Confusion

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 :)
soapbox
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Confusion

Post by soapbox » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:35 am

Am I the only one on here with this problem? I seem to have a very bad problem with trying to tell what I am...I still feel like ego most of the time and I always feel like I'm refering to myself from it's perspective. It's like when I try to listen, I just go through countless random thoughts, like there's this person in the back of my head who will not stop throwing thoughts at me and no matter how hard I try, I can't grab him or trace him...he's just out of my reach. Just a slightest thought will cause him to compulsively go into thinking, then chain reaction occurs and I'm stuck in thinking. I have a problem with wanting to STOP it when I should just let it be and let it do what it wants, but it seems to not help me when I don't do anything.

I'll never know what I really am until I be quiet, which seems like it will never happen. I know that is something the ego says, but it also feels like I'm saying it. I feel like I'm saying it from the heart.

I recall instances where some kind of a big event happens and it captures my complete attention. Just during those moments, it did not feel like I was in control, anymore, but something else...like I was the puppet and it was the puppet master. It was just instructing me what to do and I had nothing really important to do, myself.

I haven't found a gateway to Now, and I believe it is just because of mis-identification. I find myself saying a lot of things that just flat out contradict me and so I know I am having a problem with confusion. Can anyone help me with this?

James
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Re: Confusion

Post by James » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:52 am

Soapbox
It sounds like you are tying very hard to think your way out of thinking. You are relatively young, most likely you will gradually mature out of that phase. Eventually you will probably get so tired of thinking that it will quiet down on its own, and then you will recognize the futility of it. But understand that no one has ever succeeded in completely stopping the mind from thinking. Just let the mind do what it does without concern, be at peace with your thoughts. Have you ever tried yoga, or moving meditation practices, or any exercise that would give more of body energy connected awareness; to get out of the intellect, and more into the feel and flow of life?

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Juno
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Re: Confusion

Post by Juno » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:02 am

Deeply relax. Put awareness in your body and sense the stillness in your body. If that's to much just sense it in your foot and go from there. Don't try to listen. Sense. Allow the thoughts to be there yet sense the quiet that contains the thoughts.
I'll never know what I really am until I be quiet,
You do already know what you are, you're just overlooking it. Sense what's always been the same in big events for example. That You that never changes. What's that felt sense that's always there?
I haven't found a gateway to Now

Can you watch your breath for one second? That's a gateway to now. What do you love to do? Are you not in the moment at times while you are doing it? Can you hear a bird chirp just long enough to hear it? Are not in the now in that very moment? Are you not in the Now every moment whether your thinking mind is conscious of it or not? You find the Now everywhere you just have the thinking mind telling you you are doing it wrong. Keep bringing attention back to attention.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

E1lycat
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Re: Confusion

Post by E1lycat » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:07 am

Hi soapbox.. I understand what you're feeling, and I hope this will help a little. :D

It sounds like you're becoming aware of how noisy your mind is, and Awareness is slowly creeping in, resulting in contradictions and confusion. You're becoming aware of what's going on in you, and that's already a big step in itself. :D

Interrupt your thoughts as often as you can by asking yourself "What's my next thought going to be?" and be very alert and still for the next thought. If you do it right, you'll find the thoughts cease, maybe not for long, but there's a short gap where you're conscious without thought. After a while, the gaps will become longer.

When you listen or are witness to the thoughts, be aware of the underlying background silence or stillness behind the thoughts, between each thought. Eventually you'll become more aware of the silence rather than the thoughts.

Listen to silence, the silence within yourself. Look at things that are still; ie trees, nature, tables, sleeping pets. ET says your true nature is inseparable from stillness :D
I am in need of nothing but the truth

-ACIM-

James
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Re: Confusion

Post by James » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:19 am

Soapbox are you still a student? Perhaps you are on academic, intellectual overload? How about going to the gym to work out, and find more balance. One other thing I like to do now and then to relax, is take a hot bath or jacuzzi, It really puts me in touch with the senses, which slows the thinking down.

Don't take the spiritual quest so seriously, you will find yourself when you stop looking so hard, it has always been there, all this time. Just relax and take it easy. :D

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

James
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Re: Confusion

Post by James » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:44 pm

Hello Again Soapbox
I have some more suggestions for you, for whatever it is worth, they are general health recommendations. I remember what it was like at age 17 or 18. At that time I did not have any good role models or much guidance from wise adults. And if there were wise adults around to give advice, I probably would not have recognized it as wise or would have ignored it. So here is a short list of some advice that may, or may not interest you, or help you. Ultimately only you know what is best for you. You could surely develop your own customized list or add to this one.

Holistic Health Suggestions

1) Relax- learn to be more detached to life and see it with a sense of humor and fun. Don't be so hard on yourself; be gentle.

2) Get plenty of sleep, plan your studies or activities so that sleep becomes routine and consistent.

3) Eat a balanced diet, reduce junk food especially high fat high sugar items, eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. You might be surprised at how better you feel with a healthy diet.

4) Keep caffeine consumption low, i.e. one cup of coffee per day, or two cups of tea. Avoid it in the afternoon if it is keeping you from getting to sleep. Avoid alcohol altogether, or at least limit it to 1 or 2 servings per day, several times per week. Alcohol is habit forming, and at your age abusing it can effect your mental and physical development. I know most people your age are drinking, but it would be better to wait a few more years. Avoid any other mind altering substances, they will just add to your confusion and stress.

5) Exercise regularly, several times a week, but not too aggressive or vigorous, walking is sufficient, swimming or riding bike; also stretching daily as needed. Enjoy the moment while exercising, don't make it into a goal. Get in touch with how the body feels, breathing and other senses while exercising.

6) Reduce stress, plan your day so that stress is minimized. Get into a stress management program if you think it is an issue. If you are in college they might offer free stress management and counseling to students, which may include relaxation exercises or biofeedback. Yoga or moving meditation might also be good. Hot baths are good for unwinding.

7) If this confusion is an ongoing issue, you might want to seek out a therapist or counselor, preferably one with a degree of awakening. But talking to any compassionate individual might be helpful. Many large cities have Transpersonal Therapists, which is spiritual and psychological counseling combined. There are some Transpersonal Therapists that do phone consultations. Loch Kelly is one that comes to mind, he is in New York City and has a website, you could google it.

8.) Spend more time in nature and less time in front of a TV or computer which stimulates thinking. Get into outdoor activities such as walks. You can learn a lot from the natural world about harmony and balance.

9) Listen to recordings such as Eckhart's PON, Stillness Speaks or Gateways To Now, on a daily basis. Try listening at least twice a day for 10-15 minutes, or longer if it is comfortable. First thing upon awakening might be best to get the day off to a good start, and again at night to relax. You can do it sitting or lying down, whatever is comfortable. Eyes open or closed. Listen without straining, don't make effort or think too much about the words or ideas, let it seep in to a deeper level; pause the recording periodically to appreciate gaps of silence. This is a different kind of learning than academic memorization or analytics.

10) Awakening is about discovering your true nature as Consciousness. That is what you are, Consciousness or Awareness. Everything else, including thinking, is an experience that comes and goes; these are experienced by the Awareness that you are. The Awareness is that which notices all these experiences and thoughts. Know that none of these thoughts and experiences, can change or affect the reality and nature of your being one iota. What you are is pure and beyond reproach, and always has been.

Take care of yourself

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Juno
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Re: Confusion

Post by Juno » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:53 pm

Soapbox, I have another suggestion too out of the many great ones on here. What I wanted to remind you of is to have compassion for yourself. Take that in. Feel the compassion for what you are going through. When we get all wrapped up in trying to do things "right" it actually twists us up more. Relax, when you get lost in thought no problem. As soon as you realize you are lost in thought you're not and be thankful, you could of stayed there. Be gentle with yourself. You are no different than anyone else. Remember compassion for yourself.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

James
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Re: Confusion

Post by James » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:05 pm

Good advice Juno, yes "compassion." Perfectionists are often their own worst enemy. It reminds me of that quote, "the flogging will continue until the morale improves".

I was wondering how your parents factor into this soapbox, I assume you still live at home. Perhaps you would like to share more of your personal life with the group, so we can get a better picture, it may be helpful for you too. We have all been through growing pains in one way or another, you are not really any different; I know it sometimes seems that way from the vantage point of the personalized sense of self.

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

Tara
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Re: Confusion

Post by Tara » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:26 pm

I don't have any advice but wanted to say..I feel this way too:) I go in between just let the thoughts come and go to YELLING STOP THINKING!

Yesterday I was trying to relax and realized that I haven't fully been able to. I am seeing that there is still tension in my face, my stomach etc. I just wanted to fall on the floor and melt into it! I didn't know how else to just let it all go.

Mostly I wanted to say THANX to all of you and your replys! It is true-someone asks a question and so many others could benefit from it!!

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kiki
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Re: Confusion

Post by kiki » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:00 pm

There are some great posts here - thanks people.
I can't grab him or trace him...he's just out of my reach.
Now stop a moment and reflect on why that is. Could he be "just out of reach" because there is nothing of "him" other than thought? Can you "grab a thought" and examine it/him? All you can do is watch thought and how it changes, and not attach to or resist anything that happens. But if you want something to do examine the nature of thought itself rather than what thoughts are "saying". Don't put attention on the meaning of any thought but just get a sense of what they are as they float by. You'll have plenty of material to work with, but at some point there will be a noticing of something else that is present and its relationship to thought. See what that is, but don't put yourself under any pressure for that to happen - it will happen on its own. Let this be an investigation of now and what changes within it, and let go of thinking of awakening as a journey to get somewhere that will fulfill some ideas you have about it. Taking the future out of it will eliminate the stress and frustration of it, and then the investigation becomes something interesting each moment.
"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
---

Juno
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Re: Confusion

Post by Juno » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:08 pm

"the flogging will continue until the morale improves".
The quote gives me the ebee geebee's James. Perfectly said.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

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Onceler
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Re: Confusion

Post by Onceler » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:13 pm

I echo Tara. I have those moments were I feel unconscious, lost and my thoughts are going off like fire works--just wait until you start getting in touch with your feelings at a deeper level!

Do not assume everyone here has attained some "higher spiritual" state. Some have some haven't, but that is not the point. Let go of being spiritual...where you are now is exactly where you should be. How could it be otherwise? You are experiencing being in the midst of all your thoughts, conflicts and desires.

The more I let life happen, "let everything be as is is", the more peace there is. I don't just mean being calm and peaceful, I mean feeling fully my anger, fear, pain, desire etc. Don't fight it. It took me awhile to see this. I don't need anything else. I know that in the midst of whatever heartache, drama, emotional outburst, fit of infancy, etc. I may have, I can always return to the center, to awareness. Awareness is not pretty, calm, peaceful all the time. It is vast enough to make you cry, it is small enough to make you laugh. It is whatever is happening now. It is always there.

Don't wait to become "enlightened", live your life now. You will find your own beautiful, wild way and your way is no one else's (no matter how much they insist/post on it!)
Be present, be pleasant.

soapbox
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Re: Confusion

Post by soapbox » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:15 am

Thanks for all the help, guys. I really appreciate it.

I have very little respect and love for myself, anymore. Anytime that I even begin to think about myself, I base myself off of what other people think. If the majority of people treat me with respect and compliment me for some way, I will reflect off of that and be happy because of it, but if it's the other way around, it causes me to go into a state of depression with occasional panic attacks(what I go through now). Because of my personality, it causes many people to treat me very different and I'm afraid to think of what they think about me, though I almost desire to know. People also like to make fun of me, though I don't know why, and they will never tell me as if that is a joke in itself "You just don't know" "You're the man" "You're awesome!" it's all degrading to me because they're condesending to me. It has just crippled my social life for as long as I could remember, but it's only gotten this bad until recently. I didn't even know that I had this problem. I also fear very small things...like I would be afraid to bump into somebody random or look them in the eyes else they might laugh at me.

I'm a sophmore right now and I feel terrible most of the time because of fear of people making fun of me. I also feel bad about my complexion, like the way I look and my size, which I obsess about constantly.

Family life seems to be on a different plane here, but there is still conflict. My parents fight on a regular basis and there is not much peace in the house. I live in a rather secluded area, living only next to my grandma and a very old couple. The best I can get is to get my sis or my mom to play around or do something with me, and I would really prefer it that way instead of having to be around other teens.

I am tired of relying off of other people to define myself. They cannot tell me who I am. Then again, I am not "me", but I still care about it. There is a loop here.

I try to eat healthy so I think I'm fine with that. I have tried taking more vitamin C and B complex whenever I can, since that should help me feel better.

Juno
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Re: Confusion

Post by Juno » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:09 am

So you think people are putting you down and that makes you feel bad. That's normal. Do you believe it, deep down that you are bad? Do you really believe it... deep down? I suspect that you don't believe it deep down. Stay with that. Stay with that deep down knowing. Eveyday as much as you can.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

James
Posts: 983
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:06 pm

Re: Confusion

Post by James » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:31 pm

Hi Soapbox
Thanks for sharing that with us. A few suggestions come to mind. When I was your age, I was given a copy of a book titled Notes To Myself, by Hugh Prather. I found it to be very helpful, because it gave me insight into thinking, and how we view ourselves, and those around. After reading it, I saw that my thoughts were fairly typical, and many others go through similar issues, especially during growing years; that was comforting to know. Also, are you familiar with Byron Katie's The Work? http://thework.com/index.asp It may be very worthwhile for you to get involved in that approach, so you can get to the root of the beliefs that cause you pain. You may be able to find a facilitator in your area, or perhaps talk to one on the phone.

It sounds like you live in a rural area, are there any local resources available to you for counseling? Some of them operate on a sliding scale, or might be free. Have you talked to the school guidance counselor? Perhaps he/she could point you in a good direction. Is there a local minister or a teacher that you trust, that would be willing to listen to you?

I know your situation probably seems like a terrible problem or curse compared to other people your age. Through experience, I have found that problems are really blessings in disguise, because they push us towards awakening. Perhaps you could begin today to have a different perspective of these so called problems; rather than resent them, start by accepting what is. Approach these issues with a curiosity, and sincere interest in finding out what life wants to reveal to you.

Best Wishes

james
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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