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TOPIC: On the Ride: Seeking & Finding

On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 17:11 #97643

This topic has been at the forefront of my practice of late: after many years (52) of seeking, I’m still on the ride. That's not to say that there haven't been important milestones along the way. There have been. And those milestones have been substantial and perspective altering. I have achieved much of what I thought I was seeking, yet I'm still a seeker, yearning to be a finder.

It seems there may be a number of post-biological development milestones (i.e., after basic biological development is complete, whatever that means): "Never on the Ride", “On the Ride” , “Off the Ride” - perhaps looking for the completion that never occurred during biological development.

For me, “on the ride” is all about a search for something that’s missing or expected or needed to feel whole, or to feel that the dissonance of life has a corresponding consonance,or to feel some sense of completion. For me it started at 12 years of age, and has cycled and cycled. I've been seeking for a long time. and hopefully at some follow-on point in one’s life, the missing or expected “something” is understood. “Off the ride” is simply “I found it” and life goes on with an inherent understanding of embodied existence.

I posted a similar thread on the DhO, but I view this forum my home and I wanted to elicit your thoughts.

Metta

Michael
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 17:39 #97644

I'm a bit unclear about what kind of input this thread is asking for-- could you clarify?
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 17:47 #97645

edit: assumed I had any idea what the question was, answer therefore inapplicable. sorry! :whistle:
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015 18:52 by Ona Kiser.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 18:43 #97646

Thanks Kate, for your request for clarification.

Let me pose it this way: are you still seeking awakening or enlightenment, or has your need to seek been satisfied.

MIchael
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 19:24 #97649

For me, it's a little of both. On one hand, I feel like I solved "the great matter of life and death", but I'm still seeking. I spend most of my free computer line on AN, DhO, reading Hokai and David Chapman's twitter posts, casting the I Ching, researching Dr. Martinez work on mind-body connections (including an interesting talk about how different monastic have different autoimmune/cancer clusters which correlates to the feelings they suppress), etc. From the outside, the seeking hasn't stopped but internally some aspect of the desperation in the seeking has gone away.

Does that help/answer your question?

EDIT: Hmm, I just had a thought that being "on the ride" is all about trying to "fix" your life, being "off the ride" seems to be about trying to "live" your life. Hmm, simple but kinda uncannily accurate.

DOUBLE EDIT: and of course Ken McLeod's book is titled, Wake Up to Your Life... so he obviously figured it out before me. :D
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2015 19:58 by shargrol.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 20:00 #97652

I don't know how to make it any clearer. Are you still seeking, or are you done?, If still seeking then why? If done seeking, then why and how?

If that doesn't resonate with you, then please forgive me for not being more clear, I don't know how else to phrase my question.

Metta.

Michael
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 20:13 #97653

Michael, is it possible there is no simple binary answer to your question? I'm of the opinion that there is no final "done" to spiritual seeking. There does seem to be a spectrum of seeking and depending on the individual and their personality, curiosity, drive, emotional life, psychology, what have you, a person can be anywhere on that spectrum.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 20:16 #97656

Yes and no. After my fourth path shift in October 2013, I felt as if the desire to "work on" awakening had gone. I haven't had a stable practice since that time, although I still like to sit. But I'm in the process of making some serious life changes. I'd heard that this is something people often do, and it feels as if I'm falling into that basket, so to speak.

For example, about four months ago I pulled out of a number of extra activities, mainly because I needed time to recover from some health and life problems (the details are on my thread). I was more than relieved not to have to play in the local orchestra or go to church and sing in the choir any more. Now I realize that I really don't want to do those things. There are things I do want to do, but I don't quite have the energy for them at the moment. But in the meantime, I'm in the process of working out a plan to retire in two years. This is three years earlier than I had originally planned. Again, part of the reason is my health, but the truth is, even if I were in robust health, I would not want to continue working any longer than that.

People have talked to me about how hard it must be or have been to make such decisions. Actually, it feels pretty easy. There was a lengthy gestation period during which I did a certain amount of stewing, but it doesn't feel painful to contemplate winding down my academic career, for example. As for what I will do: I don't know. I can think of some things I might do, but I imagine for awhile at least I will want to be careful about getting into any time-consuming obligations. I'll be needing a look around and time to transition, that much seems sure.

This is not all about me, but I am trying to point out that there is a fluidity to my situation, and a willingness to listen to what I really want, that wasn't there before. I am not all that dismayed about my health problems. Either I will recover a degree of functioning, or I won't. I could not have predicted being where I am now, so I won't try to predict where I'll be at some future date. That's not quite finding whatever I was looking for, but it's not quite seeking either.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 20:40 #97660

I think that not all of us share that whole "seeking" black-and-white framework...

For myself, I'd say that I had my eye peeled for "verifiable intelligence" all my life-- and off and on, big, nebulous chunks would appear and both clarify things and tantalize with hinting at further mystery. On an aesthetic basis, I never cared to think of myself as a "spiritual seeker."

When the big breakthrough happened, it was clear that it signalled both an end and a beginning. Sort of like puberty. I was now free to explore all the aspects of the "adult world," no longer a bewildered child trying to fathom adult weirdness.

And, yeah, it was in some ways a spectacular and exhilarating experience. But somehow it was always TOTALLY clear that it was "not about me," it was not my personal and special achievement, and it didn't put me in some special other world.

And the language of seekers and finders and being done and all that-- seems like a vocabulary of specialness that is counterproductive. Again, to me. It's a matter of taste.

One of my guiding stars has been T.S. Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." Paradoxical, to arrive at the beginning...
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 10 Feb 2015 21:39 #97661

(sorry I keep editing this...)

Another try:
Michael (AugustLeo) wrote:
If done seeking, then why and how?

Why? Because the nature of experience has been understood.
How? By a lot of time spent investigating 1) a sense of personal lacking and 2) the sense of distance between my awareness and my experience of the world.

A lot of being on the ride is clenching a fist around something that hurts... and when you finally open up the hand, you realize there was nothing there, it just hurt because you were clenching it.

But ask me again in ten years. I think that's a reasonable attitude for me to have, too.
Last Edit: 11 Feb 2015 06:11 by shargrol.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 11 Feb 2015 06:22 #97664

I still think the real question was what I originally thought, which I read as: "how come I've been practicing for 52 years and still feel stuck, frustrated and not done? can someone please reassure me that it's truly possible for this get fixed? how? how long?"

To be more sympathetic and less accurate, individual awakening events ("shifts" "openings") often come with a sense of being done which wears off after a few weeks or months, so sometimes people say that and then realize um, not so much. For me, my awakening some years ago did not end the sense of seeking per se, though it seemed to at first. As further developments developed (!) new formerly hidden aspects of "still seeking" revealed themselves. That seemed to be an important process: habits or beliefs or reactions drifting up to the surface so I could see them and realize they were yet another form of wanting to fix/do/change/manipulate/control/have etc. "Seeking" is one word that can be used to describe this basic dissatisfaction with reality as it is. Not reality outside yourself over there, but the absolutely inclusive reality of everything everywhere. As long as there is a "push back" or "no," one feels a sense of alienation, dissatisfaction, wanting something else (seeking), etc.

Anyway, that seemed to end nearly two years ago (eta: I think? Now I can't really remember when. Might have been beginning of last year.) in a significant way (having converted by then I described it as "I stopped fighting with God".) Silence, joy, patience, and various other things continued to grow since then, but that seemed to me a more significant turning point than my initial awakening some years before, which in hindsight from today seems to have been a basic reorientation (I recognized the presence of God) but not nearly as life changing as later developments, which is perhaps mostly normal (though I know people whose lives are heavily defined around things that happened when they were 8 or 18 or whenever).

So yes, it seems "seeking" can end, but how long that takes is absolute mystery and dependent on so many infinite factors one cannot guess why or how or when. Embracing what's going on right now, frustrations and all, is the best we can do, since there's only what we've got. Which includes, of course, reaching out to teachers or colleagues for encouragement, as you have.
Last Edit: 11 Feb 2015 06:26 by Ona Kiser.
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On the Ride: Seeking & Finding 11 Feb 2015 14:26 #97670

Hi :)
Here is my response from DhO, because this thread is alive and my answer was decidedly more AN than Dho anyhow lol ;)

Hmm, upon reflection, I would say for me so far it's been more like
--not being (consciously bothered by) being on the ride
--consciously being on the ride and trying various things to get off
--it gradually/suddenly dawning on me that there is just the ride, and it isn't coming from anywhere or going anywhere, it's just-- a ride.

And yet, and yet...

as Issa wrote:

'this dewdrop world
is but a dewdrop world;
and yet...'

on the one year anniversary of his young son's death.

mudandlotus.blogspot.com/2010/01/dewdrop-world.html

So there has to be a poignancy of the reality of our human life, alongside the timelessness, beginningnessless, deathlessness of 'the ride' (conditioned flow of 'world'). That's how it looks to me lately anyhow. Thanks, Michael, for prompting me to reflect!
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