Anxiety when present

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby caroline » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:42 pm

My blood pressure is high and I sometimes feel complete terror and fear flood my body. Should I just continue feeling this and stop taking medication.
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby karmarider » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:49 pm

caroline wrote:My blood pressure is high and I sometimes feel complete terror and fear flood my body. Should I just continue feeling this and stop taking medication.


Continue the conventional medical treatments. Explore releasing techniques as well: EFT, Sedona, meditation, yoga...
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Murreflat » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:34 pm

This is my first post in this forum, but I got a strong urge to join after reading the first post from Zack. I feel exactly the same and I could have written the post myself.

I have meditated for some years now, and Tolles work has truly changed my life. I discovered the Power of Now at the age of 16. I am now 18. When I got struck with this intense negativity some weeks ago, I simply couldn't understand it. How could the "great meditator" that is me feel something like this. I think my spiritual ego got shattered by this negativity and it has taught some lessons for sure. Today I couldn't even go to school because of an intense pulsating feeling in my chest and stomach, as well as intensely negative thoughts about everything. It is really an unbelievable experience. When a peaceful state suddenly turns into this. I have surrendered to these feelings all day, and I feel better now, although this weird pulsating in my body still is there.

But I know I got to see it as an entrance to peace, as someone in the thread said. The answers Zack got in this thread were amazing and really gave me great value too. Thank you!
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:13 pm

Welcome, Murreflat! Yikes, the wonderful youngsters arriving! It's grand. And so articulate, too.

I'm writing an essay on this, to be finished in a week or so, but it's related to this thread, and your issue...here's the start: (and it's derived largely from Eckhart's ANE, pp. 259 (Awakening), ff, by the way...)

"The Worst Bad Habit"

The worst bad habit is thinking. It is something we learn to do early on, like running.

Age six: Running is fun, thinking is fun, everything is fun. What a treat! I've got this thing called 'mind,' and it's really active, just like the rest of me. Ideas pop up…they are just there, and I think about them. And adults praise me for stating them. And then there is this big thing called 'language.' It's full of ideas, some of them all hooked together into concepts...and some of them refer to something else that seems to go on in the mind: feelings. But feelings actually happen in the body...they are like thoughts which have big hookups in my gut or my head.

I’m hooked, you see. I get big strokes at day care and kindergarten for being a good thinker. My folks talk about college and getting a good job because I’m a good thinker. This thinking thing must be really good. And it wants to happen all by itself. Also, I have some ideas about myself: I’m a careful boy, I care about other people. Sometimes I listen closely, but sometimes I pretend I don’t hear. I can make grandpa laugh, but Aunt Ethel is a grump. I’m kind of afraid of crowds, I’m pretty coordinated. I like chocolate but not strawberry. My Mom and Dad love me, and show it. I guess I’m OK. And I have a “good mind.” And everybody says that is a really good thing. And it keeps sending up thoughts to occupy my time. But time is a problem, it keeps coming up and I don’t like it. It seems there is not enough of it or something.


Age 18 (and maybe posting on the Tolle forum): I am so sick of these negative thoughts. They keep coming up and I have no way of turning them off. Yes, I can meditate, and they aren’t so invasive for a while. But then they just come up again.

It’s a habit. Thinking is a habit. Most bad habits we end, either by withdrawal or cold turkey or therapy or something. The standard nondual comment is ‘Let them surface and let them go…they have no more weight than a feather unless you give it to them.’ The problem with that pleasant suggestion is that many of the thoughts that surface are the refined form of “I-thoughts” (I am depressed and I will be depressed forever. I cannot read maps and I will never be able to read them. I’m just stupid when it comes to men…and on and on.) The “little me” is defined by a bunch of thoughts and memories…they started up when we were pretty young.

Enter Byron Katie. Highly recommended by Eckhart Tolle, she has a cognitive process of analyzing thoughts that have become beliefs. So, Murreflat, get a copy of “Loving What Is,” and check out her website, thework dot com.

While it is true that allowing the negative thoughts to surface and fizzle is helpful, adding to that the mental correction in the concept casts the ‘negative thoughts’ into bold relief: “they are just thoughts.” (“Hey, I’m not so sure I will be depressed forever.” “You know, I had that great conversation the other day with that older guy in the coffee shop…maybe there is hope for me.” “My mother may be angry at me, but she’s angry at everyone, maybe I’m just fine.”)

Eckhart talks about people not having the “Off” switch for thinking (p. 16, PON), But it is there, right at hand. He recommends breathing awareness, inner body awareness, walking in nature “without labeling” – anything which decouples thinking from awareness – if only for a few moments. It is a start to ending the habit. I mentioned Gary Weber’s book “Happiness Beyond Thought.” It contains other techniques to re-awaken your (our) true Being in Pure Awareness. Now, don’t get all excited about some mystical state. Pure awareness is very simple, very basic. But it is very unimpeded by thought, also. And really powerful habits die slowly for most people.

I’m not there yet – I still have a day mostly full of thoughts. But not any really negative ones. And I do have the “off switch” firmly in hand. It just won’t “stay off” by itself for long periods. And that’s OK, too. It is what it is.

And Pure Awareness is not a habit. It is only a “state” of consciousness in opposition to “Busy Mind Syndrome.” But the habit of serial thinking arises regularly only because we haven’t become re-accustomed to the simple purity of perception itself, also referred to as ‘unity consciousness.’ And there is another phenomenon in simple pure awareness – you kind of disappear. The clinical and pejorative term for it is ‘depersonalization.’ But that condition has all kinds of fear associated with it. It’s egoic fear, and is related to the thought “I’m not real.” That is the final scare tactic of the poor little egoic self, sensing its demise.

“Not real???” But what if that is okay??? What if you recognize you are Life itself and are very real, and very complete and the “comfortable structure of me, myself and I” is tragically crippling, confining, illusory and false?

Well, Murreflat, you decide. You know what Eckhart thinks…say – did you also read ‘A New Earth?’

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby enigma » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:19 am

" But the habit of serial thinking arises regularly only because we haven’t become re-accustomed to the simple purity of perception itself, also referred to as ‘unity consciousness.’


Is it really a matter of becoming accustomed, like having to break in a new pair of shoes? Were we ever accustomed in the first place, so that now we need to become re-accustomed? Even the newborn is not 'abiding in nondual Awareness', he's just trying to form connections between all the wild and wacky sensory experiences that he's very much involved with. I'm also not down with the idea that thinking is primarily a bad habit as such, although there certainly are destructive, self sabotaging patterns that form. To call it a habit seems to imply it's something we 'thoughtlessly' engaged in for recreation and should have known better, but thinking is necessary at times. I run a business, and there are math formulas involved and statistics to interpret and books to balance, and this sort of thing doesn't happen spontaneously. The mind actually has to be used, and it's not really a bad habit that I'm interested in breaking all together.

The mind is a wonderful thing when used properly, and thinking in general terms is not the problem. The belief in the 'me' is actually the problem, along with all the 'me thoughts' that swirl around it, which brings 'me' to the second part of your paragraph, which which I agree.


And there is another phenomenon in simple pure awareness – you kind of disappear. The clinical and pejorative term for it is ‘depersonalization.’ But that condition has all kinds of fear associated with it. It’s egoic fear, and is related to the thought “I’m not real.” That is the final scare tactic of the poor little egoic self, sensing its demise."


The sort of thinking to which you refer is exactly this. The 'me' is contained within the thoughts as an idea, a false idea that requires continual imaginary reinforcement simply because it IS false and can't stand on it's own. This sort of thinking isn't really a habit we fell into because it seemed like a good idea at the time and all the other kids were doing it and we wanted to be cool too. This goes much deeper. As the sense of 'me' is reinforced by a progressively more complex thought structure, it becomes an entity that must be defended, protected, empowered. Now, breaking the 'habit' of thinking becomes an existential crisis; quite literally a matter of life and death. The "off switch" is not really an off switch, it's a pause button with a programmed timer, and it's used in hopes of relieving stress or acquiring an experience of presence. Mind has no intention at all of staying off beyond it's comfort zone. The moment the 'me' feels seriously threatened, the thoughts come back online and no power in the universe can stop it. No techniques for breaking a habit will be successful because it's not a habit, it's a survival mechanism, and it has number one priority.
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:15 am

Thanks, enigma -- always on point.

I'm just experimenting with the idea of "serial thinking" as a habit. Yes, it's related to the 'I-thought' and the false self - the ego. Perhaps even 'caused' by it. Eckhart is quite clear about the need to separate thinking from awareness. Why should that be so hard? Certainly the moment you are aware of 'thoughts arising' you are not 'lost in them.' But then you get lost again. And your day is full of 90,000 thoughts. In both PON and ANE he encourages us to step aside from the thought-stream. I think it is a habit we formed very early on, before we even knew what a habit was. Thinking was fun, and we just kept doing it becuase everyone else does. So the 'space', the 'stillness' that Eckhart speaks of, our true nature, gets obscured by the constant chatter of the mind. Many enlightened teachers speak of the end of the thinking syndrome as a relatively sudden event.

Of course the mind, and thinking are vital tools for the world of form...I also operate a business and enjoy using my mind to accomplish my business tasks. I even use my heart, though that 'foul rag and bone shop' can cause some major headaches!

Andy
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby enigma » Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:48 am

I would say thinking, as in following thought trains, is different from thoughts arising. That sort of thinking is not the proper use of mind, and is always me centered. As such, it involves past and future projection of the 'me', and seems designed to entertain, defend, protect, justify and reinforce the imaginary sense of self. It's a particular kind of thought that indulges the 'me' and never relates to the present moment.

While any use of memory does not leave us fully open to the present moment, performing a math calculation, or structuring a piece of music or laying out a work of art on a blank canvas may involve technique and thinking and memory but at the same time one can be quite present to the task at hand.

What I mean to say is that it may be important to isolate the sort of thinking that is problematic rather than challenging all thought, some of which is necessary and not of concern. Presence is always the case regardless of whether thinking is happening or not, but the 'me centered' thinking is specifically intended to actively avoid the simplicity of the present moment, because that present is devoid of ego; devoid of 'me'. This fear must be confronted directly and fully recognized.

Approached this way, it's no longer a question of habit, but rather a willful attempt to avoid the existential fear. As mind ponders the apparent problem, it may wish to avoid the heart of the matter, which is that to be fully present is identical with ego death. This is not unknown to mind. It's fully aware of the implications. This is the answer to the question of why it is so hard for mind to stop these thoughts of mind. Mind has no intention of stopping these thoughts. They are literally ego's lifeline.
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:25 pm

Ah, my friend the enigma. I agree with everything you've said. I'm just sorting concepts around the problem of the thought-stream, not wanting to accept that it's just a big ego engine. I guess that is 'personal' - I can rest, absent thought, for long, and longer periods of time. But my default mode is still a head full of thoughts. Not bad thoughts, not stressful thoughts, not angry thoughts, just a jillion thoughts which drift in and out of awareness.

But the enlightened guys all talk about the end of the thought stream. Am I all upset and sad and whatever about this? No,...it is what it is today and will be what it will be tomorrow. I just think that the concept of "a habit" might be a useful one in dealing with getting 'hooked' by the thoughts. "Breaking the habit" sounds very willful, and if so, would be unlikely to to be effective. And perhaps measuring awareness by the absence of thoughts is not the best scale, either. Adya refers to ego as as verb - "egoing." Gary Weber mentioned to me that his big-time intellectual friends with their great big powerful minds are the last to begin to find the gate..."surrender" is anathema. In my periods of 'enforced stillness' (sort of aka meditation), proto-thoughts can arise, but if not energized by attention, they never fully form -- Presence is, "i" am not. Odd, amusing, not scary...c'est la vie...

Andy
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby enigma » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:51 am

Ah, my friend the enigma. I agree with everything you've said. I'm just sorting concepts around the problem of the thought-stream, not wanting to accept that it's just a big ego engine. I guess that is 'personal' - I can rest, absent thought, for long, and longer periods of time. But my default mode is still a head full of thoughts. Not bad thoughts, not stressful thoughts, not angry thoughts, just a jillion thoughts which drift in and out of awareness.


Well, sure, and I say the more ego is convinced that it can always crank up again at a moment's notice, the longer it's willing to sit quietly. In fact, it gets to own the control of the thoughts. Ego believes it's able to control mind, at least for a time, but isn't ego a set of thoughts in that same mind? Isn't it obviously a game? Isn't the notion that thought is just a habit that can be broken, just another part of the game? Aren't all the techniques just part of the game? How many players are involved in all of this? If there's just one (ego) it's all a game, eh?

Doesn't this shatter everything? Ever method, practice, every surrender, every bit of 'awareness', every moment spent 'unrealized'? Isn't it all a sham?
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby Sighclone » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:59 pm

Doesn't this shatter everything? Ever method, practice, every surrender, every bit of 'awareness', every moment spent 'unrealized'? Isn't it all a sham?


The assertion that ego or surrender or awareness is false, is a sham, has to come from somewhere that is not false. Pretty much all the nondualists including Peter Dziuban insist that "Consciousness is all." Is that false, too?

Andy
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby HermitLoon » Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 pm

Pretty much all the nondualists including Peter Dziuban insist that "Consciousness is all." Is that false, too?

Andy


True? False? "I think therefore I am"? Hmmmm....For "them", true - for "me", not reality. To explain:

"I" am not "HermitLoon" - not a body(doing) or a mind(thinking) or even the consciousness of a human experience itself (there is no "I").
And yet..yes, there is a "witnessing presence" - an "observing Awareness" of all of that - "watching" as "HermitLoon" attempts to describe the conscious "sensing" of the indescribable. :lol: Neti,Neti

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby arel » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:51 pm

HermitLoon wrote:
Pretty much all the nondualists including Peter Dziuban insist that "Consciousness is all." Is that false, too?

Andy


True? False? "I think therefore I am"? Hmmmm....For "them", true - for "me", not reality. To explain:

"I" am not "HermitLoon" - not a body(doing) or a mind(thinking) or even the consciousness of a human experience itself (there is no "I").
And yet..yes, there is a "witnessing presence" - an "observing Awareness" of all of that - "watching" as "HermitLoon" attempts to describe the conscious "sensing" of the indescribable. :lol: Neti,Neti

Peace


"I think therefore I am"? This is something some guy said. ET somewhere calls this an error. Sure, it could be, depends on the context of where that phrase was said though. And where the sayer was coming from. I could say that yes that phrase is very true. "I think therefore I am". I understand for the context of this forum where dis identifying with incessant thinking is key for the realization, pointing out the error of this phrase is helpful.

But also, how can I have thoughts without the Knowing of those thoughts? I can't.

In my view saying "I'm not my body or mind" is also limited in the same way. Body and mind is there because of my knowing of it. So I would rather express it by saying "Consciousness is all".
What I say is only my viewpoint.
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby HermitLoon » Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:54 pm

Yes, consciousness seems to be all that consciousness "knows".
Can there be any sense of "being" - of "existance" - any "knowing" that is beyond consciousness?
Or is that just a puzzle wrapped in a paradox within an enigma?

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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby arel » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:10 pm

Hi HermitLoon. The very tip of the present moment...I will say I can't sense anything beyond that. :)
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Re: Anxiety when present

Postby HermitLoon » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:16 pm

:)
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