Thread for SD

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Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:18 pm

Hi Sraddhadharini! Let's begin!

x Hare

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:45 pm

Hello Hare! Standing by, S'dh x

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:30 pm

Hi Sraddhadharini,

There are a few preliminaries to start us off.

LU have some ground rules, designed to make this inquiry as effective as possible:
1. Write from experience, not speculation.
2. Be 100% honest.
3. Post regularly! Aim for every day.
4. Be prepared to put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation, which is based on what can be directly verified in the present, rather than previously learned teachings.
5. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main site -> http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Can you confirm you have read and agreed to the above please?

On a more practical note:

Could you learn the quote function? viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

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

The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.


Please could you say something about why you want to do this now, and what your expectations are?

* what brings you to this direct pointing dialogue?
* what do you hope to get out of the journey?
* what would you expect it to be like if you are successful?

You are not going to lose anything with this process. You never had a separate self in the first place. We will simply be looking more and more closely at what can - or can't - be found in direct experience. Seeing through the illusion of self just gives you a clearer perspective on the way things are.

x Hare

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:50 am

Hello Hare, thanks for last post.
I've read the disclaimer and the other ground rules and agree respond accordingly, to the best of my ability, for the duration of our contact in this context.
I've clicked notify me as you suggested, but not sure what learning the quote function entails, I'm afraid. My computer skills and level of confidence technologically are fairly low, but am willing to work on it in order to pursue this process.
Where do you mean when you suggest writing posts 'elsewhere' and pasting? Don't like the sound of stuff getting lost/deleted if I've spent a lot of time on it.
Anyway, on to your other questions:
I'm interested in pursuing this direct pointing dialogue as a way of looking deeply into the ways in which I collude with and perpetuate the illusion/delusion of a separate and fixed self. As we spoke about, I have had very strong experiences when I have seen through, to some extent, all this fabrication, and have felt the benefit of living in a state of more direct experience-in the seen only the seen etc. However, those experiences/times have arisen in dependence on fairly particular and conducive conditions and and seem less easy to sustain long term. Even though, on some level I can see what is happening, it seems only a matter of time before old habits and ways of experiencing/creating/defending my 'self' creep back in. It's like an addiction-I experience the freedom of going beyond it all to some extent and then I can't seem to maintain that, as it's actually too threatening and scary on some deep level and painful though it is spiritually, it seems almost easier to fall back into more mundane habits of experience and perception. I'm interested in engaging with this process as I'm 'doing' it in the midst of my daily, worldly life, not on retreat etc, when all this stuff is much more acknowledged and supported and 'normal'.

What I hope may be the benefit of engaging with this process is that some of those habitual patterns in my day to day life have an opportunity to be caught more on the spot as it were, instead of arriving on retreat with a backlog to work with. To me, my spiritual path is about engagement and effort and inspiration in the whole of my life-I don't see myself as taking time out of my 'real' life to go and be spiritual on retreat and in that sense, the opportunity to engage in this process in my daily life, supported/mentored/guided by you I hope will further benefit that experience of integration (of the 'spiritual' and 'mundane') which is important to me.

I don't really have a sense of 'outcome' at this stage, being at the beginning of this process. It does feel like a bit of an experiment in this context (using computer etc) and I'm still getting to grips with that aspect! All I can say is that the times when all that 'self' stuff has felt a bit looser and direct experience less obscured by what I could call my 'nonsense', there is so much more energy-both physically and mentally available-to go beyond my limited self-experience. And that has brought with it a sense of potential, of possibility, to really experience a taste of freedom and be able to meet life in a way that goes beyond limited self interest.

Got to go, dogs to walk!
S'dh x

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:36 pm

Hi!
not sure what learning the quote function entails
There is a very good step by step guide at the top of THE GATE page (or use that web page address quoted on my last message and have a look. It's one of the reasons the LU site is more effective than email - it's clear when each of us is quoting something the other said. Do have a look at that, you will need to use it in the dialogue.
Where do you mean when you suggest writing posts 'elsewhere' and pasting
In a word document or something? Or just make sure you type something onto the page every so often, even if you are taking time with the investigation between writing, just to make sure it doesn't log you out (not sure how long it gives you)
Even though, on some level I can see what is happening, it seems only a matter of time before old habits and ways of experiencing/creating/defending my 'self' creep back in.
This investigation will not necessarily knock those old habits on the head. The habit of acting as if there is a self to defend etc - for most people - keeps going, even after it has been clearly seen that there is no separate self. This is what you may hear referred to as 'selfing'. Habits have momentum.
What I hope may be the benefit of engaging with this process is that some of those habitual patterns in my day to day life have an opportunity to be caught more on the spot as it were
This is a realistic expectation - selfing will more than likely continue, but will be likely to be seen more clearly and more rapidly for what it is: a habit based on a long-held delusion.

I just want to say something about 'direct experience' because it is so central to our forthcoming exchanges here. The most important catalyst for triggering awakening to no-self is to investigate what we can directly see or know, in the present,
I'll be asking you to report back from direct experience all the time from now on. See this as 'method' rather than 'doctrine'. We are not making big statements about how the universe works - just looking at what can be seen directly rather than coming from received, assumed ideas, views and conceptualisation about experience.

Direct experience is what is noticed, here and now. We can divide it, for the purposes of investigation, in to 3 main aspects:

1) sensations
seeing
hearing
smelling
tasting
feeling [tactile + kinesthetic)

2) an unmistakable sense of Aliveness
(presence, being)

3) thoughts arising. Thinking about something that we are afraid might happen isn't a direct experience of that thing happening! But it is a direct experience of an anxious thought arising.

The illusion of separation is maintained by a stream of self referencing thoughts that are based on past conditioning. The most common reference point is a thought-created center referred to as "I" / "me" / "self". There is no such center, and those self-labels refer only to other thoughts, or to some aspect of Experience.

By referring to direct experience (henceforth DE), one is able to deconstruct assumptions of separation or self, and see that there is just experience. There may be thoughts about experience that conceptually divide certain aspects of experience into a "me" and other aspects into "the outside world", yet those thoughts are also just a part of experience, and as such there is ONLY experience.

So we need to keep clarifying experientially the difference between DE and conceptualisation.

Please try the following investigation and report back.

Take an orange (or other piece of fruit or food) and place it, too far away to be able to smell it. There are 3 stages to this:

1. Close your eyes and imagine the orange as vividly as possible: the colour and shape; the smell, the taste.

2. Now open your eyes, take the orange and unpeel it; eat a bit: fully experience that orange directly through sight, smell and taste.

3. Afterwards, call this experience to mind through memory.

DE is only what's happening in number 2 (and even then, some level of conceptualisation or 'thought coverings' can encroach or overlay the simple, direct, experience.)

Now try the same sequence with sound, using a bell or a gong:

1. Close your eyes and imagine the sound of the bell as vividly as possible.

2. Now ring the bell, hear it directly, right back to silence (or whatever other sound is there).

3. Afterwards, call the sound to mind, through memory.

A. Report back only from DE on these 2 exercises, keep it simple; to the point.

B. Say something about the difference experienced here between DE and conceptualisation (that includes all content of thought: words, images etc).


Enjoy!
x Hare

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Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:49 pm

Hi Hare, thanks for last post.

Have just spent ages trying to work out this quote function-have looked at link you gave me and thing on Gate bit (they are the same) and it really isn't clear to me how it works. Have tried various things but it's not happening and to be honest am having some doubts about whether this is the right forum for me. I'm not technologically experienced so dealing with working it all out is proving quite upsetting and stressful before I get into answering any questions or doing the investigations. In terms of direct experience there are strong sensations around the heart and solar plexus area (which aren't comfortable!).Tightness in the front of the head (behind the forehead). Lots of very negative mental proliferation. I was very keen to undertake this process with you but think I underestimated the impact of of it being mediated through technology and the LU website, which actually feels overwhelmingly incomprehensible at this stage. I'm not saying I don't want to carry on, but this is how it feels right now. Am going to try the investigations now.

A. I had a wee cupful of walnuts and raisins.
DE: Connection with feeling of weight in the body, sensation of pressure where making contact with the chair and feet on floor. Looking at wee cup with walnuts and raisins, picking up of walnut and putting in mouth, feeling of something in mouth then experience of taste of walnut, sense of familiarity of taste and pleasantness of experience of this taste in mouth. Crunchiness of texture, movement of jaw, teeth, tongue. Some visual awareness of what else was in visual field, but not sense of attention going there, attention on experience of eating walnut, other experiences of senses much more in background. Awareness of physical sensations in body (as described above!!) beginning to shift and change, some deep breaths and again awareness of weight/body in chair. Sensation of tightness in head changing, becoming less uncomfortable. Picking up raisins from cup, noting difference of appearance to walnuts and aware of anticipating difference in texture in the mouth. Putting in mouth, definite experience of squidge rather than crunch! Visual experience of little cup sitting between computer and mobile phone, blackness of them in contrast to delicate decoration on teacup. Ate some nuts and raisins together, crunch and squidge together and combining of flavours. Although aware of identifying experience as pleasant, mental activity seemed much less quiet than it had been just previously in response to trying to work out quote function!

B.Ringing Tibetan bells (dingers, as I call them!)
DE: Weight of them, feeling of holding cord in my hands, balance of weight of each one, sight of them swaying slightly. Watching movement of hands to bring them together then hearing the sound, actually as metal hit metal, then as it carried on until fading. Did it again twice more. Not much awareness of anything else besides feel of dingers in my hands, sight and sound of them. Feeling of slight relaxation in the body after they had been rung. Sound of dog starting to whine at the door, attention shifting from fading sound of bells to that sound and sense of energy gathering to go and engage with that situation.

Think doing these investigations after getting stressed about quote function was actually quite interesting-SO much mental proliferation there and none of it very pleasant and positive! When engaging in investigations and sitting much more with 'the raw data' of my experience, I felt relaxation and ease becoming part of my experience. I did have a sense of mental energy as a physical sensation in my head, but very few thoughts or experience of internal dialogue or narrative apart from when dog started whining-he's very old and poorly and caring for him is a big feature of daily life currently. There is a lot of emotional content around this situation which I was aware of impacting on experience of just listening to bells.

Well, Hare. That will have to do for now. Hope I can get this quote thing sorted, any advice gratefully received!
Bye for now, S'dh X.

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:16 pm

Hi again!

Oh dear, I just lost my whole post in some sort of error! Technology! (the ultimate challenge??)

Don't bother about the quote function for now, we'll come back to it if we need to when you're more used to the site.

It's great that when you got stressed, you were interested, seeing the mental proliferation arising. That's the whole spirit of this investigation - whatever is happening, be curious! Experience sensations in direct experience [DE] (such as contraction, expansion). Watch the mental stories manifesting and see if they are reality - or not.

Generally good observations happening here :-) A great start.

OK here is another investigation:

Close your eyes and tune in for a few minutes with your body posture and shape. Notice how that happens.

Maybe you tune in with sensations, and also perhaps the mind comes in with an image (a mental construction, i.e. not DE) of what your body looks like?

Now just solely tune in with DE of sensations in the body.Do the sensations actually coincide with what shape you think your body is?

Report back.

Love x H

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:31 pm

Hi Hare,
Commiserations on losing your post and thanks for doing another one for me. After initial technophobic interlude am feeling encouraged by your positive response to my investigations, which I actually enjoyed doing-although that may not be the point! Am looking forward to this next one as the whole area of experience around having/being a body/mind-what? Being? Organism? Complex? Language-so inadequate sometimes.......Anyway, am really interested in this sort of stuff, at least, I am when I'm not too busy being distracted by other matters!

Sitting in chair, tuning into experience in a sort of mini body scan kind of way. Initially a sense of some sort of 'Awareness HQ' tracking round my body from its position inside my head-images flicker past of more external/visual impressions i.e. what my face looks like, what my boots look like-these impressions are only of what would normally be visible to me directly or in a mirror, I don't get them about my internal organs, for example! Some judgements/constructs coming in-what 'sort' of shape I am? Am I feeling fat or thin today?! Have had experiences like this when initially sitting down to meditate, like my mind is creating a shape for my body and this comes from some sort of experience of separation between mind and body. I don't necessarily believe this experience, it feels like part of the process of settling into a more integrated experience where awareness doesn't feel like it's situated in any particular area, but my whole physical experience is imbued by it, permeated by it, known by it.
Sitting with DE: There is no sense of shape at all, really, just shifting, changing sensations-temperature, pressure, tension, areas where sensation is very apparent and areas where there is very little to connect with. A feeling of aliveness, energy. Some mental events flickering and a sense of attention darting towards them in case they might be important/interesting! Don't know what else to say about it really-it feels very simple and straightforward to rest in that direct experience-my sense esp after long retreat was that this is really all there is and I still know that to be true, it just seems to become obscured by very persistent habits of mind which find that sort of thing hard to surrender to.
Remembering quote from someone: 'The self isn't an idea, it's an experience'. This was very helpful after doing lots of 6E's when usual experience of self was definitely changing, becoming less paramount. A lot of fear there, but this quote kept me coming back to DE and then it seemed there was nothing to fear as the experience is always there to connect with. And actually that 'idea' of self is what is problematic-how I/the mind constructs it, reacts to it, tries to protect it, promote it etc. That's why I want to do this-feel like I've had a sense of a more 'real' way of being, which isn't easy to sustain to the same extent in more worldly conditions, for me personally, anyway. But feels important to keep engaging with that process.

Going to finish there for now. Appreciating this unfolding journey, love S'dh X.

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:13 pm

Hi Sraddhadharini,

Great observing. You seem pretty clear on what is DE (sensations, aliveness, energy) and what is mentally constructed (images of the body based on memories; judgement etc). We'll keep touching into this along the way.

Following on from this exercise, sit quietly again with eyes closed and tune in with the body. Is there a boundary between 'self' and 'other'? Report back.
The self isn't an idea, it's an experience'.
We could turn this one on it's head. The self (as in a separate self-entity) is nothing more than an idea, not an experience! As in, when we look in actual direct experience, the self is not in fact to be found and doesn't exist at all - other than merely as an idea, an assumption, an unfounded believe.

There is no separate self of any kind, and there never was. There is no 'you'!

What comes up in response to this statement?

X Hare

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:23 pm

Hi Hare,
Was glad to see this next investigation as after I had posted yesterday I realised I had not mentioned this, as it's often a significant part of my experience. When tuning into my body, especially with my eyes closed, I do not have a sense of a boundary between myself/other people/beings/everything else. All there is is sensation, often not even a sense of inside/outside. Today I did this investigation whilst sitting next to my dog and also whilst giving a friend a wee Indian head massage. On both occasions, with eyes shut, just sensation-warmth, pressure, contact, absence of contact. Awareness of 'other' was more mental than physical. When experiencing this with eyes open, although felt sense is of no boundary, visual experience showing 'another' person/being/object, this strengthens sense of someone/something else, something other than 'me'. Looking down at 'my' body, or at reflection in mirror, somehow feeds into sense of there 'I' am, but doesn't change feeling of vagueness about where 'I' end and everything else begins. Not always a comfortable experience.....
Think what you said about quote "The self isn't an idea etc" is more how I understand it, quote just a kind of shorthand for reminding me that direct experience is all that is really true, whatever idea I may be having about myself is just that, an idea, and that's not what 'I' really am-what I could call 'myself,' just for convenience is, this conglomeration of elements, lifeforce, mental events, sense experience. That's all 'I' ever am in one sense, but it can be relied upon (to an extent, as is ultimately impermanent) in the way ideas of self can't, because it's what's actually going on.
What comes up in response to the statement "There is no separate self of any kind etc."......An intellectual acknowledgement, no argument with it, but really not feeling as connected/imbued/whatever it is, with it all in ways that I can at other times.Feel a bit 'so what', to be honest. Life still has to be lived, feelings felt, dishes done etc. Hmmmm-really don't know what else to say, so will leave it there,
S'dh X.

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:04 pm

Great investigating! :-)
Awareness of 'other' was more mental than physical.
Excellent observation. So ideas of self and other are a mental add-on - i.e. in the raw data of direct experience, there is no separation between self and other.

OK let's look more at whether the separate self can be found at all.

Take this analogy:

"I'm wondering where my keys are..."
"I usually put them on the table, so they must be there."
"Joe told me they are on the table, so they must be there."
"I go and look to see if they are on the table" -I see directly: either they are there, or they aren't.

The first two examples require belief. The third is direct experience. We are looking for a direct experience of a separate self, not a belief.

Look around the room. Is there a me experiencing seeing /images, or just seeing / images happening in experience?

Listen to sounds. Is there a self-entity 'doing' the hearing? Or just sound-sensations arising?

Is there an experiencer or just experience?


Report back.

Observe what occurs over half hour or so and report back. Is there a self (a 'me' / a Sraddhadharini) doing whatever actions are happening (making a cup of tea or whatever..?) or are there simply a series of actions arising in the moment?

Is there a 'doer of the deed'?


Report back.

x H

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Hi Hare,
Hope all well with you, thanks for encouraging response to last post. Do wish I could get hang of quote function, it would be handy! Anyway-
Liked analogy, makes things clear.
"look around the room".........there is seeing and an awareness/knowing of seeing. Same with sound-hearing and an awareness of sound. Maybe awareness not quite right-a knowing that there is hearing -or seeing. Then the bit that does something with it i.e. identifies/names sight or sound.
"Is there an experiencer?"........there is some sense of the experience being known, being received.
"Is there a doer of the deed?".........there is awareness of the deeds being done and of what actually needs to happen next. Not just activity happening randomly and mechanically. This is where it starts to get mysterious, especially when there is not really any mental proliferation or narrative or strong emotional content-'me' telling 'myself' what to do-but still a sense of something at work that is guiding the activity.
Can't think of anything else to say right now,
S'dh X.

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:48 pm

Hi Sraddhadharini,
wish I could get hang of quote function
This is how I do it:
1. Highlight text you want to select.
2. Press control + C on your keyboard to copy.
3. Click on the quote icon at the top.
4. Press control + V to paste. Your quoted text should appear with the word 'quote' in square brackets at the start and end.
NB if you click on the preview icon below, it shows you how it will look when you submit. Your draft is still there and you can still change it.
Good luck!

Interpretation is always a step away from direct experience: mind stepping in to catagorise according to views and beliefs already held. There is quite a bit of interpretation happening here.
there is seeing and an awareness/knowing of seeing
This sounds like a commentary - an attempt to catagorise experience.

Look again. Is there in direct experience a separation between seeing and awareness/knowing of seeing? Or is this separation in fact a conceptual add-on?
Then the bit that does something with it i.e. identifies/names sight or sound.
This sounds like an analysis (according to a Buddhist understanding?). Direct experience of seeing or hearing is simply that - the simple, immediate sense impression of colour, shape or sound, whatever. Analysis is the beginning of papancha (mental proliferation).
a sense of something at work that is guiding the activity
In DE, is there really 'something' 'at work' 'guiding the activity' - or simply actions happening? Look. Don't assume anything! What might this 'something' be? Is it possible to see / hear / directly experience this 'something'? Or is it simply an assumption brought in to explain what is thought to be happening? Investigate directly. Report back.

Try this:

For 10 minutes or so, type what is direct experienced as closely and simply as possible - ie: "I can feel pressure in my fingertips pressing on the keyboard. I see the black keyboards with white numbers on. I can feel pressure where my bum is resting on the sofa..."and so on.

Now for a further 10 minutes or so, do the same, but this time without using the words 'I', 'me', or 'my': ie: "sensation of pressure in fingertips; black colour of keyboard; feeling of fullness in belly; maroon colour and shape of boots..."and so on.

Notice what, if any, is different in experience, doing these 2 exercises. Report back.


x H

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Sraddhadharani » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:51 pm

Hi Hare,
thanks for more input re quote function, still not happening tho', your whole post appearing in preview, not just bit I have tried to quote following your directions. It's proving a bit of a papanca generating distraction, so will just have to post without it again.

"Look again, is there in direct experience a separation between seeing and awareness?".........The seeing and awareness of seeing don't feel separate-all part of the experience, hard to articulate. Might look like two separate things when written down, but not in the actual experience.

Yes-"the bit that does something with it" sounds like the beginning of papanca. Yet awareness of that beginning of papanca still feels like part of the experience.

"In DE is there really something at work?.........investigate directly and report back" Not something as an actual thing, maybe 'unmistakable sense of aliveness or presence', which was partly how direct experience was described/presented at the beginning of this process.

OK, onto exercises:

1. I can see screen, hear sound of keys clicking, feel of computer on my lap-weight and slight warmth and I can hear humming noise. I can feel itch on my head, and my hand reaches up to scratch.I feel rasp of nails against skin, then no itch, but still sensation where scratching happened. I can hear whistling of tinnitus in my left ear and sound of front door then living room door closing. I hear sound of old dog huffing and Joe drinking his cup of tea. I can feel the pressure of the contact of my body against the chair and my feet on the floor. I reach for cup of tea and feel weight of it in my hand, heat of actual cup and see steam rising. I take a drink and feel the liquid in my mouth and the taste of tea. I put the cup down. The old dog is pacing about, I feel tension in my belly. I take some breaths, anxiety in my experience. I hear rustling sounds, noise of door closing, sound of paws on lino, then on gravel then sound of gate opening and closing. I can hear sound of traffic on main road and I look at wood burner, then open door of wood burner. I see red embers and feel heat on my face. I reach forward to where I see a pile of logs. I have put a log on the fire now. I hear the sound of log beginning to catch fire. I hear Joe talking to dogs and I see them come into the room. I see Joe bring clothes horse into room. I feel the pressure on my foot from one of the dogs putting his paw there.

2. Sight of computer screen.Weight and warmth on upper legs. Sight of hands moving, pressure on heel of hands resting on top of computer and feel of fingers moving and pressing keys. Sound of keys clicking when pressed. Feeling of pressure in head. Sensation of contact with chair in back/buttocks/thighs and in soles of feet. Sound of old dog whining.Feeling of tension in belly. Experience of anxiety-old dog has knocked over clothes horse. Looking up from screen, seeing of other areas of room. Feeling like too much narrative-just seeing, hearing, sensations in body, some tasting and smelling. Awareness of emotional content of experience, tho not any actual thoughts as such.

In first exercise, seemed to put in a lot of description of what 'I' was doing, what was happening to 'me', started to do this a bit in second exercise too, but then it started to feel extraneous, just experience of sense experience and emotions/thoughts arising/being in awareness then changing. Actual experience of trying to articulate this on computer feels tiring and complicated.

Will leave it there for now.
S'dh X.

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Re: Thread for SD

Postby Hare » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:37 pm

Hi Sraddhadharini!

No worries about the quote function, we seem to be getting on fine.
Feeling like too much narrative-just seeing, hearing, sensations in body, some tasting and smelling. Awareness of emotional content of experience, tho not any actual thoughts as such.
Yes: the whole business of writing down / describing experience requires labeling, narrative etc, which is already a move away from direct experience. Unfortunately we have to use words to communicate...but the actual direct experience is the main thing.
Sound of keys clicking when pressed. Feeling of pressure in head. Sensation of contact with chair in back/buttocks/thighs and in soles of feet.
Is the sound directly experienced as 'keys clicking' ..or a sensation of sound that is interpreted by mind as 'keys' 'clicking''? Is the idea that the pressure / contact is located in the head / back / feet a conceptual addition to the raw data of the senses - the immediate sensation of pressure?
In first exercise, seemed to put in a lot of description of what 'I' was doing, what was happening to 'me', started to do this a bit in second exercise too, but then it started to feel extraneous, just experience of sense experience and emotions/thoughts arising/being in awareness then changing.

Interesting! Nice observing. This shows how our use of language constantly recreates and reinforces the illusion of self...and also that the notion of 'I' is extraneous.

Ok let's continue our explorations.

Watch thoughts arising for a few minutes. Is it possible to SEE, in direct experience (not coming from any idea about how it works) where thoughts come from?

Is there a thinker of the thoughts? Or just thoughts popping up?

Can 'you' decide what thought to have next? Can you decide to have an interesting thought, or a profound thought?

Are there thoughts + 'someone' 'experiencing' them? Or just a seamless awareness of thoughts arising and passing away?

In the course of the day, moving around the house; walking the dogs.. is there experience + 'someone' experiencing it? Or just experience happening?

x H


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