Finally ready

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Una
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Finally ready

Postby Una » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:52 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:

I finally feel ready to work experientially rather than just intellectually with seeing through my 'sense of self'. I'm really tired of watching the pain I cause myself and others by experiencing myself as the centre of the universe.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:

A way of working with what is stopping me from really seeing through a sense of 'I' that is separate and fixed and the centre of everything.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:

Exploration of no-self within a Buddhist context, through study, reflection and meditation. Have experienced 'flashes' and even more sustained periods of no sense of a 'self' but being part of a 'flow' or a process, but it has always faded and it has been painful to watch and feel the hardening and shift in perspective - particularly the effect on others.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 10

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:58 pm

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. Glad you are here!

My name is Linda and I am happy to look with you, if you like.

What would you like me to call you?

Before we begin, just a few guidelines and housekeeping issues:

1. Write at least once a day, even if it is just to say you need more time.

2. During our time together, refrain from reading books and watching videos from teachers and philosophers. While you are here, we will be focusing on your direct experience only. Spiritual teachers and philosophers cannot help you in this exploration. This is about your experience only.

3. I will ask questions, and you agree to look deeply in direct experience with complete honesty, and provide a response.

4. For both of our benefit, please learn to use the quote function. It will eliminate a lot of confusion when reading and responding to questions. Instructions are here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

5. Please read our disclaimer at http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Please let me know that you are okay with these, and then we will begin!

With Love,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:57 am

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. Glad you are here!
Hi Linda - I'm glad to finally be here too.
What would you like me to call you?
Just call me Una - that's fine and I'd be really happy to have you look with me.
Please let me know that you are okay with these, and then we will begin!
I have read the guidelines and housekeeping issues and the disclaimer and don't have any problems. I'm based in Melbourne, so I assume, given the time you responded that we will be working with a bit of a time zone difference - which is something I'm not unfamiliar with! Again, many thanks for your support in this.

With love,

Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi Una,
Wonderful to hear back from you.
I'm based in Melbourne, so I assume, given the time you responded that we will be working with a bit of a time zone difference - which is something I'm not unfamiliar with!
No worries. Time zone differences won’t affect our inquiry in the least. It is good to know though, so we can get a feel for when postings may occur within each day. I am in the U.S Eastern Time Zone which is 15 hours behind you. So, you sleep and I will type and then I sleep and you type :-).
Again, many thanks for your support in this.
Delighted and honored to explore along side you.

Okay, let’s start digging in, shall we?
I finally feel ready to work experientially rather than just intellectually with seeing through my 'sense of self'. I'm really tired of watching the pain I cause myself and others by experiencing myself as the centre of the universe.
If you no longer experienced being the center of the universe, what would be experienced? What if I was to tell you that there is not, and has never been a ‘you’ ‘myself’ who is experiencing being the center of the universe? How would you feel if you discovered that ‘you’ is nothing more than a mental construct, an arising thought, and nothing more? What feelings, thoughts, emotions come up for you when you read this?
Exploration of no-self within a Buddhist context, through study, reflection and meditation. Have experienced 'flashes' and even more sustained periods of no sense of a 'self' but being part of a 'flow' or a process, but it has always faded and it has been painful to watch and feel the hardening and shift in perspective - particularly the effect on others.
Very good that you see this is about a “shift in perspective”. Throughout our time together we will be looking into direct experience to see what is actually occurring. Direct experience is the only thing that can actually be verified, proven to be happening. Simply put, it is what is unfolding right NOW, HERE, THIS. It is the data from the senses prior to thoughts arising commenting on what is experienced. For our purposes we will be using the primary recognized senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. And, if you are willing to look with honestly, in direct experience, I can assure you that currently held perspectives will shift ;-). You may find this short article of interest: http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

Now, I would like to ask you, is it any less a part of the flow and process when the “sustained periods of no sense of self” fades? If it is not a part of the flow and process, what is it exactly? Take some quality time to consider this and let me know what you come up with.

Let’s examine your expectations of what will happen in this process of you and I looking together:

What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘Una’?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?

What have you read or heard about liberation that has you desire it?

Please answer these questions in great detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

With Love,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:21 pm

Hi Linda,
I am in the U.S Eastern Time Zone
I love the sense of international connectedness!

So, in response to your various questions:
If you no longer experienced being the center of the universe, what would be experienced?
Just experience.
What feelings, thoughts, emotions come up for you when you read this?
There is a big 'heart opening' and a sense of relief...but... I am also aware there is fear present - though it's certainly not as strong or front of mind as it used to be.
is it any less a part of the flow and process when the “sustained periods of no sense of self” fades? If it is not a part of the flow and process, what is it exactly?
No - it is just my perception of the experience. I suddenly become 'self-conscious' - the sense of 'I' pops into the the narrative and seems to break up the flow. I was sitting on the train this morning and watching how the sense of an I disappeared when I became distracted or concentrated and then a particular thought would arise that would bring me back to 'I' again. It's difficult to articulate clearly. The moments when that sense isn't there are like suddenly seeing the negative space in a picture and then you see the image again and can't seem to find the negative space any more. Does that make any sense?

It can feel like a stutter - there is just the flow of experience, but when I notice that, then it breaks, then it flows again, then breaks...
What do you expect will happen when you have seen through the illusion of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘Una’?
Everything will change and nothing will change - as I said before, just a shift in perception. This aging body will still be here, this brain, bad habits, big thighs, a love of shoes...but the sense that there is anything that controls or holds all of that together in a particular way will no longer be present - or if it is, will not have the same 'power'.
How will Life change?
There is a poem I've read entitled 'Life is King' - the first time I understood what that meant was when my sense of self disappeared just briefly. There is just Life - just that. So Life won't change - my perception of my relationship to it will.
What will be different?
Again, everything will be different and nothing will be different. Life continues but how I 'view' myself in relationship to that will be different - relinquishing a sense of having any ultimate control, of being separate, of being at the centre looking out rather than just a part of. When I close my eyes, Life doesn't stop because I can't see it - really experiencing that is what will be different.
What have you read or heard about liberation that has you desire it?
It's interesting - I don't have a desire for liberation, but I find myself 'grasping' for my idea of what it would be and that idea is to be free of the fear of death, because fear of dying is really fear of living and I really want to live. There is a Mary Oliver poem that has a line in it "Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life." If there is no 'I' that dies, there just is life and experience and I want to have the courage to live and experience as fully as possible. I also want to be able to love, in an altruistic rather than romantic way, as fully as possible. That's all...

Wow, that was a powerful and emotional experience...I'm feeling quite stirred up, so will be interesting to see how I sleep!

With love,

Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:30 pm

Hi Una,
Wow, that was a powerful and emotional experience...I'm feeling quite stirred up, so will be interesting to see how I sleep!
Sure. I get that. Treat yourself with patience and love as we continue to explore. Hopefully, you slept well :-)
No - it is just my perception of the experience. I suddenly become 'self-conscious' - the sense of 'I' pops into the the narrative and seems to break up the flow. I was sitting on the train this morning and watching how the sense of an I disappeared when I became distracted or concentrated and then a particular thought would arise that would bring me back to 'I' again. It's difficult to articulate clearly. The moments when that sense isn't there are like suddenly seeing the negative space in a picture and then you see the image again and can't seem to find the negative space any more. Does that make any sense?
Makes perfect sense. We will come back to this shortly.
Everything will change and nothing will change - as I said before, just a shift in perception. This aging body will still be here, this brain, bad habits, big thighs, a love of shoes...but the sense that there is anything that controls or holds all of that together in a particular way will no longer be present - or if it is, will not have the same 'power'.
Beautiful. A reasonable expectation that, with honest looking, will most likely be happen.
There is just Life - just that. So Life won't change - my perception of my relationship to it will.
Great. Perception will most likely change AND we will have fun investigating if that perception actually belongs to anyone with a relationship to it ;-).
…relinquishing a sense of having any ultimate control, of being separate, of being at the centre looking out…
Also a reasonable expectation.
It's interesting - I don't have a desire for liberation, but I find myself 'grasping' for my idea of what it would be and that idea is to be free of the fear of death, because fear of dying is really fear of living and I really want to live. There is a Mary Oliver poem that has a line in it "Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life." If there is no 'I' that dies, there just is life and experience and I want to have the courage to live and experience as fully as possible. I also want to be able to love, in an altruistic rather than romantic way, as fully as possible. That's all...
Okay. Lots of interesting stuff to look at in this paragraph, which we will do. But first…
What if I was to tell you that there is not, and has never been a ‘you’ ‘myself’ who is experiencing being the center of the universe? How would you feel if you discovered that ‘you’ is nothing more than a mental construct, an arising thought, and nothing more? What feelings, thoughts, emotions come up for you when you read this?
There is a big 'heart opening' and a sense of relief...but... I am also aware there is fear present - though it's certainly not as strong or front of mind as it used to be.
Excellent. It is good to notice the fear. So what I invite you to do now, is to find a quiet place. Once there, focus on that fear, allowing it to make its presence known. Welcome it like you would welcome a puppy or cherished friend, allowing it to stay as long as it likes. Now examine the fear noticing all the thoughts and narratives arising around it. Make a list of all the worries, panics, concerns that come up and title that list ‘Thoughts’.

Once you are done with that, then move on to examining the actual physical attributes of the fear. Listening to the senses, what is being experienced right NOW? What feelings (not thoughts) sensations, their locations, attributes etc are noticed? Title this second list ‘Direct Experience’.

And finally, ask the fear what it is trying to tell you. What is it attempting to protect?

Please send me your two lists, along with what comes up in response to the questions.

Much Love,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:23 pm

Hi Linda,

Lots of dreams last night and some sleep...

So to your questions:
Now examine the fear noticing all the thoughts and narratives arising around it. Make a list of all the worries, panics, concerns that come up and title that list ‘Thoughts’.
Thoughts:

I fear seeing through the sense of I, but not as much as I fear not seeing - there is a tension.
I fear death - but when I look closer am not sure if that's a physical death or the death of an idea of who 'I' am. If 'I' die what will remain and if this form dies
And finally, ask the fear what it is trying to tell you. What is it attempting to protect?
what will remain?
I fear the loss of a sense of control - if 'I' don't control what does?
Listening to the senses, what is being experienced right NOW? What feelings (not thoughts) sensations, their locations, attributes etc are noticed? Title this second list ‘Direct Experience’.
Direct Experience

all concentrated in my chest and gut
tightness
denseness/heaviness
constantly changing in intensity but present
familiar
unpleasant
neutral
And finally, ask the fear what it is trying to tell you. What is it attempting to protect?
The fear is telling me to stay away, not to 'go there', to leave things the way they are, not to step into the unknown, not to start something that 'I' can't control. What is the fear protecting? I thought it was nothing, because when I look deeply there is no thing there, but the fear is protecting my heart...that was the answer to the question...I don't know where that come from but that's what arose...

Phew...where does all this come from...

With love, Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:51 am

Hi Una,
Great work!
I fear seeing through the sense of I, but not as much as I fear not seeing - there is a tension.
I fear death - but when I look closer am not sure if that's a physical death or the death of an idea of who 'I' am. If 'I' die what will remain and if this form dies
I fear the loss of a sense of control - if 'I' don't control what does?

The fear is telling me to stay away, not to 'go there', to leave things the way they are, not to step into the unknown, not to start something that 'I' can't control. What is the fear protecting? I thought it was nothing, because when I look deeply there is no thing there, but the fear is protecting my heart...that was the answer to the question...I don't know where that come from but that's what arose...
1. When you read through what you wrote above, is it noticed how fear acts as a faithful friend attempting to provide protection? The next time fear comes up, maybe you would like to go through the same exercise to see what it is trying to tell you? It would also be good for you to let me know when fear comes up in the future so we can look at it together. Fear, resistance, and expectations have a tendency to hinder LOOKING so it is important for us to address them if/when they come up.

2. To address the fear, it will take courage to look in the exact place the fear does not want you to look. Can that be okay? Maybe by honestly looking, the fear will no longer have to work so hard. Maybe it will be seen that what ‘fear’ is trying to protect, really doesn’t need protection. Maybe it will be seen that there is nothing to protect? But, we first have to see if there is, and ever was, an entity, ‘I’ ‘me’ ‘my’ ‘Una’ there that can actually receive fear or protection. It would certainly seems so, but when you look in direct experience (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting. Touching/feeling) can you locate this entity? Have a good look around, look under every nook and cranny and tell me if such an entity can actually be found. If so, please tell me in detail how it is experienced. Does it have size, color, location, density?

3 If no such entity can be found perhaps you might want to take a close look and see what is really happening when fear arises? Is it at all possible that ‘fear’ might be a thought that arises to label specific bodily sensations such as ‘tightness’, ‘denseness’ or ‘heaviness’? And that ‘fear’ might be a concept that is labeling other thoughts such as ‘death’, ‘loss of control’ ‘the unknown’? In direct experience, can anything called ‘fear’ actually be found? Or is it just a label?
Direct Experience

all concentrated in my chest and gut
tightness
denseness/heaviness
constantly changing in intensity but present
familiar
unpleasant
neutral
Thank you for sending this list. This is a great first attempt. Having a very clear view between what is directly experienced through the senses and what are thoughts is critically important for what we are doing here, so we want to take whatever time is necessary to be crystal clear on this point, okay? So, with that said, how about going through your list one more time and see if you can spot items on it that might still be thought content as opposed to what is directly experienced (i.e., seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling)? HINT: If it is directly experience you should be able to list the specific sensation (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling) being experienced next to each word/sentence. How about giving it a try and let me know what you find?

That should be enough work to keep you busy this evening ;-)

Hug,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:14 pm

Hi Linda,

Thank you for your kind and challenging response...
It would also be good for you to let me know when fear comes up in the future so we can look at it together.
So I sat quietly again, just to look, and there it was - fear again. As you said, it feels like an old friend, although it doesn't come around as much as it used to. Anyway, I can see how it is just a 'group' of sensations that now have a particular label 'fear'. Its is different from the 'group' of sensations that I label anger or lust or joy. It's interesting that each group has its own particular feeling and place in the body. Just the seeing of that resulted in the sensations I call fear flaring up. But when I experience it as just sensation, even what I would label and unpleasant sensation, it loses its power.
But, we first have to see if there is, and ever was, an entity, ‘I’ ‘me’ ‘my’ ‘Una’ there that can actually receive fear or protection. It would certainly seems so, but when you look in direct experience (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting. Touching/feeling) can you locate this entity?
No matter where I look, there is no thing that isn't changing - thoughts arising and falling, sensations coming and going - just experience. Not my experience - just experience.But even seeing that there is a part of me that wants to know where the thoughts are coming from, where does the control happen? It's like there's a battle going on between my brain and my...I don't know...and then the sensations labelled fear arise! The concept that 'fear' then labels other thoughts - e.g. death or loss of control is interesting - I'd like to reflect on that more.
So, with that said, how about going through your list one more time and see if you can spot items on it that might still be thought content as opposed to what is directly experienced
Revised list...Direct Experience
tightness
denseness/heaviness

...much shorter!

Thanks for the hug!

With love, Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:28 am

Wow Una! Lots of good seeing here.
It's interesting that each group has its own particular feeling and place in the body.
Great job spotting this. This is another area where it certainly seems to be the case. But just maybe, with very close observation in direct experience, we may discover something different. But for now, perhaps you could consider if each group (of sensations) actually has its own particular feeling, or could it be that sensations have familiar THOUGHTS that arise and are then mistaken as feelings?

And in direct experience can location really be found? These are a couple areas we will come back to visit shortly.
But when I experience it as just sensation, even what I would label and unpleasant sensation, it loses its power.
Okay, Good. And to push this a bit further, when just sensations are being experienced, does this statement even exist: “even what I would label and unpleasant sensation, it loses its power”? Isn’t the entire statement a stream of thoughts attempting to label and make sense of sensations”?
No matter where I look, there is no thing that isn't changing - thoughts arising and falling, sensations coming and going - just experience. Not my experience - just experience.
Beautiful! Notice how clearly it is seen here, and then…
But even seeing that there is a part of me that wants to know where the thoughts are coming from, where does the control happen? It's like there's a battle going on between my brain and my...I don't know...and then the sensations labelled fear arise!
But, But, But…see how the mind steps in and weaves a thought story around experience? It scans everywhere to find potential threats, to find answers to questions, trying to figure it all out. The heart is content with ‘just experience’. It is only in the content of thought that questions arise, threats are scoped out, and an endless attempt to figure it all out happens. Is this recognized? Or is something else seen?

Okay, so let’s first take a look at ‘thoughts’, and then we will investigate ‘control’.

Please spend the next few minutes, or longer, observing thoughts as they arise and disappear. As you do, consider the following questions and tell me honestly what you see.

Where do thoughts come from?
Can you control thoughts?
What influences thoughts?
Do you know what your next thought is going to be?
Can a thought be stopped in the middle?
Do thoughts come in one at a time? one after another? Bundled?
What do you know for sure?

Love,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:35 pm

G'day Linda,
It's been a spacious Saturday so more time for reflection and watching...It's been interesting.

So:
Where do thoughts come from?
My first response is the brain. But then, what is 'the brain' but constantly changing and compounded matter - another process. So, thoughts just arise and pass. My next response is does it matter where they come from - they just are...they are just experience.
Can you control thoughts?
That's easy...no. Sometimes there is the appearance of control - but that's just about directing or focusing some thoughts for periods of time and even then, other thoughts can just arise out of the blue and other times you can't stop particular thoughts.
What influences thoughts?
and I think this one is connected too:
could it be that sensations have familiar THOUGHTS that arise and are then mistaken as feelings?
Interestingly I was reflecting on this today. I was walking down the street and wondering what came first, sensation or thought. I looked at people I was passing and really watched my responses and it became clear that the sensation came first and based on that sensation, a thought - usually a preference, either dislike or like - and then some sort of story arose. So senses influence thought to the extent that based on the senses coming into contact with some thing/s a sensation arises and then a thought with a feeling/emotion attached.
Do you know what your next thought is going to be?
LoL :-) No....I've never asked myself that question and I've never looked before.
Can a thought be stopped in the middle?
Another question I've never asked myself before...No!
Do thoughts come in one at a time? one after another? Bundled?
This isn't quite as straightforward. They appear to come one after another, but one isn't necessarily finished before the next one arises, and they don't necessarily follow the same 'train' of thought. So not sure whether you would describe that as bundled. Just trying to watch it makes my brain hurt...
What do you know for sure?
For sure - can you really know anything, let alone know it for sure? I need more time for that one, I think - or maybe I'm overthinking it. Suddenly a thought arose - who or what is there to know. And, going back to yesterday's questions (before the thought content came in with the but..but...but) there is no thing to know - just experience.

Now my brain feels like it's going to explode...in a good way.

With love and appreciation!

Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:01 am

Hi Una,
Thank you for those responses. Again, some good seeing happening, and also mixed in with quite a bit of thought. Let's look:
Where do thoughts come from?
My first response is the brain. But then, what is 'the brain' but constantly changing and compounded matter - another process. So, thoughts just arise and pass. My next response is does it matter where they come from - they just are...they are just experience.
There sure is a lot of ‘thinking’ going on here. So, can you pause here and step outside of the stream of thoughts? Maybe right now, for the next 2-3 minutes, focus on the thoughts arising. Don’t get involved with them, just watch. As new thoughts arise, look and see where they come from. Report back to me what you find.
Can you control thoughts?
That's easy...no. Sometimes there is the appearance of control - but that's just about directing or focusing some thoughts for periods of time and even then, other thoughts can just arise out of the blue and other times you can't stop particular thoughts.
Okay Sweetheart, this is all mind stuff. What I am inviting you to do is to LOOK at thoughts arising NOW!, HERE!... and see if you can control them in ANY way, shape or form? Can a thought be directed? Give it a try. Share with me what specific thought was directed? What was the direction? Can a thought direct another thought? Can one thought focus on another thought? Can a thought think? Is there ANY thought, at ANY time, that can be stopped? This time really LOOK by observing what is happening with YOUR thoughts right NOW. Step out of the mind chatter and LOOK at what is actually happening. Don’t forget to respond to EVERY question.
Could it be that sensations have familiar THOUGHTS that arise and are then mistaken as feelings?
Interestingly I was reflecting on this today. I was walking down the street and wondering what came first, sensation or thought. I looked at people I was passing and really watched my responses and it became clear that the sensation came first and based on that sensation, a thought - usually a preference, either dislike or like - and then some sort of story arose.
Yes! Yay, Una!
So senses influence thought to the extent that based on the senses coming into contact with some thing/s a sensation arises and then a thought with a feeling/emotion attached.
Take another peek. Do you REALLY see any sense influencing thought? Sure, a sensation arises and then a thought arises that labels or makes commentary about the sensation, but do you SEE any influence or attachment between thought and sensation? How, specifically, does it influence or attach? Is that what is happening? Or is each just arising? This is an important difference to see. It APPEARS that sensations influence thought, but a close look in direct experience reveals that there is not a single shred of evidence to support cause and effect (between ANTHING).
Do you know what your next thought is going to be?
LoL :-) No....I've never asked myself that question and I've never looked before.
Yay!
Can a thought be stopped in the middle?
Another question I've never asked myself before...No!
Another, Yay!
Do thoughts come in one at a time? one after another? Bundled?
They appear to come one after another, but one isn't necessarily finished before the next one arises,
How do you know one isn’t finished before another one arises? Did you see the full thought, but then another thought arose before it finished? If so, how did you see the full thought if it didn’t finish?
What do you know for sure?
For sure - can you really know anything, let alone know it for sure? I need more time for that one, I think - or maybe I'm overthinking it.
Okay. But no thinking allowed, only LOOOOOOOOKING.
Now my brain feels like it's going to explode...in a good way.
I know that feeling well ;-).

Okay, you have a lot of looking to do, and I am looking forward to reading your results. BUT, No rush. Take whatever time you need to ensure looking, instead of thinking happens.

Love & Warmth,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:54 pm

HI Linda,

So here we go again...
As new thoughts arise, look and see where they come from. Report back to me what you find.
The thoughts come from nowhere - they just appear and then go.
see if you can control them in ANY way, shape or form?
No control - even doing this exercise and trying to get thoughts to arise on demand so I can look at them is frustratingly impossible.
Can a thought be directed? Give it a try. Share with me what specific thought was directed?
What was the direction?
No thought's can't be directed - 'directed' is meaningless. There are just thoughts arising. I'm assuming they can be directed because that's how it appears, but when I look I can't see that - I just see the thoughts arising and passing.
Can a thought direct another thought?
No. The thoughts themselves just arise and pass - I've been mixing that up with content.
Can one thought focus on another thought?
No - one goes and another arises.
Can a thought think?
No - it just appears and then goes.
s there ANY thought, at ANY time, that can be stopped?
Not in my immediate experience.
Do you REALLY see any sense influencing thought?
How, specifically, does it influence or attach? Is that what is happening? Or is each just arising?
No that's just an assumption because one follows the other - but I can't see the influence or attachment, there is just seeing/hearing/tasting etc and then a thought arises and then a feeling and then sometimes a story. I assume a connection - but I can't actually see one.
How do you know one isn’t finished before another one arises? Did you see the full thought, but then another thought arose before it finished? If so, how did you see the full thought if it didn’t finish?
I don't - again I've been making assumptions not seeing. Thoughts arise then pass then arise then pass and on and one, one after another without any apparent connection.

And, I can't 'know' anything - just experiencing...

With love and a whole range of other sensations!

Una

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LindaR
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Re: Finally ready

Postby LindaR » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:14 pm

G’day Una,
Excellent looking! Well seen!
even doing this exercise and trying to get thoughts to arise on demand so I can look at them is frustratingly impossible.
This made me chuckle.
Is there ANY thought, at ANY time, that can be stopped?
Not in my immediate experience.
Just to make sure I understand your statement… are there other immediate experiences where thought can be stopped?

Let’s do an exercise. Where ever you are located right now, pause and take a look at the surrounding. Notice the objects, notice any people and/or animals, the temperature, any sounds, and any bodily sensations. Now go walk around the house or building you are currently in, notice people and/or animals, the experience of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. Do the same thing by going outside. Take it all in….

1. Relying on direct experience, are the people and/or animals experiencing or are they experienced? If they are experiencing, how do you know?
2. Can you step out of immediate experience to prove that any other experience/perspective exists?
3. Is there a ‘my’’I’’me’’Una’ having an experience, or is there just experiencing? Tell me honestly how it is actually experienced right now.

Now I invite you to look at how decisions and control seem to happen. This may hurt your head a bit ;-)
Please take a normal daily activity such as choosing what food to buy, what shirt to wear, or preparing a meal, and as you do it, try to notice how the decisions seem to take shape.

1. Do thoughts affect what happens or do they comment?
2. Is there any 'I' deciding anything? Does it feel as though there is any real autonomous individual there who is responsible for anything?
3. Describe the whole process as fully, but simply as you can.

With Love,
Linda

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Una
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Re: Finally ready

Postby Una » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:30 pm

Hey Linda,

So, straight into it...
Just to make sure I understand your statement… are there other immediate experiences where thought can be stopped?
OK - I can't know whether there are other immediate experiences that can be stopped or, as the next exercise shows any other 'experiences' - there is just direct experience - everything else is a story.
1. Relying on direct experience, are the people and/or animals experiencing or are they experienced? If they are experiencing, how do you know?
They are experienced. I can only assume they are experiencing, I can't verify that through direct experience.
2. Can you step out of immediate experience to prove that any other experience/perspective exists?
No.
3. Is there a ‘my’’I’’me’’Una’ having an experience, or is there just experiencing? Tell me honestly how it is actually experienced right now.
No Una, no I, no me - there is just experiencing. There are sensations - sounds, sights, touch etc - thoughts arising and passing, labelling and starting stories. Once the stories start - e.g the sight become a picture - it is difficult just seeing again - it takes effort. So before the labelling experiencing is effortless.
1. Do thoughts affect what happens or do they comment?
Thoughts don't affect what happens - they just provide a story or commentary to explain a 'decision' - a sort of afterthought!
2. Is there any 'I' deciding anything? Does it feel as though there is any real autonomous individual there who is responsible for anything?
No - again there is sensation then there is a thought that adds a story to the sensation and another sensation arises and another thought with associated story arises and so on......
3. Describe the whole process as fully, but simply as you can.
There is sense contact - seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling - with something, a sensation arises and a response to that sensation then almost simultaneously a thought arises explaining the response, which makes it look like there was a 'decision' - but it's just a story.

It's a bit like a sea anemone - you poke it and it withdraws - no thought just response, but what I do is develop an elaborate story to make it look like there is decision-making going on, because that reinforces the view that there is a maker of the decision - and there isn't...

You are right, my head is hurting :-)...again...

With love, Una


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