Friday, March 22, 2024

Waking up to Being Alive

    Bold title! IF one is more inclined toward the academic / knowledge than deep understanding / direct experience, then one's meditation practice may never start or will tend to gradually diminish! Along with that, the richness of one's life may peak at "ordinary unhappiness."
    This
is true EVEN IF one's past includes a long track record of serious meditation practice, including many longish silent meditation retreats, many years of teaching meditation, and great earnestness in seeking ultimate Truth!
    All
this is to emphasize the PIVOTAL, PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE of REGULAR WISE MEDITATION PRACTICE. You CANNOT replace PRACTICE with anything else - any amount of reading, thinking, conversation, teaching or writing, any more than you can replace actually skiing by reading, thinking, talking, teaching or writing about it!

    Below is the full transcript of Eckhart Tolle's SUPERB MEDITATION GUIDANCE - savor it slowly & please PRACTICE this rare gift

    “Meditation is really all about becoming still, without going to sleep. It’s not so much about becoming still, but being still. Becoming would imply that you have to go somewhere or do something. Being is already here & now.

    And in a sane life, a conscious life, a harmonious life, there needs to be a balance between becoming and being
.
    Becoming is doing things, getting things done and so on in this world, dealing with things, creating things, achieving things. And being is about awareness of the present moment, which after all is all you ever have. Whatever you achieve through becoming in the future eventually turns into the present moment.

    So as I speak to you, the meditation, if we even want to call it that, it’s perhaps best to forget about the word, as I speak, be aware of the silence or the stillness between the words. Being aware means just notice that it’s there. It’s very simple
.
    So you notice that in addition to the words, there’s another dimension that is easily overlooked, and that’s the dimension of stillness, which we could also call space or spaciousness. So when you notice that there are two, so to speak, two dimensions here, the dimension of words which you hear and which then become thoughts in your head, and the dimension of no-thing, spaciousness
.
    And so you just notice, that’s all that’s required, that there is that dimension also present. So you notice it in between words, and even behind the words, so to speak
.
    Now when you notice it, what happens inside you? What does it mean to notice the stillness, to be aware of the stillness? (Sense / feel it, without words.)

    It means you have become still inside. It means you’re conscious, but at this moment, you’re not thinking, but you’re alert, present, completely here, but not thinking. So that’s the realization of the dimension of depths within you. 

    And without that realization, your entire life is a surface phenomenon. You run around on the surface of being, never satisfied for long, frustrated, almost aways feeling there’s something important missing in your life. And of course, there is. But you can’t find it on the surface of your life – the horizontal dimension, looking here & there. You have to, not become still, but realize that that dimension of stillness is already in you. And another word to describe it is to say it’s this alert presence that you can sense right now.

    And you may find the mind wanting to come in, from time to time, and say something about it, or even deny it, or say, ‘I don’t understand it,’ or say, ‘What’s the point? I have other problems to worry about. I’ll become still when I have solved all the other problems.’ 

    But why most people experience life as a succession of problems, and ultimately a frustrating experience, is because they haven’t discovered that dimension – the most vital thing or no-thing to discover within yourself. That stillness is also power. It's the Source, not only of yourself, it is the Source of life. And nothing creative can ever come into your life if you’re not connected with that.

    Whenever you feel joy - for moments perhaps - in your daily life, or a moment of loving interaction with another human being or an animal, or when you suddenly see beauty somewhere and you go, ‘Oh!’, now without you necessarily being aware of it, there has arisen a moment of stillness in you, if only three seconds, or perhaps a bit more. And it’s only there that the joy of life arises, or the ability to really connect with another human being.

    Without it, without the stillness, you have only your conceptual mind – thinking, thinking, thinking – and you relate to the world through the conceptual mindjudging, thinking, judging, interpreting continuously, the inner self-talk, the monologue, which may become a dialogue in your head. ‘You’re no good!’ says one voice. The other one says, ‘But I’m trying, I’m trying,’ whatever the voice in your head is doing. And then you try to relate to another human being through that. And before long, concepts come in, judgments come in. So there’s always a sense of insufficiency, of lack, of not enough. There’s always conflict arising when the dimension of stillness is not operating in your life at all, or only very briefly. Yes, it’s good if you can occasionally experience joy and a sense of aliveness and see beauty and a loving feeling towards another human being, not egoic (transactional) love, but goodwill flowing out (spontaneously) towards another human being (ie unconditional love). Yes, it’s wonderful, but if it’s only for brief moments, then yes, at least that keeps you going. But it could be much deeper. It could operate in your life continuously, so that you never lose touch with it.

    But the first step is realizing that it’s there always. It’s already here
.
    In
the little book, ‘Stillness Speaks’ I wrote, ‘You are never more truly yourself than when you are still.’
    And
you might think that’s a strange statement. Most people when they talk about ‘myself,’ talk about their personal history, and their personal problems, and their life situation. When they talk about ‘myself,’ that’s what they refer to. They refer to my relationships, my work situation, my financial situation, my home situation, my health, me and my life. And of course, all that is the case. But, is that who you really are?

    "Awakening to Stillness: Eckhart Tolle's Path to Conscious Living - Guided Meditation" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjMeG6K9Fdw

    Another excellent way of feeling or sensing into, directly experiencing true Self beyond our worn-out words (narrative-self - "the story of me, myself & I," hurt child, small separate self, personal self, noisy ego, etc) is Helen Hamilton's 30-minute guided Self-Inquiry exercise: https://www.helenhamilton.org/uploads/4/0/0/9/4009977/an_introduction_to_self-inquiry.mp3 

 

 "Awakening to Stillness: Eckhart Tolle's Path to Conscious Living - Guided Meditation"

6 comments:

  1. … armand … 🙏🏼❤️🦅March 22, 2024 at 11:57 AM

    Ahhhh Ohhhhhhhh Mmmmmmmmmm … stilllllllllll … 🙏🏼

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  2. Thank you Armand 🙏🏼

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  3. An imho wonderful Christian mystical perspective on this blog:

    Former CBS anchor Dan Rather found himself unprepared for a television interview with Mother Teresa. Ron Mehl described the newsman’s encounter:
    “When you pray,” asked Rather, “what do you say to God?”
    “I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I listen.”
    Rather tried another tack, “Well, okay … when God speaks to you, then, what does He say?”
    “He doesn’t say anything. He listens.”
    Rather looked bewildered. For an instant, he didn’t know what to say.
    “And, if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”

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    Replies
    1. Does anyone but me feel a need to fill a moment of silence

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    2. It's natural for us to feel uneasy being still & silent - perhaps it reminds us of the powerlessness of the freeze reaction to danger. But spiritual practices are intentional 'exposure therapies" in facing our fears, especially our fear of physical death, which most of us conflate with maturing from a noisy ego to a very quiet ego. “Our most important task consists in remaining silent before the great God . . . he understands only one language, that of silent love.” John of the Cross. Even for 'mundane' practical, scientific problem-solving: "I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me." Albert Einstein. And for social interactions, "Before you speak, stop, breathe, and consider if what you are about to say will improve upon the silence.” Allan Lokos.

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  4. Damn this phone...Touché, rather.

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