Thread for Rip

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Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:35 pm

Hi Rip!

Let me know when you arrive!

x Hare

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:38 pm

Hi Hare

Am here!

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:22 pm

Hi Rip!

Welcome! Let's get started.

There are some preliminaries before we dive in.

There is a 'contract' that LU recommend we agree to, please respond to confirm:

1. You agree to post at least once a day.(Nb there is nothing to stop us posting more than once a day sometimes, if that happens).
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to
3. Responses require your utmost honesty
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and
essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function; instructions are located in the link below this line:
http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Please also read the 'disclaimer' on the home page and let me know you've done that.

I would also be interested to hear what, if any, your expectations are as you anticipate this direct pointing process.

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:42 pm

Hi Hare

That is all fine. The contract. I have read the disclaimer and that's fine too.

I do meditate, not daily, and yes I will probably continue that.

I am not sure about expectations. I have wanted to do this for some months, particularly after seeing subtle changes in a friend who has, over time. A sense of her being more true in some way. Not necessarily happier but more authentic. So perhaps I have an expectation of that in some way. I am sure I am influenced by that. I also have an intuitive sense that this is the right thing to do now, even if I don't know how it will end up. I have had experiences in meditation over the years that have led to a sense of beginning to see through, and usually they are very happy making. And for some years I have felt fairly stuck in various cyclical experiences of myself that are often not so happy. So although I don't have an expectation of freedom from suffering I do think that I trust this is the way to begin to head in that direction.

I am using tapatalk right now on my phone (easiest late at night). Is there a way to use the quote function on it do you know? Anyway I will have to play around with that as am very tired tonight and definitely haven't 'got it' yet.

Thanks for taking the time to do this with me, I really appreciate it.

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:38 am

Hi Rip!

Thanks for responding re: the 'contract'.
an intuitive sense that this is the right thing to do now, even if I don't know how it will end up
Great. The expectations you mention are not unreasonable - however whatever happens here won't fit into any prior expectations. So, good to just let them go and engage with what unfolds. Subtle expectations may rear their heads along the way (or they may not) - if you become aware of underlying expectations, it will be useful to mention that in the dialogue.

I haven't managed to use the quote function on my phone, so generally use my computer unless I'm away or particularly busy. There may be some guidance on this though, I can ask. What phone do you have?

A few more practical points:

1.You might find it helpful to click the 'Notify me when a reply is posted' link at the bottom of the page, so you know when I post a reply.

2. The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.
Or (apparently) you can press copy before sending so that you already have it safe.

3. We are going to be trying to put into words experiences that are not always easy to verbalise. To avoid misunderstanding, it would be helpful to have a quick read through before you submit, just to check that what you have written makes sense.

OK!

There is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be.

Reading this now, what comes up?

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:19 am

Hi Hare

There is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be.

Reading this now, what comes up?

Ok there is some fear. Some confusion. I didn't expect it to start like this! What comes up is, 'what do I do now? Where is there to go?'

So normally when I read this kind of thing, say on other peoples threads I have looked at, I have some sense of it being intuitively true or some sense of relief. But this morning there is just this sense of confusion and a dull pain in my gut that feels fearful. And now I have to get up and go to work. I will see what else comes up during the day.

I have an iPhone and also will use iPad a bit as well as my laptop. Will try and look at the quote function tonight.

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:40 am

Reflecting again on way to work it's like there is still a subtle sense of shock in response to this, but also a sense of looking at things with new eyes. I look at people, colours, forms on tube platform with a curiosity that feels a bit different, and a question about what to make of it all now?

At the same time a sense of calm and purpose that I am doing this now.

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:10 am

Hi again,
Ok there is some fear. Some confusion. I didn't expect it to start like this! What comes up is, 'what do I do now? Where is there to go?'

So normally when I read this kind of thing, say on other peoples threads I have looked at, I have some sense of it being intuitively true or some sense of relief. But this morning there is just this sense of confusion and a dull pain in my gut that feels fearful. And now I have to get up and go to work. I will see what else comes up during the day.
Please welcome this fear with kindness and interest. What is behind / beneath it? What is it trying to protect?

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:24 am

Hi! We crossed in the post! (See above).
a subtle sense of shock in response to this, but also a sense of looking at things with new eyes. I look at people, colours, forms on tube platform with a curiosity that feels a bit different, and a question about what to make of it all now?
Looking with curiosity is spot on. And watch the mind trying to 'make something' of it all. This is about seeing directly, not working something out in thought. That won't stop thought trying to figure it out! No problem! Let thoughts do their thing, just don't identify with whatever the thinking mind 'makes of it all'. Seeing through self-view doesn't happen in thought, it is a direct seeing.
At the same time a sense of calm and purpose that I am doing this now.
Nice.

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi Hare

So an interesting day for me. Lots happening and I will endeavour to be as clear as I can. I think I may have worked out the quote thing in tapatalk so will see if it works! May have to do each in a separate post though.
Please welcome this fear with kindness and interest. What is behind / beneath it? What is it trying to protect?
I have done this a few times. Well more like the queasy fearful feeling has been present most of the day when I check in, and is still here now. I have been trying to be present with it in kindly awareness and the experience is quite gentle. I wouldn't say there is a clear answer about what is underneath, what it is trying to protect, except that a couple of times this evening what I experienced in the same place in the belly was a definite 'wanting'. I will stay with this and report back.

The other thing worth saying is that I am in the process of trying to make a very big life decision at the moment, about whether to buy a particular property, and because this is a first time doing this and I am doing it completely on my own that is bringing up a lot of fear, related to all sorts of stuff. So may well be contributing a fair bit of the fearful gut feeling.

I don't think I know how to get the other quote in here so will send this and start a new one...

R xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:53 pm

Hi again
Looking with curiosity is spot on. And watch the mind trying to 'make something' of it all. This is about seeing directly, not working something out in thought. That won't stop thought trying to figure it out! No problem! Let thoughts do their thing, just don't identify with whatever the thinking mind 'makes of it all'. Seeing through self-view doesn't happen in thought, it is a direct seeing.
Ok so this is so helpful to me and has been all day. I am becoming more aware of constant thought and trying to continue to make effort to just watch it. As you say there is a constant trying to make sense of what is happening, but that 'making sense of' is all in reference to this 'me' it seems like.

I have noticed thought a lot more during the day than I normally would outside meditation. How especially if an unpleasant feeling arises in response to a sense experience, there is usually a thought soon after that wants to take ownership or identify with the feeling, make a good reason for it. Like 'I don't like that' 'I am annoyed about that' and so far today I have been able to watch that a few times with less involvement. Also I see that most thought seems to be about 'me' in some way. Almost like the thoughts create the me. And instead of thinking too much about this I am trying to stay with experience and just keep looking.

Overall today the curiosity has continued. It feels like I have slowed down somewhere, I have much less of a sense of being driven by something, which is a habitual thing for me. I have this subtle sense of wonder at things, I am amazed at the way the world looks, keep wanting to touch things like trees and railings and lean against things. So there is a wanting touch, wanting experience, to investigate. I am especially amazed at people around me - who are these strange other things and (again wanting to make sense of) what have they got to do with me? How do we connect? It just doesn't make sense, but not in a painful way, just kind of bemused.

Underlying a lot of this is a subtle current of pleasurable feeling tone, almost happy. Like something wants to bubble, up, break through, like 'ha ha ha ha ho' in a way. Again I am trying to be present with, notice, enjoy.

Ok so it's goodnight from me for now,

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:05 pm

Hi Rip,

Great observing happening here!
there is a constant trying to make sense of what is happening, but that 'making sense of' is all in reference to this 'me' it seems like.
So - is there a 'me' who is trying to make sense of what is happening?

Can you find 'an experiencer'? Or just sensations, feelings and thoughts arising?
I have noticed thought a lot more during the day than I normally would outside meditation. How especially if an unpleasant feeling arises in response to a sense experience, there is usually a thought soon after that wants to take ownership or identify with the feeling, make a good reason for it. Like 'I don't like that' 'I am annoyed about that' and so far today I have been able to watch that a few times with less involvement.
You mention sense experience (sensations), feelings and thoughts following - nice observing. All of this can be observed directly happening, in the present moment. Once we get into thought taking ownership, identifying, making reasons (i.e. the content of thought), we move away from direct experience into mental proliferation.

Which of these is closest to reality? Direct experience, or mental proliferation?

Is this 'self' to be found in unmediated, immediate experience - can it be directly experienced through the senses? Does the 'self' these thoughts refer to have observable shape or colour? Can you touch it, taste it, smell it? Or is the 'self' only to be found in thought and mental proliferation? Look in direct experience. What's there?
Also I see that most thought seems to be about 'me' in some way. Almost like the thoughts create the me. And instead of thinking too much about this I am trying to stay with experience and just keep looking.
Nice observing! Is thought, in fact, creating 'me'? Does 'I' 'me' or 'self' exist outside of the content of thought?
I have slowed down
Who has slowed down?
I have this subtle sense of wonder at things
Is there a 'me' 'having' this subtle sense of wonder arising? Is there an experiencer, or simply experience happening? Which is true? Look.
I am amazed at the way the world looks, keep wanting to touch things
Who is amazed, wanting?
I am trying to be present
Who is trying?

Stay with the fearful gut feeling (or whatever sensations are there in the present) throughout the day. Is there 'somebody feeling fear'? Or simply sensations arising that are labelled fear and assumed to belong to a 'me'?

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:22 pm

Hello Hare

Thanks for your thoughtful and experience-provoking post last night. I have been with various bits of this today and will endeavour to let you know how it's all going.
So - is there a 'me' who is trying to make sense of what is happening?

Can you find 'an experiencer'? Or just sensations, feelings and thoughts arising?
Ok, so far no luck finding the experiencer! So yes, there are experiences - seeing, hearing, walking, for example. There is a body with feelings, parts of which are visible as I walk along, but to me? To who?

I have tried to keep looking for the 'me' and at the same time be attentive to sensations, feeling, thoughts. The closest I get to an experiencer are these two things:

Sometimes the closest I get is a 'general' or 'vague' sense of a me, something that surely must be holding all these feelings, sensations etc together, someone or something that surely must be coordinating the show! But that again is just thought trying to figure it out. When I look into each of these things, feeling, sensation etc, I don't find anything other than the experience. Actions appear to unfold quite spontaneously, conditioned by sense experience, feelings arising, thoughts arising. Overall the sense in all this is of deeper calm, an ease in the body, less tension, less conflict, less drive as I have said before. Less identification. But at the same time there is something holding on, something wants to believe there is a self here.

The other closest thing I got to was a combination of strong feeling in my gut combined with thought at the same time. So either a longing/grasping feeling in my gut combined with 'I want to do that, I am the sort of person who does that' or a queasy feeling in my gut combined with 'I don't want this, I can't do that!' Those were examples of the closest I got to where is the 'me'. On some level I don't think it's there, but as I said there is this strong sense of wanting it to be there, which I think is largely what is keeping the illusion going!
Which of these is closest to reality? Direct experience, or mental proliferation?
Direct experience. More vivid and real. The content of thought, mental proliferation, is fiction.

Last night when I looked at this my immediate response was this: mental proliferation/the content of thought is fiction. Direct experience is real. Self is only present in thought and mental proliferation. So self must be fiction. A deduction but feels right at the same time.
Is this 'self' to be found in unmediated, immediate experience - can it be directly experienced through the senses? Does the 'self' these thoughts refer to have observable shape or colour? Can you touch it, taste it, smell it? Or is the 'self' only to be found in thought and mental proliferation? Look in direct experience. What's there?
What is there is what I described above. The only thing in direct experience is sensation, feeling, thought. I am not even sure about choice. It all feels like water - fluid. I can't find a 'self' that is experiencing - but something (the mind? Thought again?) is trying to join things up to make a self that isn't there.
Is thought, in fact, creating 'me'? Does 'I' 'me' or 'self' exist outside of the content of thought?
Yes. And then no to the second bit. I think that's what's happening.
Is there a 'me' 'having' this subtle sense of wonder arising? Is there an experiencer, or simply experience happening? Which is true? Look.
There is just experience, but the habit is to say 'there is just me having experience!' There is a sense of experience unfolding, conditioned by all sorts of things, and behind it all there is not really anything. It is very strange writing this but I don't know how else to express it.
Stay with the fearful gut feeling (or whatever sensations are there in the present) throughout the day. Is there 'somebody feeling fear'? Or simply sensations arising that are labelled fear and assumed to belong to a 'me'?
Overall I think that the gut feeling, although changeable, is the feeling/bodily component of the thought that is trying to keep this idea of a self going.

Still looking and trying to stay with it.

Thanks Hare.

Rip xx

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Hare » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:12 pm

Hi Rip!

Quality observations!

(Just previewed this message and the quotes haven't come out quite right for some reason. Anyway the bits in white are my responses.)
When I look into each of these things, feeling, sensation etc, I don't find anything other than the experience. Actions appear to unfold quite spontaneously, conditioned by sense experience, feelings arising, thoughts arising.

Yup. Just the experience happening.No sign of 'anyone' 'making it happen'.
But at the same time there is something holding on, something wants to believe there is a self here.
OK, we'll come back to this.
mental proliferation/the content of thought is fiction. Direct experience is real. Self is only present in thought and mental proliferation. So self must be fiction. A deduction but feels right at the same time.

Yes this is a deduction - what we want here is to see directly whether this deduction is true or not.
The only thing in direct experience is sensation, feeling, thought. I am not even sure about choice. It all feels like water - fluid. I can't find a 'self' that is experiencing - but something (the mind? Thought again?) is trying to join things up to make a self that isn't there.
We'll come to choice shortly.

Keep an eye on that 'something' that's trying to join things up and make a self. Explore in direct experience what happens: how do mind / thought attempt to do this?
Is thought, in fact, creating 'me'? Does 'I' 'me' or 'self' exist outside of the content of thought?

Yes. And then no to the second bit. I think that's what's happening.
Good, as far as this goes. But we are looking for a direct seeing 'outside' of thought. With all of the exercises in this inquiry, look in direct experience: sensations and the spaces in between thoughts. This is 'where' the looking happens. Thought cannot do this. Thought is useful in many ways! But reality cannot be seen in the content of thought, because thought, as you rightly note, is fiction.

Please try this, which may help to get experientially clearer about the difference between direct experience (DE) and thought:

Close your eyes and see if you can experience the shape, size and position of your body. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Now again close your eyes and tune in purely to the direct experience of sensations in the body, right now. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Now compare the two. Do the two impressions of the body match up? What's the difference? Move from one to the other if you need to and explore this.

With the first part of the exercise, was there a mental image of the body?

Is a mental image DE or is it a form of conceptualisation, 'added on' by mind?
Sometimes the closest I get is a 'general' or 'vague' sense of a me, something that surely must be holding all these feelings, sensations etc together, someone or something that surely must be coordinating the show! But that again is just thought trying to figure it out.
'surely must' is conjecture, not observation. So yes indeed, just thought trying to figure it out.

Let's check out whether there is someone or something coordinating the show.

In the next 10 seconds, raise either your right or left arm - or don't raise them. Do this a few times and notice how this happens. Is there a self making this happen? Or does it just happen? Which is it?

Think of a two digit number. Do this a few times. Notice how this happens. Is 'someone' making it happen'? 'Anyone' controlling or deciding what number to come up with?
Overall I think that the gut feeling, although changeable, is the feeling/bodily component of the thought that is trying to keep this idea of a self going.
Who is this 'I' thinking this?

There may be some truth in this theory! But theories have to be tested in direct observation. Keep looking, keep noting what's there.

It's going great!

x H

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Re: Thread for Rip

Postby Rip » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:58 pm

Hi Hare

Thanks for last night's post. Ok so first I will give a sense of where I am at and then answer some of your points in detail. Overall experience has continued to be spacious, calm, less driven and cluttered. I have not before had such a sustained experience of noticing - especially of thought and the content of thought - and what I love is that it is ordinary, nothing special. I am not on retreat, this is the day to day. I am not concentrated or in dhyana. Before I had always thought practicing moment to moment mindfulness was some huge effort, not more or less effortless like this seems to be. The effect is that I see the efforts of these thoughts to make 'me' and 'mine', and I think 'why has no one shown me this before?' Or if they have why haven't I paid attention?

So experience unfolds in awareness. Seeing, sounds, touch, body sensation. There is fluidity, punctuated by the frequent efforts of thought to label, appropriate, make something of, make 'me' of experience. There is just this amazing unfolding experience, which seems only to narrow down when I listen to the 'me' thoughts, when I believe the content of thought. But there is a lot less of that listening and believing going on than there ever has been in the past.
Keep an eye on that 'something' that's trying to join things up and make a self. Explore in direct experience what happens: how do mind / thought attempt to do this?
Thought tries to do this in various ways, with this almost constant stream of thoughts with reference to 'me' or 'mine', referring to the past and future as well as present, especially to do with craving or aversion, likes and dislikes, labelling, anything that can be identified with or identify a self. These thoughts arise in dependence on sense experience or other thoughts, often accompanied with bodily feelings. For example I see something in the next room and there is the thought 'I must do that' or 'I don't want that', or a mental image arises and the thought comes, 'When I was there I did that' or 'when I see that person I will be like this.' All of these have the flavour of trying to create this 'me' identity, to convince that it is real. So the thoughts have this constant reminding tone, like 'don't forget you are here, this is you!' I had some good examples today but can't think of them now. They are a fairly constant stream but right now because I am making effort to notice but not pay attention to the content, a lot of them are passing me by. The stronger ones are usually accompanied with a gut feeling, usually of craving or aversion as I have said.
With all of the exercises in this inquiry, look in direct experience: sensations and the spaces in between thoughts. This is 'where' the looking happens.
Between thoughts there is just vast space. Previously on just sitting type retreats with various people I have looked for the self in some place behind my eyes, thought that there must be something there. But I have looked and looked there over quite a time and not found anything except more vast space! And just to say that the vast space is not empty, it is full of presence, full of vivid experience. Not sure that makes sense but it's the nearest I can get. I am now looking in the body and at sensation there, because I think that is where something is holding on. So I found this next exercise really helpful although I do need to keep at it.
Close your eyes and see if you can experience the shape, size and position of your body. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Now again close your eyes and tune in purely to the direct experience of sensations in the body, right now. Do this for a couple of minutes.

Now compare the two. With the first part of the exercise, was there a mental image of the body? Is a mental image DE or is it a form of conceptualisation, 'added on' by mind?
In the first part yes there was a definite mental image of the body. There were sensations too, but the image and a sense of a 'boundary' to the body was predominant. This mental image is definitely an add on, not DE.

In the second part the sensations became more vivid, came to the fore, and the sense of a boundary and the mental image gradually faded. It was a more real, vivid experience, and the body at times felt like it had no boundary. I think I need to look at the body more though, because I think this projected mental image of the body is going on at a subtle level most of the time. As I said I think there is something holding on there, in the body or the mental image of it.
Let's check out whether there is someone or something coordinating the show.
These exercises were interesting too. The raising the arm thing I had done a version of at the convention with Tejananda. At the time the hand didn't move and that was a big experience! I hadn't done anything like it before, I went back to my room and experimented more with it, and for the first time in a while I started to think 'things are not as they seem' certainly with regard to someone or something 'in charge'.

This time the arms moved but it seemed random, sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes together or one after the other. There was never a sense of this being coordinated or controlled by 'me' it seemed like. At times there was this strong gut feeling of tension, as if that was trying to take ownership, or more like it was wanting to convince 'me' that 'I' was really doing this, really in charge.

Picking numbers happened seemingly randomly too, very quickly and erratically. Sometimes the choice was clearly conditioned by the one before, sometimes by a thought I had had a moment ago. But again no real sense of anyone controlling.
Who is this 'I' thinking this?
The 'I' is thought, habit, trying very hard to keep up the illusion! I will keep looking.

Love Rip xx


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