Examining experience... open invitation

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue May 29, 2012 9:19 pm

Introduce yourself here. What brings you to this forum? What are you expecting?

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Wed May 30, 2012 5:56 pm

Hello. I don’t really know how to introduce myself, or what of my history really matters. But here goes.

I’ve always been drawn towards what I thought was the essence or core or truth of this life-self-mystery. Christianity as an early teen, then science, then Eastern ideas mixed with St Germain… the last several years I’ve been reading and developing from the Buddhist and Advaita teachers, Suzuki, Nisargadatta, Mooji, Tolle, Adyashanti… I’ve been meditating daily for more than two years, and twice or more daily for the past year or so.
I feel close now. My world is softening.
Non-doing is tricky – I have an autopilot that wants to figure out, to ‘get it’ even though I appreciate (at some level) the truth of the doing/doer requiring a separate self.

I have lived a simple life out of the mainstream, free of many complications. I am ready.
Ready to be free of this idea of separate self, and live the reality of what I really am.

Basic bio stuff: 49 years old, American, male, have lived abroad for 25 years mostly Japan and Thailand. Presently a teacher in Thailand.

(Sorry I PM'd you previously, seems my new account hadn't taken hold yet.)

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Wed May 30, 2012 5:58 pm

And I would really appreciate some help.
Really appreciate some one guiding me out of this small mind.

Thank you.

David

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed May 30, 2012 7:58 pm

Hello David,

Thank you for your introduction and welcome!

It certainly seems like you are ready, I'm sure your experience in meditation will be of great use to you in this examination.

I take it you've been reading some of the threads here so you know what to expect in terms of the method that's being used here?

The crux of the matter is this: look directly at what's being experienced right now, much like you would do in meditation. That's it, basically.

In order to get some momentum going, it's a good idea to try and post at least once every day.

Ok?

Let's begin our examination then.
I feel close now.
Close to what? What is it you are looking for exactly? What's being chased, sought?
Non-doing is tricky – I have an autopilot that wants to figure out, to ‘get it’ even though I appreciate (at some level) the truth of the doing/doer requiring a separate self.
Hmmm... please elaborate. What exactly is "the truth of the doing/doer requiring a separate self"? How do you see this? What's your current experience?
Ready to be free of this idea of separate self, and live the reality of what I really am.
What are you expecting to happen exactly?
What is "the reality of what I really am"?

These questions should get you started. Good luck.

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Thu May 31, 2012 1:24 am

Good morning from Thailand!

Thank you for taking the time to guide me.
Posting at least once a day sounds great.
Close to what? What is it you are looking for exactly? What's being chased, sought?
Close to something fundamentally different in where I see the world 'from'.
I'm 'looking for' (though I don't really like that way of putting it) my natural self. The one that doesn't have to be sustained by efforts. The one that doesn't feel estranged from the unity of all that is. One that is quiet and at peace.
What exactly is "the truth of the doing/doer requiring a separate self"? How do you see this? What's your current experience?
I see this 'doing' as requiring a subject/verb context. In order to 'do' there must be a 'doer', me, and a separate something to do something to. Intellectually this is very clear.
Experientially in meditation I can touch this, and then, and then... well I am inside the experience (sort of), and it feels fundamentally different than the doer-state. This is an undefined sort of space where there is awareness, and an awareness of the awareness (sorry, this is hard to describe). 'I' am not there. It's a quiet sort of undulating space. I wonder what it is. There is nothing to hold onto and my mind and thought will arise and absorb me back out of it.
What are you expecting to happen exactly?
What is "the reality of what I really am"?
I guess I'm expecting something fundamental to shift. A foundational shift in my perspective.
A shift 'into' the awareness that is deeper and robust, permanent.

The 'reality that I am' is the living experience of the fact that the universe is One; finally putting to rest this disposition of being a separate, vulnerable bubble - somehow different from this Unity - needing self-support and careful management.

Thanks

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Thu May 31, 2012 1:13 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for your wonderful reply!
Thank you for taking the time to guide me.
Ha! No worries, it's a pleasure.

You've given me a lot of leads in your text, so let me adress some of them now.

First of all, I want to make it clear that the purpose this conversation is not to get you into a special state of consciousness. In fact, what we're pointing at here is in no way special. It's simply an invitation to finally recognize what has always already been experienced, just overlooked. There is nothing particularly ' spiritual' or extra-ordinary about this.

With the disclaimer done, let's dive in.
where I see the world 'from'
Are you seeing the world?
How does this work, how is this actually experienced right now?
Is there a you that is seeing a world?
Where, and how, in the seeing of a world, is there a you, doing the seeing?
I am looking for (...) my natural self
Amazing sentence.
Couple of questions:

This implies that there is also an unnatural self?
What is the difference between the natural and the unnatural self? Is one real and the other unreal?

Also, take a closer look at the structure of this sentence, and the thought/desire it appears to describe.

There is an I that is looking.
There is an I that has something (a natural self).
There is the natural self that is being looked for and belongs to an I.

What's the deal here?
Which one of these selves is YOU?

Concerning the doing/doer question:

Is it true that doing requires a do-er?

How would you find out?

Let's try a simple experiment: go do something now. Anything- just do it.

Closely observe what is happening: is someone doing it? Is there a do-er separate from the do-ing? Ever? Are you seeing a do-er?

That should be enough for now. Have fun exploring.

Warm regards...

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Thu May 31, 2012 6:26 pm

Hello Damon,

Thank you for taking the time to present me with such interesting questions.

And I see and understand that we're not trying to get me to some special state of consciousness. And though intellectually I can appreciate that it is in fact the normal state we're discussing - from here that normal state does seem quite special indeed. The ordinary, overlooked for so long, appears novel.
Are you seeing the world?
Wonderful question.
I guess I'm not seeing the world afterall; whatever is being seen isn't 'the world'.
Actually I can't really say much about anything being seen. Or an 'I' doing the seeing.
But the seeing itself certainly is occurring.
How does this work, how is this actually experienced right now?
How does it work? ...This seeing the world? Hmmm. When I look at how it works, it seems to dissolve from under me. If I think about it in a quick way, it's common sense. I see the world. But I've looked for my 'I' and can't find it. (How's that for a sentence!) So there's no I to see from...
How is this actually experienced right now? ...Right now, it's just seeing.
Is there a you that is seeing a world?
I have to say no. There is seeing. Just seeing.
Where, and how, in the seeing of a world, is there a you, doing the seeing?
No me anywhere. No me doing.

"I am looking for (...) my natural self"
This implies that there is also an unnatural self?
What is the difference between the natural and the unnatural self? Is one real and the other unreal?

Yes it does imply that there is an unnatural self. How about that. And in a way I guess I do feel that this small self is unnatural. Unnatural in it's separateness.
The natural self, in my awkward phrasing, seems a self that fully realizes what it is. Seems real.
The unnatural self, the self that doesn't realize what it is. Seems dreamlike.
There is an I that is looking.
There is an I that has something (a natural self).
There is the natural self that is being looked for and belongs to an I.

Which one of these selves is YOU?
Bravo. These contradictions and confusions are what I am no longer interested in supporting.
The I that is looking: doesn't exist.
The I that has something: doesn't exist.
And a 'thing-like' natural self: doesn't exist.
There may not even be looking - just a sort of confirmation of not-having.
None of this is ME.
Is it true that doing requires a do-er?
How would you find out?
I reached out and picked up something. And observed.
I didn't sense a do-er. Just do-ing.
I observed myself typing this.
No do-er. But something was done.
Fascinating.

Genuinely fascinating.


Thank you so much.

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Thu May 31, 2012 9:25 pm

And I see and understand that we're not trying to get me to some special state of consciousness. And though intellectually I can appreciate that it is in fact the normal state we're discussing - from here that normal state does seem quite special indeed.
It's good to know that you understand this, because in expecting bliss, ecstacy or rapture it's quite easy to miss the obvious.
The ordinary, overlooked for so long, appears novel.
Yes! Isn't that absolutely mind-boggling?
Wonderful question.
I guess I'm not seeing the world afterall; whatever is being seen isn't 'the world'.
Actually I can't really say much about anything being seen. Or an 'I' doing the seeing.
But the seeing itself certainly is occurring
It is a wonderful question indeed, because it succinctly sums up the entirety of the fundamental misconception at the base of our understanding.

"I see the world".

This simple sentence, four words, basically sums up the illusion of separation.

Me here, world there.

Yet can you find a me and a world? Where do you end and the world begin?
If I think about it in a quick way, it's common sense. I see the world.
Yes, and it's exactly this common sense idea that we're examining.
This fundamental assumption about the way perception works literally colours the entirety of our experience.
Isn't it interesting indeed to see that a simple glance at your experience shows that there is actually no basis for that assumption at all?
Yes it does imply that there is an unnatural self. How about that. And in a way I guess I do feel that this small self is unnatural. Unnatural in it's separateness.
Ok. Can you describe this unnatural self? What is it, how is it, where is it? What makes it unnatural and what makes it a self?

You use the term "small self". That hints at the existence of a big self (Big Self?).
Could you share your thoughts on that?
The natural self, in my awkward phrasing, seems a self that fully realizes what it is. Seems real.
The unnatural self, the self that doesn't realize what it is. Seems dreamlike.
So where is this natural self now? Does it have to be created, uncovered, discovered? How many natural selves are there? Is it your natural self?
Bravo. These contradictions and confusions are what I am no longer interested in supporting.
The I that is looking: doesn't exist.
The I that has something: doesn't exist.
And a 'thing-like' natural self: doesn't exist.
There may not even be looking - just a sort of confirmation of not-having.
None of this is ME.
Good stuff.
So, where does that leave you? What is I?
I reached out and picked up something. And observed.
I didn't sense a do-er. Just do-ing.
I observed myself typing this.
No do-er. But something was done.
Fascinating.
Haha. Fascinating, yes.
So how do thing get done if you are not doing them?
Thank you so much.
:-) You're welcome. Looking forward to your answers to the questions above.

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:33 pm

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments and questions.

Here goes...
Yet can you find a me and a world? Where do you end and the world begin?
No I can't find a way to divide these two things. I can't find a place where me ends and the world begins.
Upon examination 'me and a world' is a nonsensical utterance.
...And in a way I guess I do feel that this small self is unnatural....

Can you describe this unnatural self? What is it, how is it, where is it?
When I try to describe it, it too slips away like smoke.
The closest I can get is when I abstractly view myself from a distance (in the conventional, self-help, set-your-life-goals kind of way) and I see myself vulnerable, anxious, uneasy, alone in a world/society that doesn't care at all about me. And funny, I never really formed this image of the unnatural vulnerable guy, but the image formed itself when I tried to describe it. To 'observe' it I found myself searching my feelings, and the picture emerged. It feels like I'm referencing a kind of feeling-memory. An anxious thought pattern or something.

This thought pattern again dissolves under sustained looking. So it seems that this unnatural self only exists as a nebulous, sneaky thought pattern. It kind of feels like it's hiding behind me.

Yet when I actually just look - here and now - I can't see this abstracted vulnerable guy, or the world that doesn't care.
What makes it unnatural and what makes it a self?
Yes, hmmm, how can it be unnatural? How can anything actually be unnatural?
And...It has nothing to do with a self... It really has nothing to do with anything.
It's just an old feeling-memory pattern.
You use the term "small self". That hints at the existence of a big self (Big Self?).
Could you share your thoughts on that?
When I implied the Big Self, I guess I was referring to a self that is aware of its limitlessness. But as I type this it seems odd... I can't get a vantage point to see a limitless Big Self. The limitless Big Self swallows my vantage point. And my vantage point cannot be separated from a limitlessness. Ahh so, I'm back again to 'I see the world'.
How about that.
The natural self, in my awkward phrasing, seems a self that fully realizes what it is. Seems real...

So where is this natural self now?
That self, it seems, can only be here, now.
The self that fully realizes what it is can only be here, now.
Does it have to be created, uncovered, discovered?
Created? No, it's already here.
Uncovered? Well, no, it isn't hiding or hidden. And I can't see how one could cover up something limitless, anyway.
Discovered? Maybe? ...but by whom? OK, not discovered either.
...not discovered either. Hmmm. The self that fully realizes what it is does not (cannot be?) discovered.
How many natural selves are there? Is it your natural self?
There can only be one. Only ...one?

Must be me.

The I that is looking: doesn't exist.
The I that has something: doesn't exist.
And a 'thing-like' natural self: doesn't exist.
There may not even be looking - just a sort of confirmation of not-having.
None of this is ME...

So, where does that leave you? What is I?
Everything?
But what do I know of everything?
I know what is here, now... Or maybe more accurately: perceiving is occurring.
(Perceiving without a perceiver.)
Perceiving is occurring. That is what is.

I must be that. (?!)

...
I observed myself typing this.
No do-er. But something was done....
So how do thing get done if you are not doing them?
Perceiving is occurring. Things get done.
How do they get done?
I don't know. They just do.


.....

Wow. This is wonderful.
Thank you.

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:29 pm

Allright, you seem to be doing great here. Now let's get a bit more focused and zoom in/out even further...
it seems that this unnatural self only exists as a nebulous, sneaky thought pattern(...)
Yet when I actually just look - here and now - I can't see this abstracted vulnerable guy, or the world that doesn't care.
Yes, beautiful, isn't it?
In the end, by directly looking at it, that self is seen to have been nothing more than thoughts, feelings, and even these, when directly faced, dissolve.
It kind of feels like it's hiding behind me.
Hiding behind whom?
When I implied the Big Self, I guess I was referring to a self that is aware of its limitlessness. But as I type this it seems odd... I can't get a vantage point to see a limitless Big Self. The limitless Big Self swallows my vantage point.
(...)
That self, it seems, can only be here, now.
The self that fully realizes what it is can only be here, now.
What is a self/Self? Can you describe exactly what it is that makes something a self?
Created? No, it's already here.
Uncovered? Well, no, it isn't hiding or hidden. And I can't see how one could cover up something limitless, anyway.
Discovered? Maybe? ...but by whom? OK, not discovered either.
...not discovered either. Hmmm. The self that fully realizes what it is does not (cannot be?) discovered.
Sounds like a lot of speculation.
The questions I posed where also meant to have you reflect on the very notion of a (natural) self. It's always difficult to get sarcasm across on the internet...
Why not stop for a moment and consider the idea of a self itself?
There can only be one. Only ...one?

Must be me.

(...)

Perceiving is occurring. That is what is.

I must be that. (?!)
Hmmm...
So, perceiving is occuring.
Where is this I that must be the perceiving?
What is this I?

What is I?

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:12 am

Thanks for your continued efforts.
It kind of feels like it's hiding behind me.
...
Hiding behind whom?
I knew this question was coming as I typed the statement above. But it's an honest appraisal of the feeling, so I didn't edit it away.
Hiding behind whom? Hmmm. This one seems really convoluted. I've got a memory-feeling hiding behind something that I am taking to be myself. I see the world, again. A separate me, being haunted by a memory-feeling. But the memory-feeling itself is claiming to represent me. It's nonsense again.

What is a self/Self? Can you describe exactly what it is that makes something a self?
In trying to answer this I feel the little word 'a' is causing some problems. It seems 'What is self?' may at least have some merit in the direction it points. Where as 'What is a self?' brings us back to 'I see the world.'
So if we keep it "What is a self? What makes something a self?' then a self cannot be. There cannot be a separate self, and there are no qualities to make something a self separate from a world.

Sounds like a lot of speculation.
(...)
Why not stop for a moment and consider the idea of a self itself?
Thanks for calling me on my speculation. It's very helpful for me, because it's tough to recognize when I've moved into speculation. (And I will probably miss your sarcasm, but I don't mind. Hope you can be patient with me.)

...considering the idea of a self itself
When I stop for a moment.
And let the windy momentum of pestering thought-feelings pass.
And it is quiet...
The idea of a self falls apart.

So, perceiving is occurring.
Where is this I that must be the perceiving?
This question is turning me on my head.
If 'this I' is the same as 'the perceiving' the question becomes:
Where is the perceiving?
(Quietly...looking around my desk)
There is no 'where-ness' in the perceiving.
(Quietly...looking around my desk)
There is a feeling of here-ness.
As opposed to a location in a territory. Just here.
Thus, it seems, the perceiving is 'here'.

What is this I?

What is I?

I is the perceiving.
I is here.

I is the perceiving, here.

Hmmm. Seems so simple.


Thanks again for the time and energy you are putting in to guide me.
I appreciate it so much.

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:04 am

I knew this question was coming as I typed the statement above. But it's an honest appraisal of the feeling, so I didn't edit it away.
That's great- just keep reporting what is experienced. Honesty is key in this!
Hiding behind whom? Hmmm. This one seems really convoluted. I've got a memory-feeling hiding behind something that I am taking to be myself. I see the world, again. A separate me, being haunted by a memory-feeling. But the memory-feeling itself is claiming to represent me. It's nonsense again.
This is exactly why I'm inviting you to directly look at the very notion of self, again and again. It's a tangled web of memory-feelings, thoughts, habits. Like the russian dolls, each self-concept appears to contain or be contained by yet another self-concept. This goes on ad infinitum. So strike it at the root- the idea of self- does it even make sense?
This question is turning me on my head.
If 'this I' is the same as 'the perceiving' the question becomes:
Where is the perceiving?
(Quietly...looking around my desk)
There is no 'where-ness' in the perceiving.
(Quietly...looking around my desk)
There is a feeling of here-ness.
As opposed to a location in a territory. Just here.
Thus, it seems, the perceiving is 'here'.
Wow, beautiful description.
But let me rephrase the question:

Is the perceiving personal in any way?

Is the 'hereness' personal in any way?

Is there a difference between the perceiving and the hereness?
I is the perceiving.
I is here.
Is there a you here?
What is the nature, the substance of the I that IS the perceiving, that IS here?

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:12 pm

Thanks again for your thoughtful responses.
Is the perceiving personal in any way?
No. It doesn't feel personal.
The perceiving itself has a raw-ness to it. Not personal.
Is the 'hereness' personal in any way?
Now this is an interesting question.
Here is usually defined by 'my' location.
But this here-ness... somehow is me, but while being me, it doesn't feel personal.

Is there a difference between the perceiving and the hereness?
I'm not sure.
Can there be a here-ness without perceiving? ...A here-ness without perceiving seems like a dead thing. But maybe not. (speculation)
I feel like I want to say that the perceiving takes place in the here-ness, but that doesn't feel quite right.
(observes breath rising and falling)
I'm not sure. I can't see them as distinct things. But it's very subtle.
Perceiving feels active, here-ness feels spacious.
Is there a you here?
Another great question.
No.
Not here.
What is the nature, the substance of the I that IS the perceiving, that IS here?
The substance? It doesn't feel like substance has anything to do with it.
The nature? There is a stillness, and on top of that a kind of continual motion.
It's quiet. Peaceful. Neutral. Not at odds with anything. Spacious. Awake.


Thanks.

User avatar
Damon Kamda
Site Admin
Posts: 1292
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby Damon Kamda » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:23 pm

Hi David,
But this here-ness... somehow is me, but while being me, it doesn't feel personal.
Then what does it mean to say that the here-ness of perception is somehow YOU? How does that actually show up in experience, other than it being familiar and intimate?

Is there a you here?
Another great question.
No.
Not here.
Haha. Is there a you anywhere?
The substance? It doesn't feel like substance has anything to do with it.
The nature? There is a stillness, and on top of that a kind of continual motion.
It's quiet. Peaceful. Neutral. Not at odds with anything. Spacious. Awake.
Beautiful!
With "substance" I simply mean to ask: what is it made of, what does it consist of? If the open, quiet, awake spaciousness somehow is YOU, then how and where is that YOU present there?

You see, as far as I'm concerned this isn't about using or not using the word I or me. They're perfectly useful concepts in day-to-day life. Yet in this hyper-focused direct observing of experience itself it helps to be clear about words, especially if we're trying to clarify confusion. That's why I keep asking you to pinpoint the I-ness of the I, the you-ness of you.

User avatar
David Pomyao
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Examining experience... open invitation

Postby David Pomyao » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Hello again and continuing thanks for your guidance.
But this here-ness... somehow is me, but while being me, it doesn't feel personal.



Then what does it mean to say that the here-ness of perception is somehow YOU? How does that actually show up in experience, other than it being familiar and intimate?
Maybe this is a language tangle. Instead of me, read 'I' as the impersonal awareness.
Familiar and intimate may cover the feeling I was trying to get at.
Is there a you anywhere?
If there is no personal me here (which there isn't), and there is only here...
Then there is no personal me anywhere. Yet, throughout my life a personal me has really seemed present. When I believe thoughts, I can seem to be in a world with a personal me. The personal me seems to exist as an unexamined speculation. As if the thoughts themselves imply its existence. When it is looked for, there is nothing there. Or those thoughts are no longer believed in it is no longer implied.
If the open, quiet, awake spaciousness somehow is YOU, then how and where is that YOU present there?
How? It is intimate. Yes. Familiar...sort of. There is access to my information, history, memories, hard-disk so to speak. Yet that information/history is just stuff, like the way the rocks are arranged in a creek-bed.
Where? This intimate feeling is everywhere and nowhere in particular.

It's coming up to midnight here in Thailand.
Outside my window I can see the mountain where ten-thousand people are walking up to the temple.
It's Buddha's birthday.

Blessings and thanks.


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests