Enough is enough!

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John Millar
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Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:31 pm

What brings me here? My background! Experiences in youth where the sense of being a separate bounded self seemed impossible - like I was on the edge of a dream, but dared not wake up... Practice in various meditation groups from the age of about 21, on and off.

More recent regular practice in a local Vipassana group (in Helsinki where I now live). Meditation without the 'bullshit'! More concretely, the following chain of events led me here: My neighbour recently lent me a book by Jed McKenna (I have started doing a kind of 'spiritual autolysis'), then I bought his other books through Kindle... Kindle suggested your book, Gateless Gatecrashers,
Which led me to this site! Wow!

I'm a stubborn seeker, but the shell of defense is creaking!
How can 'I' want to awaken?
It would be suicide for the self...
But 'I' have never found this 'I'. All the evidence points to its non-existence and the futility of keeping up the facade. But old habits die hard...

I feel so blessed with this life, and that it has led me to people who have crashed the gateless gate. Despite a very fortunate life (and this may be why it has taken so long to relinquish this ego - such feelings of nostalgia, anguish, want are arising as I write this), this has gone on long enough. It is time to stop polluting the living experience with this insecure ridiculous facade of self-hood! What do I expect? I have no idea, but please consider pointing this stubborn bundle-of-clinging being to the truth!

Bananafish
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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:49 am

Hi John! Welcome to LU. :)
I'd be more than glad to be your guide.
What brings me here? My background! Experiences in youth where the sense of being a separate bounded self seemed impossible - like I was on the edge of a dream, but dared not wake up... Practice in various meditation groups from the age of about 21, on and off.
I also went through a long search period before crushing the Gate ...

More recent regular practice in a local Vipassana group (in Helsinki where I now live). Meditation without the 'bullshit'! More concretely, the following chain of events led me here: My neighbour recently lent me a book by Jed McKenna (I have started doing a kind of 'spiritual autolysis'), then I bought his other books through Kindle... Kindle suggested your book, Gateless Gatecrashers,
Which led me to this site! Wow!
NIce! Seems time has come for you to end your search, huh?

I'm a stubborn seeker, but the shell of defense is creaking!
How can 'I' want to awaken?
It would be suicide for the self...
But 'I' have never found this 'I'. All the evidence points to its non-existence and the futility of keeping up the facade. But old habits die hard...
How can 'I' want to awaken? That is a good question indeed!

So you mean you understand that there is no "I?" Is this an intellectual understanding or not?
If you really saw that there is no "I," what is the problem? Old habits appear,
but are they "your" habits? Or just habits?

I feel so blessed with this life, and that it has led me to people who have crashed the gateless gate. Despite a very fortunate life (and this may be why it has taken so long to relinquish this ego - such feelings of nostalgia, anguish, want are arising as I write this), this has gone on long enough. It is time to stop polluting the living experience with this insecure ridiculous facade of self-hood! What do I expect? I have no idea, but please consider pointing this stubborn bundle-of-clinging being to the truth!
Let's start.

What is this "I" that wants to awaken?
Can you describe it?

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:37 pm

Thank you so much, Banafish, for agreeing to guide! Sorry, I didn't realise I should log on to this forum, hence my slow response to your quick one. Mixing music, research and numerous activities, but they are proving a rich playground for this elusive search!
I also went through a long search period before crushing the Gate ...
That's reassuring. I don't look at the long search as wasted. I have always had a sort of sense of 'cosmic' humour at the ridiculous sore-knees and struggling to see what is right here and now, but, yep, 30 years of practice, 51 years of life, probably should stop messing around!
NIce! Seems time has come for you to end your search, huh?
Yes, the time has come to cease this playing around and enter the cosmic play, unbound.
So you mean you understand that there is no "I?" Is this an intellectual understanding or not?
If you really saw that there is no "I," what is the problem? Old habits appear,
but are they "your" habits? Or just habits?
No "I" is a kind of intellectual understanding, but more experiential in the sense that, when enquiring, the sense of "I" takes various forms, a phantom, a network of tension/fear/anguish, an incredibly powerful column of energy, but defies any attempt to locate it, just that when kind of opening-opening-letting go-opening, when the practice becomes "less is more", there is such a powerful sense of presence, but coming out of that, up springs the ego to 'own' the experience, fantasize about it, etc., etc. Hmmm, still tend to be 'my' habits, 'my' stupidity, etc.
Let's start.
OK!
What is this "I" that wants to awaken?
Can you describe it?
Right now. A sense of forboding, a kind of petulance, there is a sense of longing... like a baby crying out for it knows not what...

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:31 pm

Thank you so much, Banafish, for agreeing to guide! Sorry, I didn't realise I should log on to this forum, hence my slow response to your quick one. Mixing music, research and numerous activities, but they are proving a rich playground for this elusive search!
Do you happen to play music? Me too! I've played the guitar for about 15 years now ... and yes,
I've tried lots of things including various forms of meditation, the so-called spiritual stuffs,
philosophy, a lot of reading, so on and on ...

I also went through a long search period before crushing the Gate ...
That's reassuring. I don't look at the long search as wasted. I have always had a sort of sense of 'cosmic' humour at the ridiculous sore-knees and struggling to see what is right here and now, but, yep, 30 years of practice, 51 years of life, probably should stop messing around!
I don't feel that the search was a waste of time, neither.
I feel like the flow, which included the search,
led me here, without which I wouldn't have been.

I remember being very excited to have a feeling that here would be the terminal station
of the search. :)

So you mean you understand that there is no "I?" Is this an intellectual understanding or not?
If you really saw that there is no "I," what is the problem? Old habits appear,
but are they "your" habits? Or just habits?
No "I" is a kind of intellectual understanding, but more experiential in the sense that, when enquiring, the sense of "I" takes various forms, a phantom, a network of tension/fear/anguish, an incredibly powerful column of energy, but defies any attempt to locate it, just that when kind of opening-opening-letting go-opening, when the practice becomes "less is more", there is such a powerful sense of presence, but coming out of that, up springs the ego to 'own' the experience, fantasize about it, etc., etc. Hmmm, still tend to be 'my' habits, 'my' stupidity, etc.
"(the sense of "I") defies any attempt to locate it"

Nice! So, please LOOK again ... does this "I" exist anywhere?

What is this "I" that wants to awaken?
Can you describe it?
Right now. A sense of forboding, a kind of petulance, there is a sense of longing... like a baby crying out for it knows not what...
You say the "I" is some kind of sense ...

Is that sense "my" sense, or just sense?

Why do you re-attach the label "I" to that sense, while you've already
attached the label "sense" to the raw experience of that sense?
Is the "I" necessary for that sense to be?

Is a sense just sense, or "my" sense?
Also, can a sense do anything? Can a sense eat? Can it walk? Can it take a shower?

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:31 pm

Do you happen to play music? Me too! I've played the guitar for about 15 years now ... and yes,
I've tried lots of things including various forms of meditation, the so-called spiritual stuffs,
philosophy, a lot of reading, so on and on ...
Clarinettist, first classical (in New Zealand, where I was born and 'grew' up), but mostly world music here in Helsinki - Turkish clarinet, ney flutes, kaval, etc. But, in a few weeks I've got a gig in Paris playing chamber music! A mixed life - including 12+ years as a street musician. Nowadays, I've resurrected engineering (mechanical in NZ, but retrained to electrical here in Finland) and now work as a researcher/lecturer at Aalto University, Finland... The challenge for all spiritual traditions trying to coerce this miscreant, is that something close to meditation used to occur without solicitation before I signed up to any group. Was raised as a Christian, but quite skeptical parents (my father probably thought it was better to go to Sunday school rather than hang out on the streets...) and the fact that there are so many religions in NZ claiming they have sole rights to liberation, plus the aforementioned 'being on the verge of realising the impossibility of self-existence' at various times through childhood meant that I haven't been able to take any belief system too seriously, other than acknowledging that we kind of have faith hard-wired into us as a useful survival tool (that has been mercilessly hijacked by religion!). Meditation-wise, I read books, practiced with a Mahayana group in Auckland in the 80s, a bit of Tibetan stuff, fairly regular theravadin-type retreats, a long solo retreat at the end of the 80s, life as a street musician with interspersed practice - back to engineering, that has necessitated meditation for balance, raised the existential itch again, here 'I' am. Sorry for the long intro, I tend to ramble. Nice to hear you are a muso to!
I don't feel that the search was a waste of time, neither.
I feel like the flow, which included the search,
led me here, without which I wouldn't have been.

I remember being very excited to have a feeling that here would be the terminal station
of the search. :)
Once again, snap! Yes, but I will have to be held to the task! A great procrastinator, prevaricator!
"(the sense of "I") defies any attempt to locate it"

Nice! So, please LOOK again ... does this "I" exist anywhere?
I assume that all that exists in this I-regard are defense mechanisms - (a brief off-the-topic aside, it seems the less there is, the greater the defense - one does not have to defend the self-evident...). Digressing... Does the 'I' exist anywhere? There is just assuming, an ingrained habit pattern, a 'business as usual'... The arising of different responses, tensions, quite a lot of vibration at times, in space, usually in the heart/chest region, that seems to be where the most encased defense of this I-assumption seems to be. There is also a more-head centered serious John thing, there's a paper to finish, a wish that my room-mate would stop talking on the phone so I could attend to this more clearly, and get on the research work that needs completion (meaning the engineering stuff). But it all seems to be image, now, just typing, just typing, and correcting typos...
Is that sense "my" sense, or just sense?
Just sense, with threads of attachment, to what?, to nowhere, cast adrift... a little quieter on the internal/emotional energy front. A sense in the sense of a kind of parasitic clinging.
Why do you re-attach the label "I" to that sense, while you've already
attached the label "sense" to the raw experience of that sense?
Is the "I" necessary for that sense to be?
(I don't want to just academically answer these questions, of course a sense cannot eat, walk, etc, but...)
The best I can say at present is that there seems to be a parasitic clinging, a nostalgia, every trick in the book...
Such gratitude at being able to discuss this. Have to let go of the notion that awakening is something remote, for the next retreat, for tomorrow. Scared about messing up this 'nice' life. (Room now quiet again). There is nowhere to run. Concerned presence. Ego-referencing (how cool would this dude be if awakened...), shaking, been this far before, keep me on track!

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:51 pm

Thanks John for the long post. I really enjoyed reading your "intro." :)
During the daytime I work as an English teacher, but at times I play at
gigs of different kinds of music ... mostly jazz. I still sit zazen, which has become
part of my daily life.

Now it's time for me to go to bed.
I'll post a reply tomorrow, after work is done.

I'm very much looking forward to it. :)

Best,

Bananafish

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:10 am

I assume that all that exists in this I-regard are defense mechanisms - (a brief off-the-topic aside, it seems the less there is, the greater the defense - one does not have to defend the self-evident...). Digressing... Does the 'I' exist anywhere? There is just assuming, an ingrained habit pattern, a 'business as usual'... The arising of different responses, tensions, quite a lot of vibration at times, in space, usually in the heart/chest region, that seems to be where the most encased defense of this I-assumption seems to be. There is also a more-head centered serious John thing, there's a paper to finish, a wish that my room-mate would stop talking on the phone so I could attend to this more clearly, and get on the research work that needs completion (meaning the engineering stuff). But it all seems to be image, now, just typing, just typing, and correcting typos...
Oh, good! So, despite all the descriptions above, you started feeling that
there’s no “I” in typing, just typing … hehe.

You sound, though, you’re not 100% sure about it.
Can you LOOK and see if there is any typer in typing?

"Is that sense "my" sense, or just sense?"

Just sense, with threads of attachment, to what?, to nowhere, cast adrift... a little quieter on the internal/emotional energy front. A sense in the sense of a kind of parasitic clinging.
You’re doing great … Sounds like you’re saying sense is just sense,
no matter what kind of sense it is.
"Why do you re-attach the label "I" to that sense, while you've already
attached the label "sense" to the raw experience of that sense?
Is the "I" necessary for that sense to be?"

(I don't want to just academically answer these questions, of course a sense cannot eat, walk, etc, but...)
The best I can say at present is that there seems to be a parasitic clinging, a nostalgia, every trick in the book...
Such gratitude at being able to discuss this. Have to let go of the notion that awakening is something remote, for the next retreat, for tomorrow. Scared about messing up this 'nice' life. (Room now quiet again). There is nowhere to run. Concerned presence. Ego-referencing (how cool would this dude be if awakened...), shaking, been this far before, keep me on track!
Sure! That’s the reason I’m here. :) You LOOK, and I help you.

Please, please, please, let go of all ideas, thoughts, concepts …
Don’t think and just LOOK.

So again, does an “I” exist at all?

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:14 pm

Thanks for your response and keeping this enquiry on track:-)
Hard morning, quite strong conversation regarding research with a big-egoed but very intelligent (and helpful in triggering ego response in this being) colleague. Insisted on hammering some statistical stuff we're using in conjunction with my work in a paper due tomorrow, and I had another meeting to go to. Noticed a swelling of energy around the heart area when asking silently, "Who is reacting?" during one of his loud-mouthed tirades. Some calm arose, I let go of the meeting I was supposed to go to, thanked the researcher for the gift of time (by taking my time he released me from a probably pointless and much longer bureaucratic meeting...), and was then able to listen and learn, and improve the paper...

Simulations now running, funny how when the bugs are ironed out, they run themselves!

Just took a small walk, our university is surrounded by forest and coastline. Realising that there is no need to own the experiencing, (which involves quite strong shifts of energy just now), there is no job to get done. One ego-fixating assumptive experience is when I stand and see, there's the sense of a seer, so I enquired who is seeing - noone emerged, and the seeing became more innocent. It was rather hard walking, no, that's not right, but the walking was a bit strange, pelvis forward, legs moving to keep the body upright...

Still not there, but getting a taste of letting go of the need to press on, the constant sense that I should be doing something else, or doing what I'm doing better, or quicker, or...

So:
Can you LOOK and see if there is any typer in typing?Can you LOOK and see if there is any typer in typing?
There's a mind/body here, quaking, typing, assumption of self slipping in, nowhere in sight when LOOKING, but slipping back in to claim the show. Seem to be some almost physical adjustments going on. Allowing this. WHO allows this? Shaking. (If only the quakers and shakers hadn't claimed those terms...) This seems so near, but there's disbelief that it could be so, incredulity...

No typer in typing! But still not full experiential acceptance of this...
Please, please, please, let go of all ideas, thoughts, concepts …
Don’t think and just LOOK.
This takes some getting used to! "I'm" paid to think!
So again, does an “I” exist at all?
I can't find "I". How could "I"?
This must come home soon - register, I don't want to answer such a direct question until the response is totally honest, in line with this living experience, which seems to be still caught up, but there seems to have been a significant opening, there is nothing to 'solve' and no-one to solve it! But the sheer ordinariness of this is outrageous! Seeing layers of patterning, "John (the solver), do this, would you do that?..."

Is it correct that one has to learn with this? Meaning, there is still lots to resolve (it's no problem, but the interior space is quite turbulent at the moment), but no-one need get in the way of what still needs to be done? It's as if the bottom is falling out of the very foundations of this being.

Wonderful you are an English teacher! Meaning, "you" are not sitting on some lotus throne somewhere? (Laughing!)

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:56 am

Thanks for your response and keeping this enquiry on track:-)
Hard morning, quite strong conversation regarding research with a big-egoed but very intelligent (and helpful in triggering ego response in this being) colleague. Insisted on hammering some statistical stuff we're using in conjunction with my work in a paper due tomorrow, and I had another meeting to go to. Noticed a swelling of energy around the heart area when asking silently, "Who is reacting?" during one of his loud-mouthed tirades. Some calm arose, I let go of the meeting I was supposed to go to, thanked the researcher for the gift of time (by taking my time he released me from a probably pointless and much longer bureaucratic meeting...), and was then able to listen and learn, and improve the paper...

Simulations now running, funny how when the bugs are ironed out, they run themselves!
Hi there! "Who is reacting?" Yes, that's a very nice LOOK. :)
Was there any "I" that was reacting?
Just took a small walk, our university is surrounded by forest and coastline. Realising that there is no need to own the experiencing, (which involves quite strong shifts of energy just now), there is no job to get done. One ego-fixating assumptive experience is when I stand and see, there's the sense of a seer, so I enquired who is seeing - noone emerged, and the seeing became more innocent. It was rather hard walking, no, that's not right, but the walking was a bit strange, pelvis forward, legs moving to keep the body upright...

Still not there, but getting a taste of letting go of the need to press on, the constant sense that I should be doing something else, or doing what I'm doing better, or quicker, or...
Thanks for the detailed report ...

Is there anyone that is thinking "still not there?" or is it just a thought?
Is there an "I" that needs to be there?


There's a mind/body here, quaking, typing, assumption of self slipping in, nowhere in sight when LOOKING, but slipping back in to claim the show. Seem to be some almost physical adjustments going on. Allowing this. WHO allows this? Shaking. (If only the quakers and shakers hadn't claimed those terms...) This seems so near, but there's disbelief that it could be so, incredulity...

No typer in typing! But still not full experiential acceptance of this...
Does reality have to be believed or accepted by anyone so that it can just be?
If it is really SEEN, that's the reality, no matter who believes it or not.

Was it SEEN, or are you still thinking about it?

So again, does an “I” exist at all?
I can't find "I". How could "I"?
This must come home soon - register, I don't want to answer such a direct question until the response is totally honest, in line with this living experience, which seems to be still caught up, but there seems to have been a significant opening, there is nothing to 'solve' and no-one to solve it! But the sheer ordinariness of this is outrageous! Seeing layers of patterning, "John (the solver), do this, would you do that?..."

Is it correct that one has to learn with this? Meaning, there is still lots to resolve (it's no problem, but the interior space is quite turbulent at the moment), but no-one need get in the way of what still needs to be done? It's as if the bottom is falling out of the very foundations of this being.
I feel you're on the right track, don't worry. LOOK again, again, and again.
Is there an "I" that is still caught up, or is "I'm still caught up" just another thought?
Wonderful you are an English teacher! Meaning, "you" are not sitting on some lotus throne somewhere? (Laughing!)
Hehe, yes, an ordinary human being found everywhere ... :)

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:21 pm

Hi there! "Who is reacting?" Yes, that's a very nice LOOK. :)
Was there any "I" that was reacting?
No "I", but the swelling and relaxing of defense of what can't be found when searched for (the "I")
Reaction yes, some suppression too, no "I" to be found, but still bound somehow (this is just memory from yesterday)

Is there anyone that is thinking "still not there?" or is it just a thought?
Is there an "I" that needs to be there?
Thanks! This is right on target. The "still not here" is a sensation, a sense of dissatisfaction, now shifting to longing, wanting comfort, the "I" that needs to be there - just an shifting image, like a superimposed younger John, John's father, mother, tinges of personality, still not here!
Does reality have to be believed or accepted by anyone so that it can just be?
If it is really SEEN, that's the reality, no matter who believes it or not.

Was it SEEN, or are you still thinking about it?
Still some thinking, identification, some kind of need for validation? A kind of seismic shaking between the reality and the clinging, the trying to be a kind of control centre...
I feel you're on the right track, don't worry. LOOK again, again, and again.
Is there an "I" that is still caught up, or is "I'm still caught up" just another thought?
Yes, this is certainly working, but there seems to be a lot of ingrained habit-patterns, an encased heart region and fuzzy analytical faculty... "I'm still caught up" and "still not there" seem to be ingrained habits, "yes-but" narratives, a protection against disappointment, a cynical shell?
Yes, again, again, and again, and the "I'm still caught up" seems to be a very fruitful absurdity to expose.

Deep thanks Bananafish!

Stubborn mule still looking!

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:24 pm

No "I", but the swelling and relaxing of defense of what can't be found when searched for (the "I")
Reaction yes, some suppression too, no "I" to be found, but still bound somehow (this is just memory from yesterday)
What binds? Can you describe?

The "still not here" is a sensation, a sense of dissatisfaction, now shifting to longing, wanting comfort, the "I" that needs to be there - just an shifting image, like a superimposed younger John, John's father, mother, tinges of personality, still not here!
Is "still not there" a sensation? Is a thought "still not there" attached to that sensation, or
is that sensation itself "still not there?"

Still some thinking, identification, some kind of need for validation? A kind of seismic shaking between the reality and the clinging, the trying to be a kind of control centre...
What's the problem if the "I" that makes these things -thinking, identification,
need for validation, shaking, control centre trying to be- a problem?


You have to LOOK at THIS first ... that there is no "I," again and again, so that
you undoubtedly see it.

Yes, this is certainly working, but there seems to be a lot of ingrained habit-patterns, an encased heart region and fuzzy analytical faculty... "I'm still caught up" and "still not there" seem to be ingrained habits, "yes-but" narratives, a protection against disappointment, a cynical shell?
Yes, again, again, and again, and the "I'm still caught up" seems to be a very fruitful absurdity to expose.

Deep thanks Bananafish!

Stubborn mule still looking!
Thank you for your patience, John.
Yes, it's working. Let's LOOK again!

SO, what's the problem? Habits are habits.
Who told you that you have to eliminate your habits to see it?

No.
Just LOOK!

That's the only thing to focus on.

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:56 pm

What binds? Can you describe?
Hmmm, need to get beyond words and the need to project interpretation... What binds? It's a response - hmm like a response just now to a rather attractive female who came looking for the researcher I share an office with... Some inkling of the next 'iteration' in (non)practice. Brief history: meditation "I" have practised mostly consists of either samatha practice, which may lead to the jhanas, or may not, but forms a calmer base for the more significant work of insight practice (Vipassana), which can contain fireworks, clearing work, spontaneous mini-jhanas merging with what ever arises (I'm not really into the highly analytical brand of Vipassana that tries to lable everthing, it's more of a gut practice). This is all fine, but often carries the assumption that there is some entity that needs to calm or focus, or merge with the experience - the sense that something needs to be worked out, released, transformed, let go of, etc. So, when, e.g., a swelling or relaxing happens, there's the tendency to try and 'resolve' it, by merging with it, or penetrating it with awareness. This seems to be where years of spasmodic practice may be getting in the way, great tools for going into whatever is arising, and in general, making the best of a life with ego! Slowly realising that nothing needs to be changed, at least nothing that "I" can change...
Wow. This seems to be the same sort of shift that a highly successful CEO-type makes when one day he/she is soooo important, then, the day after retirement, of no use at all, surplus to requirement...
Is "still not there" a sensation? Is a thought "still not there" attached to that sensation, or
is that sensation itself "still not there?"
"Still not there" is a thought, stuck on to the memory of a fairly visceral experience for means of communication but also containment?
What's the problem if the "I" that makes these things -thinking, identification,
need for validation, shaking, control centre trying to be- a problem?

You have to LOOK at THIS first ... that there is no "I," again and again, so that
you undoubtedly see it.
Yes! No problem, just seems necessary to keep the LOOKING going and various stuff is playing itself out.
But, the tripping point at the moment seems to be that I assume that every block/neurosis/trauma needs to play itself out before liberation from the "I"-delusion. Trying to just LOOK and not mess around!
Thank you for your patience, John.
Yes, it's working. Let's LOOK again!
Thanks for staying with this, Bananafish! Yes, it's working, I'll keep at it, this is the pathless path to the gateless gate!
SO, what's the problem? Habits are habits.
Who told you that you have to eliminate your habits to see it?
Right on the mark! Probably myriads of teachers, Sunday-school teachers, parents, partners, ...ha ha!
No.
Just LOOK!
Thank you! The weekend is about to begin. It has been a full week, tons of content (work-wise). I generally keep clear of computers over the weekend - too much of that during the week, so I'll spend a couple of days...

Just LOOKing!
That's the only thing to focus on.
Thanks!

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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:38 pm

Hmmm, need to get beyond words and the need to project interpretation... What binds? It's a response - hmm like a response just now to a rather attractive female who came looking for the researcher I share an office with... Some inkling of the next 'iteration' in (non)practice. Brief history: meditation "I" have practised mostly consists of either samatha practice, which may lead to the jhanas, or may not, but forms a calmer base for the more significant work of insight practice (Vipassana), which can contain fireworks, clearing work, spontaneous mini-jhanas merging with what ever arises (I'm not really into the highly analytical brand of Vipassana that tries to lable everthing, it's more of a gut practice). This is all fine, but often carries the assumption that there is some entity that needs to calm or focus, or merge with the experience - the sense that something needs to be worked out, released, transformed, let go of, etc. So, when, e.g., a swelling or relaxing happens, there's the tendency to try and 'resolve' it, by merging with it, or penetrating it with awareness. This seems to be where years of spasmodic practice may be getting in the way, great tools for going into whatever is arising, and in general, making the best of a life with ego! Slowly realising that nothing needs to be changed, at least nothing that "I" can change...
Wow. This seems to be the same sort of shift that a highly successful CEO-type makes when one day he/she is soooo important, then, the day after retirement, of no use at all, surplus to requirement...
Very nice ... you seem to have started feeling some shift happening ...

"Still not there" is a thought, stuck on to the memory of a fairly visceral experience for means of communication but also containment?
Yes, yes. :) The direct experience NOW / HERE is real, but the content of thought is ... ?

No problem, just seems necessary to keep the LOOKING going and various stuff is playing itself out.
But, the tripping point at the moment seems to be that I assume that every block/neurosis/trauma needs to play itself out before liberation from the "I"-delusion. Trying to just LOOK and not mess around!
Yes, just LOOK! :)

SO, what's the problem? Habits are habits.
Who told you that you have to eliminate your habits to see it?
Right on the mark! Probably myriads of teachers, Sunday-school teachers, parents, partners, ...ha ha!
Right, right, hehe. But did you notice that this notion of ego-elimination, or whatever, is just an idea,
or thought?

Thank you! The weekend is about to begin. It has been a full week, tons of content (work-wise). I generally keep clear of computers over the weekend - too much of that during the week, so I'll spend a couple of days...

Just LOOKing!
Phew! What an exciting dialogue have we had during the weekdays!
Thank you for your being sincere, eager to LOOK, and being honest.

Great, John, I hope you will have a wonderful weekend.
See you next week, and don't forget to LOOK! :)

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John Millar
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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby John Millar » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:40 pm

Once again in front of the computer. A weekend watching rugby (played this aggressive game at school, curious watching it so many years on), practising classical music... Some looking, but a lot of habit running the show - still, no evidence of "me" running the show!
Very nice ... you seem to have started feeling some shift happening ...
Yes, some glimmerings, less verbalisation, less rip-shit-and-bust trying to change something. Sat in a regular meditation session on Friday night - will be doing a 10 day Jhana retreat starting this coming Friday (Jhana from the point-of-view of supporting insight practice). So, thought I'd do a bit of jhana practice, but it had no meaning, just sat LOOKING, beautifully ordinary, very still, not only no need to practise, but when trying to summon the will to reach access concentration, there was not really anything there to summon... However, I don't want to exaggerate here, meditation is a rarefied environment which has always 'worked' for 'me', except in terms of its professed goal, liberation! In a short walk a few minutes ago, there was some fantasizing going on - in one hour some students will be sitting an exam for the course I teach, and I noticed one of them hadn't done the course assignment, so when walking, out came a story built up on the student complaining about his course result... OK, just an empty story line...
Yes, yes. :) The direct experience NOW / HERE is real, but the content of thought is ... ?
Thoughts? Trying to respond to this based on here and now, not previous meditation experiences or such-like. The content of thought? Sometimes utilitarian, a useful label, a kind of medium, but when LOOKING? Empty, even thinking seems to be suspended. The thought "John". A useful way to refer to a mind-body life expression with a certain spacial-temporal integrity. But the content "John"? More help here, please, there's something here I'm missing!

Yes, LOOKING, in fits and spurts!
Right, right, hehe. But did you notice that this notion of ego-elimination, or whatever, is just an idea,
or thought?
I have noticed the futility or paradox of such a thought, but probably have not yet seen it as just an idea or thought. That's new fertile ground for LOOKING! Thanks!
Phew! What an exciting dialogue have we had during the weekdays!
Thank you for your being sincere, eager to LOOK, and being honest.

Great, John, I hope you will have a wonderful weekend.
See you next week, and don't forget to LOOK! :)
Thanks for bearing with such a stubborn pedantic seeker. With research and music I can be too sloppy. But this is something to get right! But I guess it will happen when it happens. LOOKING is preparing the soil?

Trust you have had a nice weekend and that the coming week is fertile!

Bananafish
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Re: Enough is enough!

Postby Bananafish » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi John! Good to start our conversation again! :)

I played a gig today, (that was an awesome one, btw)
it's a bit late at night here in Japan ...

I will definitely respond you fully tomorrow, so please bear with
my short response. I'll see you tomorrow! :)


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