Difference between Seer and Thinking

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Salem
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Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Salem » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:57 pm

Often when I try to still my mind I have hard time distinguishing between thoughts and the Silent Watcher. I try to observe my thoughts and then there is the "audible" voice in my head being like "So now I'm watching my thoughts" or I become aware that I'm watching my thoughts, and then in turn I become aware that I am aware, and fall into thinking, if I haven't already.

Sometimes it's almost as if I'm watching my thoughts down a tunnel, or framed, like on TV...and I think...If I'm doing all that, then it's all just still thinking, not just observing silently.

How do I achieve this stillness? How can I tell between what is thinking and what is being the Seer?
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Sighclone » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:47 pm

Stillness is the background for all thoughts, including "I am watching thoughts...I need to clean the bathroom...I need to buy an airline ticket...my mother pisses me off...I am watching myself watching...lunch yesterday was fun...has the mail arrived?"

Anything which is not stillness is thinking or feeling. And no thought or feeling is any more or less important than the next. Yes, you can think yourself down into a pointless spiral. Stillness is also the absence of that.

Perhaps a new meditation technique will help? In general, meditation techniques, even Adya's "True Meditation" are directed towards stilling the monkey-mind. It is my opinion, but shared by others, that repeated moments of stillness help to re-wire the brain and make returning to stillness easier and more comfortable.

my 2 cents....

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: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by hanss » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:23 pm

ET said to try to still the mind and think "What will my next though be?" And then wait for it.... I personally find that effective and helpful, I feel that the Watcher is there waiting. If not, that's ok too :)
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Mouse » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:20 pm

Thinking started witha great effort as a child and now that thought is up and running it is initially going to take effort to slow it down.

Some will disagree that effort is needed and tell you that the true meditation is negation of all trying, and that is absolutely true but when you have a freight train of thought running then there is effort needed to slow it to a stop and then reverse the direction. The direction of thought is outwards away from the body, thinking takes place in a space outside the body.

The way to successfully meditate and be still is to substitute the thinking process for something equally pleasurable that is real.

That is the inner body that is comprised of pure sensation like little grains of sand vibrating constantly. That is pleasurable and real, in that it does not dissolve, because it is new every moment.

Hold to that and never leave it. That is the door to reality.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Sighclone » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:37 pm

Surely true that the inner body is a portal -- I use inner body awareness frequently as stresses come and go...

great point, Mouse...

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: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Salem » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:07 am

Mouse wrote:That is the inner body that is comprised of pure sensation like little grains of sand vibrating constantly. That is pleasurable and real, in that it does not dissolve, because it is new every moment.
That's a very fitting description. I have made some major gains (or in true language, have experienced major growth...? :wink: ) in my inner body.

Last week I was making a serious effort to get in touch with Presence, to be aware of it. While lying in bed, I could feel shifts in my head, a lightness almost as there was less effort to churn out and process data. I experienced feelings of falling, or at least being separated from my physical body....like I was floating above it a bit or below it...I forget which exactly. It was not by any means an OBE, but instead a realization that I need not equate everything in my physical body with my existence...which incidentally I find paradoxical because in nonduality, everything is us, including our bodies...But I was also very much in tune with my inner body. I could feel these little tingles, little points of light, very much like the bits of sand you described, Mouse. Silly words, but those who have experienced it will know what I mean. Anyhoo, I felt life in my body in places I had never thought of experiencing life before....the tips of my fingers but most notably, around my nostrils which struck me as a strange and unpredictable place, and hence authentic.

It's easier for me to "access" - because that's what it really feels like I have to do - the inner body than it used to be. But it doesn't feel very natural because it feels like it takes effort to maintain and as soon as I have to sit up/stand up or do something in general, my focus on it is gone.
Last edited by Salem on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Sighclone » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:58 am

It's easier for me to "access" - because that's what it really feels like I have to do - the inner body than it used to be. But it doesn't feel very natural because it feels like it takes effort to maintain and as soon as I have to sit up/stand up or do something in general, my focus on it is gone.
Like Presence, the inner body is "always there." But often our attention is elsewhere. The present moment might be "making breakfast" and our primary attention is there. Or "talking with Julie" and our attention is there. So awareness of the inner body, is like awareness of nature or awareness of breathing...when our attention is elsewhere that is just fine. As we become more familiar with our inner body, our attention can shift there more quickly, and its resources (which include the natural processes of it) flow more evenly. It is an area often neglected in unconscious living. And it is a portal to self-realization.

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: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by simonkazoo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:35 pm

I don't know if this question should be in a new topic, but I thought it would fit in here.

I am wondering if 'the watcher' is what I am experiencing or that it is something else.
When I am becoming aware of me thinking, my mind becomes silent. Is THIS 'the watcher'? The stillness?

When I used to practise martial arts in the beginning, my mind would stop and I would become completely present. Is THIS 'the watcher'? The same is when I write and create something for school on the computer. I am being completely present but without being aware of myself and surroundings much.
Is being completely present actually being the watcher? It feels to me like there is a little distinction between being the watcher and being completely present.

I notice that the labels I give to the words are interpreted differently so I will add that:
by "Being the watcher" I mean that it makes me aware and that I observe everything around and in me without judgement. While "being completely present" when doing something focuses my attention entirely on one thing.

Sighclone wrote: Like Presence, the inner body is "always there." But often our attention is elsewhere. The present moment might be "making breakfast" and our primary attention is there. Or "talking with Julie" and our attention is there. So awareness of the inner body, is like awareness of nature or awareness of breathing...when our attention is elsewhere that is just fine. As we become more familiar with our inner body, our attention can shift there more quickly, and its resources (which include the natural processes of it) flow more evenly. It is an area often neglected in unconscious living. And it is a portal to self-realization.

Andy
So if I get it right, being completely present is not "being the watcher" (in my labels). There can be a new dimension of "awareness" added to it. It is like being drunk except I am able to return to the thinking mind.

Simon

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Sighclone » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:29 am

Welcome, Simon!

Greg Goode, in "Standing As Awareness" and also Nisargadatta discuss the difference between "the witness" and pure Awareness. They are at once, not far removed, and universes apart. The "witness" as you (and I) have experienced in martial arts (Uechi-ryu Okinawan karate for me) is a step on some paths to Self-realization. But of course, if there is a "witness" then there is "somethiing witnessed" and therefore duality. However, the witness stage is common. Pick up a copy of Greg's book (heartofnow.com is one source.) Not that his is an easy path (he's a direct path guy and very cerebral.) But he presents a good discussion, with a personal anecdote, of the difference.

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: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Ananda » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:15 am

Hello Simon,
When I am becoming aware of me thinking, my mind becomes silent. Is THIS 'the watcher'? The stillness?
Thinking is stimulated by outward experiences- such as the senses and their objects. When you bring your attention onto the thinking itself then you are effectively starving the mind of the objects that stimulate it into thought. It's like using your attention as a knife to cut through the thinking. The source of this attention is the watcher, it's that which perceives and knowns both thinking and its absence- but the silence itself isn't equivalent to the watcher as the silence can be covered up by noise whereas the watcher never can be. Whenever you comment on thinking you do so as an object of knowledge- as something known to you, the same applies for all things experienced- the watcher is that part of you that is always present in order to know and objectify experiences.
When I used to practise martial arts in the beginning, my mind would stop and I would become completely present. Is THIS 'the watcher'?
The watcher is what was there and knew both when your mind was running and when it wasn't during martial arts.
Is being completely present actually being the watcher?
The watcher is always present if there is subjective experience. Subjective experience is the life that unfolds to you when the body is awake and when it is dreaming; all of that content is subjective experience. In deep sleep, or anaesthesia, there is no subjective experience to be a watcher to, and therefore the sense of being a watcher also ceases.

Some people use the word 'presence' to mean being present with one's subjective experience as and when it happens (as opposed to be constantly attending to the mind's ideas of it), however, another way of defining presence is to instead actually be aware of the watcher itself- rather than what the watcher is witness to. This total presence is awareness without objects and the distinction between 'watcher' and 'experience' ceases- that is when one's real nature as pure awareness only that transcends all states and subjective experience is revealed.
by "Being the watcher" I mean that it makes me aware and that I observe everything around and in me without judgement
Really, it's impossible not to be the watcher as every experience is automatically known and objectified by you due to your nature already being the watcher. You can try not to be the watcher, but this is also apparent to you. Everything that you know, or do not know, that you experience, or do not experience, is already known to you- your position as the watcher is already established and can never really be denied. You already observe everything around you without judgement -as the mind judges, and you know the mind. Even when your attention is caught up in thinking, in some memory or imagination, you are still present as the watcher- as that to which these things are evident, known, and spoken about. Even complete ignorance is known to you- because you objectify it by knowing it as different to you.
So if I get it right, being completely present is not "being the watcher" (in my labels). There can be a new dimension of "awareness" added to it
The watcher only exists in relation to experience, it's what gives experience the subject/object split. As the watcher you are aware of whatever you experience- but your real nature goes beyond the subject/object division, it goes beyond just being the watcher of experiences. There is another dimension to your nature, and it is at the root of the subject/object division. If you follow the sense of being a watcher back to its origin, you will come to know yourself as an undivided awareness in which no distinction of subject/object really exists and which persists through all states of experience, and even non-experience. On waking, the watcher rises and wakes also, and then arises the I thought. In dreaming, the watcher is present as the subject to all of the dream objects. In deep sleep, the watcher too sleeps, as there is no subjective experience to objectified, and therefore watched. That by which this cycle of states happens and occur within is the Self, 'the fourth' or real, unchanging state which is your real nature as pure awareness itself, and is the only thing in your life which never changes.

Knowledge of the witness, or watcher, is vital to be rid of false identification with objects such as the mind. Merging the witness into its substrate is Self-awareness, and is the direct entry into the absolute reality.

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by Mouse » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:20 am

Very clear, thank you Ananda.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

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Re: Difference between Seer and Thinking

Post by simonkazoo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:21 pm

Thank you for answering my questions.

I can now see what the watcher means and that it is almost always active. What an insight that is, to have something above me that is actually the real me watching myself, called the watcher.
Merging the witness into its substrate is Self-awareness, and is the direct entry into the absolute reality.
My curiosity is peaked now Ananda on how to get to the point of self-realisation. My guess is that this is what Eckhart is talking about. The state which some people reach because they have endured so much pain and suffering or when people dedicate themselves (fs?) and continue on their path to self-realisation. So if this is true then that state is obtained by the quality of present-mindedness you have during each and every moment. Well that is kinda basic and I'm sure there is alot more to "know" about it.

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