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Using the Just One Look Method
I'm sitting in the lounge, one of my cats Sabu-baba is nestled up beside me losing his fur... It's hot, the Spanish summer has just turned up the temperature a few degrees into the uncomfortable and I thought I'd know where to start this topic but it just isn't happening yet... here goes... rewind...
I almost became a Buddhist monk at quite an early age, I was around 20, had travelled overland to Dharamsala, India, depressed and lost, desperately looking for a way out of my turmoil... my high school had kicked me out and then my parents had done the same... I saw no future... I'd lived in the south of England earned some money in a local brewery, had an astral projection experience that ended up leading me to a Buddhist group. They suggested I go to see their Rinpoche in India. So I ended up taking the Buddhist Nyngmapa vows and was about to get into the habit when I quite suddenly realised it wasn't for me. I had no way of telling who was really free or "enlightened" as they call it in Tibetan Buddhism, and this doubt has never left me. So that was the first real trap I managed to avoid. Trap for me that is... I have no problem with anyone who wishes to be a monk, non at all. It just wasn't for me. Seemed to me that the life of a monk was really very attractive. Food and board laid on and an almost instant respect as soon as you put on the garb. As for celibacy, well I'd heard plenty of rumours.... So from then on my rule has always been to listen to all but follow no one. I have to take this path alone.
In general one of the most pernicious traps I have constantly fallen into and will most probably fall into again, is "thinking" I'd actually achieved something, I had arrived. And this came about because of some "realisation" or "clarity" that had come about, sometime quite startling and beautiful, accompanied by great surges of energy and feelings of well being. What happened was my mind latched onto the experience and played it back to me giving me a happy buzz nestling there into my new personality. You have most probably noticed how just thinking about something nice give us a pleasant feeling. We call it happiness! These thoughts can strengthen the hold of the "internal dialogue" we maintain with ourselves, effectively bolstering the new polished enlightened "me" image. It's nice to feel wonderful. Only problem is it is short lived if you are lucky. As life's circumstances dance and new challenges come to knock at your new images of yourself well the mighty image collapses once more and there you are stripped naked reeling on the floor. You lose faith in the stupid practice... it's just doesn't work! It's a load of $&%$#! So, I'd go through the process of abandoning the practice, feelings of being unworthy would engulf my life and I'd spend hours upon hours indulging in self-pity. Then one day I'd pick up one of my "spiritual Books" get the spark ignited again and start all over again.
I have a terribly analytical mind and spent years trying to make sense of the "teaching" believing that some intellectual hold actually had some meaning. I used to live in state of constant confusion and bewilderment. But I finally learned that I could simply leave the confusion by shifting attention away from it. I eventually saw no intellectual understanding was ever going to help me on this path. So it all stopped. I stopped reading. I stopped talking about the path and most importantly I stopped talking to myself about this stuff. I just allowed "seeing" to be by not getting caught up in the mind's constant dialogue. Confusion left.
Think I'll leave it at that for now. If anyone finds it useful, I'll carry on... or engage in any comments... or whatever.
Thanks for reading
Wishing you what you need for freedom
Never give up
Victory is already this
Beautiful, Nigel, beautifully expressed. I fell into a few of those traps myself until i got tired of getting trapped. i guess we all come in through whatever door we enter, the commonality seeming to be having come through a corridor, and here we are. Right now, this trap. Neverending. Life.
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