Inquiry: He shouldn’t tell his students to avoid news media.

He shouldn’t tell his students to avoid news media. (The teacher I have done several inquiries on here. He told his students to not expose themselves to the news or media.)

  1. True?
    Yes. I can easily shift into taking that as true. (Feel it as true. Find stories saying it is true. Find others who agree.)
  2. Sure?
    No. Only an opinion, based on very limited insight and information. (Whatever insight and information I have, no matter how it looks in relative terms, is always very limited.)
  3. What happens when I take that story as true?
    • I make him wrong. I see him as clinging to an outmoded teaching model. He sets himself up as an old-style guru who feels it is his right and duty to tell his students how to live their lives, down to the smallest details. (Including sometimes what jobs to take!) He sets himself up as all-knowing, telling these poor saps what is best for them.
    • My mind goes to other stories about him.
      • He takes a patronizing attitude.
      • He makes his students into children, and himself into an all-knowing parent.
      • He speaks in a very imprecise language.
      • He uses a language and promote practices that goes no further than a unity experience, which is still within – and reinforces – the I-Other realm.
      • He tries to shock his students but just end up looking silly in the process.
      • All he points to is life 101 stuff, yet he tries to make it appear much more special. He spend hours talking about it, instead of inviting his students to explore it for themselves through pointing out techniques. (Such as the Big Mind process.)
      • I tell myself no wonder they don’t have more students, with such a patronizing attitude from their head teacher. People today are too mature and sophisticated to fall for such shit. Good for them! (All of these are good statements for further inquiry.)
    • I make myself right. I know. I have a better sense of how a good teacher should behave. I get it.
    • I compare him with people I see as good teachers: Adyashanti. Byron Katie. Hameed Ali/A.H. Almaas. Douglas Harding. Genpo Roshi.
    • I tell myself that other teachers take a much more mature approach to it. They differentiate, saying that sometimes it can be helpful to avoid news, to focus on something else. Yet also pointing to the benefits of exposing ourselves to that which pushes our buttons, so we get to see what is still left. Most of the time, life as-is does a good job showing us what is left. Other times, we may even deliberately seek out triggers so we get to see what is left.
    • How do I feel it in my body? Restless. Tense.
    • What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t have that belief? I am afraid that I will see his teaching as good teaching. Maybe that I will adopt some of his attitudes and approaches in my own life. How likely is it? Not very likely. I also trust the built-in feedback from life. Discomfort=belief>inquiry.
  4. Who am I without it?
    • Amused. Curious. Interested in finding what is more true for me. Interested in differentiating it for myself, seeing when avoiding news may be helpful (retreats, if our interest/energy goes somewhere else, if news is just mindless distraction and entertainment for us), yet also seeing when exposing ourselves to news may be helpful (trigger our buttons so we get to see what is left). Appreciating how his teachings invite me to find what is more true for myself.
    • Sense of being in the same boat. Don’t need to make my old and familiar views and identities right. Interested in seeing what is more true for me, move beyond what is familiar. Move into new territory. Widen the landscape a bit for myself.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • He should tell his students to avoid news.
      • Yes. I don’t really know why he did it, but I can find some reasons for myself.
      • Seeking news can be mindless distraction and entertainment. In that case, it can be helpful to notice, and then spend time on something that is more meaningful and fulfilling. (Although it seems more skillful to invite people to explore for themselves the dynamics around it, and then allow whatever shifts comes out of that to happen.)
      • If we are not used to working with projections, and don’t have the tools for working with them, exposing ourselves to news tends to push our buttons and bring us to reinforce our fixed positions and identifications. (In that case, giving people the tools to work with it seems more helpful.)
      • It triggers peoples beliefs around it, as it did for me. I see it as bad teaching, and get to explore that belief.
      • Everything in him tells him it is a good thing to say, so who am I to argue? I don’t have to follow his advice for myself, if it doesn’t seem reasonable.
    • I shouldn’t tell myself to avoid news.
      • Yes, that feels more true as well.
      • I don’t have to tell myself that story, just because he does. I can see that his advice is for himself. And my advice is for myself. I get to see his advice for himself, and there is a beauty – and generosity – in it. He invites me to see his advice for himself, what he finds works for him. Beautiful.
      • For me, exposing myself to news seems helpful. It pushes my buttons sometimes, so I get to see what is left.

4 thoughts to “Inquiry: He shouldn’t tell his students to avoid news media.”

  1. I love this!
    You wrote: “What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t have that belief? I am afraid that I will see his teaching as good teaching. Maybe that I will adopt some of his attitudes and approaches in my own life.”
    I laughed when I read this. I did an inquiry recently about someone on the belief, “She doesn’t like me.” When I asked “What am I afraid of…” I got pretty much what you did here, that I was afraid of becoming like the subject of my inquiry. What I then realised was that with the thought I behaved in similar ways to those I disliked in her. It amuses me how our minds work so hard to try and keep us separate to others.
    And is so wonderful to have this process to expose those mind-tricks.
    Thank you so much for posting your inquiries. It is a generous thing to do. I often read your blog and enjoy it immensely.

  2. I wonder – did he mean bad news, controversial news, petty news, good news??? Was he referring to TV, Radio, Internet, Newspapers, word-of-Mouth?? What is news??

    The mind’s tendency to reify, conceptionalize, chatter and obsess may be what is trying to be addressed, Or perhaps removing oneself from the global collective unconscious or negative merged field.

  3. I think news media in general – newspapers, tv, radio, news on internet.

    Or perhaps removing oneself from the global collective unconscious or negative merged field.”

    Yes, I think that is the intention. Completely valid, although there is another way that is more engaged and feels better for me right now. (To expose myself to those things, noticing when something is triggered, and then work with it.)

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