Renunciation is a classic spiritual practice and I see value in it, but it will not lead to achieving enlightenment. Enlightenment is not achieved…because upon enlightenment there is a seeing that nothing is gained and the “me” who could achieve is an illusion. Renunciation may weaken the sense of a “me” through giving up “my” and “mine”. However, this should not become an accomplishment. “Look at all that I have given up!” In this way, it subtly sustains the fiction of a “me”. Continue reading Should I renounce everything to achieve enlightenment?
Mindfulness is mostly just being present. Mindfulness is being 100% devoted to the experience of this moment…and not resisting or denying anything in the moment. For example, eating with mindfulness is “just eating”. Not judging, labeling, or otherwise reflectively thinking about the experience. Eating with mindfulness is seeing the food that you are eating, smelling the aroma of the food, feeling the texture of the food in the mouth, experiencing the taste of the food, hearing the sound of eating the food, etc. Totally accepting the experience as it is…not wanting it to be other than what it is…with curiosity and kindness. Continue reading What is mindfulness and does memory play a role in it?
This is a kind of affirmation, but I do not recommend any affirmations…even “I am not the body or mind.” When you do this, what you are trying to do is to train the mind and alter your beliefs. You are trying to change the habitual thinking of “I am the body and mind” with “I am not the body or mind”. This will not help realization. You will not awaken this way. This is just trying to alter the illusions of the mind. You can not awaken by training the mind. You can only awaken by seeing through the illusions of the mind.
When you realize who/what you are (clearly and without a doubt)…you will just know you are not the body or mind. You won’t have to remind yourself or try to remember. Continue reading Should I remind myself throughout the day – I am not the body or mind?
There is no path…there are no steps. How long does it take – that is a question assuming a path and steps. It assumes a process and progress. Enlightenment is not a process…it is realization…Self-realization. A realization regarding who/what you really are and seeing through the misidentification and illusions of the mind (especially those that create division). Enlightened can be described as seeing through the illusion of ego. Therefore, you can not willfully do anything to become enlightened. What can the ego do to see through itself? Any willful action (which is ego) only reinforces the apparent reality of the illusion. This is why some have called enlightenment a grace…it happens to you. Continue reading Please describe the path to enlightenment. How long does it take?
I can’t say none of it helped, but I can say none of it led to awakening. I know this may sound contradictory to some, but one thing that was seen clearly upon awakening was that none of my practices awakened me and no progress towards awakening was really achieved by any of the practices.
Awakening involves seeing through the mirage of ego and the illusions/delusions of the mind. Not mentally, which can be very fickle, but in the heart and bones. Many of the spiritual practices and experiments that I did were focused on weakening this sense of “I” and ego. At the time, I did not really know that. I just thought I was overcoming fears and attachments and I was learning about acceptance (for example). Continue reading Didn’t your spiritual practices lead you to your awakening?
You can do nothing to Awaken.
I know…not the answer seekers want to hear, but there is more to this answer than meets the eye.
The personal me that is in this world (i.e. the ego) is saying it wants to Awaken – which means seeing through the mirage of ego and no longer being fooled by the ego. How would that work? It should be very obvious that there is nothing the ego can do to overcome the ego. Anything the ego does only reinforces the ego and strengthens the reality of the mirage.
Is there another way to see the initial answer of “you can do nothing to Awaken?” Continue reading What can I do to awaken?