The Power of Now

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Niagara
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Niagara »

off topic kinda but not kinda...just reminded me.

If anyone in the UK fancies a read of some of eckhart tolles books, the works bookstore has them in for £2 at the moment. Not the power of now in my store at least, but a couple of others.

Back on topic.

I find this takes practise. I wish it was as easy as simply dropping something. Sometimes it is. Other times, because I have generally an obsessive mind...it's not...and yet other times, I find myself identified with the 'pain body' because it's safe and because of that fact alone, comfortable. Doesn't mean it's good for me, but it is known and therefore somewhat safe. I only become willing to get out of that state when I've had enough, and at that point, I can drop it. Thankfully, the time it takes me to come to that realization is much shorter than it used to be!

I also find as time goes on and I become more aware of how my mind works, and how I hook into it, I can recognize it...but recognizing it doesn't always = letting it go. I see what's going on there and still carry on doing it! how bonkers is that :lol: I still, 18 months on with much work, action and study, seem to find it hard to let go of hot potatoes until they're burning a hole right through my hand. Once I surrender, I'm good. Unfortunately I seem to have a strong inner fighter within that keeps on getting up again. Stay down, dang you! ;)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

Jim1991
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Re: The Power of Now

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About twelve years ago,his book changed my sobriety (life). Reading it put me in touch with the practices in steps 10 & 11 without the God stuff. It helped propel me towards Buddhism.

Tom S
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Re: The Power of Now

Post by Tom S »

I find this a powerful, useful and highly relevant thread.
Thank you all for your input.
Have read/ reread A New Earth by ET, very slowly, several times. So good.
Am reading Sam Harris with a bit of trepidation and much fascination.
Have not yet read PON but it is in the queue coming up shortly.
Best to all.

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

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Jim1991 wrote:About twelve years ago,his book changed my sobriety (life). Reading it put me in touch with the practices in steps 10 & 11 without the God stuff. It helped propel me towards Buddhism.
Buddhism is a wide river and can be as every bit as 'woo woo' as any other religion. Karma can - in many mainstream Buddhist traditions - be like a cosmic force of justice, just like a God. And then there's all that rebirth stuff. And in the tradition I studied they even had a deity dharma protector (to keep the teachings pure) called Dorje Shugden; quite a scary looking deity too!

I think the point I'm making is either that there's 'woo woo' in all religions, or that it's daft to think that Buddhism is somehow superior because they don't have the 'God stuff'. They have lots of other 'woo woo' stuff.

My Buddhist teacher regularly used to say "Ask the Buddha and he will help you!" And I'd think "I can't, he's dead!"

But out of them all, Zen is about the most rational (that I know), but not many people can hack being a serious Zen practitioner; all that Zazen while facing a wall and getting hit with a Keisaku (a stick) isn't everyone's cup-of-tea. :lol:

Personally, I don't know what Buddhism has - as a practise - that isn't in A.A. and the 12 Steps. If we were to compare a serious 12 Stepper with a serious Buddhist, or a serious Christian there'd be little or nothing different in what they do outside of their meeting/sangha/church. They would all be serious about compassion, the cultivation of wisdom (from their contemplative practises) and live ethical lives.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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avaneesh912
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Re: The Power of Now

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It helped propel me towards Buddhism.
For me, it helped me realize that dimension where you can step aside from your mind made drama (the voice in the head as he calls it) and be the observer. And so much good stuff about forgiving yourself and others because of the un-consciousness (mind identification).
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Jim1991
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Re: The Power of Now

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PaigeB wrote:I just started reading Sam Harris's Waking Up (A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion) and I identify with it right off the bat. I was hooked on page 2.

I'll let ya know how it goes when an renowned atheist sees Love as the Life Changing force. :wink:
I too have read "Waking Up," and I liked it. As an agnostic/humanist, it was a refreshing to read.

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Re: The Power of Now

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Tosh wrote:
Jim1991 wrote:About twelve years ago,his book changed my sobriety (life). Reading it put me in touch with the practices in steps 10 & 11 without the God stuff. It helped propel me towards Buddhism.
Buddhism is a wide river and can be as every bit as 'woo woo' as any other religion. Karma can - in many mainstream Buddhist traditions - be like a cosmic force of justice, just like a God. And then there's all that rebirth stuff. And in the tradition I studied they even had a deity dharma protector (to keep the teachings pure) called Dorje Shugden; quite a scary looking deity too!

I think the point I'm making is either that there's 'woo woo' in all religions, or that it's daft to think that Buddhism is somehow superior because they don't have the 'God stuff'. They have lots of other 'woo woo' stuff.

My Buddhist teacher regularly used to say "Ask the Buddha and he will help you!" And I'd think "I can't, he's dead!"

But out of them all, Zen is about the most rational (that I know), but not many people can hack being a serious Zen practitioner; all that Zazen while facing a wall and getting hit with a Keisaku (a stick) isn't everyone's cup-of-tea. :lol:

Personally, I don't know what Buddhism has - as a practise - that isn't in A.A. and the 12 Steps. If we were to compare a serious 12 Stepper with a serious Buddhist, or a serious Christian there'd be little or nothing different in what they do outside of their meeting/sangha/church. They would all be serious about compassion, the cultivation of wisdom (from their contemplative practises) and live ethical lives.

With the exception of some of the New Age approaches, I don't see the god stuff as "woo woo."

Some will take this as an attack on their beliefs, which it is not meant to be. The whole idea of a god that is up there and out there, who arranges the cosmos and who will direct my life if I turn my will and life over to it has never made sense to me. The idea that this god has a plan for me is ludicrous.

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Brock
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Re: The Power of Now

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Some will take this as an attack on their beliefs, which it is not meant to be.
I think once we are comfortable in our belief in God, and most especially have experienced His power, we don't see any other opinion as an attack. In much the same way folks who believe in this book, don't mind that a time magazine reviewer said it was "awash in spiritual mumbo jumbo." In editions printed after that the author actually included that review, he has stones to do that, but I still haven't been able to get through more than a chapter or so.
The whole idea of a god that is up there and out there,...
The book in places specifically speaks of the power within, and modern Christian teachers often go to length to debunk the idea that God is up or out anywhere else but within us, in Bill's story we see this - “I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense.” But for my money the best quote would be in the we agnostics chapter, here the author is trying to persuade non believers, and far from speaking about out there or up there is very clear in where God is to be found - “We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: The Power of Now

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Brock wrote:
Some will take this as an attack on their beliefs, which it is not meant to be.
I think once we are comfortable in our belief in God, and most especially have experienced His power, we don't see any other opinion as an attack. In much the same way folks who believe in this book, don't mind that a time magazine reviewer said it was "awash in spiritual mumbo jumbo." In editions printed after that the author actually included that review, he has stones to do that, but I still haven't been able to get through more than a chapter or so.
The whole idea of a god that is up there and out there,...
The book in places specifically speaks of the power within, and modern Christian teachers often go to length to debunk the idea that God is up or out anywhere else but within us, in Bill's story we see this - “I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense.” But for my money the best quote would be in the we agnostics chapter, here the author is trying to persuade non believers, and far from speaking about out there or up there is very clear in where God is to be found - “We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.”
My recovery has been a series of awakenings, so I guess you could say that I've had the educational variety with the occasional a-ha epiphany. Some years back, after years of questioning it, I was reading chapter 4 to a sponsee, when it came to me that I could no longer buy a lot of what I was selling. Since then, I really haven't sponsored anyone, because I can't reconcile my realization with the book, or a lot of the book I should say. I would feel like a phony and a fraud.

In the literature, atheists and agnostics are not looked upon favorably, the 12 & 12 describes their state of mind as savage. I became OK with being agnostic, with living an open ended question and not having to "know." As for what is only found deep within, the way that I look at that is one can finally be themselves and be true to themselves. I don't need a god, a book, a sponsor, or a preacher to dictate my moral compass or to lead a decent and ethical life. I am answerable to no higher authority than my own conscience.

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

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Jim1991 wrote: I am answerable to no higher authority than my own conscience.
Well done, and I suppose, if you wanted to, you could call your conscience your Higher Power.

From We Agnostics:
We found the Great Reality deep down within us.
I can't understand why you won't sponsor other guys though. I think that's a shame.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: The Power of Now

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"I can't understand why you won't sponsor other guys though. I think that's a shame."

I explained why. To most it's about finding god, especially here in the bible belt. I could not honestly take someone through a book/set of spiritual exercises in which the sole purpose is to find a higher power that most identify as God. I would be lying to them and to myself and doing them a disservice. And, since I've started talking openly about my journey, which includes leaving AA for almost four years, how my beliefs have evolved (or devolved in some eyes), and how since my awakening that day reading the book to a guy and how my sobriety got stronger during my time away from AA meetings, no one has asked me to sponsor them and understandably so.

Some years back, I awoke to the fact that I wasn't sponsoring others to stay sober, I was sponsoring others because I am sober. My life is full and useful as it is. That being said, if anyone does ask me, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I don't promote myself as I once did.

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Re: The Power of Now

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Tosh wrote:
Jim1991 wrote: I am answerable to no higher authority than my own conscience.
Well done, and I suppose, if you wanted to, you could call your conscience your Higher Power.

From We Agnostics:
We found the Great Reality deep down within us.
I can't understand why you won't sponsor other guys though. I think that's a shame.
I call my conscience my conscience.

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

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Fair one, Jim, I have little or no idea of what it's like in Bible Belt USA. I live in the UK and we're an arguably secular nation. I'm more atheist leaning myself, but I have a Christian sponsor, and I also sponsor Christians too. My beliefs seem to be irrelevant; I'm not here to sell God, just to take someone through the steps so that they can have a 'spiritual awakening'.
Jim1991 wrote:which includes leaving AA for almost four years,
Can I ask what brought you back to A.A., Jim?
Jim1991 wrote: I call my conscience my conscience.
And that's your right, but I don't have any prejudice against certain theological terms (I don't think I'm prejudiced anyway).

I'm not really attached to labels either; conscience/moral compass/God/Buddha Nature - When the finger points at the moon, don't confuse the finger for the moon. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: The Power of Now

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Tosh wrote:Fair one, Jim, I have little or no idea of what it's like in Bible Belt USA. I live in the UK and we're an arguably secular nation. I'm more atheist leaning myself, but I have a Christian sponsor, and I also sponsor Christians too. My beliefs seem to be irrelevant; I'm not here to sell God, just to take someone through the steps so that they can have a 'spiritual awakening'.
Jim1991 wrote:which includes leaving AA for almost four years,
Can I ask what brought you back to A.A., Jim?
Jim1991 wrote: I call my conscience my conscience.
And that's your right, but I don't have any prejudice against certain theological terms (I don't think I'm prejudiced anyway).

I'm not really attached to labels either; conscience/moral compass/God/Buddha Nature - When the finger points at the moon, don't confuse the finger for the moon. :lol:
I started to put my toe back in the water a little over six months ago when I took a job in this small town. I wasn't afraid of drinking, but aside from family who I hardly knew, I didn't know anyone here. So it was more about social contact, which I think is the real reason AA works. Prior to moving here, I living in large cities, so social contact was no problem. The AA's here have been, for the most part welcoming, although I have gotten some sideways glances when I tell my story and talk about my unorthodox views.

I have no real prejudice towards theological terms, although I do have a disdain for the ultra conservative brand of Christianity that is dominant here. You said that you have no idea what it's like in bible belt USA. Let's just say that there is a lot if bigotry towards gay people, a lot of racism, and a lot of willful ignorance. If they had their way, we'd be living in a theocracy. As for prejudice, no. Prejudice simply means what you think you know and I was encouraged to think for myself, to find out what these terms mean, so I know why I reject it.

Since I don't believe in god, I find it rather difficult to take someone through a book that is all about god.

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Tosh
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Re: The Power of Now

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Jim1991 wrote: Since I don't believe in god, I find it rather difficult to take someone through a book that is all about god.
Which concept of God is it that you disbelieve in? The Magical Man in the Sky - Santa Claus - God? I agree with you, I don't believe in that kind of God either. In fact I'll go even further and say that I don't believe in beliefs as a powerful means of self transformation or salvation; though I will admit that some beliefs can be useful, whether they have a basis in reality or not.

You mentioned Buddhism earlier and some Buddhist sects have tantric practices which mean that they have to believe, as best they can, that they're some Buddhist deity of compassion (like Green Tara) and they'll try to live their lives as if they are this deity of compassion.

They fake it till they make it (as best they can).

I don't believe a 'truth' has to stand or fall on it's basis in reality, but what really matters is it's transformational effect. We all have delusions (a misunderstanding of reality); so it's smarter to use delusions skilfully.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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