Daily practice

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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cloud
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Daily practice

Post by cloud » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:08 am

After reading eckhart and experiencing presence awareness i have tried out different techniques in my daily life to see how it can be integrated. Simply finding spontaneous moments throughout the day where i can invite a presence seems to work best, in that way there is no conflict where i cannot stay present. I am interested to hear from other people how they have integrated the teachings into their life, i.e - meditation or bringing focus to daily tasks, etc.

Any response appreciated!

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Admiral Akmir
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Admiral Akmir » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:12 pm

Trying to stay present all the time didn't work for me either, in fact, it was maddening. I do what you do, but I also practice inquiry like what Byron Katie and Adyashanti talk about.

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rachMiel
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Re: Daily practice

Post by rachMiel » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:33 pm

I generally have one longish session of meditation and several short "reminders" during the day when I stop the noise and re-connect to my center.

As far as remaining in deep presence 24/7 I love this quote from Krishnamurti:

Don't be aware all the time! Just be aware in little bits. Please, there is no being aware all the time, that is a dreadful idea!

It is a nightmare, this terrible desire for continuity. Just be aware for one minute, for one second, and in that one second of awareness you can see the whole universe. That is not a poetic phrase. We see things in a flash, in a single moment, but having seen something, we want to capture, to hold it, give it continuity. That is not being aware at all. When you say, 'I must be aware all the time', you have made a problem of it, and then you should really find out why you want to be aware all the time. See the greed it implies, the desire to acquire. And to say, 'Well, I am aware all the time', means nothing.
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Manyana
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Manyana » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:21 pm

rachMiel wrote: As far as remaining in deep presence 24/7 I love this quote from Krishnamurti:

Don't be aware all the time! Just be aware in little bits. Please, there is no being aware all the time, that is a dreadful idea!

It is a nightmare, this terrible desire for continuity. Just be aware for one minute, for one second, and in that one second of awareness you can see the whole universe. That is not a poetic phrase. We see things in a flash, in a single moment, but having seen something, we want to capture, to hold it, give it continuity. That is not being aware at all. When you say, 'I must be aware all the time', you have made a problem of it, and then you should really find out why you want to be aware all the time. See the greed it implies, the desire to acquire. And to say, 'Well, I am aware all the time', means nothing.
This is such a good quote, thanks rachMiel, I think its probably normal to go through a phase or phases of lusting after results and remembering this quote is a good antidote to that.

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Admiral Akmir
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Admiral Akmir » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:38 pm

rachMiel wrote:I generally have one longish session of meditation and several short "reminders" during the day when I stop the noise and re-connect to my center.

As far as remaining in deep presence 24/7 I love this quote from Krishnamurti:

Don't be aware all the time! Just be aware in little bits. Please, there is no being aware all the time, that is a dreadful idea!

It is a nightmare, this terrible desire for continuity. Just be aware for one minute, for one second, and in that one second of awareness you can see the whole universe. That is not a poetic phrase. We see things in a flash, in a single moment, but having seen something, we want to capture, to hold it, give it continuity. That is not being aware at all. When you say, 'I must be aware all the time', you have made a problem of it, and then you should really find out why you want to be aware all the time. See the greed it implies, the desire to acquire. And to say, 'Well, I am aware all the time', means nothing.
This makes a lot of sense, but what are we to make of the people like ET? He said he was terribly depressed for years, and then had an awakening, and for a long time after that he sat on park benches and wandered around. Was he aware all the time?

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:29 am

I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis. It's like the Christian prescription, 'pray without ceasing'.....on the other hand, I think we are always aware on some level. We are conscious, we are aware. Trust that.

I do Qi Gong in the mornings. When I miss, I feel out of sorts. I've tried sitting meditation for many years and find moving meditation to do the trick in keeping me focused and energized. It also helps with healing and energy blockages. I do the short bits of awareness throughout the day as well. They often happen spontaneously, so I don't have to try so hard anymore.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Fore
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Fore » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:37 am

Onceler wrote:I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis. It's like the Christian prescription, 'pray without ceasing'.....
What???

sardinelover
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Re: Daily practice

Post by sardinelover » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:14 am

Onceler wrote:I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis.
In another thread, you said "I...have long advocated that posters speak from personal experience and have tried to do so myself". Are you speaking from experience now? Did you experience constant awareness, and became neurotic?

This is not the first that time people on this forum have spoken against constant awareness, either by theorizing or quoting passages from some book. Please get it out of your head that constant awareness is impossible, to be avoided or harmful, because this false belief is an obstacle to your spiritual development. When there is a lack of awareness, there is suffering. Do not choose to suffer.

Constant awareness is effortless once you get the hang of it, but it does require mastery through practice. You can be aware upon waking up in the morning, eating your breakfast, brushing your teeth, getting ready for work, driving to work, working, driving home, showering, eating dinner, washing the dishes, watching a movie, reading this forum, or sitting with your eyes closed. And you can be aware at any other time.

All that is required is a small fraction of your attention. Make it an all day meditation - that is exactly what constant awareness is.
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peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:46 am

It is tempting, with our limited understanding, to talk about awareness like it is something to do. At first, it may feel so foreign that you have to actively invite the awareness. Things such as premeditated meditation, or inner body awareness, can invite awareness. But ultimately it is our true nature. Awareness is not a slave of doing.

Therefore, for me to say, "I do x, y and z to be aware", is like saying, "I do x, y and z to breath". Breathing occurs naturally, otherwise you are dead. Awareness occurs naturally, otherwise you are 'being-dead'.

I am aware.

There is no doing required.

It is being.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:46 am

sardinelover wrote:
Onceler wrote:I would agree, constant awareness is a recipe for neurosis.
In another thread, you said "I...have long advocated that posters speak from personal experience and have tried to do so myself". Are you speaking from experience now? Did you experience constant awareness, and became neurotic?

This is not the first that time people on this forum have spoken against constant awareness, either by theorizing or quoting passages from some book. Please get it out of your head that constant awareness is impossible, to be avoided or harmful, because this false belief is an obstacle to your spiritual development. When there is a lack of awareness, there is suffering. Do not choose to suffer.

Constant awareness is effortless once you get the hang of it, but it does require mastery through practice. You can be aware upon waking up in the morning, eating your breakfast, brushing your teeth, getting ready for work, driving to work, working, driving home, showering, eating dinner, washing the dishes, watching a movie, reading this forum, or sitting with your eyes closed. And you can be aware at any other time.



All that is required is a small fraction of your attention. Make it an all day meditation - that is exactly what constant awareness is.

Yes, I became neurotic and anxious trying to be constantly aware......so neurotic and anxious that I have up the spiritual search. It was too stressful. This consumed most of my adult life, but I won't go into the details of the ebb and flow. When I saw who I am and lost most of my fear and neurotic thinking, or enough to be more functional, then I stopped making such an effort and gained more of the awareness you're talking about ( and was trying to describe in the rest of my previous post, but obviously not doing a very good job). This took place over time and was gradual. I expect this trajectory will continue, in fact I'm optimistic it will.

From the many posts I've read on this forum, many people say they are going neurotic in an effort to be constantly aware. This takes the form of loss of ambition, zest for life, depersonalization, etc.

I am in no way trying to discount your personal experience, in fact I applaud you and the many others who have reached a state of constant awareness. I believe it is part of being fully human and is our birthright. It is the by product of not being distracted by neurotic baggage. Would you agree?

By the way, you can read much of what I've been through in older posts.....it would be a good sleep aid.
Be present, be pleasant.

peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:53 am

Onceler, would you say you have stopped 'doing' awareness and if it happens it now happens naturally?

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:04 am

peas wrote:Onceler, would you say you have stopped 'doing' awareness and if it happens it now happens naturally?
Um, maybe....but that makes me sound more advanced than I am. I'm just not as preoccupied with negative thoughts and emotions, allowing me to be more aware of life. For me it's been the steady erosion of negative content and old patterns that has allowed me to gulp some fresh air ( awareness).

You?
Be present, be pleasant.

peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:00 am

As per my last post in this thread, awareness just comes naturally.

Wasn't always the case. The 'nature' was that of the mind, which was conditioned, with lots of negativity, assumptions and stories. Realisation didn't stop that completely and immediately. But because I didn't put effort into awareness, at least not the same effort that was put into non-awareness, it was able to just shine naturally more and more, pretty quickly. Especially when compared to how many years the mind-nature was running the show unconsciously.

That's why I call it being. Because no other word adequately describes the letting go that will result in the true nature of awareness being realised fully.

peas
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Re: Daily practice

Post by peas » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:20 am

I found this Q & A by Eckhart very good at describing what I have tried to put words to in my posts. This is the summary:

---

Q/ At times I feel an especially deep and peaceful state of presence emerge spontaneously. To what extent should I try to stay with it and extend it? Will that result in faster progress then just enjoying it for a while and then going about my day?

A/
  • The short answer is no, because 'trying' means you want to hang on to presence, or grasp presence, which is impossible. You can't hang on to presence, in the same way that you can't hang on to the sky or to space.
  • The thing to do, the only thing that can be done to experience presence, is to bring an alertness to awareness, and feel it, or sense it. "Ah, there it is."
  • By bringing an alertness to awareness you are not trying. You are not grasping. You are not even prolonging it. You are just being aware of awareness.
  • This is the same awareness that is felt when Eckhart asks, "are you aware of the silence in this room?" Around the words being spoken, there is quite a lot of silence. Usually you wouldn't notice that silence at all, because you're always looking for the 'thing', the form or the sound within the silence. At first, if you are asked to "Listen", you would be listening for some sound, some auditory perception. You would ask, "What can I detect here?" But, if you are asked not to listen for sound but listen for the absence of sound, what happens? Pay more attention to the silence than any little sound that may be there. What happens inside you?
  • When listening for the absence of sound, the silence, the mind stops. You are not thinking. You are just aware.
  • Now, what are you aware of? Because silence is nothing, 'no thing', just like space, you are not really aware of anything. There is something there, but you can't really pinpoint it. It's actually awareness itself. You are aware of awareness at that very moment. There is no object to be aware of. Therefore, all that's left is awareness itself.
  • In the spiritual state of consciousness you become aware of awareness itself. It is a mirror. That's the stillness. You can easily have that by noticing, wherever you are, silence. In a room, or outside.
  • Eckhart calls it "listening" but you aren't really listening, because there's nothing to listen to.
  • In awareness there is an absence of form. That's why silence works. It takes us back to our own formlessness.
  • This is the secret of awareness. This is the realisation of the essence of who you are. It is consciousness itself.
  • And then, once you notice awareness, it deepens. It begins to arise spontaneously. Then you notice it rising spontaneously. The noticing is very powerful.
  • In the beginning, listening to silence is a very quick way of enabling you to enter the state of presence.
  • A similar thing is recommended in the Tao Te Ching, the ancient Chinese scripture. It says that the most important thing about a clay pot or bowl is not the clay but the space. The space is overlooked but it is the most important part of the bowl. That also can put you in touch with awareness, but silence is a little easier.
  • Another way is to look at a room and pay attention to the space around the things in the room.
  • Another way is to go outside and pay attention to the sky rather than the birds, the clouds and the plane flying past.
  • Another way, which was actually Eckhart's first meditation when he was a teenager, is to look up at the sky at night, when there are no clouds. Pay attention at first to the stars, but then to the vast space between the stars. Eckhart used to be so overawed by the vastness of space in the sky that, for a brief moment, his mind stopped. He didn't realise it, but he just enjoyed it very much. Fortunately, he didn't have enough knowledge, about the various stars and constellations, to constantly name them. Otherwise, his mind would have been very busy and he wouldn't have become aware of space itself.
  • The moment you become aware of space, using any method, or spontaneously, that is inner space.
  • Some people, when they notice even a single second of silence, become so fearful that they immediately shrink back from it. They will somehow try to obliterate the silence, by making some noise, or putting on the tv or the radio.
  • Through thinking, you can't even be aware of silence. It's only once the thinking stops, and awareness arises, that silence can be noticed. But silence is nothing, which means you are aware of awareness. This is the key.

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Onceler
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Re: Daily practice

Post by Onceler » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:34 pm

Good stuff, peas, thanks. Very helpful. It always fascinates me that the lack of negativity does not create the opposite, bliss, euphoria,etc.....at least not for me. It's simply, I guess, awareness/being as you say. I would simply call it life.
Be present, be pleasant.

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