Looking for a guide.

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Esmeralda
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Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:45 pm

Hello. I would be so grateful if somebody would like to guide me. I am a long-term seeker (almost two decades now) and am very tired of this search. I have done a lot of teacher/teaching hopping, always looking for the next fix. I first started reading Gateless Gatecrashers two years ago, but didn't get very far as it was off to the the next book, the next satsang, talk, meditation group - take your pic. The last few months I have really felt like giving up, and last week I picked up G G again. This time, I could not put it down.

Throughout the years, there have been several moments (some short, some longer) of just seeing and just hearing, and there have also been shifts in perception compared to how I interpreted myself and the world when I started this seeking. However, for years, there was this huge expectation of a grand moment of awakening - always out of reach for someone like me though; lots of more work to be done. Having read the GG book as well as this forum, this no longer holds any truth and I am really willing to look at the moon and stop looking at the finger. For a long time, I have been convinced that seeing the truth would be too difficult as I still very much believe and fear the sensation labelled as anxiety. Lots of other sensations seem to flow on by un-rejected, such as intense physical pain (of which there is a fair bit), anger, sadness etc. But this one, anxiety, is being resisted and rejected (and often obsessed about).

So I am really hoping that somebody here would like to be my guide and help me see through the illusion of a separate self. Thank you so much

Warmly
Esme

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:34 pm

Dear Esme,

Thank you for your introduction. My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self', though I can only point the way. You have to 'see' it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

You and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

This process is a guided inquiry where specific areas can be examined. I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we start, let’s get through the formalities first:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

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.

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

What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:09 am

Thank you so much Vivien, I really appreciate you being my guide. I agree to all of the above and am very much ready to start this process!!
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
I'm not sure that I have any expectations at this stage. I have had so many different ideas of what liberation entails, including the notion that it could never happen to me unless I tried harder, but now there is just a sense of not knowing anything really. There is probably still an expectation that this won't happen for me, that clear seeing is too elusive.
How will Life change?
I don't think life itself will change. I will continue doing what I am doing now, living it pretty much the same way. I think (hope) that my perception and interpretations will change, or rather that they won't be muddled by lots of concepts and labels. Perhaps there will be more of a flow if thoughts an sensations aren't resisted and rejected any more. More ease, less analysing, tuned into what is rather than what was or what might be.
How will you change?
I don't know really. I think I will still be pretty much the same but maybe more relaxed? Again, I have had so many beliefs about how everything would be once Id "seen the light" but now, I genuinely don't know. If I can truly see through the illusion of a separate self, maybe there will be more ease with whatever is arising. Also, maybe I won't feel the need to spend all my time reading non-dual books and will have more time to pursue other passions :)
What will be different?
Everything and nothing? Not so sure, there is definitely confusion around all of this now. Not attaching any meaning to that which arises, not obsessing about what might happen in the future, not avoiding situations where uncomfortable sensations occur, enjoying life more instead of taking everything so seriously and personally?

Love
E x

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:12 am

Dear Esmeralda,

Thank you for your description. I go through all what you wrote 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'm not sure that I have any expectations at this stage. I have had so many different ideas of what liberation entails, including the notion that it could never happen to me unless I tried harder, but now there is just a sense of not knowing anything really.
This is an excellent place to start, 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 don't think life itself will change. I will continue doing what I am doing now, living it pretty much the same way. I think (hope) that my perception and interpretations will change,
Yes, life or outer circumstances won’t change with seeing through the self. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different.
I think (hope) that my perception and interpretations will change, or rather that they won't be muddled by lots of concepts and labels. Perhaps there will be more of a flow if thoughts an sensations aren't resisted and rejected any more.
There is a hidden expectation here about non-resistance and the lessening of labelling. But both of them 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 they GRADUALLY 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.
If I can truly see through the illusion of a separate self, maybe there will be more ease with whatever is arising. Also, maybe I won't feel the need to spend all my time reading non-dual books and will have more time to pursue other passions :)
Both not being in ease with whatever arising and seeking are the result of conditionings.

“If I can truly see through the illusion of a separate self” – There is no you that could be able to see through the illusion. Seeing through may happen, but without an doer or owner (you).
Not attaching any meaning to that which arises, not obsessing about what might happen in the future, not avoiding situations where uncomfortable sensations occur, enjoying life more instead of taking everything so seriously and personally?
Attaching meaning to whatever arises still happen after seeing through the self. Avoiding situations can also happen. But every time when these are investigated, it can be seen that there is no centre, there is no ‘me’ that could own the experiencing.

So, identification with the I-thought and self-referencing thoughts and stories still 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’.

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. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

Please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?


OK then, let’s start it.

The first thing to investigate is to find out 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.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

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?

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


From now on, I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:19 pm

Dear Vivien,

Thank you for getting back to me.
Please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
Yes, there was resistance in the form of disappointment, in particular to:
X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance
as well as:
Attaching meaning to whatever arises still happen after seeing through the self.
I guess there were more expectations than I thought there were.

There was also resistance in form of confusion when it comes to:
There is no you that could be able to see through the illusion. Seeing through may happen, but without an doer or owner (you).
Intellectually, I get this. From direct experience though, it is not understood.
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.
Yes, that sums up my beliefs pretty nicely! :)
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.
What does the word 'I' point to?
The experiencer, the entity that perceives everything, that thoughts, sensations and emotions arise to. The entity with unique memories, genetic predispositions, character traits etc.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
It makes it mine because it is inhabited by me. Sorry this is probably a roundabout answer. But it feels like mine because I can command it to do certain things, I can satisfy its hunger and thirst, its need for sleep, soothe pain and nourish it through food. It makes it mine because it is I who perceive all the sensations that arise and there is a knowing in how to interpret the cues for sleep, thirst, hunger and so on.
What makes this body ‘you’?
I guess it makes it me because it is the only physical dwelling that I will ever have in this lifetime; I will never have somebody else's body, nor will anybody else ever inhabit mine.

Love,
Esmeralda

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:27 am

Dear Esmeralda,
I guess there were more expectations than I thought there were.
Good to notice this. Every expectation is in the way of seeing what is here, right now. Every single expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

An expectation is nothing more than a mental concept. In order to compare it with the current experience, the current experience needs to be conceptualized. As a result, there ‘are’ two mentally fabricated constructs that can be matched up, with a ‘result’ of putting a label of either “this is liberation” or “this is not” onto the experience.

But you don’t have to do anything with these expectations. Don’t try to push them away, change them, manipulate them. Don’t do anything with them, don’t touch them, just observe them. These are nothing more than the content of arising thoughts, here and now. That’s all; nothing more, nothing serious, nothing ‘real’.
Vivien: There is no you that could be able to see through the illusion. Seeing through may happen, but without an doer or owner (you).
Esme: Intellectually, I get this. From direct experience though, it is not understood.
No worries :) This is what we are going to work on.

Now we try to find the ‘owner’ of the body.
We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.

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.

Now, 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.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?


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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:59 am

Dear Vivien,
Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
No.
Do you see a seer?
I don't.
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
No, nowhere.

Initially, it all seems to be located right behind my eyes. However, when I look, there really is no seer there, or anywhere else for that matter to be found. It seems so easy and there is this concern that I am yet again confusing direct experience with an intellectual understanding. The mind wants to complicate this!

Love
Esme

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:53 am

Dear Esme,
Initially, it all seems to be located right behind my eyes. However, when I look, there really is no seer there, or anywhere else for that matter to be found. It seems so easy and there is this concern that I am yet again confusing direct experience with an intellectual understanding.
“It all seems to be located right behind my eyes” – says a thought. When this thought is believed and not seen only as an arising thought a SEEMING location emerges, but when it is closely looked, it turns out that there is nothing there.

If there are doubts about it, then look again and again and again. Look until this is clearly seen.
The mind wants to complicate this!
Oh yes, thoughts are constantly ‘interpret’ and ‘give’ meaning to whatever is happening.

But is there REALLY a mind?
With which of the 5 senses the mind is experienced?


Let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

Where thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts?
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?
Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Take your time.

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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:42 pm

Dear Vivien,

Thank you for being here with me.
But is there REALLY a mind?
With which of the 5 senses the mind is experienced?
When I look for a mind, I cannot find it. It is not experienced through any of the five senses. And yet, even though mind can't be sensed or experienced there is still a strong belief of mind as the motherboard; the director of thoughts, emotions and sensations.
Where thoughts come from?
I don't know. A result of neurotransmitters and synapses in the brain?
Where are they going?
I don't know. For years, I have been telling myself that they arise and subsume in awareness. But I can't experience awareness through any of the five senses either so perhaps that's just another thought. I really don't know at all any more.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
No.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No. At the same though, there appears to be "something" that can steer thoughts in a certain direction, like remembering a recipe while cooking or whilst solving a maths problem for example. Even now, looking for the "I", thoughts are being used to examine thoughts?
This "something" is what I have understood to be an "I". What is it that can keep the thoughts focused on a certain subject, what is it that can distinguish between a memory and a belief? God I am so confused.
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
"I" is the reference point - the experiencer and perceiver. "I" is that which can recall memories and calculate statistics.
What is the thinker of thoughts?

I don't know. There is the knowing of a thought appearing, and the labelling and interpreting process. Is it just thoughts knowing that thoughts are appearing?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
It seems to appearing in direct experience. But no, I can't find it. Argh.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, intellectually this is "seen". But when I look, it is as if I am going round in circles.
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
This is a funny one. When anxious thoughts are raging for example, it is very clear that there is no "I" that chose or control them. But when something needs to be figured on let's say a practical level, then there *does* seem to be something there that is controlling the thoughts and keeping the focus.
Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
I believed there to be a mixture of both; some thoughts arising spontaneously, some being generated but I don't know any more.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No, it seems impossible to prevent thoughts, including the thought "I" to appear.

Love
Esme

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:09 am

Dear Esme,
Thank you for being here with me.
You’re more than welcome :)
And yet, even though mind can't be sensed or experienced there is still a strong belief of mind as the motherboard; the director of thoughts, emotions and sensations.
Yes, mind is just a belief. But what is a belief anyway? Just content of thoughts that are not seen only as arising thoughts, but rather being lost in their contents happens (meaning believed).
Vivien: Where thoughts come from?
Esme: I don't know. A result of neurotransmitters and synapses in the brain?
This answer comes from thoughts, not from looking.

How the brain or neurotransmitters are experienced, with which of the 5 senses?
For years, I have been telling myself that they arise and subsume in awareness. But I can't experience awareness through any of the five senses either so perhaps that's just another thought. I really don't know at all any more.
Very good! Awareness is nothing more than a mental label, just the content of a thought that ‘tries’ to interpret and give meaning of the experiencing.

And not knowing is the ‘best place’ to rest. :)
there appears to be "something" that can steer thoughts in a certain direction, like remembering a recipe while cooking or whilst solving a maths problem for example.
Look closely. Is this REALLY the case, or only thoughts suggest this?
Even now, looking for the "I", thoughts are being used to examine thoughts?
Thoughts cannot do anything. There is an experiencing, and AFTER, thoughts come ‘interpreting’ the experience.
This "something" is what I have understood to be an "I". What is it that can keep the thoughts focused on a certain subject, what is it that can distinguish between a memory and a belief?
Is there REALLY a ‘thing’ that is doing the focusing, or there is only focusing happening by itself without any doer or owner?

Thought is based in language and language can be very confusing as it presumes a subject at all times. Does the habit of referring back to thoughts about ‘me’ indicate an entity, or a ‘driver’ of any kind in ‘reality’? Or have you merely accepted the apparent implication that language produces that if there is an action then there must be a doer or a driver? Go to the actual experience and check it.
"I" is the reference point - the experiencer and perceiver. "I" is that which can recall memories and calculate statistics.
Are you sure about this?
Could it be that this is just another thought believed?

There is the knowing of a thought appearing, and the labelling and interpreting process. Is it just thoughts knowing that thoughts are appearing?
Can a thought know anything?
Can a thought do anything?


In the actual experience there are seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, tasting, smelling + noticing the arising thoughts.

So yes, there is a knowing/noticing of thoughts appearing, but is there REALLY a ‘thing’ that is doing the noticing, or noticing just happens by itself, without an owner or doer?
Vivien: Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
Esme: I believed there to be a mixture of both; some thoughts arising spontaneously, some being generated but I don't know any more.
How is this known?

“I believe…” – the emphasis is on the word BELIEVE. Look closely, is this really the case that some thoughts are being generated by a ‘thing’?

When anxious thoughts are raging for example, it is very clear that there is no "I" that chose or control them. But when something needs to be figured on let's say a practical level, then there *does* seem to be something there that is controlling the thoughts and keeping the focus.
Here is an interesting exercise on control.

Choose one of your arms - It doesn't matter which.
When you have done that, rest for a moment and then when you want to, raise that arm into the air.
Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

What is controlling the arm?
Can a controlling ‘thing’ be located?

What moves the arm?

What is choosing which arm to raise?
Can you find the ‘thing’ that is doing the choosing?

How the decision is made which arm to raise?
How the decision is made when to raise the arm?


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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Dear Vivien,
How the brain or neurotransmitters are experienced, with which of the 5 senses?
None of the five senses experience the brain.
Look closely. Is this REALLY the case, or only thoughts suggest this?
Well, when I look at a recipe being remembered, it s just being remembered. But then there is this sense of "I did this remembering". Which of course is just another thought.
Is there REALLY a ‘thing’ that is doing the focusing, or there is only focusing happening by itself without any doer or owner?
I can't find a thing doing the focusing. But focusing is happening and it is being known as focusing. By what?
Are you sure about this?
Could it be that this is just another thought believed?
No I am not sure at all. In fact, I have never been less sure of anything before.
Can a thought know anything?
I would like to say that no, thought cannot know anything, thought can only describe and label. But I still cannot say this with 100% conviction, because thought is often right in the descriptions and labels. How can thought know that 20+20=40? It just knows, but how?
Can a thought do anything?
In reality, thought can't do anything. Yet, thought seems to elicit physical sensations that seem very real.
So yes, there is a knowing/noticing of thoughts appearing, but is there REALLY a ‘thing’ that is doing the noticing, or noticing just happens by itself, without an owner or doer?
No, there is no "thing" found. But how does this process work? Thought says "I need to recall a recipe for sponge cake." And then the recipe appears, through thoughts. What elicits the memory of the recipe? Is it just thoughts doing their thing? What points thought in the direction to the right recipe? Just another thought?
How is this known?

“I believe…” – the emphasis is on the word BELIEVE. Look closely, is this really the case that some thoughts are being generated by a ‘thing’?
When I look, I find nothing. Thoughts won't even appear as I look and try to find a generator. But this belief seems hard to shake.
What is controlling the arm?
Can a controlling ‘thing’ be located?
In DE, there was nothing or nobody controlling the arm. Lifting just happened. Then wiggling of fingers happened, then lowering of arm happened. Several times. There was nobody or nothing located that initiated or controlled this happening.
What moves the arm?
The arm moved the arm. I actually don't know how to even answer this question because it seems to bizarre. But the arm just moved itself.
What is choosing which arm to raise?
Can you find the ‘thing’ that is doing the choosing?
I have absolutely no idea what is choosing. A thought arose; "the right arm". A while later, the right arm was raised. No, I can't find the ting doing the choosing. This is crazy. No, no chooser.
How the decision is made which arm to raise?
I don't think there was a decision made, just the thought "right arm". And that was that, nothing else after that.
How the decision is made when to raise the arm?
No decision made. Not even thoughts around it. There was a "knowing" that the right arm was to be raised. And then it was. Arm raised and lowered but no thing pulling the strings.

After I did the exercise, there was a lot of looking throughout the day. And things, they just happened. Coffee was made, lunch was cooked, a shower was had, head was scratched. And there was never a doer - nobody is driving the car here. This experience, of the total "just happening" was very strange. Confusing and a bit frightening. It is as if my whole view of the world and myself in it didn't make sense any more. After that, there seemed to be a quick retreat back into the "me, myself and I" again, where it feels safer.

Love
Esmeralda x

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:24 am

Dear Esme,
I can't find a thing doing the focusing. But focusing is happening and it is being known as focusing. By what?
“By what” – as I mentioned my previous post, language is dualistic. In language there is assumption that there must be a subject (me) that is doing or having the object (thoughts). But this assumption is coming only from language, in the actual experience there is neither subject nor object that could be found.

We say “It’s raining” – where is this ‘it’? Water is simply falling. Or, “The wind is blowing” – can you find ‘the wind’ or is it just air moving? LOOK.

We also say “I’m focusing” – but is there really a ‘thing’ that is doing focusing or focusing is just simply arising?
Vivien: Are you sure about this?
Could it be that this is just another thought believed?
Esme: No I am not sure at all. In fact, I have never been less sure of anything before.
:) Good, very good :)
Well, when I look at a recipe being remembered, it s just being remembered. But then there is this sense of "I did this remembering". Which of course is just another thought.
OK, let’s examine this SENCE of ‘I’ a bit closely.


A SENSE of self is NOT the self!


Observe this:
Say out loud the word ‘I’ several times. At the same time try to trace back where the word ‘I’ point to. Try to localise where is the ‘I’ exactly.

You can observe that whenever the word ‘I’ is said or even thought about the focus of attention goes automatically to the bodily sensations (usually somewhere to the upper body or head or both). So there is a direct, automatic association between the word ‘I’ and the felt sensations in the body.

So the word ‘I’ and the bodily sensations are welded together, creating the SENSE of ‘me’. The ‘sense’ part is coming from the felt sensations, and ‘me’ part is coming as a thought. When this is not seen, BUMMM! The illusion of ‘me’ is created. Can you see this?

So, can the ‘I’ be found in the actual experience other than a thought?

What elicits the memory of the recipe? Is it just thoughts doing their thing? What points thought in the direction to the right recipe? Just another thought?
This is based on the same assumption that there must be a subject directing an action, but is there REALLY?

What is raining the rain?
What is blowing the wind?

But I still cannot say this with 100% conviction, because thought is often right in the descriptions and labels. How can thought know that 20+20=40? It just knows, but how?
How is this known that thoughts are sometimes are right in their descriptions and labels?
Or is this just another thought believed?


Thoughts as arising thoughts are ‘real’, but they contents (what they are ABOUT) 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 (what it’s about).

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?

Look at these colours with labels.

BLACK GREEN PINK
ORANGE YELLOW
BLUE BROWN GREY
TURQUOISE WHITE
PURPLE RED CYAN


When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’, what is the actual experience?
Is red colour experienced or is green colour experienced as the label suggests it?
Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with ‘reality’?
Or the labels suggest something else than what is here and now (red colour)?
Is green-ness inherent attributes of the experience of the red colour, or green is just a word label on the experience of the red colour?

If the label ‘
GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’, does the redness be affected in any way as the labels suggest it?
Does redness become ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or the labels have no effect whatsoever on ‘reality’?


After I did the exercise, there was a lot of looking throughout the day. And things, they just happened. Coffee was made, lunch was cooked, a shower was had, head was scratched. And there was never a doer - nobody is driving the car here. This experience, of the total "just happening" was very strange. Confusing and a bit frightening. It is as if my whole view of the world and myself in it didn't make sense any more
Very good, keep looking throughout the day.
After that, there seemed to be a quick retreat back into the "me, myself and I" again, where it feels safer.
If this comes up again, we could investigate this fear. Fear is just a protective mechanism and it’s doing its job well. It just shows that there is a story about a negative consequence to this investigation.

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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Esmeralda
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:38 pm

Dear Vivien,
We also say “I’m focusing” – but is there really a ‘thing’ that is doing focusing or focusing is just simply arising?
No, there is no thing doing the focusing. Focusing is arising, but it is still difficult to wrap my head around the notion that something that seems so directed is just happening. I will keep looking at this.
So the word ‘I’ and the bodily sensations are welded together, creating the SENSE of ‘me’. The ‘sense’ part is coming from the felt sensations, and ‘me’ part is coming as a thought. When this is not seen, BUMMM! The illusion of ‘me’ is created. Can you see this?
Yes, when you point this out, I can see this.
So, can the ‘I’ be found in the actual experience other than a thought?
No, when I try to find the "I" in actual experience, it keeps slipping through my finger.
This is based on the same assumption that there must be a subject directing an action, but is there REALLY?
I cannot find a subject, I really can't. Yet it seems incomprehensible that an action is just happening, especially when it follows a thought. Of course, it just another thought labelling it incomprehensible and so the merry-go-round keeps on spinning. Is it just thought believing another thought, thought believing it to be "me" that does the believing??
What is raining the rain?
What is blowing the wind?
Rain rains rain.
Wind blows wind.
Thought thinks thought?
Tell me I have this mixed up - it can't be that simple?
How is this known that thoughts are sometimes are right in their descriptions and labels?
I don't know. Because thought says so? But what about those times when there is this deep "knowing"; te knowing that seems beyond thought. Is that just another thought?
Or is this just another thought believed?
Probably. If so, then it seems as if there is thoughts thinking thoughts, thoughts believing thoughts, thoughts labelling thoughts, thoughts describing emotions and sensations, thoughts identifying, attaching and latching on to the notion of there being a "me" in here somewhere.....I am not really getting this, am I???
Can you see this?
Yes I can see this. I have often wondered what it would be like if thought did not label or interpret feelings and sensations, or if it wasn't believed. Then maybe all feelings and sensations would be equally welcome to appear?
When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’, what is the actual experience?
That there is a discrepancy; that the label is wrong.
Is red colour experienced or is green colour experienced as the label suggests it?
Red.
Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with ‘reality’?
No.
Or the labels suggest something else than what is here and now (red colour)?
Yes, definitely suggesting something else.
Is green-ness inherent attributes of the experience of the red colour, or green is just a word label on the experience of the red colour?
It is just a word label.
If the label ‘GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’, does the redness be affected in any way as the labels suggest it?
No, it's just red, regardless of any of the labels.
Does redness become ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or the labels have no effect whatsoever on ‘reality’?
The labels have no effect at all on reality.
If this comes up again, we could investigate this fear. Fear is just a protective mechanism and it’s doing its job well. It just shows that there is a story about a negative consequence to this investigation.
Thank you. Fear and fear of fear is a regular occurring emotion. Labelled as bad of course :)

Lots of gratitude and appreciation Vivien, thank you

Love
Esme

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:17 pm

Dear Esme,
No, there is no thing doing the focusing. Focusing is arising, but it is still difficult to wrap my head around the notion that something that seems so directed is just happening.
There is a desire to understand this intellectually, but it cannot be understood intellectually. Thoughts are based in language, and language is dualistic. But it can only be seen prior to thinking.
I cannot find a subject, I really can't. Yet it seems incomprehensible that an action is just happening, especially when it follows a thought. Of course, it just another thought labelling it incomprehensible and so the merry-go-round keeps on spinning. Is it just thought believing another thought, thought believing it to be "me" that does the believing??
Read you above comment several times. At first there is a SEEING that there is no object. But AFTER thoughts come with the content “this cannot be, there must be something that is doing the believing, so it must be a thought”.

LOOK! A thought cannot do anything! This is just an unexamined assumption. Look closely.
Rain rains rain.
Wind blows wind.
Thought thinks thought?
No, rain doesn’t rains rain. This conclusion comes only from the belief in dualism that there must be both a subject and an object.

There is no subject (rain) that is doing the raining (object). There is ONLY raining. When there is raining there is rain, because rain = raining.

There is no subject (wind) that is doing (blowing) the winding (object). There is ONLY winding or blowing. When there is a wind there is winding, because wind = winding.

There is no subject (thought) that is doing the thinking (object). There is ONLY thinking. When there is a thought there is thinking, because thought = thinking.

The supposed subject and object are inseparable. They are one.
Because thought says so?
LOOK closely, go to the actual experience right now.

Can a thought say anything?
Can a thought do anything at all?
Or there is only an appearing thought in the moment?

But what about those times when there is this deep "knowing"; te knowing that seems beyond thought. Is that just another thought?
What you call here as ‘deep knowing’ I call it ‘looking prior to thoughts’. So FIRST there is a looking, and AFTER thoughts arise ‘interpreting’ and ‘giving’ meaning what was seen.

The words ‘interpreting’ and ‘giving meaning’ are in comas, because thoughts actually cannot interpret or do anything. This is just the result of the constriction of language, and I simply cannot find a better way to put it into words.

But in other words: First there is a looking or seeing prior to thoughts, then after thoughts arise with the content: “this and this has happened”.
If so, then it seems as if there is thoughts thinking thoughts, thoughts believing thoughts, thoughts labelling thoughts, thoughts describing emotions and sensations, thoughts identifying, attaching and latching on to the notion of there being a "me" in here somewhere.....I am not really getting this, am I???
Is this REALLY the actual experience or is this just the content of an arising thought that is not seen only as an arising thought, but rather being lost in its content happens (meaning believed)?

Thoughts cannot think, although thinking can happen, but it is not done by anything.
Thoughts cannot believe, although believing can happen, but it is not done by anything.
Thoughts cannot label, although labelling can happen, without any doer or owner whatsoever.
Thoughts cannot describe emotions or sensation, although describing can happen without any doer whatsoever.
Thoughts cannot identify, although identification can happen, but without any doer or owner, it just happens, but it is not done by anything.

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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Esmeralda
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:20 pm

Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Esmeralda » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:53 pm

Dear Vivien,
Can a thought say anything?
As in saying anything out loud? If so then no it can't. But as thinking is happening, thought seems to be saying lots of stuff.
Can a thought do anything at all?
Thought can not perform an action. But thought can elicit a physical response? There seems to be a direct correlation between thinking and physical sensations.
Or there is only an appearing thought in the moment?
There is an appearing in thought in the moment, I can see that. What I find hard to grasp is the content of thoughts not being real. Sure, I "understand" it. But I can't see it, content still appears so real to me.
What you call here as ‘deep knowing’ I call it ‘looking prior to thoughts’. So FIRST there is a looking, and AFTER thoughts arise ‘interpreting’ and ‘giving’ meaning what was seen.
Iv'e long referred to this 'looking prior to thoughts' as awareness. But this looking or deep knowing, can it be experienced through any of the five senses? I can't. So is it just another thought? I am so confused!
Is this REALLY the actual experience or is this just the content of an arising thought that is not seen only as an arising thought, but rather being lost in its content happens (meaning believed)?
Hmm. Well I guess that makes a lot of sense; being lost in its content. How can I see, really see that it s only an arising thought? When I look, like now, I can see this. But then I get lost in the beliefs again. Believing happens, but through what?
Thoughts cannot think, although thinking can happen, but it is not done by anything.
Thoughts cannot believe, although believing can happen, but it is not done by anything.
Thoughts cannot label, although labelling can happen, without any doer or owner whatsoever.
Thoughts cannot describe emotions or sensation, although describing can happen without any doer whatsoever.
Thoughts cannot identify, although identification can happen, but without any doer or owner, it just happens, but it is not done by anything.
I want to see this so badly. If all this is just happening, how do we *know* that it is simply happening? What is it that knows that thinking is happening, that emotions are arising etc... If subject/object is removed, then what is this 'knowing' of it all happening?
Am I just confusing it further for myself with all these questions??

Love
Esme


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