Where is it?

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chaffinch
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Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:50 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The self does not exist separately from something else, thus it doesn't have an inherent existence. It is a phenomena that arises from the interplay of different processes/relationships and it can be seen as a pragmatic function that is used to guide us in the world.

What are you looking for at LU?
To go deeper in the path of questioning, to raise more doubts about the fundamental assumptions that currently guide my life. And I want to do this with the help of guide, as to lessen the risk of getting lost on the path.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To receive questions and pointers that can help me to get unstuck in the process of investigation and questioning. I want to be challenged and get help to spot the times where I might deceive myself in practice.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been a "seeker" for several years but a year and a half ago I actively started to practice zen meditation in a sangha. I have a daily meditation practice and have attended several retreats. I have done mindfulness of breath practice, shikantaza and koan practice with a teacher.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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Vivien
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Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:49 am

Hi,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

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.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
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

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. 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 and such 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 and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

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, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.
To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be 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.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:21 pm

Hi Vivien!

I'm glad to finally begin this exploration.
How will Life change?
Not much or not at all. It will still unfold by itself.
How will you change?
I will view, or participate in, the process of Life's unfolding with clearer sight.
What will be different?
My feelings of separation and disconnection from everything which is not perceived as "me" will fall away - along with my current notion of "me".
What is missing?
It's not so much that something is missing. Rather it feels like there are layers of ideas, preconceptions and reactionary patterns that can be stripped away.

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:42 am

Hi,

What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations results in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’. Is there any resistance to any of it?
My feelings of separation and disconnection from everything which is not perceived as "me" will fall away - along with my current notion of "me".
This comment sounds if there were a me/self which could somehow merge together with everything else, so everything will become ‘me’, or one with me??

Is this what you expect? To merge or be one with everything that is currently perceived as not me?


Because if this is what you are after, then you might be disappointed.
There is NO you/self that could connect with everything else that is perceived as not me.
It’s not about a lost connection between me and not-me.
It’s about seeing that there is NO ‘me’ at all.
And when it’s seen that there is no I/me/self at all, then the belief in separation is gone.
Since there is NO me/I that could be separate from everything else.
There is just ‘everything else’. Without a me/I.
I will view, or participate in, the process of Life's unfolding with clearer sight.
And what if there is no I/self at all that could participate in the process of life’s unfolding?

There is no you whatsoever, that could participate in life’s unfolding.
Life is, but there is no you/self.
It's not so much that something is missing. Rather it feels like there are layers of ideas, preconceptions and reactionary patterns that can be stripped away.
Just because the illusion of the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that reactionary patterns will be gone. No. It just will be seen that those patterns don’t belong to anything. Just free-floating without an owner.

So only the core belief of being a separate self is seen through which also includes others beliefs that support this idea. However, like a rug that is beginning to unravel, there are still many knots (beliefs, patterns) that need undoing. Falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key. LU only guides to the realisation of ‘no separate self’.

Seeing through the self is just the first step, just the BEGINNING and not the end. Lots of further looking is needed for those patterns to slowly and gradually fall away.

For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?

Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:55 am

What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?
You can call med Chaffinch.
Is this what you expect? To merge or be one with everything that is currently perceived as not me?
I don't think so. It's hard to imagine and put into words a possible experience radically different and radically the same as what is now being experienced.
And what if there is no I/self at all that could participate in the process of life’s unfolding?
Then there would simply be unfolding.
Can we agree on these?
Yes.
Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?
There is resistance. But it feels mostly connected to what I perceive as the shortcomings of language, or my own vocabulary/conceptual models, to express which "excpectations" that are there. I percieve my expections as mostly feelings, and I find it difficult to verbalise them.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
Yes!

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Vivien
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Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:42 pm

Hi Chaffinch,
There is resistance. But it feels mostly connected to what I perceive as the shortcomings of language, or my own vocabulary/conceptual models, to express which "excpectations" that are there. I percieve my expections as mostly feelings, and I find it difficult to verbalise them.
That’s all right. But it’s important to mention again, and ALL expectations are hindrances, so it’s better to put them aside.

This investigation will be very simple. You won’t need your intellectual mind to figure out anything.

We are only ever looking for facts of reality, but not knowledge of facts of reality. So, you'll need to put the teachings aside because they so far haven't worked. They won't work until this can be experienced with certainty and that's the path we're headed down.

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.

What the ‘I’ is for you?

What is the experience of being you?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:21 pm

Hi Vivian,
What the ‘I’ is for you?
What is the experience of being you?
I don't really know how to differentiate the two questions so I'll try to answer both, or maybe non of them, at the same time.

Being "me", having an "I", feels mostly related to patterns of thought, feelings and sensations. The feeling of a self manifests mostly clearly in relation to thought. I have tried looking for the self, which of course sounds paradoxical, but haven't been able to find it concretely - it's more of a murky feeling that seem very fleeting. Yet, it is almost always present.

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Vivien
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Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:02 am

Hi Chaffinch,
I have tried looking for the self, which of course sounds paradoxical
Looking for the self is not really paradoxical, it’s quite practical.

It’s the constant looking, looking and looking and not finding what brings about the realizations.
So this is what we are going to do here. We are going to search for a REAL entity/me.
Being "me", having an "I", feels mostly related to patterns of thought, feelings and sensations. The feeling of a self manifests mostly clearly in relation to thought. I have tried looking for the self, which of course sounds paradoxical, but haven't been able to find it concretely - it's more of a murky feeling that seem very fleeting. Yet, it is almost always present.
All right. I would like to ask you put your attention to this ‘murky fleeting feeling that is almost always present and seems to be the sense of me’.

Just FEEL this sensation/feeling as often as you can during the day. (preferably hundred times).
When the attention is on the sensation investigate:

What makes this sensation into a me? In other words, how do you know that this sensation = me?

When ignoring all thoughts, does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it’s the ‘sense of me’?

What do you find?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:43 pm

Hi Vivien,

I've seen your questions and started investigating but I'll be traveling for a couple of days so I won't be able to post a decent reply for another 36-48 hours.

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:23 pm

All right, thank you for letting me know.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:15 pm

Hi Vivien,

Now I'm back.
What makes this sensation into a me? In other words, how do you know that this sensation = me?
There is not much, or nothing at all, in the sensation itself that is connected to a "me". But along with the sensations come patterns of thought, or stories, which revolve around an "I". Where the "me" plays the role of an active agent. But all of this is missing in the sensation itself.
When ignoring all thoughts, does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it’s the ‘sense of me’?
No, then it simply is.
What do you find?
Apart from the above I find that when I investigate this self the first feelings to arise are those of frustration, probably because there is nothing firm to grasp. When I then start turning away from the story that there should be something there and instead start to abide in the sensations themselves the frustration turns to spaciousness and calmness.

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:51 pm

Hi Chaffinch,
But along with the sensations come patterns of thought, or stories, which revolve around an "I". Where the "me" plays the role of an active agent. But all of this is missing in the sensation itself.
Is the thought of yourself is ‘your-SELF itself’?

WHERE is the ACTUAL ‘I’ which thoughts and stories revolve around?
When I then start turning away from the story that there should be something there and instead start to abide in the sensations themselves the frustration turns to spaciousness and calmness.
And WHAT is it EXACTLY that abides in the sensation?

WHERE is this ‘you’ that can abide in sensation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:54 pm

Is the thought of yourself is ‘your-SELF itself’?
No, it's just a thought.
WHERE is the ACTUAL ‘I’ which thoughts and stories revolve around?
I don't know, I can't find it. Sometimes there is a feeling in the chest or in the head that identifies as an 'I', but that's not it either.
And WHAT is it EXACTLY that abides in the sensation?
There is a sensation, then there is a thought about an 'I' abiding there. But it's not the same thing, the abiding never really happens. It's just sensation followed by thought followed by sensation and so on.
WHERE is this ‘you’ that can abide in sensation?
I keep seeking and seeking but it continuously slips away.

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Vivien
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Re: Where is it?

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:47 pm

Hi Chaffinch,
I don't know, I can't find it. Sometimes there is a feeling in the chest or in the head that identifies as an 'I', but that's not it either.
Does the pure/raw sensation (like the sensation of the chest or the head) itself identifies as an ‘I’, OR thoughts label this sensation as an ‘I’?
There is a sensation, then there is a thought about an 'I' abiding there. But it's not the same thing, the abiding never really happens. It's just sensation followed by thought followed by sensation and so on.
Yes, exactly.

There is NOTHING that could abide in sensation. Can you see this?

OR (maybe) there is an ‘I’ that could abide in sensation? So, is there an I/me that could abide in sensation?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chaffinch
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Re: Where is it?

Postby chaffinch » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:28 pm

Does the pure/raw sensation (like the sensation of the chest or the head) itself identifies as an ‘I’, OR thoughts label this sensation as an ‘I’?
Thoughts label them. But they're intimately coupled and thoughts follow quickly, if I'm not very observant the two mesh together in experience.
There is NOTHING that could abide in sensation. Can you see this?
I see it intellectually and sometimes I experience it, but the experience of it usually lasts for just a moment.
OR (maybe) there is an ‘I’ that could abide in sensation? So, is there an I/me that could abide in sensation?
No, but must of the time it appears to be.


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