Enō asked, “And, pray, just what have you realized?”
Nangaku then replied, “Were I to try to put the One Matter into words, they would miss the mark.” This was the manifestation of his thorough exploration with his Master, his manifestation of his eight years of training.
The Old Buddha Enō asked, “And is this a substitute for training to become enlightened?”


*****************
Nangaku responded, “It is not that there is no training for enlightenment, but rather, there is nothing to be had that will stain It.”

*******************[my emphasis - sometimes this line is given: "It is not that there is no training and no enlightenment, but that they can't be separated."]

Thereupon, Enō said, “I am no different, and you are no different, and all the Buddhas and Ancestors of India were no different.”
After this, Ejō explored the Matter with his Master, inside and out, during another span of eight years. Counting from beginning to end, it was during a span of fifteen years that he thoroughly explored the Matter with his Master.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 3:30 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
hey Bruno, as a fellow empath, I empathise with you! Paradoxically, one of the major benefits of BVs for me has been an increased ability to live with my empath traits. It has not made me more sensitive, but rather has seemed to give a more balanced positive feeling tone to life in general. Insight into the cause of the suffering of others can actually change how we respond to that suffering, leading to less feelings of overwhelm and helplessness. For example, in my case, I found that the pain I felt as an empath came from the genuine feeling of empathy for another’s suffering PLUS the mental formations/narrative that went along with that. Meditation has helped separate the genuine feeling of empathetic pain for another being, from the stories that go along with it. I can now feel the pain, notice the resistance, and let it pass. 

Another concrete benefit has been increased insight into how I cause suffering for myself and others, leading to subsequent behaviour/thought change and improved relationships. 

There’s also an increase in optimism, peace and joy that permeates daily life. Possibly from all the time spent re-wiring my brain in this way? This is not a “Pollyanna”/spiritual bypassing form of optimism. Rather it is insight into the beauty of the world, despite all the pain. Optimism also comes from the power that accompanies insight, the ability to see clearly and to hence make skilful decisions that affect the world around you in a positive way. 

Finally, there is a sense of peace and clarity of mind that comes when I am living my life in an ethical way, minimising harm to others, knowing that everything really is connected, and that even though at times it may seem futile, I am affecting this small part of the world in my own way. 

I also also found this article that summarises some of the metta research studies - really interesting stuff! 
https://emmaseppala.com/18-science-based-reasons-try-loving-kindness-meditation-today/

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 3:38 PM as a reply to terry.
Aloha, Terry, really beautiful:

“I once expessed to a wise teacher (friend) that unconditional love was impossible in practice, as we are conditioned beings, and have prior commitments and so on. He told me, not at all. He explained that you just make it a practice to love all you can, while preserving your integrity, your commitments and your on-going ability to continue caring for others-and-oneself.”

Like everything else in life, it’s just a practice! I continue to practice and hold the saintly ideals as aspiration; just doing the best I can ;)

I always enjoy reading you posts, even if I do not respond. 

Metta to you my Dharma friend!

Anna 


RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 4:09 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Also, back to your original point re psychedelics...

For me, mystical/ineffable experiences have occurred as the result of meditation and have led to insight and positive long term changes. I understand this doesn’t happen for everyone and I wish it did. I also understand your interest in psychedelics given that they seem to be able to more reliably induce these experiences. 

E.g. http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/the-positive-long-term-effects-of-magic-mushrooms

I think we will understand more about this area as research continues. 

In the meantime, there’s no harm in meditating. What’s your current practice? 





RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 5:45 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Bruno, it will be useful to drop cognitive understanding and follow your heart on this. Having been going through Kundalini, where the central conflict is between self love vs love for others (selfish vs altruism), an ongoing balance has to be struck. This balance must be natural and not contrived, if I am contrived to think/act a certain way, even if it were to be a selfless act, the 'negative' Kundalini force which is presented to me as my internal conflicts, will punish me physically through its energies. I;ve discovered that energetic blockages aren't true, they are internal conflicts in the mind, presented to awareness as stuck/pain. Seek an inner balance above all else, the only danger is in repression of either ends. Listen and when it feels right, act and enjoy the rewards from continually doing so and growing.

I believe everyone has Kundalini going on, those without them are simply going through a balanced awakening. If you can sense energetic phenomenon, using the chakra systems to read into what issues you are repressing/not dealing well with, can be useful simply for troubleshooting purposes. I am a very skeptical person by default, but man am I given a good lesson by Kundalini every time I put up a fight (with myself).

The answer for your practice and enlightenment lies deep within your own self. I will start to be sensitive and resolve any internal conflicts. That alone will propel you forward to living a very pleasant, enlightened way of living. <- Ease!

May you build strong compassion towards yourself and let you guide you well! emoticon

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
3/31/18 9:05 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,

I've been thinking a lot about your post today out riding around on my bike in the spring weather. My wife is the same way. We went to meditation groups for years, but she mostly sat there and planned the evening meal, whereas I really enjoy it, still do two 40 minute sittings a day (when I don't have an early morning meeting) and am working with a Mahamudra teacher. There were also of course the social interactions with other members of the groups, which she mostly liked more than I, and we are still friends with people we met in meditation groups over the years. Now, she'll come along with me if I go on a retreat, but her practice is mostly a work practice. She goes to a Zen monestary for a week or two a year and works as a student. They really love when she comes because she does body work on the monks (and they really need it).

If you don't like meditation, then why not just stop? Just drop it? Many people don't meditate and they are fine. If you find the actual physical practice boring, and the philosophical aspect isn't interesting, then maybe taking a break might help. I spent a good part of last year studying the Rangtong and Shentong in Tibetian Buddhism and finally decided I couldn't approach Shentong from an analytical point of view so I dropped it for a while.  Recently, I've gotten back to it again.

As for psychedelics, caution is advised. It has been many years since I did psychedelics, but if you are experiencing any negative psychological state, they can amplify it or blow it away. I had some very bad experiences with them. In other words, you can experience heaven or hell, as the title of Aldous Huxley's book states. The effect is unpredictable.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
4/1/18 11:17 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:

If you don't like meditation, then why not just stop? Just drop it?
Not replying to previous posts, as they need further thought from my part, but let me just answer this question, which I have thought about for a long time.

The fact is: I have tried to quit, and failed.

Andromeda posted above that meditation was one of the few things in life he feels he has some measure of control over. But my impression is that once you see the problem, the odd sense that there is something wrong with perception, once you see the seed of restlesness within, it is no longer possible to look away. There is this saying in buddhist circles I paraphrase as "Better not to begin. Once begun, better to finish."

I have tried to quit and did so successfully for months at a time, but fact is sooner or later I will find myself returning to it. When I return to meditation there is usually some narrative, some excuse, some attempt at justifying it. But honestly I don't really believe that justification. It's more like there's a deep itch, a deep unsettled thing within, something which needs to be solved, and which still hasn't. I call it "restlessness", or sometimes "dukkha". And every time I meditate it is very clear how meditation deeply affects restlessness, and I know by now, after years and years of practice, that the long term result of doing meditation is that restlessness gets progressively weaker and smoother and more peaceful (for me, this improvement is seen to come from perceptual shifts that most often happen on retreat). But yeah, I would guess that when that is gone, if I manage to fix it and I hope I do, I might not meditate again ever.

Could you really quit meditation if you wanted to? (Assuming no-one would coerce you somehow.)

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
4/1/18 5:39 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
The fact is: I have tried to quit, and failed.

That is a senseless fight, isn't it? In the retreat setting that I am in, meditation happens by itself, like it or not. The mind just gets concentrated looking at scenery for example. Are you a person looking for truth or is truth looking through you? From what you have written, it seems that either of that is happening and you are exploring the dualities/polarities so that you can find a place in between to rest in. And to achieve that, getting concentrated, achieving clarity, truth and knowledge is what meditation helps with. Just let it happen (don't fight), I think we are past TMI Stage 1 where we need to set a schedule to meditate and stick to it. 

Wishing you ease... emoticon

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
4/1/18 10:02 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Could you really quit meditation if you wanted to? (Assuming no-one would coerce you somehow.)

I guess the problem is that I can't really imagine wanting to quit.  I've thought about it now and then, but I just enjoy it too much. When it's going well, it feels like I'm plugged into the Navel of the Universe. When it isn't, well, it's like when I have some problem at work, not with individual people or a difficult technical problem, but like when the company does something stupid and then expects me to shut up and play along. Like external circumstances unrelated to what individuals want are sort of arranging at the moment to make life unpleasant. Usually, it goes away after a while, and I also work closely with a teacher, which helps a lot. I can talk with him, and he sometimes has suggestions about how to get over the rough patch. But overall, the times when it's really great far outweight the times when it isn't, at least so far for me.

Hope that helps.

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
4/2/18 5:23 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Aloha, Terry, really beautiful:

“I once expessed to a wise teacher (friend) that unconditional love was impossible in practice, as we are conditioned beings, and have prior commitments and so on. He told me, not at all. He explained that you just make it a practice to love all you can, while preserving your integrity, your commitments and your on-going ability to continue caring for others-and-oneself.”

Like everything else in life, it’s just a practice! I continue to practice and hold the saintly ideals as aspiration; just doing the best I can ;)

I always enjoy reading you posts, even if I do not respond. 

Metta to you my Dharma friend!

Anna 



aloha anna,


   Just practices, yes. And just views. Everyone has them, so they are common, but they are how we express ourselves. Humility and simplicity are universal truth, and human dignity. The middle way; not too high, not too low. Practice, practice. Resonance...

   Thank you, dear; aloha nui loa. And a hug (in rural hawaii, we are so used to hugging each other, even acquaintances, that we sometimes forget and hug (cultural) strangers, to their surprise and embarassment; we used to give aloha kisses, too, but that  sort of public intimacy is mostly gone, now).

terry

RE: Psychedelic motivation
Answer
4/2/18 5:47 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Also, back to your original point re psychedelics...

For me, mystical/ineffable experiences have occurred as the result of meditation and have led to insight and positive long term changes. I understand this doesn’t happen for everyone and I wish it did. I also understand your interest in psychedelics given that they seem to be able to more reliably induce these experiences. 




aloha anna,

   I think I can accurately say that there is nothing reliable about taking psychedelics. It's a crap shoot. Plus, what happens in psychedelics stays in psychedelics. It's a trigger at best, and once illumination is found, taking more psychedelics, unless as a guide, is redundant. Like a helicopter takes you to the top of the mountain, and then brings you down again. They always bring you down again. And sometimes they crash. They don't always take you there, either. There are many variables. It's just another medicine (practice, view).

   If you are averse to taking drugs, no worries. There are lots of triggers. And once you have had "mystical/ineffable experiences," there is no need to experiment. The same is true of various techniques and systems of mind training. Just sitting is perfectly simple and all anyone needs in the way of method. Wise guides say to do what comes naturally and keep it simple. The buddha said, don't cling to my advice, if it doesn't make sense to you: "Be a light unto yourselves." 

terry