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Sometimes it's enough . . .


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mtony502's picture
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Sometimes it's enough for me to know it's just "mind". That mind "adds" (beliefs, assumptions, explanations, impressions, stories, meaning) to "what is".

Sometimes it's enough that I know the differences between the concept of a tree and an actual physical tree, and the concept consciousness and living presence (embodied consciousness).

Sometimes it's enough for me to appreciate the difference between conceptual understanding and non-conceptual understanding. (Do I think I'm hungry or am I actually hungry?)

Sometimes it's enough to accept the indescribable as truly indescribable, that it's easier to experience than to explain and that I'm never going to express in words exactly how "it" (life, consciousness, reality, realization, truth, whatever, etc, etc) really is, only how it is for me.

Sometimes it's enough to remember I only ever speak for myself to avoid the conceit that I speak for or on behalf of anyone or anything else ("people" in general, "everyone", "no one", "wise ones", "them", "others", "science", "consciousness", "reality", etc, etc).

Sometimes it's enough to discover that which appears complicated on the surface is really simple, and that which appears simple may be complicated under the surface merely because of unseen connections as when the world I sometimes ignore randomly slaps me in the face ("Hello there again!") or the self I'm trying to lose tugs insistently at my sleeve ("Hey, where ya going?").

Sometimes it's enough to realize that any epiphany, no matter how breathtakingly awesome and profoundly transformative in the moment . . . is only a glimpse.

Sometimes it's enough for me to recognize I am always "what is" (no escape possible), regardless what mind conjures about "awakening", "realization", "knowing", "enlightenment", or "whatever".

Hmmm . . . I suppose I can go and on an expend many more words on this . . . but what for? I think I get the gist.

Sometimes its's enough to know it's mind . . . and sometimes not.

Namaste

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Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
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Chris L's picture
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Mind

Does mind 'add to what is'? Or is mind what is?

Where are the 'concept of a tree' and the 'actual physical tree' both appearing, if not in mind?

Is 'the actual physical tree' not also a concept?

Can mind confirm or deny that there is anything other than itself?

Chris

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A story of mind as content . . .

Hey Chris,

This is a story of mind as content . . . told from the perspective of my experience . . . and not presented as truth or meant to be presumptuous.

Mind is an addittur to experience by virtue of the silent voice in my head narrating the story of "what's happening now" . . . which is responding to Chris by telling a story. The silent voice in my head narrating this story is mind-in-action.

But this mind does not hear itself narrate this story because it is not aware of itself as mind. What's hearing this voice in my head (and yours, and anybody else's reading this) is silent, formless awareness. (This hearing is nonconceptual, any interpretation (meaning) of what is heard is conceptual.)

Both the "concept of a tree" and the "actual physical tree" appear in consciousness not in mind. Mind is always unselfaware content.

Whatever I write, think or say, such as "the actual physical tree", is conceptual. However, what is aware of these words is nonconceptual, never speaks, . . . is essentially stillness undisturbed.

As content in consciousness mind cannot confirm or deny it's own existence . . . only speculate about it.

To the extent that they can, I would like these words now . . . to point to that which I believe is self verifiable . . . that you are already naturally aware.

Namaste

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

Chris L's picture
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Ah...

Right Tony, now I see what you mean. I was not reading with the same distinctions between awareness, consciousness and mind - a different appreciation of terminology.

I use those terms differently and so didn't hear what you were saying. I wonder how many of us actually have the same appreciation of what we are referring to when we talk of mind, awareness and consciousness? For some these mean quite different things. For others they are interchangeable terms that all mean the same thing.

It is interesting that our 'understanding' of what a term 'means' dictates to quite an extent what our actual view of reality is. How, for instance, would one appreciate reality if the concepts mind, consciousness and awareness had never been formed?

Chris

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What's in a name . . .

Chris,

I've come to realize that each of us has a different experience of reality, . . . and contributing to that different understanding of reality is the fact, as you aptly comment above, that "our 'understanding' of what a term 'means' dictates to quite an extent what our actual view of reality is." I appreciate your independent inquiring and discernment.

As for your query, "How . . . would one appreciate reality if the concepts mind, consciousness and awareness had never been formed", I humbly suggest "we" simply would have formed other concepts along the lines of, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name (mind, consciousness, awareness) would smell as sweet?"

Namaste

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

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In a way this kind of thread is relaxing

I realise that I am characterising (if I may), but I believe that there are various such posts.

Basically they affirm that there is nothing to do, nothing to think.

We can also notice that life is equated to (always in) motion, so that “doing” is continuous in life as we know it.

So then the affirmation in these relaxing posts could just as well be, “there is nothing to do (in order) to do”.

People tend to attempt to live a decent life, or even an improving life.  Now we come to creating values so that we will know if we are living a decent life.  This ignites thoughts, and so now the affirmation becomes:

There is nothing to do or think (in order) to do and think.

Isn't part of that “nothing to do or think” that we don’t need to do or think of these posts in order to do or think.  It is one step removed from the doing and the thinking, (that is most always taking place).   (OK, there might be some short vacation periods).

Therefore why don’t we JUST GET DOWN TO THE DOING AND THINKING?

That would lead to less confusion wouldn't it?  Some people might be dreaming that doing and thinking are not really happening, or somehow fake.   Couldn’t doing and thinking be done directly, also in a relaxing way?

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For the sake of discussion (discovery) . . .

Hey Richard,

What I try to emphasize in my posts is how insistent and persistent the mental mechanism in my head seems to be in continually running the creation of my (our?) individual perceptual realities. The point of these posts, in large part, is as a reminder to "self" (me, you, anybody interested in this kind of stuff) of my (our?) co-authorship in the creation of my (our?) individual perceptual realities. (The term "co-authorship" is meant to remind me (us?) of my (our?) responsibility in the creation of my (our?) individual perceptual realities. Please excuse my redundancy on this point but it's important for me to know and acknowledge that any issue I may have is with my perceptual reality and not someone else's.)

Thus, I've come to see how easy it is for me (us?) to intellectually acknowledge this co-creation and claim understanding of this phenomena yet in the very next breath act in such a fashion as to demonstrate my (our?) lack of understanding that it's only my (our?) story of "what is" I'm conveying.

For example, you say: "In a way this kind of thread is relaxing. I realise that I am characterising (if I may), but I believe that there are various such posts. Basically they affirm that there is nothing to do, nothing to think."

So initially it seems to me that you understand and acknowledge it's your perceptions at issue ("I realize that I am characterizing"). Then in the very next breath it seems you drop the understanding that it's your (Richard's) storyline and start talking about "them", "Basically they affirm that there is nothing to do, nothing to think."

The point being, maybe that's what "they're" saying and maybe it's not ("there is nothing to do, nothing to think"), but I don't know what "they" mean by those words out of context, however I do know who's talking now and interpreting what "they're" saying and that is Richard. But Richard isn't acknowledging or talking about Richard's issues here . . . but the issues of "others"? Hmmm.

RM: "We can also notice that life is equated to (always in) motion, so that “doing” is continuous in life as we know it. So then the affirmation in these relaxing posts could just as well be, “there is nothing to do (in order) to do”."

But it's not really "we" talking here but "I" (Richard) noticing and equating? And in this instance it's Richard asserting the affirmation, “there is nothing to do (in order) to do”. There's no problem for me that Richard is expressing this point of view, after all it's Richard's story.

So what is Richard's issue here? Understanding Richard speaks only for Richard and no one else, it appears the question Richard is asking himself, is "why don’t I JUST GET DOWN TO THE DOING AND THINKING?"

And my response is, "I don't know why you (Richard) don't just get down to the doing and thinking. Maybe . . . it's because you over think it?"

Reminder . . . what I've written here sheds no light on Richard, does not reveal Richard in any way, it only reveals my interpretations. So any issue expressed herein is my issue. Hmmm. Do I have a problem with the way Richard expresses himself about himself? Framed this way, my response is immediate, "Absolutely not! Go for it."

Some (not so) random side notes:

1. I like to encourage self inquiry, finding out for myself how to come to terms with mind (appearances) and directly observing "what is aware". As I believe you are too. As such, I think these sentiments dovetail in your parting question, "Couldn’t doing and thinking be done directly, also in a relaxing way?" I believe they can . . . but that's just my perspective.
2. I agree with you that on this page and others "we are . . . old hands that have interacted for some years." And I agree with your supposition that we have interacted in friendship.
3. I agree with you when you say, "that we are here to understand ourselves through writing, and to discover with one another. This discovery is not about researching the right answers, but it is about asking the right questions. Many questions have to be discarded before we get to those that are worth our limited time . . . "
4. I also agree that you "attach a greater importance to wordings" and with your "observation that they form the context of our current world views that give or take away our power to act. As our power to act (imaginary or real, same thing) is constricted we feel stress, and waste great energy and time dealing with, or running away from anxiety."
5. Thus I appreciate your sharing that, "I [Richard] feel that I have for the most part tamed that tendency, and I am always aware of, and I am always softening my anxiety level. If anything, I feel this skill is worth sharing."
6. As a last thought here, I'll simply note it's been my experience that as the body relaxes (releases?) contractions, there can be a relaxing of psychological contractions, a releasing of mental contractions, and releasing of emotional contractions, such that the boundary (contraction) of separate self itself releases . . . and in that ever present spaciousness and stillness there is much to discover for oneself . . . about duality/nonduality, conceptual/nonconceptual, thinking/not thinking, doing/not doing, self/not self, illusory/not illusory, real/not real, responsible/not responsible, conscious/not conscious, etc, etc, etc.

Namaste

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

RichardMiller's picture
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Hey Tony, thanks for saying Hi.

I’ll share with you that I have long found it perplexing that the adherents of a group who’s exclusive focus lands on “there is no separation”, are so sure and so adamant about how each person cannot know or speak for anybody but themselves. Some people on this form go absolutely ballistic if you claim any knowledge about how they live.

Granted I do not feel the swoons and palpitations in your heart.  But on a forum made up of written communications (whether it is personal truth or personal delusion), we can hear each other's words, we do hear each other's world views and explanations, and we do sense what is held as a problem and what is held as a freedom by listening to that rhetoric.

1. I’ll use an example right here between you and me, so that I don’t have to get hypothetical.

  • You acknowledge a mental mechanism that is insistent and persistent, and that weaves a story.
  • You claim understanding of this phenomena.
  • You indicate you have (often) forgotten this is only a story.

What would I ask about these three points?

  • “Insistent and persistent” are words that indicate you sometimes want to find the OFF switch.
  • Even with that understanding you forget to flip the switch.
  • Hidden meaning: my interpretation mechanism is annoying to me.  
  • My response: why create a problem out of a natural protective mechanism?

I might suggest that this ability to story is essential to human life as we know it.  I might suggest that the only reason one group would look with disfavour upon their own stories, is that they haven't learned to live stress-free within that story.  Their view is just to manage their own personal comfort.  I might suggest that even the possibility for that group to escape their story, is completely dependant on the vast majority being willing to live out their story.

For instance let's look at the story called the profit motive, which we noitice is held in distain by posters  on this forum and others.  If there was no story called the profit motive, who would produce more food than they needed for their own family?  You and the whole world would be reduced to hunter-gatherers.  You'd be out scouting the forest to dig up a few roots right now, instead of reading this.

What would happen if your understanding through stories sometimes just flicked off by itself.  I’ll tell you. My brother died in an Alzheimer’s ward, and it is quite stressful for most people to be lost without a story.  Yet here we are, pretending like this is the highest achievement in life.  That would be part of my enlightenment course, to volunteer with dementia patients.  You could ponder, why aren’t these people in bliss?  They have fulfilled all the basic requirements that I have been working on for years.

2. What would happen if you had no co-authorship?  You’d be reduced to a token piece on a chess board, victim of the whims of the player.  No point to just fulfil that imagined role.  Most of our seekers speak like they are hoping beyond all hope that this is true.  “I am being lived”.  “I am a phantom”.  Of course they are living like a phantom, which really means half dead in my book.  If you give away or shut down some of your human tools, mind, body, perceptions, whatever, life potential is reduced by that quotient.

I don’t support any teaching that preaches you should be half dead.  A teaching might honour the mystery of death, but must assure us that we’ll get there soon enough, and we will know just how to act when we arrive.  Meanwhile the teaching should concentrate on how to live with full aliveness in this life.

Do we have any full aliveness teachings?  I don’t think so, after carefully interviewing a hundred plus teachers, the cupboard is bare.

3. You are right that I am not talking about my issue.  Because I never would feel to clarify that there is nothing to do or nothing to think.  For me that’s a pointless approach. I never hold a separation that my doing and thinking would be better off occupied with other matters.  It just runs how it runs, and gets ideas and turns right or left when it does.  Neither do I ponder that it an illusion, nor trouble because I can’t pinpoint its location.  It is all the same, however you phrase it.  You still have to live as a person, and in a community and in the world.  Yes it may feel better to pretend you are special.  I don’t disown me or my story in any way, nor feel that it is overpowering some other kind of more preferable me.  

I don’t have another kind of preferable me, this is the only one.  Why bifurcate what we claim is indivisible?  I am totally and completely into my doing and thinking, and still my switch flicks off when it flicks off, with no concern or monitoring.  Yes, it is all done directly, in a most relaxing way.

4. With regard to your notes 1 - 5  thanks for quoting some of the things I have expressed on other threads, and taking time to acknowledge them and add your comment.  It is nice to know that someone is reading them.

5. Your note number 6 is very big in my view, and could be the basis for a teaching that moves mountains.

You say that as the body relaxes (releases?) contractions, 

  • there can be a relaxing of psychological contractions, 
  • a releasing of mental contractions, 
  • and releasing of emotional contractions, 
  • such that the boundary (contraction) of separate self itself releases . . . 
  • and in that ever present spaciousness and stillness there is much to discover for oneself . . . 

If I was to be a teacher this would totally encapsulate my method.  I think that it is worth declaring often, and even pounding on a drum.  I would not start with any endgame story, nor say, “look here, you could become like this”, which sets people to a lifetime of emulating and faking it, and seeking to fit into someone else’s dream.  That’s a dead end method and a total block into any authentic discovery.

I would release the body by monitoring and re-storying self-talk, step by step, as deep as you could see into it each day.  Sadhana and spiritual transmission don’t work, because your self-talk remains the same, and reconstructs when you get out of the ashram setting. RE-storying is permanent, because you directly tackle the cramping mechanism, your binding story.

I would never talk about explosions or an enlightenment moments, and I would try to avoid them in every way.  Deal with it only if it happens.

Yes, you would write your own book on:

  • duality/nonduality, 
  • conceptual/nonconceptual, 
  • thinking/not thinking, 
  • doing/not doing, 
  • self/not self, 
  • illusory/not illusory, 
  • real/not real, 
  • responsible/not responsible, 
  • conscious/not conscious, 

There is much to discover for oneself . . . You certainly got that part right Tony.

Thanks

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Some points of clarification . . . ?

Richard,

Some points of clarification. . . probably more for my sake than yours. But here goes.

RM: "I’ll share with you that I have long found it perplexing that the adherents of a group who’s exclusive focus lands on “there is no separation”, are so sure and so adamant about how each person cannot know or speak for anybody but themselves."

Tony: For me it's not about an "exclusive focus on there is no separation" (too much unnecessary effort) . . . as it is a matter-of-fact realization of non-separation after the fact, "Oh yes, that's right, it's always this . . . for a moment I thought it was all about cataloging differences."

For me the "separate perceptual reality" story results from a shift-in-perception arising from my limited understanding of the neurobiology of visual perception and neural circuits electrochemically firing in the central nervous system and brain to create bodily sensations, thought forms, and images. But be that as it may neurobiologically, I independently discovered that inhabiting a separate perceptual reality doesn't automatically condemn me, or anyone, to solipsistic isolation. After all living in community there is language and the possibility of communication, sharing, informing, touching, intimacy, empathy, resonance, lovingkindness, compassion, relatedness, connectedness. It seems to me all one needs to be in positive communion with another is a healthy dose of self-awareness, honest self-assessment and truthfulness in self-disclosure.

RM: "You acknowledge a mental mechanism that is insistent and persistent, and that weaves a story.
You claim understanding of this phenomena.
You indicate you have (often) forgotten this is only a story. What would I ask about these three points?

“Insistent and persistent” are words that indicate you sometimes want to find the OFF switch.
Even with that understanding you forget to flip the switch.
Hidden meaning: my interpretation mechanism is annoying to me.
My response: why create a problem out of a natural protective mechanism?"

Tony: Based on what I've written above, your interpretation is reasoned, plausible and clearly non-offensive. However, I'll take the opportunity to nip and tuck your storyline a smidge by elaborating that my reference to "insistent and persistent" is essentially an acknowledgment of the everyday reality of my conditioned personality (behavior) . . . and by inference, that which is unconditioned.

And yes . . . there was a time when I diligently searched for an imaginary off switch (quiet mind?). But that search morphed into a stabilizing recognition of the truth of everchangingness (impermanence). Meaning, I realized any annoyance with the story-telling-mechanism is short-lived, it comes and goes. As for your query, "What would happen if your understanding through stories sometimes just flicked off by itself?" Well, I've seen it does flick of by itself . . . and what appears problematic no longer is viewed as such.

With respect to the second half of your point #1 above, I've experienced intermittent MCI (mild cognitive impairment), a potential precursor to dementia. And I've witnessed mind's storytelling machine rev up that fearsome infirmity, of deprivation, loss, and degradation, and experienced the body's primal instinct for self identity (major contraction) and its DNA embedded instinct for preserving that self (fight, flee or camouflage). Under these circumstances a dilemma for mind (self) can arise . . . on the one hand "I" want to "knowingly" be aware of the non-dual truth of no-self (enlightenment) . . . while on the other hand "I" vehemently reject the ghastly vision of no-self by way of dementia (ego death). This ambiguity can easily lead to a crisis of spiritual (conceptual) indecisiveness ("I want to awaken! I don't want to awaken!").

As it turns out in the above dementia MCI story . . . my understanding (interpretation) flicks on and off in the course of noticing changeless presence in everchanging form and . . . what appears problematic no longer is experienced as problematic. These natural shifts in perception occur daily.

With regard to your point #3 above . . . I find it a spot on encapsulation of an organic self-regulating approach to self discovery. And I find your terminology regarding "re-storying self-talk, step by step, as deep as you could see into it each day" to be clear, practical and insightful.

Namaste

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

Part of the Action

We remain committed to be on the forefront of what will support life, both in your family and on planet earth. 

 

My interaction with you is an Experiment to further enable this vision to be true, and up to the rhythm that you are a part of the action.  

 

Please contribute to make this vision real.  

With Heart Felt Thanks, Richard Miller.

  

 

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