What is the point of life? Do we just live and then die? Are we just here to have a good time and that's it? These questions are absolutely critical to know the answer to.
If we just live and die and that's it (no rebirth) then we can solve all problems with a bullet to the head (or parties?). But, there is a huge mountain of evidence that this is not the case. Whatever suffering you experience now is only an infinitesimal amount compared to what "you" have experienced before in other lives and what "you" will experience in future lives until "you" realize that you don't exist (aka, become enlightened). For more details on this topic, see my video.
The most common first step on the path is actually a misstep: thinking or feeling that we are all One Universal Mind (God). That's a simple trick the ego plays when you try to dissolve it: grow to the size of the universe so it can't be found easily. I have a blog post mostly about this, and my old 1hr vlog centering on this topic (& ayahausca) here, but maybe the most accessible vid I've done on this is: Your Fingers Are Already Fully Enlightened/Nibbana. You can also read Stages of Awakening by Thusness on this topic (he's way more advanced than most practitioners, but his prose is almost poetry & quite difficult to grasp--it literally took me years before I truly understood what he was talking about). Remember: Don't fall down the psychedelic rabbit hole: Addiction to meaning-creation is the essence of psychosis.
Note: If you are a father/mother/spouse, please take it slow with realizing you don't exist, for the sake of your family. Be here for them.
How does one become enlightened? Following the Noble Eightfold Path will awaken self-assumed "beings" into the empty disjoint perfection of Nibbana (nature as it truly is, not from a perspective), based on the Pali canon suttas.
Here's an interview with Eshwar (a true Nobody) who used ayahuasca, with proper view, and ended rebirth thru realizing no self & dependent origination. Eshwar is available for free phone consults for anyone who is serious about becoming free from the cycle of rebirth.
Also see this video on how to fix yourself with self-hypnosis and a little helper to kickstart the belief-wheel. Additional instructions for releasing negative shadow thoughts here.
Right View is a key pillar of the Eightfold Path. We must continually refine our view based on seeing reality as it is before we superimpose identity onto it. The old habit of identification is a hard one to break completely, but there's no time like the present to start breaking it. The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination are a useful tool to gaining Right View.
Remember, everything happens perfectly automatically (and disjointly!) in this universe; there is nobody here. Whatever happens is simply happening, or not, with nobody that it is happening to. Suffering/stress is inherent in the cycle of birth/death due to identification with the dream of existence. The dream of existence happens due to ignorance of the disjoint reality (see Bahiya sutta), leading to a "binding up" (or contact, phassa) of all sensations into One Awareness, which, unfortunately, most paths teach to be the ultimate truth. The point is to "hang up the phone" on identity and the experiences identified with, including psychedelic/healing experiences, so that one is not reborn after death, and the illusion of awareness is overcome.
www.liberationunleashed.com is a place where folks will help you to realize the no-self nature of reality. This is the first step (intellectual understanding). These folks also have a facebook group which is not something I recommend due to their confusion after passing thru the first realization.
Then this will map out what's left: Thusness' Six Stages of Awakening.
(Hint: the point of all this is to escape rebirth, and to do so here and now while alive in the identity dream.)
If you like that blog you can check out the related facebook group.
If you are interested in meditation for samadhi purposes, I recommend watching videos by Ajahn Brahm on how to do jhana meditation, focusing on the breath. And metta meditation for heart opening and release.
These books are also excellent guideposts:
What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula. Free online. Best book I've found so far explaining Buddha's teachings.
Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, by Ajahn Brahm
Sam Harris's book, "Waking Up," is perhaps more useful for some beginners, as he comes from a neuroscience perspective, and has Chapter 1 posted free: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/chapter-one
∞ blessings ∞
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And if you read this far, you deserve to see "real" space photos from NASA (you can go see these yourself by leaving your body as well):