How To Live Beyond the Thinking Mind

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How To Live Beyond the Thinking Mind

Postby GirlAloneWithHerself » Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:41 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to Eckhart Tolle, but picked up "Stillness Speaks" the other day to help me tackle my anxiety. The one chapter that struck me was "The Thinking Mind". In particular, I was struck/confused by the concept of going beyond the thinking mind.

If I'm reading the book right, this chapter seems to be suggesting that we shouldn't associate ourselves with our thought processes as they are not what we are. And that actually gave me a little anxiety attack.

If we're not our thought processes, then what are we? I always laboured under the assumption that who we were was firmly rooted in our minds and consciousness. Now, I'm struggling to understand what actually makes up our identity, if it's not our minds.
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Re: How To Live Beyond the Thinking Mind

Postby kiki » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:18 am

Who/what you are is consciousness itself. Thought processes are only concepts appearing IN consciousness, and the ones that make up the "me" you take yourself to be create an illusory self. Those thoughts are only thoughts, they are not your fundamental essential self.

When Tolle tells you to go beyond the thinking mind he is telling you to realize the ever present consciousness in which thoughts appear. Thoughts are always changing, so how can they be you? Consider this: If thoughts are you, which of those countless thoughts is the actual you?

Now consider this: "You" must always be present, right? So what is it that is always present? What's present when thoughts have completely subsided? Isn't it logical that that must be what you are? You have undoubtedly had moments when mind became silent yet you were still present and aware. Perhaps the sight of a beautiful flower or a newborn baby, or a piece of music left your mind silent as you became absorbed in the experience. Or just taking a luxurious soak in a bathtub and everything else simply dropped away as you felt your body relax and release its tension and your mind stopped its chatter, yet there you were, fully awake and present. That's consciousness "shining" because the distractions of mind activity have ceased. That's YOU.

Keep reading Stillness Speaks. In my opinion it's his finest and most concise teaching. If you can get an audio of it that would be even better. Just listen without straining to understand it with the mind. Let the words wash over you and pay attention to those moments when mind stops its chatter. In those moments there is great peace, stillness, silence, and clarity. Those are all "footprints" of consciousness itself. It's nothing mysterious nor exotic. It's just ordinary everyday consciousness that's always been present, but heretofore it's mostly been overshadowed by the noisy mind so it hadn't been noticed.

By the way, welcome to the forum.

kiki
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Re: How To Live Beyond the Thinking Mind

Postby GirlAloneWithHerself » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:15 pm

Thanks for your help, kiki.

I guess my problem at the moment is that I'm trying to associate with every thought that goes through my mind, which may be one of the reasons why I suffer from anxiety. That's a lot of thoughts to try and associate with!

I have had moments of peace and stillness. I still find it hard to associate that with my true self. I guess it's something that's going to need a substantial amount of practice.

I'm already finding "Stillness Speaks" an absolute gem in tackling my current approach to life. I'm already re-reading sections and finding so much sense in them.

Thanks again for your help.
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