Author Topic: Highwhistler's views on "How does one "look" within?"  (Read 10773 times)

Highwhistler

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Highwhistler's views on "How does one "look" within?"
« on: December 18, 2015, 09:16:44 AM »
How does one "look" within?

The message below is the way I "look within." Everyone is encouraged to experiment and find their own ways.

The attention is often focused outward on the objects and events of the so-called "external world" that makes up daily life.

All that I do to "look within" is to close my eyes and turn the attention around to view the inner ecosystem that most people refer to as the mind.

When my attention is focused inside, I experience a vast inner empty space that can be black, gray or white in color. The space is not lifeless, as it can morph from one color to another, and there are pulsations of light as well. But the main point is that it is an empty, silent, neutral, tranquil realm of infinite space. I call that space the "Inner Theater."

As I sit there viewing the Inner Theater ... appearing out of the emptiness are thoughts, dreams, memories, imaginative movies, streams of experiences received from the body's senses, and abstract pulsations of energy-light-feelings. All those things are expressions of consciousness that I call "psychic content". And they all have their own life cycle, that is: each is born out of the emptiness ... they live for a while (for me to experience) ... then they disappear back into silent emptiness within. It appears that the vast area of emptiness is giving birth to psychic content, and then re-absorbing it as the thoughts, dreams, memories and imaginative movies disappear back into it.

One of the greatest skills of a meditator is to learn how to let go of the psychic content that is appearing and disappearing. "Letting go" is a science and and an art that is learned through continual, direct, first-hand experiences.

Most people hold onto the psychic content that they experience inside, as it makes up a dominant identity of their human existence. But the meditator notices that the psychic content is coming and going, coming and going -- forever -- and so s/he learns how to let it all go ... and rest back in the qualities of emptiness, silence and tranquility that fill the infinite vastness of the Inner Theater. S/he learns how to be a neutral, timeless observer of the psychic content that dances and disappears before her gaze.

Then there comes a moment for some meditators, in which they switch their center-most identity from the transitory psychic content ... to identifying with the timeless, infinitely more vast, foundational qualities of the Inner Theater, which also happens to be the same qualities as the entity -- the invisible Presence -- who is observing and experiencing the content being played on the stage of the Inner Theater.

Once the meditator's main identity becomes the emptiness, silence and vastness within ... then s/he has the natural ability to instantly silence her conscious thoughts, dreams, memories, imagination, while meditating and while not meditating. S/he can silence her mind anywhere, anytime ... as the silence of the Universe has become a quality of her center-most identity. "Instantly" means, symbolically-speaking, faster than the speed of light as she knows who and what she is and returns to her fundamental state of being without involving time, energy or effort.

Upon the disappearance of psychic content, the awake Presence floats in the realms of timelessness, emptiness, serenity and understanding ... which are infinitely more vast, common, ordinary and fundamental than the entire universe of psychic content.

This re-orientation to a silent, spacious, awake identity is absolutely natural and can be an easy thing to do. It does not have take years and years of meditation. It can happen in the twinkle of an eye, as it's simply a return to our most fundamental nature -- the Presence.

Again: this message is only my point of view. Everyone is welcome to have their own points of view and their own pathways, which to me, are equally as valid as mine. My expressions are certainly not an ultimate truth ... and they certainly will change in the unfolding of time.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 11:42:34 AM by Vivek »

Attachless

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 09:52:00 AM »
@Highwhistler

I enjoyed the latter description where the meditator eventually learns to let go and lean back, and remain attachless. (I just had to bring that one  :D ).

What I found (and is still an ongoing process) is that although in meditation one starts to deidentify oneself with the contents of observation, I found that id/entifying me with that presence/consciousness/whatever one likes to call this - if you could even summarize the act of being aware to an entity like "awareness" which then turns out to be "me".. Oh funny! Thats actually already my point :-P I found that this "new" entity I start to identify me with, cannot be found, and this creates for me a seemingly dilemma (seemingly only if you insist on identifying with it), as I have also found the buddha having said, that what's being left at the "end" of a meditators jpurney is mere awareness and mere wisdom - mere, which implies that there is no entity. Theres simply awareness. Theres no "I am awareness" or "I am aware", there is simply awareness, as in there is also no "I am body, I am mind", but body just is, mind just is, and awareness also just is. What we are here to learn is to reduce the tendency of the mind, the tendency to identifying and hence clinging to something. In the end, you may find yourself identify with awareness, which means, clinging to awareness. And awareness may also be subject to impermanence, and no-self.

These were some thoughts I came up with in recent past, that made me quite stumbling, and I have yet to claim I have come to a conclusion myself. Oh no, I have not :-P I could identify with what you said tho, and came, just recently, to a place of new uncertainity and re-observation.

so far, cheers.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:15:54 AM by Attachless »
to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 10:47:06 AM »
Thank you Attachless!

First of all, we don't know if the Buddha was right or wrong, or partially right or wrong, when he said that "there is no entity, but simply awareness."

And so what I do is that I remain neutral about what the Buddha said -- but I'm absolutely fascinated with what he said! ... and I certainly respect what the Buddha said. But rather than simply accept his words as true and then fall into lock-step with his observations, I do research everyday, using my own direct, first-hand, eye-witness, meditative experiences.

When you say that the "new entity I start to identify me with, cannot be found" ... I accept that as your truth and your observation. Again: thank you.

Do you mean that when you say that "the entity cannot be found" through your direct, first-hand experience -- do you mean that you cannot see the entity? You might not feel the entity? You might not hear the entity? Hence ... it is reasonable that you and the Buddha say that "it cannot be found."

But, is it possible that the natural state of the entity is that it is invisible?

Is it possible that the entity itself is generating the sentence "I cannot be found"?

Is it possible that the invisible entity, the Presence, remains in our existence even tho we re-phrase the words of the Buddha and say "it is impermanent and has no existence"?

As we all know, the Multiverse is filled from top to bottom with invisible things that are very powerful and very real: magnetism, gravity, cosmic rays, most types of light, sound waves, electricity, radio waves and on and on. In fact, physicists and astronomers all around the world say that dark energy and dark matter -- which are invisible and cannot be directly detected, but which casts influences on all matter -- make-up 95% of the entire Universe. And of course, there are probably millions of invisible things that truly exists, but have not yet been discovered by science, meditators, and even the Buddha.

And so what I am saying is that I currently believe, from my own first-hand ongoing research, is that the Presence is real ... and it is us. It is invisible to the physical eyes and to the inner eye ... just like the most fundamental forces of the Universe are invisible to humankind's physical eyes and inner eyes.

Symbolically speaking: the Presence is similar to dark matter-energy in that it cannot be seen directly, it is invisible, but it casts fundamental influences across the physical and energetic realms, and it is certainly one of the greatest mysteries.

The invisible Presence -- which I believe is who and what we are -- is a consciousness experiencer. That is, it is designed to touch, feel, see, imagine, to live within, to engage with, and to assist in the transformation of Creation.

The Presence is an awake, interactive, offspring of Creation and woven into it. Creation is everything ... that is: all of the so-called physical universe; all the forces, things and beings that are visible and invisible; all the emptiness, voids and silence; all the inner realms and experiences that make-up psychic content.

Furthermore, from my own direct ongoing experience, I believe that the Presence that you are, and that I am, and that we all are -- is not just an individual observer, but it is a much more complex entity, that has its own incredibly fascinating nature and abilities -- that I will describe in another thread.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:28:38 PM by Highwhistler »

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 07:23:11 PM »
@Highwhistler

I enjoyed the latter description where the meditator eventually learns to let go and lean back, and remain attachless. (I just had to bring that one  :D ).

What I found (and is still an ongoing process) is that although in meditation one starts to deidentify oneself with the contents of observation, I found that id/entifying me with that presence/consciousness/whatever one likes to call this - if you could even summarize the act of being aware to an entity like "awareness" which then turns out to be "me".. Oh funny! Thats actually already my point :-P I found that this "new" entity I start to identify me with, cannot be found, ...

This entity is called "the watcher" - it's a transitional stage in practice where you are aware that you are aware .. Just keep going with your practice and the divide will narrow.


First of all, we don't know if the Buddha was right or wrong, or partially right or wrong, when he said that "there is no entity, but simply awareness."

And so what I do is that I remain neutral about what the Buddha said -- but I'm absolutely fascinated with what he said! ... and I certainly respect what the Buddha said. But rather than simply accept his words as true and then fall into lock-step with his observations, I do research everyday, using my own direct, first-hand, eye-witness, meditative experiences.

This is a good attitude to practice. One of the most important teachings of the Buddha is this; "Do not believe anything, no matter where you read it or who said it, even if I said it, unless it ages with your own common sense and reason.

But, is it possible that the natural state of the entity is that it is invisible?

Is it possible that the entity itself is generating the sentence "I cannot be found"?

Is it possible that the invisible entity, the Presence, remains in our existence even tho we re-phrase the words of the Buddha and say "it is impermanent and has no existence"?

As we all know, the Multiverse is filled from top to bottom with invisible things that are very powerful and very real: magnetism, gravity, cosmic rays, most types of light, sound waves, electricity, radio waves and on and on. In fact, physicists and astronomers all around the world say that dark energy and dark matter -- which are invisible and cannot be directly detected, but which casts influences on all matter -- make-up 95% of the entire Universe. And of course, there are probably millions of invisible things that truly exists, but have not yet been discovered by science, meditators, and even the Buddha.

And so what I am saying is that I currently believe, from my own first-hand ongoing research, is that the Presence is real ... and it is us. It is invisible to the physical eyes and to the inner eye ... just like the most fundamental forces of the Universe are invisible to humankind's physical eyes and inner eyes.

Symbolically speaking: the Presence is similar to dark matter-energy in that it cannot be seen directly, it is invisible, but it casts fundamental influences across the physical and energetic realms, and it is certainly one of the greatest mysteries.

The invisible Presence -- which I believe is who and what we are -- is a consciousness experiencer. That is, it is designed

Furthermore, from my own direct ongoing experience, I believe that the Presence that you are, and that I am, and that we all are -- is not just an individual observer, but it is a much more complex entity, that has its own incredibly fascinating nature and abilities -- that I will describe in another thread.


Most of what you discuss above is speculation or belief. These types of thinking are of no benefit on the path.

Regarding physics the reason dark matter and energy have been invented is because current prevailing theories do not explain expansion of the universe. It's all speculation to fill the gaps in theories that are known to be flawed. And truly none of it is helpful in terms of the practicalities of mediation: the purpose of this for forum.

It's good to know what you know and know what you don't: filling the gaps with speculation will not benefit you or anyone else. It just leads to discussion of "unanswerable questions" - this is pure distraction.
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Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 11:04:52 PM »
Thank you Mathew for your insightful comments regarding my points of view, as well as your advice.

It's a blessing to hear from a person who really knows what they are talking about.

Attachless

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 05:50:20 AM »
That's what I been saying @matthew. My concern was in regards to putting an "I" onto the watcher, as I've done this too in the past. Instead, as one is aware of the objects (instead of identifying with them) - one starts to be aware of being aware also - and starts to identify with -that-. In my experience, this happened automatically, and hence is as you say a transitional stage in the practice (otherwise it leads to a bunch of assumptions and beliefs, as we see above) and one gets stuck in this new set of assumptions and/or is then drawn to find "verifications" for them, instead of just investigate and observe (which is the practice). Havn't gone beyond that tho, despite identifying this and just keeping going.

I have yet to find an I, and I fallen in the pitfall of "I am awareness" (which led to all kind of asumptions and theories and beliefs) is what I'm basically sharing :-P

Hence same answer applies to the dark matter and invisiblity things. :-)
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Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 07:59:38 PM »
That's what I been saying @matthew. My concern was in regards to putting an "I" onto the watcher, as I've done this too in the past. Instead, as one is aware of the objects (instead of identifying with them) - one starts to be aware of being aware also - and starts to identify with -that-. In my experience, this happened automatically, and hence is as you say a transitional stage in the practice (otherwise it leads to a bunch of assumptions and beliefs, as we see above) and one gets stuck in this new set of assumptions and/or is then drawn to find "verifications" for them, instead of just investigate and observe (which is the practice). Havn't gone beyond that tho, despite identifying this and just keeping going.

I have yet to find an I, and I fallen in the pitfall of "I am awareness" (which led to all kind of asumptions and theories and beliefs) is what I'm basically sharing :-P

Hence same answer applies to the dark matter and invisiblity things. :-)

Thanks again Attachless for another thoughtful comment.

You are invited to read my introduction as a member of the forum to learn that I've been meditating for 45 years, 3 to 6 hours each and every day, most of the years spent in straight-up Vipassna or vipassana-based techniques.

And so you can imagine, that all beings who have put that much consistent time everday in wide-awake, relaxed and fully focused meditation -- all of us have certainly explored the idea that there is "no self" to be found. In fact, I adopted it, I understood it, I identified with the "no self" experience, and I had that as my main philosophical position for the first 15 years of my meditation history. And so the "no self"-thing is not something that went "swooshhhh" over my head, and I did not miss the memo from my Zen and Vipassana teachers. No way. I've truly embraced it and I understand "no self".

Even now, on a daily basis, I fully welcome the "no self" experience, the "no self" realization ... as I'm always there -- in the silent inner realms for hours each day -- exploring the appearing, then disappearing, Universe.

And so, off the top of my head, if I can symbolically give it a modest number, I imagine that I've contemplated and experienced the "no self" thing, millions of times over nearly a half a century of daily meditation.

And, as you might know, I'm not into simply reading about these meditative concepts in books, or listening to a teacher, and then following along with whatever I'm told to see and believe. I'm exclusively into experiencing the concept of "no self" directly, first-hand ... not just once, but continually, with that experience happening in the eternal now. I've done that. I'm doing it. I see what you are talking about. I got it.

But in 1995, I sat under my own Bodhi Tree. I went into the same inner realms as before, but through direct first-hand experiences, I came to a different understanding than that of the Buddha and traditional Vipassana teachings.

I'm not satisfied with recalling memories of historical meditation events, and so I always seek first-hand experience NOW, in this moment, today, tomorrow, and everyday. Through my continual first-hand experiencesm within daily meditations of 3 to 6 hours, spanning the last 20 years, I now believe that the Presence is a real thing. It has a unique nature and abilities that are similar to the invisible universal forces. And so that is what I have begun to share in some of my posts.

Please remember: an easy and utterly natural experience to have during meditation is of "no self" ... and most of us have that millions and zillions of times if we meditate consistently for decades. Me too ... even now, everyday. But now, I don't put the "no self" experience on a pedestal or make it a central part of my understanding. I just notice it and let it go ... like everything else.
 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 08:51:55 PM by Highwhistler »

Goofaholix

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 03:48:40 AM »
Even now, on a daily basis, I fully welcome the "no self" experience, the "no self" realization ... as I'm always there -- in the silent inner realms for hours each day -- exploring the appearing, then disappearing, Universe.

I think it is better to be clear that the Buddha taught "not self" not "no self", the distinction might seem to be semantic but as the former is a metaphysical proposition and the latter is a process of dis-identification the distinction is important.

I think "the "no self" experience, and the "no self" realization" doesn't really make sense in that context.

On a conceptual level there clearly is "self"... my name, my address, my social security number etc, it's relatively easy to dis-identify with that. The body is also relatively easy to dis-identify with for those who have a contemplative bent.

However the thought processes, and as has been mentioned above the watching process, is harder.  Also "my story" and "my memories" are quite difficult to dis-identify with, one can build up a sense of self out of recollecting and identifying decades of spiritual practice (for example) and taking pride in it.

The problem with identification is that the identification is always with that which is impermanent and conditioned and seeks to make it permanent and unchanging, and this leads to Dukkha.

So returning to the OP one thing about Awareness we soon notice is that it too is subject to impermanence and conditionality however giving importance to the awareness of the awareness in our practice strengthens this over time.



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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 05:52:07 AM »
 Thanks Goofaholix, you put it quite nicely. That was my concern basically, phenominally put into words :-P I seem to lack clarity in recent days overall.. Lets try anyway.

I'd like to add to Highlander that I'm impressed by your consistency in regard to your practice, and that I can totaly relate to what you are saying (as you can probably relate to both POVs as well - the eternal presence - or however one likes to call it - as well as the no self POV, for the lack of a better word I will say POV).

I hope it's not forbidden to mention (otherwise just tell me), but I also came to learn and experience certain stuff in Ayahuasca and San Pedro (visionary plants) in the Amazon, that led me to assume exactly what you describe. Paradoxically trough Ayahuasca and a near death experience I also came to assume what I tried to describe and what Goofaholix described, namely that despite de-identifying and loosing/leaving all attachments toward body, mind and all that this includes and implies, during this experience of mine, after that - to my surprise - I also "had to" let go of awareness that I was holding on to and identifyied as "me", "self" or "the essence of what I am/ we are". One could ask then again, ifit was more about the attachment to awareness as it was about the awareness itself (since attachment is not part of the awareness/presence which you are), hence part of the process of removing everything that was attached (through identifying) to that - so it was more about the act of attaching/identifying with, and not about awareness itself. (As a possibility.)

So this leaves me of course between two chairs, am finding the "no self" conclusion for this moment for myself more helpful in regards to my practice tho. And thats basically all I can share, which finally concludes in "I can't tell" - which is, again, in my opinion, the best  attitute and assumption to have regarding the practice, because "not knowing" leaves space for "finding out". So, I will stick with that for the moment :-P

Ok done :-P
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 08:27:09 AM by Attachless »
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Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2015, 11:40:47 AM »
So returning to the OP one thing about Awareness we soon notice is that it too is subject to impermanence and conditionality however giving importance to the awareness of the awareness in our practice strengthens this over time.

That was an insightful message Goofaholix. Thanks for sharing your understanding in such a clear way.

I think that awareness is good and steady, and consciousness is ever-changing ... flowing like a river through the spotlight of our awareness.

Using my symbolic language, take a short test drive in seeing it this way:

A most fundamental nature of the Presence is to be awake, to be aware. It's just sitting here in the eternal moment. For instance, you the Presence are looking at these words. It is aware. You can look away from these words, down to your hands, up to the ceiling, to the right and left ... and your awareness has remained steady the whole time. What has changed are the things that you are looking at. Right?

Now, the things that you are looking at aren't really "things" in a solid sense. Technically-speaking, what's happening is that light is being reflected off the text, off the ceiling, and off everything that you are viewing in the so-called "external world" -- and that light travels to the surface of your eyes, of course. As is passes through the layers of your eyes the light is changed into electrical-chemical signals, which travel through the optic nerve, and then somehow the imagery is projected back into your brain. Right?

You are actually viewing these words (and the whole external world) from inside yourself. That's where you are actually engaging with, and interacting with, the external world. Ask any optometrist, ophthalmologist or meditator and they will say "absolutely true." In fact, all of your senses are gathering data streams that come in from the outside world, and those streams are being projected into your brain, for you to experience.

And so what you are looking at in there (a place that I call the Inner Theater), is consciousness. Regarding the viewing of these words, you are looking at the consciousness that's a visual reflection of these words -- inside yourself.

When you glance down to your hands ... your hands are being visually projected into your brain, and you are looking at consciousness that is a visual reflection of your hands.

And so you, the invisible atmospheric Presence, are just sitting here with your ever-present natural awareness, in bliss, as happy as can be ... watching the streams of consciousness dance and change before your gaze ... all of which is happening inside yourself.

Awareness is a natural function of the Presence, and it's not influenced by the ever-changing consciousness that's being expressed in the realms of time and space. Awareness exists in one moment -- the Now. The eternal Now is standing still (and so is the Presence and its awareness) ... while consciousness is forever changing, dancing, appearing and disappearing.



OK. The test drive is over. Everyone is invited to return to their traditional Vipassana understandings, where you feel safe and sound.

Thank you.
 
 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 11:58:50 AM by Highwhistler »

Goofaholix

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2015, 12:36:45 PM »
OK. The test drive is over. Everyone is invited to return to their traditional Vipassana understandings, where you feel safe and sound.

Other than having turned a quality of presence into an entity named "the Presence" that all seems pretty consistent with the Vipassana approach, which of course is what you'd expect on a Vipassana forum.

In my experience presence aka awareness is just as subject to changeability as other phenomena, however unlike sense contact conciousness as you mentioned where the change is quite rapid the sense of presence seem relatively stable, particularly with a history of engagement in a practice that cultivates it.

It's this relative stability that makes it feel so good and makes us want to attach to it, identify with it, see it as a sign of spiritual awakening, or create a spiritual entity out of it.

Think of sense contact conciousness being waves and this presence/awareness as being the ocean, we'll see the ocean of course is constantly changing as well if we can look beyond the concept "ocean".


Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2015, 01:36:30 PM »
That's great Goofaholix. I really enjoy assimilating your thoughtful perspectives.

The Presence is ever-present and empathetic

I think the Presence appears to change, but it does not. It's atmospheric and invisible ... it's primary home is the quantum field. It is designed to be a consciousness experiencer ... to have consciousness float in and out of its awareness, for it to experience.

The Presence appears to change, because one of its natural abilities is to disappear as it completely focuses on the consciousness that appears before it. For instance, when you are thoroughly engaged in a movie ... all you see is the movie (you are actually viewing the movie inside yourself, of course) and you, the Presence, has happily slipped into the background so that you can be totally immersed in the movie. So the movie, or whatever you're focused on, temporarily fills up your entire field of experience. Actually ... this is called empathy.

And so, I believe the Presence has been designed by nature to be empathetic, so it can touch, feel, see, hear, imagine, and engage with the consciousness that expresses Creation. We want to walk in the shoes of others. We want to feel what they are feeling. We want to feel ecosystems, spaces, people and things to the depths of our being. It's satisfying.

The Presence in thoughts & imaginative movies

Notice that the Presence can be there in thoughts -- like you can have a thought-movie, or an imagination movie, or a memory-movie, in which you are talking to your Mom. You, the Presence, is there interacting with a thought-reflection of your Mom. And the awareness of yourself can easily disappear as you totally focus on what your Mom, in the thought, is saying or feeling. Your Presence is still there, of course, it just temporarily vanished so you can fully hear and see your Mom.

The Presence in "external" experiences

Similarly, you can be in the garden planting tomatoes. And you are so engaged with the process, you lose awareness of yourself as you put the plants in the ground, cover the roots with soil, water the plants until they are comfortable. You are still there of course ... but the consciousness of yourself has slipped into the background of your awareness, so that what you're doing can fully dominate the experience.

The Presence in dreams

The Presence is also in your dreams, of course. And it carries its ability to disappear from awareness, as you allow the content and stories composing the dreams to totally fill-up your inner experience. By disappearing, you the Presence, can better feel, see and engage with the consciousness that is being expressed the dream. Even tho you disappeared from view ... you are still there, and you have been there all along.

The Presence in out-of-body experiences

Have you had wide-awake, fully conscious, intentionally-generated, out-of-body experiences? I've had hundreds of them. What happens in my direct, first-hand, experience is that the Presence projects itself out of the physical body, and it becomes a functional center of awareness that is at a physical distance from the body. I say "functional" as it has the ability to look this way and that, move this way and that ... and so it has its own inner guidance system that it's in control of. As it looks this way or that ... it's controlling the consciousness that it wants to experience. The Presence still retains its empathic ability in the OB state, to disappear into the background of its awareness, so that it can fully experience the consciousness that's floating in it.

For instance, if you leave your body and are at the top of the room -- you look down at your body which appears to be happily meditating -- and you want to go outside or to another room, or to another place, what you are doing is intentionally guiding your awareness to the other room or outside, where you will experience the consciousness that is expressing those places. The Presence selects the consciousness that it wants to experience. And that consciousness will float in the Presence's awareness, for the Presence to experience.

Btw: the ability to be outside the physical body in full wide-awake awareness, and to repeat that state of being intentionally, is a significant data point that suggests that there is an entity (that we are calling Presence but it can have other names), that can delightfully exist outside of the body ... and it appears that it does not need a physical brain or body, to get along just fine -- to think, to move, to have experiences, to be inspired. It's speculation to the scientific mind, but it's not a stretch to think that it's possible that this Presence can live on after the death of the body, and perhaps jump to other dimensions, and/or to inhabit other bodies, and experience other lifetimes.

The Presence in hospice experiences and after the body dies

Have you worked in a hospital or helped a loved one while they are passing away? I've been a hospice volunteer since 1982 -- which is 33 years, and have been at the bedside of many folks as they passed away. As an eyewitness, it's always a sad situation, but from a spiritual perspective it's also fascinating to observe the Presence slip out of the body. Across the decades of my experiences, hundreds of people (family members who have been in the rooms with their loved ones, and I) have consistently said something like "George is no longer in that body. It is empty. But I feel his Presence in the room!" And, we will have family members and friends, in other states and countries, report later in the day or the next day "I didn't hear that he had passed away, but I did feel his Presence yesterday afternoon around 2:30" ... and that turns out to be the time that dear George left his body. And of course, you have nearly everyone on the planet experience a loved one's Presence come and visit them, weeks, months, years, and even decades after their physical passing.

Presence Collectives

And so this shows us another natural ability of the Presence: the ability for one Presence to float in the Presence of another. Actually, this is happening constantly ... to everyone. And so a Presence is not just an individual -- it can be that if you choose to look at it that way -- but it is also part of something I call "Presence Collectives."

There is another significant type of Presence in of the mix ... but I will get to that in another post.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 03:04:26 PM by Highwhistler »

Matthew

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2015, 06:16:05 PM »
OK. The test drive is over. Everyone is invited to return to their traditional Vipassana understandings, where you feel safe and sound.

Other than having turned a quality of presence into an entity named "the Presence" that all seems pretty consistent with the Vipassana approach, which of course is what you'd expect on a Vipassana forum.
..

Indeed why is there a need to make awareness into a personal noun, "the Presence"?

...
I think the Presence appears to change, but it does not. It's atmospheric and invisible ... it's primary home is the quantum field. It is designed to be a consciousness experiencer ... to have consciousness float in and out of its awareness, for it to experience....

When you mention "quantum field" are you referring to the physics of quantum theory? This is theory - not fact: it is recognised by all physicists to be an incomplete and currently inaccurate theory too. I don't truly see how referencing it is particularly helpful in the context of the discussion. One might as well say "awareness primary home is in bobbity-doo-daa land". (I just made up the physical hypothesis of bobbity-doo-daa land for the sake of example).

Lastly I'm very interested in the idea that "It is designed to be ...". Designed by whom or what? - Actually that question does not really require an answer - in the place of this forum any answer will be speculative or theist: it will not enhance the understanding of meditation practice for anyone reading it ... from the forum homepage:

Quote
The primary purpose of this meditation forum is to help each other with practice related issues - intellectual debate of unresolvable differences and speculation and theory is not beneficial on the path.

That's what I been saying @matthew. My concern was in regards to putting an "I" onto the watcher, as I've done this too in the past. Instead, as one is aware of the objects (instead of identifying with them) - one starts to be aware of being aware also - and starts to identify with -that-. In my experience, this happened automatically, and hence is as you say a transitional stage in the practice (otherwise it leads to a bunch of assumptions and beliefs, as we see above) and one gets stuck in this new set of assumptions and/or is then drawn to find "verifications" for them, instead of just investigate and observe (which is the practice). Havn't gone beyond that tho, despite identifying this and just keeping going.

I have yet to find an I, and I fallen in the pitfall of "I am awareness" (which led to all kind of asumptions and theories and beliefs) is what I'm basically sharing :-P

Hence same answer applies to the dark matter and invisiblity things. :-)

This is a right understanding and good attitude to practice. Do not identify personally with any of the arisings on the path, to do so is to stop going down the rabbit hole :)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 06:32:19 PM by Matthew »
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Goofaholix

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2015, 01:26:47 AM »
The Presence is ever-present and empathetic

... and then you go on to provide examples of how it changes in varying circumstances, so as I say a sense of presence is subject to impermanence and conditionality and this is where we apply Vipassana methodology.  Otherwise we'd start making it into an some kind of imaginary friend or a God and giving name or personal noun.

It's a path of letting go, relinquishment, cessation of craving and attachment rather than one of creating an imaginary friend that makes us feel better.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:57:21 AM by Goofaholix »

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2015, 07:03:14 AM »
The Presence is ever-present and empathetic

... and then you go on to provide examples of how it changes in varying circumstances, so as I say a sense of presence is subject to impermanence and conditionality and this is where we apply Vipassana methodology.  Otherwise we'd start making it into an some kind of imaginary friend or a God and giving name or personal noun.

It's a path of letting go, relinquishment, cessation of craving and attachment rather than one of creating an imaginary friend that makes us feel better.

I LOVE that "imaginary friend"-thing, Goofaholix! Good job. Colorful zingers like that add interest and energy to the meaningful, genuine interaction within the forum community. Keep them comin'!
 


In my recent message, I described how the Presence still exists, and is ever-present, even tho it temporarily disappears from our sense that it is here -- now. It disappears from our sense of its existence, because we are focusing our attention on other topics, that are being expressed by consciousness.

This happens all the time with everyone, in the most common ways, as such are the mechanics of perception.
 
As an example: let's say that you made a cup of coffee before reading these words -- using your favorite pink coffee cup ... the one with the logo that says "Let's Make America Great Again!" -- and after a few sips, you left it on that little table behind you. After placing the cup on the table, you spun your chair around to your computer and got all tingly with excitement when you saw a new post from Highwistler on this forum. OK ... hold that thought right there.

You know that your pink coffee cup still exists and has not changed, even tho you have not sensed it in your awareness for the last minute.

What has changed is that you have moved your awareness to another area of interest ... and you are experiencing the unfolding of consciousness that is expressing the topic that you are focused upon.

The same thing is true regarding how the Presence appears and disappears, in and out of our sense of awareness. It remains unchanged -- forever existing in the single moment of now -- while our focus of attention is hopping from topic to topic ... to experience the consciousness that expresses those topics.

Thanks Goofaholix for your thoughtful response.




Middleway

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2015, 08:47:26 AM »

The Presence in dreams
The Presence is also in your dreams, of course. And it carries its ability to disappear from awareness, as you allow the content and stories composing the dreams to totally fill-up your inner experience. By disappearing, you the Presence, can better feel, see and engage with the consciousness that is being expressed the dream. Even tho you disappeared from view ... you are still there, and you have been there all along.

What happens to your so-called "Presence" when you are in deep sleep? taking a nap? How do you know "It" is there at that moment?
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2015, 08:54:27 AM »
Quote
Indeed why is there a need to make awareness into a personal noun, "the Presence"?

I'm translating my continual first-hand inner experiences into words, and that's the best symbolic phrase that I've come up with so far.

In my understanding, "the Presence" is both an individual and a collective, simultaneously. Whatever aspect of the Presence that you put your attention on and believe in, the qualities of that aspect instantly appear in your awareness, for you to experience.

In your case, since you do not believe that the Presence exists, then ideas instantly appear in your awareness to prove to you that you are right, causing you to think and feel: the Presence has no existence and so this whole discussion is just a bunch of hogwash and not beneficial on the path to true enlightenment.

All of your views, feelings, thoughts, ideas and messages are perfectly fine with me, and I understand them to be equally as valid as mine. I'm honored that you are taking the time and energy to respond to our experiences, in such clear, thoughtful, and kind ways.

The individualized aspect of Presence is the dominant aspect that people in modern culture identify with, today. However, the Presence Collectives are a much larger part of their entire interconnected Presence ecosystem.

Actually, in my personal notes at home, as I record and translate my ongoing, direct, first-hand inner experiences into words, I don't use the phrase "individualized Presence". I use the phrase "Member Presence" as that's a more accurate translation of what I'm experiencing. I don't use the "Member" phrase here on the forum, because I think that some "individuals" might freak-out even more.

Quote
When you mention "quantum field" are you referring to the physics of quantum theory? This is theory - not fact: it is recognised by all physicists to be an incomplete and currently inaccurate theory too. I don't truly see how referencing it is particularly helpful in the context of the discussion. One might as well say "awareness primary home is in bobbity-doo-daa land". (I just made up the physical hypothesis of bobbity-doo-daa land for the sake of example).

Yes, the translations into words of my first-hand experiences is incomplete and not fully accurate, but it's the best that I can do, using words, at this time. My communication skills will improve as I practice more.

I was never good in English classes ... pretty much a flunky. Just a few minutes ago, I even had to look up the words "noun" and "personal noun" to see what they meant, as I was clueless. When I was art director for a family magazine, I would submit articles to my friend the editor, and she would put a big fat red "X" across entire pages. Needless to say, no articles that I wrote were ever published.

I use the words "quantum" and "quantum fields" because they are the closest words that I know about, that mirror my first-hand experiences and understanding. Yes ... they are imperfect. When I come up with better symbolic words, I'll use them! You suggested that I use "bobbity-doo-daa land" ... but that does not reflect my first-hand eyewitness experience. However, I do enjoy seeing those playful types of words, here on the forum.

When the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree, went inside and meditated for days, and achieved enlightenment ... he then translated his direct, first-hand inner experiences and understandings into words. That's what I'm doing. That's what we all are doing.

For instance: the word "meditation" is a word in the English language that we use as audible and visual symbol to communicate the concepts about the processes and methods used in focusing the attention. The word is actually not what meditation is. It's just a symbol that casts an influence across the atmospheres of our mind, and we react to it with an understanding of what it means.

Quote
Lastly I'm very interested in the idea that "It is designed to be ...". Designed by whom or what?

It is designed by the same thing that designs atoms, animals, ecosystems, planets, stars, galaxies, the space within the atom, and the spaces that floats between the stars, as well as the psychic ecosystems throughout the Multiverse.

Quote
The primary purpose of this meditation forum is to help each other with practice related issues - intellectual debate of unresolvable differences and speculation and theory is not beneficial on the path.

I'm a reporter of first-hand, eyewitness, continual experiences. The process includes gathering and processing the info, translating it into words, then sharing it with others.

In my reports, I do not say that my experiences are your experiences, or that you will gather the same data in your first hand experiences. I make a significant effort to be as accurate as possible with my translations into words, as well as the styles by which my data is disseminated.

The styles that I've chosen to share my first-hand experiences are good for some, and not so for others. But I do my best.

My communication styles are of an amateur reporter and researcher, through and through. I often use colorful concepts through words that generate thoughtful environments within inner realms of our readers ... hoping to clarify my points, to be a bit entertaining, and to show that I'm a human being and not a machine.

Thanks Matthew!
 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 09:07:19 AM by Highwhistler »

Goofaholix

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2015, 08:58:36 AM »
The same thing is true regarding how the Presence appears and disappears, in and out of our sense of awareness. It remains unchanged -- forever existing in the single moment of now -- while our focus of attention is hopping from topic to topic ... to experience the consciousness that expresses those topics.

So here we have a mental faculty called awareness and a separate entity named “the Presence” (sounds like a good title for a science fiction thriller don’t you think).  Anyway I’d expect you’d be aware that awareness and presence are used interchangeably in insight meditation circles as synonyms, so your wordage is really rather confusing.

So what do other people call your “the Presence”? so we can clarify what exactly you are referring to… God? Brahma? True Self? Or should we stick with “imaginary friend” for it’s colourful zingerness value?

My advice would be whatever one is aware of, even if it feels a profound spiritual experience, continue to examine it in terms of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not self.  Don’t allow yourself to get attached to it, don’t allow yourself to crave it, don’t allow yourself to make it into more than it is.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 09:20:15 AM by Goofaholix »

Goofaholix

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2015, 09:15:53 AM »
In my reports, I do not say that my experiences are your experiences, or that you will gather the same data in your first hand experiences. I make a significant effort to be as accurate as possible with my translations into words, as well as the styles by which my data is disseminated.

The styles that I've chosen to share my first-hand experiences are good for some, and not so for others. But I do my best.

Of course nobody will have a problem with that if those experiences were obtained practicing Vipassana and/or interpreted within the Vipassana framework as I think the purpose of this board is very clear, in that it is the name of it.

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2015, 09:27:13 AM »

The Presence in dreams
The Presence is also in your dreams, of course. And it carries its ability to disappear from awareness, as you allow the content and stories composing the dreams to totally fill-up your inner experience. By disappearing, you the Presence, can better feel, see and engage with the consciousness that is being expressed the dream. Even tho you disappeared from view ... you are still there, and you have been there all along.

What happens to your so-called "Presence" when you are in deep sleep? taking a nap? How do you know "It" is there at that moment?

Thanks for responding, Middleway.

When you are in deep sleep, you don't know "It", or anything, is here at the moment.

But, just because you don't know that something is here in this moment -- whether you are in deep sleep, wide awake, focused on a different topic, or day dreaming -- it does not mean that it does not exist.

For instance, in this moment, you might not be aware of the insulation under the floor, just inches from your feet -- but that does not mean that it does not exists.

Things have an existence -- even invisible things like gravity -- even tho we do not hold them in our awareness all the time.

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2015, 09:36:13 AM »
In my reports, I do not say that my experiences are your experiences, or that you will gather the same data in your first hand experiences. I make a significant effort to be as accurate as possible with my translations into words, as well as the styles by which my data is disseminated.

The styles that I've chosen to share my first-hand experiences are good for some, and not so for others. But I do my best.

Of course nobody will have a problem with that if those experiences were obtained practicing Vipassana and/or interpreted within the Vipassana framework as I think the purpose of this board is very clear, in that it is the name of it.

I've been meditating for 45 years, 3 to 6 hours of meditation each and every day, and have practicing either straight-up by-the-book Vipassana, or a style of it for 40 years. During the first 5 years of meditation, I practiced classic Zen.

I'm delighted to hear that "nobody will have a problem." That's fantastic! I really feel welcome here. Thanks Middleway.

Middleway

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2015, 09:40:02 AM »

The Presence in dreams
The Presence is also in your dreams, of course. And it carries its ability to disappear from awareness, as you allow the content and stories composing the dreams to totally fill-up your inner experience. By disappearing, you the Presence, can better feel, see and engage with the consciousness that is being expressed the dream. Even tho you disappeared from view ... you are still there, and you have been there all along.

What happens to your so-called "Presence" when you are in deep sleep? taking a nap? How do you know "It" is there at that moment?

Thanks for responding, Middleway.

When you are in deep sleep, you don't know "It", or anything, is here at the moment.

But, just because you don't know that something is here in this moment -- whether you are in deep sleep, wide awake, focused on a different topic, or day dreaming -- it does not mean that it does not exist.

For instance, in this moment, you might not be aware of the insulation under the floor, just inches from your feet -- but that does not mean that it does not exists.

Things have an existence -- even invisible things like gravity -- even tho we do not hold them in our awareness all the time.

If I may translate, what you are saying is essentially that GOD exists even though we cannot see Him or talk to Him and that if I get my mind completely quiet and still, I will then feel "His Presence". I suggest you check out forums on "advaita" where your posts will be appreciated more.

Best,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Highwhistler

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2015, 09:56:19 AM »
If I may translate, what you are saying is essentially that GOD exists even though we cannot see Him or talk to Him ...

No, I've never said that here on the forum. But here's what I am saying:

God may or may not exist. I don't know. I've not seen or sensed Her, in the classic sense as to what God is and means to the dominant religious and spiritual teachings. I have no first-hand experience of Her, or Him, or It in that way. My point of view is closer to Einstien's, as expressed in his quote below.

I'm only reporting on my own first-hand, direct, ongoing experiences using Vipassana-based meditation techniques.

I welcome you to have your own experiences, which may be very different from mine. And, I understand your experiences to be equal to mine.

I'm not challenging what you experience, think or believe. I think your experiences are very real and I respect them. Thank you for sharing your understanding and wisdom with us. The Universe is big enough for everyone's meditative experiences, and it is easy for me to live in harmony with you and everyone.
 
Quote
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
-- Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit & Science
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 10:21:47 AM by Highwhistler »

Middleway

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2015, 10:32:12 AM »
I'm only reporting on my own first-hand, direct, ongoing experiences using Vipassana-based meditation techniques.

You claim that your "Presence" exists even in deep sleep although you do not have "direct experience" of it at that moment. It is your belief or speculation. is it not?
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

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Re: Re: Turning the attention toward awareness
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2015, 10:38:49 AM »
When you are in deep sleep, you don't know "It", or anything, is here at the moment.

But, just because you don't know that something is here in this moment -- whether you are in deep sleep, wide awake, focused on a different topic, or day dreaming -- it does not mean that it does not exist.

For instance, in this moment, you might not be aware of the insulation under the floor, just inches from your feet -- but that does not mean that it does not exists.

Which leads to the basic assumption that these things are not "you" and that "things just are", hence the idea (and maybe the realization of) no-self and total detachment. And as all (seemingly) material things like this table, this laptop, body, mind etc. just "are", awareness also just is. Or it is not (like deep sleep). And then again, it is again (when you wake up etc.).

Native americans called the universe "the great mystery", because it cannot be figured out. I like this approach - it`s like a much more sympathic attempt to saying "we don`t know", while "eternal presence, Atman" etc. are attempts (as they imply) to know - although the mystery remains IMO.

Other than that, I think anything being said after this point is bound to be repitition, as I think we`ve already weeded out all possibilities regarding this discussion, and everything else is going to become a philosophical, principle-based etc. discussion (although I enjoy it, I must say I have made freedom with great mystery, so I will not even attempt to go beyond this point in regards to my own practice (as your experiences are your experiences and you are free to express them, as many have done so in the past too, obviously, and have come to similiar conclusions)). May have to do with my allergy to beliefs (which sometimes turns out to be more harmful than it does good, too. That`s how unbelief-able I am :-P haha).

Will follow with interest tho. :-)

to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety