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Meditation Experiment - Settling Down

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Michael David, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Tasting the sweet, juicy, tangy flavor and wetness of an orange is certainly a lot different than trying to describe it with words or even thinking about it in your mind. The experience of doing something gives a feeling to it in addition to thinking it.

    A hands on experience of "doing" is a deeper integration of the mind/body/feeling awareness that we all flow along with in each moment of the day. By actually “seeing” or “doing” the pathways in the brain become accommodated and can be used to enhance our more formal meditation.

    Experiment – Settling Down*
    Take a clear glass and add water to about ¾ full. Mix a spoonful of dirt into the water and stir for a few seconds (outside dirt works better than from a flower pot). Now watch the settling of the dirt as the water starts to clear. Note the large particles that settle quickly to the bottom and the few that float.

    Next in about one minute you will see the top of the water start to clear. As the smaller particles stop moving they too will start to settle. When you come back in a few hours the water will be clear and the dirt will have settled to the bottom. If you like during this process shake the glass and see the effect on the settling particles of dirt.

    Leave the glass out for a few days and stir it up every now and then. Become accustomed to seeing the settling.

    * This is a hands on experiment that actually enhances the settling of the body and mind in meditation but it has to be actually done not just read and thought about to have all of its beneficial effect.


    During the day as we respond and react to the varying people, TV, computer, weather, foods, etc. our energy, mood, and happiness go up and down. All of these interactions and responses are like the particles of dirt in the water.

    Imagine our body/mind is a container like the glass. Like the particles of dirt in the water our energy gets stirred up. When we feel the need, we stop for a moment and take a spontaneous deep breath to allow a settling to occur. This first natural occurring breath can become the beginning of an extended settling and may grow into a practice of meditation.

    The value of both this first breath and a more formal meditation is the growth of a calm, still, comfortable place that we can return to at will to renew or recharge our energy. Think of it as a resting place to touch for a moment here or there during a busy day.

    What is your experience? How did viewing the dirt settling in the glass relate to your meditaion? What other everyday images or actons relate to meditation?
     
  2. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Michael,

    Good post, a real gentle way of explaining a practice to touch non-conceptual awareness.
    I followed a more direct route; the short paragraph below was quoted to me and really resonated.
    It was the catalyst that began to free the daily incessant chatter.

    "Do not force thoughts to stop. As the next thought you have comes to rest naturally, simply and gently notice the non-conceptual space that is left once the thought falls away. Rest there for one moment, without labelling your experience or having to know anything at all about life. That is non-conceptual awareness."

    Peace :)
     
  3. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh,
    I enjoyed your response and the settling into non-conceptional awareness. The space feels similar to the feeling I have when I visualize the glass with the dirt having settled. The more settled I am the longer the space lasts before I become aware of another thought. At times the thoughts are so strong it seems that there is no space at all.

    Journeying through my meditation practice I have been compiling what I imagine as interactive meditation deepening tools or instruments. As the old adage of "just say no" or Nike's "Do It" works well for those who have the ability to "see" the space I have found that these little visualization tools may become a building block and resonance for a glimpse of the "space" and helpful for those with less meditative experience.

    Maybe it is similar to the settling down to varying levels. At one level the visualization is helpful and at a deeper level the ability to just touch the non-conceptual is available. I guess as long as attention is placed on what is happening right now, touch and let go and see what comes up next the journey will continue.

    Thanks for your imspiring insight and quote.
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Something to think about...

    Great experiment David !


    This example/experiment made me think of the following:

    No matter how much dirt,either small or large particles, float around in the water, the water itself doesn't change.
    You realise this when the water has been undisturbed for some time, as all particles have had a chance to settle.
    But what would life be like if you realise that no amount of dirt can corrupt the water, that the two don't mix or only momentarily.

    When you realise that you are always the same water, with or without dirt, would you still be bothered by some dirt being stirred around ?
     
  5. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Very good Edwin :)
     
  6. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hello Karmoh and Edwin

    Many times today when I became conscious of the "automatic" glow of thought I found myself focused on a blend of three thoughts. An image/sensation of the water with the dirt settled, the non-conceptual feeling left after the thought and a sense that I am the water just watching the whole parade.

    The image I felt was from one of the Star Trek series where there were shape shifters. They appeared as watery masses when they were shifting shapes.

    In the non-conceptual space I slipped in and out of this sense of being the water, amorphous, free and unbounded and the concentrated thought whose echo would come and go. The watery part was very soothing.

    Is thought blocked or concentrated awareness? Is it one part of the flow of

    open awareness, like the contact of a ball with a flat surface?

    Michael




    If non-concepual awareness is without thoughts how can it be described? Can it be felt in the body? Is it like the taste of sn orange?
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Stick with that last sensation if you can. Be the water... In fact, you have no choice, you have always been the water. You just realized it now.
    Just as water is unchanged by dirt, it just looks merky for a while when the glass is stirred, consciousness is unchanged by whatever is stirring up your life at this time.
    Does it need to be blocked ? Concentrated awareness is focus, a product of the mind. Useful in daily life, but unable to change the texture of consciousness. Just like thoughts, they are but a stirring of the glass.
    You are the water, always, even when you are not paying attention to it.
    Even when your focus is on a cloud of dirt coming up to the surface, even when an extra spoon of dirt is added to the glass, you are still the water in which all the dirt appears. Try it, it's your experiment ;)
    I'd say that this is roughly the same answer. Open awareness is the water. It is the first basic condition for the whole experiment. It is who you are, there is no point to stirring a glass of dirt without water right ?
    concentrated awareness, even tho it seems very close to open awareness, isn't the same. Concentrated awareness can end, you can lose focus. But when the body loses consciousness, everything stops.
    It's like open awareness is the eye, and concentrated awareness is the glass of your spectacles. Specs are useless without an eye peering through them. But when open awareness, the eye, looks through them, the glasses just help focus the image the eye is receiving effortlessly.
    Take away the glasses ( concentrated awareness ), and still the eye ( open awareness ) is effortlessly receiving images. Only with an eye needing glasses the image is out of focus haha, so that is where the analogy goes sour ;)
    Spot on ! It's impossible to describe. You can get the "feel" of it through a good analogy, like for instance that of a glass of water with a spoon of dirt in it ;)

    That feeling you described, of being the water watching the whole show... that's it !
    That's what it's all about !
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  8. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Michael & Edwin :)


    Brilliant stuff, it really is so simply that words can never touch it. :D

    Recognize awareness - water
    Let all experiences, thoughts, sensations and emotions be as they are - Dirt
    See that awareness; experiences, thoughts, sensations and emotions are inseparable. No matter how stirred or settled, they are still one.

    The more we return to this basic awareness (water) over and over, the more we see that it is always and already present. Our only job is to start looking into the present moment and recognize that awareness is inherent in our experience no matter what is appearing (dirt).

    In these moments of clear water, we discover for ourselves exactly what the words freedom, love, peace, compassion, and wisdom are really referring to.



    peace :)
     
  9. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh and Edwin
    I agree without the water the dirt does not exist. And at the same time water dirt and all else is all one and non dual.

    Is the lotus which grows from the mud or the rose out of manure any different to the universe other than to man?

    And only to man when man is not the witness.

    As the witness the rose is only another pole of the manure. Neither better nor worse merely a part of the cycle we pluck out of fullness.

    Man cultivates and sanctifies discrimination and evaluation and then hopefully shifts into witness mode and sees all as sandcastles being withered away by it's own wind.
     
  10. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Michael,

    The rose (or manure) is infinite; there is not a single moment from inactive seed to full-grown rose that is not known automatically, by something indestructible, something changeless.The rose is not confused; it has no particular point of view, or idea. The rose man sees, is not trying to become, it already is!

    Man says, “I need to know this rose.
    The bee already knows, the spider already knows, they do not stop to ponder. The universe rolls on... Awareness looks and lets man ponder these things.

    The universe is pure and unconditional, so man has the capacity to believe he is something other than the rose.

    You are what observes, not what you observe.
    – Buddha
    What we are looking for … is what is looking.
    – St. Francis of Assisi

    Peace :)
     
  11. olmate

    olmate Member

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    And one more quote...

    "we are the universe becoming aware of itself".

    Albert LaChance
     
  12. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh

    The bee sees the flower.
    Man sees the flower.

    How are they different?

    Michael
     
  13. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi michael,

    Man sees and labels, creates the separation. Man now believes he now owns the flower.

    Bee senses the nectar as part of the whole. The flower is the bee and the bee is the flower.


    Peace :)
     
  14. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh

    "Man sees and labels, creates the separation. Man now believes he now owns the flower."

    If I understand man's belief is not right thinking. Man is as connected as the bee. Although man has the ability to think, direct and make choices without right thinking wrong choices may be made.

    The bee seems to play an indispensable role as its part of the whole. Does man?
    Michael
     
  15. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Michael,

    By indispensable are you assuming that the bee is permanent?
     
  16. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh
    You ask if I feel the bee is permanent? I don't know. It seems that the flower and the bee are interbeing. When looking at the food chain the bee seems to be indispensable. But is man? Maybe being at the top of the food chain man is the most evolved.

    as Olmate wrote "we are the universe becoming aware of itself".
    Albert LaChance

    I can see that maybe the bee is at one level of the "becoming aware" which evolves to man at another level of "becomig aware."

    Are both the bee and man just vehicles that carry the evolution of the universe becoming aware of itself? One form being the bee at its level of awareness and another as man at man's level of awareness but both just rest stops along the journey?
     
  17. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Michael,

    Yes, the bee just is, yet we have evolved to the stage where we can ponder such things as life and purpose. We try and explain with our evolving language of just a few thousand years, the purpose of the universe.

    But to whom are we explaining? And for what reason?

    The bees will evolve and fade, just as the human race will.

    How could it be otherwise?

    This is just the way of all things.


    Peace :)
     
  18. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh
    As the human race fades will the consciousness have evolved to be outside of the human body and into ???

    As the current level of human consciousness has evolved without a specific memory of having been at a lower consciousness such as primates, fish or one celled paramecium?

    Michael
     
  19. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    That’s a good point :)

    There could be an argument that as consciousness (or awareness) is only ever now, Humans will never know when the switch happens, or in fact, if consciousness was ever part of human body in the first place.


    We can only attribute the “thought” that consciousness is part of the human form.

    Peace :)
     
  20. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Karmoh
    "humans will never know when the switch happens. "
    Wow. I got a good chuckle when reading that. Thanks.

    We might already be gone.

    I wonder if it might be like consciousness finding new ways new forms of expression. Like each bud on a vine forming its own flower as the vine continues to grow and evolve at its leading edge.

    What will be the next form after the human form that consciousness will shape itself into?


    Michael
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

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