I began my path on Enlightenment about two years ago now, first without knowing, then beginning to research and actually study it. I feel like I was moving along quite nicely, awakening parts of my mind and soul I had not used before. But now I am in the military, and ever since I went through basic training a little over a year ago, I havent felt quite the same. I’ve been conditioned to not think openly. Though I still do, it doesnt feel as right and as natural as it once did. Is it possible to lose what you have awakened against your will, and do you have any ideas on how I can rebound from this?
Unfortunately, the answer may be to quit the military. Working in a profession that causes suffering to other living beings is kind of a Buddhist no-no.
Well I definitely plan on getting out as soon as I can, but I have about 5 years left on my contract, and I really dont feel like becoming a convicted felon or a fugitive from law over this. I dont think that will do much to help either.
Dont stress over the big picture of your here and now. You may not be where you want to be, but you can want to be where you are. Instead of looking at the things that are oppressing you, take as much joy in the smallest things possible. Maybe even do something nice, I read yall joke around being harsh with eachother, I get that for your environment. Its like a defense mechanism. But too much of it can take a toll on your mentality. I have to deal with this type of thing a lot. It might surprise you how much a small change of pace there can do. I think the best thing I can suggest is accept what is around you, but dont dwell on it anything you consider negative. Do your job but remember the things that make you smile. Allow yourself to feel peace (:
@bongodeburrito, in one word, no. You cannot regress on the path to enlightenment. All real progress is irreversible. To quote the most important man in my life:
“There is no question of failure, neither in the short run nor in the long. It is like travelling a long and arduous road in an unknown country. Of all the innumerable steps there is only the last which brings you to your destination. Yet you will not consider all previous steps as failures. Each brought you nearer to your goal, even when you had to turn back to by-pass an obstacle”
Don’t worry about your external circumstances. Keep your focus within and you will be sweet. Don’t get discouraged brother!
@aneesh, That was really great! – and I agree… almost. I do think that being in an enviroment like the military might push you in the wrong direction by breaking something inside you. imagine putting someone really smart or enlightened in solitary confinement – theyd still go nuts because that’s how humans work. I thin the military simply tries to do the exact opposite to you, at least until you’ve proven your worth and get to do some of the thinking for the other goons. Point is – philosophizing during a battle would be very distracting so all the doubts and questions about killing and hurting other people have to be erased. you can’t be an individual in the army. So quit ASAP. before it gets to ruin what you’ve worked for.
@2bias, of course… I definitely see your point and I don’t disagree. Only a buddha can be at total inner peace , completely unaffected by external experience, no matter how violent. But all the doctrines of enlightenment and spirituality, were written in times where war was prevalent everywhere… Take Zen and the samurai, or the bhagvad gita which was basically written as a conversation between two men in the midst of a war. My point is basically that, the spiritual seeker is on the most challenging road anyone could ever walk on. The challenge is to keep attention within the workings of your mind at all times, no matter the outside situation. If you have a choice to quit the military then by all means, do. But if that can’t be done, one should see it as merely a bump on the road, another challenge on the eternal path.. Take it as an opportunity to develop strong determination (addithyana) :)
@aneesh, I like that quote. A lot.
I guess I should just view it as a bump in the road. I still have my moments of inner serenity, but no longer is that the norm. I think that eventually, the experience will strengthen me and help out, as another viewpoint to see things from, but I think my issue may be that as of now, especially being deployed, its my viewpoint for the majority of the time. And it makes keeping myself peaceful quite difficult.
@bongodeburrito, It is definitely all still there. The fact that youre asking this question proves you are on the same path. Because of your circumstances you may forget a little, or just not have the space and time. But trust me, it’s all in there, and it will wait.
@bongodeburrito, I don’t know if you got what you were looking for so far, but I think I would like to add something: I respect you.
Though you may feel weakened by the hive mind that the military breeds, I believe that the perspective you are gaining from having once been very active in enlightening behaviors and now experiencing the other side…is quite enlightening in itself. I don’t know that I will ever get the chance to see the side you are, and so I respect what you have to say and I hope your growth is very fruitful.
Cathartic Dancing Meditation
Cathartic Dancing Meditation is a cosmic powerhouse that can be practiced by students in good health with a normal cardiovascular system. As it is a physically strenuous exercise, one should get a complete physical examination by a competent physician before experimenting with this technique. Explain the method to your doctor and ask if it would be physically dangerous for you to do. He probably won’t understand your motives for wanting to do it, but he can tell you if he thinks your heart can handle it safely. As with jogging or mountain climbing, you must practice this method at your own risk.
Cathartic Dancing Meditation is similar to Rajneesh Dynamic Meditation but is simpler, easier to do, and is more likely to keep you interested month after month, year after year. Neither method is really new. Sufis, Druids, and countless other esoteric and tribal cultures have used similar techniques for centuries. Most students will benefit from doing Cathartic Dancing Meditation daily for a period of between one to five years. After five years it has usually done its job, and the student can then concentrate on more subtle meditation methods.
Cathartic Dancing Meditation changes you from head to toe, and benefits all the other meditation methods you practice. It also helps develop a powerful hara center. I am reluctant to bring up the subject of kundalini because of the common misrepresentations of its manifestations. [See the definition near the bottom of the page.] I feel compelled to inform you, however, that this physically vigorous meditation method is the most powerful kundalini awakening technique I know of. Cathartic Dancing Meditation has three stages and lasts for 40 minutes.
Stage #1 (ten minutes) Start by standing with your eyes closed and breathe deep and fast through your nose continuously. If you are only physically capable of doing deep breathing for five minutes, then reduce the length of the first stage. Remember that you are doing this method to help your meditation, not to physically injure yourself. Allow your body to move freely as you breathe. You can jump up and down, sway back and forth, or use any physical motion that helps you pump more oxygen into your lungs.
Stage #2 (twenty minutes) The second stage is a celebration of catharsis and wild and spontaneous dancing. Totally let go and act as an ancient human dancing in tribal celebration. Energetic, nonverbal background music is recommended. African tribal drum music works especially well. You may roll on the ground and do strange spontaneous body movements. Allow your body to move within the limits of not hurting yourself or others. Screaming is encouraged. You must act out any anger you may have in a safe way, such as beating the earth with your hands. All of the suppressed emotions from your subconscious mind are to be released. If at anytime during the second stage you feel that your energy level is starting to decline, you can resume deep and fast breathing to give yourself a boost.
Stage #3 (ten minutes) This stage is complete quiet and relaxation. Flop down on your back, get comfortable, and just let go. Be as if a dead man totally surrendered to the cosmos. Enjoy the tremendous energy you have unleashed in the first two stages, and be a silent witness to it. Observe the feeling of the ocean flowing into the drop. Become the ocean.
This spontaneous dancing meditation technique is intended to grow with the student and change as the student changes. After a few years of vigorously practicing this method, the first two stages of the meditation may drop away spontaneously. You may then begin the meditation by taking a few deep breaths and immediately enter the deep tranquility of the third stage. If practiced correctly, this method is health giving and fun.
Almost all Westerners are head oriented and emotionally repressed, so a chaotic, spontaneous, and emotionally cleansing technique like Cathartic Dancing Meditation is vital for serious progress to be made quickly. The physical benefits of this technique obviate any need for hatha yoga or traditional kundalini yoga methods. I strongly recommend that the Cathartic Dancing Meditation technique only be used in combination with traditional quiet sitting meditation methods. While active meditation methods can be very helpful, they are not complete systems in themselves. If you only practice active meditation techniques, you will be doing only half of the internal work that needs to be done.
WARNING Obviously, one must practice Cathartic Dancing Meditation in a safe location and not near the edge of a cliff, or on a hard surface where one might fall and break one’s skull. A large room or hall with thick carpeting is good. Outdoors in the early morning on a soft and well tended lawn with group participation is best. Do it on an empty stomach and avoid falling into dangerous objects such as windows. It is allowable to briefly open one’s eyes occasionally to maintain your location. Create a safety zone around your dancing and spontaneous body movements. Be courteous to neighbors and delete the screaming if it will be heard by others.
– Christopher Calder
Enlightenment is lighting up and not taking it all seriously. NOTHING matters. YOU Matter. you can do what you want just follow that one little guideline all those guys died to bring the message about…
Do onto others as you would yourself.
@tigerturban, Do you think that this type of meditation would still be effective if I replaced the dancing with shuffling. I’ve gotten good enough now that I move completely freely and electro house music fits your description of what kind of music you can use!