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Go visit a monastery


Cathal
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I just wanted to write about my experience visiting a monastery. I ended up spending 3 months recently at a forest thai wat in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. It has radically changed things for me, I am going to put up a few pointers as to how this may be beneficial for you. 

 

I want mainly emphasis and try to express how we in the west have been conditioned in a certain way that doesn't exist not even mildly to the extent it does in Thailand, as many of you who do psychedelics know your potential to be selfless and loving and a real friend towards others and the polarity to that in your regular day to day state of dealing with your repressed nuerotic delusions and projections onto 'others', you can see childhood traumas come up again, see parts of people you thought you forgot about 20 years ago come back in some way or another, your karma is going to be popping off my friends - going to a monastery will drastically develop your awareness around your 'social selves' or that part of you that comes online around others, that tenses up and walls of and rejects, that projects pushes away, judges and scans for threats and so on.

The whole of the unconscious is here right now, it just needs a certain mirror for you to see it, communities are a room full of mirrors. Maybe you will see that you do infact still hate your ex gf?

 

That this part of you, the day to day one that walks around in a social environment is a huge hindrance to maintaining a wholesome state and not falling over and over and over into the 5 hindrances. We often talk about causes and conditions and how they arise parts of the mind, and when you live in a community tailored for spiritual development - for a little bit it can be like high-school all over again or being at your parents home, it's such a radical dynamic that to just experience it is absolutely mindblowing.

  • The most important insight is that of understanding just how fundamental it is to develop Sila (morality/ethics) and how it affects your actual meditation. It is really difficult to explain this until you see yourself being in an actual community for a little while.
  • Dana - the sharing experience; being in the west, we don't really experience sharing, we are ruthlessly climbing on a hill of bodies trying to make a living and don't have a clue what Dana is. It's so weird, when you are shown unconditional hospitiality and care, you actually want to give back and that feeling is incredibly important to experience - the development of generosity and unconditional giving is essential imo.
  • Meeting those who have been practicing for 30/40 years and senior monks such as Ajahn Amaro can be a transformative experience in itself, these people can have such a profound impact just by being around them and speaking about your life/practice - they can point out things you are completely ignorant to, point you towards things you cannot see and make you feel what it feels like to be in the presence of actual unconditional love.
  • The Sangha (or spiritual friends) are fundamental to everyone's path and we ought to put effort into making and maintaining companionship so we don't fall into delusion or isolation and develop very important parts of ourselves that shouldn't be left behind.
  • Patience - is a really a powerful virtue to develop, enjoying the way things are despite how they are, being here with the way things are... most monasteries will have a degree of sensual restriction such as no tv/internet/music/noble silence/meal times and so on and you might be very suprised to waking up to how many habits you have regarding this. It will develop your ability to be here with reality and help you see how much control you actually have over your own actions.
  • As Daniel Ingram said I believe, that it is more beneficial for someone to instead of meditate 1 hour a day for a year meditate for 1 hour for 6 months a year and do one 7 day retreat, retreats and environments with other practitioners can create a group energy and inspiration to push through phases of the vulnerability to sloth and torpor we find in our regular homes and touch into territory that requires a certain amount of striving.

I see now how important it is to find a place we can visit often, a place where we can find like-minded people and practice diligently together and discuss our path to truth that isn't online - see online and in-person are just two different environments and are incomparable, It's so crucial and the main thing I hope you take away from this post.

 

So my last word here is to do yourself a big favour and find that place of yours that you can take refuge in and strive in your practice.

may you be free from suffering 

i am already your friend

instagram.com/asimulatedself

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