Still caught up in self

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:47 am

Hi Oberon
. There is still some resistance happening, and holding on.
Then very gently work with that. See if it's possible to get to know the feeling or sensation of holding on. Then gently explore who or what resists? What does it feel like? What might it feel like to relax?
. There is also a... watchfulness? ...not to get more re-identified with self again.
I understand. But is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


All best

Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Thu May 02, 2019 2:09 am

I've been working with my resistance. There is deep sadness tied up with it, and fear of exposure. And opposing those, a hardened rigidity. I'm letting those all open and relax gradually.

is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?

Well... isn't that what the practice of meditation is -- at least temporarily to be in a space of no-thought? I think I understand what you're saying, that it doesn't matter if thoughts are there or not, but I'm still confused as to why it's possible to experience no-thought and still not be able to see the illusion of self. I feel like I'm missing something that's super obvious, but I don't know how to see it. Is meditation helpful?

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Thu May 02, 2019 8:28 am

. I've been working with my resistance. There is deep sadness tied up with it, and fear of exposure. And opposing those, a hardened rigidity. I'm letting those all open and relax gradually.
That sounds good. It's good to notice these sensations and occasionally ask the question "are these feelings created by a "me"? Are they being experienced by a "me" or do they simply happen"?
. I think I understand what you're saying, that it doesn't matter if thoughts are there or not,
No. I dont want you to interpret this. I'd like you to take a look at your actual experience. Check with what really happens. We can talk about meditation later but please focus on this question for now. Another way to explore this is to try creating or "thinking" a thought. Is it possible to do that?

Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Fri May 03, 2019 9:27 pm

OK. All of the questions you ask, I am sincerely and intensively looking at, in my own experience, from all different angles, to the best of my ability.

As to whether it's possible to create thought, or prevent thoughts from appearing, there seem to be two sides to my experience. From the mind-oriented side, yes it is possible to think thoughts, and it's also possible to quiet thoughts through meditation. From the no-mind-oriented side, thoughts arise by themselves without intention. The I-thought, or sense of self, seems to be ever-present in my experience so far.

Emotions seem to also be connected to self -- they are "me"-oriented. Again this seems to happen on different levels. Emotions arising in the moment, from current life, simply happen. Emotions like the crusty old sadness and the sense of fear that I've been digging up and working through, seem much more attached to self.

The different exercises you've given me to try can certainly bring me into the present moment, and give an experience of simply hearing or simply being. And that has been happening much more often, by itself. Yet there is still always a sense of self there.

So the questions arise whether there needs to be a deeper meditation, or less resistance, or deeper emotional release, or some other effort or unfolding, in order to be able to see.

There is also some frustration arising, and I am doing my best just to accept that and let it pass. I've also taken a step back from this inquiry a couple of times because it didn't feel like it was going anywhere. But some things have certainly shifted in the process, and there seems to be more self-acceptance, whether or not that is something that is actually helpful.

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Sat May 04, 2019 7:04 pm

Hi Oberon..
. I've also taken a step back from this inquiry a couple of times because it didn't feel like it was going anywhere.
We have barely even lined ourselves up in the right direction. I'm not surprised that you feel we haven't gone anywhere. That's my view of things too. Except perhaps for the work of looking at uncomfortable feelings, which is a start.

Consider that it is rather premature to be expecting anything to happen so quickly.

If its imagined that something should happen for someone and maybe rather quickly there will be automatic disappointment.

Who or what should something happen for?
. . From the mind-oriented side, yes it is possible to think thoughts, and it's also possible to quiet thoughts through meditation. From the no-mind-oriented side, thoughts arise by themselves without intention. The I-thought, or sense of self, seems to be ever-present in my experience so far.
Look directly at the experience of thinking. Don't think about it but watch. Look. See if it's possible in experience to witness a thought being created by a self.

If you think thoughts it should be possible to prevent unpleasant thoughts from appearing. Is that possible?

I can only give you the best of what I do for anyone. That is, point to no self directly a d efficiently. This is what guides do here. We are not here to advise about meditation. I'm very happy to assist you to look for yourself. But I wonder if you already have quite firm ideas about what we ought to be doing? Those seem likely to hold us both up unless they're dropped?

What do you think?

All the best
Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Sun May 05, 2019 7:27 pm

Hi Jon,

I'm sorry, you'll have to forgive me for my over-enthusiasm. I tend to go at things very intensely, and in this case without having the full picture of where we're headed. I'll be more patient.

It's true that I had assumed that meditation was involved in what we were doing. I can drop that assumption, and accept that I don't know.

I'll be travelling over the next day and I'll use the time to look directly at the experience of thinking, and see if it's possible to witness a thought being created by a self.

Thank you, I really appreciate your guidance.

Oberon

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Sun May 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Thank you Oberon,

I look forward to hearing from you.

All best

Jon

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Sat May 11, 2019 8:34 am

Hello Oberon,


I'm wondering how you are getting on?

Are you taking a break from the inquiry?


All the best

Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Sun May 12, 2019 5:46 pm

Hi Jon, sorry I haven't posted, I'm still traveling until Wednesday - I thought I would be able to find more moments for this inquiry, and I have been trying to look at thoughts whenever I can, but so far I haven't seen anything different.

I am still seeing thoughts created by a self - for example, doing a mathematical calculation, it seems like a conscious effort to think those thoughts. But I suppose I need to look deeper? Certainly I also see thoughts that arise and pass by all on their own. Is there a difference between those types of thought?

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Mon May 13, 2019 9:33 pm

Hi Oberon
. I am still seeing thoughts created by a self - for example, doing a mathematical calculation, it seems like a conscious effort to think those thoughts
Keep looking then. You're thinking about it, imagining some kind of entity creating thoughts. Look for that one directly. If its there then it should be possible to notice it as it creates thoughts. And since it creates thoughts it should be possible for that self to choose to think only attractive thoughts and to prevent unpleasant or wandering thoughts from happening?
Thanks

Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Fri May 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Thanks Jon.

I'm back at home where I can spend more time on the mat, and will resume daily posting.

I have not found an entity creating thoughts. But also still have not really seen through where those thoughts are coming from, especially the ones that could be considered conscious or intentional thoughts. Still looking.

Thank you,
Oberon

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 17, 2019 10:36 pm

Hi Oberon,

Try investigating whether thoughts are coming from 'inside' or from 'outside'.

Think of a prominent politician. Does their image appear? Where does it appear? Is it contained in the head or maybe in a kind of space?

What do you find?

Jon

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JonathanR
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby JonathanR » Mon May 20, 2019 1:03 pm

Hello Oberon,

Let me know how it's going please?

Thank you

Jon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Wed May 22, 2019 4:35 am

Hello Jon,
Well contrary to my expectations, things have been extremely busy since I got home. I'm sorry for the delay! I believe things have settled down so from now on I should be free to make another deep dive in to the inquiry again. I'll post again as soon as I can.
Thanks,
Oberon

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ob3ron
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Re: Still caught up in self

Postby ob3ron » Thu May 23, 2019 3:35 am

Hi Jon,

I've been investigating whether thoughts come from "inside" or "outside". They seem to just come from nowhere. This is very clear for thoughts that just appear by themselves -- including negative or wandering thoughts. What is more tricky for me is the thoughts that are (or seem) intentional -- it's harder to accept that those also come from nowhere. But at the same time I'm not seeing a creator or originator for them. So I'm getting a glimmer of understanding that it's just a habit of identifying with an imaginary creator of thoughts that perpetuates a sense of self.

Think of a prominent politician. Does their image appear? Where does it appear? Is it contained in the head or maybe in a kind of space?

A mental recreation of their image appears. It's hard to say where it is, I guess in the head is a reasonable description. Different than a direct experience of seeing.


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