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Sitting quietly

Yes - and if we are under the impression that we are observing with our mind silent, this constitutes a red card penalty and immediate 2 minute banishment. :exploding_head: :crazy_face:

This statement is actually very simple - It simply means : we think that what we think is true, is actually true - whereas our interpretation of reality, is merely our interpretation of reality.
We are slaves to our own delusions.

Sometimes we struggle against this simple statement with the argument that reality actually exists, so the statement that “its all in my head” is false. I think you did bring that up previously, but it does not refute the fact that my interpretation of reality and reality are 2 completely different things.

Assuming you are not at odds with the above statements, may I propose a couple of tests?

1)When you sit down calmly with no particular goal - if you hear a sound do you not immediately, instinctively “know” what it is - ie interpret the meaning of the sound and its relation to you (name it and judge : good/bad/indifferent)?
This apparently is due to our conditioning - we “know” what is going on, based on past experience (past experience creates present experience)

2)When you sit down calmly and observe yourself and your environment - is it possible to see the “entity” that is watching? (and to drop it)

PS - by entity I mean the feeling of “me” watching, the self filter (the judge)
PPS - these are of course experiments and do not constitute a method. we should hold on to neither conclusions nor methods.

Maybe two or so points to consider here. One is that we’re not happy with the way people live, how society behaves generally and so we try something that may help us cope with it. Another point is that, as Krishnamurti put it, ‘to live is to relate’, so it is in relationship that we have to find a way to get along. Krishnamurti also says that we have ’ to start very near in order to go very far’. So, we do meditation, let’s accept it. You just sit, or you walk, or you do your home chores. There’s one thing that is always there for it to be meditation, that is attention (and this implies care). And that is all. You can watch a bird, or your thoughts or simply your breathing (which is a classic in meditation). You don’t bring in your knowledge whatsoever because you don’t want to prove anything to anybody. If you’re already looking inside, as Krishnamurti often refers to thought, it isn’t the content of the thought that matters nor whether it’s the neurons or whatever sort of the brain, it’s the movement, the flow of one thought after the other and you just let them flow gently, the same way you do with your breathing, you don’t change it, you simply care. If you can do it, you do it, if it becomes another problem to you - as also Krishnamurti has pointed out - just leave it alone.

Hi again Douglas. I’ll get back to your two tests in my next message but first I’d like to ask you two questions about the quote above…

  1. Do you believe Krishnamurti himself was free of interpretation and in contact with reality?
  2. Do you think that only Krishnamurti was free of conditioning and that it is impossible for anyone else to be, even briefly?

I don’t get why you think that we simply cannot observe with a silent mind, even briefly. I will get back to your two tests in my next message though …

Yes, you are right Douglas. However, if one becomes aware of this process and alert to the operation of thought, there is the possibility of being free of this constant chatter. This has to move away from being an idea and put into practice of course.

I don’t know. Is it?

Yes, attention seems to be the key thing.

I believe it is possible for humans to be free from a total dependance on our conditioning - via insight into what we and this conditioning is - this freedom means the possibility of a life free from conflict, separation and confusion, but does not mean that our conditioning ceases to exist.

I believe that silence occurs when the movement of the self is no longer confused with truth - this is not the same silence as when there is a space between thoughts (which is also a form of silence)

I believe that reality is a magical, mysterious, miraculous event that is far greater than our conditioned understanding of it implies.

I think that’s complicated enough, so I prefer not to get into what we might imagine K to be - lets just say that enlightened action is possible for us all.

PS - Time for dinner - I’ll just say for the moment that choiceless awareness and me trying to observe with a silent mind must not be confused for the same thing.

PPS - In keeping with the keep it simple vibe that Jess may be trying to impart : thinking about it may be fun (or not) but will definitely not lead to freedom from the known.

If you are saying that regular experimentation with the mystery of choiceless awareness is probably a good idea, then Yes, I would agree.
The danger is thinking that we have had some kind of understanding, and through habit allow that understanding to become the basis for some new method of improving the self. Truth being always new.

I think so - but it might just be a quirk of my own personal conditioning - or a game I have been playing with myself - nothing to get excited about - I was just wondering if it was something I could share through words.

I think we agree here Douglas, although I’m not really sure what choiceless awareness is. Being alert, aware and observing the operation of thought would appear to be a pretty good idea as long as we don’t get a bit carried away and think we’re experts.

Maybe you could elaborate a bit more here Douglas - what is the entity that is watching? All I can say is that there seems to be some element of looking at yourself as if from the outside.

Its the part of me that is judging, comparing, that is carrying out the act of watching - its a subtle habitual process that arises regularly - I’m saying this watcher is not necessary for awareness to take place, in fact it clouds awareness. I’m also saying that if one is calm and observant, it is possible to notice ourself watching.
Its the same entity that judges when listening and thus misses the point. It is the entity that tries to understand from a conditioned centre.

If this for example, is a feeling you get when sitting quietly, can it just be seen and let go of (allowed to dissapear)? Because, is it not possible that neither the external watcher, nor the self being watched, exist?

I think we’re talking about different things here Douglas - if the entity that is watching is also judging and comparing then thought is involved. I thought you were talking about an entity that was watching when the mind was silent - surely a different thing altogether.

When there is silence, there is emptiness, there is wholeness - there is no thing watching anything else.
When there is silence, there is no sense of discrimination.

The self is divided. His, her, yours, mine. This division is what we are in conflict with, puzzled about, and are trying to resolve. Talking about sitting quietly, and thinking about this thing called self, are different matters. Yet we get it all mixed up. To realise there is this divided self in conflict is a first step.

We are talking at cross purposes here Douglas I think. We can of course watch in silence. We can watch a bird flying across the sky with a silent mind. The problem is that thought rushes in and this is where the naming, judging and comparing comes in and our conditioning is activated. This distorts the watching as the filter of thought gets in the way. There is separation.

Well, maybe we are saying the same thing here.

Fascinating and subtle stuff mind.

The zen koan mentioned in another thread regarding mountains and rivers not really being mountains and rivers, but at the same time being mountains and rivers - is all about observation and reality.
At first we think that we see reality clearly. Then we learn that we are deluded. And finally we see that reality and delusion are one.

I have to say that this sounds like a theory or a belief rather than something any of us has found out for ourselves.

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Whats the main sticking point? I presume its because we think it is silly or very difficult to stop discriminating between delusion and reality? Delusion is delusion, reality is reality, right?

To which we might ask : How do we discriminate between delusion and reality?

This is talked about in another thread, and refers to an image making process, which one needs to go into for oneself.

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Yes, surely image making is one important part of the reason why most of us are separate to some degree from reality. For example, I’m taking part in a debate with Peter, Douglas and others. There is a “real” Douglas but I see Douglas through my image of him. This is a step away from the reality of Douglas. My image of Douglas is largely based on my previous interaction with him so I form a picture and conclude “Douglas is X, Y and Z”. We seem to see the present through our conditioning which is formed by my past experience. Is it possible to approach each new conversation on here without past experience interfering?

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Seems like a good question Sean. Can I also approach myself without any image whatsoever? Just as I am…with not the slightest desire for any change in what I am in any moment? Is that possible? To look at myself as if for the first time, anew, without any past recollection?

K: “Attention has no frontier. Please follow this closely. A mind in the state of attention is not limited by the frontier of recognition. Attention is a state in which there is complete awareness of everything that is taking place within and about one, without the border or frontier of recognition which exists in concentration.”

Yes, but it’s an illusion. The mind is looking at its reflection distorted by its conditioning, and reacts to the distorted reflection. But the distorted image retains because the conditioning retains. Thus, “I” am distorted by all the unexamined, unquestioned assumptions I’m unaware of holding.

So all the mind can do when looking at its reflection is acknowledge its reaction to the distorting effect of its conditioning. In other words, see itself through its own conditioned “eyes” and acknowledge its reaction.