Thread for Estevita

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:28 pm

Hello Estevita

Welcome !
Could you confirm you have read the disclaimer:
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Do you agree to the following guidelines ?

1. You agree to post at least once a day.
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to
3. Responses require your utmost honesty
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical 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”

Could you start by saying a little about what you expect to change if you go through this process ?

If you click on subscribe at the bottom of the page you will get an e-mail when i post

Thank you
Richard

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:57 am

Hello Richard

Firstly, thank you so much for agreeing to be my guide. I have read the Disclaimer and agree to follow the Guidelines you outlined in your post.

You ask what do I expect to change by going through this process - simply, I want to put down the heavy load of the self. I had a very deep experience in January 2013 regarding seeing through my 'ego edifice' but I have not been able to explore the meaning of this experience with anyone, or indeed what this experience is really about. I hope that by being guided by you, I will be able to explore not only the experience but the ripple effects it is having on my life now, be able to mark the experience to make it more real and to deepen the experience.

Is it appropriate at this point to tell you something about myself?

Let me know and I will write something as soon as I hear from you.

With deepest gratitude

Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:59 pm

Hello Estevita

Nice to meet you :-)

The technique we use here is direct pointing. Simply put, we are looking to see what is left in experience when all the stories/labels are taken away. You will need to trust this process and give yourself to it. It may feel uncomfortable and confusing at times but this is because we are used to using our ideas about how things are as our reference. Without the reference of thought content what do we know ? And yet the content of thought is beyond our control, so is unreliable (one way of looking at this is it is a result of past thoughts which were also mistaken).
So we want to look at and examine our experience directly as opposed to thinking about it. This means we cannot rely on thoughts of the future or memories of the past as these are exactly that - thoughts which we cannot rely on. Our experience only exists now, in the present, so this is the only place we can look at it. In light of this it may be unhelpful to talk about past experiences as they are remembered through the distorted lens of thought.
We are looking to see what is really there. What doesn't go away when we stop believing in it. Any conclusions drawn about this after the fact are not insight. They are just thoughts and are not the real deal. But our experience is always here for us to look at and see in real time what is real. We just have to recognize it.
How does this all sit with you ?
Does it make sense ?
Does it fit with your experience ? (it may appear not to and that could be explored)
Is it apparent there is no control over what appears in thought ? (what is your experience of this?)
Can you find a thinker of thoughts ?

There are no right or wrong answers to any question. We are exploring views and experience.
Feel free to tell me anything about yourself you feel may be relevant to this process

Speak later,
Richard

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:07 am

Hello Richard

I submitted a reply to your post above but cannot find it now, I hope I have not lost it.

Kind regards
Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:32 am

Hi Estevita

I am very sorry to hear that
I have never had this problem, but others have. Many recommend if writing a long post, to do it in a word document and then cut and paste it. Just in case there is a time out or other glitch.

So, whatever is coming up now, whether it's frustration, disappointment, anger, whatever. Can you find anything that is experiencing it ?

If you click on subscribe at the bottom of the page you will get an e-mail when i post

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:48 pm

Hello Richard

My husband is having a major operation today so I won't have time to write my post again until tomorrow. It's OK about losing it because I think I remember what I said in it. It was a bit frustrating at 5am this morning (I couldn't sleep so I spent over an hour writing my response then) but this used to happen to me sometimes at work and I should know better than not to save it. In the larger scale of things, this is a minor mishap. I am just tired at the moment and cannot summon a strong response to losing my post. I will write a full response when I can, probably tomorrow.

Bear with me and thank you for being there.

Kindest regards

Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:26 pm

Thinking of you and your husband
Speak later
Richard

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:25 am

Dear Richard

I am sorry I have taken so long to respond, there have been a few complications but I am now ready to write to you once a day.

I thank you for your explanations of what you are trying to achieve in LU, they were very clear, sit well with me and make complete sense. I have been a committed Buddhist for the past 24 years and the truth of what you say is familiar to me, at least conceptually, although it feels like a breath of fresh air to have it expressed so clearly.

You ask, 'Is it apparent there is no control over what appears in thought?' When I sit down to meditate I sometimes notice not only the arising and passing of thoughts which are beyond my control but their conditionality. Some of these thoughts are quite straightforward, for example, if I have watched a film the night before, when I get up and meditate the next morning some of the images from the film may arise and pass away. It is easy, in these instances, to see that I have no control over what is appearing in 'my' thoughts, they are just the effect of having watched the film.

Some other thoughts appear not to be so straightforward, they are difficult to be aware of as they have become part of who I am and are based on the stories I have told myself my whole life. I often get lost in these thoughts and they control the person I call 'me'. On a few occasions, I have become aware that the problem is that I have not been able to cleanly catch the original thought that has arisen and over which I have no control. Instead, what I have done is completely by-passed the original thought and gone straight into the storyline that has dominated my whole life. The effect of these thoughts is that I suffer and cause suffering in the world. For example, I notice that I am anxious in writing this response, my body is tense, and I am reading and re-reading the same paragraph to make sure that I am expressing myself 'correctly'. I would laugh if it wasn't so painful. Instead of observing my direct response to your question (no control over what appears in thought) my storyline kicks in, I need to be perfect to be loved and accepted. I am tired of that storyline!

You ask, 'Can you find a thinker of thoughts?' I had a bit of a breakthrough of this a couple of weeks ago. It struck me very deeply that all that is real is a benevolent energy in the universe (call it bodhicitta, the transcendental, or whatever) and conditionality. There is no driver and no one looking for the driver!!! There is just the fruit of conditionality. All the suffering I have described above would disappear if I could only 'see' that there is no control over what appears in thought and that there is no thinker of thoughts.

This has come close on the heels of me having had a major 'A-ha' moment on 7th January this year. After having observed a very distressing death a year and a half ago, where the person involved knew they were dying and really couldn't let go at the point of death, my whole world shattered into pieces. I wasn't sure what was going on for me. I wasn't working so I allowed the process to take its natural course throughout the whole of 2012. I was just waiting for the pieces to go back together in the way they needed to, rather than me trying to control them. What kept coming back to me over and over again was the fact that she could not let go at the point of death. On 7th January I realised that what shattered me was not that she could not let go but that I can't let go. When I reflected on what is it that I cannot let go of, I saw my ego edifice as clear as daylight, layer by layer. Bottom layer is that I have a need and longing to be loved and accepted, above that is the layer of fear - that I will not be loved and accepted (this has been the driving force that has guided the whole of my life!!!), next layer up is the mask I have put to myself and the world - working hard to be lovable and acceptable, next layer up is unbearable tension in my body trying to hold all of this 'stuff' together, and top layer is an addiction to keeping this fixed self view in place (everything else is impermanent except the fact that I am not worthy, lovable, acceptable etc). On 10th January, at a practice evening at the Buddhist Center, Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Love, presented himself to me in all his glory and I realised that I don't need to be loved and accepted because I Am Love. The illusion of my ego edifice became clear.

Very soon after this, Phil got diagnosed with cancer and I have been at his service ever since. My direct experience has been that all anger, resentment etc built up over 40 years of marriage towards Phil has disappeared and instead I just have a heart full of love for him and just want his well-being. Lately, the old familiar resentments have been coming up again but I am well aware of them.

I know that it is my direct experience I should be writing to you about, but I felt that it might be helpful (to me and maybe to you) to express this very strong experience that has left me groundless. On a daily basis, I have very strong feelings of despair, a sinking feeling in my heart, I often hear myself saying to myself 'I can't keep going', I just want to be and not do, and when I get busy I want to scream. I am going through a Dark Night. And I am turning towards you Richard to guide me through this if you can.

I will try to be brief and to the point in the future and not write such long postings, but it has felt important to me to explain to you where I am at the moment.

With deepest gratitude

Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:10 am

Hello again Estevita

Thank you for your beautiful post. I am sorry if i don't do justice to it but i have some time limitations. It looks like life has been throwing some strong stuff at you. My heart goes out.
I am seeing a lot of wisdom and insight experience in your words.
I know that it is my direct experience I should be writing to you about, but I felt that it might be helpful (to me and maybe to you) to express this very strong experience that has left me groundless. On a daily basis, I have very strong feelings of despair, a sinking feeling in my heart, I often hear myself saying to myself 'I can't keep going', I just want to be and not do, and when I get busy I want to scream. I am going through a Dark Night. And I am turning towards you Richard to guide me through this if you can.
It might be worth speaking with a meditation teacher who has experience of people going through dark night periods in their practice if you think this is relevant. My primary role here is to guide you to the recognition there is no separate fixed self to be found in experience, outside of thought. My own experience of this type of thing (brought on by practice as opposeded to life circumstances) is that i need to try to meet the experience and not turn away from it. Allow it to be as it is, full acceptance. Not trying to fix it or make it go away. In fact if anything to take the position as welcoming and loving it as a part of myself. Stay with the raw experience and be wary of any stories arising about it.
Some other thoughts appear not to be so straightforward, they are difficult to be aware of as they have become part of who I am and are based on the stories I have told myself my whole life. I often get lost in these thoughts and they control the person I call 'me'. On a few occasions, I have become aware that the problem is that I have not been able to cleanly catch the original thought that has arisen and over which I have no control. Instead, what I have done is completely by-passed the original thought and gone straight into the storyline that has dominated my whole life. The effect of these thoughts is that I suffer and cause suffering in the world. For example, I notice that I am anxious in writing this response, my body is tense, and I am reading and re-reading the same paragraph to make sure that I am expressing myself 'correctly'. I would laugh if it wasn't so painful. Instead of observing my direct response to your question (no control over what appears in thought) my storyline kicks in, I need to be perfect to be loved and accepted. I am tired of that storyline!
We are not trying to stop getting lost in the story happening sometimes. Or thoughts about there being a self arising. We are not in control of this happening. Even after gate this is still likely to happen. But it will be known this is an illusion and if we look we will see there is no self and feel confident about this. Is there anything missing from experience or is it perfect as it is (even when uncomfortable) ?
Can you find something that experiences tension in the body ?
You ask, 'Can you find a thinker of thoughts?' I had a bit of a breakthrough of this a couple of weeks ago. It struck me very deeply that all that is real is a benevolent energy in the universe (call it bodhicitta, the transcendental, or whatever) and conditionality. There is no driver and no one looking for the driver!!! There is just the fruit of conditionality. All the suffering I have described above would disappear if I could only 'see' that there is no control over what appears in thought and that there is no thinker of thoughts.
Exactly. There is no one to look for the driver. In the seen, only the seen. But don't take my word for it, take a look. There is a body, but where is this self we feel we are ? Sensations in the body ? Check them out. Are they a self or just sensations ?
This has come close on the heels of me having had a major 'A-ha' moment on 7th January this year. After having observed a very distressing death a year and a half ago, where the person involved knew they were dying and really couldn't let go at the point of death, my whole world shattered into pieces. I wasn't sure what was going on for me. I wasn't working so I allowed the process to take its natural course throughout the whole of 2012. I was just waiting for the pieces to go back together in the way they needed to, rather than me trying to control them. What kept coming back to me over and over again was the fact that she could not let go at the point of death. On 7th January I realised that what shattered me was not that she could not let go but that I can't let go. When I reflected on what is it that I cannot let go of, I saw my ego edifice as clear as daylight, layer by layer. Bottom layer is that I have a need and longing to be loved and accepted, above that is the layer of fear - that I will not be loved and accepted (this has been the driving force that has guided the whole of my life!!!), next layer up is the mask I have put to myself and the world - working hard to be lovable and acceptable, next layer up is unbearable tension in my body trying to hold all of this 'stuff' together, and top layer is an addiction to keeping this fixed self view in place (everything else is impermanent except the fact that I am not worthy, lovable, acceptable etc). On 10th January, at a practice evening at the Buddhist Center, Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Love, presented himself to me in all his glory and I realised that I don't need to be loved and accepted because I Am Love. The illusion of my ego edifice became clear.
So if we objectify this ego edifice, it is a bunch of conditioning/habits, yes, no self to be found ?
And as Amitabha, pointed out, the love and acceptance you need are your own, not other peoples, and since you are that love, already, and always will be, even if the clouds go across the sun.......
Such a beautiful realisation :-)

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:36 pm

Dear Richard

Thank you for your kind and wise response which I have so appreciated. It feels so good to be able to talk to someone about my experiences and be fully heard!

Two short responses to your initial comments: I have spoken to a meditation teacher about my Dark Night experiences and I do understand that these experiences are part of the natural process of unfolding, even though they are so painful. It is good to be reminded by you to love and accept these raw experiences and for me to remind myself that it doesn't matter if I am going through pleasure or pain, the important thing is to 'know' that the experience is helping me unfold.

The second short response is that it is good to hear that even after the Gate, thoughts about self still arise and we continue getting lost in our story sometimes as we are not in control of thoughts. What we do have now is the realisation of no self that carries us through with confidence.

Now for more considered responses to your questions. You ask: 'Is there anything missing from experience or is it perfect as it is (even when uncomfortable)?' Without the storyline, there is just the objective arising and passing away of sensations, dependent on conditions. In that case, there is nothing missing from experience and it is perfect. Certain conditions give rise to pleasure and others give rise to pain. The conditions that have given rise to my present, painful situation (a sinking feeling in my heart, deep despair at the core of my existence, a desire to scream silently from my heart, accumulated tears that just won't come) have been the outcome of a life-time attachment to a self that has whispered incessantly in my ear that I am not lovable or acceptable. This has created a separation that has caused me and others suffering. I am experiencing now the fruit of those conditions. That self no longer exists, it dissolved on January 7th but, through lack of clarity and confidence, I have not been able to quite put down that storyline. The only relief I get from this deep pain is when I breathe deeply into my heart (in and outside of meditation), place myself in the present moment, and there I can readily contact a spacious stillness that is timeless and peaceful. This gives me confidence that liberation from the self is possible, that the end of suffering is possible, that the fruit of conditioning will dissolve as soon as I can fully put down the concept of self.

You ask: Can you find something that experiences tension in the body? When I pay close attention in meditation, I am aware that body and mind are very closely connected. The understanding that came about on 7th January allowed me to see that tension is only an attempt by the body to hold the mind's storyline together. That, in fact, the storyline is held frozen in the body.

You ask: 'There is a body, but where is this self we feel we are ? Sensations in the body ? Check them out. Are they a self or just sensations ?' I am beginning to understand The Wheel of Life like never before: we have a body, we have the six senses and these senses put us in touch with the objects of the senses, that is all there is (in the seen, only the seen). The self is a creation of our chattering mind, of our likes and dislikes, of our attachments. An illusion. In meditation, I sometimes can notice the arising and passing of sensations simply as the sensations of tingling, a breeze, itching, heat, pressure, etc. But, it feels so familiar to want more of the sensations I like, and want to push away those that I don't like.

You ask: 'So if we objectify this ego edifice, it is a bunch of conditioning/habits, yes, no self to be found ?' Arghhhhh!!!! The fact is that as a child I did not feel loved and accepted. I have built up a whole life around this feeling which has gone way past its sell-by date. I created a self, fixed it, and have become so fully identified with it that I have not allowed myself to see any other reality. Yes, there is no self to be found, just more and more of the same old 'stuff'.

With gratitude and humility

Estevita

PS I think I understand why I lost my first posting - I pressed the Quick Reply button and wrote my posting rather than the Post Reply.

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:41 pm

Hi Estevita
This gives me confidence that liberation from the self is possible, that the end of suffering is possible, that the fruit of conditioning will dissolve as soon as I can fully put down the concept of self.
Seeing that our sense of self is just a label put on thoughts, sensations, etc, clears away some of the muck on the lens experience is unwittingly viewed through. It doesn't clear all the muck/conditioning off so while suffering may be reduced, it is likely to still be there. However, it also makes it easier to tackle the rest of the muck :-)

Can you find anything in direct experience that could put down thoughts about "I", or do they just appear ?
You ask: Can you find something that experiences tension in the body? When I pay close attention in meditation, I am aware that body and mind are very closely connected. The understanding that came about on 7th January allowed me to see that tension is only an attempt by the body to hold the mind's storyline together. That, in fact, the storyline is held frozen in the body.
OK, so there is tension in the body and a storyline/thoughts arising. They seem to be related as they coincide. Is there anything else to be found of a self other than these thoughts and sensations ?
The self is a creation of our chattering mind, of our likes and dislikes, of our attachments. An illusion.
OK, so thoughts appear, likes, dislikes, attachment happen. Can you find something that is doing them or something they are happening to ?
The fact is that as a child I did not feel loved and accepted. I have built up a whole life around this feeling which has gone way past its sell-by date. I created a self, fixed it, and have become so fully identified with it that I have not allowed myself to see any other reality. Yes, there is no self to be found, just more and more of the same old 'stuff'.
What does not feel loved and accepted ?
What has built a life around this feeling ?
What created a self, fixed it and became identified ?
What sees and is looking at the screen ?
Is it all just life happening ?
Is it all just thoughts and feelings coming into experience ?
Is there an experiencer of all of this or does it all just happen ?

Estevita, please understand i am not being critical in any way. There is nothing wrong with whatever you write. I just use it as a spring board to ask you, is this really what you are experiencing, or is it interpreted in a certain way? You need to look and feel the nature of this, thinking about it means we are just looking at our ideas about what is going on; rather than the direct experience here and now that is is actually happening.

Sending you love and care,

Richard

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:03 pm

Dear Richard

Well here goes with as much presence and honesty as I can summon up:

'Can you find anything in direct experience that could put down thoughts about "I", or do they just appear ?'
I am not in control of what appears in my mind. Thoughts about 'I' just appear.

'OK, so there is tension in the body and a storyline/thoughts arising. They seem to be related as they coincide. Is there anything else to be found of a self other than these thoughts and sensations ?'
What I find is an interpretation of thoughts and sensations based on the past which cause tension and pain, this I identify with my 'self'. When I breathe in deeply down into my heart (in and outside meditation) I find myself squarely in the present moment. There I can readily access a spacious stillness that is timeless and peaceful. There is no concept of 'I', just arising and passing away. Although I can access that space quite readily, I cannot sustain it for long. Thoughts about 'me' and 'mine' soon reappear. My default position is to identify with my interpretations of the past. What would happen if I could set my default position to identify with the present moment, I ask myself?

'OK, so thoughts appear, likes, dislikes, attachment happen. Can you find something that is doing them or something they are happening to ?'
Thoughts are sensations. So all I can find are sensations rippling through my body which I choose to interpret as likes and dislikes.

'What does not feel loved and accepted ?'
The tension in my body, the thoughts careering through my mind.

'What has built a life around this feeling ?'
A fearful conviction that I will not be loved and accepted.

What created a self, fixed it and became identified ?
The thinking faculty which is a tool, not 'me'.

What sees and is looking at the screen ?
A second-hand version of direct experience that wants to control and fix. If I am seeing and looking at a screen, I am not experiencing directly. I am interpreting.

Is it all just life happening? Is it all just thoughts and feelings coming into experience?
Is there an experiencer of all of this or does it all just happen ?
Things arise and pass away dependent on conditions. My experience of pain is just thoughts and feelings which want to be heard on their way out, and my interpretations. No driver, no one looking for a driver. Just the sensation of pain...

With a heart wide open

Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:17 am

What I find is an interpretation of thoughts and sensations based on the past which cause tension and pain, this I identify with my 'self'. When I breathe in deeply down into my heart (in and outside meditation) I find myself squarely in the present moment. There I can readily access a spacious stillness that is timeless and peaceful. There is no concept of 'I', just arising and passing away. Although I can access that space quite readily, I cannot sustain it for long. Thoughts about 'me' and 'mine' soon reappear. My default position is to identify with my interpretations of the past. What would happen if I could set my default position to identify with the present moment, I ask myself?
OK, this is interesting. So from this we see when we are present in the moment, with no thought, there is no "I" to be found. So there are periods of our life already when there is no self. From this we know there is no continually existing self - even as illusion. So what is happening the rest of the time ? We are not trying to prevent or change anything. We are just trying to see what is going on. What is there and what isn't there. What is real and what isn't real. What can be found in experience and what only exists in thought.

Some thought labels refer to objects that can be found in experience e.g. the computer screen. Other thought labels refer to objects that are never found in experience e.g. unicorn. You might see a unicorn in and book or film, but i would be very surprised if you ever get to sit on one !

So this is how the illusion of self works. Things in experience get labeled as self. So a sensation in the body gets labeled as "me" and "mine". A string of thoughts arises and is labeled as "me thinking". An emotion arises and is labeled as "me thinking". In combination this can appear convincing.
So we need to investigate our experience and start to recognize and distinguish between the labels and objects arising in sense experience. We will find, experientially in seeing and feeling experience that none of it is "self" and never has been, that the self, "I" and "me" only exist as thought content.

Another thing to check which can sometimes help clarify is can a thought think or feel ?
So all I can find are sensations rippling through my body which I choose to interpret as likes and dislikes.
Can you find anything that is doing the interpreting ?
If I am seeing and looking at a screen, I am not experiencing directly. I am interpreting.
What is not experiencing directly and interpreting ?
Take a look and see what is being labeled as "me" in this experience. Thought, sensation ?
Let me know what your experience looking into this is

Let all be loved and accepted

User avatar
Estevita
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:27 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby Estevita » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:50 pm

Dear Richard

OK, there is just direct experience (sensations arising and passing away), there is no one 'doing' the experience, I accept that. I have spent this lovely, sunny, warm day in the garden, just watching life happening and experiencing sensations of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and thought coming in and out of my field of experience. I've been reflecting on where is the 'I' in all this and all I can find are sensations, everything else is labeling, story line, illusion. But I feel my feet pressing down on the warm grass and then I wonder why I can feel 'my' feet and not Phil's feet pressing down on the grass. I get confused.

I have also reflected a lot today on what am I clinging on to. What came up for me is that I am clinging on to pain, because through pain my 'self' can continue to exist.

You ask: 'Another thing to check which can sometimes help clarify is, can a thought think or feel?' No, a thought is just a sensation arising and passing away, like the butterfly that has just flown past my window and is now gone. What weighs me down is the storyline I plaster across that inoffensive thought which gives rise to feelings, tension in the body, and a sense of 'I'.

You ask: 'Can you find anything that is doing the interpreting?' What is doing the interpreting is not direct experience, which is clean and clear and all there is, but the stuff I've been carrying around with me for years, like a corpse in a sack that is weighing me down - this is who I am, this is what I like, this is what I don't like - which by-passes direct experience.

I could scream!

You ask: 'What is not experiencing directly and interpreting?'
'Take a look and see what is being labeled as "me" in this experience. Thought, sensation?' It keeps coming back to the same thing, there is no 'I', there is just experience through the senses and through thoughts. What keeps the self going is attachment to stories which have made me label experience that distance me from reality.

Arghhhhh!

With gratitude to you Richard.

Estevita

User avatar
richardcooper2k
Posts: 420
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:13 am

Re: Thread for Estevita

Postby richardcooper2k » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:07 am

Hi Estevita
I have spent this lovely, sunny, warm day in the garden, just watching life happening and experiencing sensations of sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and thought coming in and out of my field of experience. I've been reflecting on where is the 'I' in all this and all I can find are sensations, everything else is labeling, story line, illusion. But I feel my feet pressing down on the warm grass and then I wonder why I can feel 'my' feet and not Phil's feet pressing down on the grass. I get confused.
Some great looking/feeling going on here !
And you bring up a very good point regarding who's feet ? So what's going on here ?
If i close my eyes and just notice bodily sensations a picture of the body seems to automatically form in my mind. If i meditate for a while this picture can fade. It is a form of labeling being superimposed on the bare sensation. A similar thing happens when a scene appears like in your garden. The sensation gets superimposed on the seen. In other words the links made between what is seen and sensation are thought. Bahiya sutta points to this. So...in the seen only the seen; in the sensed, only the sensed; etc.
Does this help when you look now ?
I have also reflected a lot today on what am I clinging on to. What came up for me is that I am clinging on to pain, because through pain my 'self' can continue to exist.
When i try to relate this to my own experience, this is what comes up : when there is pain or discomfort, there is a tendency not to fully "meet" and "stand in" the experience. Instead there is the tendency for thoughts to come up often along the lines of "something is happening to "me" ". This creates the appearance of separation between the sensation of pain and An illusory self existent only in thought.
How does this fit with your experience when you look in real time ?
We are not trying to stop this happening. We just want to see the mechanism of what is really going on.
What weighs me down is the storyline I plaster across that inoffensive thought which gives rise to feelings, tension in the body, and a sense of 'I'.
Are you plastering this story line or is it just more thoughts coming up ?
What is doing the interpreting is not direct experience, which is clean and clear and all there is, but the stuff I've been carrying around with me for years, like a corpse in a sack that is weighing me down - this is who I am, this is what I like, this is what I don't like - which by-passes direct experience.
Again, we are not trying to stop this happening. We have no control over it. Isn't it just another story, habitual thoughts arising? Who are they arising to ? The more this is seen, they start to loose their power. Be kind to yourself and the arising thoughts.
You ask: 'What is not experiencing directly and interpreting?'
'Take a look and see what is being labeled as "me" in this experience. Thought, sensation?' It keeps coming back to the same thing, there is no 'I', there is just experience through the senses and through thoughts. What keeps the self going is attachment to stories which have made me label experience that distance me from reality.
Do thoughts have experience, are or they a part of experience ?
Is there something that gets attached, labels and gets distanced from reality ?


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests