While meditating, is repeating an affirmation as effective as just clearing your mind?
If you are trying to make changes in your life, trying to find answers to questions or working on experiencing inner peace then clearing your mind is far more effective.
Affirmations are problematic and usually just clutter the mind with nonsense. They can also set up an inner conflict that only gets worse. For instance, if you have a belief, deep inside, that you are worthless or undeserving then repeating an affirmation that you are worthy of having a great relationship or a 6 figure salary then you will always fail because the deep inner core belief is far more powerful than your affirmation.
You must first deal with that deep core belief and dissolve it before you can make any progress. To do that you will need to clear your mind and to look deeply within yourself to find and then to deal appropriately with that core belief. Once you have accomplished this you will not need any affirmations. Your choices and actions will be an expression of the one who already feels completely deserving and worthwhile.
There are times I recommend affirmations to my clients but I have them affirm what they already and truly are, not something they want to be that conflicts with what they believe deeply inside themselves.
If you would like further insights into this just contact me.
Do you know any good online therapists? Do you do online therapy? Do you think it will be helpful to have online therapy and never meet the therapist?
For many years I did only in person clinical and private practice psychotherapy with clients/patients. Now, with the advent of dependable video conferencing, I do almost all therapy sessions via video/audio Skype. My clients and I find it just as effective as in person therapy and, often, much more convenient. I am able to work with clients all over the world now in real time wherever they are and am also able to conduct sessions with them from wherever I am. I am fortunate to have developed the skill sets necessary to do this successfully now for many years.
It is important that you find a therapist that you feel comfortable with. I suggest reading about them at their website. Learn about the types of therapy they do and how they approach counseling. Learn about their education and work experience. Find someone who fits for you. There are many factors to consider. There is no one perfect therapist for everyone. Contact the therapist you are considering by email and ask them some questions that you have. See if their responses fit for you. Also, be sure you both have the dependable technology to facilitate video conferencing without glitches.
When you work with a good therapist, whether via video conferencing or in person, you are meeting them and getting to know them.
Some clients/patients need to be in the physical presence of their therapist and some therapists need to be in the physical presence of their clients. For those clients and therapists online therapy is not appropriate. You must decide for yourself according to your specific needs.
I hope this is helpful.
How do you deal with isolation when you are enlightened?
An interesting question.
Actually isolation is impossible. Loneliness is impossible.
When you experience enlightenment you realize that you are absolutely One with everything. There is no separateness. There is no isolation. It is like a drop of water entering the ocean and becoming one with the ocean.
After you experience enlightenment you realize that the one who feels loneliness, separateness, isolation, anxiety, fear, etc. is not who you are.
Intellectual answers are fine but your experience of enlightenment is the only real way you will get an answer to your question. It is impossible to understand enlightenment until after you experience it.
I have written a great deal about this and posted everything here. Feel free to read more here.
I hope this is helpful.
Is there anything a person can do to gain greater self-awareness? What has worked for you?
Self-awareness is essential for a human being to mature and to function in a healthy way in relationships and in society.
There are a number of ways to gain and to increase self-awareness. Here are a few that I recommend to my clients:
- Meditations for increasing self-awareness that are designed for looking deep within yourself for beliefs, reactions, motivations, emotions, etc.
- Mindfulness exercises like this one…
- Long, honest and open conversations with people you trust to give you clear feedback
- Psychotherapy with a good therapist
- Learning to be honest with yourself
- Practicing looking into a mirror and having an open and honest conversation with yourself. Then making note of your insights.
I have written a great deal about self-awareness and Self-Awareness Therapy and have posted everything here at my blog. Feel free to read more here and to try some of the practices I have outlined.
I hope this is helpful.
In meditation, how do you observe the observer? Or turn awareness on itself?
A very interesting question.
The Observer is already observing.
There is only one Observer, it is not you.
You are the observing.
The only way to experience the truth of this is to surrender and dissolve completely and utterly into the Observer until there is nothing left of you.
Here is graphic metaphor I call the Water Glass Metaphor you can contemplate…
It is actually impossible to understand this until after you have surrendered, until there is no glass left.
Here is a meditation you can practice to experience this if you like…
Then this one…
There are many more meditations posted here that will be helpful. Try them.
I hope this is helpful.
A Moment of Enlightenment
Thank you for your guidance. I tried to do the meditation that you mentioned, but I haven’t been having much success. I think I only once got the feeling of “being the watcher”, in the beginning of a meditation, but it only lasted for a couple of seconds. It was a strange feeling tho, like I tried to step back and just be the watcher, and then like… I completely disappeared. I was just not there, I couldn’t find myself anywhere, but something was left there, that wasn’t me. It’s like they say – awareness was there, and I was not. Everything was gone, but there was something left, and that was awareness. Of course, I am not sure about this experience, may be I was just hallucinating it, but it felt like something real, at least the only thing that “happened” during meditation. I tried to meditate some more, but it feels like nothing happens and I’m just struggling through it.
That sounds like a wonderful experience. You began to experience your Self.
It is normal to try to hold on to your identity or personality even when you begin to feel the Self. But feeling as if you are nothing is part of the process. The next step in this is to completely surrender to the experience of nothingness as if you were melting or dissolving into it. It may feel as if you will die if you go too far with this but you will not. No matter what that voice in your head tells you. Just keep going until there is nothing left of ‘you’.
Everything changes once you do this.
Do not struggle with it. Struggling is like shadow boxing or playing air drums and expecting to get a sound from the snare.
The emptiness, nothingness is what is Real. The personality you call your name is just a hologram.
Just relax and watch and then surrender.
A Question about Awakening
I often hear references to waking up or remembering when referring to enlightenment. What memory are they referring to? And do you need a teacher to remember?
Your questions are very good and ones that most people ask.
You are correct, it is about language and the attempt to put something that is unexplainable into words that people will be able to relate to, understand, recognize and feel. I certainly have not found those magical words. I do not know anyone who has.
It is like trying to learn a new language. At the beginning it all seems a bit overwhelming but when you have learned that language and can speak in fluently everything becomes clear and you look back and realize how simple it all was.
See, even that example was not very good. 🙂
I guess it is more like having a long bad dream and then waking up to realize it was a just a dream and now you are safe and happy and you really always had been.
The memory referred to is the innate memory of who and what you really are. This is what we awaken to.
From my own experience; I finally and fully realized what I was and had always been. I laughed out loud. “I have always been this One. I have never been anyone or anything else. I have never suffered, never been in pain, never been depressed.” And then I laughed a lot more after that. I felt inspired to write about all of this but words have always been inadequate. I have done hundreds of workshops, lectures and seminars about this and I find that some people get it and some people do not. I have written a book about this but those words too only touch the surface. But I always keep in mind that everyone I speak with about all of this is already the same as I am.
So does one need a teacher to help? Probably yes. Like a guide on a trip through a forest. Hopefully you find a guide who knows the paths and has truly been beyond the forest. Not just one who has read about what is beyond the forest. 🙂
I hope this is helpful. I know that the words are inadequate. Often it is easier in person.
A question about Souls
Is there really a Soul or Self?
As far as a discussion of whether there is a soul or not, it is a very interesting metaphysical discussion or debate but at the end of the day there will be only one proof of the matter. We will each find out for ourselves at that moment. (Or not). 🙂
I think it is better to focus on having your own personal experience of Self rather than depending on the writings of others. Others can serve as guideposts or teachers but nothing can replace personal experience of the Self to confirm its existence and to confirm your real identity.
I very much enjoy science and, especially, Quantum Physics, but none of that can replace personal experience.
Can personal experience be flawed? Of course. Can scientific method be flawed, absolutely. Especially when we explore Quantum reality where the observer effects the observed.
These things can be debated ad infinitum.
And then we can sit back. Be still and feel the Self and relax and enjoy life.