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Looking and Mindfulness

So I think I'm on a pretty good course now with the looking. Doing it as often as it occurs to me and it feels good, it feels like I've moved to a more simplified looking than earlier where I was frustrated with lack of "touching the nature", if you will - probably because trying to fit it in with older understandings (Nisargadatta / Ramana...).

But now the looking seems easy all of a sudden. And it feels good, really good - not 'blissed out party time', but you know, just really nice. With this, I mean the actual looking - the moment when I touch my nature with the beam of my attention without the intermediate of thought. It actually is a very nice feeling... Does this resonate with you guys or am I looking at something else?

My life still seems as it is, fear peculating here and there--but hopefully, it will wear off soon.

Also, and again - the looking feels very easy. That is, I can after a day of activity (or during) do the looking directly without any slowing down or "getting into the mode" process, which I thought was necessary before. This to me is in contrast to Mindfulness Meditation which I feel is harder, takes more effort (and dedication) - kind of like going to the gym. I know it's good for me and will produce positive effects, but it takes some determination and effort to do.

So do you think Mindfulness Meditation is necessary for the looking, or is it just a good complementary tool for sharpening the beam of attention (which I know is its purpose in combination with the looking, as mentioned by John). I feel like a can do the looking well without a set routine of Mindfulness Meditation (which I do sporadically though, mostly because I have the notion in the back of my mind that it will help the looking). Do you feel it's more of a necessity though and that an everyday routine of Mindfulness will be very beneficial, if not crucial, to getting rid of the fear when doing the looking?

Thanks a lot, and hope everyone is good!

Chris

Hi Chris,

You may find the mindfulness meditation helpful as a way to practice focusing your attention. It certainly has that practical use for some people however it is not necessary to look at yourself.

You mention that lately you feel good when you look at yourself. The nice feeling could be described as a side effect or something that occurs as a result of the looking. The actual act of the looking takes care of getting rid of the fear, possibly even the first time you try it with intense conviction. The feelings that arise whether they are pleasant or not are not the point of the looking.

Keep looking at yourself in whatever way it occurs to you as often as it occurs to you. How else could you do it? ;)

David

Chris, you have reached a nice plateau, and states like you have reached feel a lot better than being in the swamp. For me, however, born and bred of the work ethic, I committed to and have practiced the looking in fair weather and foul weather, in and out of the swamp of misery and suffering. My thinking has been that if I do it even in the worst of times, I will accomplish what I set out to do, which is to look when it occurs to me to do so. The carrot at the end of the stick is the belief that this will cure that unseen force demanding that I pay attention because the other shoe is soon to drop.

In addition, I would report that there is an inertia with a solid effort of looking that will carry me for a period of time -- several hours if I'm lucky -- characterized by a sense of impregnability. Whether that's self-delusional or not is beside the point, because it keeps me going with what I have thought of as an experiment. Now I know it to be an experiment that works; however, I still like to think of it with a fresh mind and won't discard the experiment notion. Also, it may be that we are all pioneers in an undertaking that will one day be a generally accepted practice. I'd rather be in the vanguard than the last to know what cures misery and suffering.

As far as meditation is concerned, I think we all know how unruly the mind can be and how discipline of any kind can be of benefit to, as you put it, sharpen the beam of your attention. I think it might pay to be aware that any practice, even the looking, may swallow the practitioner. trimpi

Looking and Mindfulness

Kafkaesque

So do you think Mindfulness Meditation is necessary for the looking, or is it just a good complimentary tool for sharpening the beam of attention (which I know is its purpose in combination with the looking, as mentioned by John). I feel like a can do the looking well without a set routine of Mindfulness Meditation (which I do sporadically though, mostly because I have the notion in the back of my mind that it will help the looking). Do you feel it's more of a necessity though and that an everyday routine of Mindfulness will be very beneficial, if not crucial, to getting rid of the fear when doing the looking?

Chris

Dear Chris:

Years ago, I started doing a type of Mindfulness Meditation. I could never get into counting my breath so I sat in meditation with the idea of watching or noticing a particular thing. It could be listening for sounds as vibration and not making a story about them. As one sound came, noticing it and then going back to listening again. Or feeling a sensation in my body, staying with it (feeling it without thinking about it) as long as it lasted, and then feeling another sensation or part of my body. Another time, I might choose to notice the tense of thoughts that appeared. (Was the thought about remembering the past or planning for the future?) The common point was to focus on something present in my experience at the exclusion of other things. If I was listening, I would ignore thoughts, sensations, etc. I continued my practice when I found John and started looking at myself. About 9 months ago I stopped meditating except to sit with others to help them learn to meditate. How did I know when to stop meditating regularly? Hard to say. I just knew. At some point I just felt that life was an ongoing moving meditation. I still do the looking whenever I think of it.

To answer your question, I think I was in such a state of fear that this mindfulness meditation was necessary to train myself to focus my attention. I think it is great preparation for looking, but may not be necessary for everyone. My guess is that since you can do the looking well you are past the stage where focusing your attention in daily meditation practice is necessary. John says that the fear of life goes very early and the recovery is what takes time. Some people who enjoy meditation continue with it during recovery, as I did for a long time, because it aids the mind and body and makes the life more balanced.

"Hopefully"

Kafkaesque

My life still seems as it is, fear peculating here and there - but hopefully it will wear off soon.

The above seems to be the general consensus around here. I hope that "hopefully" will soon not have to be so common in our writings.

Fare well, literally.

Gerrit

Thanks for all the replies and apologies for my late response.

Since my last posting I've actually done a 180 and incorporated mindfulness into my life with great joy. I think it was after I stumbled across some writing from Thich Nhat Hanh that I kind of removed my earlier, clumsy, idea of mindfulness meditation as a set-aside moment of the day in a closed room / closed eyes, and instead use it as a simple way to be present and attentive during any situation of the day by using breath as an anchor. It kind of took the "work" (I hate work ,-) out of the meditation. Now I love it, it really helps to immediately alleviate anxieties created by a scattered attention jumping around in a kaleidoscopic thought-structure. Then it also becomes easier to look at myself when in that mindful state-of-mind, just like John have said.

So thanks all for your replies and hope you're doing great!

With Kind Regards:

Chris

 

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