Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

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Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby tnt222 » Tue May 31, 2016 6:52 pm

Hello all!

I have read a lot about self-improvement and most of it revolves around changing your self-image. Most of us that wish to change something about ourselves have a negative view of ourselves in that domain (for example, a shy person who is uncomfortable in social situations wishes to become more outgoing, etc.).
A lot of times visualization is used to change one’s self-image by going through various visualization techniques in order to create the desired feelings, emotions, beliefs that will go along with your new self-image (so, a shy person may envision themselves behaving in a way that they want), and, I have heard a lot of success stories about this method. However, comparing it to the Power of Now, it seems contradictory because it seems to be strengthening the Ego because we are trying to identify with some sort of personality. I am just curious about what you all think about this because clearly if we are visualizing a future self in our minds, we are not living in the Now. But on the other hand, if it is in a positive way that is intended to improve our character/personality, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t that draw us closer to our “true self” if we are getting rid of self-limiting beliefs? I am just confused on these two standpoints.
Also, Tolle describes our True Self as essentially being Life itself, once the mind-identification has fallen away. BUT, how does that mean we actually ACT in life?
I guess I am asking what you all think about uncovering our “true selves” in terms of being in the Now vs. visualizing and improving qualities about us.
Any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!!! ☺

Regards,
Kate
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby Enlightened2B » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:48 pm

Hi Kate, this is a wonderful question and something that is a huge part of my life right now. Let me try to answer this in relation to my own experiences and you can see if you resonate with it or not.

I am currently working through a program that works with re-programming the sub-conscious mind (I'm using for physical health issues initially) and the program has worked wonders thus far with me. Let me give you my perspective on this. And you really need to hear this from people who have actually used visualization rather than people who might not like it because of a conceptual belief about it.

They are not opposites. First of all, self improvement is a mis nomer. The entire self-improvement industry is built off a mis-guided perspective of who you truly are. YOU do not need to improve. YOU do not need to be better. YOU do not need to change something or fix something. This constant barrage of self improvement teachings even within the spiritual community creates an entire population of fear and lack through by taking the perspective that we are ONLY human beings. You have to first come to a realization that who you TRULY are needs no improvement. YOU are not your thoughts/feelings/emotions/beliefs or any of that stuff. YOU are perfection in and of itself. You are beautiful, complete and whole. You are a divine radiant being of love and light and Pure Awareness that simply came here to explore the contrast of physical reality through this physical vehicle (which IS subject to disease physical and emotional, but none of that is truly who YOU are). It is simply a re-programming of the HUMAN MIND which is your physical vehicle while you are here, that needs to be programmed or trained through visualization, positive affirmations, etc just so you can have the most ideal experience while you are here in body. Once you leave this body at death, none of that will matter any longer.

Now, with that said, you can't just visualize until you learn to accept and understand your CURRENT thought patterns.

The subconscious mind or the human animal survival mechanism or the ego, is the aspect of our experience that gets stuck. What happens is, over time, you create beliefs through experiences you had when you were younger. These beliefs are essentially habitual thought patterns often with emotional charges, that play out unconsciously in your experience over and over and over again as thoughts. There is a highly intended reason for this, which I will not get into right now. You have to first become aware of these thought patterns and step out of the story over and over and over again by learning to become aware throughout your day of your thought patterns without judgment, and lovingly accept them as they arise (lot of self love involved with this process), and understand them, as simply part of a scared inner child /ego mechanism. Meditation is a great complementary practice as well. This is a process that gets further and further in touch with your experience and brings much of the unconscious stuff to the surface so that you can lovingly observe it and see it for what it is and in the process.....dis-identify with the story (who you THINK you are). Remember again.....none of that stuff that is surfacing through thoughts and beliefs, physical disease, etc.....is who YOU truly are. You are the observer/awareness of all of that. Once you realize that....you can take the next step.......

So, where does visualization come in? I basically wanted to give you a backdrop for how "living in the now" and visualizing work together. You can come to see that once you are out of the story created by those thought patterns as you allow more and more of that stuff to surface and making sure in the process that you are aware of those thought patterns, you now have a choice. You come to a cross roads. You can continue to indulge in those patterns by going down those streams of thinking, which creates a particular reality for you.........OR....as you will come to see.........you can choose a completely different story for yourself.

Eckhart Tolle's teachings help you to get out of the story. But, there's more to it than that if you choose to. You can then start practicing visualization techniques for a countless number of things. I've used visualization to help re-train my neural pathways because I had obsessive thoughts pertaining to symptoms in my body and this helped calm my nervous system down and in turn flooded the cells and genes of my body with positivity. Positivity is our true nature. It's not that negativity is wrong. Negativity is BEAUTIFUL. Because, without the contrast of experiencing something that we deem as negative, we could never appreciate how wonderful it feels when we DO find something that feels positive for us. Life is ABOUT feeling good. But, we need the contrast of negativity not to indulge in, but to springboard our own desires to create something that is more aligned with who we truly are. When you align with something that feels good to you and joyful.....you are aligning with your true nature. You are here on this planet to create. We are all creating, but when you create CONSCIOUSLY.....you are doing so from a higher dimension of understanding of who you truly are.

However, positive thinking is often vastly mis-understood by people who use it as a form of suppression of other thoughts. You are not rejecting or suppressing negative feelings or thoughts again. You are lovingly embracing those thoughts and understanding their purpose. But, you need not indulge any further in them. You are simply making a loving choice that......I accept these other thoughts as simply arisings from a survival mechanism that is a huge part of my experience here in this physical reality, accepting that they arose from the conditioning that was ingrained into your experience since you were a child, but you don't need to any longer, indulge in those fear based, conditioned thought patterns. I have the power now to choose a reality that feels BETTER for me.

You need to understand that our brains are plastic. This entire reality we think is solid and real is ultimately a product of imagination. What do I mean by that? Your own beliefs literally create your physical reality IN YOUR BODY. I'm proof of this. There are countless people including myself who have healed themselves simply by changing their thought patterns and visualizing good health within their body. How can this happen if disease is a physical process? Well, the answer is that most chronic disease if not all chronic disease is NOT physical. But, visualization will only work when you strongly strongly buy into the process that "you....create....your....reality'. And people will deny this and deny this and deny this until the cows come home and what happens is.....these people will never be able to manifest things in the same way that those who understand how visualization, law of attraction and belief systems actually work do.

Do you know how powerful the belief 'I CAN'T' is? Compare that to the power of the belief "I CAN". This is what visualization and positive affirmations are all about.

Your own beliefs also create your reality outside of your body, but to a lesser extent because you are also interacting with other people's own belief systems and their own free wills among other things such as universal laws, etc. But, the incredible power of our minds is simply in taking on new beliefs.

So, I'm sure I've confused you which was not my intention. But, visualization is a huge reason why we are here. We are not just blobs of awareness. We are CREATORS. When you understand, that are you a beautiful, powerful creator, you can then start to really understand that visualization WILL work and works perfectly within the NOW for as along as you are not resisting any aspect of your experience.

Ask more questions. I'd love to answer.
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby Rob X » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:22 pm

Hello Kate

There is nothing that is in contradiction of your true nature (or 'true self' as you put it.) You are always a truthful expression of Existence/Being no matter how you are expressed - this is great news because this basically gives you unconditional permission to be as you are - and that (paradoxically) includes any strategies for modification.

So yes, by all means work on yourself. For instance, if you had a weight problem you might decide to change your diet and take more exercise. Or you might take a course of study in order to be qualified for a career that appeals to you etc. These things obviously require planning and application (and a degree of future projection/visualisation) and yet there is no conflict with E T's message. The key to this is the simple realisation that whatever is going on, it is always already now. E T is quite clear about this; he makes a distinction between what he calls 'clock time' and psychological time. Clock time is what we use for planning for the future or setting goals and so on. But he's also insistent that there is no actual future - as he says, 'any planning as well as working to a particular goal is done now'. As he points out, the present moment is all there ever is - there is never a time when it is not 'this moment'. Every time that this is deeply recognised there is a grounding in something powerful and authentic which is timeless.
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby tnt222 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:44 pm

Enlightened2B, thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

I guess my confusion lies in the question – yes, ultimately we are the Consciousness behind our minds, but how would a person ACT in daily life, interacting with others, etc, if they are fully present in the Now, meaning, actually BEING that Consciousness in practical life?

With visualization, yes, you can work on things you want to improve on yourself by seeing yourself in a new “role”. However, I was listening to E.T. teachings and remember him talking about how whenever we are thinking about a different world than the one we are in right now (which is essentially visualization), it is a mere ILLUSION and we are foregoing the NOW, and thus not living our True Self. I so want to live by the principles of the Power of Now but can’t help but feel that visualization is contradictory… Maybe I just don’t understand something, but I am trying to.

So, to play the devil’s advocate; you said that Tolle’s teachings help us get out of the story, but wouldn’t visualization just help create a DIFFERENT kind of story? But a story nonetheless? If we hypothetically take someone who is 100% in the NOW at all times, wouldn’t this person not have any kind of story whatsoever? Wouldn’t they die to the past at every single moment? But then I ask myself, how would they act? They would still have to have some sort of collection of past experiences that would condition them to act a certain way.

I guess in my mind, I still associate visualization with a new kind of Ego, just better. Yes, it is true that we are conditioned by our experiences and our reactions/thoughts/feelings to those experiences that occur over a lifetime.
I want to believe that visualization would just help guide a person to be their true self, but I can’t help but think that that means you are not accepting the Now… UGH.
Like I said, maybe I am just not getting something.

Hello Rob X,
Thanks so much for your reply too, very insightful.

I know that nothing other than the Now EVER exists. It’s just a fact. However, I have found there are different ways to embrace the Now. For example, one would be focusing on your surroundings, what is going on around you, and so on. The other is focusing on what’s going on internally, your thoughts/feelings/emotions, and so on.
I feel like this second part is most crucial as it lets us disidentify from the Ego, if negative thoughts are occurring.
But what if a person comes to a point where they have no Ego left anymore simply because they are always in the Now, then how would they react to life?

I love the point you made about being able to modify ourselves. And then that is simply AS IT IS. But would this modification be playing into the hands of the Ego? I don’t know. Does this make sense what I’m trying to get at?

I guess to try and sum up my question, essentially what I am asking is – who truly are we? Yes, I know the Consciousness, but how does that manifest itself? And can we get there by visualization? And what even is the correct visualization?

Sorry if I am getting too confusing! This is a very interesting topic to me and I can’t wait to hear what you guys think.

Thank you!

Kate
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby Rob X » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:30 pm

tnt222 wrote:But what if a person comes to a point where they have no Ego left anymore simply because they are always in the Now, then how would they react to life?

I love the point you made about being able to modify ourselves. And then that is simply AS IT IS. But would this modification be playing into the hands of the Ego? I don’t know. Does this make sense what I’m trying to get at?

I guess to try and sum up my question, essentially what I am asking is – who truly are we? Yes, I know the Consciousness, but how does that manifest itself? And can we get there by visualization? And what even is the correct visualization?


'Ego' in spiritual teachings means identification with the body-mind - with no sense or realisation of our true nature (Source, Being, Consciousness.) Realisation is seeing through this identification.

When a teacher talks about ego falling away they mean the falling away of ego identification - in other words, there is a waking up to the 'natural state'. But the body-mind-personality matrix does not somehow dissolve at this point - things more or less carry on much as before. Only now they are seen as the play of natural phenomena much the same as the movements of the tides or the falling of leaves. The result is that there is lessening of a sense of investment in these phenomena.

So when there is no ego-identification dominating the show, things are allowed to be as they are - (again, paradoxically) including any movement towards modification.

Well 'who truly are we' is THE big question isn't it? :D There are no quick fix formulas for resolving this kind of question - different teachers will suggest different approaches - most will agree that it can't be found in thought/conceptualisation.

As for visualisation, I don't know much about this topic - I know that some forms of Dzogchen (a form of Buddhism) utilise visualisation meditation but I don't know a great deal about it. Perhaps others here might be able to help.
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby Enlightened2B » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:52 am

tnt222 wrote:Enlightened2B, thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

I guess my confusion lies in the question – yes, ultimately we are the Consciousness behind our minds, but how would a person ACT in daily life, interacting with others, etc, if they are fully present in the Now, meaning, actually BEING that Consciousness in practical life?

With visualization, yes, you can work on things you want to improve on yourself by seeing yourself in a new “role”. However, I was listening to E.T. teachings and remember him talking about how whenever we are thinking about a different world than the one we are in right now (which is essentially visualization), it is a mere ILLUSION and we are foregoing the NOW, and thus not living our True Self. I so want to live by the principles of the Power of Now but can’t help but feel that visualization is contradictory… Maybe I just don’t understand something, but I am trying to.

So, to play the devil’s advocate; you said that Tolle’s teachings help us get out of the story, but wouldn’t visualization just help create a DIFFERENT kind of story? But a story nonetheless? If we hypothetically take someone who is 100% in the NOW at all times, wouldn’t this person not have any kind of story whatsoever? Wouldn’t they die to the past at every single moment? But then I ask myself, how would they act? They would still have to have some sort of collection of past experiences that would condition them to act a certain way.


Yes, visualization would indeed create a different kind of story. That's the whole point of being here. There is always going to be a story. Waking up from the story does not mean you are waking up to the true Oneness of reality with all of the Universal answers and now life just stops, but simply means you are no longer identified with the story going on in your mind. You see the story for being a story. You see your thoughts as thoughts and realize that who you truly are is not limited to a bundle of thoughts and beliefs. Of course, this takes practice to regularly become aware and mindful of your thought patterns so as to not identify with them.

But you are a creative being. This entire physical universe is built off of imagination....co-creative none the less, but individual as well. Life is literally a meaningless empty canvas, until you and I give it meaning. That meaning comes from own belief structures. Beliefs are not wrong. They only cause problems when they operate unconsciously. Every human operates through beliefs. It's impossible to be in a human body and not operate through the mechanism of beliefs. Beliefs are a creative tool of the law of attraction. That's why it's highly advisable to be conscious of your beliefs, so that you know consciously, what you are creating/manifesting. We are all here to create different stories that resonate with our deepest values. Reality is just an on-going cycle of creation infinitely, non stop. We create through desire. There is a desire to explore something and experience something and we create from there. You have the power to create any story you choose. Visualization is merely one potential avenue to explore creatively to help embody that vision.

And just to add to this, as Rob said above, even visualization takes place within the NOW. There is not a person on the planet who does not have some sort of linear time going on between their ears. I would even go so far as to suggest that Buddhist Monk meditating all day on a mountain top still has moments of falling into ego. Even the greatest non-dual sages such as Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi all had their human aspects. So, there isn't anyone living in the NOW who is completely "thoughtless" 24/7. Nor would that even be an attainable goal.

My answer might not suit what you are looking for, but it's what resonates deeply with me right now in my life.
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby tnt222 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:31 am

I guess I just have to accept the fact that there is ALWAYS going to be a story that we are telling ourselves, we just need to become aware of it.

Yes, the whole point of Enlightenment is disidentification from the Ego, and perhaps that leaves us with an awareness of what's going on in and around us, leaving us free to manifest another reality. The Ego will always be there, and I think we need to simply work WITH it instead of letting it run us.
I firmly believe in the law of attraction, and if anything, I have found that it is more the FEELING than the IMAGE that attracts whatever you are manifesting.
This happens especially with negative things; I have found that if I am anxious/worried about something or hoping that something doesn't happen (even if I am VISUALIZING the desired outcome), that feeling of DREAD or anxiety, or whatever it is, is the ultimate driving force that will attract exactly what I am fearing. Just some thoughts on that.
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Re: Living in the Now vs. using Visualization?

Postby Enlightened2B » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:31 pm

yes, indeed Kate. The Law of attraction does not just work on thoughts alone. A single thought holds no power compared to the emotional charge and FEELING surrounding that thought. It works especially through beliefs. This is why it's very important to examine your beliefs and become aware of your thinking patterns. Your thinking patterns always reflect the underlying beliefs. That's why they are called thinking "patterns". They are patterns of thinking that have developed over the course of time and become ingrained within your brain and your subconscious mind. The beautiful thing about life is that we can change those patterns without having to re-live trauma. Simply by becoming aware and mindful of those patterns, accepting them, and always choosing to align with a more positive feeling. This is not suppression, it's simply a way to re-wire your brain. And you re-wire your brain so that you can now create new patterns of thinking and therefore most importantly, you are now MANIFESTING this new way of thinking into your actual life. It's brilliant. The whole thing. I'm telling you.
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