Guide request

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OKate
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Guide request

Postby OKate » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:39 pm

Greetings,

I'm in the U.S., GMT -8 and would like a guide please.

Discovered this forum/website several days ago and have been studying the book, archives and audios.

I'd very much like to go through the process. Anyone interested to help me see the truth of non-self? I'd prefer a female guide if possible.

Thanks!

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Vivien
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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:54 pm

Hi OKate,

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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OKate
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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:19 am

Hi Vivian,
I've read the disclosure, watched the slideshow, agree the terms above and thank you very much for volunteering to serve as my guide.
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
I'm not sure what to expect. I have doubts that seeing through the illusion of self is possible for me, that "I" may be too sticky. I also had some pretty intense fear about this process come up when I actually decided to ask for a guide! Maybe my non-self being self-protective? haha.. whatever, the fear has actually made me more curious...

How will Life change?
I'd think Life would be the same, but my experience of it might be quite different. There is a saying, "wherever you go, you are there" or something like that. That would still be true, but that "you are there" might take on a different meaning.
How will you change?
I won't change, I'll no longer be here, right? ;=)
Seriously, maybe I will have some different thoughts or reactions to experiences or maybe I'll just have a different way to look at the thoughts and reactions I have, if that makes sense.
What will be different?
Nothing, everything. I don't know but it seems like something should be - otherwise, why would there be all the fuss, study, striving, books, this website, etc. about knowing nonduality?

Love, Kate

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Vivien
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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:28 am

Dear Kate,
thank you very much for volunteering to serve as my guide.
You’re welcome :)

Thank you for your reply. It doesn’t seem that you have too much expectation, which is good, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?

I'm not sure what to expect.
That’s an excellent place to start :)
I'd think Life would be the same, but my experience of it might be quite different.
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 won't change, I'll no longer be here, right? ;=)
Not just you will no longer be here, but ‘you’ are ALREADY not here. There has never been a ‘you’.

However, it is important to know that self-referencing thoughts and identification with the I-thought are the result of X years of conditionings. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance, but without a centre, a ‘me’, there is nothing they could attach to or stick to, so 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.

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’.
Seriously, maybe I will have some different thoughts or reactions to experiences or maybe I'll just have a different way to look at the thoughts and reactions I have, if that makes sense.
Yes, this is quite reasonable.
Vivien: What will be different?
Kate: Nothing, everything. I don't know but it seems like something should be - otherwise, why would there be all the fuss, study, striving, books, this website, etc. about knowing nonduality?
The difference is that it is seen that there has never been a ‘me’ that could own or govern life or anything.

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.


But before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?

I have doubts that seeing through the illusion of self is possible for me, that "I" may be too sticky. I also had some pretty intense fear about this process come up when I actually decided to ask for a guide! Maybe my non-self being self-protective? haha.. whatever, the fear has actually made me more curious...
Fear is just a protective mechanism, and it does its job well. It highlights that there is a story there about pain or negative consequences to this investigation.

What I’d like you to do is to investigate this fear. Examine it closely. Feel it. Don’t try to fix it or solve it, just sit with it.

Ask the fear as it were a some kind of entity:

What do you want to protect me from?
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?


Observe what images and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear.

If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the fear?

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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OKate
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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:12 am

Dear Vivian,
Is there any resistance to any of it?
but ‘you’ are ALREADY not here but ‘you’ are ALREADY not here. There has never been a ‘you’.
I did experience rather strong resistance to "ALREADY not here"
The difference is that it is seen that there has never been a ‘me’ that could own or govern life or anything.
Hmmm. I wouldn't say resistance, but this statement really made me recognize that I truly don't know what to expect.

The fear I felt has pretty much subsided so there isn't a lot for me to sit with right now - when it came up earlier though, the strength did surprise me. It was a flashing-red-light, stop-right-now, immediate-danger variety.
Ask the fear as it were a some kind of entity:
What do you want to protect me from?
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?
The fear just wants to prevent pain, hurt, exposure. If the illusion is exposed, then "my story" may be over and perhaps it's been fraudulent and a waste of time all along. Fear thinks that would be quite painful to face.
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the fear?
Unknown really. Perhaps the truth, a sense of relief, or maybe nothing?

Thank you Vivian. I look forward to continuing this and the physical exercises. K.

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Vivien
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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:08 pm

Dear Kate,
Vivien: Is there any resistance to any of it?
but ‘you’ are ALREADY not here but ‘you’ are ALREADY not here. There has never been a ‘you’.
Kate: I did experience rather strong resistance to "ALREADY not here"
If this resistance comes up again, please let me know. Resistance or fear can be interchangeable, because both of them are protective mechanism, and both of them show that there is a negative story believed with possible negative consequences to this investigation.
The fear just wants to prevent pain, hurt, exposure. If the illusion is exposed, then "my story" may be over and perhaps it's been fraudulent and a waste of time all along. Fear thinks that would be quite painful to face.
Thank you for sharing this and your honesty. It seems that there is a story that after seeing through the self, something will end (or die). But nothing will be over, not even the illusion of ‘you’, but rather it will be seen for what it is, just an illusion that has always been. But this seeing won’t stop the illusion to occur again. So nothing will be lost, only an illusion will be seen through.


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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OKate
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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:25 pm

Dear Vivian,
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.
Agree.
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 combination of sensations, feelings, awareness, thoughts occuring in my body.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
Not sure. Maybe that the thoughts, feelings, awareness, sensations originate here? Maybe the body isn't 'mine', maybe 'I' belong to it...
What makes this body ‘you’?
Same as above, the combination of sensations, feelings, awareness, thoughts occurring here.

Love, Kathy

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Vivien
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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:29 pm

Dear Kate,

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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OKate
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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:04 pm

Dear Vivien,
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?
Nothing is seeing the words. No seer. Can't locate, find, track down any separate 'thing' or entity doing the seeing but seeing is a real thing happening right now, occurring as function in this body.

Love, Kate

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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:24 pm

Dear Kate,
Can't locate, find, track down any separate 'thing' or entity doing the seeing but seeing is a real thing happening right now, occurring as function in this body.
How is this known that ‘seeing is occurring as a function in this body’?

This is 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).

So let’s have a deeper look on thoughts then. 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?

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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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:56 am

Dear Vivien,
How is this known that ‘seeing is occurring as a function in this body’?
This is 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).
It's known because images arise when I look at the screen and because the images/seeing don't happen when the eyes in the body are closed or covered. Or are you pointing to "function in this body" as the arising thought content that's being believed? Maybe I'm complicating, but seems tricky to explain how something is "known" with words/language without invoking thought/meaning believed processing.
Where thoughts come from?
I can't determine where they come from.
Where are they going?
I can't tell where they are going.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Nope, quite elusive little devils.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No chance.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No 'I'. It does seem that the content of a thought can influence content of subsequent thoughts, but can't find any 'I' generating the thoughts.
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
My belief is it's myself - but that belief is feeling a little fuzzy. And who's belief am I talking about. I'm quite confused - or maybe I should say "confused is happening" ;-)
What is the one that thinks?
I don't know.
What is the thinker of thoughts?
Umm, I don't know. I'll guess: A body, brain? Another thought? Another thought in a body? But, isn't guessing just belief or "lost in thought content", if so, maybe not helpful to be guessing about this.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No experience of the thinker. Just the experience of thought. Can't find the thinker of thought.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Possible. Some resistance, fear, anxiety coming up as I'm working with this question. Distraction happening, looking for chocolate, eating chocolate.
Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
Alarms... Flashing red lights. Stop. Anxiety. Stomach churning. "Am I JUST being thought?", by a THOUGHT? WTF? Oh my. Holy crap. Ok, Ok, ok, settling. What if I am? What if I'm just a thought. Want to sit with this for a bit. Well yes, ok, that's the whole idea - starting to see where this is going.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
Not possible to prevent thought from arising. 'I' would be content of thought though - so I take this question as is it possible to control content of thought? Maybe to at least to influence content with other thoughts or senses/stimulous.

Thank you Vivien! Love, Kate

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Vivien
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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:38 am

Dear Kate,
It's known because images arise when I look at the screen and because the images/seeing don't happen when the eyes in the body are closed or covered. Or are you pointing to "function in this body" as the arising thought content that's being believed? Maybe I'm complicating, but seems tricky to explain how something is "known" with words/language without invoking thought/meaning believed processing.
This simply cannot be known with 100% certainty. Only thoughts suggest this. This is nothing more than a thought story believed and not seen only as arising thoughts.

And an arising thought is ‘real’ only as arising thought, but NEVER its content (what it’s about).
We will investigate this later.
Vivien: What is the thinker of thoughts?
Kate: Umm, I don't know. I'll guess: A body, brain? Another thought? Another thought in a body? But, isn't guessing just belief or "lost in thought content", if so, maybe not helpful to be guessing about this.
Yes, this is just guessing, just content of thoughts.
No experience of the thinker. Just the experience of thought. Can't find the thinker of thought.
Good looking :)
Vivien: Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Kate: Possible. Some resistance, fear, anxiety coming up as I'm working with this question. Distraction happening, looking for chocolate, eating chocolate.
As I read this, I’m eating dark chocolate at the moment. So everything is fine, no worries :)
Alarms... Flashing red lights. Stop. Anxiety. Stomach churning. "Am I JUST being thought?", by a THOUGHT? WTF? Oh my. Holy crap. Ok, Ok, ok, settling. What if I am? What if I'm just a thought. Want to sit with this for a bit. Well yes, ok, that's the whole idea - starting to see where this is going.
OK, the resistance and fear is back. There is nothing wrong with them, they are just trying to protect from a perceived danger. However, this perceived danger might be false. It only shows that there is a negative story believed what might happen if seeing through the self happens.

So please, write down this story as detailed as possible (with the knowing that this is a public forum so you don’t have to share personal information). We have to face this story.

When the story is believed and not seen only as a thought story arising here and now, then associated emotions can emerge, like fear or resistance.

While you write down the story, pay attention to the felt sensations in the body that are labelled as ‘fear’ or ‘resistance’. Feel the sensations in the body. The felt sensations are not fearful, only mental labels suggest otherwise.

So, let the felt sensation just be. Just feel them, without buying into the story.

What happens when the sensations are allowed to be, but the thought-story is ignored?


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: Guide request

Postby OKate » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:59 am

Dear Vivian,

Here's the story which comes to mind.
I grew up convinced I was faulty and unworthy and the pattern continued into adult relationships. After many decades of life finally on my own for the first time, instead of the joyful freedom I'd anticipated, I was lost, no clue what I felt, wanted, needed, or what to do about any of it. Lots of reflection and years of work to understand why and rebuild a life. So - the negative story believed might happen is that seeing through the self could lead back to the scary non-identity place I've known for most of my life.

Another story comes also: The arena of thought, fantasy, make-belive has been my defense, safe place to escape from reality. Not quite sure how the pieces fit, but considering that 'I' am just a thought somehow threatens that safety net.

What happens when the sensations are allowed to be, but the thought-story is ignored?
Yes, the felt sensations themselves are not fearful, that is a label. I could describe them as contracting, tight, alert. They subside when I focus on them without the thought-story.

Thankful for the guidance. Love, Kate

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Re: Guide request

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:11 pm

Dear Kate,
Here's the story which comes to mind.
I grew up convinced I was faulty and unworthy and the pattern continued into adult relationships. After many decades of life finally on my own for the first time, instead of the joyful freedom I'd anticipated, I was lost, no clue what I felt, wanted, needed, or what to do about any of it. Lots of reflection and years of work to understand why and rebuild a life. So - the negative story believed might happen is that seeing through the self could lead back to the scary non-identity place I've known for most of my life
OK, in this story there is a misconception that in the past there was no-identity and it is feared that this might happen again with seeing through the self. The misconception in the ‘non-identity’. Actually, there was quite a strong identity there, just with a negative story that being lost with no clue what to feel, want, need or how to go about life.

But what I’m trying to point out here is not to analyse this story at all, but just to show that this is just a story believed nothing more, just the content of an arising thought here and now in this moment.
Another story comes also: The arena of thought, fantasy, make-belive has been my defense, safe place to escape from reality. Not quite sure how the pieces fit, but considering that 'I' am just a thought somehow threatens that safety net.
It seems that ‘under’ this story there is another, although hidden belief that reality is something ‘bad’ or ‘unpleasant’ that needs to be avoided. But what if reality is not what it is believed to be? What if it turns out that ‘reality’ is completely neutral and only mental labels and thought stories suggest otherwise?
We can investigate this if it’s needed.
Yes, the felt sensations themselves are not fearful, that is a label. I could describe them as contracting, tight, alert. They subside when I focus on them without the thought-story.
Yes, exactly. The same is true with ‘reality’. If the thought-stories are ignored about it then it turns out that ‘reality’ is completely neutral and there is nothing wrong with it at all.

What I can suggest to do is that whenever resistance or fear comes up to this investigation, stop whatever you do, and sit with the felt sensations only, ignoring the story. The felt sensation IS reality, but the story is just a pure imagination, a fantasy.

An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its content (what it’s about).


When there is a thought, it is obvious that it is there. (So the arising thought is ‘real’), but what it is ABOUT (its contents) are not. The content of thoughts is always imaginary. That there is a thought is clearly true; but their content is pure imagination.

There are two types of thoughts:
  • (1) Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
    (2) Visual mental images of a ‘cup’
I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it? In Reality?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?

The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?


Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about) it is REALLY happening or the content it’s just pure imagination.

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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OKate
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Re: Guide request

Postby OKate » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:13 am

Dear Vivien,
Thank you for the comments, guidance and exercises. I will work with the fear and other emotions as you suggest when they arise.
Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it? In Reality?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?

The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
I cannot grasp the cup. I can imagine pouring tea into it and drinking, but only imagination, not in reality. The thought cup is an image of a cup. Yes, there's an appearing mental image, but its content is not real.
Yes, I see and understand.

I have some practice observing thoughts however considering the content is new and I am finding it is taking some effort - but have begun and will report back how it goes - possibly not until Sunday.
Love, Kate


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