Sat-Chit-Ananda

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Rumpelteazer
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Sat-Chit-Ananda

Postby Rumpelteazer » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:33 pm

Cheltenham group meeting report - 16/02/2012

The meeting started with a discussion of the previous exercise, and sharing experiences. An account can be seen here posted as a reply to the meeting report on Vidya.

This week's topic was Sat-Chit-Ananda.
20120216 Sat-Chit-Ananda.doc
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Discussion started with the idea from Nisargadatta that "once you have passed through this experience you will never be the same man again". Two members of the group said they had had experiences of the type described by Nisargadatta that had permanently changed their lives. Another had had brief experiences of this type, but it had not produced any permanent change. It seems that if the experience lasts only a few minutes, the memory remains, but it does not have a permanent affect on one's life. It seems to be the longer experiences that produce real change. It's not something we can make happen. All we can do is to try to be still as much as possible, mentally if not physically.

Group members agreed that it was memory and love of those moments of real unattached happiness that bring us towards stillness. Also remembering, as Chris Frith has shown, that actually we don't do anything. We just need to watch attentively as the drama unfolds, without claiming ownership of the action. The group appreciated the analogy of the river moving rather than the person on the bank. It is just like being on a train that is actually stationary, when the train next to it starts to move. We think it is ourselves who are moving. It is easy to get caught up in the apparent movement and we need to make use of Buddhi to see what is real.

A question was raised: "when Tolstoy says 'recollection is not the past, it is always the present' does he mean the memory is always entirely fresh in the present moment, or is there more to it than that?" One person thought it might be connected with illusory dimension of time being seen as a fourth dimension of space when one is experiencing a higher level of consciousness. So everything is present all at once. Meditation was mentioned as being a key source of the 'moments out of time' described by Dr Roles.

Someone else was particularly interested in our experience of time in relation to the 'real meaning of happiness'. Real happiness is always in the present moment. Another agreed and said that she found desires were what takes her away from happiness. She saw desires as always containing two opposites: love and longing for something in the future, and dissatisfaction with something in the past. These combine to take her away from the present moment.

This week's exercise to "explore real happiness! What does it take to get you there?" received a warm welcome from everyone.

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Rumpelteazer
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:30 pm
Group: Cheltenham
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Re: Sat-Chit-Ananda

Postby Rumpelteazer » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:57 pm

This exercise, based on the paper, had been set by the group-taker:
Explore real happiness! What does it take to get you there?

These were the responses from the group at the next meeting:

"For a while I had been feeling trapped in my professional life (as a musician). I discovered four ways back to happiness:
  1. Remember that all that matters is the Will of the Absolute – not my own will.
  2. Recognise the situation as part of karma. These demands from fellow musicians are just something I have to learn to deal with – but I can always hiss (a reference to a story from HH about a snake who was badly beaten up)
  3. Use reason to examine the feelings and why they arise.
  4. Be in the present and stop thinking about potential consequences in the future. The future is already there – it’s just that we can’t see it.”
"I discovered happiness when watching birds hopping around bushes and when visiting a garden centre that was full of spring flowers. In both cases it took me out of my small, personal self."

"Lots of things went wrong within just a couple of days: the broadband broke down and BT said they couldn’t fix it, the kitten stopped eating, the car windscreen was hit by a stone which made a nasty crack, my wife’s glasses broke. All these things made me annoyed and frustrated. Then a couple of days later everything got fixed, the kitten started eating again and I felt happier than I did before everything went wrong." He agreed that there never had been any reason to be unhappy in the first place.

"I am generally unhappy. It comes from experiences in childhood. It’s nothing to do with annoying things happening – those don’t worry me at all. I’m always wanting to find someone to love me, but then they don’t really love me as I am – their own personality gets in the way. I discovered that the only way I can ever be really happy is by getting ‘me’ out of the way. Just being still."

"I’m not sure quite what real happiness is. I think it’s what I discovered years ago when I was 18 or so and I just wanted to learn, and when I did find out about things I felt very happy and it lasted for several days. The same happiness happened again when I went to the Cancer support centre some years ago. It had a wonderful atmosphere. But after that I never managed to find that kind of happiness again. It seems to have to come from outside." (Someone then suggested that perhaps happiness is all around us all the time, but situations like these just unlock the door to it. Perhaps we need to find ways of unlocking the door for ourselves?)

"Sometimes life is annoying such as when my wife asks me to do the washing up. I think ‘I don’t want to do that’ and wander off. Then sometimes I realise ‘why not’. And then if I just get on with it I feel happy."

"I found that real happiness comes from not being identified. And two things floated into my mind when contemplating this exercise. The first was the chorus of a very old song: ‘que sera, sera – whatever will be, will be’. The second was a quotation from Hamlet ‘there’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’. Understanding and remembering these two ideas seems to be the recipe for happiness."


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