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Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

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Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby Mira » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:10 pm

Self-knowledge can be the easy part sometimes. Disciplining the mind is where the rubber meets the road. I should know, I had a fierce bout with a binding vasana over the last two days! (Ugh!).

I was reading an article which said that the best way for behavior modification was to assemble a tool-box of strategies, which in combination, serve you well.

I thought it would be great if we could share the ways in which we try to manage our gunas and face down our binding vasanas.

It would really help me to learn about the sadhanas that others use and perhaps use/modify some of them for my own purposes.

I'll write more about mine...but have to head out now.

Thanks in advance,
Mira
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby kpitsim » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:42 am

Mira:

Here is a quick reply to your general inquiry that points out the vey obvious, which is that you post is an example of a tool we have, i.e.. reaching out to those we feel may have insights for their opinion. I did that recently with a friend and colleague,providing him with the facts of the situation. and he helped me take a much more impersonal view of the various factors at work with my boss.

I know James has spoken of the tool box of Byron Kattie's "The Work" which is useful in uncovering our projections.

Bob
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby georgschiller » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:49 am

I like POINTERS.
(can be simple questions or little stories that resonate some meaning in us and create insight shifts)


How do you know?
What is here, other than sensation?
What is my agenda ?
This is it.
"Reality is what happens without any thoughts stuck on."
" What's wrong with right now unless you think about it?"
what does a thought really know about a sensation? Yet, often sensations are interpreted into words.
Is 'thought' a verb or a noun?
What is sensation and what is thought about sensation?
Look at what is happening, look at what thought says is happening, Spot the difference.
What is happening in direct experience - minus interpretation?
Who is the thinker? Can you control thoughts?
Do you choose? How do choices happen?
Do you direct attention?
etc.


Taoist Farmer:
There was a farmer whose horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, “May be.” The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, “May be.” And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg.

Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “May be.” The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbors came in to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, “May be.”
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby calonxy98 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:59 am

Binding vasanas in my view really closely connected with the Gunas. As you can prolly see already, vasanas hold Gunas in place and Gunas hold vasanas in place, like they feed off each other. They are for me a real bummer and I suspect this is half the reason people don't bother with Vedanta. Seems a lot of folks like the cognitive only "information gathering" aspect of growth. But from what I've seen this just takes its toll in a very confused looking and sounding invididual who has all the garb but nothing to back it up. Dare I use the word, spiritual ego here? People who have PhD level cognitive insight but who's lives are a complete mess, all controlled by their addictions and now a new sneaky stealth addiction to spiritual knowledge. These guys can be found in the comments section on YouTube while they sit on their sofa stuffing Cheetos into their mouths and trolling! :lol: God knows, I could be one of them! Hope you can sense I'm just drawing such a picture in order to communicate what sadanah means to me? I'm not a troll! :D

There is some good information about addiction management (because that's what binding vasanas are if we're honest about it) on Ted Schmidt Geeta talks.

For the sake of brevity the best thing I learned from that dude is this polishing the Jiva mind thing.

Self love, but not so much self love that you can't give yourself a hard time for being a screw up. When I learned that my thoughts and feelings are not self I can now go all out on really laying into thought patterns that are stupid. I feel great about being able to call myself out severely sometimes on some of the ingrained stuff that used to inform me and got me into hot water all the time. I did a ton of inner child work only to realise that it turned me into a left wing Nazi and a complete victim, cos when you project self nature onto the neurotic samskaras that make up the inner child conplex you just end up letting it run your life because it's now trying to get what it wants and will do anything to make that happen. Actually those old habits instilled with self nature turn out to be just demons running the show. It can't be told what to do because it is "the life force man!!!" and it's supposed to be liberated from its wounded past and educated. Put self nature onto that and you're screwed, you can't get rid of it. You can't argue with it or just tell it to leave and stop running your life because it is your "true self". So my first action was to strip this thing of its power and see it for what it is - a bunch of useless habits invading my bodymindsensecomplex. Liberating and the best thing I ever did, because now I have the Vedanta to guide my growth I just fall back on that and can ignore the things that don't serve me and have cost me a lot of trouble.

It's about being nice to the body mind and complex rather than being nice to the inner child. The inner child is an idiot, and needs to be ground down completely thought by thought, attitude by attitude until there is nothing left except your own true values and what's really important to you running the show, automatically!

I always fall off the path. But the only thing I can do is remain in this contemplative state and just keep applying self knowledge while organising the chaos.

Which also reminds me that I found a lot of leverage in being comfortable with inner conflict and paradox. Until I learned to just trust that some questions won't be resolved until the right time, and to be ok with that, I suffered greatly with trying to resolve stuff that brought me discomfort, which actually just fed into this old need to control everything outside of me. It really taught me how to bring 100% responsibility back inside again and again. Just to make that in and of itself a habit. It's all habits man, all this work is about conditioning the Jiva to align itself with a life of self inquiry and not quitting when things get tough. Geek out on what the Gita has to offer. You won't be disappointed, it's a doers manual :ugeek:

Soz, I want to mention something else. I take what others say and do very seriously because they are the self. What is not to take seriously about them? OK, nobody has all the answers but if a person who wants to be free doesn't accept and love other people and invite them all into the heart, no matter what they have done, then they are not going to be free. It HURTS to not allow every being their space, it literally hurts the body, you can feel it if you have done enough meditation, a static mind cannot ignore other people, no matter what they appear like. This is not to condone adharmic actions, in fact, if you don't stand up against adharma then youre tamasic not sattivc. Adharma is action, lets never forget that, and action has nothing to do with others, others are victims of action, they re not action itself. Its good to be able to hold the complexity of it all in awareness and cradle it there, take it to heart yet don't completely buy into it as its all mythia, beautiful intelligent ignorance. :D Understanding this has been one of the things that keeps my sadhana on form, the body literally informs you by serving you agitation when you're falling out of harmony with whats important for you. And nothing is more important than the self. Period!

I apologize for the preachy tone. I'm in a funny mood today :shock:
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby Mira » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:25 pm

Thanks everyone for your wonderful contributions :D.

I have such immense gratitude that I can come to this forum and talk about Vedanta with other people that are equally passionate about it.

Already my toolbox is getting larger.

Bob, I loved your post about talking with an impersonal observer. I too do this with people whose opinion I value.

Thanks, Georg for your excellent tips. Yes, "what is my agenda" is a foolproof way to get at what the ego wants. I need to ask myself this more often.

This is another great one:
"Look at what is happening, look at what thought says is happening, Spot the difference".
This also gets back to Bob's point of impersonal observation.

Calon,
Indeed gunas and vasanas feed off each other. And yes, we need to see our conditioning for what it is.
I really like these pointers:
"It's about being nice to the body mind and complex rather than being nice to the inner child".

It really taught me how to bring 100% responsibility back inside again and again. Just to make that in and of itself a habit. It's all habits man, all this work is about conditioning the Jiva to align itself with a life of self inquiry and not quitting when things get tough.

And of course, unconditional self-love.
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby Mira » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks again!

Is there anything more humbling than having the gunas go a bit nuts and/or having to face down a binding vasana?

These last few days have been a severe test for me. The good news is that the suffering was not as long. So, even though I fell off the (Vedanta) wagon, again and again I applied the teachings, and hopefully I can climb back on the wagon (slowly but surely).

Couple of things that I learned:

1. It's good to be humbled by an attack of the gunas/vasanas. It takes away any remnant of intellectually smugness (what Pedro was talking about--the slight arrogance that can come with knowing who you are).

2. I learned that we need to trust Ishvara completely. Implicit in Karma/dharma yoga is the need to completely trust Ishvara. Since we are seekers, Ishvara is delivering opportunities for growth and we need to recognize them as such and completely trust Ishvara (have prasada buddhi).

3. Bhakti, Bhakti, Bhakti (Devotion). I'll be honest, this is the only thing that makes sense to me anymore. Devotion for the self, love for the jiva and love for all the other jivas.
What else is there to do after self-knowledge than bhakti in some form?

4. The guna that is least dominant in you can really do a number on you--so watch out for that one! I tend to be pretty rajasic/sattvic. So, I've never needed to be extra vigilant about tamoguna. So, when the tamas kicked in, I had no idea what hit me!

5. I think these vasanas have a natural life and need to express themselves at so many times over a lifetime. Sort of like young children actually need to cry so they can develop neurologically. So, recognize what is happening and let the vasana have its mini-tantrum, and know and trust it will be over soon and you'll be back on track. Once the vasana expresses itself enough and its not fed, it will loose energy and subside. But it does need to express itself to express its energy. (This is just my opinion and could be entirely incorrect)

Ultimately, there is only one jiva and all gunas manifest similarly despite our different vasanas. So, our different means of managing the gunas can be very useful to each other. I hope we can use this forum as a way to help each other as we progress in purifying and disciplining our minds.

Thanks gang!
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby georgschiller » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:25 am

Here is a very nice explanation of one way on how to deal with vasanas

https://youtu.be/2Px7PihTG7A
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby Mira » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:30 am

Thanks for this, Georg. Mooji is correct. Ultimately it always comes down to self-inquiry, (taking a stand as awareness).

In fact, my New Years resolution is 24-7 atma-anatma viveka/taking a stand as awareness. I hope others will join me. We can check in once in a while on this thread and see how things are going ;).
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby calonxy98 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:18 pm

Hold up.. I just ad another insight into this vasanas thing after re-reeding your reply, good advice by the way, especially about the vasanas needing space to express themselves and wear themselves out. That's true. I also wanted to add to that statement, from experience, if you can get to know a vasanas and ask other people's opinions on them, and this ties in with trusting Ishvara because you got to have either been really loved as a kid to be able to do this, or at least keep assimilating this following concept as a value that you see the value of for its transformational properties and benefits and that is to keep reminding yourself that the world is a safe place and even the worst people can offer you feedback on how you're doing. The point is not to take all feedback on perse, but just to develop that sense of trust in life that was lost growing up (because the people who have something to tell you in life ARE just your own mind, your own disowned qualities begging for reintegration. If you can do that and master it, this I imagine will be a dramatic game changer. If you can learn to see vasanas from an outside perspective then you are much more able to drop them. Plus actually see how fucked up they were to begin with. Most people who were not loved don't have the trust and so always stay imprisoned in their own dream and the worst thing is they have gotten so used to it they don't even recognise their are paranoid. Also beware of overwriting unseen vasanas with this Vedanta ideology. The point is to understand the truths, not study Vedanta and memorise all the books. And skeptical, if James Swartz tells you the subtle body enters the sperm of a new person then demand he prove it first. That's how a real Vedanta student should act. Don't swallow any old stuff out of desperation because it causes more problems in the end. Been there, done that since "nineteen -long time" as Mooji would say!
Last edited by calonxy98 on Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby calonxy98 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:26 pm

P.S ... Eat lots of celery too. :D
calonxy98
 

Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby calonxy98 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Thoughts become reality. This is a Vedanta teaching. Your thoughts determine your experience. You can verify that for yourself. :shock:
calonxy98
 

Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby georgschiller » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:18 pm

Hi Mira, yes taking a stand in awareness, count me in.
Actually desire and fear are just thoughts and therefore unreal, so over time reactions to them weaken and at some point disappear completely.
P.s. By unreal I mean that they exist just like a mirage appears to exist, nothing more or less.
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby calonxy98 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:07 pm

Sort of dude. They wont vanish completely, Swami Advayatmananda (you may know him) assures us that they are relegated to very minor "preferences".

The mirage bit is the "how" they appear, but chitti vrittis in and of themselves will not disappear, because they make up the world for you, only yogis who believe in nirvikalpa will say that thoughts can be eliminated completely completely. But only the content can be changed with "education" about your true nature. ;), they will be less intense, therefore your world will be less intense :D It sounds like I'm splitting hairs, but be assured, I'm not
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Re: Managing gunas and facing down bindng vasanas

Postby Mira » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:10 am

Hi Georg,
I am glad that you will join me! We could form the 'Nididhyasana club' or 'Viveka group' or something like that :D. Others might want to join too.

Actually, knowing that we are in this together has already paid dividends. Even when I got up in the middle of the night for a few minutes, the thought arose "I am the self". And I had a dream that I was in Tiru (you and Stan were in the dream too)!.

Seriously speaking, this sadhana is really great because it keeps the mind occupied doing the most important thing it can do (thinking of, identifying as, the self). The mind feels blissful, content, and does not get a chance to run away with nonsensical thoughts :D.

Do you use a japa mantra?
Here is what Ramji has to say about it from a satsang:
Lynn: Question: again, from the same talk, you say that your mind is only constantly thinking of the Lord and observing the gap between those thoughts between the mantra which you do. I wondered if that is what Asian Indians do naturally? It is in their demeanour.


James: Contemplating the meaning of the mantra and observing the silence in the gap between the words is called japa. Yes, it is a common practice in Asian religions. The teaching about the gap is just to indicate that thoughts are not continuous – there is a tiny gap between them which implies the existence of awareness as a constant presence in the form of “silence.” Most people who do japa do it to keep the self in mind at all times and don’t think about the “gap.” When you do japa the thought of awareness replaces a worldly thought, which purifies the mind. Eventually there is only one thought – the thought of the self – in the mind. If you contemplate on the meaning of the mantra you may realize that you are awareness, although most people use the mantra only to purify the mind. It is a lovely practice that produces a lot of bliss as the mind purifies.


Do you (or anyone else) know what mantra Ramji uses?

Different mantras seem to arise spontaneously in my mind:
Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman);; Om Jyotir Aham (I am the light), I am awareness and so forth. But I'm thinking of using just one mantra in the way that Ramji suggests.
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