Keeping an eye on my mind

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 :)
cracklepop
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Keeping an eye on my mind

Post by cracklepop » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:03 am

Hi,

This is my first post. I have read (and re-read) The Power of Now several times, and have been putting its principles into practice over the past couple of years. The thing is, I would like some advice as being the observer.

I find that I have to constantly keep an 'eye' on my mind because negative thoughts slip in so easily and forcefully that I become unravelled very easily. For example, if I pay attention to the present moment, or to my feelings, and therefore not paying attention to my thoughts, a negative thought might creep in so quickly that I may not catch it in time.

My question is, because of the severity and frequency of my negative thoughts, do I have to continually observe my mind over my feelings and the present moment? I mean, it does work for several days (watching my thoughts), but after a few days I find it difficult to maintain this and slip back into negative thought patterns.

I hope I have made sense here, and would appreciate some guidance and advice.

Cheers.

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welcome

Post by proudlybeing » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:54 am

Welcome aboard Cracklepop !!

One principal that Has worked well for Me personaly now I understand this whole concept better , is to allow the thoughts and feelings to go right through you, like 'beams of light through crystal.',

For Me this means not resisting them, as if I 'put up a wall 'and let things bounce off of Me, this ultimatly damages the wall, or if I allow things inside 'the wall' and don't let them out, then they can wreak their havoc internally, allowing them' through' gives me the clarity to decide whether or not I have a decision to make, (to act or not act), and also because everything is delt with 'in the present' I find that I don't have anywhere near as much 'baggage' that may influence my decicion.

Again this is only my experience, and I am sure that you will gain much insight from many of the wonderfull people whom you now share this site with.

looking forward to your posts
bless you and your loved ones.

P.B
My heart (and being) felt thanks to the force(es) than bring me to share this site and journey with you all.

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Post by kiki » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:55 am

Try a little experiment: give yourself persmission that for a specified period (a minute, 15 minutes, or whatever you choose) you will no longer believe any thought that enters the mind, good, bad, or neutral. This includes thoughts about labels and names for anything that is seen or heard.

The idea of this exercise is to discover what happens when thought is left alone completely, just allowing it to be here as it arises without trying to do anything about it, without judging it in any way, or having any particular feeling about the nature of those thoughts.

I addition to this, during this specified period, also give yourself permission to allow the attention to flow freely - allow it to go where it will without trying to make it go anywhere or do anything in particular.

If you want you can approach this as a sort of experimental game, the object of which is to do nothing in particular. You are to be the follower of attention, the follower of awareness rather than the leader of anything.

I would suggest starting off doing this while sitting quietly with eyes closed, and then when you get the hang of it try it with eyes open while quietly sitting. Later, you can extend this "practice" while engaged in simple activities like household chores. At some point you may find yourself doing this even while interacting with others.

Try this and see what happens.

Oh, and one more thing - welcome to the board Cracklepop.

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Post by eseward » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:30 pm

Very well said, proudlybeing.

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Post by Finbarr » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:52 pm

kiki wrote:Try a little experiment: give yourself persmission that for a specified period (a minute, 15 minutes, or whatever you choose) you will no longer believe any thought that enters the mind, good, bad, or neutral. This includes thoughts about labels and names for anything that is seen or heard.
Welcome Cracklepop! Snap must be lonely sitting in his bowl of milk (chikoozy-like)...Anyways thats a profound exercise by Kiki. You cant really stop a thought from entering by observing. Once the thought is thought its 'too late' as it were. The observing raises your frequency of mind and being to ever higher levels where 'more desirable', enlightened and clear thoughts occur naturally.

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Post by kiki » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:22 pm

There is often a misunderstanding about thought, that you have to get rid of them. This isn't true. You'll never get rid of thought, they'll continue to arise even after awakening has taken root. The "problem" is believing that thought/mind is what you are. The witnessing of thought isn't done so that you can eventually get rid of them but to awaken you to the realization that "you" in reality are not the mind, you are not a thought based entity, but are the witnessing consciousness.

In the disidentification with mind frequency of thought tends to subside on its own and the "space" in which they arise (You/consciousness) is consciously seen with greater clarity. Consciousness has a chance to become more aware of itself when the attention isn't drawn into ego/mind's beliefs. Without the investment of energy in beliefs, in other words, without following the story as if it's true, there is a natural tendency to drop back into the natural state of awareness - presence.

So the exercise that I described in my previous post is designed to allow thoughts, but to also undermine their power to draw you away from presence by disbelieving them. This disbelief is not a denial of their presence, but just an acceptance of their presence without the added energy of thinking they are true. A belief, in my observation, is thought which is so entrenced, so identified with, that it is below the surface of observable thought - they are thoughts which are so deep and subtle that they are hardly noticed, but they seem to feed conscious thought stream, which is the source of "problems" when there remains identification with that thought stream. When there is no longer the identification with mind those "problems" peter out spontaneously. When you see that you are not your mind then "bad" thoughts are just thoughts; they will fail to suck you back into following them as something real.

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Post by mikel » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:58 pm

Without the investment of energy in beliefs, in other words, without following the story as if it's true, there is a natural tendency to drop back into the natural state of awareness - presence.
Hi Kiki,

In your experience was it gradual? that your conciousness and presence/awareness became the more natural state. Were there times early on when you felt confusion, puzzlement around the distinction between what is your true awarness and what is influenced by ego.

Mikel

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Post by eseward » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:08 pm

Beautifully said IMO, kiki.

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Post by kiki » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:48 pm

mikel wrote:In your experience was it gradual? that your conciousness and presence/awareness became the more natural state.
I spent nearly 30 years searching, trying various meditations, practices, and exploring various teachings before coming across ET. There was an immediate connection to what he was saying. For the first few weeks I continued a longstanding meditation practice "just in case", but then I realized that what I was striving for I already had through the use of his portals. There was no longer a need to practice something to get what I already had, there was just the clear seeing now of what that was. So in a sense it was gradual and in another sense very quick.

Were there times early on when you felt confusion, puzzlement around the distinction between what is your true awarness and what is influenced by ego.
No, not really. I suddenly understood the dynamic of how I could get pulled back out of conscious presence so it was quite easy to return to presence. Old storylines were spotted almost instantly as they arose and I just stopped believing them, and so I no longer was able to get fooled into believing I was something other than the witnessing consciousness of it all.

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Post by mikel » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:20 pm

thanks Kiki

seems simplicity is the key and to identify and accept without judging or labeling when the tendency to complicate or add layer arises.

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Post by kiki » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:37 pm

mikel wrote:seems simplicity is the key and to identify and accept without judging or labeling when the tendency to complicate or add layer arises.
Precisely. What you are is simplicity itself; complicating that or adding layers is movement away from the conscious recognition of that simplicity.

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Post by eyogateacher » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:08 pm

I spent nearly 30 years searching, trying various meditations, practices, and exploring various teachings before coming across ET. There was an immediate connection to what he was saying.
Kiki

Your 30 years of searching and practicing other techniques made u mature and ripe for ETs teachings . ETs teachings ( or in fact the teachings of any great Non Dual Teachers ) are same and very simple and direct .But unfortunately not many people are ripe and mature enough to understand and apply that .Only very few are blessed to understand these at the beginning of their spiritual journey but unfortunately for majority of people these non dual teachings are relevant only after being involved with indirect techniques .

It is not required everyone goes through the same long route but from practical point of view it turns out that only those people who have involved in indirect teachings for a long time are better appreciate the significance of ETs teachings .

Being a yoga practitioner & teacher myself I never advocate ET for any new comer .I ask them to practice Asanas , Pranayama and Japa Meditation to start with to make their mind calm and one pointed at least for certain period .Only then do i talk to them about ET ,Ramana etc and ask them to follow ET .But if I find that a person has already done these things before i.e yoga , pranayama , mantra japa etc then I tell him/her to start reading ET and Ramana's Books .

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Post by kiki » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:28 pm

Your 30 years of searching and practicing other techniques made u mature and ripe for ETs teachings
Probably so. I had read Krishnamurti and Osho early in my search and couldn't really make heads nor tails out of what they were saying, although I sensed there was something important in their teaching. The search is probably necessary for most people until it's realized it isn't necessary. How long and in what form it takes is anyone's guess - it's unique to each person.

ET's search wasn't an obvious spiritual search but the effect was the same. I guess what I am saying is that how life unfolds for you is your search, is your path.

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Post by Ives » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:02 pm

It’s interesting that although ET clicked immediately for me, when I proposed his teaching to my partner, she was sceptical.

So I bought her The Power of Now in the Italian translation and, dutifully, she started reading it. Without (I think) greatly profound reflection, she came to the same conclusion as our Yoga teacher above. She said, “Yes, it’s good stuff for those who have been seeking and making efforts to be conscious for a long time. For beginners like me, it doesn’t work”. And she stopped reading it.

I only know that it works for me. It’s hard to put myself into the mind of someone else. My own mind is already quite a handful. But, on this forum I see plenty of people who are struck by Eckhart’s words without having had decades of spiritual practice. So where’s the truth?

The answer is each of us is different, I suppose (as Kiki said).

P.S. Said girlfriend now listens to ET in her car and really likes him. Not as profoundly as me, of course. (Joke)

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Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:23 pm

I would agree with the value of the ripening process. It has been so for me as well. I read Krishnamurti, Ram Dass, Ramacharaka and a slew of others for a couple of decades. Some of it I found rather dull. Others like the many channels available through the 80s and 90s, were significant additions to my path. Regular meditation, breathwork, and retreats galore, all contributed.

I still remember however, killing time in a Barnes and Knobles a couple of years ago. A small green book with the title "The Power of Now" sitting on the shelves with thousands of other books stood out: it seemed to say something profound without even without opening the cover. Stupidly, I didn't buy it as I had two Conversations with God books yet to read on my desk.

It would not leave me alone. A few weeks later I got back to the store where I saw it again. It seemed to be calling to me. This time it went home with me. From the first paragraph I knew what I had. Three weeks later my closest friend, who had walked a similar path comes up to me and anounces he had found a book that made everything clear and that he wanted to share it with me. You guesed it, PON. Life was bringing it to me one way or another.

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