JOAN TOLLIFSON: on how her teacher Toni Packer taught via questionings

With typically inspiring frankness Joan Tollifson has an article on how her teacher questioned her as part of her teaching of Joan;

Examples are;

“Habit has two parts, Toni says. There is the habit itself (finger biting, smoking, drinking, whatever), and there is the observer who wants to stop, who is also a habit. And there is the conflict, the battle between the desire to indulge, which is an escape from what is, and the desire to stop, which is also a movement away from what is.

Toni suggests that the only real solution lies in complete awareness. In such awareness there is…no intention, no judgment, no conflict, no separation from the problem, no self to be improved or fixed, no direction. It is open, relaxed seeing.

“Can we look carefully at this ‘me’ that seems to be the power behind making decisions, really go into it, trace this chooser, this doer, all the way to the root?” Toni asks me.

When we do that together, all we find is thoughts. Conflicting thoughts: “I want to bite,” “I want to stop.” It feels like a battle between “me-the observer” and “me-the addict.” But both of these “me’s” are images constructed by thought and imagination. What’s actually going on is just an alternating, conflicting series of thoughts. No one is “doing” them; they’re happening.

“I have to bite,” “I can’t stop,” “I should stop,” “I’m addicted,” “I’m an addict,” “I’m a terrible person,” “How can I stop?” “If I just get this one loose end, then I’ll be satiated,” “It would be unbearable to feel what I would feel if I stopped,” “I’m stuck, this is hopeless,” “It’s been going on for a long time,” “It’s out of control,” “I’ll never get free,” “I should be able to control myself,” “This is sick,” “I want to be healthy.”

“These are all thoughts,” Toni says. “Do you see that?”

“But some of them are true,” I reply.

“Are they?” she asks with electric intensity, her eyes closed, her hands suspended in midair, listening.

“Well, I am addicted. It is out of control,” I insist.

“Thought seems to be just reporting the facts, objectively: ‘I’m addicted, this is out of control.’ But are these really facts? Or are they ideas? These are very powerful thoughts, and every thought produces neurochemical reactions in the body.”

Whichever position has more energy in that moment wins out, Toni suggests, and then there is either the thought, “I’m good because I had the will power to stop,” or “I’m a failure because I didn’t have enough will power to stop.” Thought creates “me” who has “done” one thing or the other, and is “successful” or “unsuccessful” as a result. And then more thoughts about me quickly follow: “I’m on my way to enlightenment” or “I’m a hopeless case on my way to total doom.” Either of these thought-trains will generate a tremendous response in the body, either good feelings or terrible feelings, elation or depression.

“Do you see how all these powerful thoughts and the feelings they produce in the body all revolve around the idea and image of ‘me’?” Toni asks. “Do you see how it’s all thinking?”

There is rain falling outside the meeting room, trickling down the window.”

Go here to read this wonderful article – http://www.joantollifson.com/writing19.html

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Scott Kiloby says; "Seeing through the story of self has been one of the greatest healing tools I’ve found. "

Scott Kiloby says that when he was younger he had various forms of illness, some labelled, some not defined, but now looking back he sees them as arising from his ‘story of self’;

I love particularly the first and last sentences here;

“Seeing through the story of self has been one of the greatest healing tools I’ve found. It worked better than most of the medicine I took that was prescribed by a doctor. And it was certainly more helpful than all the addictive substances and activities I used to try and medicate the emotional and mental suffering. Those were all merely band aids for a more pervasive cause of stress and dis-ease—the story of me. The story was really not about survival at all. It just seemed that way. The only thing that survives in the story is the story itself. As long as the story is entertained and followed, the story persists. And as long as the story persists, with its intense peaks and valleys of thought and emotion, stress happens in the body. Perhaps heart disease and cancer should be replaced at the top of the list of human killers with “the story of me.” Millions of dollars in health care costs could probably be saved each year by teaching people to rest in presence and let all emotions and sensations to be as they are, without stories and labels.

For Scott’s article go here – http://kiloby.com/writings.php?offset=0&writingid=379

For more information about seeing through the story, check out Scott Kiloby’s ‘Living Inquiries.’

Richard Rohr * Malcolm Gladwell on wisdom and insight

Richard Rohr & Malcolm Gladwell on wisdom and insight

Richard Rohr says;

I am also convinced by what Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2006 best-seller, Blink, calls the phenomenon of ‘thin slicing’ in our human search for patterns and wisdom.

He believes that what we call insight or even genius comes from the ability of some people to “sift through the situation in front of them, throwing out all that is irrelevant, while zeroing in on what really matters.

The truth is that our unconscious is really good at this, to the point where thin-slicing often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and exhaustive ways of thinking.”

Richard Rohr – http://faithmatters.us/introducing-things-hidden/

TAGS: Richard Rohr, thin-slicing, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, wisdom, insight, genius, unconsciousness,

SPIRITUAL QUOTES like sherbet sweets that suddenly release their fizzy deliciousness!

SPIRITUAL QUOTES like sherbet sweets that suddenly release their fizzy deliciousness!

I like short quotations, one-liners, because, if you are ready for them, they explode in your consciousness like the best haiku – or a sherbet sweet that suddenly releases its fizzy deliciousness. They provide an ‘aha’ insight, a minimal increment in enlightenment.

EXAMPLES of INTER-SPIRITUAL ‘POINTERS’ mainly one-liners

AWARENESS: “Awareness of the divine begins with wonder. It is the result of what man does with his higher incomprehension.” – A J Heschel (1959 p. 41)

STILLNESS & movement – “Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.” Lao Tse

GOD: “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere.” Empedocles

CONCEPTS: “Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” Heschel

KINDNESS: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – The Dalai Lama

PURITY – kindness, radiance – “Possess a pure kindly & radiant heart…” – Baha’u’llah

LOVE – “God Is Love.” (I John 4:8)

REASON – “The worship of reason is arrogance and betrays a lack of intelligence. The rejection of reason is cowardice and betrays a lack of faith. – Abraham Joshua Heschel

INSIGHT/SATORI: A lightning flash:/ between the forest trees I have seen water. Shiki Masaoka

VOID Don’t contemplate as mere activity/Be void contemplating void p221 365 Tao D Ming-Dao

WORLD CITIZEN – Socrates – “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

TAGS: aha moments, incremental enlightenment, insight, satori, world citizen, pointings, love, reason, void, Baha’i, Socrates, Baha’i, A J Heschel, Lao Tse, Empedocles, definition of God, Dalai Lama, Tao D Ming-Dao,

Finally I came to understand the nature of…

Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone is consciousness: (a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement; (b) it is unique to each individual; and (c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality” using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes, in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant, one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much sooner.”

http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

Think not that We have revealed unto you…

Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight!.. Gleanings CLV

INTUITION: – many resources – http://www…

INTUITION: – many resources – http://www.angelfire.com/hi/TheSeer/intuition.html

The dictionary definition of intution is “quick and ready insight;” and “the act or process of coming to direct knowledge without reasoning or inferring.” It is derived from the Latin word “intueri” which means “to see within.” It is a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations. Someone my not consider themselves to be particularly spiritual or metaphysically adept yet may be quite good at following their gut instincts. What goes on in front of the veil (in the conscious mind) is mostly about survival and procreation, and not much else, so some would say.