what I am looking not to find

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:20 pm

All of them!

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:50 pm

How are you with meditation?
I was stuck at the awareness level just like you. I thought "I" was that which was noticing everything going on - probably one of the most perfidious "levels" of self because it's hard to prove wrong. After all, awareness is, isn't it?
One day I went to meditate. I relaxed, closed my eyes. Senses started to blur. I soon started to feel like I was in a trance. The "I" which was such a solid presence a moment ago it begun to feel more like a particle in a wave of energy dancing through the universe. At one point the texture of the self was so weak that I lost track of where I was. A second was all it took for me to realize awareness is not a continuous process. Its bits and pieces put together by the continuous stream of information flowing from the senses to the brain. That second was all it took for me to realize awareness is nothing more than a process, a bodily function, and more important, not "I". That was it for me. KABOOM. No more self.

Can you give meditation a try? Maybe it might help you too.

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:23 am

Absolutely. Doing it every day; for our purposes, would you suggest any particular approach? I would have been inclined to assume that focusing on some object such as the breath would not be useful for what we're trying to clarify, but I will no longer assume anything - what would you suggest?

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:16 am

I would suggest not focusing on anything. Try to let go completely. Just be aware of what goes on. Basically, just watch. Focusing on something might impede the process, like holding onto something.
But this is just what worked for me. You can personalize the meditation to something that suits you. Just let life flow and take you wherever it wants.
In a way, the belief in the illusion of a separate self is tied to the fact that we think we can control life.

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:52 pm

Andrei,

Just checking in. I am continuing to meditate and investigate.

I did have a question for you, hearkening back to something you said earlier. You suggested that I might be stuck on awareness, and thinking about that statement a few times has prompted a question: It seems impossible to dive into this whole inquiry without reference to awareness, given how prevalent it is in the literature (primordial awareness, I am awareness, etc., etc.) but does your suggestion contain the implication that one might be able to successfully clarify the absence of a self without any consideration of awareness, subjectivity, consciousness, etc.?

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:01 am

Well I cant tell you what you identify with.You're the only one that knows. It was just that I took you through all things one usually identifies with (body, thoughts, choices, experiences, etc.) and you only seem to have a problem with awareness.
If you don't, great, but what do you identify with? What is it that feels personal?
does your suggestion contain the implication that one might be able to successfully clarify the absence of a self without any consideration of awareness, subjectivity, consciousness, etc.?
One needs to "use" awareness in order to dis-identify with all the rest, but one can identify with that awareness just as well.
Just checking in. I am continuing to meditate and investigate.
Then maybe it's not really working because seeing should happen not turn into a practice.

Here's another question:
Is there a standalone awareness somewhere outside of the actual experience?

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:17 pm

No, there is only awareness of experience.

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:10 pm

Good.
Then where are you stuck? Or, better said, is there anything that keeps you stuck?

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:53 pm

I guess that's the million dollar question. I don't have a clear answer at the moment.

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:30 am

Give it some time. Maybe there is really nothing left and the shift was very subtle. Everybody is different.
Whenever something happens that triggers a reaction in you, or whenever your mind is busy weaving stories about an "I", apply DE and see where is that belief hiding, that if there is a belief left.

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:34 am

Will do.

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:11 am

Hello. I hope you are well. Just wanted to check in to let you know I am still looking into this.

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:16 am

Im great, thanks :)
Let me know if you need any assistance.

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Aphorism8
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Aphorism8 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:18 am

Hi! I have a question for you. I realize this might be seen as a digression, but it feels like it's really blocking me. I don't an im-mediate, first-hand understanding of how the illusion of "I" is the cause of suffering. I've read hundreds of variations of that statement, but nothing that clarified the "mechanism."

Here's a personal example: I can see that thoughts just arise; "I" am not choosing them. But when dark, painful thoughts arise, the experience is highly unpleasant; it's an experience of suffering. Terrible thoughts lead to really unpleasant emotions - highly unpleasant to experience in and of themselves. At least that's how it seems/feels! It doesn't seem to require the ego illusion to create suffering. Can you help with this?

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Andrei
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Re: what I am looking not to find

Postby Andrei » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:19 am

It doesn't seem to require the ego illusion to create suffering.
Ego illusion is just one of the many :)
It's the first step.
One feels many sensations, some are labelled as light and pleasant, others as heavy and painful.
If you go to the root cause, there is no "suffering", its just a a whole bunch of sensations that are labelled as such.
The sensations themselves exist independently of a brain to label them one way or the other.

Stay with the sensations when they appear. You can even try to bring them back into awareness in your leisure time in order to discover the root cause of the hidden belief. You can make a sentence to help you out, for example "my partner doesnt offer me enough attention". Stay with such a sentence and feel the sensations it brings into your awareness, let them expand to their climax no matter how "unpleasant" they are, then watch if theres something that links the sensations with the reactions.

This sounds probably a bit alien to everything I said so far and that is because while LU is for the first 1-3 fetters, the exercise I described above is for the 4-5 (Desire and Ill Will).
My advice is first work through the ego illusion and then move on to the upper fetters. See through the illusion of the self fully before moving on.

So in short the mechanism is this. First you have an occurrence or a thought that triggers a sensation which triggers a reaction. Its a mechanism like you very well put it. It's not "you".


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