Alan Watts: Don’t Assume Too A lot Full Transcript
“An individual who thinks on a regular basis has nothing to consider besides ideas.
So, he loses contact with actuality, and lives in a world of illusions. By ideas, I imply particularly, chatter within the cranium. Perpetual and compulsive repetition of phrases, of reckoning and calculating. I’m not saying that considering is dangerous.
Like all the pieces else, it’s helpful carefully. A very good servant however a foul monster. And all so-called civilized peoples have more and more change into loopy and self-destructive as a result of, by way of extreme considering, they’ve misplaced contact with actuality. That’s to say, we confuse indicators, phrases, numbers, symbols, and concepts with the true world.
Most of us would have quite cash than tangible wealth. And a fantastic event is in some way spoiled for us until photographed. And to examine it the following day within the newspaper is oddly extra enjoyable for us than the unique occasion. It is a catastrophe, for on account of complicated the true world of nature with mere indicators, comparable to financial institution balances and contracts, we’re destroying nature. We’re so tied up in our minds, that we’ve misplaced our senses and don’t understand that the air stinks, water tastes of chlorine, the human panorama seems to be like a trash heap, and far of our meals tastes like plastic. Time to get up.
What’s actuality? Clearly, nobody can say, as a result of it isn’t phrases. It isn’t materials, that’s simply an thought. It isn’t religious. That’s additionally an thought a easy. Actuality is that this [gong]. You see. Everyone knows what actuality is, however we are able to’t describe it. Simply as everyone knows beat our hearts and form our bones, however can not say how it’s achieved. To get in contact with actuality there’s an artwork of meditation, of what’s referred to as yoga in India, Chan in China and Zen in Japan. It’s the artwork of briefly silencing the thoughts. Of stopping the chatter within the cranium. In fact, you may’t pressure your thoughts to be silent. That shall be like attempting to clean ripples in water over the flat iron. Water turns into clear and calm solely when left alone.
So, will you attempt an experiment with me? Merely shut your eyes, and permit your ears to listen to all sounds round you. Don’t attempt to identify or determine the sounds, simply hear them as you’d take heed to music. As if you hear a flute or a guitar. With out asking what it means.
And as and after I speak, simply hear the sound of my voice. Don’t trouble about what it means. Your mind will care for that by itself. Simply let your eardrums reply as they may, to all vibrations now within the air. Don’t let your self, or your ears, be offended by improper or unscheduled sounds. If for instance, the document is scratchy, okay. You wouldn’t object when you had been listening to it sitting by a hearth of crackling logs.
[phone rings] Let em ring. It’s only a noise. And maintain your tongue relaxed floating simply within the decrease jaw. Additionally stopped frowning. Enable the house between your eyes to really feel simple and open. And simply let the vibrations within the air play along with your ears.
You have to perceive that in meditation we’re involved solely with what’s, with actuality, nothing else. The previous is a reminiscence. The longer term, an expectation. Neither previous nor future truly exist. There may be merely everlasting now. So don’t search or anticipate a consequence from what you’re doing. That wouldn’t be true meditation. There’s no hurry.
Simply now, you’re not going wherever, merely be right here. Dwell on the planet of sound. Let it play. That’s all. On this planet of pure sound, are you able to truly hear anybody who’s listening? Are you able to hear any distinction between all these sounds on the one hand, and your self on the opposite? Naturally, we use strategies and gimmicks to assist the considering thoughts to change into silent, and certainly one of them is the gong.
It’s a sound without delay pleasing and compelling, it absorbs consideration however watch what occurs when it fades out. [gong noise] The one sound turns into the various. The one tone is reworked simply and gently into all different noises. And that’s how the universe comes into being, out of the one vitality underlying all occasions.
So when you don’t have a gong, you should utilize your individual voice, by chanting what Hindus and Buddhists name a Mantra. That’s, a syllable of phrase sung for its sound quite than its that means. Chief of those is the syllable ohm, or auhm, referred to as the pranava, or the sound of God. As a result of it entails the entire vary of the voice, from the again of the throat to the lips. Take the tone from the gong, and hum it with me.
Now, you may hear all sounds as ohm. There all sooner or later within the whole vary of sound, from the again of the throat to the lips, making a spectrum of sound as all colours are initially one white mild. However, don’t ask what the sound is, or what it means. Simply hear it and dig it I’m with me once more. Hum it once more. [gong] Ohm.
Let me clarify once more what we’re doing. We’re going behind with names, numbers, beliefs and concepts, to get again to the bare expertise of actuality itself. And that this stage of consciousness, we discover no distinction between the listener the sound, the knower and the recognized, the topic and the thing. Between the previous, the current, and future. All that’s simply speak. What is actually taking place is. [gongs]
And you might surprise, how I can maintain the sound going for therefore lengthy in time. It will depend on regulation of the breath, which is fundamental to the artwork of meditation, and I’m going to point out you ways to do that and why. To start with, simply as you have got been letting vibrations within the air play along with your ears, let your lungs breathe as they may. Don’t as but try any respiration train don’t pressure something merely respiration.
Now, is that this respiration a voluntary or involuntary motion? Or both? Simply really feel it with out taking sides with out phrases. And once more, hear my voice as if it wind within the bushes of the sound of waves. Sure. Sure. Most of us are in need of breath. We by no means actually empty our lungs.
However to make a protracted full out breath you mustn’t pressure it. Think about there’s a big ball of lead inside your neck. And permit it to fall slowly by way of your physique to the ground. Pushing and easing the breath out because it drops, is the breath out simply as you agree and sink down comfortably right into a mattress. And, when the ball reaches the ground, let it drop away as if to the middle of the earth.
Then, let the breath come again, again in as a reflex with out pulling it. After which think about one other ball of lead within the neck. And once more. Let it fall out, lengthy and simple. And as soon as once more. You know the way do you see what’s taking place. You’re producing an excessive amount of vitality with out attempting or forcing. Two issues appear to be taking place without delay, first the outflow of breath is solely following, taking place all by itself. Second, it’s below excellent management.
So, from this apply, you be taught to expertise, to comprehend, that what occurs to you, and what you do are one in the identical course of. There isn’t a actual separation between one factor referred to as you, and one other fairly totally different factor referred to as the Universe. Once you cease speaking and naming, they’re fairly clearly one. So once more, let your breath fall simply out.
All the best way. Let it come again by itself, after which out once more. Whew. Let’s put the sound on the following outflow. [gong] Ohm. And once more, in order that you don’t have anything in thoughts however [gong] ohm.
[afterword] Then, there’s a very efficient mantrum utilized by an vital sect of Islamic mystics referred to as Sufis. Like all these totally different mantrums, they are going to be saved up for fairly lengthy intervals say fifteen to twenty minutes or extra, so what I’m giving you’re solely samples. You’ll be able to simply do that one with me it goes like this. Allah, allah, all-Lah….”
Alan Watts: How To Cease Overthinking