E035 - Content vs Context (Get Out of Story)

In a world flooded with content, moving into context is our way into sanity, peace and 'waking up'. What this means is to move focus away from the inner dialogue of the mind, and into... one's senses, the body, and the present moment. It's also a way of bringing deep sanity and connection into conversation.

 Enjoy the video, or read the blog below!

Today, "content versus context": we will go deep into what this means. So this means story versus context, but we are also at the end going to investigate "the six nails of the tahini maker", which can be a game changer for a stopping the narrative mind, for stopping this busy entity that's inside our heads and arriving into presence.

What we're investigating today is all the content that comes out of our mouths or the content that lives and breathes and gets spoken inside our heads all the images and words inside our heads every day, and the distinction between that and the opportunity to move into context, which is spacious, aware, present. And so before we go any further, could you please subscribe to the channel which is down on the bottom right if you're watching this on YouTube and I'd love you to leave a comment if you're watching this, drop a little bit of content into the comment section.

Okay. Let's take a deep breath together. So - content versus context. Content is really often who we think we are, this narrative, the story "I was born in..." "I did this yesterday. This week, this is what happened." And this becomes the story of me, the story of little me. And that can be who we identify with or who we think is me, me is the story. Me is the story inside my head. So we wake up in the morning and we start brushing our toofs and already we're lost in thought. And so it goes and so there's been some science done about it. I can't remember the exact stats but something like 80 to 90% of our thoughts are repetitive from the days before or the day that's happening and can be much the same content going year after year after year. And it's this rehashing of stories and potentially of conversations we've had or planning or having fake conversations in our heads or mulling over the present moment, but mostly being lost in thought. And you could call that content.

And then vocally, when we're talking with our voices not just in our inner voices, but our outer voices, we often repeat the same stories to each other. And in the repeating of the same stories, we repeat narratives about ourselves about this is who I am and this is who you are. And this is how you are. And in a way, we get frozen into a kind of a persona, into a fiction you could say, into a story of ourselves. Whereas the raw present story of right now in this moment is much more visceral and exciting and has much less or no content in it.

So you could almost say that there's a kind of a choice between living inside the story or living in presence right now, even right now, it's possible for you watching this to be completely lost in the story that I'm telling you and completely unaware of context, which includes the sounds of the room that you're in, and everything that's around the screen and behind the screen and behind you. And within that context, there's also the feeling of your body, of being in the body.

Me too, I could get completely involved in just telling this story to a camera or I can also involve the whole room I mean, and the sound of a tractor filling up outside there which it is, and the sensation... of these blobs of sensation that are the physical body felt and experienced in this moment. And there's something delicious about dropping into context. Content is a narrative story, and my personal experience, and I think the experience I'm sure yours too, is that living inside the story or in the mind is full of fear and anxiety. It's also kind of deadened because it's abstract concepts and pictures of ourselves, but it's not the reality. The reality is the feeling of my bottom in this seat or wherever you are right now or even the smell in this air, or the play of the lights behind this camera, and just the feelings dancing inside this Soma, S-O-M-A.

So story versus presence can also play out how we interact with each other through our story but through the kind of top layer, like the frothy top layer of the cappuccino in the story, let's catch up. How was your week? "Yeah, this was my week." No. Did he do that Or she said that, and Trump, and the election, and this and that and story and context, where's the context? And the context can include our bodies. This is what's going on in my body right now. This is the feeling and this is what's on my heart right now, in my heart. And within the spaciousness and presence of that, something else quite beautiful can arise, right now for example.

And so we have these inner voices and outer voices and mostly they're hijacked or captivated by stories. And when I said that I think all the juice and the yumminess is in reality and what's happening now, not in this story, all the wonder, like, oh my God, this device in front of me that we are meeting through, it's incredible. You'd shown that to yourself 50 years ago, 20 years ago, or to an ancestor a hundred years ago, they would be probably bowing down in front of it as if it was God All of the mind and the story deadens everything. And we lose the wonder, the absolutely magnificent like Oh my God, is this really happening this moment? Is it really happening? Apparently it is.

So who is the narrator? Who is this? What is this thing that takes over and yaps inside us all day long, or is the conversation between me and you? If we're just talking news and it's been called the ego. And from many perspectives, it's seen almost as a false persona, as a construction, an artifice made up of all of our conditioning. And from within many traditions, the self, as seen as beyond that, it's not just as me with its little stories that you could say, that it is often the rantings of a mad person. If you really listen to your internal dialogue all day long as you ranted to this person and spoke to that person that said, no, I don't like that 50 times to the same person in your head after you've had a conversation, it's pretty insane. And I get it. It's also our humanity but it's, there's a lot of insanity there.

And so in many traditions, the real self or the deeper self is this context, is this witnessing living embodied presence. And the effects of being hijacked inside this head is shame, anxiety, fear, depression, and there's a deep joy to be had in silencing, moving into presence, allowing the narrator to subside or disidentifying from it. "Okay. That's not me. I accept this. I'm not going to fight with this." Here. Let's take this whole mental construct and just put it down for a moment. And in the silence that exists after that is comfort, support. Sometimes a neutrality and sometimes just a subtle undercurrent of joy or presence or acceptance. So how do we silence this head? Or how do we move into conversation with each other that's beyond the narrator, that's beyond story, that's beyond content? Ah, and allows for context. Hey, there are million methods, but showing up for your meditation each day, doing somatic body-based work, it all helps, letting go of the inner and outer stories all helps. And yes, we want to accept our humanity and love the story maker but not necessarily live inside there all the time because liberation, perhaps a beautiful liberation also exists outside of it. And I don't know, I mean, there are many sages including living beings who speak of a complete cessation of the inner dialogue and for the rest of us will work over time to minimize that until it begins to be like someone's talking in a room next door and we're just here. being with each other. But we accept ourselves all along the way. I want to say there, as a path towards dropping out of the story out of content.

We've got these three beautiful, you could call them "energy centers", in Taoism they might be called Dantians, but they're really naturally centers. One is in the area of the mind and the second in the heart and the third in the belly. And you could say that we want to allow this upper center to become spacious and not identified in the story. And secondly, opening and potentially centering somewhat in the heart is beautiful. It allows a different kind of connection. And then finally, deeply embodying and connecting to our stomach center. You could say our lower dantian and meeting ourselves at the level of the body and authentically being here.

But today, just for this moment, I'm going to talk about the six nails of the tahini maker Tilopa, a being who lived a thousand years ago, born in Bengal in Eastern India. And then wandering around India, around a thousand CE. And he was a wild person who was kind of tantric and very awake, a sutra mahamudra teacher. And he had these six nails, the six precepts. So I'd love you to join me right now as we investigate these six precepts and drop out of content and the story and into context. So this is what Tilopa had to say. And we'll do this in the style of Mooji who offered it a little bit like this.

One. How about for the rest of the session and the rest of today that we agree that we're going to move out of talking about and thinking about the past. Would you agree to do that with me right now? I agree. So for the rest of today, we're just not going to think about the past, refer to the past, talk about the past, just for today. We're going to let the past go. Is that okay?

And then, a second agreement is just for today, how about we let go of the future? We don't do any future planning. We don't think about the future. We don't day-dream about the future. We don't imagine doing things tomorrow, just for today. We're going to be here. So are you happy to let go of dreaming about tomorrow? No more day-dreaming about tomorrow. No more thinking and imagining or imagining conversations with people that you might have in the future. Is that okay? So we're letting go of the future.

Thirdly. How about for the rest of today that we drop an interior narrative or a verbal narrative about what's happening now? We're not going to comment on what's happening now. We're not going to be commenting about this is what's going on or that's a bit, this, this is about that. We're just going to let the moment be. We're not going to comment on it. We're not going to speak about what's happening now with others. So we're just going to drop this narrative about the present moment. We're just going to be in the present moment and let it be, how about that? So we're just dropping commentary about the past, dropping narratives about the future and we're dropping narratives about the present.

So then the next thing, how about this, for the rest of today, we are going to not analyze and cogitate and think about stuff, kind of get stuck into and thinking, is this right? Is that right? Should I this, is he that, is even any of this, that interesting. It's just for today, just drop all the analyzing, just be present with what is, be present here now, As Ram Dass said: and Be Here Now. So we're not going to do any more analysis for today. How about that?

And then the fifth nail or precept is that, we're not going to try and make anything happen today. We're not really going to effort our way. For example, in this exercise, we're not even going to try and make this exercise happen by oh, thinking I should do this. We're not going to make any real effort. We're going to let go of control. So just for today, we're going to just stop trying so hard. Let ourselves hang out a little bit. Stop efforting here. We are okay to do that? Just take the foot off the gas. Just let life happen. Be, stuff may happen, but we're just going to stop efforting. How about that?

And then the final nail of the tahini maker is to rest, just rest in this natural state, you're not thinking about the past, the future, the present we're not analyzing. We're not even trying to make anything happen. So we're just resting. We might end up doing things. People call, I'll talk to them. I think I've got some meetings. I'll arrive at them, but I'm just resting. I'm not going to try and make anything happen. How about that for you? We just let life happen. And just noticing how we're feeling.

Thanks to you Tilopa for existing and putting these down.

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Course commences 16th July 2020