Seeking a guide

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Anna77
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Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:20 am

Hi,

I'd like to request a guide please,

thanks :)

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moondog
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Hi Anna,

Hi Anna and welcome,

My name's Pete and I live in Somerset in England.

There are a few things that we need to go over so that I know the best way for us to continue.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for.

Pete X
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Anna77
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:29 am

Hi Pete,

thanks for replying. A friend of mine sent me here. It was an interesting experience listening to how they came through the process.

I've read part of the gateless gatecrashers ebook. It's not something I can churn through...it seems to process me a bit every time I read it & maybe I'm just wanting someone to hold my hand as I go through it...I relate to a LOT of the people and their experiences in there. Jamie was one of the funniest to read about & I REALLY related to the hilarious manner in which he lost it upon realising what a crock all the personal development he's been pouring his heart and soul into for all these years...

"...fuck Jeff Foster! He looks like such a sweet guy, and I absolutely
adore his English accent, and I’m sure he’ll be good at telling
bed time stories—or he could be a stand-up comedian (oh, I forgot, he
already is!)....
Although I don’t understand why Jed McKenna had to write three fucking
books about this, I now understand why he wrote “this is not what you want!” He’s right, this is not what I’ve been looking for, and for the past 25 years I’ve also been walking in the wrong direction—blindfolded! Jesus! "

Ha-ha-ha :) That makes me giggle out loud every time i read it :)

This kind of sounds like where I might find myself...I've been having these funny conversations with my friend who has recently been through this process...I don't really "get it" like he does, but it's looking like some massive cosmic joke has been played on me...even though apparently I don't exist so I don't know what I'm talking about...but whenever my friend & I speak, I feel lighter, I lighten up about all this crap & it just strikes me as some ridiculous, hilarious, stupid joke that I'm not even really getting...

It feels a bit like being a little kid that's smiling along good natured-ly at something they know the adults are laughing at, and the adults are laughing at the kid but in a very loving way... the joke's on me b/c I've spent friggin a zillion years and as many dollars on this "business of awakening to truth."

I've always wanted the bells and whistles...and it seems quite apparent that that is NOT on the cards...but there's something about it all that makes me smile regardless.

I've noticed that awareness of my breathing helps me become aware that there is something - life i guess - that happens and keeps happening regardless of any input from "me". Somehow, anything that draws attention to the existence and insistence of life occurring regardless of any "input" from "me" seems to make something shift internally...makes space, lifts weight or something...probably b/c I've spent all this time thinking i have some kind of influence over it...there's a sense dawning that I have absolutely no influence over anything...nothing...that's pretty funny...but I'm really not getting it...it just comes and goes whenever I speak to my friend or look at the gatecrasher's book.

I'm also pretty tired of the relentless seeking, honestly, what a massive drain on energy & resources....If I'd spent that time & money on anything else I'd have some kind of empire by now...but my seeking "truth" has been this one long, relentless forward march...& by the sounds of it, pushing away from the very thing the relentless, exhaustive seeking has been attempting to "find." What a mother-fucking joke...seriously, you have to see the total craziness of that right? If this is the case...and from reading about the others...it sounds like it is...

I'd like to give up the relentless search, and just got on with being here in whatever state is closest to really being here instead of forward projecting and charging off tilting at windmills all the time...bloody exhausting behaviour.

So, that's it from my end - viola!

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moondog
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:58 pm

Hi Anna,

Thanks for letting me know about yourself and how you've arrived at this point. As I say, I live in the UK. Can you say which time zone you are in, just for posting timings.

Here are a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find. I know you've already answered some of these, but please forgive any overlap and just fill in the gaps where you haven't, and we'll get started.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Anna77
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:42 am

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.
I'm just practising this quote function :) yes I agree to post at least once a day - even to just say I'm still around & to respond from direct experience...and if I'm having trouble knowing what direct experience is, I'll check here...
http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

I will put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation.

I have seen the intro info and agree with the disclaimer, and yes, I'd like you, Pete to be my guide.
What are your expectations for this process?
My expectations are that I see through the illusion of a separate self...this thing I am currently identified with as an "i" or an identity that I think is "me" to become acutely aware that there is no "i" or "me" there is just life happening without the input or need for "me" or "my identity"
What is it that you are searching for?
I am searching for freedom from the illusion...I am searching for what is...truth i guess even though I don't know what that is really...
How will you know that you found it?
I imagine I might feel relieved...grateful the relentless search is over, just relieved more than anything at a guess that I don't have to continue with this exhausting seeking.
How will this change you?
I imagine I will get on with living life, just being present to what is real life - not some deluded mental state of incessant seeking for something other than what is...that would be very lovely :)

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moondog
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:40 pm

Hi Anna

Thanks for agreeing to the disclaimer, all the other stuff and for accepting me as your guide.
My expectations are that I see through the illusion of a separate self...this thing I am currently identified with as an "i" or an identity that I think is "me" to become acutely aware that there is no "i" or "me" there is just life happening without the input or need for "me" or "my identity"
I imagine I might feel relieved...grateful the relentless search is over, just relieved more than anything at a guess that I don't have to continue with this exhausting seeking.

Also, thanks for sharing your expectations and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might be like (some of which I've quoted above). Within the context of what I'm about to say, compared to lots I've seen, they're not at all unrealistic or overblown. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't and never has been a 'you', a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist, and there's no Santa Claus. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

Actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would 'be like' or what life ought to 'look like' once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that 'getting it' is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, 'positive', 'negative'. However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this.

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Anna77
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:24 am

Hey Pete,

I'm going to post answers in parts as they come, I may not answer all those points at once, I'll just let it happen as it happens.
Nothing exists outside the present moment. Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
Sitting here, I thought about my family, they exist somewhere else - not in the same geographical location as me....but I guess they are existing in this same moment as me, just somewhere else, not outside of this moment...do people exist outside of the present moment?

No, I guess they can't...we can't can we? It's impossible...our mental projections can exist in the past or future but we physically can't be anywhere else but here now...I guess my sticking point is I am identified with my mental projections a lot so it appears/feel as if I am out of the present moment when in fact, I'm here always...but I'm stuck in identification with thought so it appears like I'm somewhere else...

I thought about the past. Those things aren't happening right now, they're memories of an event that happened...they're really collections of date somehow stored in our electromagnetic system, so they don't exist except for stored data...I guess memories aren't really real...and even a memory can't exist out of the preset moment b/c I have to access the memory in this moment & bring it to mind.

No future projection exists, that's definitely just a figment of imagination. Experiences only happen now...experiences that have happened are again just memories now...stored data, not a direct experience that's happening now.

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Anna77
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:58 am

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?
I often immediately think of myself as this body, i feel like I'm very identified as self as this body...when i think of myself, I think of this body.

My body often sways with a lot of energy moving through it, like now....this energy feels like me...I don't know, it's not a personal feeling though...it just feels like me...but here's the thing, this energy is moving, sometimes fast and it's not actually staying in this body...fuck, i never thought of this...but this energy is going through me & I don't know where it's coming from or where it's going....it's like a free flowing movement...so that's funny, it can't be me if it's not contained in this body...at least not as far as thinking "me" is this body.

Right now & when I contemplate these questions either from you or in the forum threads or reading the gatecrashers book, I am not strongly identified with my thoughts being me...somehow these prompts create this kind of internal space inside me...in my head, my mind but there's no "place" to say where a mind exists...so I don't feel the strong identification with my thoughts when i'm sitting here now - there's space - but that's not the case any other time...I do feel like I am my thoughts at other times...I feel like the thoughts are me, I am them, like I'm stuck to them

I come a bit unstuck from thought identification when my attention is drawn to the present moment like now when i'm contemplating the questions being asked. I'm not wanting to say I'm completely not identified with my thoughts b/c I feel like I must almost always be...

My clothes - my belongings...those are not me...I don't think i own anything that i can say is me....maybe back to mind...is that me? Can my mind be me? I can't actually say what mind is...so that's hard...it's not a collection of thoughts and memories, that's just more stored data or mental stuff...it's not actually mind...but I don't know what mind is and that makes it hard to know if mind is me...

I was interrupted by a phone call. I"ll come back to this again later :)

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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:36 am

I've just got something else...I'm always here...well...we're looking to discover there is no "i"...but...let's just say, there is always presence...nothing is out out of the present moment...but as long as "I" am identified with thoughts...then there is no or minimal awareness of the totality of the present moment.

The flow of thoughts are pretty constant & I'm identifying "me" with the thoughts most of the time...I think I am the thoughts...but when I unstick myself from the thoughts a bit, a flow of energy moves through my body & it sways with the movement of whatever that is...this is not uncommon for me...it's almost as if the identification with thought somehow freezes the flow of life a bit...as soon as I unstick from the thoughts, life flows more freely through this body...that's very interesting...it might be getting off track but that's what I've noticed whilst reflecting on the questions.

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moondog
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:42 pm

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your thorough answers. I've just picked out a few quotes below that caught my eye particularly.
our mental projections can exist in the past or future but we physically can't be anywhere else but here now...I guess my sticking point is I am identified with my mental projections a lot so it appears/feel as if I am out of the present moment when in fact, I'm here always...but I'm stuck in identification with thought so it appears like I'm somewhere else...

Yeah, even when our thoughts of past or future seem to take us away from this, here, now, these thoughts, like everything else, can only ever be occurring here, right now, despite what their content might be trying to tell us.
Right now & when I contemplate these questions either from you or in the forum threads or reading the gatecrashers book, I am not strongly identified with my thoughts being me...somehow these prompts create this kind of internal space inside me...in my head, my mind but there's no "place" to say where a mind exists...so I don't feel the strong identification with my thoughts when i'm sitting here now - there's space - but that's not the case any other time...I do feel like I am my thoughts at other times...I feel like the thoughts are me, I am them, like I'm stuck to them.

Thoughts and seeing them for what they are, are such an important part of this process of looking at 'your' actual experience, so I'm really pleased with what you've said here about thoughts and their influence.
Can my mind be me? I can't actually say what mind is...so that's hard...it's not a collection of thoughts and memories, that's just more stored data or mental stuff...it's not actually mind...but I don't know what mind is and that makes it hard to know if mind is me...

Can you actually ever find your mind anywhere or, given that there can only ever be now, isn't your mind simply and only whatever the present thought is?
I've just got something else...I'm always here...well...we're looking to discover there is no "i"...but...let's just say, there is always presence...nothing is out out of the present moment...but as long as "I" am identified with thoughts...then there is no or minimal awareness of the totality of the present moment.

I like that. Thanks for all your initial input here; I've really enjoyed it

So, these initial questions were really just to see where you stand in relation to seeing whether there's a separate self, and what you've said shows you've got a good feel for what we're just about to start looking at. Now I'll start to point towards looking in 'your' actual experience to see what can be found.

My job as your guide during this enquiry will be simply to point out to you where and how to look in direct experience so that you can see for sure for yourself whether there's a separate self-entity anywhere doing or being anything. I really like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within each and every area within experience where a separate self might be found.

As you'll have seen, the initial questions point you towards looking into your experience, which is, as I say, where I'll be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Experiencing is the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within the experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no separate self is done by investigating experience. To this end, we can divide experiencing into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

As I keep saying, the whole of this investigation centres around looking in experience to see if a self-entity can be found anywhere there. This is accompanied by seeing that it is in thoughts and only in thoughts that 'I' ever 'occurs' and that 'I' doesn't actually occur there either because thoughts, or at least their contents, are neither reliable nor real in any sense.

So, let's start at last investigating where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Anna77
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:22 am

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
Hi again Pete.

I read this this morning then let it float around all day & came back to it this evening.

From observation, just looking/sensing...when I'm looking at something...I can't really find an "i" seeing, or tasting or hearing...I find the hearing sense the easiest to notice there is not a lot of separation between the sound being made and hearing it...it feels like vibrations just moving through me more so than the other senses...something about sound waves seems more permeable due to less sense of a "self" when hearing....

self looking still feels like a separate self even though I can't really find a "self" looking....there's just more separation there than with sound...I don't know why that is...

When i eat/taste and see if there is a self tasting...I can't really notice a distinct separate self...but it feels like out of habit there should be one there...there's a habitual identification with "self" that seems to go on all the time when I'm not being present and looking as directed...

When i look, there isn't really someone seeing, it appears there is seeing happening but i don't feel like I can say I don't still feel like there is a self/an identity that I'm still wrapped up in. Words come into my head when i look and label what I'm doing....like,"I'm looking at the computer." There seems to be an incessant labelling that goes on...and this labelling takes away from the direct experience.

That's actually a sticking point...the labelling of the experience seems to interfere with it.

I seemed more tired than usual today...partially from a disturbed sleep last night but also this process might be challenging me so I feel tired...just one of the responses that comes up when challenged by things sometimes.

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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:36 am

Think if you will of an elevator with a voice saying what floor you have reached or whether you are going up or down. The voice does not move the lift, it just accompanies it.
Hey pete, i just read this on another thread and it seemed to make something drop...for some reason, this analogy really works to bring awareness to that thing I said about incessant labelling...that voice that's labelling is doing the labelling like an elevator recording what levels it's going to or stopping at...but the voice has absolutely no control over the movement of the elevator...the voice doing the labelling isn't make Life happen...or influencing it...it's just labelling Life as it happens & I'm not sure why but it's just keeps labelling anyway.

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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:19 pm

Hi Anna,
From observation, just looking/sensing...when I'm looking at something...I can't really find an "i" seeing, or tasting or hearing.

That's great, but you say I can't really find an 'I'. Does that indicate that there's some doubt (apart from what thinking might be saying)? You can either find a 'you' doing the seeing, hearing etc. or you can't. Please say which it is.
find the hearing sense the easiest to notice there is not a lot of separation between the sound being made and hearing it...it feels like vibrations just moving through me more so than the other senses...something about sound waves seems more permeable due to less sense of a "self" when hearing....

You say there is not a lot of separation between the sound being made and hearing it. but is there any separation at all? If so, please tell me where it's to be found, describe its appearance and how it functions.
self looking still feels like a separate self even though I can't really find a "self" looking....there's just more separation there than with sound...I don't know why that is...

Is this feeling any more than a thought, albeit perhaps a very subtle thought? This might be 'attached' to bodily sensations, making it more convincing . Or, the feeling of just being alive, presence, awareness is often highjacked by I-thoughts which can result in this persistent feeling of 'I/me/mine'. Is it that? Remember, all you need to do in this process is look in experience to see if a self can be found. If not, fine. Any thoughts/feelings to the contrary need only be recognised for what they are for them to start to lose their influence.
Think if you will of an elevator with a voice saying what floor you have reached or whether you are going up or down. The voice does not move the lift, it just accompanies it.

Hey pete, i just read this on another thread and it seemed to make something drop...for some reason, this analogy really works to bring awareness to that thing I said about incessant labelling...that voice that's labelling is doing the labelling like an elevator recording what levels it's going to or stopping at...but the voice has absolutely no control over the movement of the elevator...the voice doing the labelling isn't make Life happen...or influencing it...it's just labelling Life as it happens & I'm not sure why but it's just keeps labelling anyway.
Yeah, that's a good one. I might use it myself ;) It's a nice, simple metaphor for labelling, and also more broadly, for the constant, impersonal thought commentary the keeps arising, hanging around for a while, before disappearing. Also, continuing the metaphor, the lift voice might say the lift's going up when it's going down, or vice versa, or stopped when it's moving, or say the wrong floor number etc., just like thinking. As you have seen, what thinking says and what's actually happening, are not the same at all.

That brings me back to one question you didn't answer from last time. Let me know:

Can you actually ever find your mind anywhere or, given that there can only ever be now, isn't your mind simply and only whatever the present thought is?

So, nice work with this Anna. Forgive any repetition, this is just to round this aspect off, so that there's no doubt:

Not at all from what thinking is saying, but solely from looking in 'your' actual experience, when looking at a tree, an orange, out of the window or whatever, can you find a 'you', a self-entity, present actually doing the seeing? If so, tell me what it looks like and how it does it.

Please do the same with each of the other four senses and let me know whether you can find an experiencer, or is there just hearing, tasting, touching and smelling, as well just seeing.

Also can you find any separation/distinction between seeing and the the object that's been seen? The same goes for hearing, touching, tasting and smelling.


Nice work Anna. I'm really pleased with the way this is going.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Anna77 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:47 pm

That's great, but you say I can't really find an 'I'. Does that indicate that there's some doubt (apart from what thinking might be saying)? You can either find a 'you' doing the seeing, hearing etc. or you can't. Please say which it is.
Hey Pete,

I read this first thing this morning & after a while sat still to really reflect on it and pay attention to the exercise.

Re some doubt & thinking saying I am my thoughts - the sticking point is I conceive of myself to be my thoughts...I know this isn't the case when I'm really looking, but this comes and goes this awareness, it doesn't stick...I get lost in thoughts and think they are me. When I'm present, I don't associate a "self" with the thoughts b/c there is this space that comes and I'm no longer "my thoughts" they are just thoughts.

So, when I really am present and look, there are thoughts and they don't feel like "me" they do seem like something that is happening and I'm not making them happen & they are not "me"....but it's as if I can't quite believe it. It's real, its happening, but I'm doubting it. That's my thoughts again...I'm just getting tangled in them instead of staying present with what is and really looking at the flow of experience. The doubt is thought.
You say there is not a lot of separation between the sound being made and hearing it. but is there any separation at all? If so, please tell me where it's to be found, describe its appearance and how it functions.
I didn't spend a lot of time, enough time on this today so I'd like to come back to it tomorrow to really properly investigate. My sense is there is no separation, it's more thought making something up, but I'm not coming from feeling it as a direct experience of absolute certainty that there is no space, that it's just one flow of life happening.
Is this feeling any more than a thought, albeit perhaps a very subtle thought? This might be 'attached' to bodily sensations, making it more convincing . Or, the feeling of just being alive, presence, awareness is often highjacked by I-thoughts which can result in this persistent feeling of 'I/me/mine'. Is it that? Remember, all you need to do in this process is look in experience to see if a self can be found. If not, fine. Any thoughts/feelings to the contrary need only be recognised for what they are for them to start to lose their influence.
This again I need to come back to for further investigation. What you said about aliveness and presence being hijacked by thought sounds a lot like what happens in my looking, but I'd like to experience/see that more clearly for myself.
Can you actually ever find your mind anywhere or, given that there can only ever be now, isn't your mind simply and only whatever the present thought is?
Hmmmm, that's a good point....there can only be now...so mind can only be whatever the present thought is...I'm getting caught up in unnecessary and tangled "thinking" just for the sake of being tangled up in it.
Not at all from what thinking is saying, but solely from looking in 'your' actual experience, when looking at a tree, an orange, out of the window or whatever, can you find a 'you', a self-entity, present actually doing the seeing? If so, tell me what it looks like and how it does it.

Please do the same with each of the other four senses and let me know whether you can find an experiencer, or is there just hearing, tasting, touching and smelling, as well just seeing.

Also can you find any separation/distinction between seeing and the the object that's been seen? The same goes for hearing, touching, tasting and smelling.
I need to spend more time being present with all these senses to go deeper into this investigation. I didn't spend a lot of time being present and paying attention to each of these senses. Today the greatest sense of an internal shift came when i was noticing pain in my physical body but also some kind of internal discomfort, not physical - from something just not feeling good...

I looked at both types of pain/discomfort and stopped associating the experience as "mine" - it was just an experience happening, life happening - and it changed the experience quite dramatically. I just felt different. Again there was all this space inside, like something opening up internally. I find whenever i stop associating a "self" with anything, this space thing happens.

I do need to do more looking on those sensing activities you asked so coming back to this tomorrow :)

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moondog
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby moondog » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi Anna,
Re some doubt & thinking saying I am my thoughts - the sticking point is I conceive of myself to be my thoughts...I know this isn't the case when I'm really looking, but this comes and goes this awareness, it doesn't stick...I get lost in thoughts and think they are me. When I'm present, I don't associate a "self" with the thoughts b/c there is this space that comes and I'm no longer "my thoughts" they are just thoughts.

That's the point - it's only ever thought that says there's an 'I' in the first place. These thoughts don't just stop, they carry on but, once you've looked everywhere in experience and have seen that there's no 'I' to be found anywhere, these I-thoughts are seen to be just referring to nothing, and not a problem. I gated two or so years ago and I still get them sometimes but just see them for what they are - messages that mean and do nothing. You're bang on when you say 'the doubt is thought'. What else could it be?
I didn't spend a lot of time, enough time on this today so I'd like to come back to it tomorrow to really properly investigate. My sense is there is no separation, it's more thought making something up, but I'm not coming from feeling it as a direct experience of absolute certainty that there is no space, that it's just one flow of life happening.

Ok, great, get back to me on that when you're ready. And please be clear Anna, it's not really a matter of feeling it as a direct experience of absolute certainty. It's simply and only seeing in a relaxed, effortless way in your ordinary, everyday experience that there is (or isn't) any separation. Only that direct seeing can bring about a feeling/knowing of certainty.
This again I need to come back to for further investigation. What you said about aliveness and presence being hijacked by thought sounds a lot like what happens in my looking, but I'd like to experience/see that more clearly for myself.

Ok, cool. Look forward to it.
Hmmmm, that's a good point....there can only be now...so mind can only be whatever the present thought is...I'm getting caught up in unnecessary and tangled "thinking" just for the sake of being tangled up in it.

Yes, remember that thinking won't do it, only looking in 'your' experience will do it.
Today the greatest sense of an internal shift came when i was noticing pain in my physical body but also some kind of internal discomfort, not physical - from something just not feeling good... I looked at both types of pain/discomfort and stopped associating the experience as "mine" - it was just an experience happening, life happening - and it changed the experience quite dramatically. I just felt different. Again there was all this space inside, like something opening up internally. I find whenever i stop associating a "self" with anything, this space thing happens.
That sounds encouraging. Just be aware of sense arisings and see what's really there (and what isn't). No need for effort, just keep it relaxed and natural.

Till tomorrow Anna...

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'


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