Below are a few scenes of the area in which I live
Eckhart Tolle and Vipassana Combined – Is this the answer?
Eckhart Tolle states quite correctly that “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present.” Being fully aware and in the present moment, with our attention fixed on what is, immediately dissolves any negativity from our conscious mind. Note, conscious mind. Eckhart continues: “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future (attention) and not enough presence (in the Now) Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past (attention to it) and not enough presence.” I concur with these observations. But what Eckhart does not tell us and the Buddha has told us, is that the emotions of the past stay with us. They are there in our subconscious, and until we get rid of them it will remain fairly difficult for us to be in the Now. Their pulling power will see to that.
What we have within us controls the way we interpret our world
So how do we get rid of these emotional hang-ups, traumas, phobias, and fears which are deep within our subconscious mind and still affect the way we interpret our world? Moreover, what caused them, and what causes them to stay within and often affect our health, happiness and general wellbeing?
We react to all our thoughts with emotion to some degree
Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, tells us that we don’t really react to outside influences. These are neutral. They are as they are. These influences are only the impetus, the triggers, to what is already within us. Someone says something to us and something within us registers and we react with both a thought and an accompanying emotion. But there is a tiny gap-in-time between the two. What triggers the thought, along with its almost immediate attendant emotion, is the response from a sensation. Someone says something we interpret as favourable to our self-image and immediately a pleasant sensation arises within our body. We are pleased. Pleasing thoughts are then triggered along with attendant pleasant feelings. We’re generally not very aware of these sensations. It depends on the intensity. Our response is a thought along with a feeling that is pleasant. On the other hand, if someone triggers within us an unpleasant sensation, our response in both thought and emotion is unpleasant. It could even be fearful to the point where we automatically respond with an outburst of some kind. We could freeze with fear, or savagely attack. Or we could simply feel aggrieved but immediately suppress our feelings.
Our deep-seated emotions grow like legumes beneath our conscious awareness. They will eventually sprout
Whatever reaction results, we add even more to what we already have within us. The sensations that arise from what is stored are symptomatic. They are a result. What is actually stored there has subtle dimension and shape. The Buddhist and Hindus have long referred to these as samskaras. These samskaras are continually growing in intensity like a legume deep underground which has not yet sprouted. Eventually though, these feelings must out in some manner. They come out not only in our emotional outbursts but could well eventually manifest as a mental or physical illnesses of one kind or another. Post traumatic stress syndrome of PTSS which can come years after an earlier traumatic event bears witness of this. The returning soldier who is seemingly okay when he comes home but gradually deteriorates as time passes is a good example of this.
We can bring our focussed attention to penetrate right into and through our bodies
Every thought we’ve ever had, every emotion we’ve ever felt, is held within our mind-body. I say mind-body rather than just our physical body for several reasons. Firstly, we might have had a traumatic experience at two or three years of age. Our physical body was much smaller then than it is now, so where is the trauma held? Some might say, in the brain – traces or pathways were laid down in the brain and stay there. Scientific research seems to bear this out but it is only part of the story. In Vipassana Meditation an emotional reaction can result by bringing our highly focused attention on any part of the physical body and penetrating within it. What does it penetrate to? My hypothesis is that this focused attention goes right through the physical body and into those subtler areas which lie below it. Or, more accurately, into the subtler, higher frequency bodies known in esoteric circles as the aura which both surrounds and interpenetrates the physical. It is here, I believe, that the emotional content is held. I’m of the opinion that the brain and central nervous system is can be likened a very complex and sophisticated switchboard that enables these sensations to be felt in the physical body. As Dr. Roberto Assagioli stated, “We have a body but we are not it. We have a mind but we are not it. We experience emotions but we are not the emotions.”
The destruction of our psychological baggage will bring us peace
The Buddha came up with a technique which, if practiced consistently enough, would lead to the eventually disintegration and final destruction of all the emotional content within us. Eckhart Tolle tells us how to stop creating more negative emotional mind content for ourselves: the Buddha tells us how we can get rid of what we already have. The two techniques combined will lead to lasting peace and tranquility in our lives. More! It will give us a ‘heaven on earth.’ It engenders a life free of problems. Problems only exist as a thought in our mind about our future. The amelioration and eventually destruction of all our psychological baggage would bring us the peace we all desire. This nullifying of all our samskaras would free us completely from our reactive, emotional lives. We would then have revealed to us our real selves, our self-image having been destroyed.
Love, joy, compassion are not emotions. They are not of mind but of spirit
I will add at this stage that emotions are different from the unconditional love, joy and compassion which make up our real selves. Our emotions are of our conditioning and what has come to us via our evolutionary progress into human form. Admittedly we have a natural innate fear of loud noises and of falling from height within us from birth. Psychologists tell us that. However, just about every other fear has come to us via our conditioning from the time we were born. Though there is a line of thought that suggests some of it may have come down from lives previously lived, i.e. Reincarnation.
We humans straddle a spectrum of energies, our physicality being but one part of it
In Vipassana meditation the laser-like focus of our entire attention is brought to bear on an area of our body. This attention penetrates into and gets a reaction from what it is focusing upon. That reaction is coming from what is held within us at that particular location and at that particular depth. I am talking here not so much of distance into the physical as the ‘frequency or vibrational’ depth, because we humans straddle a spectrum of frequencies. We know that at the physical level, for example, teeth and bones are more solid that muscle tissue or fat. We know that saliva is different again, and as we get into the secretions of glands it is even more subtle. These material aspects are part of the spectrum that our normal five senses can detect. But when we get into Vipassana we are not using our ‘normal’ senses of reception. We are generating our own intense concentration, bringing our “ I am” into what temporarily belongs to us – our bodies both solid and non-material. We are delving into not only our physicality but our ‘soul’ stuff.
Only the "I am" can dispassionately and clinically examine what we 'think' we are
As we proceed with our Vipassana meditation down the years we are either going deeper and deeper into the layers which interpenetrate our physicality or, conversely, bringing those layer up into an a dimension they can be examined and experienced by us. The “us” doing the examining being the real us. The “I am” which is our only constant in our lives.
So what is this "I am" which is in charge?
So what is this “ I am” doing the delving? It is the God part of ourselves. I can describe It no further than that. The consciousness that we are cannot be defined. It is the ultimate of what we all are. It is the real us and, as it says in that famous book, A Course in Miracles, “ Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
May you find that peace.
More on the writer
jonnycomelately on January 28, 2016:
Tom, only now, 10 years after completing my 10 days course in Tasmania, having read this Hub of yours, pieces of the puzzle come together in understanding.
I have not continued sitting each day, for various reasons (might honestly call the excuses!). Yet now, with the new understanding, I feel drawn to a renewal of the journey.
Thank you so much.
Peace be with you.
manatita44 from london on April 24, 2014:
I quite like them actually, Tom. They do a beautiful job, and yes, I understand this small need for funds.
I had the more famous and celebrated in mind. Hari OM!
Tom Ware (author) from Sydney, Australia on April 24, 2014:
Hi, Manatita44. Interesting you should say that. I've never HAD to pay, that is, never been charged to attend any of the Vipassana Meditation courses I've attended. However, any donations made on completion of the course (You're not allowed to pay before undertaking the course) are always appreciated for they help to pay for the next students. It is a system which works well.
manatita44 from london on April 23, 2014:
I have always felt safer with Souls that are simple and never charge. Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Chinmoy, Ananda Moyi Ma... I just feel that spirituality is my birthright.
Still, it's an interesting viewpoint, and having followed you for a while, I feel that you are a decent human being. Hari Om Tat Sat.