Sanatan Dharma - Dhee

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Rumpelteazer
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Sanatan Dharma - Dhee

Postby Rumpelteazer » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:55 am

Cheltenham group meeting report - 26/01/2012

The meeting started with a discussion of last week's exercise, and sharing experiences. An account can be seen here posted as a reply to last week's meeting report on Shaucha.

This week's topic was Dhee - use of the intellect to find out causes of things and use them as necessity may arise.
20120126 Dhee.doc
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Can the scientific method really be applied to work on oneself? Obviously, it can’t be applied directly, but there seemed to be parallels. Perhaps it is another example of the subtle world being reflected in the material world – ‘as above, so below’?

There were differing views on whether understanding the causes of negative characteristics in oneself would really dissolve them. One person believed that it would not help – you can’t trace back all the causes anyway, because some characteristics are just things that you are born with. The only way is to change one’s attitude. Another person disagreed. She felt that it was not possible to permanently change one’s attitude. Attitudes are governed by the ‘I’ that is present – different ‘I’s have different and contradictory attitudes. Self-observation and understanding the causes are what seems to work for her. She had come to see that negative characteristics were simply habitual ways of behaving that had become established at an early age and then occurred throughout her life. James Austin’s explanation about pre-attention helped her to see that these habits had established subconscious pathways that are activated before the conscious mind has a chance to intervene. So having understood this, she realised that the remedy is just to try to maintain impartial self-observation as much as possible, and this does indeed seem to reduce, and perhaps will eventually eliminate, the ways of behaving that are ‘not useful to the Atman’. The first person commented that everything that happens is fine just as it is – so there is a paradox here.

There was much interest in the idea that “the entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing”. The group particularly liked the quotation from Thich Nhat Hanh about everything being contained in a sheet of paper. One person remarked that she had enormous numbers of pieces of paper on her desk at home representing a rather large amount of work she had to do. She would now be able to see it differently – sunshine in every sheet.

A question was raised: are the ‘holes in the net’ the natural Samadhi that arises between desires? One person was worried about this week’s exercise, as he felt that some desires just don’t go – particularly the ones that don’t get fulfilled. We will have to wait until next week to find out ...

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Rumpelteazer
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:30 pm
Group: Cheltenham
Location: Gloucestershire, UK

Re: Sanatan Dharma - Dhee

Postby Rumpelteazer » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:57 am

The following exercise, based on this paper, had been set by the group-taker:
This week, try to observe desires as they come and go. Do the worlds our minds create for us consist of contradictory desires? Can we remove those contradictions by returning to stillness?

At the start of the next meeting we discussed our experiences:
  1. “Desires just come and go all the time. All you can do is to watch them. Then they can’t take over. You can’t try to stop them – it doesn’t work.”

  2. “I have had two strong conflicting desires for many years – they are emotional desires, not desires for anything material. But I have always believed there is something that looks after me, and a little while ago this ‘something’ told me that neither of these desires will be fulfilled. So I have come to accept it as I am confident that this is what is best for me. Strangely enough, I also have the feeling that if these desires are given up one of them might be actually be fulfilled, but while they are there, neither can be fulfilled. But the two desires do still come and go from time to time.”

  3. “I have very mundane conflicting desires. For example I have a pile of books that I want to read and I also get a daily newspaper. If I don’t read the newspaper right away, it won’t get read, but that means I don’t have time to read the books because all the ordinary mundane things like getting up, getting meals etc. take too long. I could cancel the paper, but I feel that I would then be contributing towards newspapers disappearing. And anyway I like to keep in touch with what is going on in the world - just a form of gossip really”

    One person advised just doing what you feel like and not beating yourself up about it. Another suggested making a decision to read one chapter of a book each day before reading the paper. A third pointed out that all the mundane tasks could be seen as spiritual practice rather than getting in the way. It is just a matter of doing everything from stillness – no thoughts – and with attention.

  4. “I have a whole mass of ideas – which are really lots of different desires – that like to hold a party in the mind. Not so much conflicting desires, more like just a riot of activity. But it is also possible to turn away from them and reach stillness.”

  5. “I don’t have any conflicting desires. Maybe I’m just not observing in the right way.”

  6. “When I woke up this morning, I was wonderfully warm in bed, but I could feel it was very cold in the room. I knew that H.H. said 6 hours is enough sleep and that if I stayed in bed a long train of waking dreams would arise. Mind wanted to get up, but body wanted to stay there in the warm. Unfortunately, for a while, body won, and as a result, mind was temporarily allowed ‘to establish a kingdom of its own’”.


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