I want to know

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:19 am

Hi Lesa,

Good. Noticing the difference between Thought Arising and content of thought is very useful.
No, the content of thought is not Direct, but neither is Thought Arising if the criteria is that it has to be perceived with one of the 5 senses.
You're right I misspoke. Thought Arising is something that does not go away when we LOOK for it. We can't deny that thought arises. We are aware of it. That's more accurate. We also cannot deny our 5 senses. We are aware of Seeing, Hearing, Feeling, Tasting & Smelling.
I realize that most thoughts are a response to some stimuli (either a direct question/problem, or an internal fear-based neurotic belief). Some thoughts are totally random, but most thoughts come if there is a perceived problem for me to solve.
It seems that way, doesn't it? You can check. Does something cause thought or is it only content of thought that says so? We will do some exercises on cause & effect.

Right now, let's keep learning some basics. Let's do an exercise that is a little more concrete:

Mind labeling experience

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation i.e. is there any tightening, or any relaxing? Very important to pay attention to the body sensations.

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I."

For example:

I am sitting on a chair
I am hearing a clock ticking
I am looking at a computer screen
I am feeling hungry.

Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I.” Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs.

For example:

Sitting on a chair
Typing
Breathing
Blinking
Hearing the clock

(Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labeled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?

2. What is here without labels?

3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

4. Did you notice any differences in the body? (be sure to pay attention to this.)


Write what is true about these.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:43 am

Hi there.
At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labeled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
No. Not to me.
2. What is here without labels?
Everything that is present when labeled, is still present when not labeled.
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
They do affect the experience. The localizing of the experiencer is much greater with the "I" word. It is also heavier.
4. Did you notice any differences in the body? (be sure to pay attention to this.)
When I was writing “I” the body was more noticeable. I felt more localized and contracted in the body. There was a lot of focus on the area of the body. When just writing the verbing, the body was lighter and less important. There was still sensing the actions, but it was more like they were being observed than experienced first-hand. They didn’t feel as important somehow. Wow! I realize that I don't like the way the word "I" makes me feel. There is a lot of responsibility attached to it, even when doing simple tasks like this one. Yikes!

Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:36 pm

Hi Lesa,

Yes, this . . .
When I was writing “I” the body was more noticeable. I felt more localized and contracted in the body. There was a lot of focus on the area of the body. When just writing the verbing, the body was lighter and less important. There was still sensing the actions, but it was more like they were being observed than experienced first-hand. They didn’t feel as important somehow. Wow! I realize that I don't like the way the word "I" makes me feel. There is a lot of responsibility attached to it, even when doing simple tasks like this one. Yikes!
"Responsibility" is another content of thought, but yes. We don't like that feeling.

So, now please think of a time when you lied to somebody you loved. Anything will do. I do not need the content of those thoughts. While thinking of this lying, please scan your body, particularly your torso for any sensations and report what you find.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:46 am

Hello
So, now please think of a time when you lied to somebody you loved. Anything will do. I do not need the content of those thoughts. While thinking of this lying, please scan your body, particularly your torso for any sensations and report what you find.
I feel an intense sense of pressure in the center of my chest, and some in my shoulders. Not comfortable at all.

Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Yes. That is what nearly everyone feels. (Some people suppress awareness of it come up I think.)

Now, please go back and do that exercise again. Notice whether the sensation you describe there is similar to this feeling you get when you lied to someone you loved.

Notice whether you are aware of it on any more of the questions.

How does Question 1 seem now? Any body awareness?

What is found?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:40 pm

Hi Kid.
Now, please go back and do that exercise again. Notice whether the sensation you describe there is similar to this feeling you get when you lied to someone you loved.
Yes, it is similar, but not as intense.
Notice whether you are aware of it on any more of the questions.
2. What is here without labels?
I notice that if I look around the room without labeling things, they are very empty, just colors and shapes. Sounds are there, but meaningless. The body generally just reacts to sensations, unless there’s pain. I still claim the pain. Thoughts are a little bit removed, sort of floating out there on a long string. WIth the claiming of experiences, there is tension in the chest similar to the lying feeling.
How does Question 1 seem now? Any body awareness?
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
The body difference is definitely there, but I can’t discern whether one is truer than the other.
What is found?
My body responds the same way to my claiming experiences as it does to my lying. That would sort of imply that my claiming experiences is lying. Or at least the body reacts the same way.

Thanks, darlin'
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:45 pm

Hi there,

It's amusing to be called "kid" at the age of 59. Thank you.
That would sort of imply that my claiming experiences is lying. Or at least the body reacts the same way.
Yes. And of course, rather than taking my word for it, please continue to check this in your own experience. What we lie about can be very surprising.

Keeping this in mind, let's move on.

Label-Reality Correlation

There is a belief that labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality." But there isn’t. Just like it is a generally accepted belief that labels like "good" and "bad" are inherent characteristics of ‘things’. But actually, they are not.

When you look at the word label "GREEN," what is the actual experience?

Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?

Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality?"

Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?

Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?

If the label "GREEN" is replaced with the label "GOOD" or "BAD," is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?

Does redness become "good" or "bad," or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on "reality?"

What is found? Having fun?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:19 pm

Hi
It's amusing to be called "kid" at the age of 59. Thank you.
Glad you’re enjoying it! It’s a term of endearment, to me. :)~
I’m 58.
When you look at the word label "GREEN," what is the actual experience?
Seeing a red word.
Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?
The color red.
Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with “reality?"
No.
Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?
Something else, in this case.
Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?
Just a word label.
If the label "GREEN" is replaced with the label "GOOD" or "BAD," is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?
Not at all.
Does redness become "good" or "bad," or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on “reality?"

None whatsoever.
What is found? Having fun?
Labels are an arbitrary means of pinning ideas down, but have little, if anything, to do with the actual things they represent. They are useful and we agree to them, so that we can communicate more easily. Yes! I’m having a blast! Can hardly wait until your next post.

Love,
Lesa

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:21 pm

Hi
It's amusing to be called "kid" at the age of 59. Thank you.
Glad you’re enjoying it! It’s a term of endearment, to me. :)~
I’m 58.
When you look at the word label "GREEN," what is the actual experience?
Seeing a red word.
Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?
The color red.
Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with “reality?"
No.
Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?
Something else, in this case.
Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?
Just a word label.
If the label "GREEN" is replaced with the label "GOOD" or "BAD," is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?
Not at all.
Does redness become "good" or "bad," or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on “reality?"

None whatsoever.
What is found? Having fun?
Labels are an arbitrary means of pinning ideas down, but have little, if anything, to do with the actual things they represent. They are useful and we agree to them, so that we can communicate more easily. Yes! I’m having a blast! Can hardly wait until your next post.

Love,
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:41 pm

Great!

I suspected that we were near the same age, based on who you had read, et cetera.

Yes, labels have no inherent connection with reality other than what we make up. This is another way of looking content of thought. It is made up.

Words can be convenient, but they can also keep us from seeing what is.

This one may be even more fun.

[u]Friend/Stranger
[/u]

Bring up a thought about a character labelled "friend."

Then bring up a thought about a character labeled "stranger."

Compare these thoughts.

Is there a difference in these thoughts?

Is there a true difference or is it just different content?

Now, bring up a thought about a character labeled "friend."

After that, look at a thought about the character labeled "me.”

Is there a difference?

Is there anything special about thoughts with the content "me-character?"


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:24 am

Hi friend!
Is there a difference in these thoughts?
Yes, “friend” feels warm, comfortable, and female. “Stranger” feels slightly dangerous, and male.
Is there a true difference or is it just different content?

Just different content.
Now, bring up a thought about a character labeled “friend."
After that, look at a thought about the character labeled “me.”
Is there a difference?

Yes. The "friend" thought is light and positive, and fairly static. There's an instant image/feel and that's it. It's fun. The “me” thought is much more dynamic and heavier. It's not fun.
Is there anything special about thoughts with the content “me-character?"
They are darker, heavier and much more complex, and kind of amorphous. They are continually changing. There is a lot of judgment attached to them. They seem more “important” and demand attention. Ugh…

This is really fascinating and revealing stuff.

love,
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:06 am

Hi, Friwnd!

Yes, isn't all the baggage we made up & attached to some sounds fascinating?

Of course, this is the meat of the matter:
Is there a true difference or is it just different content?

Just different content.
How does it feel to notice that there's no difference in the thoughts arising, just different content, now that you know that the content is completely made up?

Read through your replies and notice any feelings in the body. What do you find?


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:02 am

Hi Stacy
How does it feel to notice that there's no difference in the thoughts arising, just different content, now that you know that the content is completely made up?
At first it felt like a factoid, far away. It's interesting, but I find myself wanting to go deeper. I suppose that I would have to put that realization in my mind all the time to have it affect me much. Thinking is so habitual and mostly unconscious. The more I meditate on it, the more it makes me wonder what the heck is real and what can be counted on in this life/world? I wonder does it matter? Would it make a difference to definitively know any of those answers?
Read through your replies and notice any feelings in the body. What do you find?
Pretty much what I found earlier. The thoughts with "I/me" make the center of my chest tight. The thoughts without are easier and don't seem to affect my body much.' But again, unless I'm actively focused on this, I don't notice it.

Thanks!
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:24 pm

Good morning!
How does it feel to notice that there's no difference in the thoughts arising, just different content, now that you know that the content is completely made up?
At first it felt like a factoid, far away. It's interesting, but I find myself wanting to go deeper. I suppose that I would have to put that realization in my mind all the time to have it affect me much. Thinking is so habitual and mostly unconscious. The more I meditate on it, the more it makes me wonder what the heck is real and what can be counted on in this life/world? I wonder does it matter? Would it make a difference to definitively know any of those answers?
Yes, because the thought content of I or me or self is also completely made up. So, yes, there is more. A lot "deeper" (also content of thought) to go. We'll get to that.
But again, unless I'm actively focused on this, I don't notice it.
You are likely to begin noticing it more. Notice when you get that feeling and keep doing what you were doing that brought it up. We are often wired backwards! We approach pain and avoid pleasure. Even an amoeba can do better. :)

Let's bring some of these awarenesses together. Try this:


Actual/Direct Experience - Apple

Have a look at an apple. If you have a ‘real’ apple, you can use it for this exercise.

http://www.maryshomestead.com/sitebuild ... /fruit.gif

Well, the apple picture we used to use seems to be gone. Using an actual apple helps, but you can call up a picture of one, if need be.

When looking at an apple, there's color; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure?

Color 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, color, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color 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.

Taste labeled ‘apple’ is known
Color labeled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labeled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labeled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known

However, is an apple actually known?

Have fun & take your time.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:32 pm

Hello!
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No
While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.
Agreed
This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Taste labeled ‘apple’ is known
Color labeled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labeled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labeled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known

However, is an apple actually known?
No :)

Love,
Lesa


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