Seeing what is

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NoUserFound
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Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:29 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?

There appears to be a continuous "self" within this body that seems real, permanent and in control of actions. However, upon closely examining the direct experience for what it actually is, it becomes clear that the "self" is merely another thought that arises.

What are you looking for at LU?

I would like to shift from overly intellectualizing the lack of self to being able to see the direct experience. I hope to receive instructions that will help me practice this seeing. I'm open to whatever the result of this work might be.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?

I hope to receive regular exercises through guidance that can nudge me away from thinking and toward seeing. The momentum and accountability of this guided conversation might also be helpful in my journey.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?

I have done a few years of psychotherapy, as well as a good portion of guided non-dual meditation using the Waking Up app by Sam Harris.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
10

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Thu Apr 18, 2024 7:17 pm

Hello, my name is Elad and I would be happy to do this exploration with you, if we see that it makes sense. Please read and respond to the following points.

1. During this process we will attend only to your own direct experience. We will not be discussing theories or beliefs or other methods, including from non-duality and etc. I will ask you questions and give exercises and you will look and answer me from your direct experience.

2. The two most important ingredients in this process are your wish to see what is true and your willingness to look deeply at questions, give wholehearted engagement to experiments/exercises presented to you, and report your experience here with 100% honesty.

3. Please read the following documents from LU *carefully* and let me know or ask questions if you have any reservations or doubts regarding them:


http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2

And:

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


4. For the process to be focused and fruitful, I like to make an agreement that both guide and client (i.e you and me if we do this together) respond on this thread every day, and in the case of special circumstances where we cannot, still touch space here on the thread to say so, the day before or on the day. In the same spirit, I work with people who have the motivation and availability to make this process a primary priority in their life for the duration of the cooperation. If any of this does not fit your life rhythm, style or preferences, please let me know and another guide will work with you.

5. This process is not about uncovering or resolving/getting help with shadow material. It is also not an open-ended place to discuss different perspectives on life and look for answers to big questions. That might happen indirectly, but the process is focused only on recognizing that there is no separate self in control of things. Knowing that, are you still motivated for this process?
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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NoUserFound
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Fri Apr 19, 2024 2:00 pm

Thank you, Elad. I have read and understood the below points, and I’m looking forward to getting started.

Kind regards
Geza



Hello, my name is Elad and I would be happy to do this exploration with you, if we see that it makes sense. Please read and respond to the following points.

1. During this process we will attend only to your own direct experience. We will not be discussing theories or beliefs or other methods, including from non-duality and etc. I will ask you questions and give exercises and you will look and answer me from your direct experience.

2. The two most important ingredients in this process are your wish to see what is true and your willingness to look deeply at questions, give wholehearted engagement to experiments/exercises presented to you, and report your experience here with 100% honesty.

3. Please read the following documents from LU *carefully* and let me know or ask questions if you have any reservations or doubts regarding them:


http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2

And:

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


4. For the process to be focused and fruitful, I like to make an agreement that both guide and client (i.e you and me if we do this together) respond on this thread every day, and in the case of special circumstances where we cannot, still touch space here on the thread to say so, the day before or on the day. In the same spirit, I work with people who have the motivation and availability to make this process a primary priority in their life for the duration of the cooperation. If any of this does not fit your life rhythm, style or preferences, please let me know and another guide will work with you.

5. This process is not about uncovering or resolving/getting help with shadow material. It is also not an open-ended place to discuss different perspectives on life and look for answers to big questions. That might happen indirectly, but the process is focused only on recognizing that there is no separate self in control of things. Knowing that, are you still motivated for this process?

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Fri Apr 19, 2024 2:47 pm

Hi Geza, great, let's start!

Looking into direct experience here and now, do you find a self?

If yes, what is it?

If no, relax with that. How does it feel, what is experienced?
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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NoUserFound
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Sat Apr 20, 2024 4:39 pm

Hi Elad,

Thank you

I can't seem to find the self when I look for it. When realizing this lack of self, it seems that the number of thoughts arising reduces. There's a sense of calmness and emptiness (of thoughts). But then quickly, thoughts start to arise again, mostly about questioning this experience (“am I having the right experience?”, “is this it?”) and trying to interpret the experience.

Geza



Hi Geza, great, let's start!

Looking into direct experience here and now, do you find a self?

If yes, what is it?

If no, relax with that. How does it feel, what is experienced?

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Sat Apr 20, 2024 5:55 pm

This is a good start Geza!

Are you imgining that realizing that there is no self will lead to no thoughts, or less thoughts, or no conventionally speaking self-referential thoughts?


Please do this exercise:

Finding the Gap

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.
Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.
1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.
2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.
6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.
Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.
This is how to look at thoughts:-
Looking how they come and go, and Observing the short gap between them. Noticing how the current thought is passing. And waiting for the next thought to come.
Please do the following exercise:
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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Elad
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2023 6:25 am

Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Sat Apr 20, 2024 5:57 pm

After practicing like this for about a day let me know what was seen
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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NoUserFound
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:23 pm

Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Mon Apr 22, 2024 5:21 pm

Hi Elad,
Thank you.

-To your question about the expectation of thoughts disappearing: yes, I think I had expected that by recognizing the lack of self thoughts would stop arising. ( I perhaps thought that the self is producing the thoughts.) Now, when I practice my second exercise, this expectation seems delusional.

To the exercise:

-The gradual ending of a thought seems somewhat possible to follow, and I experience a sense of emptiness—perhaps the gap? However, most of the time, I find myself suddenly "waking up" in the middle of the next thought, just when I thought I was observing the gap. This makes me question whether there really was a gap, or if I was already lost in another thought.

-Catching the start of a thought seems to be harder than catching the end of it because I “find myself in thought” rather than seeing it arising. At least, at this point.

-I expected to be able to visually imagine (like watching a movie on a screen) the thoughts in this exercise, but thoughts seem to be more fluid than just visual.

-It seems that the half-life of attachment to thoughts reduces while being as aware as during this exercise.

-The gap seems very subtle at this moment, almost unnoticeable (I had expected it to be vivid and clear). And when I "try" (to look more into the gap or label it), I find myself in another thought.

Kind regards,
Geza
This is a good start Geza!

Are you imgining that realizing that there is no self will lead to no thoughts, or less thoughts, or no conventionally speaking self-referential thoughts?


Please do this exercise:

Finding the Gap

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.
Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.
1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.
2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.
6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.
Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.
This is how to look at thoughts:-
Looking how they come and go, and Observing the short gap between them. Noticing how the current thought is passing. And waiting for the next thought to come.
Please do the following exercise:
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Mon Apr 22, 2024 8:23 pm

Hi Geza,

"To your question about the expectation of thoughts disappearing: yes, I think I had expected that by recognizing the lack of self thoughts would stop arising. ( I perhaps thought that the self is producing the thoughts.) Now, when I practice my second exercise, this expectation seems delusional."

This is a good movement! Also good observations with the exercise. Leave it for now, maybe we will return to it later.

Whatever exercise we are working on, continue also to look and question, *is there a self anywhere at all?* Don't take a conviction to be an answer. You want to experience a realization beyond doubt. When there is any doubt, take it seriously, don't believe no-self and don't believe self - keep asking and looking!

Also, do this exercise:


Observing thoughts

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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NoUserFound
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:23 pm

Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Tue Apr 23, 2024 7:12 pm

Thanks, Elad.

It seems that thoughts appear from nowhere and disappear into nowhere. It also seems that I don't have any sort of control over which particular thought appears or should or should not appear, so my answer to all your questions is no.

Thoughts seem to flow like a river, and every time there appears to be a "separate water drop," (something that seems separate from the river-flow of thoughts) I realize it was already part of the river flow. For example, there is a sense of control of focusing attention on thoughts (as focusing a beam of light on a subject), but then I see (or perhaps just think for now…) that this is also just thought. Perhaps the sense of controlling the focus of attention is an illusion?

Commentary thoughts (commenting on the experience) still seem part of a self, or at least that's what is being imagined for now.

It seemed that there’s no self in the river of thoughts. But I think this is realisation is still more on intellectual level, as I didn’t notice undeniable clarity of the lack of self (perhaps I expected it to feel like a transformative experience to have such clarity).

Kind regards,
Geza
Hi Geza,

"To your question about the expectation of thoughts disappearing: yes, I think I had expected that by recognizing the lack of self thoughts would stop arising. ( I perhaps thought that the self is producing the thoughts.) Now, when I practice my second exercise, this expectation seems delusional."

This is a good movement! Also good observations with the exercise. Leave it for now, maybe we will return to it later.

Whatever exercise we are working on, continue also to look and question, *is there a self anywhere at all?* Don't take a conviction to be an answer. You want to experience a realization beyond doubt. When there is any doubt, take it seriously, don't believe no-self and don't believe self - keep asking and looking!

Also, do this exercise:


Observing thoughts

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

User avatar
Elad
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2023 6:25 am

Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Wed Apr 24, 2024 7:29 am

Hi Geza, good work. Several things to unpack here.


"It seems that thoughts appear from nowhere and disappear into nowhere. It also seems that I don't have any sort of control over which particular thought appears or should or should not appear, so my answer to all your questions is no."

Right. When you write "seems" does that mean it is unclear, hard to see, for you? Or it's like a philosophical agnosticism? If I said 3+5 seems to equal 8 (philosopically valid, but most of us wouldn't bother with the "seems"), would this be the same? If not, what is the difference? What is unclear, hard to see here, if anything? Or it's just a habit of caution? (3+6 seems to equal 9).

Don't answer from belief. Really look and question all beliefs.


"Thoughts seem to flow like a river, and every time there appears to be a "separate water drop," (something that seems separate from the river-flow of thoughts) I realize it was already part of the river flow. For example, there is a sense of control of focusing attention on thoughts (as focusing a beam of light on a subject), but then I see (or perhaps just think for now…) that this is also just thought. Perhaps the sense of controlling the focus of attention is an illusion?"

Yes. Now ask yourself this great (really great!) question, not me. My words and questions are only pointers here. I give you no answers, even if it seems like it. I support you to look.

"Commentary thoughts (commenting on the experience) still seem part of a self"

How so? Remember don't tell me your belief. don't analyze, it's useless here. Look to see how are they "part of the self"? Part of what self?

"or at least that's what is being imagined for now."

So it is only an imagination? What is seen?

"It seemed that there’s no self in the river of thoughts. But I think this is realisation is still more on intellectual level, as I didn’t notice undeniable clarity of the lack of self (perhaps I expected it to feel like a transformative experience to have such clarity)."

What kind of transformative experience and feeling do you imagine?
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

User avatar
NoUserFound
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:23 pm

Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Wed Apr 24, 2024 6:17 pm

Hi Elad, thank you. I appreciate the nudge on avoiding intellectualizing. This seems to be a challenge again and again.


When using the “seems” term I think I was just being cautious. Now, when looking into the direct experience I can confirm the same findings as before. Perhaps it was not only habit of caution but, again, expecting something transformative as outcome of seeing what is.

I now see that “narrative/commentary thoughts” are just another thought. However they still have a flavor of the self even though I can’t find anything special about these thoughts. They come and go just as the others.

“What kind of transformative experience and feeling do you imagine?”

I think I expect an intense experience and a sense of deep calm as a result. But now, considering this, I guess what I have been expecting is for the self to achieve this calm while feeling separated from the flow of thoughts. And that suddenly sounds delusional.

On another note:
One thing I've noticed is the difference in experiencing thoughts while being aware versus being lost in thought and then suddenly waking up. These experiences feel very different from each other, but I'm not sure why. There’s this sense that a self is aware when i’m not lost in thought. But I don’t see this self anywhere, so I don’t see what makes the difference.

Thank you
Geza


Hi Geza, good work. Several things to unpack here.


"It seems that thoughts appear from nowhere and disappear into nowhere. It also seems that I don't have any sort of control over which particular thought appears or should or should not appear, so my answer to all your questions is no."

Right. When you write "seems" does that mean it is unclear, hard to see, for you? Or it's like a philosophical agnosticism? If I said 3+5 seems to equal 8 (philosopically valid, but most of us wouldn't bother with the "seems"), would this be the same? If not, what is the difference? What is unclear, hard to see here, if anything? Or it's just a habit of caution? (3+6 seems to equal 9).

Don't answer from belief. Really look and question all beliefs.


"Thoughts seem to flow like a river, and every time there appears to be a "separate water drop," (something that seems separate from the river-flow of thoughts) I realize it was already part of the river flow. For example, there is a sense of control of focusing attention on thoughts (as focusing a beam of light on a subject), but then I see (or perhaps just think for now…) that this is also just thought. Perhaps the sense of controlling the focus of attention is an illusion?"

Yes. Now ask yourself this great (really great!) question, not me. My words and questions are only pointers here. I give you no answers, even if it seems like it. I support you to look.

"Commentary thoughts (commenting on the experience) still seem part of a self"

How so? Remember don't tell me your belief. don't analyze, it's useless here. Look to see how are they "part of the self"? Part of what self?

"or at least that's what is being imagined for now."

So it is only an imagination? What is seen?

"It seemed that there’s no self in the river of thoughts. But I think this is realisation is still more on intellectual level, as I didn’t notice undeniable clarity of the lack of self (perhaps I expected it to feel like a transformative experience to have such clarity)."

What kind of transformative experience and feeling do you imagine?

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Wed Apr 24, 2024 6:29 pm

Hi Geza good attending here.

It will help to let go of expectations for seeing to be different or any particular way. That automatically takes you to thinking. This will per definition not be as expected. It will not stay the same as expected and it will not change as expected. A playful relaxed curiosity is a very helpful attitude.

Anything that seems like I/self to you, scrutinize it in real time. Is it s self or just a belief, maybe a very habitual belief?

Did you look at attention, did you find a self in control of attention?

Please do this exercise:

The aim of the following exercise is to discover whether the function of choice can really be found or confirmed in actual experience. The idea of making ‘choices‘ is a very clear example of a function that we wrongly identify as the basis of our identity.
Here's what’s needed - a chair, a table and two different drinks. Any two drinks you like are okay for this: coffee, tea, milk, water, juices, smoothies, beer, wine, etc.
Preparation - Place the two drinks side by side on the table in front of you, sit comfortably on the chair and mentally label them as drink A and drink B.
Experiment - Finding the function of choice
Sit for a few moments, take a few relaxed breaths and let the dust settle. When you feel ready:
1. Look at drink A and at drink B. Think about their respective qualities, the things you like about them, compare and weigh the pros and cons of each. See if a preference is manifesting for one or the other.
2. Count to 5.
3. Choose one of the drinks. Pick it up and take a sip.
Questions:
Remember that we’re looking for some kind of function, a something, an ‘I’ which is doing the ‘choosing’.
In step 1 when thinking about their respective qualities, did you ‘choose’ the qualities? Or did they kind of appear by themselves? If some preferences manifested, did you ‘choose’ these preferences? Or did they just pop up by themselves?
In step 2 when you counted to 5, if the preferences took the back seat while the numbers took the front seat, did you ‘choose’ this sequence of event? Did you ‘choose’ to shut down the preferences to give way to the counting? Did you directly experience a mental function or faculty doing the ‘choosing’? Have you seen this function in action?

In step 3 where you made a choice, did you actually witness or directly experience a mental function or faculty doing the ‘choosing’? Did anything arise that announced, ‘I am the chooser’? If so, what does this function look like?
Sometimes we describe this sense of choosing as a ‘feeling’: It feels like ‘I’ did the ‘choosing’. But the question is, can a feeling ‘choose’? Is it in the nature of a feeling to ‘choose’?
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)

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NoUserFound
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:23 pm

Re: Seeing what is

Postby NoUserFound » Thu Apr 25, 2024 2:41 pm

Hi Elad, thanks!

"Anything that seems like I/self to you, scrutinize it in real time. Is it s self or just a belief, maybe a very habitual belief?"
This is helpful! I will keep this in mind when looking.

"Did you look at attention, did you find a self in control of attention?"
I don’t see a self in controlling attention.

To the exercise:

In step 1 when thinking about their respective qualities, did you ‘choose’ the qualities? Or did they kind of appear by themselves? If some preferences manifested, did you ‘choose’ these preferences? Or did they just pop up by themselves?
Qualities and preferences pop up by themselves. I don’t see the making of these decisions/thoughts.

In step 2 when you counted to 5, if the preferences took the back seat while the numbers took the front seat, did you ‘choose’ this sequence of event? Did you ‘choose’ to shut down the preferences to give way to the counting? Did you directly experience a mental function or faculty doing the ‘choosing’? Have you seen this function in action?

After reading the instructions, the counting started, but I don’t see any decision being made about when the counting started. Counting took the front seat without choice, and preferences faded similarly without choice. I don't see any function of choice here, just the thought of counting itself.

In step 3 where you made a choice, did you actually witness or directly experience a mental function or faculty doing the ‘choosing’? Did anything arise that announced, ‘I am the chooser’? If so, what does this function look like?
Sometimes we describe this sense of choosing as a ‘feeling’: It feels like ‘I’ did the ‘choosing’. But the question is, can a feeling ‘choose’? Is it in the nature of a feeling to ‘choose’?


The feeling of "I" was there, but I didn’t actually see any self or choice being made.
I don't think that feelings do the choosing but how can I observe this?

Thank you
Geza
Hi Elad, thank you. I appreciate the nudge on avoiding intellectualizing. This seems to be a challenge again and again.


When using the “seems” term I think I was just being cautious. Now, when looking into the direct experience I can confirm the same findings as before. Perhaps it was not only habit of caution but, again, expecting something transformative as outcome of seeing what is.

I now see that “narrative/commentary thoughts” are just another thought. However they still have a flavor of the self even though I can’t find anything special about these thoughts. They come and go just as the others.

“What kind of transformative experience and feeling do you imagine?”

I think I expect an intense experience and a sense of deep calm as a result. But now, considering this, I guess what I have been expecting is for the self to achieve this calm while feeling separated from the flow of thoughts. And that suddenly sounds delusional.

On another note:
One thing I've noticed is the difference in experiencing thoughts while being aware versus being lost in thought and then suddenly waking up. These experiences feel very different from each other, but I'm not sure why. There’s this sense that a self is aware when i’m not lost in thought. But I don’t see this self anywhere, so I don’t see what makes the difference.

Thank you
Geza


Hi Geza, good work. Several things to unpack here.


"It seems that thoughts appear from nowhere and disappear into nowhere. It also seems that I don't have any sort of control over which particular thought appears or should or should not appear, so my answer to all your questions is no."

Right. When you write "seems" does that mean it is unclear, hard to see, for you? Or it's like a philosophical agnosticism? If I said 3+5 seems to equal 8 (philosopically valid, but most of us wouldn't bother with the "seems"), would this be the same? If not, what is the difference? What is unclear, hard to see here, if anything? Or it's just a habit of caution? (3+6 seems to equal 9).

Don't answer from belief. Really look and question all beliefs.


"Thoughts seem to flow like a river, and every time there appears to be a "separate water drop," (something that seems separate from the river-flow of thoughts) I realize it was already part of the river flow. For example, there is a sense of control of focusing attention on thoughts (as focusing a beam of light on a subject), but then I see (or perhaps just think for now…) that this is also just thought. Perhaps the sense of controlling the focus of attention is an illusion?"

Yes. Now ask yourself this great (really great!) question, not me. My words and questions are only pointers here. I give you no answers, even if it seems like it. I support you to look.

"Commentary thoughts (commenting on the experience) still seem part of a self"

How so? Remember don't tell me your belief. don't analyze, it's useless here. Look to see how are they "part of the self"? Part of what self?

"or at least that's what is being imagined for now."

So it is only an imagination? What is seen?

"It seemed that there’s no self in the river of thoughts. But I think this is realisation is still more on intellectual level, as I didn’t notice undeniable clarity of the lack of self (perhaps I expected it to feel like a transformative experience to have such clarity)."

What kind of transformative experience and feeling do you imagine?

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Elad
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Re: Seeing what is

Postby Elad » Thu Apr 25, 2024 7:49 pm

Lots of clarity here, its great.

"The feeling of "I" was there, but I didn’t actually see any self or choice being made."

It's great you notice that you didn't see a self or a choice. What is this "feeling of I"? A sensation? A thought? Where is it? Investigate it in direct experience and describe it as clear as possible.

"I don't think that feelings do the choosing but how can I observe this?"

How can you observe that the sofa is not controlling your brain? How can you observe that there is not always a blue unicorn behind you, that doesn't show in mirrors, and we are all hiding it from you?

You can't. We can't PROOVE the non-existence or non-connection of things. We can pay attention to what actually is sensed and experienced directly, and this can change our "view" in ways beyond what thoughts could describe.
With love,
Elad

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children

- Kahlil Gibran

One gets there by being there

- Master Woof (Gilbert, Ta Hui)


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