Ready to crash the gate

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Ronzza
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Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:26 pm

Hi!

Would anyone be willing to work as a guide for me? I am totally ready to see the reality as it is and get over with this illusion called "I". For a quite a while I've been trying to achieve enlightenment one way or another, without a a lasting seeing. I already know it more or less from an experience that there is no I as there has been many satori's as one would call them. Most of the ego structure has been already tossed out of a window and actually there is nothing more left to "get" than this freedom from the self. Lately it has been pretty painful as all personal dreams, wishes and so on have been dying out of the way. I am working right now and everyday when i get to home i don't feel as much doing anything else but sit still, meditate, let everything be and try to see through the illusion. Instead if i'll do anything else; hang with my friends, go out, be at computer or whatsoever i get mainly frustrated and anxiety starts to build up. All these activities can be done and will be done even after the awakening but for now, i just need to "die" first. I think Ramana Maharshi compared this to the urgency one has while he is being held underwater and needs air.

So because of this urgency i would like to work with a guide quite closely. There's no need to have day or two between the discussion but instead i would love to have more of a chat kind of way to guiding. I'd appreciate anyone who is willing to help me :)

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moondog
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:34 pm

Hi there and welcome,

My name's Pete and my role is to guide you through your own unique process.

There are a few things that we need to make clear before the journey begins.

Tell me a bit about yourself, what you would like me like to call you, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for. Also, what time zone are you're in - I'm in Somerset in the UK.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read this article: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

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

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?

Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lots of love,

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Ronzza
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:12 pm

Hi Pete! Thanks for taking the role of a guide for me.

My name is Roni and i'm 20 years old. Right now im a student and working aside a bit. I'm from Helsinki, Finland and time in my timezone is GMT +2/3 (depending on summer months). My 'spiritual journey' started around two years ago. Mostly i got keen into all kind of esoteric stuff etc. and drunk a whole bunch of information from internet in the course of many months. That was the first step into something more as i call it. From there i got interested in smoking weed which led to many realizations and insights and while that had continued for a while i decided to give magic mushrooms a try and that was kinda the first initialization for me. Eventho psychedelics alter our brainchemistry and so on, i know that some of those experiences during that time were just as same as living as no-self. From that point on i knew that there wasn't anything else than this in my whole life which i would been striving for. This was all that was ever wanted.

So.. from that on i'll tried them few times again and eventho they gave me a lot of insight they also fucked up me a lot. I'm not diving into details but the last year has been a hard time for me. I've had derealization, lots of analytic processing about the nature of existence etc. besides the collapsing of this me-identity which i had been identifying myself for all my life until these experiences. In the beginning of this year i was working on international guiding area for a while with a finnish guide but he didn't really devote to the guiding process and eventually left. At those times one night i had my biggest awakening ever realizing there was no me but afterall, that didn't stick. For a quite a time (maybe 5 to 10 hours) i was completely without a story, totally present until some thought came and got me back into me. Heh, sounds stupid i guess :D

Okay thats my story summarized. So yeah, i know how the process goes and what the rules are. Without a doubt im agreeing with all of that, i truly hope we are able to catch up more than once a day until the seeing happens.
Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?
I'll try to keep this short aswell. I'm not expecting for everlasting laughter and joy eventho those two will arise much more often as it seems. Life will be life after awakening and there will be challenges whether it is working for money or getting ill, there would just be nothing to relate to that as a sense it is personal or happening to someone apart from it. I'm searching for a peace of mind and living totally in the present moment, without a story of me in the past or projection of future. There is literally a huge analytic process in this head here going on all the time and so many thoughts, i would love to this overpouring thinking to stop almost completely, only working when it really is necessary and relevant for the situations and planning. This will feel like heaven, a liberation, oneness with all that is and "home" that is truly all that is ever wanted. Even taking a crap would be the meaning of my life, every moment would be the best. It will change me in the way that i am free to do what i want in the moment, without being afraid how other people react and so on. I probably would be much more loving towards everyone and everything and i wouldn't need to be dishonest when relating to people. I would be totally open to everything and accept everything as it is.

Much love,

Roni

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moondog
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:23 pm

Hi Roni,

Thanks for accepting me as your guide and for letting me know a bit about yourself.

I took quite a lot of psychedelics back in the dim and distant past and I think those experiences are what first put me on the path to where I am now.
What are your expectations for this process?
i would love to this overpouring thinking to stop almost completely, only working when it really is necessary and relevant for the situations and planning. This will feel like heaven, a liberation, oneness with all that is and "home" that is truly all that is ever wanted. Even taking a crap would be the meaning of my life, every moment would be the best. It will change me in the way that i am free to do what i want in the moment, without being afraid how other people react and so on. I probably would be much more loving towards everyone and everything and i wouldn't need to be dishonest when relating to people. I would be totally open to everything and accept everything as it is.
It should certainly help you see life/"your" life, more clearly. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. As I've just said, the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside all expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and are so not within direct experience. If dwelt on, these expectation thoughts can be a serious distraction from seeing the truth of no-self.

Rest assured, that when you see that there is and never has been a "you", a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist. There's no Santa Claus.

So, excellent. As I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also, the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would “be like” or what life ought to “look like” once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that “getting it” is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - "seeing through" Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, "there's no Santa"! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, "positive", "negative". However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I can guarantee to post once a day, perhaps occasionally more, and will tell you in advance if I know I won't be able to post. It would be good if you could do the same.

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this.

At last, let's move on towards the core of this work.

Observe closely, and let me know what your reaction is when I say to you that:

The "I" that you think you are is not real.

It can't be found in real life if searched for.

It is only a thought (although a very deeply ingrained one) in your head.

There's no 'you' thinking your thoughts.

There's no 'you' living your life.

Something is living your life, but its not 'you'.


Just take those statements deep inside. Really let them sink in.

What physical sensations do you notice?

What thoughts do you notice?

What feelings do you notice?
.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Ronzza
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:14 pm

Thanks for clarifying and broadening up this all. Yes, expectations can be really in the way so i'm doing my best to put them aside. However, some of the 'expectations' i mentioned are more of aspects of living as no-self from the experience. They may either last long or short periods of time but surely they are the things that colour the living as a no-self and make it a "liberation", otherwise there wouldn't be anything in that what would make living at all better or more free than living as the ego, atleast this is how it is in my point of view :)

As i said earlier i know from an experience that there is no self at all, naturally it is known intellectually then aswell. This doesn't mean however that there is no apparent self right here most of the day because there is. Constant thoughts and thought-patterns related to "me" and self-image cover up almost entirely the whole day. So, i know there is no me but really don't experience it as much as i would like to. I'm not saying that truly seeing the reality of this would be constant 24/7 no-thought living or so, but atleast i don't think "I" am there yet because there is still this "me" apparently living this life and doing its job for the most part of my everyday life.

[quote="moondog"
At last, let's move on towards the core of this work.

Observe closely, and let me know what your reaction is when I say to you that:

The "I" that you think you are is not real.

It can't be found in real life if searched for.

It is only a thought (although a very deeply ingrained one) in your head.

There's no 'you' thinking your thoughts.

There's no 'you' living your life.

Something is living your life, but its not 'you'.


Just take those statements deep inside. Really let them sink in.

What physical sensations do you notice?

What thoughts do you notice?

What feelings do you notice?
. [/quote]

When i contemplate and ask myself how does it feel like that there truly is no me i get the sense of relief. At the beginning of starting this with my previous guide i got this non-existant feeling and felt a bit of terror. Thoughts arose and made it worse, this however doesn't arise anymore. It feels relief because i could let go of all that still keeps me tied up in anxiety and depression, all the stories of good or bad me. Physical relaxation. I cannot find myself anywhere, not in the body or the world outside or inside this body.

Thought and this mental kind of sense of me however is still deeply there. Thinking of the fact that there is no thinker of thoughts is also a big relief. There are so sick and utterly hurtful, even very abstract and distracting thoughts coming up all the time and looking at them and seeing they come without effort from nowhere without any thinker is awesome. At the times i was wondering why i keep running these thoughts in my head but now i see that i am not, i can't do anything about them, there is no me thinking them so its cool. However in a rush and busy schedule i'll find myself thinking that i am thinking the thoughts. Calming down helps to see the reality of that much more.

Thoughts may come and go when contemplating the whole idea of there being no me at all. This is known as a fact but thoughts will come and say something like: This can't be, here i am all the time you see? What else there would be if there is no me? This is many times related to a feeling of me which feels as it has a center but it doesn't. Constant thinking keeps this going on really active.

I think this is enough for now. I could say alot more but i'll prefer to keep it as short as possible :)

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:30 pm

Hi Roni,
However, some of the 'expectations' i mentioned are more of aspects of living as no-self from the experience. They may either last long or short periods of time but surely they are the things that colour the living as a no-self and make it a "liberation", otherwise there wouldn't be anything in that what would make living at all better or more free than living as the ego, atleast this is how it is in my point of view :)
Looking in direct experience for a self-entity, finding none anywhere, and therefore knowing for sure there isn't one, is not a state. After seeing through the illusion, "you" will probably still experience all sorts of thoughts, sensations and feelings, "positive" and "negative" but, because you now know that there is no "me", your perception of life will be different in as much as your thoughts no longer coalesce around this mythical "I". This causes a significant reduction in suffering, sometimes sudden, sometimes gradual. More generally, people's post-gate experiences vary massively.

No matter what your expectations or memories of certain experiences are, they are still only thoughts. There's nothing wrong with thoughts as such. They're just part of life and aren't a problem if we see them for what they are: just concepts, messages, dodgy data packages, opinions and judgements, derived directly or indirectly from past (immediate, recent, distant) direct experience. Thoughts can vary in the accuracy of their content, but they are not direct experience of what is and so are not reliable at all.

Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of THIS. NOW. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinesthetic].

My job is purely to get you to look at "your" direct experience to see if an "I" can be found anywhere there so that you can see the absolute truth of this statement:

"I" is just a thought..so it can't be a thinker, doer, witness or anything at all.

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?"

When i contemplate and ask myself how does it feel like that there truly is no me i get the sense of relief. At the beginning of starting this with my previous guide i got this non-existant feeling and felt a bit of terror. Thoughts arose and made it worse, this however doesn't arise anymore. It feels relief because i could let go of all that still keeps me tied up in anxiety and depression, all the stories of good or bad me. Physical relaxation. I cannot find myself anywhere, not in the body or the world outside or inside this body.
That's good to know and very encouraging going forward. It may well be that some good progress was made when you were guided before.
Thinking of the fact that there is no thinker of thoughts is also a big relief.
Yeah, but these are still just thoughts about thoughts, not direct experience!
Thoughts may come and go when contemplating the whole idea of there being no me at all. This is known as a fact but thoughts will come and say something like: This can't be, here i am all the time you see? What else there would be if there is no me? This is many times related to a feeling of me which feels as it has a center but it doesn't. Constant thinking keeps this going on really active.
I want to take you, in a relaxed, flexible kind of way, on a sort of "grand tour" of all the areas of direct experience so that you can look to see if a self is to be found in any of them. That way, you can become increasingly certain that none is to be found. There are only I-thoughts. Given all you've said, I think it would be good now to start our tour by first looking at thoughts and thinking.

Where do thoughts come from?

Are you in control of them?

Can you stop a thought from coming?

Can you stop it in the middle?

Do you know what the next thought will be?

Is "I" a different thought from the thought of say, a table?

Can a thought think?


There's no rush, so take your time and examine all of this closely. Just wait for thoughts to come and see what you notice.

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:16 pm

Hi Pete!

Okies, all assumptions and expectations aside for now. I'll do my best to investigate the direct experience of here and now.

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?"

Well, because i can't really find any solid I anywhere it doesn't have a shape or size. Sometimes, if the situation where i'm placed at is hasty and i have my hands on a lot of things at the same time, there often comes a feeling that i am the body and that feels like that is me at the time. However right now when investigating, it doesn't have any shape or size unless i think i am the body. A quality to me varies a lot, can't really explain it. I don't know if you mean a feeling or sense by this.

Where do thoughts come from?

Are you in control of them?

Can you stop a thought from coming?

Can you stop it in the middle?

Do you know what the next thought will be?

Is "I" a different thought from the thought of say, a table?

Can a thought think?
- Thoughts come from nowhere. In a sense they don't have any place where they origin from expect this moment. They pop up "here" even i can't point exactly where and then they go. Another thought comes up and replaces the previous one. This cycle is being repeated moment by moment.

- I'm not in control of thoughts as they just originate by themselves.

- In a sense i can't stop the thoughts in the middle but if a thought arises which isn't being liked or whatsoever there can be a shifting of a focus on something different and it feels as if the thought is being stopped right there.

- I can't say what the next thought will be, no. But there certainly are some nice guesses from time to time. Isn't that guessing anyway the next thought that couldn't be predicted?

- The thought "I" is just a thought, a label, a word in the head. Same goes to the table or chair, so, the thought "I" doesn't differ from those thoughts at all. They are equally just thoughts.

- Thinking happens by connecting many thoughts together to build a working totality, therefore thought by itself doesn't think.

- Roni

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:47 pm

Hi Roni,
When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?"
Well, because i can't really find any solid I anywhere it doesn't have a shape or size. Sometimes, if the situation where i'm placed at is hasty and i have my hands on a lot of things at the same time, there often comes a feeling that i am the body and that feels like that is me at the time. However right now when investigating, it doesn't have any shape or size unless i think i am the body. A quality to me varies a lot, can't really explain it. I don't know if you mean a feeling or sense by this.
Yeah, it seems to be quite common that when there is more pressure or stress there is a stronger impression of a self.

Could you say a little more about your feeling that you are the body when under pressure. Can you see this feeling in direct experience? If so, please describe it in detail. If not, what is it? Is it a bodily feeling followed by a thought, or just a thought or what? Really look into direct experience and let me know what's going on.

Good answers around thoughts. It seems like you can't find any self doing anything there, but let's just make sure.
- In a sense i can't stop the thoughts in the middle but if a thought arises which isn't being liked or whatsoever there can be a shifting of a focus on something different and it feels as if the thought is being stopped right there.
Do you have any sense, in direct experience, of a self-entity doing that? If so, please describe it.
- I can't say what the next thought will be, no. But there certainly are some nice guesses from time to time. Isn't that guessing anyway the next thought that couldn't be predicted?
Yep, that's right.
The thought "I" is just a thought, a label, a word in the head. Same goes to the table or chair, so, the thought "I" doesn't differ from those thoughts at all. They are equally just thoughts.
You're absolutely correct although, of course, your thoughts/memories of tables, chairs etc relate (with varying degrees of accuracy) to "things" that can actually be experienced, that exist. Thoughts of a self are about an illusion, something that has never existed.
- Thinking happens by connecting many thoughts together to build a working totality, therefore thought by itself doesn't think.
What does the connecting? Or is there even any connecting? Or is the latest thought just telling you that they are all connected? Can thoughts actually do or cause anything?

All good so far; I reckon that went really well.

Let's move on to sense arisings and the self as experiencer (or not):

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:14 pm

Hi Roni,

It's been a couple of days now since I heard anything from you.

Is everything ok?

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:30 am

Hi Pete! Yes i'm back here now. Lets dive into the process.

Yeah, it seems to be quite common that when there is more pressure or stress there is a stronger impression of a self.

Could you say a little more about your feeling that you are the body when under pressure. Can you see this feeling in direct experience? If so, please describe it in detail. If not, what is it? Is it a bodily feeling followed by a thought, or just a thought or what? Really look into direct experience and let me know what's going on.


Well it seems it is only a thought about bodily feeling under the stress or so. This causes a huge chain reaction of feelings and thoughts that imply there is me being the victim of the circumstance and so on. Usually, at those times there isn't any time to even ponder that now this happened to me or didn't so it is usual to get really caught in all this.. it may lead up to even to fill up the rest of the day in anxiety etc.

In direct experience when really investigating there is no such thing as me in the body. I saw this yesterday once again really well but it was only a glimpse and i was tired. Was so freeing to observer "my" body and see that there is no such thing as me. Where in the body it would be even located heh? It surely feels most of the time as it is behind the eyes. or behind the sight somehow.
- In a sense i can't stop the thoughts in the middle but if a thought arises which isn't being liked or whatsoever there can be a shifting of a focus on something different and it feels as if the thought is being stopped right there.
Do you have any sense, in direct experience, of a self-entity doing that? If so, please describe it.
Now when investigating, no. The mind is very clever and keeps the story going on this way. If there is thoughts and thought patterns which are seen very heavy, disturbing, negative etc. they naturally cause stress, anxiety etc. However, it is not being accepted as part of what is occurring and so there is tendency to stop all those thoughts, to get rid of them. If one heavy thought arises it can be instantly seen as negative from "point of view" of another thought which arises almost right after the previous one which caused uneasiness. There is still no control of that eventho when not paying attention to the process at all, it is believed so.
Let's move on to sense arisings and the self as experiencer (or not):

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
I've done this many times and i really can't find that separate me there. Sometimes it is much more clear than other times, especially if i have been meditating from 30 mins to 1 hour or more and from time to time tried to see if there is any me or boundaries of me between all the senses. I'll go to my backyard to meditate for a while and see what comes up.

What would you say about sitting still for plenty of hours doing nothing? It seems to work for me really well. There may be times when it is absolutely clear that there is no me but usually sooner or later thought comes up and tells me to do something instead of just sitting. There "I" go again and am back in illusion. It feels as if i just spend time by myself giving space to to everything, especially thoughts that are so busy trying to be believed in i'll get rid of "myself" so much easier.

Looking forward to catch up again!

Love,

Roni

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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:48 pm

Hi Roni,

Nice to see you back.
In direct experience when really investigating there is no such thing as me in the body. I saw this yesterday once again really well but it was only a glimpse and i was tired. Was so freeing to observer "my" body and see that there is no such thing as me.
It's great that you can see that but I note that you first of all say that when you look in direct experience there's no you in the body, but you then say it was only a glimpse and you were tired. I would expect that if you can't find a self anywhere in the body at any one time that would be the same whenever you look in direct experience, with only thoughts arising to act as temporary distractions, if "you" let them. Is that the case or do you sometimes see a "me"?
If there is thoughts and thought patterns which are seen very heavy, disturbing, negative etc. they naturally cause stress, anxiety etc.
Isn't the seeing of certain thoughts as heavy, disturbing etc. just more thoughts telling "you" that? Can you see that if "you" don't become involved in these thoughts, but just recognise them for what they are i.e. dodgy data packages wound up with self-serving opinions and judgements (easier said than done I know, but this does work), the experience of stress, anxiety, fear etc just won't arise to the same extent, if at all?
However, it is not being accepted as part of what is occurring and so there is tendency to stop all those thoughts, to get rid of them.
Just need to make sure what you mean here. Are you saying there is a tendency to want to stop all thoughts? Or that there is a tendency to actually stop all thoughts? I'm pretty sure you mean the former not the latter, as the latter just contradicts the rest of what you're saying here, but I just need to be sure whether you think you have any control at all over your thinking processes.

On a different tack, here's an exercise for you to do around how we can have a strong sense of something, like a separate self. Suppose I extend my hands to you and say," Here is a watermelon." And I then give you an imaginary watermelon. You take the imaginary watermelon and “hold" it. Go ahead, just really do it. Hold the imaginary watermelon—huge—in between your hands. Now I ask you, "What should you do to get rid of this watermelon in your hands?" You can’t. There’s nothing there.
What would you say about sitting still for plenty of hours doing nothing? It seems to work for me really well.
I'm a long- term meditator, been at it for many years, and my practice is sometimes called just sitting because that's what it involves. I just sit for 30 or 40 minutes, twice a day, and I'm simply aware of whatever's going on, "inside" and "outside", thoughts coming and going, silences, noises, vibrations, smells, whatever. Just because I do it doesn't mean I say others should, it's up to them, and you can certainly see through the illusion of self without meditating, because only looking everywhere in direct experience will work. However, meditation as I do it is calming and is good practice for effortlessly being in direct experience and becoming familiar with the mind's attempts to distract from what is real.

So great, I think it's going well so far and you could clearly see no self in seeing hearing etc., so let's move on to self as doer/controller:

It's clear that when we breathe, blink, digest food etc. there's no "I" involved, but how is it for you when walking?

How is it when doing various everyday things like say, brushing your teeth, washing up, that kind of thing?

Is there any "I" there for any of these actions, or are they just like "automatic"?

Look to see whether, when "you" do these things there is sometimes a thought, just after that says, "I did that."

Are all actions "automatic"?


P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Ronzza
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:07 pm

In direct experience when really investigating there is no such thing as me in the body. I saw this yesterday once again really well but it was only a glimpse and i was tired. Was so freeing to observer "my" body and see that there is no such thing as me.
It's great that you can see that but I note that you first of all say that when you look in direct experience there's no you in the body, but you then say it was only a glimpse and you were tired. I would expect that if you can't find a self anywhere in the body at any one time that would be the same whenever you look in direct experience, with only thoughts arising to act as temporary distractions, if "you" let them. Is that the case or do you sometimes see a "me"?
Well, obviously i never see me in the body. There are plenty of thoughts in this organism popping up and they cause sometimes these distractions. It happens many times a day but doesn't mean "I" am really there.
Isn't the seeing of certain thoughts as heavy, disturbing etc. just more thoughts telling "you" that? Can you see that if "you" don't become involved in these thoughts, but just recognise them for what they are i.e. dodgy data packages wound up with self-serving opinions and judgements (easier said than done I know, but this does work), the experience of stress, anxiety, fear etc just won't arise to the same extent, if at all?
Yes. In a sense all thoughts are equal and none can be better or worse than other. If said so, the comment comes from the mind. I meant heavy and disturbing in a sense how they feel to the body. Not as a mean to "judge" them or whatsoever.
Just need to make sure what you mean here. Are you saying there is a tendency to want to stop all thoughts? Or that there is a tendency to actually stop all thoughts? I'm pretty sure you mean the former not the latter, as the latter just contradicts the rest of what you're saying here, but I just need to be sure whether you think you have any control at all over your thinking processes.
No i didn't mean there is tendency to stop thinking totally. It would feel nice i guess but no, that is not what i meant. What i mean is that the mind has a tendency or desire to stop all those negative thoughts arising when it feels awkward, and as this is just another thought saying that there shouldn't be those thoughts it just feeds the illusion. There is nobody doing that anyhow.

Lately there has been a real drive to sit in meditation atleast an hour per day. Here in this mind there is deep rooted patterns of negative thinking and anxiety etc. and only way for me to have some relief from them has come from meditating. Actually there hasn't been interest of doing much anything besides meditation for past couple weeks but as i have to work, there ain't that much time for meditation (or sitting still) after all. Maybe i'll just hang with my computer less for now :) It surely is one big thing that keeps one distracted a lot.
So great, I think it's going well so far and you could clearly see no self in seeing hearing etc., so let's move on to self as doer/controller:

It's clear that when we breathe, blink, digest food etc. there's no "I" involved, but how is it for you when walking?

How is it when doing various everyday things like say, brushing your teeth, washing up, that kind of thing?

Is there any "I" there for any of these actions, or are they just like "automatic"?

Look to see whether, when "you" do these things there is sometimes a thought, just after that says, "I did that."

Are all actions "automatic"?
More and more it has become obvious for me that there is nobody doing any of these actions. Twenty minutes ago as i was sitting in my backyard, sitting still, letting everything be and having some juice it was again very clear how this body just did its thing by its own. Hand was raised with a grip of the juice and all there was was a observation happening but no one doing it. And yes, many times when "i" do anything whatsoever the action is been followed by thoughts that say there was a me doing it.

- Roni

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moondog
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Hi Roni,

Well, that all looks good. You've answered my queries and doubts and seem to be seeing through the illusion more and more deeply.

So, let's now move on a little from doing to deciding/choosing (although the border between these is, to say the least, a little hazy). Try this exercise:

Raise your right arm (or don’t). In that process of raising the right arm (or not), a decision is made, or at least something happens (or doesn’t). But can you pinpoint the actual moment of choice and find the actual entity that appears to be making that choice? In direct experience, can that moment of choice, that apparent chooser, actually be found? Or does the idea “i just chose to (not) raise my right arm” come after the event itself?

Also, can I ask you to have a look at the following short video clip from BBC Horizon - The Secret You on Neuroscience and Freewill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i3AiOS4nCE . It demonstrates scientifically that our decisions and choices are made a full 6 seconds before we think we make them, i.e. before a thought arises saying, "I decided to do this." There is no substitute for looking in direct experience, but this is excellent scientific corroboration for what is to be found, or rather not found, in direct experience.

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Ronzza
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby Ronzza » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:40 am

Hi Pete,
Raise your right arm (or don’t). In that process of raising the right arm (or not), a decision is made, or at least something happens (or doesn’t). But can you pinpoint the actual moment of choice and find the actual entity that appears to be making that choice? In direct experience, can that moment of choice, that apparent chooser, actually be found? Or does the idea “i just chose to (not) raise my right arm” come after the event itself?

Also, can I ask you to have a look at the following short video clip from BBC Horizon - The Secret You on Neuroscience and Freewill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i3AiOS4nCE . It demonstrates scientifically that our decisions and choices are made a full 6 seconds before we think we make them, i.e. before a thought arises saying, "I decided to do this." There is no substitute for looking in direct experience, but this is excellent scientific corroboration for what is to be found, or rather not found, in direct experience.
First time reading through the exercise above there wasn't decision to raise my arm. I continued to read it over and at the end i rose my arm for one reason or another. It seems really clearly that "I" is very much trying to fit itself in the process of making decision and can seemingly come part of the experience very very quickly after the decision. I still can't say totally that the arm was raised (or not) by itself, without any I involving because it every time feels as there is me doing that, atleast if the case is to attempt point out that there is no me. Then there is lot of pondering and thoughts rolling around the whole exercise, me, me trying to find me (or not me) in the action/decision making.

However when i was reading the exercise through i quickly became aware that my computer screen wasn't in a proper angle so "i" really quickly decided to move it a bit with my hand. And this was clearly labeled done by "me" only after the action, it all happened so spontaneously without any effort, thinking or trying that there couldn't be me deciding "Aha, i have to now move my computer screen a little to see everything on it better, now i'll just do it".

I also watched the video, I've seen it sometime before. Surely doesn't help in direct pointing or looking but clearly makes sense.

- Roni

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moondog
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Re: Ready to crash the gate

Postby moondog » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:36 pm

Hi Roni,
It seems really clearly that "I" is very much trying to fit itself in the process of making decision and can seemingly come part of the experience very very quickly after the decision.
Spot on! That's exactly right and it happens every time, as can be verified in direct experience, if we look closely enough. However, I'm not sure you're absolutely convinced yet that no self can be found controlling/deciding everything. There still seems to be a little doubt because you go on to say:
I still can't say totally that the arm was raised (or not) by itself, without any I involving because it every time feels as there is me doing that, at least if the case is to attempt point out that there is no me. Then there is lot of pondering and thoughts rolling around the whole exercise, me, me trying to find me (or not me) in the action/decision making.
So, you seem to be saying, on the one hand, that it"s really clear that there's no "I" to be seen and that I-thoughts sneak in after the event, but on the other hand, you can't be totally sure that no "I" is involved because it feels as if "you" are involved, at least when you are trying to point out that there is no you. Is that right?

Can you say which it is? What do you mean by it ... feels as there is me doing that? Is this feeling present in direct experience and, if so, what is it? is it a physical feeling or an afterthought, albeit perhaps a very subtle one, or what?

I realise that you then clearly saw that no self was involved when you adjusted the computer screen later on, but I just want to be sure that there is no vestige of a belief in a self as controller, or anything else for that matter. So, please try the following exercise and let me know what you see:

Tap with two or three fingers on the leg. Tap, tap, tap. Then, hold the fingers positioned ready to tap. Just waiting in the air for a command to tap.

Looking at the fingers in the air, is it known when they will tap? Can the thought “tap now” quite happily show up and yet the fingers remain in the air?

See if you can notice the moment when the command is issued and from whence it comes SUCH THAT the fingers simply have to obey. Notice if other commands to tap can be issued which have no affect on the fingers, leaving them remaining in the air.

In direct experience, is there a command that can be issued to make the fingers tap?

What causes the finger to tap? Anything? See what can be discovered in experience rather than thought?


You've made very rapid progress here with me over the last few days, possibly partly because you did quite a bit of this work a few months ago. As we've covered most areas already, once I'm satisfied that you can see no self involved in any way as decider/chooser, I'm going to send you some comprehensive sweep-up questions so that we can both see where you're at, whether any aspects need further looking at etc. But before I do, how do you think you're doing, and are there any aspects/areas where you've got doubts about there being no self-entity and that you'd like to look at in more detail?

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'


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