What is the best off button for the brain ?

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
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Post by phil » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:58 pm

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Post by weopposedeception » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:44 am

I practice a little self-inquiry. I ask myself the following. Isn't it interesting how thoughts are noticed. What exactly is a thought anyway? Like a curious scientist, let me see what's going on here. Let's notice how this noticing happens. Who is the one who is noticing? Very curious, childlike, gentle probing type of inquiry.
I find that the thoughts scatter like cockroaches when you turn the lights on.

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Post by phil » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:36 am

What is the best off button for the brain? On the personal level, the best answer to this is probably, whatever works, to each their own.

Teachers like Tolle have to look beyond the personal level. The books they write are read by millions. For a teacher with this many students the question arises, what is the best way to talk about off buttons for the brain? What instructional methods will help the most people?

Tolle is pretty much a genius at speaking the language of a specific audience, "new age" seekers, or whatever label you prefer. He's awesome really, a master articulator.

The downside of his skill is that the language he uses makes "off buttons" sound alien, exotic and weird to a much larger group. Pretty much any approach that involves philosophy and religion will immediately alienate lots of people by triggering opposing thoughts.

C'mon, let's be real. Almost everybody on every now board considers themself a teacher of sorts. Me too, I'm the profoundest of them all! :-)

So, as teachers of a sort, can we break out of our own little culture, and talk about the "best" way to discuss off buttons? For starters, I'd define "best" as whatever serves the most people.

Footnote: If a reader feels compelled to reply this exercise is an example of unconscious thought addiction etc, ok no problem, I'm sure you're right, but please explain, why did Tolle write his books then? I am just asking us to do what Tolle himself does.

Thanks!

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A Possible Detailed How

Post by beYOND4m » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:51 pm

This came from a thread, which pointed out a http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth ... 58df12dfa5

website that for some unknown reason, had recently shut down. This was the only page I was able to extract before the shut down:

:arrow: The Peace of God comes to a quiet mind........

I had, sometime last year, been directed by someone to "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle - and while much of what he said was not new for me, one thing that lasted with me from his book was his direction to "stop thinking". I had no idea at the time what he meant by "stop thinking" - how could "I" do that? (we have very active minds, normally - don't we?). It is very interesting that stopping thinking IS the key to entrance to a place where "ME-NESS" disappears."

The method used currently is just to find a chair that is very comfortable, and to sit upright with feet on the floor and arms on the arms of the chair. A quiet room is best. It helps very much to have a dimly-lit (but not dark) room. Then close the eyes (always meditate in this technique with eyes completely closed) and begin to relax, following the breath. The vision is directed not downward (as usually happens when you close your eyes), but straight forward as if looking out through my eyelids, perhaps slightly upward, looking where you imagine a point would be if it were directly in front of your eyebrows.

Remember the words of Jesus, which are telling us to focus our eyes on a single point:

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Matthew 6:22

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Mark 9:47

As you begin to relax, it comes in waves starting from the top of the head flowing down through the body, through the arms, through the legs - down to the feet......and it feels something like falling, like the tension is dropping away in waves, slowly, wave after wave of "falling". The field of vision begins to darken, a little at a time, as you "fall"......and then is totally dark. You are relaxed.

Now begins the interesting part.

To stop "thinking", fix the eyes on a point in space directly in the field of vision, or what would be the field of vision if your eyes were open. As it turns out, when you fix your gaze, you allow your active mind to go quiet. When you stare at a point, the thoughts stop. The more you are able to fix your vision on that point without moving, the longer your mind will be still.

As the mind is stilled, something really wonderful begins to happen. Within the darkness of your field of vision, wisps of colored light begin to appear, as if clouds are whirling through. Sometimes they move around in spirals; sometimes they are fixed; sometimes the colors of light fill the entire field of vision. When this happens, do not judge them, just watch. Just observe them, keeping your gaze fixed on the point in space. You may find in time, and this may take some practice, that the colored lights have a purpose.....they seem to draw you in, take you within yourself in consciousness, deeper and deeper within. On occasions they form undulating patterns.....drawing you deeper and deeper within.

A point of note here. Your experience may be unique, and somewhat different than the one described here.......but one thing to note, based on exploration of this for many months of practice, is that there is NEVER anything to be afraid of. Just be the observer, watch what and where your consciousness takes you, and allow it to go there. Don't anticipate anything, don't try to go any place in particular, don't try to have any experience in particular. The reason this is stated, is because the THOUGHT of your anticipation negates the experience. You must have a TOTALLY BLANK MIND, for:

The Peace of God that passes all understanding, only comes to a quiet mind.

If you decide to practice this technique, you may find, after some experience, that on occasion you may see a very bright light at the top edge of your vision (it looks like the brightest star you ever saw) - which it is said is the "eye of the soul" or "third eye" or "the star of rebirth".

And then all of a sudden one day the "curtains" of the clouds of light may suddenly part for you, and you may find yourself in a place of undescribable stillness, and silence, and peace beyond comprehension, and a vision of something that looks like an empty void.

The overall impression of this "place" of silence and peace, is that of losing the feeling of "Me-ness" and it is replaced with "IS-ness" - One does truly feel as if there is no "Me", there is just what IS, and it is ALL, and it is all ONE. This new feeling may startle you at first, because it is something never experienced before.....but be at ease - it may be only the first step on the journey.
Last edited by beYOND4m on Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:42 pm

Good post as always Weichen

Any method which takes too much time is not helpful for me. I can explain the result of shutting off the mind very easily. I've said this before on here but, for me, it is like having been on a dark baseball field all my life and all of a sudden all the stadium lights come on and I can see everything, including every blade of grass. And so every bug (thought) or other item that comes into that field of awareness has the ability to take my attention up completely such that I get lost on the bug, and lose awareness of the light (awareness itself).

Ok, that was easy. But how do I shut the mind off? Again, the method that fully does the trick in the least amount of time. Thus, I started off saying to myself, "this is a thought about the future etc." That allowed me to see the thought as part of the mental madness, and in seeing that I knew it was an effort to strengthen a false sense of self so I dropped it. But gradually, there was not a need to say the whole sentence. Eventually the sentence became replaced by the pure seeing of the thought.

No words are necessary when seeing the thought alone works. And seeing the thought is very close to, if not exactly, what happens on that "baseball field" where every blade of grass is seen. There is just me, seeing. And if something temporary comes within that field. I know its temporary so I just watch it.

I must admit, though, that sometimes thoughts still take me over. And if I need a method which takes more time (a long sentence) in order to break out of the unconsciousness, I will use it.

What the guy said above is wonderful: Thoughts are like cockroaches, they scatter when the light of awareness is shined on them. Yes! Awareness and ego cannot co-exist. Whatever brings us to awareness, USE THAT! :)

Here are some other tricks I use:

1. Inner body awareness (sometimes I find that this anchors me into an underlying peace even though thinking does not subside completely.

2. Watching the brain like watching a mousehole for a mouse to come out. Weichen talked about that. Very helpful and I use this a lot without even realizing it. It has become very "second nature" so to speak.

3. Using whatever pointer or sentence or word of Tolle's or other teachers which help me to watch, INSTEAD of engage, thoughts. e.g. "the ego is past, future, and resistance to now"

4. Using the eyes of my mind (awareness) as a search light inside, taking my attention up and down, side to side, inside my body. This is similar to but a little different than 1. With this method, I'm able to feel a clear, present, space inside such that external things go right through me, instead of getting stuck inside.

5. Simple seeing (the baseball field state). This is the best one. It's as if now method is needed. I'm already there and not getting taken in by the temporary forms. It is a method in so far as I use it to stay in awareness once I'm there.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by kiki » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:19 pm

yougarksoo wrote:But gradually, there was not a need to say the whole sentence. Eventually the sentence became replaced by the pure seeing of the thought.

No words are necessary when seeing the thought alone works.
Yes - this is my experience. Well said. Also remember: Thoughts are not the enemy, ego is not the enemy. What happens is that there is no longer the tendency to get lost in thought and to re-identify with ego. When ego or mind are seen for what they are as they arise they are no longer problematic. But with the constant recognition of ego/mind arising the occurance of thought is tremendously reduced.

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Post by phil » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:26 pm

Thanks for your eloquent words guys, well said.

Feel free to ignore this of course, but here is my thought obsession.

If you wish, please consider our lineage.

Ancient Indian masters => Krishnamurti => Tolle

Ok, that's not precise of course. But it will perhaps suffice to illustrate a point.

Few of us could make heads or tails of the ancient masters. They seemed to talk in flowery exotic poem riddles from a different time and place.

Many here have commented that Krishnamurti made no sense to them at all, until they read Tolle.

And now we have Tolle, who has translated this long tradition in to simpler, more modern language that works for you and me.

But the translation is not complete. There are lots and lots of people, many more than us, who will never find Tolle readable. To them, Tolle is just as exotic as the ancient Indian masters are to us.

Just as Tolle translated for us, we could be translating for others.

By that I don't mean restating Tolle in our own new age wordage. Rather a translation _OUT OF_ new age language, in to the language of the mainstream culture.

When Tolle teaches in Germany, he most likely teaches in German, not English.

If we want to share "off buttons" outside of our little new age corner of the world, we will have to step outside of our world, and learn the language of the cultures we wish to share with. We will have to step outside of us.

Most people don't want to hear about transplendant manifestations of form emerging from the one pure consciousness energy field. :-) Just not interested, no thanks, not their thing.

But they are human, and have brains, crammed with colliding thoughts, leading to suffering, which they want relief from.

If we want to offer them a new option for relief, we have to learn to speak in THEIR language, not ours.

Or not, as you wish.

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Post by eseward » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:28 pm

Absolutely agree, kiki.

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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:39 pm

If we want to offer them a new option for relief, we have to learn to speak in THEIR language, not ours.
Phil, I agree. I find myself having to use different forms to point to being when I'm around other people. For my Christian brother, I use the word God. For my 12 step friends, I use 12 step words (forms) to point to presence, being. We can't get lost in the words, no matter what language or tradition, because they are only pointing. Give the mind anything to get stuck on (like the use of a form that is unfamiliar or does not point clearly to the thing to which the speaker is trying to point) and then egoic disagreement is on like a bloody bullfight.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by din » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:55 pm

Few of us could make heads or tails of the ancient masters. They seemed to talk in flowery exotic poem riddles from a different time and place.

From Adyashanti:
I have always held the conviction that while the various spiritual traditions and lineages are valuable carriers of ancient teachings, practices, and subtle transmissions, they need to have a constant living renewal breathed into them by truly free and creative human beings lest they start serving the needs of the dream state and not those of the awakened state. It is good to remember that the goal of Buddhism is to create Buddhas, not Buddhists, as the goal of Christianity is to create Christs, not Christians. In the same vein, my teachings are not meant to acquire followers or imitators, but to awaken beings to eternal truth and thus to awakened life and living.
:)

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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:25 pm

Din, thanks for the clarity with that quote. Don't know that it can be said better than that, but I'm all ears if so.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by phil » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:32 am

Thanks Yo,
yougarksooo wrote: Give the mind anything to get stuck on (like the use of a form that is unfamiliar or does not point clearly to the thing to which the speaker is trying to point) and then egoic disagreement is on like a bloody bullfight.
Yes, egoic disagreement is surely part of it. Doesn't this generally rule out spiritual/religious/philosophic language of all kinds? Anything we might say in these arenas will almost immediately alienate lots of people, yes?

Are spiritual/religious/philosophic topics really necessary to a discussion of silence?

Sure, you and I have a philosophic orientation. That's the nature of our particular personalities. So it's natural that we would interpret these experiences in a philosophic manner. I like philosophy, you like it too, no problem, for us.

But are all our ideas about now and silence really an essential part of the experience, or just a pile of thoughts that happen to appeal to one little group of people?

When we look to the mainstream culture, are the ideas and language that we enjoy on this forum really an aid, or are they an obstacle?

We might try to create two piles.

One pile contains our personal philosophic and cultural preferences. We can keep this pile, and cherish it privately.

The other pile contains that which we share in common with all other human beings. It seems a truly universal discussion of now would take all it's language from this pile.

What is essential to a discussion of silence, and what can be set aside?

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Post by yougarksooo » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:56 am

What is essential to a discussion of silence, and what can be set aside?
The pointers seem to be necessary only until we see and help each other see that to which they point.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by phil » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:06 am

yougarksooo wrote:The pointers seem to be necessary only until we see and help each other see that to which they point.
Ok, but what form should the pointers take, if our goal is to communicate beyond the boundaries of a particular culture?

For starters, we probably can't call these discussions pointers, or portals, etc. People outside our club don't talk like that.

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Post by summer » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:43 am

i have heard a lot of people say that they didn't like The Power of Now because they thought that it was too intellectual. And I agree totally that Silence and Presence stand all alone by themselves. No need to write a book or say a word really.

I have been experimenting with my two year old grandaughter on ways that I can share these things with her. Being silent together is a wonderful way to feel Presence. Which is probably why many teachers hold satsangs as an experiential way for people to become more familiar with inner stillness.

Another method that seems to apply to different types of people of all ages, is spending time out in Nature together. Camping, backpacking, or just hiking.

And another way that the two of "meditate" together is when we are outside and I am practicing Tai Chi. While she is playing with her toys and stuff. All great ways to listen to silence.

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