No-Self lost - Need to be guided

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thejumper
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No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:33 pm

Hi Gateless friends,

I'm Jean. I've lost the no-self and now need some help to be guided back to the Gateless gate...
What happened, what is my path?
I've seriously started reading, listing to Advaita and Emptiness teachers 3 months ago, also buddhism is one of my old interested. Greg Goode, Gary Weber and some other modern "teachers" helped me realise that the illusion of Me could also disappear in Jean. I’ve studied a lot of material that the path is intellectually pretty clear.

During last two months I've been investigating, sometime with the help of formal meditation, about the no-self. Two weeks ago I've enter in a very soft, peaceful and joyful "state" during an investigation, looking for the I-tought. This happen while realising the Me was assuming the ownership of the thoughts, while I was being aware a thought was already visible in the brain 350ms before the I-thought could notice it. In parallel to this reflection, I was doing the Childhood Memory exercise from John Sherman and reading the Gateless Gatecrashers book.

This feeling/understanding stopped the next morning. Therefore I gently try to use the same methodology, in order to suppress again the Me illusion. In a way it worked, my point of vision shift again. But the feeling was less strong and vanished some hours later. Now I feel stuck.
Today, I mostly do mindful daily living exercises (thanks to a ringing bell on my phone) and some daily formal meditation.
Is there someone willing to put me back on track?
Thank you.

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:02 pm

Hi Jean,

I will be happy to assist you.

Can you tell me more about "the no-self" and how you came to see it and then lose it? Please especially describe this in terms of experience, rather than just as mental understanding or belief. This will help me figure out how we might get you unstuck.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:29 pm

Dear Nona,

I'm grateful you're willing to assist me. Thank you.
Please do apologise if I sometime make an incorrect use of English, mangle it, or if you get the feeling I'm rough. English is not my mother tongue. In French we sometime tend to be very direct. This can inadvertently hurt.

The experience:
Not everything is neither very clear to me. Something happened. Did I even lost the illusion of Me? You see I was doing different things around investigation the day I felt the shift; reading the Gateless book, doing the Childhood memory exercise; thinking about the laps between thought generation and mind awareness, etc. I think all of them contribute to this not permanent shift.
What I felt during the no-self experience, was a very quite and gentle feeling of well-being. Everything seems to be as it should be. The mind was light and also like if it was coated of cotton. There was no questions of Me or no-Me. There was.
Later on, the same day, I practice some formal meditation. It was just fantastic, never felt such a softness, have such pleasant feeling. Also note that I'm a beginner, my practice is only 5 months old. So I never experience jhanas etc. Meditation it's still "hard" work to me. This is why I can tell it was very different.

The successive day, I realise I could not feel the same any more. So, I did practice again the thinking about the thought time laps as well as Childhood memory exercise. It "worked" but wasn't that strong. Then I never succeed in ripping this veil of the Me illusion any more.

Since the beginning, one think bother me with my so call time laps concept. It was not "anchored" strongly. I felt something wrong, I had to "push the mind" in order to make it accept that the beginning of a tought could be pure consciousness, that it wasn't another Me hiding behind.

Thank you Nona,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:41 pm

Dearest Jean,

If you feel you might be more comfortable working in French, we do have many French guides working in the International section of the Forum. However, your English is far better than my French, and we may do very well together. It's up to you. I am an American living in England and we are well known to be very, sometimes uncomfortably, direct.

You wrote,
Not everything is neither very clear to me. Something happened. Did I even lost the illusion of Me? …
What I felt during the no-self experience, was a very quite and gentle feeling of well-being. Everything seems to be as it should be. The mind was light and also like if it was coated of cotton. There was no questions of Me or no-Me. There was.
It was just fantastic, never felt such a softness, have such pleasant feeling.
That sounds very lovely indeed. And you are describing what we call a State. You experienced a very pleasant State of gentle well-being in which you noticed that everything is as it should be. That is a lovely thing to feel, and it's not seeing through the illusion that you are, or have, a separate self.
The successive day, I realise I could not feel the same any more.
States are not permanent; all States are subject to change — just like weather. Like weather, sometimes you are in a happy State; other times in a sad one. When your State changed, you thought you had lost how everything seemed to be as it should be. But everything IS as it should be, even now!
I had to "push the mind" in order to make it accept that the beginning of a tought could be pure consciousness, that it wasn't another Me hiding behind.
Yes. Mind is invested in the Me for reasons we will uncover.

In my country we have imaginary characters that children believe in, like Santa Claus (who brings gifts to good children at Christmas), the Tooth Fairy (who takes away a tooth left under the pillow and leaves a coin in exchange), and Batman (who fights evil and protects the good guys). When we are little, we believe that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Batman are real people who do magical things. But as we grow up, we become suspicious; how can one man deliver gifts to all the world's children from a flying sleigh in only one night? At some point we discover that Santa is actually imaginary; that the gifts have been left for us by our parents. The illusion is shattered; we never believe in Santa again.
When we see through the illusion that we are, or have, a separate self, it is the same as seeing through the illusion of Santa: we recognise what is really happening, and we never again believe in a self, an I, a Me that controls a personal slice of Life.

To see it, you will have to leave your analytical mind behind and use the five senses. This is not what we are used to, but I promise it is how to see through the illusion! You cannot see through the illusion with the same thinking that creates it in the first place.

What I propose to do is to set you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this Direct Experience, or the Uninterpreted Moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening.

If this is amenable to you, we will begin.
If you would like to work with a French-speaker, that can be arranged.
I would like you to post at least once each day, even if only to tell me you cannot post that day, and to be completely and thoroughly honest. During this time I will ask you not to read or to watch Teachers, not to read any spiritual books or articles except what is here on our website. This is because it is easy to become confused when different sources are telling you different things.
I don't plan to tell you anything; I will ask questions, and you will answer with total honesty. In this way you can come to your own realisation of what is true.

Are you in agreement? Let me know.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:01 am

Dear Nona,

Thank you for willing to guide me.
If you feel you might be more comfortable working in French, we do have many French guides working in the International section of the Forum. However, your English is far better than my French, and we may do very well together. It's up to you. I am an American living in England and we are well known to be very, sometimes uncomfortably, direct.
So you're the one who might hurt ;-) that fine, the feeling with your kindness is stronger.
It is perfect as it is.
That sounds very lovely indeed. And you are describing what we call a State. You experienced a very pleasant State of gentle well-being in which you noticed that everything is as it should be. That is a lovely thing to feel, and it's not seeing through the illusion that you are, or have, a separate self.
The successive day, I realise I could not feel the same any more.
States are not permanent; all States are subject to change — just like weather. Like weather, sometimes you are in a happy State; other times in a sad one. When your State changed, you thought you had lost how everything seemed to be as it should be. But everything IS as it should be, even now!
I understand. I wander if it was the entrance in the flow, followed by an outgoing movement, kind of initial oscillation. I understand it wasn't. What was it?
Yes. Mind is invested in the Me for reasons we will uncover.
Yessss.
In my country we have imaginary characters that children believe in, like Santa Claus (who brings gifts to good children at Christmas), the Tooth Fairy (who takes away a tooth left under the pillow and leaves a coin in exchange), and Batman (who fights evil and protects the good guys). When we are little, we believe that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Batman are real people who do magical things. But as we grow up, we become suspicious; how can one man deliver gifts to all the world's children from a flying sleigh in only one night? At some point we discover that Santa is actually imaginary; that the gifts have been left for us by our parents. The illusion is shattered; we never believe in Santa again.
When we see through the illusion that we are, or have, a separate self, it is the same as seeing through the illusion of Santa: we recognise what is really happening, and we never again believe in a self, an I, a Me that controls a personal slice of Life.
Crystal clear.
To see it, you will have to leave your analytical mind behind and use the five senses. This is not what we are used to, but I promise it is how to see through the illusion! You cannot see through the illusion with the same thinking that creates it in the first place.
It make sense. Might occasionally be difficult to leave behind the comfort zone… but I'll do what need to be done.
What I propose to do is to set you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this Direct Experience, or the Uninterpreted Moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening.
+1
If this is amenable to you, we will begin.
It is.
I would like you to post at least once each day, even if only to tell me you cannot post that day, and to be completely and thoroughly honest. During this time I will ask you not to read or to watch Teachers, not to read any spiritual books or articles except what is here on our website. This is because it is easy to become confused when different sources are telling you different things.
I do agree. Yes, often I've found impossible to choose between different kind of practices and trying to understand guides while giving advises to someone at a different stage on the path. But now here you are...
I don't plan to tell you anything; I will ask questions, and you will answer with total honesty. In this way you can come to your own realisation of what is true.
Are you in agreement? Let me know.
Yes I do.

Kindness,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:19 am

Dearest Jean,

Let us begin by examining your expectations of what will happen in this process of my guiding you to see no self.
What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of Me?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?

What have you read or heard about liberation that has you desire it?

Please answer these questions in great detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

with much love,
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:05 pm

Thanks Nona. Here we go.
What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of Me?
- I guess I'm clinging to the idea of permanently be in the soft feeling I felt 2 weeks ago. But if the shift occurs, I'm not expecting fireworks.
How will Life change?
- From the inside… more happiness. Which doesn't mean indifferent to others, quite the opposite.
- From the outside, not that much, but I can imagine it could also be more pleasant to be with someone who gives more attentions, who is more concerns. Also, for some people it might be the opposite.
How will you change?
Mhmmm. Ok, I won't be shy:
- Feel far more happiness. Feel less the suffering of living. Be happy with what is, not constantly wish to change what can not be change. Feel that everything is just fine as it is.
- No more background blahblah thoughts
- No more judgments and reactions
- Not be carry away by emotions
- Not driven by the subtile fear I sometime feel when paying close attention
- Be more concern by others not because the ego or/and fears, but just because it's what I already consider today how things should be.
- Bye, bye ego
What will be different?
Realise Me is an illusion = lightness life
What have you read or heard about liberation that has you desire it?
Reading, listening from different authors like Krishnamurti, Gary Weber, Greg Good, Daniel Ingram, Bernard Harmand that our pure nature was far bigger, nicer then what most of us were living, and that it was possible to be permanently seen/reach in this life, I decide to start investigate.
Slowly I understood that there was different levels of liberations. If I remember correctly, in Buddhism there are 4 levels and in Advaita Vedanta it's also expendable. This made me really feel something was possible. So, I'm not expecting to become a full realised beeing... First let's get in the flow, then, we will see if it expands or not. The quintessence of full liberation is Mâ Ananda Moyî + Ramana Maharshi.

Kindness,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:53 pm

Dear Jean,
What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of Me?
- I guess I'm clinging to the idea of permanently be in the soft feeling I felt 2 weeks ago.
Can you recall a feeling you've had that was permanent? That never went away? Does happiness go away? Does sadness? Does anger? Does love? Is there any feeling you can name that never goes away?
How will Life change?
… more happiness.
What would "more happiness" look like? Would one more happiness be enough? Would two? How much more of what you label "happiness" would be required to fill your expectation?
Have you ever been happy when circumstances were unfavourable? Have you ever been in a situation where things were not going well but you were happy anyway? What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
How will you change?
- Feel far more happiness. Feel less the suffering of living. Be happy with what is, not constantly wish to change what can not be change. Feel that everything is just fine as it is.
- No more background blahblah thoughts
- No more judgments and reactions
- Not be carry away by emotions
- Not driven by the subtile fear I sometime feel when paying close attention
- Be more concern by others not because the ego or/and fears, but just because it's what I already consider today how things should be.
- Bye, bye ego
Oh my! You expect to no longer be Human!

Human life is characterised by events which we judge and then label "happy" or "sad", "good" or "bad". The events themselves are neither good nor bad; they are just events. What makes an event seem "good" or "bad" is our perception of it. When you SEE this for yourself, it becomes easy to be happy with what is. You are aware that Life is simply Happening, and you can accept that or resist it, but Life won't care.

Background blahblah thoughts are part of the human condition.

No more judgments and reactions?? Whew! That's hilarious. Humans judge. We react. You have been on this planet for XX years during which time your thoughts and behaviours have been conditioned by society. And you expect this to simply drop? Being fully Human is the most beautiful experience I know of; to have the full range of Human emotions and experiences while maintaining equanimity is Grace. To expect your Humanity to disappear is wishful thinking and confused — why would you want to stop having the Human experience you are here for?

Ego is not separate from what we are; it is not the Enemy. Ego is like a GPS device; it gives us directions for how to move in the world. Without ego, we would be automatons, robots. We could not live expansively or empathise with humans.

If these expectations of no longer being Human will not come to pass — and they won't; you will still be Human — do you still want to continue? There is much Beauty in seeing Life exactly as it is, without an imaginary self to run the show. Are you willing to continue knowing your ideal of being non-Human will not be the result?

If you do continue, I'd like to look closer at this:
Not driven by the subtile fear I sometime feel when paying close attention
When this fear comes, what does it look like? How do you know you are driven by it? What message does the fear have for you? Does it want you not to pay close attention?
What will be different?
Realise Me is an illusion = lightness life
Now this expectation is quite reasonable and actually likely to happen! When ME is seen to be an illusion, Life becomes funny, lighter, less burdensome. We are more accepting of What is actually Happening, and less likely to demand that it change.
What have you read or heard about liberation that has you desire it?
Reading, listening from different authors like Krishnamurti, Gary Weber, Greg Good, Daniel Ingram, Bernard Harmand that our pure nature was far bigger, nicer then what most of us were living, and that it was possible to be permanently seen/reach in this life, I decide to start investigate.
I'm not sure I know what exactly "our pure nature" is. I have read little of Krishnamurti and less of Gary Weber, though I have studied with Greg Goode. Certainly there is a lightness, a sweetness, that Greg writes about. If you have done the exercises in Greg's book The Direct Path, you will have had a glimpse of Life without a "self".
Slowly I understood that there was different levels of liberations. If I remember correctly, in Buddhism there are 4 levels and in Advaita Vedanta it's also expendable. This made me really feel something was possible. So, I'm not expecting to become a full realised beeing...
I am neither a Buddhist nor an Advaitan. I am aware that many traditions describe "levels" of awakening or liberation. After you have seen through the illusion, there are many paths you might walk. It is not our mission to point you there, but only to point to the absolute lack of a separate entity "self".
This is only a beginning.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:09 pm

Dear Nona,
Can you recall a feeling you've had that was permanent? That never went away? Does happiness go away? Does sadness? Does anger? Does love? Is there any feeling you can name that never goes away?
I can't find any feeling that is still present from that experience.
But in my daily life, two types of tensions are present:
- Often one around the stomach which seems to be related to some undefined anxiety.
- Around the nape of the neck and shoulders, which is even more present. It is even more difficult to find to what is related.
What would "more happiness" look like? Would one more happiness be enough? Would two? How much more of what you label "happiness" would be required to fill your expectation?
Less anxiety, more relaxed and lightness with a better acceptance and perception of what is taking place.
Have you ever been happy when circumstances were unfavourable? Have you ever been in a situation where things were not going well but you were happy anyway? What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
Yes I think I can say it happens. Happiness/sadness is not always related to outside me. Inputs also come from within this body/thoughts.
Human life is characterised by events which we judge and then label "happy" or "sad", "good" or "bad". The events themselves are neither good nor bad; they are just events. What makes an event seem "good" or "bad" is our perception of it. When you SEE this for yourself, it becomes easy to be happy with what is. You are aware that Life is simply Happening, and you can accept that or resist it, but Life won't care.
I'm happy with what you wrote. And 100% agree. Can't wait to experience it
Background blahblah thoughts are part of the human condition.
:-( well I was hopping at least to have less disturbing blabla. If it's not the case let's say goodbye to this idea.
No more judgments and reactions?? Whew! That's hilarious. Humans judge. We react. You have been on this planet for XX years during which time your thoughts and behaviours have been conditioned by society. And you expect this to simply drop? Being fully Human is the most beautiful experience I know of; to have the full range of Human emotions and experiences while maintaining equanimity is Grace. To expect your Humanity to disappear is wishful thinking and confused — why would you want to stop having the Human experience you are here for?
I'm not sure what is to be "the most beautiful experience" and "fully human". If it's a life with equanimity, as you mention, I agree, it must be something fantastic. But I'm not in equanimity. Is liberation help in living with equanimity? If so :-))))
I obviously don't have any point of comparison about the beautifullness of life. I have this life, with up and down, neither beautiful neither awful. With equanimity I would expect to live with more stand back.

Ego is not separate from what we are; it is not the Enemy. Ego is like a GPS device; it gives us directions for how to move in the world. Without ego, we would be automatons, robots. We could not live expansively or empathise with humans.
If these expectations of no longer being Human will not come to pass — and they won't; you will still be Human — do you still want to continue? There is much Beauty in seeing Life exactly as it is, without an imaginary self to run the show. Are you willing to continue knowing your ideal of being non-Human will not be the result?
My understanding is that the self, the Me, is the ego. Therefore if we see through it, don't we weaken it? Are we still on the same page?
If you do continue, I'd like to look closer at this:
Not driven by the subtile fear I sometime feel when paying close attention
When this fear comes, what does it look like?
Paying attention I can feel pressure, tensions around the stomach/plexus.
How do you know you are driven by it?
It takes up spaces in the mind with recurrent thoughts about the current worry. The global body sensations is under stress. Unpleasant feelings take place.
What message does the fear have for you?
Strange, this is not very clear. Reasoning, it makes sense to assume that something doesn't want to let me look at it. I guess it is probably the so call Me/ego. it might not want me to look at it.
Does it want you not to pay close attention?
It seems it doesn't want me to looked at it.
Now this expectation is quite reasonable and actually likely to happen! When ME is seen to be an illusion, Life becomes funny, lighter, less burdensome. We are more accepting of What is actually Happening, and less likely to demand that it change.
:))) +1
After you have seen through the illusion, there are many paths you might walk. It is not our mission to point you there, but only to point to the absolute lack of a separate entity "self".
This is only a beginning.
Yes this is also my understanding, your role is to point to the lack of a separate entity "self".
I'm glad to read again this is a beginning.

Thank you,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:15 pm

Hi Jean!

I asked,
Can you recall a feeling you've had that was permanent? That never went away? Does happiness go away? Does sadness? Does anger? Does love? Is there any feeling you can name that never goes away?
And you replied,
I can't find any feeling that is still present from that experience.
But in my daily life, two types of tensions are present
So you cannot recall any feeling that is permanent? Every feeling shifts and changes, arises and disappears?

You answered my question "What would "more happiness" look like?" but you didn't answer the others. Would one more happiness be enough? Would two? How much more of what you label "happiness" would be required to fill your expectation?
Have you ever been happy when circumstances were unfavourable? Have you ever been in a situation where things were not going well but you were happy anyway? What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
Yes I think I can say it happens. Happiness/sadness is not always related to outside me.
That is good to notice! So circumstances do not dictate your happiness?
You didn't answer this: What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
Human life is characterised by events which we judge and then label "happy" or "sad", "good" or "bad". The events themselves are neither good nor bad; they are just events. What makes an event seem "good" or "bad" is our perception of it.
I'm happy with what you wrote. And 100% agree. Can't wait to experience it
Let's start with right NOW!
You wrote earlier about circumstances you are not happy about in your life. I want you to look closely at those circumstances and notice whether the circumstances themselves are inherently "good" or "bad".
Can you find three things about your "bad" circumstances that are actually rather good?
I'll go first.
One of my current circumstances is an incurable illness that sometimes has me feel completely exhausted. What three things can I find that are "good" about this? 1) I stopped expecting doctors to take care of this and took control of my health, did my own research, and got the tests and medications I wanted; 2) I got a lot of rest, 3) by telling my experience, I support others who are also in this situation to help themselves.
Background blahblah thoughts are part of the human condition.
:-( well I was hopping at least to have less disturbing blabla. If it's not the case let's say goodbye to this idea.
I ask you, do you have control over which thoughts show up? Can you stop a thought mid-way? Can you have only good thoughts and no upsetting ones?
What I have noticed is that thoughts show up. Like weather, I have no control over them. If I cry when my thoughts are cloudy or smile when they are sunny, I am allowing my thoughts to run my happiness.

The content of thoughts is always imaginary.
That we have thoughts is clearly true; but their content is pure imagination.
I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour, volume, of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?
Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup? Can you pour tea into it? Can you drink from it? In Reality?

Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever a thought arises, whenever you have an image of something in mind, check whether it is a physical reality or imaginary.
I'm not in equanimity. ...
I have this life, with up and down, neither beautiful neither awful.
Equanimity is noticing that whether Life appears up or down, beautiful or awful, it is still LIFE. To be present, to be aware, is a wonderful gift! And again, "up", "down", "beautiful", "awful" are only labels we attach to Life after we have judged it!
My understanding is that the self, the Me, is the ego. Therefore if we see through it, don't we weaken it? Are we still on the same page?
It is good to know what you understand.
There is no self, no Me, no ego. You cannot "weaken" what does not exist!
What you will see through is not the self, the Me, the ego; you will see through the illusion that a self, a Me, an ego, exists as a separate entity in Reality.
What message does the fear have for you?
Strange, this is not very clear. Reasoning, it makes sense to assume that something doesn't want to let me look at it. I guess it is probably the so call Me/ego. it might not want me to look at it.
It seems it doesn't want me to looked at it.
Yes. Why would the so-called Me/ego not want you to look at it?
Yes this is also my understanding, your role is to point to the lack of a separate entity "self".
I'm glad to read again this is a beginning.
I'm Pointing; your job is to LOOK.


Next I want to prepare you to LOOK. Here at LU, the verb LOOK means "pay attention with all the senses. Observe by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching."
When you focus on the data that come from the five senses, before the mind has an opportunity to comment on it, we call this Direct Experience.
Direct Experience is the Uninterpreted Moment. That is, it is What's Happening Here and Now without an overlay of thought.
It can take some time to get used to noticing sensations without getting caught up in thoughts ABOUT them. So I invite you to write to me what the senses are experiencing Here and Now.
I'll demonstrate.
Seeing colours, light, dark squiggles. Hearing buzzing, humming. Smelling sweetness. Tasting metallic. Feeling pressure, smoothness.
AFTER allowing thought to interpret this moment, I might say I see the monitor, the colours and light, the letters appearing. I hear traffic sounds. I smell the oil on the skin. I taste the mineral water I sipped. I feel the smooth keys of the keyboard, the pressure of the body in the chair. But "monitor", "traffic", "oil", "mineral water", "keys", and "chair" are not Direct Experience and are only guesses about what is actually happening.

What are you Directly Experiencing in this moment?

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:09 am

Good morning Nona,
So you cannot recall any feeling that is permanent? Every feeling shifts and changes, arises and disappears?
That correct, feeling are impermanent by essence, also some might arise more often, or not.
You answered my question "What would "more happiness" look like?" but you didn't answer the others. Would one more happiness be enough? Would two? How much more of what you label "happiness" would be required to fill your expectation?
Not being an object, happiness can't be enumerated. Happiness is a feeling. Feeling are based on thoughts. So the questions becomes: how many thoughts would be happiness? I would say happiness is less narrative thoughts. It can also be a better acceptance of the left narrative thoughts. But lets push it more: if the shift changes the perception, automatically one have less negative thoughts. This because, also the thoughts could be the same as before the shift, you see them differently, from an other perspective.
Have you ever been happy when circumstances were unfavourable? Have you ever been in a situation where things were not going well but you were happy anyway? What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
Yes I think I can say it happens. Happiness/sadness is not always related to outside me.
That is good to notice! So circumstances do not dictate your happiness?
I understand that circumstances are just facts, neither good or bad. My interpretation (thoughts) make me feel good or bad. But my today reality is still dependant on the following wrong perception:
Sometime circumstances seems to dictate happiness, sometime they seems no to be responsible of my level of un/happiness.
You didn't answer this: What exactly fulfills your definition of "happiness"?
Answered above :happiness is less narrative thoughts. It can also be a better acceptance of the left narrative thoughts. But lets push it more: if the shift changes the perception, automatically one have less negative thoughts. This because, also the thoughts could be the same as before the shift, you see them differently, from an other perspective.
Let's start with right NOW!
You wrote earlier about circumstances you are not happy about in your life. I want you to look closely at those circumstances and notice whether the circumstances themselves are inherently "good" or "bad".
Can you find three things about your "bad" circumstances that are actually rather good?
I'll go first.
One of my current circumstances is an incurable illness that sometimes has me feel completely exhausted. What three things can I find that are "good" about this? 1) I stopped expecting doctors to take care of this and took control of my health, did my own research, and got the tests and medications I wanted; 2) I got a lot of rest, 3) by telling my experience, I support others who are also in this situation to help themselves.
Thanks for sharing. I feel a great deal of respect and regard to your beingness.

I see 2 ways at looking at that. The first, a), is still difficult to feel, accept it.
a) Nothing is in itself good or bad. Like a rubber arrive at my door with a gun, versus my girlfriend brings me a bunch of flower. I understand that what is, is, and nothing in itself is good or bad. My only choice, is the perspective I give to what is, the label put on it.
b.1) As freelance I rely on my client to pay my bills. Money wise, this year has been a bit difficult. The good: This situation has given me time for my non-duality quest, bringing wide open new perspective in life. I could also say/think, someone is serving the client I don't current have :-)
b.2) My existential questioning, has brought me close to an old friend who's having some hard time and currently needs some special attention. This reunion brings me a lot of good time. We are sharing and helping each other in our spiritual quest.
b.3) This not always easy existential questioning, which has brought me to the study of non-duality, has show me new ways at looking at things. It also has brought me to new experiences, like spending time in a Zen monastery, unveiling me, completely new type of people.
b.4) My lack of work, as giving me time to better organise my future moving house.
I ask you, do you have control over which thoughts show up? Can you stop a thought mid-way? Can you have only good thoughts and no upsetting ones?
What I have noticed is that thoughts show up. Like weather, I have no control over them. If I cry when my thoughts are cloudy or smile when they are sunny, I am allowing my thoughts to run my happiness.
Yes, I agree.
Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup? Can you pour tea into it? Can you drink from it? In Reality?
Of course not.
Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever a thought arises, whenever you have an image of something in mind, check whether it is a physical reality or imaginary.
Ok I will, also we know the answers, thoughts can never be a physical reality.
It is good to know what you understand.
There is no self, no Me, no ego. You cannot "weaken" what does not exist!
What you will see through is not the self, the Me, the ego; you will see through the illusion that a self, a Me, an ego, exists as a separate entity in Reality.
+1 This better fit my comprehension.
Yes. Why would the so-called Me/ego not want you to look at it?
Me/ego doesn't want me to find out he's unreal. He's a thought, a mental construction, concept. He's protecting himself. Intellectually I get it, but not from the guts, yet :-(
What are you Directly Experiencing in this moment?
Hot, sound, hurt, see, tasting sweet , pressure, hurt, see white, feeling humidity, noise, flashing, pressure leg, noise, sound, seeing gray, foot pain, neck pain, hear tickle, hear pressure, heal feel, taste, pinch wrist, eye pressure, eye tickle, noise, eye pressure, soft, pressure, taste, touch feeling, blank, breath, warm, teeth pressure, smell, short noise, warm in mouth, sound, sound, see objects, colour, sound, pressure, humid, belly sound, picture thoughts, silent, pressure, blink, sound, tickle, hot at finger, metallic sound, sweet taste, light.

Thanks so much for your help.

Kindness,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:19 am

Dear Jean,
feeling are impermanent by essence, also some might arise more often, or not.
Yes.
Not being an object, happiness can't be enumerated. Happiness is a feeling. Feeling are based on thoughts.
Yes — and this is important to notice!
if the shift changes the perception, automatically one have less negative thoughts.
This is an assumption!
Thoughts themselves are neither positive nor negative; they are simply thoughts. Only when you have judged them, do you label these thoughts negative and those thoughts positive. And what is doing the judging?
also the thoughts could be the same as before the shift, you see them differently, from an other perspective.
Yes, seeing thoughts without judgment is a different perspective.
It is easy to quarrel with thoughts, but it is as useful as quarreling with the weather — would you argue with a raindrop?
I understand that circumstances are just facts, neither good or bad. My interpretation (thoughts) make me feel good or bad.
YES! And in this moment you may interpret the circumstance as being just fine, where previously you interpreted it as problematic.
But my today reality is still dependant on the following wrong perception:
Sometime circumstances seems to dictate happiness, sometime they seems no to be responsible of my level of un/happiness.
So let's take a closer look at circumstances. Select one circumstance that you tend to feel is responsible for your level of happiness. Look closely to see in what way this circumstance actually causes your happiness or unhappiness. Is it the circumstance itself that has you feel unhappy? Or is it the thoughts you have ABOUT your circumstance, your interpretation, that have you feel unhappy?
Above you wrote, "Happiness is a feeling. Feeling are based on thoughts." Can you explain how circumstances cause your happiness if feelings are based on thoughts?
happiness is less narrative thoughts
Is that true?
When you sit in meditation, without narrative thoughts, is that "happiness"?
When you are focused on your work, without narrative thoughts, is that "happiness"?
Or is "happiness" a judgment you make ABOUT your feelings when those feelings are ones you want instead of ones you don't want?
is still difficult to feel, accept it.
Fair enough. A change of perspective takes time to settle.
Nothing is in itself good or bad. Like a robber arrive at my door with a gun, versus my girlfriend brings me a bunch of flower. I understand that what is, is, and nothing in itself is good or bad. My only choice, is the perspective I give to what is, the label put on it.
YES! This is important to notice! It is the key to having more happiness!
This situation has given me time for my non-duality quest, bringing wide open new perspective in life. I could also say/think, someone is serving the client I don't current have :-)
Excellent!!
I, too, work freelance, and am very familiar with the ups and downs of this work.
My existential questioning, has brought me close to an old friend who's having some hard time and currently needs some special attention. This reunion brings me a lot of good time. We are sharing and helping each other in our spiritual quest.
Excellent!! Performing acts of kindness, compassion, lifts the feelings!
This not always easy existential questioning, which has brought me to the study of non-duality, has show me new ways at looking at things. It also has brought me to new experiences, like spending time in a Zen monastery, unveiling me, completely new type of people.
Excellent! How good to notice this!!
My lack of work, as giving me time to better organise my future moving house.
Yes!!
Notice that you are able to interpret this circumstance both negatively AND positively! There is evidence for BOTH interpretations! Which interpretation you give this circumstance creates the feelings you then experience.
Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup? Can you pour tea into it? Can you drink from it? In Reality?
Of course not.
Exactly. But how often we believe the content of our thought is REAL!
Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever a thought arises, whenever you have an image of something in mind, check whether it is a physical reality or imaginary.
Ok I will, also we know the answers, thoughts can never be a physical reality.
You may be correct — I think you are! BUT, do the experiment to find out. I don't want you to Believe what I write — I want you to find out for yourself!!
When you have an image in mind, is that Reality? Or imaginary? Check it each time — know for yourself!!
Me/ego doesn't want me to find out he's unreal. He's a thought, a mental construction, concept. He's protecting himself. Intellectually I get it, but not from the guts, yet :-(
GOOD! And an intellectual understanding is not enough; when you experience this for yourself, it's a game-changer!

Hot, sound, hurt, see, tasting sweet , pressure, hurt, see white, feeling humidity, noise, flashing, pressure leg, noise, sound, seeing gray, foot pain, neck pain, hear tickle, hear pressure, heal feel, taste, pinch wrist, eye pressure, eye tickle, noise, eye pressure, soft, pressure, taste, touch feeling, blank, breath, warm, teeth pressure, smell, short noise, warm in mouth, sound, sound, see objects, colour, sound, pressure, humid, belly sound, picture thoughts, silent, pressure, blink, sound, tickle, hot at finger, metallic sound, sweet taste, light.
Good! And "pain" and "hurt" are labels applied to sensation after the sensation has been judged. The sensation is just sensation; pleasure and pain are labels for sensations that we want or don't want.

During the course of the next few days, stop and notice the sensations from the five senses. Notice the difference between pure sensation and a sensation that you have judged and labeled.


Here is another exercise:
With the eyes closed, sitting still, notice the other sensations: hearing, smelling, tasting, touching.
With only the input from those four senses, and without relying on Memory, can you know how tall the body is? Check it! With eyes shut, and relying only on four senses, can you locate a boundary between the body and the clothing? Between the body and the chair? With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, can you know the weight or the volume, of the body? Can you know it's name? It's address?
With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, what can you learn about the body?

love,
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:14 pm

Dear Nona,

Since this morning I feel some calmness. It seems I'm wearing my coton helmet again! Don't know if it means anything. Anyway it's pleasant and similar to what i felt 3 weeks ago...
if the shift changes the perception, automatically one have less negative thoughts.
This is an assumption!
Thoughts themselves are neither positive nor negative; they are simply thoughts. Only when you have judged them, do you label these thoughts negative and those thoughts positive. And what is doing the judging?
Mmmh my intellect knows it's the illusory Me, thoughts, are the label Like/Dislike; Avertion/Repulsion. Me at this point of the day, don't know...
Yes, seeing thoughts without judgment is a different perspective.
It is easy to quarrel with thoughts, but it is as useful as quarreling with the weather — would you argue with a raindrop?
Neither thoughts nor Me, but a body+senssations and a raindrop. I wouldn't argue with the raindrop, I could with the body if it's not a dead body.
But my today reality is still dependant on the following wrong perception: Sometime circumstances seems to dictate happiness, sometime they seems no to be responsible of my level of un/happiness.
So let's take a closer look at circumstances. Select one circumstance that you tend to feel is responsible for your level of happiness. Look closely to see in what way this circumstance actually causes your happiness or unhappiness. Is it the circumstance itself that has you feel unhappy? Or is it the thoughts you have ABOUT your circumstance, your interpretation, that have you feel unhappy?
I'm taking the following example (not from today):
I had to reach my girlfriend to the place where she's spending her holidays. The day of the departure she called telling me that there is no internet connexion over there. This was not her fault, neither mine nor my client. But I needed this connexion for my work. Now I can't go to spend those sunny day with her any more. I felt sad even if there is no one to blame. What would that change if there was someone to blame? nothing. The bad feeling arises in conjunction to the "bad" news. I understand that my judgement is the enemy, my dislike of the situation,
this is what make me feel sad. What I can do to avoid this sadness:
a) The medicine. Prescription: To be taken after the symptom or even better as soon the sadness symptom arises. How to use it: In order to look at the sadness inside me, find out what is the related body sensation and where is physically located. Then penetrate it. This will potentially dissolve it,
b) Life cure. To be taken only once. Get to the point, thanks to Nona directions, where I automatically don't involve judgements. How to use it: Find out where is ME.
Above you wrote, "Happiness is a feeling. Feeling are based on thoughts." Can you explain how circumstances cause your happiness if feelings are based on thoughts?
They don't, I know intellectually. But I don't how to change the brain connexions in order to automatically see the truth. Well to be confirm tomorrow, today: Coton helmet.
happiness is less narrative thoughts
Is that true?
1) - When you sit in meditation, without narrative thoughts, is that "happiness"?
- When you are focused on your work, without narrative thoughts, is that "happiness"?
2) Or is "happiness" a judgment you make ABOUT your feelings when those feelings are ones you want instead of ones you don't want?
1) It's peaceful state if no narrative thoughts are present. Shall I call that happiness? Pfff might be, might be not. So much inputs in this brain, so many concepts, wrong perceptions and believes ;-(
It can be a pleasant state as it can be quite the opposite. This because thoughts with theirs stories show up. In any case it's a state, so it moves, arises and fall, but happiness is not a state.
2) Yes, this is a correct assumption.
When you have an image in mind, is that Reality? Or imaginary? Check it each time — know for yourself!!
I'm doing it and will keep on.
Good! And "pain" and "hurt" are labels applied to sensation after the sensation has been judged. The sensation is just sensation; pleasure and pain are labels for sensations that we want or don't want.
Good catch. It's tricky, easy to miss, easy to blindly judge.
During the course of the next few days, stop and notice the sensations from the five senses. Notice the difference between pure sensation and a sensation that you have judged and labeled.
Ok, Yes.
Here is another exercise:
- With the eyes closed, sitting still, notice the other sensations: hearing, smelling, tasting, touching.
With only the input from those four senses, and without relying on Memory, can you know how tall the body is? Check it!
No, I honestly don't think I really can.
- With eyes shut, and relying only on four senses, can you locate a boundary between the body and the clothing? Between the body and the chair?

No clear boundary with the clothing, it's summer and they are loose. But yes with the chair. The touch sense send me a signal of pressure at the boundaries. Which mean I can, sometime, observe the body object. Therefore if it can be observe, objectify, it can not be Me!?
- With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, can you know the weight or the volume, of the body? Can you know it's name? It's address?
A certain amount of volume and weight or mass can be felt. I suspect it comes from memory, but I'm not sure.
The body has no name and address but a label with a name and address. But you have specified without the help of memory, so without there ain't labels neither.
- With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, what can you learn about the body?
I think I can feel it has a Beeingness, an I-ness, there is the awareness of its existence. Would that be the case without the senses? I don't think so.

Nona, it's a strange day. Everything is really more calm in my head. Coton, coton. I even don't know if my answers reflect what I'm feeling right now... kind of soft lost, but that ok.

Kindness,
Jean

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby nonaparry » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:57 pm

Dear Jean,

Very nice work! It is good you are seeing that judgments are not inherent attributes of the situations you judge.
With only the input from those four senses, and without relying on Memory, can you know how tall the body is? Check it!
No, I honestly don't think I really can.
Did you try it?
With eyes shut, and relying only on four senses, can you locate a boundary between the body and the clothing? Between the body and the chair?
No clear boundary with the clothing, it's summer and they are loose. But yes with the chair. The touch sense send me a signal of pressure at the boundaries.
I want you to check this again. With eyes closed, you feel pressure of the body against the chair. But is there a clear boundary, on one side purely a sensation of body and on the other purely chair? Or is the sensation of pressure of the body against the chair fuzzy and imprecise?
Open the eyes and look: in vision there is a clear boundary between body and chair. Now close the eyes, and without remembering the vision, is there a clear boundary?
With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, can you know the weight or the volume, of the body? Can you know it's name? It's address?
A certain amount of volume and weight or mass can be felt. I suspect it comes from memory, but I'm not sure.
So open the eyes and look at the body. You see the mass and calculate the weight and volume. With the eyes closed, and without relying on the memory of sight, is there a sensation of mass? Or is the sensation fuzzy and unclear, not indicative of mass at all?
With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, what can you learn about the body?
I think I can feel it has a Beeingness, an I-ness, there is the awareness of its existence. Would that be the case without the senses? I don't think so.
There is existence, yes. What is the I-ness to which you refer? Is it located somewhere in or on the body? What makes the entire body, or a part of the body, an I?


For the next exercise you will need 20 minutes, a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
For ten minutes, write what is happening here and now using the words I, me, and my. For example: I am sitting in my chair with my computer in my lap, I am typing and watching the words appear on my monitor.

After ten minutes, write what is happening here and now without using the words I, me, or my. For example: sitting in a chair, typing, reading the words on the screen.

When you have finished, compare the experiences. Did they feel different?
Did what was happening change when you stopped using the word I?

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: No-Self lost - Need to be guided

Postby thejumper » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:52 pm

Good eveaning Nona,
With only the input from those four senses, and without relying on Memory, can you know how tall the body is? Check it!
No, I honestly don't think I really can.
Did you try it?
Yes I did. I can say I'm taller then wide, might be by 5 or 6 time, but not how tall I am. It's similar to the weight/volume experience.
I want you to check this again. With eyes closed, you feel pressure of the body against the chair. But is there a clear boundary, on one side purely a sensation of body and on the other purely chair? Or is the sensation of pressure of the body against the chair fuzzy and imprecise?
Open the eyes and look: in vision there is a clear boundary between body and chair. Now close the eyes, and without remembering the vision, is there a clear boundary?
Every part of the body in contact with something have fuzzy delimitations.
Every par of the body, feeling some difference of temperature, either colder or warmer, have also a sense of fuzzy delimitations.
None of those have precise boundaries. Pressure is always fuzzy. No clear inside/outside. Where start Me vs where it ends... ?
So open the eyes and look at the body. You see the mass and calculate the weight and volume. With the eyes closed, and without relying on the memory of sight, is there a sensation of mass? Or is the sensation fuzzy and unclear, not indicative of mass at all?
Yes, still fuzzy. But even if not precise, some quantity of density can be felt from the inside.
With eyes closed, and not relying on memory, what can you learn about the body?
I think I can feel it has a Beeingness, an I-ness, there is the awareness of its existence. Would that be the case without the senses? I don't think so.
There is existence, yes. What is the I-ness to which you refer? Is it located somewhere in or on the body? What makes the entire body, or a part of the body, an I?
The I-ness I'm referring here is the conscience of a mental construction. This I-ness has no precise location. It's a mental construction built from a mix of body parts, sensations and thoughts. Thoughts appears with or without the help of sensations. The I-thought takes ownership of other thoughts. But I/Me being also thoughts it can not think, therefore this I-thought is a mental mush-up of the body/sensation/thoughts. Now if I go one step further, the I-ness is also that thing behind the scene, behind the senses and thoughts, which I can sometime feel. The What, which make move my hands. In this case, I believe the senses and body are not that essential for the conscience to exist!
for the next exercise you will need 20 minutes, a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
For ten minutes, write what is happening here and now using the words I, me, and my. For example: I am sitting in my chair with my computer in my lap, I am typing and watching the words appear on my monitor.
After ten minutes, write what is happening here and now without using the words I, me, or my. For example: sitting in a chair, typing, reading the words on the screen.
When you have finished, compare the experiences. Did they feel different?
Did what was happening change when you stopped using the word I?
Yes, they are very different experiences. With I/Me/My:
- Everything is experienced in a self-centered way. Most of the thoughts, experiences, start with I/Me or My. Also is a language convention, this impact the way the thinking works, the individual behaves. First Me then the other. For sure my neurons are affects, but this is a believe, I haven't checked myself.
- Also I notice to write judgements and desires very often when I/Me/My are allowed.

Without I/Me/My:
It's an unusual way of writing, I felt disoriented at first. A less fluid way of writing/thinking came out. The brain is use to put I/Me/My. Without, I start thinking differently. Fewer judgements and desires. This can also be because the content of the writing was more philosophical, less descriptive.
This experience made me realize that things, don't need any Jean to exist. They are, with or without my authorisation. I also notice, the use of MY cup of coffee, MY bear... they don't need me, they are not me. And also, neither the cup nor the bear are cup or bear. Those are labels used to facilitated human inter-communication. They are some bunch of atoms and energy gather on some points.

Kindness,
Jean


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