Second time here - guidance needed :)

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JamesM
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Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Thu May 28, 2015 12:01 pm

Hello.

I really don't know what to write here but I'll try.

I experience thought and emotions, but it's not clear what is "I" here. However, there is a vague feeling of self, and thoughts who claim that there has to be "I". Which cannot be found. I am tired of banging my head against a wall. Couple of weeks ago there was a brief moment where "self" or choices I make looked like just a story, nothing real. And the moment went away.

In short: May someone guide me forward. It feels like I am close but so far. If there is no self, why is it so hard to see (and who would even see that... ;)


JamesM

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Thu May 28, 2015 12:33 pm

Hi James,

I'm Tanya and I'd be happy to be your guide :)

Before we begin, there are a few house-keeping rules that need to be gone through, if that's ok. . .

You and I simply have a chat, the aim of which will be for you to make the 'realisation' and shift in perspective that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will 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 of experience can be examined. I am not your 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.

• You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!" Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.
• I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
• In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
• Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong answers.
• Responses are best from Direct Experience (D.E.); the felt senses such as seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching/feeling and observed thoughts - as opposed to memory-thoughts, beliefs, ideas. (Read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)
• Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and streams of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
• Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
• Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
• Please learn to use the quote function, see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660 for instructions.
• If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm you have seen, and agree to the above, and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.
Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:
1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post a reply, here.

2) 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 (word document), then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

And that will be the last loooooong post betwen us!

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find. I know you've already answered some of these. Please forgive any overlap, it is to help you begin to really LOOK, SEE, and UNDERSTAND.

So tell me, what's your gut response when you read this:
There is no self whatsoever, in any shape or form. There never has been, and there never will be.

And please answer theses questions from DIRECT EXPERIENCE only.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


I'll catch you soon, James.

Tanya

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JamesM
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Thu May 28, 2015 7:46 pm

Hello :)
Please confirm you have seen, and agree to the above, and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.
I have read it and agree with it. I would very much like for you to be my guide :)
So tell me, what's your gut response when you read this:
There is no self whatsoever, in any shape or form. There never has been, and there never will be.
Nothing big comes up. Mind goes blank. I notice the emotions of slight sadness and slight joy, but they are subtle emotions.
What are your expectations for this process?
Smile comes to my face and certain thoughts like "This is going to be hard" and "Must not get distracted".
What is it that you are searching for?
Sigh comes as it is a question which I have presented to myself (or to be precise, thought have come up) earlier. To experience freedom, to experience happiness more often, to not be so confused, to have clearness of what I believe - well, "believe" is incorrect word; to have sureness if I exists or not.
How will you know that you found it?
Something would "click", I would experience world differently (or in the same way but my 'viewpoint' would be different) I would experience more emotion of happiness and thoughts would not be so loud.
How will this feel?
Same as previous question, emotion which I label as "happiness" or "freedom" would pop up more.
How will this change you?
Considering that there might not be "I", I don't think that "I" would change at all. Life would go as it is but the perspective would be different.

Be well :)

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Fri May 29, 2015 1:09 am

Hi James :)

Fantastic and thank you! Let's get going then!
I notice the emotions of slight sadness and slight joy, but they are subtle emotions.
Who is this 'I' that notices emotions of sadness and joy? And in direct experience, what is sadness and joy? Labels of sensations? Take a look before they get labelled. What is there, initially?
. . .certain thoughts like "This is going to be hard" and "Must not get distracted".
Do these thoughts belong to anyone? Are they stories? Thought-concepts? If so, who is believing them? Can that person be found in direct experience?
Sigh comes as it is a question which I have presented to myself (or to be precise, thought have come up) earlier. To experience freedom, to experience happiness more often, to not be so confused, to have clearness of what I believe - well, "believe" is incorrect word; to have sureness if I exists or not.
Something would "click", I would experience world differently (or in the same way but my 'viewpoint' would be different) I would experience more emotion of happiness and thoughts would not be so loud.
Nice reasons for wanting to see through the illusion of self, James - but - the things' you want' to experience cannot be guaranteed. It is no more different than the day you woke up knowing Santa Claus didn't exist. :) Did that knowing give you any more freedom or happiness?

Then again, you may well have more freedom, happiness, and not be so confused - but then you may feel the same. There are groups for looking deeper, when you are past the gate, for those kind of things so we need not worry about that just yet. Our job right now is having you KNOW that the self is a concept and always has been.

The reason I am bringing this up now is, often, it is the expectation that people have of no-self or seeing through the illusion that causes the difficulty to actually 'get it'! It did me too :) The rest will come in time, once real knowing/seeing has happened.
Considering that there might not be "I", I don't think that "I" would change at all. Life would go as it is but the perspective would be different.
You got it! Yes, perspective changes.

OK? So, again, don't make this hard for yourself by forcing any of this to happen. Just use direct experience and tell me what shows up from the questions above.

Catch you soon :)

Tanya

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JamesM
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Fri May 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Hi Tanya!
Who is this 'I' that notices emotions of sadness and joy? And in direct experience, what is sadness and joy? Labels of sensations? Take a look before they get labelled. What is there, initially?
I cannot find "I" that notices these emotions. First the emotion comes, then the emotion gets labelled as something by thoughts and so the "I" is introduced into the picture. For example, there comes a physical feeling (slight pressure in forehead, wetness in eyes) and next comes the thought "I feel sadness". The labeling of feelings happens very quickly. Before the labels, there is just the emotion/feeling without interpretation.
Do these thoughts belong to anyone? Are they stories? Thought-concepts? If so, who is believing them? Can that person be found in direct experience?
No, these thoughts don't belong to anyone. They just come. And they are stories. But I cannot find anyone who is believing in them, they are just recurring thoughts.
Nice reasons for wanting to see through the illusion of self, James - but - the things' you want' to experience cannot be guaranteed. It is no more different than the day you woke up knowing Santa Claus didn't exist. :) Did that knowing give you any more freedom or happiness?
Well.. not really :) Still it was better to know that than remain in belief.

Have a nice Friday!

James

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Fri May 29, 2015 6:49 pm

Hi James :)
I cannot find "I" that notices these emotions. First the emotion comes, then the emotion gets labelled as something by thoughts and so the "I" is introduced into the picture. For example, there comes a physical feeling (slight pressure in forehead, wetness in eyes) and next comes the thought "I feel sadness". The labeling of feelings happens very quickly. Before the labels, there is just the emotion/feeling without interpretation.
So, are you saying you cannot find an 'I'? Does that mean if you cannot find 'I' it must not exist?
Can you tell me how you think, feel or experience the 'self', 'I' or ‘me’' now?
No, these thoughts don't belong to anyone. They just come. And they are stories. But I cannot find anyone who is believing in them, they are just recurring thoughts.
That's right! So, Let’s have a deeper look at thoughts. Sit for and investigate these
questions, and don't rush them:

Where do thoughts come from?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
What do you find that is generating thoughts?
What is it that thinks?
Is there a thinker of thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?

From your first post . . .
I experience thought and emotions, but it's not clear what is "I" here. However, there is a vague feeling of self, and thoughts who claim that there has to be "I". Which cannot be found. I am tired of banging my head against a wall. Couple of weeks ago there was a brief moment where "self" or choices I make looked like just a story, nothing real. And the moment went away.
Are you any clearer now on what 'I' is? Describe it to me. What made the brief moment of 'seeing' go away?

Lots of questions, James and a longer than expected post. :) Just take your time and answer each one fully, and with as much bare reality of the experience as you can. The key is to use just the senses from direct experience, OK? As soon as thought-stories or thought content hijack it, notice and reapply your focus on the simplicity of what is actually there because THAT is IT.

Oh, and no more banging your head on walls! :) You are closer than you think. Just examine your beliefs of what no self is, and your expectations. Tell me if any of them seem get in the way here.

Catch you soon,

Tanya

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JamesM
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Sat May 30, 2015 5:57 pm

Hello :)
So, are you saying you cannot find an 'I'? Does that mean if you cannot find 'I' it must not exist?
Can you tell me how you think, feel or experience the 'self', 'I' or ‘me’' now?
Yes, I cannot locate the "I" directly. It's difficult to say/pinpoint how I experience it.. thoughts like "Of course I exist" and "If "I" am not experiencing, feeling, thinking, then who?" come, but they are thoughts. So "I" is a thought?

At the same time there only seems to be thoughts and emotions, but at the same time there is a lurking feeling/thought that "I" must be somewhere.
Where do thoughts come from?
I have no idea where thoughts come from. They just pop up.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
This is tricky. With "normal" thoughts no, this is not possible. With sentences this seem to be possible, eg. "I" decide that I will stop some sentence in the middle. So instead of thinking of sentence "Today is beautiful day" I think "Today is" and stop there.

However, looking at it in different perspective, "I will stop next sentence in the middle" is a thought.
"Today is" is also a thought. So am I stopping any thought or are they individual thoughts?

Hopefully I am explaining this clearly.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Cannot predict.
What do you find that is generating thoughts?
I don't find anything.
What is it that thinks?
I don't know :/
Is there a thinker of thoughts?
I can find a thought, but not a thinker.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
I can find a thought, but not a thinker.
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
I can not find an owner. I can only say that they appear.
Are you any clearer now on what 'I' is? Describe it to me. What made the brief moment of 'seeing' go away?
I have lots of theories what "I" is, but in direct experience... It's hard to pinpoint, it's just a thought/feeling that "I" exists, that "I" can decide things.

On that brief moment there was a realization that everything was happening effortlessly and no "I" was
making any effort. I don't know why the "feeling" went away. Maybe it was just a thought?

I am sorry that my answers are little short/vague, sometimes there seem to be clarity, sometimes not.

James

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Sat May 30, 2015 7:03 pm

Hey James,

Well done on the answers in your last email. Some good stuff there.
Yes, I cannot locate the "I" directly. It's difficult to say/pinpoint how I experience it.. thoughts like "Of course I exist" and "If "I" am not experiencing, feeling, thinking, then who?" come, but they are thoughts. So "I" is a thought?
Yes, 'I' 'self' 'me' is thought-content :) That is all self can and ever will be. But don't take my word for it, experience it for yourself. What pops up or in to say it is something else? Another thought-story perhaps?
At the same time there only seems to be thoughts and emotions, but at the same time there is a lurking feeling/thought that "I" must be somewhere.
Yes, there are only thoughts, but what exactly are emotions? When you break them down into DE what are they? What aspects of DE do they contain? Check to find if this 'I' is lurking 'somewhere'. Remember we now know what 'I' actually is :)
"I" decide that I will stop some sentence in the middle. So instead of thinking of sentence "Today is beautiful day" I think "Today is" and stop there.
Do 'you' actually decide? Or does something else, just before the 'you' pops up, make the decision or choice? Take a look at this very closely. You may be surprised to discover something here. Remember you have already seen that self/I/me is a story in a thought, so can thoughts actually make decisions? Or do they just describe experience? See if you can spot that for yourself.
I have lots of theories what "I" is, but in direct experience... It's hard to pinpoint, it's just a thought/feeling that "I" exists, that "I" can decide things.

On that brief moment there was a realization that everything was happening effortlessly and no "I" was
making any effort. I don't know why the "feeling" went away. Maybe it was just a thought?
Theories are just thought-content aren't they? They are just stories that we often don't put to the test, scrutinize, but assume it must be so.
Again, do 'you' decide anything? Where is the 'I' that exist to decide things? Above you ask if 'I' is thought, and now we know that truth, so take a look and see what it is that actually decides.
I am sorry that my answers are little short/vague, sometimes there seem to be clarity, sometimes not.
:) You're doing great James, but there will be frustration and doubt. Sometimes anger and resentment can surface too. Again, this is normal. That is part of this journey for many of us - me included - to this shift in perspective to understanding/seeing this illusion of self - and now you know it is just a thought. Now check how that feels. What pops up from that now?

I hope you don't mind, but I took a quick read over your other guiding thread with Paulo. Your answers back then were great - so what was it that got in the way? Belief? Thought? Doubt? The reason I keep going back over the pointer to checking expectations is because that seems to be the number one stumbling block.

Some people crash the gate and it is so apparent that it changes things almost immediately. Others, it is more of a descending crescendo of Oh's :) Me? I kinda tripped over the step into the gate in a very 'Oh OK. That's is then?' Its just a moment were a very simple penny will drop.

Catch you soon, and hope you're enjoying your weekend. :)

Tanya

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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Sun May 31, 2015 5:36 pm

Hello Tanya!
What pops up or in to say it is something else? Another thought-story perhaps?
Exactly, another thought :) If "I" say "Self, so yourself!" all that pops up are thoughts.
what exactly are emotions? When you break them down into DE what are they? What aspects of DE do they contain? Check to find if this 'I' is lurking 'somewhere'.
In DE emotions are sensations (tactile feelings). Interestingly enough, it seems that thought or some kind of awareness is always present as well when feeling is noticed. It doesn't seem to be part of the feeling. It seems to be impossible to have feelings/emotions if they are not noticed.
Do 'you' actually decide? Or does something else, just before the 'you' pops up, make the decision or choice? Take a look at this very closely. You may be surprised to discover something here. Remember you have already seen that self/I/me is a story in a thought, so can thoughts actually make decisions? Or do they just describe experience? See if you can spot that for yourself.
Hmm. It's hard to say at which point thought comes to this. There are some actions which are just carried out and then later noticed that "I" did something, eg. I change my chair position and then notice that I just changed it without any decision to change it. Then there are some actions where a thought pops to mind (Hey, I should open the window) and I start to open it when it dawns that "I" didn't decide anything, a thought came and I followed it automatically, without "I".

Then there are decision like "Should I buy apple juice or orange juice" where it's tricky.. somehow just one of them are chosen.
do 'you' decide anything? Where is the 'I' that exist to decide things?
"I" is in the thought. I don't know how decisions happen precisely.
Now check how that feels. What pops up from that now?
Positive feeling pops up :D
so what was it that got in the way? Belief? Thought? Doubt?
Banging my head on wall got on the way :) I think I was trying to somehow remove every feeling or thought of "I" or "I-ness" which was never going to work of course. And if you compare living "normally" without thinking of these questions versus trying to shave your beard bombarding yourself with the thoughts "How do I experience "self" now?" or "What is I?" it's clear that in latter case you get discouraged soon.

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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Sun May 31, 2015 7:16 pm

Hey James :)

Great answers. How are you feeling about this now? Beginning to see/understand/know clearer?
Something to chew on . . .we can never see a 'nothing', but we can see 'through' something . Trying to see no-self is impossible, but seeing through the illusion of a self is the key - and when we see through it, we can then see/understand direct experience clearer.
Exactly, another thought :) If "I" say "Self, so yourself!" all that pops up are thoughts.
Precisely. Thoughts are a part of DE; it is the thought content or stories inside the thoughts that are illusion. We can have self-referential thinking like 'I' did this, 'I' did that, or thoughts about the direct experience of right here, right now, like colour or shape. Can you now see that clearly?
In DE emotions are sensations (tactile feelings). Interestingly enough, it seems that thought or some kind of awareness is always present as well when feeling is noticed. It doesn't seem to be part of the feeling. It seems to be impossible to have feelings/emotions if they are not noticed.
Yes, there are tactile feelings involved in the process of emotions, but look a little deeper here. Is a feeling just a tactile and/or kinaesthetic feeling until thought labels this feeling and turns it into an emotion? Take a deeper look at this.
Hmm. It's hard to say at which point thought comes to this. There are some actions which are just carried out and then later noticed that "I" did something, eg. I change my chair position and then notice that I just changed it without any decision to change it. Then there are some actions where a thought pops to mind (Hey, I should open the window) and I start to open it when it dawns that "I" didn't decide anything, a thought came and I followed it automatically, without "I".
OK - so we are getting much clearer about self/me/I being a mere thought story - so now let's look at actions, decisions and choice. Everything you have noticed above is correct, but there is something happening just before 'I' takes ownership of the doing . . .So again, take a deeper look here. 'What' or 'who' does the deciding to change the chair position? Or is it happening and mind pops in to own it by labelling it?

For example, I am sitting in a chair. Turn that into direct experience. Remove the 'I am' from that sentence and look and notice what actually happens. How does that feel?
"I" is in the thought. I don't know how decisions happen precisely.
OK, Self is a thought concept, so everything else must be . . . .? Direct Experience? Life? So, look again, how do decisions happen? If self is a thought, can thoughts be in control? Can they decide? Or does it just describe the experience a nano-second after the event?
Banging my head on wall got on the way :) I think I was trying to somehow remove every feeling or thought of "I" or "I-ness" which was never going to work of course. And if you compare living "normally" without thinking of these questions versus trying to shave your beard bombarding yourself with the thoughts "How do I experience "self" now?" or "What is I?" it's clear that in latter case you get discouraged soon.
:) No more head-banging! Yes, you now see that trying to remove 'I' from every thought can be frustrating. But life is lived far more comfortably when it is accepted AS it IS. There is never a time when life isn't what it already is. Life just lifes . . . :)

Catch you soon,

Tanya

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JamesM
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:15 pm

Hello Tanya :)
Great answers. How are you feeling about this now? Beginning to see/understand/know clearer?
Something to chew on . . .we can never see a 'nothing', but we can see 'through' something . Trying to see no-self is impossible, but seeing through the illusion of a self is the key - and when we see through it, we can then see/understand direct experience clearer.
On the other hand, yes, things are clearer than last time. On the other hand, I fear that soon things will get trickier but we'll see :) Maybe I am indeed trying to see no-self and that is one thing causing "problems".
Precisely. Thoughts are a part of DE; it is the thought content or stories inside the thoughts that are illusion. We can have self-referential thinking like 'I' did this, 'I' did that, or thoughts about the direct experience of right here, right now, like colour or shape. Can you now see that clearly?
Yes, most "I" thoughts I have are self-referentials. Sometime this leads to problems as I got indulged in the stories. Or when any thought comes, then comes the thought "Hey, did I produce that thought?" and "No, I didn't" "But I didn't produce that also" "Or that" "Or that" and the loop goes on forever.
Yes, there are tactile feelings involved in the process of emotions, but look a little deeper here. Is a feeling just a tactile and/or kinaesthetic feeling until thought labels this feeling and turns it into an emotion? Take a deeper look at this.
Yes, I meant that feelings are just tactile, there is no feeling of "happiness" or "sadness", they are just feelings until thought labels them as something else.
OK - so we are getting much clearer about self/me/I being a mere thought story - so now let's look at actions, decisions and choice. Everything you have noticed above is correct, but there is something happening just before 'I' takes ownership of the doing . . .So again, take a deeper look here. 'What' or 'who' does the deciding to change the chair position? Or is it happening and mind pops in to own it by labelling it?
Most of the actions are made unconsciously without even noticing they happen, so there is no decider. Afterwards if "you" notice that action happened, the mind/thought pops in to say "I did it". Which it didn't.
For example, I am sitting in a chair. Turn that into direct experience. Remove the 'I am' from that sentence and look and notice what actually happens. How does that feel?
Then there is just sitting on chair (of course "sitting" and "chair" are also just words, in fact there is just feeling on certain parts of body). It doesn't different from "I am sitting on chair", well, maybe it feels somehow more "lighter" now when "I" is not entangled in it.
OK, Self is a thought concept, so everything else must be . . . .? Direct Experience? Life? So, look again, how do decisions happen? If self is a thought, can thoughts be in control? Can they decide? Or does it just describe the experience a nano-second after the event?
Hmm, yes, life. I cannot find an "I" that decides the next thought. But I can not say which one comes first, it feels like the thought and action happen at the same time eg. "I shuld close the window" thought comes at the same time when hand starts to reach to window.
:) No more head-banging! Yes, you now see that trying to remove 'I' from every thought can be frustrating. But life is lived far more comfortably when it is accepted AS it IS. There is never a time when life isn't what it already is. Life just lifes . . . :)
Yes, at the moment I try to find an experiencer but only found experience happening but I don't know how to "proceed" from there. But I don't even know if any "effort" can help seeing through this or if I am "doing" the "right" thing as as Paulo pointed out "You won't get through this process by thinking ABOUT what's happening. What you need to do is actually LOOK." But it's quite ok, there is no hurry :)

Thanks for the guidance so far,

James

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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:13 pm

Hey James :)
On the other hand, yes, things are clearer than last time. On the other hand, I fear that soon things will get trickier but we'll see :) Maybe I am indeed trying to see no-self and that is one thing causing "problems".
I'm glad things are clearer for you, but what do you fear will become trickier?

If I said you have to SEE the Invisible man, would you expect yourself to see him? :) Same thing here. You will never see 'no-self'. What LU points towards is understanding that self is an illusion wrapped in self-referential thoughts, as you are now aware.
Yes, most "I" thoughts I have are self-referentials. Sometime this leads to problems as I got indulged in the stories. Or when any thought comes, then comes the thought "Hey, did I produce that thought?" and "No, I didn't" "But I didn't produce that also" "Or that" "Or that" and the loop goes on forever.
ALL 'I' thoughts are self-referential. Look at how the self claims ownership of things. 'I' am going to take a bath. 'I' am going outside. If you take the 'I am' off those sentences, then you are closer to the Direct Experience of Life. Try it out; write a list of things you are currently doing. For example, 'I' am reading the screen of this computer - or, 'I' am sitting in a chair. Make the list and then take away all claims of self, all 'I' from the sentences and notice how you feel. Which feels more real? The sentences with 'I' in them, or the latter ones with just the 'actual' experience without ownership. Share what you notice.

Also, check who/what is noticing these thoughts now :) What do you find?

Yes, I meant that feelings are just tactile, there is no feeling of "happiness" or "sadness", they are just feelings until thought labels them as something else.
Excellent! That's right! All sensation is just that - a movement, if you like, until the mind comes in to describe it, and self comes in to own it. Neither can be found in direct experience, can they?
Most of the actions are made unconsciously without even noticing they happen, so there is no decider. Afterwards if "you" notice that action happened, the mind/thought pops in to say "I did it". Which it didn't.
Perfect! :)
Then there is just sitting on chair (of course "sitting" and "chair" are also just words, in fact there is just feeling on certain parts of body). It doesn't different from "I am sitting on chair", well, maybe it feels somehow more "lighter" now when "I" is not entangled in it.
That's right! Just more labels. There is only seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling (touch and kinaesthetic), thought AND awareness which can feel like energy running through your body. The above exercise (removing I am) will really show the movement of reality - just the happening, the doing, the being of it all.

Hmm, yes, life. I cannot find an "I" that decides the next thought. But I can not say which one comes first, it feels like the thought and action happen at the same time eg. "I shuld close the window" thought comes at the same time when hand starts to reach to window.
Thought and action happens together. There is no first or second. It just IS. Life rises and falls with a never-ending movement and there is nothing outside of Life. It is all happening right here, right now :) Take a closer look, investigate deeper, into this. Notice if there is anything in the way here? Doubt? Thoughts of, 'It can't be that simple.' Check.
Yes, at the moment I try to find an experiencer but only found experience happening but I don't know how to "proceed" from there. But I don't even know if any "effort" can help seeing through this or if I am "doing" the "right" thing as as Paulo pointed out "You won't get through this process by thinking ABOUT what's happening. What you need to do is actually LOOK." But it's quite ok, there is no hurry :)
Who needs to hurry? Why? :) Why is there a need to proceed? To where? Is this the 'thought of you = self' trying to make something happen? Is this 'you' needing it to be something more/different than it already is? Believe it or not, you have already seen the reality of life, direct experience, whatever you want to call it, but you doubt it. :) I did too, to begin with. That is because I wanted it to be something more than it is, or different than it is. Check this and be honest with yourself, James.

What do you expect to 'see'?


I will be away from Wednesday till Monday, and the Wifi in the area is patchy at best. I will try and keep in touch with you, but you can also take a break for a few days and let this settle in, if you'd prefer?. I found that most helpful, to let it all sink in and find its own level. Let me know . . .

Catch you tomorrow, regardless. :)

Tanya

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JamesM
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby JamesM » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:30 pm

Hi Tanya!
I'm glad things are clearer for you, but what do you fear will become trickier?
Well, it's not difficult to conceptually understand "no-self" but it's this realization of it that thought says might be tricky. And yes, that thought is a story and not real but anyway.
ALL 'I' thoughts are self-referential. Look at how the self claims ownership of things. 'I' am going to take a bath. 'I' am going outside. If you take the 'I am' off those sentences, then you are closer to the Direct Experience of Life. Try it out; write a list of things you are currently doing. For example, 'I' am reading the screen of this computer - or, 'I' am sitting in a chair. Make the list and then take away all claims of self, all 'I' from the sentences and notice how you feel. Which feels more real? The sentences with 'I' in them, or the latter ones with just the 'actual' experience without ownership. Share what you notice.


Yes, it feels more real to not have "I" on the sentences. Writing with "I" on the sentence makes me wonder what "I" is doing there. For example "I listen to sounds" doesn't make sense, what "I"?

Also, check who/what is noticing these thoughts now :) What do you find?
The thoughts are noticed, I cannot say that there is someone noticing them.
Excellent! That's right! All sensation is just that - a movement, if you like, until the mind comes in to describe it, and self comes in to own it. Neither can be found in direct experience, can they?
No.
Thought and action happens together. There is no first or second. It just IS. Life rises and falls with a never-ending movement and there is nothing outside of Life. It is all happening right here, right now :) Take a closer look, investigate deeper, into this. Notice if there is anything in the way here? Doubt? Thoughts of, 'It can't be that simple.' Check.
There is clearly some doubt in the sense that it's hard to "accept" that everything is happening automatically. I don't find an "I" doing things but seeing them happen by their own feels confusing.
Who needs to hurry? Why? :)Why is there a need to proceed? To where? Is this the 'thought of you = self' trying to make something happen? Is this 'you' needing it to be something more/different than it already is? Believe it or not, you have already seen the reality of life, direct experience, whatever you want to call it, but you doubt it. :) I did too, to begin with. That is because I wanted it to be something more than it is, or different than it is. Check this and be honest with yourself, James.

What do you expect to 'see'?
Yes, thought is trying to make something happen. I checked expectations and there was something: There is the expectation of "seeing things happening by their own without self and thus "realizing" that there is no-self". So clearly there is some expectation that didn't come up when you asked it in the beginning.
I will be away from Wednesday till Monday, and the Wifi in the area is patchy at best. I will try and keep in touch with you, but you can also take a break for a few days and let this settle in, if you'd prefer?. I found that most helpful, to let it all sink in and find its own level. Let me know . . .
Hmm, I don't feel like there has been anything too life-shattering yet ;) so can you maybe give me some practice or something to read/watch meanwhile :)

Thanks,

James

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:37 pm

Hello James! :)
Well, it's not difficult to conceptually understand "no-self" but it's this realization of it that thought says might be tricky. And yes, that thought is a story and not real but anyway.
Doing anything conceptually suggests there is thought there, doesn't it? Thought will never find its way through the illusion of self, because it IS the illusion :) Kind of like trying to see your own eyeball with the same eye :)
So, can you notice that 'thought' is saying this is going to get tricky? Can thought make decisions like this? Investigate what thought actually is. Remember what you have already proved to yourself here. Thought content are stories, and stories don't decide for themselves, or control the outcome. There might be a story about controlling the outcome, but does the mere thought actual do that?
Yes, it feels more real to not have "I" on the sentences. Writing with "I" on the sentence makes me wonder what "I" is doing there. For example "I listen to sounds" doesn't make sense, what "I"?
Keep doing this exercise and keep on proving it to yourself.
The thoughts are noticed, I cannot say that there is someone noticing them.
So how can they be noticed if there is nothing to notice them? What might that be? If not self, me, I, then what is noticing?
There is clearly some doubt in the sense that it's hard to "accept" that everything is happening automatically. I don't find an "I" doing things but seeing them happen by their own feels confusing.
Wonderful looking James! Yes, it is confusing because you have spent your entire life living within the illusion of the self. When change occurs it is always followed by confusion, frustration, anger even. Sit and figure out why you think it is hard to 'accept' everything happens automatically. What do you find?
Yes, thought is trying to make something happen. I checked expectations and there was something: There is the expectation of "seeing things happening by their own without self and thus "realizing" that there is no-self". So clearly there is some expectation that didn't come up when you asked it in the beginning.
Fantastic! Expectations often begin to show themselves the deeper we look. This is good, and shows what is in the way of you accepting that this - right here, right now - Life - Experience, whatever you want to call it - IS ALL THAT IS.

Let us just take another look at what thought is and the self is though. Thought is a part of direct experience, that will never change. Self, Me, I is within the thought. We say that is self referential thinking, or thought-concept or just stories. If it not in direct experience then it is in a story, virtual reality, if you like :) Sit with this until it really becomes known.
Hmm, I don't feel like there has been anything too life-shattering yet ;) so can you maybe give me some practice or something to read/watch meanwhile :)
And what will happen if there is never an earth shattering moment? :) Will you accept that you have seen it? It is the most simple thing to do James, but I understand it is a little harder to accept, and that is because it feels too easy. When you get this you will absolutely slap your forehead and laugh! You see this perspective every single day.

Try this exercise; just remove all traces of self, me, I out of this very moment and just be 'aware' of what is happening. Do it over and over throughout your day, then answer these questions, without thought, actually get the answer from the experience of the doing of the exercise. Write down what you notice. Then push further to see if there is any assumptions left:

Is 'I' trying to control this moment?
Is 'I' trying to think it is itself directing this moment?
Is 'I' trying to claim ownership of the doing of what is happening in this moment?
Is 'I' taking responsibility for anything that is happening in this moment?


When you hit on a yes, take a step back and observe if there really is a self there - really look at the block; is it a thought story? A fear? Doubt? Can't believe it is just this simple?. Keep on doing this exercise until you feel something click for you :)

Have you read The Gateless Gatecrashers book from the LU forum? If not, then it is helpful too. I would not advise you getting into any other way of investigating just yet, only because everyone has a different way of getting there and trying to follow too many paths can mess the whole thing up. Like trying to drive down two different roads at the same time :)

I would also read this thread from the beginning and make notes on anything you have not fully understood. We can go over this as many times as is needed. I'm here with you until you absolutely 'get' this! :)

So you now have some time to sit and let this settle into a deeper understanding. There are exercises scattered amongst this post, so don't rush them - you have a good couple of days to really dig deep, investigate, push beyond your barriers, and let yourself challenge the beliefs that are holding you back. By all means, post any and everything that is important for you and I will read it when I'm back in the land of Wi-fi!

I will catch you on Monday, James :)

Tanya

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Tanya-D
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Re: Second time here - guidance needed :)

Postby Tanya-D » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:48 pm

Hi James,

How are things going?

Tanya


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