The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

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cuno
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The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by cuno » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:27 am

Hello dear friends;

I read the book called I AM THAT and as far as I understand the awareness Sri Nisargadatta (and of course ET) describes is the choiceless awareness-the art of doing nothing…or is it not??.but some words he says is sometimes paradoxical..here is one..

Q:How is it done?
M:Refuse all thoughts except one:the thought ‘I am’.(page 18-The self stands beyond mind)


Here he says REFUSE!Which is saying doing something..Does he say this for the mundanes..??but in choiceless we don’t refuse anything only stay with the consciousness here and now…any comments

mikel
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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by mikel » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:20 am

One can get hooked up on words and concepts. If Sri Nisargadatta was teaching someone how to swing a base ball bat, he could probably say alot about it but eventually he might just pick up a bat and say "look for jeepers sake this is how you bloody do it!"

Really to become completely familliar with your nature is like that, you have to go away and experience it for yourself and be commited to that.

Really every teacher is just pointing in his or her own way, don't take the descriptions literally or try to understand them, they are only there to point to experience of swinging the bat! which is beyond words and intellect.

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cuno
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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by cuno » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:26 pm

Hi Mikel;

Thanks for the precious feedback. It helps me to realize that my previous post can be improved, at least in writing.
Why is this forum and all these interactions?I thought we are here to share our own experiences about something which is beyond words and intellect..you'd better describe how you do it..or what you understand from the quote..rather than saying that it is very complicated in brief....

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by kiki » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:41 pm

Nisargadatta is trying to point to what you already are, consciousness; there is no doing involved in being what you already are, but his teaching to refuse all other thoughts except one, "I am", can be misleading because it seems to direct you to keep the mind busy. That phrase, however, isn't meant to be kept in the mind. Instead, it is meant to be a reminder to turn attention onto awareness/consciousness and not on any thought, to let awareness rest within itself rather than having attention wrapped up in thought. There is no thinking necessary to know that you are - "I am" is meant to express that which cannot be put into words. This is why talking about this is so difficult - there literally are no words that can express the inexpressable.
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mikel
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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by mikel » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:17 pm

Hi Cuno, From what I have experienced of our nature, it's not complicated but it is hard to grasp with words.
Appoligies if I strayed from the general thrust of your initial post, I sometimes do that :)

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by karmarider » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:53 pm

Yes, refusing is doing. Nisgardatta is describing the practice--the practice he used and the practice he recommends, which s to focus on the sense of I AM to the exclusion of everything else.

The practice can lead to being, but it is not being. Being is, as you said, the gentle, unoccupied choiceless awareness which allows all.

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cuno
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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by cuno » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi friends;
Kiki says
>>That phrase, however, isn't meant to be kept in the mind. Instead, it is meant to be a reminder to turn attention onto awareness/consciousness and not on any thought, to let awareness rest within itself rather than having attention wrapped up in thought. >>

This is what I think to be true..IMHO What maharaj said is a reminder to turn our attention gently onto consciousness and not on any thought which is not doing within the context of mundanes..Maybe he was addressing a chronic thinker.One that is constantly idle thinking will have to make an active choice to stop.I remember somewhere in his book Maharaj says problems and thoughts come and go and are never interfered on my part..

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by dobro » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:57 pm

"Nisargadatta is trying to point to what you already are, consciousness; there is no doing involved in being what you already are, but his teaching to refuse all other thoughts except one, "I am", can be misleading because it seems to direct you to keep the mind busy. That phrase, however, isn't meant to be kept in the mind. Instead, it is meant to be a reminder to turn attention onto awareness/consciousness and not on any thought, to let awareness rest within itself rather than having attention wrapped up in thought. There is no thinking necessary to know that you are - "I am" is meant to express that which cannot be put into words. This is why talking about this is so difficult - there literally are no words that can express the inexpressable."

Nice. Yet the directing of attention, however small a doing, is still a doing, isn't it? For instance, when I meditate, the only thing I do is direct attention, yet there's a world of difference between the state I'm in when I direct attention in meditation and when my attention is, for instance, completely swallowed up in a really good movie. In the cinema, I'm not aware of my body or my thoughts or the people around me - I'm completely gone, completely focussed on the film - consciousness is serving the film and it's almost as completely 'real' and believable for me as a dream is when I'm in a dream. In meditation, I'm completely focussed on the object of my meditation. They're really different, and the difference arises out of what I'm doing with attention. Why is that not a 'doing'?

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by Ananda » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:12 pm

dobro, movement and action, 'doing' still takes place. It happens. The point is that there is no doer. The doer is an idea. The doer arises with the idea 'I am the body'.

Further still, who is directing the attention? What is all movement, action and 'doing' before it is labelled? What are all objects, things, forms, before they are labelled? Unidivded, completely, without name, and not apart from what you are.

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by dobro » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:34 am

Hi Ananda - I'm not wondering about whether there's a doer or not - I'm wondering about doing. I'm not interested in whether someone or something is directing the attention - I'm interested in the directing of attention. Either everything just happens on its own, or sometimes, in some cases, we choose this or that. I think we can't choose to be this or that sort of person, because the personality has a lot of depth and a lot of built-in self-preservation momentums, but I do think that we can choose where we place our attention, especially if we slow down and go inside ourselves and ignore external distractions for a while. I also feel that attention is from a part of ourselves above mind and body, that it's freer than mind and body. I call it 'doing'. And I wonder why Kiki says that isn't 'doing'. It's not a big issue what you call it, I suppose, but it makes all the difference what sort of attention is operating in you at any moment - whether it's captured by some object that you're lost in, or whether you're remembering yourself. Remembering myself, in my experience, takes a certain amount of relaxed effort. That's why I call it 'doing'.

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by Sighclone » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:26 am

English teachers tell us not to use the passive voice. "Use active verbs! Make your prose sparkle!"

Can you touch your nose? Then you are doing something. Or maybe not. Maybe for enlightened people the passive voice is correct..."My nose is being touched."

People used to scold Nisargadatta for smoking so much. He said "I was not aware that I smoked."

The act of doing is preceived by a doer until there is no more doer.

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

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by dobro » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:57 am

Andy, I've read your post about four times and it still makes little sense to me.

I'm an English teacher by the way, and I don't tell my students not to use the passive voice. I tell them to use the passive voice when it's appropriate to do so. My advice to my students is sound.

So if you explain the connection between using active or passive grammar and doing or not-doing, I might understand what you're trying to say.

:-)

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by enigma » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:23 am

The confusion happening there is not being understood here. :?

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by Sighclone » Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:58 am

dobro -

Welcome, by the way!

Gary Weber's fine book "Happiness Beyond Thought" (website: happiness-beyond-thought.com) discusses briefly the Benjamin Libet studies in 1983 about free will. From page 59: "The actions that we do are already well in process before we receive any notice that they are in the process of occurring."

He has continued his research in this area. He has a PhD and was Sr. VP at a large manufacturing firm. He shifted about fifteen years ago. He responds to emails through his website. He will be speaking at the Science and Non-duality conference in October (scienceandnonduality.com).

There can only be "action without doing" if there is no doer. Nonduality is, of course, about the extinction of the egoic self.

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

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Re: The art of doing nothing and mundane thoughts

Post by dobro » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:09 am

Andy, everything you say makes sense to me, especially the Benjamin Libet idea. But it wasn't just Libet; Nisargadatta used to say something similar - he used to say things like (I'm paraphrasing) 'when you exert yourself, it's nothing other than the universe exerting itself through you'.

It's a powerful idea and I believe it's as close to the truth as anything can be on the level of ideas, yet it creates such a problem for people who are currently operating on the level of ideas (me, for instance, 99% of the time), because on the one hand we have people like Nisargadatta saying 'refuse all thoughts except the thought "I am"' and on the other hand we have people like Libet (and Nisargadatta, and Gurdjieff) saying things like 'don't fool yourself - you're nowhere near in charge of your 'choices' as you think you are.' People used to ask Nisargadatta if their enlightenment could be accelerated and he'd say 'yes', but when questioned closely about who exactly was doing what was required to bring about that acceleration, he'd point to the universe.

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