Being present is scary

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citronella49
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Being present is scary

Post by citronella49 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:23 am

So, I did my very best all weekend to be present... I wasn't perfect but better than most weekends... well I ended up trying to have an important discussion with my bf and I think I did an ok job of being present, I lost control twice, but both times I physically removed myself from the situation so I could refocus my attention on the now and notice my ego and painbody, and also my bf's ego and painbody... you know and remember it is his ego/painbody talking and not him... at least thats what the book said...

He brought up some terrible things I have done/said when I was not present in previous fights, and I tried to get him to focus on the present and not the past, but our past is really starting to poison our relationship... so its not easy to leave it in the past... Anyway, Im afraid of being in the present now because I notice how much more power I have... when I am not present and allowing the painbody to determine my actions I have that safety net of saying "it wasnt me it was my pain body" but when I am conscious I have no safety net, its all me, making the decisions... what if I did the wrong thing?

Also, How can I forgive myself for what I did/said when I was significantly less conscious than I am now... I started to feel really bad about stuff that happened and that was one of the times I started to lose control/presence. Do I need to forgive myself? If I forgive myself and my bf doesnt then... it feels like forgiving myself has no effect...
I just want to understand

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Sighclone
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by Sighclone » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:16 am

c49 -

I like to be effective in the things I say. This following piece of advice is meant to be absolutely loving. If you take it any other way, then you have distorted it to fit some "ego story" you maufacture for yourself.

Here is a way to absolutely add some peace to your life: forget nondual teachings for one year. You are scrambling around trying to fit nonduality into your busy life and then blame it when it doesn't "work." Just let all this Tolle/Adya stuff go for a while. Get some counseling in other areas, perhaps. You can lead a happy, productive life without advaita...millions have done it. All your unity consciousness efforts have produced very little for you except frustration. Why not drop this stressor, and pick it up when you have a more peaceful or otherwise conducive environment. About 50 people in this forum have tried to help you. All have failed. You keep coming back with complaints. Whatever you are getting from posting a question, then announcing that you got no help is creating opposition and resentment for you.

You are fully capable of rejecting any help from anyone at any time. But you already know that...because you have done it before.

I don't mind giving pointers to people who honestly want to help themselves. The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is stop trying to "get enlightened." Adya took 15 years. Dennis Waite is quite clear on the formal path being the only one. Lots of neo-advaitists have caused confusion. Manage what you can control in your sphere of influence. I get the feeling that you want to "have" a problem, not "solve" it. You said as much in your first post ("addicted to drama").

Citronella....you are a very bright woman....a fine writer and teacher of English. But no one here has done anything for you in ten weeks in these ego battles with your boyfriend. It doesn't matter if you have been with him for 8 minutes or 8 years. There is major dysfunction there and our tidy little forum hasn't helped. If there is one place I'd send you in the nondual world it is Byron Katie...thework.com and "Loving What Is" - she uses cognitive techniques.

But all the efforts of our little group have been kind of ineffective. I'm not going to be responding myself any further. I might respond to a PM.

With much care and interest,

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

the key master
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by the key master » Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:02 am

Hi citronella,

I know at times I take this game of life way too seriously, sometimes even moreso since awakening. Control seems to be an issue for you. To say let go of control sounds simple enough, but the act of letting go is really no act at all. Its a natural consequence of realization of Self. Events seem to unfold in the matter most beneficial to the liberation of consciousness, toward realization. With this knowledge, judgment of certain situations as good or bad can hasten. You are evolving with the universe, not within it. One thing you can control is your perspective on certain events. Talk to the universe. Ask in every instance what is life trying to tell me? How can I use this situation for growth? Take the first step. Become friendly with this moment. Its all there ever is. This is what the open mind and open heart is all about, and its essential for spiritual growth.

Forgiveness of oneself with the hope that another will also forgive would actually re-enforce the illusion of duality. The universe doesn't "want" that. The desire for a certain result is not what forgiveness is all about. Its perfectly ok to recognize egoic tendencies and thus lessen the sting of self-judgment. First and foremost, though, be honest with yourself. You cannot control whether another forgives. Using self forgiveness as a mechanism to assert this control ultimately results in more separation, more suffering, as you seem to have a taste for. In awareness we grow. Mind attempts to control damn near everything. The nerve of this damned mind sometimes :lol: . Its in the nature of the egoic self. Whether it be control over your boyfriend's thoughts or something as mundane as the weather, be aware that much of your thinking stems from the false notion that control is possible.

Relatively speaking, mind can control certain experiences. If I call someone fat and ugly, the odds that I will hurt their feelings goes up. Absolutely speaking, all effort to control is futile. From your post, the instances where you say you "lost control", paradoxically, stem from the mind's very desire to control. To echo Anthony DeMello, Awareness, Awareness, Awareness.

Best,
Jason

bran
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by bran » Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:36 am

I have felt a similar fear when I first started living in the now: like EVERYTHING in my life has or should change, now that I know (or have a basis for knowing) what's truly important in life, and what isn't (since many things I did in life were ego-based). But I wasn't ready for everything to change, and I hated that all of the ego of the world was so glaringly apparent now in my more consious state: everywhere I went and with everything that I experienced. My initial reaction to Eckhart's teachings was that ego is BAD and my new mission was to eradicate it from my life at all costs: from others and from within. It seemed like an insurmountable task! It was the kind of mentality that is ingrained in many religions, new life regimes, and even workout plans: that its your DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to actively seek changing your life for the better, now that you've been told how.

What I realized is that I was missing a piece of the puzzle that Eckhart explains: it is impossible to SEEK consciousness or WORRY about not being unconscious or egoic, because when you do that you are striving for something in the future rather than focusing on the now. Worrying about fixing the ego then becomes a means to an end because you want your future to be free of ego, so you better do something NOW or ELSE. The beauty of this philosophy is that is has no time, time related goal or expectations of you, except that you are at peace and happy now, and me constantly worrying about being present was making me constantly WORRIED in the now, which was totally missing the point!The point of all this is to be HAPPY!

So don't fear mistakes because the instant after they are made they are NOTHING, and you have a new moment in which to be happy. After you make a mistake, lose control, get upset at something your boyfriend or someone else says, something bad happens and you get angry: be thankful for that learning experience in presence and also be glad that its over and you get a whole new chance to be happy again.

Don't be upset with yourself for having had that bad experience, because that is the past. Tolle says that we all need to accept every feeling, good or bad, as it comes. If its good, embrace it with all of you and enjoy it. If its bad, embrace it with all of your attention RIGHT THEN and it will take its grip off of you. Don't reject it, try to stifle it, hide it or ignore it in any way. If your pissed, let it out of you! "Flap your wings" like in Tolle's explanation of how ducks in a pond deal with ego, and release some of that energy by yelling, taking a walk, removing yourself, whatever you have to do. Often times you'll still have the negative feeling in your heart, but you will be the person seeing the negative feeling in you rather than being controlled by it and being destructive to others or yourself.

Once you've embraced and accepted the feeling, forgive the feeling for happening, give it a "big hug and take it out to coffee" and see where and why that negative feeling happened. Learn all about it and see where it came from in your ego and how you can avoid it from taking control of you next time. Doing this at each moment will naturally build your ability to be present, much like lifting weights increases your physical strength. Soon, much like a bodybuilder picks up a five pound weight, you will be amazed at your spiritual strength and wonder how you ever struggled before at all with that little thing!

To your other question, if your boyfriend cannot forgive you, or his ego tries to evoke yours, continue to know that that is exactly what's happening, and respond with love, reaffirm that right now you forgive him for everything and that you love him. Unfortunately, you can't know and can't control how he will react, or TRY to reduce or remove his painbody/ego, only he can do that. Only he can forgive you, or not, for the past. Knowing that this is out of your control is important because if you TRY to do things to please his ego that make you unhappy in an attempt to fix the arguments (which so many relationships turn into) then you are not being present. Know that staying present IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING THAT YOU CAN DO FOR BOTH OF YOU.

I hope this helps you! Take care!

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domokato
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by domokato » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:22 pm

citronella49,
citronella49 wrote:So, I did my very best all weekend to be present... I wasn't perfect but better than most weekends...
"Do or do not. There is no 'try'" -Yoda

This applies equally well to being present. In other words, if you are trying to be present then you are doing something wrong. You only have to remember to be present, and then be present. There is no "try". Sighclone is right when he says not to blame presence/awareness for failing you. You can only blame it if you're using it to solve your problems. Awareness is not a means to an end. It does not solve your problems. It is the state in which you see through your problems. It is through this that you see your problem is not really a problem at all, and no solution is necessary. The problem simply becomes a situation, the situation you are in right now. A situation you may or may not want to change. Presence is primary, not even a means to an end. Just primary.
citronella49 wrote:He brought up some terrible things I have done/said when I was not present in previous fights, and I tried to get him to focus on the present and not the past, but our past is really starting to poison our relationship... so its not easy to leave it in the past...
Only one of you needs to be present in order to spread the light of consciousness, and that's you. You don't need to tell him to be present for him to be present. You only have to be strongly present, and this will lead him into presence as well. When he brings up the past, you don't have to buy into his "frame", which means going into the past yourself by defending it or reacting to it in some other way. You can ignore it or respond from presence. But I cannot tell you what you would say.... You will know the right words in the moment if you are present.
citronella49 wrote:Anyway, Im afraid of being in the present now because I notice how much more power I have... when I am not present and allowing the painbody to determine my actions I have that safety net of saying "it wasnt me it was my pain body" but when I am conscious I have no safety net, its all me, making the decisions... what if I did the wrong thing?
There is no right or wrong in presence. Everything is right. Everything is as it is. If you feel you did something wrong, remember that this feeling of wrongness is in only your mind. It may have been "wrong" on the level of morality or practicality, but on a deeper level it is inconsequential. Think of it like you're just a small atom flying around in a gigantic universe. Nothing you do is right or wrong. You just do. You just are. Problems arise when you think you're more than you are, or you think you should be something else. No. You're just an atom. Totally forgivable.
citronella49 wrote:Also, How can I forgive myself for what I did/said when I was significantly less conscious than I am now... I started to feel really bad about stuff that happened and that was one of the times I started to lose control/presence. Do I need to forgive myself?
That was you in the past, which only exists in your mind, by the way. Just forget about her. She's not you right now.
citronella49 wrote:If I forgive myself and my bf doesnt then... it feels like forgiving myself has no effect...
Why does it matter whether or not he forgives you? Forgiveness is for yourself. It's letting go. If you let go and he doesn't, yet you feel like forgiving yourself had no effect, then you haven't really let go, have you? Truly, deeply, let go.
~housecat

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Re: Being present is scary

Post by HermitLoon » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:01 pm

There is nothing to forgive.

Saying there is means someone is living in - lost in - the past - which does not exist - Now.

That someone is not you.
Peace

randomguy
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by randomguy » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:57 am

citronella49, this posts seems like a positive shift to me. You were aware of your feelings. You phisically removed yourself to prevent escallation.

In my humble opinion, continue to do what you are doing. My guess is that you will learn to forgive yourself (and trust yourself) the more you allow yourself to to be in your natural state of awareness, even if you perceive those times as very brief or otherwise scary.

As for a world-of-forms rationalization; you can forgive yourself the past because you recognize it and do not like that behavior from the past and you are actively working to change it.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho

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domokato
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Re: Being present is scary

Post by domokato » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:28 am

Yes, I may not have expressed this my post, but it seems you are doing well :)
~housecat

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