Does Enlightenment (Nirvana) Give You Mastery Over Emotions?

Human Skeletons Suan MokkhIf you’ve been following this sporadic blog at all you know I’ve not really put any priority on meditation any longer. I don’t meditate. I don’t focus on the empty state of the mind when I stop doing, stop thinking. Still, it can be called on in a second, and it’s there. Instead I fill my time with doing. I feel like I’m under a time limit to complete some amazing things. I’ve never felt like there was any deadline until I hit 40 something. Then it became all too real. I think it was my friend from my Air Force days, Brent Hill, dying at around 43 years of age. That was a wake-up call. It happens anytime.

So, instead of sit here in bliss, I pack as much as I can into my day and don’t give myself any time to sit and experience empty mind, blank mind, the flat-line state that is underneath my ‘doing’.

Today however…

I felt anger well up inside over something. Usually I just feel it and really pursue it – letting it play out fully. Today I did something I don’t usually do, and something that I haven’t done regularly for years. I watched it grow and I realized it was just an empty emotion. I watched it well-up, noted it, and it disappeared. I smiled just to make sure. Yep, it was completely gone.

Does enlightenment offer mastery over all our emotions?

I don’t know. I don’t think I’m enlightened. I do think I get glimpses. If I’m enlightened then I haven’t really realized the importance of the state because I’m still bumbling through life “doing” as much as possible. I’m not usually stressed out, but I do get angry and stressed sometimes. It’s part of living life. I think it’s beneficial to get angry at drivers that endanger my life. It wakes me up, that’s for sure! So, anger is beneficial in that it snaps me out of my complacent driving. I wake right up when someone almost runs me off the road.

But, this technique today deserves some more practice. Maybe practice is the wrong word. It deserves more instances of it. It blew me away that, despite it being such a long time that I haven’t meditated – there it was… complete mastery over anger. Is it always there for me, anytime I want it? I don’t know. I’d guess it probably is.

I have to say, I enjoy anger sometimes. I enjoy feeling something emotional sometimes. I enjoy feeling love and empathy for others – daily. Hourly even sometimes. My daughter gives me endless opportunity to experience unconditional love and acceptance. That’s so cool.

The empathy I have has almost become overwhelming at times. I can tear-up in an instant. Let me think, when did it last come? Ah, I got it when I saw the son of a young woman here that recently lost her husband. He committed suicide. The woman raises the son herself now. She’s working pumping gas. He was an engineer. They made decent money. The guy left her alone with her little son – 4 years old. Same age as my daughter. It rips me up when I see her or the boy. I see them often, and still the feeling comes over me instantly and nearly overwhelms me.

Compassion, empathy, these are nothing new to me. I’ve been sensitive to other people’s struggles for a long time, and to some degree. Probably a high degree. But, after meditation it just became PROFOUND.

Anyway, just felt like typing something at the site here today after the anger turned to dust experience. Quite an amazing feeling, experience. I do hope you continue to meditate and experience something like this some time. Meditation is an exceptionally simple game. You just need perseverance. You need to play to win.

Is it worth it?

I think it’s worth it…

Abhinna

This is something that I’ve not spoken much about at all – but, the experiences happened as a result of meditation, and I think better to tell the stories. Maybe someone else has had similar or other stories to share with me?

Abhinna deals with what most of us would consider the supernatural. These are abilities that come with meditation, in some practitioners, when concentration becomes solid.

One Abhinna is the “Divine Eye”. Another, the “Divine Ear”. Another is knowing the minds of others…

I know, it sounds like it comes right out of some sci-fi cartoon book. I can assure you that at least a couple of them are absolutely true. I’ve experienced some things that I cannot deny are abhinna. I cannot vouch for the others, but if a couple are true – then the others could well be also.

Have you ever had a supernatural experience resulting from meditation?

Meditation for Beginners

Buddha Meditation Under Orange ClothsMost people beginning meditation start by finding a group. There is a notion that exists among most people that a group is needed for a couple of reasons.

1. Beginners like the idea of having a teacher to ask questions of, or at least some meditators that have some advanced experience.

2. The social factor. People like to start meditating in a group probably so they can talk to others about their experiences, as well as meet other people that are like-minded, decent people to be around.

If you go to a meditation group, it’s funny, but you won’t people that just got out of jail there… you won’t meet people that are drug addicted, or without moral character at all… Meditation attracts some pretty together people that are looking to further their togetherness. Those that begin meditating are looking for some way to get more of the ultimate from life – not just the normal human experience.

Meditation groups I’ve attended have had students, housewives and househusbands, blue-collar workers, doctors, and other professional career-minded people as the attendees. It’s a subset of the population, but it’s never the dregs of society for some reason. When you go to a meditation for beginners group, you can count on meeting some people that are probably just like you.

It’s comforting I guess.

Contrast that with the idea that meditation is a friendless journey. Really, it’s a lonely journey to sit and meditate on the breath, and nothing outside of yourself is needed. What is needed is a good deal of concentration and commitment to continuing the process once it is started. Friends help some people do that, but I think it can also distract us, and pull us from the progress that will naturally result with a focused practice.

Meditation is an awesome stress-reduction tool, that, along with exercise – I consider the one of the best stress-busting activities known to man.

Originally I started meditating for that reason – to reduce stress from work. I was already running, biking, playing beach volleyball, playing racquetball, and some other sports, but I wanted the ultimate. I wanted to lose more stress. I thought meditation might give me that if I began. I was happy to find out – I was so right!

I began sitting on my bedroom floor around 7pm after dinner – daily. Immediately I noticed some stress slipping away during the session of meditating on my breath – and carrying over into the hours afterward. After a couple weeks I noticed that, overall, my stress had lessened and I was more balanced… less anxious… less worried about events in life that bent me out of shape before.

After a couple of months I noticed that whenever I stopped myself in a stressful situation and took 3 mindful breaths – the stress disappeared, or was lessened considerably. It wasn’t just sometimes – it was every time, the stress just cannot last in the face of 3 slow breaths in succession with mindfulness.

From that point meditation became a major component of my life for helping me de-stress whenever needed. I started to have a different take on life… a new perspective. It might sound strange to hear it – but, it has become commonplace for me to say – meditation changed my life, and very thoroughly.

Meditation for Beginners Advice:

1. If you need a group, find one. Use the group to motivate you to sit consistently – if you need that outside push. If you don’t need it, by all means, sit by yourself and hash it out. Meditation at the beginners level is work… a lot of work. It isn’t all that fun, but you are doing great things for yourself to keep going.

2. Commit yourself to meditation for a month – minimum – as you begin. This will show you benefits that you didn’t have before you started to meditate – and you’ll have trouble stopping once you have some benefits going.

3. Forget about religion as you meditate. Meditate on a physical level and watch the breath pass in and out of your nostrils. You need not be Buddhist, Hindu, or in a new age guru’s flock of sheep… just sit and meditate on your own without all the extra fluff religion builds into it.

4. Read “Meditation for Beginners – a 22 day course” whenever you get the time. This is a step by step, religionless meditation book that will help you get started with the barest of basics. I wrote this book to share with people what I did when I first started meditating. I do hope it helps you simplify the meditation process and move forward to reducing and eventually eliminating stress from your life. It has helped me immensely!

 

Enlightenment, Societal Consciousness

Thought today as listening to Alan Watts cassette that I am on the verge of enlightenment at any time. As I sit here experiencing the view out the dining area window One feels intuitively that if a shift occurred in the thought process then enlightenment would come and completely take over the mind and thought process. There is no inherent study that must take place. Maybe the questioning process that I’ve been following has lead to this point.

Could that little bit of mindfulness yesterday and the day before have produced this feeling/awareness?

I will put the watch back on again and keep resetting when it gets to 10 minutes up. It’s a great mindfulness bell.

One thought today that the individual thought processes of the mind are really expressed by the interactions of mankind as a whole. The tiny thought/feeling/knowledge of fear in the individual causes him/her to alienate those ( and be alienated too) that are different from ones self. This tiny snowball rolls and rolls and shows up in every country around the world. Every war! Every disagreement between nations, people, etc. Jealousy and greed, individual traits, show up also as jealousy between nations regarding riches, natural resources, etc.

There is nothing that is expressed in society that is not played out in most everyone’s mind at the individual level first. The result of society is accumulation of all of the individual’s within that society. All societies are the same. No one questions every single thing they’ve been taught. No one quiets the mind to find what is the essence of man. No one challenges every belief they hold as worthless. As a result the mind runs rampant.

The physical mind is a tape recorder that learns instantaneously, and then directs the body to respond according to those learned rules. The problem occurs when the mind learns as the result of ONE experience, and thereafter in a similar situation, will not allow the body to act in a different way (without preconceived notions) and so the predictable result occurs, reinforcing the mind’s erroneous conclusions.

The entire world could live at perfect peace with itself. What has happened is that society has reinforced us looking at ourselves as individuals. From the time a baby is young he is taught to hold on tightly to the concept of “I”. He is fed things on a daily basis, building up the ego and the sense of “I”.

This HUGE process creates division between people of every type: race, beliefs, religion, color, geographical location, color of hair, number of teeth, IQ, political beliefs, likes, dislikes, etc.

The entire process of society is to create individuals that are separate from the masses. This separation creates competition.

Competition is extremely harmful to the individual, and, ultimately, only benefits society in the form of greater technological advances, better living conditions, living longer, etc.

Meditation and ADHD – ADD

My mind has slowed down quite a bit from the ADD – ADHD mess it was in the past. I notice when I speak with fast talking people. I can’t keep up – nor do I try.

I notice when I sit at the computer and go half the speed I used to go. My internet connection is significantly slower and maybe that is helping the mind slow down too?

I’m attributing the reduction in ADHD – ADD symptoms mostly to meditation, and more specifically, the results of meditation since I rarely ever do it anymore. The changes have already been made inside the mind and I’m not sure that I could speed back up to the way I was in the USA – or not. Could I still be employed in the USA in this state? That’s a funny question. But, funnier still – I don’t know the answer.

I think I’m running at about 50% of what I used to in terms of speed of understanding and producing things, and multi-tasking.

If you think you or your kids might have ADD – ADHD you should drop by this ADHD kid site and find some articles about it. It’s one of my other sites. I’m quite interested in the topic and will be growing the information there over the next few months.

Recently I wrote a book about meditation being the cure for ADHD. If you’d like it, let me know. I’m revising it at the moment and I need to fix a few more things before letting it go live at Amazon and elsewhere.

🙂 Vern