Thursday, 30 August 2007

The wave and the sea.....

I was off on holiday from work again today and walking among the tall trees I was thinking about that state of expanded consciousness which I can achieve in the early morning and at no other time. I was pondering this walking home. When I got home I remembered that I still had the second DVD of Eckhart Tolle's retreat in Findhorn in Scotland.

I settled down to watch it and he spoke about entering into a Presence or Stillness. I understand this state to arise when there is perception without thought. He gave a very good example that I will use here. He spoke about seeing say a flower for the first time. The first second is a direct seeing. This is a seeing without any thoughts and is the opening to what he calls Presence or Stillness. Then what happens is that the mind gets involved usually with a thought like 'Oh that's a rose..daffodil...etc and the second that label is put on the form the stillness is gone. The task for all of us on this spiritual journey is to make the time from direct seeing to labelling what we are looking at longer. This will increase our experience of stillness and free the consciousness from the form. Why not try this out. Practice looking at something without having any thoughts, or the next best thing become aware of how quickly the mind becomes involved when you do look at something. This in itself will free some consciousness and increase awareness.

It is the act of labelling that kills direct perception and keeps the consciousness trapped in the form. I can remember once a long time ago when I was at some art exhibition with a friend feeling frustrated when at every picture she had an opinion or view on what it was saying. I can remember shouting inwardly 'why can't you just look, why do you have to analyse it'. I never said this to her because I wasn't clear about why I was feeling irritated that she was giving what could have been reasonable explanations. Now I understand that these views and opinions were killing direct experience and the associated Stillness.

Eckhart Tolle has a clarity and simplicity and a resonance for me which is unmatched by any other spiritual teacher I have come across to-date. When he speaks he oozes humility and also he has the humour which characterizes someone who has seen beyond the form and as a result has directly realised the formless. I can use the analogy of the wave and the sea to make this clearer. On a stormy day it can seem like the waves are separate to the sea. For a short time a wave seems to have its own individuality. It has a certain time length of existence but it always falls back into the formless. The form always falls back into the formless out of which it came.

We humans are like waves except we have forgotten the natural formless state out of which we arose. Our minds with their thoughts have assumed dominance and have caused us to forget our natural state. The spiritual journey is the journey back to remembering and experiencing this natural state of being. Waves and the sea has always held a strong fascination for me.....

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