---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote :
I don't know what Barry does when he is alone, but he is living with others according to his own account, so how much aloneness he experiences seems a bit difficult to determine from across the pond; how much he drinks is also difficult to determine. He posted a photo of a glass of red wine, shot in a garden once, in the evening, next to his laptop. Kind of hard to avoid that if you live in France for a while. I don't feel hurt or bitter, and I cannot tell if Barry has such emotions, for as a writer, he assumes various points of view, not necessarily what he is himself experiencing, so I am always curious how you determine these characterisations. He tried TM, and followed Lenz for a while. I suspect he learned something from those experiences. For myself, I did try TM; it worked quite well for some four decades plus though it seems a little frayed now; mindfulness works better now, which it did not in the beginning, but I learned mindfulness first, a long time ago. Not-doing now is a breeze. I tend not to follow spiritual teachers; I mine them for the information I desire. Spiritual teachers are a quirky lot. As just about everyone seems to have some screws loose before they get into spiritual concerns, I always wonder how much of that remains once they have been immersed in the spiritual quest for a time, and that goes for the 'masters' too. As we are part of that group that are, or were seekers, I suspect none of us are free of some individual quirks that might annoy others. A certain kind of luck is required because until a certain point, you cannot tell if a spiritual teacher is just screwing you over or giving you truly good advice, so going down blind alleys is always a potential result. I am pretty sure Barry thinks you are self-deluded about your alleged enlightenment, probably on the basis you promote it over much, but also he does not seem to consider what is generally called enlightenment here on FFL significant compared to other possible experiences. That is not my view, but then I have never met anyone who does have my view, other people think different things. Curious isn't that? For my part, based on what you have said, I think you had some sort of experience, epiphany, or awakening, but your descriptions of the result leave me in doubt because they seem to lack certain details, and you did not seem to grasp concepts found in Vedanta at all, even though this is way of looking at enlightenment is directly involved with Shankara, and Maharishi certainly seemed aware of it, though he did not seem to talk about it extensively. The concepts are not 'the truth' of course but you should be able to manipulate and explain the principles. I suppose I find your statements lack a certain precision, because I like precision, and that does not seem to be your way of expressing yourself. You tend, from my point of view, to block things out in broad strokes. I sometimes drink beer and watch TV alone, but usually I drink tea or coffee or a soda, and usually I watch TV with someone else unless the content strains their sensibilities, as quite a few meditators seem to have difficulty with certain kinds of images, either by inclination, or by having been programmed by others to avoid such because it is not 'evolutionary'. It doesn't take a Sherlock to be able to figure out how bawee spends his time - he tells us in almost every post. He also tells us what he believes, what he is feeling and not only that, he tells us what we should believe and what we should be feeling. It is right there Xeno, in black and white. bawee is no mystery nor does he choose to make his daily rituals and habits some sort of enigma. How you think it all adds up to equate to the kind of person you seem to think he is varies from what some others sum it all up to indicate. I am not sure why you feel you need to explain or defend him. Maybe you feel bad for the guy or maybe you just like to provide an alternate viewpoint. As far as Mac goes I have no idea how to categorize someone as enlightened or not or whether how they describe it fills the bill (hey empty). It makes absolutely zero difference to me whether someone is enlightened or not. I hung around someone I believed to be enlightened for a while and it ended rather badly. Once bitten, twice shy or so someone supposedly said. So, while I don't give a rat's ass about surrounding myself with enlightened people or reading about them I simply go by what a person does and says and how they interact with me and the world. Mac, to me, is a well-rounded, intelligent and interesting guy who doesn't suffer fools very well. I can relate to much of what he says here. All that is just fine and dandy with me. If he is enlightened on top of all that, then consider it the cherry. In your last paragraph you indicate you live with or associate with other meditators. Interesting - a glimpse into your life. Plus, you live in a beautiful town in upstate NY, or so I think I remember it.