Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

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 :)

Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby mathieuv » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:25 pm

Hello Everyone!,

My name is Mathieu, 23 years old and I live in Belgium.
I had severe depression and anxiety and thankfully Eckhart's teachings helped me to desidentify with my mind and accept everything as it is.
I now practise meditation on a daily basis.

Nevertheless I still have some sticking points.

Eckhart talks a lot about "The silent watcher", of the mind
I feel like I lost myself in this concept and I am doing it consistently.

- Whenever I am doing something, it feels like i'm not FULLY doing it.
I am doing an activity in the foreground, but in the background I am still watching my thoughts or becoming aware of the fact that I am doing an activity.

For example: when I am eating, I eat in the foreground, and observe my mind in the background.
Or: When I am reading a book, i become aware of the fact I am reading a book.

So when my attention is drawn to the fact that I am having an experience the experience I start to have is one of watching myself having it.

Can someone give me some pointers? THANKS!
mathieuv
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby dijmart » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:37 am

Hi there,

Eckhart talks a lot about "The silent watcher", of the mind
I feel like I lost myself in this concept and I am doing it consistently.


So, when you say, "I lost myself" who are you referring to? Are you referring to the person "Mathieuv" who has lost himself in this process?

Are you "Mathieuv" or are you consciousness/awareness, which is aware of "Mathieuv"?

I am doing an activity in the foreground, but in the background I am still watching my thoughts or becoming aware of the fact that I am doing an activity.


Good! This is discrimination between you (awareness) and the apparent objects that appear in/to you.

As long as you know that awareness is what's "real", as it's the background/substratum of all that is, hence it never changes vs. Objects are called "reflective" awareness, as they are created out of/made from pure awareness and are always changing, therefore only "relatively" real.

Quote -
"Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence."

- Eckhart Tolle


So, if whats happening is what ET says above, then what's the problem? Perhaps, it's feeling more like an attention split, then a soft background of "presence".

The intensity can seem to increase/decrease, however it isn't that awareness is increasing/decreasing, it's that the mind may be so absorbed or not, in activity (subtle or gross) that the intensity seems to increase/decrease OR if the mind is clouded or agitated (depending on the state of mind) that can "potentially" cover up your true nature, as awareness/presence and the mind will re-identify either partially or fully with the unconscious mental tendencies.

Nameste,

Dij
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2006
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby mathieuv » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:53 am

Thanks for your reply. Still don't feel like I understand everything though.



I am doing an activity in the foreground, but in the background I am still watching my thoughts or becoming aware of the fact that I am doing an activity.



Good! This is discrimination between you (awareness) and the apparent objects that appear in/to you.

As long as you know that awareness is what's "real", as it's the background/substratum of all that is, hence it never changes vs. Objects are called "reflective" awareness, as they are created out of/made from pure awareness and are always changing, therefore only "relatively" real.


Thanks for your reply. Could you please shed some more light.

Whenever I am having an experience it feels like I don't experience it FULLY.

Because my attention is drawn to the fact that I am having an experience, so the experience I start to have is one of watching myself having it. This BLOCKS me from experiencing it fully.
For example when I am reading a book, I become aware of the fact that I am reading a book. When I watch a movie, I become aware that I am watching a movie
Or when I am making love with my girlfriend, I becomes aware of the fact that I am making love.
Or when I was present, my mind comes back in to tell me I was present, so I lose presence.
"the becoming aware, is my mind come-ing back in, to be aware, where awareness goes"

I shouldn't be Self-Observing, during sex right? I Should enjoy the experience fully.

Hope you can elaborate on this. Peace
mathieuv
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby dijmart » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:19 pm

Could you please shed some more light.


I don't know but I'll try. Anyways, before I do, there is another possibility here that could be happening, that I didn't address.

There is a psychological disorder called depersonalisation or dissociation: "The feeling that one is detached from one's own life and mental processes or that one is viewing one's life as if it were a movie."

Since you said you did have some mental issues, this is a possibility. There more symptoms then what I listed above, but one doesn't have to have them all, especially if it's mild. It's often a "self defense" mechanism. If this is indeed the problem, then of course you'd want to see a mental health expert, not be on a spiritual forum.

So, with that said, I'll address your question from a spiritual stand point, not a symptom of a disorder.

"the becoming aware, is my mind come-ing back in, to be aware, where awareness goes"


I wish I could jump into your experience for a minute to fully "get" what you're saying. :lol: anyways, there is no where, where awareness isn't. So, as awareness, you are the one aware OF the mind. You are witnessing it "coming back in", so to speak.

However, discrimination (between awareness and objects) does happen within the intellect, which is the discriminating faculty of the mind. Pure awareness doesn't have a mind to think. The experiencing "witness" (silent "watcher") is awareness, plus the mind. The mind has the ability to "witness", as well as "know" it's own content.

So, you may just be having an issue of going back and forth between the intellect (discriminating) and the lower aspect of the mind (the chatter box). Meaning, your "present", then the chatter box aspect of the mind says, "look your present!!!" Which then distracts from being present! If this happens just say to yourself "yep" and don't let it over take your attention. Then, keep on placing your attention on what you were doing without giving the thought "your present" any further attention.

let me know if I'm barking up the wrong or right tree here??? I'd like to help, but not "totally" sure what the issue is?

Ps. Often I'm aware OF my experience/mind/body , ect. Which does feel like a "gap" from them a bit when you're not use to it.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2006
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby mathieuv » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:31 pm

So, you may just be having an issue of going back and forth between the intellect (discriminating) and the lower aspect of the mind (the chatter box). Meaning, your "present", then the chatter box aspect of the mind says, "look your present!!!" Which then distracts from being present! If this happens just say to yourself "yep" and don't let it over take your attention. Then, keep on placing your attention on what you were doing without giving the thought "your present" any further attention.


Yep! THIS IS THE RIGHT TREE! And what is happening ;-)
"HOW PRESENT AM I" - this thought comes up a lot. So this creates a gap in my experience....

I think my mind is trying to understand all these concepts even though it cannot be understood. But I feel i just need a few more "Aha! moments". So maybe you can give me some pointers.

a) "How do I know I am reading a book, while I am reading?"
2) "How do I know I am watching a movie, while I am watching
c) "How do I know I am talking to someone, while I am talking"

I don't really understand HOW I KNOW that I am having experience, without thinking about the experience.
Why does an experience feel more REAL, when you are just experiencing. And not thinking about the experience?

i AM substituting thinking about the moment rather than simply experiencing it.
mathieuv
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby dijmart » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:52 pm

For whatever reason I didn't get an email notification that you replied. It's totally a fluke that I came across this post! Anyways, I'm on vacation at the Vegas strip right now with a mean case of jet lag!

However, I will attempt to answer your question the best I can while I'm sitting in a casino with the music blasting :lol:


I don't really understand HOW I KNOW that I am having experience, without thinking about the experience.
Why does an experience feel more REAL, when you are just experiencing. And not thinking about the experience?


You are the awareness in which experience happens, even the experiencer (person) is known to you, awareness.

Thought becomes part of experience in the moment, when it's needed, but ego (I thought) judges the experience...good/bad, right/wrong, likes/dislikes.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2006
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Observing my thoughts - Sticking points

Postby randomguy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:45 pm

So when perception shifts an explanation can appear in the form of a thought offering a great story about a person not fully experiencing. But that thought does not need to be believed. Even if it is believed and the effects of that belief are experienced, the present moment remains fully here. And that's what you are, eternally here no matter the level of fullness of experience a thought may describe or what in particular you are experiencing. The foreground-background oscillation of attention you described seems to me very typical and familiar to my own experiences. It's just what happens when exploring the nature of awareness and mind. Consider it like a wider lense. What happens when you accept it and just go with it and experience both a you doing something and the awareness of a you doing something?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am


Return to Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest