Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Choiceless Awareness


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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #1
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

I think there's a lot to be said about our understanding of these words. Maybe we could look at it together in the new forum if that comes to pass. I recall a discussion of K.'s not too long ago where it was said that there couldn't be a real relationship between two people if one was 'attending' to what one was saying and the other was not...To me this has come to mean that if I am not 'aware' of the thoughts as they are coming into existence , aware of them 'rising' from the brain, so to speak... and you are, then, there is no 'relationship' between us. Does that mean that real relationship depends on both of us being 'awake in the moment' as we discuss? And is that 'art of awakening in the moment', choiceless awareness?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #2
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Maybe it's important to be aware of the fact that we're almost always making choices...trying to shape our behavior or modify our thoughts...according to our conditioning. We obviously can't choose to be choicelessly aware, but we can be aware of our choosing...our rejecting...our judging or condemning...our desiring for things to be different...our desire for a specific outcome.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #3
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
but we can be aware of our choosing...our rejecting...our judging or condemning...our desiring for things to be different...our desire for a specific outcome.

My take is somewhat different and that's why I thought it was important to discuss...All the things you list above are judgements and 'naming' of what is being seen. But 'choiceless awareness' doesn't in my eyes, take that extra step of doing any of that. If you watch your thoughts as they arise just out of the 'curiosity' to see them. Isn't that what choiceless awareness is, curiosity, simply to see what is there in any moment? Not why it's there, or even what does it mean...not to put a name on what is seen, nothing...just the simple seeing?

The 'thread' of yourself is picked up...dropped...and picked up again.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
.All the things you list above are judgements and 'naming' of what is being seen.

Yes, this is what we usually do.

But 'choiceless awareness' doesn't in my eyes, take that extra step of doing any of that.

And if we are doing what I mentioned as we almost always are, I'm asking...can we be choicelessly aware of choosing?

Not why it's there, or even what does it mean...not to put a name on what is seen, nothing...just the simple seeing?

I'm not doubting that you may be able to do this, Dan, but I do wonder if I myself ever do it. And if I don't, perhaps I can be choicelessly aware of what is the fact...what is actually happening as it's happening. Watching the choosing, the resisting, the condemning...is there anything else I can do when all that is happening?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #5
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm not doubting that you may be able to do this, Dan, but I do wonder if I myself ever do it.

It's not a "doing", that would be the action of the self. You can try to make it happen usually to escape some way I'm feeling but that's all about memory and trying to retrieve something that is remembered. You don't 'do' grace, it either comes or it doesn't...the light shines on what is there or it doesn't. What or why 'choiceless awareness is, can't be known, is the way I feel about it. It is always right now...so regarding thought or the thinking process in this light, awareness of the actual process is either there or it isn't. Is it that when it is there aware of each thought as it (mysteriously?) appears, there is no 'identification with the thoughts i.e., they are not my thoughts, they are simply thoughts? ..but when there is no 'choiceless awareness' of the thinking process, the 'thinker' arises and then they are my thoughts? And if we are both doing that then it is our 'thinkers' that are in relationship and since they don't actually exist, there can't be this 'real' relationship that k. speaks of? This is not intellectual but an attempt to describe how it is with me and I'd like to know how you and others would describe their experience of this phenomena we are calling choiceless awareness.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #6
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 190 posts in this forum Offline

According to K, you cannot meditate deliberately, you cannot arrive at that complete awareness by choice. Any choice or intention has desire behind it, seeking of something or some state.

Krishnamurti, Public Discussion 3 Saanen, Switzerland - 27 July 1979:
But there is a meditation, if you are interested in it, which is not deliberate, which has nothing whatsoever to do with desire. There is a meditation which must be totally undesired, totally free of thought. And to find that meditation - I am not offering it as a reward - if you are interested in it you have to go into the question of desire, give it its right place, whether desire has any place at all, and also thought has to find its own place and remain there. Then meditation becomes something totally different from what you are doing.

Personally, I have a problem with this. If you are "interested in it" then you have some kind of intention with respect to it. You are looking into what K calls real meditation, or choiceless awareness, whatever it may or may not be, deliberately, yes?

You may be interested in it. You may be uninterested in it. Do you have a choice about what you are interested in or uninterested in? I don't know. But clearly there are at least two possibilities: interest or un-interest. So it is a choice in the sense that one of the two is selected, perhaps consciously, perhaps not.

If you are "interested in" real meditation, how is that different than desire or intention?

Obviously if I do meditation or awareness because some guru tells me it will bring me to a state, then that is the intention to achieve a spiritual gain. That's blatant. But if I am "interested in it," there may be a less obvious but still present intention, yes? And is that for gain? I don't know.

So to me, when K says there must not be intention, there must not be choice, there must not be desire, it can easily scare someone away from any investigation of meditation or choiceless awareness at all. There's bound to be a tiny bit of choosing in my interest. There's a tiny bit of intention. Therefore I may conclude that all intention must be avoided. Then, unsurprisingly, real meditation doesn't "just come of itself." No, without any intention, why wouldn't I continue to live as I always have, with thought, conflict, choice? Why wouldn't the pattern just continue? So we are left with a tease: According to K, there is real meditation but any movement toward exploring it is misguided.

Unlike K, I say, you are already making choices and intending to do various things. You can deliberately sit down and be quiet and just pay attention. You can simply watch with innocence and curiosity. But if you don't deliberately start, why would it happen?

This post was last updated by idiot ? Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #7
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

If being a 'light unto oneself' is a poetic way of describing choiceless awareness and I feel it is, that 'light' needs energy to shine. And the energy of the 'self', the'me and mine', psychological thought, observer/observed, etal, is a dissipation of that energy. Unchecked by awareness of itself that energy streams out constantly even in our sleep. With awareness it can be observed that thought 'slows down'. In the light of awareness it slows as if not being accustomed to anything but operating in the dark, mechanically...

At the imminent end to this era of these forums of kinfonet, I'd like to apologize to an old poster of yore, Max Greene. I don't know if Max still alive but we tangled a bit over his posts that "thought was not necessary". I didn't understand at the time what he was seeing, but I think that it is becoming clear now. "Sorry Max, you were right."

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #8
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
No, without any intention, why wouldn't I continue to live as I always have, with thought, conflict, choice? Why wouldn't the pattern just continue? So we are left with a tease: According to K, there is real meditation but any movement toward exploring it is misguided.

Yes...that's the tease. So how do we explore real meditation? What is the action? Obviously thought can't do it, can it? If I have an idea of what it is, that's based upon my desire to gain.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 04 Jun 2020.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #9
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 190 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Yes...that's the tease. So how do we explore real meditation? What is the action? Obviously thought can't do it, can it? If I have an idea of what it is, that's based upon my desire to gain.

Yes. It's an unsolvable dilemma. K says that real meditation is of the utmost importance. And he says there is no method to get to it. So now what?

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Thu, 04 Jun 2020 #10
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
So now what?

What’s your answer to that? Personally speaking, when I want to learn about our shared human problems I normally look at a K video or open one of his books. Haven’t looked at one of his books in ages though. I much prefer the videos.

Let it Be

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
Yes. It's an unsolvable dilemma. K says that real meditation is of the utmost importance. And he says there is no method to get to it. So now what?

So can one face that "unsolvable dilemma", if it is one, can one face it, without in anyway trying to solve it, without moving away from it, without trying to escape from it?

And if one does, is that not then itself the state of meditation?

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
So can one face that "unsolvable dilemma", if it is one, can one face it, without in anyway trying to solve it, without moving away from it, without trying to escape from it?

But this facing is taking place in thought isn’t it? It’s thought that tells us ‘I must understand what is real meditation’. K told me about it and now I think about it, obviously.

Let it Be

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
So now what?

You mean what next can you do? To do what? What is there to do? To get to what? 'Desire' needs to be seen for what it is, (time?). Does it have anything to do with 'meditation' (whatever that may be). But psychologically, there is no 'tomorrow', is there?

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #14
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 190 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
What’s your answer to that?

My answer now is to just look. It's right there. Silence is.

But if silence is not, if the mind is busy with this and that, then a little intentionality is... okay. In other words, cheat. Make the tiniest choice to pay attention. K says the first step is the last step. What is the first step? Self knowledge. Paying attention to the self in relationship. What is taking the first step? Paying attention. Self knowledge, by the way, K says is "arduous," a word that implies some kind of intentionality. To pay attention is to see my violence and do something about it. Which is a little bit of choice. But I take the first step, paying attention, and there is awareness. And then already the last step is, when the mind is open, clear, silent and love is. And then nearly instantly it's not again. Thought is back. And I have to take the first step again.

But this oscillation, this coming and going happens. The self is. The self is not. On and off like a firefly.

Finally there is no coming and going. It is finished. Silence is, even under necessary thought.

Don't take my word for it. I'm pretty sure you won't anyway. But you asked. That is my solution to the insoluble dilemma. A little cheating at first, until it's not necessary.

This post was last updated by idiot ? Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #15
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote @5:
. Is it that when it is there aware of each thought as it (mysteriously?) appears, there is no 'identification with the thoughts i.e., they are not my thoughts, they are simply thoughts? ..but when there is no 'choiceless awareness' of the thinking process, the 'thinker' arises and then they are my thoughts?

I think I understand what you are describing, Dan. I think that “I am in that state” sometimes. Not that there is a me who is in it, that state continually reveals the illusion of the permanent me.

But I would put what you are saying in a different way (not that you are wrong in what you say) In that state it is seen that thought is continually ending. Thus no identification with thought is possible – identification means that something is held on to, something continues, but thought is not continuous, and so the self that identifies, the self that is projected by thought, …... does it end end before permanent identification can take place? Or does it end, in fact, precisely because there is no identification?

Am I answering your point, or am I going off at a tangent?

There is thought without awareness, which is a sort of ongoing dream – albeit a very dangerous dream.

I think thought is born in unawareness. But somehow awareness happens, comes in, and the thought is seen for what it is. Or is it thought that sees thought, as the observer separate from what is observed?

One has to very very tentative with all this, never accumulating any conclusions, continually starting anew in observation.

What is the connection between awareness and the observer/observed duality? Is there one?

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #16
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
But this facing is taking place in thought isn’t it?

What is your point, Tom?

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #17
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote @9:
So now what?

Are you asking "What must I do now"? if so, I don't understand why you ask such a question. Do "you" have to find an action?

Either the mind continues, or it doesn't. Either way you do not have to ask "What should I do?", do you?

idiot ? wrote @14:
Self knowledge, by the way, K says is "arduous," a word that implies some kind of intentionality

I would like to question this. I would agree that the process of self understanding can be arduous - arduous in the sense that one has to suffer all the conflicts, all the contradiction, all the frustration, the fear, and so on, that the mind throws up. Suffer without seeking comfort, distraction, or any kind of escape. But I don't see any sort of intention in this. It just happens, it is just "there", to be suffered.

If an intention is formed, in fact, I would say this would be in the category of "escape".

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #18
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

a little intentionality is... okay. In other words, cheat.

K. said all his life that there is no method, no 'how'. It seems you disagree. So if effect you're saying above that an effort of the self will take one beyond the self. That's what you mean by 'cheating' right? That's a 'how'. Effort is always by 'me'. The means equals the end. An effort by the self can only perpetuate the self....or am I mistaken?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #19
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Tom Paine wrote:

But this facing is taking place in thought isn’t it?

What is your point, Tom?

That the 'facing' may be only more thinking.

Let it Be

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
idiot ? wrote @9:

So now what?

Are you asking "What must I do now"? if so, I don't understand why you ask such a question. Do "you" have to find an action?

Good question, Clive. That doing would be more emphasis on 'me'...intentionality...will...effort. Though K sometimes asked the same kind of question in his discussions. "What will you do sirs?"

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #21
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
What is the connection between awareness and the observer/observed duality? Is there one?

We can experiment to see if we can find out. The senses are receiving impressions constantly: visual, auditory, tactile,etc. Be aware of what the eyes are seeing, the ears are hearing, the hands are touching, the position of the tongue in the mouth...Don't miss anything. Allow the senses to open, be aware, of the slightest sound, color, movement, shape, texture, sensation...what is the relation to thoughts here as they arise? Does awareness of the environment change?

Added:

Can the thinking that arises, can it be included as if it is another sense? Can there be awareness of everything that is happening 'inside' as well as 'outside'?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #22
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 190 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
K. said all his life that there is no method, no 'how'. It seems you disagree. So in effect you're saying above that an effort of the self will take one beyond the self.

When real meditation is, there is no how. It is. There's no time process.

But for most of us, real meditation is not. We have a sense that it is very important. K says that it is. And we may suspect that it is. But we are not living it. At best, we are thinking about it and speculating about it. And that is not it. We are in the known. And it is the unknown, or so we're told, and we wonder what that means. Well, we intellectually understand that real meditation cannot be intellectually understood.

So we're stuck. Real meditation is vitally important. And it ain't happening.

Therefore all I can do is look at what is happening. Part of what is happening is the me. I'm thinking. I'm choosing. I'm desiring. Or not. If I think I know what's happening in advance, I'm not looking, but rather assuming. So I start to look. I pay attention. Is that a choice? I don't know. I have to watch and see. Maybe sometimes it is. My thinking mind says, "Oh yeah, paying attention. I haven't been paying attention. I've been thinking about something. What was it? What's happening now?" And so on.

Another thing happening is investigation. Not intellectually, although that may happen, too. But in living, and attention to what is happening in living. So seeing desire if there is desire. Or seeing there's not desire if there isn't. And seeing if desire has any place. Like making sure there's a roof over the head and food on the table. Does that require a little desire? Or seeing if those things are somehow taken care of and no desire for them is necessary really. Is some bare level of desire necessary for survival or not? So it's important to investigate in life, not in the thinking mind, if desire has any place and what that is.

Also noticing silence, when thinking has stilled, when a sense of self isn't there. Somehow that is very important. It cannot be induced. Trying for there to be no self strengthens self. But these brief suspensions of the tyranny of the thinking self happen. Can that be clarified? Or is any attempt to do so a pushing away of that fragile state?

It must be clarified!

I see the importance of sitting down quietly, keeping still, and just paying attention. Is this a choice? Is this deliberate? Maybe. I must look and see if that is so or not. Is this a desire? Is there a motive? I can look and see. Can there just be quiet sitting for its own sake? Not trying to accomplish anything. Just sitting still and seeing what is. Does that happen with a little choice? Or does it just happen?

If I am choosing anyway, why can't I choose to sit quietly? Why is that choice forbidden and all the other choices I make all day long fine? It's almost as if the self has pulled a trick. "Sure, choose all day long and watch it," the self says, "but god forbid you choose to sit down and quietly pay attention." Wait. I can choose that just as much as I can make all the other choices I'm making. And I can watch it as I choose it and see what happens.

K himself wasn't born the way he was in his later years. One of the things that happened to him was "the process." Guess what the words "the process" mean? It means change that happens over time. What preceded "the process" for K? He said something like he was getting his old touch for meditation back. In other words, he had spent a good bit of his previous twenty some years sitting quietly in awareness. He fired that up again right before "the process" began.

We don't have to go through K's process. But real meditation is of the utmost importance. If real meditation is just happening of itself, great! Please help set the world free. If it is not, then why would it? You really think you can do nothing and it just comes? Then why hasn't it? You think about K stuff. You watch yourself a little. But basically you still live in thought, self, and conflict.

There's a cushion or chair over there where you can have a seat. Then what happens?

This post was last updated by idiot ? Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Thanks for the lecture, Id. It sure sounds like you're preaching...or you have an agenda to put forth. If others are interested in exploring what you put forth, great. To me it seems like it's coming from authority...your own. It's hard to discuss if you already know you've arrived. Unless you are like K. Then you can give us a talk. Just kidding...hope you don't mind.

Let it Be

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
It sure sounds like you're preaching...or you have an agenda to put forth.

If I "preach" or have an "agenda" I wish to convey, is it possible to be choicelessly aware of that activity? Or does the 'desire' behind that (whatever it is, to teach, to help, to share, etc.) affect the possibility of being 'choicelessly aware' of what I am doing? If I become aware that I am 'preaching', has there been a judgement i.e. that"preaching (or some) is bad" and that causes that behavior to halt? We could ask the same about the atheist and the believer...can choiceless awareness be present in both? Does choiceless awareness have any relation/connection to ones thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, goals, desires, aspirations, etc., other than to simply shine a light on them? Without judgement of any kind?

Because if there is a 'judgement', you have to ask, what is its source? Societal, religious, philosophical...the 'judgement will be based on the past, on the 'known'. It will be 'partial'.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #25
Thumb_avatar idiot ? United States 190 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Thanks for the lecture, Id. It sure sounds like you're preaching...

Well, I'm sorry for lecturing and preaching. I was trying to respond to what you said, that I was disagreeing with K and saying that effort of the self will take you beyond the self. I sort of am saying that, but not exactly. I do think that quiet sitting meditation is essential to live what K's talking about. And I do think that if I'm making choices, which we all pretty much are, then I can choose to do it and look into that.

I also do think it's really important to challenge ourselves. You don't have to pay any heed to my challenges. You can disregard them as preachy or lecturing. But isn't it important to ask: "Okay I've looked at what K talks about. I've looked at my life. But I'm still a divided self, in conflict, distracted by thought. What will really change that?"

To me, the answer is not, just watch it and let the war rage on.

This post was last updated by idiot ? Fri, 05 Jun 2020.

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Fri, 05 Jun 2020 #26
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
But I'm still a divided self, in conflict, distracted by thought. What will really change that?"

To me, the answer is not, just watch it and let the war rage on.

What is, is. If the violence/war within is present, can I choose otherwise? But, no, I can't say what specifically will change that. Perhaps K can help us here. I don't know. I just know that I myself can't answer the question. You gave us your answer to the question, but I'm being honest in saying 'I don't know.' Though it's natural that one will ask the question, seeing the suffering that we cause to one another and to ourselves.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 06 Jun 2020.

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Sat, 06 Jun 2020 #27
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

idiot ? wrote:
I also do think it's really important to challenge ourselves.

Self - you have to do this! Who is the 'challenger'?

Idiot ? wrote:
I've looked at my life. But I'm still a divided self, in conflict, distracted by thought. What will really change that?"

Trying not to be what I am?

idiot ? wrote:
To me, the answer is not, just watch it and let the war rage on.

But there is no-one on the sidelines watching...the observer is the observed. Yes/No?

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Sat, 06 Jun 2020 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1868 posts in this forum Offline

Can we look/listen to ourselves as the 'speaker'; as we look/listen to another who is the 'speaker' without judgement?... Is that choiceless awareness?...An awareness that differentiates but doesn't divide between the two 'speakers'?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 06 Jun 2020.

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Sat, 06 Jun 2020 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5970 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
That the 'facing' may be only more thinking.

Then we face that.

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Sat, 06 Jun 2020 #30
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3498 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
idiot ? wrote:

I also do think it's really important to challenge ourselves.

Self - you have to do this! Who is the 'challenger'?

Exactly, Dan. The challenge is the challenger.

To id?:

I updated no 26 a bit to clarify...hopefully

Let it Be

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