What is Enlightenment? Ask a Dog!

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“Who Meditates?” A 20-Minute Alternative Guide to Meditation – Jeff Foster

Who Gets Enlightenment?

Please Meditate: Self Inquiry and Impulse Control by Olivia Rosewood

This post is gold!

Have you ever questioned your own thoughts? The very fact that it is possible to question one’s own thoughts indicates that there is much more to you than just thought. Otherwise, how could thought be questioned?

 


The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra – How to “Resist Not Evil”

“Do we understand what Christ said: “Resist not Evil” ? Passivity? Moral superiority?

The moment someone is branded as evil the natural reaction is revenge. So despite Jesus’s teachings we feel we have the right to exact punishment.

‘Resist not evil’ if carried out in real life would lead to a society of forgiveness! If we went around forgiving everybody;

  1. evil people would completely take over, dominating us
  2. they might forgive us in return and stop being evil
To demonstrate that option 2 is not insane, Jesus lived out his own teaching. But we continue to live by the very law he preached against “an eye for an eye”.
The missing element, as always, is CONSCIOUSNESS. You cannot live by “Resist not evil” without being in a higher state of consciousness.
Fortunately, to the extent that you rise toward God-consciousness, evil withdraws, leaving you invulnerable. Evil is everything when  you are susceptible to it; it is nothing when you aren’t. In Buddhism and in the lives of Christian saints, we find abundant evidence that awareness can grow in the direction of God-consciousness.
  1. meditation – sit every day and find the silence inside yourself
  2. contemplation – the mind plays a large part in how you react to evil
  3. revelation – to see through the mask of evil, search for the light that is the essence of everything
  4. prayer – ask to see what lies behind evil. Emotions are insubstantial, convincing for only a moment. Ask to be reminded that illusion is not real. 
  5. Grace – grace replaces evil with love. 
  6. Love – every enemy is a symbol of your own loveless state. The absence of love gets filled by evil. By returning to a space of love, you rob evil of a place to live. Love is more powerful than evil because it alone is real.
  7. Faith – faith is required when you are in a state of suffering. 
  8. Salvation – When you step outside of your own suffering, you are saved. Jesus calls this place the Kingdom of God, or the soul. The label is less important than finding experience. Step by step, each person must locate an inner state that is free from images of pain; in that state lies redemption.
  9. Unity – all the previous steps serve one purpose, to blur the line between good and evil. Good and evil are self-created. The new thing you must create is the absence of duality. No more dark vs light, safe vs unsafe, God vs Satan. As these boundaries fade, nothing remains but one reality, a boundless state known as God. “

The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra – I am the Light

Is Jesus really all about enlightenment?

Jesus says “I am the light”. Mystically light is what you see when you wake up to your soul.

Making others enlightened was his purpose.

Suffering isn’t a matter of breaking the law, renouncing money, or leaving the world. It’s a matter of seeing these obstacles as pure illusion.

The essentials of a spiritual life as taught by Jesus

  1. Meditation – going within to contact the silent mind; the light exists inside everyone
  2. Contemplation – reflecting on the truth; think about any object outside yourself or any event outside yourself. If you reflect upon it deeply enough, you will discover that everything is made of light. The inner and outer world are both reflections. Everything solid is a shadow, only the light is real.
  3. Revelation – receiving spiritual insight; the light reveals itself when you see with the yes of the soul
  4. Prayer – asking for higher guidance; prayer is about finding the truth
  5. Grace – taking God into one’s heart; the light can also be described as pure love.
  6. Love – participating in divine love
  7. Faith – Believing in a higher reality; when you stop believing in the illusion of the material world and see everything for what it really is – light – you have faith. The reason all things are given to someone with faith is very simple: The light can shape itself into anything at will. Physical obstacles can;t stop the free flow of light.
  8. Salvation – realising that you have a place in higher reality; you are redeemed when you move into the light. You’ve escaped your false self and arrived at your true self.
  9. Unity – becoming one with God; once you realise you are the light, nothing stands between you and God.
Glimpses of beauty and love are glimpses of light. Perception creates reality. The trick, in fact, is to take Jesus literally. “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Light”. Yet the light is your own consciousness, here and now, in the messy present tense. 

The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra – The New World of Jesus

To understand just how radical Jesus’s vision was, we must consider its entirety.

  1. Nature – the fallen state of nature would be restored to perfection. Paradise would return to Earth; Eden would open its gates once more
  2. Society – war and strife would disappear. Human beings would live in a community based on God’s grace, without the need for laws and punishment
  3. Relationships – people would relate to one another, regardless of wealth and social position
  4. Psychology – Individuals would be motivated chiefly by love of God and a sense of worth based on God’s love for his children
  5. Emotions – in place of anger, fear and doubt, people would sense directly that they were loved, safe and blessed
  6. Behaviour – living in a state of grace, people would no longer mistreat one another. Behaviour would become peaceable and loving, not just within the immediate family, but toward neighbours and even strangers.
  7. Biology – the human body itself would be transformed, no longer beset with illness
  8. Metaphysics – God would no longer be aloof from human affairs. He would become present on earth.
E.g. consider relationships, Jesus asked his followers to see themselves as souls rather than fallible individuals whose desires conflicted with one another. The equality of souls banishes the differences between rich and poor, men and women, the weak and the powerful. Souls receive everything directly from God.
It’s easy to see why the New World Christ envisioned was quickly abandoned after he died. It had to be modified by realists.
Yet Jesus himself was the very model of his teachings. Buddha said “Whoever sees me sees the teaching” and the same is true for Jesus. He lived in Christ-consciousness, and his teaching grew directly out of his own state of awareness.
Enlightenment and consciousness-raising are considered Eastern concepts, not Christian ones. consciosness is universal, and if there is  such a thing as God-consciousness, no one can be excluded from it.  
Jesus rose to the highest level of enlightenment , Buddha may be his equal. “

Mindfulness and Finding Your Own Middle Way

Going to Crazy Town

Jeff Foster demystifies enlightenment

Part 1: Contentment day course, Sydney

This Sunday was my centre’s day course on Contentment. The following are some notes I took – I hope the words inspire you to change to a happier you!

This course resonated with me profoundly especially since I am reading the 2nd book called Affluenza (When too much is never enough) by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss. From this book I learnt a new word:  ” downshifter” someone who voluntarily reduces their income.

A few of my favourite lines from the book:

  • “in the coming decade most of our income growth will be spent on consumer products the craving for which has yet to be created by advertisers
  • “the 1960s and 1970s saw a flood of literature predicting a future in which technological progress would allow us to work only a few hours a week and our main problem would be how best to enjoy our leisure… a society able to devote itself to activities that are truly fulfilling”
  • “instead of our growing wealth freeing us of our materialist preoccupations, it seems to have had the opposite effect”
  • “people in affluent countries are now even more obsessed with money and material acquisition, and the richer they are the more this seems to be the case”
  • “no matter how much money people have they feel they need more”
  • “striving to become richer even at the expense of their own happiness and that of their families”
  • “most people cling to the belief that more money means more happiness”
  • “raising the threshold of desire creates an endless cycle of self deception”
  • “hedonic treadmill”
  • “the only way to win is to stop playing the game”
  • “Australia is in a collective psychological disorder – we indulge in the illusion that we are deprived”
  • “we complete ourselves symbolically by acquiring things that compensate for our perceived shortcomings… marketers understand much better than we do how we want to create an ideal self”
  • “increasing levels of materialism that characterises affluent societies has been shown to be associated with declining well-being and a rise in pathological behaviours”
  • the famous anon quote “in rich countries today, consumption consists of people spending money they don’t have to buy goods they don’t need to impress people they don’t like”
  • “Big houses serve to keep family members apart because there is less need to be together”
The teachings:
We all long for happiness and to be free from suffering. But we make the mistake of believing happiness is outside ourself; this belief causes us to create so much suffering.
Our mind has been mis-programmed! We crave for things and objects of desire. We need to rectify this mistake. Even if we can decrease this attachment just a little we will experience some freedom and liberation. Try to decrease attachment a little, which is more realistic than complete renunciation!
Our craving mind is a source of discontent. We must develop a determination to decrease that mind! It will be enough at first to decrease the excess attachment. Craving minds finally will not arise. We have a mind of desirous attachment.
We need a multi-pronged attack on our delusions. With 2 motivations:
  1. aversion to experience suffering and
  2. to pursue happiness.
Contemplating these ways, how to overcome our mind of discontent we experience results that make a difference in our minds.
The basic human wish is to be happy and free from suffering – it is an innate wish. The question is not if we want to be happy the question is where does happiness come from?  We are not experiencing the happiness we long for, we work so hard to achieve it! We turn to various objects: relationships, our career, people, friends, family, material possessions, homes etc
The satisfaction is what we desire but it seems like whatever our circumstances are, it eludes us …. sometimes short lived pleasure arises eg a new relationship but it wears off .. we don’t experience the same satisfaction we thought we would. We have a restless discontented mind that jumps from 1 situation to another hoping to find satisfaction but eventually we want something better. We get the desired object but we don’t get the satisfaction we thought we would. This is the tragedy of the discontented mind. We are human beings with limitation but we have spiritual potential which is capable of freeing the mind from limitation. We need to train the mind to be free from obstructions and faults until one awakens. Practice Buddha’s teachings to improve your life even if you do not want to be enlightened. When we start a relationship we are happy and excited and after a while we get bored; we say we chose the wrong person! I chose wrong house .. I should have waited for a better one, with better view !
We believe problem lies outside ourselves, that we we are innocent victims that we are surrounded with wrong objects. We look at our clothes in wardrobe and can’t find anything nice to wear … I need to buy more clothes.
Wrong mind – relationship between subject (mind) and object (world) is of a dreamlike nature; emptiness.
What the situation is for us depends on our mind, if it is a restless mind it is coloured by our mind, objects we perceive by this mind appear imperfect, not right, because nature of mind craving … we don’t have capacity, a mental muscle we never used. We need an intensive mental boot-camp on contentment. Wake up to the truth! we have a restless mind and this can be proved. Look at your own mind, situations in your past, objects you acquired, life changes, pursuit of happiness. But why don’t we experience contentment : I have enough, I have what I need, I can relax, I am at peace, settled. We won’t reach that point with the mind we have now, even if we are close to conditions we deem ‘perfect’ because of our discontented mind. Mind doesn’t let us recognise this. You can transform your life, give yourself ability to enjoy life instead of “this is not enough”. We always want something … we say “when I pay off debts I will be happy” … we manage to pay off and more may arise! We are anxious and dissatisfied. To do lists …. if we fulfill wishes we buy home etc then it is not long before we want something more. Temporary cessation of previous sufferings.
The late Sir James Goldsmith, on marrying his mistress, Lady Annabel Birley, declared, “When you marry your mistress, you create a job vacancy.”
You fulfil 1 desire you automatically have more unless you oppose the desirous mind. We know this from our life; we change goalposts for ourselves. We say when we make $1 million we will be happy … that is the nature of the mind. Basic contradiction in seeking happiness: we create causes of suffering.
We experience a life of desire and with it experience associated problems – attachment, anger…..
We develop negative minds when anything arises between us and our desire; we hurt other people in the process. the strong desire to fulfil our wishes causes us to experience anger towards anything that arises to stop us. We manifest  anger and aversion towards what stands between us and our wish. We end up feeling bad, regret, fracture in relationships. This arises due to strong attachment to the result – negative karma. WE WILL ALWAYS WANT
Buddha said we are “desire realm beings; beings of the unforgettable world” : we have inability to forget object of desire even for a moment.
Dust is covering our eyes – we can’t see the truth: humans always want. It is not a problem to desire happiness, it is wanting it from outside ourselves that is the problem. My human condition is to WANT.
Geshe-La, on seeing some cows in a field during an ordination ceremony at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, Ulverston, UK, said
 “see those cows? they have more contentment than you!”.
We want so many things! Unlike cows who want and need shelter, food and to reproduce. We want gadgets,  jewellery, fancy cars, reputations, status etc we have ENDLESS DESIRES: it is exhausting. Animals are more content. We have to learn to SEE this mind. We are like a thirsty man in the desert.
Atisha said “Friends, there is no satisfaction in the things you desire. It is like drinking sea water to satisfy thirst. Therefore be content.”
Practice contentment. Drinking sea water makes you thirstier. we search for the satisfaction  to fill the gap we feel inside us but we turn to the wrong things! We think: he/she will complete me! But they can’t! The gap is in our mind of discontent. We need to identify mind of discontent to stop searching for things outside ourselves. Whatever we have externally doesn’t matter. It is important to remember and share with others.
We know of examples of famous, wealthy people committing suicide. They think: “I’m not capable of being happy”. Because they have everything money can buy and still do not feel happy they despair.
Living with a mind of discontent is having a life characterised by a state of waiting. The mind of dissatisfaction and discontent: life hasn’t started! We desire something and if we get what we want, then we find something else to want. DESIRE BREEDS DESIRE.
Obtaining our wishes never leads to end of desire. In getting 1 thing we create conditions for more desire e.g. we get a bigger home and we have more rooms to fill and decorate ….Nature of desire: like gremlins, they multiply. Life becomes hard, overwhelming. The more we have the more we want.
When you are content with what you have and you know this is enough,, then you can focus on what is REALLY IMPORTANT … it doesn’t matter if you are single, unemployed etc as this cannot complete me. So we have a healthy focus – turn within: meditation.
Novelty wears off eg a new girlfirend ,after a while you realise you cannot chase other girls now, you have to be faithful…Doesn’t matter what we have, what we get.
We can enjoy life no matter what situation we are in; instead of desperately searching for happiness. Life becomes balanced and healthy and we have a healthy relationship to external objects as we know they don’t make a difference. As contentment is in my own mind. We get the external  object but don’t derive feeling of satisfaction FROM IT. We are after feeling of satisfaction. With our mistaken view we think this object is equivalent to satisfaction but it weans off. We are left with desire. Satisfaction is an INNER EXPERIENCE. An external object cannot give rise to feeling of satisfaction. Cause and effect. Pure and positive feelings from the mind are not external. Concentrate on love and patience. Internal not external : don’t fool yourself. Fundamental mistake. External objects can’t make a difference to your internal feeling. Western civilisation was founded on this! Rise above these impurities/mistakes of society.
Practice contentment to be rich!
FAULTS OF DISCONTENT
Recognise within your life that all unpleasant things arise from the mind of discontent.  We are always convinced the grass is greener. Things WILL go wrong!
Make changes in your life with wisdom and realistic expectations. LEARN from situations – E.g. you buy something you do not really need or afford and then you get a massive credit-card bill – say “look what mind of discontent has brought me to!” Bad habits, addictions, war : instead of enjoying life.