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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been really thinking about how to convince myself to live in the moment. Like, I KNOW that I should live in the moment, but emotionally I resist it.

First, I guess I should explain what I mean by living in the moment. I don't mean not thinking about the past or future, I mean not judging/labeling anything. So I'm not talking about shutting off my brain, but just getting rid of the thoughts that can commonly be negative, and also the thoughts that drain a lot of energy without any benefit.

Adyashanti says that miss-perceptions are the reason for unhappiness. I think he was on the right track, but in fact, it is our judgments that are our source of unhappiness.

Miss-perception means you are perceiving something wrongly, but it doesn't matter how you perceive something, nor does it matter if you have perceived it accurately or not. All that matters is that you have put a label or a judgment on something.

This is why positivity isn't a plausible solution, because to think something is good, you must make a judgment. And if something is good, and you come across something not quite as good, then something else even less good, eventually you are back to negative judgments.

A perception is how you see something, you can perceive things without labeling them "good" or "bad" in your head.

This is just additional proof that judging is the root of unhappiness: The biggest judgment we make, that leads to the most unhappiness, is how we judge ourselves. This is WHY we have an ego. We judge our worth, constantly. The ego comes in because we need help determining our worth. If other people think we are worthy, we must be, right?

This is where almost all of our big "wants" come from... how we judge/want to judge ourselves. Anyway, I hope that's understandable... back to business.

So the question is: How do you stop yourself from judging?

Well, why do we judge in the first place? Because we care. We care how good or bad something is. We care whether our situation is good or bad. We care how much we are worth... etc... etc...

If that's true, then how do we stop ourselves from caring?

Well, why do we care? Because we think things matter. We think it matters how good or bad things are. We think it matters what we're worth... etc... etc...

Okay? So.... Why do we think things matter?

Because we're made that way.

We're born with the capability to be sad, angry, afraid, frustrated. We're born wanting to be important. We're born with no understanding or knowledge at all.

Naturally we aren't supposed to find true happiness. Naturally we're supposed to be born, eat, drink, sleep, ****, piss, and die. The happiness we seek is just in our minds anyway. Like Eckart Tolle says, we are already complete on the inside, so there is no need to find true happiness, but of course our minds want it.

But we are smart enough to realize how flawed we are, and through understanding like that we can be much happier than nature intended.

By simply asking yourself, "What really matters?" you will realize how silly it is to be worked up over anything. Asking questions about your true self, that deep down you know the answers to, those could help as well. "What do I really care about?" or even, "Do I really care about this?" Things like that.

I hope you get more in touch with yourselves and stop unnecessary judgments. Peace.
 

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First of all thats a very interesting post that I enjoyed reading, I agree with most of what you say:)

The way I stop these negative judgements is using "the work of byron katie" to get in touch and love reality. It questions your judgements and then turns them round to the positive. You find out that the positive turnaround is just as true and sometimes truer than the original judgement. It really has helped me:yes

its not about turning a "bad" thing into a "good" thing as such but it has that result. It teaches to accept reality as it is and that everything that is causing you stress is simply a story that you have put on reality, change the story and you change your reality:)

Its basically another way of doing what you say when you find out what really matters.

Anyway good post:clap
 

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is getting over herself
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I liked that post as well, judgments are something I'm working on and trying to be mindful of at the moment.

I've recently become aware of how much I use judgments - of myself and others, as a defense mechanism. you're right, it isn't so much "positive thinking" that counteracts judgment, but simply accepting. Accepting the so-called flaws in myself, and in others. There are times when judgments are useful, in that you have to recognize when certain things aren't helping you but are in fact hurting you, but generally speaking it is better to simply describe or accept, rather than to judge oneself and the world around, and everyone else in it. When a person can accept, I find that other, more valuable things follow - less self-consciousness, less self-focus, and indeed, more being conscious "of the moment".
 

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Great post! I highly recommend listening to Adyashanti retreats on an mp3 player over and over again to anyone that is interested. I completely agree with you about not attaching to positive thoughts either. An attachment to any though and a belief in any thought contains a seed. The yang to that thoughts yin. It acts as an accessor to a future negative thought that comes when that positive belief has been compromised, now your 'self' that you identify with is vulnerable. Why create any self images? Positive or negative? Why create any concepts of who you are? Any image or self concepts that you identify with with always be vulnerable. A self image always needs to be defended. It will be challenged. It will create a lot of 'shoulds and shouldnt's'. You should be this way, you shouldn't be that. What if you aren't that way or you are that? Then comes the conflict, then your mind creates problems. All of these images are not you. You will always be avoiding things that could possibly threaten your self image or belief about you. Or getting angry defending this self image etc. Any self you create will always be completely insecure. What happens when you have a good day and your social anxiety is drastically reduced. A belief comes 'I am confident, I have beaten this social anxiety etc' Next day you have some really embarrassing thing happen to you. Now your previous belief / self concept is compromised and you make new negative beliefs about yourself. With a whole lot of suffering and mental resistance. 'I shouldn't be like this I thought I was confident etc' (Now you are resisting what is. The isness if how you feel') So it creates all sorts of problems. You can't help how you are. You are as you are. It is the mind that is always trying to escape what is. Don't resist what you can't control.

Also if you judge an experience as good or bad it will create grasping or aversion. If you are in a negative mental state and you judge it as 'bad' and try to escape it your mind has created a problem. Now the mind will not be able to relax until the problem has been solved. So more conflict, more grasping, more resistance to what is. The more the mind struggles with what is the worse the minds problems become. The more panic is triggered etc. Surrender to what is, you can't do anything about it, the harder you struggle the worse it gets. With surrender comes peace.

I find the best method for dealing with judgment and beliefs etc is to find out 'who' is the one who is the one who is judging. I like to keep my identity in presence and in awareness as much as possible. It is much easier to see that the one who is judging is the mind when you are in this state. When you can watch a thought arise in this field of awareness you are not your thought. You are the awareness that is observing the thought. Thoughts whether negative or positive come and go. No attachment to any of them. No attachment to the positive or the negative. It is just a thought. A repetitive conditioned reflex, why make it personal? Now when I am identified with my mind and unconscious (in the sense that I have lost the now and have lost presence) thoughts have tremendous power over you. As you are the thoughts. The beliefs made by the thoughts apply to you (or more accurately who you 'think' you are) as you are now identified with the mind. Very dangerous and destructive. Anyways I think the best methods for dealing with this is to completely feel the negative emotional field that you are feeling, don't try and escape it mentally, just allow it to be and completely acknowledge it. Don't think about it (unless trying not to think about it causes resistance) It helps the energy to dissipate if you don't continuously fuel it with thought. Now if you can't help but think about it and trying to not think about it causes emotional resistance then the best option is to watch your thoughts. When you are the watcher you are not the thoughts. Anyways the key is to completely surrender. "It is as it is." Feel anxious? Allow yourself to feel anxious. It is the mental resistance to what is that causes suffering. Thoughts come and go, they arise in awareness, you don't control them, just watch them, realize that they are not you. What power does a thought have if you are not identified with them?

Also some tips to dealing with judgments and beliefs.

I like to ask spiritual inquiry type questions. Such as "Who is the one that is offended?" "What is the belief?" "Is it true?" "Who is angry, what is the belief that triggers the anger?" "Do I really want to defend my incredibly insecure mind identified self?" Some of these like "Who is the one that is offended?" Is designed to still your mind and shift your attention into awareness. When you are awareness you realize that you are as you always are. Completely at peace. It is just the mind that is resisting etc. If you are in a good mental state, thats fine. It is as it is. If you are in a bad mental state. Thats fine, it is as it is... etc

Other helpful things

"It is as it is" "Why cause more pain suffering over something that you can't change?" "Be still" "If you go to war against what is you always lose" (For example if you are having a panic attack don't resist it mentally, what good can resistance do? You don't control what arises in you. All you can do is surrender to it. With surrender comes peace (don't make it into a goal though or a problem) Besides anything that has ever happened to you has happen with you surrendered. It is only the mind that resists. You are surrender. Where does all the mind induced resistance get you? No where. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen no matter how hard your mind resists. You can't escape the now.
 

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Also this that I wrote a couple days ago is really relevant I think as to why you shouldn't attach or cling on to positive states either.

All things are impermanent, mental states come and go. The reason why meditators warn not to get attached to any very euphoric states is because attachment leads to problems: The mind is constantly trying to grasp on to things and constantly trying to run away from things, you really aren't content and at peace when the mind is trying to run away from a certain mental state and trying to 'grasp' onto that old euphoric one, this causes resistance to the now. You can not appreciate the now when your mind is doing this, you can not be at peace if you're mind is trying to run away or grasp on to any pleasurable states. The pleasurable ones and the painful ones. I used to be a huge 'grasper' and huge 'averter' I'll try and demonstrate the psychology of how some of my old meditations used to go:

1) Me: I'm in a great mental state I love this, If only I could keep this forever
(attaching)

2) Me: Ut oh what just happened I feel like something is subtley wrong what did I do? I no longer feel completely at peace, seems like I accidentally did something, hmm what have I done (now your mind has created a problem)

3) Me: I need to try and level myself back up to feeling great again, maybe if I 'try' really hard (now your mind is trying to run away from this mental state, aversion)

4) Me: (Agitated) Crap this isn't working, I'm bad at meditation (here comes the beliefs, please read below concerning how destructive they are)

5) Me: (Very Agitated) I need to get out of this bad state, I hate this, I can't get out of it, I feel like I'm gonna have a panic attack, I need to put my attention back on my breath, why won't it stay on the breath, this isn't working, I just keep getting worse and worse, I must try harder, I'm thinking so much, I need to stop thinking, wait I'm thinking just now, let me put my attention back on my breath *thought loops* (strong mental resistance, aversion etc)

Ha this sort of thing used to constantly happen to me. Now lets examine what happened.

First everything is fine, you are enjoying your meditation and you are grasping on to it, the problem with grasping is that all things are impermanent. All things pass, all cycles come and go. Its impossible for things to stay the way they are forever. The universe does not allow it. When you grasp onto something and all the sudden the conditions change then your mind has created a problem because it is no longer in that state. Now when your mind creates a problem then you can not rest until that problem is solved. You can not stay present and in the now if you are trying to reach another state. Your mind believes this new state to be unsatisfactory. You lose touch with the now and your mind takes control of you as it fruitlessly searches to fix a problem which it has created. That problem being that 'this current state is unsatisfactory'

Notice how your mind is always trying to manipulate its way out of what you are experiencing, or projecting into the past or future, it can never just allow things to be, this is what the mind does, its what it has evolved to do, its a nice and very useful survival tool, it is good at solving problems and even creating new ones to solve) It is as it is. The real problem for the mind's sake is that there really IS no problem. There is nothing wrong with the present moment. It is only the minds resistance to the moment which causes problems for itself. Its creating problems, its trying to solve problems, its trying to escape, it grasps on to things, its creating negative beliefs. Its just the minds nature. Notice how the mind is always 'trying' to do something. It is always trying to get somewhere that it is not. Always avoiding the now.

When you are in a bad mental state don't make it your 'goal' to get out of it. Your mind can't solve the problem by thinking its way out of it, it can only create further problems. Its the mind itself that is the problem and the minds resistance or belief which created the problem in the first place. Just allow it to be completely. The key isn't to control your mind imho, your mind is just a bundle of highly conditioned thought patterns and emotional reflexes better to just learn to step away from it. Its not really about stopping thought more about just distancing yourself from it and finding your identity else where. There will still be thoughts, just they will no longer have nearly the power over you that they used to. How do you step away from your mind? First step is to disidentify with the mind. No longer believe that your mind is you. This is accomplished by dwelling in awareness (the now), surrendering to what is, (when you are completely surrendered there are no problems, no problems no mind activity), watching your mind, and spiritual inquiry (questions devoted to 'who' you are and 'what' you are, you are not your ego, you are not your mind, you are the awareness which all things in your experience arises and recedes back into) This last bit is a whole other topic though lol. Anyways your mind starts to quiet down drastically. Also thoughts become a lot less powerful and are much less likely to take you into a trance. Also your thoughts are no longer taken as seriously etc.
 

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My views on successfully meditating: Don't create any goals for meditation at all! Don't come into meditation with any preconceived notions of what is going to happen. Or you will create all sorts of mental activity, more grasping, more aversion, more questions, your mind will constantly try to escape the now. Constantly try to find problems with your meditation, with what is happening, with your mental state. Just watch these thoughts. Watch them appear in awareness, watch them recede back into it. See them for what they are. Just conditioned thought patterns with emotional triggers and energy fields attached to them. Be aware of the 'watcher' who is aware of the thoughts. Guess who that is? Once you step outside of your mind and become the watcher of the mind, you are not your mind. You are the awareness. Watch how thoughts have considerable less power over you. Learn to dwell in this awareness. (Being present) Let your attention drift wherever it may. If a negative feeling comes up don't try and push it away. More than likely your awareness will be drawn to this negative feeling anyway. Good thats fine. Let yourself feel that emotion totally and completely. It wants to be acknowledged it is there for a reason. Let it take its natural path instead of trying to push it back or suppressing it. See what happens :-D If it is a positive feeling don't try and amplify it, don't try and cling on to it, don't try and grasp it etc. Just allow it to be as well. Be gentle and patient with yourself! Make the space for things to go wrong, for progress to not be made, for hangups, for negative experiences while meditating. Also don't be afraid to make mistakes! Don't be afraid to learn and try new things. Also find your motivation. What do you want most? What drives you to meditate?

The secret to meditation is to 'allow everything to be as it is.' Make no mental resistance to anything that comes up. Feeling anxious? Allow yourself to feel anxious completely. Don't try and manipulate your way out of it. Instead go into the anxiety. Surrender to it completely. Don't try and avoid it. Acknowledge it completely. Welcome it even. Make it a friend and not an enemy. Let it do what its gonna do and instead of trying to ignore it or push it away watch it. Don't try and stop thought, watch it instead, don't try and control your mind, step out of it completely, find your true identity, you are not your mind. Your mind only has power over you if you believe your mind to be you. I find the phrase "It is as it is" to be a very powerful phrase that works quite well when the mind is resisting or creating problems. Works in me anyways. Now you could do a manipulative meditation. A meditation where you focus on breath or a mantra or whatever. While I like these and find them useful as portals into other more natural meditations I think they themselves are unnatural.

Now you are probably thinking. 'What? The key to meditation is to 'allow everything to be as it is' How will that ever change anything? Well I'm tired as hell right now and will go into this tomorrow lol

Also just a side note on beliefs that I wrote earlier on while writing this...


Beliefs: (With judgment comes belief)

It is truly amazing what power a belief can have on you, they are extremely limiting to the mind, a belief if like a lock box which limits you to the conditions of that belief. Feel what a belief is like in your head. It is an instantaneous knowing sensation, no conflicting thought arises, possibilities are locked out (of course they are because if your mind thinks it 'knows' that something is true why humor the alternatives?) The destructive and limiting capability of beliefs really became apparent to me when I was experimenting with marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs and had a bad trip. It was really interesting (not too mention completely terrifying and destructive) at watching how one negative belief can just completely annihilate whole matrixes of thought patterns. They become locked off once they no longer have power, they are no longer energized with the power of possibility. If the mind thinks that something is improbable or impossible because of a negative belief than these 'accessor' thoughts (accessors to better states and more positive beliefs) and the thoughts that drift outside of the limits of this belief will no longer arise spontaneously in you (well sometimes they will but they will always carry that belief with them and there isn't any thought referencing it, just a 'knowing' sensation which regards the thought as useless because 'you are not good enough' or whatever. The reasons won't even come up, if you were to sit back on it and try to figure out what the actual belief was which has limited the thought sometimes you won't even remember it but the negative energy field and the 'feeling' remains, neither will accessor thoughts have any power if you try and manually use them to manipulate your way out of a certain experience, that new negative belief of yours have made them null and void, they no longer have any charge, they feel empty because you already 'know' subconsciously that which they apply to and are in reference of no longer is true. The mind has shut off the possibility with that one belief. One belief and you can literally eliminate huge sections of thought from occurring, because they no longer come about because the negative belief destroyed all those possibilities.

If you believe you are hopeless with women and will be forever so why bother trying then you will be limited by that belief. You won't even notice it but huge limitations have been put on to your subconscious and the new thoughts that arise and have power will be limited to this belief, the old thoughts dealing with something like a relationship to a girl will not arise spontaneously because they are outside of the parameters of that belief (Or if it does arise it will arise with that negative 'knowing' sensation brought about by the negative belief earlier, its energy field if you will. If you do think about it manually then If you believe in meditation that you have to reach a good state or else the meditation is problematic then there will be resistance when the meditation is not in a good state. You can get stuck in strange mind games trying to 'level' yourself up using 'accessor' thoughts which act like keys to doors of higher states (meaning more confident, more happy, more peaceful etc) Unfortunately you will still be limited by your mind no matter how far you 'level' up. Also all of those level ups carry the key to a level down within them. Its just how the mind works. Eventually you stop finding the keys to level up and down down you go. You are only exploring the mind though these games though, only exploring states which are themselves limited by mind and all of its eccentricities of its nature. What we are trying to do though is step outside the minds limitations entirely. So forget about these games. No longer a prisoner of the mind. Oh and its possible that you would have had to have a bad hallucinogenic drug trip to understand what I'm talking about here lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought of this as a way to explain what I was talking about:

Picture three building blocks stacked one on top of the other.

The bottom one represents you judgments. The one above it represents what you care about. The one above that represents what you think matters.

In order to take away either of the bottom two blocks, first you'd have to remove the block(s) above it.

That's why you can't start from removing your judgments, you have to find the root of the problem. Same thing with trying to not care. How can you not care if you think it matters in the back of your head?

Just thought a little mental illustration would help. :)
 

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Well, very recently my priorities recieved a major shake-up. perhaps that is why suddenly, judgment became extremely important to me. If I am strong in my beliefs (the things that are important to me, the things that I really care about), then judgment seems to naturally fall by the wayside. I no longer seem to care so much about passing judgment on others,or even myself. So, what you say makes sense.
 

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Full circle, new highway
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I have been employing positive self-talk and visualization techniques in order to correct any kind of negative emotion or feeling I may have. I think that this is a wonderful technique to use for healing and wellness of a holistic nature. I am trying to adapt to a new lifestyle that seeks excellence in life as far as it relates to the power of the mind and positive reinforcement. It really does work when you tell yourself something, even if you don't believe it at first, eventually you will if you say it enough times.

This article proves the truth in the power of our minds: http://www.findersdigest.com/content/nick-froze-himself-death
 
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