Afraid to acknowledge the pain

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fallingIntoNow
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Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by fallingIntoNow » Sat May 05, 2018 3:58 am

I have been alone on the spiritual path for at least 10 years now. In this time, despite all my efforts to practice presence, there still lives in me a deep blockage. It's hard to describe but it feels like an invisible forcefield behind my eyes that prevents me from fully experiencing the present moment. This forcefield contains a lot of fearful emotion, too.

I believe it's my ego's refusal to acknowledge the present moment that's keeping this forcefield in place. It's my ego's resistance to its own death.

No matter how much I focus on the present, it seems this force-field remains there. I try to feel the energy of this field and sometimes it feels like this lessens its negative energy but it remains nonetheless.

I also seem to suffer from depression (although I don't really believe in depression. Instead, I believe depression is caused by identification with patterned negative beliefs that can be seem by the self and dissolved). In moments when I turn everything off and remove attention distractors (like having the tv on in the background), I can feel a deep pain or sadness surrounding me. I understand that if I can fully feel this emotion I may be able to accept it and so lessen its power over me, but I am not yet able to do that, it seems.

I don't know what I'm expected by sharing this but I am pretty desperate and in need of an outlet. Maybe this resonates with somebody else. Maybe there is hope.

Thanks for reading.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by Webwanderer » Sat May 05, 2018 7:09 am

Welcome to the forum.

I suggest that you don't make the ego your enemy. It's better seen as a tool through which you interact with others in this human experience. Know it for what it is and engage it in life as you would with your physical vehicle. It's the knowing that matters. In knowing the ego, it becomes much easier to set it aside more frequently and rest in periods of clarity and presence. Do so often. It's rare indeed for someone to be 'consciously present' at all times. It's more of a dance.

You are not what you 'think' you are. Thinking I am 'a man or woman, tall or short, rich or poor, lawyer or cook. It's all just identifiers. When you think 'I Am', that is enough. Anything else simply de-fines the larger perspective of being. When we 'use' all these identifiers to walk through the experience of life, that is fine. Just return to the presence of I Am often enough to remain clear of the underlying truth. Then go have some fun.

We are here in the human experience for the exploration of this unique environment. The body is our vehicle and the ego is our experiential context. Be ever familiar with the larger context of clear presence, and the exploratory journey of human life becomes much easier and more fun. It's alright to get lost now and then. Just come back. Take a few deep breaths, do some meditations, and let clarity and presence come once again to the surface.

WW

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eputkonen
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Re: Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by eputkonen » Sat May 05, 2018 3:11 pm

The ego is just a thought. A forcefield that could block the experience of now is a thought - there is no such block to simply feeling/sensing/experiencing.

The present is not something you try to get into, because that sets up weird mental separations. You are already present...you have no choice but to be present...it is only thought about past, future, and mental imaginations that distract you from the experience of this moment. Don't pay the mind any mind. Put attention on feeling and experiencing...and no attention to thought.

Try this experiment...sit in a chair, hands on each knee, and close your eyes. Now lift one hand up off the knee. Assuming you are in a room without moving air currents and not in direct sunlight...ask yourself, "if I don't move my hand, how do I know my hand is still there?" The thought may immediately arise - well, I don't know...but let it go of the thought and focus on feeling something. As you delve into this "experiencing the hand"...you may discover there is a feeling. There can be more than one feeling even. Heat, a pulsing, tingling, an energy, who knows? Delve deeper and deeper into the feeling of just experiencing the raised hand. Eventually, it becomes quite obvious that it can be just felt. Now, feel both hands. When you are feeling both hands...feel both feet as well. When you have both hands and feet...work your way up the limbs to include the arms and legs. Then feel the torso...and so on.

There is so very much that can be felt when you are just "inhabiting the body" in this way. But you can also include your other senses...what do you smell, taste, hear, and feel over the skin. You can even open your eyes and include what do you see. Just feel and experience without judgment or critiquing or trying to change anything that is being felt or experienced. Just feel what-is as it is. Just experience what-is as it is...for as long as it is.

There is nothing blocking this. The eyes see when open and you are conscious. The ears hear when you are conscious. The nose smells when you are conscious. You can't turn this off...as much as we might want to when passing a dead skunk on the highway. When conscious...our senses function on their own...choicelessly. It is only a change of attention. If you are busy watching TV or deep in conversation, you may not really taste the food you are eating. It is not because the tongue ceased tasting, but attention was elsewhere. There is no block to tasting the food, just attend to tasting the food instead. So there is no block in feeling and experiencing...it is only attention. Is the attention on feeling and experiencing...or elsewhere?

There is only so much attention to go around...like a fixed amount to use. You can be so engrossed on your phone or just thought that you don't see what is around you and bump into someone on the street or trip over a crack in the sidewalk. Usually, we split our attention to varying degrees between thinking and experiencing. But it is possible to be so engrossed in the experience of now...attention only on the experience of now...that thought ceases. That is fully experiencing the present moment.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

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turiya
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Re: Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by turiya » Sun May 06, 2018 8:44 am

Great responses, WW and eputkonen! :D

fallingIntoNow,

Here is a video that has helped me. Maybe it will be of some help to you too:

Mooji - No Blockage for Being

https://youtu.be/-M1-TxRY-Ec
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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kiki
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Re: Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by kiki » Mon May 07, 2018 5:21 am

It's my ego's resistance to its own death.
Ultimately, that's what the ego fears most, its own death. What it doesn't really recognize (because it can't) is that it doesn't even exist as an actual independent and separate entity to begin with. What does recognize its illusory reality is consciousness via direct investigation. When looked for it won't be found. All that will be found are emotions, ideas, thoughts and stories woven together to give the appearance of a separate entity, but that entity only exists within the confines of the mind. Without a tapestry of thoughts to hold it together the ego falls apart and what remains is your actual reality, consciousness.

However, people who are on a spiritual quest inevitably come across this idea that you have to "kill" the ego, or that to awaken the ego must die, and these are mistaken notions that set you up for struggle. So, when confronted with the possibility of its assumed demise it will create fear responses that take the form of strategies for survival, and this is likely one of them for you.

One must get over this notion of ego death to break through the mental obstruction that is causing distress. When ego hears it doesn't die (because it can't since it isn't an actual thing to begin with) and that it does serve a purpose it won't quite believe it. But the only way to convince it that it will still be around is to take the final step of looking for it and discovering its illusory nature.

That step takes courage, and I remember when I thought I could take that final step years ago, but when the opportunity to let go completely presented itself I recoiled in fear because I was still under the mistaken notion that it was real and it was "me", and the fear response was ego's strategy for hanging on. It wasn't until I discovered directly that ego wasn't real when I began self-enquiry after coming across Tolle. I/consciousness could see ego constructing itself out of conditioned thoughts that built a library of "me" stories that posed as and was believed to be a separate entity. When I/consciousness saw this clearly and I realized those thoughts/stories were the "mortar" that held my ego identity together I was able to just relax deeply and let go of everything.

That was the key that opened up a whole new way of experiencing life, and what I discovered is that ego will return, but not as the "director" of my life as before. Most of the time it's pretty much absent during most days, but when needed for something useful within the world of form it will return and do whatever particular job needs attending to and then it will drop away again.

This may take some time to become routine, but repeated experiences of clarity throughout the day will gradually strengthen your trust and ability to let go completely and allow consciousness to simply embrace whatever unfolds in the present moment. To begin with I would encourage you to take some time to look for ego; try to pin it down, try to see if you can actually locate it, and with the prospect of failing to do so give yourself permission to simply relax completely and let go of everything. Have no concern of ego "dying", because I assure you it will likely make a reappearance in short order. Even though it isn't a permanent and real identity it will come back at first due to long established conditioning. Over time its appearances will lessen as durations of presence become more fully established, but when circumstances call for its input it will be johnny on the spot. The bottom line is this: It will return, but it will be seen clearly as a temporary phenomena and not as a real entity. What will become more and more clear as reality is the foundational consciousness in which everything is taking place.
"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
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fallingIntoNow
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Re: Afraid to acknowledge the pain

Post by fallingIntoNow » Tue May 08, 2018 11:04 pm

Thank you all for your responses. Your answers all seem to point to the truth that we are not out thoughts and identifying with our thoughts causes suffering. As much as I know this truth and understand it deeply, sometimes it's too easy to be discontent with what is. This is especially true when one has a negative relationship to life, i.e: you see life as threatening, the world as a dangerous place, etc..

I received a PM from a member who pointed me towards https://www.justonelook.org. There, they teach looking at yourselves sense of me in a pure, non-judgmental way, in the same way Eckhart advises us to be the witness of what is happening within us.

Also, while in this suffering state, I was reminded of a story that Eckhart tells (in, I think, A New Earth) whereby a deeply unhappy woman comes to see him and he helps her to understand what it means to be there with the sadness, fear, grief, etc. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/563043 ... -see-me-as. This story helps me to give perspective to my own situation and to "re-adjust" my perspective.

This really is the key, to learn to observe without attachment. In my own observing, I become aware of a strong energy (right behind my third-eye) of resistance, saying "no" to what is. This is my biggest obstacle and lesson in my own path, learning to allow that resistance to exist and seeing if I can just allow it to be there, witness it, and see what happens.

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