what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

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what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby ZenOfchaos » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:00 pm

In TPON ET woke up liberated from self then spent the next two years in the park. It gives the impression that everything changed in one night yet he wrote books on the techniques to become liberated and in those books he goes into a lot of EXPERIENTIAL depth.

This is at odds to the picture he builds up in TPON of this one time transformation. Obviously ET still had 29 years of brain conditioning, anxiety and depression. That doesn't disappear overnight. It makes sense that he probably spent those two years on the bench re-conditioning those thought patterns.

So my question is;

1. Has ET talked more of his experience of those two years?
2. Don't you think it creates a barrier (conscious or unconscious) that people who have read TPON might believe that enlightenment and bliss is a one time event and if they aren't in the same state that ET described in his experience that they aren't doing it right or can't get it themselves. Basically I'm sure many people create an expectation of the process to enlightenment that is the same as ETs description.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Tolle's revelation, the insight that that came in that moment of intense pain and set his life on a new path, was that 'he was not what he thought'. All the identifiers of what he believed to be self were in an instant, recognized as misperceptions.

The two years on the park bench were invested in deepening his clarity and understanding the true nature of being. The transformative experience was the end of one perspective on life, and the beginning of a new one. It's like he received the keys to a new world of understanding, but he still had some exploring to do in this new world.

As with all of us, there a world of exploration available even though we gain a measure of freedom from the illusion of thought identification. Two years is just a good beginning for most in a lifetime of opportunity.

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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:22 am

ZenOfcaos,

Tolle's primary message is realising your true nature which is deeper than thought.

Your deeper nature is attentiveness.

The park bench, is a place a person can go to relax and be attentive to the birds, the passing dogs, families, Jogger... without the need to attend to thoughts. Just sit and be attentive or present to the passing of life.

Tolle describes an arising "thought" as no different from a passing bird or dog that might pass by the park bench. You can choose whether to follow the thought as you might continue to watch the dog as it follows the scent. In other words, something deeper than thought chooses whether to follow the thought or not. That of course is our attentive nature.

However, there is two distinct & opposing parts to our attention network or attentive nature, which is the Ventral & Dorsal stream.

I am on the view, that people suffering from self conscious behaviour , are primarly activating their Dorsal stream. Where the viewpoint is viewer-centred or ego-centric, which is the opposite of the Ventral stream which is allocentric or object-centred.

So "suffering" may be more complex than merely identifying with our self defeating thoughts. It might also have something to do with which network stream we predominately rely upon in our daily lives.

Is there something we can do that helps one shift from the Dorsal stream to the Ventral stream?

Maybe utter acceptance of what is?

I would love to see some scientific research into whether increasing ones "acceptance" of sense objects leads to predominantly more activation of our Ventral stream.... A more object-centred rather than view-centred or ego-centric (Dorsal stream) perspective.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby ZenCowgirl » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:19 am

Nothing happened :D :o :roll: :idea: :mrgreen: :D :)
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby rideforever » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:38 am

Is ET's struggle reproducible ?

I think this is a very important question for those seeking to transcend. ET did not read TPON. ET struggled in a desperate state, having forsaken his whole life, ... and he was at Cambridge Uni so he was very intelligent - is that reproducible ?

In other words, if you read TPON in what sense does that get you to where he is ?

Another question is, even if ET is in an 'awakened' state is he able to communicate it ? To teach it ? Or is it something that happened to him 'spontaneously' and that he has no power to communicate ?

Another question is, even if ET is in an 'awakened' state is this a 'final' awakened state ? How to know ?

Another questions is, why do all the 'awakened' beings have different testimony - are they really in the same place ?

Well, I was just listening to a darshan with another teacher recently who had studied many things and had determined that there were only 4 or 5 awakened descendants of Ramana Maharshi and 1 of Nisargadatta. And this by their own reckoning, after several decades of teaching.

So you can understand the scale of the task. It's not that it is far.

But ... you have to be willing to have unusual ... magic within you.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby Onceler » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:30 pm

rideforever wrote:
Well, I was just listening to a darshan with another teacher recently who had studied many things and had determined that there were only 4 or 5 awakened descendants of Ramana Maharshi and 1 of Nisargadatta. And this by their own reckoning, after several decades of teaching.

So you can understand the scale of the task. It's not that it is far.

But ... you have to be willing to have unusual ... magic within you.


And I'm guessing the teacher making this statement was one of the awakened ones? That's not a sad commentary of humanity and the effort and focus of human beings, it's a sad commentary of whatever spiritual technology is in place. Obviously doesn't work, we need a new system!
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby rideforever » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm

Yes, exactly. This teacher's point is that if you really consider spirituality it is not what it appears to be. So many buddhist monks sitting in rows thinking they are going somewhere ... where are they going ? It's a robotic copying + wanting to escape. Again and again and again.

That's why things like channelling and LOA that appear so whacky, actually have real value.

I mean ... if one of the paths was so very good ... why isn't everyone enlightened already ?

And .. if you really stop to analyse what some teachers say - well it's all cr*p.

And then there are the whole tranche of people who say "nothing needs to be done". Which is tremendous humour.

Yesterday I was happening to be listening to one of the Ajahn's (Buddhist Theravaden Tradition) talking ... and he was just using the usual bully-boy tactics to laugh at things he didn't like. How sad. Why is this guy sitting at the front ?

But ... yes the darkness is very dark around here !

And people talk of 'awakening' or 'enlightenment' ... but if you actually read the testimonies ... all these awakened people are in different places ... so What The Hell ?

I believe some hopes for a more effective teaching are the following :

1. Tantra

Osho thought that this is the way society may one day become enlightened ... because nearly all past traditions are based upon asceticism, on control, will, tough practices, and rejection of the world ... but Osho said that most masters had let go of all their tough stuff at the end, and flowed in a tantric way to the top. Buddha for instance after leaving his ascetic teachers, sat on his own, he drank milk and honey (after having fasted), and remember a time when he was young ... and then he summited ... at the end he moved on from asceticism. Perhaps one could say that ascetic practices are a stage. In any case, the door is open to joyful paths like LoA and Tantra and Bhakti to take people up, fast. One issue though is that a lot of people when they dancing around so much tend to dance right past the doorway ... !!!

2. New Jnana

As mankind is becoming more technical, it may be possible for a new surge of people who can comprehend the very technical aspects of jnana (penetration of the mind) that requires a high intelligence. Perhaps engineers and software people make good candidates.


Further thought. It is no surprise then that the masses are unconscious ... they are hiding, they are wise to ... and perhaps they are wise too. If a new channel really opened up maybe they would fly towards it in a great flock. And those who undertake the path are ... brave and maybe a bit desperate.

Another thing. Saying a teacher in authentic or not authentic ... is a bit beside the point, in the end. No teacher can contain all of existence, so you will have to leave them at some point. Existence wants us to learn from it, invites us to, and rewards us when we make contact. It's quite wonderful.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby Onceler » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:11 pm

Yes, Ride! I hear you! Which is why I natter on about John Sherman. I think he has discovered the simple thing that is accessible to everyone (he has moved away from spiritual language and talks about his technique in psychological terms). A child could do the looking. It takes almost no time or effort, nor even belief investment (you can go on believing non-dualism, Hinduism, fundamentalist christianity, etc.---the effects will be the same). There is no cost and he claims that one successful attempt is all you need to unravel the fear of life. Sound too good to be true? It does, but I have experienced the effects over time that are undeniable.

Many of the "reports" on his community forum, such as this one: http://www.riverganga.org/Community/Boa ... er-4-years, sound like "enlightenement", yet there is consistent experiencing of these outcomes by many who experience the effects of looking. The consistent commonalities are: it is not what they expected, fear and anxiety are gone, the experience of life is more intense (filters are off), there is a richness and beauty to life, both good aspects and bad, there is a strong sense of compassion and intensified feeling of others suffering as boundaries are dropped (often causing people to withdraw a bit from society), and they lose interest in "concepts" and conceptual thinking and the need for understanding....life simply becomes more experiential and direct.

I have experienced some of this in the last year and a half and the process continues to deepen. I strongly urge you to take a few seconds of your meditation practice to "look at yourself" in the way sherman describes....cant hurt and it may be "enlightening"!
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby rideforever » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:23 pm

Yes, I do ! I like it a lot.
Last edited by rideforever on Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby Onceler » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:51 pm

rideforever wrote:Yes, I do !



:D
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby oak tree » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:31 pm

It seems that night Eckhart faced his pain directly, faced himself , completely surrendered. I think Bryon Katie's had a similar experience . A total surrender to the pain.
Of course a few years of adjustment followed.
But the key seemed to be the surrender.

Are practices often a distraction or escape from the pain? From facing the truth.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby ashley72 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:57 am

oak tree wrote:It seems that night Eckhart faced his pain directly, faced himself , completely surrendered. I think Bryon Katie's had a similar experience . A total surrender to the pain.
Of course a few years of adjustment followed.
But the key seemed to be the surrender.


Yes they both came to place of utter acceptance and a realisation that our true nature is deeper than mere thought.

My life has become more peaceful since I started utterly embracing the present moment, and stopped identifying with the self-defeating stories my conditioned mind was spinning about the present, future or past moment. The self-defeating stories don't stop arising (and I don't expect they ever will) as they are part of my conditioning mind.... but they don't grab my attention with the same level of obsessive & compulsiveness as say a year or two ago.

I now listen to talk back radio everyday when I drive to work... and enjoy the shock jocks banter, this is something I found extremely difficult to attend to a few years back. I seem to have regained my ability to attend & also utterly accept the present moment again. :D
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby rideforever » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:24 am

For many of the beings who say they are enlightened, the change occurs when a tremendous pressure has built up often through an encounter with death, their own or someone close.
So ... if you would like to replicate their realisation then I would suggest you absolutely hurl yourself into the vortex of life until such pressure has built up in you. That you are total and intense and passionate in all your explorations.
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby Onceler » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:20 pm

ashley72 wrote:
I now listen to talk back radio everyday when I drive to work... and enjoy the shock jocks banter, this is something I found extremely difficult to attend to a few years back. I seem to have regained my ability to attend & also utterly accept the present moment again. :D



The spiritual/talk radio test! I like it! :D
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Re: what happened to ET during those days on the park bench?

Postby ashley72 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:56 am

Onceler,

As crazy as it sounds, being able to enjoy the "rantings" of talk-back radio requires good listening skills. Its a "receptive" and open state of engagement.

Listening or paying attention is the hardest task to do when you suffer from anxiety... as your attention span is short.

So take the test! :wink:

http://www.2gb.com/listen-live
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