Seeing that frees

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Echoz
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Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:03 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I see this as there is no independent or separate "me". The self is a construct that has been conditioned by experiences in life. The construction of this self makes "me" feel like I have control, when in reality, this feeling of control is an illusion and life is simply happening with no one in control.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to not only understand, but experience no-self. LU's emphasis on direct pointing seems to be a powerful technique into seeing no-self, but like all things, it's important to experience these things first hand and not just go by speculation or what others have experienced.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Nothing ever seems to go as expected, but I guess I would say I expect to have my beliefs and views challenged in order to see the nature of self. I also expect to have to work through fear that has been present during life and spiritual practice thus far, hopefully a guide can assist with this process.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation for about 7 years to varying degrees of intensity. I have only recently started practicing more inquiry based practices and feel like it has already been having an impact on how experience is being perceived.

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

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:38 pm

Hello Echoz,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. I'm a guide here and happy to have this conversation with you if you're still interested in seeing no-self.

If you want, let's start directly: What are your fears regarding spiritual practice?

Are there any fears regarding seeing through the illusion of self?


Love

P.S. Please make use of the quote function when replying to answers. You find it explained here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:55 pm

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. I'm a guide here and happy to have this conversation with you if you're still interested in seeing no-self.
Yes, still interested in seeing no-self, thank you for being my guide.
What are your fears regarding spiritual practice? Are there any fears regarding seeing through the illusion of self?
I think both of these questions have the same answer for me and that is letting go of control, or really, letting go of the sense of control. On an intellectual level I can understand there not being any control, just conditioned thoughts/action, but this is not how life is experienced for me. I guess a fear of letting go can also be seen as a fear of the unknown in this case. I'm not really sure what seeing through the illusion of self will be like and letting go into the unknown, honestly, just seems scary.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:10 pm

Wonderful :-) let's begin.
On an intellectual level I can understand there not being any control, just conditioned thoughts/action, but this is not how life is experienced for me.
Yes, on an intellectual level, we "get" these things, and it doesn't make a difference.
I'm not really sure what seeing through the illusion of self will be like and letting go into the unknown, honestly, just seems scary.
Thanks for your honesty, I get that.

Let's start looking deeper:
letting go of control, or really, letting go of the sense of control.
Letting go of something that is an illusion wouldn't be possible, would it?

It isn't there in the first place.

So your fear might be: what will happen when it is clearly seen that there is no control, and never has been.

Is this what you're afraid of?

Who is controlling what at the moment?

Don't focus on what you understand intellectually - tell me what your "lived" answer is.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Love
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:52 pm

So your fear might be: what will happen when it is clearly seen that there is no control, and never has been.

Is this what you're afraid of?
Yes, exactly! Clearly seeing that there is no control and not knowing what that experience is like is what I'm afraid of.
Who is controlling what at the moment?
There is a sense that I am controlling my physical movements at the moment, like I first make the choice to get up and get something to drink then followed by physical movement, huh or kinda like making the story that goes along with actions... Thoughts seem to come and go or a thought sets off a chain reaction of thoughts with no one controlling, but there is an sense of me that latches onto these thoughts, which then causes emotions to arise at times. So right now, I feel like I'm controlling physical movements, but thoughts and emotions seem like they are just happening with me latching onto them.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:37 pm

Yes, exactly! Clearly seeing that there is no control and not knowing what that experience is like is what I'm afraid of.
Yes, it's thoughts followed by feelings of fear, isn't it? This "not knowing what that experience is like" is thoughts talking with thoughts - can you see the closed loop? Does it exist outside of thought?
There is a sense that I am controlling my physical movements at the moment
Let's examine that.

Here is an exercise:

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Don't think about it - just observe the movement.

How is the movement controlled?

Does a thought control it?

Does the movement need a thought for it to happen?

Is it an "I" that is controlling it? If yes, how do you experience this "I" that controls the movement?

Does the movement need a decision?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought (or anything else) made the decision to turn the hand over.

Who or what​ ​chose the hand, left or right, to do this exercise with?

there is an sense of me that latches onto these thoughts, which then causes emotions to arise at times
How do you do that: 'latch onto these thoughts'

Is this just another thought?

Do the exercise above again - now try to find this "I" that latches onto thoughts and this way causes the movement to happen.

Does it exist outside of thoughts saying that it has to be that way?

Looking forward to receiving your answers :-)

Love
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:46 pm

Yes, it's thoughts followed by feelings of fear, isn't it? This "not knowing what that experience is like" is thoughts talking with thoughts - can you see the closed loop? Does it exist outside of thought?
Yes, it's like how I said I latched onto thoughts and then emotions arise. The thought pops up and is followed by the fear, it seems like a cycle. Yes I can see the closed loops. And it does not exist outside of thoughts because the whole thing was triggered by thought.
How is the movement controlled?
I completed this movement because you asked, but while the movement was taking place it was just happening, no real connection between thoughts and the movement.
Does a thought control it?
There is not controlling by thought it's just action happening.

Does the movement need a thought for it to happen?
It does not need a thought for it to happen, but a thought can influence movement from where I am currently seeing. Physical movements just seem to be happening separate from thoughts a lot of the time, I'll be thinking of something at work and my body will basically be doing the actions it needs to do separate from the thoughts.
Is it an "I" that is controlling it? If yes, how do you experience this "I" that controls the movement?
No, it's just happening.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought (or anything else) made the decision to turn the hand over.
I can't see the inner process making the decision to turn the hand over. I'm reading on the page to "track any decision" then the head looks at the hand and turns, the actions happen, no thoughts. Just being influenced by the question initially seems to trigger the rest of the actions.
Who or what​ ​chose the hand, left or right, to do this exercise with?
Nothing chose, this also just happened, there wasn't a second of thought..body was just conditioned to look at the right hand.
How do you do that: 'latch onto these thoughts'

Is this just another thought?
Yes, it's just like the beginning question, it's a closed loop that's self-perpetuating.
Does it exist outside of thoughts saying that it has to be that way?
The "I" seems to only exist alongside thoughts.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:21 am

Thanks for your diligent answers and for looking thoroughly, you're doing this so well.
The "I" seems to only exist alongside thoughts.
Yes :-)

But let's go even deeper into fears (i.e. assumptions around awakening causing a feeling of fear)

What could possibly happen when it is seen through that there is no self, no person, no 'I'? Feel free to make a list.

And next, turn to the body: feel the fear.

Where is it located in your body? Can you just stay with it, just with the mere sensation?

What is the sensation like? Is it "fear"?

What is it when you experience it directly, without the thought-story that overlays sensation?

Does "fear" as such exist?
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:34 pm

Thanks for your diligent answers and for looking thoroughly, you're doing this so well.
And thank you for guiding me thus far :)
What could possibly happen when it is seen through that there is no self, no person, no 'I'?
Difficultly adjusting to this new way of seeing.
Loss/change in motivation.
A "dark night"
Anything could "possibly happen", just like anything could "possibly happen" without seeing through the self.
And next, turn to the body: feel the fear.

Where is it located in your body? Can you just stay with it, just with the mere sensation?
It seems to appear in the middle of the chest. It seems greatly reduced compared to when I started this direct pointing. Yes, I can stay with the sensation.
What is the sensation like? Is it "fear"?
It feels like a very slight pressure/tightness in the chest area and heart rate increases slightly or I just become more aware of it. Fear is just a sensations like all others, it just has that label on it.
Does "fear" as such exist?
Fear is just the name for a sensation triggered by thought.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Wed May 01, 2019 8:37 am

Fear is just the name for a sensation triggered by thought.
Love your clarity. Yes, that's it. Every emotion is a bodily sensation triggered or perpetuated by thought. No sensation carries a label. Basically, it's just what's experienced in this moment.
Yes, I can stay with the sensation.
Wow, that's awesome. As a practice, start to just be with sensation. Especially with strong sensations, start experiencing them more and more directly. Explore their 'labellessness' playfully.
What could possibly happen when it is seen through that there is no self, no person, no 'I'?
Difficultly adjusting to this new way of seeing.
Loss/change in motivation.
A "dark night"
Anything could "possibly happen", just like anything could "possibly happen" without seeing through the self.
The last one is great :-) Yes, it's all just thought-based stories around danger and sacrifice.

Thanks for your list, I can relate to all of this. I used to believe it, too, and it might or might not happen temporarily.

Let me ask you a question:

If the 'I' doesn't exist - then it does not exist now, at this moment.

Right?

Because what doesn't exist will not at some point disappear. It just isn't there, the whole time. An illusion cannot disappear, it can only be clearly seen as an illusion.

In other words: Seeing through an illusion cannot change what's real.

Would you agree?

-

If yes, was anything lost or did anything change when you just realized this?

Tell me: What is real, right now?
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Wed May 01, 2019 10:45 pm

If the 'I' doesn't exist - then it does not exist now, at this moment.

Right?

Because what doesn't exist will not at some point disappear. It just isn't there, the whole time. An illusion cannot disappear, it can only be clearly seen as an illusion.

In other words: Seeing through an illusion cannot change what's real.

Would you agree?
Yes. Something that never existed can't then disappear. It's not about making anything disappear it's about seeing from a different standpoint.
If yes, was anything lost or did anything change when you just realized this?
No, just the same.
What is real, right now?
Sensations are real. The feeling of sitting where I currently am, feeling of keys on the keyboard. Thoughts are also real. Thoughts come and go just like any sensation, but the contexts of thoughts often seem to be distorted or unreal because they often run toward fantasies, future hopes or past mistakes. Emotions are real, they are a sensation like all the others often triggered by thoughts. Raw sensation is real.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Thu May 02, 2019 8:37 am

Sensations are real. The feeling of sitting where I currently am, feeling of keys on the keyboard. Thoughts are also real.
Yes, wonderful. All of this is 'real' as it can be directly experienced - now. And so good that you can see that thoughts are also real. That's true - thoughts are experienced directly as mental words or pictures.

So, direct experience, the way we use it here, is:

Hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling (including bodily sensations) and experiencing thought.

There is, in fact, no other way we can experience. Please check this for yourself - if you find something else, please let me know so we can look.

So, we see that thoughts (directly experienced now) are real.

What about the content of thoughts?

Can you directly experience the content of thoughts?
In the moment you have thoughts about something - is the content of these thoughts here as well?

Can the content of thoughts ever be found in reality?

Look closely and tell me what you see.
This Here Now

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Thu May 02, 2019 9:17 am

it's about seeing from a different standpoint.
Maybe not even from a different standpoint. Just continuously look at what's here and what's not here.
This Here Now

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Echoz
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Echoz » Thu May 02, 2019 10:12 pm

Can you directly experience the content of thoughts?
I can't seem to separate the content of the thought from the thought itself, so if I'm experiencing a thought the content is with it.
In the moment you have thoughts about something - is the content of these thoughts here as well?
Yes, they are intertwined. The content is the thought and vice versa.
Can the content of thoughts ever be found in reality?
If thoughts can be found in reality it seems the content can be as well. They seem to be two sides of the same coin...or really no difference between them at all.

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Stillness
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Re: Seeing that frees

Postby Stillness » Fri May 03, 2019 7:50 am

I can't seem to separate the content of the thought from the thought itself, so if I'm experiencing a thought the content is with it.
Okay, let's examine the difference between thought and the content of a thought.

Here is an exercise:

Close your eyes and imagine a lemon in front of you.
Imagine it so vividly that you can really see its shape and details of the skin.
Now cut it in half.
See the flesh of the lemon, how juicy it looks.
Now bite into it.

Then open your eyes.

What happened to the lemon?
Was there ever a lemon in ‘reality’?
How about the physical reactions when you bit into it, were they real?

Did you experience a mental image? Was it real?
Was the content of the mental image real? Again - was there ever a lemon in reality?

Looking forward to hearing from you

Love
This Here Now


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