Woman guide, if possible

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Mimi L.
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Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:11 pm

Hello,

thank you so much for all the beautiful support, help and inspiration I have come across on this website, and for the sweet, irresistible invitation to be guided!

I have two small kids, the younger one is now almost three. Now that they both believe in “I” I feel it really is time I brought back some clarity into the house. :-)

I care for them almost 24/7 and they somehow require less sleep than I do. I have little time to sit behind the computer, or sit by myself quietly, look for a non-existent self, and write down in detail my observations.

And, I really would love to resolve this.

I downloaded the book and the app and did many of the exercises whenever possible. The thing with direct experience, and seeing that the self is just like a unicorn, and that I have never actually seen, felt or smelled such a thing as SELF in reality, was very funny and straightforward and obvious. I had a good laugh! There was a clear sense of there being no self, no centre.

Then, it was just like in the movie “Groundhog Day”. One day, it was so obvious: there is no self. And then, the next day, “I” believed in self again. And the seeking. I would walk myself through it all over again. On some days it became obvious again, at other times it felt very intellectual, trying to “get” something “I” had “forgotten”.

I got so ANGRY at one point and frustrated. At other times, it goes to a sense of apathy, giving up, or boredom. “Yeah yeah, no self. I know that already. It’s obvious. Who cares. Tell me something more interesting.”

My main practice over the last nine years has been The Work of Byron Katie. I did it intensely and passionately for a few years, then when I didn’t have much time anymore I did The Work less frequently and sort of went more to reading nonduality books while holding my sleeping baby. Jeff Foster, Rupert Spira, Scott Kiloby, Tony Parsons, etc.

While reading through a few posts/threads on this forum I experienced guides regardless of gender as equally kind, clear, helpful and supportive. For some reason, I have a preference for a woman guiding me at this point.

It would be so fantastic if someone could help me with this.

Thank you!

Warm regards, Mimi

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:49 am

Hi Mimi,

My name is Vivien, wonderful to have you here. I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self'.

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What are your expectations for this process?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?

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

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:15 pm

Hi Vivien,

thank you so much for guiding me!
What are your expectations for this process?
Regarding the process itself, right now I am mostly relieved I don't have to find out the next step for myself. You'll ask, and I'll look for my answers.
How will Life change?
For as long as I remember, I've had this vague, but intense sense of guilt and huge amounts of self hatred. I have been watching and observing myself to see how I'm performing. Whether I'm doing ok, or whether I may be adding to my guilt and being wrong. At times, I was frightened to even do anything, for fear of not getting it right and feeling guilty or bad afterward. It is so paralyzing, tiring and painful. So many things in my life have been motivated by this sense of being fundamentally wrong, guilty. Trying to become a better person, doing things right, avoiding mistakes, pleasing others, seeking approval, etc.

I imagine that if it clearly turned out there was no self there at all, then this whole loop of ME hating MYSELF would just fall apart. That would be funny. Life would be so simple. I would get up, be with the kids, do whatever comes up, without this screaming inside of me that there is something wrong with me, that I should do more, that I am not good enough.

In one scenario, things would actually go more smoothly, kind of on a practical level. If there was an idea, an impulse, to do something, say something, I wouldn't be putting the brakes on and stop myself. It would just naturally happen and play itself out.

In another scenario, I sort of imagine life happening exactly the same, breaks and all, and I just wouldn't put meaning on every little thing about ME and MY failure, guilt, getting it wrong etc.

Also if, lets say, I had done something that seemed to hurt someone, I could naturally apologize and make it right and not be so involved with terrible ME.

I guess I imagine a general sense of relief, relaxation of this constant tension. Life wouldn't be so serious, even if it was serious, if that makes any sense.

When I wake up at night I have this recurring image of the future about how I'll have zero money when I'm old, no house, etc. The panic is mainly about that it is MY fault and how unlike other people I am so useless at making money, and I will pay for it. So I imagine that if it is seen that there is no self, then again this whole internal war would sort of have no legs to stand on and collapse, and if in reality there is no money then there would be space to see if there's a practical solution. Or just experience being hungry. That kind of thing.

Also, all these victim stories about poor ME would lose their grip. Like when my son doesn't want to eat the food I prepared, and a whole story about ME and how it's MY JOB to feed this child and "how am I supposed to do this job properly if he doesn't co-operate??" I imagine that these stories would not stick much and instead of being hypnotized by them I could just enjoy being with my son and respecting his preferences.
How will you change?
I won't have to BE anyone in particular. This would be such a relief. I wouldn't have to be a perfect mother, for example. Or a bad mother. Or any mother. Or a vegan, or vegetarian, or queer or straight, good at this, bad at that, or any of the many, many different identities I have had in my life.

I would be more like my cat. Grumpy, hiss, scratch, and then it's over. Happy. Sad. Sleepy. Cuddly. Whatever. And then the next.
What will be different?
Less judging and worrying. And if there is judging and worrying, less worrying about the judging and worrying, if that makes any sense.

Another thing. If there is no self here, then it would be obvious that there is no self there. If my kids - or anyone, I guess - did something that I didn't like or want, I wouldn't go into into blaming or guilt-tripping them, even subtly. I could respond more like I did when they were smaller. I would do whatever was needed. Let's say if they were hurting the cat. I might physically stop them and point out that it hurts the cat and that I want her to be safe in our house. There wouldn't be a message "YOU" did it wrong. It happened. I would point it out. Just sharing my perspective. And I imagine they would naturally want to cooperate, like they usually do, and find a solution together that works for everyone.

And - with all the things I wrote above - again I imagine, it wouldn't mean so much. Whether I was kinder, more relaxed, or whatever. I wouldn't put so much meaning onto every little thing. Things would just happen. Perhaps I wouldn't be so interested in being kind. I might just laugh a lot about silly little jokes. Or be boring. Or annoying. Who knows. This whole huge responsibility to do it RIGHT would be gone.

Ha ha, did I say I didn't have much time to write?

You said great detail. So here you are! I found more than I had been aware of. Quite a list.

Love
Mimi

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:44 pm

p.s. I found more expectations:

- end of seeking.

- no more than short moments of identification with "I" thought and stories, easy to see (not just intellectually) it's a fictitious story

love M

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:21 am

Dear Mimi,

Thank you for your honesty and the detailed list about the expectations.
This list is important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I imagine that if it clearly turned out there was no self there at all, then this whole loop of ME hating MYSELF would just fall apart. ......I would get up, be with the kids, do whatever comes up, without this screaming inside of me that there is something wrong with me, that I should do more, that I am not good enough.
Yes, this MIGHT happen. However, it is important to see that liberation is NOT a one-time event.
The self-hatred and the “feeling that something is wrong with me” are the result of X years of conditionings. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance, but without a centre, a ‘me’, there is nothing they could attach to or stick to, so GRADUALLY they fall away. This falling can last until the end of the organism. But expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.
Life would be so simple.
Life is already simple. Only thoughts suggest otherwise.
In one scenario, things would actually go more smoothly, kind of on a practical level. If there was an idea, an impulse, to do something, say something, I wouldn't be putting the brakes on and stop myself. It would just naturally happen and play itself out.
This is already the case :) “Putting the brakes on and stop myself” is already happening by itself. There is no ‘you’ that could stop ‘itself’. It is already “naturally happens and plays itself out”. However, thoughts may come up saying that ‘this shouldn’t be’. But this whole process goes smoothly already (as a result of conditioning).
In another scenario, I sort of imagine life happening exactly the same, breaks and all, and I just wouldn't put meaning on every little thing about ME and MY failure, guilt, getting it wrong etc.
Yes, life will be exactly the same. And yes there won’t be a ‘you’ putting meaning onto anything. But ‘you’ don’t exist already. So no meaning has been put on anything by ‘you’, because ‘you’ has never been. Labelling thoughts might come up with assigned meaning, but it never has been done by ‘you’.

After seeing through the illusion of the self, labelling thoughts still can arise. However, they can be seen for what they are, only thoughts passing by. Nothing serious.
Also if, lets say, I had done something that seemed to hurt someone, I could naturally apologize and make it right and not be so involved with terrible ME.
Yes, this may happen, or not. What if the concepts of ‘hurt’, ‘apologizing’ or ‘making things right’ would seen through too, seeing them in a different ‘light’. This also can happen.
I guess I imagine a general sense of relief, relaxation of this constant tension. Life wouldn't be so serious, even if it was serious, if that makes any sense.
Yes, it MAY happen, some report a sense of relief, however, because tension is also X years of conditioning, there is no guarantee that it will go away in an instant.
When I wake up at night I have this recurring image of the future about how I'll have zero money when I'm old, no house, etc. .... So I imagine that if it is seen that there is no self, then again this whole internal war would sort of have no legs to stand on and collapse, and if in reality there is no money then there would be space to see if there's a practical solution. Or just experience being hungry. That kind of thing.
This also MAY or may not happen. This is not simply about seeing the illusion of the self, but also seeing that this whole worry about money is just a story. Nothing more. It is just a fantasy. Later, we can investigate on what past and future are.
I imagine that these stories would not stick much and instead of being hypnotized by them I could just enjoy being with my son and respecting his preferences.
Yes, stories becomes less 'sticky'. But this is also the result of conditionings.
I won't have to BE anyone in particular. This would be such a relief. I wouldn't have to be a perfect mother, for example. Or a bad mother. Or any mother. Or a vegan, or vegetarian, or queer or straight, good at this, bad at that, or any of the many, many different identities I have had in my life.
You’re already none of them. Because there has never been ‘you’ that could be a mother. Mothering happens, but without an owner. ‘You’ have never been a vegan, there is just a preference for not eating certain foods. But there is no ‘you’ that has chosen what to eat or not.
I would be more like my cat.
This is already the case. :) Only thoughts suggest otherwise. When being lost of the content of thoughts happen (=believed) the illusion of the ‘me’ emerge.
Less judging and worrying. And if there is judging and worrying, less worrying about the judging and worrying, if that makes any sense.
Yes, this is a good description.
If there is no self here, then it would be obvious that there is no self there. If my kids - or anyone, I guess - did something that I didn't like or want, I wouldn't go into into blaming or guilt-tripping them, even subtly.
Yes, there is neither self here nor there. But blaming is a conditioning. Seeing that there is no self there either, not necessarily stop the blaming. However, every time when blaming is seen through, it weakens a bit.
Let's say if they were hurting the cat. I might physically stop them and point out that it hurts the cat and that I want her to be safe in our house. There wouldn't be a message "YOU" did it wrong. It happened. I would point it out. Just sharing my perspective. And I imagine they would naturally want to cooperate, like they usually do, and find a solution together that works for everyone.
Oh, so you’re also expecting them (your children) to change just because you’ve seen through the self? This is unlikely to happen. OK, your behaviour can have a different effect on them, but the illusion of self is just ‘building up’ in them right now (this part of the ‘normal’ human development). ‘You’ cannot stop this. ‘You’ cannot stop anything.
I wouldn't put so much meaning onto every little thing. Things would just happen. Perhaps I wouldn't be so interested in being kind. I might just laugh a lot about silly little jokes. Or be boring. Or annoying.
It may happen. But again, ‘you’ have never put meaning on anything. Putting meaning on things can happen, but without ‘you’. Kindness might or might not happen. But there is already no ‘you’ that could be interested in being kind or not.
This whole huge responsibility to do it RIGHT would be gone.
Yes. And still thoughts may arise suggesting that 'you have responsibility' but these can be seen only as arising thoughts, nothing serious, or 'real'.
end of seeking.
Yes, it is quite probable to happen. However, seeking is also a conditioning, so it may fall away gradually.
no more than short moments of identification with "I" thought and stories, easy to see (not just intellectually) it's a fictitious story
Yes, but identification with thoughts can last for short or longer times. Identification is also the result of conditionings.

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. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling.

If this is amenable to you, we will begin.
But before we start please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:39 pm

Dear Vivien,

ha ha ha! Over the past years my image of liberation, or whatever, has already radically been downgraded (or should I say "upgraded"?) from - I think it used to be, "loving reality and everything in it 24/7, feeling safe and comfortable at all times, being crystal clear, always doing the RIGHT THING and being LOVED by everyone" or something. Now look what's left! I was very amused today. It's like I've gone to the shop to buy a vacuum cleaner and the woman says, "just don't expect it to vacuum". Never mind! I want it anyway. Not ME, I guess. WANTING a VACUUM CLEANER is arising! He he.

Right. Enough of this.

My reactions.

It sort of felt like walking and suddenly out of the blue I hear someone shout "STOP!!"

A sense of surprise, being taken aback.
Life is already simple. Only thoughts suggest otherwise.
This somehow touched me, or something. I stopped reading and got up and did something and the simplicity was obvious.

Resistance came later: ARGH but those STUPID THOUGHTS, who cares if life is simple in reality if it FEELS so complicated and stressful when thoughts are believed. GRRR. I need to find a way to stop buying into them so that the simplicity is actually EXPERIENCED.
But expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.
Yes. I don't/didn't actually expect "the end". More like undoing a piece of knitting, a woolly jersey. E.g. the thing with the self hatred. Or any story. I expect a nice big cut in the very centre of the fabric. One that doesn't get mended by the fairies when I look the other way for a moment.

Everything seems strange now. I guess there's no ME to undo any woolly jersey, look the other way, or whatever.

Hm. It is all very strange. Today I remembered a dream from ages ago where I was paralyzed, unable to move. And it was comfortable, or at least not uncomfortable. It sort of feels like that, on and off. This sense of no choice.
Oh, so you’re also expecting them (your children) to change just because you’ve seen through the self? This is unlikely to happen. OK, your behaviour can have a different effect on them, but the illusion of self is just ‘building up’ in them right now (this part of the ‘normal’ human development). ‘You’ cannot stop this. ‘You’ cannot stop anything.
I don't expect the kids to change. And why should they. They seem just fine the way they are.
Yes, what I meant was what you say about my behaviour. I feel it's my job to treat them kindly and respectfully so that they feel safe and good about themselves. Ha ha, themselves. Whatever. Well. I better stop here. :-)

Hm. Reactions in my body - a slight tension - like, frozen. Very subtle.

During the day I felt a bit sick, kind of nervous.

Exercises, yes please.

Love
Mimi

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:04 am

Dear Mimi,
It's like I've gone to the shop to buy a vacuum cleaner and the woman says, "just don't expect it to vacuum".
This is hilarious :) I was laughing for several minutes on the vacuum cleaner metaphor :)
Resistance came later: ARGH but those STUPID THOUGHTS, who cares if life is simple in reality if it FEELS so complicated and stressful when thoughts are believed. GRRR. I need to find a way to stop buying into them so that the simplicity is actually EXPERIENCED.
There is no need to find a way to stop buying into thoughts, it is enough to see them only as arising thoughts passing buy. Later, if it will be needed we can come back to this.
Yes. I don't/didn't actually expect "the end". More like undoing a piece of knitting, a woolly jersey. E.g. the thing with the self hatred. Or any story. I expect a nice big cut in the very centre of the fabric.
As I mentioned before, self-hatred is a result of xx years of conditioning. It not necessarily will go away at once when the illusion of the self is seen through, although, after seeing no-self there won’t be anything it could stick to, so GRADUALLY it can fall away.
I guess there's no ME to undo any woolly jersey, look the other way, or whatever.
Yes, that’s correct, this is what we are going to examine closely.
Reactions in my body - a slight tension - like, frozen. Very subtle.
You can observe this ‘tension’ when it comes up, how it operates and what is behind it.

OK then, let’s start it.
The first thing to gauge in our discussion is to find what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.
Tell me in your own words:

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:02 pm

Dear Vivien,
It not necessarily will go away at once when the illusion of the self is seen through, although, after seeing no-self there won’t be anything it could stick to, so GRADUALLY it can fall away.
Yes, yes! I know, I know!

- And don’t expect that you can TAKE HOME the useless vacuum cleaner either, once you’ve bought it!
- ?!! - Alright. I guess I’ll just take home the empty box then. I’m sure I can do SOMETHING with it.
- No, no. It DOESN'T come in a BOX! There is NO BOX for you to take home either!


(-:
ha ha.

- By the way, you MAY find that the vacuum cleaner will MOW the LAWN! If you happen to have a lawn, that is. Not right away though! Perhaps at some point in the non-existent future. Or not! We cannot know for sure. Every vacuum cleaner is different. And the same vacuum cleaner works differently in each household!!

He he. Never mind, never mind. Whatever it is. I want to find out.
The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, exactly.

Funny, this is indeed what I believe. And THEN thought/memory comes in to correct that view and remind me how I’ve seen that I don’t do the seeing, there is no seer only seeing, the body is not me because if I lost one leg "I" would still be there just the same, “I” is only a thought, thoughts arise out of nowhere, blah blah etc etc.

But actually, I believe the above description! I am a person sitting on the floor in front of the computer etc. who is so clever and wise she knows that she is wrong about being a person.

Ha ha. Still a person, though.
Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.
I would add to the above description that in the standard view of “I”, often “I” don’t actually have control over this body, or this whole system, and then “I” is the entity who has to take responsibility the moment whatever happened is noticed. Let’s say “I” forget to call my father on his birthday. It is so obvious that I didn’t DO it. How can you DO forgetting? There was no moment where I decided to forget. The thought to call just never came, and the thought not to call never came either. Still, “I” have to strangely claim that it's “me” who forgot. Same with physical body stuff. For example a fart. I have to claim it!! immediately.
Like a head of a university (or president, or whatever it’s called) who is held responsible for a fire that went off somewhere in the chemistry department. The head of the university wasn’t even present, but now they are responsible. Hm. With the “I”, it’s as though the head of university would say that THEY lit the fire, or at least failed to avoid it.
Tell me in your own words:
What does the word 'I' point to?
The word "I" points to a sense of ownership. Or a sense of familiarity, a sense of Mimi-ness.

Gosh. That's not it.

Let's see.

It points to some kind of elusive, movable centre. Sometimes it's in the head. Sometimes more in the chest. Like a ghost light.

That's not it either. Because I think that "I" sense this elusive centre in the chest. So "I" must point to something else.

I can say it points to a SENSE of "I".
A sense that I am here and I exist.

Next try. It points to an invisible someone behind the scenes in the puppet theatre. It cannot be seen but OF COURSE it is there. If I look, it quickly hides. Still, it is there.

Gosh. I can't find anything that really seems true. I'll keep looking.

I'll post my unsuccessful attempts for today.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
All the other bodies say that their bodies are “THEIRS,” so this one here that hasn’t been claimed by anyone else must be mine. They say "YOU" when they refer to it too.

But then I guess people could say anything and I wouldn’t necessarily believe it. If they said “tree” to this body then I would just think they’re confused. On the other hand, if they had been saying it all my life then I probably would believe it, in spite of all the contrary evidence.

What makes this body “mine”?
Next try: This body is experienced from the “inside”. I feel the arms, legs etc. from the "inside". Others seem to see my face from the “outside” and their own from the inside. So it is like a geographical position.

Hm. In direct experience, what makes this body "mine"? Nothing. Without the above story, the body simply is. A mountain is. A cup is. This body is.
What makes this body ‘you’?
There is nothing about the body itself that makes it "me".

The only thing I can find that makes it "me" is story. Memory/thought. People call out "Mimi" when they want this body to walk over to them.
People have hugged this body and said they were hugging "me".

Also, there's a SENSE of "me in here somewhere".

When I look at the body itself or feel bodily sensations, they just are. There is no difference between these hands and the cat's paws.
"Me" is simply a label.

Love, Mimi

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:39 am

Dear Mimi,

I really enjoy your comments, I like your style.  However, sometimes it is a bit hard for me to distinguish what is really seen by ‘you’ and what is just an intellectual understanding derived from previous reading (either from LU or any ‘spiritual teachers’). So, I’d like to ask you to put aside any conceptual understanding and what you’ve read previously and report only from you actual experience. There are no good or bad answers, you can’t get this wrong.
Is this OK with you?
Funny, this is indeed what I believe. And THEN thought/memory comes in to correct that view and remind me how I’ve seen that I don’t do the seeing, there is no seer only seeing, the body is not me because if I lost one leg "I" would still be there just the same, “I” is only a thought, thoughts arise out of nowhere,
Have ‘you’ really seen that ‘I’ is only a thought, and thought arise out of nowhere, or is this currently just an intellectual understanding?
But actually, I believe the above description! I am a person sitting on the floor in front of the computer etc. who is so clever and wise she knows that she is wrong about being a person.
Ok - Good. It is also important to see that despite the idea that the standard view might not be 100% true, the belief still persists. This is the belief that we will look into together.
Let’s say “I” forget to call my father on his birthday. It is so obvious that I didn’t DO it. How can you DO forgetting? There was no moment where I decided to forget. The thought to call just never came, and the thought not to call never came either.
Is this a logical deduction or it is really seen that there is no decider to forget or not to forget?
Still, “I” have to strangely claim that it's “me” who forgot. Same with physical body stuff. For example a fart. I have to claim it!! immediately.
Do ‘you’ really have to claim it?
Are ‘you’ doing the claiming?
Is there a ‘you’ that claim it or just thoughts arise claiming it?
Like a head of a university (or president, or whatever it’s called) who is held responsible for a fire that went off somewhere in the chemistry department. The head of the university wasn’t even present, but now they are responsible.
Does this mean that while the farting happened ‘you’ were somewhere else?
If yes, where?
How is it known that ‘you’ were somewhere else?
The word "I" points to a sense of ownership. Or a sense of familiarity, a sense of Mimi-ness.
Gosh. That's not it. Let's see.
It points to some kind of elusive, movable centre. Sometimes it's in the head. Sometimes more in the chest. Like a ghost light.
That's not it either. Because I think that "I" sense this elusive centre in the chest. So "I" must point to something else.
I can say it points to a SENSE of "I".
A sense that I am here and I exist.
Next try. It points to an invisible someone behind the scenes in the puppet theatre. It cannot be seen but OF COURSE it is there. If I look, it quickly hides. Still, it is there.
Gosh. I can't find anything that really seems true. I'll keep looking.
This is a nice investigation. Very good looking :)
In direct experience, what makes this body "mine"? Nothing. Without the above story, the body simply is. A mountain is. A cup is. This body is.
Is this really seen or is it rather learned information?
Please describe in your own word that what direct experience is.
When I look at the body itself or feel bodily sensations, they just are. There is no difference between these hands and the cat's paws.
"Me" is simply a label.
Good. How is this known?

OK, now we try to find this ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body.
We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.
The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is real.
Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine your experience right now.

Now, what can you find that is seeing them?
Can you locate, find, track-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
Tell me what you find . . . what comes up?

(Please go through the questions one-by-one).

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:41 am

Dear Vivien,
However, sometimes it is a bit hard for me to distinguish what is really seen by ‘you’ and what is just an intellectual understanding derived from previous reading (either from LU or any ‘spiritual teachers’).
Yes. It is even hard for myself to distinguish.
I mostly don’t experience myself “getting it intellectually.” I am not interested in that. Although at times I have read ND books because they seemed fascinating, like a good crime story with the anticipation how it will all come together in the end. I would never have said to anyone "there is no-one here":-) just because so many books have said it. If it seemed intellectual, I would get disinterested or, sometimes, pissed off.

Having said that, many of the words and concepts I have heard repeated so many times that I really need to look carefully for myself if it matches what I see.

So the words in the books would point, I would look, and I would see, a lot of the time, that they were right. And then, that seeing kind of didn’t “stick”.

As if I believed there was a clown standing behind me, and I read a book saying, there is no clown, turn your head and check! And I would follow the instructions, see that there’s no clown at all. Amazing. And two minutes later, I would think again there’s a clown. It’s silly. I’d read another book. I’d look again. No clown! And then the moment I turn my head, I assume once again there’s a clown behind me.

And in THAT moment I guess I would, in spite of all the previous looking and seeing, have to call my understanding intellectual. I might talk to someone (in theory) and say: “Guess what. There is NO clown behind me!” But in that VERY moment, even as I speak, I am believing that the clown is right there, listening and hearing about my discovery regarding his absence.

As I am explaining this, I am wondering if I really DID see. It clearly seemed like it. And yet, it would be impossible to really see and then keep believing the opposite.
So, I’d like to ask you to put aside any conceptual understanding and what you’ve read previously and report only from you actual experience. There are no good or bad answers, you can’t get this wrong.
Is this OK with you?
Good! Yes!
Have ‘you’ really seen that ‘I’ is only a thought, and thought arise out of nowhere, or is this currently just an intellectual understanding?
I have seen it. And currently, as I write this, I believe that I am SOMETHING, and that something called “I” has seen that I is only a thought. So now it is an intellectual understanding.
Is this a logical deduction or it is really seen that there is no decider to forget or not to forget?
Same clown story.
Do ‘you’ really have to claim it?
Are ‘you’ doing the claiming?
Is there a ‘you’ that claim it or just thoughts arise claiming it?
Today I noticed as I was sitting on a park bench watching the kids run around and then “I” called something out to them, that it was exactly the same. The mouth said it, and there it was. I listened to what “I” had said and it was just as unpredictable as something coming out of "another one's" mouth. “I” hadn’t done the saying. Just as “I” don’t do the farting. It farts, it speaks, and then comes: “oh, I did that!!”

It happens first and THEN it is claimed.

Same when my kid woke up just before and called and “I” got up to go to him. It just happened. The body got up and did its mothering thing.

It is very much like sitting in a chair and looking outside at the landscape and as soon as something happens claiming it. “I rain!”

Also, as I was biking home and "my" legs were doing their thing I checked if "I" was moving the legs. Clearly not. I tried "doing" it. It was like looking at the rain and "doing" the raining. Quite silly.

Strangely, I still believe that it was ME who checked and then found out.

Do I really have to claim it? No.

Am “I” doing the claiming? No. It is happening. And then there is claiming of the claiming. Also not done by me.
Does this mean that while the farting happened ‘you’ were somewhere else?
What it looks like is, the farting happened in the lower part of the body and “I” was wherever “my” attention was in that moment. Let’s say I was listening to someone telling me a story. I was – hm. When I look, all I get is sensations. It keeps shifting. Body sensations, feeling my face, hearing the other person’s voice.
If yes, where?
How is it known that ‘you’ were somewhere else?
Gosh. I cannot find any answer that makes any sense or seems true. So where am I in all of this? Not here, not there, not anywhere, not present, not absent.
Is this really seen or is it rather learned information?
Please describe in your own word that what direct experience is.
This is really seen, when I look.

What I meant by direct experience, is looking at, let’s say, my hand, without the filter of interpretation, without naming it in any way (i.e. no calling it “hand”, “my hand”, “nobody’s hand”, “beautiful hand”, “ugly hand”, “I should wash this hand” etc.). It is like looking at it as though I am seeing this thing for the very first time, have never seen such a thing before. I know nothing about it. So I just take a good, simple look at it. What is this? Just looking and seeing.
Good. How is this known?
By looking at it the way I described above. Actually, what I see is that “hand” is just a funny label too. One that points to that REAL THING though. Hm hm. Let’s do the Star Wars thing then.
What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is real.
Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine your experience right now.

Now, what can you find that is seeing them?
I try to find “me” so I touch “my” face. There is a sensation of touch. And that is not doing the seeing. And the face is not ME.

I look around and I see a computer, a kids dvd, a rug, a sewing machine, a whole shelf full of things, a lamp, cds, paper and pen. I cannot see anything in this room that is seeing the words.

There is seeing.
I cannot find anything that is seeing.
Can you locate, find, track-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
There is tension in the head, back and chest. They are sensations. Not a thing that is seeing these words.
Tell me what you find . . . what comes up?
Grrr frustration, “I” want to get it!!! And this “I want to get it” is kind of like a noisy cheerleader that comes and jumps around and distracts me from the simple exercise.

There is no cheerleader in reality, at least not in this room. Can I find an “I” who wants to get it, right now?

No. Of course not. it is just like the cheerleader.

But this is too simple.

I cannot find the thing that is seeing these words right now. I cannot find the thing that is typing these words right now.

No, I cannot find anything. There is just seeing.

Hm. It is obvious that there is NOTHING here that is seeing the words.

And there is the sense of NOT GETTING IT.

I'll keep looking and post this confusion for now. Love Mimi

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:21 am

Dear Mimi,

I’m amazed by ‘your’ LOOKing. ‘You’ are guiding ‘yourself’ :) Very good.
And two minutes later, I would think again there’s a clown.
What is this ‘I’ that would think again? Where is it?
And then the moment I turn my head, I assume once again there’s a clown behind me.
What is this ‘I’ that would turn its head? Where is it?
What is this ‘I’ that assumes once again that ‘there is a clown behind it’?
Or is this just the content of a thought arising “I assume there’s a clown behind me”?
But in that VERY moment, even as I speak, I am believing that the clown is right there, listening and hearing about my discovery regarding his absence.
What is this ‘I’ that is believing that the clown is right there? Where is this ‘I’?
Is there an owner (‘me’) of the believing?
Or there is just believing happening?

How many ‘I’ do ‘you’ have?
(1) “as I speak, I am believing”
(2) “listening and hearing about my discovery”
Is there any ‘I’ or ‘me’?
As I am explaining this, I am wondering if I really DID see.
Are ‘you’ wondering or just thoughts arise with the content “I’am wondering if I really did see”?
Is there a ‘you’ doing the wondering or is there only wondering?
I have seen it. And currently, as I write this, I believe that I am SOMETHING, and that something called “I” has seen that I is only a thought.
Do ‘you’ believe that ‘you’ are something, or this is just the content of an arising thought?
Is there an owner (‘you’) of the believing or only just thoughts suggest this?
It happens first and THEN it is claimed.
Exactly. Claiming happens as part of the content of an arising thought.
Claiming “I did it” is just the content of a thought. Is this true?
lso, as I was biking home and "my" legs were doing their thing I checked if "I" was moving the legs. Clearly not. I tried "doing" it. It was like looking at the rain and "doing" the raining. Quite silly.
Strangely, I still believe that it was ME who checked and then found out.
Very good LOOKing. :)

OK, now try to find where is this ‘I’ that checked and found it out? Where is it?
Did really an ‘I’ had checked and had found it out or only thoughts suggest this?
Where is the ‘I’ that believes this?
Or only thoughts suggest that there is an ‘I’ that could believe anything?
What it looks like is, the farting happened in the lower part of the body and “I” was wherever “my” attention was in that moment.
It looks like as if this were the case, but was this really?
“‘You’ was whenever ‘your’ attention was in that moment” – Where is this ‘you’ that has an attention?
In this moment, the attention is on reading these words. Where is the ‘you’ right now, in this moment that could have an attention on reading these words?
What I meant by direct experience, is looking at, let’s say, my hand, without the filter of interpretation, without naming it in any way (i.e. no calling it “hand”, “my hand”, “nobody’s hand”, “beautiful hand”, “ugly hand”, “I should wash this hand” etc.). It is like looking at it as though I am seeing this thing for the very first time, have never seen such a thing before. I know nothing about it. So I just take a good, simple look at it. What is this? Just looking and seeing.
Very good LOOKing. :)
I try to find “me” so I touch “my” face. There is a sensation of touch. And that is not doing the seeing. And the face is not ME.
OK, let’s go a step further.

Is there anything in the sensation itself that would suggest that there is a hand (doing the touching) and a face (which is being touched)?
If all arising thoughts and mental images (about certain body parts) are ignored, is there a hand or a face?
Or there is only touching?
Grrr frustration, “I” want to get it!!! And this “I want to get it” is kind of like a noisy cheerleader that comes and jumps around and distracts me from the simple exercise.
Is it possible that “I want to get it” is just one thought among the millions?
Is there any difference between the thought “the cup is full” or “I want to get it”?
Can a thought come and jump around?
Can a thought distract anything?
What is this ‘I’ that is being distracted?
Is it possible that this ‘I’ is just another thought?
And there is the sense of NOT GETTING IT.
OK, let’s examine this sentence above.

How ‘not getting it’ is really sensed (with the 5 senses)?
Can it be sensed at all?
Or just thoughts arise saying “there is a sense of not getting it”?

When being lost in the content of this thought happens (= the thought is being believed) then associated emotions arise (as contraction) with a thought label attached to it “this is frustration”.

Next time, when the thought “there is a sense of not getting it” arises, stop for a moment, and observe what is really happening. Observe if emotions arise.
Does the bodily sensation suggest in any way that this is such-and-such emotion and it means this-and-this or only mental stories (thoughts or labels) suggest this?

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Mimi L.
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:55 pm

Dear Vivien,

How hilarious this whole conversation is somehow. What are we even talking about?!!! We are talking about nothing!!!

I had a lot of fun just now contemplating your questions.

Earlier today when biking through the forest I was imagining bumping into a friendly alien from another planet (!) who is totally new to earth and human beings and really wants to find out about how things work here. I imagined they would ask me: “So what about this funny 'I' thing, does it actually exist in reality or not?”

I found that if I had to answer simply for the sake of giving someone accurate, honest information, I would clearly say: “No! It doesn’t REALLY exist.”

Somehow it is so OBVIOUS.
(not so much during most of the day today, but right now it is).
What is this ‘I’ that would think again? Where is it?
This is so funny. There is no “I” doing any thinking, of course. There is a thought, “I think there’s a clown!” and all kinds of sensations that come with it, and believing. And the common way it’s put into language when thinking happens is, ““I” thought.” Thought simply came and had its life like any of the phenomena. Rain, movement, emotion, thought, etc.
What is this ‘I’ that would turn its head? Where is it?
What is this ‘I’ that assumes once again that ‘there is a clown behind it’?
Or is this just the content of a thought arising “I assume there’s a clown behind me”?
No “I”. Just thought and sensations.
What is this ‘I’ that is believing that the clown is right there? Where is this ‘I’?
Is there an owner (‘me’) of the believing?
Or there is just believing happening?
This was amazing to contemplate. Today during the day over and over again I found myself (he he! go on! ask the question!! :-) “trying to get rid of the believing”.
Just before when I sat with your questions it was obvious that there is just believing happening, without an owner.
How many ‘I’ do ‘you’ have?
What a funny question!!!! I really laughed about this. Ha ha ha!!!
My “I”s are all over the place!! Getting a bit out of control there, he he.

Obviously, they are really all thoughts.
Is there any ‘I’ or ‘me’?
No.

Are ‘you’ wondering or just thoughts arise with the content “I’am wondering if I really did see”?
Only thoughts arising.
Is there a ‘you’ doing the wondering or is there only wondering?
There is only wondering.
Do ‘you’ believe that ‘you’ are something, or this is just the content of an arising thought?
Is there an owner (‘you’) of the believing or only just thoughts suggest this?
Again, fascinating! It is thought and believing.

So convincing, though!

And, that doesn’t make it real.

I must say, this analogy with the movie theatre that I have heard so often – “once you’ve seen that you’re in a movie theatre and the movie is only light on a screen, …” – never quite worked for me. I usually sit in the movie theatre laughing my head of, boiling my eyes out, getting extremely terrified, depending on what happens on the screen. And my partner next to me will say, “hey, it’s ok, it’s only a movie!” – “Only a movie?! So what?!!” It would be so vivid anyway.

What I realized is that I’ve been waiting for myself to GET IT first and not be tricked into believing the “I”, and THEN I would admit that it doesn’t exist.

Your question sort of turned my approach upside down. It is fascinating to see that the believing that “I” believe also just happens and obviously doesn’t mean that “I” exists in reality. Just like the fact that I am frightened in the movie theatre doesn’t mean there’s something dangerous happening. Hm. Not sure now what exactly I meant with this analogy. It made sense before. Now, “not making sense” is happening :-)
Claiming happens as part of the content of an arising thought.
Claiming “I did it” is just the content of a thought. Is this true?
Yes. Absolutely.

And, when believed, it comes with all sorts of sensations. For example, sensations of “effort”.

My partner once told me that he used to have (? or still does have, for all I know) this experience that often, when sitting in a train, he felt this huge impatience for it to move, and take him quickly to his destination. He wanted the train to speed up and tried to MAKE IT move faster. He would lean slightly forward in his seat, perhaps his muscles would tighten, whatever. This wasn’t some kind of “energy exercise” or superstitious thing. When noticing that he was trying to move the train with his own physical and mental effort it was immediately obvious to him how silly it was. And yet, the sense, or habit, persisted. At least for a while. (I must observe him next time we’re on the train to see if he still does it, he he.)

So this sense of effort and claiming is somehow a similar thing. The body does its thing, all by itself, and there’s a thought “I am doing that” and a sense of effort.

This was a funny little story on the side that just had to be shared.

Now, back to looking!
OK, now try to find where is this ‘I’ that checked and found it out? Where is it?
Did really an ‘I’ had checked and had found it out or only thoughts suggest this?
There is no “I” that did anything. It is only thoughts suggesting this.
Where is the ‘I’ that believes this?
Or only thoughts suggest that there is an ‘I’ that could believe anything?
Yes. Only thoughts.
It looks like as if this were the case, but was this really?
“‘You’ was whenever ‘your’ attention was in that moment” – Where is this ‘you’ that has an attention?
In this moment, the attention is on reading these words. Where is the ‘you’ right now, in this moment that could have an attention on reading these words?
Attention is only attention. Funny even to call it that. It just is what’s here now.
Is there anything in the sensation itself that would suggest that there is a hand (doing the touching) and a face (which is being touched)?
If all arising thoughts and mental images (about certain body parts) are ignored, is there a hand or a face?
Or there is only touching?
Only touching. Not even sure about that. Some kind of tingling sensation.

Is it possible that “I want to get it” is just one thought among the millions?
Is there any difference between the thought “the cup is full” or “I want to get it”?
When looking at it first it seemed that there are other emotions attached to “the cup is full” than to “I want to get it”. Then, I saw that any emotion could come with either of the thoughts, totally interchangeable as well.
Can a thought come and jump around?
(-: This is so funny.
Can a thought distract anything?
Yes, fascinating. It is only a STORY that there is an "I" who wanted to calmly do a certain exercise and THEN this thought came and distracted the "I". Just a fantasy about what should have been, and is not. And then that is called "distraction".
What is this ‘I’ that is being distracted?
Again, a thought. A story about a SOMEONE.
Is it possible that this ‘I’ is just another thought?
Quite possible! :-)
How ‘not getting it’ is really sensed (with the 5 senses)?
Can it be sensed at all?
Or just thoughts arise saying “there is a sense of not getting it”?
Yes! It is a thought.
When being lost in the content of this thought happens (= the thought is being believed) then associated emotions arise (as contraction) with a thought label attached to it “this is frustration”.
Yes. What a great description.
Next time, when the thought “there is a sense of not getting it” arises, stop for a moment, and observe what is really happening. Observe if emotions arise.
Does the bodily sensation suggest in any way that this is such-and-such emotion and it means this-and-this or only mental stories (thoughts or labels) suggest this?
Yes. Great. The thought isn’t here now and I can’t be bothered with it right now. Next time it appears, I will take a good look!!

Ha ha, I am hesitant to post this and commit to right now's seeing of the obvious - it is so fresh, so untested - just in case tomorrow, or even 10 minutes from now, there will be believing in a non-existent “I” (thinking there is a clown standing behind "ME") happening again. Who knows. If that is the case, I hope you’ll keep asking your fantastic questions until it’s seen for sure.

Love
Mimi

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Vivien
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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:40 am

Dear Mimi,
My “I”s are all over the place!! Getting a bit out of control there, he he.
Obviously, they are really all thoughts.
Here is an interesting exercise.
Go and make a cup of tea or coffee. As you do this notice whether a 'self' does it. Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of going to the kettle, switching it on, getting the cup (etc) when 'you' control the process?

How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser ‘I’ be located?
When looking at it first it seemed that there are other emotions attached to “the cup is full” than to “I want to get it”. Then, I saw that any emotion could come with either of the thoughts, totally interchangeable as well.
Exactly. Very good LOOKing :)

An arising thought is ‘real’, but never its content. Is this true?
Yes, fascinating. It is only a STORY that there is an "I" who wanted to calmly do a certain exercise and THEN this thought came and distracted the "I". Just a fantasy about what should have been, and is not. And then that is called "distraction".
Oh yes. Thoughts about thoughts about thoughts.

Investigate these questions. Some of these have already been investigated but it’s worthwhile to have a deeper look on thoughts. So check all the questions one-by-one.

Where thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Is there an 'I' that has ownership of thoughts?
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?

(I tend to ask a lot of questions. If you find at any time that this is too much or too fast please let me know.)

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Mimi L. » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:32 pm

Dear Vivien,
How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
There is a thought that ‘“I” am going to make coffee,” and a kind of fuzzy image of coffee, a vague sense of the taste of coffee other physical reactions. It is simply there. Also, some kind of excitement, interpreted as, or accompanied by the thought “I want this.”
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
This is interesting. At this point “I” haven’t made the coffee yet. And I have no idea how it’s going to turn out. Lately I sometimes had espresso with no milk. Yesterday I bought some soya milk which is now in the fridge. Mixed sensations come up with the thought and image of the soya milk. And then suddenly it is clear: espresso without milk in the white little cup.
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
It just happened automatically with a kind of thought, knowledge, sense of certainty. And still, when I look at it, who knows if “espresso in the white little cup” is really going to happen?! Let’s go and find out. Hm. That was also just a thought.

It seems that this is strangely synchronized sometimes – a thought “I will go and do this and that” and then the movement that comes after that. Or it doesn’t happen, and then there’s the thought “oh, I forgot” or “I failed” or “I didn’t get round to doing what I meant to do” or whatever.
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea happen' or it just happens?
Let’s see. Now there is a belief that even though “I” am not making the cup of coffee happen, still it’s “ME” who somehow initiates the whole automatic process. “I” decide to make a cup of espresso and then the body does its thing.

If that is the case, then where is the “I” who supposedly makes the decision after the decision has been made?

There is no “I” making any decision. There is the thought “I will make coffee. “I” have made a decision.” And when I look closely, there is no causality between the arising of this thought and the making of the coffee.
Can a chooser ‘I’ be located?
No. There is choosing, and the thought “I chose”.

Right. Now I’m going to make the coffee and see.

(…)

Yes! Here’s the coffee, here’s the computer.

Just before, a blanket was moving in the wind outside on the washing line and it was so much like “emotions moving inside of me” and if I had learned it that way I could just as easily say and believe, “oh no, I need to stop moving in the wind” like “I have to stop being so angry”. Movement happens and then it is described. Well, it’s that claiming thing again.

Clearly “I” didn’t make the coffee.

So sometimes there’s looking and seeing this, and sometimes there’s ‘being lost in thoughts”. And sometimes there’s this sense that “I am here”. Hm.

Where?!

Oh, it’s that thing inside the head again. That vague sensation of ME in here, head and chest. Is there an “I” inside the head in reality? No.

And it’s simply sensations, labelled and called “head”, “inside the head”, “sense of ME”.

Sometimes there’s looking, or just stuff happening. Sometimes there is seeking.

Let’s go to the next question. Oh, that was another THOUGHT about what’s going to happen next, and the thought “I” am going to do it!! It’s like these thoughts sneak through the back door.

Can a thought sneak through a back door into “my” mind? No. There is a thought. Thinking about the back door image, there is a funny image of a little door at the back of “my” head. (-:

Gosh. What an amazing show this all is.
An arising thought is ‘real’, but never its content. Is this true?
Hm. What comes to mind is that I must have questioned hundreds or thousands of “my” thoughts over the past years (using the four questions of The Work), checking if they were really true, and they all turned out to be untrue.

("I" questioned thoughts" - is believed. Let's see. There is no "I" that questioned thoughts. There is a thought and a sense of taking credit for it, a sense of ME having done it. In reality, there were questions, there was looking, there were answers that appeared, lots of thoughts, "insights" and sensations, bodies, talking, writing, computer, all kinds of stuff. No "I" though.)

An arising thought is “real” in that it appears and exists, just the way it is.

Hm. Right now I would say, it has no content. It is words, and then meaning and images and emotions arise. They are not its content. How can a thought contain anything?

Another way of looking at it, if the thought is “cup”, what does that cup have to do with this actual thing it points to?

Or the thought “my son should eat”, what does that really have to do in this actual moment with the child over there sitting on the floor playing with lego? Nothing. It’s a fantasy.

Maybe the simplest way to say it is that reality is real, thoughts are part of reality, and reality can never be contained by thoughts. Even thoughts cannot be contained by other thoughts.
Where thoughts come from?
Yes. Let me pretend I have never heard about this or looked before.

This is what I found: Thoughts don’t come. They don’t “come out of nothing”. They don’t come, they don’t go. They are just there. Or not.

It is ridiculous to say they come out of nothing. That would mean now they are over there in the “nothing”, and now, wait for it, here it comes, here it comes, it appears and part of it is still in the nothing, another part has already arrived… here it is now… oops, there it goes again… turning around… going back into nothing… disappearing… bye-bye, thought. The thought has now gone back to NOTHING.

This is absolutely ridiculous!! The thought is simply there. Or not. Now there is the thought, let’s say, “I need to see where thoughts come from”. It’s there. No, it’s already gone. Now there’s another thought, the current one. Has the previous thought gone to NOTHING and NOWHERE? No. It hasn’t GONE anywhere. When I think about it, here is is again. No it isn’t. A thought about the thought is here.

So thoughts don’t come from anywhere. They are simply here. Here, there, whatever.

When “I” test it and I think “CUP – CUP – CUP – etc.” it seems that there is this kind of gap in between the thoughts and I could name this gap “”nothing” and say that this is where the thought has come from or disappeared to. But this is not accurate. Now there is thought, now there is this “nothing” or silence or whatever, and now there is thought. And now there is an idea and vague image of something linear happening as well, a time line. Kind of like a line of words describing the thoughts: “CUP - - CUP - - CUP - - CUP”
Where are they going?
Ha ha they don’t go anywhere. Where does a light go when the lamp is switched off??

Where did the little baby go that my son used to be?

Where did the coffee go that I just had?

One could say, into MY BODY. Where exactly, then? Is it still coffee, or should it now be called “my body” along with parts of the spaghetti that I ate three weeks ago that got turned into new cells on my little toe? (he he, I don’t know that much about whether spaghetti can be turned into cells, but never mind)

So this question doesn’t make any sense. They are there, or not. No coming, no going.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Let me try.

The thought came, “no thoughts are coming.” There was no “I” who could stop it or not stop it.

Let’s try again.

There’s the thought “I want another coffee” and then:
“I want another – “
“I want another – “
“I want another – “!
Still, there is no “I” stopping anything. The thought “I want another - ” is complete as it is. Thought may suggest that there is a part missing. And, the thought wasn’t interrupted. Before the thought there was a thought “I’m going to stop in the middle of the sentence “I want another coffee” and then the thought came “I want another –“ along with a sense of effort and concentration and triumph how well "I" did.

No. There is no “I” to stop a thought in the middle. It is just another thought, ”I will try”.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
When I look, what comes is sensations in “my” body. They are not an “I” that generates thoughts.

No, no “I” to be found that generates thoughts. “my thoughts” is just another thought and right now it comes with a sense of pressure in the head, tension in throat and back, pressure on chest.

There is a thought “’I” may not MAKE the thoughts, but I must watch and control them.” As if there was an “I” that has 20 lively poodles and, even though “I” didn’t create the poodles, they were given to “ME”, now “I” must make sure they all behave ok.

There are no poodles in reality, obviously. At least not the ones mentioned in the above thought.

Is there an “I” outside of thought that could control thought, stop “destructive,” or “silly,” or any thoughts?

There is a thought, “that was silly of me to think!”

There is no “I” to control thought. Also, when the thought comes “that was a silly thought”, it is already too late to control the previous thought anyway. The thought was there, now it’s gone and cannot be controlled.
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
I is a thought. Thinking just is.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
No. It is an assumption that the thinker is there. The assumption is thought. The "I" is a thought.
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Gosh, I’ve tried so many times and didn’t succeed.

Is there really an “I” that tried?

There were thoughts and emotions. There was a thought saying “I don’t want to have this thought and these emotions. I should not be having them. I will try not to have them again.”. There was a sense of effort.

Hm. Must keep looking.

There. Another thought suggesting that “I” am going to keep looking and figure it out. All it is is a thought.
Is there an 'I' that has ownership of thoughts?
No.
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
First what came: They somehow belong to this system, this body/mind. But that's just an assumption, a story.

There is a body, there are thoughts, there is a computer, there is some paper and a pen, there are hands. They just are. Nothing belongs to anything.
Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Thoughts think me.
But if there is no ME, how can thoughts think ME? Thoughts think. Thoughts are. "I" seems to appear. Like hands that paint something. They paint, and the image appears. Hands "painting" the shape of a heart into the dark with sparklers. The heart is not moving the hands, the hands/sparklers are making a "heart" appear.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No. Once it’s there it’s already too late to prevent it.

Gosh. These questions are amazing. I have written some of them down to investigate more.

There is now a sense that all these questions "I" (!) have just answered don't have anything to do with ME.

Ha ha. It is like spiderman on the movie screen proudly saying right into the camera (close-up): "So what?? Who says I don't exist?! Who cares?!! Here I am anyway!"

:-) good on him. That's his thing, I guess.

"There's no "I", ok, but that's got nothing to do with me" is another thought.
Next time, when the thought “there is a sense of not getting it” arises, stop for a moment, and observe what is really happening. Observe if emotions arise.
Does the bodily sensation suggest in any way that this is such-and-such emotion and it means this-and-this or only mental stories (thoughts or labels) suggest this?
Bodily sensation with, let's call it: "The "I" sensation is showing up again"
- tension at the back of head
- a sense of contraction in the chest area
- slightly tense face
- something like tension in throat
- anger
- frustration
- boredom

OK, now let's look at the emotions/sensations without a label.

Hm. They suddenly feel what I would call "very comfortable" and before I can look again to see if they suggest even that label in any way, they have disappeared.

A bit later: here they are again. They just are. Clearly, they do not suggest the above labels/meanings. They simply are.

Love
Mimi

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4761
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Woman guide, if possible

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:05 am

Dear Mimi,

I’ve really enjoyed reading ‘your’ last post (again) :)
Just before, a blanket was moving in the wind outside on the washing line and it was so much like “emotions moving inside of me”
Can an emotion move inside of ‘me’?
What is this ‘me’ referring to?
To a some kind of entity or to the body, or to what?
Are ‘you’ the body?
Can a thought sneak through a back door into “my” mind? No. There is a thought.
What is the ‘mind’ in the actual experience?
How is it experienced?
Maybe the simplest way to say it is that reality is real, thoughts are part of reality, and reality can never be contained by thoughts. Even thoughts cannot be contained by other thoughts.
Good looking. ‘Your’ detailed description about thoughts is fascinating. :)
One could say, into MY BODY. Where exactly, then? Is it still coffee, or should it now be called “my body” along with parts of the spaghetti
Here is an interesting exercise with the body.

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 thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does it have a weight or a volume of the body?
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
Is there an inside or outside?
What is the body in the actual experience?
along with parts of the spaghetti that I ate three weeks ago that got turned into new cells on my little toe?
How is it known that ‘you’ ate spaghetti three weeks ago?
What is the ‘proof’ that it has ever happened?
What is past?
What is future?
Is there anything outside of this present moment?
Thoughts think. Thoughts are. "I" seems to appear.
Can a thought think or do anything?
Or just thinking happens without a thought or anything doing it?
Bodily sensation with, let's call it: "The "I" sensation is showing up again"
- tension at the back of head
- a sense of contraction in the chest area
- slightly tense face
- something like tension in throat
Let’s examine each of them.
“A sense of contraction in the chest area” – how the chest area is experienced with the five senses?
Are the contraction is coming from the chest or just thoughts and mental images suggest this?
Is there a chest in the actual experience or there are just sensations with simultaneously arising thoughts and mental images of ‘chest’?
In other words, is there a chest (subject) that experiences the contraction (object), or there is only contracting?

Investigate the questions with the “slight tense face” or “tension in throat” too.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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