looking for guide

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Kat
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:41 pm

looking for guide

Postby Kat » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:49 am

Hi, I'm looking for guidance in this process of seeing through the illusion of self.
I have had a meditation practice for many years and am not new to the concept, but would like to directly experience no-self with some help and the right questions.
Thanks,
Kat

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Vivien
Posts: 4752
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:53 pm

Hi Kat,

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

A few technical support:

You can reply to this thread by pushing the purple-orange coloured button 'Post Reply" at the left bottom of this page.

You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in.


What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of Me?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?

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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Kat
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thank you so much for replying and being willing to guide me through this.
I am reflecting on your questions and will write in more detail on this soon.
With Gratitude,
Kat

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Kat
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi Vivien, I am a bit confused how to use this site and post messages. Is this thread public??
Is this the way to respond to your posts/questions?
Are these posts moderated?
I have read the 'how to use this forum' but am none the wiser on this.
Thanks, Kat

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Kat
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:41 pm

How will life change

Postby Kat » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:19 pm

How will life change

Life would be just how it is without my expectations/hopes or my judgment on it.
I imagine it will be more visible to me when the 'I' is not there in the way it is now through which every perception is filtered. Through 'my' wishes, aversions etc. My experience is that that is not as strong as it used to be anyway, through meditation practice. I would see myself more as a part of a bigger flow of life, not as a seperate entity, acting alone, unconnected.

How will you change?
I imagine I'd be free from fear of dying, or at least it would be lessened, if there is no "i" to die. So there is no death as such.
I'd also see others' death differently See it more as a continuous flow rather then beginnings and endings.
I'd be less or no longer self-referential in relating to others or the world around me. I can't get away from the language of I and Mine, but see it as not solid, not fixed.
There would be no need to get stressed out about things. Not that I suffer much from that anyhow.
I would be more present to what is here, not cling to the past or fantasise about the future or future outcomes.
I like to think I would not be attached to people and things - security like home and money- in the same way as I am now.
I wonder if I'd be able to bear pain and discomfort better..?

What will be different?
Everything will be different and everything will be the same I think. Just me relating differently to what is in front of me and myself. Removing the filter of I.
Or seeing it is not there in the first place. My feeling is there would be more awareness of what is passing through 'me' and how I perceive the world, how `i interpret it.
Emotions would be passing through me, not define me. It is there, it comes and goed, it is not 'me'.
It's tricky to write about this without referring to Me and I. In fact, it's not possible.
Yes, there is just awareness, increasingly so, and that field is infinite. Everything happens in there, although it is not 'inside' of course.
I think it will be a relief not to believe or act in the believe of a separate self.

Is this too short an answer?

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Vivien
Posts: 4752
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:23 am

Dear Kat,
I am a bit confused how to use this site and post messages. Is this thread public??
Is this the way to respond to your posts/questions?
Are these posts moderated?
Yes, this forum is public, and unfortunately posts cannot be moderated after posting. This thread is only for you and me, so this is the platform where our conversation is going to take place.

Here is a bit more help on using the quote function, so you can quote my question and reply under it.
When you post not by pressing the ‘Quick Reply’ but with ‘Post Reply’ (purple-orange button in the left corner of the bottom of the page), then under the text box all the previous posts will appear. You can also “Expand view” of the previous posts if it’s needed. Select/highlight the lines you’d like to quote, press the quote button, and it’ll be automatically put into the text box.

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?
Life would be just how it is without my expectations/hopes or my judgment on it.
Life is ALREADY is as it is with or without ‘you’ expectations, hopes or judgments.
I imagine it will be more visible to me when the 'I' is not there in the way it is now through which every perception is filtered.
‘You’ are already not there, ‘you’ve never been there. ‘You’ are just an illusion. Regardless this illusion is believed or not, it is not there already, it is just a mirage. So nothing will be more visible to ‘you’. Visibility may happen but without an owner (‘you’).
I would see myself more as a part of a bigger flow of life, not as a seperate entity, acting alone, unconnected.
There is no ‘you’ that could be more part of a flow of life, so ‘you’ can never become un-separated or unconnected. It just simply can be seen that there has never been separation in the first place.
I imagine I'd be free from fear of dying, or at least it would be lessened, if there is no "i" to die. So there is no death as such.
Again, ‘you’ cannot be free from fear of dying. Fear of dying may or may not lessen with seeing through the ‘I’, but without an owner (me). And yes, there is no death as such; death is just an idea, a mental concept.
I'd also see others' death differently See it more as a continuous flow rather then beginnings and endings.
This can happen if the concept of death is seen through. However, it is not necessarily part of seeing ‘no-self’.
I'd be less or no longer self-referential in relating to others or the world around me. I can't get away from the language of I and Mine, but see it as not solid, not fixed.
Yes, the words I/me/mine/myself will be definitely seen through. But self-referencing is 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. So expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.

Self-referencing thoughts and stories may arise as a content of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
There would be no need to get stressed out about things. Not that I suffer much from that anyhow.
Getting stressed out or suffering is a conditioned habit and the result of being lost in the content of thoughts (= believing them). So getting stressed out and suffering may decrease, but being lost of the content of thoughts won’t stop at once.
I would be more present to what is here, not cling to the past or fantasise about the future or future outcomes.
‘You’ cannot be more present, because there is no ‘you’ to be more present. However, being present can happen, but expecting that this will be a new constant state is unrealistic. Liberation is not a state. Stories about past and future are also the result of conditioning.
I like to think I would not be attached to people and things - security like home and money- in the same way as I am now.
This may or may not happen. Attachments are also conditionings with expectations and desires what these things can give to ‘me’.
I wonder if I'd be able to bear pain and discomfort better..?
Liberation is not about becoming a fakir or a superhuman :) However, pain can be seen for what it is (only sensation) without the mental story that causes the suffering, but this don’t come as a ‘package’ with seeing through the illusion of the ‘I’.
Everything will be different and everything will be the same I think. Just me relating differently to what is in front of me and myself. Removing the filter of I. Or seeing it is not there in the first place.
Life or outer circumstances won’t change with liberation. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different. However, seeing through the self the filter of ‘I’ won’t be removed. This filter is a result of a lifetime of conditioning. However, upon investigation it can be seen through, and seeing that this filter is nothing more than mental concepts and thoughts, nothing serious, nothing ‘real’.
My feeling is there would be more awareness of what is passing through 'me' and how I perceive the world, how `i interpret it.
Again, there is no ‘you’ that awareness could pass through. And also, ‘you’ don’t perceive or interpret the world in any way. Perception and interpretation happen, but is not done by ‘you’, it is not done by anybody.
Emotions would be passing through me, not define me. It is there, it comes and goed, it is not 'me'.
This is already the case. Emotions are not ‘you’. They are just emotions. ‘You’ cannot be defined, because nothing cannot be defined.
Yes, there is just awareness, increasingly so, and that field is infinite. Everything happens in there, although it is not 'inside' of course.
OK. This is a mental story. We will work on the concept of awareness later.
I think it will be a relief not to believe or act in the believe of a separate self.
Yes, it can happen, but acting on behalf of the belief of a separate self still happens after seeing through the self, because this is a result of a lifetime of conditioning.

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/

User avatar
Kat
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:23 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for your replies and input. I'm having trouble with the quote function on my ipad. It can only quote the whole coversation, not parts of it because i cant highlight and copy paragraphs. So this one is a bit messy!
Dear Kat,
I am a bit confused how to use this site and post messages. Is this thread public??
Is this the way to respond to your posts/questions?
Are these posts moderated?
Yes, this forum is public, and unfortunately posts cannot be moderated after posting. This thread is only for you and me, so this is the platform where our conversation is going to take place.

Here is a bit more help on using the quote function, so you can quote my question and reply under it.
When you post not by pressing the ‘Quick Reply’ but with ‘Post Reply’ (purple-orange button in the left corner of the bottom of the page), then under the text box all the previous posts will appear. You can also “Expand view” of the previous posts if it’s needed. Select/highlight the lines you’d like to quote, press the quote button, and it’ll be automatically put into the text box.

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?
Life would be just how it is without my expectations/hopes or my judgment on it.
Life is ALREADY is as it is with or without ‘you’ expectations, hopes or judgments.
Ok I get that, thank you.
I imagine it will be more visible to me when the 'I' is not there in the way it is now through which every perception is filtered.
‘You’ are already not there, ‘you’ve never been there. ‘You’ are just an illusion. Regardless this illusion is believed or not, it is not there already, it is just a mirage. So nothing will be more visible to ‘you’. Visibility may happen but without an owner (‘you’).
Right, I get that one too. It strikes me it is a bit about semantics, but I understand the difference between 'I see' and 'seeing happens'.
I would see myself more as a part of a bigger flow of life, not as a seperate entity, acting alone, unconnected.
There is no ‘you’ that could be more part of a flow of life, so ‘you’ can never become un-separated or unconnected. It just simply can be seen that there has never been separation in the first place.
Indeed. This is the difficulty for me often. I understand on some level I am not seperate because there is no 'I' to be seperate. However, feeling cut off is often an issue. The feeling is real as it were, but `I understand intellectually that is is an illusion.
I imagine I'd be free from fear of dying, or at least it would be lessened, if there is no "i" to die. So there is no death as such.
Again, ‘you’ cannot be free from fear of dying. Fear of dying may or may not lessen with seeing through the ‘I’, but without an owner (me). And yes, there is no death as such; death is just an idea, a mental concept.

Semantics for me. If I phrase it differently from 'my fear' and say 'there is fear', is that closer to the truth? So the core of the illusory self is in fact not there, there is no core, but things are happening in my experience. Or to be precise; in experience, cause it isn't 'mine'?
I'd also see others' death differently See it more as a continuous flow rather then beginnings and endings.
This can happen if the concept of death is seen through. However, it is not necessarily part of seeing ‘no-self’.
I think I get that. Thanks.
I'd be less or no longer self-referential in relating to others or the world around me. I can't get away from the language of I and Mine, but see it as not solid, not fixed.
Yes, the words I/me/mine/myself will be definitely seen through. But self-referencing is 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. So expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.

That explains why some of my friends, having gone through this process successfully, are still scatty or have their preferences.

Self-referencing thoughts and stories may arise as a content of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
Ok. Thoughts are stories. Not experiences.
There would be no need to get stressed out about things. Not that I suffer much from that anyhow.
Getting stressed out or suffering is a conditioned habit and the result of being lost in the content of thoughts (= believing them). So getting stressed out and suffering may decrease, but being lost of the content of thoughts won’t stop at once.
Yes, I understand it's an organic process, not a sudden awakening for most people. Though it can be for some I suppose.
I would be more present to what is here, not cling to the past or fantasise about the future or future outcomes.
‘You’ cannot be more present, because there is no ‘you’ to be more present. However, being present can happen, but expecting that this will be a new constant state is unrealistic. Liberation is not a state. Stories about past and future are also the result of conditioning.

Liberation is not a state. That is helpful. What is it?
I understand that even though 'I' can be seen through, the conditioning takes a longertime to undo or unwind.
I like to think I would not be attached to people and things - security like home and money- in the same way as I am now.
This may or may not happen. Attachments are also conditionings with expectations and desires what these things can give to ‘me’.

So if there is no self, what does attach??
I wonder if I'd be able to bear pain and discomfort better..?
Liberation is not about becoming a fakir or a superhuman :) However, pain can be seen for what it is (only sensation) without the mental story that causes the suffering, but this don’t come as a ‘package’ with seeing through the illusion of the ‘I’.

I do really get that in theory. But it's still a practice, isn't it, even when the I has been seen as illusory?
Everything will be different and everything will be the same I think. Just me relating differently to what is in front of me and myself. Removing the filter of I. Or seeing it is not there in the first place.
Life or outer circumstances won’t change with liberation. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different. However, seeing through the self the filter of ‘I’ won’t be removed. This filter is a result of a lifetime of conditioning. However, upon investigation it can be seen through, and seeing that this filter is nothing more than mental concepts and thoughts, nothing serious, nothing ‘real’.

Yes. Get that. But who perceives? If there is no perceiver?
My feeling is there would be more awareness of what is passing through 'me' and how I perceive the world, how `i interpret it.
Again, there is no ‘you’ that awareness could pass through. And also, ‘you’ don’t perceive or interpret the world in any way. Perception and interpretation happen, but is not done by ‘you’, it is not done by anybody.
Ok, I'm with you on that. It seems it's like a different way of looking at everything. There is not 'me' looking, but there is 'looking'. Hm need to ponder on that one.
Emotions would be passing through me, not define me. It is there, it comes and goed, it is not 'me'.
This is already the case. Emotions are not ‘you’. They are just emotions. ‘You’ cannot be defined, because nothing cannot be defined.
Yes, Cannot define or fix. Everything changes continuously.
Yes, there is just awareness, increasingly so, and that field is infinite. Everything happens in there, although it is not 'inside' of course.
OK. This is a mental story. We will work on the concept of awareness later.
Thanks, that is true. That is a mental concept. Haha!
I think it will be a relief not to believe or act in the believe of a separate self.
Yes, it can happen, but acting on behalf of the belief of a separate self still happens after seeing through the self, because this is a result of a lifetime of conditioning.
Same thing as before then; can see through the illusion but the hard work of undoing conditionng takes a lifetime?

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.

Sounds good. Thank you.

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
Dear Kat,
I am a bit confused how to use this site and post messages. Is this thread public??
Is this the way to respond to your posts/questions?
Are these posts moderated?
Yes, this forum is public, and unfortunately posts cannot be moderated after posting. This thread is only for you and me, so this is the platform where our conversation is going to take place.

Here is a bit more help on using the quote function, so you can quote my question and reply under it.
When you post not by pressing the ‘Quick Reply’ but with ‘Post Reply’ (purple-orange button in the left corner of the bottom of the page), then under the text box all the previous posts will appear. You can also “Expand view” of the previous posts if it’s needed. Select/highlight the lines you’d like to quote, press the quote button, and it’ll be automatically put into the text box.

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?
Life would be just how it is without my expectations/hopes or my judgment on it.
Life is ALREADY is as it is with or without ‘you’ expectations, hopes or judgments.
I imagine it will be more visible to me when the 'I' is not there in the way it is now through which every perception is filtered.
‘You’ are already not there, ‘you’ve never been there. ‘You’ are just an illusion. Regardless this illusion is believed or not, it is not there already, it is just a mirage. So nothing will be more visible to ‘you’. Visibility may happen but without an owner (‘you’).
I would see myself more as a part of a bigger flow of life, not as a seperate entity, acting alone, unconnected.
There is no ‘you’ that could be more part of a flow of life, so ‘you’ can never become un-separated or unconnected. It just simply can be seen that there has never been separation in the first place.
I imagine I'd be free from fear of dying, or at least it would be lessened, if there is no "i" to die. So there is no death as such.
Again, ‘you’ cannot be free from fear of dying. Fear of dying may or may not lessen with seeing through the ‘I’, but without an owner (me). And yes, there is no death as such; death is just an idea, a mental concept.
I'd also see others' death differently See it more as a continuous flow rather then beginnings and endings.
This can happen if the concept of death is seen through. However, it is not necessarily part of seeing ‘no-self’.
I'd be less or no longer self-referential in relating to others or the world around me. I can't get away from the language of I and Mine, but see it as not solid, not fixed.
Yes, the words I/me/mine/myself will be definitely seen through. But self-referencing is 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. So expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.

Self-referencing thoughts and stories may arise as a content of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
There would be no need to get stressed out about things. Not that I suffer much from that anyhow.
Getting stressed out or suffering is a conditioned habit and the result of being lost in the content of thoughts (= believing them). So getting stressed out and suffering may decrease, but being lost of the content of thoughts won’t stop at once.
I would be more present to what is here, not cling to the past or fantasise about the future or future outcomes.
‘You’ cannot be more present, because there is no ‘you’ to be more present. However, being present can happen, but expecting that this will be a new constant state is unrealistic. Liberation is not a state. Stories about past and future are also the result of conditioning.
I like to think I would not be attached to people and things - security like home and money- in the same way as I am now.
This may or may not happen. Attachments are also conditionings with expectations and desires what these things can give to ‘me’.
I wonder if I'd be able to bear pain and discomfort better..?
Liberation is not about becoming a fakir or a superhuman :) However, pain can be seen for what it is (only sensation) without the mental story that causes the suffering, but this don’t come as a ‘package’ with seeing through the illusion of the ‘I’.
Everything will be different and everything will be the same I think. Just me relating differently to what is in front of me and myself. Removing the filter of I. Or seeing it is not there in the first place.
Life or outer circumstances won’t change with liberation. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different. However, seeing through the self the filter of ‘I’ won’t be removed. This filter is a result of a lifetime of conditioning. However, upon investigation it can be seen through, and seeing that this filter is nothing more than mental concepts and thoughts, nothing serious, nothing ‘real’.
My feeling is there would be more awareness of what is passing through 'me' and how I perceive the world, how `i interpret it.
Again, there is no ‘you’ that awareness could pass through. And also, ‘you’ don’t perceive or interpret the world in any way. Perception and interpretation happen, but is not done by ‘you’, it is not done by anybody.
Emotions would be passing through me, not define me. It is there, it comes and goed, it is not 'me'.
This is already the case. Emotions are not ‘you’. They are just emotions. ‘You’ cannot be defined, because nothing cannot be defined.
Yes, there is just awareness, increasingly so, and that field is infinite. Everything happens in there, although it is not 'inside' of course.
OK. This is a mental story. We will work on the concept of awareness later.
I think it will be a relief not to believe or act in the believe of a separate self.
Yes, it can happen, but acting on behalf of the belief of a separate self still happens after seeing through the self, because this is a result of a lifetime of conditioning.

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

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4752
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:45 am

Dear Kat,
I'm having trouble with the quote function on my ipad. It can only quote the whole coversation, not parts of it because i cant highlight and copy paragraphs. So this one is a bit messy!
I’ve tried to do my best to reply properly, please let me know if I left out something. Could you please not write your replies into the quoted section, because it is quite difficult to differentiate between which lines have been written by you, and which ones by me. Maybe it would be better if you could reply from a different device (if this is possible).

What came up while I was reading your replies that you have an intellectual understanding about this process, but some or most of them is not experienced directly. That’s fine, that is the purpose of our conversation to help ‘you’ SEE not just to believe in no-self. We don’t need another belief (no-self) on the top of the old belief (there is a ‘me’). Seeing what is ‘real’ and what not will dissolve the old belief without a need for a new one.

So this conversation is not about providing more knowledge (I won’t teaching you), but rather giving you exercises that helps where to look. ‘You’ have to see it for ‘yourself’.
Life is ALREADY is as it is with or without ‘you’ expectations, hopes or judgments.
Ok I get that, thank you.
Currently, you may get it, but our aim here is to SEE it.
It strikes me it is a bit about semantics, but I understand the difference between 'I see' and 'seeing happens'.
This is not about language, or intellectually understanding the difference. So please use I/me/mine when you feel appropriate. Leave them out only when it is REALLY the experience. Otherwise, I don’t know where you are at the process. However, sometimes I will leave out pronouns just to point where to look.
This is the difficulty for me often. I understand on some level I am not seperate because there is no 'I' to be seperate. However, feeling cut off is often an issue. The feeling is real as it were, but `I understand intellectually that is is an illusion.
Understanding it intellectually is the first step. However, in order to really experience it, the intellectual understanding has to be left behind. Intellectual understanding can be in the way of seeing what is here, right now. The questions I will ask will help you to turn away from thinking to SEEing.
Semantics for me. If I phrase it differently from 'my fear' and say 'there is fear', is that closer to the truth? So the core of the illusory self is in fact not there, there is no core, but things are happening in my experience. Or to be precise; in experience, cause it isn't 'mine'?
There are no good or bad answers, this is not a test :) Please don’t phrase differently then how it feels true for you right now. And please don’t try to figure out that what might be closer to a so called ‘truth’ or what you think I might want to hear.

This whole process is about LOOKing and SEEing, not thinking about this. Figuring out with thinking is a hindrance.
Ok. Thoughts are stories. Not experiences.
Don’t believe me! What if I’m lying?! :) Don’t believe any words that are written here, rather check (LOOK) for ‘yourself’. The questions will help you how to do it.
Liberation is not a state. That is helpful. What is it?
Happiness or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Liberation is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about accepting all states and emotions, accepting whatever is arising in this moment.

Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity "self" is not a state. When you SEE it, the knowledge becomes factual.

For example, did you ever once believe that Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy was real? If you did at one point, and don't now, does the experience of discovery last? Or is it that the knowledge that there is no such thing as Santa or Tooth Fairy is just another ‘fact’?

Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a State to "abide in". It's not.
So if there is no self, what does attach??
Very good question :) This is what we are going to explore.
Liberation is not about becoming a fakir or a superhuman :) However, pain can be seen for what it is (only sensation) without the mental story that causes the suffering, but this don’t come as a ‘package’ with seeing through the illusion of the ‘I’.
I do really get that in theory. But it's still a practice, isn't it, even when the I has been seen as illusory?
See the comments above Santa.
Yes. Get that. But who perceives? If there is no perceiver?
This is the same as “if there is no self, what does attach?”

Originally I asked you this?
Vivien wrote:
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?
Is there any resistance or any emotions that has arisen while reading these replies?

But before we start, let’s get through the formalities.

There are a few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer only from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
4. 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.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

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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Re: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:35 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for your replies.
I am having problems quoting the right bit of text, it basically isn't working and it becomes a confusing mass of text that i get lost in. I don't have another device to work on right now. Of all the obstacles I was envisaging, this wasn't one of them!
I think at this point I will have to postpone till I have access to my laptop again in two weeks. I'm away from home till mid october.
Unless you have any other tips on quoting on ipads. The usual copy function does not do it on these pages.
love,
Kat

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Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:23 am

Dear Kat,

Two possible solutions come to my mind.

One is that you select my question you want to reply to and copy-paste into the text box. After that try to underline it with highlighting the copied question in the textbox again and then pressing the third, grey-coloured u button above the text box. After, you just simply type your answer and repeat the process with the next question. I’m not sure whether this works on IPad (I don’t use it) but maybe it does. The result should be something like this:

What is this ‘I’?
What came up was….

Another solution is to select my question you want to reply to and copy-paste into the text box. After that write my name at the beginning of the question. Then when you reply also put your name at the beginning of your answer. Do this with all questions and answers. In this way we can differentiate who wrote which lines. Like this:

Vivien: What is this ‘I’?
Kat: What came up was….

You can see whether these works (before really answering all the questions) by pressing the Preview button under the textbox.

One more thing. In order to copy-past the question you have to press the Expand View button to see properly all the previous post. This button sometimes can hardly be seen because it blends into the background. It is above the purple "Quote" button on the right upper corner of the previous post ( which is under the text box).

I hope one of these would work.
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: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:51 am

Hi Vivien,
Thanks for bearing with me through the techie challenges!
I will do my best to just copy your questions and put our respective names before it so it's clear.

in answer to your earlier question;
Vivien: Is there any resistance or any emotions that has arisen while reading these replies?

Kat: i experienced some resistance with some questions, the main feeling being one of defensiveness.
With some replies the emotion that arises is indignation, cause i want to be 'right'!
This is the first response, on reading it again, i can take it in fine and reflect on it.
Yes, I have an intellectual understanding of many things and no diect experience. Or rather; I may have the experience but I'm too layered with protective/defensive attitudes that `I am not aware of them.

Groudrules; Agreed. That will work for me and I'll be as honest and non-analytical as I can.

Vivien: What does the word 'I' point to?

Kat: I don't really know! My first instinct is 'my feelings' but they change all the time. I is a feeling I think. I feel, I see, I am upset, happy, etc. But at the same time I can't really verify that. So I don't know, that's the answer.

Vivien: What makes this body 'yours'?
Kat: Because I feel and experience life through my body, my senses and no one else feels what I feel, it seems it is therefore my body. It's not yours or anyone elses. Can't say I own it though. I live through it, that is perhaps the best way to put it.

Vivien: What makes this body 'you'?
Kat: A bit like the previous question; because I experience through my body, it is me. But I can't hold on to that very tightly. I see at the same time this makes no sense. I don't really know again. It has no clear or even unclear boundaries, so where do I start or end? I don't know basically. I'm protective of my body, look after it, feed it well etc. But that still doesn't make my body 'me'. It holds no water clearly!

love,
Kat

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Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:53 am

Dear Kat,
Thanks for bearing with me through the techie challenges!
I will do my best to just copy your questions and put our respective names before it so it's clear.
Welcome. :) This is much readable text now.
i experienced some resistance with some questions, the main feeling being one of defensiveness.
With some replies the emotion that arises is indignation, cause i want to be 'right'!
I really appreciate your honesty. Yes, the ‘I’ always wants to be right. But when it is examined closely, is there really an ‘I’ that wants to be right, or do only thought stories arise suggesting this?

It is good to see what (and how) emotions and stories arise. Nothing needs to be done with them, just observe them. These are nothing more than thought stories arising here and now, and when they are believed associated emotions emerges.
Yes, I have an intellectual understanding of many things and no diect experience.
That’s totally fine. This is our conversation for the have an actual experience not just an intellectual one.
Groudrules; Agreed. That will work for me and I'll be as honest and non-analytical as I can.
Thank you.

Now we try to find the ‘owner’ of 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 does the word 'I' point to?
Kat: I don't really know! My first instinct is 'my feelings' but they change all the time. I is a feeling I think. I feel, I see, I am upset, happy, etc. But at the same time I can't really verify that. So I don't know, that's the answer.
Are ‘you’ the feelings or ‘you’ have feelings?
If ‘you’ are the feelings, then where are ‘you’ exactly?
If ‘you’ have feelings, then where is the ‘I’ located that supposedly have feelings?

Try to find it similarly as you would search for Darth Vader.
I feel and experience life through my body, my senses and no one else feels what I feel, it seems it is therefore my body. It's not yours or anyone elses. Can't say I own it though. I live through it, that is perhaps the best way to put it.
OK. Where is this ‘I’ located that experiences life through the body?
Where is this ‘I’ exactly that lives through the body?
How is this ‘I’ experienced with the 5 senses (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling)?
because I experience through my body, it is me.
Yes, because this is a logical assumption. The first assumption is that (1) there is an ‘I’ somewhere sealed behind the skin that (2) could experience through ‘its’ body, (3) therefore, ‘the body is me’.

But when this examined closely and we try to locate the ‘I’, where is it?
Where is it in the body exactly?

Try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

(I tend to ask a lot of questions. If any time the number of questions seems too much, 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: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:02 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the questions.
I have been looking for I!
I find that when I cannot find it my mind throws up there is something more subtle that constitutes I.
But that I cannot find either.

Vivien: Real is something that can be found.

Kat: You mean tangible? In that case a feeling or a thought is not real either, or a principle or an emotion?
Only the physical is real? Or is what I can feel real?
Only what I perveive through my senses is real? How about a felt sense?
I may feel cheerful, but as I cannot locate that in the body as such is it not real?

I cannot find I anywhere. I tried and am still checking but I know it is not going to be found cause it isn't there.
But that raises the question: Who is thinking, looking, feeling, talking, listening? No one? How can anything be felt, heard or seen if not by someBody?

Vivien: Are 'you' the feelings or 'you' have feelings?

Kat: I just don't know the answer to that. 'I' have feelings, but there is no 'I' to be found. Rats.
Am 'I' feelings? No, don't think so. It seems just there. With or without me.

Vivien: If 'you' are feelings, then where are 'you' exactly?

Kat: !!! Don't know! I'm getting warm thinking about it or trying to get a sense of 'me' being feelings. 'I' am not there.
I don't know where I am. I'm pretty elusive basically. There is my mind playing this trick of hide and seek. I can't find 'I', so it must be somewhere else more subtly present. But that is not true either.

Vivien: Where is this 'I' located that experiences life through the body?

Kat: I don't know is the answer, I cannot locate it.

Vivien: Where is this 'I' exactly that lives through the body?

Kat: It isn't there, I cannot find it.

Vivien: How is this 'I' experienced with the 5 senses (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling)?

Kat: It isn't, I don't know what experiences senses if it's not me. But 'I' is not there to be found.

Vivien: If 'you' have feelings, then where is the 'I' located that supposedly has feelings?

Kat: Again, It isn't there. Can't locate it.
Who is having thoughts, opinions etc? No one? But they are there. It's all there, except for 'I'.

On a techie note: I cannot find an expanded view button anywhere.
love.

Kat

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Re: looking for guide

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:37 pm

Dear Kat,
On a techie note: I cannot find an expanded view button anywhere.
The ‘Expand View’ button is there only if you reply with the ‘Post Reply’ button and not ‘Quick Reply’. The ‘Expand View’ button hasn’t got a button shape, just black latters. This is above the box of all previous conversations. At the upper left side of the box is: “Topic view + the title of the thread” with white letters, and the right upper side is: ‘Expand View’ with black letters.
Vivien: Real is something that can be found.
Kat: You mean tangible? In that case a feeling or a thought is not real either, or a principle or an emotion?
Only the physical is real? Or is what I can feel real?
Only what I perveive through my senses is real? How about a felt sense?
I may feel cheerful, but as I cannot locate that in the body as such is it not real?
Good questions :)

Thoughts: In direct experience there is seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching/feeling. And there is noticing an an arising thought. I left out from the list at the time being, because thoughts (thinking) are a bit more ‘complicated’.

Thoughts as arising thoughts are ‘real’, but they contents are not. Like when you think about Dart Vader. There is an arising thought, it cannot be denied, but its content “Dart Vader” is not real. Sometimes thoughts point to something tangible, like chair, however a thought about a chair is not a chair. A thought about a chair is just a mental concept with an arising mental image of a ‘chair’ but that image is not ‘real’. However, as an arising image is there, it is ‘real’, but not its content.

Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the arising mental label, simply as arising label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea.

Can you see this?
Kat: Who is thinking, looking, feeling, talking, listening? No one? How can anything be felt, heard or seen if not by someBody?
Currently there are words on the screen being read. Go to the actual experience itself, and ignore the suggestion of thoughts.
What reads these words?
Is there anything that is reading, or reading is just happening?

Look around in the room. Go to the actual experience itself, and ignore the suggestion of thoughts.
What sees?
Is there a seer somewhere, or there is just seeing happening?

Pay attention for the background sounds. Go to the actual experience itself, and ignore the suggestions of thoughts.
Is there somewhere a hearer, of just hearing happening?

Of course, thoughts and mental images suggest ‘explanations’, but when they are examined closely, are they really the case?
I just don't know the answer to that. 'I' have feelings, but there is no 'I' to be found. Rats.
Am 'I' feelings? No, don't think so. It seems just there. With or without me.
Yes, very good LOOKing. Sensations in the body that are labelled as ‘feelings’ are there regardless of believing in ‘me’, or not.
I don't know where I am. I'm pretty elusive basically. There is my mind playing this trick of hide and seek. I can't find 'I', so it must be somewhere else more subtly present. But that is not true either.
These are contents of thoughts. Thoughts always try to suggest solutions and assign meanings to everything. This is an attempt to justify the illusion of the self. But when it is examined closely, it turns out that the ‘I’ cannot be found.
Kat: I don't know what experiences senses if it's not me. But 'I' is not there to be found.
Is it possible that experiencing happens, but without an owner (you)?
Kat: Who is having thoughts, opinions etc? No one? But they are there. It's all there, except for 'I'.
So investigate this.

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?

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: looking for guide

Postby Kat » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:46 pm

H Vivien,

Found the expand view button! I still have to re-type your questions, but that's good practice for getting it clear.

Vivien: Thoughts as arising thoughts are 'real', but their contents are not.

Kat: I now have an image of a thought as an empty little bag. The thought is real, but the contents are not.
That is confusing. What is thought if the contents are not real? What is a thought without content..?
Does not exist I reckon. I have an 'empty thought'..no, there's always content.
So the thought is 'real' but the contents are not. I have no idea what you mean! I will ponder on that one with the chair example. thanks.

Vivien: Is there anything that is reading, or is reading just happening?

Kat: Investigating this one, based on earlier looking for the 'I' in 'me' (!) I have to say reading is just happening.
That is what is going on.

Vivien: Is there a seeer somewhere, or is there just seeing happening?

Kat: Same thing, though it is an odd thought there's nobody there! It's novel to look at 'me' this way. Like looking in a different way from what I'm used to.
Still, I wonder if 'I' am just fooling 'myself'.


Vivien: sensations in the body that are labelled as 'feelings' are there regardless of believing in 'me' or not.

Kat: Ah, ok. It's there anyway. The experience is real. Whether 'I' am or not. Experience is there being experienced.
Nothing changes then really. Just the way it is perceived. Not by 'me' but it's just there, arising and disappearing again.

Vivien: Thoughts always try to suggest solutions and assign meanings to everything.

Kat: so thoughts actually distort the direct experience by interpreting what is happening?

Vivien: Is it possible that experiencing happens but without an owner (you)?

Kat: Yes, I suppose that is possible! Weird but yes. As if there is no core to 'me'.

Vivien: Where do thoughts come from?

Kat: from nowhere as far as I can ascertain. Just from nowhere at all.

Where are they going?

Kat: They are going on to other thoughts, like a train, but the go again into nowhere.

Vivien: Can 'you' stop a thought in the middle?

Kat: No! Too late! Gone!

Vivien: Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?

Kat: No! Not there. It just arises from nowhere. 'I' am not planning thoughts. Or generate them.

Vivien: 'I' think. What is 'I' ? What is the one that thinks?

Kat: 'I' seems just another thought, weirdly. A rather persistent one though.

Vivien: Does the thinker of the thought appear in the experience? Can it be found?

Kat: Dont quite get that one. Pondering...

Vivien: Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Kat: Yes, that is the natural place "i" end up; 'I'is a thought that seems to underlie or sits behind all thoughts.

Something is opening up and looking happily suprised!

love,

Kat


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