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Daniel A. Detwiler

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Daniel A. Detwiler last won the day on October 23

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  1. Thanks for letting me know about Rupert's website. I did watch a youtube of him with Depak Chopra called "Being Aware of Being Aware", the title of his latest book. He quickly made mention of the relationship of a fundamental consciousness to individual consciousness. It was hard to follow. I will check out the website and see if I can ask the question about his ideas on the individual in relationship to consciousness. Thanks.
  2. Hi David, I just am happy that you continue to feel free to bring your information to attention. AI is pretty creepy to me. As a child there were "horror movies" where computers took over. With all the advances in Ai there is a possibility like that. You are right to question. It is the source of learning for all of us. I want to say again something I wrote before: if consciousness is pervasive and fundamental, what is the role of the individual person? For Buddha, the role of the person included being compassionate, calm and caring to others. I still am not sure what Rupert Spira's answer is. So I have more questions. Just for me as a person, I have some comfort with consciousness as a fundamental force. How that affects me specifically as a person is something I am not sure of. Thanks for your thoughts. I welcome them. Daniel
  3. That makes total sense to me. I am with you that the term "God" can and does mean so much more than only in a religious formulation. In the story of Moses having the call from God to go see the pharoah, Moses says something like "whom shall I say sent me?" The famous and seemingly inscrutable answer was "Tell him 'I Am" sent you". While the Jewish people feel their unique status as the people of God, that name is universal. I think God, tipped his/her/its hat by that name. Generations later, with our minds broadened we can hold different meanings for "I Am". Exactly how that essence is in us or we are part of it, I am not sure of. However, there seems to be a real relationship with consciousness/being/the divine/God.. Tara Brach speaks of the "loving presence' often when she is describing consciousness. I love that term and think of consciousness often that way. We are on the path of understanding, it seems. Daniel
  4. Hi Gillian and David, Gillian and I had watched some you tube videos by Rupert Spira. So far I believe I am correct about some things he is saying. The most important is that everything is AWARENESS. He posits a grand awareness. The relationship of this pervasive awarenss to awareness in a person is not clear in all aspects to me yet. I think he is saying that when people are aware they participate in the grand awareness. I can see some logic to that. My continuing question is what are WE?. I think he would say "Awareness experiencing". That reminds me of the (very old) Baltimore Chatechism of the Catholic Church of my childhood. The question "Why did God make us?" The answer: "God made us to know him, love him and serve him in this world and the next". Surprisingly, that answer might just fit with what I think Ruperrt Spira thinks. There is only Awareness (God) and we participate in his life. I always feel uncomfortable when an approach leaves out my seemingly real life. However, I am going to keep listening to Rupert to try to understand how he conceptualizes the lives of individuals. I think the answer is: we have awareness and it is part of the grand awareness. Our task is to recognize we are part of that. Rupert is a poet and a writer and a potter of beautiful ceramics. He certainly does lots of activities. He is married with a daughter. What I would like to find out is; what is the purpose of our lives and modes of expression. Why do we seem to be independent if there is only awareness. Does the Grand Awareness benefit from our activities? Deep thoughts. Daniel
  5. Hi David, thank you for seeing Gillian and I as people on the spiritual path as you clearly are. You, Gillian and I may have various ideas about consciousness but we are all open to learning more. I read that beautiful poem you sent us the link to. Poets so often capture truths that ordinary prose doesn't. I found it quite meaningful. Thanks for letting us know you are on retreat. May the experience be only good. Daniel
  6. Hi David, First, I value the posts you make. I hope you continue your comments from your own point of view. I agree that we are interconnected and interdependent. I also agree it is important to examine why we might be attracted to one spiritual path or another. I will share a preference of my own: please look into quantum physics. There are a lot of quantum physicists that are following data and its implications in their scientific work. One is Brian Green. His data suggest String Theory is a viable explanation for the universe. His data suggest that the universe is part of a multiverse connected somehow by "strings" of energy. This theory postulates that there are between 9 and 11 other dimensions which humans can't experience. This may seem incredible but currently, with the unaided human eye we can not see ultraviolet light, but it exists. I have waded into this information on quantum physics for the last two years and many of my earlier beliefs have been challenged. I do want to mention that four physicists in refereed scientific journals have published data suggesting that consciousness may well exist independent of the mind but works through the mind in humans and perhaps other sentient beings. I feel humbled when I read or see videos of these people presenting their data. They surely could all be wrong. They would all admit that. However, some of them may be correct. There are many more fundamental discoveries of quantum physics which are not doubted but quite shocking at first encounter. Those are beyond what I want to say here. I agree that assumptions about a philosphical base of a spiritual path can be related to why we might choose one over another. I love Buddhism and Buddha for the positive social impact we all can have following his ethics. I follow mindfulness for that reason. However, the Hindu concept of the Atman, the "real" spritual self appeals to me as well. I can hold these differing ideas of self and not mind that they disagree. I am more inclined to Buddhist Vispanna meditation and plan to stick with it. I expect and hope that there is room in your life for a seeker like me. Daniel
  7. It is interesting to know that physicists are working on the nature of consciousness as well as philosophers and others. Last night on youtube I watched a presentation that summed up four published papers reasoning that consciousness has quantum qualities and works on the brain in certain ways. They are tipping towards an independence of consciousness that relates to the brain but is distinct from it. I think that the next 50 years will see a revolution in our understanding of consciousness. Daniel
  8. I tried curiosity with a neighbor who treated others well in the neighborhood. However, he constantly expressed racist thoughts and generalizations about black people. Yet h'e couldnt account for the source of his racism. He had been unable to relate to black employees of a store he managed and had to be moved to be a manger elsewhere. l had to walk a tightrope in this conversation and needed all my skills as a therapist to have this conversation successfully. The origin was in his own family. He had been a gifted sportsman in high school. His parents needed his income from a job to meet family necessities. He still felt the rage over having had to sacrifice his sports dreams. To him, anyone who received andy kind of government aid was not making the sacrifices he had to make, and therefore got breaks he never had. He generalized from that anger and hurt to any and all black people who needed government aid to live. We barely made it through that conversation though we had a good relationship. It helped me understand him but did nothing for him to help him change himself. It helped me realize an important thing, behind racists and bullies lie fear, anger and some great hurt that prompts irrational ideas. I do not show curiosity much to anyone who is racist as barring an overall good relationship preceeding such a discussion it can prompt the rage to be directed at the questioner.
  9. Hi Gillian, just back from a two mile walk in the park on a gorgeous day. After lunch, I listened again. Same profound response. I am so glad Sean has this in the course. Different things work for different people. This works with me. Coincidentally, I discovered Rupert Spira on Youtube. I had listened to him several times over the past few weeks. He is known for the Hindu emphasis on I Am: consciousness is all; things present themselves to it. To me this is so freeing. Somehow we/I are part of consciousness and all those thoughts and feelings are ephemeral phenomena. That signals a liberation to me. Thanks for your kind response. Daniel
  10. I just finished the I AM meditation for day 51. It was an extremely powerful experience. From the instant I heard the speaker's voice I felt safe in some profound way. He moved at a slow pace during the meditation and each comment or question took me deeper into and experience of awareness. I had very few thoughts but strong responses to being the I AM, the eternal consciousness. I was moved by the statement that all that comes into awareness is not me. I am the consciousness aware of the idea or thought or topic. I know this is a more Hindu thought but it blends into the Buddhist ideas of consciousness. I did not want to open my eyes when the recording ended. It felt so wonderful being where I let it take me. Daniel
  11. If there was just one thing I could say to someone I loved today it would be "I'm listening". Really listening means I am open to my loved one and willing to understand. It means I can stop talking and let my love one be and feel heard. Itis relationship nourishing.

  12. The question I am responding to is what season describes me and my life.  At age 73 I wo uld say Autumn.  That season is often warm, sunny and filled with blue skies. The leaves which turn color here in Illinois are always beautiful. They have an earthy smell when piled up and a nice curnch when you walk on them. Later, the month grows colder. There are days which darken sooner and things turn colder towards winter. Indoor activities heighten with warm good, cider and mulled wine shared with friends. My life is in the stage of Autumn. I have plenty of good and warm relationships. Walking in the park on warm days is wonderful. I watch my grandson play flag football and marvel at his coordination and his height which surpasses mine. My granddaughter and her girl scout Troop is readying for the annual Scare Crow contest during the pumpkin fest at the arboretum.  Her dancing classes yield a more lovely and strong young woman. They are my harvest. As Khalil Gibran says " they live in the house of the future which you can't visit even in your dreams". They will reach it however, and carry me in their hearts with them. My spiritual growth continues. After growing up Christian their is room in my life for the Buddha, his ethics and practices which enhance my understanding of Christianity. Mindfulness helps me recognize that my energy is part of the vast existence of Consciousness which is known in loving presence. I lived a life of helping others. I didn't do things perfectly but I did things mostly well. While my wife and I have a lot to liive for and to experience I feel some increasing readiness for peace and I mean the final peace. When my time is over, I suspect I will welcome whatever happens or doesn't afterward. Daniel

    1. Gillian Sanger

      Gillian Sanger

      @Daniel A. Detwiler

      This was such a beautiful and touching reflection. Thank you so much for this. Do you mind if I repost this in the thread on seasons?

    2. Daniel A. Detwiler

      Daniel A. Detwiler

      Please feel free to share it on the seasons thread. Thank you for your lovely comment. 

  13. If I were a role model for millions of children I would not change my behavior. I would let children know that I live a real life. For the most part I am happy but I feel all the feelings which most other people have. I would let them know that I am not perfect and don't expect myself to be. I would encourage them to understand that just like they all behave well towards others most of the time but not all of the time, I live that same way. I would also let the children know that I do not like to live my whole life as if a camera is following me just like they wouldn't. I would say I need private time to be alone, with my own friends and family just like they do. I would tell them I want the freedom not to be perfect like they do. I would ask them to think of the good things I do and let me have privacy the rest of the time. If that lack of perfection is disappointing to them, I would remind them that no one behaves  their best all the time including them and their parents. Daniel A. Detwiler

  14. Hi Gillian, something really wierd is transpiring. I just got "day 33" of mindfulness exercises. Is it supposed to last longer than 30 days? When I tried to  listen to Sean's meditation I again got a message on a red screen from MSN saying "this site has been reported as unsafe".   Again,  I typed in that "I think this site is safe".  However, they would not let me open the site. When I first got this message on day 31 I could get to the meditation. Oddly, it was not by Sean but by some lady who did not identify herself. The next day 32, it was an old meditation by Tara Brach. Is this program more than 30 days long? Do other people besides Sean do the meditations? If not, I wonder if the site has been hacked. Please investigate and let me know. I will not be attempting to download anymore until I learn from you whether these are legitimate meditations from MindfulnessExercises.com. Thanks for any help you can give me. Daniel A. Detwiler.

    1. Gillian Sanger

      Gillian Sanger

      Hey Daniel,

      I'm just seeing this now. Member's status updates don't show up in 'unread activity' so I don't always see them.

      If you are signed up for the 100 day mindfulness challenge, it should indeed go beyond day 30. Do you know what it was that you signed up for from the website? I am going to pass all this onto Sean and get back to you! Thanks again. 🙂

  15. I just listened to Tara Brach on day 32 of mindfulness. In response to a question she commented that being with yourself almost necessarily involves being with yourself in a kindly way or with kindness. It calls into awareness loving kindness towards whatever is in the now. Tara often recommends that when there is something challenging we become aware of to say "this too" meaning I am aware of this also and recognize it with love as being with me now. Doing so often lets the "this" move on and frees a person for another now. Letting whatever the "this" is feel loving regard can become easier as we practice doing that. It can be easier to accept something moment per moment than trying to do so in some totally profound way. Daniel

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