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bananaman
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Good morning

Postby bananaman » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:29 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this? The self doesn’t exist. In fact, no things really exist - everything is flow, process, and change. Nothing that is experienced can be the self. Free will doesn’t really exist. These concepts seem intellectually quite clear.
What are you looking for at LU? Guidance to help me push past intellectual ideas towards direct experience. I have read, listened, and practised quite a bit for several years, but feel that a personal guide might be able to spot aspects of my beliefs and behaviours I am blind to myself.
What do you expect from a guided conversation? A guide to help reveal some surprises, probably with a bit of pain or discomfort, since the point is to find things I haven’t been able to see by myself. Beyond that I am really not sure how long it will take or what will be found.
What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry? About three years of daily meditation practice, some familiarity with non-dual teachings, very curious that things do not seem to be how they appear.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 10

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:48 pm

Hi Bananaman,

My name is Pop and I'll be your guide.

Thanks for the information.

Lets just jump in

When i say "There is NO you!" what comes up?

Love,

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Wed May 01, 2019 12:45 am

Hi Pop,

Thank you so much for being my guide!
When i say "There is NO you!" what comes up?
My first gut reaction is to feel slightly offended ;)

It feels like there is some sort of centre that is "me". Quite a small centre, maybe even just "awareness" rather than thoughts or feelings, but still something that feels that it is.

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Wed May 01, 2019 11:44 am

Hi Eric

Well done, that's great, we're off!

When you say:
My first gut reaction is to feel slightly offended ;)

It feels like there is some sort of centre that is "me"

What does that "centre" refer to in direct experience?
Please describe it in detail.
Does it have a shape?
A size?
A quality?

Love,

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Wed May 01, 2019 1:23 pm

Hi Pop,
What does that "centre" refer to in direct experience?
Please describe it in detail.
Does it have a shape?
A size?
A quality?
Ha! No, it doesn't really have any of those attributes. It's not in any sense perception; sound, vision, touch, taste, smell are not the centre at all. Neither are thoughts; they pop up and go again of their own accord.

It seems clearest when directly pointed at - like if I think "I..." or when you suggested "There is NO you".

If I speak to myself in my head with focus and intention, something like "I really need to do this task now", it feels like the centre has a quality of both being the thought and controlling the thought. This is unlike background thoughts that come and go without control.

When you suggested "There is NO you" there was a tightening in my throat and a strong feeling of "free floating" "self-ness". Sorry, it's hard to describe in more detail. On reflection, there's not really now any physical reaction, but a mental recoil, like an intuitive "well, no, since I'm reading these words I am here".

Thanks for your encouragement,
Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Wed May 01, 2019 5:20 pm

Hi Eric,

thanks for the prompt reply

You said

If I speak to myself in my head with focus and intention, something like "I really need to do this task now", it feels like the centre has a quality of both being the thought and controlling the thought. This is unlike background thoughts that come and go without control.


In your above description you outline three types of thoughts: the thought, the controller, and background thoughts.

Examine thoughts, what is really here?

Are you identifying a "me" with any of these thoughts?

Is there a gap between the perceiver of thoughts or is there just one process we call thinking?

When you stay with your immediate, direct experience do these thoughts belong to a "you"?



You say
since I'm reading these words I am here


Look at this. In your immediate and direct experience what is here?



Ok more generally also could you say what your expectations for liberation are?
How will this feel?
How will this change you?"



Thanks Eric!

Love,

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Thu May 02, 2019 2:09 pm

Hi Pop,
Look at this. In your immediate and direct experience what is here?
The only thing here in direct experience is the awareness of seeing, reading, and understanding. Nothing more. Any sense of a self seems to require an additional cue or pointer to prompt its appearance.
In your above description you outline three types of thoughts: the thought, the controller, and background thoughts.

Examine thoughts, what is really here?

Are you identifying a "me" with any of these thoughts?

Is there a gap between the perceiver of thoughts or is there just one process we call thinking?

When you stay with your immediate, direct experience do these thoughts belong to a "you"?
I have mulled a little more on this today, examining attention and intention. Any easy everyday task, like walking on an even surface, happens by itself with or without attention. It's possible to pay attention to the act of walking (moving the legs, landing the feet, etc), and when paying attention to the process it's also possible to walk with intention (the feeling that I am in control of how I am physically walking). Intention requires focussed attention. But the walking is exactly the same with or without intention! So the apparently conscious intent can't actually be relevant... Thoughts are a bit trickier, but it seems like the same would be true there. Perhaps thinking about something difficult or complex requires attention, and then this brings along the illusion of intention? There is no gap between the thoughts and the perceiver, but a "me" seems to be associated with thoughts with an apparent intention.
Ok more generally also could you say what your expectations for liberation are?
I am really not sure. Somehow seeing directly rather than only understanding in principle.
How will this feel?
I don't know. I have heard it described as a sudden "aha" realisation, or like getting a joke.
How will this change you?"
In the short term relieve the frustration of not being able to see it. In the longer term I really do not know. I am a little concerned a change in perspective might disrupt my life or relationships, but I would prefer to see more clearly how I am illusion.

Thanks so much,
Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Thu May 02, 2019 3:42 pm

Hi Eric

Thanks again for your reply

I'll start with expectations as this can be a hindrance sometimes

I am a little concerned a change in perspective might disrupt my life or relationships,


It is good to spot this. Fear or concern is simply a protective mechanism.
See if there is anything behind the fear that needs protecting?
What comes up here?
Is there actually anything there that can be harmed?

When it comes to fear, it may be that there is a fear of disappearing/annihilation. However there is no "I" right now, you just haven't seen this yet. Life goes on after Awakening.

The Illusion is simply seen for what it is – just an Illusion. Nothing of significance is lost.


Within the first part of your reply there is:

The only thing here in direct experience is the awareness of seeing, reading, and understanding. Nothing more. Any sense of a self seems to require an additional cue or pointer to prompt its appearance.

Wonderful! You are looking at your direct experience. The main anchor for this entire investigation is direct experience: the moment to moment seamless experiencing of what is.

a "me" seems to be associated with thoughts with an apparent intention.

If you look at this thought in your direct experience what happens?
If you look at your direct experience aliveness is still there. What else is there? What happens to thinking in this moment?


I'm enjoying our thread, i hope you are too

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Fri May 03, 2019 1:24 pm

Hi Pop,
I'm enjoying our thread, i hope you are too
Absolutely!
When it comes to fear, it may be that there is a fear of disappearing/annihilation. However there is no "I" right now, you just haven't seen this yet. Life goes on after Awakening.
I don't think there is any fear of annihilation or similar. Any small concerns are more around how my personality may change, and how this may lead to changes in how I relate to friends or family, or in work.

The main anchor for this entire investigation is direct experience: the moment to moment seamless experiencing of what is.
Good to hear. I am trying to be more mindful in everyday life - experiencing what is now. This seems to only be helpful to try to do as much as I can.

a "me" seems to be associated with thoughts with an apparent intention.

If you look at this thought in your direct experience what happens?
If you look at your direct experience aliveness is still there. What else is there? What happens to thinking in this moment?

If I try to bring attention to the intent, it seems to just fade away. In fact, the "me" associated with thoughts seems fuzzier, or the thoughts themselves slipperier, even since yesterday. Or maybe I'm just a bit tired at the end of the week...

Thanks so much,
Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Fri May 03, 2019 6:01 pm

Hi Eric!


If I try to bring attention to the intent, it seems to just fade away. In fact, the "me" associated with thoughts seems fuzzier, or the thoughts themselves slipperier, even since yesterday


Good! ok lets stay with this

Sit quietly and find that which isn't slippery or fuzzy, find that which is always present.
Feelings of aliveness, being-ness. Stay with this feeling.
Is it personal?
When looking at this where is "me"?
What is "me"?

Look at thoughts:

Where do they come from?
Can you control them?
Do you know what your next though is going to be?
Can a thought be stopped in the middle?
What do you know for sure?

Enjoy Looking!

Love ,

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Tue May 07, 2019 12:54 pm

Hi Pop,

Sorry for not replying for a few days. I was out of reception over the weekend.

Sit quietly and find that which isn't slippery or fuzzy, find that which is always present.
Feelings of aliveness, being-ness. Stay with this feeling.
Is it personal?
When looking at this where is "me"?
What is "me"?
When observing the awareness of sense perceptions, there is no extra "me" in addition to the awareness of the perception itself. There is only the seeing, touching, etc. In the moment, I can't find any "me", just awareness, but I have to try pretty hard to do this! The "me" seems to be lurking ready to grab and claim every awareness as soon as that perception is thought about or compared. The "me" appears as soon as I drop out of the direct moment.

Look at thoughts:

Where do they come from?
Can you control them?
Do you know what your next though is going to be?
Thoughts pop out fully formed, but sometimes there does seem to be a "ripple" before they emerge. Their content is not random, but is associated with recent thoughts or experiences. I cannot know what the next thought will be, but their content and order does makes sense in retrospect, given what they are associated with / in response to.

If I am meditating or sitting quietly, it does seem as if i can control thoughts to some extent, in the sense that the related stream of thoughts will tend to dissipate if attention isn't paid to it. Conversely, if I am actively thinking about something, then related thoughts will tend to emerge, although I can't control their actual content.

Can a thought be stopped in the middle?
Thoughts don't all have the same duration. Some appear as apparently indivisible "units", like "did I leave the oven on?" or the answer to a question I've been mulling over. These ones can't be stopped in the middle. Others have duration, like ear worms or replays of conversations. These can sometimes be stopped in the middle if they are met with a stronger thought that displaces the stream.

What do you know for sure?
There is awareness. Everything else is built on assumptions (that do seem to be quite reasonable, given I am still aware, rather than being dead because I've completely misunderstood the world!).

Thanks so much for your questions!

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Tue May 07, 2019 4:36 pm

Hi Eric,

Sorry for not replying for a few days

no problem, welcome back!

Thanks for your thorough replies. I'm just going to zone in on one or two things at a time.

When observing the awareness of sense perceptions, there is no extra "me" in addition to the awareness of the perception itself. There is only the seeing, touching, etc. In the moment, I can't find any "me

This is great. you are looking at your direct experience.


In the moment, I can't find any "me", just awareness, but I have to try pretty hard to do this!

Let go of the idea that there is effort. There isn't. You understand it all; you just shift focus from thinking to directly experiencing. Nothing is hidden. It's a shift in perspective.

The "me" seems to be lurking ready to grab and claim every awareness as soon as that perception is thought about or compared. The "me" appears as soon as I drop out of the direct moment.

Is this "you" that lurks and appears or is this a thought?
What is the difference, if any, between this lurking and appearing "you" and any other thought?
Do "you" compare or is this another thought? Is a thought "you"?
Be careful to look at this in direct experience and not through a conceptual lens. Look at it rather than think about it


There is awareness.

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for awhile.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling everything into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.

Give it some time

Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects. Just look at the seeing itself. Observe the pure process of seeing. This is direct experience.

Is awareness something other than this?
It may be intimate but is it personal? The "I" sometimes gets smuggled in here.


Best of luck Eric!

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Wed May 08, 2019 12:50 pm

Hi Pop,

Look at it rather than think about it
I do tend to like thinking ;)

Is this "you" that lurks and appears or is this a thought?
What is the difference, if any, between this lurking and appearing "you" and any other thought?
Do "you" compare or is this another thought? Is a thought "you"?
It isn't always there, so it can't really be "me", can it.
It is just a thought! But it does seem a little different to other thoughts. Something to do with association or correlation of more than one thought or perception - like seeing and feeling my hand at the same time, and linking those together in a linked concept. But there's more too, since seeing and hearing someone singing isn't me. There also needs to be a feeling of control.

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for awhile.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling everything into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.
So many stories! So many connections!

Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects. Just look at the seeing itself. Observe the pure process of seeing. This is direct experience.

Is awareness something other than this?
It may be intimate but is it personal? The "I" sometimes gets smuggled in here.
Awareness is just the experience. It can be very "raw", like simply colour or movement, but can also be more processed, like faces or words in a language I understand. It's personal in the sense that no one else is having this experience, and so the thought "my experience" gives perspective.


Thank you!
Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Wed May 08, 2019 4:39 pm

Hi Eric

It is just a thought! But it does seem a little different to other thoughts. Something to do with association or correlation of more than one thought or perception - like seeing and feeling my hand at the same time, and linking those together in a linked concept.


Ok good.
Now look at why they are different. "an association" or "correlation" and a "linked concept"
What are those words in quotation marks?
if you simply Look at these in Direct Experience is there an "I" present?

like seeing and feeling my hand at the same time, and linking those together in a linked concept.

Is there an "I" linking or is there seeing, feeling, thinking?
Does thought make any contact with other kinds of sense experience, such as sounds or sensations – or are they totally separate from each other?
The story of "me’ can seem to have continuity. Is it really continuous? Or are there simply isolated thoughts that never can truly touch each other, some of them claiming that there's one continuous story?

But there's more too, since seeing and hearing someone singing isn't me. There also needs to be a feeling of control.


Investigate if the 'self' is the controller.
Is there a self that controls breathing?
That walks? That does daily activities?
Get up… walk slowly…is there a controller that controls walking, or is there just walking?

Write for me what you are experiencing right now using the words I and me.
Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now. Like this: I am lying in bed. I am hearing rain. I am typing these words. Do this for 10 minutes. Watch the body; what physical sensations are happening? Then for the next 10 minutes write what you are experiencing without the words I and me. Just describe the experience as it is happening in the moment, using verbs: Waiting for next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain. Again watch what is happening in the body. Now compare these two ways to label experience. What do you notice?

It's personal in the sense that no one else is having this experience

Is anyone having the experience or is there simply experience?
:)


Thanks for replying.

Love

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Thu May 09, 2019 1:06 pm

HI Pop,

Now look at why they are different. "an association" or "correlation" and a "linked concept"
What are those words in quotation marks?
if you simply Look at these in Direct Experience is there an "I" present?
Just thoughts! No I is found...

Does thought make any contact with other kinds of sense experience, such as sounds or sensations – or are they totally separate from each other?
I'm not sure about this. Most thoughts are totally separate from the sensations to which they refer. On the other hand, many sense experiences are clearly processed, and yet are very direct. The most obvious is comparing the experience of hearing words in a language I understand to ones that I do not understand. The meaning comes together with the understood words.

The story of "me’ can seem to have continuity. Is it really continuous?
No, clearly not. When it is closely examined there are massive plot holes ;)

Is there a self that controls breathing?
That walks? That does daily activities?
No, not at all! Intent/control needs attention, but that the activity (walking, breathing, etc), happens just as happily with or without the intent/control. So the intent/control really isn't at all!

Write for me what you are experiencing right now using the words I and me. Then just describe the experience as it is happening in the moment, using verbs: Waiting for next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain. Again watch what is happening in the body. Now compare these two ways to label experience. What do you notice?
There is absolutely no need to use "I".
The second way does feels faster, without the need for typing the "I ", and more direct because of the speed. However, even without that benefit it's clear that nothing at all is lost when "I " is not included.

Is anyone having the experience or is there simply experience?
:)
HaHa! No, just experience. It seems as if I almost have something there, but not quite... ;)


Thank you!
Eric


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