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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Thu May 09, 2019 2:53 pm

Hi Eric!


So far so good.

Let's look at control:

Take a seat, say on the sofa.

Can you see a self making you leave the sofa?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up come from?
What makes the body get up?
Does a ‘you’ or a thought command the body?

It's always interesting to see the difference between thought content and what really happens.
Can you see a self making the body leave the sofa?
What happens first, an impulse to do something, thought about doing or action?



Have a nice day Eric


Love Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Fri May 10, 2019 1:17 pm

Hi Pop,
Let's look at control:
Yes ;) There is something very peculiar about intent and control.

Can you see a self making you leave the sofa?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up come from?
What makes the body get up?
Does a ‘you’ or a thought command the body?

What happens first, an impulse to do something, thought about doing or action?
I have been trying to pay attention to intent and control today, and to be honest it's some of the most fun I've ever had. If I'm sitting and there is a prompt to stand up, then there will be a haze of thought "should I stand... maybe I'll stand... not quite yet.. maybe now?..." and then quite without warning I will actually stand. Occasionally it seems as though the action and the intent coincide, but mostly it is clear that the "decision" is just after the action. This is true of every action! I was paying close attention to this when just walking around today, and I couldn't help but burst out laughing whenever it was clear that action preceded decision :)

I will try to keep noticing this as carefully and as often as I can. Mainly because it's such fun!

Thank you again :)
Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Fri May 10, 2019 2:48 pm

Hi Eric

Yes this can be a lot of fun!

I was paying close attention to this when just walking around today... I will try to keep noticing this as carefully and as often as I can.

Ok what about the "self" as experiencer...
While you are doing the previous investigations notice what is noticing, is this "you"?
Is there an experiencer?
In direct experience, can you find an “I” that experiences experience?
Is there a seer separate from the seen?


Keep Looking!

Love,

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Sun May 12, 2019 12:58 pm

Hi Pop,
Ok what about the "self" as experiencer...
While you are doing the previous investigations notice what is noticing, is this "you"?
Is there an experiencer?
In direct experience, can you find an “I” that experiences experience?
Is there a seer separate from the seen?
There is obviously experience in direct experience. Beyond that, the only trace of an experiencer "I" seems to be when the experiences are put into context through a thought - either reflective, comparing, or linking different experiences or memories. This thinking (linking, giving context) provides an apparent point of view that is unique and individual - an "I". But it is only the thinking that makes this. I am trying to look at this as directly as I can, but it still feels quite conceptual.

I have had a few "flashes" when looking at this closely, during which my mind seems to tense up and veer away, and I feel excitement / anxiety in my body. Perhaps there is some resistance. I will keep looking ;)

Thank you!

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Sun May 12, 2019 4:04 pm

Hi Eric,


Good good.

There is obviously experience in direct experience. Beyond that, the only trace of an experiencer "I" seems to be when the experiences are put into context through a thought


Yes so don't allow "beyond that" to dominate. Just keep shifting back to direct experience and LOOK for "you"
When you stay present in the moment, when you don't go beyond that, what is left is a sense of aliveness.
Is there anything else?


Happy hunting :)

Love

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Tue May 14, 2019 12:20 am

Hi Pop,

Yes so don't allow "beyond that" to dominate. Just keep shifting back to direct experience and LOOK for "you"
When you stay present in the moment, when you don't go beyond that, what is left is a sense of aliveness.
Is there anything else?
In physical sensations there is awareness of the sensation, that becomes very vivid with focus, and yet also seems to lose its "place" when the focus is on the sensation rather than its relationship to other sensations or thoughts. Peculiar, but nice...

I drift quite a lot, but shifting back to direct experience isn't difficult. There is awareness in experience, but I can't find "me" there. Complex thoughts like trying to solve a problem seem to involve more introspection and self-relating. It feels like there is clear intent behind some thoughts - when attention is focused on them. Playing with noticing if intention or physical movement comes first is very fun, and when looking closely movement always is first (still so fun!). I've tried looking closely at thoughts to see what happens there, but it's trickier since thoughts are faster than my body. It is clear that intent doesn't come before thought though - that would be a thought already! But writing this now, and thinking about it abstractly I guess, I can't help but feel like there is an "I" who is observing and sensing. Feeling a bit stuck and frustrated.

I've also noticed that I've been feeling very "bubbly", anxious, or excited in my gut, chest, and neck. Quite intense sometimes, but pleasant to focus on.

Thank you!

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Tue May 14, 2019 11:02 am

Good morning Eric!

There is awareness in experience, but I can't find "me" there.

So you see that there is a peaceful quiet "place" which is always available merely by shifting focus away from thinking and to sensation? It is a peace beyond understanding, understanding being stuck in thought.

In some ways you've seen the illusion mechanism.
Take it inside! Let it really sink in. Absorb the implications!
There is no you.
Is it true?


I can't help but feel like there is an "I" who is observing and sensing


In direct experience, can you find an “I” that experiences experience?
Is there a seer separate from the seen?
Is there a hearer that hears?

Have a look around you. You can see colours of the room, of your 'feet’, of your ‘knees’, of your ‘chest’ and perhaps of your 'hands'.

Now point a finger towards the place where others see your head and face.

What do you see? Do you see your face? Do you see your head?
Do you see anything at all there - any colours, shapes, or any movement?
Looking into the place where others see your face, do you see colours or shapes there?
What do you find?



Now might be a good time to look at expectations.

Anytime you feel stuck, come back to expectations, if there is something that you think that should be happening, but it isn't- there is an expectation behind it.
The biggest obstacle for seeing this moment AS IT IS are expectations.

What do you expect that liberation is going to be like?
What do you want from it?
How do you imagine a liberated human behaves?

Accept that expectations are in the way of seeing with fresh eyes, so leave all this behind in order to take a fresh look.

Take a look in your experience right now, is anything really missing?


Love as always

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Tue May 14, 2019 1:20 pm

Hi Pop,

Thank you so much for the detailed reply and probing guidance!
So you see that there is a peaceful quiet "place" which is always available merely by shifting focus away from thinking and to sensation? It is a peace beyond understanding, understanding being stuck in thought.
A place before understanding :)

In some ways you've seen the illusion mechanism.
Take it inside! Let it really sink in. Absorb the implications!
There is no you.
Is it true?
I don't see it yet. I will sit with this.

In direct experience, can you find an “I” that experiences experience?
Is there a seer separate from the seen?
Is there a hearer that hears?
In smelling there is only the smell. In hearing noise there is only the hearing. Hearing words, seeing, or touch are often more complex, with thought, connections, or meaning automatically combining with the experience. But in examining these more closely, or more directly, there is no separation apart from the experience. No separate "I". Even in the thoughts that connect, there is really only the thought...

When I sit quietly, say in meditation, even in the apparent absence of sensation it feels like there is still awareness/aliveness/"I". Or maybe it's that the awareness/aliveness/"I" is associated with every sensation - I'm not sure.

Looking into the place where others see your face, do you see colours or shapes there?
What do you find?
I see the outline of my nose and lips, and then... nothing, an absence. No colours or shapes. The "shape" of the space behind me is somehow defined by the opposite edges of my vision. Focusing on the absence-illusion also makes the vision-illusion in-front somehow more apparent. If what I behind me is an "absence", what on earth am I actually seeing in-front!

What do you expect that liberation is going to be like?
Maybe like seeing both sides of an optical illusion.

What do you want from it?
I feel like I'm missing out by not "getting the joke".

How do you imagine a liberated human behaves?
Much the same, but with more freedom from a self-imposed illusion.

Accept that expectations are in the way of seeing with fresh eyes, so leave all this behind in order to take a fresh look.
OK. I will try.

Take a look in your experience right now, is anything really missing?
Everything that is here, is here ;) Maybe it feels like there is a bit too much here...


Thank you :)

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Wed May 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Hi Eric

Again, thank you for posting.

Even in the thoughts that connect, there is really only the thought...

Yes, good to see this. It is not as complex as thought imagines it to be.

even in the apparent absence of sensation it feels like there is still awareness/aliveness/"I".

Sensations will never disappear. you are not annihilating the sense of aliveness.
You are seeing through the added story that these sensations imply a "me".
Experience is always here. The last thing the deep presence of reality could be is you...

So look at thoughts arising...look at sensations arising...none of this needs to disappear...where are "you" in this?
(take your time with this. Sit comfortably in a chair and try to see from your direct experience. Don't work it out with thought. (Remind thought that you can do this later if you want.)

Love

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Mon May 20, 2019 12:59 pm

Hi Pop,
So look at thoughts arising...look at sensations arising...none of this needs to disappear...where are "you" in this?
(take your time with this. Sit comfortably in a chair and try to see from your direct experience. Don't work it out with thought. (Remind thought that you can do this later if you want.)
Thanks, I have tried sitting with this a while for a few days. Reminding thought to just chill is a helpful suggestion ;) Everything is here; sensations, thoughts. Sometimes some of them are central, other times others become prominent. In the very moment there's too much experience for there to be an "I". Also in everyday life, even talking about quite complex concepts, I can "see myself" "observing" thoughts and words come together out of "me". Especially noticing this in everyday life is surprising. I will keep noticing.

The last thing the deep presence of reality could be is you...
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by this. Can you explain in another way perhaps?

Thank you!

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Mon May 20, 2019 1:28 pm

Hi Eric

Ok lets strip it all back again to the heart of the matter, that is your direct, immediate experience.
By this I mean that which is actually here, that does not disappear if you stop believing in it.


Close your eyes, think of eating an orange, imagine the colour, shape and size, how it feels holding it, really imagine eating it, the taste of the juice and pulp.
Now open your eyes, where did your orange go?

Notice, that there was no boom and no bright light flashes in the eyes when the imaginary orange was no longer there.
Could it be the same with “I” ?

Close your eyes. Bring yourself to mind for a few minutes.
Then open your eyes and find that self in direct experience here and now...

Self is imagined. You can look for the real self, but can it be found?
Look in each sense- can you find the self?
( is there a self in touch, smelling, tasting, seeing and hearing? )
Test with each sense.

This method of looking is described by the Buddha in the Bahiya Sutta.
Have you come across this Buddhist story/text?
It might be useful at this point

Bahiya was a seeker who travelled far to meet the Buddha
He was very receptive and keen for liberation.
The Buddha gave him this very direct teaching:

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus:

In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen.
In reference to the heard, only the heard.
In reference to the sensed, only the sensed.
In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.
That is how you should train yourself.

When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen,
only the heard in reference to the heard,
only the sensed in reference to the sensed,
only the cognized in reference to the cognized,
then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that.

When there is no you in connection with that,
there is no you there.
When there is no you there,
you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two.

This, just this, is the end of suffering."

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by this. Can you explain in another way perhaps?

Direct experience of being alive is vast and intimate but could all of this movement of thought, sensation, sound, smells etc be "Eric"?


Ok so systematically go through the senses, including thought, and in the moment try to find "Eric".
Have some fun with it. You know who you are, but can you find "you"? Can you say, "there is Eric" and show him to somebody else?


Love

Pop

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Mon May 27, 2019 1:44 pm

Hey Eric


Just thought I'd get in touch to see if everything is ok?

We can continue the investigation or if you want to end the investigation that's fine too

Love

Pop

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bananaman
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Re: Good morning

Postby bananaman » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:15 am

Hi Pop,

Thanks so much for getting in touch. Sorry, I am still very much keen on continue to look!
that which is actually here, that does not disappear if you stop believing in it.
That's a fun one! Memories aren't trustworthy. Only direct experience, and maybe not even that - illusions are aplenty. My job requires me to plan a lot, and I have some niggling issues with accepting the content and consequences of those plans are just beliefs, although I guess it's clear they are only that right now.

Notice, that there was no boom and no bright light flashes in the eyes when the imaginary orange was no longer there.
Could it be the same with “I” ?
It could indeed! I am completely on board with this.

Ok so systematically go through the senses, including thought, and in the moment try to find "Eric".
Deep in the direct experience there is only the experience. Stories easily start playing, but it's possible to notice them and return to the direct experience. That said, much of direct experience seems to be coated in automatic interpretation, especially sound (meanings of words) and sight (implicit recognition of faces and objects). Various aspects of touch, taste and smell seem to have less encoded in the experience.

There is always an experience; an awareness. "I" am not in any sense, and not in any thought either - they all just come and go, and the awareness is always there. In these silences, or in anything actually, there isn't anything personal, nothing that could be described as "personality" or "individuality".

You know who you are, but can you find "you"? Can you say, "there is Eric" and show him to somebody else?
No ;) I can't even show him to myself... I keep looking, keep not finding, but I don't know what else should be happening, or not?! Sorry, maybe feeling a little frustrated.

Thank you!!

Eric

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:29 pm

Hi Eric,


Nice to hear from you :)

It can get frustrating but don't let that stop the looking.
I can see whether you are looking or not and guide you.
How long it takes is unknown
The main thing is to simply follow the pointers that i give until you see.
Forget about results and simply look where i point to
At some stage you will see.
You are looking well so far.


My job requires me to plan a lot, and I have some niggling issues with accepting the content and consequences of those plans are just beliefs


Don't worry about this. Just do your job, including planning. Just do the looking either at the same time and/or when you are more free to look, like after work for example.


much of direct experience seems to be coated in automatic interpretation


Yes it does seem like this.

There is always an experience; an awareness.


This is also true, so look at that, get familiar with it, focus on it, let it wash over all that may be arising as doubt.

When something appears, whatever it is, tension, desire, sound, anything, focus on it with laser sharpness.
Observe it before any thoughts about it appear.
Is there an "I" before the thoughts appear, or does it come with the thoughts?


I keep looking, keep not finding, but I don't know what else should be happening, or not?!


This is perfect Eric. You just keep looking, telling me what happens, then i give you another pointer , you look again, and at some point Bingo!

Love,

Pop

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pop
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Re: Good morning

Postby pop » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi Eric

Just a quick post to let you know i shall be away from tomorrow (Wednesday) until Tuesday.
I won't be online so feel free to post and i will contact you on Tuesday to pick up where we left off

Love

Pop


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