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Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:34 pm
by Andy
Hi Ilona,

I saw you on 'Buddha at the Gas Pump' recently. I'm going on a Vipasana course starting next week here in the UK. I've been a serious ( very serious ) seeker for a few years now ( full-scope yoga since January ). Be nice to have some guidance from you please? Andy.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:50 pm
by Ilona
hi Andy. thanks for message. can i ask you, what is it you are looking for and how would you know that you found it?

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:42 pm
by Andy
I'm looking for an end to the tension and burden of being 'under the spell' of the illusory self. I expect that would create a greater sense of 'flow' and ease for me. I would 'lighten up', smile more.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:03 pm
by Ilona
nice. let's help you to leave all that burden behind.

if you let this thought in and consider it to be true, what comes up?

there is no self at all, none as in zero. there is no manager, doer, thinker, no controller, no observer. there is no me behind the thought me and no i behind word I.

write to me what feelings, sensation, thoughts arise when you sit with this.

sending love.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:38 pm
by Andy
There is a lightening, an easing, a relaxing. My arms begin to spontaneously jerk and spasm. There's a lot of locked in tension here.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:39 pm
by Ilona
give me more, what thoughts arise when you sit with this.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:15 pm
by Andy
Thoughts like: I can relax and watch my conditioning do its thing; that I am no more a 'doer' than a tree is a 'doer'; that I can just be the 'river' of life.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:53 am
by Ilona
Sweet, so do you exist?
What is the I?
What is the me?
What is andy?

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:17 pm
by Andy
My stumbling block here is that whilst most of my thoughts arise spontaneously and it is a question of my thoughts thinking me rather than me thinking them; I do still exercise a lot of control over my thoughts. I am able to conjure up thoughts at will and manipulate them to my heart's content down to the finest detail. Who is it that is controlling these thoughts? Is it not I?

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:58 am
by Ilona
You think so? Ir it it just thoughts about you controlling thoughts? Time to take a closer look.

Tell me, where do thoughts come from?
Do you know what the next thought will be?
Think of number from 1 to 100. Do you know what number it will be befor it pops in in the head?
Can you stop a thought in the middle?
Can you stop thinking at will for half an hour?
Can you control thinking an d only have pleasant thoughts all the time?
Are you the thinker? Is there a thinker at all?

Please answer each question not from what you heard of, but by looking for yourself and describing what you see.

Sending love

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:21 pm
by Andy
Thoughts do seem to come out of 'nowhere'. It's like watching an Artist endlessly painting pictures. I have no idea what he is going to paint next. One minute it might be a pleasant picture, the next minute it might be an unpleasant one. Sometimes the pictures come rapidly, sometimes slowly; again with no control by me.

It does appear, though, that I can stop the 'Artist' if one of his 'pictures' interests me enough and then take over from him in the painting of the picture. It's this sense of being able to take control when I want to that gives me a feeling of being a separate self.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:20 pm
by Ilona
Good stuff.
Let's look at control now.

Raise your left hand above the head.
Do it now before reading further.
......................


Dis it happen? How did it happen? Was it you in control of that action or thoughts about you doing it came after?
Does control come from you?
Notice through the day, what comes first, a choice or narration.

Write to me what you have learned.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:36 am
by Andy
Whilst its very obvious to me that the vast majority of my thoughts just happen spontaneously I still have a strong sense that somehow I am able to control thoughts when I want to ( this doesn't happen too often ). I understand that could be just an illusion ( a thought about having control rather than actual control ) but it really doesn't feel that way.

I listened to Rick Archer on Buddha at the Gaspump yesterday and he obviously feels that humans have control when they want to. Byron Katie talks about our having control over our thoughts. Yogani, the founder of AYP yoga repeatedly talks about our having choices, so its obvious that even very awakened people feel that 'no self' doesn't mean a complete absence of control.

I would love to believe that there is no control at all because it would mean that when I made all the mistakes I've made in my life I couldn't have behaved differently and therefore I'd have less regret about those mistakes.

I know you don't want anyone to just believe there is no control but want them to know it through direct experience but It feels like I could go on observing my thoughts and actions forever and still not be able to shake the conviction that somehow I do have the ability to take control when I really want to.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:15 pm
by Ilona
No one is saying there is no control. Control is happening, choosing is happening, but it is not up to the i. How do you know what to want, for example, what do you think you want? How do you decide what to want and what not to? Can you suddenly like or dislike cheese? where do these preferences come from? Can you see that choice is coarising with situations? And thoughts about control coarise with feeling of being in control or not, but can you by your own command do something that you can only dream about? Or make events to turn your way as if you were the manager of life. As by magic..

Tell me, what is NOT on automatic, what is it precisely that you are in control of. Look in your normal everyday life.

Sending love.

Re: Anyone wants to chat?

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:59 pm
by Andy
If I had to bet on it I'd say that everything is happening automatically. When I look at how thoughts come out of nowhere, how I can't stop them, how I don't know in advance what number is going to arise when asked to choose a number between 1 and 100, it all points in the direction of no conscious control.

As I still have a sense of conscious control when it comes to some imaginative thinking, some speech and some actions this leaves me with a doubt about whether free ( conscious ) will is totally absent. I wonder if there could be a bundle of cells in the brain that sometimes somehow 'takes over' from the predominantly automatic thinking, saying, and doing that occurs, and consciously manipulates those thoughts, words and actions. I don't have a belief that that is true; in fact it seems slightly absurd and I'd be very surprised if it were true but I'm unable to rule out the possibility that it could be true.

This doubt about the complete non-existence of an "I" is the barrierless barrier that is stopping me go through the gateless gate.