It's Simpler Than You Think

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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:13 pm

Adi wrote: I was born with a body and a brain that produces a mind.

It may be helpful to explore your statement here. Is it truly accurate? It is fundamental to a perspective on life, so it's no small matter.

1. Is 'a mind' the same as consciousness or awareness?

2. Could mind just be a function of consciousness - that is having the capacity to think within the broader field of awareness?

3. Isn't it a belief that the brain produces a mind, and even the science on it is yet uncertain as to the origin of consciousness. Could there be more to it than brain chemistry?

4. Could the brain be a kind of perspective creating mechanism within conscious awareness? That is the brain stores experiences over the course of a lifetime and develops a world view based on those experiences and offering consciousness a unique opportunity through which to perceive human life.

I'm not asking you for your answers here, only suggesting possibilities to consider and explore.

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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby Adi » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:07 am

Webwanderer wrote:It may be helpful to explore your statement here. Is it truly accurate? It is fundamental to a perspective on life, so it's no small matter.

1. Is 'a mind' the same as consciousness or awareness?

2. Could mind just be a function of consciousness - that is having the capacity to think within the broader field of awareness?

3. Isn't it a belief that the brain produces a mind, and even the science on it is yet uncertain as to the origin of consciousness. Could there be more to it than brain chemistry?

4. Could the brain be a kind of perspective creating mechanism within conscious awareness? That is the brain stores experiences over the course of a lifetime and develops a world view based on those experiences and offering consciousness a unique opportunity through which to perceive human life.

I'm not asking you for your answers here, only suggesting possibilities to consider and explore.



Interesting to ponder but at the end of the day I agree with karmarider -

karmarider wrote:I suppose I don't understand talk about enlightenment. What enlightenment demands is that we know something we have not experienced and experience something we do not know (CWG). We can't reach for it any more than we can reach for the presumed black hole in the middle of our galaxy.

And so you're either enlightened or deluded that you're enlightened or you do not have the knowlege/experience of enlightenment. I'm the last one and enlightenment, happily, is irrelevant to me. It is something that will happen or not happen--there's nothing I can or want to do about it so I don't worry about it. Anything I think about it can only be conceptual or delusional.
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby Testigo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:59 pm

I found this message so beautiful and clear, that I recorded it with my voice, my name and particular conditions. I put a soft music as a background, and listen to it almost every day before going to sleep. It is something very easy to do and incredibly useful, because it seems to me that the initial purpose of Kiki was exactly to write it to be recorded and listened to. Thanks, Kiki.
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby kiki » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:33 pm

Glad you have found it useful, Testigo.

Peace -
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby CaiHong » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:03 am

Thanks KiKi,
The title of your post grabbed my attention.

Yesterday while looking after my grandsons ,the oldest , 8 years started to take his bike outside, he hadn't ridden it since I took the trainer wheels off a year ago. I had tried to teach him to ride but we both gave up in frustration and disappointment (mine). I was so happy that he was taking the initiative and we both went outside and I gently held the bike while he pedaled and got his balance, it took surprisingly little time before he was riding around on his own. I asked him how it felt, he said he felt like he could ride all the time, like normal. I saw this as an analogy of my own search for enlightenment. I have a strong feeling it will be as simple as riding a bike once I get my balance. He had built up a resistance, a fear, a feeling of never being able to ride that he manifested in not being interested in bikes. My attitude had changed a lot in the year. I had let go of the outcome whether he learned to ride a bike or not was not important but me being there to help him and staying neutral was.

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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby kiki » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:46 am

I have a strong feeling it will be as simple as riding a bike once I get my balance. He had built up a resistance, a fear, a feeling of never being able to ride that he manifested in not being interested in bikes. My attitude had changed a lot in the year. I had let go of the outcome whether he learned to ride a bike or not was not important but me being there to help him and staying neutral was.


Nice post, CaiHong. I especially liked the above quote.
"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
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby ashley72 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:03 pm

ceekaye wrote:I read this and thought i would share/ :)

A short story of Ram Dass. There are two waves drifting along in the ocean, one a bit wave in red and yellowbigger than the other. The bigger wave suddenly becomes very sad and upset. The smaller wave asks what's wrong. "You don't want to know," the bigger wave says. "What is it?" the small wave asks. "No - really - it's too terrible. If you knew what I knew, you'd never be happy." The small wave persists. Finally the big wave explains: "You can't see it, but I can see that, not too far from here, all of the waves are crashing on the shore. We are going to disappear." The small wave says," I can make you happy with just six words, but you have to listen very carefully to them." The big wave doesn't believe it -- what does the small wave know that he doesn't -- but he's desperate. After a while of doubting and mocking the small wave, the big wave finally gives in, and asks the small wave to tell him. And so the small wave says: "You're not a wave, you're water."

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This is a good analogy of what happens with the panic cycle. The "big" wave is the part of the nervous system that perceives or focuses only on dangerous things.... Whereby the output signal (symptoms or nervous reponse to danger: sweaty palms, heart palipitatons, ect) is itself now perceived as danger... causing the output signal to feedback into the input signal.

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The "small" wave is part of the nervous system that is diffused thinking and can regulate back to balance or negative feedback loop. The "small" wave can "diffuse" to other things outside of the focussed perception causing positive feedback or a panic cycle.

The moral of the story is simply there is more than one viewpoint or feedback direction.... You get to choose which one you look at by switching from focused mode to diffused thinking mode... as long as you untangle the mystery of a positive feedback loop (output signal feeding back into the input signal)....An undesirable panic-cycle can be avoided. :wink:

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My explanation uses cybernetics... which is the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things. Our nervous system is basically a control & communication system and so uses feedback to control & communicate... understand feedback... and you can understand deeply what Kiki is talking about.... Ultimately you can break free of your inner voice, because the inner voice is merely an inner feedback loop.

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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby Clouded » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:33 am

Hey Ashley, I completed your coursera course on learning how to learn and I found it's content very helpful (I'm sad that I didn't take this course earlier, it would have saved me a lot of time and stress), so thank you for posting it here. So you're saying that anxious thoughts come from the focused mode of thinking (where you are conscious of those thoughts and are actively trying to ''solve them'' in order to reduce your anxiety, which only creates more anxiety, right?) and the more you use those same, familiar neuropathways, the more you strengthen your anxiety pattern response?

Do anxious thoughts firstly originate from the diffuse mode? (where you unconsciously connect memories of unpleasant feelings to situations, and then you deem those situations to be dangerous?) I can't even trace back when my anxiety issues have started. When did it all begin and what have I done to myself because now I have a lot to untangle?!
"If you want to know what your were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, look at your thoughts today." -Deepak
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby blissrunn14 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:28 am

kiki wrote:Don't give up. My advice is to continue to meditate which will begin to create some space between thoughts. Those gaps aren't noticed at first because we are so used to being bombarded by thought stream, but eventually the gap begins to widen. In that space, in that gap between thoughts, awareness shines. It is silent and still, yet aware. Once you become more familiar with awareness you'll notice it more and more, even when thoughts are arising.


What kind of meditation do you do?

Have you heard of meditation by Sam Harris and do you think it's a good simple meditation to learn to become aware of thoughts?
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby kiki » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:50 pm

blissrunn14, my first experience was with Transcendental Meditation back in 1973, something I practiced with devoted regularity for 9 years. When I became disillusioned with the TM organization I moved onto other things. I think the meditation Sam Harris advocates is excellent; it's simple and effective.

Edited to add: I no longer have a formal meditation practice or use a specific technique, but when I sit to meditate I simply sit with eyes closed and pay attention to where the mind goes without trying to make it do or go anywhere. Most of the time thoughts are so few that all that happens is I simply consciously rest in/as awareness. Thoughts that do come are very quiet and are far in the background of awareness, so they dissolve quickly. Adyashanti was a great help in leading me into this "non"-technique. Check out his website: http://www.adyashanti.org/
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby blissrunn14 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:03 pm

@kiki

Cool thanks. I did the 2nd meditation you mentioned yesterday I saw you mention it in a post and I liked it. I have so many thoughts swirling through my head though that I think focusing on something might be best for me right now. Do you think it's okay to switch between the two because I did like the aspect of letting go of everything and not trying to do anything. It took the frustration out of meditating, but I was very consumed by my thoughts most of it.

I've enjoyed reading some of your posts btw you break this stuff down into very simple laymen terms that I can understand.

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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby ashley72 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:06 pm

Clouded,

Glad you did that course...many good insights to take away!

I definitely believe anxiety happens whilst in a focused thinking mode. In fact, there may even be more than just two thinking modes... If so Anxiety seems to be in a hyper-focused or hyper-vigilant mode because of the adrenaline kick! Anxiety can cause irritability & fatigue... similar to sleep deprivation... More clues that it may take a anxiety sufferer beyond a healthy focused mode for prolonged periods.

If an anxiety sufferer is worrying about something, like an up and coming social event. Their anxious thoughts about the event will be perceived as danger... this is how the positive feedback loop forms. The sufferer gets more focused anxious thoughts that in turn get perceived as danger.... The panic cycle starts. More & more anxious thoughts, irritability & fatigue start to set in. Meditation can definitely help here. If you follow the breath, by gently stealing your focus away from the anxious thoughts you can stop perceiving those thoughts as danger. This helps stop the positive feedback loop forming (panic). You still need exposure therapy... In other words, you should go to the social event.... the ultimate way to beat irrational fear is to face it without avoidance.

The thing I love about meditation, is it shows you that it's possible to switch focus away from the thinking mind onto something else. I think this is another insight. Our attention may be the executive function in our nervous system... Over-rides the thinking part. This is important,because most mental dysfunction seems to occur because of dodgy thinking styles.

I still meditate occassionally when I'm feeling mentally drained. It's another way to engage the diffused mode!!!

Final note: Never struggle against anxiety, even with meditation practice. Meditation practice is gentle and accepting. If you fight against anxious thoughts you are still stuck in the positive feedback loop... because you are still perceiving the anxious thoughts as danger. By accepting the thoughts and not fighting against them, you expose yourself to them and stop perceiving them as danger, you freshly perceive the thoughts as merely irrational thoughts, not anxious thoughts!
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby ashley72 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:30 pm

blissrunn14 wrote:@kiki

Cool thanks. I did the 2nd meditation you mentioned yesterday I saw you mention it in a post and I liked it. I have so many thoughts swirling through my head though that I think focusing on something might be best for me right now. Do you think it's okay to switch between the two because I did like the aspect of letting go of everything and not trying to do anything. It took the frustration out of meditating, but I was very consumed by my thoughts most of it.

I've enjoyed reading some of your posts btw you break this stuff down into very simple laymen terms that I can understand.

blissrunn14


Your thoughts are swirling because you're stuck in a positive feedback loop. Being worried can help us focus on something for a while and help us solve a problem. But when the problem is irrational, like we perceive the very thoughts as danger... this can cause a dysfunctional positive feedback loop to operate. By understanding what positive feedback is you can really understand why your thoughts feel like they are swirling. An example of a nervous system processes controlled by positive feedback are... child-birth & sexual arousal :wink:

Positive feedback is very important because it gets things done rapidly... but in the case of nervous illness can be chronic.

Meditation can break the positive feedback loop (destabilisation) back to a negative feedback loop (leads back to stability). In other words, it breaks the focus off the anxious or worrying loop your stuck in merely by changing the object of focus to something benign like the breath. Our attention or focus is the switch between positive or negative loops. In other words, instability or stability.

Don't forget instability isn't all bad, a lot of problem solving is achieved through a moderate level of worrying & rumination (focused mode). It's only a problem when the focus is mainly irrational.
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby kiki » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:45 am

blissrun14 wrote:Do you think it's okay to switch between the two because I did like the aspect of letting go of everything and not trying to do anything. It took the frustration out of meditating, but I was very consumed by my thoughts most of it.


Sure; find something that works best for you and then be regular with it.

When people first begin meditation they are shocked to discover just how many thoughts they have, and then they think they have to get rid of them. That's a recipe for struggle. You don't have to get rid of thoughts. Any idea that you do is just more thought. The benefit of a regular meditation practice is that it's a repeatable and systematic way of realizing that your true nature is not dependent on thoughts. What you are is what notices the arising and dissolving of thoughts. That's what waking up is all about, the discovery of your true nature. Once that happens you'll be less overwhelmed by thought stream and you will relax more when they come, and allow them to come and go. This usually takes some clock time, so don't put any pressure on yourself to "get it" within a certain time frame. It will come in its own due time.

I've enjoyed reading some of your posts btw you break this stuff down into very simple laymen terms that I can understand.


I'm glad to hear that because that's always my intention, to make it as easy to understand as possible. Look through my posts because I've written many many posts on the nuts and bolts waking up.
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Re: It's Simpler Than You Think

Postby CaiHong » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:11 am

Thanks Kiki,

This is a very pertinent thread for me. I am in the process of moving and it's bringing up anxious feelings which have no real basis. Normally I would go with these anxious feelings and feed them with a thousand negative possibilities. Anxiety would partially paralyze me into inaction. I still feel anxious but I am observing these feelings and do what needs to be done and enjoy the doing it's when I mull over what needs to be done then anxiety raises its ugly head. I feel it and try to embrace it and it definitely lessens, it's more in the background than the foreground.

I don't have any interest in formal meditation, I was a TM practitioner as well KIki, reading Krishnamurti put paid to that. I wanted enlightenment not to feel more relaxed.

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