I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please help

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 :)

I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please help

Postby bobdylanfan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:17 pm

Hello guys I have a question about becoming aware of awareness. I find if I just sit and observe the witness or
presence that knows everything then that's very useful but I'm not actually feeling that connection and AHA feeling you get when awareness recognises itself. I am aware of the witness but it's almost like I can't always turn awareness back on itself and feel that oneness. Does anyone have any pointers or perhaps some good teachers or teachings they recommend ?
bobdylanfan
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:54 am

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:13 pm

As I understand it, becoming aware of awareness is the same as self realisation or enlightenment. It's considered a very high level of spirituality. In order for awareness to become aware of itself it must become so calm that it can see through any experience within your life, in a sense to detach from these experiences, and relax into itself, which is pure awareness, the background page from which the story of life emerges and returns.

As far as I am aware the best way to move in this direction is to refine our awareness through the experiences that arise in any given moment. By allowing any experience that occurs within the moment we can relax into these experiences. This allows our being to unwind as we release the tensions that hold us in ignorance.

The specifics of everyone's journey is unique to them, so what works for me has no gaurentee of working for you. However, my experience with people I consider to be aware of awareness suggests that a form of meditation practice to still the mind is very helpful - especially if this is integrated into our daily lives - a kind of living meditation as we go about our day, relaxing into our experiences. Also, loving compassion is often recommended. Being devoted to helping others for the happiness of all life.

Ppersonally, I use body scans where I inquire into the tensions within my body while i experience my daily life and allow any sensations to come and go without judging them as good or bad. I combine this with devotion to what i like to call the Grace of God, but which could just as easily be called pure awareness or spirit or consciousness etc. I acknowledge that everytng that I experience and all my sense of individual power is actually an expression of the Grace of God. In this regard, I cannot take ownership of anything that I experience or do. I offer myself to the Grace of God and surrender by authority to It, trusting in it's wisdom and love to guide me through my life.

This combination of techniques is flexible and changes as and when the situation calls for it. It serves me very well and has allowed me to resolve much of the sticker parts of me.

I don't have a formal teacher, though was briefly taught by Francis Bennett who I would recommend. I read his Facebook messages most days and find them beautifully balanced and insightful. I'd also recommend Adyashanti as his approach seems similar to Francis (they both spoke on the spirituality YouTube channel Batgap a little while ago, I'd recommend that conversation - it was very eye opening [for me at least]).

Peace.
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby DavidB » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:37 am

Stop attempting to become aware of awareness. This is completely unnecessary and will only drive you insane, as you frustratingly attempt to find for the reason that you can't achieve the unachievable. There is no transcendent state to be achieved, it's complete bunk promulgated by people needing an audience to sell books, expensive speaking engagements and devoted practitioners.

You ARE the awareness, attempting to find that awareness can only create the very situation you are attempting to escape, more projection, more illusion. Be content, live and love life, nothing more is needed.

All people are really seeking generally speaking, is an effective means for dealing with stress and anxiety. So all spiritual guides are is techniques in stress management. Being at peace is the only thing any of us can really achieve anyway, so dealing with stress and anxiety is at the heart of spiritual development.

What they don't tell you though, is that dealing with stress and anxiety is relatively easy. It's recognizing that we have a fragile fictitious personal sense of self, and that all the strength, confidence, love and compassion we require, we can already give to ourselves, it doesn't need to be sought externally.
Last edited by DavidB on Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:44 pm

I don't agree with you David. There is a huge difference between the belief "I am pure awareness" and the experience of pure awareness. For most, a lack of focus in the direction of this spiritual movement will result in a lack of progress. Some form of practice of mind stilling and heart embracing is required for the vast majority.

Are you a fan of neo-advaita? Your method sounds quite like those people. They seem quite deluded to me.
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby kiki » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:52 pm

You can't break off a piece of awareness and isolate it from everything else and examine it under a microscope because it isn't a separate thing. It is one with everything, for without it nothing could be known. You know objects, emotions, perceptions, and thoughts are present because awareness is present.

The phrase "turning awareness back onto itself" is a little misleading because it gives the impression that awareness (a no-thing) can turn into a some-thing that can be observed. How would or could that even work? It's impossible, and obviously just not logical, and it will be an endless frustration if you approach it that way. Instead, try this: Close your eyes, relax, and observe your breath go in and out for a few cycles, and then ask yourself "How do I know if breathing is happening?" For lack of a better word, isn't something present that simply knows/recognizes the breath moving in and out?

(The same thing holds true for observing thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions. Something must be present for those things to be known. And notice how there is no demarcation line between awareness and what it sees/knows/observes, where awareness ends and objects begin - it is all one seamless whole.)

Keep observing the breath for a few minutes in a relaxed way and pay close attention to any pause between out-breath and the next in-breath. Just enjoy the easiness of the breath rising and falling without trying to manipulate it in any way, and notice how there is a pause between breaths. Don't try to analyze anything, just notice the pause when it comes, and rest there.

That pause can become an entry point for the cessation of thoughts if you just relax and let it happen. Keep doing this, and eventually you will notice that in that pause thought stream will also pause and yet awareness will remain. Awareness/You is still present. There is the "knowingness" of simply being, the knowingness of being here now. This is not a thought driven experience, rather, it is a silent realization. This is awareness revealing itself to itself. Up until now awareness has been attending to whatever arises, but when there is nothing arising it is left all by itself, fully awake and aware. This, essentially, is what is meant by "turning awareness back onto itself."
"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
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby DavidB » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:53 pm

I have no idea what neo-advaita is.

I was adding to my post before while you were replying. I added a few things that might clarify somewhat.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby rachMiel » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:23 pm

"There once was a man who said though,
It seems that I know that I know,
What I'd like to see,
Is the I that knows me,
When I know that I know that I know."

— Alan Watts
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2420
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby DavidB » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:25 am

EnterZenFromThere wrote:I don't agree with you David. There is a huge difference between the belief "I am pure awareness" and the experience of pure awareness. For most, a lack of focus in the direction of this spiritual movement will result in a lack of progress. Some form of practice of mind stilling and heart embracing is required for the vast majority.

Are you a fan of neo-advaita? Your method sounds quite like those people. They seem quite deluded to me.


I don't disagree with you EZ, you are correct of course, some form of practice is definitely needed, as most of us (probably all of us), have some accumulated past trauma and have developed quite strong false senses of self and all manner of identification.

We all have a pain body as Tolle describes it, and we all need to deal with other pain bodies throughout the day. We need to know how to deal with our own inner turmoil, as well as deal with those other people and circumstances around us. This takes knowledge, understanding and takes practice.

I don't pretend for minute that developing a peaceful state of consciousness is something that simply manifests spontaneously, at least not for the majority of us, not at first. It did for Tolle, but that is the exception, and it only manifested after a very long period of deep suffering and pain. And it still took a few years for Tolle to even understand what had happened to him. And I tend to believe that people find understanding when they are ready to find it, in a sense, we tend to learn through an unfolding process, each discovery building upon the last.

Discovering though that there is within us, a fragile false sense of self, a self that constantly attempts to create an identity, is something that can be discovered really quite easily, it doesn't require years of devoted practice and/or technique. And it is this discovery that all of the spiritual disciplines attempt to point to. That there is never any reason to believe anything at all about yourself.

Of course, once we discover this, we can then work on techniques and practices in order to undo many years of self destructive behavior.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:24 pm

David "Discovering though that there is within us, a fragile false sense of self, a self that constantly attempts to create an identity, is something that can be discovered really quite easily, it doesn't require years of devoted practice and/or technique. And it is this discovery that all of the spiritual disciplines attempt to point to. That there is never any reason to believe anything at all about yourself."

I was wondering if you could elaborate on this a bit for me? When you say discovering the fragile sense of self is really quite easy, what exactly are you discovering and what is the easy way to find it that you are eluding to here? Also, how do other spiritual disciplines attempt to point to it?
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby DavidB » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:12 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:I was wondering if you could elaborate on this a bit for me? When you say discovering the fragile sense of self is really quite easy, what exactly are you discovering and what is the easy way to find it that you are eluding to here? Also, how do other spiritual disciplines attempt to point to it?


Thanks for asking a great question.

The fragile sense of self, is the self that constantly looks for validation and constantly avoids disapproval. It is the fictional self that believes it can become enlightened, to escape its suffering and pain. It's the self that believes it is fundamentally good, and disappointed when it discovers it isn't as good as it ought to be. It is the self that constantly seeks to improve, to be better, to one day fundamentally transform, to transcend.

We all know this self, it's easy to recognize, we live with it every day. It gives us anxiety, it makes us frightened, it causes stress, it seeks pleasure, happiness and fulfillment.

Other spiritual disciplines attempt to point to it by getting us to stop thinking, to realize the non dual nature of existence. Meditation for example, is a practice that helps to still and quieten the mind. Zen attempts to provide the mind with nothing to think about.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with thinking though of course, thinking is very useful, a wonderful tool. The problem lies in what we believe the thoughts tell us about ourselves and the world around us, and how we respond.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:35 pm

DavidB wrote:It is the fictional self


Fictional in what sense? If it exists, is it not real?

DavidB wrote:that believes it can become enlightened


Is there no such state as enlightenment?

DavidB wrote:It is the self that constantly seeks to improve, to be better, to one day fundamentally transform, to transcend.


Would a self that is perceived to improve be mistaken?

DavidB wrote:Other spiritual disciplines attempt to point to it by getting us to stop thinking, to realize the non dual nature of existence.


What does one experience when they stop thinking? Is this state an end point?

DavidB wrote:The problem lies in what we believe the thoughts tell us about ourselves and the world around us, and how we respond.


To the degree to which we limit ourselves to the attachment of a specific identity at the exclusion of other identities?

Lots of questions, I look forward to your answers.

Peace.
User avatar
EnterZenFromThere
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby DavidB » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:36 am

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Lots of questions, I look forward to your answers.

Peace.


Lots of questions indeed, I'll see if I can answer them. :)

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Fictional in what sense? If it exists, is it not real?


In the sense that it consists entirely of thoughts, beliefs one has about oneself, identifications, labels and automatic responses. If for example, I believe myself to be 'spiritual', then anything about myself that is perceived as not so spiritual needs to be rejected, or fixed, or conversely I might perceive myself as being more spiritual than someone else in comparison. This fictional persona then becomes subject to fluctuation depending upon circumstances and invariably never reaches that perfect state of spirituality.

It's like if someone tells you your ugly and you believe it, only in this case, we do it to ourselves. We believe a fictional idea about ourselves, be it ugly, spiritual, enlightened, whatever. A dog for example, no matter how ugly we might think it, would never perceive itself in those terms. A dog has no self image. It is this self image that is fictional. And it doesn't matter whether the self image is negative, positive, spiritual or transcendent, it is a fictional self image.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Is there no such state as enlightenment?


No, there is no such thing as enlightenment. Enlightenment is when everything is as it is, nothing needs to be changed, no condition needs to be met, and being at peace means not minding what happens.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:Would a self that is perceived to improve be mistaken?


No, we can always learn more and know more and understand more and undo dysfunctional self destructive behavior. Being at peace however is the simple recognition that we are none of the things we believe ourselves to be.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:What does one experience when they stop thinking? Is this state an end point?


We experience peace. In a sense it is an end point, as there is nothing at all that needs to be added to that. And it isn't really so much a matter of not thinking, it is matter of not believing what we think. There is nothing wrong with thinking, thinking only becomes a problem when the thoughts are informing us who we are.

EnterZenFromThere wrote:To the degree to which we limit ourselves to the attachment of a specific identity at the exclusion of other identities?


We have no identity. The identities we hold onto are fictional stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and others. If for example I think of myself as a good person, then everybody needs to believe that story or else the story cannot remain true. If it were true, then it would be true always to everybody. If somebody believes that I'm not a good person, then the idea that I'm a good person comes into question. This is the fragility of identity, the fragility of belief, because it consists of thought, it can easily crumble.

Peace.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby bobdylanfan » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:00 pm

Enterzenfromthere, thankyou brother you always such heartfelt wisdom and clarity to share, thanks for your time.

Kiki, that method is so effective, recognising that there is still something present in between the breaths, really amazing. Do you have any other techniques like that ? It seems that particular one is one you need to practice by yourself, maybe meditating . It would be so good to find something you could do whilst in conversation.
Thanks buddy

Love
bobdylanfan
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:54 am

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby Enlightened2B » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:17 pm

bobdylanfan wrote:Enterzenfromthere, thankyou brother you always such heartfelt wisdom and clarity to share, thanks for your time.

Kiki, that method is so effective, recognising that there is still something present in between the breaths, really amazing. Do you have any other techniques like that ? It seems that particular one is one you need to practice by yourself, maybe meditating . It would be so good to find something you could do whilst in conversation.
Thanks buddy

Love


Hey Bob Dylan Fan, I'll offer you what I have been using lately in my own practice. Can't say if it will help you or not, but I've had a couple of really cool break throughs lately with it where it led to a very deep experience in meditation for me.

Instead of getting caught up right now in the labels and defintions of self/no self that we often talk about on this board, a simple practice that works for me is simply 'letting go'. I find I have to do this regularly because I wind up back in my mind often. I find that the ultimate key to all of this stuff is first and fore most "surrender'. It takes practice though.

I watched an Adyashanti video on 'surrender' not that long ago (posted below) and his pointer towards 'letting go' is very simplistic and to the point and essentially what it means is totally accepting everything and anything in your experience as it is. It's a form of 'non-doing'. It gets you to see that often we are clinging to an aspect of our experience rather than seeing that we are more than just that aspect that we 'think' we are through the limited human brain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf-cOu2UjW0

Don't get too caught up with other aspects of Adya's teachings or notions of enlightenment in general. I don't agree with teachings on 'no self', but Adya's pointers towards surrender in this video are excellent as are most teachers and I feel if most of these teachers would just stop there, they would have gotten the message across so powerfully like Eckhart Tolle does. Eckhart keeps it simple and that's why I appreciate Eckhart's teachings sometimes more so than others.

Just surrender...accept and allow. That's how you let go.

Anyway, follow Adya's pointers here in this video. I think they are great.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: I notice the watcher but I'm not aware of it. Please hel

Postby kiki » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:36 pm

Do you have any other techniques like that ?


If you bring up my posts you'll find scores of "how to" tips.

It seems that particular one is one you need to practice by yourself, maybe meditating .


Yes, this is a sit down eyes closed practice, and regular practice with this will be beneficial. I would even say it can be an actual stand alone meditation technique. However, you can also use this when practicing a more formal method of meditating by easily asking yourself near the end of your meditation session, "How is it known that I am meditating?" Something must be present to know that anything is happening, including meditating. Over time there will be a subtle shift away from focusing on the actual practice to just resting in/as the witnessing consciousness. To begin with, I suggest you just do your regular practice, whatever it is, because the discipline of doing it will be good for you, but near the end of your session allow that question to bubble up and see what happens.

It would be so good to find something you could do whilst in conversation.


Be mindful while conversing to JUST LISTEN when someone is talking to you. Most people will be formulating a response when others are talking to them, so they aren't fully present to them. So be like an empty vessel and they are pouring their words into you. Notice if/when you have reactions to what they are saying. If so, you have slipped into conditioned reactions. When you recognize that you are reacting rather than just listening you've opened a space to let the words pour in unobstructed instead.

This may be challenging to do right off the bat, so there are other things outside of conversation that will de-condition yourself from prior mental habits. For example, when looking at something notice whether you are simply looking at it or are adding other things to it. For example, are you naming or labeling what is seen; are you judging what is seen; are you analyzing what is seen; are you resisting what is seen; do you want to cling to what is seen?

This works for all the senses. In other words, learn to just see, just hear, just taste, just feel, just smell. These things transfer well to conversation. When you are fully present to the other person you are honoring them. You are acknowledging them the best way possible by being fully attentive to what they are saying. Doing this means you are consciously open to everything that arises, even in conversation, and this openness is characteristic of your true nature. This will allow you to respond from mindful reason rather than conditioned reaction.

As time goes on you will notice how quiet you are while everything else is going on around and within you. That quietness is the "footprint" of consciousness. No need to analyze it, though; just notice its presence because that presence IS YOU.

Edited to add: Enlightened2b's suggestion to check out Adyashanti is fully supported by me. He is an excellent source, and there are many freely available talks of his on his website and on youtube.
"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
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Next

Return to Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests