“The Deadliness Of Doing” by Andrew Sullivan

We will have to relearn how to live.

What a great article! Stopped me in my tracks!

“Odd as it may seem,” Kahneman writes, “I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.”

The scariest part: Kahneman’s conclusion, radical as it sounds, may not go far enough. There may be no experiencing self at all. Brain-scanning experiments by Rafael Malach and his colleagues at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, for instance, have shown that when subjects are absorbed in an experience, like watching the “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” the parts of the brain associated with self-consciousness are not merely quiet, they’re actually shut down (“inhibited”) by the rest of the brain. The self seems simply to disappear.

Free Awareness ‘Relaxation Retreat’ – 2011 – Part 1

  • you cannot relax in the future, your future projection is useless for you,  to try to manage SOMETHING ABOUT that
  • you can only relax with your very projection about the future, it’s always right here, right now, with whatever story happens there is no excuse possible and if there’s an excuse, that’s the story to relax into
  • whenever you notice your story you stop trying to manage the outcome of your projection
  • you find this OKness, your freedom (freedom from your own ideas and emotions!!),  right here, right now 
  • instead of freedom from you can say FREEDOM IN , freedom in your emotions, freedom in your thoughts by simply relaxing into them not trying to be anybody, not knowing anything
  •  only a thought can be unhappy with the thought 
  • worrying about how we feel is what we have been taught but it is not necessary, it’s optional, it creates suffering and avoidance and feeling like you are being harmed  
  • if you are totally vulnerable even as much as 2 seconds, in the midst of what we call disturbed emotions, for those 2 seconds we confirm experientially that there’s really nothing happening, of course it’s happening, but that which we try to protect by standing separate and avoiding as if THIS can be harmed somehow, when we are totally vulnerable, totally fearless for 2 secs, just experience whatever is experienced without believing in the stories , without focussing on anything , we allow it to overtake us, to overwhelm us , and in that conscious vulnerability, you notice that you are not harmed , it’s just happening and its own undoing and it increases in intensity, it reaches a boiling point and it decreases in intensity and you’re still here, so there was no reason to really fear it, and the fear and the avoidance made it feel like such an enemy but really in essence it is still only a perception of awareness, it is timeless  perfection, its essence is that empty perfection 
  • rest openly with whatever comes
  • we are addicted to good feelings, but good feelings come and go!
  • openness as an experience, as a sensation is just that
  • every sensation is perceived, so sensation is purely perception
  • there is an awareness of every perception, you know that you feel open and you know that you feel contracted
  • so your well-being is not in a feeling , it is in knowing, the fact that you’re knowing this experience because THAT’S WHAT IS ALWAYS WITH YOU
  • FEELINGS COME AND GO and if you investigate into the sensation of openness you can’t find happiness in there , you can’t find well-being in there , you can’t even find freedom in there , it’s just a sensation!
  • can you find happiness? can you find stable well-being? can you find freedom? it’s just another sensation and of course our initial response is “this feels free” but does it contain any freedom? it’s freedom because of the sensation, if so then it is not freedom! freedom has to be freedom always because it is not bound – that’s the very definition of freedom! not dependent on what you  feel!
  • so to be able to rest even with contraction and with your desire for openness , to relax into that sensation which is just another sensation, again you are naturally aware of  this spontaneous here and now freedom which doesn’t mean anything
  • don’t try to look for awareness
  • don’t try to escape
  • enjoy the ride, as if you are all there is
  • the space of your direct experience is allowing everything and it is playing with itself, enjoy it ! and it has nothing to do with what happened and what is about to happen or who said what … nothing! it’s just AS IT IS, free from being tied to CAUSATION
  • so we relax causality, we relax our projection of time and people and others and me , we relax those stories and we fully appreciate and experience whatever is experienced, fearlessly more and more, without needing to escape it because we find that we don’t, we really don’t there’s an equanimity to even the intensity of rage

This Weekend Retreat Bentinho Massaro emphasizes ‘Relaxation’ as one of the key instructions for total conviction in freedom being Always Already the case and for the seeking tendency to lay down its armory.

To relax all focus for 2-to-5 seconds, throughout every experience, again and again, is the most used instruction in this particular retreat and one that I return attention to consistently.

Relaxation means to let go of knowing what you should and shouldn’t experience. It means to no know anything about anything for 2-to-5 seconds.

Whatever appears on the face of awareness, we always have the option to: A) Worry about what is appearing and think we know what it means and whether it is right or wrong, or: B) Relax our focus and ideas about what is experienced and simple BE, for a moment.

This simple technique is one of few powerful techniques that establish one in being free from suffering.