Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

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Quinn
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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Quinn » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:01 pm

ZenCowgirl wrote: Let's remember, we have it all backwards. There can be no effort to be what you already are. But there can be effort to stop the thinking that you are what you are not.
Yes, thank you ZenCowgirl. Your mosquito analogy made it crystal clear. I've been questioning the usefulness of meditation practice lately (even while knowing I could never have quieted my mind enough to hear/experience any of these wonderful teachings if I hadn't been meditating for the last several years). Now I am more clear....it's a useful practice for me right now...until it's not.

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by James » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:28 am

Hi runstrails,
It's a good question. Yes you are probably correct when you say it is "mind" that is wanting to hold onto abiding awakening. For spiritual seekers it is like the ultimate "candy." It is yet another way that mind can deceive us.

This is how I see it, based on my own understanding, experience, as well as the experiences of those that I know. For the purpose of this discussion we could say the concept of awakening and enlightenment are the same thing. And abiding awakening is the same as Self-Realization. So here there is a distinction between Enlightenment and Self-Realization. (I know these words are often used in different ways in various teachings). Enlightenment we could say is the instant realization of one's true nature as Awareness, Presence, Timeless Being, (take your pick of the various synonyms or descriptors of one's true nature, whatever works best for you right now). Enlightenment is an instant of sudden realization but it may not be immediate. In other words, many seekers don't taste that instant realization immediately. Perhaps they are not ready for it, (have yet to ripen), or they are simply overlooking the obviousness of its Omnipresence, in their quest for something more grande. But It seems fairly obvious from your posts, that you have experienced and realized your true nature.

Self-Realization the way I see the term, is the "process" in which the body and mind become reoriented or come into alignment with this Omnipresence. For a while the body and mind may continue to run on the conditioned patterns or programming, they have not fully been imbued with one's true nature, at least that is the way it appears; the body and mind are not yet infused with realized Presence. It may take clock time for that inertia to wind down.

When seekers say they "lost it", all that has happened is they have lost the knowing of Omnipresence, they have not lost Omnipresence itself, which is impossible, but the realization of it is no longer clear to them. There is a re-identification with something other then Omnipresence. I know many of the non-dual teachings emphasize the instant aspect of awakening, but often don't delve much into the gradual process of Self-Realization. And I know there are many that would say that there is no process of alignment or reorientation, because that is time, and in the absolute there is no time; and that is true. But there is also this relative dimension that is valid as well, that is intimately intertwined with the absolute, and never actually separate from it, like Yin and Yang, together they are One. And Self-Realization is like the marriage of the two, that which always already is, in the timeless absolute, and that which appears to be becoming, and moving in time and space. That is the dance of the Divine.
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by runstrails » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:04 am

James wrote:
But there is also this relative dimension that is valid as well, that is intimately intertwined with the absolute, and never actually separate from it, like Yin and Yang, together they are One. And Self-Realization is like the marriage of the two, that which always already is, in the timeless absolute, and that which appears to be becoming, and moving in time and space. That is the dance of the Divine.
James--so beautifully stated. You really hit the nail on the head for me. I've been feeling what you stated here--but could not articulate it as well. All of these stages (unconscious, momentary realization of true nature, abiding realization of true nature) are all valid. Thanks.

Zen cowgirl--nicely put. Your pointer is a good (and easy) one to remember.
rachMiel wrote:
I expect a detailed précis by 11 pm EST tonight. ;-)
rachMiel--As you requested, I am reporting on my day. BTW, isn't detailed precis an oxymoron?
It really helped me to live like it was my last day. This allowed me to focus on and enjoy the mystery and perfection of life in slow motion. Its much more fun than constantly seeing through thought! Even when the "I" thought returned, it was not too bothersome--as it would be caught and then the focus would return to the simple beauty to life. "I" was so grateful to be alive and to experience its richness. This practice makes good sense to me. I mean really, we are mortal, we know it, why don't we live like it! If it was truly my last day on this beautiful planet--I would not spend time worrying about whether I was pure awareness or not--I would simply slow everything down and experience it. That is very intuitive for me.

You know, if I had tried this practice a few years ago, I would have immediately come up with regrets of things that were not accomplished in life--but now, of course, I realize that there is nothing to be accomplished, no where to go--so I can really delight in what appears in front of me. The best part is, it completely eliminates the need for psychological time. Now. I'm off to sleep like its my last night :D

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by rachMiel » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:26 am

rachMiel wrote: I expect a detailed précis by 11 pm EST tonight. ;-)
runstrails wrote: rachMiel--As you requested, I am reporting on my day. BTW, isn't detailed precis an oxymoron?
I was wondering about that ... ;-)
It really helped me to live like it was my last day. This allowed me to focus on and enjoy the mystery and perfection of life in slow motion. Its much more fun than constantly seeing through thought! Even when the "I" thought returned, it was not too bothersome--as it would be caught and then the focus would return to the simple beauty to life. "I" was so grateful to be alive and to experience its richness. This practice makes good sense to me. I mean really, we are mortal, we know it, why don't we live like it! If it was truly my last day on this beautiful planet--I would not spend time worrying about whether I was pure awareness or not--I would simply slow everything down and experience it. That is very intuitive for me.
In one of his early books, Carlos Casteneda said that his teacher Don Juan recommended cultivating the sense that death was hovering at your shoulder, like a constant companion. The point was not to live in fear of death, but to live more fully knowing that death was present.

Thanks for the report, rt. :-)
Last edited by rachMiel on Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by great2be » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:44 am

runstrails wrote:1) Virtually all the thoughts I have are about myself, even when thinking of other people--its about myself! Putting on my scientist hat, when an effect size is that large it means something--
This is a very important observation, but it's slightly, but critically flawed!
Try the sentence again as follows;
Virtually all the thoughts are about my imaginary self.
You see, thought is always an image, an approximation. That's not problematic when the subject is static. But when you yourself are the subject, you're literally creating an idea about yourself everytime you think about yourself.
Then not realising that it's just an image/idea you start to act upon it as if it were real!
and in this case it means clearly that the ego-system which enabled survival of primitive man has become incredibly dys-functional. Because this ego-system is so dysfunctional its also very hard to manage.
We don't need to go back to prehistoric man to understand what went awry. The error is re-created in virtually each and everyone of us as a child.

The ego system is not a function of survival, this is a huge misleading mistaken belief.
The ego system is purely a dysfunctional psychological phenomena, and as such has no physical benefits whatsoever!!!!!
Every thought that I saw through, was immediately followed by a related thought which also had to be seen through and on and on it went--frankly no fun.
This is like mopping up continously from a leaking pipe..... fix the source of the leak and the mopping ceases!

And the solution is very subtle, which is why you'll hardly even find it mentioned!.
Thinking about myself creates an image which we take as real.
In the physical world this works fine, and we have mistakenly carried this over to the psychological.
We only think about ourselves because we have memory of dysfunctional psychological states and so feel the need to control/secure our future.
Those experiences of psychological disorder were actually a result of being told as a child to be other than we were, or that we were 'bad'. It created the notion of a split in us and we have been ever reaping the results of that mistake since.
The fact is that we are what we are, and any idea about what we should be is a split, a division, a duality.
Any attempt to act upon myself psychologically creates a split between what I am and what I should be. This split is the source of ALL psychological dysfunction.

Remember ET's awakening episode.
"I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I' and the `self' that `I' cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped.


This is the essence of what I'm trying to convey.
Thinking about myself creates the split.
This is the true significance of non-duality.

So what is required to end the split, is to see the nature of thoughts and images. To see that an image is not the thing itself. Apply that to images of myself created by thinking about myself. To see that none of this content is 'me'.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Sighclone » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:21 am

Cup half full, runstrails. Be not sad that there are periods of attention on the false self. That illusion was the driving force in your life and the lives of your family members, associates and friends...for decades. Now you have experienced some of the tranquillity of unity consciousness, forgive yourself for any "backsliding." Consider your poor brain -- full of "autopilot" responses to a jillion triggers -- all egoic. Some of those pathways are inherited and organic (fear of falling, of snakes, etc.)

Despite the ultimate illusion of egoic self, it ran the show for X years. It can send up Velcro thoughts and feelings in a heartbeat. You know the witness state, the final step to abiding. And you can dissolve the distracting thoughts for longer and longer periods. rachMeil says:
"effort is needed, in most cases, to get the engine going. Once it's tooling along nicely, it more or less takes care of itself, and one's effort is no longer needed. It's entirely appropriate -- necessary even! -- to put lots of (the right kind of) effort into the process, until the engine "catches."
Your engine still stalls...so did Adya's for ten years. But pretty soon the "perfume" of pure awareness will linger to inform and infuse even the scariest old fixation...and all his buddies, waving their arms...and runstrails will soar past every one.

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: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Seeker1977 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:18 pm

I have a question again. When I intensively "watch myself" then I can catch nearly all of my thoughts/emotions promptly as they emerge. But when I do not "observe myself" so intensively then I usually realize only some of my thoughts/emotions (rather than nearly all of them), and I realize them only when they have been in my mind / have been feeling them for some time (rather then promptly as they emerge). So my question is: Should I be always "fully alert" watching my thoughts/emotions? I am not sure whether I am capable of this as presently this takes a lot of "effort". Or is there a method/practice/technique/etc. that allows catching thoughts/emotions without staying "fully alert" like a cat watching the mouse hole closely?
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” -- Buddha

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by great2be » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:03 am

Seeker1977 wrote:So my question is: Should I be always "fully alert" watching my thoughts/emotions? I am not sure whether I am capable of this as presently this takes a lot of "effort". Or is there a method/practice/technique/etc. that allows catching thoughts/emotions without staying "fully alert" like a cat watching the mouse hole closely?
runstrails also said pretty much the same thing
Every thought that I saw through, was immediately followed by a related thought which also had to be seen through and on and on it went--frankly no fun.
My response is here
Please read my whole post again and then feel free to ask further questions.
An imaginary seeker, seeking an imaginary goal.
Realise the nature of imagination and the fallacious effort ends.

Have you ever seen a dog chasing it's tail?

What happens when the dog runs faster?

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Seeker1977 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:09 pm

great2be wrote:Please read my whole post again and then feel free to ask further questions.
Thank you. It is a great post indeed that answers many questions. However, my "problem" is slightly different. Most of the thoughts I have are not about me but about future or past. When I successfully "catch" or "observe" a thought it does not come back for quite a while. But, other thoughts come instead. Let' tell you an example. Let's say I am having my lunch. Suddenly I notice a thought: "I will have to do grocery shopping in the afternoon". I acknowledge the thought, and as it is not relevant now (it's only noon, not the afternoon, I don't have to take any actions right now) it goes away. Great. But ten seconds later I have another thought. "They said that the polar ice cap is the smallest ever in this year and that is due to the global warming". Again, I acknowledge the thought, I read that article days ago, I gave it a thought then, so I don't have to think about it now, and the thought goes away. And this goes on an on. The higher the level of my presence the less the number of my thoughts and the earlier I can notice them. If my level of presence decreases, I have more thoughts, and it can happen that one single thought becomes an array or chain of thoughts and sometimes minutes can pass before I notice "hey, I have been thinking about global warming (or whatever else) for a few minutes now" - so I became spiritually unconscious. But keeping up an intensive presence at all times takes a lot of "effort". I just can't do that all the time... So I am just wondering if it is possible to prevent too many thoughts to emerge and especially to prevent them to become long (projected) stories (or long stories from the past that are "re-lived" again) somehow "easier".
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” -- Buddha

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Mouse » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:37 pm

Anchoring the awareness on something real is the solution for the difficulty of where to put the awareness. It has to be somewhere, so put it on something real that is now and new every moment. That is the inner sensational body, not the surface sensations but the inner sensation of life now or wellbeing now, that is the golden anchor for the awareness. It can be done all the time.
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: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by runstrails » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:12 pm

Thank you all for answering and asking questions in this thread--both have been really helpful.
g2be wrote:
So what is required to end the split, is to see the nature of thoughts and images. To see that an image is not the thing itself. Apply that to images of myself created by thinking about myself. To see that none of this content is 'me'.
g2be--thanks for your post. I have a follow-up question: I am able to see the nature of thoughts quite easily and see (realize) that indeed none of this content is 'me'. But during moments of busyness etc.. I still sometimes identify with the thoughts. That is, the time required to see through the thoughts sometimes is very short but sometimes very long (this latter, I call identification). So do you suggest that continued practice of seeing through thoughts will eventually decrease this latency (between the thought arising and seeing through it) or is there some other explanation? (e.g., perhaps I like being identified with some thoughts or that I am not seeing through them deeply enough). Thanks!
signclone wrote:
Your engine still stalls...so did Adya's for ten years. But pretty soon the "perfume" of pure awareness will linger to inform and infuse even the scariest old fixation...and all his buddies, waving their arms...and runstrails will soar past every one.
Thank you Andy--your posts inform and inspire--both are so critical to the 'journey'--thanks, as always!
mouse wrote:
Anchoring the awareness on something real is the solution for the difficulty of where to put the awareness.
I agree--Inner body awareness has never really been a portal for me, however. But, I can be in presence (in the now) very easily. As tod said in an earlier post:
My understanding is that I cannot rest in any memory of an awakened state, I have to be it now and now and now.
I think 'now', 'now', 'now' may be the way to go. Initially it may require effort/discipline and then later it may be more automatic (i.e., latency decreases).

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Seeker1977 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:02 pm

Mouse wrote:Anchoring the awareness on something real is the solution for the difficulty of where to put the awareness. It has to be somewhere, so put it on something real that is now and new every moment. That is the inner sensational body, not the surface sensations but the inner sensation of life now or wellbeing now, that is the golden anchor for the awareness. It can be done all the time.
Thank you. The fact is that I still have thoughts even when feeling my inner body. In your case does feeling your inner body "automatically" shuts down thoughts? If yes, then maybe I am doing something wrong.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” -- Buddha

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Seeker1977 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:05 pm

runstrails wrote:g2be--thanks for your post. I have a follow-up question: I am able to see the nature of thoughts quite easily and see (realize) that indeed none of this content is 'me'. But during moments of busyness etc.. I still sometimes identify with the thoughts. That is, the time required to see through the thoughts sometimes is very short but sometimes very long (this latter, I call identification). So do you suggest that continued practice of seeing through thoughts will eventually decrease this latency (between the thought arising and seeing through it) or is there some other explanation? (e.g., perhaps I like being identified with some thoughts or that I am not seeing through them deeply enough). Thanks!
Great2be - Yes, that's it! I have exactly the same question too.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” -- Buddha

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Re: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by Mouse » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:26 pm

Seeker1977 wrote:Thank you. The fact is that I still have thoughts even when feeling my inner body. In your case does feeling your inner body "automatically" shuts down thoughts? If yes, then maybe I am doing something wrong.
The inner body awareness of the sensational reality is so useful in giving up thinking because it is in the same psychic space as thought. When it is felt enough the awareness of it becomes anchored or automatic and that is great because the sensation is new every moment it has no past in it. So as a vehicle of now it is real.

To answer the question does it shut down thought the answer is no. To close down thought be both in the senses and feel the inner body at the same time. And especially pay attention to the rising emotions or feelings that initiate thought. Contain them in the stomach, belly region.
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: Why is abiding awakening so elusive?

Post by arel » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:56 pm

With all due respect to posters on this forum... but I would recommend to people who have questions to refer to someone with known 'credentials'. :)

I recommend this website for 'practices'. Just reading it makes things shine through. Check it out.

http://bhagavan-ramana.org/ramanateaching.html

For people, without personal experience, it can be seductive to pay attention to someone who presents something personal in a language that makes is sound as "that's how it is". Ramana Maharshi might speak in the same way, but he resonates, and I know he speaks from personal experience.

So take everything presented on this forum with a grain of salt and refer to your own experience.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

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