Looking for a guide

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bobinmaui
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Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:38 am

Hi,
I have read, listened to and watched much of the material on this site and keep hoping to see clearly that there is no self here. So far, not. I have been around this seeking business for far too long, and am ready to end it. I understand that "I" or "me" is a function of language and that it doesn't really exist as a separate entity, yet I continue to behave as though I really do exist separately. I have investigated fear and find little to none regarding seeing through this illusion. Most of my expectations have been dispelled over the years of seeking, yet I continue to seek, apparently expecting something. If someone there could guide me home I would be very grateful. I also feel rather hopeless that this can happen.
Bob

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:01 am

Hi Bob, my name is Hannah and I would be happy to guide you.

I request that whilst we are in dialogue you hold off reading other spiritual, awakening material or watching other videos etc.
-That we both try to post daily unless we say why that's not possible at that time.

-That you try and bring 100% honesty to this dialogue, no censoring, telling me what you want to be true or think I want to hear.

-And as far as possible reporting to me from your direct sensory experience happening in this moment, not spiritual concepts you have picked up.

Does that sound ok to you?

If so lets get rolling:
Tell me a little about the seeking history, what sources of ideas/concepts about awakening and practices have been the main features and for how long?

And then most importantly we are going to look carefully and honestly about expectations. As you say in your opening post, you continue to seek, apparently expecting something. The expectations that have dropped do not interest me, the ones still in operation do very much :)

To give some initial focus, take a look at this LU post about what we do here is not, and sit with each statement, looking at your experience very carefully to see if a reaction arises to any of them, and let me know if it seems any of these expectations are still relevant for you.

Throughout the years our many guides have discovered that one of the major obstacles to the direct, clear seeing of what is already magnificently the case is a thick layer of expectations and narrative about a self’s journey towards enlightenment, built up by years and years of seeking. Getting these expectations out in the open and out of the way is an important first step. Below is a list explaining what the LU process is not:

This is not a way to escape your daily life.
This is not about gaining something extra, becoming something special.
This is not about cultivating an altered state of consciousness.
This isn’t a trick of the mind, or twisting the mind into believing certain thoughts.
This is not about gaining a particular bit of knowledge.
This is not about having a certain thought or sequence of thoughts.
This is not about becoming a holy, good, moral or better person.
This is not a belief, religion, or a philosophy, it not magical or mystical.
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.
This is not about freedom from emotions and intense feelings.
This is not about getting rid of self, ego, I.
This is not a solution to problems in relationships.
This is not a way to get free of depression or other diseases.
This is not about stopping thoughts, changing thoughts, getting rid of thoughts.
This is not a way to make the story of you disappear.
This is not about convincing you of anything.
This is not something that will lead to accumulation of money or things.
This is not a self improvement program.


And then to finish off let this question perculate and give me a 'splurge' of what comes out in response...

What are you looking for that isn't this, right now?

Looking forward to exploring with you.

Hannah
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:40 pm

Hi Hannah,
Thank you for your response and your willingness to see me through this.
I request that whilst we are in dialogue you hold off reading other spiritual, awakening material or watching other videos etc.
I agree.
-That we both try to post daily unless we say why that's not possible at that time.
I will be traveling in less than 2 weeks, but will be in touch daily unless I am unable to due to my location, but will let you know.
-That you try and bring 100% honesty to this dialogue, no censoring, telling me what you want to be true or think I want to hear.

-And as far as possible reporting to me from your direct sensory experience happening in this moment, not spiritual concepts you have picked up.

Does that sound ok to you?
Sounds good.
Tell me a little about the seeking history, what sources of ideas/concepts about awakening and practices have been the main features and for how long?
I began this quest quite young, in my teens, when I was introduced to Theosophy by a school camp counselor. Also, my grandfather was a Christian Scientist and had books of Eastern philosophy, including the Tao Te Ching, which was like some great mystery to me.
Later I entered the world of psychedelics and found my perceptions and beliefs radically altered, then the est training and much reading of spiritual literature. Then came Saniel Bonder, Gangaji, Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. Next I discovered John Wheeler's writings, which led to Nisargadatta, Sailor Bob Adamson and a host of other Advaita/Non-duality teachers. A short while ago, I came across Joey Lott on Amazon and began reading what he has to say, and found an article by him posted on the LU site, and here I am.
let me know if it seems any of these expectations are still relevant for you.
As I sit with these expectations, I see my mind latching onto just one. Although I am in a very happy marriage, there are still times that my wife says something that I take to be insulting or critical (whether it is or not), and respond with anger. One expectation is that by seeing through personhood, I will not take things so personally or be so reactive. Also, there are times when I am surrounded by such beauty as we have here in Maui, but am completely distracted by thoughts from being with what is so present. So, I hope that this obsession with thinking might somehow diminish.
What are you looking for that isn't this, right now?
I think, mainly, an end to seeking. Over all, I have a wonderful life, living in paradise with a wonderful wife, great children and grandchildren, a good business, good health, etc. After 60 years or so, I am tired of seeking and would like to be done with this obsession.

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:10 pm

Lovely replies, thank you for your openness straight off the bat. By the way what is your timezone? I'm UK GMT time.
One expectation is that by seeing through personhood, I will not take things so personally or be so reactive.
Let's flip this one round. Is what you are saying here that because things are still taken personally, and this reactiveness arises, that is evidence that the illusion has not been seen through?
Also, there are times when I am surrounded by such beauty as we have here in Maui, but am completely distracted by thoughts from being with what is so present.
And that this experience of being distracted by thoughts is evidence of the same?

Describe to me, in more detail the experience of 'being distracted by thoughts', if it comes up during the next day.

Where did you pick these ideas and expectations up from? How did they come into being? Is it possible these expectations are just empty thoughts about how things should be?
Does anything make them feel 'realer' than that? Any pattern of sensations that can be identified and reported to me?

I'm hearing an expectation that certain emotions should not be arising. Do correct me if I am misreading (such as getting angry with your wife)

Lets look at emotion-
What is an emotion in direct experience?
Take anger, sadness, whatever one comes up next.

Can you find anything, like an entity, an I of any form or sort that is in control of that?
Is there an I experiencing emotion separate to it?
I think, mainly, an end to seeking.
Is this seeking present in the current experience?
What is the word 'seeking' directly experienced as?
What would be different if it wasn't present?
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:41 am

what is your timezone?
Hawaii Standard Time
Is what you are saying here that because things are still taken personally, and this reactiveness arises, that is evidence that the illusion has not been seen through?
It does seem that way, but perhaps it is not so. Is it then an illusion that there is an illusion?
And that this experience of being distracted by thoughts is evidence of the same?
Yes, I have taken it to so, but, again, perhaps not? I have read of thoughts calming down, and of taking things less personally when liberation occurs, but maybe this is only so for some? I think I read in Gateless Gatecrashers that someone's tinnitus disappeared upon this realization, and I started to get my hopes up there as well.
Describe to me, in more detail the experience of 'being distracted by thoughts'
While walking on the beach, I notice the sky and the waves and the paddleboarders, and the next thing I realize is that I have been thinking about paddleboarding and how that would be, and could I do it, and what do I need and what would it cost and would I need a wetsuit here, and so on. Or I think about what I need to do, what projects to work on at home. Or what will I say to Hannah, and am I being authentic, and what are my feelings and sensations, and if I have no expectations, what am I looking for anyway?
Where did you pick these ideas and expectations up from? How did they come into being? Is it possible these expectations are just empty thoughts about how things should be?
Does anything make them feel 'realer' than that? Any pattern of sensations that can be identified and reported to me?
Most of these ideas and expectations have come from what I've read about various people's realizations, and I've thought, "Oh, that sounds good. I'd like that!". So maybe they are just empty thoughts. And so I come back again to What am I seeking?
What makes them feel realer is, for example, a contraction in the chest from a feeling I label shame after getting angry, and feeling sort of lost and confused about who that was that just got so angry, like that wasn't really me!
So, what arises is the thought that I want to distance myself from this person I label "me".
I'm hearing an expectation that certain emotions should not be arising.
Yes, that is the case, especially with anger. I feel out of control at times. I tend to be OK with sadness and even fear, but reject my anger in many situations.
What is an emotion in direct experience?
Can you find anything, like an entity, an I of any form or sort that is in control of that?
Is there an I experiencing emotion separate to it?
An emotion seems to be a thought or series of thoughts that seem to be linked to a physical sensation, such as tightening in the chest, hunching of the shoulders, racing heart, heavier breathing, etc. I suppose I want to feel in control of that, but no, I can't find an entity or an I that is in control. And when emotion occurs, I really can't find an entity experiencing it. What seems to happen is that after the emotion, I assign responsibility to this "I" that I believe exists.
Is this seeking present in the current experience?
What is the word 'seeking' directly experienced as?
What would be different if it wasn't present?
Yes, this seeking is present as thought and sensation (a hollowness in the solar plexus that I label as anxiety or fear). If the seeking weren't present, my belief is that the anxiety or fear would no longer be present.
By the way, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to work with me. Your questions are quite challenging and I hope you'll challenge me if anything I say seems inauthentic.

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:47 pm

Again, appreciating the honest responses. The spiritual BS detector is on high alert, but not going off as yet ;)
Is it then an illusion that there is an illusion?
Another way of asking this question is - 'is there a thought that isn't empty?'

We all pick up the lingo along the way and run with it.
I sometimes describe this dialogue as a 'conceptual colonic'.
I have read of thoughts calming down, and of taking things less personally when liberation occurs, but maybe this is only so for some? I think I read in Gateless Gatecrashers that someone's tinnitus disappeared upon this realization, and I started to get my hopes up there as well.
Are stories of awakening and what that looked like important? Is it possible all they are doing is feeding stories of what Bob's awakening will look like.

Can 'Bob' awaken?
Can something that never even existed do anything?
I notice the sky and the waves and the paddleboarders, and the next thing I realize is that I have been thinking about paddleboarding and how that would be, and could I do it, and what do I need and what would it cost and would I need a wetsuit here, and so on. Or I think about what I need to do, what projects to work on at home. Or what will I say to Hannah, and am I being authentic, and what are my feelings and sensations, and if I have no expectations, what am I looking for anyway?
And what were the feelings and sensations whilst this was happening? Were they in basic terms pleasant, unpleasant or neutral?
What makes them feel realer is, for example, a contraction in the chest from a feeling I label shame after getting angry
Good, yes- contractions in the chest area, feelings of 'hollowness'.
If you look, do you find these sensations are accompanied with some sort of thought story with the recurring theme 'something's wrong and needs changing/sorting out/to be better?'
So, what arises is the thought that I want to distance myself from this person I label "me".
Wow! What a sentence...
What is the I that wants to distance itself mentioned here, and what is the person it would distance itself from?
Yes, that is the case, especially with anger. I feel out of control at times. I tend to be OK with sadness and even fear, but reject my anger in many situations.
What is this I hear that can be in control or out of control? What is it in control of exactly?
What does rejecting the anger consist of?

But then perhaps you looked and have already answered these:
I suppose I want to feel in control of that, but no, I can't find an entity or an I that is in control. And when emotion occurs, I really can't find an entity experiencing it. What seems to happen is that after the emotion, I assign responsibility to this "I" that I believe exists.
Yes!
And does it exist?
Yes, this seeking is present as thought and sensation (a hollowness in the solar plexus that I label as anxiety or fear). If the seeking weren't present, my belief is that the anxiety or fear would no longer be present.
And if it didn't?

What's the difference in the direct experience of this hollowness in the chest you describe and say, hunger, or being about to have a big burp?

I put it to you that what you are left labelling 'seeking' is simply the desire to get away from these unpleasant sensations, as they arise. And that the end of seeking is not to be found in thoughts expecting them not to, or trying to get away from them (which isn't possible), but simply seeing them for what they are, as they arise.
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:59 am

'is there a thought that isn't empty?'
There really is nothing there.
I sometimes describe this dialogue as a 'conceptual colonic'.
Great! I love that, and it seems to be much needed.
Are stories of awakening and what that looked like important? Is it possible all they are doing is feeding stories of what Bob's awakening will look like.
Right! It's like, "Oh yeah, that's what I want!" But it's just a story about an imagined someone wanting an imagined something.
Can 'Bob' awaken?
Can something that never even existed do anything?
This remains the hard part to get: That I, Bob, really truly don't exist. I can understand it, but I still don't see it. And, yes, there is no I to understand or see it. Yet this label appears to point to something real even though it is not locatable.
And what were the feelings and sensations whilst this was happening? Were they in basic terms pleasant, unpleasant or neutral?
Mostly pleasant or neutral. Hmm, I see that it was just a thought that I shouldn't be having those thoughts in the midst of a beautiful day. I was taking it to mean that I was still far from realization.
If you look, do you find these sensations are accompanied with some sort of thought story with the recurring theme 'something's wrong and needs changing/sorting out/to be better?'
Yes, but I was assuming that the feelings and sensations arose from the thought story, but I suppose it could just as well be the other way around, that I find a story to explain the feelings.
Wow! What a sentence...
What is the I that wants to distance itself mentioned here, and what is the person it would distance itself from?
Yes, it's crazy, no? How many I's, me's, persons and Bobs are there?
What is this I hear that can be in control or out of control? What is it in control of exactly?
What does rejecting the anger consist of?
I know, when you ask that, I cannot find what is in or out of control or how it could possibly be in control of an emotion. Rejecting the anger seems to consist of experiencing a hollowness or tightness in the chest, calling it remorse or shame, and using that to try and push the anger away. Silly, isn't it?
Yes!
And does it exist?
And again, it seems like it exists, but I can't find it anywhere.
And if it didn't?
I assume that you mean if the anxiety or fear didn't disappear. Well, I can see that anxiety or fear are simply more empty concepts that I have linked to the tightness or hollowness in the chest, so without the story, it's not such a bad thing.
What's the difference in the direct experience of this hollowness in the chest you describe and say, hunger, or being about to have a big burp?
No difference, just the interpretation.
I put it to you that what you are left labelling 'seeking' is simply the desire to get away from these unpleasant sensations, as they arise. And that the end of seeking is not to be found in thoughts expecting them not to, or trying to get away from them (which isn't possible), but simply seeing them for what they are, as they arise.
Yes, very clear. Thank you.

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:54 pm

Beautiful looking and responses, let's focus down on the illusion of a seperate self now and clear any residual confusion up.

Can you find a self outside of a thought story about one?

Look everywhere, leave no stone unturned.
Right! It's like, "Oh yeah, that's what I want!" But it's just a story about an imagined someone wanting an imagined something.
:)
This remains the hard part to get: That I, Bob, really truly don't exist. I can understand it, but I still don't see it. And, yes, there is no I to understand or see it. Yet this label appears to point to something real even though it is not locatable.
Well it looks like it is being seen from here. But lets get clear on this.
'This label appears to point to something real even though it is not locatable'
SEEMS? or actually does?
What does the word real mean in the context of this sentence? Something that can be experienced?
Right now, can this self be heard, seen touched tasted smelt or is part of perception in any other way?

Is there a unicorn in the room?
Is there a table in the room?
Are there keys in your pocket?
Is there a self in the room?

It's actually mindboggingly simple to see this.
Then thoughts can pop up with all sorts of ifs, buts, and logical arguments to try and disprove what is seen.
If that happens, lay them out here so we can examine them.
Hmm, I see that it was just a thought that I shouldn't be having those thoughts in the midst of a beautiful day. I was taking it to mean that I was still far from realization.
can it be seen that these reactive thoughts saying 'x is happening and that means i'm far from realisation' are just more empty thought content?
but I suppose it could just as well be the other way around, that I find a story to explain the feelings.
Look carefully at this, at any 'space' between the physical sensations and the story. Does one come before the other? Is there any evidence that they are interacting outside of anoher story that one is causing the other?
What would it look like if these sensations weren't interpreted?
Yes, it's crazy, no? How many I's, me's, persons and Bobs are there?
Yes, but you didn't actually take my invitation to look here. Read the original statement carefully, and examine if these 'i's being talked about here, and see if they can be found.

Especially look at choice and control in more detail. Is anything in day to day experience giving the strong impression it is 'under my control'? If so let's examine it.
I know, when you ask that, I cannot find what is in or out of control or how it could possibly be in control of an emotion.
Great. This is the process. In my experience it's not a one off look and then everything unravels. There's a period for most of needing to look, look, look, until what's seen is 100% accepted.
Rejecting the anger seems to consist of experiencing a hollowness or tightness in the chest, calling it remorse or shame, and using that to try and push the anger away. Silly, isn't it?
How can a label (a thought) DO anything (like push anger away?) look more closely at that assumption/idea.
I assume that you mean if the anxiety or fear didn't disappear. Well, I can see that anxiety or fear are simply more empty concepts that I have linked to the tightness or hollowness in the chest, so without the story, it's not such a bad thing.
Is it possible this tightness/hollowness sensation is also being interpreted as 'me/personal' in someway?
What's the difference in the direct experience of this hollowness in the chest you describe and say, hunger, or being about to have a big burp?
No difference, just the interpretation.
Well, it appears that one can be seen through pretty easily ;)
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:48 am

Can you find a self outside of a thought story about one? Look everywhere, leave no stone unturned.
I have associated self with the body, but I see that these are just sensations that I attribute to this assumed self. And history, which is unique to this body-mind and which I have assumed defines 'me'. And there are thoughts and feelings also unique to 'me'. At least I assume these attributes are unique to 'me', though I can't even really know that for sure. And then there is the way people respond to 'me', as though there really is a separate self over here. Or, I define 'myself' as being 'not other', like I am not my desk or my computer or my wife, etc. But thoughts again. And then there is this light I see when I close my eyes that seems as though it could be 'me', but is really just another sensation. So, no, I can't find a self anywhere.
Well it looks like it is being seen from here.
I'm not sure what 'no self' being seen looks like or how that is experienced.
What does the word real mean in the context of this sentence? Something that can be experienced?
Right now, can this self be heard, seen touched tasted smelt or is part of perception in any other way?
This self is experienced as real only in thought, as in 'I am happy' or 'I feel hopeless'. It really isn't sensed with any of the senses.
Is there a unicorn in the room?
Is there a table in the room?
Are there keys in your pocket?
Is there a self in the room?
Yes, I can see the table and feel the keys, but can't feel or see the unicorn or the self. They are only imagined.
Then thoughts can pop up with all sorts of ifs, buts, and logical arguments to try and disprove what is seen.
If that happens, lay them out here so we can examine them.
My wife is arguing with me about this non-existence of the self, saying, well, we can't sense energies, but they exist. To which I respond that we may need instruments to sense energies, but they can be sensed. Not so with the self. At least, I don't think so.
can it be seen that these reactive thoughts saying 'x is happening and that means i'm far from realisation' are just more empty thought content?
Yes, that is clear.
Look carefully at this, at any 'space' between the physical sensations and the story. Does one come before the other? Is there any evidence that they are interacting outside of anoher story that one is causing the other?
What would it look like if these sensations weren't interpreted?
I really can't distinguish which comes first or if they are actually interacting. There is just a story of cause and effect. If they weren't interpreted, they would just be sensations without meaning anything.
Yes, but you didn't actually take my invitation to look here. Read the original statement carefully, and examine if these 'i's being talked about here, and see if they can be found.
These 'I's', 'me's', and 'persons' only exist in the thoughts that arose about them. I really cannot find them.
Especially look at choice and control in more detail. Is anything in day to day experience giving the strong impression it is 'under my control'? If so let's examine it.
Well, first off, it seems like the responses I am giving to your questions are under my control. Like I can choose to answer this way or that way. Or I can choose to pause here and get something to eat, or continue writing. I think I need some help sorting this out.
In my experience it's not a one off look and then everything unravels. There's a period for most of needing to look, look, look, until what's seen is 100% accepted.
This is helpful, as I'm feeling a bit of a dunce for not clearly seeing through this.
How can a label (a thought) DO anything (like push anger away?) look more closely at that assumption/idea.
I put it to you that what you are left labelling 'seeking' is simply the desire to get away from these unpleasant sensations, as they arise. And that the end of seeking is not to be found in thoughts expecting them not to, or trying to get away from them (which isn't possible), but simply seeing them for what they are, as they arise.
The above statement from your previous post is really helpful in this regard. No, a label cannot do anything. There is just the thought that I don't want to be experiencing these unpleasant sensations, which are only really unpleasant in my labeling of them and desire to be rid of them.
Is it possible this tightness/hollowness sensation is also being interpreted as 'me/personal' in someway?
Yes, of course. They are interpreted as 'me' still not there yet, not good enough, not complete.
Well, it appears that one can be seen through pretty easily ;)
Yes, for me, hunger's easy.

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:10 pm

have associated self with the body, but I see that these are just sensations that I attribute to this assumed self.
Is there an inside and an outside in direct experience?
Sit quietly with eyes closed and take a look carefully at the raw sensations.
'Seat on chair' is a great one. Is there a seat and a chair in direct experience? Are there even 2 separate sensations? One sensation with some sort of dividing line in the middle of it?
Feet/floor...back/bed...
And there are thoughts and feelings also unique to 'me'. At least I assume these attributes are unique to 'me', though I can't even really know that for sure
What is giving the impression they are unique to me? Are these thoughts and feelings contained in some way/ limited/ boundaried or located?
And then there is the way people respond to 'me', as though there really is a separate self over here.
What are these other people you mention here. Is the story of 'others' any realer than the story of 'me'? Is it possible it's all just one big story?
Or, I define 'myself' as being 'not other', like I am not my desk or my computer or my wife, etc. But thoughts again.
Yes, you are seeing these ideas for what they are.
Whats is giving the impression of 'I am not my desk'. Is there a sense of locatedness. Take a close look at that.

A way of focusing on that is to ask:
Where am I?
Even take an index finger and let it point to the answer. The look and see what is giving that impression.
And then there is this light I see when I close my eyes that seems as though it could be 'me', but is really just another sensation.
Nice.
So, no, I can't find a self anywhere.
Beautiful, the above responses are just to make sure we are leaving absolutely no stone unturned here.
This self is experienced as real only in thought, as in 'I am happy' or 'I feel hopeless'. It really isn't sensed with any of the senses.
Yep.
Yes, I can see the table and feel the keys, but can't feel or see the unicorn or the self. They are only imagined.
It's as simple as that.
My wife is arguing with me about this non-existence of the self, saying, well, we can't sense energies, but they exist. To which I respond that we may need instruments to sense energies, but they can be sensed. Not so with the self. At least, I don't think so.
This might be a fun time to ask, if no-one showed me a 'self-detector'- how and when did this idea, this illusion get so convincing?
I really can't distinguish which comes first or if they are actually interacting. There is just a story of cause and effect. If they weren't interpreted, they would just be sensations without meaning anything.
wow. Just seen through cause and effect there. Cooking with gas!
Well, first off, it seems like the responses I am giving to your questions are under my control. Like I can choose to answer this way or that way. Or I can choose to pause here and get something to eat, or continue writing. I think I need some help sorting this out.
Ok great, thanks for the honesty again here.
Take a look at this:

When you next want a drink, lay out 2 drinks you like to drink. stand in front of them and carefully look at the apparent process of choosing- eventually one will be made/drunk- what we are looking for in direct experience is a chooser or being able to tell me exactly how one was chosen over the other.

Open a blank text document and start writing anything, keep going and at the same time ask-
where are these words (which are expressed thought content/concepts) coming from?
is there anything in experience actually choosing and typing these words?

Then when writing your response here see if it's any different.
Tell me what is found.
Yes, of course. They are interpreted as 'me' still not there yet, not good enough, not complete.
So now you know. Now you know that those sensations, without the interpretation 'still not there yet, not good enough, not complete' are just sensations, like hunger, needing to burp, so when they arise again there will be no need to be fooled by that story...but who knows, it may still happen, it does here :)
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:09 pm

Is there an inside and an outside in direct experience?
Sit quietly with eyes closed and take a look carefully at the raw sensations.
'Seat on chair' is a great one. Is there a seat and a chair in direct experience? Are there even 2 separate sensations? One sensation with some sort of dividing line in the middle of it?
Feet/floor...back/bed...
There is just one sensation that has been labeled as two: seat on chair, etc. No, no dividing line.
What is giving the impression they are unique to me? Are these thoughts and feelings contained in some way/ limited/ boundaried or located?
I have always assumed that they are my thoughts, my feelings, but again it appears to have been only conceptual. I can find no boundaries or limitations or location to thoughts or feelings. Hmm, I'm not certain, but it seems as though even the sensation of seat on chair is not limited to the location where it appears to be taking place. There just seems to be raw sensation without boundaries, location or limits until I name it. Where is the sensation really occurring?
What are these other people you mention here. Is the story of 'others' any realer than the story of 'me'? Is it possible it's all just one big story?
Well, that's a challenge! Yet I guess just like the sensations of seat on chair becomes a story, so the visual and auditory and physical experience of others is just another story. This makes sense, but I'm not quite getting it yet.
Whats is giving the impression of 'I am not my desk'. Is there a sense of locatedness. Take a close look at that.
There is only the sense of location where it appears that the body contacts the desk, but then I'm back to defining me as my body.
A way of focusing on that is to ask:
Where am I?
Even take an index finger and let it point to the answer. The look and see what is giving that impression.
Where am I indeed! The index finger points to the chest or the head, where feelings or other sensations appear to take place, and so have been defined as me. But it doesn't seem like there's really anything there.
This might be a fun time to ask, if no-one showed me a 'self-detector'- how and when did this idea, this illusion get so convincing?
Well, I've been told all my life that I am a person named Bob, and I have believed it. And it has been reinforced by named sensations, thoughts and feelings, by interactions with so-called others, as well as seeing how others believe themselves to be persons.
When you next want a drink, lay out 2 drinks you like to drink. stand in front of them and carefully look at the apparent process of choosing- eventually one will be made/drunk- what we are looking for in direct experience is a chooser or being able to tell me exactly how one was chosen over the other.
Thoughts, appearing as memories, of how the two drinks taste arise. Beer wins, but I don't know how.
Open a blank text document and start writing anything, keep going and at the same time ask-
where are these words (which are expressed thought content/concepts) coming from?
is there anything in experience actually choosing and typing these words?
I have no idea where the words are coming from, and I can't find anything choosing and typing the words.
Then when writing your response here see if it's any different.
Tell me what is found.
I can't find a chooser of the words or a typist (a good typist is hard to find)
So now you know. Now you know that those sensations, without the interpretation 'still not there yet, not good enough, not complete' are just sensations, like hunger, needing to burp, so when they arise again there will be no need to be fooled by that story...but who knows, it may still happen, it does here :)
Really? Damn!

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:46 pm

I have always assumed that they are my thoughts, my feelings, but again it appears to have been only conceptual. I can find no boundaries or limitations or location to thoughts or feelings. Hmm, I'm not certain, but it seems as though even the sensation of seat on chair is not limited to the location where it appears to be taking place. There just seems to be raw sensation without boundaries, location or limits until I name it. Where is the sensation really occurring?
Where indeed? Words really do start failing completely at this point!
Well, that's a challenge! Yet I guess just like the sensations of seat on chair becomes a story, so the visual and auditory and physical experience of others is just another story. This makes sense, but I'm not quite getting it yet.
If what the word 'self'/ 'me' 'i' can't be found in direct experience, then what is the direct experience of the label 'others'?
Where am I indeed! The index finger points to the chest or the head, where feelings or other sensations appear to take place, and so have been defined as me. But it doesn't seem like there's really anything there.
To expand on this, just for fun, take the index finger and ask:

Where do feelings come from?
Where do thoughts come from?

See what comes up. Then see what that response is based on. Perception? Or learnt ideas?
Thoughts, appearing as memories, of how the two drinks taste arise. Beer wins, but I don't know how.
Take anything that appears as 'under my control' and look in the same way. Can a chooser or direct experience of the choosing process be found AT ALL?
This one can be tricky, take as long as you need on this.

And just to hunker down on this one, can I have a direct response to:

Is there an inside and outside in direct experience?

As well as these:

Is there a hearer of sounds, or just hearing?
A see-er of sights, or just seeing?
A smeller of smells, or just smelling?
A taster of tastes, or just tasting?
A feeler of sensation, or just sensation?
A thinker of thoughts or just thinking?

An experiencer of experience (this..life)...or just life?
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:16 am

If what the word 'self'/ 'me' 'i' can't be found in direct experience, then what is the direct experience of the label 'others'?
The direct experience of the label is just a thought. The direct experience of 'others' is a combination of sensory perceptions and thoughts which have been labeled 'other'.
To expand on this, just for fun, take the index finger and ask:

Where do feelings come from?
Where do thoughts come from?

See what comes up. Then see what that response is based on. Perception? Or learnt ideas?
First response is that feelings come from the body or chest area and thoughts come from the brain, and at first it seems like this is really the case. But when I look again, I cannot locate the source of either thoughts or feelings, so it seems that the first response was learned.
Take anything that appears as 'under my control' and look in the same way. Can a chooser or direct experience of the choosing process be found AT ALL?
OK, now I'm having some trouble. If I think the thought, raise my right hand, then I raise my right hand, it seems like there really is a self thinking that thought and making that choice and I feel like I'm right back to thinking there really is a me and cause and effect , etc. I'm not sure how to see this.
And just to hunker down on this one, can I have a direct response to:

Is there an inside and outside in direct experience?

As well as these:

Is there a hearer of sounds, or just hearing?
A see-er of sights, or just seeing?
A smeller of smells, or just smelling?
A taster of tastes, or just tasting?
A feeler of sensation, or just sensation?
A thinker of thoughts or just thinking?

An experiencer of experience (this..life)...or just life?
There is no inside and outside in direct experience, and again, I can't find a hearer, see-er, smeller, etc. Still, this apparent belief in a self is really tenacious. Santa Claus was easy.

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bobinmaui
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby bobinmaui » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:06 am

Hi Hannah, just to let you know, I've had an upset stomach all day today, hoping it would go away, so have had a hard time focusing.

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Hannah B-T
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Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:38 am

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:09 pm

Thanks for letting me know about the illness. I've found physical illness actually can be ideal conditions to look at direct experience of the body, as the sensations are so intense, and also less thought analysis often comes up to confuse the issue. But no problem if you need to take a break too.
The direct experience of the label is just a thought. The direct experience of 'others' is a combination of sensory perceptions and thoughts which have been labeled 'other'.
break that down further for me. What about the sensory perceptions themselves are 'other'?
First response is that feelings come from the body or chest area and thoughts come from the brain, and at first it seems like this is really the case. But when I look again, I cannot locate the source of either thoughts or feelings, so it seems that the first response was learned.
Nice.
500 years ago people believed thoughts came from the liver. :)

Do thoughts have a location?
OK, now I'm having some trouble. If I think the thought, raise my right hand, then I raise my right hand, it seems like there really is a self thinking that thought and making that choice and I feel like I'm right back to thinking there really is a me and cause and effect , etc. I'm not sure how to see this.
The key word here is SEEMS LIKE. ding dong, that phrase is a sure fire indicator that response is coming from thinking, rather than looking at the d.e of whats going on. Here's a few pointers/exercises on this one:

See how many hundreds of actions the body does every day without a single thought commentating on them at all. Yet suddenly thought is needed to raise the arm?

Decide to raise an arm. At what exact point did movement of the arm start? Was there a very tense and deliberate thought saying "I am going to move this arm... now?' Was there a tiny feeling of relief that the arm moved when "told" to move? Was there a feeling of ownership of the movement, and when does that appear? Beforehand? Halfway through? Afterwards?

Hold your hand a few inches above your leg. Say to yourself, "I'm going to tap my leg sometime in the next 30 seconds." Watch to see what happens. Also observe whether or not thinking "Tap now!" has any effect. Notice exactly what happens when the hand does tap the leg (or if it doesn't).

Can you see a self making the body leave the bed?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from? What makes the body get up, is there a you that commands the body?
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can.
Does that affect the outcome?

Can you choose the content of the next thought? Can you choose willingly the next thought that will arise? If not, then the thought 'raise the arm' wasn't chosen or controlled either. So where does that leave choice and control?

No problem. We can keep playing with this for as long as needed. :)
There is no inside and outside in direct experience, and again, I can't find a hearer, see-er, smeller, etc. Still, this apparent belief in a self is really tenacious. Santa Claus was easy.
If I ask are there keys in your pocket and you say no, do thoughts then arise saying 'ah, but the belief that keys were in my pocket is very tenacious'? ;)

What is meant here by 'tenacious'? Do you mean 'thoughts about self, me i mine continue to arise? Check there's not an expectation for these thoughts to stop. Why would they?
Or do you mean these thoughts referring to self are in some way 'special' or 'different' thoughts to ones like 'ooh look at that sunset' or 'paddleboarding looks fun'?

Also, give me a response to taking a look at this:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)


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