Friday, March 19, 2010

awakening cont...2

so continuing with awakening, Id said that Id made irreversible progress. There are certain points in a practitioners spiritual career where they can never slide back from again. These would be called paths. completing a path ensures one doesnt have to do that path ever again, regardless of circumstance. I have completed at least two of these paths my self and am working with a very strange third.
  after first path there was an internal sense of being pulled deeply into reality. I would now enter states of consciousness all the time that used to be somewhat rare. It was very clear some deepening had taken place. I was amazed with this deepening and how I could now enter "emptiness" at will if I had a few minutes to observe. However it was still foggy, I wasnt sure how far I had gotten and I wasnt sure how I got there. After about 6 or so months of intense daily practice, meeting with some very experienced lamas and doing minimal retreat time, Id  went through the cycle of stages (known as vippassana jhanas) again and attained second path. this felt much deeper to me, and Id actually gone through a cycle before that but it wasnt a big shift so i just discredited it. The way fruition felt now was more clear. I was much more aware of how it happened and the arising of the different stages and states that accompany it. For the next few days after penetrating it, it was like I was having many many fruitions with many many instances of perception sort of shaking or vibrating abruptly and then disappearing.
   So now that leaves me at third path. Well id requested guidance from the dharma overground arahats to help me, and they gave me instruction along with the criterion to judge if one were an anagami(third path completed yogi) or not. The criteria was, If you can see all phenomena as luminous and empty in real time. period. Before I would see phenomena arise and pass, as objects, no matter how subtle, and that would do the trick. Now there is a different goal. See though the whole picture here and now.
  Along with the new twist, theres another aspect different about this path. There are the most strange presentation of cycles. I experience a lot of cycles on a regular basis now, some intense, some periphery, some seem like old cycles did, some only present the first half, some only present the second half, just weird all together. And thats where Im at. some times I can see through the whole thing for days whenever I remember to, and then I go into a dark night and  things get uncomfortable and buzzy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


My recent experience with working on the pervasive problem of procrastination has been very counter-intuitive. I previously believed that procrastination was a manifestation of a lack of fear. Im actually learning that procrastination is a manifestation of too much or unfounded fear. I notice my self always making threats about getting something done. If I dont do my paper Ill fail and then that would piss me off and..........etc. Im always under the impression that I must do things when in reality I do not have to do anything. anything at all. I dont even have to eat if I dont want to. I dont have to save money if I dont want to. I dont have to be nice or conform to social norms if I dont want to. If I do something, its because I wanted to. Also, when Im procrastinating Im usually making things appear much larger and more difficult than they are.
 More often than not, procrastination is rooted in rigid perfectionism. The more one procrastinates, usually the more critical of them selves they are. Changing self talk is instrumental in overcoming procrastination, form I have to, to I choose to. An excellent audio book on this topic is neile fiore's Now Habit

Friday, February 26, 2010

A little shot out

  I was seventeen when Id stopped using meth-amphetamines after three years of consistent hard-core use. I was a criminal for a living and smoked meth every day all day. Before trying meth I was a heavy marijuana smoker and regular drinker (not at all normal for 13 and 14 yr olds). When I tried crystal meth I was involved with a local sur 13 gang id just been jumped into and had serious personality issues.
 My families were no longer poor, but my father was still drinking heavily and continued to effect me in a very negative way. A gang made me feel like I was in control and could do what ever I wanted, as long as I didnt go off alone too much. My father is an ex-marine who went to several less known but very viscous battles, and then left the marines to become a mercenary. The macho man bad ass complex I was taught never served well, as I could never live up to what I thought was the real thing. I always had feelings and I got scared quite often, which was enforced by my father also. I was to be as tough as can be while still having to submit to my father. I was extremely angry and was not at all aloud to express that at home, so I either bottled every thing up and submitted   ninety percent of the time, or exploded in rage or violence. I didnt want to bottle things up, but because I had to submit to my father I habitually let people step on me.  These are very sad things, and Im leaving out the first twelve years of the story but you get at least a piece of the situation.
  So why am I now keeping a blog and am involved in many proactive self help activities? I was given help partially against my will, although deep down we always want things to be better. After going to many programs, being kicked out and then sent to ones with higher security I eventually saw that my behavior wasnt serving all the functions I wanted it too. Instead of getting what I wanted I had more and more taken away. Id almost gotten another battery charge on one of the staff at a juvenile dual diagnosis center when my other option was to do what they called therapeutic reassignment. In this assignment I was to answer many questions about myself and my life with one page minimum for each question. I just sat by myself in the hall for hours before I started, but when I did it all came out. Things I knew but had never really explored or made concrete to that extent. Since Id previously been living on the street in various dope holes and criminal hang outs, I didnt feel like I had to fear my dad anymore, because what I experienced out there was very different then anything I had experienced before. I had no shame putting on paper everything I had done or had done to me.
  Its called therapeutic reassignment for a reason. ITS THERAPEUTIC. And after doing that assignment and relieving the support and praise of those working there my behavior was very different. I was excited to explore and get out all the shit I carried around for so long. I had much happier healthy feeling in my body and perspective, as though a lot of psychological crap had been released. A healing process was taking place and I could actually believe it. Id always knew about my crap but didnt think exploring and getting it out was an option, as my dad highly frowned upon such "pussy behavior". What I was learning at the center called "cross roads" was my new idol and god. Id all the sudden felt I should completely move full force into learning and self-development. My father was also staying sober which lasted about a year, so when I went home that definitely helped. When I went home I no longer associated with criminals or addicts to the slightest bit, except for once visiting my neighbor who was still smoking and drinking but knew damn well that he shouldnt do it around me or ever ask me to.
  I still had some anger outbursts as I was going against the stream. I had a terrible reputation to live with. I got in a fist fight with my dad in my front hard once, and he called the police. I left the area for a couple hours but knew that if I couldnt get to my intensive out patient group at the hospital my recovery could be in real trouble. I waited for the police to leave and then nicely asked my father if he would take me. He knew where id been and didnt want me to go back if I didnt want to so he took me to the hospital. We talked with my counselor for hours, lots of crying, cursing and accusing. I stayed clean and stayed on the path.
More will be revealed...

awakening cont...1

So I discussed two common methods of awakening in the last post. But why is it that people have trouble realizing things like this? It is a common underlying belief that normal people do not become enlightened, however in history and in current times people become enlightened to one degree or another all the time. Non dual teacher adyashanti says that he personally has seen several hundred of his own students awaken right in front of him. Daniel Ingram, Kenneth Folk, Christopher Titmuss and Bill Hamilton have awakened to the very end of the path according to the standards and stages set forth by Burmese buddhism.
  Well, one issue with people not becoming enlightened is that westerners often believe it is wrong to talk about enlightenment. If no one is to talk about enlightenment, and supposedly all those on the spiritual path are working to that end, what the hell are they really working towards. It seems to me that they are working toward an airy fairy naive goal, what ever that goal may be. Unfortunately there are not many teachers willing to talk publicly, openly and concretely. The good side is that the teachers I previously mentioned have done just this. They (except adya) are not very popular and are definitely pioneers in the field of open accessible enlightenment. I would recommend to any one interested in spiritual awakening to check these teachers out as they are one of a kind in what they are doing in regards to enlightenment.
  One thing I have appreciated very much in these teachers approach, is that they not only teach effective methods for awakening, define awakening, but also teach stages and states in regard to awakening. The vast majority (if not all) do not penetrate every layer of perception in one shot. There are several identifiable major phases of awakening. Different meditation teachers are all at different phases of this process. If one has finished the first major phase, one is considered to be enlightened to a certain degree.
  Now lets not confuse the first major spiritual opening to be the completion of the first phase. The first opening is the real initiation to the first phase, after which one can never return to being a totally normal, completely dualistic human being. In the burmese description of awakening, the first opening is considered the fourth stage of the first phase,  the arising and passing away event. It is difficult to identify as anything less than enlightenment because it is so powerful, however there are still about 9 or 10 more little stages before one goes through the last three stages of that phase which are the enlightenment moments one has been investigating for. Im not explaining in detail these phases right now but will eventually come back to them.
   If your looking for open and concrete discussion, along with enormous detail check out the teachers I mentioned above. bye for now

Thursday, February 25, 2010


  Spiritual awakening is an organic process of uncovering layers of perception. It also has to do with realizing what one really is.
  The short answer is just awareness. But what exactly does that mean? well to answer that many traditions find out what one is not first, while others use a different approach. For instance, in the advaita vedanta school they go through a process called neti neti " i am not this, i am not that" " i am not my mind, i am not my thoughts". In theravada buddhism spiritual awakening is approached by way of the three characteristics, which are impermanence, suffering and no-self. I my self have used this approach along with  a couple others for a great deal of my own awakening which is still in process but has made irreversible progress.
    In the practice of the three characteristics, one is settling there mind and then observing all the tiny quick little fleeting sensations that make up their experience. One is particularly noticing how all sensations are very quick and gone in an instant. One also can notice that there is awareness of all sensations that one is aware of ( obviously but very tricky none the less). Noticing all sensations as objects of awareness is also the basis of other methods of enlightenment and very powerful. However when one is noticing sensations as objects of awareness, it has a much different feel than noticing impermanence and suffering. Suffering is not the most pleasant aspect to be aware of but will none the less come up whether one wants it to or not (at least it was for me). Suffering has to do with the fundamental or underlying tension in duality. Obviously if you are meditating, and trying to notice sensations there will be sensations implying a subject (or self) and sensations implying object (things and others). So especially when "trying" to meditate is suffering much more obvious but  can be subtle, as it is just a tension caused by duality. There are very good descriptions of all three characteristics on . When observing a sensation there is a tension that feels like it is in the mind between subject and object, this is suffering.
   No-self has been extremely powerful for me. There are many strong no-self instructions such as " turn awareness onto itself" " anything you can be aware of is an object of awareness. your sense of self is an object of awareness. awareness cannot see itself, so anything you can perceive is an object of awareness." Which eventually leads one to pure awareness. Now, know that pure awareness comes in pieces. Stages of uncovering identity and awareness take place, and there are many of them. Some are similar to others and some phases call for something very different. which is what I am currently dealing with right now.

    Another extremely effective path of awakening, that crosses paths with the 3c's often, is the path of I am.  This became popular with advaita vedanta and is extremely connected to no-self. In Iamness meditation, one notices the sense of self,or  sensations implying subject and becomes absorbed into this. The ever famous question is " who am I" and "what am I" or alternatively " what notices me". Because even when we think of ourself or are aware of our self there is something that is aware of that. Coming to the source of awareness is the basis of  I am meditation.
      Now eventually one might come to a place where their I amness meditation or meditation on the 3c's seems to take a halt in progress (speaking from my own experience). This is when practice becomes much carefuller, and awareness is fine tuned and made subtle. When that occurs new layers will be pealed in awareness and practice will take on a different feel. I myself like to combine the two practices often. while becoming absorbed in i am, I will notice what sensations imply I am or subject or awareness. when becoming very quick moving and fluid with my concentration and noticing things start to pulse back and forth, from subject side to object side, and yet this arising and passing away is also known.
Il come back to this but I need to go to bed so..... to be continued another day

Friday, February 19, 2010

a little background

When I woke up after falling unconscious in front of the pcpd, I had no idea what a blog was. I had been smoking meth for a few days and was riding bikes at 2pm in a rough neighborhood with a friend. The local police pulled us over for obvious reasons. I was terribly dehydrated and with the nervousness of having a bag of meth in my sock I passed out or blacked out or whatever. It could have been that id just tried to down a beer 5min prior, and after being without sleep for a few days, smoking lots of meth, sweating purfusely and knowing im about to get another charge. Well when I woke up I got a get out of jail because your going to the hospital card.
Ive only stated this because Im astonished how far away from that person I am even though I only live two miles from where this incident occurred. One of many interesting stories someone can create with a little confusion and misdirection. Ive sort of got my act together now in comparison to that day. I havent used drugs or alcohol in about 3 and half years, am in college for counseling and human services, and sometimes will lead a meditation group at a local buddhist temple. Where I once broke in to houses, I now break out of self destruction and break in to deep insights.
I believe that anyone can make some sort of positive change in their life regardless of the situation. If you are in a codependent relationship, you can learn a few things about your own thinking patterns through your own exploration that may seem very subtle, but can change the way you think forever. And I absolutely do not mean help you learn something about yourself you can remember and use forever. I really mean something you can learn, remember and NOTICE forever. Ive discovered little things buried in my thoughts or feelings that have really changed things some what permanently. If you too were or even are an everyday meth addict, and you are still there enough to read a blog, or even read for that matter, there are things you can do to better your situation in the way you want to.
Im not trying to tell anyone that they should not use drugs, or anything else really. I am just saying that if you dont have the life you want then there are small things you can do to change your life big time.
so this blog will be themed in self help, inspiration and a little of my own neurotic crap. ill have more stories, more concepts (some being very far from the others), and I will try to keep any of my own opinions that are imposing out. please give me feedback. take care