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Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:14 am
by Pete
Hello,
Heart beating, breathing, thoughts popping up, sensations, images, hearing... anything further is just description of this direct experience (d.e.). So whenever I stop during the day to look at d.e., THIS becomes all there is, there is no 'I' that can be found. But, the thought/sensation/image/feeling of a 'me' comes up often and seems to take up all of the attention. I then get agitated or angry about that happening, then I stop and notice...thoughts, images, hearing, etc. and it dissipates into something pleasant. Starting to see now though that there is a preference for the type of experience and there is frustration that I don't 'get it all the time'... so I stop and see the self images, the sensations, etc. which dissolves into unlabeled d.e.
This is getting to be a cycle.. labeling, getting frustrated, noticing d.e., and relaxing. Do I just keep this up?
By the way, I'd say that I've been letting go of beliefs for years now, and from recently reading some threads here on LU, I can see that there has been an assumption of an "I" that is doing the looking and see that this is also just an experience (I can see it's thoughts, sensations, images). It is hard to believe that there is NOTHING beyond experience, I guess I'm seeing that I've believed "the real me" is beyond experience just looking and detached in some way.
Thank you for any help you'd be willing to offer.

Pete

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:39 am
by s-p-a-c-e
Hey Pete,

This is John from the UK. Very nice to meet you.

A few guidelines: look to post daily or post to say if a break is needed; and set aside any other spiritual practices during our inquiry together.

Also, our disclaimer and a short video too.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

With best wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:18 am
by Pete
Hi John,
I agree to all the above and would like to begin.
Thank you,
Pete (from the US)

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:06 pm
by s-p-a-c-e
Hi Pete,
Hi John,
I agree to all the above and would like to begin.
Thank you,
Pete (from the US)
Cool. :)

Could you share a little of what brought you here, what your expectations are for our inquiry, and any concerns/fears about that and why you want to see through the fiction of the apparent separate self?

With warm wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:50 pm
by Pete
Good Morning John,
What brought me here has been a search for truth that initially started out as "is this all there is?" and "there has to be something more than this"...maybe 15 years ago. I wanted to know what was going on here, this life. I also have always had a strong sense of self consciousness and had a strong desire to stop that from being a problem.
Expectations for the inquiry are that I would overcome suffering. I realize the sense of 'I' causes suffering so "I" would like to let go of the belief in it...:-). I seem to be in a mental loop looking for a way out, I'd like to let that go and just relax permanently. I used to think that being awakened would mean walking around in a state of nirvana and nothing would bother me.. in a way that's is true but there'd be no me to be bothered (although bother may come up).

With appreciation,
Pete

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:07 pm
by s-p-a-c-e
Hi Pete,
Good Morning John,
What brought me here has been a search for truth that initially started out as "is this all there is?" and "there has to be something more than this"...maybe 15 years ago. I wanted to know what was going on here, this life. I also have always had a strong sense of self consciousness and had a strong desire to stop that from being a problem.
Expectations for the inquiry are that I would overcome suffering. I realize the sense of 'I' causes suffering so "I" would like to let go of the belief in it...:-). I seem to be in a mental loop looking for a way out, I'd like to let that go and just relax permanently. I used to think that being awakened would mean walking around in a state of nirvana and nothing would bother me.. in a way that's is true but there'd be no me to be bothered (although bother may come up).

With appreciation,
Pete
Thank you for that. It's always important to acknowledge our stories about what and why - and then to set them to one side for a while.

You mention about mental loops and that's spot on - this can't be thought out or understood in the way things usually are.

Because of that, our approach is to recognise the difference between direct experience (or DE for short) and thinking ABOUT experience. As we go through, more and more, you will see from the direct experience of life what is there as opposed to what we think is there...and then we switch focus to the thinker, the apparent "I" and ask, "Where for art thou?" :)

Let's begin by asking what comes up for you when you read that there has never been a Pete, in the past, present or in the future - no Pete, never existed, total fiction, period.

With best wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:08 am
by Pete
Let's begin by asking what comes up for you when you read that there has never been a Pete, in the past, present or in the future - no Pete, never existed, total fiction, period.
What comes up is a tightness in the stomach. I immediately see an image and complex 'story' of a me. If I say to myself 'I do not exist' thoughts come up saying that I know I am here, seeing, sitting, typing, etc. I feel a sense of 'me' here contemplating this. So what is it that doesn't exist, thoughts come up and go away... I do feel like there is a me that is looking at the thoughts though...
That's some quick thoughts for now.

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:39 am
by s-p-a-c-e
Hi Pete,
Let's begin by asking what comes up for you when you read that there has never been a Pete, in the past, present or in the future - no Pete, never existed, total fiction, period.
What comes up is a tightness in the stomach. I immediately see an image and complex 'story' of a me. If I say to myself 'I do not exist' thoughts come up saying that I know I am here, seeing, sitting, typing, etc. I feel a sense of 'me' here contemplating this. So what is it that doesn't exist, thoughts come up and go away... I do feel like there is a me that is looking at the thoughts though...
That's some quick thoughts for now.
Great work. The notion of an "I"/"me" is typically felt as a tension/contraction of the body.

Let's look at the sense of "me" you mentioned - a "me" looking out, contemplating, sitting, typing...etc. This is the conditioned sense of self made up of 3 things: sensations + label "me" + belief that this IS you. - these all chime together to form the believed in notion of a separate self running the show.

See this: Bring about that sense of "me" in awareness. First of all, just focus on the sensations of self. Where are they felt, located in the body; what about size, kind of feeling, temperature, colour, boundaries to the sensations, still or vibrational, do the sensations come and go?

Then add the label "me" - even say out loud, THIS SENSATION IS "ME".

Now calling a sensation "me" is pretty silly without a supporting belief - can you imagine calling a sensation in your foot "me"? It would make no sense. But yet, this sensation in the stomach is labelled "me". But what makes it operate as a perceived reality is the belief that THIS IS YOU.

Without that belief what have you got? A feeling in the stomach and the label "me". Not much to go on as a separate self/being running your world is it?

Have a look at this process of maintaining the fiction of a separate self.

ALSO...

When thoughts come up, check if there was a you to initiate them. Did you know what the thoughts were before they appeared? Is the notion of "you" anything other than a thought?

Explore...take a good look, and share what is found or not.

With best wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:09 am
by Pete
Hi John!
See this: Bring about that sense of "me" in awareness. First of all, just focus on the sensations of self. Where are they felt, located in the body; what about size, kind of feeling, temperature, colour, boundaries to the sensations, still or vibrational, do the sensations come and go?
So if I picture myself in front of someone else, I am always self conscious of how I look to them.. a feeling/sensation of the face and head, tingling sensation. I imagine the image of me, a picture of me that they are looking at, and I judge that image as good or bad. Thoughts of worthiness or not, factor into this image, creating sensation, very much a tingling or burning sensation.. When I close my eyes and try to locate the sensations there are only general areas I can point to (to my right, etc). If I try to pinpoint the tingling, I can't and it seems to move.
I notice that I have to call up this sense of me..that's interesting. When I ask if there is someone typing this, an image with sensations of the body comes up.. its just like the entire body outline with sensation/vibration. This seems VERY close, intimate, and familiar, it seems like my 'home'. This is why I BELIEVE that it is me.
I close my eyes and all there is is sensation/vibration. The dish washer seems to be off to my right but I can't locate where the sound is coming from precisely, the field of sensation seems to have no borders, it all meshes together.
Well enough rambling on for now.

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:25 am
by s-p-a-c-e
Hi Pete,
Hi John!
See this: Bring about that sense of "me" in awareness. First of all, just focus on the sensations of self. Where are they felt, located in the body; what about size, kind of feeling, temperature, colour, boundaries to the sensations, still or vibrational, do the sensations come and go?
So if I picture myself in front of someone else, I am always self conscious of how I look to them.. a feeling/sensation of the face and head, tingling sensation. I imagine the image of me, a picture of me that they are looking at, and I judge that image as good or bad. Thoughts of worthiness or not, factor into this image, creating sensation, very much a tingling or burning sensation.. When I close my eyes and try to locate the sensations there are only general areas I can point to (to my right, etc). If I try to pinpoint the tingling, I can't and it seems to move.
I notice that I have to call up this sense of me..that's interesting. When I ask if there is someone typing this, an image with sensations of the body comes up.. its just like the entire body outline with sensation/vibration. This seems VERY close, intimate, and familiar, it seems like my 'home'. This is why I BELIEVE that it is me.
I close my eyes and all there is is sensation/vibration. The dish washer seems to be off to my right but I can't locate where the sound is coming from precisely, the field of sensation seems to have no borders, it all meshes together.
Well enough rambling on for now.
This is very well described - thank you . As you say, even though the feelings shift etc, it feels like home. And the quality of familiarity with the feeling gives support to a belief/thought that this is me and who I am.

This is the basic illusion in a nutshell. Excellent work!

Then, there was listening to sounds with eyes closed and the sensation seemed to have no borders.

From both these examples, you can see how easy it is to make a belief from a sensation.

Our job here is not to believe this is right and that's wrong - but merely to SEE that a belief IS A THOUGHT and a thought is a DESCRIPTION of reality. For example, the description or label "table" is not a table.

Were we to lean on a label "table" or put our dinner plate on a description of a table, we'd come a cropper! :)

So clearly there is a HUGE difference between a THOUGHT/BELIEF and WHAT IS THERE.

So if thoughts are only descriptions and descriptions are fictional, can we find any evidence for a "Pete" running the show, beyond a familiar feeling and then another description/thought of "how it feels like home".

Even if you were this feeling, can a feeling do all the things that life demands of it? Can a feeling think?

Have a closer look Pete at who you apparently are - what is there that is not description/thought?

With best wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:29 am
by Pete
So if thoughts are only descriptions and descriptions are fictional, can we find any evidence for a "Pete" running the show, beyond a familiar feeling and then another description/thought of "how it feels like home".

Even if you were this feeling, can a feeling do all the things that life demands of it? Can a feeling think?

Have a closer look Pete at who you apparently are - what is there that is not description/thought?
I find only thoughts and sensations. I do not know who I am, where I am, or what I am but there is still this sense that there is an "I" and it feels like this body/sensations. There is also this sense of looking 'from' somewhere although I cannot find from where. There is a frustration and this is what I mean by mental loop, I keep stopping and looking but cannot find although this sense of belief seems often strong. Overall I know it is lessening and I feel like I will give up as soon as I've looked under every rock :).
Maybe I just can't believe right now that I am no-thing. What may relate is that it is also hard to believe that there is NOTHING beyond experience. "What is there that is not description/thought?"...just THIS that cannot be described. It is almost like I just need to give up on WANTING to describe, believing that the answer can somehow be found or described. Life, DE, is indescribable. I know that but still keep looking for an answer, still seem to believe that I will find an answer, that there is SOMETHING beyond experience.
Anyway, thanks for your guidance and patience John.

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:06 am
by s-p-a-c-e
Hey Pete,
So if thoughts are only descriptions and descriptions are fictional, can we find any evidence for a "Pete" running the show, beyond a familiar feeling and then another description/thought of "how it feels like home".

Even if you were this feeling, can a feeling do all the things that life demands of it? Can a feeling think?

Have a closer look Pete at who you apparently are - what is there that is not description/thought?
I find only thoughts and sensations. I do not know who I am, where I am, or what I am but there is still this sense that there is an "I" and it feels like this body/sensations. There is also this sense of looking 'from' somewhere although I cannot find from where.
Cool. We're not pushing anything away at all, only seeing things for what they really are.

Like the feeling you're calling "sensation of self". Well, it's a feeling and the label is a label. Take a magnificent tree, you stand there in front of it and it's just, wow, can't even begin to take it all in, even if you were to stand there for a 1000 years, you wouldn't touch the surface of what a tree is. And then there's the label/word "tree". LOL :) Which nicely boxes it off into the known.

This is the same with what we are. Words like "experience" sound like we know what that is, "Oh, just experience, how boring." :) Yet the word is only a pointer to the infinite aspects that the body goes through.

You mentioned about not finding where you are looking from. It would be easy to say, "Aha! That's because the 'you' is a complete fiction" - but what if we don't say that. What if we just say, "Ok, you can't find a you looking out - so who is looking?"

We will soon see that believing is not necessary, life is rich enough - life is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be enjoyed!
There is a frustration and this is what I mean by mental loop, I keep stopping and looking but cannot find although this sense of belief seems often strong. Overall I know it is lessening and I feel like I will give up as soon as I've looked under every rock :).
Yes, the sense of belief - but notice what that sense of belief is made up of - probably a feeling PLUS a thought about what that feeling is PLUS an additional belief that this thought/belief is TRUE. This is how perceived reality is made up. And it's fine to be there. Here we are just seeing that this is not reality, only a filter/overlay.

Also, check this: Do you believe something or is the belief/thought itself another you-thought?"
Maybe I just can't believe right now that I am no-thing. What may relate is that it is also hard to believe that there is NOTHING beyond experience. "What is there that is not description/thought?"...just THIS that cannot be described. It is almost like I just need to give up on WANTING to describe, believing that the answer can somehow be found or described. Life, DE, is indescribable. I know that but still keep looking for an answer, still seem to believe that I will find an answer, that there is SOMETHING beyond experience.
Well spotted. Seeing the absence of the self is always ON, and it's only our resisting seeing it that prevents it. Rather like light bursting through yet we keep the sunglasses on and complain that it's too dark.

The thing is though Pete, you really don't need to belief that this is wrong or right, only to acknowledge the possibility that there is no Pete running the show.

That quiet acknowledgement is one of the most powerful acts going and will open the curtains to light.

As you say, Life is indescribable, as is what we are. It's the nature of the mind to look for an answer and claim it, but who is left to claim it when the answer is that there's no-one there?

Anyway, thanks for your guidance and patience John.
It's a pleasure to inquire with you.

With best wishes,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:47 pm
by Pete

Cool. We're not pushing anything away at all, only seeing things for what they really are.
I like that.
Like the feeling you're calling "sensation of self". Well, it's a feeling and the label is a label. Take a magnificent tree, you stand there in front of it and it's just, wow, can't even begin to take it all in, even if you were to stand there for a 1000 years, you wouldn't touch the surface of what a tree is. And then there's the label/word "tree". LOL :) Which nicely boxes it off into the known.

I see what you mean.
You mentioned about not finding where you are looking from. It would be easy to say, "Aha! That's because the 'you' is a complete fiction" - but what if we don't say that. What if we just say, "Ok, you can't find a you looking out - so who is looking?"
I've done this a lot. That brings frustration, the mind keeps going backwards.. who is looking, who is looking for a looker, who is aware of that??? I see this is the mind spinning and let it go..
We will soon see that believing is not necessary, life is rich enough - life is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be enjoyed!
That brings relief to hear that.
Yes, the sense of belief - but notice what that sense of belief is made up of - probably a feeling PLUS a thought about what that feeling is PLUS an additional belief that this thought/belief is TRUE. This is how perceived reality is made up. And it's fine to be there. Here we are just seeing that this is not reality, only a filter/overlay.
Again, this brings relief. I can see that I am fighting experience. So maybe seeing how it works but not wanting to participate. This is more thoughts/beliefs arising.
Also, check this: Do you believe something or is the belief/thought itself another you-thought?"
This one brought tears to my eyes... although that is gone now :(. I saw that it was more belief/thought. To break down the thought "I believe I am this body" goes like this: "I" (thought/sensation of 'body') believe (feeling/sensation?) that I (thought/sensation of 'body') am (?) this body (thought/sensation). So this is like saying, thought-of-body (I) is the thought-of-body? Now the thought comes up that "I" HAVE to BE something more than thought-of-body!! I am aware of these thoughts so WHAT AM I??? :)
Well spotted. Seeing the absence of the self is always ON, and it's only our resisting seeing it that prevents it. Rather like light bursting through yet we keep the sunglasses on and complain that it's too dark.
So like it is seen that there is only emptiness but we put on a mask and complain that we are the mask and not emptiness?
The thing is though Pete, you really don't need to belief that this is wrong or right, only to acknowledge the possibility that there is no Pete running the show.
I can see that "Pete" is nothing but a mind construct... but there is still 'me' who is aware of what's being experienced. I have a sense of like playing a game, like saying there is a me doesn't really mean anything.
As you say, Life is indescribable, as is what we are. It's the nature of the mind to look for an answer and claim it, but who is left to claim it when the answer is that there's no-one there?
That's good, questions like these pull the rug out from underneath 'me'.

Have a great day, talk to you soon.

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:19 pm
by s-p-a-c-e
Hi Pete,
You mentioned about not finding where you are looking from. It would be easy to say, "Aha! That's because the 'you' is a complete fiction" - but what if we don't say that. What if we just say, "Ok, you can't find a you looking out - so who is looking?"
I've done this a lot. That brings frustration, the mind keeps going backwards.. who is looking, who is looking for a looker, who is aware of that??? I see this is the mind spinning and let it go..
It is frustrating and it's good to see that it is the approach is frustrating. Of course, the approach is based on a belief that there is a "me" looking to see evidence of "me". Where does this approach go without this belief/thought in a "me looking for me"?

So yes, there is a letting go rather than "I let it go" - see the difference.
We will soon see that believing is not necessary, life is rich enough - life is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be enjoyed!
That brings relief to hear that.
Yes, the sense of belief - but notice what that sense of belief is made up of - probably a feeling PLUS a thought about what that feeling is PLUS an additional belief that this thought/belief is TRUE. This is how perceived reality is made up. And it's fine to be there. Here we are just seeing that this is not reality, only a filter/overlay.
Again, this brings relief. I can see that I am fighting experience. So maybe seeing how it works but not wanting to participate. This is more thoughts/beliefs arising.
And we look at the stories that the mind spins and ask, "Can I really fight experience?" - what if experience/experiencer are one and the same?
Also, check this: Do you believe something or is the belief/thought itself another you-thought?"
This one brought tears to my eyes... although that is gone now :(. I saw that it was more belief/thought. To break down the thought "I believe I am this body" goes like this: "I" (thought/sensation of 'body') believe (feeling/sensation?) that I (thought/sensation of 'body') am (?) this body (thought/sensation). So this is like saying, thought-of-body (I) is the thought-of-body? Now the thought comes up that "I" HAVE to BE something more than thought-of-body!! I am aware of these thoughts so WHAT AM I??? :)
What you are becomes apparent when it is seen what you are not. A bit Yoda there (sorry about that) LOL :)
But it's better seen than told about.
Well spotted. Seeing the absence of the self is always ON, and it's only our resisting seeing it that prevents it. Rather like light bursting through yet we keep the sunglasses on and complain that it's too dark.
So like it is seen that there is only emptiness but we put on a mask and complain that we are the mask and not emptiness?
Sure. But it's ok - we don't take the mask/sunglasses off, because that presupposes they exist. :) All we do is see that the mask/sunglasses are but a story of mask/sunglasses. Imagine that. Just a story. Sometimes when things are seen for the story they are, there is a fading, a transparency, and such things take on a different quality.
The thing is though Pete, you really don't need to belief that this is wrong or right, only to acknowledge the possibility that there is no Pete running the show.
I can see that "Pete" is nothing but a mind construct... but there is still 'me' who is aware of what's being experienced. I have a sense of like playing a game, like saying there is a me doesn't really mean anything.
Let's put it another way, there is still a belief in a "me" who is aware and a who to believe the belief and a who to believe in the who believing the belief...and so on. This is the self-referential thought structure of the "I". Clever, isn't it.

Here and now, notice awareness, awareness all around - honestly consider, "Does awareness need a 'me' to be aware?", "Would awareness operate any way?".

Speak soon,
John

Re: Would like help to investigate deeper

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:01 pm
by Pete
Thanks John, contemplating the questions should arise later :) and will respond then. Yard work and such today..
Till then..