Sunday, November 4, 2018

Thinking and Beyond

     “Cognitive fusion (the opposite of defusion) is essentially a process by which people become dominated in their experience by the content of their thoughts, lose contact with experience outside of the content of their thoughts, and are restrained to feel and do only what their thoughts say. This is sometimes referred to as being lost or entangled in thoughts or stuck in one’s own mind.
     Cognitive defusion then is the loosening of this entanglement. It is the ability to make contact with direct sensory experiences, or like the ability to have a thought without being dominated by the literal meaning of the thought.”
        Lance M. McCracken, Estelle Barker, Joseph Chilcot. “Decentering, rumination, cognitive defusion, and psychological flexibility in people with chronic pain.” J Behav Med 2014; 37:1215–1225.

     “Try and try as we may, we can’t contain the infinity and eternity of who we actually are in some neat little package of our thinking mind, no matter how sophisticated our thinking may be.”
     Reginald A. Ray. "The Awakening Body. Somatic Meditation for Discovering Our Deepest Life." Shambhala, 2016.

     “True intelligence is to rise above thinking as a source of all intelligence.” Eckhart Tolle

     “The transformative power of a conscious, mindful thought is that it reveals its own transiency. For example, the thought ‘Who is thinking?’ is an invitation to make contact with the present moment. In doing so, the thinking process is recognized for what it is. When we’re not so enchanted by our thoughts, we notice something else, something quite simple. We notice that all thoughts manifest and dissolve back into silent listening. This is a great relief. WE don’t have to become shaped by our thinking. We can be liberated from its bondage. In seeing thought as ‘just thought,’ the sky of the heart is revealed, with no footprints. ‘You won’t find the sage out there.’ When there is wisdom, the endless searching for happiness ‘somewhere else’ vanishes. Where is there to go? Beautiful thoughts and ugly thoughts, all arise & cease in awareness, and yet awareness remains unmoved.”
       Kittisaro & Thanissara. "Listening to the Heart. A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism." North Atlantic Books, 2014.

     “Rather than being your thoughts & emotions, be the awareness behind them.” Eckhart Tolle

     “When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick - every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. But if instead you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arises and dissolves within the space of that awareness, without giving rise to other thoughts. Be like a lion, who rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.” Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

      Psychological analysis of our thoughts is not a part of the practice of meditation. The sole purpose of meditation is to see more clearly what is, at each moment, now in the present - without thinking discursively about it. "Analysis deals with concepts. Meditation aims at stilling the mind & watching what is, dispassionately. No thoughts — no ‘me,' no ‘me’ — no neurosis." 
       Bhikkhu Mangalol. “The Practice of Recollection.” Lion’s Roar, July 15, 2016
     “Be aware of your breathing. Notice how this takes attention away from your thinking and creates space.” Eckhart Tolle

     “Presence – there are other words for it such as ‘awareness’ – is a state of consciousness that transcends thinking.” Eckhart Tolle

     Presence is the atmosphere for attending to our own & another's pain and vulnerability, while engaging our own and their inner resiliency and wholeness.
      Palmer PJ, Zajonc A. “The heart of higher education: A call to renewal. Transforming the academy through collegial conversation.” Jossey-Bass, 2010.

      Presence is the manifestation of our innate wisdom, which has the capacity to “hold in meditative equipoise” all of our own & others’ noise / friction / psychological baggage. The terms noise & friction suggest that in general, our psychological baggage is no longer helpful, and now distorts accurate perception and interferes with appropriate response, effectiveness, efficiency, quality of life & most importantly, our ability to dwell in our deepest authenticity.

Just This, Right Here, Right Now

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