Thread for Harvey

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Nettie
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Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:39 am

Dear Harvey,
Here are a few ground rules,
1. You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"
I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
2. In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
3. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function; instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

What are your expectations for this process?
How will it change you?
How will this feel?

Looking forward to your response,
Nettie

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bdhtgcr
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:45 pm

Hi Nettie - I have read all of the ground rules and would be very happy to have you as my guide.

I have been thinking a lot about the 3 questions that you have given me:

1. What are your expectations for this process? My expectation is that I will be able to clearly see through the I as an illusion (not just conceptually) and to SEE who or what I really am. While I have had (at times) a shifting from the I to being the space of the I, yet the I as a focal point keeps returning. The sense of I or a me still experientially seems to be here.

2. How will it change you? -- I think there will be an experience of freedom and a liberation from stories that seem to have a degree of power in my life. The other change is that I want to serve others, to be able to be a better teacher and someone who transforms the lives of others.

3. How will this feel? -- I think a sense of okayness (not approval or disapproval) about whatever is in my experience at the moment.

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:37 am

Dear Harvey,
Thank you for your clear answers. They seem quite reasonable.
However, put all expectations aside, all concepts and theories, all other stories of what other people have experienced out of the picture for now.
What does it feel like when I say,
There is no you. There has never been, is now, or will ever be a separate self?
Nettie

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bdhtgcr
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:25 pm

I like when you say to put all expectations, concepts, theories, and stories of experiences aside. I have put all of that "on the shelf" in my mind. There is a sort of relief like starting all over again.

You ask what does it feel like when you say "there is no you..." When I feel my way into your question, I notice there is a feeling of solidity made up of feelings and thoughts (lots of thoughts). Also a subtle feeling of holding on to that solidity or that the solidity (the sense of me) is at my core. Hope that makes sense.

I realize that when I feel your question, the sense of self - or that solidity - feels even stronger. I am not analyzing anything. There is like this inner resistance to "there is no you."

I am just noticing what is showing up.

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:14 pm

Dear Harvey,
Thank you for your response.
"There is a sort of relief like starting all over again."
Yes, it can be relieving when we begin to feel we are not all of those thoughts.

"there is a feeling of solidity made up of feelings and thoughts (lots of thoughts)"
Relax and look deeply. What are feelings and thoughts?
Where do they come from?
Do they have a location, a shape or color?

"There is like this inner resistance to "there is no you." "
Who is resisting?

Check it out,
Nettie

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bdhtgcr
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:33 pm

I am going to spend a few hours with the questions about the feelings and thoughts and the question of who is resisting. I will post another response later tonight as I sit with the questions.

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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:22 am

So as I was going through my day teaching and working with students at the college I work at, I would find opportunities to remember to relax or I guess a way I would say it was to sort of go backwards (in a metaphorical way) and just relaxingly look at feelings and thoughts. They don't really seem to have any shape or color or any tangible quality except the thoughts seem to be spatially in my head somewhere.

There seems to be an underlying okayness at the root or within the thoughts and feelings. I noticed at some points today that there have been some feelings of sadness coming forth - not really sure why and nothing is happening that would evoke that feeling. It is almost kind of random and yet the okayness seems to be there as well.

When the question of "who is resisting" was looked at at different times, the question seems to lose the need to have an answer. It's like that question turned in on itself. It was like the "who" did not have any substantial qualities. It's sort of there, but not there in any significant way. It is hard to find the right words for this. The who sense is sort of floating around with other thoughts / feelings. It's like the attention or looking is directed backwards / inwards rather than outwards to any specific thing.

There is an elusive quality in that it is like when I learned as a kid to float on my back in the water. I used to try all different ways to make that happen and it would always fail. One day, I gave up trying to float in the water - and then I floated.

When there is this looking at the question - not really looking for the answer - my sense of me / thoughts / feelings are like pieces of wood floating in the water. I can't really say that I am the water. That is not it either. There is no need to define it at the moment. The looking will continue. There is a freshness in the looking. Just noticed that.

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:34 am

Dear Harvey,
Thank you.
So beautiful your answers!

The thoughts seem to be in your head some where.

Or do thoughts happen, and then you ascribe them to a place in your head. Where, exactly would they be, do they exist? do they have any substantial nature? do you make them happen? Of do they just happen spontaneously? Are they insubstantial, effortless occurrences or do you spend your day figuring out which thoughts to have?
Hmmm... Are you the thinker of your thoughts?
Can you really say when one thought ends, and another begins?
Can you remember all the thoughts you had yesterday, and can you predict which thoughts you will have tomorrow, even in the next five minutes? Are you the thinker of your thoughts?

Could you say that thoughts seem to arise out of nowhere? Like, '"whew! That came out of no where!"
And, really, if you were the thinker of your thoughts, you would probably only have the kind of thoughts you believe you should have, like 'happy' thoughts, or similar.


"there have been some feelings of sadness coming forth - not really sure why"

Check it out, thoughts and emotions arise, and then we ascribe the 'meaning', the label. For example you can feel 'fear' and yet really there are really only sensations in the body we may label as fear, or excitement, or attraction, etc. some might go on a roller coaster ride or jump out of an airplane to get this feeling, and all may label it as pleasurable or painful or as anything at all. The 'meaning' of every perception is really completely arbitrary.

"It was like the "who" did not have any substantial qualities. It's sort of there, but not there in any significant way."

Perhaps there is no 'Eureka'! Perhaps there is nothing to find! Perhaps the answer lies in the not-knowing-ness.
Look for a 'knower'. Is there a knower? Is there really a separate 'you' at odds and separate from all and everything?

" There is a freshness in the looking"

Who's looking?
What are you looking for?
Is there anything to find?
Is there really anything substantial? Ever?

This inquiry is really about a remembering. It is something you already know. It is, as you said, like floating, effortlessly.
So much love to you,
Nettie

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:58 am

Dear Harvey,
Here is a practical way to look:
As you go about your day, ask yourself,
Is there a 'me' walking, or is walking happening?
Is there a 'me' listening, or is listening happening?
Is there a 'me' eating, or is chewing just happening?
As you can see, there are endless opportunities for looking.
Nettie

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bdhtgcr
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:01 pm

Hi Nettie,

I am working today on the questions, "Is there a 'me'...?, who's looking?, is there anything to find? The question that is also there is what am I looking for? As I am going through the day, I am continuing to ask these questions. I will provide more feedback later on.

Harvey

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:20 am

Dear Harvey,
It looks like the ball is rolling...
Let's return to the first part.
Are you the thinker of your thoughts?
Describe.
Nettie

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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi Nettie,

Throughout the day yesterday, I would find many times to ask myself, who is doing the cooking, walking, reading, or whatever was going on. Even this morning when I woke up, one of the very first questions was who or what was waking up. This morning, the question has become, "Is there a 'me' doing .....?"

In this questioning, there is a noticing of how thoughts are random. They appear randomly and with different levels of intensity. They seem to connect with other thoughts as if they had fishing hooks and they sometimes catch other thoughts.

Experientially, I can't really find a separate or substantial 'me' or thinker. When I am not asking "who is doing..." or "is there a me....", the thoughts seem to become 'me' and latch on to many more thoughts. When I remember to ask the questions, then things are just happening and then I notice the adding of labels and interpretation on the experience.

If I say that I am the thinker of my thoughts, it doesn't feel like there is really a thinker.

Last night, I also was working with the question "what am I looking for?" I don't really have an answer to that except that I ended up asking "why am I looking?" I noticed that the 'looking for' seems to be connected with thoughts about my experience.

I will continue to look throughout the day.

Harvey

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Nettie
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:45 pm

Dear Harvey,
Thank you for your beautiful letter.

"In this questioning, there is a noticing of how thoughts are random. They appear randomly and with different levels of intensity. They seem to connect with other thoughts as if they had fishing hooks and they sometimes catch other thoughts. "

Isn't it amazing what we notice when we slow down and look. Things we've maybe taken for granted are seen in a new light! Thoughts seem random, yet they seem to connect with other thoughts. The thinking mind seems to create continuity, and bingo! There is the story of me!

Do this simple experiment: sit down comfortably and close your eyes. When you open your eyes, pretend you are a tiny baby. You haven't learned any words yet. All there is, is sensation. Light and color and sounds, yet you do not distinguish between any of them. Sensations, inner and outer, yet still no distinctions. One after another in a seamless flow.

"When I remember to ask the questions, then things are just happening and then I notice the adding of labels and interpretation on the experience. "

Keep noticing this, until it becomes known. Check if there is a knower.

With love,
Nettie

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bdhtgcr
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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby bdhtgcr » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:13 pm

Good Morning Nettie,

Yesterday was a day in which I would go back many times to just my sensory experience and stop and notice. Then things were sort of "just happening". Thoughts would overlay the sensory experience but I just watched how it was happening.

I did the tiny baby experiment in the afternoon and it was fun. It was relaxing and actually fun. It was definitely seamless and there was nothing to think about. Later I realized that there was a seamlessness already there until the labels and interpretations overlay it.

The "knower" is more amorphous in the sense that I can see (at times) that it is another thought built on other thoughts. If the looking or noticing is not going on, the thoughts just spin around in many directions. I go back to the noticing when I remember to do so. There is also an awareness of an okayness or a stillness when everything is "just happening". It is momentary like a flickering. That may be more thoughts so I will be looking and staying with the question, is there a knower - or a doer?

In the last few days, these questions and the looking have been more prevalent within activities. Today, I teach most of the day (philosophy courses at college) so I will be back on here late tonight.

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Re: Thread for Harvey

Postby Nettie » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:23 pm

Dear Harvey,
I'm glad you liked the baby experiment. It is extremely relaxing to experience reality as it is!

"The "knower" is more amorphous in the sense that I can see (at times) that it is another thought built on other thoughts."
Beautiful!
If thoughts are ephemeral, transient occurrences, and self is thought, then what is self?

In your experiments, can you see that there is no need of a separate self for living? Everything just flows along smoothly.

Thoughts are not 'bad' in any sense, but when seen as they are, they are also just a part of the seamless flow of experience. And, not believing them and even believing them is part of the seamless flow. In fact all and everything is it. It's life living itself with no need of a separate self.

Sometimes it can still be felt that there is a chooser. Try this: take two things you like and put them on a table and watch how choice happens when you grab one or the other. (Like a green or red jelly bean, or juice or tea). Is there a you choosing? Or does choosing just happen like everything else?

So, look again, is there a separate self? If so, what is it made of, what does it feel like?
Have a wonderful day,
Nettie


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