We identify with our thinking mind / self-talk far more than most of us realize. Our society reinforces this idea that we can solve every challenge with our reductive, linear thinking. This is like confidently attempting to fix computer software problems with a trusty old hammer & screwdriver. The more we foolishly argue with reality & remain alienated from our true self, the more we suffer. This is the BULK of human suffering, and is completely AVOIDABLE.
“We are here to find that dimension within ourselves that is deeper than thought.” Eckhart Tolle
“Learning to stop thinking sounds a bit paradoxical because usually learning involves thinking. So it’s more like unlearning, because we are conditioned to think continuously. A lot of the time, thinking is not only unnecessary, but also destructive. It cuts you off from the depth of being, of who you are beyond the thinker. The most dreadful limitation for a human being is to know him or herself only as the thinker, with its opinions, beliefs, reactions, and whatever else the mind continuously comes up with. And that cuts you off from that vast dimension of consciousness that is there beyond thinking – not separate from thinking, it makes thinking possible, but it’s deeper than that. And here as we meditate, which is probably not the right word, because it sounds as if we were ‘doing’ something, but we’re not ‘doing’ anything. We’re not ‘doing’ a meditation. But we’re here to realize that, beyond doing, there’s another dimension more vital, that we could call ‘being.’
And to sense that in yourself, there needs to be at least a gap in the stream of thinking. Even a few seconds is already a slight deepening and a little bit of peace and aliveness, and a little bit of joy, coming through the cracks, so to speak, in what is otherwise a solid wall of thought. But we are here to go beyond that, not just wait for the little cracks to appear occasionally, but to embrace that dimension without which your life is not really that enjoyable. Frustrating in fact, pointless. The continuous worry, upset, anxiety, and complaining – that’s what most peoples’ lives consist of. Maybe yes, the occasional crack is there. Or maybe when they get tired they feel a little bit better because they can’t think anymore, and then they go to sleep. But really, without that deeper dimension, is life worth living? I don’t think so. What for?
Do you think you’ll ever sort out the problems in your life? Never. You sort out one, and another two appear. So there’s nothing more important than this. And realize, when you stop thinking, or thinking subsides, we could say, you essentially are still there as a conscious presence – a still, conscious, aware space. And that still, conscious, aware space needs to be there in daily life, in the background. It doesn’t mean it can only be there when you don’t think. You access it most deeply when thinking subsides. But as you sense it, you realize, even when you think again, it doesn’t go away completely anymore. That conscious aware space can be there even while thinking happens, or while you’re talking to someone, or dealing with things that need to be done. And then you can enjoy life every moment. But the enjoyment doesn’t come from all the things that happen in your life. It comes from a deeper place. And then what happens, or does not happen, is of secondary importance. You’re not dependent on what happens, or is not happening (when you wanted it to happen).
And then you move through life embodying two dimensions: the dimension of form, which is thinking and doing; and the dimension of formless presence – the conscious aware space. The two are there simultaneously. The conscious aware space interpenetrates, if that’s the word, the world of form. Then perhaps you realize the truth of the ancient Buddhist scripture, one of the most famous sutras, which says, ‘Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form.’ Form and formlessness being there as one. [Zen Buddhism refers to this apparent paradox with, ‘Not one. Not two.’]
And so, it’s not the absolute truth. It’s a way of talking about it. There are two of you, in any moment, in any situation. There’s the person who thinks, and does things, and deals with life situations and people. There’s you as the person. And then there’s the other you as the conscious presence. So you can still deal with things as a person, but behind that, and even within that, there is the aware space. So you become a spacious person, so to speak.
Anybody who has not realized this dimension within themselves are not spacious. And of course that still applies to many humans. They are, what’s the opposite of spacious? Let’s say they are dense. The density of the person. You can look at anybody that you know, or even strangers when you observe them, when they go about life, how they deal with things, how they interact with people, how they react or respond to changing circumstances, especially when things go wrong, so to speak, by just observing them you can sense and see how dense or how spacious they are. And it’s not a judgment, you just see it, just the same way as you see whether it’s light or dark. You’re not judging when you say, ‘Oh, it’s getting dark.’ It’s not a judgment. You just see it. So you can see it in others. And sometimes so-called people who are into spiritual awakening, even they can sometimes very quickly, when they are challenged by events, become very dense. The spaciousness is lost.
So your spiritual practice of course, is everyday life. Can you embody the spaciousness in addition to being a person? So you don’t need to achieve perfection as a person. The person will always have certain limitations and shortcomings. And when Jesus said, ‘Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,’ he doesn’t refer to the world of form, but the deeper perfection – the wholeness that is spacious presence.
In ancient Greek philosophy, they often use the term ‘the good.’ What is the good? Where is the good? And of course, we know what it is and where it is. The good is not in the world of form. The world of form is good and bad. Nothing stays good for that long. It either disappears, or turns into its opposite. The good is within you, and it is the formless presence – the source of aliveness, joy, identity, the sense of who you are. The source of that is beingness, presence, spacious awareness – I am.”
above from Eckhart Tolle's EXCELLENT 20min video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG1JR_w-YmM
“There is a light in the core of our being that calls us home – one that can only be seen with closed eyes. We can feel it as a radiance in the center of our chest. This light of loving awareness
is always here, regardless of our conditioning. It does not matter how
many dark paths we have traveled or how many wounds we have inflicted or
sustained as we have unknowingly stumbled toward this inner radiance.
It does not matter how long we have sleepwalked, seduced by our desires
and fears. This call persists until it is answered, until we surrender to who we really are.
When we do, we feel ourselves at home wherever we are. A hidden beauty
reveals itself in our ordinary life. As the true nature of our Deep
Heart is unveiled, we feel increasingly grateful for no reason –
grateful to simply be.”
John J. Prendergast. “The Deep Heart – Our Portal to Presence.” Sounds True, 2019.
“My compassion is not me being a nice guy. My compassion is me realizing who I am and knowing that having a heart of love for all creatures, all beings, even a blade of grass, is true to who and what I am.
Our whole life and all parts of it, every moment of it, and all of existence is nothing but compassion and love. We don’t need to produce compassion. We already are compassion. All we need to do is wake up to who and what we are, and then naturally, we’re going to have a heart of love not only in actions that appear to be compassionate but all the time: picking up an object with compassion, walking from one room to another with compassion, and, of course, caring for one another with love.” Norman Fischer
"There’s only one happiness and it’s who you are. There’s only one place to find lasting happiness, and that is to know who you are and to be who you are.” Francis Lucille