Stronghold 7 November 2010
And the other is this open awareness this just... It's kind of open, non specific, doesn't have a lot of attachment to it. These are both present at same time. Always to a greater less than degree. This the kind of competition takes place for. It's like, as far as the subjective knowing our consciousness. There's kind of a limited capacity for that. So when we focus in on one thing, all of that is command to that focus. And the peripheral awareness, sometimes it shrinks and sometimes it fades, but there's less of that broader awareness.
And then other times like when you're relaxed, or when you... When you're practicing mindfulness, or your conscious awareness is particularly strong and you expand it. So you're deliberately taking more, you know, than then the broader awareness. Everything becomes more clearly real You become more clearly conscious of everything. Well, you know what it's like when you're in an emergency situation. Is level of the power of your conscious becomes enormously heightened and it goes into this hope and spread awareness you're you like you're aware of everything at wants.
Instead of being focused on one thing. So this this is what you're working with in your mind. I a two different attention systems. And mindfulness is where through of the practice you've increased the the the power of a consciousness you bring and then you're in instead of being focused entirely on one thing and getting lost in it, you're opening up to take to take in more. Now that That broader awareness that goes beyond what you're focused on. Can include, of course, as it typically does. All of the different things that you may be aware of through your five expenses that are things outside of yourself.
Or or even your body? Consider throat for sake of this discussion. Consider your body is being outside of yourself outside of your mind. But you can turn that back on the mind itself. And so even while your focused on one thing like a sensation of the grab. You still have this broader awareness and you can turn this broader awareness more on to the mind itself. So this allows you to watch the mind as your intentionally focusing on something or moving the attention from one thing to another or watching how competing patients or thought authorize.
So i didn't get the picture of how this is working. Where you're... Where your insight really comes from? In John practice, you learned to focus on one thing so tightly that you lose all of this peripheral awareness. Everything else disappeared. Did do you lose the awareness also of of the source of the effort the self that's applying this awareness Well, yes. You really get to get into the the... There's a kind of shallow where there's still and and intention, and observer and a director making this happen.
In the deeper Genres, that's not there anymore is to become your your concentrations become effortless. So you make the intention to focus on this object and absorb into intuit. And then because because the mind is... Once you've done that, it's not gonna go anywhere else. There needs to be no ongoing effort. So there needs to be no ongoing intended. And then you disappear you know, then then that disappears and you just sort totally into the algebra object. But that's a function of the of the depth of the Jana.
I I don't need for a second third fourth John. Because any of these genres can be done. Different different depths, different degrees of concentration. And the in in the deeper states of concentration, where you've achieved effortless concentration, then the doe, the en disappears. And the shallower ones the do or in the attendance still is they're still sort of guarding the focus of attention and and kinda making sure that it was loss. But The in the John practice, it allows you to really powerfully develop be degree of conscious awareness.
And it gives you a lot of control over the line. But in the mindfulness, of it. What you're doing is you're taking this powerful concentration is powerful not concentration this powerful conscious awareness and you're spreading it so that you take in more. Because of the increased power of it, you detect a lot more subtle of your experience at the moment, than you ordinarily would And using the analogy of elimination, there's a more powerful illumination. And so you naturally become consciously aware of more subtle aspects of what you're seeing.
And because you're taking in a a larger not necessarily global, but definitely larger awareness. A lot of understanding emerges. About the relationships between the different things that are present in that field of awareness. This is where the insights come from. Now the amount of insight that comes from being aware of externally perceived objects, the external world, including the body. There is a kind of insight in that, but it is somewhat limited. The most profound insight comes when. This expanded awareness is either including or predominantly focused on the mind itself.
Then you come into a position of you're able to observe the dynamics of the mind. Itself then the insights that come there are much more profound. So what you're you were talking about when you meditate is you've been doing practices actually they sound a lot like the the damn practice of who is who is doing this it was saying this. Yeah. Yep. And and that is good. That's real... That is a very good thing. That is a kind of intros awareness us at turning that awareness where about it. While you're focusing on the sensations of the breath, you're who is focusing on the sensations the rep, what is how...
Oh, there's distractions happening. Where is that thought coming from? One thing that might help, I think gets a little bit outside the scope of the normal down to description of it, and that's to to try to intentionally drop the the eye part of this. You know, I'm watching myself And instead you're observing the mind. It's it's not there's no high. It's just the mind. And so you're looking at the mind and say, well, where this thought come from? And what you're gonna see is the thought emerges from apparently from nowhere.
Right? And and you see it what... Well. I'm not the creator of my thoughts. They just come up from some invisible place. They emerge from the darkness into the light. Their they are, but I didn't do it. Where do they go? Well i mean they just evaporate. And something else comes along and takes its place. And and that's inside. As a matter of, that's what the mah practice is. You're really focusing what you're doing is to do my mohammed your first developed. Concentration and powerful awareness. And then you turn it completely on the mind and you watch sensations arise passed away and thoughts horizon pass away.
And at first, your mind's gonna do what it always does is the top down intentional focus of attention is going to want to attached to something and zoom in on it and everything else fades. Right? But you practice not letting that happen. So as you're... you know, you s your mind starting to con conceal around something. You let go of it. You it. You let go. You let it be just go back to the state of expansive of awareness until you can stay there pretty stable. And then because there's a high level of conscious awareness and because you have this broad scope of a wings, You can see these different things are rising and passing away by themselves, the sensations and the thoughts and the emotions.
And there's no sense of attachment to them. And the part of your mind that is doing is It it's the part of your mind that normally tracks the world and the relationship between things of the world. And so it's doing it in a non self centered way. And so the only the only sense of self is in this completely unbiased independent una observer. Because all of the contents of the mind as they come and go, are being perceived in this entirely objective a non self way. So Basically, what i've been trying is do to do is just describe a little bit in a little more expanded weight than we usually do what is happening in the meditation process.
In terms of what you're doing, you try you take that part of your mind that naturally tends to focus on one thing. But then Naturally tends to only focus on that briefly and jump something else and then to something else and or something else. You train it to stay focused on one thing. But without unless not until you get to an advanced stage and ready to do John, Do you wanna get totally focused on it? Because as you know, Before you're at the point of effortless concentration if you become totally focused on it, next thing, though, you've forgotten what you're doing in your mind somewhere else.
Right? So because all those other the thoughts. And all those other sensations even though you may not have been aware of them for the brief period that you were very focused on the sensations of the breath. They were still there. And and at some point, two things happen. One is that there's some unconscious mental mechanism that says, well, we've paid attention to this long enough. It's not important And something else is there in the unconscious background. That says yeah, i more important. And so the focus of attention goes there, and you're not even aware that it's happened.
So until you reach the stage of effortless, you don't want it become so completely focused on the sensation of your rep, that you keep losing track what you're doing and getting lost. You want to maintain that background awareness and you wanna turn that background awareness inward so that the experience you have, I'm focusing on the breath and I'm aware that I'm being really strongly told towards this thought or the this sensation is pain in my knee or this honking of a car. Keeps pulling my attention away and I have to bring it back.
Pulls it away and I'd bring it back. So you're aware of that happening. If you're aware of that happening, then you can... Then you can work with it. Then you can... As long as you're aware that your mind is being drawn towards a slot, you can let go of the thought and keep bringing your mind back. And you can do it before you've totally lost and forgotten meditation. Okay. And and you know, and so this is what this is what you need to do. You need to keep of these two kinds of awareness. You need to keep You need to keep all of your consciousness from the becoming to focused so that you cease to be aware what's happening in this other kind of awareness.
Because if you do it's going to take you way. I think that's what I've been trying to do. Yeah. I I've been trying to to focus let my attention get drawn so much into the object. With the idea that I've got to lose that sense of of the other thoughts as you described them. Mh. And but could you described that I should retain an awareness of that that reminds me of something I heard someone say met a meditation teacher on a tape. Rasmussen, I think her name was. She said it's not so much that she she was totally focused on the meditation object, but she was very focused on the fact.
That she Was aware of herself focused on meditation Mh. So it was kind of like she was observing. We'll see object and observer remotely. So Exactly. Yeah. Right? And that's what It's it's as though you're stepping back, so you're still focused on the object. But you've stepped it back so that you can see the mind of that focus. And if while you're observing the object, you are aware that, well, I'm focused on the outage object right now, Then you're in that right place because that means you'll also be aware of.
Oh, my mind starting to become dull. I you me try put it that. But oh my mind starting to drift away, and you can bring it back. So that's exactly what you want. You want to be aware that you're aware of the object. Because then it allows you to become aware that you're not so aware of the object do either to distraction or dull dumbass, and you can correct for. And doing that over and over again, and that's what gets to to the place of effortless. Is just to just training by being in that place.
Once you're in a place of effortless, then you can zoom me in a practice absorption. And that will increase the power of your awareness so that when you go back into a broader of awareness, you bring a a lot more consciousness to the experience. Than you would have previously. Yep. That description that you read is is exactly what we're talking about here. But I would suggest that you try to keep the eye out of it. And remain in a more objective place so that even there's very subtle nonverbal be descriptions that we work with in our own mind.
You know, on if If there is the this incident. I am watching myself, watch the object. Then you're strongly contaminated by this self identification where it, if it's... Alright. The mind is perceiving the object while it perceives itself. You know, then your your thought even your nonverbal thoughts. Are sustaining this more objective perspective, which will allow for greater clarity and insight. What what you see happening will be interpreted from that objective perspective instead from a self oriented perspective.
And where this is really apparent, I know you've had this experience everybody does. You can be in this place of watching your mind, watch the object. And a feeling of restless or arises. And if I am watching my mind watch the object, then, now I bored, whereas if the mind is washing itself, observe the sensations of the breath. U aha. Now there's boredom memorizing in the mind. And it's a it's of world of difference in terms of the impact that it has on you. If the experience is I'm getting bored.
It shakes the whole foundations of your concentration in the moment. Whereas if it's just another Phenomena, a rising was in the mind then it it has no more impacts than and itch on your nose or honking over horn or something like that. And you right right through this morning and then the boredom just disappears like anything else. Is the This is like this is really helpful. Thank good time. So when you were referring to experimenting with other practices was it was we're referring specifically to that was a to type practice of ai.
Yeah. Okay. That was that's a good. That's. Good that's a good experience. That's a good thing. But I would try fine tuning it to a greater degree object objectivity activity. Yeah. It's funny. I I kind of stopped reading a lot of da books because I felt like it was getting me too much g for the mill. And, you know, when I sat down to meditate, then I think about what I just read instead of. Yeah. It was more distracting. It seemed to read. Read things. It was more distracting than it was helpful.
Mh. Stop doing that to some extent. Yeah. It it can be. And it can also be confusing because not everything your use is. Necessarily written by somebody who knows who they're talking about. Or... The other thing you do is that you can you can meditate successfully and you can gain insights. That doesn't mean you'd have can you real understanding of what it was that you did in your meditation that made it successful? Or how was that you were able to get in the place of having these insights arise?
And That's what I can say here michael whole work to be is to figure out how this it really works. So, you know, you you're not... You can sort through all these different confusing descriptions of of how to do things. Put it all in a book. Yes. Right. But also what I'm discovering as I'm sure you know as you begin to understand more and more clearly, some relatively complicated concept. You have a huge number of different pieces of information that have brought you the level of understanding that you have.
And when you reach the next level of clarity of understanding, you're able to simplify that and effectively. Before you reach that, all you have to offer somebody else is this huge pile of details that indeed provided you as a degree of understanding. But you're really asking somebody else to go through the entire process you've gone through, which they can't really do, which isn't really reasonable. You know and I'm still trying to get to the place where And put it all together in a simple way that's easy to communicate.
That's interesting. So I give people too much information It's too complicated too intellectual because it's similar to a reflection of while journey. I'm still trying to get to place for at all. Still out and crystallize into sounding it's much more readily trans and in editing my book. I've got somebody working with me that is it's great. Because he goes through and cuts out everything that I think is important. Because I realized it... Okay. He didn't get the point of that at all. So he took it out.
Just been your irrelevant. Because, you know, and so I gotta it hey, okay. Why does the same irrelevant? What is it about it that's really important. And I gotta to dis steal that down so I can put it back in so that, you know, and he... Oh, yeah. Okay. Is see a professional editor No. He's not. He's an associate professor of sociology, university feedback East. I think Brown University or something like that. And an experienced medi. Very bright person. She actually notation retreat debit but. Really.
That's that. That I didn't know somebody was doing. That should be interesting. Just good but what they here. No. At this sick. Yeah. It's also what of the very your friends is there. Has a personal. It's about subject for. Yeah. He's approaching it. Very objectively. As a academic. And has has an accurate academic. Is it really interesting. He's invented. Wow be interesting. You don't not have to wait the whole three years, but if tongue goes by. Under a few release bits and pieces of what he's observed.
Oh sorry. Well he's really studying the phenomenon of Dying the mountain of which the three year meditation is on part. Okay. That another question. Does it just happened in my head? I did read a little bit that what you wrote that you had someone. Some interesting results with bio back. Are you still doing that? Yes. We are. Yeah. We could do a session for you what yeah. I had an amazing experience of know myself. I mean, I just had so much. Anxiety. And you know wake up that night, this sort of middle cause or hot flashes it they Oh gosh.
I, you know, what sad about old people and everybody business. You don't anybody other multiple skills, you know there's so much. You just be like you know, and it come back to your body and out and then just weird just... And it but the anxiety was like. I was getting it the way. Like, you know, it be exhausted because i think things worse. Oh, I'll be i'd wake up i'd be. Oops from building this... Oh, I've had eighty year olds say did remember that sad or it it was, or I need big stuff like now.
And it was just, like, was like what's look, you know, they couldn't here didn't. Was like their money i like, coffee took the clothes chapter and dad, but i was like, you know what chocolate? A john was really very we didn't know what was bad of John. I was reading time figure out. But It was just like I don't just like a vas. And this woman k able to tucson. Because she had been in a car accident certainly had brain and germany they had. A severe head injury and you know, just to bit written off by psychologists and neurologists, and they just that, you know no, we're sorry.
You don't know whether issue would or you saw first and you know, you just get help the east, you know, this her in the life case. And she actually he had been very successful business person. She wanted to get well. So she's started doing number feedback starting get results bought it. But but and went into a think time. But she started to have experiences that were very so she's thought drawn out, and then a whole of story, but and the call sort of saw the couple was her. John El they wanted to find the equipment.
For here because of like wanna So so anyways, I I anyways I had the treatments, you know, only five or six sessions. And I... It was just like... And right after my body that was anxiety. He just looks like back out. Yeah was... Yeah. I... It was like I could see why... It was just, like... But it was just, like, instantaneous, it's Nikita even identifying it. It's completely not involuntary. It's completely the involuntary nervous system. The the brain is such a smart... Thing. The brain was getting the feedback.
Oh, your out here in anxiety. And you don't really wanna be there You wanna be. And and You're not conscious address.