Looking for guidance

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Maranna
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Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:44 am

What brings me to LU?
Well, the same old nagging feeling that there must be a way to transcend the ego, whatever that means, to live a more peaceful life. It was a fluke really how I found LU surfing the internet. I was ready but not ready in the sense that I had to sell my property that I co owned with my ex husband and then find a new one and settle in. Too many personal distractions that needed to be dealt with.

What do I expect from the conversation on the forum?
To be guided into seeing the trickery of my mind, thoughts, ego, to see through it.

What is my background in terms of seeking?
Pretty well a life long seeker, really, and now I'm in my 60s: familiar with Zen Buddhism, Vipassana, Krishnamurti, Anthroposophy, Hildegard of Bingen, Eckart Tolle, Katie Byron, ACIM, Ted McKenna, I think you get the idea. Lately I have been listening to Mooji Satsangs while I'm painting and yesterday I knew that the time has come to get serious, even though I also find it scary.

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:43 am

Hello Maranna,
Minddweller here (or M for short). Thanks for that introduction. I'd be delighted to be your guide for this inquiry.
Keeping an open mind is key here so I'd invite you to put all your books to one side for the duration of our dialogue. If you have an ongoing meditation practice it is fine to keep this up though.

Throughout this dialogue all I will ask of you to do is to look, rather than trying to work something it out through thinking, and then to reply as well as you can from this direct experience.

Nothing mysterious here, just looking and sensing what is seen and sensed through the 6 senses (including the mind sense), that is: what is seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled and thought.
To be guided into seeing the trickery of my mind, thoughts, ego, to see through it.
This inquiry is focused on the simple recognition that there is no self, that there really is no 'it' to see through.

If you decide this is the right time I need you to confirm you have read this: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2109
,to use the quote function (as I have done above), in order to keep our dialogue focused: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
and finally I'd ask you to subscribe to this topic (there is a button 'subscribe topic' below this).

If you'd like me to be your guide, could you say a little more about your expectations and fears you may have around this 'seeing through' and we shall begin?

Warm wishes,
M

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:52 am


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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:57 pm

Hello M, thank you for a quick response. I have read the above, agree with all you said, could not find the subscribe button (using an ipad here) and I would love you to be my guide.
My expectations at this point have to do with clear seeing, experiencing, the self and being able to drop old patterns that no longer serve, if they ever did. Being in my 60s now the desire to "know myself" is stronger than whatever fear there is, and yes, there is some fear but it's also tinged with excitement. The fear that I can identify clearly has to do with failing at this and not being able to use the quote function. Hopefully you get this even without subscribing, will try on the laptop shortly. Am in pacific time zone. Thanks again, Anna (that's my real name)

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:35 pm

Hello Anna (shall I call you that?),

Great so let's get going!

I have one more request for you and that is that we both try to write once a day, even if just to say you haven't had time etc. This really helps with keeping the momentum going.

The Subscribe topic is right down at the end of the page of this thread if you open it on a PC.

What turns up first in response to this statement?
"There is no YOU in any shape or form anywhere, nor has there ever been a YOU"


Be well!
M

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:12 pm

Good Morning M,
Yes, once a day sounds great.

Will get back to you when I have something to report regarding there is NO ME in any shape or form.

I must be subscribed because I ugly see an unsubscribe button at the bottom.

Please call me Anna.

Be well, Anna

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:21 pm

Hi M, a quick check in to make sure I'm on topic and not just rambling.

I

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:40 pm

so this last attempt to communicate with you just disappeared in front of my eyes and it said message sent. Hm, I must be careful here.

Also, there is no quote function window here as shown above.

What shows up for me FIRST in response that there is no ME, nor has there ever been

The first thing that shows up is that I'm familiar with the concept because I've done some exercises around that, and whenever situations are impersonal or routine (brushing teeth, cooking, driving, showering, etc) it"s fairly easy to see that there is no me. It changes when situations become personal, interacting with people, or activities that involve a preference or critical thinking that I get thrown for a loop. Then I'm automatically identified as a person unless I catch it and withdraw attention but even then it's vague at best.

I will focus on this for the rest of the day and see what shows up for me.

Gratefully, Anna

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:10 pm

Hello Anna,

Let's look at this for now:
It changes when situations become personal, interacting with people, or activities that involve a preference or critical thinking that I get thrown for a loop. Then I'm automatically identified as a person unless I catch it and withdraw attention but even then it's vague at best.
Looking into direct experience now what is 'automatically identified as a person''? Anything seen, heard, touched, tasted, smelled, or thought?
What is 'identified as a person' that comes on stage at times when interacting with other people for example?


Tech point: If you click the 'Post Reply' button instead of the 'Quick Reply' button you'll have the 'Quote' option amongst other tools. If you get an email to say I have written here, then you are subscribed.

With metta,
M

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:41 am

Hi M,

Looking into direct experience concerning non person, I cannot find anything that would insist on identifying itself as a person and I experienced a situation with a close family member that normally would have appealed to the "rescuer" in myself but not this time. Instead I was able to observe myself, listen to the conversation ( phone), lent some support but stayed neutral throughout, and there were a few times when thoughts wanted to pop up about getting more involved, but it was easy enough to not get engaged that way. It was neutral territory, quite a revelation!
Shortly after that I stopped by their house as I had something to drop off and we had tea and a lovely visit . Can it be that simple? Of course, this was not a Eureka! moment but even now, several hours later I know that none of those thoughts that go through my mind are "me" . The same with sensations like taste, smell, hearing, touching are also not me, they happen to the body, they are definitely experienced by the person, but don't really know more at this point. As they are very fleeting I would call them phenomena, comes and goes. Will pay more attention to this, this is all very interesting, I can see the beginnings of unravelling and old, defunct and not questioned thought process.
Thoughts come and when I'm aware of them there is another voice that silently says "but it's not really so".

Hoping this makes some sense. Gratefully, Anna

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:04 pm

Thanks for that thorough report Anna.

So there are expectations as to some sort of state change, as in 'Instead I was able to observe myself', 'stayed neutral', 'not getting involved with thoughts', 'not a Eureka! moment'. Allow me to be rude and blunt for a moment, it all sounds like one of those eternal spiritual improvement enterprises! The endless improvement of ME :-)

While all good human aspirations on its own level here is the (good?) news: None of that is needed for our purposes here, it isn't a change of state but a change of perspective on all states.

'None of the thoughts going through my mind are "me"'

Great observation!

Let's focus to look into this:

'they are definitely experienced by the person'

Look and then report from direct experience only rather than story about experience:

1) What is observing the story (thoughts)? Is there an observer in direct experience?

Look at all the senses.

Sorry I'm travelling at the moment and on a mobile so no fancy quotes over the next few days.

Lovely to hear about your improved relating with family members (I mean it). Amazing things happen sometimes when observation happens.

Warm wishes,
M

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minddweller
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby minddweller » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:32 pm

Sorry forgot the second question I had in mind:

2) Is there an observer or thinker of thoughts?

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:39 pm

Hello M,
Thank you for your challenge, it is a challenge for me, being full of ideas about observer and observed and I am observing how full of doubt I am right now, but I will be honest

Is there an observer in direct experience?

my experiment was listening to music. There was the music, hearing the music, there was no observer, there was not even listening, the listening came later after doubt set in as in "who is listening?", seriously, I never thought such a simple exercise would fill me with such confusion.
Doing the same exercise several times, it was always the same, just hearing the music, the sounds.

I did the same exercise eating a piece of chocolate and then a clementine, same result, there was just the taste, ok, also some chewing, but not a taster. The Taster came in only when thoughts got involved and predictably confused the picture.

Will try the other exercises when I get off the computer.

Could not get the quote function to work, even though I tried three times following the above instructions probably aimed at tech savvy people. All I got was a mess of scribbly looking letters and no color whatsoever, and I am on my laptop. Will do my best to post my answers in a coherent enough manner.

Happy travelling!

Gratefully, Anna

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:17 am

Hi M,
here are my findings concerning

IS THERE AN OBSERVER IN DIRECT EXPERIENCE?

No, could not find an observer anywhere.

Hearing: just sound, different sounds registered, birds, wind in trees, engines but no one to observe

Seeing: just seeing, recognizing different shapes and colors, but no story with it, no observer

Tasting: just tasting, I couldn't even stop the experience if I wanted to, no doer there

Touching: same thing, hands know how to stroke the cat and at the same time purring is heard,

Walking: Legs know how to do this, they know how to navigate slippery trails without "me" telling them how to do that. Same with opening/closing a gate, driving, on and on. The listed examples are the ones I observed directly today.

Smelling: for me the most obvious one that there is no doer/observer, because without anticipating a scent it just comes out of the blue and there is only the smelling


2. IS THERE AN OBSERVER/THINKER OF THOUGHTS?

No. Thinking happens without me doing anything about it. Thoughts come and go by themselves

Thank you for your time, gratefully, Anna

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Maranna
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Maranna » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:15 am

Hi M,

I want to add something here, don't know if it's relevant or annoying but in the spirit of 100%honesty I will do so.

IS THERE AN OBSERVER, THINKER OF THOUGHTS?

My answer is in the previous text but this also keeps showing up: what about daydreaming, when I enter into an illusory situation voluntarily and feed all those idle thoughts, would I then not be the producer and controller of those thoughts?

And what about practical things, like I want to build a shelf,or plan a garden, all kinds of thoughts go into that, right?
I understand about skills (or I think I do), where things happen by themselves just like walking or cooking. This afternoon I was painting and I was quite intrigued how it mostly takes care of itself, there seems to be some input from "myself" but minimal. I really want to understand this completely. Some activities are easier to get than others without the doer. Was also chopping wood, there was the selecting, deciding on size, chopping, all of it without "my" input, the body knows how to do it.

Hope I'm not tiresome about this, but don't want to pretend I understand, when I only get some of it.

Gratefully, Anna


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