‘Cuttings’ the Newsletter of the ‘One Garden ‘interfaith as inter-spiritual living’ group for Wed 5TH AUGUST 2015
LOCAL FOLK: – we meet as usual at the the Quaker FMH Brighton at 9.45AM – thanks for being on time so that we can start the silent meditation at 9AM – and be without interruptions.
Hi Everyone – both in the UK and all points everywhere!
Echo & Narcissus – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_(mythology)
FIRST DRAFT – to be developed further
INTRODUCTION: I’m far from the first to see that modern psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy is re-discovering what was known about psycho-spiritual health & wholeness. It was known and the (main) concern of true spirituality at least since the time of the development of Hinduism. The battles in the Bhagavad Gita , like Jihad in Islam, are intended as representations of our inner battles as we struggle to reduce the egoistic self and develop our higher Self.
Astonishingly some people don’t see this! Some think that true spirituality has nothing to do with the stories and myths of Krishna or the ancient Greeks – or about modern psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy.
Certainly it is vital that in today’s world we come to understand the deeper metaphorical meanings of ancient scripture so that what should be competition in selflessness become competition in the horrors of Islamic State.
Consequently our current theme is Transforming Inner ‘Demons’ into love and light. To demonstrate how the ancient truths, expressed in phrases such as healing by ‘casting out demons’ is central to contemporary spiritual teachers we need look no further than Eckhart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now.
Last week we looked at Chapter 1 of Practicing the Power of Now and below I simply show some of the examples of Tolle’s ‘old wine’ in ‘new bottles’.
This follows some weeks in which we were particularly focused on nonduality and the resting in ‘awareness’ – as an alternative word for the now.
In even the first chapter alone Tolle shows us what the false self is and how it creates ‘demon’s of suffering and how we can heal ourselves by transforming the energy tied up with our ‘demons’ into
I take ‘pain-body’ to be a modern term that in the past might have been ‘demon/s’ or devil/s.
Some key concepts or tags are: possession, shadow, awareness, illusion, false self, a false mind-made self, Being, a sense of presence, compulsive thinking as a disease, witness, witnessing presence, I am realization, aware but not thinking, the essence of meditation, Be totally present, disidentify from your mind, phantom self (the ego),
EXAMPLES: numbering follows the order in which Chapter 1 is written – some examples are preceded or succeeded by a comment from me. I indicate concepts in BOLD and aphorisms (mantras?) via under-lining.
1 There is an eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. Many people use the word God to describe it; I often call it Being. The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. ……..
2 BEING IS NOT ONLY BEYOND BUT ALSO DEEP WITHIN every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don’t seek to grasp it with your mind. Don’t try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. ……. it can never be understood mentally.
3 To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of “feeling-realization” is enlightenment.
4 The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being…….essentially you and yet … much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form.
5 The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, ……You then perceive yourself, consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflicts within and without become the norm.
6 The greatest obstacle to experiencing the reality of your connectedness is identification with your mind, …. thought ….become(s) compulsive – a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering.
7 Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, …. (that) comes between you & yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate “other.” You then forget the essential fact that ……..you are one with all that is.
8 The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however (it)…… uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.
9 It’s almost as if you were possessed without knowing it, and so you take the possessing entity to be yourself.
10 THE BEGINNING OF FREEDOM is the realization that you are not the possessing entity – the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. -0-
11 You then begin to realize ….. a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
FREEING YOURSELF FROM YOUR MIND
12 The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation…….
13 START LISTENING TO THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD …….. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old audiotapes that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years.
This is what I mean by “watching the thinker,” which is another way of saying: Listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.
……… do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You’ll soon realize: There is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.
14 ….when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in.
15 AS YOU LISTEN TO THE THOUGHT, you feel a conscious presence – your deeper self – behind or underneath the thought,……. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.
When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream – a gap of “no-mind.” At first, the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, ………
With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. ……..You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being.
16 In this state of inner connectedness, you are much more alert, more awake than in the mind-identified state. You are fully present. ……..
17 As you go more deeply into this realm of no-mind, as it is sometimes called in the East, you realize the state of pure consciousness. In that state, you feel your own presence with such intensity and such joy that all thinking, all emotions, your physical body, as well as the whole external world become relatively insignificant in comparison to it. And yet this is not a selfish but a selfless state. …… That presence is essentially you and at the same time inconceivably greater than you.
18 ………you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment.
19 ……….draw consciousness away from mind activity & create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation.
20 ….. (take) any routine activity that normally is only a means to an end and (give) it your fullest attention, so that it becomes an end in itself. For example, every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present.
Or when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap, ….
… when you get into your car, after you close the door, pause for a few seconds and observe the flow of your breath. Become aware of a silent but powerful sense of presence.
…. one certain criterion …… measure(s) your success in this practice: the degree of peace that you feel within.
21 The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment…: Learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.
22 … you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind … seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.
***ENLIGHTENMENT: RISING ABOVE THOUGHT
23 As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego …. when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.
24 To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival …. It says: “One day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.”
25 Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that it sees: It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or it reduces the present to a means to an end, an end that always lies in the mind-projected future. ….
26 The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind. Enlightenment means rising above thought. In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. You use it mostly for practical purposes, but you are free of the involuntary internal dialogue & there is inner stillness. When you do use your mind, & particularly when a creative solution is needed, you oscillate every few minutes or so between thought & stillness, between mind and no-mind. No-mind is consciousness without thought. Only in that way is it possible to think creatively, because only in that way does thought have any real power. Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive.
EMOTION: THE BODY’S REACTION TO YOUR MIND
27 Mind, in the way I use the word, is not just thought. RP NB I suggest ‘heart-mind to describe interiority.
28 It includes your emotions as well as all unconscious mental-emotional reactive patterns. Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet. It is the body’s reaction to your mind – or you might say a reflection of your mind in the body.
29 The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgments and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not. If you cannot feel your emotions, if you are cut off from them, you will eventually experience them on a purely physical level, as a physical problem or symptom.
30 If you have difficulty feeling your emotions, start by focusing attention on the inner energy field of your body. Feel the body from within. This will also put you in touch with your emotions.
32 If you really want to know your mind, the body will always give you a truthful reflection, so look at the emotion, or rather feel it in your body. If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth. Not the ultimate truth of who you are, but the relative truth of your state of mind at that time.
33 You may not yet be able to bring your unconscious mind activity into awareness as thoughts, but it will always be reflected in the body as an emotion, and of this you can become aware.
34 To watch an emotion in this way is basically the same as listening to or watching a thought, which I described earlier. The only difference is that, while a thought is in your head, an emotion has a strong physical component and so is primarily felt in the body. You can then allow the emotion to be there without being controlled by it. You no longer are the emotion; you are the watcher, the observing presence.
35 If you practice this, all that is unconscious in you will be brought into the light of consciousness.
36 MAKE IT A HABIT TO ASK YOURSELF: What’s going on inside me at this moment? That question will point you in the right direction. But don’t analyze, just watch. Focus your attention within. Feel the energy of the emotion. If there is no emotion present, take your attention more deeply into the inner energy field of your body. It is the doorway into Being. – END –
2) Rupert Spira’s break-through came when he heard the line, from Francis Lucille, “Meditation is a universal saying ‘yes’ to everything.” Something clicked “I’m home… this is what the last 25 years have prepared me for….a shiver went up my spine…I felt that I had made the connection… the true teacher is not the person – it’s ‘presence/consciousness’…love is recognizing we are One.” – SEE conscious.tv/nonduality
Love, healing and peace from – Roger & Marion
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