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November 13, 2012
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Question about spiritual life

:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Iím curious how others stay motivated to create some kind of spiritual life during times where life is going good. Do others put their spiritual development on the back burner during good times? Have most people done away with prayers altogether, even during the most difficult times?

Many times, life would get bad enough for me to increase my meditation practice over long periods of time (the only spiritual thing I do).

Despite meditation practice, I once went years and years without praying to a higher power. Then something extra bad happened and I found myself praying even though I feel Iím mainly atheist (no belief in any god that can be conceived by the mind). Itís really rare for me to pray and I now feel like Iím being ungrateful when things go better and I meditate less and I don't pray at all. I want to meditate more but find myself spending excessive time reading sci-fi books, watching movies, etc.
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Devious Comments

:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I suppose in the good times we remember the bad times and be thankful, though being fair I hadn't have many good times to be sure :p
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:iconveronicarockstrom:
veronicarockstrom Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I do my best to maintain a 'glass-always-full' mentality. If things are going less than stellar, I usually distance myself, or find ways to cleanse my mind or occupy my body. I've been told by friends that they don't come to me with their problems anymore because they can't prompt the 'right' reaction out of me. (IE, "Oh, NO she di'in't!") Usually I'm like "oh well, maybe that person was having a bad day and didn't realise they were being a total ass to you?"

It works for me!
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
Depends on what kind of "good times" you're talking about. It seems your "good times" are materialist oriented, typical Christian ideals. It's ridiculous that people need to rely on objects to be happy.
You're an atheist because the idea of knowing the actual truth about existence comforts you isn't it? Then live by that happiness. It's not like you have much to worry about anyway, isn't that the point of atheism in the first place? Not being hold onto any religious doctrines?

PS. Meditation does not limit to sitting & close your eyes.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
You're a condescending asshole.
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
Do elaborate, I have no intention to come across as such. Because of your reaction, I have to say the person you refer to may be no one but yourself.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
Buddha's brother was 80 years old when he attained enlightenment and he trained more than me. You obviously have no inkling of what I was after--not one fucking clue. If you did you wouldn't be stupid enough to assume that I was meditating wrong.
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
Did I say you're meditating it wrong? I said there are many ways to meditate besides sitting & closing your eyes.

It seems your fact you've just told me aren't that accurate or more fictional, the Buddha had no brother & actually attained enlightenment a lot earlier than the age of 80, you're just 45 years off. Also, you can't count the first 3 Buddhas as the older brother of the 4th. Unless you're 1 those who worship that fatty bloke & believe Buddhist monks can marry & have children. If that's the case, thanks for the information.

Also, I remembered, I said I don't understand why would anybody need objects to be happy? Since you've claimed to be an expert on meditation in your own right, then you should know the answer well.

You said you're an atheist, but you're acting just like those Christians you hated so much. You're too quick to judge & assume just like them. You know, the Buddha classifies people into 4 types of lotus, as I've seen so far, you're the 2nd type but you're acting as if you're the 3rd. Typical western hubris, I'm not surprised.

He also classifies people into 4 ranks as well based on how much they understand his teachings. I thought you're at rank 3, but you've shown me you're not even at rank 4, the lowest rank. You still cling on to assumptions & the primal instincts of the beasts.

But as 1 of the Buddha's teachings had said, I'll give you another chance.

I'm looking forward to hear from you again in the near future.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The only thing spiritually uplifting I do is to masturbate.
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:iconhanciong:
hanciong Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well done! BRAVO!!
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:iconmatthewmatters:
MatthewMatters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm a Buddhist and follower of the Bushido myself. I seek to live by my beliefs at all times to avoid the feeling of living in shame which I otherwise instantly get.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
Glad to hear you can stick with it at all times. I'm clinging to a million ways on how to keep myself entertained. Can't transcend boredom or excitement anymore...I used to but not anymore.
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:iconmatthewmatters:
MatthewMatters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
I feel it takes a certain kind of character to hold on to ones spirituality at all times. Siddhartha Gautama, or the Buddha if you would, himself once explained how not all living things simply have the potential to reach enlightenment: similarly, not all living things are made out to be spiritual but in times of turmoil.

I for one find a great deal of peace in Buddhism and Bushido, and thus, I follow them in my daily life. Having grown believing in Bushido, I also indeed get the instant shame if I don't. It would be an utter impossibility for someone like me to try live by the codes day by day, but I do damn well try: and that brings me peace.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
I tried mindfulness many times but my mind seems wired to make up stories and I have a novel on the go. :shrug:

I studied mostly Zen and Madhyamika books for years and years. They talk about a lot of stuff that can't be proven so I didn't want to take someone else's word at it and spend hours of my time hoping they're right...I just didn't see the point anymore.
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:iconmatthewmatters:
MatthewMatters Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Professional General Artist
One of the most major focuses of Buddhism is the self. Looking for guidance purely in books is the wrong path to begin with.

In my personal experience, I for one had to give up a lot of my Buddhism when I first stepped into my current relationship. I remain to feel Bushido-esque shame over the matter but I made the very non-Buddhist choice of love over the dharma. The reason behind this sacrifice was how detached I was from common humanity: for instance, my strong equanimity got in the way of certain things in the beginning. My willingness to do this sacrifice was the reasoning that I might as well "waste" this life loving the woman of my dreams as there'll always be another one, which is a belief I cannot provide anything close to proof to but brings be peace.
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:iconsexdolls:
sexdolls Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
when I got them would inhibit them from happening because I would lose focus on what was actually giving them to me in the first place. I eventually got around that
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:iconjarringx:
jarringx Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Chills up the spine
every day
[link]
i have my own approach to it, but I view Kundalini and the Holy Spirit as the same thing.
I may get chills just from thinking about something as if getting chills were an answer to the reality of my epiphany
other times, it's just a climax to music or movies, though a lot of times, it's personal.
Most people just feel it from the wind or when you pee.
Though I have a feeling a lot of people get them to movies without realizing it.
They just know...that was a really good movie! or that was awesome! and don't really acknowledge the feeling.
At the same time, while I was first learning to get them manually(force them through my own body mentally and emotionally for my own pleasure) acknowledging the chills when I got them would inhibit them from happening because I would lose focus on what was actually giving them to me in the first place. I eventually got around that :)
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
I can bliss out with Kundalini, if I practice around 2 hours a day, but it seemed like it was a just a playground for the ego...possibly even worse than the the regular state of being. I was still suffering, though maybe a little less because the relaxing feelings carry over afterwards for some time. Still suffering... still suffering...
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to find anotehr creative spiritual person here on DA! No I never put it on the backburner because there is no way for you to relax when there is work that always needs to be upgraded.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
I might not be the most relaxed when I'm not meditating but I get a lot of self entertainment done. :dummy:
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
don't strees about it too much though, just be happy you are doing soemthing, every persons path takes whatever amount of time it needs to take, we aren't all the same and thats what makes us all unique!
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:iconknightster:
Knightster Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
I don't have a spiritual life.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I understand your issue. And yes, us humans are quite pathetic beings that mostly just rebel against any higher state of consciousness. I don't meditate in a ritual fashion, but I do contemplate a lot during my day. Islam for one advises that an hour of contemplation/meditation is worth 50 prayers in Allah's eyes. (Of course, you don't have to personify or overly alienate a god-image.)
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
A whole hour seems like forever. :nuu: I used to practice 2-3 hours a day and it was no big deal. Oh well. Motivation, where are you?

Thanks for commenting.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sometimes you have to act by free will only. It's hard, but liberating in the end. (Not that I have the power to do that most of the time, though.)
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
Hmmm. Free will. I find myself chasing fun things only to be bored afterwards and then chasing it again, like a hamster on a wheel.
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:iconsolum-ipsum:
Solum-Ipsum Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
*sidenote: I didn't doublecheck the Islamic thing, but it's something very similar to that. I read it in one of :iconnayzak:'s deviations.
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
i know what you mean.
i've been trying to spend at lest 10 - 30 minutes everyday meditating.
the really neat thing about meditation is that you don't have to do the whole sit down, close your eyes and focus deal.
sometimes its just enough to take a moment in your day and remember/ feel your connection with everything and feel the energy flowing. i'll admit that this doesn't always work with everyone but it works for me :)
as far as praying, i don't pray much either.
of course there isn't much to pray to except the higher self (as i believe) .
like with meditation, its usually enough just to feel the energy going a particular way (even giving it a little nudge now and then).

when times are going good, they're going good.
just take the time to remember things.
when times are bad, they're bad. its not necessarily a higher being getting pissed at you or bad luck.
sometimes bad stuff gets thrown at us as a way to test us.
our mental fortitude, what kind of people we are, and what we have learned so far.

at least this is what i feel and believe
and what makes sense to me after things i've learned and experienced through life.
it doesn't necessarily work for everyone, but it works for me.
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes this is very true. I find alot of average level spiritualists who take meditation so seriously and what do they get back out of it? nothing. They get stuck on their consciousness levels and wonder why they don't get anywhere. I too am a subscriber to open types of meditation and it has elevated me along the road of my spiritual path very quickly.
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
they've obtained nothing because they havn't obtained what they're looking for yet.
or they have obtained much but not what they are wanting to get out of it.
it is a broad subject and most people have the bad habit of trying to generalize it. this isn't something that can be done with.
most people are obsessed with rules and how they think some things should be. not everything is this way.
these things need to be let go in order to experience the benefits.
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
About the rules...tell me about it. Ive come across so many who just step into opening their mind to this stuff and they think they are experts and then project all their crap on others because they think it is all soem kind of popularity contest. And then there is the poor sods who get brainashed or possessed so easily when they don't know what they're doing. No wonder they end up being used. Sorry for the rant!
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
its cool. i do rant sometimes too.

i've come across a ton of people like that. then they treat you like you don't know crap or just plain ignore you when you start talking about how it really is.
i just leave those people be. maybe they will get it eventually, or not. but does irritate me that they use it as some kind of status symbol. that misses the point entirely.
they get brainwashed because they are ignorant about the subject and just "go with the flow".
as for the people who get possessed, i think that's a crock of crap.
not saying the people don't get possessed but it seems to me that a lot of these people say that to get attention. especially depending on what kind of person they are.
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I was referring to the ones who genuinely are possessed and /or are brainwashed by cults and the like, both spirituyal and nopn spiritual groups, whenever I look at soemone either digitally here on the net or in person, I see their true self and I can also see if they are being used or are possessed by spirits or energies without their permission or are brainwashed by cults
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
of course i was thinking the more traditional sense of possession.
yes. people tend to be unknowingly influenced and manipulated by energies outside their perception of understanding.
there are people that try to make them aware of this, but they refuse to listen. almost as if they want to be manipulated.
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:iconbluefeatherarchangel:
BlueFeatherArchangel Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I essentially just walk away, can't do much for them if they choose to be servile. Whats that saying Loki says in the Avengers movie, something along the lines that humans want to be ruled etc?
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(1 Reply)
:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
I once had really strong motivation for reaching enlightenment, the motivation lasted a long time, but the more I read about enlightenment the less impressed I was with it. Also, there was no guarantee that I would reach enlightenment in one life time so I stopped taking it seriously...stopped thinking that it would make me immune to all suffering when all it's about is accepting suffering (which I found stupid at the time).
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
contrary to what most people think, enlightenment isn't just ultimate knowledge.
its actually when the answer to a question just literally comes to you like you've known it all along.
the truth is that you do already know the answers. actually, your higher self knows the answer. all meditation is is getting in touch with the higher self.
but that's only one aspect of meditation.
it also helps with focus, allows energy to flow and cycle, gets you back in touch with the earth and universe, and lets you work out stress and some issues bothering you.
you don't even have to meditate the traditional way to achieve its benefits. you can go about it doing something as simple as letting your mind wonder and even doing something like going for a jog.
what ever gets you to that point where your mind reaches a higher vibration allowing the knowledge to be accessed.
it wont make you immune to suffering but help you see the reason behind the suffering. it will help you get to the root of matters and see the purpose.
its true that the kind of enlightenment that you're referring to will take a long time to achieve. that's why it is good to get as much done in one life as you see fit.
there's no telling how much you already know through the experiences of past lives. your higher self accumulates it. that's why it is this that we communicate with.
there is so much more.
all of it can't be explained in a post in a website.
like with most things, knowledge is achieved through experience.
be it physical or spiritual/ mental.

sorry for being so sporadic.
its fairly early where i am and i havn't really taken the time to let my mind collect itself.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
I thought most people viewed enlightenment as freedom from suffering. I know some practice some forms of yoga to attain omniscienct mind (all knowing). I don't know if I believe in higher self...maybe it's the same thing as shining the light of awareness on the subconscious. I read that there are no right or wrong choices only different ones.
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
you are correct. there is no right or wrong choices. only different ones, because no matter what choice you make, you still learn something and that is the ultimate goal.
enlightenment is that also, as i said, enlightenment helps you understand the reason behind the suffering.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
Enlightenment was supposed to be freedom from suffering. I think it's just a bunch of bull to attract paying costumers to the religion. I meditated for years and years and years and I could go on meditating for the rest of my life and the teachers can just escape all responsibility by saying that enlightenment may not happen within a life time...could take hundreds of life times.
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:iconlordaltros:
LordAltros Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
as physical beings, we are always going to suffer. its part of the process of learning. as i said before, through enlightenment, we learn the reason for the suffering.
the enlightenment that you're talking about does indeed take hundreds of lifetimes to reach because that level is, for lack of a better term, an ultimate level in which one would transcend all notions of the physical trappings. this is the level that i've heard called, Buddha. you see, Buddha isn't just a single person that once existed. it is in fact a point that most of us (if not all) have been or are trying to reach. it has been only so many that have accomplished this on the physical plane, at least those that have been noted. there could very well be others but they just havn't made it widely known.
as i said earlier, there's no telling how far along you are already. how much you've already learned through past lives can only be determined through connecting with the higher self.
the higher self is our true selves. the entity we are past the bindings of the mortal coil (our physical bodies).

they arn't escaping responsibility.
they are indeed stating a possible fact.
patients plays an important role here. most people are unfamiliar with it and suffer for it.
its like a block of stone that you're trying to make in to a statue. the only way to accomplish this is to just start chipping away. little by little. you must be patient or else you can risk ruining the statue or get a sloppy result.

one of the fascinating things about this subject (enlightenment and spirituality as i am learning that it is called) is that it transcends time and space.
the truth, at the core of it all, is that we ourselves transcend time and space. the only time limit that we have is what we place on ourselves. granted that this is a good way to manage the rate that goals are reached but at the same time it hinders us because we then lose motivation if certain deadlines are not reached.
that isn't saying that you can't obtain any level now. i say keep at it.
embrace what accomplishments you do achieve no matter how small they are and know that you will in time reach the goal that you are striving for.

did you pay someone to teach you how to reach enlightenment?
you have to be careful of these people.
i wouldn't call them phonies but they will exploit the subject.
don't ever pay for something like this. you will be left unsatisfied and cheated thereby leaving a bad taste in your mouth about the whole subject all together.
all you have to do is ask the right question in the right places, and you will get the information that you need to set you in the right direction.
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:iconhoshihitode:
HoshiHitode Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Writer
i am a "mormon" as we are nicknamed, even though our actual name is church of jesus christ of latter day saints.
we are told to pray at least 2 times a day, no matter what, and we know we have trials (bad times) for a reason, because without goodness, you can't have evilness. so we pray more fervently when we have hard times, but for the most part, we try to keep our faith/prayers up during the good times and look for ways to keep our faith up so we can be ready when the evil hits. does that answer your question?
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Thanks for commenting. Some others also mentioned community being important...but many communities charge for their fees so I practice alone. I guess I'm too attached to having nothing but good times.
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:iconhoshihitode:
HoshiHitode Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Student Writer
then question: how do you know what the good times are without the bad?
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
:shrug: I wouldn't know the good if I didn't have bad. I just prefer having nothing but fun.
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:iconhoshihitode:
HoshiHitode Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Student Writer
very good advice indeed :)
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I find 'spirituality' to be an undefined concept, perpetually nebulous and devoid of any meaning.

And my entire life is far more wholesome for it. Why waste time praying to something you can't even conceive of? There's no point. Go enrich your mind with media you find interesting, instead.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
Honestly, I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out myself. I think this past year I've done a better job being engaged with that aspect of my life, but it's mainly been limited to study and maybe occasional communion with nature. I haven't been able to maintain a regular meditation or yoga practice, which is kinda mixed up with my general difficulty maintaining a regular schedule and meeting less concrete goals. I've thought about attending meditation classes as a way of overcoming this, but my social anxiety kicks in. So basically, I don't have a good answer for you.

Actually, since I should be trying to maintain positivity here, I did manage to keep up regularly with daily tarot readings throughout 08-09, which is near enough to a spiritual practice for me. I just made the time to do it every day after breakfast, and it became habitual enough that I had no problems maintaining that schedule.
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:iconjericawinters:
JericaWinters Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Being with nature is a nice activity.
I totally understand; it's hard to stick to a schedule even with a day planner. Meditation classes can be hard. I remember this one person had a stomach that growled so loud and I was better off doing it at home--I'm extremely distractable.

Tarot readings? That sounds fun. ^_^
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
I dunno, doing some kind of guided meditation elsewhere would be better in some ways, since there wouldn't be the distractions of home.

Tarot is fun. One of the neat things about doing daily readings is that you begin to see patterns form and the cards take on additional meanings. But I stopped doing them because I felt like I was reading too much of the same thing over and over again. I knew what the problem was, but reading the cards weren't getting me to fix it. So I took a break and fell out of the habit.
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Take some money, buy a plane ticket, go to China, burn some shit and hope the spirits will be pleased. That's what I'd call a good spiritual time.
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