I have a new question. I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life. I am currently taking low doses of a sedative to basically keep my mind "even". At this point, I'm not even sure that I could maintain even the bare minimum of concentration required for any type of meditation without their use. My question is this: Do you think that the use of such sedatives (xanax and the like), would or could somehow prevent one from attaining Realization?
No, neither anti-anxiety or anti-depressive meds would prevent self-realization. They affect the body-mind and you are not that. You are far beyond that. Only attend to your own sens eof being or existence.
Please don't consider this medical advice in any way, shape, or form. I know you're not a doctor, and I'm not asking you this question on the basis of whether or not I should continuing taking the sedatives.
But I have a doctorate in clinical psychology and was trained to be a psychologist even though not so licensed. I am well aware of the effects of many psychotropic medications.
Your answer will have no impact on that, so rest assured. However, I would like to know if there is any possible effect on the attainment of Realization with their use. Eventually, I will stop taking them. What I was hoping to do was to conquer the fear beforehand, much like Bill W. or whatever his name is (the founder of AA), only stopped drinking AFTER his experience. I still have other fears that surface that I work through, so it's not as if I'm completing avoiding working through that.
I emphasize meds will not affect enlightenment. Even alcoholism does not. These are of the body. You are not the body. There will be lots of changes before and after enlightenment. Do not worry about where you are now. Where you are now, what you are doing in terms of eating, meds, drinking, etc., will not impact your enlightnment. Of course, doing without bad habits helps, such as eating meat, too much alcohol, etc.
I know there are some like Ram Dass who claim to have attained some Realization with the use of psychedelics and the like. So, I would assume that since the body isn't me, nor is the mind, etc, that the use of these medications to enable me to concentrate at all wouldn't have an effect on Realization, but I don't know for sure. Thanks in advance.
No effect whatsoever. Still, not eating meat, cheese, eggs, etc. does lighten the mind a lot for some reason. I felt a huge rush of increased self-esteem and lowered guilt when I stopped eating meat many years ago.