I would love some guidance.

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Zinfandel
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I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:40 pm

Hi.
I've done pretty much meditation over the years with retreats and so. Vipassana the last 4-5 yrs.
Intellectually I understand that there is no I, but when observing thoughts and sensations, I still seem to identify this observing as an 'I' residing in the head area.
I've read some on the site here and would love someone to help me see through this conceptualizing language-machine that still seems so real.

Thank you!
-Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:27 am

Hi Zinfandel,

I would like to offer to support you. First can you say something about 'why now'? What is your motivation here? Casual interest in this 'awakening thing' or 'the only thing in life that matters'?

Best wishes,

Andrew

PS What would you like to be called?
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Hi Andrew!
Thank you for your kind offer to guide me!!

Just let me begin by saying (I have read some threads here on the forum) that I will be travelling, probably with very little access to the Internet during Sunday. But from Monday I should have daily access again.
What is your motivation here? Casual interest in this 'awakening thing' or 'the only thing in life that matters'?
I would say somewhere in between :)
I have been meditating on and off for many years, and the last 7-8 years regularly with an (almost) daily practice. Perhaps 4-5 yrs. ago I found information on vipassana and information on the possibility of enlightenment and have since then been bitten by the bug of working in that direction.
But not to the degree that it is the most important thing in the world, definitely. I have not been able to say "ok, no matter the cost I am going for it" (like the Buddha for instance) but am spending much time on it.

The attitude I am working with in meditation is that thoughts, sensations and all (walking, moving, etc) is happening and I am just observing this, i.e. without an "I" involved.
BUT I still feel as if the observer is an "I" in the background. There is a puppeteer pulling the strings. And intellectually I "know" that there isn't. I believe that there isn't even a mind as a thing, but more as a process occurring. And creating this illusion of "me".
say something about 'why now'?
Why here, why now?
Circumstance... I think I was surfing the internet searching for some info on something and found a post by one of the members here. I started reading and the method resonated with me, and the thought "maybe this can help me see through the illusion". So I am willing to do the work!


BTW, I know it's best to suspend other concepts from other traditions during this process. But doing meditation won't interfere I hope?

Please call me Mike.

Looking forward to it!
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:28 pm

Hi Mike,

If you haven't had a chance to look at the Home page, disclaimer and videos on there you might find those useful. Tomorrow aside, try to post every day and no, meditation isn't a barrier, it can be quite helpful, so please stick with it.
What is your motivation here? Casual interest in this 'awakening thing' or 'the only thing in life that matters'?
I would say somewhere in between :)
On the one hand awakening is the simplest thing in the world. On the other it's important not to confuse simple with easy. Climbing a mountain is simple - point yourself at the top and keep putting one foot in front of the other till you can't get any higher. Not easy though.

So for you is there a readiness to let go of everything, give it all up just to see? There's no judgement in this at all but if we're going to start looking then is a good place to start. What are you not willing to give up for this to happen? Reflect and let me know what arises.
But not to the degree that it is the most important thing in the world, definitely.
Have a close look at this. So what is? What work is still unfinished for you, what achievements unaccomplished? What attachments can't be let go of, and what it still to be gained or acquired? Again, absolutely no judgement of what comes up, set aside any judgements that arise for you or the thought you're being externally judged, but just see. You don't have to share any details but some idea of what you find would be useful.

I'd also like you to reflect on any expectations that arise with the thought of awakening and share those. Many thanks.

Best wishes,

Andrew
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:52 pm

Hi Andrew,
So for you is there a readiness to let go of everything, give it all up just to see?


I may have entangled myself in wording there.
I am more than willing to let go of all the ground below my feat with the accompanying fear that follows.
What I was referring to was more the fact that I actually haven't resolved to become an ascetic in order to see (not that this is necessary as far as I know).That is to engage in the search in an unhealthy way, disregarding food and care in my pursuits.
I am however spending lots of time with this already, and am well aware of the possibility (actually this has already occurred as far as I know, fears are presenting at times) that the existence of "me" will revolt in different ways.

So perhaps I answered the question in a way that was not intended. Because I am totally ready to give up all attachments.


So... Confusing as it may seem I would say it IS the most important thing. I guess it was a concept of "how letting go of it all should look like". I see that now... :)
Zinfandel wrote:
But not to the degree that it is the most important thing in the world, definitely.
So... Confusing as it may seem I would say it IS the most important thing. I guess it was a concept of "how letting go of it all should look like". I see that now... :)
I'd also like you to reflect on any expectations that arise with the thought of awakening and share those. Many thanks.
My expectations... When I think about it (concepts again) I believe my life will be the same in terms of thoughts and fears and worries, etc.
But! At the same time, there will be no "I" there to defend. That is, all the things that are still there will simply move through me without me needing to resist them.
So, to use the cliché, all will be the same, and nothing will be the same. And a sense of freedom!
But these are all my imaginations of what will occur of course.

Best,
Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:53 pm

Hi Mike,
I may have entangled myself in wording there.
So... Confusing as it may seem I would say it IS the most important thing.
What I was referring to was more the fact that
It looks like there are a lot of thoughts arising, some moving one way, some another. So can thought be relied on?
that the existence of "me" will revolt in different ways.
Is there something to revolt? Whe you watch a horror movie, it's only scary as long as you're prepared to induldge the illusion. As soon as you remember they're all only actors it can't be scary any more can it? You have to invest belief in it to make it seem real. So back to this 'me'...
I believe my life will be the same in terms of thoughts and fears and worries, etc.
Do your thoughts help to make things clearer? Please observe carefully how they operate both in meditation and in daily life and let me know what you observe.

In daily routine, around others, how does the inner dialogue function for you, strong/persistent or weak/hardly noticeable?
How easy do you find it to come back to silence, to peace and space, or is that all too rare? When is the most peaceful, quiet time for you?

In daily life and perhaps in meditation how much fear is present? How often are you aware of it and what is the response to this?

For each of the above answer what comes up as it comes up and resist the urge to edit it too much, stick with your initial response where at all possible.

Best wishes,

Andrew
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:15 am

Andrew,
It looks like there are a lot of thoughts arising, some moving one way, some another. So can thought be relied on?
Nope I don't think so (witticism intended :-).
Seriously, no, I view thought as being something that occurs by itself. And when I meditate formally, I just watch them as something occurring most of the time, and sometimes run away with them for a while.
In other activities I believe in them too often. Especially the "what if"s. I believe in them. Sometimes I can even argue "but they're not real" and still I buy into them.

Do your thoughts help to make things clearer? Please observe carefully how they operate both in meditation and in daily life and let me know what you observe.
No. They just tell a lot of stories.
In meditation, I see them and note that they appear without reacting much of the time. Without fighting. But as previously said sometimes I unknowingly engage in them. I often hardly perceive them as they are some background murmur that goes unnoticed. Perhaps that's why I get lost in thought until something brings me back to just being aware of them.
In daily routine, around others, how does the inner dialogue function for you, strong/persistent or weak/hardly noticeable?
How easy do you find it to come back to silence, to peace and space, or is that all too rare? When is the most peaceful, quiet time for you?
I would say most of the time it's hardly noticeable... Funny... I've been wondering why I can't maintain the sort of awareness in daily life as I do in meditation. But maybe still some of the time I just don't notice it..?

It takes time to come back to silence. It seems like it's quite hard at times.

It's most quiet when being captivated by beautiful scenery, or other times when perhaps thought is not so dominating. Meditating, doing some engaging body activity.
In daily life and perhaps in meditation how much fear is present? How often are you aware of it and what is the response to this?
As I said earlier there are lots of "what if" thoughts in daily life that I run with. And they make me fearful or anxious much of the time. I suffer pretty much with those I guess. And I try to get away or solve this unease.

In meditation substantially less. But sometimes I get this rush of a fundamental fear, and lately I don't fight it. And often it becomes more of a pure bodily sensation. But at time my mind comes in and says it's unpleasant or gives supportlike thoughts like "OK, c'mon, if I die, I die..." upon which I often relax and go back to just experiencing it.

I sure hope I get your questions. The answers are very cerebral, I know...

Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:21 am

Hi Mike,
Seriously, no, I view thought as being something that occurs by itself. And when I meditate formally, I just watch them as something occurring most of the time, and sometimes run away with them for a while.
In other activities I believe in them too often. Especially the "what if"s. I believe in them. Sometimes I can even argue "but they're not real" and still I buy into them.
Good, so just watch these more engaging thoughts. Watch very closely the movement that wants to follow them, to induldge them. Again, don't judge it but see it as it arises - the pattern of desire that wants to be carried away in them.

This links back to my earlier question: What work is still unfinished for you, what achievements unaccomplished? What attachments can't be let go of, and what it still to be gained or acquired?

Look at the the thoughts that hook you most strongly. What are these? What still gives you a buzz when you think about it as some future attainment?
I would say most of the time it's hardly noticeable... Funny... I've been wondering why I can't maintain the sort of awareness in daily life as I do in meditation. But maybe still some of the time I just don't notice it..?
It can be helpful to break the patterns of thought throughout the day. What is seen with the eyes leads to thought more easily so mindfulness practiced with what is heard or felt e.g. sounds around us or breath can be more useful at bringing awareness to the present.

But when you do this, when you pull yourself out of a thought-chain, watch closely the resistance that arises. See this and see its source. What is desired, wished for?
As I said earlier there are lots of "what if" thoughts in daily life that I run with. And they make me fearful or anxious much of the time. I suffer pretty much with those I guess. And I try to get away or solve this unease.
Fear isn't good or bad it just is - normal and natural.

When you meditate try to locate fear in the body. When it's felt go right into it, like taking a dip in a pool. Don't question it, talk to it or judge it, but be fully immersed in it. What comes up comes up and see this.

In daily life stay as close to your fear as you can, feel it as much of the time as you can without any judgement. Let it become a familiar part of you in your day. Do this from now on. Let me know how you get on.

Best wishes,

Andrew
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:13 pm

Hi, Andrew,
Good, so just watch these more engaging thoughts. Watch very closely the movement that wants to follow them, to induldge them. Again, don't judge it but see it as it arises - the pattern of desire that wants to be carried away in them.
Will do this as best I can.
This links back to my earlier question: What work is still unfinished for you, what achievements unaccomplished? What attachments can't be let go of, and what it still to be gained or acquired?
I find it hard knowing how to answer this.
Look at the the thoughts that hook you most strongly. What are these? What still gives you a buzz when you think about it as some future attainment?
Thoughts that are trying to protect the "me". Quite often in the social arena and the imagined (and often quite absurd) consequences.

A buzz..?
I guess thoughts of a centered, calm future, actually. Thoughts of walking around with a smile on myself and being a friend with life as it is...

But when you do this, when you pull yourself out of a thought-chain, watch closely the resistance that arises. See this and see its source. What is desired, wished for?
Will examine this more!
Fear isn't good or bad it just is - normal and natural.
Totally agree with this. But mind still judges the sensations as unpleasant much of the time.

When you meditate try to locate fear in the body. When it's felt go right into it, like taking a dip in a pool. Don't question it, talk to it or judge it, but be fully immersed in it. What comes up comes up and see this.
This is the way I've been doing it, basically. Feel it, and just be with it. As I said, often the storyline just drops and the sensations are left by themselves.

In daily life stay as close to your fear as you can, feel it as much of the time as you can without any judgement. Let it become a familiar part of you in your day. Do this from now on. Let me know how you get on.
This s the part that needs more practice :)
Will focus on doing it it more.

Now I will be away for a while :-)

Thanks and talk to you again monday, I hope!

All the best,
Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:53 pm

Hi again, Andrew.
Now I’m back in town, a little groggy from a long journey.
Just a heads up, I will be going away for the weekend, but should have access to the Internet daily (I will do my very best to make it work).
I normally don’t travel this much, but these two trips happen to be close in time.

Anyways, I had time to read GG a little more while travelling, and am so seeing that my pattern pops up in one form or another all the time…
People understand intellectually the concepts of no-me, how thoughts ”work” and appear without us controlling them, and the illusion of the thought of a coherent, pervasive ”I”, but aren’t actually SEEING this.

Then a guide come salong, says to the guidee ”Stop acting like a child” and after a while seeing suddenly seems to occur.

( So I see I am not alone, whatever good that info does :-)

So I spent time again, looking, and understanding that there is no me, knowing that there is no me involved in the sensations, AND still I do not SEE it…

I may be complicating things and still looking for a way that the seeing is “supposed to happen” (i.e. a thought about what it will be like).
In daily life stay as close to your fear as you can, feel it as much of the time as you can without any judgement. Let it become a familiar part of you in your day. Do this from now on. Let me know how you get on.
I didn’t have much opportunity, but there came some fearful moments, and I just opened up to them and experienced them to the fullest. And again, the sensations moved through my body.
But when you do this, when you pull yourself out of a thought-chain, watch closely the resistance that arises. See this and see its source. What is desired, wished for?
The desire is to prevent annihilation, is the thing that comes to mind. All the thoughts that come up and the fear sensations cooperate in pulling me back into a way of preventing getting hurt and becoming alone. So, safety and control are desired.

Thanks Andrew!
/Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:09 am

Hi Mike,
Now I’m back in town, a little groggy from a long journey.
Just a heads up, I will be going away for the weekend, but should have access to the Internet daily (I will do my very best to make it work).
I normally don’t travel this much, but these two trips happen to be close in time.
No problem, hope your trip goes well and just keep in touch as best you can.
Anyways, I had time to read GG a little more while travelling, and am so seeing that my pattern pops up in one form or another all the time…
People understand intellectually the concepts of no-me, how thoughts ”work” and appear without us controlling them, and the illusion of the thought of a coherent, pervasive ”I”, but aren’t actually SEEING this.


Any time we read or hear something about awakening we create a thought around it. These thoughts, like the words that led to them can be useful pointers but can't be truth. Thought is just thought.
And in fairness not everyone grasps no-self even as a thought, so some credit due :)
Then a guide come salong, says to the guidee ”Stop acting like a child” and after a while seeing suddenly seems to occur.
Lol, I hope you haven't read any guiding that went like that. The job of the guide is to point, but it's the energy, determination and persistence of the one guided that leads to awakening. Like all illusions it can't sustain under prolonged and determined scrutiny.
So I spent time again, looking, and understanding that there is no me, knowing that there is no me involved in the sensations, AND still I do not SEE it…

I may be complicating things and still looking for a way that the seeing is “supposed to happen” (i.e. a thought about what it will be like).
Yes, it's not thought, only seen or experienced. Thoughts create the maze we wander in.

So how is the looking going? You have some impatience here, 'I do not SEE it…' and then judgement arose, 'I may be complicating things' and so we have an arising, a reaction creating an arising going the other way - I call this the hook - and the illusion of 'self' rests in the power of these to carry us along with them and believe in them.

Will 'you' ever see? Were 'you' looking? Or was there just looking?
I didn’t have much opportunity, but there came some fearful moments, and I just opened up to them and experienced them to the fullest. And again, the sensations moved through my body.
Does your fear ever leave you? Is it ever not there? Get used to locating it, it'll be there all the time in the same place (may move slightly) - like a radio station, it's always on, you can tune to it. So check in on it, say hello. Get used to it.
The desire is to prevent annihilation, is the thing that comes to mind. All the thoughts that come up and the fear sensations cooperate in pulling me back into a way of preventing getting hurt and becoming alone. So, safety and control are desired.
This is a perfect paragraph - you've done so much work right here seeing this. Let's break it down...

'annihilation' - an artificial concept? Can you conceive of anything that doesn't change, all the time, either fast or slow? Look at these forms changing, exchanging particles. All just names and labels, thoughts. What does annihilation mean - really look and see - this meditation will need eyes open, perhaps a walking one would be best.

Thought and fear pulling 'me' back - yes, exactly what the belief in each does. Neither of these can influence without belief. So what would the world be like if a thought came up, say, 'I'm late!' and there was no response to it, just a seeing of the arising of the thought of lateness? And what if fear came up and there was no response, just a seeing of the arising of a sensation?

'preventing getting hurt' - forms change all of the time, get damaged, feel pain. The story of 'self' seems to include pain, doesn't it? But what are the components of belief in this story? What parts make it up this belief? List them, see them, look hard at them. What are they really?

'So, safety and control are desired.' - can you ever at any point in time know that the breath in your lungs isn't your last? Is 'safety' real?

And what is control? Spend as much time on this as you can, don't verbalise the thoughts more than you need to, you'll see deeper without language, but ask, who is controlling? What controls? How? To what extent can there ever be a controller? What does this word/thought actually mean in reality?

Watch your thoughts as you consider all of the above. Stillness, silence, not long internal verbalisations. Letting go and seeing. Hold each question lightly - and just let go and see. Keep thoughts out till after...

Best wishes,

Andrew
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:19 pm

Hello, Andrew!
And in fairness not everyone grasps no-self even as a thought, so some credit due :)
Yup, I think I am beyond the intellectual understanding of it. Therein is not the rub. It is more like I understand the world is round, and I can motivate it through reasoning but in practice when I go out travelling I try to stay clear of the edge of the world. And still, if you ask me ”is the world round”, I answer with a resounding yes.
As an aside, I spent some time walking and looked at walking. But I can’t perceive the walking as being without an agent behind it. It is a question of what I attach the label ”me” to. And what I see is a sense of intention (intention to walk, to turn, to stop) and also the observing of the walking sensation with accompanying thoughts. So, the intentionality and observing seem to be this ”me” I am hanging on to.
Lol, I hope you haven't read any guiding that went like that.
This is an actual quote from one of Elenas guidings. And it seems to me like it was very efficient for the guided person. It was a little like what needed to be said for the guided to see in that particular instance. So I quoted it as an example of a guiding that worked.
You have some impatience here, 'I do not SEE it…' and then judgement arose, 'I may be complicating things' and so we have an arising, a reaction creating an arising going the other way - I call this the hook - and the illusion of 'self' rests in the power of these to carry us along with them and believe in them.

Will 'you' ever see? Were 'you' looking? Or was there just looking?
Yup, definitely impatience. There was looking. And thoughts. And that was all there was. But I still attach the me mentioned above to it.
Does your fear ever leave you? Is it ever not there? Get used to locating it, it'll be there all the time in the same place (may move slightly) - like a radio station, it's always on, you can tune to it. So check in on it, say hello. Get used to it.
I don’t get this one. I understand fear as something that arises along with the mind. The sensations are there, but I don’t know it’s fear till I label it? It always being there sounds to me like saying “There is always daylight. Even during night, you just have to find it.”?
'annihilation' - an artificial concept? Can you conceive of anything that doesn't change, all the time, either fast or slow? Look at these forms changing, exchanging particles. All just names and labels, thoughts. What does annihilation mean - really look and see - this meditation will need eyes open, perhaps a walking one would be best.
All is changing all the time. Even if I have to watch a rock or a wall for a loooong time (or through a microscope) to see the change there, I "know" nothing is permanent.
So what would the world be like if a thought came up, say, 'I'm late!' and there was no response to it, just a seeing of the arising of the thought of lateness? And what if fear came up and there was no response, just a seeing of the arising of a sensation?
Exactly! This is what I am working at. And think I am doing during formal meditation. Freedom!
'preventing getting hurt' - forms change all of the time, get damaged, feel pain. The story of 'self' seems to include pain, doesn't it? But what are the components of belief in this story? What parts make it up this belief? List them, see them, look hard at them. What are they really?
They are like a sort of loop. “If I get hurt I won’t make it”, “I can’t handle the pain”, “If I am alone, I will be destroyed”, “it is unhealthy being stressed”, yada yada yada.
And they all sort of spin around in a mobius strip referring to this “I” that can be hurt. But as we know, “I” doesn’t exist. It’s a bloody hoax, pardon my french :-).

'So, safety and control are desired.' - can you ever at any point in time know that the breath in your lungs isn't your last? Is 'safety' real?
No, never. It is also a damn illusion sold to us…
And what is control? Spend as much time on this as you can, don't verbalise the thoughts more than you need to, you'll see deeper without language, but ask, who is controlling? What controls? How? To what extent can there ever be a controller? What does this word/thought actually mean in reality?
The sense of intentions led by thoughts. But it’s tricky, because the thoughts don’t control. They may influence if I let them. But hey, who is the ‘I’ that lets or not..? Another thought. Hmm… So where is this intention from? Confused…
Watch your thoughts as you consider all of the above. Stillness, silence, not long internal verbalisations. Letting go and seeing. Hold each question lightly - and just let go and see. Keep thoughts out till after...
There are sensations of anger and confusions as the thoughts try to make sense of it all…

All the best,
Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Andrew White » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:17 pm

Hi Mike,
As an aside, I spent some time walking and looked at walking. But I can’t perceive the walking as being without an agent behind it. It is a question of what I attach the label ”me” to. And what I see is a sense of intention (intention to walk, to turn, to stop) and also the observing of the walking sensation with accompanying thoughts. So, the intentionality and observing seem to be this ”me” I am hanging on to.
Does anything take place without some sort of mechanism or process? As the sun moves across the sky, leaves turn and follow it. There's a mechanism to this - awareness of sorts, chemicals released, effects. It's a response - and one we wouldn't assume to have a 'self'.

So even when a sense of intent arises and you become aware of this, how do you know there's a 'self' behind it?
If it helps try tracking each process: awareness, consciousness of awareness, judgement, response etc. It's just like an algorithm. Take any choice, any possible pathway and look closely at it. Do you see anything more than a pattern of thought? Then another pattern arises, one that wants freedom, freedom from patterns and it interacts with the first pattern, and it can go on and on, but still just arising in thought and empty of self. So look at each of these:
Does awareness need self?
Does consciousness need self?
Does thought or a pattern of thought need self?
Does action or response need self?
Can you find examples for each of the above where they might be seen to take place but wothout the label of 'self'?
I don’t get this one. I understand fear as something that arises along with the mind. The sensations are there, but I don’t know it’s fear till I label it? It always being there sounds to me like saying “There is always daylight. Even during night, you just have to find it.”?
Don't worry, we all access emotions in different ways. Just try to observe fear when it can be felt to arise. Watch any aversion to fear that arises - don't judge, just watch and see and accept what is seen.
They are like a sort of loop. “If I get hurt I won’t make it”, “I can’t handle the pain”, “If I am alone, I will be destroyed”, “it is unhealthy being stressed”, yada yada yada.
Good example of a pattern of thought arising. Just thought, nothing more, like clouds forming in the sky - perfectly natural and not a problem unless made so by judgement, belief etc.
The sense of intentions led by thoughts. But it’s tricky, because the thoughts don’t control. They may influence if I let them. But hey, who is the ‘I’ that lets or not..? Another thought. Hmm… So where is this intention from? Confused…
Only confusing because you're trying to make something from it, to understand, to create a thought that makes sense. Why won't this work? Because it's an illusion, not real. The controller, the 'I' with intent doesn't exist, so how can it be understood? Imagine it, who imagines it? Who imagines the imaginer?...? ===> infinity...

But on the other hand, a thought arises - just that, only that. Why? Because a leaf moves, a river flows, blood pumps...
It's not something to be 'sought'. No need to find it really, it just is. You can't find it any more than you can find gravity. You just see gravity - it's what's holding the pots on the shelf. Feel it in your body on the seat. Do you understand it? I don't. Don't need to - seeing is enough isn't it?

So thoughts arise, feelings arise - good for them. Need a 'self'? Why? Just look - keep looking - relax and look, it's all the same.

Best wishes,

Andrew
'Confine yourself to the present.' - Marcus Aurelius

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Zinfandel
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Location: Europe

Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:06 am

Hi Andrew,
Does anything take place without some sort of mechanism or process?
Can you find examples for each of the above where they might be seen to take place but wothout the label of 'self'?
I want too see. Maybe I'm straining my eyes seeing, but this is what occurs...
My intellect sees this:
Do rivers flow without a self?
Yes.
Does the flower grow without a 'self'?
Yes.
Does an ant move without a self?
Most probably yes.
Does a dog walk, wag its tail and howl without a self?
Probably this too, yes.
Thus, can all chemicals and energies in "my" body, giving rise to movement, tissue growth and most importantly, thought processes that among other things create the thought complex that I call "me" and "self" exist without a "self"?
Yup, looking like this, definitely. This is by the way not an entirely new thought to me.

But, still, as I do this it is an intellectual exercise and when I look, I still seem to call this bundle of thoughts and intention "me".
So, it is not necessary with a "self", but "I" am still entangled in what the label "self" refers to.

when we see the interaction, or force between certain bodies, we chose some time ago to call it "gravity" in english. And it is also just a label referring to this seen thing.

Honesty? This is the experience right now:
I am still caught in "frustration" because I don't see it, and others do so easily.
(And I can guess a possible guide-response one can make to these verbalized experienced thoughts of trying to make sense, and yes, my "eagerness" to finally "get it"...)

Thanks for bearing with me,
Mike
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"

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Zinfandel
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Europe

Re: I would love some guidance.

Postby Zinfandel » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:46 am

And... Myself, as a baby, before developing self reference and language... Did I exist, and move without the necessity of a "self".
Yup.
Spent some time in bed last night looking at this.
So, I see this, but am still not SEEing it, and as I said, the idea is one I have been toying with before :-)

So... To be continued...
Shuzan held out his short staff and said, "If you call this a short staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a short staff, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"


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