After watching Geoffrey’s video more than once (understatement) my main take is that the key to becoming actually free is the ability to feel good consistently (rather than investigating, contemplating, etc) and that has been my focus the last few weeks.
I’ve been able to clear a few hours each day to experiment with this ‘simple’ thing - feeling good (enjoy and appreciate) just for being alive now.
In practice I found that it’s trickier than it sounds , even when I could nail the set and setting - I still couldn’t maintain a feeling good vibe / state for ‘extended’ periods of time (say, 10 minutes ) even though I didn’t notice anything that might have spoiled it (trigger). Is it a matter of habituation ? lack of awareness or reluctance to see ? Or maybe I misunderstood what enjoying and appreciating means ?
I’ll be happy to hear other people’s insights or tips on what works or doesn’t work for them in achieving this state and what in their eyes qualifies as enjoyment and appreciation.
First off, congrats on taking the time and the initiative to actually directly try the simple thing and experiment with it! This is the way to do it and it will pay dividends. It’s not the hardest thing in the world and just a matter of time until you figure it out…
So my question is, what are you experiencing when the feeling good vibe/state fades? Is it boredom, anxiety, irritation, listlessness? What is happening instead of feeling good?
And does feeling good happen and then fade into this other state? Or is it a matter of not getting to solid ‘feeling good’ in the first place (even for say 1-2 minutes)?
In terms of what qualifies I’d just say it’s a simple generally “enjoying yourself”. It doesn’t have to be amazing or extraordinary or wondrous - that all comes later. But just a simple like "yeah this is nice ".
When I find myself slipping into feeling good where I wasn’t before, I notice i’ll make a comment (either in my head or to others) like “what a fine morning” or “what a fine day it is”. That’s my reaction to commencing feeling good, or noticing i’m feeling good. So maybe that can help convey the flavor of it.
The following quote from Richard might be helpful:
As an aside, it is worth mentioning that ‘feeling good’ each moment again over extended periods is thus not an emotion per se but, rather, an affective mood – as in, ‘I’m in a good mood today’ (and, conversely, ‘I’m in a bad mood today’) – just as ‘feeling happy’ moment-to-moment, for the remainder of one’s life, is also an affective mood (e.g., ‘I’m in a happy mood today’) as it would be simply impossible to sustain an emotional happiness day-after-day week-after-week, let alone being passionately happy, due to such being both emotionally draining and, usually, a conditional happiness anyway.
It is correspondingly worth noting that mood is to temperament as weather is to climate inasmuch a person who is predominantly in a good mood is generally described as having an agreeable temperament (a.k.a. as being of a generally cheerful disposition) – as contrasted to those usually depicted as bad-tempered by nature (a.k.a. as being a generally unpleasant character) – such that a prolonged ‘feeling good’ mood becomes a matter of temperament and disposition and, thereby, ultimately of character.
EDIT: and this: (emphasis mine)
BEFORE applying the actualism method – the ongoing enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive – it is essential for success to grasp the fact that this very moment which is happening now is your only moment of being alive.
I initially replied by email but somehow it didn’t go thru so I’m replying again here:
Good leading questions! It’s more of a return to a Meh state , nothing too distinguishable… as if the baseline is below the threshold of feeling good.
The feeling good is also not very solid as in consistent. Is feeling good something you slip into ? Or is it more deliberate ? Effort on my part mostly achieves the opposite - creates tension
Try to notice what thoughts you had when the feeling good faded (stay attentive next time if you can’t remember). It’s likely that a thought bumped against a part of your identity. Most likely one of your “themes”, reoccurring emotions caused by things that happened in the past or money worries or aspects of yourself you’re not happy with or whatever. They tend to cause a lot underlying background tension that bubbles under the surface, barely noticeable (at least for me they did).
Best not to force feeling good. Shouldn’t be too much effort involved (like you noticed).
I think Srinath or Geoffrey said at one point that it’s best to take baby steps with feeling good. Take whatever morsels of feeling good you have and appreciate them.
A bit of delight in my surroundings can also help me feel good more consistently (I usually feel my baseline has improved after a PCE walk)
It might help to simply try doing something you find fun (conditional enjoyment) to get you into a nice mood. Then see if that can segue into having a generally good time (i.e. it segues to a good mood in general as opposed to an emotion of having fun doing something in particular). And then you can watch for when that generally good mood fades - what thought or event triggered you to come out of that generally good mood? And if you are able to see it as silly then your good mood will return!
Well, when you get back to feeling good again, there is an element that helps to mantain it (i.e., making more difficult to return to neutral) or enhace it (i.e, making easier to feeling even better): enjoy the sensuousness that comes by itself with feeling good. This doesn’t mean pursuing sensuousness (for example, while being neutral).
Dropbox informed me that this link was automatically suspended, because it generated “excessive traffic”. Have you guys been sharing this with your grandmothers, or the totality of your facebook contacts? lol
When I posted this video on Slack, I said that it was not meant for publication. It was just a quick edit of an impromptu recording, intended for those participants of Slack who weren’t present that day. That is why I didn’t look further than dropbox, instructing the recipients to just download it. Actually, the reason it’s still in my dropbox, is because I forgot about it hahaha.
I haven’t watched it since, but I remember it as not being of the quality I would intend for a video destined to publication.
Anyway… all my dropbox public links are dead now lol.
Oh my god I’m so sorry @geoffrey ! I think posting it triggered that, because the link worked and embedded but now it’s down. I should have sent as messaged or asked you first before sending. Apologies for the inconvenience.
[Deleted the post in case that helps, but probably not]
I’ve stated before that I probably will make more videos someday. If I find myself doing that, and creating something like a youtube channel, I’ll have another look at this one and see if it’s worth posting or not.
In the meantime it’s not like I’m censoring stuff, you guys are free to privately share this video with whoever you think could benefit from it (or just needs to see an actually free person’s face to ascertain if they’re obviously weird, or crazy people … although the AFT dvd extracts already do a sufficient job in that regard).
In what language does the word “privately” translate to posting the said video on an open forum?
Did you think that adding:
… somehow made it more acceptable?
You knew you didn’t have permission, and you went ahead anyway.
It’s not clear what that was supposed to achieve, but if it made something abundantly clear, it’s that you seem to have strange conceptions about consent.
Just to enlighten you: you’re supposed to be asking permission before doing stuff. Not just doing stuff and accompanying it with unapologetic smileys.
It’s like you think you can walk all over boundaries without people minding, if only your smile is cute enough… Is that how it works for you?.. Are you a child?