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Old October 17th, 2010, 15:49   #1 (permalink)
Mr Monkey (Offline)
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Edwin,

In response to your questions:

If you truly live in the present moment, would you still feel the need to anticipate anything ?
As I understand it no, as you would be focused on the present moment not the future (or the past for that matter). This is what made me think as I've seen a few comments from people who 'get it' (enlightenment or which ever word you wish to use) that they are 'looking forward' to things. To switch this slightly, most of the stuff I have read on this suggests that the way out of fear/anxiety is to live in the present moment, so you don't reflect on what has happened and don't get lost in mental projections about the future, which makes sense. If this is correct then surely 'looking forward' to something (good or bad, or from a non-dualistic viewpoint anything) is a departure from the present moment, which suggests to me that the person isn't fully enlightened (but equally it could be my understanding of enlightenment that is at fault).

And another question:
What are you anticipating right now ? Does your precious ego tell you to watch out for an incoming meteorite ? Maybe there is some toxic chemical in the air that you are breathing right now, and you could be dead in 30 minutes.
Or the chair you are sitting on, will it hold you or can you fall over any minute ?

As you illustrate there are many different things I could look into the future for but don't. I think what you suggesting here is that people only anticipate certain things, maybe only those things that my ego has a vested interested in?

You live under the illusion that you have your life firmly in control, that you are in the command seat of your life.
But really, if this were true, how is it that your life isn't going completely the way you want all the time ?
We are not in the business of acting, but in the business of re-acting to whatever life brings us. No need to anticipate anything. That doesn't mean that you can throw away your agenda, or stop paying for your life-insurance, it just means that if you look upon what is, right now, without thinking about it, as if through the eyes of a new-born baby, your reaction to whatever life brings you will be much more accurate to this particular situation than it would have been if you had anticipated it.
Get my drift ?

I sort of get your drift; my problem is that I can see a conflict between living in the now and planning things. To plan/anticipate something I'd think "OK I need to go to the shops, I need to get x, y, z" or I need to complete "Job 1, 2 and 3 later", now if I was focussed on the present moment fully surely I wouldn't focus on the planning thoughts, a new born baby certainly wouldn't which is where I don't understand.

"But if you are always ready to accept everything you see as something that appears from nothing... At that moment you will have achieved complete peace of mind." Shunryn Suzuki
This ones thrown me a bit... I can accept that thoughts just 'pop up' and we have no control over them - but itís a bit harder to apply if this is looking at things in a wider context and is suggesting everything in the physical World Ďjust popped upí.

Thanks for taking the time out to reply, you certainly provided some food for thought and but I get the feeling I'm having to be spoon fed, so your patience is appreciated.

I will of course be interested in your response, but in the mean time I will try my best not to anticipate it

Cheers, Paul
 
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Old October 18th, 2010, 16:14   #2 (permalink)
Edwin (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Mr Monkey View Post
As I understand it no, as you would be focused on the present moment not the future (or the past for that matter). This is what made me think as I've seen a few comments from people who 'get it' (enlightenment or which ever word you wish to use) that they are 'looking forward' to things. To switch this slightly, most of the stuff I have read on this suggests that the way out of fear/anxiety is to live in the present moment, so you don't reflect on what has happened and don't get lost in mental projections about the future, which makes sense. If this is correct then surely 'looking forward' to something (good or bad, or from a non-dualistic viewpoint anything) is a departure from the present moment, which suggests to me that the person isn't fully enlightened (but equally it could be my understanding of enlightenment that is at fault).
You can get as philosphical about this as you want, but mind will never grasp the concept of enlightenment because the only way to experience it is to realise that you exist outside your mind.
When someone tells me I am out of my mind I actually thank them

Now, when you try to make me believe that someone can only be fully enlightened when they can't plan ahead or remember anything from the past anymore, do you not feel that you are missing the point yourself ?
First of all according to that point of view an enlightened one would be restricted in his or her way of life rather than someone who isn't enlightened.
Then only very silly people would want to become enlightened right ?

Enlightenment doesn't mean that you can't think ahead or remember anything anymore, it means that you realise that even the planning ahead or remembering occurs in the now.

As you illustrate there are many different things I could look into the future for but don't. I think what you suggesting here is that people only anticipate certain things, maybe only those things that my ego has a vested interested in?
well... I meant it more as an illustration how you think that you are planning ahead, but that it is impossible to keep all things in check. You just live under the illusion that you can plan everything ahead.
But planning ahead is ok, it's more that with the ego, you are more worrying ahead rather than planning ahead.
.....
I sort of get your drift; my problem is that I can see a conflict between living in the now and planning things. To plan/anticipate something I'd think "OK I need to go to the shops, I need to get x, y, z" or I need to complete "Job 1, 2 and 3 later", now if I was focussed on the present moment fully surely I wouldn't focus on the planning thoughts, a new born baby certainly wouldn't which is where I don't understand.
Wow, you are really mixing up concepts here aren't you ?
the baby example is not to illustrate how happy a baby is because he is not planning, the baby example is to illustrate how you can look at everything in the world as if it is for the first time.
I can demonstrate that with this:
"But if you are always ready to accept everything you see as something that appears from nothing... At that moment you will have achieved complete peace of mind." Shunryn Suzuki
This ones thrown me a bit... I can accept that thoughts just 'pop up' and we have no control over them - but itís a bit harder to apply if this is looking at things in a wider context and is suggesting everything in the physical World Ďjust popped upí.
Let's say that you have a beautiful old tree in your garden.
If you look out the window, you expect the tree to be there.
This expectation is normal, as you have no reason to believe that the tree would be gone.
However, often when we look out the window, instead of actually looking at the tree, we still see the image of the tree we have in our head before we are looking.
It's a tree, brown trunk, green leaves.

However, if you would look outside as if with the eyes of a baby, as if looking at it for the first time, you see that the trunk of the tree is actually grey with brown and green and yellow spots on top of that, and the structure of the tree looks wonderfully complex.
And yes, the leaves are green, but the top of the leaves are darkgreen and the bottom is lightgreen, and when the wind touches the leaves, they seem to flash light and dark green at you in a dazzling pattern.

So, what Shunryn Suzuki meant, is that when you don't look out the window, in your mind you will know that the tree is there, but you can only see how beautiful it really is the moment it appears in "your" consciousness.

I am not doubting the fact that the tree was there when you weren't looking, I am not stupid, I know it is still there.
On the other hand, it becomes real when it appears in you, and when you look away, it disappears from you, and the tree that you produce in your mental image is not real anymore.
Everything appears and disappears in your consciousness like that, light, sounds, thoughts, emotions...
They appear, and they disappear. The only constant factor is you, in which everything appears and disappears
 
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Old October 19th, 2010, 15:18   #3 (permalink)
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I think (and it certainly seems like) I confuse myself trying to get my head round this stuff, maybe I need to reread/rewatch a few things or possibly just take a break from trying to understand for a while. On the plus side at least I know I'm going off course so I've go the chance to correct it .

Its odd in that I can sense that there is something really good/valuable there (in the understanding) but at the same time can't grasp it, the penny just doesn't seem to want to drop .

Thanks for taking the time to reply, it's appreciated.
 
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Old October 19th, 2010, 16:11   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, let me just pick up on one of the answers you gave to Edwin and see if I can assist...

I sort of get your drift; my problem is that I can see a conflict between living in the now and planning things. To plan/anticipate something I'd think "OK I need to go to the shops, I need to get x, y, z" or I need to complete "Job 1, 2 and 3 later", now if I was focussed on the present moment fully surely I wouldn't focus on the planning thoughts, a new born baby certainly wouldn't which is where I don't understand.
It's absolutely fine to plan things in advance, and to look to the future and that doesn't mean that you're not living in the present moment. They key is how you 'reason' what the future will be and whether your reasoning of the future is flexible enough to adapt as the present moment changes (to the present moment, if you get my drift hehe!).

Often, we create some idea about the future and we base it on our past experience. That's ok to a point providing it's based on the facts of the past, but our mind is a good trickster as Edwin says, and it will merge memories together and insert a few emotions for good measure and all of a sudden this future we're creating in our mind is made up of a lot of things from the past that really don't need to be there. That isn't reasoning, that's the mind playing with you (creating fear in a lot of cases).

Take the example of going for an interview...

Let's say you've been for interviews before and always felt very nervous and felt you have had trouble putting yourself across positively and struggled to get the job. Now this next interview, you have a choice. You can let your mind create the future idea of what this interview is going to be like, based on your past interviews and let it put in a few of those emotions and false ideas for you, "I'm going to be so nervous", "I don't know what to say to them" etc. etc. or you can use reason to plan for the interview... i.e. consider what sort of questions you were asked before that you may need to answer this time; what sort of person they are looking for in that job role; what questions you may want to ask them; what time you need to set out from home to get there with some time to spare etc. Reason tells you that there's no point in worrying or having fear about the future because it hasn't happened yet and you can't possibly know as fact what will happen; in fact Reason tells you that any worries and fears come from the past experience and no two experiences are the same, so why should this future interview be the same. You can go to the interview and use what skills and knowledge you have to answer the questions they ask. They may not be all the questions you were expecting, but by going into it without the fears of the past and remaining in the present moment when you're there, you will be listening to what it is they are asking you and the answer, if it's something you can answer, will come to you without having to think about it. The truth doesn't require thinking about. (I'm sure you're aware there are far too many people who go to an interview with worries and fears and don't answer the question that they are being asked, because they aren't present and thus aren't listening).

Being present doesn't mean forgetting everything that's gone on before, it means acting on the situation as it is presently, using skills and truthful knowledge and facts you have gained from the past without tainting them with the things the mind and ego want to put on top of it. Yes, not everything may have gone well in the past, but you can't expect the future to be the same, you can only use the facts of what happened in the past as lessons to assist in the present to create the future you want. Act rather than Re-Act.



Hugs

Giles
 
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Old October 19th, 2010, 19:38   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr Monkey View Post
I think (and it certainly seems like) I confuse myself trying to get my head round this stuff, maybe I need to reread/rewatch a few things or possibly just take a break from trying to understand for a while. On the plus side at least I know I'm going off course so I've go the chance to correct it .

Its odd in that I can sense that there is something really good/valuable there (in the understanding) but at the same time can't grasp it, the penny just doesn't seem to want to drop .

Thanks for taking the time to reply, it's appreciated.
Sure, no problem !

The only way to explain non-duality is through words and thoughts, which are part of the dual world. No wonder that words seem to contradict each other all the time, words are dual, and the message is non-dual.
The only way to "get it" is to keep on asking questions, and wait for the words to sink in. Most Advaita teachers agree that that moment on which the penny drops can be considered as "grace".
No matter how hard you work to understand it, you just have to wait for it.

Having said that, even tho it again seems contradictionairy, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.

- First, have faith that it can and will happen. Trust the Universe to know what's best for you. It will happen when it will happen.

- If you find a teacher, trust that teacher completely ( unless you are asked to sell all your worldly properties and give your money to him )

- The experience you have from meditation will help you immensely. During meditation you will have learned to accept - and not attach to - thoughts and emotions. Now try to apply that knowledge to your daily life. Really, what is different from meditation compared to daily life ? In meditation thoughts and emotions come up and disappear in you, the same thing always happens when you are not in meditation. Thoughts come up, emotions come up. The only difference is that while meditating, you don't attach to the thoughts, and in daily life you seem to think that it is nessacary to do attach to every thought and emotion. Stop that !

Instead, try to figure out who sees those thoughts and emotions come up and disappear again. And if you really do see those thoughts and emotions come up, that must mean that they are not part of You, right ?

**PS Great explanation Giles

Last edited by Edwin : October 19th, 2010 at 19:43. Reason: PS for Giles who answered while I was answering.... again...;)
 
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 02:34   #6 (permalink)
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Gents,

As ever, thanks to you both. I've read both responses and they have helped to move my understanding in the right direction. I've followed up Edwinís post with a few comments (rather than questions), but if I've seems like I've gone way off course again, please nudge (but by now you maybe ready to shove ) me in the right direction.

Originally Posted by Edwin
The only way to explain non-duality is through words and thoughts, which are part of the dual world. No wonder that words seem to contradict each other all the time, words are dual, and the message is non-dual.
Its that sort of stuff that bends my head a bit . I've read/watched Eckhart Tolle, watched some Mooji and read a bit of 'Sailor Bob' and parts of each make sense or feel right. But half the time its like I'm trying to tune onto a frequency that I just can't get hold of for long, so can only get snippets of information/understanding from time to time . But from what I've read on here and elsewhere, I can't expect my little Monkey mind to grasp this type of thinking fully as it always thinks in positive/negative.

Originally Posted by Edwin
The only way to "get it" is to keep on asking questions, and wait for the words to sink in. Most Advaita teachers agree that that moment on which the penny drops can be considered as "grace".
Something that really did hit me once when I was listening to ET and two things he said (which I paraphrase):
'Your name is just a mental basket into which your mind puts all your past experiences (success/failures) along with accompanying emotions'
'Imagine life if you didn't have a name'

On one occasion after hearing that my past and future seemed to dissolve and I felt myself going really deep within myself into what seemed like a lot of space and feeling a bit 'at one with things'. A nice experience but not one I have been able to recreate or have attached too much significance too. I have had similar'ish experiences on the odd occasion reading and watching other things, but not to the same degree. So I feel I may have 'dipped my toe in' a little non-duality but am still very much on the outskirts.

Originally Posted by Edwin
No matter how hard you work to understand it, you just have to wait for it.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Originally Posted by Edwin
have faith that it can and will happen. Trust the Universe to know what's best for you. It will happen when it will happen.
In honesty I'm not 100% it will happen to me, but its nice to think its a possibility and I feel naturally drawn towards these types of teachings.

Originally Posted by Edwin
The only difference is that while meditating, you don't attach to the thoughts, and in daily life you seem to think that it is necessary to do attach to every thought and emotion. Stop that !
I am getting a bit better at watching thoughts/emotions and for the most part they feel a bit more distant when I do catch them. This follows my experiences over time meditation in that they (the ones I call 'good', but I know I shouldn't really label any session ) have gradually got deeper. So hopefully chipping away at things, albeit slowly .

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 12:30   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr Monkey View Post
Originally Posted by Edwin
The only way to explain non-duality is through words and thoughts, which are part of the dual world. No wonder that words seem to contradict each other all the time, words are dual, and the message is non-dual.


Its that sort of stuff that bends my head a bit .
The explanation is quite simple. The mind is made to work within this realm of duality. It's task is to box and label things. It has to work with measurements, degrees, amounts and so on.
What good would your mind be if you didn't know just how much coughsirop you are supposed to take ? Would your house still be standing if the measurements by the construction workers were all wrong ?

The mind is a beautiful tool that is needed to make daily life possible.

However, in order to understand things, it has to give things a place, to box and label it like I said. However there are certain things that the mind will never grasp.

Example:
A simple word like " infinity " is a nice attempt of the mind to box and label something endless. It made a word, stamped that on an idea of what infinity might be according to the mind, and done, the mind can let it go.
But now try to imagine what it would be like to fly your spaceship through infinate space, nothing to slow you down, you would just go on and on and on, nothing stopping you, a never ending story.
The theory is that space will never ever end, there are no "outskirts of the universe", there is no end, it just goes on and on.
If you really try to grasp what that means with your mind, you should by now start to get a bit queezy, maybe even a bit dizzy trying to grasp the concept of something that can never be caught in a concept. It is without end, without boundries, and mind can't accept that.

Another example ( a favourite with me )
A simple word like " hole ".
There is a hole in my sock.
The mind tries to tell you that your sock isn't whole, complete anymore.
But naming something that isn't there is actually impossible.
A hole is "nothing with something around it".
How can you conceptualise something that isn't there ?
I've read/watched Eckhart Tolle, watched some Mooji and read a bit of 'Sailor Bob' and parts of each make sense or feel right. But half the time its like I'm trying to tune onto a frequency that I just can't get hold of for long, so can only get snippets of information/understanding from time to time . But from what I've read on here and elsewhere, I can't expect my little Monkey mind to grasp this type of thinking fully as it always thinks in positive/negative.
That's right, very good, every time your mind tries to understand, it will fail. The real problem here is that you are saying " I don't understand ".
You know allready from meditation that thoughts come up and disappear by themself. You can't stop a thought as you don't know when it will come up.
They don't announce themselves until they are allready there.

So, the fact that you are thinking is actually a misconception by itself.
You are not thinking, thoughts are coming up in that which is watching them.
The Real You.

Michael has this nice example in the meditation course, to see thoughts come up and go by like watching clouds on a summer day.
The clouds come up, flow by, and move away from sight. Nothing you can do about them.
How could you ?
Now, if thoughts are the same as clouds, how is it that we can say "I am thinking" but when watching clouds we don't say "I am clouding" ?
Why does "I am clouding" sound rediculous and "I am thinking" doesn't ?

This misconception is based on your belief that you are your mind. That the apparatus that is producing thoughts is who you are.
But how can that be ? If you are able to watch the thoughts come up and disappear, how can you be part of it ? An observer has to be seperate from that which he is observing. And you have proven to yourself allready through meditation that you are observing thoughts.
Something that really did hit me once when I was listening to ET and two things he said (which I paraphrase):
'Your name is just a mental basket into which your mind puts all your past experiences (success/failures) along with accompanying emotions'
'Imagine life if you didn't have a name'

On one occasion after hearing that my past and future seemed to dissolve and I felt myself going really deep within myself into what seemed like a lot of space and feeling a bit 'at one with things'. A nice experience but not one I have been able to recreate or have attached too much significance too. I have had similar'ish experiences on the odd occasion reading and watching other things, but not to the same degree. So I feel I may have 'dipped my toe in' a little non-duality but am still very much on the outskirts.
To me that sounds rediculous, because I know that you are allready non-dual, but because you still firmly believe the thoughts that come up that claim to be who you are, ( just count the number of I's in what you wrote above and tell me which one of those didn't start as a thought ) the truth ( or the true you actually ) is covered up by a lot of thoughts claiming to be you.
In honesty I'm not 100% it will happen to me, but its nice to think its a possibility and I feel naturally drawn towards these types of teachings.

I am getting a bit better at watching thoughts/emotions and for the most part they feel a bit more distant when I do catch them. This follows my experiences over time meditation in that they (the ones I call 'good', but I know I shouldn't really label any session ) have gradually got deeper. So hopefully chipping away at things, albeit slowly .
Keep going, ponder over what I just said, and whatever you don't understand, ask me please !
 
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 16:04   #8 (permalink)
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Reading through this thread reminded me of when I first read "Think and grow rich" - please stay with me as I am hopefully not digressing away from what is being said here.

Someone suggested that I would "understand and get it" by the time I had read the first 67 pages.

I read that book with so much intensity - I over complicated it so much that I didn't think I got it - I was searching and trying so hard to understand the message because I was desparate to find the answer.

Looking back now, I realise the answer is in the title

With meditation and being present, I think we can fall into the same trap. We can over complicate and try so hard to get somewhere instead of just trusting, relaxing and enjoying the moment.

Clear thinking, solutions to problems are just a couple of the myriad of benefits to be enjoyed through regular meditation and I particularly want to keep this very simple so I will not list all the benefits I personally enjoy in my daily life.

Here are two scenarios of how a present situation can be absolutely glorious or totally overlooked:-

Scenario 1:-

The winds had picked up and as Joe looked out of the window he saw thousands of leaves covering the stone pathway. "Oh hell, I've got too much to do today and the rest of the week to clear this lot away. What if it rains before I get a chance to get the leaf blower out - they'll be all soggy and I'll have to do it all by hand. I always said three acres was too much to look after! I didn't expect to have to deal with the leaves for another month - just my luck! I'll probably slip and fall, like last year if they pile up much more because the rain will make them all slippy.

Scenario 2:-

The winds had picked up while Joe was meditating and as he stepped outside he found himself in the middle of the most glorious display of coloured leaves, swirling from above and fluttering to the ground creating a beautiful autumnal carpet - WOW - the scene was breathtaking. As he stood enjoying this natural wonder, he gazed in awe at the front of the house - the green leaves had turned into the most amazing red - it was a total transformation and so beautiful. This would give the family the opportunity to try out his new toy! He would check out the weather and prioritize some time for the yearly leaf collecting, however, for now, he would just soak in all the beauty and magnificense of the moment.

This is what the thread made me think of and hope it isn't off track.

Wishing you an abundance of peace, joy and wonderous moments
 
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 16:28   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you Pollyanna! I agree with the simplistic path of acceptance and allowing. Our thoughts, or perceptions become our world-illusion or not, so I prefer to know that I am attracting or vibrating with the perfect experiences for my present level of awareness. Meditation assists me to deepen that awareness so I attract/vibrate at my highest possible level for the greater good of all. We were given a mind and the capacity for thought for a reason so I do not trouble myself with fears of being human for that is my journey here, now, in this incarnation. Again meditation opens that door between my illusionary human existence and my divine soul and it is in that exquisite communion that I feel 100% present. Kathy
 
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 18:24   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pollyanna View Post
Reading through this thread reminded me of when I first read "Think and grow rich" - please stay with me as I am hopefully not digressing away from what is being said here.
Very much on-topic Pollyanna !

Pollyanna is a perfect example of someone having complete faith that the Universe will provide exactly what is needed. The rock-solid faith that Pollyanna has is just another road towards enlightenment.

Her approach is called "Bhakti Yoga".
For Pollyanna this discussion seems over-complicated, because of her approach.
Pollyanna approaches the world through emotions rather than the intellectual approach.
To her it would seem that we are making things too complicated for ourselves, if only we would have a little more faith
However, it takes increadible will-power and dedication to have faith even when emotions are telling you otherwise, and I have to salute Pollyanna for her strength.
Unfortunately, not everybody has either that strength, or like me, not everybody can do this on faith alone. I wanted proof, evidence, called the "Jnani Yoga" approach.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was born a male

In the end, when the moment of insight comes, a Jnani has to become Bhakti, and a Bhakti has to become Jnani.
In other words, when you take the Jnani approach, you have to realise that faith is equally important, and a Bhakti approach will see that faith alone is not enough.
 
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