affective gateways to the now

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joe
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by joe » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:44 pm

karmarider wrote:
joe wrote:Thanks for the link! But I don't get what they're saying yet. I like the short moments thing, but what are you supposed to do? Stop thinking? Just hone in when you stop thinking and watch the awareness? Some concrete tips would be a big help.
1. Observe thoughts, as a witness, without participating in the thought-story or trying to stop or start the thoughts.The gaps between thoughts will expand.
2. Learn a method that teaches you to let go, like mine or Sedona Method or EFT or Byron Katie or others.
3. Meditate if you want to. Don't get attached to any particular practice or method. Definitely don't get attached to any theory of existence or consciousness or free will. Watch out especially for spiritual or religious concepts. Watch out especially for impressive or beautiful concepts.
4. If you don't intuitively understand what someone is saying, don't worry about it. Don't intellectualize it. Don't memorize it. Either you are not ready or the person saying it is trapped in an attachment. Either way, go back to basics.
5. When you understand what it means to be effortlessness awareness, you can put these short moments of awareness together many times over.
1. I understand the gap between thoughts. Now I'm thinking that to build awareness I should just notice gaps between my thoughts and work to stay present and prolong those gaps. The idea being that you don't want to give energy to thoughts, but maintain attention on external things. I don't think I can observe thoughts because it seems impossible to be in a thought and observe it at the same time. So the realization of a thought comes afterward and that's when you're present. So you try to hold that state.
2. Working on trying to find methods.
3. I meditate every day for 30 minutes.
5. I like that! :D

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by karmarider » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:17 pm

joe wrote:1. I understand the gap between thoughts. Now I'm thinking that to build awareness I should just notice gaps between my thoughts and work to stay present and prolong those gaps. The idea being that you don't want to give energy to thoughts, but maintain attention on external things. I don't think I can observe thoughts because it seems impossible to be in a thought and observe it at the same time. So the realization of a thought comes afterward and that's when you're present. So you try to hold that state.
Yes, that's how I felt about being present. I think my mind had created a space called presence so I wasn't really present but created ideas of what presence might be. It sounds like you are doing the same for observing thoughts.

The question is, how many mind are there? This for me was an important realization. Are there two minds, one which wants to hold on and one which wants to release? Or, one which is asleep and one which is enlightened? Or, one which is observed and one which does the observing? One which is present and one which is not? One which wants to be unhappy or wants to drink or is addicted or confused and one which is peace-love-joy?

Until this realization of unity is solid, we practice.

joe
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by joe » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:16 pm

karmarider wrote:
joe wrote:1. I understand the gap between thoughts. Now I'm thinking that to build awareness I should just notice gaps between my thoughts and work to stay present and prolong those gaps. The idea being that you don't want to give energy to thoughts, but maintain attention on external things. I don't think I can observe thoughts because it seems impossible to be in a thought and observe it at the same time. So the realization of a thought comes afterward and that's when you're present. So you try to hold that state.
Yes, that's how I felt about being present. I think my mind had created a space called presence so I wasn't really present but created ideas of what presence might be. It sounds like you are doing the same for observing thoughts.

The question is, how many mind are there? This for me was an important realization. Are there two minds, one which wants to hold on and one which wants to release? Or, one which is asleep and one which is enlightened? Or, one which is observed and one which does the observing? One which is present and one which is not? One which wants to be unhappy or wants to drink or is addicted or confused and one which is peace-love-joy?

Until this realization of unity is solid, we practice.
That's getting more confusing though. I don't think there is a problem of the mind having ideas about presence in what I'm describing. It's being confused in this discussion through language. You're not offering an alternative interpretation of what being present is. I described what Tolle, for example, is talking about.

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by karmarider » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:46 am

joe wrote:That's getting more confusing though. I don't think there is a problem of the mind having ideas about presence in what I'm describing. It's being confused in this discussion through language. You're not offering an alternative interpretation of what being present is. I described what Tolle, for example, is talking about.
I understand. Being present didn't work for me; at the time I read the PON I was not able to really understand what I had to do to be present.

Here are some of the practices which have led to effortless noticing for me, in no particular order:

Reading non-dualists: Tolle, Jac O'Keeffe, Leonard Jacobson, Nisgardatta, Ramana. "Stumbleupon" awakening or similar.
"Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish belief."
Observe thoughts and thoughts will lose their energy and gaps will widen.
If that is not understood, observe the voice in the head, without interfering or labeling or interpreting.
Observe emotions. Observe that emotions are always body sensations connected to thoughts stories, and seen this way, they can be released.
Learn release. beyond-karma, Sedona, EFT, Byron Katie
Put attention on breath. Try Anapana meditation.
Put attention in the body as you go about your day.
Adyashanti's "True Meditation"
Sign up for ARO meditation email course (free).
Try Vipassana meditation (also free, ten day silent meditation, google vipassana).
Be present

Others which don't resonate with me but I see their value:
Inquire "who am I?", "To whom does this thought occur?"


Listing these in this way makes it sounds like steps and that's not what I'm saying. There isn't any need to get good at any particular practice.

joe
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by joe » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:22 am

karmarider wrote:
joe wrote:That's getting more confusing though. I don't think there is a problem of the mind having ideas about presence in what I'm describing. It's being confused in this discussion through language. You're not offering an alternative interpretation of what being present is. I described what Tolle, for example, is talking about.
I understand. Being present didn't work for me; at the time I read the PON I was not able to really understand what I had to do to be present.

Here are some of the practices which have led to effortless noticing for me, in no particular order:

Reading non-dualists: Tolle, Jac O'Keeffe, Leonard Jacobson, Nisgardatta, Ramana. "Stumbleupon" awakening or similar.
"Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish belief."
Observe thoughts and thoughts will lose their energy and gaps will widen.
If that is not understood, observe the voice in the head, without interfering or labeling or interpreting.
Observe emotions. Observe that emotions are always body sensations connected to thoughts stories, and seen this way, they can be released.
Learn release. beyond-karma, Sedona, EFT, Byron Katie
Put attention on breath. Try Anapana meditation.
Put attention in the body as you go about your day.
Adyashanti's "True Meditation"
Sign up for ARO meditation email course (free).
Try Vipassana meditation (also free, ten day silent meditation, google vipassana).
Be present

Others which don't resonate with me but I see their value:
Inquire "who am I?", "To whom does this thought occur?"


Listing these in this way makes it sounds like steps and that's not what I'm saying. There isn't any need to get good at any particular practice.
Thanks! I will look into the things you recommended and let you know how it went.

joe
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by joe » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:56 am

How does one observe thoughts? How can you be in a thought and outside at the same time? I'm asking a practical, not philosophic, question.

enigma
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by enigma » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:29 am

joe wrote:How does one observe thoughts? How can you be in a thought and outside at the same time? I'm asking a practical, not philosophic, question.
You can't. Either you are focusing on the implications of the thought, or the thought itself. A focus on the implications of the the thought results in more thoughts and their attendant feelings, which is an implied belief in the reality to which the thoughts refer. In this, there IS a sense of being 'inside' the thought in that it becomes one's experiential reality.

To back up and notice that it is simply a thought, is the observing that it is essentially an object arising spontaneously in the mind, much like a mental image, and therefore has only the significance, meaning and reality that you give it.

Maybe somebody else can de-philosophize that and structure it into a 12 step practice for you. Hehe. (Just kidding...sorta)

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by karmarider » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:51 am

joe wrote:How does one observe thoughts? How can you be in a thought and outside at the same time? I'm asking a practical, not philosophic, question.
I don't really know.

I had tried being present for quite a few months before I realized it was futile. Frankly, the experience of presence was boring. Friends who had also read PON talked about beautiful experiences of being present, and I realized then the danger of conceptualized experiences and the ego's propensity of mental agreement to spiritual concepts. So it is good that you are questioning this.

Observing thoughts as a witness worked much better than being present.

Perhaps you can try some types of meditation to help you see this. I recommend ARO, which is a free email course, or Vipassana, which is a ten-day charity intensive, or Adyashanti's book.

I don't meditate. I don't see the point of creating particular periods of awareness. But the learning of meditation can perhaps open it up.

joe
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by joe » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:37 pm

karmarider wrote:
joe wrote:How does one observe thoughts? How can you be in a thought and outside at the same time? I'm asking a practical, not philosophic, question.
I don't really know.

I had tried being present for quite a few months before I realized it was futile. Frankly, the experience of presence was boring. Friends who had also read PON talked about beautiful experiences of being present, and I realized then the danger of conceptualized experiences and the ego's propensity of mental agreement to spiritual concepts. So it is good that you are questioning this.

Observing thoughts as a witness worked much better than being present.

Perhaps you can try some types of meditation to help you see this. I recommend ARO, which is a free email course, or Vipassana, which is a ten-day charity intensive, or Adyashanti's book.

I don't meditate. I don't see the point of creating particular periods of awareness. But the learning of meditation can perhaps open it up.
When you say "Observing thoughts as a witness" what do you mean exactly? Do you feel a thought coming on and then watch it take shape and flow away? That's what I began to do but then began to question whether it could be done effectively. Or do you realize a thought after it's happened? Again, can you keep one foot out and one foot in (i.e. participate in thoughts while watching them at the same time)? My experience from meditation is that as a thought comes up I recognize it and then it dissolves. Is this what you are talking about doing on a regular basis throughout the day as you come and go, do your thing and interact with others?

As far as the benefit of meditation and "creating particular periods of awareness", I thought about it for a long time in the past. I realized that first of all it is a peaceful time where you can really go deeper with presence because you're not bombarded with stimuli. Also, you can expand that experience into the everyday by using it as a model to recognize and remember presence throughout the day. Additionally it may have effects throughout the day like ripples of the experience informing you unconsciously.

I signed up for the aro course, which I'm enthusiastic about. I can't remember if it was you who recommended it a few posts back. What does aro stand for? Is there a spiritual teacher that runs it? Is it a new thing?

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by karmarider » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:58 pm

joe wrote:When you say "Observing thoughts as a witness" what do you mean exactly? Do you feel a thought coming on and then watch it take shape and flow away? That's what I began to do but then began to question whether it could be done effectively. Or do you realize a thought after it's happened?
Yes, all of that. Perhaps you feel that when you observe thought, thoughts will go or die down. They don't have to. The feeling of observance or awareness goes something like this. I am involved in a thought story. It may be an emotional thought story so I may be getting angry or afraid or lacking or longing or some other emotion. I realize I am inside the thought story. I relax. A physical relaxation happens as I realize that there are body sensations going on. Perhaps tension or a shaking or a tremor or tingling. Watching the body sensations makes them diminish. I don't try to stop the thoughts. Watching them may or may not diminish them. There is a realization that these thoughts are sub-vocalized. They are words. The voice of thought becomes apparent. There is stillness, in which thoughts continue to pop up.

When I started observing thoughts, it felt like a chore. It was something I had to remember to do. I often forgot.

But with practice, it gets easier and easier until it is seen that keeping attention in the quiet space is easier than getting wrapped in the stories.
joe wrote:Again, can you keep one foot out and one foot in (i.e. participate in thoughts while watching them at the same time)? My experience from meditation is that as a thought comes up I recognize it and then it dissolves. Is this what you are talking about doing on a regular basis throughout the day as you come and go, do your thing and interact with others?
Yes, that can happen. There are also times when awareness can see the mind and body. It can lead to a readiness to be unified effortless noticing. By unified I mean there is no longer a division between the observer and observed. It comes around full circle, but is somehow different. It's possible that you are focused on some idea of an end goal. Try to do this without any particular end-goal.
joe wrote:As far as the benefit of meditation and "creating particular periods of awareness", I thought about it for a long time in the past. I realized that first of all it is a peaceful time where you can really go deeper with presence because you're not bombarded with stimuli. Also, you can expand that experience into the everyday by using it as a model to recognize and remember presence throughout the day. Additionally it may have effects throughout the day like ripples of the experience informing you unconsciously.
If you enjoy meditation, continue with it. See http://www.greatfreedom.org/Gallery/Art ... Change.pdf -- the chapter on meditation and the explanation that meditation is a particular point of view and still helpful is pretty good. This whole thread has been a discussion of practice and its necessary futility or futile necessity or something like that.
joe wrote:I signed up for the aro course, which I'm enthusiastic about. I can't remember if it was you who recommended it a few posts back. What does aro stand for? Is there a spiritual teacher that runs it? Is it a new thing?
Good. I like the explanations. They are simple and non-dogmatic. I think ARO is tied to Tibetan traditions but that doesn't matter. I don't really know what ARO stands for. I found it helpful to read the explanations when I did a few years back. I did not actually do the meditation.

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by enigma » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:48 am

I had tried being present for quite a few months before I realized it was futile. Frankly, the experience of presence was boring. Friends who had also read PON talked about beautiful experiences of being present, and I realized then the danger of conceptualized experiences and the ego's propensity of mental agreement to spiritual concepts. So it is good that you are questioning this.
Yeah, oddly perhaps, because presence is already always the case, and isn't generally being noticed because mind is so busy creating states of awareness, (the egoic state is one of these states) when mind tries to create presence, it naturally must create yet another mind state, which it then calls presence. Mind then moves in and out of this mind state. The only difference between this and realizing actual presence in spite of what mind is doing, is that mind is firmly established as the creator/allower of presence, since it does actually have to form the mind state. Within this mind state, all sorts of wonderful things can happen, not all of which should be dismissed, but the main thing is to maintain control over the experience while imagining that mind is letting go. This is how 'periods of presence' can be created for decades as part of one's apparent spiritual progress toward something without ever having to notice what is NOT present. Hehe.

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by Mason » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:09 am

joe wrote:My experience from meditation is that as a thought comes up I recognize it and then it dissolves.
Good insight. It might also be a good thing to look closely at the nature of thought simply by expanding the recognition of arising and passing to include not just thought but the recognition of all other sensations as well. You'll discover that there is nothing that will come into recognition which will not follow that same trajectory. Whether it's an itch on your nose or the most profound thought in history it will eventually follow the same trajectory. -It comes up, it is recognized and then it dissolves.

It seems obvious that no one sensation can be aware of another sensation, but what is not so obvious is that no one thought can be aware of another thought. It just needs to be seen clearly enough that thought is just like any other sensation. It can seem very sophisticated, but once the nature of thought is seen, it is simple; as Marcel said eariler "...it is unbelievable simple."

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by Sighclone » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:09 am

Wow - this poor thread has been all over the place....oh well.

For the record, I sent enigma's predetermination comments to Gary Weber, spiritual teacher and new friend. He is the guy who presented this topic at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Rafael last month, and wrote a fine book "Happiness Beyond Thought".

Here is what he said:

* * * * * * *

Really excellent response with some wonderfully creative, intelligent and open approaches. Some great "nowbe" work, if i could be so bold as to posit what the "nowbes" are.

Agree with him, generally, up to the point that he states "and since it is not pre-planning anything" and "Nothing in the universe follows any laws" which seem a "bridge too far".

It is wildly presumptuous for our limited brain/minds, even for someone as bright as your "wiser new member", to posit that the Universe has nothing pre-planned.

As an argument for the contrary, your picking up my book and writing to me, has led to all sorts of results that certainly look like "pre-planning" and are far from what would happen in random, or only in the "Now". He even says as much in his "The non-randomness of what is happening implies there is an intelligence at work right now".

Why is he so certain that the Universe has no "intent" or is incapable of moving in directions that support its ultimate discovery of itself in all its guises over several "nows"? Why does he believe the Universe can only learn in this femtosecond and can carry no learning forward to guide its next direction or movement? That seems a terrible waste for the poor Universe.

i am certain that "we" have no free will or choice; however, it does at least appear, from our primitive viewpoint, that the Universe may have both. From a pragmatic, empirical and philosophical, standpoint, that is all that matters for "me". Whatever properties and capabilities the infinite One intelligence has, i am comfortable with surrendering to the impossibility of my every fully knowing what those might be.

i also don't buy the "all the so called laws are also formed in this moment". "Laws" have always carried too much certainty for me as a concept, in that i agree with him. They are, however, within the short span of human history, consistent as far as we can determine; it is unlikely that gravity will change tonight, although it is philosophically possible.

Gravity is however useful as a convention that has been highly consistent; it seems rather unlikely that the Universe has to come up with it every moment anew, over and over again, now after now after now, for all eternity as well as the speed of light, mass's relation to energy, action at a distance, etc. The Universe must have better things to do with its time (only apparent of course), like enjoying and learning from its magnificent Dance with Itself.

It is some "good stuff", though, some "good stuff".

Hope this is useful.

peace and stillness

gary

* * * * * * *

Gary requested that any further comments directed to him be sent to his website info request email which is here: happinessbeyondthought@gmail.com.


I'm still sorting out my impresion of determinism -- more later...but no more nose-picking!! 8)

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

enigma
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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by enigma » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:38 am

Sighclone wrote:Wow - this poor thread has been all over the place....oh well.

For the record, I sent enigma's predetermination comments to Gary Weber, spiritual teacher and new friend. He is the guy who presented this topic at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Rafael last month, and wrote a fine book "Happiness Beyond Thought".

Thanks, Andy. Very interesting.

Here is what he said:

* * * * * * *

Really excellent response with some wonderfully creative, intelligent and open approaches. Some great "nowbe" work, if i could be so bold as to posit what the "nowbes" are.

Agree with him, generally, up to the point that he states "and since it is not pre-planning anything" and "Nothing in the universe follows any laws" which seem a "bridge too far".

It is wildly presumptuous for our limited brain/minds, even for someone as bright as your "wiser new member", to posit that the Universe has nothing pre-planned.

As an argument for the contrary, your picking up my book and writing to me, has led to all sorts of results that certainly look like "pre-planning" and are far from what would happen in random, or only in the "Now". He even says as much in his "The non-randomness of what is happening implies there is an intelligence at work right now".

Why is he so certain that the Universe has no "intent" or is incapable of moving in directions that support its ultimate discovery of itself in all its guises over several "nows"? Why does he believe the Universe can only learn in this femtosecond and can carry no learning forward to guide its next direction or movement? That seems a terrible waste for the poor Universe.

The prerequisite for pre-planing is a pondering intelligence outside of time/space, which cannot be. Pondering takes time, and that which is the source of time is not, itself, subject to time, just as that which is the source of thinking things does not, itself, think. If this alleged intelligence were operating within the illusion of time/space, it would necessarily be subject to the inherent limitations of this realm, and in fact it is, which is why the universe operates on the basis of perception, moment to moment, and not according to some plan drawn out on a blackboard somewhere in no-time/no-space.

IOW, God is not thinking. What we mean by God is intelligence; the foundation of thought; itself still, boundless, empty. The thoughts that arise in your mind are 'God's' thoughts. The exact point where a thought arises in awareness and seems to appear out of nothingness is the threshold between the nonlinear and the linear, the unfolding of intelligence into form in it's own framework of time/space. This is the realm of thoughts, ideas, feelings, desire, fear, beauty, harmony, discord, ugliness, and the universe is a reflection of all of it, formed not entirely from the delusions of mankind, but as a wholistic expression of a singular Intelligence, as it unfolds into an infinite and ever changing variety of form.

To turn the universe as a Whole into a thinking, planning, desiring entity is to split that Wholeness and create God in the image of man. I remember the moment when I first noticed that the universe is not guided from 'outside', because there is no outside, and it is being unconsciously driven from within the delusion of separation and fear. I remember saying out loud "Oh, my God! Nobody is running the show!" It could be said that God has fallen into his own dream, and from within the dream, he seeks escape, and this longing to be free leads him back to himself. And so there is calamity, destruction, misery and suffering etched deeply into the fabric of life as it seeks it's own 'salvation', and there is also wonder, beauty, compassion, harmony and love as the very essence of life, much of it eclipsed by our delusional fear.

It all collapses into here and now, and God is the One playing this game. Not a game in which the rules were set ahead of time, but one in which god is a cheating rascal who ultimately has all the cards stacked in his favor because there is nothing other than god. To put it plainly, you are God creating your own dream from within the dream, and this is very messy business as you can plainly see.

So why does the evolution of humanity seem to be following an intent? Because it is. Self is seeking the Truth of Self because the lies only work for a while. How can that movement end until the Truth is seen, and how can the Truth be perpetually avoided when nothing else can end the dream? All of life moves spontaneously in this way because it can't do otherwise. The 'intent' is right here in your own mind and you would assign it to some master intender. Do you wish for Peace and Freedom? THERE is the intent that drives the universe. There is no other, but there is no randomness is this intent.

As for gravity, do you wish for it to cease holding you to the ground? I would venture to say few do, and so it remains. During the cold war, did you wish to see the planet destroyed by nuclear holocaust? Few did, and so it did not happen. The majesty of Mt Everest is Your majesty. The ferocity of the mountain lion is Your ferocity. The beauty of an Asian Lilly is Your beauty. The wonder of a starry, starry night is Your wonder. This is how you recognize these things. Everything is in constant motion so that you can perceive it, since that which is still becomes invisible to you. Would you have a day that is twice as long, or half as long? I doubt it because you seem to have decided 24 hours is about right. How many months does it take before 'summerness' begins to fade from your awareness and you need for it to move again to 'winterness'? About six months? Did you think this was a coincidence?

Okay, maybe all this is sounding a bit crazy, but all I can suggest is that if you will allow it, the entire universe will collapse at your feet, and show you where god has always been standing.



i am certain that "we" have no free will or choice; however, it does at least appear, from our primitive viewpoint, that the Universe may have both. From a pragmatic, empirical and philosophical, standpoint, that is all that matters for "me". Whatever properties and capabilities the infinite One intelligence has, i am comfortable with surrendering to the impossibility of my every fully knowing what those might be.

i also don't buy the "all the so called laws are also formed in this moment". "Laws" have always carried too much certainty for me as a concept, in that i agree with him. They are, however, within the short span of human history, consistent as far as we can determine; it is unlikely that gravity will change tonight, although it is philosophically possible.

Gravity is however useful as a convention that has been highly consistent; it seems rather unlikely that the Universe has to come up with it every moment anew, over and over again, now after now after now, for all eternity as well as the speed of light, mass's relation to energy, action at a distance, etc. The Universe must have better things to do with its time (only apparent of course), like enjoying and learning from its magnificent Dance with Itself.

It is some "good stuff", though, some "good stuff".

Hope this is useful.

peace and stillness

gary
* * * * * * *

Gary requested that any further comments directed to him be sent to his website info request email which is here: happinessbeyondthought@gmail.com.


I'm still sorting out my impresion of determinism -- more later...but no more nose-picking!! 8)

Andy[/quote]

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Re: affective gateways to the now

Post by randomguy » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:34 am

> "...allow it..."

Yes, there can seem a brave little curiosity at the heart of self discovery,
the merest unrelenting willingness to hold to nothing, nothing at all (body, life, death, beginning, end, something, nothing) and freefall naked of knowing, to known not where,
but merely see/feel itself let go of itself in the falling,
a bare untouchable being,
while the wrappings of the familiar world become the whole, undivided, vaporous, fleeting, limbs of the unknowing, unknown self.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho

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