No-self

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

No-self

Postby tcrowell » Wed May 10, 2017 5:29 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That there is no 'me.' This me has been developed and enabled through conditioning. There is only something that sees this me.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for pointers to help me when I go off into this unconscious "me." I am not really sure what I am looking for and am only writing more so that I have 200 characters. It won't let me submit my registration until I have 200 characters in this space.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I'm not sure what to expect but I would hope it is longer stretches of awareness of the present moment. As in the previous question I cannot articulate more than that but it is requiring me to keep writing until I have 200 characters. If I really knew what to expect I probably wouldn't need the guided conversation.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I began with buddhist meditation and learned about the advaita of Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi. Now I am trying to be aware of the I thought as long as I can and when I think to do it. I have recently read the Jackson Peterson book, "The Natural Bliss of Being."

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?:
10

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Thu May 25, 2017 10:18 am

Hello tcrowell,

(would you like me to use this name or another?)

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jon and I guide here. I'm happy to offer to guide you.

I notice that you say you are not too sure of what you are looking for or what you expect? Actually this is a good place to start. Expectations of a particular result or experience can sometimes stand in the way.
Now I am trying to be aware of the I thought as long as I can and when I think to do it.
Do you find that this can be circular, in that there is an idea that an 'I' is trying to do this? Since you have been looking at thoughts we could start here?
I am looking for pointers to help me when I go off into this unconscious "me."
That is very much the way these conversations at LU work. This would be your inquiry into 'self' in which I would ask a series of questions as pointers aimed at assisting you to see that there is no self.
I would hope it is longer stretches of awareness of the present moment


This is possible. A flexible approach here will serve well, as this may not necessarily equate to 'no thoughts', though it is quite common idea that it should.


Please let me know if you would like to proceed?

Warm regards,

Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Fri May 26, 2017 4:48 am

Yes I would like to continue. And to answer your question, I do find it circular. I try to rest in that unknowing and it feels uncomfortable. I think this "me" wants it to be more than that. I am a recovering alcoholic (4 years) and part of the discovery of my reason for drinking was wanting "this" to be more than what am I was or am experiencing.

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 26, 2017 8:58 am

Hello Tcrowell,
. to answer your question, I do find it circular. I try to rest in that unknowing and it feels uncomfortable. I think this "me" wants it to be more than that. I am a recovering alcoholic (4 years) and part of the discovery of my reason for drinking was wanting "this" to be more than what am I
Thank you for telling me this, it very helpful. Let's see what we can do then.

First thing, for the duration of our conversation please relax your efforts to become aware of the 'I' thoughts as you have been doing, Especially if you have been making a practise of this. You are perfectly free to do this after our conversation is completed but it could possibly interfere with our efforts here. Can you please agree to this? And also, for the time being, cease reading any spiritual or nondual books or watching DVDs on the subject? Let me know if you cannot agree to this.

You may have noticed that I have been quoting some of your words using an orange background? Please try to use the 'Quote' button at the head of this editing screen whenever you wish. Its fairly easy to copy and paste bits of text between the little cursors that appear.

Now, let's move to exploring thoughts. At LU we work as directly as possible. That means looking directly at your own experience to find out what is really true to experience rather than hearsay or conjecture. I'll ask a few questions to get things rolling.

Are thoughts 'yours' ?

Do you think thoughts
Or, do thoughts think you?

Also, an experiment. Place your hand on a table, palm down. Close the eyes and notice the feeling where 'hand' meets 'table'. There may be a feeling of warmth, maybe or slight pressure. At any rate there is feeling.

Are 'you' making this sensation happen? In the sensation its self, right here and now, Is an 'I' or 'me' making it happen. Or does it simply happen?

Regards

Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Sat May 27, 2017 2:42 am

I'm not very good with technology so I don't know how to use the quote function. I clicked it but then I didn't know what to do after that.

Are thoughts "yours?" No, thoughts just happen because of conditioning and memory.
Do you think thoughts? No, thoughts just happen and something is aware of the thoughts.
Not sure about thoughts thinking me or not. Probably if thoughts that occur resurrect this me that I take myself to be.
Regarding the exercise with putting my hand on the table:
Am I making the sensation happen? No, the sensation happens and something is aware of it.
Is an i or me making it happen? No, it simply happens.
I will try to not to make contact with any spiritual material. What do I do when I am going to sleep or awaking or other off times when I would usually do practice? For now (tonight) I will just notice what is happening without putting any concepts on it.

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Sat May 27, 2017 8:40 am

Hello,

Thanks for trying to use the quote function
. I'm not very good with technology so I don't know how to use the quote function. I clicked it but then I didn't know what to do after that.
If you are writing on a tablet or smartphone you will notice little brackets appear. You then have to place the cursor between these brackets and press the space bar a few times. Then 'paste' your copied section into the small gap. If working on a OC, the cursor will already be between the little brackets and toy can paste by pressing Ctrl and V at the same time. The text then appears. It won't show as orange until you preview your post or submit it at the end.
.I will try to not to make contact with any spiritual material
Thank you.
. What do I do when I am going to sleep or awaking or other off times when I would usually do practice?
Whatever is noticed in the normal course of events is fine but please dont make a special effort of will to notice everything. This can create a strong impression that there is a self that does this and make it harder to really see that there has never been a self.

Please tell me what is your understanding of what 'you' are?

Thank you

Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Sat May 27, 2017 9:40 pm

Thank you for the quick and consistent responses.
I should say that I am not making "special effort" to look at the I thought or any other spiritual techniques. It is only because we are discussing it that I mention it. I learned awhile ago that this is all just further seeking which is pointless. I am already perfect and pure and "enlightened." I am just curious about the whole subject and enjoy it. It helps me getting to sleep, not that I have trouble, but its a pleasant way to drop off. But as I said, I sometimes get lost in ego and I thoughts.

Regarding the quote function, I don't have a smart phone. My technological knowledge is so limited I don't know what an "OC" is. I use a laptop for this communication. The problem I have no interest in technology, consider it a burden sometimes and unfortunately am not the least bit curious. I know enough to get by.

"What is your understanding of what "you" are?"
Linguisticly impossible to answer since what I am is unknowable other than what is aware of what is happening. But when I try to find what is looking, I disappear and it becomes as you say, "circular."

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Sun May 28, 2017 9:22 am

Hello,

I'm sorry. 'OC' was a mistake. I was actually trying to type 'i-pad'. I understand. Technology can be a headache. I, too, use a laptop and it isn't difficult to get the Quote function to work. We tend to use this because it can make the flow of conversation a lot easier to follow for us and anyone else who may read these conversations.

Here is specific instruction for using with your laptop.

If you click on the Quote button now you will see the following appear:


and your cursor will be in the middle between these. If you have already copied a few lines of text all you would need to do would be to press Ctrl and V at the same time for that text to appear between the quote markers. It will not have an orange background until you finally submit your reply to me but then the whole thing makes perfect sense. If you move your cursor from its initial position between the
markers so as to copy some text then you will need to place it back into the little gap between them before pasting the text.

Thank you for the quick and consistent responses.
You are welcome. Let's try to post to each other daily unless something prevents this? If I can't post for any reason I will let you know. For example, I will be traveling abroad for a few days about one week from now. That may mean that there will be a few days that I do not reply.
I should say that I am not making "special effort" to look at the I thought or any other spiritual techniques. It is only because we are discussing it that I mention it. I learned awhile ago that this is all just further seeking which is pointless. I am already perfect and pure and "enlightened." I am just curious about the whole subject and enjoy it. It helps me getting to sleep, not that I have trouble, but its a pleasant way to drop off. But as I said, I sometimes get lost in ego and I thoughts.
Good. That sounds fine.
"What is your understanding of what "you" are?"
Linguisticly impossible to answer since what I am is unknowable other than what is aware of what is happening. But when I try to find what is looking, I disappear and it becomes as you say, "circular."
When you say 'I disappear', could that possibly have something to do with there simply not being an intrinsic self at all?

Often there is an assumption that it is difficult or that it might take many years to see no self but it is very interesting that this scenario happens when you try to find what is looking.

But is something looking? Literally, is something 'doing' the looking?

Regards,

jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Mon May 29, 2017 4:37 am

Yes when I said I disappear, it is that there is no intrinsic self there. That's very good and something I haven't considered.

With that new insight, there is probably nothing looking and nothing doing the looking. Again I have to use language to answer and convey a thought. I really like this new insight because there is a dawning that even though I knew it conceptually that I was empty, I never considered it so literally. It is very freeing. Thank you.

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Mon May 29, 2017 8:15 am

That's what we are here for :-)
With that new insight, there is probably nothing looking and nothing doing the looking. Again I have to use language to answer and convey a thought. I really like this new insight because there is a dawning that even though I knew it conceptually that I was empty, I never considered it so literally. It is very freeing. Thank you.
It is so literal isn't it?

You may like to try the following exercise to explore this?

The words on this screen are seen. What are they seen by? Conventionally it is said that 'I see' and it is assumed that 'eyes see' or 'the body sees'

Right here and now what is it that is doing the seeing? Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing' or is the direct experience simply ... seeing?

What is the actual experience? Is there a 'me', 'seeing'?

Thank you,
Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Tue May 30, 2017 2:22 am

There is nothing seeing. When I go back again to see what is looking there is nothing seeing. The trick is to get to a point where I eliminate the first part and simply see. Non-duality teaching has got to be the worst career path because once a person gets it, its over. I'm joking but you don't cultivate repeat business. If they hang on they still don't get it. Still there are billions who need this teaching. And I'm sure the people like yourself who teach do it selflessly to help the suffering. In AA, they tell you to keep coming back but it seems like just a new addiction, lots of the people I go to AA with go to 5 or meetings a week. They say they're doing it give back but I sense that its just a new addiction albeit a more healthy one. They can't cope unless they have the liferaft of AA meetings and the sangha of recovery people. But being a chronic relapser I know I do have to go back(I do one meeting a week) just to remind myself I can't drink normally. Also my wife wouldn't feel comfortable with me stopping. But it reminds me of the Buddhist story of the teaching being like a raft that gets you to the shore but once you have reached the shore you don't need it anymore.
Thank you for this latest exercise. I will do it every when I think to do it and in the evening when I'm dropping off.

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Tue May 30, 2017 8:48 am

Hi,

Thank you for your post. I read it and it is interesting and there is a lot of truth in what you say.

As a guide here I do not set out to teach in the normal sense of telling people what to believe. In fact that approach to teaching runs counter to what we do. Ideally we just ask some questions and you take a look at your experience. It is your inquiry and any discoveries will be yours.
. But being a chronic relapser I know I do have to go back(I do one meeting a week) just to remind myself I can't drink normally. Also my wife wouldn't feel comfortable with me stopping. But it reminds me of the Buddhist story of the teaching being like a raft that gets you to the shore but once you have reached the shore you don't need it anymore.
Do you hope that our conversation here will 'cure' you of a need for that weekly meeting?
. Thank you for this latest exercise. I will do it every when I think to do it and in the evening when I'm dropping off.
No need to do it a lot. If it is seen that there is no 'seer' 'seeing' , even just for a second or two a couple of times, it has worked for now.

Try Hearing next (again, just a few times). When you will not be disturbed, start noticing all the sounds, gentle ones like your breathing, then slightly louder,,like birdsong or distant traffic, in fact any and all sounds. Simply notice it all.

Now, in this moment, is there an experience of 'me' 'hearing', a 'self' 'hearing' , or is there simply what is heard?

Is the experience like 'hearing through ears'. Or just hearing?


Regards

Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Tue May 30, 2017 11:18 pm

Do you hope our conversation will cure your need for AA?

Not sure if cure is the word but I would like to have some relief (maybe too strong a word) for my many addictions, seen as a buddhist attachment to desire. Fantasy sports, seeing who is commenting on a facebook post etc. When I eat I like to be really full and if not something seems to be lacking. Whatever I'm doing seems to be not quite fulfilling as I'd like it to be etc. When I drank, I wanted to be as drunk as possible to the point of passing out. A two or three drink buzz was horrible and never enough. So, I'm looking to be comfortable with whatever is in front of me. I see that from the advaita teachings to look at who(or what) is this that thinks right now is not enough. So, I like your latest pointing to look at what sees this thought that it isn't enough. There is nothing there that sees this. To extend that is to see that there is no addiction to be had or seen either. Through the AA program I have "lost the obsession to drink" but there are other desires I'm not as comfortable with.

I will take a look at hearing.

I'm coming off like I'm doing this looking obsessively but I just go to it when I occasionally discover that I've gotten out of "simply seeing."

User avatar
JonathanR
Posts: 3978
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: No-self

Postby JonathanR » Wed May 31, 2017 7:47 am

Hi,

Again, thanks for your post.
. Not sure if cure is the word but I would like to have some relief (maybe too strong a word) for my many addictions, seen as a buddhist attachment to desire.
It is possible that seeing that there is no self will help.But there is also the possibility that habits that were in play before seeing no self will continue as before, albeit seen more directly.

At LU Gate we deal with 'self' and seeing that there is no intrinsic self. There are many groups and paths for exploring or investigating further into the sort of territory you mention. But the very first thing is to get clear about 'self'.
. So, I like your latest pointing to look at what sees this thought that it isn't enough. There is nothing there that sees this. To extend that is to see that there is no addiction to be had or seen either
Is this what is seen, that there is no addiction? Or is it more of a deduction that 'since no self can be found, who or what could experience addiction'?
. I will take a look at hearing.
Please do. Some of these exercises can be very interesting.

Regards

Jon

User avatar
tcrowell
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:28 am

Re: No-self

Postby tcrowell » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:35 am

"So, I like your latest pointing to look at what sees this thought that it isn't enough. There is nothing there that sees this. To extend that is to see that there is no addiction to be had or seen either
Is this what is seen, that there is no addiction? Or is it more of a deduction that 'since no self can be found, who or what could experience addiction'?"


I can cut and paste. I still think that by extension there is no addiction in that ultimately nothing exists. Just as when I realize the present moment is all there is, the past doesn't exist and any karmic addictive patterns I had do not exist in the present moment. Right now I am typing on a computer. That is what's happening and the only thing that is happening. I am not drinking. But if I go about thinking I'm no longer an alchoholic and test that theory I will quickly find out I will immediately drink alchoholicly as I have found many times in the past while relapsing.


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 45 guests