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Staying in the now

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Panthau, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Panthau

    Panthau Member


    Eckhart Tolle once told how he got "enlightened" when he was 29. He suffered most of his life from anxiety and depression and then one day, when he was 29, he realised that he is not his personality. From this day on, he never fell back into his old thought patterns. Great!

    Now many people try to follow his path by doing something spiritual. They try and try and most of them manage to stay in the now for a while, but nearly all of them fall back into their thought patterns after a while.

    Whats the difference? Why did he had to do nothing, while others try and get nowhere? How can we stay there once we got there? Do we need to be ready for it and every effort is useless in the end?

    Some questions for you guys :p
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    And very good questions.

    What Eckhart Tolle realised ( as you can read in "the power of Now" ) was:

    He was having an episode of very dark depression when he thought something along the lines of " I can't live with myself anymore ".
    But then he noticed what a strange thing that is to think.
    Live with myself ? I live with myself ? So that must mean that there are 2 inside me, one thinking the thought "myself" and another one.

    What if one of them isn't real ?

    And that was all that was needed to start the transformation, he realised that the thoughts telling him how bad he was feeling or should be feeling weren't who he really was.

    What happened to Eckhart Tolle is called a spontanious realisation.
    This is very very rare. In fact, according to the "rules" of Buddhism, he may be considered a Buddha.

    Usually, it is easyer to come to this realisation with the help of someone who is allready there, generally called a "master" or "Guru" for purpose sake.
    Eckhart tolle described it beautifully: " Just like a branch will burn brighter when placed near a burning log, so will a teacher be able to help you realise the truth faster ".

    What Eckhart teaches also falls under the general term Advaita Vedanta. But Zen and other forms of Buddhism also have the same goal. As also the Gnostic Mysticists like Meister Eckhart ( not Tolle :p)
    The goal is to realise that your true self is not a person. True Self is awareness, always happening in the Now. In that awareness, the world appears, just like thoughts and feelings also appear.
    They happen in awareness, and are thus part of the awareness, but do not contribute to it. They are phenomena in awareness, just like the chair next to you, and the pc screen in front of you. In a way, your thoughts are just as much objects.

    However, thoughts can make you believe that they are active contributors, even that they ARE awareness. And with that thought comes the thought "I", and when you start believing that you are seperate, everybody else automatically becomes "them". "I am separate from the world" is what you have become to believe you are.

    Think of it as a bar of iron placed in a fire.
    It will become hot due to the fire, consuming it's energy.
    If the iron bar were human it would think that it is actively contributing to the fire, but when you take it out again, it will cool down.

    The same thing goes for thoughts about yourself ( or as Tolle describes it, Ego ).
    All thoughts need that spark of energy called Life. We are life. We know that we live, that we are alive, that we are here. Nobody is able to say that he doesn't exist.
    What happens to thought when you are not aware, or dead ? Can they exist in a corpse ?
    Of course not !
    So thought ( a bar of iron ) exists in awareness ( the fire ).

    So if you are the fire, and the thought a bar of iron, can the thought "I feel depressed" really be about you ? Or is that a thought ( iron bar ) that means nothing when removed from ( the fire of ) awareness ?

    It doesn't matter who you think you are ;)

    Do you see the similarities between what I am writing in these threads and what Eckhart Tolle writes ?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  3. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    Thanks for your response Edwin!

    I understand and see the similaritys, i would even say that i theoretically nearly fully understand what its all about. I even was there (surely not "fully" in the moment, but at least a bit) in and after my meditations, but i just cant stay there or be "total" in the now.

    Maybe its something that grows with time when you desire so and when you meditate?
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Always try to realise it now. You will never realise it tomorrow, because you live now :)
  5. Panthau

    Panthau Member


    It doesnt matter anyway... its all how it should be.

    Edit: Alrighhhty... i really tried it now, to stay in the now. I meditated, and afterwars focused myself as good as i was able to, to be "here". Was happend was, that i was getting ultimate ANGRY(!).

    Im meditating, trying to staying in the now. I fail and i keep detracting myself from my feelings. Im getting the message that i should let the love in, open my heart - thats the key. Now it makes sense... to open my heart, i have to feel the anger. Beeing in the now leads me to what there is - the anger. I cant stay in the now as long as this isnt solved. Ha! At least my brain is still working! :p
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Dude !

    For your next meditation, I want you to try to stay 5 minutes in the future.
    Once you have succeeded, I want you to stay exactly 3 minutes in the past.
    Once you have mastered that, you can really stay in the Now.

    Ok Hopefully you get the picture.

    How in the world can you try to stay in the now ? that's like an iceberg making real effort not to sink into the water.

    Useless, as you allready are in the Now, constantly. Just like an iceberg can't sink, you can't get out of the Now.
    No, instead, you have to realise that only the Now is real. You are only alive in the Now. Future and past are concepts of the mind. Usefull because it helps you to recognise a melody when listening to music ( you recognise the notes going up and down because you remember the one you heard before ) but useless in ways of thinking that you were alive 5 minutes ago. Who cares ? What matters is Now ! Future is usefull for making appointments, but not when you imagine yourself living in it. That is pure wasting of time Now.

    Now is all there is.

    When I said you have to realise it now, I meant that the moment in which enlightenment comes can only occur in the Now. Never in time. Not next week, not next year, not 30 years from now. It will never come in the future.
    It can only happen Now, as that is where you are.

    however if you experience anger Now, you have to observe it, just like every other emotion and thought. You have reached a pinnacle in meditation, now is when you will really start meditating. Now you will observe the emotions you don't want to experience. If you do that, and don't run for it ( remember the skunk again ! ) finally, after messing about for almost a year, will you know what the real power of meditation is.

    Are you up for it ? Or will you go back to your messing about, hoping for wonderfull magic meditation sessions that contribute nothing to your life ?

    Please try !
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  7. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    Hehe Edwin, you´re like a prayer against windmills, thanks for not giving up :))

    So what i meant with staying in the now was, concentrate on my body and my breath and staying with my thoughts in the now. I can stay in the future or past easily with my thoughts, and thats what i do most of the time.

    Im curios... i think i "am" up to it. How much more signposts can i get? Im a bit slow on this, after a year still on lvl8 - but on the other hand, im lightyears away from the point where i was a year ago!

    Time will tell!
    Thanks again for your effort!
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    and what's wrong with windmills ? ;) I will keep on going until you understand or get fed up with me.
    It is better to not try to steer your thoughts into staying in the now. Instead you have to totally detach yourself from your thoughts.
    If thoughts want to concentrate on past or future, let them ! Constantly remind yourself that you are the one observing those thoughts.
    You are not the thinker ! You are the awareness in which everything appears, objects as well as thoughts. The feeling you get when you say out loud " I AM ", the feeling of your existence right now, that is who you really are.
    All development you have experienced so far, is development of ego. There is nothing wrong with that, because it breaks the negative spiral that you were in. Anti-depressants do the same thing.
    You changed negative aspects of your ego into less negative aspects of your ego.

    What I am talking about is total dissolvement of ego. Ego means the false belief that the image you have of yourself is who you are. Right now with you a negative self-image is slowly being replaced by a positive self-image.
    But if the self-image is gone, when you don't know what to think of yourself anymore, what is left can only be your True Self. And since true Self only exists in the Now ( you only exist/live Now, it is impossible to exist 5 minutes ago or in the future ), and a self-image can be projected in the future or past, it has to be false.

    It is possible to see the difference between a self image and true Self.
    You see, a self image is thoughts, and thoughts can be noticed as they appear, just like in meditation. So whatever you think you are, can't be who you are. You are the one looking at thoughts, you can't be thoughts.
    If you can't see an image of yourself, it is like a void, there is nothing you can see about your Self.
    Because Self is looking, it can't see itsSelf.

    This is a terrifying concept for your mind. AAAAARGH I AM NOTHING it will think. And BAM it's gone. All false believe about who you are will dissolve.
    And for the rest, nothing changes. You will simply live the life you have been living. You will see thoughts appear just like before. But they won't be about you anymore, even when it says " I ".
    And because you don't believe in this false self ( ego ), all fears and worries attached to that false self will disappear alongside it.
    There are no problems in the Now.
    If a challenge appears, you act upon it. When a thought or a fear appears, you notice it. And it will go away again. Because there is no you anymore that needs to feel scared.

    What's wrong with right now unless you think about it ?
    "Sailor" Bob Adamson
  9. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    Nothing wrong with windmills :D

    To be true, it confuses me even more. I am not the thinker? So what is thinking? Can the mind think without any input/energy? I thought its just machine-like, like a computer?

    I get the feeling that im walking in circles "inside" my mind. I try to achieve something within the mind, which is outside of it. I can only experience it in the experience, can i?

    I experienced my thoughts like water running through my brain, but i was not attached to it. So this moment, my mind was in the now, but i was unconscious about it and still identified with my personality.

    I cannot detach from my personality within my personality, can i? My mind seems so strong... i think it had to be ultimate strong to not go crazy with the experiences ive made, but that makes it even worse now... :p

    Thanks again,
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Thoughts are formed in the mind. You become conscious of them when they arise. They have allready been formed before that. What is thinking ? Mind. Who is aware of that ? You.
    Experiences will change. They are not constant, even when mind wants it to stay a certain way.
    Even your body will have replaced every cell in your body every 7 year cycle.
    Yet you have not changed. You do not age, even when your body does.
    Since experiences do change, and you don't, experiences can't be who you are. You are the one experiencing. This can only happen in the Now, in which everything happens.
    Your "personality" are also thoughts. If you truly experienced your thoughts without attachment, you can't be attached to personality.
    How can you detach from something that doesn't exist in the first place ? Mind will continue to appear strong until you notice that it is thought, and that thought can't affect who you really are.

    And another reminder: Thought comes up, you notice it. Thought is formed in your subconscious, and subconscious leaves it up to you, in consciousness to decide if the thought is useful or not. You are the editor of thought.
    Not every thought has to be true, they are brought up subconsciously hoping that they might be of help. But not every thought is of help. Some are even rediculous.
    Thinking "now why did I think of that ?" is irrelevant. Why bother with the question "why" if you could be observing the thought instead. If it is relevant, you will act upon it. If not, why bother spending energy on it.
  11. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Great sage

    Read this:

    Ramana Maharshi

    Robert Adams efforts might reach you better.
  12. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    I like that text, thanks! It has its own strength, reading it leads me to the right direction... gonna have to read it over and over :)

    At least thats something i can do... the self-inquiry.
    Ill talk to you in 25 years... :p

    Thanks again,
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Lol at least I know you read it with your referral to the 25 years ;)

    If you have questions... :)
  14. testdaffodil

    testdaffodil Member

    Hi pan,
    i have been and am going through the similar circles of self enquiry that lead to many full of chatter head meditation sessions ending in anger and frustrations especially with level 6.may be i was trying too hard or the level
    itself was leading me to frantic search for which i theoritically understand
    is nothing.It seems so simple yet so difficult , i guess ego and well conditioned
    brain/mind doesen't give up easily without a good fight before it's knocked down torest.
    It's understandable that Echart tolle had been through similar searching route until his "I can't live with myself anymore moment" which gave birth to his power of now.

    Ramana maharishi (thanks for the link Edwin,i've printed out a copy to read and re-read) says everything is predistined similar along the lines to the Zen wisdom of snowflakes falls exactly where it must land which Edwin has posted a few times.I see it this way - with patience and regular practice we'll get there at our destined time.if you are reading on pg 22 RM says "keep practicing, keep practicing and you'll break it down"
    Also on pg 23 when asked Is our true self here now? he answered yes, you'll
    awakened to it ,but must practice self-inquiry to use ego to get rid of ego.
    All the anger clearly makes a lot of sense to me.
    I also apply writing down everything that comes to my mind before sitting down for meditation,It settles my mind a lot and has helped me attain calmer sessions however i've developed a greater need of space and quiet, a need to be by myself and sit in endless silence.
    I'm enjoying my learning journey
  15. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    Hi again,

    Yes it seems so simple, and this Robert seems to rarely remember his time before he was enlightened ;-), because for him it seems so effortless and for us it seems nearly impossible.

    Im taking this serious, i want to get there because i feel theres no other path for me (that makes sense in this life). If my mind lays obstacles in my way, its fine, but ill get back on the track. :p

    Thats interesting. When i ask myself "who feels the anger" f.example, then the one asking the question cant be me. Yet it leads me to my true self. Its paradox in some way... :)

  16. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    YES ! Exactly !

    That in itself is an insight Pan !
    Who is the questioner ? The question itself is the questioner !

    The ‘I’ casts off the illusion of ‘I’ and yet remains as ‘I’. Such is the paradox of Self- realization.
    Ramana Maharshi
  17. Matti

    Matti Member

  18. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    At least, i got one! Its like a lottery win! LOL

    No seriously... im asking myself since i´ve been reading this text, all the time "who is doing/thinking/feeling this and that". With the time it feels like im always touching a border, the borders around me. Like the limits im acting within my mind.

    Thanks for the link Matti, gonna check it out!
  19. nick k

    nick k Member

  20. Panthau

    Panthau Member

    Thanks for the links nick!

    Mooji reflects something in me, which i like... so i like watching his teachings :)

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