Daily practice

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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rachMiel
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Re: Daily practice

Post by rachMiel » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:40 pm

Admiral Akmir wrote:... what are we to make of the people like ET? He said he was terribly depressed for years, and then had an awakening, and for a long time after that he sat on park benches and wandered around. Was he aware all the time?
I don't know what to make of what Tolle says about himself. Wondering about that kind of thing -- What, exactly, is Guru X's subjective experience? -- just creates another big fat carrot to follow and divert your energy and focus from your own subjective experience. Glean what you can from Tolle, or any other teacher/teaching, make it yours, then move on.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

sardinelover
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Re: Daily practice

Post by sardinelover » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:31 am

Onceler wrote: Yes, I became neurotic and anxious trying to be constantly aware......so neurotic and anxious that I have up the spiritual search. It was too stressful. This consumed most of my adult life, but I won't go into the details of the ebb and flow.
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From the many posts I've read on this forum, many people say they are going neurotic in an effort to be constantly aware. This takes the form of loss of ambition, zest for life, depersonalization, etc.
I can see the validity of your experience, and the validity of Krishnamurti's message in rachMiel's quote. Wanting(desire) is bad, and in this case, wanting constant awareness. Forcing oneself to obtain the object of desire is highly self-destructive. I don't advocate trying to attain constant awareness for it's own sake.

But here is another perspective, and it is the path that I travelled down: attaining constant awareness through an organic growth in the ability to maintain awareness(presence power). People think that meditation is done while sitting still with the eyes closed, and that time needs to be set aside for it. But awareness is not a posture, it is not time-bound, and it requires just a tiny bit of attention. Therefore awareness can be attained no matter what the body is doing, at any time. Sitting still with the eyes closed is the easiest way to meditate, but once your ability to maintain awareness grows, you can then progress to meditating while standing or walking with your eyes open, or doing tasks. You don't do it because you have to, you do it because awareness(presence) is satisfying and you enjoy it. All day meditation, all day awareness.

On an intellectual level, know that constant awareness is possible. If you can attain it, that is great. If you can't attain it, then that is not a problem. Don't strive for it, because that will make you suffer. Meditate whenever and however you like.
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Admiral Akmir
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Admiral Akmir » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:49 am

Onceler wrote:I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis. It's like the Christian prescription, 'pray without ceasing'.....on the other hand, I think we are always aware on some level. We are conscious, we are aware. Trust that.

I do Qi Gong in the mornings. When I miss, I feel out of sorts. I've tried sitting meditation for many years and find moving meditation to do the trick in keeping me focused and energized. It also helps with healing and energy blockages. I do the short bits of awareness throughout the day as well. They often happen spontaneously, so I don't have to try so hard anymore.
I read what you said and was intrigued, never heard of moving meditation before, and this was what I found

http://www.scribd.com/doc/16895562/5-Treasures-Handout

Completely unrelated, but I find that I don't really like to eat sitting down, usually if I have time. I'll put my plate or bowl or whatever on the counter, and pace around the living room and dining room, returning to take a bite or two once in a while. Sitting still doesn't really seem to be something that I like doing.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:54 pm

Admiral Akmir wrote:
Onceler wrote:I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis. It's like the Christian prescription, 'pray without ceasing'.....on the other hand, I think we are always aware on some level. We are conscious, we are aware. Trust that.

I do Qi Gong in the mornings. When I miss, I feel out of sorts. I've tried sitting meditation for many years and find moving meditation to do the trick in keeping me focused and energized. It also helps with healing and energy blockages. I do the short bits of awareness throughout the day as well. They often happen spontaneously, so I don't have to try so hard anymore.
I read what you said and was intrigued, never heard of moving meditation before, and this was what I found

http://www.scribd.com/doc/16895562/5-Treasures-Handout

Completely unrelated, but I find that I don't really like to eat sitting down, usually if I have time. I'll put my plate or bowl or whatever on the counter, and pace around the living room and dining room, returning to take a bite or two once in a while. Sitting still doesn't really seem to be something that I like doing.
I'm certainly no expert on this and I don't think Qi Gong of itself is a key to awakening. But it can be an excellent Mindfullness movement to center oneself and to destress. I think it also has healing potential. There are other forms of moving meditation; walking meditation, yoga, etc. I am somewhat active like you and find Qi Gong takes me deep into a quiet place quickly. I use Spring Forest style Qi Gong.

As sardinelover pointed out, one can constantly be aware of ones environment/movement and senses, no matter what one is doing.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:54 pm

sardinelover wrote:
Onceler wrote: Yes, I became neurotic and anxious trying to be constantly aware......so neurotic and anxious that I have up the spiritual search. It was too stressful. This consumed most of my adult life, but I won't go into the details of the ebb and flow.
.
.
.
From the many posts I've read on this forum, many people say they are going neurotic in an effort to be constantly aware. This takes the form of loss of ambition, zest for life, depersonalization, etc.
I can see the validity of your experience, and the validity of Krishnamurti's message in rachMiel's quote. Wanting(desire) is bad, and in this case, wanting constant awareness. Forcing oneself to obtain the object of desire is highly self-destructive. I don't advocate trying to attain constant awareness for it's own sake.

But here is another perspective, and it is the path that I travelled down: attaining constant awareness through an organic growth in the ability to maintain awareness(presence power). People think that meditation is done while sitting still with the eyes closed, and that time needs to be set aside for it. But awareness is not a posture, it is not time-bound, and it requires just a tiny bit of attention. Therefore awareness can be attained no matter what the body is doing, at any time. Sitting still with the eyes closed is the easiest way to meditate, but once your ability to maintain awareness grows, you can then progress to meditating while standing or walking with your eyes open, or doing tasks. You don't do it because you have to, you do it because awareness(presence) is satisfying and you enjoy it. All day meditation, all day awareness.

On an intellectual level, know that constant awareness is possible. If you can attain it, that is great. If you can't attain it, then that is not a problem. Don't strive for it, because that will make you suffer. Meditate whenever and however you like.
I wrote a long reply to this which I lost (dog ate it), so I'll try to write the gist of it. I believe attributes like constant awareness are by product of awakening and not a path to awakening for most people, except for some folks like you, which is great. Most awake people, like, ET, Bryon Katie, Harri Aalto, etc. have the initiating experience by accident or by grace. They don't know how what happened to them, happened. They describe their experience after awakening; constant awareness, reduced thought, being in the now, detachment, oneness, etc. and confuse the results of awakening with the path to awakening. They are not good at reproducing an initiating experience, because they don't know, in most cases, how it happened. This is a recipe for crazy making in most people. It's like an expert in anything simply saying just go out and bake a cake, ride a bike, paint a picture, write code like I do and you'll be fine, without actually breaking down their method......

For me, the initiating experience was giving up after a lifetime of on and off seeking. Then I found something simple and reproducible (John Sherman's looking technique) which went off like a depth charge in the core of my consciousness (me) and initiated a fundamental change in my psychology. This has allowed a cleaning of fear and negative emotions and patterns of thought and behavior over time which contributes to qualities like constant awareness, effortlessly. I'm not saying I'm awake (I think its a verb without end) but believe the process was initiated. I have written way too much about my experience in previous posts....if you are interested.

I would caution folks, when looking at a teacher or teaching, to analyze whether it is descriptive or prescriptive (to coin Jeff Archer's term). Are the methods they advocate to awaken simply a description of their own awakened experience or are they reproducible, much like a scientific experiment....it will work consistently for most people. I still think there should be a consumer report on teachers wherein they have to publish their results....A good example of this is Harri Aalto, of whom another thread is devoted. He articulates an amazing description of his experience, which I don't doubt, and it is very compelling....but no method of how he got there. He was basically born with the gift of awakening near as I can tell. But how is this beautiful description going to help the billions of people suffering? Or perhaps a better question is why haven't these descriptions alleviated suffering since their inception, approximately 6000 years ago?
Last edited by Onceler on Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:16 pm

There is no method. How 'bout them apples?

That's why people who have supposedly reached enlightenment can't take you there with them.

Or, that is the method. The anti-method. Whatever way you want to look at it.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:53 pm

peas wrote:There is no method. How 'bout them apples?

That's why people who have supposedly reached enlightenment can't take you there with them.

Or, that is the method. The anti-method. Whatever way you want to look at it.
Perhaps you're right, peas, people seem to have to find their own way.....are those apples descendants of the apple Adam and Eve munched on in the garden of Eden? And, if so, is it a binding contract?
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peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Lol, Onceler. You gotta give yourself the humour award. First time I've smiled on these forums for a while. Is there a requirement that says spiritual matters have to be so serious? Nice work.

People do need to find their own way. And nothing we say can really expedite the matter. But it's fun anyway.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:49 pm

peas wrote:Lol, Onceler. You gotta give yourself the humour award. First time I've smiled on these forums for a while. Is there a requirement that says spiritual matters have to be so serious? Nice work.

People do need to find their own way. And nothing we say can really expedite the matter. But it's fun anyway.
Cheers, Peas!

I'm somewhat serious tho, here we go, as I find apples fascinating. They are not true to seed, which means that you can't plant a fuji seed and get a fuji tree. You have to graft branches into existing apple trees. I'm not sure what this has to do with the metaphor, but actually I do like those apples and you're probably right, almost certainly right....people do need to find their own way and it is fun....it only took me about 40 years to start having fun....
Be present, be pleasant.

sardinelover
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Re: Daily practice

Post by sardinelover » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:36 am

I don't know if this has ever been bluntly articulated, by any teacher, and I speak from experience: only awareness of thought can stop thought dead in it's tracks. This is true stillness, true presence, true bliss. Feeling the inner body, awareness of environment/senses, physical meditations like Qigong or Tai Chi don't come close to completely eliminating thought, and thus there remains a measure of suffering(negative thinking) even as these techniques are employed. The essence of these techniques is to distract your attention(or focus your attention on something) to give you a measure of mental quietude and peace. When you shine the light of awareness onto your thoughts, you are directly dealing with the source of your suffering.

'Watching The Thinker'(or any identical technique by another name) is the only technique that can get you to a state of bliss. Stillness(the complete cessation of thought) is an extremely high-quality state - the highest state that can be experienced.
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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:15 am

I'm really happy this works for you sardinelover.....I have heard this message since the early 80's and many teachers, including Tolle clearly articulate the message of watching the thinker and observing thoughts.

Equally bluntly and to the point, years of watching the thinker and observing thought just about gave me a nervous breakdown. Literally. I developed a pervasive anxiety disorder that turned into a full blown panic disorder fueled with depression. When I wasn't panicked and depressed I was depersonalized. It just doesn't work for everyone and effort and desire just don't magically make it so. I'm here to tell you one can also be engaged with life without constantly watching the thinker, silence and bliss.

I am not knocking that at all and I think it's wonderful it has worked for you and many others. I truly wish it had worked for me and for many years, because it didn't work, I felt there was something seriously wrong with me. I felt guilty and miserable. Now I know there is nothing wrong with me and I'm free of the guilt. I'm trying to get the message out there to the many posters on this forum who are obviously going through the same thing I went through. It doesn't work for everyone and it's not your fault.
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sardinelover
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Re: Daily practice

Post by sardinelover » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:03 am

Quite right Onceler, quite right. :)

Watching The Thinker is not for everybody, and neither is constant awareness. I was emphasising that WTT is the only meditation technique that can completely still the mind.

You have suffered a lot, and I am very glad to know that you are in a better place now. :)
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Re: Daily practice

Post by KathleenBrugger » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:38 pm

Onceler wrote: I would caution folks, when looking at a teacher or teaching, to analyze whether it is descriptive or prescriptive (to coin Jeff Archer's term). Are the methods they advocate to awaken simply a description of their own awakened experience or are they reproducible, much like a scientific experiment....it will work consistently for most people. I still think there should be a consumer report on teachers wherein they have to publish their results....A good example of this is Harri Aalto, of whom another thread is devoted. He articulates an amazing description of his experience, which I don't doubt, and it is very compelling....but no method of how he got there. He was basically born with the gift of awakening near as I can tell. But how is this beautiful description going to help the billions of people suffering? Or perhaps a better question is why haven't these descriptions alleviated suffering since their inception, approximately 6000 years ago?
This is really good advice, onceler. When I was young I really believed in the possibility of political utopia. I read as many utopian books as I could find, until one day i realized that every one showed a working utopian society without giving one tiny clue how we could move from our dysfunctional society towards that utopia. It was always as if some magic wand had been waved. At that point my interest waned. Clearly it was more difficult than those books made it appear.

I am a very practical person and I am interested in results. My interest is in spiritual teachings that help me be a better person in the here and now. I can witness my actions and have my own scientific experiment about whether an approach is working.
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davemill
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Re: Daily practice

Post by davemill » Sun May 11, 2014 9:46 pm

rachMiel wrote:As far as remaining in deep presence 24/7 I love this quote from Krishnamurti:

Don't be aware all the time! Just be aware in little bits. Please, there is no being aware all the time, that is a dreadful idea!
Wow, that's the most useful quote I've heard in ages! Thanks!
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Phil2 » Mon May 12, 2014 2:16 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
I am a very practical person and I am interested in results. My interest is in spiritual teachings that help me be a better person in the here and now. I can witness my actions and have my own scientific experiment about whether an approach is working.
Kathleen,

I don't disagree with the general sense of what you say ... however can spirituality be about improving what we are already, making us "better" ? a "better" person" ?

Can awareness be "better" ? Are we a "person" at all ?

??
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
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