Want more features on Pastebin? Sign Up, it's FREE!
Guest

"A Space for Thought" by Tim Bunce

By: a guest on Jul 23rd, 2012  |  syntax: None  |  size: 4.56 KB  |  views: 86  |  expires: Never
download  |  raw  |  embed  |  report abuse  |  print
Text below is selected. Please press Ctrl+C to copy to your clipboard. (⌘+C on Mac)
  1. A copy of the lightning talk I gave at OSCON 2012
  2. I'm dropping it here before I get around to updating
  3. the older version at http://blog.timbunce.org/2012/04/08/a-space-for-thought/
  4.  
  5.  
  6. - What is the difference between thought, and the quiet awareness in
  7.   the gap between thoughts?
  8. -
  9. - I want to share with you the single most important thing I've learned
  10.   in my life
  11. - It's a simple change in perspective that has revealed answers to many
  12.   mysteries - so much more of the world makes sense to me now
  13. - It's a shift in how I relate to myself and the world around me
  14. -
  15. - I really want to share this with you, but I have a problem
  16. - The key idea is so simple that, if you're not familiar with it, you
  17.   may not believe me
  18. - Or you'll dismiss it as obvious and of no value. You'll miss the
  19.   depth and implications of it.
  20. -
  21. - To persuade you I could quote countless great examples of life's
  22.   mysteries from literature, science, art, and everyday life. Showing
  23.   you how they fit together and make sense when viewed in this light.
  24. - But I don't have time.
  25. -
  26. - I only have time to give you a starting point, to plant a seed,
  27. - and some suggestions for how to nurture it
  28. - in the hope that it can grow and blossom for you too
  29. -
  30. - Before I share this simple insight, before I plant this seed,
  31. - I need your help to prepare the ground.
  32. - I need you to experience something for yourself.
  33. -
  34. - So please join me in a simple exercise in awareness.
  35.     - In paying attention.
  36. - Start paying attention now, to the feeling of your left foot
  37.     - just experience your left foot for a while
  38.     - without thinking about it
  39. -   ~pause~
  40. - What you're paying attention to is your foot
  41.     - what you're paying attention with is elsewhere
  42. - ~pause~
  43. - We'll do that again now but this time I'll say something to prompt
  44.   some thought
  45. - I want you to notice what happens to your attention when you start
  46.   thinking
  47. - Return your attention to your foot now
  48. -   ~pause~
  49. - Nine plus seven
  50. -   ~pause~
  51. -
  52. - Did you notice your attention move away from your foot when you
  53.   started thinking?
  54. - The focus of your awareness moved from your foot into your mind
  55. -
  56. - Your full attention can't be on a thought and something else at the
  57.   same time.
  58. - You need to be aware of the thought, just as you need to be aware of
  59.   the feeling.
  60. - Awareness is primary. Thinking and feeling are secondary.
  61. -
  62. -
  63. - So here's the seed I want to plant:
  64. - You are not your thoughts, just as you are not your feelings
  65. - You, the essence of who you really are, is the awareness
  66. - The conscious awareness within which your thoughts and feelings arise
  67. -
  68. -
  69. - That's it.
  70. - It's so simple, and yet so delicate
  71. - Easily crushed by the weight of your own thoughts, that are
  72.   constantly seeking to define you
  73. -
  74. - Having planted that seed, I want to give you three tips for nurturing
  75.   it, that I have found very helpful
  76. -
  77. - 1st. Give your thoughts and opinions some space
  78.     - view them from a little distance
  79.     - note their contents but don't judge them
  80.         - judging involves the thinking mind and you won't break free
  81.         - Simply note their contents and let them go
  82.     - Treat your thoughts as suggestions from a much loved friend,
  83.         - but a friend you know is vain, insecure, and untrustworthy
  84.     - Noticing how this friend reacts to situations in your life
  85.         - is a fascinating and rewarding pastime
  86.         - There's no need to watch a soap opera on TV
  87.         - when you can watch the one going on in your thinking mind!
  88.     -
  89. - 2nd. Practice taking your attention away from thoughts
  90.     - whenever they're unhappy, unproductive or unhelpful
  91.         - which, let's face it, can be much of the time
  92.     - Simply bring your attention to your breathing, your foot
  93.         - or anything else in the present moment
  94.     -
  95. - 3rd. Slow the momentum of the mind by bring moments of stillness into
  96.   your life regularly
  97.     - the phone rings - take a conscious breath with a quiet mind
  98.       before answering
  99.     - get in the car - take a few breaths before starting the engine
  100.     - Look at nature, birds trees flowers people,
  101.         - without labeling, judging, or other mental activity
  102. -
  103. - The more often I remember to do these simple things
  104.     - the more my sense of Self shifts
  105.     - from the noise and turmoil of the thinking mind
  106.     - to being rooted in the peace beyond it
  107.     -
  108. - So what is the difference between thought, and the quiet awareness in
  109.   the gap between thoughts?
  110.     - That's for you to discover in your own way
  111.     - but you won't find out by thinking about it.
clone this paste RAW Paste Data