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Trying Presence for a Week - Setting intention

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:30 pm
by Clare

I actually lost my copy of PON, of maybe I loaned it to someone who hasn't returned it. So, I got a brand new copy. And here's what I have decided to do.

Y'see I am very wary generally of following any one teaching to the letter. But, since I am finding my present state of being - or not being - absolutely unbearable, I am in the "I'll try anything" phase. So, I am going to read PON again, finish it this time, and for the rest of this week I am going to practice the very things he says in the book. I can't guarantee I'll be able to do them all the time, but I am going set my intention of observing thought and staying in the now as much as poss. Observing pain bodies, too

Then, at the end of the week, I'll report back here with my experience.

Having a report back time and a time allocation may be contradictions in terms when it comes to PON, but let's just say, it gives me the feel of an experiment, and I need that at this stage.

I also have to say, I am a bit concerned about the idea of 'silent' meetings. I was looking at the ET web-site to see if there is an actual group that meets in my area. Yes. But this group consists of sitting in silence, then listening to what Eckhart has to say, then sitting in silence again, and then going home. I'm trying to puzzle out what the point of meeting with a group of people has if you are not allowed to interact with them. Perhaps it's interaction on an astral level or something....hmmm. I mean...haha..I can sit on my own in silence :?

And it does also beg the question that I think has been put: would any discussion be considered suitable for presence practioners? Since it has been stipulated that discussion stimulates the mind AND the ego? How can we engage in discussion and interaction that stimluates the Higher Self and the Spirit? Does presence practice kill the art of conversation?

OKay. Logging off. I'll be back next week a completely transformed woman 8)


Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:17 pm
by AndyD
Hi Clare,

I've attended silent meetings for about the last 5 weeks. I had similar thoughts before I went but like to think of myself as open minded so forgot about any preconceptions and went along.

I can't vouch for other groups but it wasn't so much silent but peacefull and thoughtfull. People talked at the begining and end (but not about the video/DVD) but there was a distinct lack of idle chatter.

I get more from each session than I can really explain. I somehow come away feeling more alive. The analogy of a burning log been placed next to a one burning more fiercely is a good one.

Go to a group and experience it rather than thinking about it. :wink:


Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:44 pm
by Clare
Thanks for the info, Andy. I was wondering if anyone went to one on this site. I may well try one.

OKay, so far, it is truly astonishing how much useless thoughts go through my mind. Discovered by being focussed on every move that I am surrounded by comforting sensations that are literally waiting to reassure me, that I would not notice if I were lost in thought and identifying with my emotions. Sudden amazing significance to steamy mug of tea, soft towel, purring cats, chugging dustcarts (garbage trucks). When I stop being hard on myself I find the world is very gentle around me. Surprisingly so.


The Three Voices

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:30 pm
by Clare
I wanted to give a little update, and wondered if I should post this in questions, but thought, no, it's still part of my experience of this week.

When I really start to observe my interior world, I discovered that it is not so simple ( at least to me at this time) as having one ego-voice and then the watcher and the stillness behind it. I have got a sense of a watcher, yes, I can sense that, and I have truly had some amazing revelations about my inner workings as a result of observing without judgement - it's been fantastic. However, I have so far pin pointed three distinct voices within me.

1. Is the voice Eckhart refers to as our ego/mind. And yes, this is truly garbage chatter, meaningless distracting and often tormenting. I actually started to understand that my inner chatter was driving me crazy the way having a t.v gameshow host wittering on in the background on t.v would, or a nagging worrisome, trivial relative, that just wouldn't shut up! I can't believe that I've actualy lived with this voice all these years. Sheesh! And yes, it is habitual and very hard to shake. I am working on not judging it (judgement has come up, I am observing) and just putting it in the spotlight of my awareness, and when I can truly do that, it really does die down. Anyone else notice that you've always got some stupid tune playing in your head too? I sometimes find that when I try to get quiet, the ego voice starts up with a meaningless catchy pop song to try and distract me that way! LOL!

2. The second voice I'll call my Deviser. This voice is the voice that talks me through things and gives me ideas, when I need to work out or plan something. It's the voicethat says "Okay, so you need to go and buy some gold leaf - where can you get that on a Sunday Morning? How about in Atlantis, the big art store in Bethnall Green? You could go there and also pick up some more pastels too."
This voice doesnt seem to be a bad voice. It's I suppose when I am truly using my mind as a tool. And it feels helpful. It also comes up with ideas:
"Why not try to put gold leaf into clear melt and pour soap?" or "What about ostrich feathers on the Christmas tree this year?" It seems to work with my creativity. It is not my my creativity itself - that is a vast pool of something or the other- it's the defining voice of suggestion and advice from the mass of ideas I have swirling around in the sub-conscious.

3. But then I started to notice this third and really distinct voice. This one was what I would call my Wisdom Voice. And this voice I wouldnt want to lose for the world. It's the voice that said to me throughthe chatter one day "Clare, if you don't do something to stop yourself thinking like this you are going to drive yourself nuts." It's the voice that poses questions to me, like, "Why are you so invested in being right about this?" It's the voice that brings revelations to me. This morning it said: "You have given your creative power away to a phantom that isn't part of your life anymore. You've allowed it to be the watcher, instead of you. For as long as it watches and you don't, it has your consciousness and you don't. It's not that the life you should have had was stolen from you. It's that your belief has made you give your life - life force away."

okay, so here's the question:
Are the other two voices I hear in my head apart fromthe noisy chattering one still a part of the ego. Is no ego having no thoughts at all. Or are these voices (which come to me as clear voices in my head, and up to now I wouldhave called them 'thoughts') part ofthe watcher, the greater being behind the dancing ego?

Or am I just a multiple personality? :)

Any and all input appreciated

Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:05 am
by arnie
Hello Everyone,
My name is Arnie and it is nice to meet all of you. I have been to many different kinds of PON meetings along with one that I used to facilitate for a year. I also had problems with silent groups though I understand that when we begin to talk we usually lose the presence. The difficulty I had with silent groups was that I never got to meet and talk with like minded people. The group I am in now which is being held in Boulder Colorado is by far the best one i have ever attended including the one I facilitated. It is wonderful group of people very dedicated to the teachings and bringing presence into their lives. We usually start out with a 15 minute silent meditation follwed by either a tape or us reading from the PON or stillness Speaks. WE then open up a talk which usually lasts about 90 minutes and then finish with a meditation. I really like the format. When I facilitated my group it was similar but I started with some gentle music and then a silent meditation followed by an in body meditation that Eckhart suggested in PON. I then played 45 minutes of an Eckhart tape ( usually a talk or retreat) and then opened it up for discussion but I asked if we could stay away from our personal stuff . I then finished with a silent meditation.

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:19 pm
by Clare
Hi Arnie,

Thanks for the info. It did come to me that there is a usual pattern whenever a group of people meet who are not familiar with eachother, and the pattern is completely ego based. It involves people trying to establish bonds - who they'll gel with, who they wont - maybe even trying to make an impression; and it did occur to me that meeting people without speaking yet with a common understanding and goal would eliminate all of that. It kind of reminds me of a conversation I had once with a muslim woman and I asked her waht the advantages as she saw them of wearing the Hajib. And she explained that it's a great leveller amongst women; that all that vanity and 'who is more beautiful than who?' and competitive thing about age and stuff that is seen as part of western society is eliminated. You are then dealing much more on a soul level between women.

I see maybe meeting with a group and not speaking may havehte same effect. I actually started to see how much of a relief it would be for someone like myself who believe it or not is incredibly shy away from the word, to not have to pull out my little collection of things I do when I am in a group of people I don't know. I dont have to do anything, just be with them.

I'm gonna try it! :)

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:39 pm
by kiki
Hi Clare,

You wrote:
'okay, so here's the question:
Are the other two voices I hear in my head apart fromthe noisy chattering one still a part of the ego. Is no ego having no thoughts at all. Or are these voices (which come to me as clear voices in my head, and up to now I wouldhave called them 'thoughts') part ofthe watcher, the greater being behind the dancing ego?'
Ego is a conglomeration of thought that is identified with as being 'me'. There is no me, only awareness, and THAT is what you really are. The emergence of thoughts, sensations, emotions, and objects are modifications of pure awareness and are only temporary in nature. Everything arises out of pure awareness, is sustained for various lengths of 'time', and then fades back into pure awareness/You. You are literally the space that allows everything to be.

Ego, therefore, is a temporary phenomena which arises out of You as pure awareness. So called 'problems' seem to arise when there is identification with ego as being 'me' and which separates 'me' from everything else. If you search for this 'me' as a separate entity you won't find it - the only thing you will find which is always here is awareness, and that's what you are. You ALWAYS are - ego comes and goes. You cannot be that which comes and goes.

Thoughts arise and fade again. Sometimes these thoughts are very practical for dealing with everyday life - there is no problem with these sorts of thoughts. Other thoughts which seem 'troublesome' take on that characteristic because there has been a deeply held belief that they belong to 'me'. This 'me entity' has its version of how things should be and when certain thoughts are in opposition to this version things seem to go wrong. Even uplifting thoughts which support the egoistic version of things keep you in bondage because they reinforce the ego entity in a 'positve' way, rather than a 'negative' way.

However, if there is no identification with thought as arising from 'me' the structure of the ego entity is undermined and eventually collapses. It's not that the ego dies and is gone forever, but rather, the ego is seen not to be real in the first place. So, when it does arise again there is no longer a tendency to identify with it because it's now known not to be real.

No thought is part of the watcher - all thought arises out of the watcher, which is another way of saying pure awareness - You. If not for You/awareness there would be no way of realizing that thoughts were there at all. It's the same with everything else in phenomenal existence - if not for You/awareness there would be no way of knowing about anything. In fact, nothing could possibly exist without awareness.

All of these words are just pointers, they are concepts for the mind to examine and contemplate, to accept/reject/ignore. But beneath the words there is a sense of existence - there is a 'knowingness' that you ARE. You simply know that you exist - no words are needed for this. This 'knowingness' is You. Try this: try to believe that you don't exist - you can't do it, because even if there is a belief that you don't exist there is the awareness of that belief - and THAT is what you are. When all belief is dropped there is still awareness here which illuminates ItSelf, and is felt as stillness/silence/spaciousness and which allows and enables everything else to arise no matter what it is.

I hope this is helpful.


Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:01 pm
by Clare
Hi Kiki,

Thanks for the reply. I think I am getting that all things arise fromthis awareness, and this awareness is the IAM that is all things. My questions still revolove around what is it out of that awareness is useful and which isn't although , when looking at it, it is cearly defined.

Thought does create things. This is what I find fascinating - it's part of our creative process - it's part of our life process, but it is not the well from which the creative process springs. Trying to create direct fromt he well is what I am being guided toward now. Creating without thinking about it - it was something I was touching on in another thread.

Not sure if I have any well thought out ..haha..sentences today, but thanks for the response.


Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:21 pm
by heidi
Kiki - I really enjoyed your thoughtful - ha ha - response to Clare's question. Reducing the chatter really does clear the way for pure awareness and intuition - and that creative flow process that keeps popping up in our discussions - which, to my mind - ha ha - is all one in the same. Pure awareness, intuition and creative flow, that is, the isness. :)

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:32 am
by arnie
Of course it is obvious that most of us are caught up in chatter. It seems to have a momentum of its own. In my practice the four things I find to be very helpful in quieting down the mind is 1. to bring my attention back into the body. It is a very powerful meditation. 2. to be as aware of my breath as much as possible. 3. To not try to achieve a particular state but to stay with the state that I am in. As Eckhart would say: To stay with what is. 4. which is not fourth in importance of course which is to bring the attention into this moment. When I keep this practice the mind slows down and a sense of well being often takes over.
I also notice how computers and TV( which i don't own at the present time) bring me out of the body and into the mind. When I am at my computer I notice how an hour can go by and i totally forgot about being in the body. That is why i limit my computer use also.

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 10:24 am
by Clare
Hey Arnie,

Not so much t.v, as I have never enjoyed it that much, but I definitely agree with you about the Internet being a very seductive mind trip. It's tricky though, because it actually takes me out of time consciousnes, but also takes me completely into my head if that makes sense. I counteracted a lot of the destructive patterns by a) limiting the time I use it, and b) removing my myself from any an all obligations on the internet with the exception of the few that fuelled my spirit.

I found the internet can invite potentially destructive relationships also, that rely totally on the mind/ego, after all there is no physical contact or simply 'being' with somone on here. It relies on the word, and since the word is my forte, when I first discovered this medium I ran with it - or maybe it ran away with me! Over the years I have struggled with whether I should continue, and have significantly reduced my time on here and learned ways of making it constructive and non invasive in my life. I've also learned how to approach relationships on the internet in a way that doesn't become an ego struggle. It's been a journey, and I feel I first grasped (the hard way a lot of the time) unconditionality here. So...good things come from bad, sometimes in terms of expereince.

Now I move more deeply into presence, I have had the question arise of whether I should continue at all. This group has been a bit of a dichotomy for me, and this has been mentioned a couple of times on here already: how do we discuss without engaging the mind? In my case, by nature, I have a mind that will deconstruct, examine, question, collate information and re-present it with a new swing. It makes discussions on forums, but it also makes a lot of time-chewing thought process. I've found my posts on here (and other places recently) sounding rather flat and unconnected, precisely because I am trying not to think too much - or be too 'clever' and turn the mind engine on - which hitherto would have been...uh...unthinkable! :lol:

The thing that causes me to continue with it though is I feel this is a first step toward telepathy. I believe that the internet came about to reduce the sense of time and space between people, to make the physical less important, to make connections beyond form. I persevere because I know that there is a new way of relating coming in. Perhaps on here I can learn something about that - or more accurately, experience it

Any ideas how to get to that?
Thanks all