Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Jbrooke » Sun May 13, 2012 3:33 am

When having a recurring or obsessive thought, Tolle says to take the thought, as it approaches and simply watch it- to observe it without judgment.

This makes a great deal of sense to me. However, I have an incredibly hyperactive mind that has always been consumed with intrusive and seemingly nonstop thoughts and obsessions. Flooded by them almost incessantly. There are floods of thoughts. How can I observe each one of them? They come at me in clusters. Contaminating every part of my being. Do I pick just one thought and observe that, ignoring the others? If I ignore certain thoughts does this simply mean that I am resisting those and therefore feeding the ego even more?

Hope this question makes sense...
Jen
Jbrooke
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby kiki » Sun May 13, 2012 4:54 am

Do I pick just one thought and observe that, ignoring the others?


No.

If I ignore certain thoughts does this simply mean that I am resisting those and therefore feeding the ego even more?


No.

Just watch the flow of them as they arise as though you are watching a movie. A movie is just a series still images one after the other and when you watch a movie you don't try to hold onto one image and ignore the others; that just can't be done. It's similar with the thought stream; thought stream is just a continuous flow of thought one after another. So don't try to isolate any of them, but just watch them without judgment as they arise and disappear again. You have no control of what thought will appear, so don't even bother trying to be the director of them - just watch them dispassionately.

As you get more adept at watching thought you will "see" them at earlier stages before they are fully formed. I call these first impulses of thoughts "proto-thoughts", and it's actually quite fascinating watching them arise. At this stage of observation they can extinguish themselves almost as soon as they arise, before they fully form.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Jbrooke » Sun May 13, 2012 5:10 am

ahhhh! So, now my question is: if the movie simply won't end, can I just leave the theatre and go do something else? Do I have to watch it until it finally ends (which often feels like NEVER). If I get bored or annoyed with the movie in midstream, is it okay to turn the damn movie off and go watch something else?

The above questions might insinuate that I didn't really "get" what you were saying. But I really sense I do understand what you wrote, actually. And yet I still have those lingering questions.

Thanks,
Jen
Jbrooke
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby kiki » Sun May 13, 2012 6:08 am

It's the energy of belief in the story that the thoughts create that keeps you bound to the mind, and that is what seems to keep the story going. People think that since a thought arises they have to believe it. But is that actually so? Do you have to believe any thought that comes up?

As an exercise, sit down in a comfortable pose, close the eyes, relax the body, and maintain an attitude of impartial observer by ignoring the veracity of every single thought that comes. Give yourself permission to no longer believe any thought that arises, no matter what it is, "good" or "bad". Your goal is to simply watch them come and go and nothing else. So when you notice that you start to believe what they are saying remind yourself that you no longer are obligated to take them as being true.

It may be helpful for you to divert more attention onto something else when the more annoying or disturbing thoughts arise - the breath is always a good option. Let attention rest more on the breath as it comes in and out than on what the thoughts are saying. Return again and again to the movement of the breath, giving that precedence over the importance of any particular thought. By doing this you are letting the breath be your anchor to "now" rather than anything that is happening in the mind. Let me be clear about something - I'm not advocating trying to stop the flow of thoughts, just no longer believing them.

Do this for 10 or 15 minutes as often as you can throughout the day. Eventually you will find that thought stream begins to slow down all by itself, or it seems less "noisy" and disturbing to you. You will see/understand/realize that there is something else present besides thought stream; there is the ever present silence, stillness, and peacefulness of the witnessing awareness/consciousness that is actually YOU and the arising and dissolving of thoughts.

So it's not a question of leaving the theatre because the "you" that would desire to do that is part of the movie that is playing. You will find that you will feel less animosity towards thoughts/mind because they don't really have anything to do with the actual truth of what you really are.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby rideforever » Sun May 13, 2012 8:56 am

The goal is to provide some basic stability to begin the job of curing your crazy mind.

If you find observing the thought too uneasy at the present time, I would recommend just following the breath - you can find instructions on the internet (anapasati). This is a foundation practice that is more about reconnecting to the body. If you practice this first (perhaps the first 15 mins of a session or longer), you will find the mind becomes calmer.

It can be difficult at first to observe thoughts. This is normal. Don't worry, it improves with time. Initially just try to gently observe the stream of thoughts. If it becomes a battle that's fine, just let go of the thoughts and return to your breathing. Come back later.

At the beginning your mind will come up with many arguments : 'am I resisting', 'is this right', 'is this working', 'i am worried it is not working', etc... Ignore all of them. Just watch the breath, and trust that in a little time the mind is calmer, the thoughts are slower, you are more comfortable.

At the end of the meditation session, you can spend a few minutes reviewing what happened. Now is the time to think about your technique. By so doing you can make a deal with your mind : "I will think about technique after the meditation session if you are silent during it".

Good luck
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small
User avatar
rideforever
 
Posts: 1513
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Location: Hove

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Golf » Sun May 13, 2012 10:38 am

Jbrooke wrote:ahhhh! So, now my question is: if the movie simply won't end, can I just leave the theatre and go do something else? Do I have to watch it until it finally ends (which often feels like NEVER). If I get bored or annoyed with the movie in midstream, is it okay to turn the damn movie off and go watch something else?


Can I, Do I have to? Is it okay?

To whom?

You're trying to watch thoughts, they are like a wild torrent, can you just leave and do something else or do you have to get the thought watching right?
These two are also thoughts, but with whom you've identified completely. You think you is speaking. But essentially it's your conditioned, programmed you that's seeking permission, if it's ok, or if it would be "wrong" and it would upset someone (Your other part of ego that's overly critical, probably the internalized voice of your parents).

But you are free! You can either observe thoughts, or get up and clean the room, wash the dishes or whatever (good choice to just get busy when the thoughts are out of control too much)... You can decide for yourself, see how it works, no need to ask inside, if it would be OK or if you "could". Watch thoughts, get busy, see for yourself what works and what does not at any moment. But whatever you actually do, try and dis-identify from thoughts that are asking "someone" for "permission".
"If you're so smart, how come you're working at a gas station?"
-"It's a service station. We offer service, there is no higher purpose."
8)
Golf
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 4:44 pm

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Jbrooke » Tue May 15, 2012 6:29 pm

All of your responses are helping me right now. I appreciate it. I even printed this page out so I can refer to your insights when my mind gets more frazzled.
Jbrooke
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Salmoriaty » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:11 am

I was also wondering about this.
For example how about if something truely horrible has happened like a loss of a loved one.
Do we use this method?
Salmoriaty
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:49 am

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby kiki » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:14 pm

I was also wondering about this.
For example how about if something truely horrible has happened like a loss of a loved one.


In such cases fully feel what you are feeling. In other words, don't resist the emotional impact, but let it be there without trying to get rid of it. The energy of the emotional jolt mustn't be suppressed but be allowed to be there, but just be certain it doesn't express in ways that harm others. That energy will finally expend itself, leaving you feeling more open and spacious. This is how emotions become transmuted into consciousness.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---
Your donation will help keep us online.
User avatar
kiki
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 4363
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Wherever "here" happens to be

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:03 pm

Neither repress nor energize arising thoughts and emotions. Rather make peace with what is and look for opportunities to move on. Take the perspective that there is something of value in every experience whether it's currently clear to you or not. It's all about the evolution and expansion of consciousness. If you can't change the things that concern you towards something you prefer, allow it to be as grist for the mill of ever flowing life.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6278
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby ashley72 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:28 am

Jbrooke wrote:There are floods of thoughts. How can I observe each one of them? They come at me in clusters. Contaminating every part of my being. Do I pick just one thought and observe that, ignoring the others? If I ignore certain thoughts does this simply mean that I am resisting those and therefore feeding the ego even more?


Jen,

When people ask a lot of questions. It means they're analysing the problem....The analytical thinker is hard at work looking for a conceptual solution. However, what you need is less thinking not more.

The analytical thinker usually gets its energy from unwanted feelings like fear or avoidance. When those feelings are not consciously attended to and released they require more mental analysis.... which keeps you trapped in a cycle.

To break the cycle....all you need to do is start attending to whatever feelings you have right now.... and to make that attentive nature more "conscious".... ask the question "Can I let go of this feeling?" Don't think about the answer, just let yes or no arise without effort. The whole idea here is to get you more conscious! If the answer is yes, ask the next question "Will I let go of this feeling?" again don't think about it, just let yes or no pop up. If the answer is yes.... ask the next question "When?" If some of those answers are no, that is fine also.... because the aim here is not to find conceptual answers, but to get your attention more conscious.

Now the whole purpose of this little practice is to get you consciously attending to the unwanted feelings without mental analysis. Most people don't realise how easy it really is to release unwanted feelings or emotions.... mainly because they let the analytical thinker take over and search for conceptual solutions... which only creates more thinking and time-based solutions such as avoidance strategies. The thinking mind cannot actually let go of unwanted feelings... because its the source of the problem.

So stop looking for conceptual solutions and start attending to those unwanted feelings now. The release or letting go of unwanted feelings happen's only in the NOW, its not something you have to wait for tomorrow, next week, or until you get this or that right. If you think its going to take any amount of time, its conceptual and not the solution but the source of the problem. :wink:


Yes, we need the thinking mind as well as time to function in this world, but there comes a point where they take over our lives, and this is where dysfunction, pain, and sorrow set in. ~ Eckhart Tolle
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Jbrooke » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:52 am

To break the cycle....all you need to do is start attending to whatever feelings you have right now.... and to make that attentive nature more "conscious".... ask the question "Can I let go of this feeling?" Don't think about the answer, just let yes or no arise without effort. The whole idea here is to get you more conscious! If the answer is yes, ask the next question "Will I let go of this feeling?" again don't think about it, just let yes or no pop up. If the answer is yes.... ask the next question "When?" If some of those answers are no, that is fine also.... because the aim here is not to find conceptual answers, but to get your attention more conscious.


This is so true, ashley. It's about bringing whatever "is" to the present moment (regardless of what "is" is.) I think what scares me so much is that my answer to the question will be "no. I cannot release this feeling" and so perhaps I avoid asking it. But it doesn't really matter if the answer is yes or no, right? It's about focusing awareness more than anything?
Jbrooke
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Postby Ralph » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:00 am

Is ignoring thoughts actually resisting them?

Jen, I would say just focus on the thoughts that have a strong hold over you.

I think what scares me so much is that my answer to the question will be "no. I cannot release this feeling" and so perhaps I avoid asking it.

There is no need to release this feeling, allow it to be there but avoiding it just gives it the power it needs to hang around and take you over.
When you feel the feeling instead of avoiding or resisting it ,somehow it loses its power over you.
Ralph
 
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:08 am


Return to Personal Experiences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest