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The Inquisitive Way versus Devotional


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I used to be a seeker who thought that devotional ways (like bhakti) are interesting for some people, but ultimately will not take you to the Truth. Where as the more inquiring ways would. So I held advaita, and also zen-buddhism, in higher regard than the bhakti path (although I did not say this out loud, it was just something I thought in the back of my mind (spiritual ego[?] :).)

But now after a few years I´m coming more and more to the insight that It (what´s being pointed to) cannot be understood, and it never will be. Along with this gradual change in my perception I´m also feeling more drawn towards the devotional way, and I see that the inquisitive and the devotional paths all lead to the same Truth.
And than there are no paths to be seen.

In regard to this subject, check out this cool Papaji video, in which some Hare Krishna folks send out good vibes big time. I find this tune addictive!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZAlcUp-nNM&feature=related

If you have anything to share about this subject, please do...

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michielkroon's picture
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mind-blowing

I wonder if anyone recognizes this: to the mind different perspectives are always incompatible. If one believes in advaita (there's nothing to do and you're already there) then theres no sense in practicing anything. In contrast, if one believes in practice the same non-dual beliefs/insights don't seem of much value.

What the mind is trying is almost like this: you go to a huge library full of books, like thousands of them. Then you try to find out which book is the best one. For months you are carefully reading, making sure that you have covered books of all categories. Then you finally found the best book. Now, using this book, you start explaining all the other books, trying to fit everything in your new perspective.

Interesting process, right?

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dangres of the devotional way

My understanding of the issue is this. Genpo Roshi a seasoned zen meditation master developed the big mind method as a "method" attuned to the particular needs of Western individuals. westerners' sense of being a unified subjectivity is so firmly entrenched so that Zazen alone would prove fruitless without there being some Psychotherapy which deconstructs this self. Another anecdote that comes to mind is the Dalai Lama's astonishment when he first came to the west that low self esteem was widespread amongst western people, again this illustrates the particular problems western people pose.
So it seems to me that some kind of "mind" based self enquiry is essential for modern, busy, complicated, usually neurotic people as a spiritual practice since in the absence of an initial deconstruction of the self no real spiritual transformation can take place.

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deconstruction of self

I see ytour point, but i wonder if it's actually possible to 'deconstruct' the 'self'. I think that it's always there as long as we focus on it. I think that Richard C Miller (the I-rest/Yoga Nidra guy) and Florian Schlosser really have a point when they tell us to include the body in our consciousness of being. In the west we are so focussed on our mind.. we're 'heady' people, and the only way out of that is to relax that focus, and to have it include more and more of the rest of the body, of our being, consciousness. The that 'I' pretty much stops existing as far as our awareness is concerned.

So i wonder if feeding the mind with more concepts about our being is going to work. Sure, it's a pointer in the right direction, but i think that you don't need all this knowledge if you can just include your whole being.. then it's just an almost automatic process.. easy as pie ;)

In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

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I entirely agree with you

I entirely agree with you that the body is the best portal into "now" for westerners who like Mr Duffy in Joyce's novel Ullyses "live a short distance from their body.

But i wonder whether this as well can only be considered another preparatory stage since there is still a subtle dualism of me and my body and its still a temporal experience with a beginning, middle and an end.

Its at the stage that we tire of all "experiences" and "search" for the eternal or the "deathless" as the Buddha put it and this is the real beginning of spiritual enquiry. It seems to me that many of the modern teachers in the west stay stuck at the initial stage of having "experiences" of oneness albeit this is wholly necessary and appropriate given the nature of the "western" mind.

Its interesting that a common characteristic of liberation as reported by people like Ramana Maharshi was the deep fear of death and a confrontation with this deepest despair humans can face (meaninglessnes, nihilism, finitude) is a necessary step on the path.
So is human temporality at the centre of the non-dual/dualism distinction, the idea being that dualism is an inauthentic experience of time(it leads inevitably to subject-object dualism and suffering) whereas an authentic comportment to human temporality is to get in touch with a more authentic primordial temporality variously described as the "now" by non-dual traditions, described by Neitzsche as "eternal return", its the concern of Proust that human redemption of time is to somehow contain the past?
Be interesting to hear considered views of this human dimension of the experience of time is rarely if ever discussed in relation to non-duality

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the body

just to expand on the body as a way into the now-
I have found it a very necessary component of my journey. The point is that most of us are fighting our experience (of the body and "outside") even at very subtle levels. In my experience, when one is really accepting how the body feels and moves, acceptance of everything else falls into place and then the boundaries of inner and outer dissolve as well.
By working with teachers or on my own with the bodily sensations, I've discovered that there is often resistance present. But it can be moved through with attention.
This is all a good deal deeper than it sounds. I have found Adyashanti's model helpful. There can be resistance in the head (thoughts), heart and an existential grip in the gut.
My sense is a lot of folks take in the nondual message in their head, but haven't brought it into the body.
It's one thing to say "it's all one", but quite another to be in full acceptance and surrender as awareness. Not that I'm totally in full acceptance yet!

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I agree that a 100%

I agree that a 100% bakthi-path isn´t ideal. The same way I also think that a 100% advaita-path isn´t ideal. I think that if someones search is ´genuine´, finally there will grow a natural interest (longing) for a broader view, because still something seems to be missing: there still isn´t that unquestionable seeing. So a bakthi-seeker will eventually feel more drawn towards a more rational view, and an advaita-seeker will eventually feel more drawn towards devotional ways - for example.

(I mean devotional in the broadest sense. So in my view, true enjoyment of any kind is devotional. So not just chanting and stuff. I´ve never chanted and perhaps I never will. But I love sitting in my ´lazy-chair´ after work, and hear the birds singing while enjoying a cup of heavenly coffee. All questions fall away. Great:), - for me this is true devotion. And quite new to me, this enjoyment in the fullest sense.)

This is not at all to say that a seeker should or should not do certain things in my view. It´s just something I tend to see in myself, and others.

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I don't know.. there probably

I don't know.. there probably is no such thing as an ideal path.. if there is such a thing, noone has found it yet, or else we'd all be walking that path right now, i suspect ;)

It's said that there is no path.. What you're looking for already is right here and now, but apparently we need to look everywhere else first before we see and realize this. So perhaps any path you choose is the right one.. as long as you step unto it consciously, i would say.

I hear you on the devotional thing though. Actually i think any portal into the here and now works, be it the body or the singing of a bird.. at least to a certain extent.

In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

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I agree. And that´s more or

I agree. And that´s more or less what I meant, in the sense that if you walk the path of the bhakti for example, then finally you will sense the limitation of it and feel more drawn towards ´knowledge.´

So I also don´t see an ideal path, or teacher even.

quote: ¨but apparently we need to look everywhere else first before we see and realize this. So perhaps any path you choose is the right one.. as long as you step unto it consciously, i would say.¨

Yeah, I´ve walked into a lot of dead alleys. :)
And I´ve learned from it, and still do. I guess that´s where knowledge has it´s value: to see why certain streets are dead end streets.

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I have had a similar journey

I have had a similar journey so far. I came from an anti religious family, so buddhism seemed safe since there's no concept of God. It also was the only thing that seemed to make some sense to me.
I found Krishnamurti and advaita and found that teachers like Tolle had a healing effect when they pointed out that the deeper meanings of various religions point to the same understanding of unity.
Bahkti initially seemed kind of scary to me-maybe a fear of cults. It's painful to write that now. As "understanding" (more than conceptual), has become more established, the heart has also demanded attention. Sadness and grief have needed to be met along with deepening compassion and love.
Both wisdom and love seem to want to be awakened. As you say, perhaps when they are more integrated, the process will seem more complete. (Even though it already is-I know you absolutists.)
Here's another clip of Papaji where he reminds us that the devotion we feel is really to our Self.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3478809487990372416&ei=kYc6S4nB...

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In two words: Krishnamurti

In two words:

Krishnamurti and Kirtan.

Vera A. Pereira
(301) 717-2652
www.massage2day.net

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. . . . . i am thinking this

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i am thinking this morn... i worship music... i worship Females.

NOW .. another pesher

"
It's Now Or Never
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AND
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2nd To None
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"

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. <-- another Moment of Creation
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NOW She.. God picks the songs
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Butterfly( a sign on my baseball cap :-)
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My Special Angel
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... thats for meL_YOU !

WE are the least of GodHeavenCreation !

SEEN

NOW

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google this exact.. "the surround is consciousness"
You are looking..with just functional senses..at Your Soul..
the least of GodCreation. JC said IT this way.. I AM the Light.
Another said.. I AM THAT.

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GOOD :-) . . .

GOOD

:-)
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google this exact.. "the surround is consciousness"
You are looking..with just functional senses..at Your Soul..
the least of GodCreation. JC said IT this way.. I AM the Light.
Another said.. I AM THAT.

Part of the Action

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Please contribute to make this vision real.  

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