where am I?

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Narinda
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where am I?

Postby Narinda » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:09 am

Hello all, I cannot find a self within my experience but there is a lot of doubt about that so I would appreciate some guidance. there is certainly plenty of struggle with life,painful emotions and confusion, as well as times of peaceful openness.I have been reading the book,other dialogues on here,attended a meeting with Ilona and others on Saturday,and spent the last two weeks (and three decades) or so looking within for a self.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:00 pm

Hello all, I cannot find a self within my experience but there is a lot of doubt about that so I would appreciate some guidance. there is certainly plenty of struggle with life,painful emotions and confusion, as well as times of peaceful openness.I have been reading the book,other dialogues on here,attended a meeting with Ilona and others on Saturday,and spent the last two weeks (and three decades) or so looking within for a self.
Hello Narinda, welcome to this forum and thanks for your introduction. I'd gladly work with you here, as long as you agree to do two things:

1. Avoid speculation and unnecessary theorizing like the plague. Nothing wrong with speculation and theorizing per se, they're just of no use and even counterproductive in this context. Only consult your own direct experience when engaged in this process;
2. Post regularly. You don't have to post everyday, but keep some momentum going, that's the only way this is going to work.

If you agree to these, then I'd like to ask you to look at the following:

- What is it that has brought you here? What are you looking for exactly?
- Can you describe what "looking within for a self" consists of and how this has been for you?

Thanks!
Last edited by Damon Kamda on Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spelling

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:56 pm

Hello Damon, I agree to your requests, thankyou for the quick response.
The backdrop to my search has Buddhist practise, mostly lapsed,an intense experience of what appeared to be an absurd realisation of being free of a self some 15 years ago,when I let go trying and accepted healing for traumas,and more recently the attempt to survive relationship breakup and associated problems,through MBCT,Feeding your demons practice,and The Work of Byron Katie. this lead,through my ex partner, to LU. I am looking for freedom from my painful habits and the pain I cause to others,Truth and Beauty,amongst many things.
I have been looking in my experience,say in kew gardens on a family visit,for what is watching the trees and clouds, I feel sensations and feelings,the breeze,sun,pleasure,frustration at having to attend to my sons demands,delight in his strange wonderment,and there is watching,but I can't trace it back to anything I can call myself. This is less easy or pleasant at other times,to say the least, I'm no great meditator any more,but while I get caught up in my feelings,beliefs,etc when awareness returns,there is still no-thing I could call self.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:58 pm

Thanks for the clarification and for agreeing to my requests. Let's begin, shall we? I'll jump right into it.
I am looking for freedom from my painful habits and the pain I cause to others,Truth and Beauty,amongst many things.
If there is no thing to be found that is a self, then how can these painful habits be your habits?
If there is no thing to be found that is a self, then how can you cause anything to happen at all?

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:10 am

My instant feeling is F***,oh my god,yes,i feel shaky,excited,afraid.I have to take my son to school,and get on with the day.i will be back later,I will recollect those words during the day. Thankyou

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:44 am

My instant feeling is F***,oh my god,yes,i feel shaky,excited,afraid.I have to take my son to school,and get on with the day.i will be back later,I will recollect those words during the day. Thankyou
Hahahahaha....

Sure! That is the key to this. Keep checking it. Again and again, until you see it (the absence) in its absolute, direct clarity, obviousness and simplicity.

Any moment will do. Any activity will do.
There is nothing even remotely special about this.
Nothing spiritual, mystical, out-of-the-ordinary.
In fact, this (what we are pointing to here again and again) is utterly mundane, close-to-home, in your face.
Simple.

So keep checking it: is it true that there is no self at all? Could it possibly be?

Looking forward to reading your findings.

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:49 pm

I take Francis to school,I feel faint,it seems so obvious indeed.After on the bus tears well up for a full hour,relief,such relief,tinged with the grief of before not seeing. long bus through the edge of town and country,girls talk loudly about boys at the back.Trees,soft hills and fields,grey mist,it is true,it is true. There just is.In the supermarket there was a song playing. Its stuck in my head now,its so not mystical,resistance,no wait, 'Sunshine', 'moonlight', 'good times', 'boogie' . over and over,four simple images repeat,four facets of life,four thoughts,flashes of feelings,associations,passing,flowing.Nothing else.
Francis back from school,I have been to get a new laptop to replace his broken one.he has Aspergers,desperate to play simulating stars and planets.I have checked it,loaded the sim,all fine, it crashes,check,check.Fail.total meltdown,he is in agony,rage,screaming at me,the urge to shout back,leave;I tried,for the X-thousandth time,failed for the X-thousandth time,pain,but,if there is no self,then how can I have caused,failed,been hurt? peace,breathe,calm,all slowly quiets.He plays with the sea beans I gave his mum earlier, really unusual,he is coping. could it be true? It feels true.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:32 am

You write like a poet. Lovely.
Yet, I'd like to ask you to get a bit more focused. At the moment your attention seems to be all over the place- I'd like to invite you to zoom in on one thing: the self- does it exist
could it be true? It feels true.
That's not good enough.

There is something to be seen, or rather there is an absence to be seen.
Directly.
In reality.
Actual, concrete reality.
Clearly and completely.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

So, let's get focused, allright?

First, let's look at sensory experience. Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting.

Let's start with seeing. Describe the experience of seeing step-by-step.

In seeing, what is being experienced? What is happening when "seeing" is happening? What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Go into detail. Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing.

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:40 pm

This is a struggle,for two days now returning to seeing, over and over. colour,shape,movement is experienced,light,texture,shade. I look at the Green of the wall and see a matt dark olive green,feel a sense of nature.Look out the window and see leaves and branches blowing in the wind. I experience through my eyes,my awareness is responding with feelings,stirred up by the sight,unsettled.awareness or consciousness is doing the seeing through the eyes.this is what I would normally call I this awareness,but it is simply watching,with thoughts occasionally passing through, 'I' feel like a verb,an experience,a watching more than a watcher. I feel frustrated though,the absence is not concrete,no matter how many times I look.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:05 pm

You're doing great! I know that this can be a frustrating process, that is completely normal.

In fact, it's a sign that you're looking in the right direction, so keep it up. Keep looking, with focus and it will become clear.

The focus bit is the crux.

Let's look a bit closer at looking/seeing, shall we?
I experience through my eyes
Really? So, how does that work exactly? In your direct experience, right now- how do you know you are experiencing through the eyes? What makes these eyes *yours* and what is the you that is experiencing through them?
my awareness is responding with feelings,stirred up by the sight,unsettled
What makes awareness *your* awareness? What is the you that owns awareness?
awareness or consciousness is doing the seeing through the eyes
How do you know?
Where is this awareness or consciousness located?
How is it doing this seeing? What is the observable process here?
Is there a difference between awareness or consciousness and seeing?
this is what I would normally call I this awareness,but it is simply watching,with thoughts occasionally passing through, 'I' feel like a verb,an experience,a watching more than a watcher.
Hmmmm...
I feel frustrated though,the absence is not concrete,no matter how many times I look.
What would a concrete absence look and feel like?
What are you expecting to happen? Something special? Trumpets? Applause? Rapture? Spaceships?

What you're looking for is simply this. See?

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:45 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Damon, doubt was crushing me for a bit there.
I am seeing through these eyes because when they move different objects are seen,so the eyes would appear to be what sees. I cannot say they are mine other than I am aware of no other consciousness seeing through them,but I can't say what the I that is experiencing is,or that they are mine,no.
I cannot say awareness is mine,I have not been able to find where it is,or what the I that owns it is.
I feel aware,and consciousness to me is being aware of being aware,and awareness sees,but really there is just the experience of seeing,simply that,I do see that,yes. And I have no expectation of anything big at all, I just meant that I was looking for a sense of certainty. Today I was at work,painting a masonry window ledge,watching,and suddenly realised that my doubt is not so much that I have no self,its more 'self-doubt',that I could not 'achieve' seeing that,and the irony hit me,that this idea of self-doubt,of clinging to a self to doubt,was a barrier to real experience.There was just painting,and watching the painting,and these thoughts of how this and that 'I' was,kept going on and on, getting in the way of simply watching the brush.

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:22 pm

In your direct experience, right now- how do you know you are experiencing through the eyes?
I don't, I believe I am,but I don't know.
What makes these eyes *yours* and what is the you that is experiencing through them?
There are eyes,i feel it is me looking through them,but i don't know what or where the I is.
What makes awareness *your* awareness? What is the you that owns awareness?
Its just a vague notion of self, identity,that I am what is in this body seeing,but I can't find it,I feel like a cat chasing its own tail.
How do you know?
Where is this awareness or consciousness located?
How is it doing this seeing? What is the observable process here?
Is there a difference between awareness or consciousness and seeing?
there is peripheral vision,there are things I am not paying attention to,but can see,a little attention brings them into awareness,but whether I am that awareness or not I do not know.again I cannot find its location. I'm going to walk down to the sea now, and look.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:55 am

Sorry to keep you waiting- had a full weekend. Hope you are well!
I cannot say awareness is mine,I have not been able to find where it is,or what the I that owns it is
Is there an I that owns awareness in the first place?
but really there is just the experience of seeing,simply that,I do see that,yes
Is there ever anything but just the experience of simply seeing?
Was there every anything but just the experience?
is idea of self-doubt,of clinging to a self to doubt,was a barrier to real experience
Has real experience ever been blocked at all? Is that possible? Is there anything OUTSIDE of or BESIDES experience from where it could be blocked?

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Narinda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Narinda » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:24 pm

No worries,I am well,thanks
Is there an I that owns awareness in the first place?
No,nothing can own awareness,it just is.
Is there ever anything but just the experience of simply seeing?
Was there every anything but just the experience?
it is all there is,I see that now,it is all there ever was,and sometimes I saw that,and sometimes I didn't.
Has real experience ever been blocked at all? Is that possible? Is there anything OUTSIDE of or BESIDES experience from where it could be blocked?

Wow,ok,so when I have not experienced what simply is,what is happening? I will look for this...
Been focusing on this last question,doubt is just more illusion is the truth,a strong illusion for me.Its a thought,it passes but I grab hold of it like a rope for a while.It is just part of experience,not separate,simply a tough,gnarly old thought habit.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: where am I?

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:58 pm

Wow,ok,so when I have not experienced what simply is,what is happening? I will look for this...
Yes, exactly!
So what is the ACTUAL difference between "experiencing what simply is" and "NOT experiencing what simply is"?

You're on the right track here:
Its a thought,it passes but I grab hold of it like a rope for a while.It is just part of experience,not separate,simply a tough,gnarly old thought habit.
What is it that "grabs hold" of the thought?


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