Awakening

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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:28 pm

Thanks all, for this thread. Some wonderful ironies: I believe the more time we spend choosing presence ultimately means the less time we need to choose it to be there. This comment echoes Hermitloon. I have always felt that practicing compassion makes us more compassionate. My addiction to thinking is/was as deep as anyone's. But I had the good fortune of learning a meditation technique early in my life (TM.) Ironically, that practice actually strengthens the mind. But it also allows intimations and intuitions from Source to arise in the mind more freely. I believe (from experience) that Being calls to us from beyond the veil with great regularity. I'm not going to go into the concept of spiritual guides or angels here...the vehicles for the calling are secondary.

WW - thanks for the reminder that dedicated and opportunistic time are both available!

Noord -

As soon as I try to convince myself that I am in a Present moment, that convincing was necessary because my mind tries to conceptualize what being in the Present is. In other words, some thought process comes into play when I try that convincing. I think that I understand that correctly from your description. Correct me, if you consider that I got this wrong.


Entering the present moment is a passive event. It is the ultimate irony. Optimum awareness of Now is an experience which does not require anything (like the ego or the mind) to be 'convinced.' In a way, it is a learned experience. You feel it. And, yes, it is fragile at first. Eckhart encourages awareness of the 'inner body' or the in-out of breathing, which is a kind of mantra to take your attention away from thoughts. But eventually, you won't need those crutches. I've pretty much dropped my mantra of 34 years...but 'training wheels' are always in the garage and you can clip them on as needed, depending on the stresses of the day.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby dutchred » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:03 pm

Yes, great thread folks!

My thoughts are rather still at the moment, because I concentrate of what is happening around me with all my senses.


NoordZee, (isn't that Dutch for North Sea?) I still remember vividly the first time I found myself, quite accidentally, occupying a space that felt saturated with presence. I was sitting on my bed writing in my journal, with a friend's toddler falling asleep beside me. The child's breathing slowed and deepened, and I looked up to see a rain drop running down the window. Suddenly I was completely absorbed in the sound of the boy breathing and the drop of water, which seemed sensate.

Eckhart mentioned somewhere in the webcasts that there are degrees of presence. Most of my presence is still of the sort described above--much like yours. I am still somewhat aware of time, and the sense of self is much weakened but not gone. Thoughts are for the most part at bay, but I could return to them easily. And sometimes I do, just watching them flit about, like birds in the sky. Watching thoughts is fine, but I feel more present when my focus is on something else--like on the raindrop or the sound of breath.

Much later, through this valuable forum, I became aware of "below the head" awareness. This, for me, was where I began to lose the sense of "thoughts at bay." Putting your attention on the sounds and sights around you, and feeling how rooted they are in being, may well be enough to keep you in the present moment. But this type of awareness is still head-based--the sense of self is still slightly there. Below-the-head awareness is easiest for me to do outside, and while sitting, rather than walking. I start with the usual attentive looking and listening and smelling, and then, I move my awareness into the body below the head. It isn't an out-of-body experience, quite, but it is an out-of-mind one, anyway. These are where my first deeper glimpses of oneness came.

Best,

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Re: Awakening

Postby James » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:26 pm

Really enjoying reading all the insights and authentic sharing in this topic. Thanks to all.

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Re: Awakening

Postby NoordZee » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:53 am

Thank you Webwanderer, dutchred, Andy, HermitLoon for your valuable contribution and assistance.
Consider also, that your descriptions of your sensory experience to me is an appropriate use of mind and thought. What gets us drawn back into mind as identity is making those descriptions to one's self. If you find your self, self-describing the content of the moment, know that it is just the ego/mind reastablishing control of perspective. Engage in these experiential adventures often. Do so without effort or interest in mental descriptions. When the mind engages in thoughts, as Sighclone pointed out is likely, let them go without fanfare or frustration. Simply return to an experiencial perspective of now.
What you seem to be saying here is, Webwanderer, that I have to 'simply' become aware of all the things that are happening around me without attempting to 'label' the observations. That is quite a task, and the question arises in my mind whether we really can observe what is happening around us without thought. I have a feeling that I know what you mean, but I am currently not able to put this understanding in words. In addition to what I described yesterday, I now also have some music on. It is classical music and I simply enjoy hearing the soothing sounds. Maybe, I am not consciously translating this sensation that I am hearing music but just experiencing the beauty of it. I don't know for sure :(

NoordZee, (isn't that Dutch for North Sea?) I still remember vividly the first time I found myself, quite accidentally, occupying a space that felt saturated with presence. I was sitting on my bed writing in my journal, with a friend's toddler falling asleep beside me. The child's breathing slowed and deepened, and I looked up to see a rain drop running down the window. Suddenly I was completely absorbed in the sound of the boy breathing and the drop of water, which seemed sensate.
Yes, dutchred, NoordZee naturally means North Sea :D I can relate to what you are describing here. We are talking about not being caught up in our thinking. Instead, we become aware of sensations that normally get crowded out by our thoughts. I think that I am on the right track here.

Much later, through this valuable forum, I became aware of "below the head" awareness.
That goes a bit beyond me at the moment dutchred. Presumably, you observe something and then mentally ,push' that observation downwards. Perhaps I vaguely understand what you are saying here.

I believe (from experience) that Being calls to us from beyond the veil with great regularity. I'm not going to go into the concept of spiritual guides or angels here...the vehicles for the calling are secondary.
Don't be afraid to say God, Andy. Anyway, the word Being can mean the greater universal intelligence. I presume it all depends on what you call this intelligence. I agree with you Andy that entering into the Present has to be a passive event. If you deliberately tell yourself that you are now in the Present, it becomes a mind related exercise. Am I beginning to see the light :!: ?

Namaste, Frits
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:04 pm

From ET's "Stillness Speaks", page 22-24:

The truth is the most significant thing that can happen to you. It is the beginning of a shift from thinking to aware presence. Become at ease with the state of "not knowing." This takes you beyond the mind because the mind is always trying to conclude and interpret. It is afraid of not knowing. So, when you can be at ease with not knowing, you have already gone beyond the mind. A deeper knowing that is non-conceptual then arises out of that state.

Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling - mastery in any field of endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over. There is no decision-making process anymore; spontaneous right action takes place, and "you" are not doing it. Mastery of life is the opposite of control.

The Truth is far more all-encompassing than the mind could ever comprehend. No thought can encapsulate the truth. At best it can point to it. For example, it can say: "All things are intrinsically one." That is a pointer, not an explanation. Understanding these words means feeling deep within you the truth to which they point.


Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby HermitLoon » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 pm

Yes Andy! :D Beautiful :D
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Re: Awakening

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:30 pm

NoordZee wrote:What you seem to be saying here is, Webwanderer, that I have to 'simply' become aware of all the things that are happening around me without attempting to 'label' the observations.


Yes and no. You do not really need the distinction of "around me". If anything, I point to a perception within awareness.

That is quite a task, and the question arises in my mind whether we really can observe what is happening around us without thought.


Look closely at that question and let go of your need to answer it. It's just more mind stuff. Rather than analytically dissecting what you experience, ponder what you experience without thinking. To do that you must sense the experience through your feeling nature. When you touch an ice cube, do you really need to label it to know its qualtities? Every"thing" you experience can be percieved in the same way.

Thinking about what you experience causes a disconnect, or shift in perspective, from direct awareness into conceptual analysis. Aware sensual perception is a now relationship with life as it is.

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Re: Awakening

Postby NoordZee » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:03 am

Thank you for your continuing efforts to educate me. I really appreciate this!
Webwanderer said:
When you touch an ice cube, do you really need to label it to know its qualtities?


If I have my eyes closed and there is an ice cube in front of me, which I did not know, when I touch it I would momentarily feel the 'unusual' cold object before automatically jerking my hand back. I could than open my eyes and recognise it as an ice cube. Presumably, to continue an analogy, if I had never seen or heard of an ice cube, I would stare in awe at this object that causes such a cold impression to my touch. In this case, I would experience the ice cube rather than analysing it for what it is. It is the latter part you seem to be alluding to WW.

I have the intention to repeat here a Blog that I wrote elsewhere. It describes in very brief terms why so many people are struggling to get out of the "thought trap". I think that it could be relevant to this forum and could spur others to see the relevance of Eckhart Tolle's teachings.

Namaste, Frits
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Re: Awakening

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:44 am

NoordZee wrote:If I have my eyes closed and there is an ice cube in front of me, which I did not know, when I touch it I would momentarily feel the 'unusual' cold object before automatically jerking my hand back. I could than open my eyes and recognise it as an ice cube. Presumably, to continue an analogy, if I had never seen or heard of an ice cube, I would stare in awe at this object that causes such a cold impression to my touch. In this case, I would experience the ice cube rather than analysing it for what it is. It is the latter part you seem to be alluding to WW.


Fritz, my friend, in all fairness I feel you are yet over thinking this modus understandi. It doesn't matter what your historical familiarity is with an ice cube (or any manifestation of form). What matters is how you relate to it. Does your perception come through analytical classifications and descriptive memories of identification, or does it come through present sensory impression and direct contact? One will give you a conceptual knowledge of form and conditions, the other will offer an experiential relationship adding to the richness of being.

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Re: Awakening

Postby NoordZee » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:59 am

It just goes to show, WW, how difficult this concept for me is. If it were easy, everybody would be in the Present without a problem and be able to have experiential adventures. I probably understand the concept intellectually but have great difficulty translating this into real, beneficial action. I shall continue on my long journey and thank you again for your patient replies.
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Re: Awakening

Postby dutchred » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:11 am

If you feel your analytical mind more than you would like, NoordZee, it can be helpful to place yourself in the mind of a newborn baby while looking and listening. If you have kids or grandkids, you probably remember what it felt like to have their eyes meet yours for the first time. No judging, no fear--just quiet, empty looking.

From within this infant-mind, if you hear all of our voices in the background telling you what to do, we'll just sound like nonsensical babble. And you can get on with the task at hand! :)

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Re: Awakening

Postby NoordZee » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:20 am

Dutchred wrote:
If you feel your analytical mind more than you would like, NoordZee, it can be helpful to place yourself in the mind of a newborn baby while looking and listening. If you have kids or grandkids, you probably remember what it felt like to have their eyes meet yours for the first time. No judging, no fear--just quiet, empty looking.

Thank you for that analogy dutchred. I have indeed grandchildren and to put myself back into a baby's mind will take me back a couple of centuries. :D At least, that is how this feels. Seriously though, I know what you are saying here and I take this on board.
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Re: Awakening

Postby tikey » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:09 pm

looks like i already known all that. cheers
Im just a cloudless sky :)
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Re: Awakening

Postby PlutoISaplanet » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:46 am

Sighclone wrote:Pluto -


If I'm in the present moment, THAT feels false.



In several months of reading and posting, I've never heard anyone mention that being in the now felt false. Nor has it ever felt that way to me. It's gotta be your ego, which must have some little semi-conscious story like "Pluto, the person who is always nervous" as part of the script.

Namaste, Andy


Hi Andy. There was something about your post that nagged at me for a while. I was reading Jack Kornfeld's new book, "The Wise Heart" this evening, and came across this passage that I'd like to share with you.

"Unhealthy thoughts can chain us to the post. They arise as vipaka, the result of past karma that we cannot change. We can, however, change our destructive thoughts in the present. Through mindfulness trainings we can recognize them as bad habits learned long ago. Then we can take the critical next step. We can discover how these obsessive thoughts cover over grief, insecurity, and loneliness. This underlying suffering needs to be held with compassion. As we gradually learn to tolerate these underlying energies, we can reduce their pull.

But even knowing their source and feeling them with compassion is not enough to transform the most difficult patterns. We have to replace them. This is the movement of creating healthier karma. Such thought replacement can be challenging, for we are loyal to our stories. They become our identity. There's an uneasy moment when the destructive stories we have been telling ourselves collapse. We can feel worried, doubtful, spacy, or frightened of the unknown."(emphasis mine).

I think this passage beautifully illustrates why I felt the way I did. Undoubtedly, I am not alone. If everyone were comfortable with experiencing only the present moment, this board would not exist. Many seekers are coming into this way of being bit by bit. Yes, there are moments of presence, of Now consciousness, but these moments slip away. And these moments can and do feel unnerving. It can feel groundless.

I think it is very important for people to understand that one most likely won't just "click into the Now" and experience bliss. It's a gradual process. Yes, Tolle had one moment of Enlightenment. His admitted 29 years of anxiety and depression slipped away. I think that we can all agree that that experience is the exception rather than the rule. The rest of us are gradually letting go of our need to control our future and live in the past. We do need to feel compassion for ourselves as we try to integrate an entirely new way of being, one that counteracts the training that we have received our entire lives.
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Re: Awakening

Postby NoordZee » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:24 am

PlutoISaplanet wrote:
I think this passage beautifully illustrates why I felt the way I did. Undoubtedly, I am not alone. If everyone were comfortable with experiencing only the present moment, this board would not exist. Many seekers are coming into this way of being bit by bit. Yes, there are moments of presence, of Now consciousness, but these moments slip away. And these moments can and do feel unnerving. It can feel groundless.

Oh yes, PlutoISaplanet, you certainly are not alone and we two are not alone and all members of this forum are not alone :wink: I concur that it would be exceedingly rare to suddenly get that flash on insight and that very warm and peaceful feeling that comes with it. However, the more I read about this in this forum and elsewhere, the more I begin to understand the underlying principles.
We do need to feel compassion for ourselves as we try to integrate an entirely new way of being, one that counteracts the training that we have received our entire live

Again I feel inclined to say 'yes' here. Most people do not live in the Present and are identified with their egos. This "nurture" environment is bound to rub off on all of us. As we philosophize and expand our thinking and understanding, we shall gradually achieve this living in the Present. I know that I increasingly experience the Now and am aware of that. I am sure that I am saying something wrong here again and I am bound to be pulled up by someone else on this subject :D
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