Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:40 pm

Hi Vivien,
You struggle to find the self in this moment. And what about other moments?
Can a self be found in any other moment?
No, I can’t find a self in any moment.

Have you ever been able to ACTUALLY FIND a self? Not an inferred one, not an assumed one, but an ACTUAL one?
No, never.

Let's go straight for the most obvious example of me inside.
Where does Jeff/me feel most prevalent?
My Head.
When it does, fix in with precision to that place the ‘me’ occupies.
Hold it for a while in this net of attention.
Look and see, is this me-behind-the-eyes-in-the-head anything but sensation?
When I look, I can’t find anything other than the sensation.
Please repeat this as many times as you can remember during the day (preferably hundreds times). Especially pay attention to it when an emotion is present and it feels that there is a me here.
Let me know what you find.
I performed this exercise throughout the day and could not find ‘me’. With emotion, I looked and focused on the physical sensation first, for example I had tightness in my upper chest while I was “frustrated”. I did not find the self in the chest, then when I switch focus to the thought, it was gone. No self to be found. At the onset of the emotion, it feels so important, but when I start looking the feeling dissipates and no self is found.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:02 am

Hi Jeff,
I performed this exercise throughout the day and could not find ‘me’. With emotion, I looked and focused on the physical sensation first, for example I had tightness in my upper chest while I was “frustrated”. I did not find the self in the chest, then when I switch focus to the thought, it was gone. No self to be found. At the onset of the emotion, it feels so important, but when I start looking the feeling dissipates and no self is found.
Very good. Just keep looking, especially when an emotion is triggered.
When I look, I can’t find anything other than the sensation.
Great!
And when you don’t look, can you find a self or me anywhere? :)

Look again precisely where the ‘me’ feels to be, the sensation behind the eyes, maybe not right at the back of the skull, but closer in? Somewhere around the centre, but towards the eyes perhaps? Feel into that space, the sensations there, and just spend a couple of minutes feeling those sensations as sensations. Nothing more, nothing less. Just what they are - sensations.

Treat thoughts as just voices-off. Ignore them. Focus on the sensations, the one's that feel most me-like.

See them as sensations - only. Like a sensation in the foot, or stomach, or hand, or head. Sensations. Radically ordinary. Bereft of meaning.

So for the next few days, I would like to ask you to focus your attention to this sensation as often as you can during the day (hundreds of times).

Just keep the attention on the sensation, and just make a repeated recognition that this sensation is just a sensation. Nothing more.

So just FEEL the sensation as sensation.
The task is to see what is there for what it is.
To give things their true name.
A sensation in the head is a sensation.


And see this again and again and again and again….. hundreds of times.
Please let me know how it goes.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:03 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks I will do this exercise over the few days. I am away for the weekend, but will reply upon my return Monday.

Thanks again
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:48 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for letting me know.

Have a nice weekend,
Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:43 pm

Hi Vivien,
And when you don’t look, can you find a self or me anywhere? :)
Nope, can’t find it.
And see this again and again and again and again….. hundreds of times.
Please let me know how it goes.
My sense of self is “located” in a general area in the head, and in the upper chest. I focussed on the sensations I experienced in those locations. I did this many, many times over the last couple days, whenever I thought of it. All I can find are raw sensations, such as pressure in the head, tense shoulders, tongue against my mouth etc. These are all just mental labels that describe the sensation, but wanted to give examples. All there is in AE is the raw sensations, no-self to be found. That general sense/feeling of self is nothing more than another thought/concept. I found this exercise helpful to continuous look and realize it’s raw sensation. I will continue to do this moving forward.

Thank You
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:23 am

Hi Jeff,
All there is in AE is the raw sensations, no-self to be found. That general sense/feeling of self is nothing more than another thought/concept.
It’s important to emphasize that the self is not just simply a thought/concept. The sensation that is mistakenly labelled as me plays a huge role in the seeming appearance of ‘sense of self’.

So there is a plain sensation, like a pressure in the head, and thoughts label this sensation as ‘me’.

So the reason why the ‘me’ SEEMS or FEELS so real, is because the sensation is real. The sensation is there.
And since this sensation is labelled as ‘me’: BUMMM! The seeming sense of self appears.
So the sensation is giving the ‘reality effect’ to the thought concept of ‘me’.
Can you see this?


That’s why you have to see and FEEL this sensation only as a plain sensation, no more different the sensations of the soles of the feet. To label this sensation correctly. Only as a plain sensation. No more, no less.

Is it 100% clear experientially that there is no self?
Please give me examples which areas/topic feels more intellectual?
I found this exercise helpful to continuous look and realize it’s raw sensation. I will continue to do this moving forward.
Yes, please do so.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:03 pm

Hi Vivien,
So the sensation is giving the ‘reality effect’ to the thought concept of ‘me’.
Can you see this?
Yes, I see this.
Is it 100% clear experientially that there is no self?
Yes
Please give me examples which areas/topic feels more intellectual?
One area I would like to explore is when I learn a new skill, ‘I’ feel like I am in control of the doing, as the mind is learning a new concept. However a learned skill, such as riding a bike is automatic, no ‘thinking’ is required to do it, as it is learned. When learning a new skill, there is an illusion of more involvement due to the body ‘learning’ a new skill. Can you speak to this?

Thanks

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:49 am

Hi Jeff,
One area I would like to explore is when I learn a new skill, ‘I’ feel like I am in control of the doing, as the mind is learning a new concept. However a learned skill, such as riding a bike is automatic, no ‘thinking’ is required to do it, as it is learned. When learning a new skill, there is an illusion of more involvement due to the body ‘learning’ a new skill. Can you speak to this?
This is a reasoning. Have you checked this in experience?

If you say that it’s 100% clear experientially that there is no self, then how could be that YOU are in control of learning and doing?


Self = me = controller = doer

Where is this YOU/I that could be in control of the doing the learning? – search for it

Regardless of a new skill is being learned in the moment or not, the one, the ‘I’ that could do the learning is supposed to be present all the time, right? – so where is the ‘I’ that has the ability to learn new skills?
Where is the doer?

“The mind is learning a new concept” – How is ‘mind learning a new concept’ is experienced?
What is the AE of mind? Is there such thing as mind?
And what is the AE of learning?


Conventionally speaking, when learning seemingly happens, there is a SEEMING ‘me’, a decider that makes lots of decision along the way. Like when learning to drive a car. There are lots of decisions made on when to turn the wheal, how much to turn, when to indicate, when and how to press the gas and brake pedals, etc.

So saying that “I am in control of doing the learning process” is just simply the SAME OLD BELIEF IN THE SELF, which is supposed to be the chooser/controller/decider.


It doesn’t matter if it’s about learning a new skill, or just deciding which hand to raise, or to decide whether it’s a good idea to eat chocolate or drink bear before going to bed. Can you see this?

So, we will redo some exercises on control and decision making.

Please LOOK very carefully, and not just think through it intellectually. You already know that intellectual understanding doesn’t worth to much.

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
Can a decision maker be found?


Please let me know if ANY part of it is not clear experientially.

You can invent a small exercise for yourself, where you are trying to learn a new skill, and LOOK while the seeming learning is happening.
You can try to learn to juggle with two balls or apples/oranges (if you don’t mind them being bruised :)
Or you can through a piece of grape or an almond to the air and try to learn to catch it with your mouth.
Or you can try anything you would like.

While trying to learn something, use the same or similar questions as above with the hand raise exercise.

Let me know how it goes.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Vivien

I will get back to you tomorrow on this.

Thanks
Jeff

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:25 pm

Hi Vivien,
This is a reasoning. Have you checked this in experience?

If you say that it’s 100% clear experientially that there is no self, then how could be that YOU are in control of learning and doing?
This was a lingering question that I had and needed to look more in AE. I understand on an intellectual level but needed to look.
Where is this YOU/I that could be in control of the doing the learning? – search for it
I can’t find an ‘I’ during learning.
Regardless of a new skill is being learned in the moment or not, the one, the ‘I’ that could do the learning is supposed to be present all the time, right? – so where is the ‘I’ that has the ability to learn new skills?
Where is the doer?
I see, if the I is not present while performing a learned skill, then the I is not present while learning a skill.
“The mind is learning a new concept” – How is ‘mind learning a new concept’ is experienced?
What is the AE of mind? Is there such thing as mind?
And what is the AE of learning?
There is no AE of mind, it is a concept. There is no AE of learning, this is a label. But sensations experienced during “learning” are the AE.
It doesn’t matter if it’s about learning a new skill, or just deciding which hand to raise, or to decide whether it’s a good idea to eat chocolate or drink bear before going to bed. Can you see this?
Yes, I see this.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
Can a decision maker be found?
I can’t find “what” is choosing which hand to raise. There is an independent thought as to which hand to raise, but it’s not directly tied to the action. There is nothing specific controlling the hand, I can’t find a controller. Nothing can be found that makes the hand move. I have no idea how the decision is made, it just happens.
Let me know how it goes.
I chose to do a “box breathing” exercise, where you breath out for a count of 4, hold for 4, breath in for 4, hold for 4 etc. I could not find a chooser during this exercise. There are thoughts about breathing, and holding the breath, but they are not in control of anything. I couldn’t find anything controlling the breathing, the process just happened.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:44 am

Hi Jeff,
I see, if the I is not present while performing a learned skill, then the I is not present while learning a skill.
Can you see this experientially, or it’s just a logical conclusion?

Here is another exercise. It’s very important that you don’t just get through them logically, but actually LOOK and SEARCH FOR the chooser or choice with each question.

So, do you have any choice, whatsoever, about what you're aware of? If not, then how can there be a doership? So, if you think that you can choose and do…let's have a very good LOOK and see:

If thoughts say, "I can change what I'm aware of by closing my eyes", and suddenly eyes seem to close, and you are aware of only colour black.

Was there REALLY any choice about being aware of all of that?
Was there any choice about being aware of the thoughts, or the apparent closing of eyes, or the colour black?
Was there any choice for not to have thoughts about closing eyes?
Was there any choice for the colour to be green instead?
If there is no choice what to be aware of, then what else is there to choose?


Please either invent another exercise about learning, or try to learn juggle with two balls or apples/oranges.
And investigate the following:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
Can a decision maker be found?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:40 pm

Hi Vivien,
I see, if the I is not present while performing a learned skill, then the I is not present while learning a skill.
Can you see this experientially, or it’s just a logical conclusion?
I see this experientially now.
If thoughts say, "I can change what I'm aware of by closing my eyes", and suddenly eyes seem to close, and you are aware of only colour black.

Was there REALLY any choice about being aware of all of that?
Was there any choice about being aware of the thoughts, or the apparent closing of eyes, or the colour black?
Was there any choice for not to have thoughts about closing eyes?
Was there any choice for the colour to be green instead?
If there is no choice what to be aware of, then what else is there to choose?
There was no choice about be aware during this exercise. There is the sensation of eyes opening/closing. There is seeing what is there, there are thoughts about what is seen or when to open/close eyes. There is no choice in this process that I can find. There was no choice as to what colour is seen. What we are aware of does not require a choice, we are aware of what is.

Please either invent another exercise about learning, or try to learn juggle with two balls or apples/oranges.
And investigate the following:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
Can a decision maker be found?
I tried juggling two objects, and did not do very well :) . The process seemed to unfold naturally on it’s own. There was no chooser when I would throw in the air and no chooser when I caught (or dropped) the object. I could not find a controller much less locate it. I could not find anything in charge of this learning process. I cannot tell how the decisions are made, the whole process just happened without a decision maker.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:37 am

Hi Jeff,
I see this experientially now.
I hope you don’t mind my honesty and openness. I would like to understand something here. We have started this investigation with the agreement that this is an experiential guiding. Most of your replies were so well written and well-articulated that I actually believed that you can see this experientially, otherwise you wouldn’t have written that you can see that there is no self. So I was convinced that you had seen it, thus I asked the final questions which we always do at the end of the conversation. When another guide read your comments, she said that your replies seem very clear, but she felt that something might have been missing since you wrote that ‘everything feels pretty much the same’. This was the only clue that something might have been not complete.

So my question is, why did you give such beautiful replies if you didn’t see it experientially? Why did you say that “there is no separate self or entity anywhere, the self is just a thought, a concept” while you didn’t see it clearly?

My intention with these questions is not to question or accuse you with anything, I just would like to understand why and how this happened. Since you are not the only client who gives intellectual responses, but you are the first one who could convince me with your precise descriptions that you had actually seen it.

So I just would like to understand it and learn from it to prevent it happening again (with you or with anybody else).
I tried juggling two objects, and did not do very well :)
:)
The process seemed to unfold naturally on it’s own. There was no chooser when I would throw in the air and no chooser when I caught (or dropped) the object. I could not find a controller much less locate it. I could not find anything in charge of this learning process. I cannot tell how the decisions are made, the whole process just happened without a decision maker.
Your previous replies on the topic of decision were just as clear as this one. How can I know for sure if this time you can actually see this?

I would like to ask you to give me a description of what feels clear and what is not about any topics we have covered so far.
Also please tell me how have you been feeling since we restarted the exercises. Has there been any change in how you feel?
Did you get any benefit from looking and doing exercises again? If yes, what?

What has changed (if there has been any) since we restarted looking?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi Vivien,
So my question is, why did you give such beautiful replies if you didn’t see it experientially? Why did you say that “there is no separate self or entity anywhere, the self is just a thought, a concept” while you didn’t see it clearly?
I understand the need to question, this has been a sometimes frustrating process for me. I will get it, then not and go back and forth … thank you for your patience and support. I did see it experientially … during the exercises, but it wasn’t integrating into my day-to-day life. “Self” doubt would keep coming back, thoughts that would doubt and question the process. Myself was fighting the process it seems. Though I could see it during the exercises, I just felt ultimately I needed more guidance and practice, because it was not consistent yet in my life. I think before I wasn’t doing the exercises enough, I needed more repetition and therefore was answering more based in intellect. Since we restarted I have been doing the exercises over and over again even if I “get it” on the first try.
Your previous replies on the topic of decision were just as clear as this one. How can I know for sure if this time you can actually see this?
I no longer question the concept of learning being different from a learned activity, I truly see this.
I would like to ask you to give me a description of what feels clear and what is not about any topics we have covered so far.
Also please tell me how have you been feeling since we restarted the exercises. Has there been any change in how you feel?
Did you get any benefit from looking and doing exercises again? If yes, what?
I have clarity for the topics covered so far. I don’t have any lingering questions. Since restarting the exercises I feel everything sinking in better. I needed to redo some of these to truly see, so there was great benefit to revisiting these.
What has changed (if there has been any) since we restarted looking?
I find that the doubt is no longer there. I feel at peace with this process. I see life as more of a flow over the last few days.

I hope I have given you enough information here, I’m not always the best at putting my thoughts into words, let me know if I should elaborate more.

Thank you
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:23 am

Hi Jeff,
I will get it, then not and go back and forth … thank you for your patience and support. I did see it experientially … during the exercises, but it wasn’t integrating into my day-to-day life. “Self” doubt would keep coming back, thoughts that would doubt and question the process. Myself was fighting the process it seems. Though I could see it during the exercises, I just felt ultimately I needed more guidance and practice, because it was not consistent yet in my life. I think before I wasn’t doing the exercises enough, I needed more repetition and therefore was answering more based in intellect.
Thank you for explaining it. It helps to understand what was happening.
Since we restarted I have been doing the exercises over and over again even if I “get it” on the first try.
Yes, this repeated looking looking and not finding is the essence of this guiding. Searching searching but not finding brings about the realization.
I no longer question the concept of learning being different from a learned activity, I truly see this.
Good. I’m glad to hear that.
Do you feel that you might benefit from doing more exercises on control/decider?
I find that the doubt is no longer there. I feel at peace with this process. I see life as more of a flow over the last few days.
Great. I would like to ask you to look for the self and for the sensation that is mislabelled as ‘me’ as often as you can remember in the next few days. Go deep with it.

For example, as these words are read off the screen, is there a sense that there is a ‘me’ doing the reading?

Or that there is a seer somewhere behind the eyes or inside the head looking out through the eyes and perceiving the world out there?


Please hunt for these and if there is just a slight appearance of a ‘me’, ‘doer’, ‘reader’, ‘seer’, ‘knower’, ‘experiencer’, then look for the sensation that is mislabelled as such.

When you have found the sensation, then stay with it, and FEEL it only as a sensation.
Even label it verbally as a ‘sensation’.

To give things their ‘true’ name.

A sensation in the head or in the chest is just a sensation.

Can you see clearly that the sensation mislabelled as me/experiencer/knower/seer is no different sensation than the sensation labelled foot, stomach or hand?
Radically ordinary, bereft of any meaning?

Please let me know how the looking goes.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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