Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Storyteller

Photo of the Month:
Photo provided by:  Alaska Vintage's Shop

Quote of the month:
Humans spend a lot of time not in the purity 
of the direct experience, 
but most of their time in thinking.... 
until it becomes so habitual that we actually think that 
the thoughts about things are more real than the things themselves.
- Adyashanti

It is great fun to lose ourselves in a good story.  A well written story can transport us to another world where we can experience things we might not otherwise be able to.  The little girl in the image above looks as though she may be imagining a land far far away as her father reads to her. These are not stories I am talking about today.    

The photo above is from my cousin's web site, Alaska Vintage where she has hundreds of authentic original vintage photos like the one above or her other site, where you can find more vintage and other interesting items as well as books and clothing.  I'd appreciate it if you would take a look at her sites! 

What I am writing about today is the "stories" that take us down the path that takes us further from ourselves.... our true selves.  This exercise is borrowed from a spiritual teacher named Adyashanti.  You can visit his web site at .  I have written in the past about The Voice and The Observer.  This exercise helps us to recognize the voice that as the "storyteller" and move us towards the observer position.  My suggestion is to try to do what the post describes as you go along...... enjoy!  

As we go through our day, we are always taking in the world around us through our senses. You can notice, as we sit here, reading this, that these sense are automatically functioning.  Your ears hear what is around you. Your eyes are taking in the images on your computer screen. Your sense of touch can feel you sitting in a chair or your feet on the floor.  This happens without any effort on your part or without you directing them to do so.  

We learned the senses as little children in school.....

Eyes - seeing
Ears - hearing 
Nose - smelling - there may not be much to smell at the moment, but the sense of smell is still present.
Tongue - tasting may also not be very active right now, but if you were to put something in your mouth, you would taste it without any additional effort on your part.
Skin - touching

When you put your attention on any one of your senses, you discover that they are extraordinarily neutral.  Hearing and our ears simply take sound in.  

It doesn't decide if it is good or bad or right or wrong.  There isn't any judgement or interpretation. There is no preference or commentary.

Just notice it for a moment.... it is a very pure thing.... hearing.... listening.

Notice how it is totally and absolutely effortless. There is a simplicity to it.

You could look at any of your senses in this way. They are always functioning in this way as open receptors.  It is a way to experience this moment in a very direct, pure, and Simple way.

It is NOT until you allow the mind, and thinking, to enter into it at we then assign interpretation, value or judgement to what we are experiencing.   Thinking, however, is very indirect.  It is not taking anything in the way the senses do. It is actually a commentary on what comes in through the senses.... it is like a Storyteller.....  weaving together what comes in through the senses. The mind is telling us if it is good or bad or right or wrong.

Let's experiment with this....
Focus on hearing for just a moment. What do you hear?  I can hear birds outside.  Any sound will do - the sound of the fan on your computer, some music in the back ground, maybe you can hear some yard work going on outside or maybe you can hear the birds like I can.  

Notice how your ears (hearing) take in the sound absolutely purely.  Your ears do not make any judgement of the sound.  

When you bring your mind into it.... your mind adds what you think about the sound of the birds.

First the mind may say "bird" providing a label.

Notice ears don't provide label they just take in the sound.

The mind is the function of thought.... the interpreter.... commentator.... or storyteller. The mind is removed from the direct experience. In reality, the mind only experiences its thoughts about things.

AS the quote above says, "Humans spend a lot of time not in the purity of the direct experience, but most of their time in thinking.... until it becomes so habitual that we actually think that the thoughts about things are more real than the things themselves."  Adyashanti says that we become mesmerized by the storyteller.

Going back to our example of the sound of the bird, one person's experience of the sound of the bird may be quite pleasant while another's may be call it an annoyance - this depends on the story ones mind is telling them.  How you interpret the sound of a bird really is not all that important in the scheme of things, but try applying the ideas in this post to other areas of your life... attempt to step out of the mind, the voice or the storyteller and become the observer as often as possible.  Try to observe what your mind is telling you about what is going on.

As I previously wrote in the Observer post, by making the shift and setting aside the judgments of the voice, it can help to stop creating negativity, suffering or unwanted consequences in your life.  At the very least it can help you live a more pleasant and full experience of life.  

YOU are the observer of the voice.  YOU can choose, if you want, to believe what it is telling your OR consider that it might be making up a story.... or even a purple elephant!  You'll have to read the Observer post to find out what that is all about!  : )   

One last suggestion.... you could just observe the mind and your thoughts without any judgment at all!

As always, you can comment at the link below!  
Until next month, 
Keep it Simple,

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