Students have posed these questions as they study the course and complete the exercises. We are fortunate in having answers provided here by Richard Hawley, the author of “A Quiet Mind” brochure that this course is based on.
Question #1: In the course you give the instruction: “When you notice you are thinking, drop it and be present.” Can you provide the student any more guidance on how to drop the thought? Do I simply think “stop thinking” or does that increase the discursive thinking?
Response: The short answer is return to observing the breath. Practically speaking, it has been helpful to me to remember that it is not necessary to complete the thought, and it is encouraging to know that it doesn’t matter how long I have been caught up in some thought. Also, at times it helps to return to my mantra (this...breath; or even “Help me”). The simpler the better!
Question #2: Does the transition from the discursive thinking state to the pure perception state occur with a “Pop” analogous to several visual experiences, such as donning 3D glasses at a 3D movie, or seeing the 3D image encoded in an Autostereogram? If not, please describe the experience of the transition.
Response: It is a sudden, completely undramatic return to being-here-now. A little enlightenment came to me reading Bernadette Roberts' statement that “In truth, the unitive \ life is utterly real, common, ordinary, and unspectacular, it may be boring. It is not easy living."  Our understanding of the completeness and oneness of all phenomena appears to us with a pop! But I myself have not experienced a final and ultimate realization. For me, there have always been more and greater realizations as I continue to learn with new situations.
References:[edit | edit source]
- pp. 204\205. Bernadette Roberts. (1984). The Experience of No-Self. Boston: Shambhala. or It might be Bernadette Roberts. (1985). The Path To No-Self. Boston: Shambhala.