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Willingness

It is my understanding that that the only thing standing between me and realizing my true nature is my attachment to the illusion of a separate self. I share that not to convince anyone that my illusory way of framing is preferable to yours – it’s all crap, but to frame a question. I’ve found that belief rather frustrating because for pretty much my whole life, enlightenment was the dream… oooh, I could make some pithy comment now referencing ‘the dream’…

Anyway, last night I had an experience. Then afterwards, I do what I always do and use it for a jumping off point for thoughts. Not helpful, I know, but in the interest of honesty… During that experience, I felt like I was given an engraved invitation; but rather than walking through, I realized I wasn’t ready. I really didn’t want it more than I wanted anything like I’ve told myself my entire life. Cool. I’m learning how to be honest with myself; that can’t be a bad thing.

So here I am (avoiding another pithy comment – lol), willing to be willing…but not willing. I want to suffer just one more time – then I’ll be ready. Feel free to experience nausea and laughter so you can share in this with me. Truth be told, it’s not surprising I suppose. Had I truly been ready, it would have happened – so the writing was on the wall I’ve been sitting in front of.

Any tips on moving from ‘willing to be willing’ to ‘willing’?

person

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 5

    Well, it would be very much in the vein of "Do as I say, don't do as I do", because I think we're all pretty much in the 'willing to be willing' zone... some of us haven't even reached that stage yet...

    I guess the perennial advice would be to not over-think things, and just let go.

    Simple.

    But not easy.

    yagr
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited October 5

    In the same ballpark as @federica’s advice, I would say that it’s worth looking closely at what made you decide to “have one more look at suffering”. You are likely to find some things in this world that you haven’t let go of, things that center on one or more attachments to things that you suspect you won’t get in Nirvana.

    As Ajahn Chah said, the path is all about letting go, more letting go and yet more letting go. But you do have to know what you should let go of, just letting go of ‘everything’ leads to a kind of dissolution. So it pays to learn to look more deeply.

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @federica said:
    Well, it would be very much in the vein of "Do as I say, don't do as I do", because I think we're all pretty much in the 'willing to be willing' zone...

    ~nods~ Pretty much what I was going for - just decided not to project that to all the manifested. :)

    I guess the perennial advice would be to not over-think things, and just let go.

    Simple.

    But not easy.

    The 'simple, but not easy' line has been invoked a lot in the last twelve hours. I'm still rather amazed at how easily I've been able to let go of thoughts these last few months although my skill in doing so seems to be accelerating I may actually be less inclined to 'let go' than anyone here, but the distance I've traversed in a short time has been immense. The very fact I am no longer view it as a competition - with anyone, including my self is wonder-inducing, which in turn produces more pure experience which creates more wonder. I've never been in a positive feedback loop like this before. Anyway, this too shall pass...

    lobsterRen_in_black
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @how said:

    Tip (1)
    Let go of enlightenment. Enlightenment is little more than a transcendence of a self's dream production of it's own fiefdom.

    The concept of letting go of enlightenment feels a little forced, but language is even more limiting than concepts, so I get the challenge. It's like an ice cube in a pitcher of sweet tea letting go of the pitcher that it is in... except it's not like that either.

    Tip (2)
    Manifest enlightenment through this present moments potential of your own selflessness. Here, as with all attachments, renunciation trumps acquisitions, every time.

    Could you speak more on this, please? This is my life right now - more or less. That said, and something I've never heard spoken of before, I am exhausted from the effort. To be sure, it's not the moments that are exhausting, it's the lead up. I experience a moment and instantly, there is contraction, grasping, etc. Prying my metaphorical fingers from whatever I have grasped at over and over and over and... is the exhausting part. It feels like a phase, but as I said, I've never heard anyone speak of such a phase before.

    Tip (3)
    Your head really doesn't want to give up the throne of it's own dream world. Shifting equal portions of your attention to what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel from what you formally devoted to what you think, goes a long way towards being capable of converting a mental dictatorship's dream, into a wider and more collegial experience of that dream's absence.
    Cheers.

    I have been doing this quite often recently - as a result of you speaking of this before. This too is something I had not heard spoken of before, but I sat with it and it resonated so I've been practicing it for the last three weeks or so. Thank you for that.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Jeroen said:
    In the same ballpark as @federica’s advice, I would say that it’s worth looking closely at what made you decide to “have one more look at suffering”.... So it pays to learn to look more deeply.

    I was sitting at a coffee shop a half hour ago doing a bit of reading/writing and came across this question and answer from a dharma dialogue:

    Q: Why don't more people become enlightened?
    A: Because they are still finding entertainment in the dream to some extent.

    I wrote in the book (an amazing evolution in itself) three questions to explore and then left and headed for the cushion via newbuddhist. Those questions were:

    1. What specific parts of the dream can still hook 'me'?
    2. What part of suffering am I still attached to?
    3. Why?

    Excuse me while I go look more deeply. :)

    Bunks
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited October 5

    @yagr said:

    @how said:

    .

    Tip (2)
    Manifest enlightenment through this present moments potential of your own selflessness. Here, as with all attachments, renunciation trumps acquisitions, every time.

    Could you speak more on this, please? This is my life right now - more or less. That said, and something I've never heard spoken of before, I am exhausted from the effort. To be sure, it's not the moments that are exhausting, it's the lead up. I experience a moment and instantly, there is contraction, grasping, etc. Prying my metaphorical fingers from whatever I have grasped at over and over and over and... is the exhausting part. It feels like a phase, but as I said, I've never heard anyone speak of such a phase before.

    Often, serious seekers of the way, have succeeded a fair distance down the path towards the buddha's cessation of suffering because (1) we're "F' d" up enough to be pretty motivated to do so and (2) we have been able to harness enough of that focus to get us beyond many worldly base distractions.
    As our coarser attachments get addressed, subtler attachments that were formally overshadowed start arising in their turn.
    Exhaustion often is noticed more at this time when we spiritually attempt to do the same isometric exercises on subtle attachments that formally worked on addressing our much coarser attachments. This is because if you are trying to pry your fingers off what you are grasping for....when you have gone far enough to glimpse the illusionary basis of subject and object, you are actually formulating a lack of acceptance of what is. Trying to strong arm your attachments now is trying to push the river. Here, consider the right effort of open hands, loving kindness, tenderness, gentleness, sympathy & compassion to be a less exhausting alternative means of meeting those finer expressions of attachment. Sometimes this can be likened to a raft that provided good transport across a body of water but is exhausting to try to continue carrying it over dry land.

    Shoshin1yagrlobsterRen_in_black
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @how said:

    Often, serious seekers of the way, have succeeded a fair distance down the path towards the buddha's cessation of suffering because (1) we're "F' d" up enough to be pretty motivated to do so and (2) we have been able to harness enough of that focus to get us beyond many worldly base distractions.
    As our coarser attachments get addressed, subtler attachments that were formally overshadowed start arising in their turn.
    Exhaustion often is noticed more at this time when we spiritually attempt to do the same isometric exercises on subtle attachments that formally worked on addressing our much coarser attachments. This is because if you are trying to pry your fingers off what you are grasping for....when you have gone far enough to glimpse the illusionary basis of subject and object, you are actually formulating a lack of acceptance of what is. Trying to strong arm your attachments now is trying to push the river. Here, consider the right effort of open hands, loving kindness, tenderness, gentleness, sympathy & compassion to be a less exhausting alternative means of meeting those finer expressions of attachment. Sometimes this can be likened to a raft that provided good transport across a body of water but is exhausting to try to continue carrying it over dry land.

    I thought this was insightful when I first read it, a couple hours ago. But the real insights were in the still lingering aftertaste. Thanks again.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @yagr said:

    1. What specific parts of the dream can still hook 'me'?
    2. What part of suffering am I still attached to?
    3. Why?

    You assume you can become enlightened? Tsk, tsk! What would you do if you were too much of a perpetuating dreamer?

    This is what you can do:

    • Serve rather than get (into the entangled net)
    • The spiritual advisors, the blind leading the blind is useless. Just so you know. Pretend, abusive or proclaimers are no substitute for personal integrity. Follow the plain truths.
    • You say you are not ready? Pah! Let us know when you are ready! Not that we can help or anything …

    This message was sponsored by Ever Ready

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @lobster said:

    You assume you can become enlightened?

    That would be missing the point now, wouldn't it. :) Actually, I'm pointing to the enlightened right now - never a camera around when you need one.

    Tsk, tsk! What would you do if you were too much of a perpetuating dreamer?

    Set an alarm...

    • You say you are not ready? Pah! Let us know when you are ready! Not that we can help or anything …

    I found one thing I like about Q-anon, they've got that saying, "Where we go One, we go All". When I'm ready, we won't need help. ;)

    Bunks
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @yagr said:
    Q: Why don't more people become enlightened?
    A: Because they are still finding entertainment in the dream to some extent.

    That’s the reason that they don’t make the choice for enlightenment, but is that really the reason they don’t become enlightened? Is letting go with the mind, and thus making the mind choose for enlightenment, the only thing that needs to be done?

    Adyashanti describes enlightenment as a ‘profound shift in perspective’. I think that if you could describe enlightenment so easily it would lead to the mind being able to mimic it, people going “experience-hunting”.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Jeroen said:

    Adyashanti describes enlightenment as a ‘profound shift in perspective’. I think that if you could describe enlightenment so easily it would lead to the mind being able to mimic it, people going “experience-hunting”.

    I am confused. When you say, "...if you could describe enlightenment so easily...", are referring to the dharma dialog I quoted, or Adyashanti's description of enlightenment as, "a profound shift in perspective"/

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    In a way both… I’m not sure enlightenment can be described other than as an ‘awakening’, and that any attempt to do so is just for the benefit of the mind.

  • It is said we are a duality of self and non-self. It is not in extinguishing self but in blending self with non-self. This opening to the reality that while self is always self, self is interconnected with all life. realizing self as a part of the whole. Thus one is self and non-self without the conflict of negation.
    It is just as each grain of sand is a separate grain, yet it is still a necessary and integral part of the beach. Put another way, a drop of water merges with other drops of water to form a lake, river even the ocean. Yet it s still one drop of water. When you scoop up a cup full of water, imagine your drop is there, but it is a part of the water. We each have individual cognizants, but we are intertwined with others and our environment. There is no boundary between self and environment.

    lobster
  • yagryagr Veteran
    edited October 6

    @Jeroen said:
    In a way both… I’m not sure enlightenment can be described other than as an ‘awakening’, and that any attempt to do so is just for the benefit of the mind.

    The dharma dialog that I referenced was Adyashanti. "The Impact of Awakening" p. 53

  • On the subject of Willingness:
    If you are willing, you are giving yourself permission to take action (to try).

    lobsterShoshin1
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