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Jul 11, 2016
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Not Self or Self
by: Janaka


Greetings J,

You have had a conscious experience of the Self, yes? That which is beyond all thoughts and actions. Hold onto it. When you say you have felt shame, anxiety, you have problems and all that, it is not the Self, but the not-self that is saying such things. They are just thoughts. Whenever such thoughts arise, ask yourself: "Is this the Self or the ego that is saying such things?" And be aware of the One who is asking the question. It's all story.

In some of the non-dualist circles there is an emphasis on not doing; for how can the finite do anything to reach the infinite, and that all such efforts is of the ego. It is true and it is not. Ramana would repeatedly say: "Know there is One, but act as though there is two." The mind needs to be trained to focus on elevated things, so then Grace has a better vehicle to integrate into. And when the mind goes off into it's familiar fear-based landscapes, it needs to be called back, without judgment, back into the light. I hope you have people who do walk in the Land of Light. And if not seek them out. Satsang is a great opportunity of reminding you of who you are, and I'm sure there are many groups in Ontario.

Have a blessed day,
Janaka

Jul 07, 2016
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Thanks for Your Insights
by: J


Hi Janaka,

Thank you so much for the valuable insight. I really appreciate it. I feel the same way as you felt back then after your awakening. I see that all of my peers seem to be looking for approval online and I now find that hard to relate to. I do thank Facebook however for pushing me into my awakening. It was very troubling for me last year and was depleting me completely of my energy. It was making my depression and anxiety worse after comparisons with others. I was continuously seeing happy pictures of others while I was struggling to get everything back together. I hit a really low point and so was looking for deeper answers. I am glad that I did. I now feel an immense amount of clarity in my life with the added hindrance of Facebook.

'My suggestion is not to worry about what your friends might think of you. What they think of you is not your business. Their judgment is just a pile of thoughts. And thoughts come and go. They are not those thoughts, nor you. Keep focusing on the Real.'

I love this. I will ingrain it in my head and make a note of it. I know that it would fully liberate me once I fully grasp it. I guess it is just harder for me to fully be free considering the immense amount of shame I felt throughout high school and University for having felt lonely and isolated a good chink of the time. My summers had always been pretty bleak, going out with friends on rare occasions. I am a natural outgoing person and due to the social anxiety I was experiencing, it made me withdraw from others for many years. I put up a front that I was still that guy however my personal life was not measuring up to it. My safety mechanism was to close off from the world so that my friends and peers would not know about my problems with social anxiety. The fact that I had Facebook all this time, it served as magnifying glass into my life that everyone could see and base their judgment on me. That is why I feel the intense amount of fear to start using it more often as it feels like I am coming out of the woodwork and exposing myself on Facebook for all of my contacts to judge.

Thank you for your help,
J

Jul 07, 2016
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What They Think is Not You Business
by: Janaka

Dear J,

Thank you for contacting me. It is funny that you should contact me about the challenge you are having with social media, because I was just having an inner conversation about this growing need to have "friends" LIKE my postings. However, with more and more research coming out showing how our brains are throwing up serotonin levels with each positive hit, it is no wonder why there is this craving.

Like all things, moderation is paramount, especially with socializing. And when one is on a journey of inner awakening (which has many apparent levels), or focused passion, social media can be a real hindrance. One of my teachers along the way said one should cultivate one friendship; otherwise one’s sadhana, practice, can be displaced. Especially so in the beginning of the journey, before full integration of one’s True Self merges into one’s day consciousness. When I was your age and had my awakening, I just became so different than my old buddies that we could not relate to each other anymore. It was not easy watching my friends shake their head at who I had become and then drift apart. However, my priorities were holding onto That which I found within.

Sankara says that there is a three-fold process of awakening: Knowing nothing out there will bring happiness; happiness is only from within, for God dwells there; and God is everywhere. I found that I needed to surround myself by like-minded people and sat with various teachers, and kept my mind focused by reading sacred works and lots of meditating. Going off in Nature was a big help, just being alone. Currently, I have found, although I have a family and am very much part of the world, those early years gave me a strong foundation to have a pretty good degree of dispassion.

Your consciousness, J, is becoming clearer and sees the world different than those in your circle who run after this and that with their expectations of fulfillment. You are now knowing better. My suggestion is not to worry about what your friends might think of you. What they think of you is not your business. Their judgment is just a pile of thoughts. And thoughts come and go. They are not those thoughts, nor you. Keep focusing on the Real.

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