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Need some clarification!

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Joe_17, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Joe_17

    Joe_17 Member

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    Sup guys just joined.

    I've been interested in meditation for a few years now.

    I became interested because I have health anxiety and wanted to sort myself out.

    I've listened to a bit of Tolle and I'm struggling to grasp 'watching the thinker' I can mentally understand what that means, however in practise is a lot harder.

    Sometimes when I'm trying to do this I keep having this thought of 'Why is it good to watch the thinker' 'Is this the way to be the real me" stuff like that because I don't have a clear understand of how the ego works.

    I wonder if watching the thinker is seeing the thought in your head or not thinking at all.

    Even when thoughts popup I always seem to think 'Am I watching the thinker?' obviously not :)

    If you could help me out and I'll go into more detail later.

    Thanks
     
  2. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Hello,

    The Power of Now is what really pushed me into the world of spirituality and meditation. It was a great starting point, and a great catalyst for growth.

    However, I personally feel like it made me misconceptualize a lot of things. Tolle likes to talk about "the thinker", "the watcher", "the observer". I believe the main purpose in Tolle differentiating these things is to help you realize that no matter what you're thinking, feeling, doing...you're always you! You are always what you are. The life of everything. Life itself doing something.

    That's the way I've looked at it, because with the way Tolle words things, I found it easy to become entangled in the trap of trying to separate this thing that he referred to often called consciousness, and the thoughts I was having. It can become easy to try and negate everything I saw and thought because he emphasizes that you are not any of these things. Which is true in a sense, because regardless of any single event that happens in your life, you are always you.

    I found much more peace and calm in realizing that thoughts, emotions, form, is not at all separate from consciousness (you). These things all happen in consciousness, and there is no way to find a certain form that you can call consciousness. Consciousness, you, are effortlessly here. No matter what. No need to do anything, no need to understand. Though if you are trying to understand, that is fine too.

    Consciousness has no form of its own, that's why you might hear people mentioning the "formless".

    Think about it this way...if you were to "find" the watcher...who would have witnessed this event happening? The watcher? :p

    I guess my main point is that the truths of our existence and life cannot be totally captured in analyzing things logically. When you find yourself totally being with whatever is (after all, everything is and arises out of consciousness) a subtle feeling of rightness, of knowing, that is totally natural seems to appear.

    Your post just reminded me of something \I might have written about two years ago :)
     
  3. olmate

    olmate Member

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    A context that has helped me along the path has been to drop language. Try to place yourself where you were prior to learning language as an infant.

    I find it introduces a new depth of presence without all of the noise (and thoughts) carried on the back of words and their subsequent meaning and attachments. It becomes raw 'is".

    Just a suggestion...

    Olmate
     
  4. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Much more concise way to say what I was saying. Thanks olmate, hope all is well!
     
  5. Joe_17

    Joe_17 Member

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    Thanks for replies.

    You make an interesting point Olmate and today I tried removing language from my mind whenever possible, unless I needed to speak.

    The biggest problem I faced was reminding myself 'remove language' whenever I caught myself thinking, it gets a little frustrating when you catch yourself thinking when you shouldn't because you're unsure how much progress you're actually making.
     
  6. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    ........it gets a little frustrating when you catch yourself thinking when you shouldn't because you're unsure how much progress you're actually making.[/QUOTE]

    At the moment you catch yourself thinking you have become aware again.

    You have no control over thoughts, they arise by themselves - you only control how you react to them.

    It is good not to set yourself standards for your meditation periods - inevitably leads to frustration. If reality is that you are thinking - maybe a lot, maybe a little and you want not to be thinking - as in deeply concentrated - you have created a new tension which will inevitably lead to more thinking.

    If thinking is predominating then turn your attention to the area of the face around the jaw and below the eyes. Gently relax this area. Just keep returning your attention here every now and then and allow it to relax. Its not a forceful movement - just an allowing.

    Thoughts arising and thinking are two different scenarios. Thoughts arise - if we take hold of them and develop them, we are thinking. You can just allow arising thoughts to pass away like drifting clouds. When you catch a thinking process going on, just return to your meditation object while relaxing the jaw area.

    Hope this helps
    peace and joy:)
    H
     
  7. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi,

    Language and thought are an interesting paradox; you cannot have one without the other.

    Midnight is correct in saying
    As is Olmate
    Consciousness is not locatable. In order for us to entertain the notion that something is located somewhere, a thought has to be arising. When a thought arises, it points to an apparent solid or imaginary object, we then label that thought, emotion or object.

    Take the thought “Cat”, points to the animal Cat. Our mind doesn’t allow this we need to process the complete picture, so in order to know that the Cat is located somewhere, we have to refer to a second object and so on. This means a train of thought must arise. The thought “Cat” and the thought “Mat” must both be entertained, so before we can give location to the Cat and say, “The Cat is sitting on the Mat.” Thoughts must arise.

    If we entertain only the thought Cat there is no location for the Cat. Location only happens when two or more objects (i.e., two or more thoughts are arising).

    A young child may point and say “Cat” but will not have the language comprehension to compile the thoughts in the phrase. If the child doesn’t know “Cat” they may just point and gurgle.

    If you drop the labels as Olmate is suggesting and just see with an infant’s eyes, the true wonder of our life appears.

    Sorry if this is confusing.....

    ....But wait there’s more...:rolleyes:

    How does the cat explanation apply to consciousness?
    To locate consciousness, you must make it into a thing. For a thing to appear, a thought must appear. Consciousness is not a thing. It is not a thought. All thoughts and things come and go within consciousness. If you believe you have located consciousness in a certain place, like in the body or outside the body, see that a thought is arising. If you let that thought come gently to rest on its own and recognise the non-conceptual awareness (consciousness) that is left when the thought comes to rest.
    In non-conceptual awareness, there are no concepts. Therefore, there are no objects. There can’t be location.
    When thoughts arise again, the sense of objects located somewhere arises. Consciousness is like the non-locatable space in which all locating-thoughts, labels, emotions arise and fall.

    Peace :)
     
  8. Joe_17

    Joe_17 Member

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    Sorry I'm new to this.

    Before we go any further, what actually is consciousness? Is it good to understand it or not?

    The times I'm present is strange, it can last shortly until then my mind tells me I'm almost losing control. I have thoughts like 'What if that person talks to me..then I must think to respond to them' or maybe I'm on my laptop and I want to make a post on here..I would find it difficult to post without thinking it through first.

    It almost feels like in everyday life to be not thinking is losing control.

    Does that make sense?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  9. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Hi Joe,

    Consciousness has many different labels I like to call it awareness. But for an explanation we will stick with consciousness.

    Consciousness sits behind everything you do, see, touch and smell. It’s what is always there, first there is consciousness, space if you like, that allows everything to appear and disappear. You cannot understand it, because it is before thought, we can only point to it with words.

    Your mind (ego) hates that feeling of losing control that you mentioned, so it makes you think that you are losing it, this brings you back under its control, its a master at making you uncomfortable, you then have to rely on the "ego" to support you.

    So, what is consciousness? Right now, before you entertain your story of who you are and before any other thought arises, there is a basic awake, non-conceptual presence that is here.

    Try this, this short paragraph changed my whole outlook..

    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 consciousness.

    When we stop like this even for one moment, it shows you that life doesn’t stop. Consciousness is what allows the present moment to effortlessly be as it is.

    Notice that when you are not thinking consciousness simply allows, for example, the chair in your room to be as it is. It naturally allows a chair to be as it is. It naturally allows the air in the room to be as it is. It takes no effort to let everything be as it is.

    Humans are accustomed to relying heavily on thoughts, both for a sense of self and for information about others and the world. But this habitual tendency to rely on thought creates a belief that we are separated from everything around us. It’s the reason we experience ourselves as separate people in a world of other separate people and things.

    Recognising consciousness is not stopping your life as it is, it’s a common trap that puts many people off. You carry on as normal, study, work, and play. But understanding that you are not really your thoughts and emotions it allows you to see the inherent freedom that we were all born with.

    Consciousness is the space that allows everything to be as it is. That space is always present and allows you to do as you wish.

    Our only job is to start looking into the present moment and recognise that consciousness is inherent in our experience no matter what is appearing to consciousness.

    At first, this consciousness (awareness) may not seem like a big deal at all. Perhaps thoughts rush right back in very quickly, one after the other, and take over your attention. But that one glimpse of life without thought is actually monumental. It is nothing short of a doorway to this inherent freedom, love, peace, compassion, and wisdom.

    I waffle too much...hopefully someone will have a clearer explaination for you :D

    Peace :)
     
  10. Joe_17

    Joe_17 Member

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    Think I've got a better grasp of what been present actually is today, practically.

    I've heard Tolle say before to try feeling everything you do and give it your fullest attention...so before I would watch every step I did and feel the water when I washed my hands, however I realise now I'd also be thinking when I did these things.

    Today I've felt more present by doing these things but WITHOUT thinking, like now I'm typing but I'm not thinking about my fingers touching the keyboard I'm just feeling it. It's like I goto have a drink of water and I'm not thinking about the drink at all or that I'm drinking water but merely feeling it go down my throat.
     
  11. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    Hi Hazelkay
    As usual the image of your words transports me into a space of contentment. Relaxing the area below my eyes feels like the awe I experience when I am looking out over a valley towards a distant mountain or the face of a loved one.

    Michael:)
     
  12. 100877jamie

    100877jamie Member

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    Karmoh, thats the best explanation of consciousness i've ever heard! you dont waffle enough my friend.

    every thing you write makes sense to me and it actually helps me loads. I think this is 3rd time i have praised and thanked you for your wise words.

    Please continue. (hope you dont think I'm stalking you mate!) but your a sort of person that people like me need to listen to!:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  13. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Thanks Jamie, although they're not really my words, they are just a collection of memories and notes that I accumulated.

    Peace :)
     
  14. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hazelkay...

    Thanks so much for that "relaxing the jaw" hint. As it turns out, you were speaking precisely to a problem I have: a tensing in that area, even when I get very "deep" into meditation. I will definitely keep your helpful hint in mind...(or, you know, NOT keep it in mind, because I don't want to think of anything.)

    Thanks again....
     
  15. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member

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    Hi Bryan and Michael - you are very welcome - I discovered this one day when I was 'trying' very hard to concentrate in a very noisy, agitated sit and in the end just did what I could have been doing all along and just relaxed and let things be. The most notable letting go was in this area and I have since found it very useful. Even those 'unthought' thoughts at the back of the mind seem to dissipate when this area loosens again.

    peace
    H
     
  16. Michael David

    Michael David Member

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    I have found this area between the upper lip and the eyes intimately connected to meditation and the sensations that accompany happiness. In my morning meditation as I am settling in I sometimes sense a tightness in the muscles around my mouth. As I relax this area the area between my upper lip and eyes also softens and a sense of happiness arises.


    Try this as a practice during the day:
    Begin with a dead pan face with soft facial muscles and no expression (you can even start with a frown if that is where you find yourself). Either way you will end up smiling. Do this as you read it, it will take 30 to 60 seconds.

    1. Very very slowly begin to smile. So slowly that if someone were watching you it would be difficult for them to see any movement of your lips as you begin to smile. The smile should take between 30 and 60 seconds.
    2. Feel the slight movement of the corners of your lips as they start to twitch and pull to the side.
    3. Notice the sensation of a slight turn upward at the corners of the lips.
    4. Notice the pull along the upper lip as the corners start to slowly move.
    5. Feel the lower lip start to firm up.
    6. Continue with the slow turn of the corners upward and notice the change of sensation between the upper lip and the nose.
    7. Feel your cheeks becoming involved and the sensation at the cheek bones.
    8. Do your lips start to part in the center or at the sides?
    9. As your teeth become exposed what are you feeling?
    10. As your smile continues notice your mood and allow it to shift along with the sensations you are feeling.
    11. Let the smile continue to include your eyes and feel them open as the muscles around the eyes relax.
    12. Feel the full smile with lips parted, cheeks flush and sides of the eyes engaged.
    13. Note your thought, mood and feelings right now.
    Michael
     

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