Chasing the High

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

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:01 pm

Had occasion in the context of recent banter here to re-read the one page of practice advice I've ever digested that was referenced in the first post:

Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and say to yourself: "I wonder what my next thought is going to be." Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mousehole? Try it now.

TPON chapter 5 paragraph 3

By the time I first sat down on the bench I was well-acquainted with the concept of applying non-judgment to thoughts which would arise ... how that would cause them to dissolve and how uncannily the awareness in absence of thought would be brought into such stark relief by experiencing the dissolution. Much of what I've read here from kiki and Ananda influenced this facet of the practice toward a point of refinement and for this I'm very grateful.

What I had neglected, and have been leaving out for the past year was the invitation to thought that is inherent in this short simple paragraph from Tolle. While I knew that trying to blank the mind was just the voice coming in again through the back door the "posture" that I'd adopted while watching the mousehole had been one of studied neutrality.

Changing this posture to one that borders on actual expectation had a striking effect.

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.


This is literally going to stay with me in a cool still place deep in my heart for the rest of my life, every time I look up at a cloud. If I understand the term right, one word for this is "Satori" -- and while like many I'd been doing this all of my life, perhaps instinctively, I realized yesterday when looking at the red-outline of the reflected sun in the distance that yes, these intense, almost surreal details had always been there, and had always been that indescribably beautiful.

This re-reading of the mousehole suggestion coincided with circumstances which put me on the bench for an unusually long period of time. Almost always I just get up spontaneously at some point, and the time usually varies from about 10 to 20 minutes, but on these occasions I was actually coordinating with an errand so I was there for about an hour.

I remain intensely grateful for the various perspectives presented here about the lack of need for practice and conceptually this makes perfect sense. It is easy to see how someone could lose themselves in such a chase, because iteratively going back into the state of no-mind does seem to result in a deeper and deeper .... something. This actually manifests itself physically -- there are various internal cues, the blankness of the closed eyelids seems to change with no correlation to external input, there is a sharp and deep intake of breath and a straightening of the spine. Sounds are heard -- in parallel all at once, the number of sources quite remarkable as is the apparent collapse of distance. Afterword the thread to the stillness is felt strongly and for a greater duration of clock time.

But those signposts from the others who have either been here before or never had to trod the path, along with the understanding, such as can be had by the mind of what all this means saves me the trouble of wondering or even really being curious about what that something that is felt deeper and deeper really is. A second, a day, it's all the same. There is no progression to this ... the mind will judge some meditations as successful, others not. There is nowhere to go, no goal, no path, because it is always just a hairsbreadth away, always very simple, always completely accessible, and that perception is in and of itself just an illusion.
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 Sighclone » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:06 pm

The "practice" elements of this thread are pure gold. They are unique, personal, self-effacing yet, paradoxically, enthusiastic...and they work (at least in my experience.) A link to it now appears in "Forum Favorites" where moderators can put unique and helpful topics.

Thanks all.

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 hanss » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:33 pm

snowheight wrote:...
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 ...


Just for fun, not about Yoga, but a chapter from Ken Cohen about Qigong history:

Qigong is a spiritual discipline, inspired by ancient Chinese shamans, Taoists, and Buddhists, all of whom sought harmony and peace in the solitude of nature. Through qigong, spiritual seekers learn to unify the qi within their bodies with "primordial breath of Heaven and Earth," the spirit and energy of the universe. Because of their connection with these forces, qigong students are able to replenish themselves when vitality is low. Qigong also increases artistic sensitivity and expressiveness. The qigong practitioner feels as though Nature uses his or her eyes to see herself. The pine tree expresses its life, its qi, through the painter's brush or the poet's words. A great painting, like a great poem, pulses with life energy. It has qi yun "qi rhythm."
There is also a very practical reason why Chinese monks have always promoted and practiced qigong. Qigong exercises prevent the physical stagnation and mental imbalance that may result from excessive meditation. According to Taoism, too much spiritual practice (xing) results in stagnation, atrophy, weakness, and delusional states. For example, I once met a Chinese monk who had spent nearly two decades meditating in a cave. He was an expert at harmonizing internal qi but had lost the ability to have a harmonious conversation with a friend. He was not enlightened but, rather, obsessed with himself. Buddhists, who disparage fundamentalism, would say that he "stunk of Zen." On the other hand, too much exercise (ming) and not enough meditation dulls the mind and spirit. For optimal health, we need body and spirit, exercise and meditation, awareness of the inner world and the outer. In other words, health requires balance and moderation. The goal of qigong may be summarized as xing ming shuang silt, "spirit and body equally refined and cultivated." Cultivate your whole being, as you would cultivate a garden —with attention, care, and even love.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)
hanss
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:14 pm
Location: Gothenburg - Sweden

Re: Chasing the High

Postby forgotaboutbre » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:07 am

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.


Indeed. Long long detours. Who knew that so much important and transcendent perspective could be packed into so few words. I've been taking a REALLY gooood hard look at my use of marijuana lately. A realllllly good hard look. I'm still looking, but that is okay, looking/observing, those are definitely good things.
User avatar
forgotaboutbre
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby Rick » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:19 pm

forgotaboutbre wrote: I've been taking a REALLY gooood hard look at my use of marijuana lately. A realllllly good hard look. I'm still looking, but that is okay, looking/observing, those are definitely good things.


Interesting subject. What are you seeing in the good hard look at your marijuana use? I once wrote an article about my use of marijuana and how it had me fooled for a time into thinking that my thoughts were enlightened because of the effect it had on me. If you are interested in discussing this we should probably start another thread about the effects of mind altering substances like marijuana?
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
User avatar
Rick
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:30 pm

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am

Probably all the talk of "monkey-mind" and "monkey-see" and unselfconscious chimps on the forum of late but it inspired a new alternative exercise to the platform, squirrel-cage, cat and mousehole.

I imagine an organ grinders monkey dancing around in the same room as me. He has on a collar with a ring. I chase him around and put a leash on 'em. He protests but I hand him a banana. This calms him, and he goes to sleep. After he falls asleep I notice a mousehole on the far wall! :shock:

This is like an in-between narrative -- it takes less time than the full-up scenario, which is still useful when the mind is very very noisy, but is useful for those times when there is just a bit too much volume to simply sit and immediately start watching.

--------------------------

forgotaboutbre wrote:
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.


Indeed. Long long detours. Who knew that so much important and transcendent perspective could be packed into so few words. I've been taking a REALLY gooood hard look at my use of marijuana lately. A realllllly good hard look. I'm still looking, but that is okay, looking/observing, those are definitely good things.


Well Mike, the thread title is an allusion to drug use so I can see why you posted. It has been a long long long time since my last toke ... if memory serves me correctly there actually is some similarity to the physical sensations that can come on the bench and smoking grass. The latter would, for me at least, rarely result in paranoia, but instead, looking back, would suppress thought, at least the constant re-telling of negative stories.

As ET puts it though, this is more a "falling below" the "default level" of conciseness rather than a "raising above". I can feel this because after standing up from the bench, thought of any kind, left or right brain, is much more clear. It can be described as "loud", almost. Solving a math problem right then and there is very easy, while trying to do that after a bong hit has predictable results.

Back (way back) in the day pot was weaker, and harder to get. I used to smoke so much that eventually it didn't do anything for me (ever hear the term "smoke yourself straight"?) , and moving out of town, leaving the shady "friends" who were my source of supply and studying engineering were the final steps to cutting off that bad habit. If you want to try for yourself just resolve to going first a day, and then a week without it. You will be very pleasantly surprised.
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 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:11 pm

Very relevant to two sub-topics of this thread (one being judgments of the mind of a given meditation, the other being the complete lack of need for this type of practice) is this other topic started by alex.

I read her post and kiki's reply before my pre-work sit this morning (the session that I described to Jason as "purely practical", simply for the purpose of making the work day flow). These sessions I do in the back yard, or on the side porch. The back yard is overgrown with trees along its border, and there are lots of little critters there.

Today was a "good" day as far as these things go. No sooner did I close my eyes but the question of what thought would come next became the last well-formed thought, there was an immediate sense of calm and peace, and all of these sounds from near and far started to percolate into awareness. It was almost like getting sucked into a vortex of a sort. There were actually a few shreds of consideration of the words in those posts which wisped on by, but they were like tracing paper in a stiff wind, and the echoes of them actually helped, instead of hindering the "progress toward the state".

All of a sudden, it seemed like only a few seconds in, there was this loud, high-pitched and sudden "chirp!" ... "chirp!". I opened my eyes and was greeted by a pair of small birds, perhaps 15 or 20 feet away, dancing lithely from tree to tree, right at eye level, as I sit on an elevated back porch.

They were completely red, with long tails, and dramatic, triangular heads. I'm no ornithologist, but from common experience I think they were cardinals of one sort or another.

I sat there, eyes glued open, mouth agape after having whispered a “wow!” as the cardinals flitted around, one chasing the other. The pursued actually flew within perhaps 5 feet of my head. The whole sighting was profoundly sublime.
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 Sighclone » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:55 pm

Don't you just love the universe!! When our antennae are tuned, synchronous winks abound in such passing delights of surprise like the cardinals.

When "you" disappear, You are everywhere.

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 Rick » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:28 pm

From Osho's book "Awareness".

The only sin is unawareness, and the only virtue is awareness...

Only one thing is enough: awareness is a master key. It unlocks all the Locks of existence.
Awareness means you live moment-to-moment, alert, conscious of yourself, and conscious of all
that is happening around you, in a moment-to-moment response. You are like a mirror. You reflect.
And you reflect so totally that out of that reflection whatsoever act is born is right – because it fits,
it is harmonious with existence. It does not really arise in you, you are not a doer of it. It arises in
the total context: the situation, you and all, are involved in it. Out of that wholeness the act is born –
it is not your act. You have not decided to do it that way; it is not your decision, it is not your thought,
it is not your character. You are not doing it: you are only allowing it to happen.

Just as walking early in the morning, the sun has not risen, you come across a snake on the path
– there is no time to think... you can only reflect. There is no time to decide what to do and what
not to do. You IMMEDIATELY jump! Remember the word ’immediate’ – not even a single moment is
lost. You immediately jump out of the way. Later on you can sit underneath a tree and think about it
– what happened, how you did it – and you can pat your own back that you did well. But in fact you
have not done it – it happened. It happened out of the total context. You, the snake, the danger of
death, the effort of life to protect itself... and a thousand and one other things are involved in it. The
total situation caused the act. You were just a medium.

Now, this act fits. You are not the doer of it. In the religious way we can say: God has done it through
you. The whole has acted through the part – this is virtue.
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 Nov 08, 2011 10:03 pm

Even though the mind sees the truth of the fact that all practice is ultimately unnecessary, that there is nothing to seek for, that grasping for what is right in front of me just causes me to stick my hand right through a ghost that is ever-embracing ....

There is a clear and obvious distinction between life situation when I spend time on the bench regularly and when I don't.

It's important to be precise here ... I'm not talking about simply "making my life better".

I'm not talking about being free of anxiety, being at peace.

I'm not talking about making things go more smoothly with my clients or my wife.

I'm not talking about "putting myself in alignment with what is" and thereby avoiding challenging situations.

Every moment, every instant ... here ... in the Now ... is the constant opportunity, the constant challenge ... the only challenge ... but of course, there is no challenge.

What I am talking about is the probability in any given instant that I have this knowledge that Ananada spoke of here.

More frequent trips to the bench result in a deeper experience and a shorter interval of time to quiet the mind ... but it's the effect off the bench "that is more important". :wink:

Two days ago on the bench, after a run, it took perhaps 5-10 minutes until the mind was clear. Empty. The next thought was constantly invited, and on arrival, cruelly and ruthlessly starved of affection, only to dissolve into Joy.

Onto this canvas: "And this too is known by?"

8) .... yo' beachballs it's all like an echo chamber up in here ... didn't seek this .... noone seeking ... nothing to seek for ... 8)

And this too is known by? And this too is known by? And this too is known by? And this too is known by? And this too is known by?

8) That was some freaky stuff Kutsosan ... freaky stuff ... couldn't count all those ... seemed like they blinked out in an instant ... seems like they dragged out forever ...
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 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:32 am

Physicality has kept me off the bench for months but I kept up a practice, first on the back porch, and then as winter finally arrived, in whatever quiet corner of the house as can be stolen for those minutes.

Then I got this book.
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 Apr 01, 2012 8:28 pm

Got back on the bench for the first time in several months ... I'd been meditating during that time but not at the bench. There does seem to be something about this place where I fell into this practice that has an effect.

These days, I alternate between the invitation-to-thought which follows the visualization described in the first post with my palms up on my knees, eyes closed, and Hagen's suggestion of eyes open, hands at navel etc... as I find that the first compliments the other.

What happened is a tale of three mind threads. This is about as faithful a re-construction of the dialogue as I can manage.

... (nice, nice gaaaaaaaap)...

"of course you're your body, how could you not be? without it, you wouldn't be sitting here doing this.."

... (gap) ...

"c'mon ... you know that all these ideas about being something else are bullshit ... those people and things you loved are just gone and the rest is just self-delusion to hide from pain and reality"

... [gap] ...

"you know all those people are weak and in la-la-land. it's all just a hippie sing-song to drown out the sound of the world"

... <dissolution> ...

As I stood, and walked from the bench:

"oh, you know I'm right you little bitch!"

"ok, ok, let's say you are right ... let's follow this through ..."
(this 2nd voice was gentler, quieter, more resigned, and thought at a much more rapid pace)

"yeah, yeah, that's more like it! get back to brass tacks!"

"I'm in my body, I'm here, in this body"

"Yes!"

"I'm in my brain ... 'cause if that were gone I'm gone ... but if my arm or leg were gone, I'd still be here."

"Yep, yep! that's right, that's the way it is."

"So I'm up here, in this web of neurons ... hmmm ... there's a problem with that ..."

"SHIT!"

<silence ... new voice>

"Sometimes those old footsteps come in handy ... I wonder, will they fail someday? ..."

This was seen to not matter and just faded away.

"If the thug is believed for long enough then there are no more trips to the bench"

And in this, the value of truth, in the relative sense, re-asserts itself vigorously.

There's no rejecting the thug, that would just make things worse. The logic of the reasonable voice is just as worthless in the end. In the end, belief or dis-belief, they're the same. In the end, the gap is all that matters. Knowing who I am regardless of the myriad opinions of the mind is all that matters, and in that knowing nothing matters and everything matters.
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 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:57 am

Bill,

This video perfectly intertwines with your thread subject "Chasing the High".....


Image

COME on kitty kitty ====> its COMING :lol: , its COMING :lol: ..... ======> Chasing the High :lol:
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Chasing the High

Postby snowheight » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:54 am

ah, ok you mean at 7:54 ... well I do like cats and I'll admit to an enjoyment at slinging around prickly goo.

But as far as your inference is concerned you seem to have missed the irony in the title of the thread. As I've posted over and over again, the mind sees the truth in the point that there is no point in practicing what we always are and never can't be. Ain't no gold rings or kupi dolls expected on the bench bro'. Ain't no "*THERE*" to get to ... sorry to disappoint ... :)

ashley72 wrote: the habit of the mind is to come back in with the movement of thought again. It will judge, complain & rate the practice! That's why "practice" ultimately gets in the way of abiding in being....


wow ... why stop inviting the next thought just because they might start to get whiny? ... you scared of something Ash'?
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 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:16 am

snowheight wrote:But as far as your inference is concerned you seem to have missed the irony in the title of the thread. As I've posted over and over again, the mind sees the truth in the point that there is no point in practicing what we always are and never can't be. Ain't no gold rings or kupi dolls expected on the bench bro'. Ain't no "*THERE*" to get to ... sorry to disappoint ... :)


I get the irony of the title... that is why I posted the video :D ..... The video exposes the fallacy of chasing after things our entire lives... only to get older and realise that life is about the "way" not about the destination. Practising exposes the same fallacy... practising for what? How to breath, blink, swallow, look, smell, touch, think, burp, fart? Those things just happen.

Hey like the cute kitty!
User avatar
ashley72
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

PreviousNext

Return to Personal Experiences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest