Share on Facebook
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread: Having become awakened, and not liking what I see....

  1. #1
    Forums Member Rosamundi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    13

    Having become awakened, and not liking what I see....

    I am struggling with a simple question at the moment, and I would like anyone's views on this.....

    I have been studying how to become more awakened, and I see this as lifting a net curtain (please bear with me because I struggle for the right words). Now, I feel that I have reasonable periods of 'awakenedness', so I am having some success here! Hooray! ? Not really!

    Sometimes I think with what I call the old part of my brain, which I gather is at the back, and I am daydreaming and generally going about my life in a non-awakened way, and this is a very pleasant state, I have no worries, and I am not ruminating on world problems, I am not worrying about the cruelty I have seen. I am 'happy'. However, sometimes I think with what I call the front of my brain, the recent part, the frontal lobe, and I am completely, mindfully, in the moment and completely aware. And I don't much like it. I am instantly overwhelmed with worry about the planet, visions of cruelty I cannot get rid of, and dismay that I have been disturbed from my reverie. This happens every few minutes, and I hop in and out all day.

    So, I cannot un-see what I have seen. I cannot make myself un-aware. Why did I strive to achieve this? This 'awakening' has basically made me unhappy and I don't understand why I was encouraged to achieve it.

    Any thoughts, folks?

  2. #2
    Hi Rosamundi, nice to see you posting here again.

    I think lots of people probably get anxious these days and have their ups and downs when regularly being exposed to so many things happening around the world via the media. I know I do, and have less mental peace and clarity if I spend too much time watching news channels, reading the press, social media etc. without actually limiting the daily time I involve myself with those activities.

    This little meditation book "Finding the Missing Peace" by Ajahn Amaro might be helpful for you and there's a guided meditation at the end of each chapter.

    https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content...jahn_Amaro.pdf

    I can also recommend joining a beginners Tai Chi class, its very relaxing!

    With metta,

    Aloka

  3. #3
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,591
    Hi Rosamundi,

    I will choose my words carefully, for I am not a teacher in Buddhism, just another practitioner like yourself.

    I think you have lifted a net curtain to increase your awareness, but I don't think this constitutes 'awakening'.



    You are involved in making judgements with the front of your brain, and you're suffering because the world is not the way you want it to be. (Actually, it's not the way I want it to be either!) But this isn't truly being awakened.

    The following quotes come from 'Finding the Missing Peace', the publication recommended by Aloka. The subject is meditation, a process to be mastered on the way to becoming awakened.

    "...when one looks at the mind’s nature, when one looks very closely and holds the attention on the fundamental nature of mind and body, one experiences the mind as completely alert, utterly attentive and wide awake, and also completely peaceful."

    " those qualities get occluded – covered over and obscured – by the flow of one’s days and activities: waking, sleeping, engaging with others, and the ten thousand things that we do."

    "... one may find that the mind is chattering away, proliferating thoughts about this, that and the other thing, recreating the past, planning for the future, forming opinions about everything."

    "The main point of meditation is training the attention to focus on the present moment...The past is a memory and the future is unknown, but here in the present is where life actually takes place."

    "...awareness is not caught up in the flow of experience. One is able to see clearly what is going on. One can understand more and more fully how the heart gets entangled in the liked, the disliked, the wanted, the unwanted, the pleasant, the painful, the beautiful, the ugly, in ideas of past and future, self and other. One begins to see how solid one has made all of these concepts. And one trains the heart to start to let go, to not get entangled and identified with those qualities in the same habitual way."

    I hope you manage to develop a more peaceful state, accepting that the world we know is composed of good and bad states and always has been.

  4. #4
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    418
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi View Post
    I am struggling with a simple question at the moment, and I would like anyone's views on this.....

    So, I cannot un-see what I have seen. I cannot make myself un-aware. Why did I strive to achieve this? This 'awakening' has basically made me unhappy and I don't understand why I was encouraged to achieve it.

    Any thoughts, folks?
    You may have glimpsed through the net curtain, as you say. Which is a problem if you haven't a community of people around you to discuss such things with. In a way it's a bit like having to decide whether to be an adult or to remain a child all your life. Do you want to see the world as it really is, or do you want to continue seeing it as others do? Everything has a price, and the price of wanting to see things as they really are is to see the bad stuff and the good. There is help though, as Aloka and Woodscooter say. There are meditations which help you relax and balance out the bad stuff which arises from time to time.

    Chatting on a site like this can help, but I think you are after an understanding of awakening which, to be frank, is a state beyond words. I can only speak for myself, but in my opinion 'real' awakening comes with a corresponding alternative to 'happiness' which more than compensates for not being able to un-see anymore, as you put it. What happens along the way is intermittent lifting of the net curtain, but without the understanding that comes later, which, as you imply, can cause more suffering than it gets rid of. As practicing Buddhists on the path we owe it to ourselves to try a balanced approach which helps us through both the good and bad times.

  5. #5
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    7
    You've moved from blissful ignorance to seeing more clearly that life is not sweet.

    This is the truth that drives the Seeker. How can this existential problem be solved?

    You are just starting out; don't fear, this Path really does relieve suffering. Practice like your hair is on fire - this isn't a place we can stay for very long.

  6. #6
    Forums Member Rosamundi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    13
    Hi. Thank you for your thoughts. It takes me a while to inwardly digest everything, please don't think I have disappeared!

    I didn't really use the term 'awakened' to mean anything other than a bit of a glimpse of reality. I don't think I am 'enlightened' or anything so grand! I totally understand that I have a path to follow, and I am aware enough to know that there will be ups and downs also. Aloka, I deliberately do not have a newspaper, listen to the radio, or follow the news because I really cannot stand to hear it all, so I agree with that! Also, I do Tai Chi, and when I am in the zone it is truly meditative, it is just giving myself the time to do it. Thank you for the recommendation. I will start reading it.

    Thank you for the quotes, woodscooter, I really do need to train my heart to let go. This, I feel, is the crux. I just so totally feel it when I see cruelty, it is almost as if I am feeling the pain. I know this is something to work on, and I know I can let MY suffering go, it is just that I SO want the suffering of others to stop too, especially if it is animals at the hands of humans. In fact, I have feelings of guilt if I try to eradicate the knowledge of the cruelty I have seen, how can I enjoy such and such, if others are in pain? Especially if I can do nothing about it. Accepting this seems to be a tall order for me.

    Rider, you seem very positive, perhaps it will rub off on me!

    Thankyou all.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi

    I just so totally feel it when I see cruelty, it is almost as if I am feeling the pain. I know this is something to work on, and I know I can let MY suffering go, it is just that I SO want the suffering of others to stop too, especially if it is animals at the hands of humans.
    I know exactly how you feel, Rosamundi.

    I find that it can be helpful to repeat the Four Immeasurables at these times:

    "May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,

    May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,

    May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering,

    May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others."



    With metta,


    Aloka

  8. #8
    Forums Member Rosamundi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    13
    Thank you Aloka,

    Please don't think me rude, but saying 'May all beings...' just doesn't work for me. All beings are not, never will be, and some will have much, much suffering.

    When I am enjoying anything that I do, work, theatre, walking, etc, a thought pops into my head, whether it is war, famine, ****, animals, whatever, and I think to myself 'how does my sitting and meditating change that?' Fact is, it doesn't. This gives me guilt. Sometimes I wonder if I have survivor's guilt! Some people I have talked to about the state of the planet, say 'Oh yeah, that's bad, horrible, awful humans' and seem to just go off and forget about it. I lie awake at night worrying about it.

    I sound like a nutter, but I am just an ordinary person. Why aren't others affected like I am?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosamundi View Post
    Thank you Aloka,

    Please don't think me rude, but saying 'May all beings...' just doesn't work for me. All beings are not, never will be, and some will have much, much suffering.

    When I am enjoying anything that I do, work, theatre, walking, etc, a thought pops into my head, whether it is war, famine, ****, animals, whatever, and I think to myself 'how does my sitting and meditating change that?' Fact is, it doesn't. This gives me guilt. Sometimes I wonder if I have survivor's guilt! Some people I have talked to about the state of the planet, say 'Oh yeah, that's bad, horrible, awful humans' and seem to just go off and forget about it. I lie awake at night worrying about it.

    I sound like a nutter, but I am just an ordinary person. Why aren't others affected like I am?
    Hi Rosamundi,

    Wishing for the happiness of all other sentient beings can help us with the practice of loving kindness and compassion.

    In general, I think meditation and Buddhist practice can help one become calmer and more understanding in one's daily life and one's interactions with others. If everyone did that, I'm sure the world would be a happier place!

    There are also lots of things one can do in a small way, in terms of being kind, patient, and non-harming with others and indeed non-harming and respectful with the surrounding environment in general. There's also making a decision to not eat meat, the purchase of which adds to the consumer demand and the great suffering to animals in the meat industry - and so on.

    Some of the people I know also work for various charities and animal shelters in their spare time and in that way they're helping with a small part of the wider world.



  10. #10
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    61
    Hi, Rosamundi.

    Repeating the Four Immeasurables, "May all beings have happiness...", is not about fixing them. It is about fixing you.

    Of course you don't have magical powers to right all the wrongs in the world instantly. But by adjusting your own thought processes, you become a part of what the world needs in order for those wrongs to be righted.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Mon, 8:13 AM Mon, 10:13 AM Mon, 4:13 PM Mon, 9:43 PM Tue, 12:13 AM Tue, 3:13 AM