Alex

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vinceschubert
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Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:22 am

First a contract.
Are you willing to;
(try and) post every day ?
To give 120% honesty to yourself and me ?
To relate only from your own experiencing, no second hand knowledge, quoting etc.
To suspend all other seeking type activities for the duration of this ? (reading, viewing, satsang etc.)
Not expect a transfer of knowledge. We are not teachers.
I will ask questions, you will not only attempt to answer them for me, you will communicate the response that you experience to me. The questions are to position you to SEE, to DISCOVER, to RECOGNISE something for yourself.
Agreed ?

To use the quote function, first click "post reply"
Then scroll down to my post and highlight (drag mouse over) the question or part of it that you want to respond to, then click "quote" at the top of my reply. This will put the quote in the Reply editor, with the cursor ready for you to type your response.

Now, give me a rant on what your expectations are for being here. Your hopes, desires and what you actually expect might happen.

vince

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Alexw
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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:44 am

Hi Vince,

Thank you for accepting to be my guide. I agree with your terms as long as its ok for me to continue my meditation :-)

I have only recently (some 5 months ago) developed interest in Buddhist teachings and meditation. I practice the Zen style of meditation, first started with breath following and then tried working on Koan style questionings like “Who am I” - then changed to "What am I", "Who is listening" etc.
I had success in a way that I felt less and less stressed, but my ever growing desire to find out who "I" really am - why I am here, why there is suffering and what the whole story is about - has so far not been realized.

I have recently departed somewhat from the Zen path and have read JJ van der Leeuw’s “Conquest of Illusion”. Later on I did some research on the web which brought me to the method of direct pointing which seems to have been the key for many awakenings of western minds. I now feel strongly that this might be also the right path for me...

I intellectually believe (or want to believe?) in the one-ness of all things, the resulting non-duality and no-self.
Sometimes when I meditate I seem to be close to a breakthrough, I feel like being completely in the now and when I question myself about the “I” or “self” I come to the conclusion that awareness / unbiased consciousness is all that exists. The problem is that I still don’t seem to really believe this thought construct that I have been setting up - I guess this is the case as it is just a thought construct of the intellect and has not been experienced. I am stuck between wanting to believe and not being able to as my logical mind is working against it…

I expect awakening to be a process that will make it possible for me to directly experience life/being and to being able to see the world as it really is, without all the illusory trimmings that our mind conjures up.

I hope this will eventually result in me also being one of the lucky persons that are able to help others to see the truth.

Alex

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:35 pm

as long as its ok for me to continue my meditation
Certainly, continue meditating, but instead of asking the questions you have been asking, simply watch the fact of thoughts arising without 'connecting' with the content of them. With noticing the thought arise, also notice where they come from and where they go to. Please report what is noticed with this after the next time meditation happens.
my ever growing desire to find out who "I" really am - why I am here
Ok, several things here. The desire. Can you get in touch with the desire now and report what sensations appear.
Is there a story attached to this desire ? An expected outcome for the desire ?
Then the is the presumption that there is an "I" that is really something or someone. Can you find any expectations about the outcome of this ?
..and then there is "really am". Really ? What is real ?
.."am", as in, exists.
So "really am" = exists in reality.
Then "why". What is the reason.
Do you presume that there is a "why" ? ..a reason ?
Is it possible that there is no reason ? ..no "why" ?

love

vince

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:40 pm

With noticing the thought arise, also notice where they come from and where they go to. Please report what is noticed with this after the next time meditation happens.
I have been meditating and focussing on the thoughts that arise. They seem not to come from anywhere or go anywhere in a sense of space. They just are. If I would have to put them on a time-scale I would say that first there is the undercurrent of constant awareness and then with certain things happening awareness triggers a thought. Something like: I can hear a car door and first its just a sound but then a thought attaches itself "Ahh, the neighbour is leaving the house..." Again this thought does not seem to go anywhere - it just is and than is not anymore.
Can you get in touch with the desire now and report what sensations appear.
Is there a story attached to this desire ? An expected outcome for the desire ?
The feeling connected to this desire is a bit like feeling caged and wanting to get out of the cage - curiosity to find out whats out there. How it might be to experience in a different/pure way.
Then there is the presumption that there is an "I" that is really something or someone. Can you find any expectations about the outcome of this ?


I guess the expectation/hope is that the I will find its true self and thus be free from attachment. I understand that this is a very human/deluded view of things and when meditating I sometimes feel like there is really no I and that there is only awareness/being, but in daily life this changes and the I comes into focus again.
..and then there is "really am". Really ? What is real ?
.."am", as in, exists.
So "really am" = exists in reality.
For most of my life the question "what I really am" was not asked or rather not even a question as what else then a human being with this body and this mind/soul could one be..? Then a lot of reading and meditating set me on the quest to find out the "truth" for myself. I think I am currently torn between the the world of time/space/matter/relativity and the timeless/spaceless realm that is referred to in books. I see that the second one can be reached through meditation, but it seems that I can not find the missing link to connect both worlds - or better to see that they are one and the same.
Then "why". What is the reason.
Do you presume that there is a "why" ? ..a reason ?
Is it possible that there is no reason ? ..no "why" ?
Well, so far I always thought there has to be a reason or cause for everything, otherwise it would not happen/be. Then again, I do sometimes get the strange feeling that all these things that are happening on our planet seem to be so devoid of reason that it is hard to imagine that there really is a deeper meaning/reason behind anything... so, yes, I guess it is very possible that there is no reason for things to happen and that they just happen no matter what.

Alex

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:32 pm

The feeling connected to this desire is a bit like feeling caged and wanting to get out of the cage
What we need here is direct experiencing. What you report is a story. It is mental. There are sensations associated with the desire. Can you report them without the attached story ?
If I would have to put them on a time-scale...
For there to be time there has to be memory of the past and fantasy about the future. Both of these are thought based story. Does time exist outside of thought ?
Something like: I can hear a car door and first its just a sound but then a thought attaches itself "Ahh, the neighbour is leaving the house..." Again this thought does not seem to go anywhere - it just is and than is not anymore.
Yes, exactly. There is sensation (in this case it is a sound ) then a thought follows, attempting to explain it. Then a thought comes from the previous thought. Now we have a story (that might or might not be accurate)
is a bit like feeling caged and wanting to get out of the cage
Would it be true to say that the feeling of being caged is not from being caged, but from a story about being caged ? (thoughts)
the expectation/hope is that the I will find its true self
What if there is no true self ?
If the self is nothing but concept, if it doesn't actually exist, can there be a true self ?
Then what if "truth" is also a mental construct ? Have you ever touched a truth ? Can you say for sure that such a thing exists ?
and thus be free from attachment.
What is this "attachment" that you speak of ? Please define it ?
I sometimes feel like ... there is only awareness/being,
You say "feel". Is this a sensation or a mental deduction ?
but in daily life this changes and the I comes into focus again.
It would seem reasonable that this happens for the purpose of navigating 'normal' daily activities, wouldn't it ?
Then a lot of reading and meditating set me on the quest
You wouldn't be reading that stuff if you weren't already seeking. Would you ? (i have often wondered what 'causes' some to seek while others don't)
I see that the second one can be reached through meditation,
You imagine this to be the case. i have never encountered anyone that 'woke up' from meditation alone.
so, yes, I guess it is very possible that there is no reason for things to happen and that they just happen no matter what.
Maybe there is, maybe not. Can we have anything more than story about it ?
Tell me this; Apart from noticing current experience, is there anything that it not concept? Thought stuff ?

love

vince

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:16 am

There are sensations associated with the desire. Can you report them without the attached story ?
Yes, the cage is a story - I see that. The sensations are a mix of fear topped with hope and curiosity, if that makes any sense...
Does time exist outside of thought ?
No. Time (and space) only exist as long as thought is present.
There is sensation (in this case it is a sound ) then a thought follows, attempting to explain it. Then a thought comes from the previous thought. Now we have a story (that might or might not be accurate)
Yes, I see that. The story starts with the first thought. No thought - no story - just sound.
story about being caged ? (thoughts)
Yes, I can see that now. Just with the sound - no thought about the cage - no cage!
If the self is nothing but concept
I think I am on a roll... I believe I understand now that thought generates self. If there is no thought there can be no self (or other). Viewing it in this light, it seems to be all just a story that is sticking like superglue?
can there be a true self
I think this is a way of referring to the absolute where no time or space exists - then again, if time (and space) are just a thought construct there is no difference between here/now and the absolute...
can we state that the absolute "exists"? I guess it just is.
Then what if "truth" is also a mental construct ? Have you ever touched a truth ? Can you say for sure that such a thing exists ?
Yes, I see that truth is only a mental construct. Comes in different flavours for every human being gut has no real existence. Does anything have existence? It seems everything is just based on thought - if thought ceases then nothing is left.
What is this "attachment" that you speak of ? Please define it ?
I was mostly referring to negative thought patterns that generate fear and contempt, not so much about material things. I think it is not so much an attachment, but more like being stuck with an unloved relative under your roof. You would like him to leave, but you don't know how to kick him out of the house... Maybe this relative is just a concept anyway..?
You say "feel". Is this a sensation or a mental deduction
I think this is still mental deduction.
It would seem reasonable that this happens for the purpose of navigating 'normal' daily activities, wouldn't it ?
Yes, fully agree.
You wouldn't be reading that stuff if you weren't already seeking. Would you ? (i have often wondered what 'causes' some to seek while others don't)
Yes, very true!
Tell me this; Apart from noticing current experience, is there anything that it not concept? Thought stuff ?
No, I can't find anything that, as soon as thought comes into play, would not be turned into a concept... A sound turns into a car and thought also generates the concept of you, me...

Alex

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:13 am

Alex, Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

Describe your experience of the illusion of separate self, how it arises/disappears. Is that process always the same, or does it vary, and if so, how?

How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:14 am

Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No, I think there never was a separate self, it is only a construct of thought - at least I believe this is so, but I am not feeling it... I still feel that my body/mind unit is a kind of self.
Describe your experience of the illusion of separate self, how it arises/disappears.
The self that is separate from everything else seems to be very much connected to my body and thought processes concerning it. It arises when consciously thinking about the body and its surroundings - it is manifested in feelings like pain, warm, cold etc... I believe the process is more or less always the same: Start thinking about yourself, other people or objects and while doing so generating a storyline, then the illusion of self is manifested. I think the separate self really only shows up when this is happening...
How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue?
The feeling is a bit like floating in a fuzzy liquid... The difference from before starting this dialogue is, that I am much more aware of thought processes as the mother of all illusion, but I am still only intellectually "there". The mind does not want to accept this as ultimate truth and still sees the separate self.
What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I think recognising that the point where illusion starts is the first conceptual thought after e.g. hearing a sound. This thought starts the story that is generated and from this point on everything is relative and the self comes into existence.
Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
Well, yes, it at least seems so that I decide things all the time and control the outcome of actions. Things like making the breakfast or just as simple as opening and closing a door... On the other hand there are many events that I don't control and do not "make happen". At least this is how I have been viewing things for most of my life.
I do see though now (intellectually), that all this does not make sense in the context of no-self which again leads to no non-self and then to one-ness. Which would result in no time, no space, no movement... thus no events and nothing really happening at all...

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:05 pm

Alex, i am indisposed at the moment. Will attempt to respond in 24 hours.

vince

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:11 pm

Ok, no problem. Hope you are ok.
Alex

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:35 am

Hope you are ok.
Yes, i am fine, thanks.
i am travelling at the moment and have limited time for this.
i had put in over an hour responding to your last post, only to lose it when submitting as it coincided with a scheduled reboot of the server that i didn't know about.
It was valuable to me as it revealed some residual identification with a story of vince. (expressed as frustration and anger)
When this has happened before (which it has several times), i have taken it as the opportunity to respond again differently. (freshly) This time there was a story that something valuable had been lost. Ha, what is valuable, except what thoughts say ?
Ok, back to your post..
I think there never was a separate self, it is only a construct of thought
We are not interested in what thoughts say. Are thoughts to be trusted as an accurate description of reality ?
Using thought only to describe experiencing (not thoughts that are a result of other thoughts) can you find a Self ?
at least I believe this is so,
Neither are we interested in beliefs. Are beliefs anything other than thoughts that have been 'internalised' ?
I am not feeling it... I still feel that my body/mind unit is a kind of self.
Feelings also are not to be trusted in describing what is real. Download and watch this video; https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5l95ekxxmaog ... lusion.mp4
then the illusion of self is manifested. I think the separate self really only shows up when this is happening...
You say two different thinks here. On the one hand you say that the illusion of self is manifested, then you say that the separate self shows up. Can you clarify what you observe here please ?
The mind does not want to accept this as ultimate truth and still sees the separate self.
Of course. The mind is most comfortable with what is familiar. It also operates in a repetitive manner. Have you noticed how thoughts tend to repeat ?
As far as familiar is concerned, doubt thoughts are common in the early days of this new way of relating to what is real. ..but doubt thoughts are just that. Thoughts. Do you automatically believe every thought that arises for Alex ?
recognising that the point where illusion starts is the first conceptual thought after e.g. hearing a sound. This thought starts the story that is generated and from this point on everything is relative and the self comes into existence.
Well SEEn !
On a practical level, when emotion is experienced, particularly negative emotion, you can be sure that you are responding to to a story about that (illusion of) a separate self.
This Recognition (that a story is being generated) is a key point.
The Recognition that you have automatically entered into the expression of thought content will happen either after it happens, during the happening, or just before it is about to happen.
Whenever that Recognition dawns on you, celebrate it with a laugh.
That laugh can be anything from an inward chuckle to a full bellied guffaw. Whatever it is, the important thing is that you feel your stomach contract.
This has the effect of flooding your system with oxytocin (anti-stress hormones) and will instantly change your mood. It has the added effect of aborting the completion satisfaction of the old way of being which encourages the atrophy of the old synaptic connections that made up that neuronal pathway. Further it establishes new connections and pathways that will soon become automatic responses.
It doesn't matter when the Recognition occurs. Celebrate it !
This brain re-wiring will happen as quickly or slowly as it happens. Here is another video that explains this; https://www.dropbox.com/s/mskv8uxmnmf2f ... _Being.mp4

love

vince

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:11 pm

Using thought only to describe experiencing (not thoughts that are a result of other thoughts) can you find a Self ?
If with "not thoughts that are a result of other thoughts" you are referring to basic awareness - before thought interprets this awareness - then, no I can not.
Neither are we interested in beliefs. Are beliefs anything other than thoughts that have been 'internalised' ?
Ok, I get the point. Thoughts "seen as true" turn into believes... both can't be trusted.
Feelings also are not to be trusted in describing what is real. Download and watch this video
Very interesting video - thank you. Would not have thought this is possible. The brain basically invents a physical sensation that is not there...
On the one hand you say that the illusion of self is manifested, then you say that the separate self shows up. Can you clarify what you observe here please ?
I think that maybe I did not really fully understand your question "Describe your experience of the illusion of separate self, how it arises/disappears." and so this answer was maybe a bit confused...
Am I right that you are asking about the illusion itself, so basically how it is experienced that the separate self is an illusion? If this is the question, then the answer is that I don't have experienced that the self is an illusion, but only the intellectual reasoning that this is so. What I experience is that the body and the thoughts that refer to it feel like a self.
Have you noticed how thoughts tend to repeat ?
Yes, very much so. Especially the negative ones.
Do you automatically believe every thought that arises for Alex ?
No
Whenever that Recognition dawns on you, celebrate it with a laugh.
OK, will try to practice that.

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:26 am

I think I now have understood that the I is only a thought. It is backed up by the story of the I that is put together from memories, feelings about the I etc... As thoughts are what they are, only thoughts, not more, the I is essentially not existing. This now seems logical, but it does not seem to filter through to the mind which still tries to make up stories of the I and is clinging hard to it... how can I get rid of it?

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Re: Alex

Postby Alexw » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:57 am

Something else just came to me.
I think I might be expecting something bigger to happen then just the realization that the I is only a thought concept... Something like a big bang that alters the way of how I go through life - like seeing life in everything, experiencing one-ness etc. Maybe this not happening is holding me back from internalizing the knowlegde of no-self - of really believing it in every cell of my being?

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Re: Alex

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:10 am

As thoughts are what they are, only thoughts, not more, the I is essentially not existing.
Yes, exactly.
This now seems logical, but it does not seem to filter through to the mind which still tries to make up stories of the I and is clinging hard to it... how can I get rid of it?
If I is an illusion created by thought and its' resulting perceptions, how can it get rid of anything ?
If decisions and choice happen in the brain as a result of dependent conditions some six seconds before mind even comes into play, how can you (self) get rid of anything ? (oops, you haven't seen this video yet. Here it is; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Biv_8xjj8E There's lots of good stuff in this one, but the bit mentioned is towards the end)
Something like a big bang that alters the way of how I go through life - like seeing life in everything, experiencing one-ness etc. Maybe this not happening is...
Yes, these expectations can certainly interfere with the Recognizing what is Real. Interesting that this paradox exists. That the expectation of something can be the very thing that stops that something from occurring.

Is there an experiencer, separate from the experienced ?
Conversely, can the experienced exist outside of the experiencer ? ..or is the experienced a happening as the result of the conditions present in the organism labelled the experiencer ?

love

vince


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