Thread for finlay

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Jack'n'theBox
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Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:17 pm

Hello finlay, this is your thread. You can start this dialogue by responding to this post.

This method works best if you post a response everyday -- even if it's just to check in and say you need more time to look.

Let's start by looking at expectations -- we are going to be investigating experience to see if there is any 'self' or 'person' behind, living or directing it. How do you expect experience to change once it is seen that there is no such self, nor has there ever been?

cheers,

Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:19 pm

I expect to be more present, more open, more real.

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:12 am

I expect to be more present, more open, more real.
Ok, great. Not unreasonable expectations.

So if I were to say to you "There is no self behind any action or experience in the present, nor has there ever been."

What responses does that bring up?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:28 am

What do you mean by 'self' and 'behind'?

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:53 am

You tell me. What does this assertion trigger for you?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:24 am

I thought you'd say that. To my surprise, it just sounds right but I think I need to ponder it.

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:56 am

No need to ponder anything. It's best to go with gut reactions (before thought gets in the way).

Different people come here at different stages with different ideas and expectations about 'the self'. So it's useful to start out by getting a sense of where you are at. For some people 'the self' doesn't mean much -- it's an abstract term -- but terms such as 'me' or 'I' feel a lot more real.

So let me rephrase: "There is no 'I' or 'me' behind any action or experience in the present, nor has there ever been."

Is there any difference in the IMMEDIATE emotional response if I switch out 'self' for 'me' in the above statement?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:19 pm

I have an experience of 'me' and 'I'. Can't see that they don't exist, though if I look inside and think that I imagined Myself there's a deep tremor, a mix of incrtedulity, fear and elation.

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:35 am

Can't see that they don't exist, though if I look inside and think that I imagined Myself there's a deep tremor, a mix of incrtedulity, fear and elation.
Ok it’s great that you have these emotional responses –for some people this can be a bit of an intellectual exercise – it’s actually much easier to work if there’s energy and emotional engagement there.
I have an experience of 'me' and 'I'
Great, this gives us something to work with. So what could this possibly be, in experience itself, this ‘I’ that experiences ‘me’? Let’s have a look.

The ‘I’ experience ‘X’ is partly a trick of language – our language is arranged around subjects doing things (verbs) with objects. It does this even when there are no actual subjects there. For example, we say:

It is raining – where is this ‘it’ that is doing the raining? (water is simply falling)
The wind is blowing – where is ‘the wind’? (air is simply moving)
I am thinking – where is this ‘I’? (thoughts are simply arising)

So the ‘I’ that experiences things – what is that exactly? Can you find it? Describe it? Have a look and let me know what you find.
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:58 pm

I like the ' it is raining' comparison. Is that like 'it is thinking?' Had a busy day travelling to-day so have not felt able to really do this but it is my koan. Fascinating stuff.

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:27 am

Had a busy day travelling to-day so have not felt able to really do this but it is my koan. Fascinating stuff.
OK no problem. But don't think you need to be in any special kind of state to see this. To successfully see through the self-view you only need ordinary, directed concentration -- much like when looking round the house for your misplaced phone or car keys. You can do it any time. Keep on coming back to it.

There are always thoughts arising, right? Just look and see is there any 'thing' behind them? Any think-er?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:53 am

You can also pursue the "it is raining" analogy further:

When we look, the grammatical subject "it" clearly does not exist -- it is an imposition in thought only. Raining isn't done by any "thing" -- not even clouds or the sky . . . raining is a simply process that eventuates when the multiple conditions for rain to form come together.

Now look at actions in daily life -- thinking, walking, breathing, speaking -- the "I" that supposedly does these things similarly does not exist -- it is just an imputation -- these actions eventuate when the conditions to support them arise -- and they cease when those conditions cease -- can you find any action that is not simply the result of multiple conditions?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:33 am

No I can not find any action...........multiple conditions. Finding mysel is a bit like trying to see a foaater in my eye. I know it's there but it moves away when I look at it.

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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:01 am

it moves away when I look at it.
Ok here we go again with the Subject verb Object thing "when I look at it" -- what is it that is looking? You say you can't find the think looked at -- but more importantly, can you find a look-er?

Try this exercise to get a sense of what I'm pointing to.

Sit down quietly somewhere in a room (or on a bus or the park bench) -- somewhere where there is activity going on. Now simply observe everything that is going on around you as it arises in awareness -- now start to label what you notice: for example, say this: "I am sitting down . . . I am scratching my knee . . . I am listening to the voices from the people behind me . . . I am thinking about lunch . . . I am hearing a police siren . . . I am looking at an attractive person crossing my line of vision . . . I am . . . etc. -- just label everything that comes up with the "I am doing X" for 5 minutes.

OK -- take a short break -- then come back to the exercise and this time drop the "I am" -- just notice what is happening in the field of awareness using verbs -- relax into this -- allow whatever arises to be there and move on spontaneously -- something like this . . . sitting . . .breathing . . . listening . . . thinking . . . scratching . . . looking . . . feeling . . . just notice whatever is the most prominent activity in awareness at that particular moment in the flow of being . . .

Now -- was there a difference in the feeling tone between the two exercises? Did either feel a more natural/accurate desctiption of what is going on in experience in the moment?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Finlay
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Re: Thread for finlay

Postby Finlay » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:49 am

I think this is great but i could not find time to do it yesterday. I had to clean my kitchen. Had to vacuum. Oh and I had to see a friend, had to do some shopping etc. Is this what is called displacement activity ? I am doing the excercise superficially but have not yet sat with it. It is coming slowly.


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