Intellectual understanding...but not experiencing The Now

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Nebula
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Intellectual understanding...but not experiencing The Now

Post by Nebula » Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:00 am

Hello to everyone here - this is my first post on this forum.

I recently came across the power of now, and I have to say, i found it to be mindblowing.

Unfortunately, I have this rather irritating affliction whereby I am good at intellectually understanding something, and even go so far as to try to master using a technique such as this to aid others, but when it comes to actually experiencing and realising the benefits myself, I fall short.

I have bought practicing the power of now, and am also half way through "A new earth."

I have realised the only way I can actually benefit from these teachings is to be present (obviously), and that no amount of reading/discussing will actually make this happen.

So i've signed up for a Vipassana meditation course (end of may) and i'm starting a meditation group on sunday in preparation (i've only tried it a few times, this course is 10 days - no talking....pretty intensive: S.N. Goenka)

Theres also some queries i have with the book I was wondering if anyone had any comments -
Eckhart tends to assert that mere observation and awareness of unhelpful patterns of thinking are enough to transmute the thought patterns. Well, if a person practices this - observing and realising the pattern, and wishes to stop engaging in the behaviour/thoughts, I am convinced this is often not enough. What I mean is that sometimes a behaviour/thought pattern is so ingrained, that even with conscious awareness and observation, an individual may still find him/herself unable to disidentify with that pattern.

I tend to find I am almost always in the grip of the mind, constantly thinking about all sorts of things. I suppose this is the first step to achieving presence, but i can't believe how hard it is for me to be still internally.

Once 8 years ago, I had what Buddhists/Eckhart described as a satori moment, which actually lasted for about 4 mins. This was a powerful experience, and i'd always wondered about it's significance until reading the Power of now.

Now that I understand the (intellectual) basis of human's unhappiness - being identified with the mind/external objects/past and future, this all seems so clear to me now. It seems crazy that this isn't a topic for debate by politicians/taught in schools. Why isn't everybody concerned with how we as humans should optimally live our lives? If everyone pooled together to ask and answer these questions, then there could be harmony and inner peace!

Anyhow, this is a bit rambly.....
Nice to find this place, (Hello!) i'm sure i'll visit every so often with a Power of Now insight or query.

Julia x
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Re: Intellectual understanding...but not experiencing The No

Post by Foxtrot » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:58 am

What's that old saying, something like:

I know you think you heard what you thought I said but I'm not sure what you think you heard is actually what I meant.

The impression I am getting, is that the way you interpret Eckhart, when he uses the words awareness and observing isn't what he is referring to. It is not a mental activity that you do. There is another part of you, that is lying dormant in you so to speak, that comes forward or gets stronger as you just notice. It is the part that realizes the truth of his words as you read them. You can sense the truth in them. The last part of your post
Now that I understand the (intellectual) basis of human's unhappiness - being identified with the mind/external objects/past and future, this all seems so clear to me now. It seems crazy that this isn't a topic for debate by politicians/taught in schools. Why isn't everybody concerned with how we as humans should optimally live our lives? If everyone pooled together to ask and answer these questions, then there could be harmony and inner peace!
Others don't see it clearly. If they read the words, it would not seem true for them. They might get bored and put it down quickly, or just think Dear Eckhart is a loon. When you read his words, and you get that knowing of the truth feeling, notice or pay attention to that. Doing so can help in bringing that witnessing part of you forward. It's hard to explain, because it needs to be experienced rather than thought about. That part can transmute thought and behavoirs that are no longer useful to you, as long as you have a little willingness. Sometimes, it takes you directly from point A (having the dysfunctional thought/behavior) to point F (not having the dysfunctional thought/behavior). Often it doesn't happen in one shot though, and you have to go through points B, C, D, and E. Kind of like filling in a crack in the sidewalk. Some cracks are small enough, that 1 pass of the trowel can fill the crack. Others cracks are a bit wider and longer, and several passes are needed. I hope this makes a little sense as it is hard for me to explain sometimes. I'm sure others will reply also, and may express it a little more clearly than I feel I'm doing.

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Post by Ives » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:06 pm

I find listening to Eckhart's discourses better than reading his books. Listening with eyes closed (so therefore hopefully not while driving): just sitting still and dedicating a bit of time to it.

It helps me experience briefly the state he is talking about.

Then when my mind kicks in again, when thoughts start rolling, it is a little easier to view them without being too identified.

Hope this is some help (his discourses are available online).

Good luck!
Ives

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Post by phil » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:08 pm

Julia,

If you perceive intellectualizing to be an obstacle for you, maybe more books by anybody isn't a great idea?

How about a lawn chair. A nice field. A few bottles of water, maybe a sandwhich.

Get there early. Stay late.

Watch the day go by.

Image

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i know what you mean, but....

Post by hayduke » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:57 am

i know exactly what you mean, but i know that the goenka course will show you just how distracted you really are even when you think that you are concentrating. you can use that as a tool to become still or present.
this too shall pass

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Post by Nebula » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:50 pm

Thanks for the comments....I do actually have the audio version of the power of now, and do find that particularly useful, although ironically, I listen to it when walking to work - a time when i could be observing the beautiful scenery! :lol:
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by eseward » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:37 pm

Hi Julia. Welcome to the forum.

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Post by kiki » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:53 pm

Julia, I would also recommend the audio version of Stillness Speaks. Just sit with eyes closed and listen, not straining to understand anything, but just listen and you'll find yourself slipping into thoughtless awareness. The short passages and the built in pauses are very conducive to becoming present. Later you will see how that presence cannot be lost no matter what the activity. Then the irony of listening to PON while walking in nature becomes laughably absurd.

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a reply to Julia

Post by EdS » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:16 am

What you have shared here is quit "usual" or "normal' to surely what must be 95% of western people ...people effected by Western culture.

But ET is waving a flag and saying "it doesn't have to be the way our minds/Ego have been trained by Fear to be.

While you are approaching ET's works, in wantever way you Choose to, also practice awareness and watch for sign posts such as this....

"“The greatest power for transformation lies not in doing but in allowing.”



and Be Well

EdS

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Post by phil » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:13 am

julia_whirly wrote: although ironically, I listen to it when walking to work - a time when i could be observing the beautiful scenery! :lol:
Wise of you to see this.

Choosing words, over what they point to.

Trying to eat the word apple, instead of the apple itself.

Choosing a human teacher, over the teacher beyond all thought.

I spent one day in nature listening to Tolle. He puts on a good show, but one day was enough.

Ever meet a deer face to face in the woods? No book writer can compete with that quality of precence.

Image

Wow, while googling for that photo, found lots of photos of big studdly men proudly poised over the deer they just shot. Which finally proves conclusively I'm not the biggest bozo in the world. Sheesh....

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Post by wwooten » Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:12 am

Time is not necessary in experiencing the now.....it isn't "some-thing" to be obtained or achieved.

It simply is....the translucent screen in which all appears and disappears.....the intellectualizing actually appears within the moment, the now.....the intellectualizing is the form that the moment is taking.

Experiencing the space around the intellectualizng reveals the now, conscious presence.....

I experience it as a deepening, a returning over and over again.....a shift in attention....

Lost in the mind stream......ah.....shift to inner body, conscious presence.....lost in the mind stream....ah....shift to inner body, conscious presence......relishing more and more in the delight of conscious presence.

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Post by din » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:09 pm

Hi Julia,
Unfortunately, I have this rather irritating affliction whereby I am good at intellectually understanding something, and even go so far as to try to master using a technique such as this to aid others, but when it comes to actually experiencing and realising the benefits myself, I fall short.
Adyashanti:
While the expression and scope of this teaching work evolves, it continues to be rooted in the direct experience of awakening from identifying with the body-mind-personality to the universal truth of what we are. For all things and all beings are enlightened Buddhas from the very start and it is only attachment to identity, ideas, and concepts that obscures this fact. Thus the paradox of already being the very truth that you are seeking. Beware though, for intellectual understanding will do as little to bring you to realization as repeating the word “water” will do to quench your thirst. An intuitive leap of remembrance is what’s called for, for you are awake and nothing, expressing yourself as everything in this very moment.
What do you really want?

From Adyashanti:
Be the buddha

Starting right now, this moment, I am asking you to become the Buddha. I am asking you to take your stand, to stand absolutely firm in your intention to awaken to the Truth of your Self.



This is what the Buddha did. He didn’t say, “I’ll try.” He didn’t say, “I hope I’ll find the Truth.” He didn’t say, “I’ll do my best.” He didn’t say, “If not in this lifetime, then maybe next lifetime.” He came to the point where he didn’t look for anyone else to tell him the Truth or show him the Truth. He came to the point where he took it all on himself. He sat alone under the Bodhi Tree and vowed never to give up until the Truth be realized.



The power of this very simple, yet unshakable intention and absolute stand to be liberated in this lifetime propelled him to awaken to the simple fact that he and all beings are liberated—that all beings are freedom itself. Pure awakeness.



The Buddha was no different from you. No different. That is why he serves as a good model, because he was as you are now. So don’t worship the Buddha. Don’t put him on a pedestal. Don’t even look up to him. Become him. Have the same intentions, take the same stand. Be the Buddha now! Put an end to all delaying, to all excuses, to all bowing down to saintly figures of the past or present. Stand up!
You are the Buddha! You are freedom itself! Stop dreaming your dream! Stop pretending that you are in bondage—stop telling yourself that lie! Stop pretending to be someone, or something! You are no one, you are no-thing! You are not this body or this mind. This body and mind exist within who and what you are. You are pure consciousness, already free, awake, and liberated. Stand up and walk out of your dream. I am here to say that you can do this.



Step out of the dream of your concepts and ideas. Step out of the dream of what you imagine enlightenment to be. Step out of the dream of who you think you are. Step out of the dream of everything you have ever known. Step out of your dream of being a deluded person. Stop telling yourself those lies and dreaming those dreams. Step out of all of that. You can do it. Nothing is holding you back. There are no requirements and no prerequisites to awaken. There is nothing to be done, nothing to think, nowhere to go.



Just stop all dreaming. Stop all doing. Stop all excuses. Just stop and be still. Effortlessly be still. Grace will do the rest.



At each and every moment from here on out, have the intention to directly experience Truth, your true liberated Self. Don’t think about the Truth—directly return to your experience here, now, moment to moment. Experience Truth. Experience your Self. Dive into your experience. Your experience! Your experience of hearing, of seeing, of tasting, of breathing, of your heart beating, of your feet touching the floor, of the birds, of the wind.



Experience the vastness of who you are. Experience the freedom of who you are. You are the Buddha—experience that. You are the Buddha.
:)

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Post by eseward » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:18 pm

This body and mind exist within who and what you are. You are pure consciousness, already free, awake, and liberated.
Very nice. :)

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Post by kiki » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:49 pm

Step out of your dream of being a deluded person
And if you think you're enlightened, step out of that dream too.

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din
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Post by din » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:53 am

kiki wrote:
Step out of your dream of being a deluded person
And if you think you're enlightened, step out of that dream too.
Well said. :D

Now what can I say that would be meaningful now?

Ah yes.

I like baloney sandwiches! :lol:
:)

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