Wisebaxter

How to Ask Questions - passively or actively?

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What I mean is, after you've asked the question do you then rest as awareness, with the question in your mind and wait for the collective consciousness to get involved? I mean wait those spontaneous insights that just occur when you're not trying? Or...are you racking your brain a bit to figure it out? Or both? I have a  feeling the answer might be both, but wanted to check

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I usually ask a question and wait for an answer to pop up in my head. Or If the question is harder; break the question down into smaller ones where I can repeat the process over.

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17 hours ago, Proactive said:

I usually ask a question and wait for an answer to pop up in my head. Or If the question is harder; break the question down into smaller ones where I can repeat the process over.

Thanks dude. That sounds like an intuition based approach I think. I was concentrating too hard. It's weird, If I concentrate too hard my brain just refuses to answer. 

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@Wisebaxter I've totally been there where if you really try to concentrate, there's nothing that really comes to mind.

You should ask yourself: are you more of a visual or auditory learner? Do you think more in visual images and moving parts, or more in words and sounds? This can help you figure out where to focus your attention.

For me, I write down the question, allow words and images to show themselves, and write them down. Sometimes I have very clear vision and can answer tons of complex questions deeply and effortlessly, and other times it's challenging to eek out a simple answer. Just depends how you're feeling.

 

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25 minutes ago, Wyatt said:

@Wisebaxter I've totally been there where if you really try to concentrate, there's nothing that really comes to mind.

You should ask yourself: are you more of a visual or auditory learner? Do you think more in visual images and moving parts, or more in words and sounds? This can help you figure out where to focus your attention.

For me, I write down the question, allow words and images to show themselves, and write them down. Sometimes I have very clear vision and can answer tons of complex questions deeply and effortlessly, and other times it's challenging to eek out a simple answer. Just depends how you're feeling.

 

@Wyatt Nice to know I'm not the only one that has that issue then. Wow, never thought about using imagery before when looking for answers. I'm kind of searching for concepts more I think, so maybe word based. If there are images I must be discounting them I'm gonna give it a try, writing stuff down too. When I do visualisations I have this thing were I talk to inner spirit guides and they're always in the same place, my mental sanctuary, so that's a very image based practice and works a charm actually for getting guidance on issues. My main spirit guide has an uncanny knack of giving me perfect advice. Thanks for helping me make this connection 

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Posted (edited)

On 25.05.2019 at 1:30 AM, Wisebaxter said:

What I mean is, after you've asked the question do you then rest as awareness, with the question in your mind and wait for the collective consciousness to get involved? I mean wait those spontaneous insights that just occur when you're not trying? Or...are you racking your brain a bit to figure it out? Or both? I have a  feeling the answer might be both, but wanted to check

Contemplate using a journal.

Ask your question and write down the answer, whatever comes to mind. Leave it and read it later. Act on it.
Later on, realize that it's flawed, but contains a nugget of truth. See its imperfections, the gaps, vagueness, things that have been left out. Write a new answer that incorporates the best of the previous one while removing the imperfections. Add new things that you've seen in the meantime. Act on your new answer.

At some point, after you've been building your model long enough, you will see right through it, that it's been flawed from the start and tear it down.
It's not a catastrophe, you've been seeing clearer and clearer and you were successful in the meantime. Ask a new question and contemplate it.

Edited by tsuki

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On 10/06/2019 at 10:02 AM, tsuki said:

Contemplate using a journal.

Ask your question and write down the answer, whatever comes to mind. Leave it and read it later. Act on it.
Later on, realize that it's flawed, but contains a nugget of truth. See its imperfections, the gaps, vagueness, things that have been left out. Write a new answer that incorporates the best of the previous one while removing the imperfections. Add new things that you've seen in the meantime. Act on your new answer.

At some point, after you've been building your model long enough, you will see right through it, that it's been flawed from the start and tear it down.
It's not a catastrophe, you've been seeing clearer and clearer and you were successful in the meantime. Ask a new question and contemplate it.

@tsuki I love this process. Something about it really resonates with me. I find myself getting stressed out when I ask a question as I expect the answer to be super shit-hot and flawless straight away. Seeing an answer as flawed will take some of the pressure off. You rule dude, thanks

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@Wisebaxter Such a good question! 
I think for myself I’d call it mind or body, rather than active or passive.
And what you call collective unconscious I might call intuition. 

For me, it depends on the question.
In general, I let intuition decide the general direction of my life.
By this I mean the big questions like where I wanna live or who I wanna be with.
Then I let my mind figure out all the details because it’s really good at that ;-)

It’s pretty difficult to get in touch with your intuition though.
Leo has a video on it that is really good I find.
It’s like raising a tiny, fragile plant under a ton of concrete blocks of thinking mind.
So it takes some time, but it works.
Nowadays, when I’m making decisions that go against my gut feeling, I’m having dreams every night that are trying to warn me about the decision I’m about to make.
Pretty awesome!

We’re usually very much focused on our thinking mind and, as you said yourself, it tends to get rigid the more you try to force it.
That’s especially true when it comes to creative tasks.
So if your question is not one with two or more options but rather an innovative one, you’ll wanna find a way to empty your mind as much as you can to be open to all kinds of thoughts and possibilities.

If  writing is your thing you can try creative morning papers, where you just sit down first thing in the morning and write two pages.
It doesn’t matter what, you just don’t stop until two pages are full.
It’s gonna be silly and you can’t think about it.
It’s like opening the flood gates and writing everything that is on your mind.
You’ll feel beautifully empty afterwards, very spacious and open - so perfectly set up for a creative task.

There are also great meditations that teach you on how to peel back the layers that clutter your mind.
I actually just did that the past 30 days.
You can send me a message if you want to know more details about it, I can talk you through it :-)

I think whether you focus on thinking or feeling, both are great, and both are somewhat true.
A good way to notice the difference are gratitude lists for example.

I’ve been doing daily gratitude lists for 1,5 years now and I used to always think about what I’m grateful for.
I’d write down things like “I’m grateful that my co-workers are so kind to me” or “I’m grateful for having had a good night sleep”. 

I’m guessing you can think of 3 things in your life that you’re grateful for.
At least I hope you can :-)  
Do it now. Before you keep reading think about what you appreciate in your life.

Now try and close your eyes, focus on your breath for 3 complete breath cycles and then say out loud to yourself
“Who or what do you appreciate most in your life right now?”
Don’t expect an answer right away, just drop the question into your body and see what comes up.
Try not to think about it, but just feel what the question does to you.
Do it now.

When I do that, the answers tend do be a lot more body-focused and now-focused.
Thing like “It being a good temperature in my room” or “Silence”. 

Doesn’t mean one is more true than the other.
It’s just a different focus.
Hope this helps :-)


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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On 19/06/2019 at 5:48 PM, flume said:

We’re usually very much focused on our thinking mind and, as you said yourself, it tends to get rigid the more you try to force it.
That’s especially true when it comes to creative tasks.
So if your question is not one with two or more options but rather an innovative one, you’ll wanna find a way to empty your mind as much as you can to be open to all kinds of thoughts and possibilities.

@flume Funny you should say this as I've recently realised that I've been exerting too much control in general, with creative tasks, personal development, spirituality. There's been this underlying feeling of pressure, to make progress, or do it right. I even end up even feeling guilty when I catch my mind wondering. I've been learning to relax as a daily practice for a few days so reading your post today was really relevant and helpful based on where I'm at. What a simple thing right? Just relax. When I do that the insights/answers come so much easier. Even the questions. You can even keep forcing yourself to figure out what questions to ask. I've been quite neurotic about it. It's like Alan Watts said, 'you can't try to improve yourself, just observe.' When you do this your intuitions seems to open up. It's like the universe can speak through you again, or as you. I feel this is the key insight for spiritual development in general. 

On 19/06/2019 at 5:48 PM, flume said:

If  writing is your thing you can try creative morning papers, where you just sit down first thing in the morning and write two pages.
It doesn’t matter what, you just don’t stop until two pages are full.
It’s gonna be silly and you can’t think about it.
It’s like opening the flood gates and writing everything that is on your mind.
You’ll feel beautifully empty afterwards, very spacious and open - so perfectly set up for a creative task.

That's awesome because I never considered that writing like this could be used as a tool to empty the mind. Like a purge? Great. I'm going to give this a go. I've had such bad monkey mind for years. Again, just relaxing the body and your emotional state starts to slow you down and quieten the mind. Hadn't realised the magnitude of this until recently, how it's such a fundamental element on the path. I was being a slave driver to my poor mind :) I can even feel more awareness raising as well when I do it, quite drastically. Matt Kahn describes ego as the result of an overstimulated nervous system. When that system relaxes, healing can occur and an 'increased flow of intuitive guidance occurs.' 

On 19/06/2019 at 5:48 PM, flume said:

I think whether you focus on thinking or feeling, both are great, and both are somewhat true.
A good way to notice the difference are gratitude lists for example.

So intuition is akin to feeling into your emotions for an answer? That's interesting. I was picturing intuition as being the process of having spontaneous insights, in this context anyway. I hadn't considered using the emotional realm as much, which is crazy. There's so much to this stuff. It often gets overlooked how emotions are a completely separate language to explore. I have to admit though, I find myself distrusting mine. I always worry that they may be just an element of my homeostasis, keeping me locked in a cycle. Say for example, I think 'should get back with my ex?' I could feel some yearning in my heart and take that as a yes, when it seems logically like a bad idea. Very simplified example I know. I just don't think I've explored my emotions enough to train myself. 

On 19/06/2019 at 5:48 PM, flume said:

I’ve been doing daily gratitude lists for 1,5 years now and I used to always think about what I’m grateful for.
I’d write down things like “I’m grateful that my co-workers are so kind to me” or “I’m grateful for having had a good night sleep”. 

I bet that's given you great results. I need to be more regimented with gratitude practice. Matt Kahn says that it's good to get yourself into a place where you're naturally grateful, so it's just there all the time, I'd love to have that. My problem is I've spent so long stuck in a 'poor me' story, being negative and ungrateful that my mind naturally operates in a 'this moment is insufficient' state. Matt says sometimes you have to say 'I want to be more grateful,' for this or that, because the universe will know you're bullshitting it otherwise :) I have to admit when I say it this way I feel a lot better. Apparently it's just as powerful to even say the word 'gratitude' or express a desire for it. I say 'please, show me how to be more grateful, I want to be able to worship this beautiful creation,' whatever. 

So you're saying that being grateful helps get you in touch with your feelings? Or just helps to relax you? I can see how that would happen. I hear so many teachers stress the importance of it

On 19/06/2019 at 5:48 PM, flume said:

Now try and close your eyes, focus on your breath for 3 complete breath cycles and then say out loud to yourself
“Who or what do you appreciate most in your life right now?”
Don’t expect an answer right away, just drop the question into your body and see what comes up.
Try not to think about it, but just feel what the question does to you.
Do it now.

Ok, the answer was 'kind souls on internet forums who take the time to help others :)

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On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

I even end up even feeling guilty when I catch my mind wondering.

Haha, I so know that feeling. It's funny how ultimately, we still wanna have the upper hand on the whole progress which totally misses the point.
So tricky, isn’t it? Since doing mindfulness meditation I’m so painfully aware of how distracted I am 95% of the time.  It’s hard not to judge oneself then.
I totally notice how that leads nowhere though. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ I am, how much I’m doing the things I planned to, the standard just keeps rising and it feels like suffocating. It's just scary to let go of control when it comes to all of this.
Leo’s video on how to stop judging yourself really helped me some months ago. I should re-watch.

Someone very smart told me the other day that I shouldn’t try to have an empty mind but rather become good at observing what’s is going on.
This helped me a lot and it’s basically exactly what you (ehm, I mean Alan Watts) said too. As in: You can’t stop the traffic but you can choose how involved you wanna be.

On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

I hadn't considered using the emotional realm as much, which is crazy. There's so much to this stuff. It often gets overlooked how emotions are a completely separate language to explore.

That’s what woman are in your life for, they’ll show you the way when it comes to this;-) That's why you're so attracted to them. They remind you of something that is in you and wants to get out. (Don't go back to the crazy chick though)

On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

I have to admit though, I find myself distrusting mine. I always worry that they may be just an element of my homeostasis, keeping me locked in a cycle.

That’s so funny that you say that, that’s how I think about my mind.
It’s so limited, it can only show me things that already existed in the past.
How could it ever bring me anywhere new?

On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

Say for example, I think 'should get back with my ex?' I could feel some yearning in my heart and take that as a yes, when it seems logically like a bad idea.

I see what you mean. You don’t immediately have to act on it. But if you don’t at least consider what your feelings are telling you they’ll keep coming up and forcing you to look at them (in my experience at least). Maybe stay with that yearning for a bit everyday. Allow yourself to really feel it. What does it really feel like? What’s the driver? Loneliness? Inadequacy? Fear of change? Do you need approval?
That’s all things that you’ll need to tackle on your own anyway.
Another person might help you to hide those things for a while, but it won’t make you free.

On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

So you're saying that being grateful helps get you in touch with your feelings? Or just helps to relax you?

I’d say it helps me to not fall into a victim mentality and to cherish the moment.
Whatever brings me back to the present moment makes me less involved and my mind less rigid. The present is the only thing that can ever get you unstuck.

On 24/06/2019 at 2:48 AM, Wisebaxter said:

Ok, the answer was 'kind souls on internet forums who take the time to help others :)

Haha, how sweet! I can already see, this conversation could go on forever. Don’t feel bad if you just want to cut it off.


"In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness." - Henry David Thoreau

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Posted (edited)

On 03/07/2019 at 10:34 AM, flume said:

Someone very smart told me the other day that I shouldn’t try to have an empty mind but rather become good at observing what’s is going on.
This helped me a lot and it’s basically exactly what you (ehm, I mean Alan Watts) said too. As in: You can’t stop the traffic but you can choose how involved you wanna be.

@flume I love how you're saying exactly what I've been considering and experiencing myself recently. Isn't it funny how the universe does that? Brings similar forms together. Sometimes I feel it's almost like a reward or just a result of having raised my awareness or experienced a truth. It's almost like I know what you're going to say next, like I wrote it, as crazy as it sounds. 

It's easy to start being neurotic over doing it 'right,' isn't it? It happens so unconsciously too until you can raise your awareness and observe it. As soon as you do any resistance almost becomes transmuted. It's the most blissful feeling for me. That welcoming. You mentioned your standards rising all the time. This makes me think about Leo's survival episode. Our spiritual egos become real entities that need feeding with validation. Nowadays I just love what arises though and I'm kind to these urges. Because it's easy to push them away or shame them. By acknowledging them you can transmute them with love.

On 03/07/2019 at 10:34 AM, flume said:

That’s what woman are in your life for, they’ll show you the way when it comes to this;-) That's why you're so attracted to them. They remind you of something that is in you and wants to get out. (Don't go back to the crazy chick though)

I've been using a more heart-centred approach to spirituality recently as I was fighting against everything before, negating parts of myself, just feeding the shadow basically lol. Now I've embraced that feminine energy a lot more I've had better results. I always ask myself 'how am i not loving this enough?' In terms of relationships, I can fall for the right person pretty quickly so I tend to be a bit more guarded here and still have some hang ups about commitment and opening my heart completely. For usual reasons, not wanting to be hurt, being afraid of hurting someone else etc. All the classics. Oh and being trapped in a bad relationship, don't forget that one. I've some dumb choices in the past. My heart is useless at choosing a mate it seems. Or maybe I've always used other parts of my body. Maybe my brain more as I've made shallow decisions to aid survival, like being with someone who's financially secure as has a nice place etc. I don't think I've ever truly loved a partner. It could be I avoid using my heart as I like to be more in control of the situation. It's hard to say. 

As for the crazy chick, I had a little moment of weakness where I arranged to meet her again, but still couldn't go through with it and bailed. She's fed up with me now lol and finally given up on contacting me. This is what I mean, was I using my heart there? I can't have been. I really thought I was for a second though. But beauty has such an effect on me, I might be confused :/ 

On 03/07/2019 at 10:34 AM, flume said:

That’s so funny that you say that, that’s how I think about my mind.
It’s so limited, it can only show me things that already existed in the past.
How could it ever bring me anywhere new?

Good question. Have you contemplated that much? I think I'm going to. My intuition tells me the more we can diminish the  'I' thought, the thing we say is thinking about the mind, the universe can work through us more to bring us insights and new experiences. For me, too much formal contemplation, like I said, makes my mind shut off. I've been making progress getting new insights and altering behaviours by surrendering my ego more through loving everything. The more faith I have that I have no control over what happens, that everything is already mapped out, the more empowering decisions seem to get made. Matt Kahn says we're the light of consciousness that can decide the reasons we've done things, what they mean, and job is to bless and love everything. We don't choose what happens, just how we react. The more I surrender to this the more it relaxes me and the more things change. Relaxation is key. How relaxed are we willing to be?

On 03/07/2019 at 10:34 AM, flume said:

I’d say it helps me to not fall into a victim mentality and to cherish the moment.
Whatever brings me back to the present moment makes me less involved and my mind less rigid. The present is the only thing that can ever get you unstuck.

Really like what you're saying there. Would be interesting to discuss victim mentalities, how they manifest. Along with gratitude, maybe loving the part of us that feels victimised and giving it the attention it never received, I think that's another key. I could discuss all this stuff with you until I was blue in the face :)  

Edited by Wisebaxter

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@Wisebaxter Pinpoint the question, write it down. Then drop it and do something fun. The answer will arise in the feeling great, without the concern of the question. After some practice, you’ll be able to ‘do this’ instantly, anytime you want. (Because you’ll be great at letting go.) 

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