Not sure if I have crossed the gate

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Zazen01
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Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:06 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That there is no separate self.

What are you looking for at LU?
Confirmation of my practice, not sure if I have realized my true nature, never have had a teacher or guru, so I am looking for a guide to help me a long this path. Been at it for a few years now but feel stuck.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Like I mentioned, I haven't had a teacher to help me, everything I've practiced has been on my own. Hopefully someone can confirm to me if the looking I've done has been correct. But in honestly I don't expect much.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Advaita, Atma vichara, indagación al ser, meditación.

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

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forgetmenot
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:09 am

Hello Zazen,

My name is Kay, and I am happy to assist you in exploring the idea of the separate self or to see if you have already had the realisation. At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

Disclaimer:-

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:-

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/


“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:12 pm

Hi Kay,
Nice to meet you. I read your post and links. Im ready to begin this.
Thank you for your help!

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forgetmenot
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:50 pm

Hi Zazen,

Thank you for reading the links, including the disclaimer and learning how to use the quote function.

Some housekeeping guidelines:-
1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration. Be here with an open and curious mind.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word - it will save you time in the long run!

So you say you are not sure if you have had the realisation that there was no inherent self? What did you expect would happen? In other words what were you hoping would happen and will happen ie how did you think life would look like; what life would feel like, and what you wanted or hoped would change or not change etc. So we both know where you are at, could you answer the following questions for me please, in your own words.

How will/did life change?
How will/did you change?
What will be/is different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi Kay,

Thanks for your help. Just be patient with my grammar, English is not my main language, hope I can explain myself well in this investigation with you.
How will/did life change?


Well, I've done over the past 3 years +- a lot of inquiry, Atman Vichara, read up on all the classic Advaita teachers, modern teachers, practiced inquiry, have seen trough the apparent 'self', which now I understand is just a construct, a character in 'the movie'. And have had a overall lightness in my day to day experience, living from the beingness that I Am. But sometimes I notice that the character hasn't gone nowhere. It pops up under certain conditions. Its come to the point where I know where hes going to pop up, under certain situations/people. Interacting in certain social situations, upon finding out about other people life changes, feeling unsafe in the area where I live, thinking about work, etc.

And when the character pops up, along with its own faults & behaviors (he's no saint), comes anger, fear, resentment, etc etc. So those stories (those particular situations/people) haven't changed a bit, even tough I go ahead and see in the moment that theres 'no one' there, just fear, hate, etc etc. So this has become frustrating. Sometimes I even think the character has evolved and become more of a problem because living as beingness somehow makes me detached at times, and some people may notice this and react to it. Lets says that 'since this is a movie', I seem to give less importance to things/people that I attached to before. This is a positive, because I'm more free in that way, but negative when I feel like walking alone in this 'matrix' where others are complete asleep.
How will/did you change?


To be honest, most of the time, its being a game changer as they say lol. Just beingness here, while interacting with the world, has eliminated a lot of hangups and issues associated with the character personality traits, I've become more free, more open. But as I mentioned, suddenly the character pops up, and its back to zero lol, and I say to myself, this will never end, so its a frustration.
What will be/is different?
What is different is this knowingness that I am, and not the character, also, little by little, this idea that there's no doer, I've come to see that in my life, how everything 'gets resolved', or life keeps moving on and i notice I don't have to fret over work, lets say. I am a independent contractor, so sometimes I've stressed over work, the future, but little by little, this stress is starting to get a clearance. Of course, then I talk with other people, wife, family, and hear comments like, Oh, you have to plan for the future, you have to go and find work, and that sucks me back in 'the matrix', the 'I have to do that', I'm the doer, its on me, and stress/worry/fear comes in, and I feel the doer in this never ending movie.
What is missing?
At times, many times, nothing. But Like I said, when the character (or resistance to what is) pops up, many things are missing. Love, feeling safe, feeling secure financially, etc, etc.

Hope I answered correctly and didn't go on the tangent, thank you very much.

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:26 am

Hey Zazen,

Thank you for your answers. What I am going to do is to start guiding from scratch. My style of guiding is to deconstruct the idea of the separate self so you get to see how it comes together at times...like you have experienced. Also by so doing you get to know how to LOOK when the separate self seems to come up to play...so to speak, to see that it is simply all a concept. We will also explore the idea of frustration, fear etc.

As stated in my first post, my role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been.

So now we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is.
‘Looking’ is just plain looking at actual/direct experience (AE), which is simply colour (image), sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value that is appearing right now in the moment. You are looking at the raw experience of AE and noticing the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience. The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no separate self and that there has never been a separate self.

So first we become aware of what AE is and how it is used to ‘look’.

I would like you to sit quietly and close your eyes and just listen to the sounds for a few minutes that can be heard both inside and outside of the room. Really hear them.

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:17 pm

Hi Kay, here you go. Thanks.
Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).
Sound of cars passing by on the street.

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:21 am

Hi Zazen,
Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).
Sound of cars passing by on the street.
Great! Now redo Part I of the exercise, and then look carefully at what I am pointing to with the following questions. Please answer from looking at actual experience only (ie colour, sound, thought, smell, taste or sensation), and not with an intellectual answer.

Please repeat the exercise and tell me:-
Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard were cars?
In other words, what is it that suggest the sound were cars?

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘cars passing by on the street’? ‘


Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:16 am

Thanks Kay, here you go!
Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard were cars?
It cant be know, its just a sound!
In other words, what is it that suggest the sound were cars?
Thought is what suggests, it labels the sound.
What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘cars passing by on the street’?
I hear the sound, which apparently is labeled unconsciously as car, then I get a sensation in my stomach/chest of fear, alertness, expectation, like something may happen and I have to be alert.

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:46 am

Hi Z,
Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard were cars?
It cant be know, its just a sound!
Yes..exactly! :)
In other words, what is it that suggests the sound were cars?
Thought is what suggests, it labels the sound.
Nice! Yes. It is only thought that suggests/infers that the sound is coming from something called cars.

If you have a look ie see a visual of a 'car', what is the actual experience?
What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘cars passing by on the street’?
I hear the sound, which apparently is labeled unconsciously as car,
Great! Although there is no “I” that is hearing…but we will come to that.
then I get a sensation in my stomach/chest of fear, alertness, expectation, like something may happen and I have to be alert.,
What is it exactly that suggests the sensation is fear/alert/expectation?
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear/alert/expectation?


The interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with and overlay actual experience. Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience


The following exercise points to what I mean.

For this exercise you will need an apple or any other piece of fruit will do.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is an apple actually known?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:33 pm

Hi Kay,

Heres answers to your questions, thanks.
If you have a look ie see a visual of a 'car', what is the actual experience?
Just images, colors, sounds...
then I get a sensation in my stomach/chest of fear, alertness, expectation, like something may happen and I have to be alert....
What is it exactly that suggests the sensation is fear/alert/expectation?
Aparently nothing, its like the sensation is the motivating factor, just fear alone, gets labeled with a thought...
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear/alert/expectation?
No, its like a thought attaches to it and names it fear...maybe because its a uncomfortable feeling, thought comes in and labels it as a problem: fear...the sensation is just a sensation... but somehow thought comes in and labels it, maybe in a way of getting rid of it?, "Its fear, fast, do something, run, etc..."
Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience
Nice, AE vs interpretation.... but I find this difficult once fear kicks in...

-----
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Just the color, and the thought of it being a apple...
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
Mmm, this got me a bit.... but I guess the answer, looking deeply, there's no 'apple', just the thought of it.
However, is an apple actually known?
Lol.... No! Apple itself would be a byproduct of thought and thinking.... just a label. Looking deeply, this red object could be car or table. Just a label. So what I find only is what is here, perceived. The labeling comes later.

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:59 am

Hi Z,
If you have a look ie see a visual of a 'car', what is the actual experience?
Just images, colors, sounds...
Yes, a ‘visual’ image of what is called a car is simply AE of colour.

So let’s check to see if there really are objects. Choose an object, be it a TV remote or something you can hold in your hands.

Now close your eyes and IGNORE ALL thoughts and mental images about the object and your hands. What is actually appearing ie what is the actual experience?
then I get a sensation in my stomach/chest of fear, alertness, expectation, like something may happen and I have to be alert....
What is it exactly that suggests the sensation is fear/alert/expectation?
Aparently nothing, its like the sensation is the motivating factor, just fear alone, gets labeled with a thought...
It is thought that is labelling the sensation and suggesting/inferring that it is ‘fear’.

Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear or fearful?
Can you find anyone/anything in or behind the sensation that is in fear or fearful?
Without thought, could it be known that the sensation is fear?

Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear/alert/expectation?
No, its like a thought attaches to it and names it fear...maybe because its a uncomfortable feeling, thought comes in and labels it as a problem: fear...
Does thought know anything about fear? Or is there just an automatic interpretation and labelling arising simultaneously as the sensation?

What does “maybe because its a uncomfortable feeling” point to? Does is point to thought, sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? In other words what is saying that the sensation is uncomfortable?

the sensation is just a sensation... but somehow thought comes in and labels it, maybe in a way of getting rid of it?, "Its fear, fast, do something, run, etc..."
Thought is not an entity, so it is not aware and does not want to get rid of anything! Wanting to get rid of fear is just another appearing thought. We will look at the nature of thought shortly.

If you sit with the sensation and just ignore what thought says about, how is it known that it is fear and that it is uncomfortable and needs to be gotten rid of? The sensation itself is simply actual experience. Can a sensation harm anyone/anything? Or is it just the thoughts about the sensation that SEEMS to make the sensation into something its not?
Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience
Nice, AE vs interpretation.... but I find this difficult once fear kicks in...
Yes, this will take time. This exploration is just a beginning and not an ending. There will be ingrained beliefs, emotions and patterns that will need to be seen through after the realisation of there being no separate self happens. Not everything is rewritten in one fowl swoop. How much time it takes depends on how long it takes to work through other beliefs etc.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Just the color, and the thought of it being a apple...
Yes
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
Mmm, this got me a bit.... but I guess the answer, looking deeply, there's no 'apple', just the thought of it.
Can an actual apple be found in colour, sound, thought, smell, taste or sensation? If not..then how can a apple be found in actual experience?
However, is an apple actually known?
Lol.... No! Apple itself would be a byproduct of thought and thinking.... just a label. Looking deeply, this red object could be car or table. Just a label. So what I find only is what is here, perceived. The labeling comes later.
Yes….excellent looking :)

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities, objects and emotions simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell,
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation.
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought.

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:11 am

Now close your eyes and IGNORE ALL thoughts and mental images about the object and your hands. What is actually appearing ie what is the actual experience?
Its just a sensation of something there....? makes sense?
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear or fearful?
No... just the intensity of it is what suggests 'something', other than that, its just a sensation...
Can you find anyone/anything in or behind the sensation that is in fear or fearful?
No.
Without thought, could it be known that the sensation is fear?
No, the only thing that is known is that its a uncomfortable sensation...
Does thought know anything about fear? Or is there just an automatic interpretation and labelling arising simultaneously as the sensation?
Its a automatic response/interpretation... like if that uncomfortable sensation needs to go away.
What does “maybe because its a uncomfortable feeling” point to? Does is point to thought, sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? In other words what is saying that the sensation is uncomfortable?
It points to thought, its like a labeling that happened after.... nothing is saying the sensation is uncomfortable, it just feels uncomfortable... its a sensation.
If you sit with the sensation and just ignore what thought says about, how is it known that it is fear and that it is uncomfortable and needs to be gotten rid of?
Its not known its fear, just a sensation.
The sensation itself is simply actual experience. Can a sensation harm anyone/anything? Or is it just the thoughts about the sensation that SEEMS to make the sensation into something its not?
100% its the thought that makes it seem something....the sensation alone cant harm, its just sensation (of course some sensations are stronger and almost unbearable, like a panic attack)
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Will do, thanks.

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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:10 am

Hi Z,
Now close your eyes and IGNORE ALL thoughts and mental images about the object and your hands. What is actually appearing ie what is the actual experience?
Its just a sensation of something there....? makes sense?
Is there ‘something there’, or is it simply AE of sensation? Does the sensation suggest in any way that there is something there?
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is fear or fearful?
No... just the intensity of it is what suggests 'something', other than that, its just a sensation...
Without thought, how is it known that there is intensity? What is it exactly that suggests the sensation has intensity?
Go to the sensation at the soles of the feet. Would you label that sensation ‘fear’? Or is it just a neutral, undefined tingling sensation?
Now compare the sensation of the soles of the feet – which is just neutral sensation – and the sensation in your chest (labelled ‘fear’)…what is the difference between them?
Thought would say one is a little more ‘intense’, but apart from that – any difference?


Without thought, could it be known that the sensation is fear?
No, the only thing that is known is that its a uncomfortable sensation...
Without thought, how is it known that the sensation is uncomfortable?
Does thought know anything about fear? Or is there just an automatic interpretation and labelling arising simultaneously as the sensation?
Its a automatic response/interpretation... like if that uncomfortable sensation needs to go away.
Sensation is actual experience…it is what IS..it it experience/THIS appearing exactly as it is. What exactly is it that needs the sensation to go away?
What does “maybe because its a uncomfortable feeling” point to? Does is point to thought, sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? In other words what is saying that the sensation is uncomfortable?
It points to thought, its like a labeling that happened after.... nothing is saying the sensation is uncomfortable, it just feels uncomfortable... its a sensation.
Without thought saying it is uncomfortable….how could it possibly be known that the sensation is uncomfortable? Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is uncomfortable, or that it feels uncomfortable? Or is it a thought that suggests the sensation is uncomfortable?
If you sit with the sensation and just ignore what thought says about, how is it known that it is fear and that it is uncomfortable and needs to be gotten rid of?
Its not known its fear, just a sensation.
Exactly and can you find anyone/anything that is actually feeling the sensation? Where does the sensation end and the knowing of it begin?
The sensation itself is simply actual experience. Can a sensation harm anyone/anything? Or is it just the thoughts about the sensation that SEEMS to make the sensation into something its not?
100% its the thought that makes it seem something....the sensation alone cant harm, its just sensation (of course some sensations are stronger and almost unbearable, like a panic attack)
The label ‘panic attack’ is AE of thought and not AE of a panic attack
Sensation labelled as ‘panic attack’ are AE of sensation and not AE of a panic attack
Image labelled as ‘me/body’ is AE of colour and not AE of someone having a panic attack
Thoughts ABOUT a panic attack and what it means etc are AE of thought and not AE of a panic attack.

So what is actually known is label + sensation + colour + thoughts. Is a panic attack actually known?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Zazen01
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Re: Not sure if I have crossed the gate

Postby Zazen01 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:16 pm

Hi Kay,

Checking in, heres my responses to:
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Sitting on couch meditating: sounds/ emotion-sensations
Washing hands: sensations/ color/ sounds/ images /lost in thought- thought
Reading a Twitter: image/ color/ sensation-emotion
Reading email: image/ thoughts/ sensations-emotion
Watching lady at store: image/ color/ thoughts/ sensations
Going out of house and walking to street: images/ sounds/ sensations
Driving around in car: images/ thoughts/ sensation-emotion(fear)
Working on PC: image-tought/ sensation-fear


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