will you guide me please Ilona?

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blueg
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will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Wed May 14, 2014 9:24 am

hello, i'm ready now to engage with the process and would like you to guide me. blueg

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Wed May 14, 2014 10:09 am

Hi blueg,

Ilona is very busy and can't take on anyone right now. My name's Pete and I'm an experienced guide. Would you like me to guide you?

If so, there are a few things that we need to go over so that I know the best way for us to continue.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for.

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

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blueg
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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Wed May 14, 2014 10:28 am

hi Pete

Many thanks for your quick and generous response. Because of my history at this point I am looking for a guide who hasn't had connections with Triratna.

blueg

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Wed May 14, 2014 10:33 am

Hi blueg,

I was an Order member until the start of last year but haven't had any connections or involvement since then. Do you want me to guide you?

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

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 pm

Hi Pete

Yes that would be great, thank you. As I work I have put time aside to respond to questions in the evenings. I live in the UK.

blueg

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Wed May 14, 2014 2:33 pm

Hi blueg,

Ok, that's great I'd be very happy to guide you through so that you can clearly see for yourself that there is no separate self. Do you want me to call you blueg or by another name?

I live in Somerset, so no time difference problems for us. I usually post during the afternoon, sometimes late morning. So that should all fit nicely.

It would be useful if you'd just let me know a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for. No need for anything particularly personal if you don't want, but it just helps to have an idea of where you're at.

So, there are a few things that we need to go over before the journey begins.

There are 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 the article at 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, and that you agree to the disclaimer.

So, let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find. I know you've already answered some of these, but please forgive any overlap and just fill in the gaps where you haven't, and we'll get started.

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.

And 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.

With love,

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

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Wed May 14, 2014 9:21 pm

Dear Pete

Please call me blue for now, thanks.
I agree to post at least once a day and to be honest.
I have seen the introduction and agree to the disclaimer.

Thank you so much for offering to be my guide. I have been involved in meditation and some Buddhist practices for most of my adult life, which amounts to nearly 30 years now. A few years ago at a difficult time in my life a friend told me about Byron Katie and for periods on and off when I have been particularly stuck with a problem in relationship, I have done 'the work' on my thinking. Friends have spoken to me of LU and it resonated with me.

What are your expectations for this process?
I feel some excitement about new possibilities opening up for me and also some trepidation and flickers of fear. Over the last year or so I have noticed a stiller more confident presence in myself some of the time and I feel ready to open to newness.

What is it that you are searching for?
I have been noticing recently that from time to time I crave a dramatic change in my life, like moving to another country, changing my job, some aspect of me is restless for change, yet I know that only a shift of consciousness can make a difference.

How will you know that you found it?
I expect that I will notice myself responding differently in familiar situations. I will feel freer and more spontaneous.

How will this feel?
More joy and peace will arise.

How will this change you?
I will stop mourning the life I haven't had and inhabit more happily the life I do have.

blue

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moondog
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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Thu May 15, 2014 2:09 pm

Hi blue,

Thanks for for letting me know a bit about yourself and for accepting all the various conditions etc. It's my pleasure to guide you so that you can see clearly for yourself that there's just no separate self, and never has been.
What are your expectations for this process?
I feel some excitement about new possibilities opening up for me and also some trepidation and flickers of fear. Over the last year or so I have noticed a stiller more confident presence in myself some of the time and I feel ready to open to newness.
Thanks also for sharing your expectations above, and the rest, and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might be like. 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. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't 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, and there's no Santa Claus. 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.

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

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


Pete

Ps.To make your replies as clear as possible and to help me guide you, please use the quote function. To do that, simply highlight the relevant sentence(s)/paragraph(s) that you're replying to in my previous post and press 'copy', then press the 'Quote ' button in the bar above the section you're typing in, then place the cursor in the centre of the two bracketed quote words and then press "paste". That should do it.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Thu May 15, 2014 9:28 pm

Dear Pete

Thanks for your response and for clarifying that there isn't a state to be achieved. That's helpful. And thanks too for helping me with the 'quote' function, i didn't get it first time. Is this right now?
Nothing exists outside the present moment.
I've been saying this phrase to myself today as I walked with a friend in the woods, by the lake. Seeing three ducks swimming in a line on the lake, emerald green feathers shimmering in the afternoon sun, the reflection of the trees in the water, the ducks changing order and carrying on in a line. Then forgetting and talking with people we met.

Now, alone in my room I felt space in my chest, images of friends coming in, then what felt like longing and hopefulness, anticipation, wanting, reaching for, but I wonder if this is me now interpreting. Then I felt sadness and a tear fell out.
Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
I find myself reaching into the past and into the future, checking this out. I feel some tightness in my chest and constriction in my throat – and notice that I don't want this to be true right now. I can hear the ringing in my ears, the fridge buzzing and see the darkness of the leaves outside the window. Are they always growing in the present? That thought makes me laugh. I'm smiling and I feel warmth inside.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
Different identities are running through my mind, the me that's grown out of my past, out of my childhood, the me that is my work identity and all that it took to get there, me in this body, with these hands and looking like I do. Me who relates to people i'm close to and me in relation to my family. There's me that lives in this house, who wears these clothes, who's going somewhere tomorrow and me who will relate with those people.
Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?
I look down and I see my arms with my grey woollen jumper on and my fingers typing and they're familiar to me and I chuckle to think that me is in my jumper sleeves. I feel as though I'm in the looking though more. In the looking and in the sleeves and hands. I feel as though I'm directing my attention and my looking. I just now though touched my face with my hand to move my hair away and I didn't direct that movement. That just happened.

with appreciation
blue

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Fri May 16, 2014 1:33 pm

Hi blue,
Thanks for your response and for clarifying that there isn't a state to be achieved. That's helpful. And thanks too for helping me with the 'quote' function, i didn't get it first time. Is this right now?
Yes, it's really useful for you to be aware, right from the outset, that this process isn't about achieving any particular state or states. By their very nature, states just come and go, and so that will happen. What is fundamental is that, once 'you' know it for sure, the fact that there is no separate self can be recalled and seen to be true at any time, no matter what your mood or state.

You've mastered the quote function!
Nothing exists outside the present moment.
Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
I like your description of your perceptions and feelings as you pondered these two interlinked questions.

Now, just looking in direct experience (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching) but not your thoughts, can you find anything that is outside of this moment, now?
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
Different identities are running through my mind, the me that's grown out of my past, out of my childhood, the me that is my work identity and all that it took to get there, me in this body, with these hands and looking like I do. Me who relates to people i'm close to and me in relation to my family. There's me that lives in this house, who wears these clothes, who's going somewhere tomorrow and me who will relate with those people.
Is there anything in what you've said, or that now springs to mind, that isn't based on memories, thoughts about the past or future?
I look down and I see my arms with my grey woollen jumper on and my fingers typing and they're familiar to me and I chuckle to think that me is in my jumper sleeves. I feel as though I'm in the looking though more. In the looking and in the sleeves and hands. I feel as though I'm directing my attention and my looking. I just now though touched my face with my hand to move my hair away and I didn't direct that movement. That just happened.
Good. I particularly like that you can see, in direct experience, that the touching of your face to move your hair just happened. That's the way it always is. But you saw it because you looked. You saw what happens before thought intervenes and takes the credit. Just keep looking, blue.

As I'm sure you'll have noticed, these initial questions point you towards looking into 'your' direct experience which is where I will be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Direct experience is the very core of what we're doing here with this. 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 kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

Next, we'll get into the core of the work. Good so far ...

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

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Fri May 16, 2014 10:52 pm

Hiya Pete

'Me' again. Thanks very much for your response. Just an observation about today, this morning, I had an exchange with someone who I thought was challenging me, disagreeing with something I said. I noticed that I was able to ask them about it with no fear or defensiveness, unlike how I think I might have felt before.

At your suggestion I've just watched the introductory video again, anew.
Now, just looking in direct experience (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching) but not your thoughts, can you find anything that is outside of this moment, now?
So going through the list, attending to seeing, there are images in the middle of my field of vision, the light and shape of my laptop, words on the page and the scene behind that frames it. Hearing the ringing in my head, the hum of my laptop, tapping of my fingers on the keys. Smells seem more difficult, not so obvious right now, some whiff of greens from the soup I made earlier. Metallic taste in my mouth from the water i've drunk. With touch, with the heels of my wrists I feel the smoothness of my laptop and hardness. The buzz of my clothes against my skin.

Before writing this as I was attending to the different senses in turn I notice me losing hold of the other senses and wonder what happens to the objects, like the images and the sounds when I'm not attending to them, in those moments they don't seem to exist for me.

As I'm looking for what might be outside of this moment the room that I can't see but that is only a few metres away, my front room, comes to my mind. I can't see it but I really want it to be there. Oh it seems so precious to me now, the longing for it, for it to still be there, my room.
Is there anything in what you've said, or that now springs to mind, that isn't based on memories, thoughts about the past or future?
Reading what I wrote again, I read it as a narrative about myself. So sitting here looking again for what I conceive as the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that I hold 'myself' to, I go quiet inside. I notice again the fidgeting around of my hands as they itch and scratch and mess about adjusting my clothes and all that without any seeming instructions from me! And inside, I close my eyes to look. What feels like my 'I' centre is an intensity of feeling around my eyes and in my head where my thoughts seem to arise. There's a feeling of pressure and tingling around my nose and forehead. Then a fullness of feeling in my chest/heart centre. And tingling all around my body.

Thanks again
blue

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Sat May 17, 2014 2:29 pm

Hi blue,
Just an observation about today, this morning, I had an exchange with someone who I thought was challenging me, disagreeing with something I said. I noticed that I was able to ask them about it with no fear or defensiveness, unlike how I think I might have felt before.
That could be a good sign that, by looking at your direct experience, as opposed to being seduced by what your thoughts are saying, 'you' are already seeing that there's no-one there to protect, be affronted, fear for etc. Great, blue.
So going through the list, attending to seeing, there are images in the middle of my field of vision, the light and shape of my laptop, words on the page and the scene behind that frames it. Hearing the ringing in my head, the hum of my laptop, tapping of my fingers on the keys. Smells seem more difficult, not so obvious right now, some whiff of greens from the soup I made earlier. Metallic taste in my mouth from the water i've drunk. With touch, with the heels of my wrists I feel the smoothness of my laptop and hardness. The buzz of my clothes against my skin.
It's very clear to me from your observations that you've 'got the hang of' looking at direct experience which, as I've already stressed, probably to the point of tedium, is fundamental to your seeing through the illusion of a separate self.

But, just so that all is clear, I still need a definite answer. In direct experience (not in thoughts), can you find anything outside of the present moment? Yes or no? If yes, what is it?
Reading what I wrote again, I read it as a narrative about myself. So sitting here looking again for what I conceive as the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that I hold 'myself' to, I go quiet inside. I notice again the fidgeting around of my hands as they itch and scratch and mess about adjusting my clothes and all that without any seeming instructions from me! And inside, I close my eyes to look. What feels like my 'I' centre is an intensity of feeling around my eyes and in my head where my thoughts seem to arise. There's a feeling of pressure and tingling around my nose and forehead. Then a fullness of feeling in my chest/heart centre. And tingling all around my body.
Yes, but again to be absolutely sure, is there anything that you hold yourself to be that isn't based on memories or thoughts about the past or future? Again, yes or no? If yes, please say what that is.

Moving on, as I said in my earlier post, the whole of this investigation centres around looking in direct experience to see if a self-entity can be found anywhere there. This is accompanied by seeing that it is in thoughts and only in thoughts that 'I' ever 'occurs' and that 'I' doesn't actually occur there either because thoughts, or at least their contents, are neither reliable nor real in any sense.

I like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within that each and every area within experience where a self might be found. So, let's start investigating in direct experience where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

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.


It's going well so far. Just approach all of this in a relaxed, easy way.

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

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Sat May 17, 2014 10:41 pm

Hiya Pete

The relaxed and easy way reminder is spot on. I'll take that on, there's an eagerness that can lead me to try too hard to see.
But, just so that all is clear, I still need a definite answer. In direct experience (not in thoughts), can you find anything outside of the present moment? Yes or no? If yes, what is it?
No, I'm really having a good look, trying to find something, but no. And the trying brings me more into the present (I.e out of my thoughts). It made me laugh to be pinned down. Thanks.
Yes, but again to be absolutely sure, is there anything that you hold yourself to be that isn't based on memories or thoughts about the past or future? Again, yes or no? If yes, please say what that is.
No. Take thoughts out of the picture and no. Today I've noticed familiar 'stressful' thoughts getting triggered by different situations and circumstances, but they seemed to fizzle out. I have an image of them being like a herd of wild horses that see an opportunity and are stampeding towards me, to take me over as usual. The kind of thoughts that try to tell me things should be other than they are, me, my life, what i've done with it, etc. A few times though they've not made it into my sphere, like they've given up and are just eating grass instead at a distance. Leaving me to just carry on as I was.
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?
've been looking at something for a while now and the looking seems to change a bit. As I relax there's a sense more of just seeing, as if spatially the seeing comes from all directions. At other times I seem to be involved in looking, though more from my chest area, some sense of frisson of an I midway between me and the object. I don't have the same sense as I wrote about yesterday of a fixed place around my eyes.

I've run out of time for now so I'll continue with this reflection again and the other senses tomorrow. I appreciate your time and helping me to take the time to see.

Thank you
blue

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby moondog » Sun May 18, 2014 3:31 pm

Hi blue,
But, just so that all is clear, I still need a definite answer. In direct experience (not in thoughts), can you find anything outside of the present moment? Yes or no? If yes, what is it?
No, I'm really having a good look, trying to find something, but no. And the trying brings me more into the present (I.e out of my thoughts). It made me laugh to be pinned down. Thanks.
Good to know.

And who or what is doing the trying, or is brought into the present, or was pinned down? Can you find anything in direct experience?
Yes, but again to be absolutely sure, is there anything that you hold yourself to be that isn't based on memories or thoughts about the past or future? Again, yes or no? If yes, please say what that is.
No. Take thoughts out of the picture and no.
I'm really pleased that you can see that.
I have an image of them being like a herd of wild horses that see an opportunity and are stampeding towards me, to take me over as usual. The kind of thoughts that try to tell me things should be other than they are, me, my life, what i've done with it, etc. A few times though they've not made it into my sphere, like they've given up and are just eating grass instead at a distance. Leaving me to just carry on as I was.
Nice imagery and observations. Just watch them appear over the horizon, race towards 'you', gallop right on through, and then disappear over the horizon.
've been looking at something for a while now and the looking seems to change a bit. As I relax there's a sense more of just seeing, as if spatially the seeing comes from all directions. At other times I seem to be involved in looking, though more from my chest area, some sense of frisson of an I midway between me and the object. I don't have the same sense as I wrote about yesterday of a fixed place around my eyes.
Excellent. Just continue to look at any objects, as you normally would. There's no need for any extra effort, just relaxed looking.

Just a bit more comment on these exercises. Whilst looking, thoughts may well continue to arise unabated as they often do, but don't be seduced or distracted by them. Just keep looking in direct experience to see if, within this seeing, you can find any 'I' that is doing the seeing. Or is there just seeing? Can you find any discrete object that's separate from the seeing? Or is there just seeing? Are there, in direct experience, any boundaries to be found at all? And the same goes for the other senses.

Let me know how it goes blue.

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

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Re: will you guide me please Ilona?

Postby blueg » Sun May 18, 2014 10:54 pm

Hiya Pete

Many thanks for your response.
And who or what is doing the trying, or is brought into the present, or was pinned down? Can you find anything in direct experience
As I dwell on these questions whilst looking, I can't make sense of what I said and don't now understand the relationship between trying, being brought into the present and being pinned down. A not knowing. So I carried on looking. At moments I felt my heart swell, then some sadness.
Nice imagery and observations. Just watch them appear over the horizon, race towards 'you', gallop right on through, and then disappear over the horizon.
I like that! Galloping right on through.
Just keep looking in direct experience to see if, within this seeing, you can find any 'I' that is doing the seeing. Or is there just seeing? Can you find any discrete object that's separate from the seeing? Or is there just seeing? Are there, in direct experience, any boundaries to be found at all?
Continuing to look at a lamp dimly lit on my wooden drawers in front of me, a thought arose about being able at times to see without looking. Then I found myself wondering who was directing my eyes.

[/quote]And the same goes for the other senses
.

I choose the hum of the fridge to attend to. There seems to be an intensity of sensation in my ears and tightness and tingling in my nose which evokes a sense of my effort to listen. As I continue to listen and I think relax somewhat the fridge buzz seems more independent of my ears. Then I feel sadness arising and some tears fall.

Choosing the tactile feelings in my feet – a tingling warmth and sensation of the carpet underneath the side of my right foot. There's an intensity of feeling in around my closed eyes and forehead. Like 'I' am struggling not to be involved with the sensation in my feet, like the sensations can't be autonomous. I shift to noticing instead all feelings in my body as they come and go. I do this for a while with a lot of thoughts coming in.

to be continued
bluex


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