Understanding but not really seeing

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Thu May 19, 2016 11:10 am

Thank you Ilona, this is powerful. You weren't kidding when you said "for today", as I can see this is something that will take more time to dig into. I have spent 15 minutes with it and relate to the first half, which seems to be consistent with what was observed yesterday.

However, the second half is difficult and I do not understand it yet. Since you said "for today" I feel comfortable it is okay to let this one marinate a bit before replying about all that is noticed, but let me know if you instead want first reaction. Otherwise, I will get my work done here and come back to this in the second half of the day, when I can give it even more attention. I feel so lucky to have you guiding me.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Thu May 19, 2016 11:30 am

Take your time! Watch how everything is happening :)
Speak later
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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Thu May 19, 2016 6:59 pm

I might be totally off, but here's my interpretation and feelings investigating Bahiya sutra closely this afternoon. Thank you for suggesting this, I found it very interesting.

1. The first part lines up exactly with what we talked about yesterday, as in, no gap.

2. Next, on the "no thing here" part, I noticed this in doing the exercises yesterday. There's that feeling of the content of the experience flowing right through, like it's in front of you, and behind you … no you. Cool feeling, wish it would stay!

3. The middle part gets into "no thing there". Both experiencer and experienced are gone, leaving only experience itself. Had trouble understanding this at first, but after exploring it, it feels true, even more so than the previous paragraph.

4. Last part says we are not in the world at all, which drives the point further that there is only experience, nothing more. I found it difficult to observe until getting to a granular single moment, before the mind labels. It seems to be true there is only experience here.

After absorbing the above, I went back to your question yesterday "What is it that is looking?" and tried to look close again. There was no emotion behind it this time, I just got back that what is looking is simply "looking", as in that experience. That doesn't make sense reading it here, but it seemed like it did for a moment when not trying to write about it. Then again it may be the Bahiya talking. :)

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Thu May 19, 2016 7:33 pm

It makes perfect sense, good work! keep on playing with the sutra.

so is there i that is looking?
is there a gate to cross?
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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Thu May 19, 2016 9:01 pm

so is there i that is looking?
I'm aware the I cannot be looking. When focused and really in the moment without distraction (as in some of these exercises), it seems that the I has disappeared. Meaning, it is not looking, there is only looking (seemingly). But what is the experience of no I? That is an unknown. Since it is sort of known how to make it disappear, maybe it's just a matter of spending more time there and getting comfortable. Keep on playing with the sutra, as you say.
is there a gate to cross?
My mind has been blown a few times learning things from you here. So there's a sense that there might be a similar knowing when the gate is seen not to exist. No fireworks expected, but hoping for a little laugh. I had a good laugh when seeing my "irrefutable proof of controlling thoughts" was destroyed by the proof itself. :)

The gate is probably the I. So no, there is no gate to cross. So why is there a gate there? Who puts a gate out in the middle of a lake like that?

But here's the thing, at least I'm in the water on a little boat. Maybe when I paddle a little closer, the supposed gate will just be shadows from trees. I'm not leaving the boat till I find out. What a difference a few days has made so far, thanks to your help.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Fri May 20, 2016 12:08 pm

An unexpected moment of profound clarity arrived yesterday, and then left just as quickly. After reading that sutra, and then dwelling on "In experience, is there an experiencer?", all assumptions suddenly fell away. There was this realization, which I'm not sure makes any sense now, but it sure did then, it was:

This. Just This. It is Just This. Nothing more. It is that simple.

Pretty sure that "This" is referring to experience or experiencing, but there was only This, so words seem irrelevant. There was also not a self nor was there a no-self, there was only This. In fact it was all surprisingly void of anything in terms of self or no-self, which has me questioning it a day later – what if "This" was "self", in some kind of defense mechanism? I really hope not.

It all faded after about 3 minutes, as if waking up from a lovely dream that you can't hold on to. There are only the words left. Most of the understanding seems to be gone because it doesn't make much sense now.

I recognize similar moments from when I was a kid, decades ago, except this was not personal or emotional. It was more like something that's always been front-and-center. I've been reluctant to even mention it here, as I worry maybe the wrong door was opened, leaving me right where I was before it. So I waited awhile before posting it. This might very well be completely irrelevant, in which case lets move on as if this had not taken place.

---
Btw, just in case it's not clear in yesterday's post above this one, I'm referring to the picture in the background of this website (the gate in the lake), which seemed like a useful metaphor at the time.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Fri May 20, 2016 3:49 pm

Yes, just this. Just what is happening right here right now.. Great realization!

You ask, what is the experience of no I. This is it.
Can you experience an absense of something imagined?

Try this:
Imagine you are holding a spoon. Close eyes and fully and vividly see it, feel the weight, shape, see colour, feel temperature. Hold that image.

Then open eyes.
What happened to the spoon? Where did it go? Was it ever here?

Then pick up a spoon, a real one, not imaginary, from the kitchen and examine it. How does it feel, weight, looks?
Put it down after examining, does it go anywhere?



Now look, what happens to the I when you stop imagining it?


Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Fri May 20, 2016 6:13 pm

Thank you. Can't wait to dig into this one, especially that last sentence. I may need to complete this and properly reply after work today or early tomorrow morning, as it's an overloaded day at work.

Just wanted to say that things have changed since I wrote the previous message this morning. What was thought to have been lost, seems to have appeared again when I was wrapped up in work, not even looking. It's elusive and way more subtle than those 3 minutes yesterday, but This seems to have never left. It's just sometimes noticed and sometimes not. A beginning at least hopefully. Will see. :)

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Fri May 20, 2016 10:45 pm

Yes, just this. Just what is happening right here right now.. Great realization!
This is getting easier to recognize. As you said earlier, being is a verb. Amazing. The term "flow" is starting to make sense as well.
You ask, what is the experience of no I. This is it.
Can you experience an absense of something imagined?
In that case, this is a known factor then. :)
What happened to the spoon? Where did it go? Was it ever here?
I'm just glad you didn't ask me to try and eat something with it!
Now look, what happens to the I when you stop imagining it?
Stopping that particular imagined thought presents a challenge–we cannot stop thoughts. But I can see how the spoon exercise helps to approximate it. Without the I there is only experiencing, only this.

Like I mentioned earlier, there seems to have been some change. I'll expand on it. Today a more subtle clarity and understanding about this was back, arrived when it wasn't expected. I even asked questions, and there were answers (wrote them down). This stuck around a long time, then faded, but it's always there, just not easily noticed. Understanding of it seems to come and go as well, it's so simple when it appears, but disappears when I try to make sense of it. I mention it like it's something, but it is not... it seems there is nothing but this, but how could this be? This is seen only in the moment and the experience, which is so easy to overlook. That's my interpretation and experience so far. Probably not quite right, but this is very new and my lens is quite blurry. Feels like a path has opened though, you are an awesome guide.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Sat May 21, 2016 7:25 am

Thanks for reply. Getting closer now.

Did you actually do the spoon exercise or just thought about it? I did not get that from your answer.


Yes, seeing is noticing what is here already. And it is available any time. It's always here now. There is no other time to look and see, but here now.
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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Sat May 21, 2016 11:44 am

Did you actually do the spoon exercise or just thought about it? I did not get that from your answer.
Yes, the spoon exercise was done yesterday, with full effort and no distraction. A real spoon was used too. That's why I needed to wait till after work, because I feel like I'm cheating if I try to do it at my desk, or use a pen instead of a spoon. But feels like I should also mention, what can a "me" do?

Also, just so you know, there is so much respect for you and this process, that I have never and would never skip or shortcut anything you say to do. I originally wrote in literal answers for questions like "what happened to the spoon", but thought it looked foolish since the answers are already obvious. Meaning, I thought these were questions you just wanted me to ask myself as part of the exercise, not to literally respond to here. I have re-done the exercise again this morning so that I can give you fresh answers to every question you asked in the spoon exercise. Here they are:
Then open eyes.
What happened to the spoon?
The spoon disappeared. More accurately, it fell away, like there was a faint image of it at first that disintegrated immediately. Yesterday when I did this, it only just disappeared, I didn't notice the brief image retention. Perhaps that's because I held the spoon image for a good 5 minutes before opening my eyes.
Where did it go?
Nowhere. Looking deeper, it went to a memory.
Was it ever here?
No, only as a thought.
Then pick up a spoon, a real one, not imaginary, from the kitchen and examine it. How does it feel, weight, looks?
It feels significant. It feels heavier than the imagined one. In terms of looks, it's the same as the imagined one because the imagined one was based off of it. However, the real spoon reflects all the light sources in the room. The imagined one did not.
Put it down after examining, does it go anywhere?
It does not go anywhere. It stays where it was set down.
Now look, what happens to the I when you stop imagining it?
I've not seen how it's possible to literally stop imagining the I, but gave it my best shot both times. I tried to watch it fall away like the spoon that disintegrated. With eyes closed, that leaves just the perception of sounds and sensation of sitting. This was the same thing observed yesterday, but trying to use different words.

I suspect there's something profound to be found in that last step that I don't seem to have seen just yet. Should I continue repeating the exercise until something more is noticed?
Yes, seeing is noticing what is here already. And it is available any time. It's always here now. There is no other time to look and see, but here now.
Yes, this is true and it is beautiful, your words are perfect. My mind popped in and said "what about seeing in memories or dreams? That's different." But of course the answer is the same, it's not different, the seeing only takes place now, whether seeing something real or seeing something in the mind.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Sun May 22, 2016 9:35 am

Thank you for going through answering each question, that helps me see your line of thinking. Good work!
The point of the exercise was to illustrate, that you can see, hear, sense in imagination, but whatever is imagined disappears when you no longer hold the image in the mind. All you can see in reality, is that which is. And that there is a difference between imagined and real, which is vividness of experience.

Have a look, do you experience the I with senses? Can you see, hear, taste, smell, touch the I? If not, how do you KNOW that there is this I-me-self, that is perceiving?
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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Sun May 22, 2016 11:23 am

Thank you for going through answering each question, that helps me see your line of thinking.
Thanks, I will be sure not to make any assumptions about questions from now on. I'll answer all questions literally. Sometimes I worry I might be giving you too much answer for a brief question too (like the last one in this reply), so please let me know if this is ever the case.
The point of the exercise was to illustrate, that you can see, hear, sense in imagination, but whatever is imagined disappears when you no longer hold the image in the mind. All you can see in reality, is that which is. And that there is a difference between imagined and real, which is vividness of experience.
Thanks for explaining it to me, that makes complete sense. Sorry I didn't understand at first. Your explanation is eye opening. I just re-did the exercise now with that context, and can see that yes there is quite a difference in imagined versus real. This was seen before as well, but now it's understood.
Have a look, do you experience the I with senses?
No. Though there also isn't an expectation that I should be able to. Can a camera see or take a picture of itself? No, but a camera is still real.

A thought just popped in, which is that Yes, a camera can indeed see, and take a picture of itself... with a mirror. Not so with the I. This sounds silly, but I've stumbled over this point before, glad that thought popped in. With the camera now gone, there is no real-world analogy for this that I can come up with that relates to the I.
Can you see, hear, taste, smell, touch the I?
Considered each aspect, and the answer is No to all of them.
If not, how do you KNOW that there is this I-me-self, that is perceiving?
I do not know that there is an I-me-self perceiving. This is no longer assumed. It is a feeling, not a fact. After our exercises of the last week, my understanding is that there is likely just perceiving. The brain continues to label this perceiving with the "mine" label, which is starting to be seen through. Actually, it was seen through in that brief 3 minutes I mentioned – there can only be JUST THIS, which can't be labeled, but is inclusive of perceiving, experiencing, happening, etc., all one in the same.

The problem is that the seeing of this comes and goes, and it's not been fully accepted except in those brief moments. Perhaps just the fact that I no longer fully assume that I-me-self is perceiving, is enough progress at this point in the journey, and I shouldn't be trying to re-capture that profound understanding. I don't know. This I doesn't want to let go of itself, while I so much want to let go of it.

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby Ilona » Sun May 22, 2016 12:46 pm

Feel free to answer as fully as you can, writing helps mind to focus and express what is being seen/ understood.

Ok, what is the I that wants to let go of I? What is the first I and what is the second? Is I something you own? Is I something that sticks to you?


Here is another exercise for you. Get out in the nature somewhere. Spend some time observing the movement of totality. See how everything moves and wiggles. Clouds, trees, birds, grass, people passing by.. See how sensations, colours, sounds move. See how thoughts are labelling movement. See how feeling come and go.
Is there an orchestrator, a master pulling strings? Or it's all happening seemlesly, moving, wiggling, dancing, flowing?
Is there a you that makes any of the movement happen?
Watch attention, do you move it or it moves?
Does sense of being, aliveness, presence move?


Write what you notice
Sending love
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http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Understanding but not really seeing

Postby happening » Sun May 22, 2016 8:10 pm

Feel free to answer as fully as you can, writing helps mind to focus and express what is being seen/ understood.
Thank you, I will do that then. Will test the limits here, rather than edit things down. I always write a lot either way, it's just a question of what is deemed useful to paste back in here. Tell me anytime it's too much.
Ok, what is the I that wants to let go of I?
Tough questions today! This is an I that seems to be scared of the future and wants to be free of worry. This is an I that feels old and recognizes time is moving too fast, like it can't keep up. This I wants peace and freedom from itself.
What is the first I and what is the second?
The second I is the one described above, so I'll focus on the first one here. The first I is the one that looks in the eyes of people, and sees something more than nothing. This I also recognizes that this process has affected motivation for work and other things, something that it's having a little trouble with because it contains thoughts of being a very driven, motivated "I".

Both the first and second are of course the same "I", but just different ways of looking at it. The second has already won, as a commitment has already been made that so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, this process will be seen through no matter what.
Is I something you own?
There is still a feeling of ownership or being in charge, but that feeling is no longer accepted as fact.
Is I something that sticks to you?
This is the toughest question, I cannot give a Yes or No answer, so will walk around it a bit. It does seem to stick, only because there is not perception of any other experience connected with something else. There's no perception of being a bird, only perception of hearing or seeing a bird. Whereas there is perception of being a human. It's accepted that this is quite likely a false assumption, yet it's there.

It leaves the question, why is there that sense of there being other things? This is one of the questions I asked "this" last week, and the answer I received:

Just because something is perceived does not make it "that", it actually makes it this, because what is perception? It is this. So why do you sense a "that" at all? Because without an illusion of "that" there is no perception of "this".

Please note this is just a kind of internal conversation that helps pull answers from deep down. I'm also not suggesting there is any truth in that answer, and not totally satisfied with it, but that's apparently what is suspected from current understanding here, even if I don't totally understand it on the surface.
Here is another exercise for you ...
Is there an orchestrator, a master pulling strings?
No. Just life doing its thing, and beautifully so. The forces of the Earth in action. And you picked the perfect day to suggest this exercise, it's an absolutely awesome day outside.
Or it's all happening seemlesly, moving, wiggling, dancing, flowing?
Yes, exactly that, seamlessly. Not a cloud to be seen, but lots of wind and lots of trees flowing. The wind would surface and blow everything around, then subside. It felt and sounded like waves of the ocean, so evoked a lot of feelings of the beach, sailing, and general good feelings.
Is there a you that makes any of the movement happen?
Actually, I was also out there doing yard work. Pulling weeds, cutting grass, that sort of thing. When I took a close look at it, there was not a me making movement happen. The body was just out there as part of all the other happenings outside.
Watch attention, do you move it or it moves?
Attention moves on its own. Kind of like the trees move, prompted by the wind. Rather than mind, my attention was very much influenced by the work at hand, sounds that appeared, and the instructions you provided to look at everything. When going outside with a specific purpose to look at everything, it all is quite beautiful. I've been noticing this for the last week. Then again, it is Spring here.
Does sense of being, aliveness, presence move?
No. Not always noticed as exactly that, but it's always there.
Write what you notice
Lots of thinking on free will and observing things in action. When the wind blows the tree, does the tree think it is the one doing the moving? Noticed lots of beautiful patterns everywhere. Tried to imagine what life flowing would look like if years were seconds and imagine it would look like breathing. Biggest conclusion: I need to do this more often, and will.


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