Is there really no "me"?

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robrobert
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Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:33 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
My understanding of LU is that the guiding has to do with looking for the presence - or absence - of an "I" that truly exists in direct experience. A real, inherent "self" - or how it feels to me - is what makes me an entity that is separate from the rest of the world.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to know the truth about whether my identity as a separate self is real or not. It is said that the separate self is an illusion - like a magic trick. I'd like to see if that is true and, if so, to be able to look through the illusion. It seems like then I would know what for myself if there is a "me" - or if there really and truly isn't one. It would be fantastic for seeking to come to an end as a result of seeing this.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to have my beliefs about a separate self to be identified, examined, questioned and tested in direct experience to see if they are true or not. I expect to be guided to "see" for myself what is real rather than an intellectual understanding of non-duality - which I already feel like I have. I expect brutal honesty and having to do serious investigating.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've had an interest in Buddhism since I was a teenager and learned zazen in college. Many years passed where I didn't meditate at all but I continued to read books about Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. I learned TM (Transcendental Meditation) about two years ago and continue to practice it twice a day. I watch a lot of YouTube videos about non-duality and Adveita Vedanta - like, for example, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, etc. I find that this information is causing me increasingly more and more frustration as it seems to make sense intellectually but I'm not able to experience it. I feel like I must be doing something wrong - or just not getting it.

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

Bananafish
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:33 am

Hi robrobert. :) My name is Bananafish, one of the guides in this forum.

I'd be more than glad to offer you guidance, if that's ok for you.



First, let's see how separate (or distant) "self" is from everything else.

Could you tell me the closest thing to you?


Warm regards,


Bananafish

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:30 pm

Hi Bananafish! Very nice to meet you. I would like to accept your offer of guidance. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. It's appreciated :)

To answer your question, the closest thing to me is air. It (air) is always in contact with me - in and out of my nose/mouth/lungs and against my skin.

Bananafish
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:47 pm

Hi! Nice to meet you, too. :)


You said "my nose," and that implies
there's someone (you) that owns your nose.


How distant is "your nose" and "you?"

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:43 am

Hi. Yes, as you mentioned, I did say “my nose” and that does imply that someone - namely “me” - owns my nose. As I wrote that last sentence, I realized this means there would have to be two things: the nose and the person who owns the nose. That can’t be. So, I would have to say there is no distance between my nose and me. I can’t find where “I” end and my nose begins.

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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:49 am

Hm, that sounds like a logical conclusion.


Beware when you try to conclude something, using logic,
saying A is so because B. Please notice every time that appears.
Don't say logic is bad or good ... just notice, ok?


Just notice, and discard that logic; then, see anew, without that logic.
Be a complete beginner, every time you investigate something here.



Now, how does "the person who owns the nose" feel?
Is there a particular sensation that relates to that person?

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:02 pm

OK, I understand what you said about using logic. I am just noticing while doing the investigating. Got it.

You asked "how does "the person who owns the nose" feel and if there is a particular sensation that relates to that person. Yes, there is a tingling sensation present. It feels like energy flowing.

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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:31 pm

Please feel that sensation fully, and describe it in
as many details as possible.


What's its color? It's shape? Does it move?

What makes you relate that sensation to a "person?"

Is it "the person" per se?

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:56 pm

The sensation can be felt inside the body and on the surface of the skin as tingling. A pulsation. It vibrates with energy. There is throbbing. It has no defined shape but exists in and around the space of the body. When attention is focused somewhere - on the face, stomach, hands, feet - the sensation becomes more concentrated, denser. The sensation can’t be seen with eyes open. With eyes closed, colored points of light and moving blobs of color are visible against a black background. There is a faint humming sound that gets louder when attention is placed on it.

What relates the sensation to a person is its presence only in and around the body - specifically the same body that is writing this. It can be detected in and around this body but not outside of that space.

The sensation does not feel like it is the same thing as the person. It feels like the sensation is experienced in and around the person by the person.

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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:15 pm

Hi. :)


Where is this “person,” not the sensation
nor body, that you’ve been referring to?


Could you point at it with your index finger?
Please do so, and please just tell the
exact location.

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:09 pm

Hello :)

I'm not able to locate a person that is not the sensation and not the body. I really want to point at my forehead, right between my eyes and say "that's where the person is" but if I look for this person as something separate than the sensation and the body, I can't find it. How interesting!

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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:33 pm

Hello. :)

How does it feel to see that?
Is there any change in how life is
lived?

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:55 am

Hi again :) On one hand, it doesn't really feel different at all to see that there isn't a person. On the other hand, it seems to feel a bit lighter - like there isn't such a need to worry about things. I suspect that the realization doesn't happen at all once but takes some time to sink in. Is that generally the case?

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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby Bananafish » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:39 am

Generally speaking, yes, if one has
clearly seen through the illusion. :)


Now, how do you see the world?
Do you see it differently?

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robrobert
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Re: Is there really no "me"?

Postby robrobert » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:01 pm

Hello. I don’t see the world any differently now than I have always seen the world. I have certainly noticed thoughts like “How strange that I can’t find the location of a person if if I look for one” but I have not noticed anything different in my experience of seeing the world.


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