REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

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parasa
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REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:43 pm

I've practiced meditation for about 10 years and had an interest in Buddhism for about 5 years. I find the concept of no separate self very appealing but it isn't something I really feel. I would like to change that.

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:06 pm

Hi,

Is it OK to call you Parasa or do you prefer something else?

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed (LU) and if you wish I'd be happy to guide you.

Before we get started, a few points…

… about the process:
1. Could you please confirm that you agree with the Disclaimer on the home page of the LU site?
2. Let's aim to write once a day if possible, even if it's short. It is a good way to keep up the momentum. I've guided people as far as Australia and NZ so I'm used to time lag (I'm in France at the mo').
3. Responses require utmost honesty.
4. Responses are best formulated from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). If you are unfamiliar with Direct Experience please let me know.
5. You are ready and willing to look at and challenge any fixed view, any taboo that's currently held. That's any, no exceptions.

… about posting:
1. You might want to familiarise yourself with the useful 'Quote' function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ote#p12593.
2. Another trick is to write your post in your favourite word processor, then copy & paste it into the editor on the LU forum, then format it as you wish. That way you won't lose your work half-way through (which can happen if there is a hiccup with the Internet connection...)
3. Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in.

Sooooo. Now the formalities have been seen to, let's start shall we.

In the response to this first post could you please say a little more about what brings you here, and most particularly what you think/hope/expect could come out of this process, if successful?

Looking forward to working with you!

Cheers
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:55 am

Hi Dridhamati

Thanks for being my guide and for the advice. Much appreciated.

Don’t call me anything. Save typing! Just use ’P’ if that’s a problem.

Re points:-
1. Disclaimer agreed.
2. Agreed subject to technology but I’m on holiday in a month’s time (France ironically) and I may not have internet access there. Is that O.K.?
3. Agreed.
4. I am unfamiliar with Direct Experience.
5. I’m ready and willing but only time will tell if I am able!

When I started meditating I thought of it as a form of self-development. Over time I have realised that it’s the complete opposite - ‘non- self’ development. As I said previously the concept of self is a fascinating one. Much as I understand the arguments about the self being a delusion that is not the way it actually feels which is something very real. Losing the attachment to self seems to the Holy Grail for Buddhists and anything that helps to facilitate the process is very appealing.
At worst I expect an interesting, thought provoking and challenging process which, at least furthers an intellectual understanding of the delusion of self.
At best this would translate into a fundamental belief which became a liberating (hard to avoid the word) event enabling me to be more open, connected with the world and a more compassionate, happier person. It would also help me to come to terms with adversity,especially death as with no ‘self’ there can be no death.

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:33 pm

Hi P,
Thanks for being my guide and for the advice. Much appreciated.
Welcome.
Don’t call me anything. Save typing! Just use ’P’ if that’s a problem.
OK. I'll use P when necessary.
Re points: …
Thank you for agreeing. And a month allows for plenty of time.

Thanks for the added information.
This dialogue isn't a debate, it is a path of discovery. There is no exchange of views, ideas, beliefs, etc, and certainly no teaching, but rather an invitation to intimately observe what comes into contact with the senses: that is experience.
So let's shelve these views and expectations and come back to them later if still necessary.

You tell me you're unfamiliar with direct experience, so why not start with this.
This podcast is worth listening: http://liberationunleashed.com/LU_Audio ... n%2004.mp3
And just because an exercise is worth a thousand words, here is the first exercise:
- clear up a surface from all objects (tabletop for example),
- place a mug in the middle of the tabletop,
- sit and look at the mug.
Question: what is experienced in the field of vision? In other words, what is seen?

Please only post back the raw experiences observed through the visual field.

All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:10 pm

hi Dridhamati

Thanks for the clarification but the podcast was thought provoking nevertheless.

exercise:-
Cup
Shadow
Table top
Chairs
Doors
Light switch
Painting
Floor
Kitchen units
Spectacle frames
Lower body
Nose

Is this what you wanted?

P

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:43 pm

Hi P,
Cup
Shadow
Table top
Chairs
Doors
Light switch
Painting
Floor
Kitchen units
Spectacle frames
Lower body
Nose
Good start.
Questions:
- Would you agree that each of these words is a commonly agreed upon label, used to point to a specific object?
- Now, are these words the actual raw experience?
- So, keeping to the cup, if the label 'cup' wasn't available how would the raw experience be described?


All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:36 am

Hi Dridhamati

I agree the words are labels and not the raw experience but I would struggle to describe the raw experience and if I could it would be using more words/labels. It was just sitting and looking with the usual fairly random thought pattern.

Sorry if this seems a bit inadequate but I don't know what else to say.

P

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:07 am

Hi P,

That’s OK, no need to apologise. :-)
I agree the words are labels and not the raw experience but I would struggle to describe the raw experience and if I could it would be using more words/labels.
Indeed labels have to be used (and are very useful) if we are to communicate.
However the idea of direct experience is to use the most ‘basic’ labels, labels involving the least amount of ‘high-level thinking’, so to speak.
An example: the use of ‘object’ rather than ‘cup’. And then further simplifying ‘object’ until using the most basic label, without which this communication is not possible.
It was just sitting and looking with the usual fairly random thought pattern.
And this is exactly in the right direction.
Observation revealed: sitting, looking, thinking.
Good work.

Now, slowly moving the focus from one object to another. Each time a new object comes into focus: look at the object and observe what happens with the mind.
Question: can you see a common mind activity, occurring each time a new object comes into the field of vision?

All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:49 am

Hi Dridhamati

I label/ classify it for adding to the list.

P

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:00 pm

Hi P,
I label/ classify it for adding to the list.
That’s also the experience here. Thanks.
Now, observing attentively:
Does this ‘labelling/classifying’ happen immediately, as soon as an object enters the field of vision?
Or:
Is there a gap first, a instant where mind hasn’t yet labelled what is seen?

All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:42 pm

Hi Dridhamati

A gap, albeit very brief.

P

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:05 pm

Hi P,
A gap, albeit very brief.
Well observed.

Well, direct experience is basically what is perceived in that gap. It’s the raw experience, unmediated by the mind.
And the purpose of the ‘cup’ exercise is to draw the attention to this gap, and to the subsequent interpretation, conceptualisation, labelling, story-making, etc, and learn to discern between these two processes.

So, try again the 'cup' exercise.
Question: what is experienced in the field of vision?

And also try this one:
- put some music on (radio, CD player), not headset.
- sit down comfortably and close the eyes.
Question: what is experienced in the field of hearing?

The idea is to answer from the gap, so to speak, from the perspective of raw, unmediated -direct- experience. To answer with the least conceptualised descriptors.

Great work P.

All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:55 am

Hi Dridhamati

Cup exercise:- seeing and labelling.

Music:-just hearing, a more direct experience.

P

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dridhamati
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby dridhamati » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:45 am

Hi P,
Cup exercise:- seeing and labelling.
Music:-just hearing, a more direct experience.
Well observed P. Thanks.

So when mediation (labels, concepts, story-making, etc) is left aside, all that is left is experience: the experience of ‘seeing’, of ‘hearing’, and so on.

And, as you mention with the cup exercise, there is an experience of ‘labelling’. This labelling is the activity of mind (the 6th sense).

This observing of direct experience can be done with all 6 senses. It’s easier with the 5 physical senses, so please practice at leisure with scanning the senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting.
Then with mind, observe thoughts appear, each containing a story: I see a cup, I hear music, I feel the chair on which I sit, etc... Let the thought go naturally, simply observe.

And now for the questions. Coming back to the ‘cup’ and the ‘music’, when observing in direct experience:
- Where is the ‘cup’?
- Where is the ‘music’?

And:
- Do these (‘cup’ or ‘music’) actually exist? That is, does either possess an absolute inherent existence, a unique separate quality -’cup-ness’ or ‘music-ness’ that can be observed?

All the best
Dridhamati

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parasa
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Re: REQUEST FOR A GUIDE

Postby parasa » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:12 am

Hi Dridhamati

The cup and music only exist in my mind. If that is the case the answer to the second question must be 'no'.

P


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