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Why do we notice?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by brozen, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. brozen

    brozen Member

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    Hi all,
    Have been seeing a lot of talk of 'noticing' lately, and it has always been something I haven't been able to fully understand.

    Is noticing something we do as a practice, kind of a reminder to be in the now? The same way that we return to our breath when our mind wanders during meditation?

    Or is it something we do when we are already in the now? Kind of like a symptom of being in the moment?

    I describe it this way because from what I read about 'noticing', it has reminded me of what it's like to be high from marijuana. Everything seems as if it is the first time you have done it. Often times while performing a simple act my mind will flash back to the first time I did that same act when I was a child.
    For example: While high, I was pouring myself a glass of coke. While pouring it, I felt all the parts of the moment. Having to balance the coke bottle in my hand as the liquid contents changed as it was poured, watching as the liquid came out at an angle and filled the glass, the speed of the liquid as it came out of the bottle, changing the angle of the bottle to slow the liquid as the cup became full. There was so many different motions to be aware of it was actually a difficult task in pouring the coke.
    While pouring the drink, I had a flashback to when I was in preschool learning to pour water out of a jug into a cup. Something that is very difficult for children, and for good reason. Experiencing the physics of the world in a new, specific task.
    These two moments seemed to be exactly the same, in terms of experience.

    I wonder, is this what being in the moment is all about? Noticing the wondrous interactions between everything?
    What is there to say about getting 'used to' or 'bored' of a moment that we have repeated 1000 times before? If there can be boredom in a task, does that mean it otherwise brings pleasure? Is noticing an act of gaining pleasure? Or is noticing neither to do with pleasure nor boredom?

    Sorry for the boat load of questions. I guess I don't need answers to everything. Looking forward to any understanding that can be given.

    PEACE
     
  2. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Have you ever walked to the store, or driven to the mall and once there cannot remember any of the journey. Have you ever got up from the couch to get a drink and on reaching the kitchen forgotten why you are there. Have you ever started a task and constantly wonder why it is that this moment never feels quite good enough, and why the mind keeps moving forward.

    Noticing is an all-day everyday process, not a practice, even noticing that you are not noticing is noticing. Noticing cannot be put in to words as such, but we can list pointers to allow us to see.

    Notice that when you look at the night sky with the thought in your head that you are a person looking at the stars, the star seems very detached completely out of reach. But when you look deeply, without the thought of yourself, there is only the seeing and you and the stars are one in a way the mind will never grasp.

    Notice everything around you. Then notice how you label everything as chair, desk, furniture, room, building, street, and town. Notice that only thought separates reality into parts.

    Notice how others feel, what they say, what thoughts and emotions are arising within them.

    Notice the tone of your wife, children’s or friend’s voices, the depth in their eyes, their very essence. Don’t think about them. Your thoughts about them have nothing to do with them. They are your interpretations of what is. Don’t conclude that there is no one there in the other. Conclusions do not see. Just look, listen, and feel. Be the space for others.

    There is no “why” for noticing, you either notice or you don’t. Life is simply happening. It is not happening to you. It is happening whether you resist it or welcome it. Your choice notice life or let it pass by.


    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  3. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Hi Brozen,

    On the path I have chosen - perhaps if I try to describe some key elements, it may help put noticing into context...

    The meditation practice is not about trying to make something happen. Nor do I meditate to get an insight. In fact nothing about the meditation is to gain any possession whatsoever. Quite the reverse. The meditation practice is to dispossess myself - not just ideas or insights, but the whole self.

    The essence of this path is to become totally absorbed with creation (a very subjective word but trying to point to everything).

    So for me noticing is being at one with creation. Dispossing self and just being - at one with everything - in this moment - with heightened awareness - no story, no labels - just being.

    One of my teachers practices "dying" every day so he can be truely "alive".

    So this is an unfiltered view/ experience / way of being.

    I hope that helps.

    Olmate
     
  4. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

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    Hi Brozen...

    You asked a simple question, and received just a couple of replies. But so much to think about, already. That's the great strength I have, ahem..."noticed" about this forum.

    What wonderful contradictions. Many of our members head into meditation every day, in a quest to find the true Self. Olmate does the opposite: meditates to "dispossess...the whole self". Essentially, to escape from the self.

    Some people are "dying to be alive"; others "dying...to be alive".

    Amazing. Thanks, everyone....
     
  5. brozen

    brozen Member

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    hey guys, ive been stressing myself out reading about noticing and just not getting it. I know that most things in my meditation journey become easier with time and experience. I feel like I am trying way too hard to understand HOW to notice, but I'm sure it will make sense one day when the idea of 'noticing' will make sense.

    Maybe its just a simple thing, and I'm turning it into some far out zen technique that has to mastered.

    Although, since meditating I have found social situations to be a lot 'easier'. I almost understand the exact right thing to say in each situation etc.
    I can say that I have a little more understanding of what it means to notice others' emotions. Noticing actions of others that otherwise would have been missed, ignored. Noticing the way people say things, how they react to certain situations. I guess it is noticing EVERYTHING that is going on rather than only noticing what my mind bothers to remember. (an issue with living, not in the moment)
    Just after writing that paragraph I instantly feel a lot less 'stressed' about not understanding noticing.
    These also just gained meaning to me.



    lol, nice.

    Thanks everyone, I feel like noticing makes a lot more sense now.
    I also think I have an answer to "WHY" we notice. Maybe not the reason why we should notice but more in terms of benefits of noticing. By noticing, we become more in tune with life. Being in tune means life is lived, more truly, and often this makes the situations in life much easier. Just some ramblings for me to look back on...

    Thanks again. peace to all
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  6. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

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    Exactly :)
    This mystery called life is being lived through you. Life is you, and you are life. No separation. Try not to make a belief system or religion out of that. Just look.
    In this noticing, you see life the way that it really is.

    Peace :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  7. Mr Monkey

    Mr Monkey Member

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    Hi Brozen,

    Just to throw in my couple of pence worth… to me you seem to have noticed lots but your mind still isn’t happy with that :mad:, it expects you to not only notice more but also to do it much better then you have been doing! :eek:

    For me ‘noticing’ is just being aware of being caught up in thoughts/emotion which can manipulate you unconsciously into reacting to something negatively. For example sometimes I notice that I am starting to feel angry towards someone simply because they disagree with me (I have a long way to go on this journey! :p). If I notice this angry rising then I can just get outside the anger and watch it (hope that makes sense) appreciating it’s just another point of view and I can let the feelings go, no biggy. If I don’t I can get caught up in some pointless petty argument which after approximately 15 minutes of it ending I will have a forehead slap “Doh!” moment as realise I let myself buy into a load of ego rubbish.

    Personally I try to treat noticing (or just being mindful of) things like my own reactions, reactions in others, my senses, nature etc as I do meditation. Accept that sometimes I’ll get caught up in the thoughts and sometime I’ll be watching them, but generally as a trend over time I’ll get better at noticing things.

    It might be worth you trying simply being pleased your noticing some things (as this is a good start) and accept that instantly becoming Mr NoticeAllBeforeHim is unlikely achievement so don’t let you mind concern you with how “well” your doing. Over time and with some patience your skills in noticing/mindfulness are likely to develop further. In fact when you feel worried about not noticing enough, sit back and watch the mind as you would in meditation and turn the worry about not noticing into a noticing practice itself ;) :D.

    Paul :)
     

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