Struggling with consciousness

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
Post Reply
searching4something
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:59 pm
Location: France & Edinburgh

Struggling with consciousness

Post by searching4something » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:07 pm

Hi everybody,

I am new to ET and have just began reading The Power of Now - currently somewhere between Chapters 2 and 3.

At first I got what I would describe as 'a great 20 second odd rush' when reading and experimenting with what Eckhart talks about letting the mind wander and simply observe. This is short in comparison but to me was quite bliss : )

However I am now finding it a bit more difficult to refind these sensations and my mind is becoming fixed on the idea "I cannot do this" - against my will.
I suppose my question is : Has anyone gone through extreme persistance and perseverance with getting anywhere with the practices?

I think I have a fear of letting go - it feels like a fear of being naked or exposed. Has anyone else had the same experience or thoughts?

Thanks,
Alan

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4570
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by kiki » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:49 pm

However I am now finding it a bit more difficult to refind these sensations and my mind is becoming fixed on the idea "I cannot do this" - against my will.
I suppose my question is : Has anyone gone through extreme persistance and perseverance with getting anywhere with the practices?

I think I have a fear of letting go - it feels like a fear of being naked or exposed. Has anyone else had the same experience or thoughts?
I would guess most people who have an initial taste of awakening struggle to regain it later. This is because they are attempting to get it back through some kind of effort, through the use of the mind. What happened initially was a letting go, a relaxing, and out of that came a brief awakening. Awakening is not dependent on using the mind at all, but on "letting go", so mind becoming fixed on anything is what gets in the way. And fear is the most potent weapon ego uses to avoid the truth, that ego itself doesn't exist. Fear is just another mask that ego wears to keep itself "alive". See if you can find ego, see if it's real, present here always, then ...

Stop everything - stop every effort to do, every impulse to understand, every need to "know" anything. Just stop and allow yourself to be, without trying or needing to be anything in particular and see what is present here always, the quiet still alertness of Consciousness Itself. When everything stops all that remains is Being/Consciousness, and That's what "You" are - Being takes no doing to "be" - it already is, as it is, fully and completely here now. So, relax deeply and just be.
"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
---

arel
Posts: 581
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:11 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by arel » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:11 am

You're describing an experience that happened to you. Consider that every experience stands out. You are completely capable of being present but you're looking for the same freshness, newness, almost "surprising" nature of that experience, because it is different from the constant mind chatter. That's why it stands out, but it is quite ordinary. There is not much to it. You can be present and be aware of being present easily. Seriously. But now that initial newness maybe gone. What's "hard" is stopping the mind chatter. That chatter takes up a lot of attention! But you, and I, snap out of it, and you're here and now. Simply. But so now just put your attention to the source of that attention, just simply become aware of the awareness that you are, aren't you obviously and simply just here and now, being present? Can you say that you are the present moment? But don't stress looking for it, it's right here in front your face, right now.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6765
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:24 pm

Searching4something,

Sense your aliveness, without attempts to mold it through thought or defintions. Just simple awareness of what it feels like to be alive in this moment.

Be open to the Truth of being and have a willingness to sacrafice all that stands in the way of alignment with essence, with what gives you life. What stands in the way are just stories of specified identity, but they're just thoughts adopted as reality. The fear you feel is just another thought that helps the false concepts of identity (ego) maintain its hold on perspective. In truth your sense of being won't disappear, it will flourish. Your imagined concept of a separate "me" however, will begin to be recognized for what it is. That sense of "me" is just a thought structure that awareness looks through and is a smaller sense of being than is available in genuine, thought-free presence. Only experience in clarity will bear this out. Look and see, for your Self.

WW

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6364
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by Sighclone » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:57 am

s4s --

Be right with any fear that comes up. Invite it in. Explore the fear. Shrink not from it. Embrace it. Then see how real it is. The mind is like a puppy dog without any boundaries. You are the park, full of grass and flowers and potential. the puppy dog thinks it rules, but it is a momentary busy drumbeat. You are the universe.

Here is an old post with a similar analogy, by member dubhasa:

* * * * *
I am ferocious guard dog. Since I came into this world, I have only one job; to protect my owner and property. I am very well trained to do the job. I am very skillful and shrewd. I know that there are enemies out there trying to attack my owner. I will never let that happen. I have a wide jaw, sharp teeth and I am fearless of my enemies.

It is very dark out there. My owner is sleeping inside. I am constantly awake and watchful. I know what my job is. Every time I hear a sound, I bark loudly. I try to attack. I try to scare my enemies away. I cannot see very clearly because it is dark and foggy. Whenever I hear neighborhood dogs barking, I bark with them. I join them to protect my owner.

It has been very long time. Sometimes I feel fatigued and very tired. I am always active, always worried, and suspicious of every single movement. I am always barking. I am always planning what to do; just in case if my enemies come inside. I am on the move. My throat is hoarse. My body aches; there have been many wounds all over my body. I am constantly in pain and hurting.

Things have changed a bit recently. I noticed some activity inside the house. I feel that my owner is waking up. I am somewhat relaxed now. I don't have to bark too loudly. My pace has also slowed down.

Things are much different now. I know that my owner is awake. I haven't seen him yet. I just feel the presence. It is a bright sunny day outside. I feel very relaxed. I can see that there are just trees and branches swaying outside, not enemies. I have stopped barking now. I hear neighborhood dogs barking. I don't join them anymore. I stopped running around. I stay very quite nowadays. I had heard some dogs barking about it. They think I am dead. They also think I abandoned my duties. They do not know why I stopped barking. They do not know why I don't join them anymore.

I have realized that there is no need to protect my owner. All I know that my owner is awake and there is no threat from outside. Nowadays I just lie down in the green luscious grass. I watch many birds and butterflies and blue sky most of the times. Very rarely I bark. I don't see enemies anywhere. Many times, I chase birds but it is just a game. I am very careful not to hurt them. There is a female cat and two kittens in the yard. Surprisingly they are not afraid of me. I take good care of them. They keep on frolicking around I enjoy so much watching their playfulness.

What I most relish is sitting by the master. I sit by the feet. Everything is very calm and quiet. I am not sleeping but very alert. I feel very nourished and gratitude for everything.

* * * * *

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

searching4something
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:59 pm
Location: France & Edinburgh

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by searching4something » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:21 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Kiki - what you said really resonates with me. I guess I am trying to recreate something that happened in the past which is impossible.

Have any of you had the same problems? Another question I have is what stage are you guys at in your awakening? Is it something you can meausre and judge in the way I talk about it or is it simply... bliss - that you don't actually judge or measure?

Kind thanks and good luck to everyone

x

User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4570
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by kiki » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:27 pm

I was having awakening experiences when I was in my teens (I am now 58) but I never knew what they were or why they were happening. They would come at night as I was awaiting sleep to come or relaxing while soaking in the bathtub and suddenly the "I" was no longer there; all there was was awareness with no thought. It was all very strange to me but I was anxious to "get it back". Eventually I learned to meditate and I would occasionally get a glimpse again. This was enough to set me on a path to have that all the time and to become "enlightened" as defined by my initial teacher of meditation. It was a journey of nearly 30 years, a journey that always dangled the goal in front of me, like the proverbial carrot on a stick. At the time I didn't realize it, but I was chasing something that could never be caught because the chase itself was getting in the way.

Then in 1999 I read PON and the chasing stopped when I saw how the "I"/ego was created and how it sustained itself. With the stopping of the chase the thought free awareness I had experienced all those years ago was found to be present. Amazingly, I had found that nothing had to be done to "get it".
Another question I have is what stage are you guys at in your awakening?
I wouldn't worry about where others are; that tends to make you compare yourself to others and make self-judgments, and that won't serve you in your own awakening.
Is it something you can meausre and judge in the way I talk about it or is it simply... bliss - that you don't actually judge or measure?
Do you notice yourself not judging anything else, including yourself; do you notice not labeling things, just seeing; do you notice not needing to know about things; do you notice you don't think about the past; do you notice you don't think about the future; do you notice that you are simply absorbed in what's around you in this very moment without being mentally commenting, naming, labeling, judging any of it. In other words, has the viewpoint of the "me" dropped away in relation to everything else and you are simply present with what is? Usually, people are relating everything they encounter to the sense of "me" and how it affects me. That's what goes away, that sense there is a distinct me that's separate from everything else.

As for "bliss", that's a word that is very misleading - you're better off not even being concerned about it, so forget about it. That's one of those conceptual backwaters that people get hung up on. A better description, in my opinion, is that there is an abiding easiness present, a simple contentment and sense of completeness, of wholeness. The English translation of the Sanskrit word ananda is "bliss", and that word conjures up images of sensory pleasure and ecstasy, and that isn't it.
"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
---

karmarider
Posts: 2141
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:00 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by karmarider » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:49 am

searching4something wrote:...At first I got what I would describe as 'a great 20 second odd rush' when reading and experimenting with what Eckhart talks about letting the mind wander and simply observe. This is short in comparison but to me was quite bliss : )

However I am now finding it a bit more difficult to refind these sensations and my mind is becoming fixed on the idea "I cannot do this" - against my will.
I suppose my question is : Has anyone gone through extreme persistance and perseverance with getting anywhere with the practices?

I think I have a fear of letting go - it feels like a fear of being naked or exposed. Has anyone else had the same experience or thoughts?

Thanks,
Alan
People here and elsewhere talk about bliss. People also talk about one-consciousness and seem to have solid ideas and theories about awakening and existence.

My experience is very different. There have been a few times "altered" consciousness, which maybe similar to your 20-second rush--but none of those rush experiences were abiding. Overall, it has been a on-going deepening in the last three years. At first, there was a drive to learn and discuss theories but that was seen as an obstacle and released. There was mental effort, and that too was released at some point. I resonate with "idea" of letting go more than being present or anything else. Thoughts have diminished. The ego is often seen through--but not always, sometimes it is seen through in retrospect. Emotions are feeling-ripples in body--but not always, sometimes emotions grip me, and when this is realized, it is easy to let go. If I had to use a metaphor, I would say awakening ebbs and flows, like a wave, always moving toward a deepening peace.

User avatar
mistral
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:58 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by mistral » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:14 pm

Oh my Goodness Andy and Dubhasa, That guard dog analogy is perfect. That is exactly how it feels. I have always said that trying to 'get rid of ego' is not the answer, that this thing we call 'ego' it is our friend that serves us, it has divine purpose, it is the the 'thing' that brings us to 'find' or 'realize' The Living One---well now, Dubhasa has described all this so Beautifully, so honest and true---thank you so much for re-posting that, I had not ever read it before. I love it.

Mistral

P.S. With permission, do you think Dubhasa would let me post that on my personal (dinky little website) with his name as author of the peice? That is so good, I'd love to share it under my "mystics and freedom lovers' section.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6364
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by Sighclone » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:58 pm

I'd say send dubhasa a PM.

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

dubhasa
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:28 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by dubhasa » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:21 pm

Mistral.
Feel free to post. I claim no ownership.

I have been very much helped by this board for many years. I especially like to thank KIKI.

What I experience most of the time is empty space. Now a days I am becoming very much aware of beginning and ending of sensations. I am realizing that they are like fast winds moving through the open sky. I see them coming, I feel them intensely in transit and I see them going away. Since this happens with every single event, thought, emotion and experience; I am simply unable to indulge myself for too long in them. I guess that's what they call Non-Attachment. It is so natural for us.

As far as ego and it's relationship is concerned, Guard dog analogy really works for me. It completely eliminates need for conquering, subduing, eliminating ego; whatever it means.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6364
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Struggling with consciousness

Post by Sighclone » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:24 pm

Thanks, dub...always a joy to hear your voice!

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

Post Reply