metta777 - request for guidance

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sparsa
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metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:53 pm

hi.

ive been a practising for buddhist for around fifteen years and feel i might benefit from the approach on this site.

im happy to respond daily.

sparsa

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:39 am

Hi Sparsa,

i would be glad to be your guide. Yes, a daily response, plus try to put aside any daily spiritual practice or thinking temporarily, except meditation. Tell me a little about yourself and what the expectations are of the practice.

Thanks, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:34 am

hi metta. thanks for your time.

i became interested in buddhism around fifteen years ago, and since then have maintained a daily meditation practice. Over this time i have moved from quite formal structured meditation practices with an emphasis of effort and doing - to more receptive just sitting style of practice. Learning to sit with unfolding experience openly. Also, looking at the mind from the angle of impermanence and no self, when not too swept away (so to speak) with a choatic restless mind or drowsiness.

Primarily im here because i want to expose the remaining blind spots to belief in seperate self that im still holding. Im drawn to the systematic and thorough experiential investigation that seems to happen here.

sparsa

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:46 am

Just to add abit more.....

im starting to see more clearly the additional stress belief in seperate self places on life - its like trying to twist experience into something it isnt. Im eager to loosen the unnecessary and avoidable tension and suffering this creates. I dont expect this will resolve all my problems,indeed it seems the process of letting go of self brings up its own challenges (as making the transition), but ever reducing the gap between the abstract/conceptual and actual experience seems a good route to take.

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:48 am

Hi Sparsa,

It sounds like there has been some helpful background to seeing no self. You might be familiar with walking meditation. It is an exercise I recommend. Walking very slowly, noticing each foot as it comes up, what lifts off the ground first of your foot, what touches the ground first. Stopping a moment, noticing how your body feels at rest and then moving. Taking a ten minute walk, noticing everything , then when you arrive back, what was experienced. Not thought, experienced.
Awareness doesn't need to have an I. The birds sing, there is no I for them, they are just aware in the joy of singing. Do you think that they could get confused and think they are the song?

Can you take yourself out of experience? When you sleep does the Universe become separated from you? Is there a you? Does it disappear? A few thoughts and questions to start.
Also what is the expectation of what will happen during the process? Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:04 am

Hi Sparsa,

It sounds like there has been some helpful background to seeing no self. You might be familiar with walking meditation. It is an exercise I recommend. Walking very slowly, noticing each foot as it comes up, what lifts off the ground first of your foot, what touches the ground first. Stopping a moment, noticing how your body feels at rest and then moving. Taking a ten minute walk, noticing everything , then when you arrive back, what was experienced. Not thought, experienced.
Awareness doesn't need to have an I. The birds sing, there is no I for them, they are just aware in the joy of singing. Do you think that they could get confused and think they are the song?
Can you take yourself out of experience?
seems there are a couple of ways to answer this question..one is: no i cant stop 'experiencing' or having experiences whatever they are - in terms of changing body sensations, light and colour,thoughts, sounds etc. Experience seems unavoidable! As for taking 'yourself' out of experience that assumes that is a 'self' there to take out of experience to start with. I have thoughts arising that carry a self-view cargo but outside of these selfing thoughts there seems to be just endless experience unfolding or arising at great speed.
When you sleep does the Universe become separated from you?
This is abit of a headbanger! I guess i can believe i become seperated from the universe if i believe thoughts that hold that view. But outside of the world of thoughts everthing just seems changing.
Is there a you?
At times, especially when im feeling triggered (ie threatened, thirsty for some sense thing) it can seem there is a very real me here that is doing actions and a very real seperate him or her there that is also doing there own actions, as self contained autonomous beings willing their own behaviour. In more clear moments i can see these are just thoughts about my direct experience of the external senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch). And whilst i can think something is the case, that is just a thought view, and isnt a rubber stamp on how things actually are.
Does it disappear?

This assumes the 'self' is there in the first place. Again i do fall into believing selfing thoughts(and so their world view feels very real at the time) and at other times i see through the thougths - and therefore then they are just seen as thoughts (and deluded!). So if the self was never actually there in the first place, then it cant disappear, but believing selfing thoughts can give the impression that it is there. And at other times when those self thoughts dont arise, or arise and are seen through, its seen the idea of self is just that - a idea.

Also what is the expectation of what will happen during the process?

i thought i had answered this in my last post. basically i guess i dont know, but i hope it will be helpful in terms of relieving stress and suffering in the long term.

Warmly, Metta

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:10 am

hi metta.

sorry the above response is abit confusing in terms of layout. i was still trying to get a hang of the quoting etc. i hope its clear. i tried to edit and then delette it and get it tidy but i couldnt work out how to do that.

sparsa

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:02 am

Hi Sparsa, Yes, it was a little confusing at first. There are instructions on site how to use quote. :-)
I have thoughts arising that carry a self-view cargo but outside of these selfing thoughts there seems to be just endless experience unfolding or arising at great speed.
Yes, exactly, it is so automatic and quick we even start to believe we are doing it. In actuality it's a little slower then we think because decisions are made 6 seconds earlier by the brain before we are even aware of them. Bearing that in mind there is no control of thoughts, they just arise and then we become aware of them and invest energy or not. Some thoughts are just below awareness even. We may just get parts of them or just let them pass by without any interest. So we agree that thoughts are not self.

Can you find a self anywhere at all ? Really try to find a self and let me know.
At times, especially when im feeling triggered (ie threatened, thirsty for some sense thing) it can seem there is a very real me here that is doing actions
Strong emotions will make the mind story seem truer and more real. But emotions are just another thought really. If there is no you, who is being sad? or happy ?

What is the stress about ? Or the suffering, what is the mind story connected to it?

Thanks, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:44 pm

hi metta here are my replies...
Can you find a self anywhere at all?
Ive been looking at the times when I most believe im a separate self doing from its own volition.
Two examples come to mind:

If part of me is anxious about some unresolved area in my life, I can think sort of 'right, I need to make a decision on this'. Experientially this does very much feel like there is a 'me' involved that is weighing things up, and feels say a pressure to make a decision. Lately this has been going on over where I decide to move next. Its like part of me thinks 'right someone needs to get hold of the wheel here, the indecision has gone on long enough!'. I can find it hard not to identify with the thoughts/emotions that arise around this.

On this issue I struggle to just relaxing into awareness, and trusting that this clarity will bring its own direction in its own time. There seems a lack of trust that the wheel will drive itself much more intelligently and sensitively without 'my' hands on it!

Another area, maybe paradoxically, is in meditation! When im drifting, something in me can arise that says 'right, this needs to be more focused'. At times when this happens, again experientially it feels, and I believe, there is a 'real me' somewhere that is calling a halt to the distraction, grabbing hold of the wheel and trying to steer things back on track.

Sometime these selfing energies come up and are seen as just selfing energies (ie not pointing to anything real). At others times, as i've said, I come under their spell and im interpreting/believing my experience to comprise of a little me here, doing actions from 'its' own volitions and outlook.
If there is no you, who is being happy, or sad?
At times there is sadness arising and it is felt just as sadness. At times there is happiness arising and it is felt just as happiness.. Thats it! At other times these (and other emotions) arise and they are interpreted as happening to a real seperate me that is here, so then its 'my sadness' or 'my happiness' . The 'happening to a real me' seems to sort of complicate the flow of these emotions and make the experience feel more limited and lacking (even the happiness). Another word for this might be stress.

If the emotion is painful the selfing seems to come in under the motivations like 'there is a problem that needs ME to come in and try to solve it'. If it is pleasurable the selfing may come in say 'I need to get involved here to work out how to sustain or deepen this'.
What is the stress about? Or the suffering, what is the mind story connected to it?
Big question!A lot of my suffering seems to be about wanting things to be different from how they are and making something of a drama out of this, giving it disproportionate weight. Then there is a sort of narrowing down of perspective into a sort of struggle/preoccupation. Wanting what isnt there to be there, wanting what is there to not be there. Underlying this can be a view that I need things to be as I want them to be to feel ok, or for things to be ok. Seems linked with control.

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:30 am

Hi Sparsa,
If part of me is anxious about some unresolved area in my life, I can think sort of 'right, I need to make a decision on this'. Experientially this does very much feel like there is a 'me' involved that is weighing things up,


There is programming in place, cultural, familial, media , also religious, that given a certain set of circumstances and conditions that a certain decision will be made is pretty predictable. If we had time to look at all the factors involved in a certain decision being made.
Secondly, scientifically speaking the brain makes the decision before the person is even aware that it is made. Then the thoughts arise, the thoughts of anxiety, feelings are only reactions attached to thoughts. Feelings are not facts. When circumstances are examined they may not have changed at all, yet our feelings may vary greatly from day to day.
There seems a lack of trust


Who is there to trust or not trust, life just happens and it is experienced.
At others times, as i've said, I come under their spell and im interpreting/believing my experience to comprise of a little me here, doing actions from 'its' own volitions and outlook.



Looking at this sentence there are beliefs and interpetations, which are not I. What do beliefs point to? What are beliefs? Perhaps underlying wish for control, just more thoughts . Thoughts are not self, does that seem clear to you? Everything that is thought is second hand, nothing original there. All given to you from others. Can you find an original thought that is from a you? or I ?
it feels, and I believe, there is a 'real me' somewhere that is calling a halt to the distraction, grabbing hold of the wheel and trying to steer things back on track.
Again, I believe, who is there to believe, there is only awareness happening now and everything flows through it. It doesn't go anywhere. Perhaps there is fear there on the part of the ego, that there will be non-existence. Yet, it does not exist anyway, except through illusion.


Does awareness have to have an I ? Birds are aware, but there is no identity there, they just sing. If there was an I maybe they would want copyrights for their songs. :-) A little humor. Can you take yourself out of experience?? Look at that for a bit.
How is there ownership of awareness? There is awareness and life just happens and there is sadness and then joy as it will be again and again.
The sadness and happiness doesn't even belong to anyone, its not yours, it just is.

The struggle is a thought which sets up control issues that there is something to struggle through. What is there to struggle against? an illusion?


Namaste, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:16 pm

hi metta.
Thoughts are not self, does that seem clear to you?
When im looking closely at the arising and passing of thoughts it seems clear that the thoughts are just arising and passing, there seems no 'I' deciding when they arise and when they pass. Its more like they are just popping up from some impersonal jukebox in a manner that is very difficult to begin to understand.

When im less aware (so to speak), believing can arise that thoughts are self. With this often seems to come a loss in openess and spaciousness and tension to varying degrees.

Im noticing that belief in seperate self does seem to be gradually weakening. Its like there is a more robust sort of spacious sensitive awareness im becoming aware of, that means im less at prey to falling for the content of thoughts being real, including those telling me that there is a seperate 'I' doing the thinking and all the other action that arise. So fallilng fully into believing thought content is happening less. Often it seems there is partly believing content, partly the standing back clear awareness, that somehow isnt caught up.

It does feel liberating letting go of the imaginary hands on the imaginary wheel!
Can you find an original thought that is from a you? or I ?
With this im not really sure what a original thought is! What would that look like? How would there be knowing that it is original . Original in the sense i havent had it before? Or original in the sense that no-one else had had it before? And how would i know that?! I havent yet been able to find a thought that was clearly produced by a discernible 'I', as opposed to 'popping up' out of nowhere.
Again, I believe, who is there to believe, there is only awareness happening now and everything flows through it
Yes in writing im noticing how difficult it is to avoid attributing actions to a seperate self in terms of language. Instead of 'i believe those thoughts' experientially maybe it would be more accurate to say something like 'there is believing in those thoughts'.
Does awareness have to have a 'I'
This feels a useful working ground. It seems very easy for me to see seperate 'I' as the one who is aware. being aware. Experientially though its hard to find anything that i would normally associate as 'i' in the qualities of awareness itself. Ownership of awareness seems come when there is believing of the thoughts saying that.
Can you take yourself out of experience?
i was looking at this earlier in our thread, but will continue to reflect on it.

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:31 pm

Hi Sparsa,,
When im less aware (so to speak), believing can arise that thoughts are self. With this often seems to come a loss in openess and spaciousness and tension to varying degrees.
There is no one to be less aware, but there is understanding of what is being conveyed. It is again, just the arising of thoughts, then other thoughts connect to it and become a belief or concept. Yes, there is less spaciousness and ego created tension when the self tries to take control. Can thought and the content be separated? If a thought just arises , can a thought think itself or analyse itself ?

Original thought meaning is there anything that has not come from someone else?? That has not been thought before , that is not a part of preprogramming by culture, parents, media, school ? It is known scientifically that if the brain has not labeled something and and the person has not received programming, they won't be able to see an object that is right there. Ex: Native Americans could not see the huge ships of the Europeans in the bay. They had no concept or label for it and had never been taught of such things. So the question is if everything you know has been conditioning and programming from somewhere else, that can't be a self or I.
Yes in writing im noticing how difficult it is to avoid attributing actions to a seperate self in terms of language. Instead of 'i believe those thoughts' experientially maybe it would be more accurate to say something like 'there is believing in those thoughts'.
Yes, exactly, and what are beliefs , but just more thought, thought may not be factual. It usually isn't. I can think that I am president of the USA, but reality will sink in quickly.
Experientially though its hard to find anything that i would normally associate as 'i' in the qualities of awareness itself. Ownership of awareness seems come when there is believing of the thoughts saying that.
When experiencing looking at a cup, with awareness, can you feel a separation at all between the awareness and the cup? What would make it yours? Except a thought which is not self?

Notice with a dog or other animal, there is awareness, conditioned instinct, but no self. They will look in the mirror and think there is another dog there. No recognition. Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:04 pm

hi metta..
Can thought and the content be separated?
From what is sensed experientially, it hasnt been possible to separate thought from content. Its like a thought is nothing but content. Thought seems to be a label for a particular catogery or kind of arising and passing experience (ie mental); the content is the specifics of the thought.
If a thought just arises, can a thought think itself or analyse itself ?
It doesnt seem that thoughts in themselves can think, analyse or be aware. They seem to sort of emerge or pop up from nowhere in particular. If subsequent thoughts arise following a particular thought, these too seem to arise from the 'nowhere', even if they are clearly related to the preceeding thought. Thoughts dont literally seems to come out of other thoughts, more all thoughts seem to arise from nowhere.So thoughts seem to be the product of a intelligence beyond them. In the same vein it doesnt seem that thoughts can analyse themselves.
When experiencing looking at a cup, with awareness, can you feel a separation at all between the awareness and the cup? What would make it yours? Except a thought which is not self?
When looking at a cup, there was no sense of any separation between awareness and the object. There was experience of what the thinking mind might label – colour and shape. It would only be interpreted as 'my cup', if there was believing of the thought say 'its my cup' arose. In the bare experience alone there is a arrangement of light and colour sensations. Awareness give experience, but in that experience I couldn't separate awareness from the cup.

Lots of trickery goes on – there can be believing that thoughts are from a self and then there can be believing that the thought itself is carrying truth – thats its 'my cup'.

it been feeling helpful dropping reference to 'i', 'me' and other selfing language in my responses. It feels more accurate and resonant with actual direct experience.

thanks for your ongoing comments, they are appreciated.

sparsa x

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby Metta777 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:50 pm

Hello Sparsa,


Your welcome, my pleasure. So the big question, Can you find a self anywhere when looking?? If so, then please explain that to me so we can de-construct it.
Lots of trickery goes on – there can be believing that thoughts are from a self and then there can be believing that the thought itself is carrying truth – thats its 'my cup'


Exactly, all programming, the mind is a labeling machine. The process happens so quickly, thought, emotion, investing of self , energy. It's 3D and there is experience. But ask yourself who is doing the experiencing? There cannot be ownership of awareness, only when selfing thought comes in which is delusion. No self, no ownership. When looking there was knowing that there was no separation in awareness. There was no finding of a separation in the awareness of you or the cup. What were the feelings then?
That was going to be one of the suggestions, :-) , good insight, dropping I when answering. Helpful in seeing.

So mind stories come up, but there is seeing through them that they are just stories now. Are there any areas that need worked on from here? Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: metta777 - request for guidance

Postby sparsa » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:09 pm

Can you find a self anywhere when looking?? If so, then please explain that to me so we can de-construct it.
When looking no I cant find a self anywhere.
There was no finding of a separation in the awareness of you or the cup. What were the feelings then?
It felt quite a simple experience, nothing special. It felt quite relaxed in between the thoughts that interpreted/conceptually overlayed the basic sight experience.

sparsa


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