Lhug-Pa wrote:Now I'm not saying that you should necessarily do the same Mint, however I use to hit the gym a lot too, although now I've ended up sacrificing the gym, and found that doing a handful of body-weight workouts (pushups, pullups, situps, squats, calf-raises, etc.) for say 20 minutes everyday instead, and with Yantra Yoga and/or Hatha Yoga, is enough to stay in great shape and maintain what I've built up with weights at the gym.
Lhug-Pa wrote:Not going to say that you have to drop Taco Bell altogether either, but the gym probably isn't quite enough to purify all the artificial chemical preservatives and pesticides from that kind of 'food' which has very little nutritional value anyway. Keeping the physical body healthy is important for Integrating our Energy.
catmoon wrote:I would guess that the mere possession of such books, if you treat them with a modicum of respect, entails some merit in itself. Exposure to material that you have permissions for is hardly going to be harmful. They have a certain spritual backing, in the sense that the beneficial intentions of the authors, editors, translators, lamas, and countless unseen beings lie behind them. Keep 'em around.
Lhug-Pa wrote:What I meant by "sacrificing the gym", is just dropping the gym altogether as to just do short body-weight workouts at home, as to stay in shape, and as to have more time to practice and study.
Dechen Norbu wrote:Remember when I said that being present was not the same as being concentrated? Concentration makes you tense and there's a time and a place to develop it, but this is not mindfulness all day round.
Being present is not being in the state of instant presence. For that you need to get into that state once when your teacher gives you direct introduction.
You need to release tensions and just avoid wondering all the time in your thoughts. This also doesn't mean not thinking! It means that when you think, you control your thinking process instead of drifting away carried by thoughts. So this is not difficult at all and must be achieved gently and gradually. What is a little more difficult is being present for a long time, because we are very used to get distracted. When we get distracted and notice, we just make ourselves present very gently. It's not something you will develop by sheer will power. It's like a butterfly returning gently to a flower. Gently, again and again. You will see that being mindful makes your life quite better. Most of those worries that engulf you now and then, and when you notice you are already deeply involved with them, can very easily be released if you slowly develop mindfulness. Mindfulness in a certain way is not suffering from constant "amnesia-like episodes" in which we lose ourselves, drifting.
And don't worry about learning everything fast. Just do what you can, like you were a farmer. This takes time, little by little, everyday. It's not by worrying and rushing that you will reap your apples and oranges sooner.
mint wrote:Hi Dechen,
You've been a good friend throughout this all. I'm glad you responded to this thread.
I get what you're saying. Remaining present isn't a huge ordeal for me. I seem to do it quite naturally. I'm sure I could stand some adjustments, but really, on the whole, there's not much that I don't remain present during. I could potentially stand to be a bit more present when my girlfriend talks about shopping or hairstyles - but, on the whole, remaining present comes very natural to me, I think. So, since receiving transmission from Namkhai Norbu, and since reading more about Dzogchen, I'm thinking that this state of presence which comes so natural to me must not be adequate and I think this is where I've gotten off track and attempted to develop concentration. And, yes, this has caused me a great deal of the stress I've been feeling.
So, instant presence isn't something that I can develop on my own? If this is a guarded, restricted topic, feel free to PM me, if you want.
While I know this without you needing to have said it, yet while I know you're right, there's something in my very nature which always tends to rush. Perhaps its due to my competitiveness. As Jikan commented earlier, a great deal of stress has been caused by comparing myself to people here on the forum. But, of all the people who received transmission this past November 20, I'm the only one here on the forum who not only doesn't "get it," isn't practicing or keeping the samaya, and really doesn't have the time to dedicate to the sort of practice that Lhug-pa described above. I mean, I still don't know what a freakin' ganapuja is! And everybody else is talking about lhungrub and vidya and rlung and vase breathing.
I feel like a secondary grade student who has been invited to a college seminar. I also feel like, if Namkhai Norbu were to personally check on the progress of those people who received transmission on November 20, he'd look at alwayson and Lhug-pa and say, "Very good," and then look at me just shake his head in disappointment. I realize that this is neurotic, but it's how I feel. It's been a pretty steady feeling to, not one that has waxed and waned. I'm not saying it's a permanent feeling nor that it's somehow "real," but it's a concern that I am having to deal with. Really, though, what it comes down to is that Namkhai Norbu could care less about my practice: I'm the one who is disappointed in myself for not being a great Dzogchen practitioner and realizing that I currently have boundaries and limitations.
wisdom wrote:I actually relate with many of the gripes you've posted on this forum so far in my own way, and have struggled with many of the same questions, especially in relation to guru yoga.
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