The momentum of thought

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
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cephalon
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The momentum of thought

Post by cephalon » Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:04 am

Hello again.

I find that when I'm reading or listening to eckhart tolle or similar material, i'm usually able to get into a relaxed present state of allowing, but after i stop, unless i concentrate really hard I often get swept up in the momentum of meaningless thoughts bouncing around in my head trying to distract me, and then usually spend the rest of the day trying to get to the next moment or find something to occupy my unconscious need for more. How do you guys manage to be present during the day?
'Over thinking, Over analyzing separates the body from the mind' -Tool (lateralus)

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:58 am

Whole body awareness...an excellent habit to cultivate. One idea I had which seems really good although I have yet to try it is to set your mobile phone to vibrate in your pocket at given intervals during the day. Many phones now have a 'reminder' option. So everytime you feel it buzzing in your pocket, you can remember to allow peace, open up the peripheral vision a bit and get into some whole body awareness.
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Sw Anand Devagni.
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Sw Anand Devagni. » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:43 pm

Well I am still wobbling on this although I have found the pages 'Background Unhapiness' and 'The Secret of Happiness' in A New Earth particularly edifying.

Let me summarise. Basically what you do is breathe in and ask yourself, 'is there any negativity in me at the moment?' If yes, you check for the emotion in your body and then refer up to your head for the thoughts which are actually causing it. This is sufficient, for me, to dislodge it and activate Presence.

OK?

Dan

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:09 pm

That is good stuff there, Dan! If it works for you give it some practice and sooner rather than later it becomes a 'standard' response to situations where we lose it a lot. Instead of spinning off into a story we can simply use that stress as an invitation to let go of the identification with thought. For myself - and this is slightly different, but not better or worse than anything else that works - it is simply to allow my consciousness to become aware of all of my body at the same time. Then allowing myself to sense its aliveness. And that does it for me.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

WhoAmI
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by WhoAmI » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:34 pm

Larry,

This sounds incredibly useful, and "mechanical" enough so that it can become a quick response which is easy to return to again and again.

However, I have difficulty with it.

I can, at times, become aware of my body in a matter of a few seconds, and be in it enough so that the feeling of presence (ET's famous inner body) starts flowing through my body.

Often, though - it's pretty hard for me to do that. I focus on my whole body and can find no aliveness within it.
Or perhaps I find that energy flow, only to feel it slipping through my proverbial fingers, and in a matter of seconds it is gone.

Have you experienced anything similar during your practice?
Any tips on that?

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:39 pm

Well...it is an odd thing, but when I practice opening up and offering love and compassion to my negativity the whole thing is so ....new...unfamiliar that I find the shift in me (from oh no, not you again...to oh, you look so tired, hurt and frightened...please, accept my best wishes for your happiness...I am so sorry for my previous conduct towards you...) which should be attended by feelings of love and compassion. I say should, but the the feelings themselves are pretty weak! Yet at the same time the practice itself works, and works very very well for me. It seems - in my admittedly limited experience - that the intent is enough. Perhaps being a little more simple in your practice and trust that intent itself has power. Also simply relax your mind and listen (for example) with your whole body. So that is taking a stimulus from the environment and opening up your body (and body awareness) to it, rather than doing it all from your own side, excluding your environment and maybe even being distracted by it. So whole body listening can be a good stepping stone along the way to whole body awareness. Also has the nice touch of utilising a (so-called) distraction.
Many a mickle muches a markle.

WhoAmI
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by WhoAmI » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:20 am

Larryfroot writes:
So that is taking a stimulus from the environment and opening up your body (and body awareness) to it, rather than doing it all from your own side, excluding your environment and maybe even being distracted by it.
Could you clarify a bit about "doing it all from your own side"? That was a little hazy for me :-)

Apart from that - It was quite clear to me and enlightening.

Still amazes me how hard it is to put to words something that for us is quite clear as a feeling. Makes one realize all the more how limited the words and, indeed, the tool for producing them (being the mind) are limited, and yet taken to be who we are.

Thanks.

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:24 am

Of course.

Doing it all from your own side is to work within the borders of your own body, which is fine - this is whole body awareness we are talking about after all! The practice of whole body listening though works with a phenomena that has an (apparent) external cause. So rather than noise or sound being the usual distraction it is percieved to be in an 'own side' practice, it becomes a focus instead for whole body listening. Which can give rise to whole body awareness with more ease sa it gives you something (sound) to work with, rather than the inner energy field directly. Whole body listening leads to an awareness of the inner body over time.

Also there is a very interesting aspect to sound and hearing. When you listen - properly listen to anything...where does the sound end and your hearing begin? Or try this question...when you sit quietly, try to feel the border of buttocks and chair...Can you really tell where chair ends and buttocks begin?

When does a sprout become a plant...when does a plant become a stem...stem become a bud...bud become a flower?

Borders and boundaries blur, there is no fixed point where a border or boundary exists between one state and another, between one phase of a process and the next. So to become aware of this ambiguity is to become more aware of environment and your body becoming part of the same processes of sense perception being one with the objects perceived. The tight idea of self here, body there melts in a wider awareness that really feeds into a whole body awareness that then feeds into a whole environment awareness.

Whole body listening - where sound ends and where hearing begins can be a real help in developing whole body listening (which leads to whole body awareness) as the highly ambiguous state of sound and hearing becoming one then lends itself to self and body. Where does your awareness end and your body begin?

So the border of where you and your body is split in two becomes hazy, indefinable, ephemeral...leading to whole body awareness. And also if developed leads to so much more as well. But beginning with whole body listening and trying to determine borders between external sound and internal perception is a good a stepping stone as any towards whole body awareness. Which is as if the 'you' steps out of your head and decides to inhabit the whole body instead!
Hope this helps.
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by suraj » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:54 pm

Larryfroot, that was quite something remarkable . Initially , I thought I would quote few lines from your post . But as I went on reading it, I realized that I would have to quote your whole post! . I have copied your entire post . Your words resonated with me . Thanks so much.
Just a question :
Where does your awareness end and your body begin?
Do you know the answer , or I have to find it out myself.
I AM

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:44 pm

Thank you for your kind comments, Suraj.

Awareness is seen as one thing when we view our 'self' as an object. We are aware of one thing here....self...and another thing there...objects. Thus our idea of awareness is defined.

But we do not exist as inherently existent objects. We are not things. We are not objects (as we understand objects to be). We are processes; parts of a larger process that itself is contained by innumerable other processes. And the enquiry we have made of a plant that was a sprout, was a stem, was a bud, was a flower can be applied to all of our interactions and sensory experiences of the world. There are no clear lines between the sprouts development into a stem and the stems development into a a bud etc etc. The lines are all blurred between these states...they are processes that overlap from one point to another without the line between the two actually existent. The world and our experience of it is actually quite ambiguous...nothing is segregated at all. Only our ideas of the world demand that it exist in the same way we (under the grip of the ego) perceive ourselves to. Only our ideas that govern how we see ourselves - as solid, immutable objects - demand that the world exist in the same way as to define, support and endorse our ideas of who we are (as solid, independent realities) to ourselves and to the world. The things that we are most attached to are the things that give us the most definition, the most support, the most 'reality'. But as these things are processes they remain in a state of flux. We try and stand on shifting sand demanding that it be concrete for the sake of our ego. This misconception of the nature of self and its subsequent projection onto the world is the base for so much fearful tension, and fuel for the painbody.

So to be aware in the sense of arising from processes and returning to processes is to live without the ground that we as egos rely on to reflect its own perverted reflection back at itself and to the word in general. And from that the understanding - of inter-related processes rather than fixed objects the line between awareness and body can be understood as indefinable, vague, amorphous and ambiguous.
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by shappy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:47 pm

Larryfroot wrote:We are processes; parts of a larger process that itself is contained by innumerable other processes.
No, this idea of being a process is a thought. You think you are a process, therefore you are not a process. Anything we conceptualize - even something as vague as a "process" - is not who we are. Anything we think we are, is not what we are. Even if we convince ourselves that it is beyond thinking.

This concept of "processes interacting with other processes" may be helpful for you but it is only a concept. It may bring you a sensation of clarity but it is no different from any other philosophy about who we are and how the world works.
Larryfroot wrote:The things that we are most attached to are the things that give us the most definition, the most support, the most 'reality'. But as these things are processes they remain in a state of flux.
I agree but we can also become attached to vague concepts such as "processes"...


Neti neti, as they say... stop trying to make sense.

What is watching you think about being a process? What is watching as you have created this whole image of processes interacting with other processes? When you look at the computer screen in front of you, who is looking?

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by astaroth » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:54 pm

Shappy, you're slowly becoming a "hardcore spiritual-guy" :mrgreen:

Going from one second to another, which both are "now"... isn't that a process? I had the feelings many times that the eternal now is flowing though me and I am something like the anchor or something.

I think it's only how you understand things

Just the two cents of a guy still in a "process" of dawning :wink:
...you might remember me from such educational films as "Zen for couch-potatoes - The wisdom of never doing anything" or "Buddha from da hood - Was he a brother?"

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:55 am

Impermanence is a process. All that is there in the world of form is a process...whether or not we choose to identify with anyone part of the process and seek to crystalise it into a hard - core object or thing existing 'from its own side'; that is independent of the temporary processes that give rise to its appearance is another matter altogether. There is a lot of 'it is this, it is that' about, and I agree...it is far easier to define consciousness by what it is not...and as it is not tied up in form except by identification there is only the opportunity here to be a finger pointing at the moon. Although re-considering my post with shappie's help I can see that I was aligning self with process. My mistake; and apologies to all whilst I stand corrected! Self is an appearance arising from processes. And if that is still only a thought then excellent! There is a thought of a self separate and alone...and this self believed itself to be truly existing as a concrete, solid reality rather than as a projection arising from the free play of space and ego.

We cannot deny there is a self, of sorts...because at the very least it exists as an appearance. So at basement level, we have the appearance of a self. Yet to try and find that self in any part of the aggregates of mind and body is impossible. The reality behind this appearance is frustratingly elusive! Yet the appearance persists. Things do not exist - cannot exist- in the way we think they do. Everything is appearance born of consciousness meeting form, or even creating form for its delusion to manifest.

At the end of the day I am in agreement with shappy insofar as the truth cannot be what we think it is. Eckhart writes of a 'felt oneness with being' rather than a perceived oneness of being, or an understood oneness of being. I feel that from that 'felt oneness' all is resolved....but to try and distill that resolution down to any one concept or set of words...well, difficulties ahead I'd say. The finger still points at the moon.

But the observation of form being a series of processes within processes is born of the observable phenomena of impermanence. If things were not in process then there would be no change, no development, growth, persistence and decay. All of reality would be basically arthritic in the extreme. A solid unending block. But the persistence of impermanence, the manifesting of dynamic and volatile forms gives rise to the basis of imputation (of a solid self within the processes) that is the very basis of the ego.
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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by shappy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:09 am

Hi Larryfroot, I apologize if I came across as a finger wagging know-it-all. I could see how I'm coming across as a "hardcore spiritual-guy" (astaroth... :lol: ).

I see what you're saying, Larryfroot. But if I may ask, why are you concerned with impermanence? Why are you concerned with making sense of form? Processes happen and it's really interesting and very intoxicating to think about but what's the purpose? I mean, can you say with absolute certainty that "the observation of form being a series of processes within processes is born of the observable phenomena of impermanence"? Can we really know that that's true? It may very well be that simple and it's a direct and intelligent theory, but there can be other equally intelligent theories on the subject. In the end, this is all "mind-stuff" (i.e. ego-land). Truth is very raw and naked. It doesn't need to try and figure out such things because it is such things. A cat, for example, doesn't try to figure itself out. Yes, I know, we have minds and that's why we try to figure stuff out but we could probably learn a lot from a cat or a tree or a... etc.

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Re: The momentum of thought

Post by Larryfroot » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:02 am

Hi Shappy...please do not worry about your finger wagging...it was still pointing at the moon!

There are truths that are universal and self-evident...which is to say they affect us all, right across the board at all times (prior to awakening). To a lesser or greater degree for each individual, that much is true (whoops, that word again). From here on in I will admit that the following presentation is heavily influenced by the middle way, which neither asserts that everything exists in a concrete and 'real' way - thus avoiding 'absolut-ism' nor does it state that nothingness is truly the nature of the illusion - thus avoiding nihilism. It simply states that things exist but not in the way we think them to exist.

And I will explain why I have a personal preference for a structured approach to that which is beyond all structures, intellectual or otherwise...

So...

Why bother with explanation and philosophy When all along the truth is naked and unadorned, being its own pristine beauty. I'm with the Buddha on this one, insofar as he (and forgive me for repeating myself as I posted on this subject elsewhere recently) taught the four noble truths in a non-linear sequence. If I may digress in order to make sense of the digression...the four noble truths are...

1 suffering
2 suffering can end
3 suffering ends
4 paths that take us to the end of suffering

it is the sequence of 3 and 4 that I find interesting. Because the result is given before the cause.

The implication seems to be that yes, we have our moments! There are wonderful breakthroughs and liberating experiences...as in 3. The sustaining of such experiences (which sounds an oxymoron, I know but there are many such paradoxes in spirituality as opposed to religion) however depends on 4. For myself, and I honestly am simply speaking for myself here, I need to establish the experience of liberation as an ongoing state to be there in all life situations. That is, if I wish to be free of suffering within all life experiences and to help others towards that experience. For me true paths leading to the end of suffering is the way to go...to establish a clear and sustained path between this wonderful freedom inside and the messiness of the egoic world around me...or rather, my egoic world around me. And also to be able to realise this path in order to make it repeatable and sustained. Not just a flash in the pan that happened from a broad and well documented phenomena of overwhelming suffering destroying the structures that gave rise to it. I mean, one cannot prescribe total and utter disaster pills to the spiritual seeker. That would be mean.

So my bothering with the wordiness is in the spirit of the fourth noble truth, and also to be able to communicate a 'how to' without describing a set of conditions that happen to be quite particular to my experience of awakening. Which happened to be the total and utter life situation breakdown I mentioned earlier. I lost my health, my job, my marriage and my home in four weeks flat. That is what it took to kick the legs from underneath my ego. But as a rule (and I am making an exception here for the sake of clarity) I do not mention that to anyone who happens to be interested. Because it may (in their minds) set awakening up as something that can only be 'achieved' (oxymoron again, I know) from a given set of god awful circumstances.

However, to describe clear, workable and sustainable methods based on an experience of the universe and 'self' as it actually is rather than how we think it to be is invaluable if we wish to benefit ourselves and others. We can have a recipe that works in many conditions at any time, for any person, in order to express the flip side of wisdom, compassion (by which I mean an experience of our inter-related nature, not mere sympathy) for others trapped in suffering. So the value of creating and maintaining these paths do not just lay with oneself alone. The nature of these paths (wholeness and unity) will naturally incorporate all aspects of unity, of oneness, and that includes compassion.

Truth (or wisdom) given without respect or compassion is simply a stick to whap somebody over the head with. And compassion given without reference to wisdom is a call to fundamentalism and mere sentiment. And in the final unity, wisdom and compassion are inseperable, each contains the other.

I know that my last post was verbious, but the verbiosity was about detail. Vagueness serves no-one, and the solution does require some consideration as it will, by definition, be coming from a very unfamiliar angle to those of us more acquainted with the problems than the solutions. However the necessity for the information to travel from head to heart in order to really effect a sea-change in our experience is not in doubt. But some thinking, some intellectual processing of the information is (for the most part) necessary before-hand. And anyone who has ever read a book on spirituality and mysticsm has done exactly that.

The finger pointing at the moon has value only in its function. Although it is not the moon, and although many of us get stuck on it for a while, it still remains valuable to those of us who need it purely for function only. I do not collect fingers!

Lastly I am aware that this thread has developed away from Cephalon's initial post, which may not be fair on Cephalon as we have - innocently and inadvertently - rather hijacked his thread, so it might be a good and respectful idea to start a new thread somewhere if we wish to continue this discussion?
Many a mickle muches a markle.

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