Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

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CMatthews
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:13 pm

How does this make you feel? Knowing that you never took and choice and never will. That you are a "victim" (using that word just for emphasis) of fate. Might be that our entire existence is preprogrammed. Right? Maybe we don't even exist and are a sort of computer program watching a never ending movie and thinking we are one of the characters.
All this might be true or not. But would you be ok with any of the scenarios or are there any reactions going inside of you?
I don't feel like my life is preprogrammed. I can sense there is no 'doer' and my choices are not coming from some centralised 'me'. But it still feels like there is some free will.

The scenario you suggest, I would be okay with, except for one big objection. Accepting it would mean that trying to change the world for the better. People are just automatons, their agency is an illusion. Therefore we have no choice but to accept things as they are. This passivity is unacceptable for me. Even if the self is illusory, there are many other 'illusory selves' that would love to exploit people even more when they become this passive.
There might be several reasons for that.
1. There are still things you identify with and this inquiry will bring them out to light eventually. If there's anything you can think of that seems "personal" do let me know.
2. It might look unbelievable at first after so many years of reading spirituality books and meditations that promised all sorts of stuff but didn't deliver to find a method that actually works. I myself was a bit sceptic at first. I kept telling my guide to ask me more questions and give me more pointers just to be sure I wasn't deluding myself lol.
3. Your mind keeps trying to "understand" this seeing and conceptualize it and it can't because one can only see what is while the mind lives in past and future. The mind thinks in terms of survival and benefits and there are really no such benefits in our work here. Well, there are but not the sort that would help the mind in anyway. On the contrary...

Either way, DE is the way to go. Any doubt you have on any topic, put that topic under scrutiny.
1. I'll look at this more. Feelings all seem personal from one angle and are just bare sensations from another. I'll look more at how I identify with different ones.
2. There are some of those kinds of doubts. This seems to be too good to be true. Why isn't this more popular? For millennia people have meditated and lived austere lives and for decades for a glimpse of this reality. Surely this can't be talking about the same insights. But I trust the process enough to keep on doing it.
3. Yes. I have a habit of trying to categorise my experiences in some spiritual or metaphysical framework from some book or another. But this doesn't offer any clarity.
Are you positive? No doubts here?

And another thing. In DE, is there a watcher separate from the seen?
I'm still getting used to the idea in day to day life. Whenever I look at intentions/thoughts arising, I don't choose the intentions. Things just arise and cause other things. Even if I intend to control my thinking in some way, that intention just arises.

Sometimes it feels like there is just the seen/felt. But most of the time there is a distance, like whatever happens (even within the body) is 'out there' and I'm seeing it/processing it 'in here' - I look at where this 'in here' is and I can't locate it.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:50 pm

I don't feel like my life is preprogrammed. I can sense there is no 'doer' and my choices are not coming from some centralised 'me'. But it still feels like there is some free will.
How can you have free will if you don't make choices?

This passivity is unacceptable for me. Even if the self is illusory, there are many other 'illusory selves' that would love to exploit people even more when they become this passive.
What a lovely story! A perfect example of an unquestioned belief.
Who cares what is acceptable/unacceptable for "you"? We're speaking about what is, not about some fairy tale you're telling yourself.

And this quote is the perfect answer as to why you still have so many doubts. You're very much caught in your head instead of looking. DE needs to become a habit. Not just use it to answer my questions but to answer your own as well. You clearly haven't used any before writing that down.

My job here is to point you in the right direction. But eventually you will have to fly on your own, and so far it looks like you lack something, like you're afraid to let go of the illusory safety of the ground (aka your thoughts, habits and beliefs). This way you're not going to get anywhere.

This method actually works, but even then, less than 50% of the people who come here make it through. Many are just looking for confirmation as to how "spiritual" they are and want to share some of their wisdom. Problem is we are very non-spiritual actually and our method is simplicity. And so they leave to go some place else to share their wisdom and spirituality. Again, good for them. If that makes them happy, have a pleasant journey.

Don't take this as a scare attempt but a wake up call.

Feelings all seem personal from one angle and are just bare sensations from another. I'll look more at how I identify with different ones.
Please do. Whatever feels "personal" is what keeps you trapped.

Sometimes it feels like there is just the seen/felt. But most of the time there is a distance, like whatever happens (even within the body) is 'out there' and I'm seeing it/processing it 'in here' - I look at where this 'in here' is and I can't locate it.
Is there anything personal in that which sees?

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CMatthews
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:34 am

How can you have free will if you don't make choices?
This is difficult to accept but I see it. And you're right, letting go of free will is scary. So many comfortable beliefs and sources of security rely on this idea.
What a lovely story! A perfect example of an unquestioned belief.
Who cares what is acceptable/unacceptable for "you"? We're speaking about what is, not about some fairy tale you're telling yourself.

And this quote is the perfect answer as to why you still have so many doubts. You're very much caught in your head instead of looking. DE needs to become a habit. Not just use it to answer my questions but to answer your own as well. You clearly haven't used any before writing that down.

My job here is to point you in the right direction. But eventually you will have to fly on your own, and so far it looks like you lack something, like you're afraid to let go of the illusory safety of the ground (aka your thoughts, habits and beliefs). This way you're not going to get anywhere.

This method actually works, but even then, less than 50% of the people who come here make it through. Many are just looking for confirmation as to how "spiritual" they are and want to share some of their wisdom. Problem is we are very non-spiritual actually and our method is simplicity. And so they leave to go some place else to share their wisdom and spirituality. Again, good for them. If that makes them happy, have a pleasant journey.

Don't take this as a scare attempt but a wake up call.
I'm determined to make it through it and the first part of what you wrote resonates with me. I need to take things as they are. I can see that my ideas about how the world should be are fantasies and are connected to a sense of self.

And I am afraid of letting these go.

I fear that I will lose my sense of commitment to making the world better. I feel that anger towards injustice is an important feeling. If people lost this, the world could become much, much worse than it already is. This belief is totally rooted in certain ideas I hold about who I am, what the purpose of 'my' existence is, etc. And in this regard, the ideas are just fictions. I can see this when I look and I don't want to deny it. But these views that I hold also come from a feeling of compassion for those who suffer, and a belief (more than a belief, a knowing) that we are all connected.

Maybe if I let go of these beliefs, I will be able to let go of other delusions and egoistic attachments, and will be better able to help people in the long run.

Maybe that's true. But it seems like you're urging me to let go of even this idea, and of any sense of reaction towards bad things that happen in the world. How do I reconcile this? Seeing beyond the self clearly isn't just about 'me', so there must be a way.
Please do. Whatever feels "personal" is what keeps you trapped.
Typing the above response was a good example. Today I felt slightly ill, and I saw that the physical feelings, my response to those feelings, the thoughts that created new feelings, were outside of my control, they just happened, there was no me. The same with my feelings about recent social interactions and conversations. But when it comes to the beliefs/views I stated above, it still feels personal. I need to look more at where this sense of a 'person feeling strongly about something' is located, which sensations make this up.
there anything personal in that which sees?
This question has already helped me but I need to look at this more before I can give a clear answer. What I've noticed so far: There are moments when things just are. Sensations, sounds, smells, thoughts just arise. There are other moments when there is a sense of distance from this things, like they are being observed by afar and the thing/place that observes likes/dislikes what it observes, makes mental comments and judgements, and responds with new concepts/images/sentences.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:07 pm

How can you have free will if you don't make choices?
This is difficult to accept but I see it. And you're right, letting go of free will is scary. So many comfortable beliefs and sources of security rely on this idea.
Good! You found something that gives you troubles. Don't just accept it or move on. Look into it! This is what it's all about. Bring all those fears and beliefs in your awareness and look into it. Take each in particular and let those "nasty" feelings permeate your body, like we talked before. Let them tell you what messages they have and this way heal themselves.
This is what this is all about. Look into each and every sensation, no matter how small and insignificant it is. Take them as a great opportunity to bring healing and cleanse some hidden beliefs. And then shower them in gratitude for the lesson well learned.

And tell me how it all worked.

I fear that I will lose my sense of commitment to making the world better. I feel that anger towards injustice is an important feeling. If people lost this, the world could become much, much worse than it already is.
You're saying you have any control over what happens? Or other people might have?
Was Stalin "evil" or did he just was? Did he murder 20 million people because he wanted to or was he just a tool?

Are you anything more than a tool?

Maybe if I let go of these beliefs, I will be able to let go of other delusions and egoistic attachments, and will be better able to help people in the long run.
Releasing all the illusions and beliefs one weaved itself in will leave more space, space that can be filled with more things like love or compassion. And then, you will be much freer to exercise them in the absence of worries and fears.
No matter how "good" or "bad" a belief seems to be - they are n o t r e a l. It's a dream!

Seeing beyond the self clearly isn't just about 'me', so there must be a way.
Yes and No. The illusion of the self is ONE belief. A big ass belief, but one nevertheless. There's plenty of other beliefs that don't relate and will keep on "living", beliefs in desires, ill will, time, space, higher spirits, and all sorts of crap. The good news is that all of them go away the same way: through the use of DE, through looking. So try not to take on too much work if you feel you can't handle it. Take small easy steps.

Btw, are you familiar with the Buddhist term of the 10 Fetters? Seeing through the illusion of the self is step 1. 9 more to go. This might help if you want to structure your inquiry better.

But when it comes to the beliefs/views I stated above, it still feels personal. I need to look more at where this sense of a 'person feeling strongly about something' is located, which sensations make this up.
Are those beliefs anything more than a habit? Something you learned and it became so ingrained they are like an addiction? Like smoking?

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CMatthews
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:14 pm

Good! You found something that gives you troubles. Don't just accept it or move on. Look into it! This is what it's all about. Bring all those fears and beliefs in your awareness and look into it. Take each in particular and let those "nasty" feelings permeate your body, like we talked before. Let them tell you what messages they have and this way heal themselves.
This is what this is all about. Look into each and every sensation, no matter how small and insignificant it is. Take them as a great opportunity to bring healing and cleanse some hidden beliefs. And then shower them in gratitude for the lesson well learned.

And tell me how it all worked.
Been quite tired and ill these past few days. It's nothing and will clear up soon enough. Tried to sit and bring up these things. I struggled to focus the mind enough to clearly bring up feelings about not having free will. Frustration arose. I couldn't direct my thoughts enough on one thing. I'll do this again later.
Btw, are you familiar with the Buddhist term of the 10 Fetters? Seeing through the illusion of the self is step 1. 9 more to go. This might help if you want to structure your inquiry better.
I know about this. I understand that the ten fetters are overcome in a certain order. Does it have to be that way?
Are those beliefs anything more than a habit? Something you learned and it became so ingrained they are like an addiction? Like smoking?
Thank you. As soon as I read that I could see it.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:24 pm

Been quite tired and ill these past few days. It's nothing and will clear up soon enough. Tried to sit and bring up these things. I struggled to focus the mind enough to clearly bring up feelings about not having free will. Frustration arose. I couldn't direct my thoughts enough on one thing. I'll do this again later.
Hope you get well soon. And no worries, take your time. A break might help out if you find yourself in a lot of stress.

I know about this. I understand that the ten fetters are overcome in a certain order. Does it have to be that way?
No, it's useful to know how they are structured to have an idea what you're dealing with and not to burden yourself with "too much" at a time but other than that, the order is not that important. There are benefits in following a certain structure but many times one finds itself to have already seen through fetter 6 for instance while still dealing with the reactions pertaining to the 5th.

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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:03 pm

Feeling better now. Been trying to look clearly at what this awareness is. What is it that perceives. Starting to see that there is nothing there that I can call awareness, just the thing itself.

Also looked a bit more at what it is that wants to see clearly, what it is that wants a clear mind. There is a sense of something contracting and pushing, but the desires and wants just come and go. There is nothing in the middle directing it.

Still not there. Far from it. I feel like looking at awareness and subtle desire to have better mind states is necessary and good. But I also feel like I'm going around in circles. Or that I need to look at them from a different angle, or ask didfferent questions to really see into/through these things.

What do you think? Also, thanks for your response on the fetters model. Ill will and sensual desire seem to have stopped arising for a while now. But I can't say that they're permanently uprooted (I only know that these things haven't arisen, at least in a significant way, in some time). Belief in a self is certainly still there, in a deep sense.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:09 pm

Been trying to look clearly at what this awareness is. What is it that perceives. Starting to see that there is nothing there that I can call awareness, just the thing itself.
Any doubts there?

Still not there. Far from it. I feel like looking at awareness and subtle desire to have better mind states is necessary and good. But I also feel like I'm going around in circles. Or that I need to look at them from a different angle, or ask didfferent questions to really see into/through these things.
There is just looking and there are no different angles. Things either ARE or ARE NOT.
Nothing but simply looking at something will offer you insight into that thing. And in case you look and look and still not find anything, maybe it's because there's really nothing there. Your mind keeps looking because that's what the mind does, that's what it was programmed for, and that's not going to change.

So try with NO angles. Don't look with a purpose to get anywhere. Just look in a relaxed way and with the knowledge that there might really be nothing there. And if there is something there, you should be able to locate it.

Ill will and sensual desire seem to have stopped arising for a while now. But I can't say that they're permanently uprooted (I only know that these things haven't arisen, at least in a significant way, in some time). Belief in a self is certainly still there, in a deep sense.
Ill Will and Desire are deeply ingrained beliefs. I wouldn't even call them beliefs, but habits. Actually, I'd call them a pain in the arse. :)) You might know it's a belief all you like, when you're in traffic and another drivers cuts you off you will get pissed either way.
I`m not experienced in the upper fetters, but I think getting over D & IW will be much smoother once you're over the "self".

Belief in a self is certainly still there, in a deep sense.
So, if it's not awareness, or your body, or your sensations/senses, or your thoughts, or your choices, or your experiences, then where exactly are you stuck?
Because this is pretty much it. I don't know of any other place that somebody might still have a sense of self hiding in.

Where does that "feeling" comes from? Can you locate it?

Hmm, what about "separation"? What about the other objects(nature, animals,people)? Is there a "you" that feels separated from them or is that just another thought/concept?

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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:36 pm

Any doubts there?
I'm going in and out of seeing it. There is awareness of what just is. But I only see this when I'm trying to 'see clearly'. Then the mental activity continues, and there are nervous system/adrenal responses to thoughts, and the whole cycle begins to spin. Then things are not just as they are, there is a distance, some kind of separate thing that's aware. Then I try to see clearly again, and I do to some extent but there is always desiring for the clarity to last or stick in place, and it doesn't. So, in short, moments of clarity when I slow down thought, and a sense of separate observer/distance when the mind does its normal thing.
There is just looking and there are no different angles. Things either ARE or ARE NOT.
Nothing but simply looking at something will offer you insight into that thing. And in case you look and look and still not find anything, maybe it's because there's really nothing there. Your mind keeps looking because that's what the mind does, that's what it was programmed for, and that's not going to change.

So try with NO angles. Don't look with a purpose to get anywhere. Just look in a relaxed way and with the knowledge that there might really be nothing there. And if there is something there, you should be able to locate it.
Wouldn't that be the same as 'just sitting'? It seems like I need to look at particular things such as awareness, desire for liberation, and the arising of a sense of self from nothingness. If I just sit, I could be doing this for hundreds, thousands of hours and miss the point.
Ill Will and Desire are deeply ingrained beliefs. I wouldn't even call them beliefs, but habits. Actually, I'd call them a pain in the arse. :)) You might know it's a belief all you like, when you're in traffic and another drivers cuts you off you will get pissed either way.
I`m not experienced in the upper fetters, but I think getting over D & IW will be much smoother once you're over the "self".
I agree. I definitely wouldn't say these are uprooted. They're just not prevalent for me right now. And that direction is a good one.
So, if it's not awareness, or your body, or your sensations/senses, or your thoughts, or your choices, or your experiences, then where exactly are you stuck?
Because this is pretty much it. I don't know of any other place that somebody might still have a sense of self hiding in.

Where does that "feeling" comes from? Can you locate it?

Hmm, what about "separation"? What about the other objects(nature, animals,people)? Is there a "you" that feels separated from them or is that just another thought/concept?
This is good. I've always saw it as the goal, consciously or otherwise, to overcome the illusory feeling of separation. I've never thought to investigate what makes up this sensation. I'm going to look at this more tonight.

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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:01 pm

Still looking at the feeling of separation. With sounds, there is no way to establish where the sound 'out there' ends, and 'I' begin. If I bring attention to an object outside and then to what is going on in the body, there is no difference. Things just are what they are and are where they are.

The feeling of separation from people comes from thinking abstractly. The other person 'just is' and I 'just am'. But there is a private, internal world within that person that I can never know. Intellectually I know that things are causally connected, but each person has their own private, internal subjectivity.

I need some ways to investigate this more. Without being mystical or overly spiritual, how can I say that people are not separate?

The feeling of separation from people: When I cultivate this feeling on purpose, I feel a tension in the stomach, a mild but sharp feeling. When I stop thinking and look at the sensation, it dissipates and new sensations arise.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:50 pm

Any doubts there?
I'm going in and out of seeing it. There is awareness of what just is. But I only see this when I'm trying to 'see clearly'. Then the mental activity continues, and there are nervous system/adrenal responses to thoughts, and the whole cycle begins to spin.
Are you by any chance expect a realization that will engulf you and keep rolling 24/7? Because what we do here is not that. Once you see there is no self, nothing really changes. The body will keep functioning like it does. Thoughts can still drive you crazy. Awareness will still be there being aware. Things will keep on happening like before.
The only thing that changes is your perspective over things.

Note that, in time, getting more accustomed with DE and applying it more often, you sort of grow into it. But basically what that means is turning DE into a habit, rewiring the brain.

So, if you can see awareness as just being, and there are no doubts about it, that's pretty much it.
Or at least that's what I understand from what you're telling me.

Wouldn't that be the same as 'just sitting'? It seems like I need to look at particular things such as awareness, desire for liberation, and the arising of a sense of self from nothingness. If I just sit, I could be doing this for hundreds, thousands of hours and miss the point.
Yes you're right. My point was you seem to be way too focused onto achieving something and it looked to me like you're setting your own trap.
I was in a similar situation. I was afraid to let off the tiller. I was tense for a result. So one evening I begun to meditate. I got relaxed, with an idea of whatever happens, happens. Screw everything! And meditation sort of carried me away into the realm of seeing, showing me that that which I thought to be an immutable level of self (awareness in my case) was just as illusiory as everything else. Bang!

And like I said above, nothing really changed. I simply saw there is no self. It's like when you're a kid and Santa comes and at one point you see his beard falling and notice it was your father all along. Belief gone. Childhood ruined! lol

I need some ways to investigate this more. Without being mystical or overly spiritual, how can I say that people are not separate?
I have a very good exercise for that. Not just for people, but all objects, including yourself.

Pick an object (laptop, lamp, pen, etc.) sitting on the desk you're typing on. Can you find the border inbetween these two objects? Where does the object ends and the desk begins? where does the hand ends and the keyboard begins? And by border I mean the exact tiny weeny point where they touch.
Can you actually see the separation or do you sort of have to "imagine" it, "create" it even? (Hope that makes sense)

And you can apply that to people you see as well.
And done well, this exercise can make you wonder not just about separation but the whole nature of our reality, everything we see and perceive. It can get a bit spooky. Let "looking" carry you away.

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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:03 pm

Note that, in time, getting more accustomed with DE and applying it more often, you sort of grow into it. But basically what that means is turning DE into a habit, rewiring the brain.
I'll keep on doing this. I have tended to move between a vipassana noting practice and a more objectless meditation like DE. Both are ways of looking at what's happening right now. Also, I don't return to the breath and use it as an object during noting practice. I just note whatever arises. To me it's two ways of seeing the same thing, and both have their uses. What do you think? Do you see any contradictions in this?

It's harder to quote because I'm typing on my phone so I'll just reply more generally.

I don't expect a sudden and complete realization. I'm not even sure that would be good for me. I can break down experience to an extent, and see that things arise and cease without a self controlling them. But it isn't enough. My baseline way of being is still very rooted in the idea of a self. I think a cessation experience like the one you describe might make more of a difference in terms of really seeing this. I've felt like I'm coming close a few times. It's hard to explain how all sensations become these kind of undifferentiated formations and seem to flicker on and off very fast and there is a deep silence behind it. But there is something clinging to the experience or pushing it forward or trying to anticipate what happens next. I need to let go of this?

Noting practice takes me closest to this but also holds me back because there is a goal and a direction. More often when I sit without any goals, just letting go, I tend to get lost in thoughts. In the past couple of days I've been noting for the first part of the sit, then dropping it and just sitting and watching. Does this seem like a good idea?

I've tried the looking at objects exercise. I'm not sure. I did it a few different ways but I just don't understand.

Any advice for brief DE or meditation things I can do during the day, waiting for a traffic light to change or in the office? I feel like I'm too reliant on meditating at certain times.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:53 pm

To me it's two ways of seeing the same thing, and both have their uses. What do you think? Do you see any contradictions in this?
The only contradiction I can think of is how can you do all that - meditation, zazen, DE - pretty advanced stuff basically, and still not see through the illusion of the self. And don't take this personal (or, do, if it helps you uncover some hidden belief lol) but it might be that all your work has made your "self" pretty knowledgeable in this "spirituality" field and so pretty rigid and hard to be surprised anymore and it's very hard for something to break it.
Because something has to break for the mechanism to stop working.

Maybe... Maybe it's a problem of not seeing the forest because of the trees? Maybe you just need to take a step back, relax, and let IT happen.
You could try, as an exercise, when you meditate, instead of focusing on an object or your breath or anything, to try and see the big picture... that there is really nothing there.

And, because you might already do that as you said thoughts take over and you lose "it" - follow the thoughts instead. Try to track them to their core. And when something else appears, track that instead, and on and on until nothing will appear anymore. And that might be IT.

Don't do it like a ritual, ie. "I need to sit and meditate to see through that belief" because that sounds too much like a mind trick. Just do it like you have nothing to lose and nothing to gain.

But there is something clinging to the experience or pushing it forward or trying to anticipate what happens next. I need to let go of this?
For starters, I would look into it actually. The expectations, the clinging and all that, are all mind. You might want to see where they come from, find their root, or more like not-find their root. That might prove to be the de-click you need.

I've tried the looking at objects exercise. I'm not sure. I did it a few different ways but I just don't understand.
Can you tell me where you get stuck with it? What exactly happens?

I'm going to try to explain it a bit better. Look at two objects touching eachother and try to see where the point where they touch is. It's that simple. And when you think you found it, look again. Is there really a point? If there was such a point would you be able to perceive it?
If you put your hand under a microscope do you see matter or just atoms flying around? Is there anything fixed, anything stable?
If you put a laptop under a microscope would that be any different?
So how can there be a border between 2 objects if looked in depth those objects (any object) don't exist.

How can you (your body, consciousness, etc.) exist if looked in-depth there is nothing there. How did a "self" developed and what need is for one if it rules over... absofuckinglutely nothing :)

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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby CMatthews » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:19 am

And, because you might already do that as you said thoughts take over and you lose "it" - follow the thoughts instead. Try to track them to their core. And when something else appears, track that instead, and on and on until nothing will appear anymore. And that might be IT.
What I've seen in the last few days is that thoughts don't stop, and trying to slow them down or stop them only wprlw temporarily, of at all, and when I do this I'm aware of an effort or pushing to make the mind quieter.

When I accept and observe thoughts, I see that they just jwppen on their own. The brain is like a broken thought-machine that keeps on churning this stuff out. When I observe them, they're not substantial. Stories that I don't need to believe. Thoughts arise automatically and fall apart, like bubbles that rise to the surface then gently burst.

But there are always more thoughts, I can't reach the point where these is nothing behind them. And some of the stories, good or bad, are compelling and it's hard to see though them. I know thoughts are just thoughts and they happen on their own. Will this work, will I disidentify with them more by continuing to watch them?
For starters, I would look into it actually. The expectations, the clinging and all that, are all mind. You might want to see where they come from, find their root, or more like not-find their root. That might prove to be the de-click you need.
This is great advice. Sensations are easy to see. Thoughts can be observed too. But this has been tough for me. I want to see the actual sensation of clinging, wanting, effort, etc. I don't know if there some subtle tension, an 'effort to let go'. I'm looking for this tension on the body.
Can you tell me where you get stuck with it? What exactly happens?
Initially I remember that I felt like everything if of the same substance and just has a different outward form. That isn't exactly it. More like everything is a continuation or an extension of everything else. And every point connects to every other point via something.

But as I looked harder I became aware of an effort to keep my attention on looking, a feeling of expecting and wanting something to happen. Thoughts about 'is this it or is there more to it' and 'should I stop now or is some big insight around the corner?' arose as I was looking and these were more interesting.

Your explanation is good. When I look with that explanation in mind, it seems like I'm imagining how things look through a microscope. I know that's how they are, but it feels like a mind trick I'm playing on myself because things don't actually appear to me as they appear under a microscope.

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Andrei
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Re: Zen/Vipassana Practitioner, Interested in Direct Pointing

Postby Andrei » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:43 am

But there are always more thoughts, I can't reach the point where these is nothing behind them.
You saw thoughts just pop up. That's good enough. Everything else is of no help in this inquiry. I would say its detrimental because it might turn into a purpose

And some of the stories, good or bad, are compelling and it's hard to see though them.
What are those stories and why is it hard to see through them? Are they not just thoughts (plus, maybe, sensations)?

I want to see the actual sensation of clinging, wanting, effort, etc.
If you saw thoughts/sensations happen, shouldn't have had the castle of cards collapsed? Why need to pick each one in particular?
If you know Santa is a story, do you have to go to Lapland to see if you don't somehow uncover his sledge?

When I look with that explanation in mind, it seems like I'm imagining how things look through a microscope. I know that's how they are, but it feels like a mind trick I'm playing on myself because things don't actually appear to me as they appear under a microscope.
The question was simple - can you find the actual spot where 2 objects meet? All you have to do is look.
All my explanations following were designed to ease things out but I fear they just help you overcomplicate things.

So take it as a yes/no question instead. Can you find the spot they meet? Yes or no.
If yes, can you pinpoint that spot precisely?
If no, well ok.


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