Chasing the High

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

Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:51 pm

A few days and many PON pages after my first ET-induced experience with Presence the “initial high” had worn off. From a few accounts of others that I’ve read, this seems a common experience: initial exposure to the technique of dis-identifying with, and observing the thinker works at first, but is not “permanent”.

It was during this first turn on the merry-go-round that is the desire for enlightenment that ET introduced me to the mousehole. He urges the reader to envision the mind as the mousehole, and for us assume the mantle of those most masterful practitioners of Zen and wait patiently for the next thought to emerge.

These days I take a moment to sit on a bench set in amongst some trees to the side of a trail that I run on that seems as though it was placed there just for this purpose, and close my eyes. I set my mind to envisioning a squirrel in a round, wire, tread-mill cage, spinning around, incensed and obsessed with whatever petty earthly concerns have arisen in my life in the past few days. The cage is on the edge of a platform running perpendicular to my line of sight that is a bit below waist-high, directly in front of me a few feet away. Back behind the squirrel is a cat. The cat is very very still, except for an occasional agitated twitch of her tail, as she is intently watching a perfectly shaped mousehole cut into the moulding at the bottom of a wall which runs along the edge of the platform to my right.and parallel to my line of sight.

I set the mind to the task of envisioning this scene and contemplating it, as the squirrel, who is not one of the cute, gentle-goofy creatures I see in my backyard but rather is wearing a leather aviators helmet and has big wide sentient eyes like Bullwinkle’s Rocky, frets and frets away.

Eventually, I open a door on the cage. Rocky jumps out and runs behind me. I turn and watch as he sprints away. Sometimes he runs into the tall grass of a meadow or into a dark forest, or he might execute a technically perfect jackknife into a lake or suddenly start turning gracefully on long straight ski’s down a perfectly groomed run.

I laugh, turn back around, lift the cage off the platform and take a step up toward the Zenmaster. At this point I imagine the view from a camera which might fly over and past the cat, then turning back with the perspective of looking down onto her from behind, taking in the back of her head in the foreground with the mousehole beyond. The shot comes in closer and closer until finally I AM the cat, watching the mousehole.

I like to pretend that the images made by the dust particles swimming in my eyeball and the patterns caused by the light leaking through my eyelid onto my optical nerve complex are renderings of doorways onto Source. I contemplate these and concentrate on them as they wax and wane in intensity, flitting and flicking fleetingly in a dance that is simultaneously everything and nothing.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby surprise » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:02 pm

There is nothing wrong with those thoughts. Do not identify with those thoughts..awareness in the background should be able to capture those thoughts at the foreground...be the watcher. The moment you dis-identify the thoughts will disappear.
surprise
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby Sighclone » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:25 am

I'd like to make a kind of big-picture administrative comment. Before I started typing this, there was one comment and 19 views of snowheight's post. It is exactly these kind of personal experiences which are so valuable here. 19 people read that post. Since we are really just one great big unified Being, and even in our "separate selves," very similar, it is quite likely that someone else would have had or will have the same kind of experience. One had washes the other. We cannot know the impact of anything we place here.

Thanks, snowheight.....

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
User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby runstrails » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:08 pm

These days I take a moment to sit on a bench set in amongst some trees to the side of a trail that I run on that seems as though it was placed there just for this purpose, and close my eyes.


It probably is placed just for this purpose :) I am glad that you are enjoying watching thoughts. It's such a big step in the right direction.

Welcome and thanks for sharing.
runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby mus3cho » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:59 pm

I had an "aha" moment recently regarding "chasing a/any high" I have snapshots in my head of childhood in which I recall feeling blissfully content, secure, and at peace, and I realized ,in the present moment, that I have been equating the source of those feelings as the external events, which of course cannot be duplicated. Now I realize that the source had to have come from within. I had been connected then but not aware of what I was connected with. I was chasing the high so vigorously that I uprooted my family 10 years ago and returned to my childhood town. I don't want to move, again, back to the hustle and bustle of the city, because I get so caught up in the extreme intensity I feel there. I am in the midst of nature, now, and am grateful.

Anyway, I am reading what it means to meditate and I attempt to be meditative in all the things I am required to do. I believe that nothingness is the highest state we can aspire to and I don't believe it has a feeling of euphoria about it. I think euphoria is a trick that gets our ego attached to a state of being and it becomes addicted and takes us on long detours away from our true path.

I believe if I am chasing something that is elusive, then it is something I don't really need anyway. I have always had everything I need, I just let it become obscured with thinking.

mus3cho
mus3cho
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:03 pm

mus3cho wrote:I think euphoria is a trick that gets our ego attached to a state of being and it becomes addicted and takes us on long detours away from our true path.

I believe if I am chasing something that is elusive, then it is something I don't really need anyway. I have always had everything I need, I just let it become obscured with thinking.


Thank you for those signposts, I will follow them.

Namaste,

snowheight
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Sun May 08, 2011 6:40 pm

ET leads us to refrain from judgments about the weather, guiding us to replace "what a terrible day, it rained the whole way through!" with "it rained today".

This is not so hard, but spring comes late here, and the joy that I felt sitting on the meditation bench yesterday with the sun on the dandelions is a different matter. I can feel and discern the difference here between this joy and the dualistic pole of good weather happy/bad weather depressed. The first leaves of spring are this perternaturally bright green ... were they always this way?
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby runstrails » Sun May 08, 2011 8:11 pm

snowheight wrote:
were they always this way?


As the song goes: Morning has broken, like the first morning.....

I know exactly how you feel. Spring has arrived here too---its truly humbling to be able to really appreciate it :D
runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Mon May 09, 2011 2:24 pm

These days, on the bench, the practice of imagining the story to focus the mind is resorted to only if the mind is particularly noisy. Instead, a simpler, less cluttered approach is applied:

(from this thread ... guys I promise this is the last time I will repeat this, but the current thread is becoming a diary of sorts for me):

kiki wrote:Set aside some time each day (15 to 20 minutes, twice a day if possible) to sit down with eyes closed and just observe the flow of thoughts (if you can't find time during the day then try this as you are laying in bed at night waiting for sleep to come). Just watch them, paying close attention to their arising and dissolving. During that period give yourself permission to dismiss the truthfulness of every single thought - your sole purpose is to watch them and not to assign meaning or give them any kind of judgment. Just watch.

See if you can see the first impulse of their arising; when you do this regularly you'll become adept at seeing that impulse at subtler and subtler levels - you will know that there is a thought there, but it will be so faint that it hasn't become fully formed yet - I call these "proto-thoughts". Very often these proto-thoughts will simply dissolve again as soon as they are spotted, without any effort to make that happen. Notice the dissolving of one thought and the appearance of the next one. You'll begin to notice "gaps" between thoughts as you get more attuned to what's happening. In the gap between thoughts something remains.

At some point a realization will arise, "There is an alertness, a stillness, a peacefulness here that is seeing thoughts come and go, and that alertness is constant." This is a wordless realization, and this realization is the initial shift away from identification with ego/mind/thoughts when it's realized that "You" are the alertness itself, You are the stillness itself, You are the peacefulness itself.

Don't be surprised if you drift out of this recognition and get caught up in thought again, that's just the way it works, it's par for the course. When you notice this happening don't judge yourself in any way for what happened, just return to watching thoughts with dispassion. What you are doing here is laying the groundwork for being able to do this outside of these sit down sessions. You are using these sit down sessions to become more and more familiar with this witnessing consciousness that is seeing thoughts, and as you get more familiar with this, your true nature, you'll begin to notice the same thing outside of these sessions, even while engaged in activities.

Think of this as learning how to walk - you start by learning to crawl, and it may take some time before you can crawl with proficiency. Then you'll find yourself "standing and walking" as you get more comfortable and familiar this, but you likely will teeter and fall down again. Eventually, you find that you've gained better balance and remain standing, and can do most anything and still remain alert to what's happening. Finally, you'll find that your balance is so good that you'll be running and doing cartwheels while remaining anchored in true nature.


But of course, sometimes the mind is just too noisy and must be focused before observation of the flow does not result in being immediately swept away into it. The story used is not important ... anyone can make up their own approach to the mousehole!

The other element that is (irregularly) incorporated these days is prayer, which naturally unfolds, as after a run, sitting on that bench, as the feeling of presence begins to be unmasked, there often will arise deep feelings of gratitude. I was not surprised to learn that this is part of the Zen tapestry from this source. Andy's riff on the fundamental duality has had an effect on the content of that prayer.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby Rick » Mon May 09, 2011 8:19 pm

Snow, One of the ways I've learned from ET to stop the mind cold is to become aware of space. Sitting on your bench, simply notice the space between you and the nearest tree, shrub, rock, anything. Just notice it. Same in any room. Notice the space between you and the wall in front of you. Notice that the wall, floor and ceiling aren't the most important part of the room but the space that makes the room possible. Notice that space. Hold out your hand in front of you. Notice the space between your eyes and your hand. It is impossible to think and be aware of space at the same time. This is a powerful meditation that you can do anywhere. In the bathroom, (forgive me) while walking, driving, anywhere, anytime. Notice that when you notice space, you become still and spacious yourself.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
User avatar
Rick
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:30 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby ashley72 » Mon May 09, 2011 11:17 pm

Rick wrote:Snow, One of the ways I've learned from ET to stop the mind cold is to become aware of space. Sitting on your bench, simply notice the space between you and the nearest tree, shrub, rock, anything. Just notice it. Same in any room. Notice the space between you and the wall in front of you. Notice that the wall, floor and ceiling aren't the most important part of the room but the space that makes the room possible. Notice that space. Hold out your hand in front of you. Notice the space between your eyes and your hand. It is impossible to think and be aware of space at the same time. This is a powerful meditation that you can do anywhere. In the bathroom, (forgive me) while walking, driving, anywhere, anytime. Notice that when you notice space, you become still and spacious yourself.


Rick, I do the same... Noticing "space" was a key shift in consciousness for me personally. I purchased 4 different ET books, also some CD's. After I started reading between the lines, did I come to realization the most central pointer in all ET's words.... Was all the pointers about noticing empty Space - the formless in your life!

Space is the formless element of life. The mind just can't get tangled, or attached with it. No thoughts follow empty space - it's formless so nothing adds. A thought stream won't follow. It creates conditions for no-mind.

I first started noticing space around objects like trees & flowers. Because they are so still yet alive. Something very special about connecting with the space around a flower or tree. When I did this I started noticing, a calmness within. Like space was starting to open up in the inner-body.
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby Rick » Tue May 10, 2011 12:16 am

ashley72 wrote: Noticing "space" was a key shift in consciousness for me personally. I purchased 4 different ET books, also some CD's. After I started reading between the lines, did I come to realization the most central pointer in all ET's words.... Was all the pointers about noticing empty Space - the formless in your life!

Space is the formless element of life. The mind just can't get tangled, or attached with it. No thoughts follow empty space - it's formless so nothing adds. A thought stream won't follow. It creates conditions for no-mind....I first started noticing space around objects like trees & flowers. Because they are so still yet alive. Something very special about connecting with the space around a flower or tree. When I did this I started noticing, a calmness within. Like space was starting to open up in the inner-body.


I like that "Like space was starting to open up in the inner-body". Today I realized that this observing of space can be a powerful tool in overcoming addictions like porn, drinking, smoking etc. For example, teach a person to notice the space between his eyes and a porn image on the computer screen, or between his eyes and the drink or between his eyes and the smoke he holds in his hand, and guess what happens? He becomes still and detached from the process. The thoughts behind the addiction are suspended and are either broken in that moment, or are weakened and break soon enough with continued practice at becoming objective to the problem.
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
User avatar
Rick
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:30 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Tue May 10, 2011 1:48 am

One of the aspects of the bench is that it has a great and expansive view of hills in the distance, a valley below, and an open sky above.

That sky, when there are distant clouds or close, fast-moving formations ... that sky is all that is needed, yes.

I'm spoiled!
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby ashley72 » Tue May 10, 2011 2:08 am

One of my favorite ET quotes.


As the light filters through the clouds,
awareness filters through my thoughts.
Although I think, I still know that I am.


Image
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Fri May 27, 2011 3:14 pm

:shock: "Where are my KEYS!" :shock:

bill is working on dealing with this for me :lol:

Standing up from the bench, sometimes slightly dizzy, can be a trip sometimes. I've taken to standing up and stretching when mind chirps up ... now I see how the whole concept of yoga originated ...
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
snowheight
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Next

Return to Personal Experiences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest