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February 09, 2024


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Even in days when smoking was normal for adults,it was in a way alarming when seeing youngsters and women smoke. Alarming in the sense that I am looking at something "normal" while my body tells me the opposite.

These days have gone as hardly anybody smokes here, or better said not where I happen to be.

But a couple of days ago I was faced with a young lady of 16 lighting a cigarette before me. I could not prevent myself asking her about how it was for her smoking the first, second and third cigarette. Innocent and honest she told me how horrible it had been for her and how she managed to bypass her own feelings and reactions.

She said ..I did it because it was not allowed, against the trend of non smoking and because of "respect" of my peers.

This is more or less the mechanism by which we come to do what we do, think what we think, feel what we feel.

We do things etc because we are told, we have heard about it praised etc by others and we do it at the cost of our selfs.

And doing that decades of our lives, we wonder why we develop psychosomatic diseases, conversion disorders and are unhappy ... have a look at the Monday morning faces of people going to work ... they are on there way to jet another week of doing what they do not want to do, socializing with people they do not like.

If asian practices were not presented to the public at large as the last snake oil solution for their life, probably none would ever have taken up the practice of meditation..

In time the lady in the article found out that she had no interest in meditation at all.

Instead of fighting teachings and teachers, many would be better served by searching their own hearts about the motives , that made them join this or that practice..

When I asked our dad why part of the priests in the college had always these grim faces, He explained to me that it was due to celibacy issues. Celebrate he said is an burden for all men but if you have no idea why you have to pay that price and do not agree with it, celibacy will become a mill stone around one's neck and eventually draw you under.

The practices in Asia are very cleverly designed, in using the love for the teacher as a bridge to overcome the delay of the outcome of one's effort.

What remains for me, against this background of thinking, WHY people from the west are accepted and in such an number,

I've done those 10-day retreats and I concur they are no fun. But then, that's the point. I could explain what I mean by that, but what's the use.

RSSB Sant Mat "involves a lot of rules, commandments, do and don'ts"?

The four vows are:

To adhere to a lacto-vegetarian diet.
To abstain from alcohol, tobacco products, habit-forming and mind-altering drugs.
To lead a pure moral life while performing one’s duties in the world.
To practise meditation with sincerity and dedication for two and a half hours daily, as taught at the time of Initiation.

I can totally understand how the RSSB satsangi mindset can be onerous. Every satsang is a lecture about how everyone is failing to control their minds "good enough" and time is short to get to the eye center before death overtakes us and we find ourselves reborn as penguins. But I can't agree that RSSB sets a lot of rules. Certainly not compared to Buddhist sects, which have literally thousands of rules for monks.

The only rule that's really stressed as an absolute in RSSB is vegetarian diet. I was a vegetarian for years, but now believe it's a diet that's completely contrary to human health.

@Sant 64

After I left it all behind I came to understand the teachings better than ever before ...AND ... the3re are several different teachings.

There are the teachings as delivered by the teachers

there are the teachings of the students, to be divided in sub-cultures all along their cultural/religious conditioning.

The stress on do's and don'ts are presented in the west in a more or less CALVINISTIC way in these parts and those rather "strange" way of dealing with them by the Americans ..One can "smell" the americans having their roots in the orthodox rather fanatic Christian believers that fled from Europe.

What I do remember from my days with this religious multinational as presented to me by its teachers, both oral and in letters, was NOT on do's and don'ts but a simple advice ...PLEASE, do your Bhajan and simran with love and devotion. Nothing more nothing less.

The rest how it is seen and made seen in the west is IMHO just fabrication of the students, students that leave no stone untouched to reform the simple teachings according their local, regional, cultural and private liking.

The whole issue is about something that is said but not stressed ..do it with LOVE ...and...DEVOTION. ... and mind you, love and devotion for one's OWN practice,

Bhakti Yoga
Gur Bhakti
All things I came to understood later that are little understood if at all, let alone practiced in the right way ..nobody to blame .. after all we are not born Indians, not born into a culture that teaches GUR BHAKTI on ALL levels, not only religious

For those that like to understand what I am hinting at .. watch some video's of the "sufi Qawwali Ensemble" ..do not focus on the music, if you are not used to it probably you will not like it ... hahaha ...but focus on the faces and the body language of the western players. Than compare it with asian ensembles. ....

Those great performers of music and other arts do not let anybody come near to them that has not given his heart to music or art. The relationship between teacher and student, is of service to the music, the art. No teacher is interested in those that come to love THEM instead of their music or art

And not only does one need that love for music, one needs also a talent to be developed ...and finally ... if it is not there, it is just not there and there is nothing do do. about it

In June Tolifson’s ‘Outpourings’: - True Meditation: ‘The Art of Going Nowhere,’ there are a couple of quotes that (to me) sum up meditation – and perhaps the end of meditation as we know it!

“As you walk the spiritual path, it widens, not narrows, until one day it broadens to a point where there is no path left at all.” Wayne Liquorman.

“Meditation is not about manufacturing a state of mind that’s clear, calm or full of insight. It’s about interfering less and less with what is actually here.” John Tarrant.

I don’t see these comments as decrying the various meditation systems, even strict and prescriptive systems (similar to what that Dorie Chevlen describes here) may be a ‘kick-start’; after all, whatever system (or non-system) we are engaged in, that is where we are at that time, in that present moment.

There may come a time when it is felt or realised that there is nothing needed or to be aimed for (in the meditation sense). Some point out that as the bulwark of contents that comprise the self structure with all the self-protecting beliefs that acted as shields from just this, fall away, simplicity or clarity become apparent. This is not to say that the self, disappears – after all, an identity is need to navigate the world – it’s more to do with the various self concepts used as crutches of attachment no longer hold influence.

Yes, meditate if you enjoy it. And do something else if that makes you feel better than meditation does.

In the long history of humanity, most people have lived their lives pleasantly and meaningfully without doing a special thing called "meditation."

During my years of nonpracticing “quiet periods”, I haven't found that, in general, people who meditate are any kinder, happier, or wiser than people who don't meditate.

Like bowling, meditation appeals to some, while not to others. Each to their own. We are engaging in the living of life

@ Roger

Eating can be done for feeling good, for pleasure, but is that its function?

Walking can be done for feeling good, for pleasure, but is that its function?

Meditation can be done for feeling good for pleasure, but is that its function?



"can be done for feeling good, for pleasure"

Having peace of mind, I would think, reduces the need for feeling good and for pleasure. Feel free to google eating, walking and meditation to obtain further information. Don't forget, I always reserve the right to be wrong.

@ Roger

Almost everything can be done for pleasure ... even killing.


Yes, you are correct. We humans can engage in that.

meditation can be done for pleasure, and is done for that reason and yes, meditation might not have the power to change anybody .. like walking doesn't change anybody bus your legs might bring you somewhere and so can meditation.

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