Inquiry vs. the Now

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Imed
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Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Imed » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:53 am

Recently, I have been listening a lot to the spiritual teacher Mooji on Youtube. For the most part, the basis of his teaching is around inquiry. This is different than Tolle who just says to be 'present' and 'in the Now'. When I inquire, i get to where I see that I am nothing that is of form this no-thing cannot be spoken of or even conceptualized. 'It' is prior to anything else because without 'It' (or I) then nothing else could exist. Once I get to this point, I realize that all I am left with is the Now. I'm not sure if this is what the inquiry was for in the first place, but if it is, then could we just say to 'be in the Now' the way that Tolle does?

Thank you for your replies :)

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kiki
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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by kiki » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:36 pm

It sounds like you are doing just fine, Imed.
I'm not sure if this is what the inquiry was for in the first place, but if it is, then could we just say to 'be in the Now' the way that Tolle does?
Inquiry is for discovering that there is no separate "you", that what you are is nothing in the world of form and that what you are is formless consciousness - that can only happen now because there is no time in reality. Self-inquiry is a direct assault on the false assumption that "I" exist and that's why I like it so much because it goes right to the root of where perceived problems exist.

ET gets you there too, but not in such a direct way. It seems as though he leaves in place the assumption of a "me" that somehow has to get into the "now" and then make sure you stay there. He doesn't stress the fact that the me is a phantom entity, that it doesn't actually exist. This is reflected in this notion that you have a painbody. But once you've awakened and then reread him it is quite evident that he is continually pointing out that what you are is consciousness itself. This gets missed by a lot of people who are new to all of this.

His teaching has evolved over time, and he often says things like "you are the now", which is much more direct than before. Perhaps he doesn't go full bore with self-inquiry because he wants to appeal to a broader audience. Not many seekers are ready to hear that they don't exist.

The ego cannot exist "now", and now is all there is, but the illusion of time makes the ego seem to be real; it isn't, that's why self-inquiry is so powerful. To say "be in the now" still implies that there is time, and there isn't. To say "you are the now" is a koan-like statement that can trigger awakening. It forces you to drop thinking because you can't think and be fully cognizant of now simultaneously. You can only think about the now, which misses entirely what he is pointing to.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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karmarider
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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by karmarider » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:53 pm

Inquiry has worked very well for you, and that's wonderful. Inquiry can work, but for some, inquiry can become an intellectual pursuit. Ramana Maharshi suggested "Who am I" and "To whom does this thought occur" and he quickly realized that many westerners, possibly because of the Tamil-English translation, took the inquiry as an intellectual analysis.

Tolle's being in the Now is powerful but for some it can be misleading. We are always in the Now; when else can we be? Tolle is really saying be aware that you are in the Now.

Awakening starts in the mind and it is the ego which embarks on the quest. We start with concepts and ideas about awakening and methods and techniques. I suggest people start with the technique they find easiest and don't let the mind settle on any fixed ideas or concepts. Then the realization crystallizes that we are and have always been the effortless, unoccupied, gentle, choiceless awareness, and then it is seen that the chasing of our own tail was necessary to see that it is not.

Imed
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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Imed » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:11 pm

Thank you both for your replies and I agree with both of you. I have previously realized that it seemed odd that Tolle says 'be in the now'; this does in fact seem like there is still a 'me' who has to do some task which is why I think I left Tolle's teachings to search for other teachers in the first place. However, just as karmarider said, I have also experienced when using the inquiry just to have the mind spin its cogs around trying to find/understand something that it will never be able to grasp. I have found (at least for me) that kind of a combination of both is needed: In order for the inquiry to do it's job of exposing the ego, it is helpful to first become very aware of all that is in perception which in turn will keep the mind quiet and allow the inquiry to start cutting away the false identities.

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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Sighclone » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:18 am

"Who Am I" starts as an intellectual exercise for most people. But in that question, or related questions like "To whom do these thoughts arise?" are contained both the final frustration of the mind and the emergence of a deeper experience which makes the question itself fall away. The answers which came, at least for me were a whole series of additional questions: "Who indeed? Is there an "I' to actually be a "who?" How big is that "I"? Is is measurable? Does it die?" And more like that. Finally the whole question itself became meaningless.

And then I ate a sandwich.

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

Imed
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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Imed » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:30 am

LOL was your sandwhich good?

Yeah, there are many forms of the question 'who am I?'.

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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Craig » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:30 am

karmarider wrote:Inquiry has worked very well for you, and that's wonderful. Inquiry can work, but for some, inquiry can become an intellectual pursuit. Ramana Maharshi suggested "Who am I" and "To whom does this thought occur" and he quickly realized that many westerners, possibly because of the Tamil-English translation, took the inquiry as an intellectual analysis.
Intriguingly, one of the Seon Buddhist monks of Korea advises against a formal or deliberate self inquiry. She suggests that trying to force an inquiry is not fruitful. Instead, she advocates allowing questions to spontaneously arise, which will be far more powerful and meaningful than someone else's inquiry that you appropriate to use. This corresponds with Adya's experience of awakening, which involved the spontaneous arising of the question "Who is it that hears this sound?"

In general, I've found that "Who am I?" often ends up being too intellectual of an analysis. Mooji's style of questioning and inquiry seems to be more effective, which is one of the reason's I've come to like him a lot as a spiritual teacher.
Who am I?

Sw A Devagni
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Re: Inquiry vs. the Now

Post by Sw A Devagni » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:09 pm

I think they are two bases of the same triangle. On one base, you have inquiry; on the other side, you have the Now.

They are both facets of essential awareness, and are crucial in our awakening. One is the more 'personal' side, where 'you' are inquiring; the other is the impersonal, non-dual awareness; pure perception; awareness of all things.

But at the apex of that triangle you have exactly what you describe; in other words, they both lead to the same place.

Adyashanti also talks about this in a book called 'True Meditation'. What he calls 'true meditation' is actually shikantaza, or just sitting, or just allowing everything to be as it exactly is.

He also says they are both essential elements of our awakening; according to him, if we get stuck in Being, we can become too dry, withdrawn, abstract, etc. But Being is on the other hand your Essential Nature, so again, it's both.

Hope this helps.

Bye for now,

Dev x

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