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Mon Aug 13, 2012, 11:55 AM

Just Stop

Last edited Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:36 AM - Edit history (1)

Seekers seem to have a lot of difficulty Stopping.

This is my simple contribution:

Just ... Stop.

Not "stop this" or "stop that" or even "stop and smell the roses." Those may all be necessary, but they are not what I'm trying to point to by using the word "Stop".

The kind of Stop I'm trying to point to is the sense of stillness that comes when we unhook all the concepts, ideas and beliefs that keep us velcroed to the outer world as it whizzes by. Those conceptual attachments are what keep us moving at the speed of the world, desperately trying to maintain our equilibrium as the world imparts its frenetic momentum to our spirits.

When we Stop, what seems like a miracle occurs (it's not really a miracle, but it can sure feel like one) - our sense of lack vanishes. Along with it goes need, clinging and all that suffering. What's left is the awareness of the fullness of our own existence, which was there all along - we just never Stopped long enough to realize it.

The message "Just Stop" is very hard to hear because we are conditioned to think of our Selves as bundles of concepts and beliefs. We are conditioned to think of our Selves as the end product of all those hooks that attach us to the outer world. We take our frantic energy as evidence of our reality, and we treat all the concepts and beliefs that bring that energy into our inner world as essential parts our our Self.

But who is this "I" that is so hooked onto the energy of the world that they can find no peace?

Most of us have never even considered the idea that "I" might still exist without all those hooks, free of those attachments that force us to spin at the speed of the world. We may see our loss of equilibrium, our anxieties and frustrations as personal failures, and set out on a quest to "achieve inner peace". So long as we do that without unhooking ourselves from the source of our disequilibrium the attempt will fail.

The role of a good spiritual teacher is to help us recognize the concepts and beliefs that keep us attached to all that chaotic energy, help (and sometimes even force) us to unhook them one by one - then keep us from reattaching them to the stream of life as it hurtles past. The more of these hooks we undo, the less energy is transferred from the outer world to our inner world. As the energy dies away we gradually lose momentum. As we slow down, little by little, a quieter equilibrium returns. This is also the purpose of meditation and inner inquiry - to help us recognize and unhook our concepts, stop transferring energy from the outer to the inner world, and slow down.

When we are finally going slowly enough, we can take the final step on our own - the one step no teacher can help with. When the required combination of will and grace appears, we can simply put out a metaphorical foot, touch the ground, and Stop.

As we are in the process of slowing down, we may find some inner resistance. Our monkey-mind (aka the ego) may tell us things like this:

"Being is doing, doing is being. If you stop doing you will stop being. I don't want to stop being!!! So don't Stop, do something!!!"

A Seeker who is "On a Path" may then say reassuring things back to their monkey-mind like, "Don't worry, it's OK. I am doing something - I'm learning how to Stop!"

To which the monkey replies, "Oh well, learning about Stopping isn't the same as Stopping. Learning is OK. Just make sure you don't Stop."

And the monkey-mind calms down and goes to sleep in a corner for a while while the Seeker goes on seeking - but not Stopping.

Of course, as human beings we're always doing something. It's impossible to remain motionless for very long. But it is possible to Stop. We know we exist, we are aware - right here, right now. That's it, that's all that needs to be realized. What is - right here, right now - is the whole of the point. Nothing is missing, save for our realization that this is it.

That simple realization of our existence and awareness is the Grail. But to realize it in a more than casual way ("Yeah, yeah - I exist, I'm aware. Big deal. Right now I'm aware that I'm late for an appointment!") we first have to Stop.

When we Stop we gain a clear view of our true Self. Even though we still have to deal with the world rushing by, we can do it from a place of motionless stillness, free of suffering. This possibility is always within reach.

I think this is a good place to Stop.

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Reply Just Stop (Original post)
GliderGuider Aug 2012 OP
Viva_Daddy Aug 2012 #1
GliderGuider Aug 2012 #2
GliderGuider Aug 2012 #3

Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 01:32 PM

1. You might want to check out tryresting.blogspot.com (although it hasn't been updated in a while)

You'll find good links there as well to other teachers.

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 04:58 PM

2. Thanks! Will do. nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 09:25 AM

3. A couple of thoughts

The Q&A format of Nisargadatta's "I Am That" reveals that its main purpose is to identify concepts (in the questions) and unhook them (in the answers) - the same process I described above. This probably goes a long way towards explaining the popularity and effectiveness of that particular teaching. The individual Q&As are short and incisive enough to get to the heart of the matter with as little fuss and distraction as possible. They leave little room for the monkey-mind to spin up its intellectual-justification generator.

The other thought is that Nisargadatta's comment about earnestness reveals how critical it is to the success of the endeavour. "Experiment with any theory you like -- if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours."

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