A guide request

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wigglyfish
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A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:43 am

Hello.

I have read that there is no seperate self, that there is no subject/object relationship.
May I request a guide help turn this belief into knowledge?

Thankyou,

Andrew

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:46 pm

Hi Andrew,

I can help you out, but first please confirm that you've read the LU disclaimer. I can point you to it if you haven't seen it already.

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:39 pm

Hello ES,

Thankyou for your time.
I confirm that I have read the disclaimer and agree to the terms. I'm ready to go when you are.

Andrew

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:41 pm

Please tell me a little bit about what brought you here. Also, what do you expect from this process?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:16 pm

Hi.

In a nutshell, I have spent the last decade or so pondering the big questions - who am I, what am I, where did I come from, etc. I have read a great deal of books concerning these topics - especially buddhism and meditation. I have never committed to any meditation practice because quite franky I found it a bit boring. When I did try to meditate I spent most of the time sitting wondering why I was doing it and what was supposed to happen.

A few months ago I listened to Paul Hedderman talking and it struck a chord, because his message was that liberation was attainable, without needing to sit in noble silence for decades. In turn this led me to read the works of Douglas Harding, Goran Buckland, and lately Gateless Gatecrashers. These teachings seem fresh and clear to me - not vague: There is no seperate self.

So after spending nearly a decade of intellectualizing and theorizing about liberation and enlightenment through insight and jhana, etc it was a relief to hear what these folks had to say.

Which brings me here. I think I'm ready to put the rubber to the road, so to speak.

I'm not sure what to expect from the process. I am here because I read about others who have 'seen' no-self and in honesty I wan't to see it/its absence for myself. I understand language is a bit tricky on this topic, but I really want it. Ultimately I would like to be free from the bondage of self-referrential thought.

Either way I am fully committed to the process.

Thanks,

A

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:31 pm

Great, sounds like you're really ready to do this. All those others have probably gotten you nicely "softened up" for this inquiry ;)

Here's a first exercise: Take a small piece of food, like a raisin. Don't eat it right away, but instead close your eyes and imagine eating it. Visualize what it looks like, then imagine its taste and texture in your mouth, and what it would be like to swallow it. Then open your eyes and actually eat the food.

Do you notice the difference between thinking about and imagining eating the food, and actually doing it?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:06 am

Hello.

I tried the exercise. I didn't have any raisins, so a few sultana's had to suffice - same sort of thing!
I made a few observations.

1) In my experience, the thinking and imagining part was rather vague (whispy like a daydream) in contrast with the actually feeling, smelling, tasting, etc (I will call this the actual experience). For example, I found it very hard to recreate the coolness or the after taste of the sultana, unlike the actual experience.

2) The actual experince was more 'real' / visceral. It engaged multiple senses - unlike the imaginary experience where I tended to isolate one sense at a time. I can also squash the sultana to a pulp, and then resurrect it in my imagination, although I can't do this in actual experience.

3) The actual experience required no effort. I had to actively imagine the sultana, unlike the actual experience whereby I can see, smell, taste, feel the sultana with absolutely no effort on my part.

Is this heading in the right direction?

Thankyou,

A

P.S. Will check in tomorrow at lunch or dinner time (Greenwich Mean Time) and I 'l try your experiment with some other food items.

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:52 am

That's excellent- you're seeing the point of this exercise quite well! There is experience (direct experience, actual experience), and there are thoughts. In this investigation, you always want to look to -experience-, not to thinking. This isn't something you figure out.

Here's another exercise: Close your eyes and imagine that you are holding a melon in your hands. Visualize the melon, feel its texture and weight. Then open your eyes. Did the melon go away? Or was it never there in the first place?

"Self" is like that melon. It's not something we're trying to make go away. It was never there in the first place.
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:00 pm

Yes I understand the analogy of the melon and the self.
Does this mean that the self is essentially a thought? If so, it seems to have a life of its own.
This begs the question - why does 'the self' seem so real? It really feels that there is a solid 'me' in here.

To clarify, is thought not part of direct experience - direct experience only concerns body senses?

Thankyou.

A

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:13 pm

Thoughts are part of direct experience - as thoughts. The thought of the melon is real. What isn't there is what thoughts imagine. If you're in a desert, you can imagine as much water as you want, but you can't drink it.

Does this make sense?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:49 pm

Ah ok. So a thought is real in the sense of being just another phenomena of direct experience, like seeing, hearing, tasting, etc. However, the content of the thought isn't real. The melon and its appearance, shape, colour, texture in imagination is real - as a thought. but a real physical melon can't be found (because it was never there in the first place).

So the thought 'I might win the lottery tomorrow' is real in the sense of it being a phenomena that presents itself to me in direct experience. But whether I actually win the lottery is total speculation, imagination, etc - not real.

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:25 pm

Yes, you've got it exactly!

Do you agree or disagree with the following: Direct experience consists of

- sights, sounds, physical sensations, smells, and tastes
- thoughts, mental images, and feelings
- a sense of being or aliveness

Is there anything else? Did I leave anything out?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:50 am

Yes I agree with that statement,
No I can't think of anything else that would be classified as direct experience.

Looks pretty straightforward to me.

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EmptySet00
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Re: A guide request

Postby EmptySet00 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:27 pm

OK, let's look a little more at thoughts.

Do you control thoughts?
Can you stop a thought in the middle?
Can you stop thinking for 5 minutes?
If I ask you not to think about a gorilla, can you do it?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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wigglyfish
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Re: A guide request

Postby wigglyfish » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:30 pm

Sure.
Do you control thoughts?
No I don't control thoughts. I don't plan my thoughts for the day, or control when they will arise. The vast majority of thoughts appear to come and go as they please. If I were to sit down and do nothing, evenutually a thought would arise about something - not under my volition.

However - there are times when thought appears to be self-directed. Such as when I make plans in advance. For instance:
"The floor is dirty, I should clean it"
"I need to be at the station at six"
"I will eat my dinner first"
"I will meet Adam at seven for a coffee"
"Today I will buy a coffee at Starbuck's" etc...
Can you stop a thought in the middle?
Yes I would say that I can catch a thought in the middle, thats if I become aware of it before it runs its course. This usually puts a halt to the thought immediately - its like becoming aware of the thought stops it, if that makes sense.
Can you stop thinking for 5 minutes?
No way - at least not in my experience.
If I ask you not to think about a gorilla, can you do it?
Ha, definately no way - now I can't stop thinking about darn gorilla's!


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