looking to get this done

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thewanderer
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looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:17 pm

I've been practicing in the vipassana tradition for over a year now but can't seem to gain enough momentum to hit stream entry. I work 2 jobs, so my meditation time is limited and I haven't been able to attend any retreats. I have a rare few days off work and have heard much about the efficiency of the direct pointing method for seeing no-self, so I'm hoping that someone will be kind enough to guide me through. I'm ready to look!

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi Wanderer! I can totally relate to not having enough time for meditating.

Can you put aside your Vipassana concepts for the time being, and just deal with direct, first person present experience? If yes, let's look.

Is there a "you" in any shape or form?

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:26 pm

Hello Ingen,

Many thanks for stepping in (and so quickly too!). I've just returned from a 40 minute sit, where I constantly asked the question 'is this me?' (I attempted to pre-empt the direct pointing slightly as I wasn't sure when someone would reply). So, I'd like to update you on that if that's ok. Sensations in the chest - is this me? No. Tingling in the arms - is this me - No. Thoughts arising - is this me? - no. After a while of doing this (and constantly coming back with the answer no), I looked at sensations in my head that seemed very solid and consistent. I asked is this me? and I struggled to come back with the answer no! The sensations seemed so permanent. But that begged the question - if 'this is me' then what's looking at me? It felt like I was looking at my self - as if I was on both sides of the looking. Being looked at and doing the looking at the same time. Very strange.

I'm not sure if this method was a good tactic for direct pointing? I can start again if you would like?

And I will do my best to put aside the vipassana concepts.

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:43 pm

This is very fine. You don't have to sit down and concentrate to answer these questions. We are looking at ordinary everyday awareness here.

So the closest you find to an I is:
I looked at sensations in my head that seemed very solid and consistent
What kind of sensations? Thoughts? Pressure? Can you describe "solid" and "consistent"?

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:54 pm

What kind of sensations? Thoughts? Pressure? Can you describe "solid" and "consistent"?
Not thoughts, pressure is fairly accurate. When I was looking at other sensations, such as the sensations in the arms, they were transient, they arose and then passed away. These sensations in the head feel almost like 'the centre' of me. They seem to 'be there' constantly. Possibly because this is where the eyes are located.

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:13 pm

Maybe the pressure arises when you are concentrating, trying to find the center, and build up tensions.
But, that doesn't matter.
What matters here is that:
These sensations in the head feel almost like 'the centre' of me. They seem to 'be there' constantly.
Is there someone/something noticing this centre? (Hint: "they just seem to be there"). Are there also thoughts about it? Watch everything that is happening in your head. As I said, you don't have to sit down and concentrate so much. Watch yourself when doing your usual activities. Look if there is a you deciding to breath, walk, eat, work, communicate.

Just stop once in a while, and take notice.

I have to go back to work, talk to you later!

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Okay thanks. I will continue to look in my everyday life and let you know how it goes.

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:40 pm

Hi wanderer, how is it going? Any I in sight?

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:13 am

I thought I had cracked it earlier. I was reading a document by Ken Wilber and something shifted (here is the link http://www.integralnaked.org/docs/infinity.doc). I read the document a few days ago and nothing happened but I think the combination of the Direct Pointing work and re-reading the document caused it to be more effective.

After reading, there was a definite shift in perception, colours and shapes were more vivid. There was also less of a possesive quality attached to emotions, thoughts, feelings etc. They didn't feel like mine, as such. More just happening on their own. It felt as if the state could be deepened though - it didnt feel like the end of the path.

But alas, it didn't last. I had to go visit family and gradually the state became less and less and now I am back to my normal mode of perception.

Back to looking.

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:11 am

Code: Select all

had to go visit family and gradually the state became less and less and now I am back to my normal mode of perception
Fine. And how is your normal mode of perception? Let's look at this. Don't try to change it, just look, and report.

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:37 am

In my normal mode of perception there is a sense that there is an 'I' controlling everything. The 'I' seems to be an energetic entity that resides mainly inside the head and chest and produces thoughts and emotions. The sense of 'I' is intricately woven together in such a way that it seems continuous and permanent.

Something I noticed from looking - At one point I found myself lost in thought. When my attention came back I noticed that there was more awareness when I wasn't thinking, which diminished the idea that the 'I' is my thoughts, since 'I' seemed to be more aware when thinking wasn't taking place. There seemed to be a slight realisation that I might not actually exist, which surprisingly caused fearful emotions to arise.

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:13 pm

In my normal mode of perception there is a sense that there is an 'I' controlling everything. The 'I' seems to be an energetic entity that resides mainly inside the head and chest and produces thoughts and emotions.
Sense of self is not the same as self. Sense of self is an idea, a mood or something like that. Like sense of summer, sense of christmas. Real, but not referring to something substantial. Can you see if there is an "it" which produces thoughts and emotions?
The sense of 'I' is intricately woven together in such a way that it seems continuous and permanent.
Note: you write "seems to be".
Something I noticed from looking - At one point I found myself lost in thought.
Look closer: was it not more like: There were lots of thoughts, and no thought about I? Or did really something get lost in thoughts which you then found again?
When my attention came back I noticed that there was more awareness when I wasn't thinking, which diminished the idea that the 'I' is my thoughts, since 'I' seemed to be more aware when thinking wasn't taking place.
Don't try to increase awareness. We could talk about that there can't be less or more awareness, but let's concentrate on the issue "I".
There seemed to be a slight realisation that I might not actually exist, which surprisingly caused fearful emotions to arise.
Interesting, isn't it? Look at the fear when it arises. Is there something behind the fear? Something which feels the fear? Or is there just fear, until there is something else? And, btw. don't worry - nothing (!) is going to happen.

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:55 pm

Sense of self is not the same as self. Sense of self is an idea, a mood or something like that. Like sense of summer, sense of christmas. Real, but not referring to something substantial. Can you see if there is an "it" which produces thoughts and emotions?
I've looked and looked and can't find an 'it' that is producing the thoughts and emotions. They are just appearing of their own accord. There isn't actually any decision making process to bring forth the thoughts or emotions and it actually seems quite silly that there would be something sitting there deciding what to bring into being!

I like your analogy about the sense of self.
Look closer: was it not more like: There were lots of thoughts, and no thought about I? Or did really something get lost in thoughts which you then found again?
Hmmm, interesting. I guess it could be either, no way to say for sure. The sense of self was lost and then found again. The only thing I can know for sure is that thoughts aren't 'me' because there was no sense of 'me' while the thoughts were there.

Interesting, isn't it? Look at the fear when it arises. Is there something behind the fear? Something which feels the fear? Or is there just fear, until there is something else? And, btw. don't worry - nothing (!) is going to happen.
There is nothing behind the fear, it just arises of it's own accord. I don't mind going through fear if it gets me to where I want to go :)

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Ingen
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby Ingen » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:33 pm

I've looked and looked and can't find an 'it' that is producing the thoughts and emotions. They are just appearing of their own accord. There isn't actually any decision making process to bring forth the thoughts or emotions and it actually seems quite silly that there would be something sitting there deciding what to bring into being!
YES. I repeat, because it is so important: "There isn't actually any decision making process to bring forth the thoughts or emotions", can you read this again? Let it sink in. This is exactly correct. 
There is always something that triggers thoughts and emotions. Like my questions, other outside impulses, other  thoughts. There is nobody steering this process. They come and go, like the tides.
The sense of self was lost and then found again. The only thing I can know for sure is that thoughts aren't 'me' because there was no sense of 'me' while the thoughts were there.
When the sense of you appears: Look if is not Just another thought coming in focus.
There is nothing behind the fear, it just arises of it's own accord. I don't mind going through fear if it gets me to where I want to go
Only that there is nothing which *can* go through fear. Fear can arise and subside. Then a thought can show up which says: i went through fear.

Can you see that?

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thewanderer
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Re: looking to get this done

Postby thewanderer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:28 pm

YES. I repeat, because it is so important: "There isn't actually any decision making process to bring forth the thoughts or emotions", can you read this again? Let it sink in.
Yes, I can see this when I look. It is yet to be a permanent experience, though. I have been turning my mind to this concept (that everything is happening on it's own without a decision maker) as often as I can and a bit of space seems to have opened. There seems to be more space in the head/chest region, sensations feel a bit less solid than before, if that makes sense.
When the sense of you appears: Look if is not Just another thought coming in focus.
The primary sense of me seems to be 'the watcher' or 'awareness'. Thoughts don't seem to be the primary sense of 'me', although they do support and increase it, through generating more bodily sensations. A sense of me seems to be increased by a more dense energetic feeling in the body.
Then a thought can show up which says: i went through fear. Can you see that?
Yes, I can see that. The phrase 'Me going through fear' is as a common use of language that is ingrained through many years of habit.


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