What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

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Vivien
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:30 am

Hi Gwen,
I could not find the thing that made the decision except the presence of the thought. But this thought itself caused a flurry of other distressing thoughts. "Well - how is any decision made? How can I move forward? What is happening here? How can I decide anything? I was going to have some chocolate with my tea, but now I feel paralyzed. How do I live my life? Who is making decisions here?"
Let’s investigate this fear. It’s important because fear can be a hindrance of going further. But actually, fear is nothing more than a protective mechanism, and it does its job well. There is a belief, a story somewhere about pain or negative consequences to seeing the illusion of the self. And the fear tries to protect you from these supposed negative consequences. So let’s find out what this story is about and see if they are real threats or not.

What I’d like you to do is to investigate this fear. Examine it closely. Feel it. Don’t try to fix it or solve it, just sit with it.
Ask the fear as if it were a some kind of entity:

What do you want to protect me from?

What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?


Observe what visual thoughts and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear.

If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and visual thoughts what is BEHIND the fear?

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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GFree
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:43 pm

Hi Vivien -
Ask the fear as if it were a some kind of entity:

What do you want to protect me from?
It seemed to answer that it wanted to protect me from making some sort of social error. Staring blankly into space when someone asks a question, or not being able to function with people if this constant stream of thought is not paid attention to or obeyed. Another thing that it wants to protect me from is not having all the access to the information that it's providing at work, where decisions must be made quickly, and information needs to be remembered. I'm just realizing that this wouldn't change though. It's not that thoughts stop happening, but that the identification of "me" or "Gwen" would not be there. Hmmmm.
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?
That "poof", just like that - Gwen would be gone. Cease to exist. No stories, no attachments to family or friends. The feeling of being extinguished. This doesn't seem true to me. It's not that my family and friends are going to cease to exist.
Observe what visual thoughts and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear.
I can't access any stories or visual thoughts at the moment.
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and visual thoughts what is BEHIND the fear?
When I sat with it, there was nothing behind the fear. I've done this exercise before, and have never really found anything behind the fear. This time though, when I looked at the negative story that my fear gave, I could see that it didn't seem true - that if there were no "Gwen", things would change, but also things would also not change. That "Gwen" that "I" THINK is me, is just ....... um ....... nothing? A collection of concepts and beliefs that has no basis in fact. Still sitting on this one.

One little housekeeping note - I don't seem to be getting emails from you after you've posted to my answers. Not sure if this is a glitch.

Much love,

Gwen

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Vivien
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:45 am

Hi Gwen,

Thank you for writing down your fears. These fears are just negative expectations about how seeing through the self would be like or feel like. These negative expectations are nothing else than beliefs.
Staring blankly into space when someone asks a question, or not being able to function with people if this constant stream of thought is not paid attention to or obeyed.
There is ALREADY no self there.
So if seeing through the self would mean not being able to function with people and just staring blankly into space, then this ALREADY MUST BE the case.

Since there is ALREADY no Gwen there. Gwen NEVER EVER has been there. So do you stare blankly into space when someone ask a question?

There is no self already, so are you unable to function with people?

Another thing that it wants to protect me from is not having all the access to the information that it's providing at work, where decisions must be made quickly, and information needs to be remembered.
This body labelled ‘Gwen’ is already EMPTY of SELF. It has always been.

And yet, it has always been able to function in a work environment. And the plain RECOGNITION of this fact that there is no self in this body won’t change anything… since there has never been a self there. Can you see this?
I'm just realizing that this wouldn't change though. It's not that thoughts stop happening, but that the identification of "me" or "Gwen" would not be there. Hmmmm.
Even the identification won’t stop completely. However, upon looking it will be clear that there is no self there, and there’s never been.

This exploration is just a beginning and not an ending. The core belief of being a separate self is seen through but there will still be beliefs and patterns that are rooted in the idea of being a separate self that will need clearing, as not everything gets rewritten in one big hit. It SEEMS that identifying as the separate self shows up again and again along with feelings of resistance, doubt, frustration and confusion. This is known as yo-yoing and happens to everyone and is normal. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key.
That "poof", just like that - Gwen would be gone. Cease to exist.
It’s LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Gwen to cease existing, since Gwen has NEVER EVER been there.
Which has never been there cannot cease to exist.
Gwen has always been just inferred, assumed by thoughts, but has never been a reality.

There is nothing that could die or cease to exist.
There is no self that could die.
Just because the self is seen through, nothing will die, since there has never been a self there in the first place.
There is no self that could be annihilated or killed.

The only thing that changes is the RECOGNITION that there has never been a self there.
But nothing else will change.
The sense of self will still arise. The illusion of the self will still be there.
So nothing will be lost, only a belief in the self will fall away.
No stories, no attachments to family or friends.
Attachments won’t be affected.

There is already no self in the body and still there is attachment to family and friends.

If seeing through the self would mean no attachment to family or friends, then it ALREADY HAS TO be the case, since there’s already no self that could attach.

But just because there is no self that could attach to anything or anyone, it doesn’t mean that seeming attachment to people and things are not happening.

So just as it’s happening now, it will still happen after the recognition of no-self.
The feeling of being extinguished.
Feeling? Are you sure that ‘being extinguished’ can be FELT?
Is this actually a FEELING?
Or is it rather a THOUGHT believed (taken seriously, instead of seeing it only as an arising thought)?

This doesn't seem true to me. It's not that my family and friends are going to cease to exist.
Yes, this is not true. Just as your other fears. These are just pure fantasies.

So at first, thoughts create a frightening story/fantasy about how seeing through the self should be like and feel like, and then it tries to protect its invented character (Gwen) from this dreadful story. Can you see this?

I could see that it didn't seem true - that if there were no "Gwen", things would change, but also things would also not change. That "Gwen" that "I" THINK is me, is just ....... um ....... nothing? A collection of concepts and beliefs that has no basis in fact.
This is exactly what we are investigating here.

Thoughts are constantly talking about and on behalf of ‘me’.
But is there an ACTUAL me that thoughts are referring to?

One little housekeeping note - I don't seem to be getting emails from you after you've posted to my answers. Not sure if this is a glitch.
Yes, sometimes this happens, I don’t know why. Most of the time I reply back within 24 hours, usually sooner, so if you don’t see any email notification, please check it in the forum.

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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:21 am

Good evening Vivien!

Sorry for the late reply. My son is here for a visit with his lovely wife and their little Elio.

This was a very very useful exercise. The thought that there is no "me" doesn't seem so impossible to me anymore. When I started looking, I thought that this belief was deep and immovable, but I am beginning to see that it's a very real possibility. It even makes me giggle a bit when it's pointed out that there NEVER EVER was a Gwen, so the fears that were emerging are not true at all. Thank you.
There is no self already, so are you unable to function with people?
Yes, I can function very well with no self.
And yet, it has always been able to function in a work environment. And the plain RECOGNITION of this fact that there is no self in this body won’t change anything… since there has never been a self there. Can you see this?
Yes, I can see this. That thoughts will still arise as before.
Feeling? Are you sure that ‘being extinguished’ can be FELT?
No. If "I" was extinguished, it wouldn't be felt. Thank you for walking me through this belief. There is no validity to it whatsoever.
Or is it rather a THOUGHT believed (taken seriously, instead of seeing it only as an arising thought)?

Is this actually a FEELING?
The thought that Gwen would be extinguished was just a thought believed when not questioned.
So at first, thoughts create a frightening story/fantasy about how seeing through the self should be like and feel like, and then it tries to protect its invented character (Gwen) from this dreadful story. Can you see this?
Yes, I can see this. Absolutely.
Thoughts are constantly talking about and on behalf of ‘me’.
But is there an ACTUAL me that thoughts are referring to?
No, there is no actual "me" that can be found. I keep looking still. Just to reinforce that there is no "me" there. I have never found a 'me".

Thank you very much!

Gwen

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Vivien
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:30 am

Hi Gwen,
This was a very very useful exercise. The thought that there is no "me" doesn't seem so impossible to me anymore. When I started looking, I thought that this belief was deep and immovable, but I am beginning to see that it's a very real possibility. It even makes me giggle a bit when it's pointed out that there NEVER EVER was a Gwen, so the fears that were emerging are not true at all. Thank you.
I am glad to hear that.
No, there is no actual "me" that can be found. I keep looking still. Just to reinforce that there is no "me" there. I have never found a 'me".
This needs to be experientially seen many-many times (probably hundreds of times). So just keep looking.

Now I would like to ask you to go back and re-do the chocolate (or wine) exercise.
Here are the questions again:

Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely. Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.

When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.

What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully


Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention when the decision is made. Particularly pay attention to thoughts, as the decision is made.

Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?


Now, act according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?

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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:56 am

Good evening Vivien -

I have had some very busy days, and company staying at my house as well. It's been difficult to find the privacy and time to do this experiment, so I've taken an extra day to do it.
What is it that is considering these options?
I can't say what it is that's considering these options. I don't know that anything is. They're just appearing. To say that something is considering them would assume another. That would make an observer and an observed. These thoughts are just appearing.
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully
I couldn't find anything listing pros and cons. Just thoughts appearing about them.
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
NoTHING could be found to make the thought about the decision appear. The thought appeared.
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
I couldn't find the thing that made the decision. The decision was another thought that appeared.
How exactly the decision is made?
Again, I couldn't find out how the decision was made. I have no clue. It just appeared.
What is it that performed the chosen action?
A body performed the chosen action. Hands move. The mouth opens, chewing begins.

I noticed that the chattering questions didn't appear this time. The mind was quieter.

Thanks Vivien.

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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:56 am

Hi Gwen,
You did a nice looking. Now let’s investigate intention.

Lie down onto a bed. Observer very carefully how the decision arises to get up.
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
What makes the body get up?
Is there a ‘you’ that commands the body?
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?

Repeat this with sitting in a chair. Describe in detail the decision of standing up.
How does the decision happen exactly?
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?
What makes the body to stand up?


Now let’s investigate intention.
Sit in a chair and observe how the intention of standing up happens.
How is it known that there is an intention to stand up?
While sitting there, say internally several times ‘I intend to get up’. What happens?
What is it that made the intention to get up?


Now, zoom onto the intention (of getting up) very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.
Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to get up”, but THE intention itself.
Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?


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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:00 am

Hi Vivien -

I would like two days to do this exercise. I want to be clear - to look and only see the truth of what is happening. I am still not clear. When I do the exercises, I have NO idea how any of this is happening, although in some way, it's almost a premonition of how the body will move. When I commanded the body to stand, nothing happened. It seemed as though thoughts were completely disconnected with the movements of the body. And then, the questions appeared "how did I say internally three times I intend to get up if thoughts just appear?" But now, I think that I will just answer the questions and not engage in these thoughts that are appearing.
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?


I haven't done the bed exercise yet. I'll do it in the morning.
Repeat this with sitting in a chair. Describe in detail the decision of standing up.
How does the decision happen exactly?
I had a thought "I'm going to stand up", and then the body just stood up. There was no debate. Actually, the thought seemed somewhat disconnected from the movement of the body. It seems very weird to me, but it seemed almost that the body moved of it's own accord. There were some thoughts going through my head about drinking some tea while I was reading the exercise. When I stood up, the body just reached over, picked up the cup and drank some tea. No thought, intention or planning seemed to be involved in this movement.
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?
I didn't notice a self at all. No pros and cons. No debate about standing.
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?
Standing just happened. No doer found.
What makes the body to stand up?
I have NO CLUE what makes the body to stand up. I hope that I'm looking with truth, but I really do not know.

Now let’s investigate intention.
Sit in a chair and observe how the intention of standing up happens.
How is it known that there is an intention to stand up?
I wouldn't know in advance that there is an intention to stand up. It seems that the body just stands up when it wills. It's not even that a thought appears - "I intend to stand up" - no such thought process happened that I could see. Standing just happened.
While sitting there, say internally several times ‘I intend to get up’. What happens?
Nothing happened. Thought and action were disconnected. This is very interesting . . . . .
What is it that made the intention to get up?
What is it? What is it? What is it? What raises my arms? What makes me blink my eyes? What hears? Life? That which moves, hears? Is?????? I don't know.

Now, zoom onto the intention (of getting up) very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.
Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to get up”, but THE intention itself.
Can you locate THE intention itself?
I can't locate the intention. It has no location. It is like a movement which happens. It seems somehow related to my thought process. The thought might appear and then the body moves, but I cannot find anything that indicates that the thought causes the body to move. The thought may just be happening.
How the intention is actually experienced?
In this moment, I cannot truthfully say that I have experienced an intention.

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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:01 am

This exercise - to do with intention and movement has been very interesting, and I want to look at it again tomorrow. Very helpful questions and inquiry Vivien. Thanks!

Gwen

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Vivien
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:13 am

Hi Gwen,
This exercise - to do with intention and movement has been very interesting, and I want to look at it again tomorrow.
Yes of course. Be thorough :)

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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:43 am

Lie down onto a bed. Observer very carefully how the decision arises to get up.
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?
There was thought about what was happening, whether there was something that could be found making the body get out of bed. There is a fear about getting this wrong, but I cannot find any connection between a thought about getting out of bed and the movement of the body. There are thoughts about getting out of bed, but NO thought, moved the body out of bed. The experience was that I was looking for whatever would get me out of bed, but the body eventually just moved out of bed.
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
I don't know. The body just got up.
What makes the body get up?
I don't know.
Is there a ‘you’ that commands the body?
There was a desire to get up . . . . it was like an inner movement that was going to happen, but it didn't come from thought.
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?
No - it was funny, but it didn't affect the outcome at all.

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Vivien
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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:18 am

Hi Gwen,

You did a really nice looking :)

Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.

How does it FEEL to see that there is no controller or chooser?'

How do you see the “self” now?

Are you crystal clear that it is an illusion?
Is there any doubt?


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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:52 am

Hi Vivien -

Thank you for these questions. I would really really love to be crystal clear about these things. I have done serious looking, and have observed that: thoughts come and go in random patterns that don't always make logical sense. That I cannot make a thought happen nor can I stop thoughts. I can't make myself stop distressing thoughts.
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.
When I look at how my body moves, I must admit that I am clueless as to how it happens, and am a bit puzzled and delighted at watching it in a new way. By questioning thinking, moving, intention etc., all separately, it appears that I don't have control over what is happening. But I can't say that it is TOTALLY CLEAR that there is no such thing as choice or free will.

Today (for example), I was helping my son on an art project. A few of his friends were helping as well. One of his friends was trying to explain something to me (in my own area of professional practice) in what "I" thought was a patronizing way. A moral struggle ensued - with thoughts of behaviour suggestions, retorts, guilt etc. I still felt like "I" decided on a course of action.

Tell me please where I am missing something. I want to ask how does one make a decision when there is no "I" or free will? Of course that's probably not important if there is no "I", but I am not still entirely sure.

Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
I have not been able to find a chooser, but I still must believe that there is an "I" somewhere. Who is holding on to this belief or these thoughts? Where are these thoughts coming from?
How does it FEEL to see that there is no controller or chooser?'
I don't know yet. Some stickiness still.
How do you see the “self” now?
The jury is still out . . . .
Are you crystal clear that it is an illusion?
Is there any doubt?
I wish that there was not doubt, but, alas . . . . still in inquiry.

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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:29 am

Hi Gwen,
But I can't say that it is TOTALLY CLEAR that there is no such thing as choice or free will.
If this is not clear then it’s because there is still a belief in a chooser, just as your post bellow shows:
Today (for example), I was helping my son on an art project. A few of his friends were helping as well. One of his friends was trying to explain something to me (in my own area of professional practice) in what "I" thought was a patronizing way. A moral struggle ensued - with thoughts of behaviour suggestions, retorts, guilt etc. I still felt like "I" decided on a course of action.
But don’t worry, sooner or later you will be able to see through this.
I want to ask how does one make a decision when there is no "I" or free will? Of course that's probably not important if there is no "I", but I am not still entirely sure.
The self has never EVER been there, and yet, thoughts about decision has happened and will happen even when the self is seen through.

You don’t have to understand this. We are not investigating HOW and WHY things happen.
We are just simply looking WHAT is happening.
Questions of how and why just could lead philosophizing, theorizing, analysing which is nothing else than thinking.
I have not been able to find a chooser, but I still must believe that there is an "I" somewhere. Who is holding on to this belief or these thoughts? Where are these thoughts coming from?
Let’s change a bit the way how we do this looking. Let’s make it simpler. Much simpler.

I would like to ask you to forget everything we have done so far. Literally everything. Forget about the notion of AE, forget about if there is anything outside of experience or not. We won’t use the term AE any more. We put aside everything we’ve done so far.

We are going to strip away as much intellectualization as possible. We are going down to bare bones. To the simplest simplicity.

Intellectual understanding is what moves the needle the wrong way on the dial. We're going to move it back to the simplest position possible.

This investigation will be very-very simple. You won’t need your intellectual mind to figure out anything.
You have to look at each questions with the eyes of a little child, who has no intellectual knowledge about how things work.

I will at times ask things repeatedly, or in very simple language. If that happens, trust the process as it's meant to stop the intellectualizing an allow exploration of the experiential.
Today (for example), I was helping my son on an art project. A few of his friends were helping as well. One of his friends was trying to explain something to me (in my own area of professional practice) in what "I" thought was a patronizing way. A moral struggle ensued - with thoughts of behaviour suggestions, retorts, guilt etc. I still felt like "I" decided on a course of action.
Sit for a while and try to play back the memory of this event.

While you are replying it, put your focus on LOCALIZING the chooser.

Try to find the exact location where the decision maker resides.
Where is it?


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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Re: What is my experience trying to show me? Seeking what I REALLY am in Truth.

Postby GFree » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:56 am

Try to find the exact location where the decision maker resides.
Where is it?
Thank you Vivien! I appreciate making this simple for me.

I play back the scenario in my mind. Thoughts appear, one after the other. When I remember, there is no predicting which thought will come next, or what it will be. I could not find a choose. The conversation lightened and so did the thoughts in my head. Thoughts appeared.

I notice that there is a movement to try to explain, but I will just observe, as instructed.

Much appreciation,

Gwen


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