Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:09 pm

Hi Peter,

We aim to see the illusion of self as an illusion or appearance. Often there's an idea that we are trying to get rid of something as if it's 'really there' but that would be tricky if it's seen already that there never was nor will be an entity 'self'.

Who is going to do the getting rid?
. The fear/suspense will resume once I start work on this again I'm sure. Next time I'll observe it for what it is rather than trying to make sense of it through more thin
Don't worry about fear. There are various things we can do to help with that. Let me know if anxiety is preventing you from looking further.
. It's definitely become harder to watch every instance of 'self' arising. Sometimes throughout the day I'm simply caught in 'self' - stuck in my head. Feels like It'll take forever to undo this habit.
Hypervigilence is not recommended nor is it very necessary. Once 'self' gets found out. You'll very likely find, if you relax, that simply the new understanding is enough to notice again. It's a bit like flowers blooming. You can't really force them open but somehow they open all by themselves.

Stuck in head or the appearance of that can definitely happen. Right here, now there is some resistance to doing some exercise, but who... or what... is doing the resistance? It's like some funny old habit of imagining a character that 'resists' and the experience of certain energetic body sensations that can add to such an impression. I'm not suggesting that we pretend that such sensations or thought patterns are not experienced but it is possible to see that they are just that.

:-)

Jon

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Seek3r
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:52 pm

Hey Jon,

... I am definitely straining too hard, a thought says that if it doesn't feel like how it felt when I first saw pass 'self' then it is insufficient to see it time and time again. It's funny to see what tricks are being employed to prevent seeing (and how obvious it actually is), every time it's spotted it's like I'm cleansing my palate.

I'll have a little faith that It'll happen rather than trying to make something happen, attaching a theory/criteria behind it. I know this primarily suppose to be a Q&A type of conversation but I quite enjoy the little bits of advice. Happy to proceed with whatever is in store.
Who is going to do the getting rid?
The whole time thought was trying to satisfy more thought, right?

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:48 pm

Hi Peter
. I am definitely straining too hard, a thought says that if it doesn't feel like how it felt when I first saw pass 'self' then it is insufficient to see it time and time again. It's funny to see what tricks are being employed to prevent seeing (and how obvious it actually is), every time it's spotted it's like I'm cleansing my palate
What a great way of putting it.
. I'll have a little faith that It'll happen rather than trying to make something happen, attaching a theory/criteria behind it.
Yep that's it. But even more subtle than this, I'd suggest that waiting for any kind of rerun of a particular experience is tied to a conceptualisation of 'how it must be / feel'. And in that is always the idea 'how I should experience it', so there is always a catch 22.

Next time this is happening you could change the focus to 'what's actually happening right here and now'? This can cut through speculation and 'straining' to noticing what IS.

. . I know this primarily suppose to be a Q&A type of conversation but I quite enjoy the little bits of advice. Happy to proceed with whatever is in store
OK well, we could look at 'decisions'. Often there is the idea that 'I decide' but this is what we need to look at.

Do you drive? Next time you have to drive somewhere notice how it all happens. Do you decide to find car keys or are they somehow just found by rooting around or suddenly seeing them? Is there a decision to leave the house? To unlock the car? To place keys in ignition? To check mirrors, turn steering wheel, press combinations of pedals, and so on? Or does it all flow along as if none has to think about it?

Make yourself a warm drink and when made, bring it back here to read the next questions;

Was there a decision to stand up? Did you decide which muscles to exert precisely and in which order to allow 'walking' to happen? Was there a decision to turn on kettle or to run water? And so on?

Let me know how you got on?

Jon

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Seek3r
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:44 am

Hey Jon,
Let me know how you got on?
Everything happens on its on. I've had similar realisations just walking around doing whatever. Everything just happens without an 'I' to decide - there's an intelligence that knows what to do. Everything that 'I' do happens outside the realm of my perceivable consciousness - I see that.

But I question why I did choose these actions, like why do I shift gears a certain way, why do I hold the wheel this way etc. If 'self' is an illusion, how is it that it managed to reinforce certain behaviours? Why does it feel like I can override this happening? - for instance with the previous exercise, can't I decide how long I can hold my hand up? My hand will naturally want to drop but somehow I managed to suspend it in air.

The same can be said with my meditation sits - It feels like I can exercise will power and/or equanimity to sit longer. Can't I also decide what to place my attention on?

It feels like there's an overseer that can direct/decide even if just for small periods of time, that can decide to stop whatever is happening in 'me'. I see that I can't be my thoughts, cause there's something that can view thought for what it is; is it the same something that can decide?

This is definitely the biggest block I have right now on this path.

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:00 am

Hi Peter
. Everything happens on its on. I've had similar realisations just walking around doing whatever. Everything just happens without an 'I' to decide - there's an intelligence that knows what to do. Everything that 'I' do happens outside the realm of my perceivable consciousness - I see that.
OK. Good.
. But I question why I did choose these actions, like why do I shift gears a certain way
Does 'you' do this and all the other things? Certainly there can be thoughts about a 'me, doing' stuff. But look back at what you already said.

Thoughts about a 'doer' or 'chooser' or 'decider' can be trickier to see for what they are, it's relatively simple to see the first insight that there is no fixed or separate self.

There can persist an idea of some kind of self that is like a puppet-master, behind the scenes, pulling strings and making things happen. Or like a guy sitting in a control room somewhere, staring at a screen and every so often pushing buttons, pulling levers.

Because things are complex and lots of things do happen, get done, get 'decided', 'chosen" and so all this can all feed back in thinking to the logical but questionable conclusion that a separate' me' controls the universe and makes things happen.

But what if everything was already happening? And will continue to happen? Maybe the universe did start with a big bang? But could anything that happens right now be happening any differently? Including the illusion that 'I choose this or decide that'?

Do those choices and decisions belong to a partitioned-off entity in a control room somewhere?

:-)

Jon

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Seek3r
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:22 am

Hey Jon,
But could anything that happens right now be happening any differently? Including the illusion that 'I choose this or decide that'?

Do those choices and decisions belong to a partitioned-off entity in a control room somewhere?
There's no separate thing making decisions, they all just happen don't they? Decisions happen, choices happen. I just happen. My existence is like one big bubble that is constantly expanding. Everything is more verb than it is noun.

I sat to meditate yesterday, mindfulness practice, noting stuff. After a little while I could detect something that is still and goes undisturbed - despite all that is happening. Every sense/experience can really feel on the same plane. Like I can take a step back from everything and watch it.

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:34 pm

Hey Peter.
. There's no separate thing making decisions, they all just happen don't they? Decisions happen, choices happen. I just happen. My existence is like one big bubble that is constantly expanding. Everything is more verb than it is noun.
That's a very good way of putting it! More verb than noun.
. I sat to meditate yesterday, mindfulness practice, noting stuff. After a little while I could detect something that is still and goes undisturbed - despite all that is happening. Every sense/experience can really feel on the same plane. Like I can take a step back from everything and watch it.
I don't know if it'll be any use or not but 'my own' experience of meditation shifted from being about someone having to make an effort, even a subtle effort, to some sort of appreciation that there is no meditator 'separate' from meditation and that something that could be described as still and undisturbed has always been going on.

Yes and I understand what you say about stepping back from everything and watching it.

How about Free Will now?

:-)

Jon

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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:27 pm

Hey Jon,

Free will... after all that I've learnt, It seems logical and real to conclude that my existence is bound to the present moment, everything is in constant flux. But we're a little unique in that we are built upon previous reactions to stimuli, it's not a choice we make. Learn about free will and have it reinforced by society - disagree when confronted later down the line, that's not something I decided, ever, it's something that is present and within me but cannot be credited to free will.

I'm bound to now. I'm withheld to now. Everything beyond this seems widely redundant. If it can't be found in this then it can't really exist. I can't make sense of free will as of 'now'.

I feel small, I feel bound, I feel like a little speck of paint on a large piece of art. Strangely though, there's a sense of belonging I've never really felt before.

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:25 pm

. Strangely though, there's a sense of belonging I've never really felt before
Good.
. But we're a little unique in that we are built upon previous reactions to stimuli
It strikes me that what you say about being built on previous reactions to stimuli is true for many animals too?

But what is built on these? Is it 'us' that is 'built' of these, or rather, repeating habits that are based on previous reactions?


(Hope that makes sense?)

Jon

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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:04 am

Hey Jon,
But what is built on these? Is it 'us' that is 'built' of these, or rather, repeating habits that are based on previous reactions?
People are born predisposed to certain temperaments. Everything is built upon that, those traits are a product of genes from countless people and their experiences. All I am is an expression of all things before me. I can't be a thing plucked from the void and placed on Earth with free will, I'm part of the continuation of the universe - whatever that might entail.

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JonathanR
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:46 am

Hi Peter

Thank you. Great.

Are there any remaining doubts about no self? If so now would be a good time to look at them.

I need to let you know that I'll be out of Internet contact from tomorrow morning until Monday.. It's very likely that you will not hear from me during this time. But I would probably be able to reply some time later today if you happen to write soon.

Speak soonish in any case.

:-)

Jon

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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:32 am

Hey Jon,

Nothing jumps out at me at the moment, I suppose there's smaller doubts but I feel I can quickly resolve them but sitting still and watching life unfold. I don't know what else can be said. What should happen now? What recommendations do you have for me?

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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby JonathanR » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:32 am

Hey Peter
Nothing jumps out at me at the moment, I suppose there's smaller doubts but I feel I can quickly resolve them but sitting still and watching life unfold. I don't know what else can be said. What should happen now? What recommendations do you have for me?
I can't answer what should happen. It tends to be what Does happen that is interesting.
There are plenty of teachers who would give advice but I'm glad to say I'm not a teacher. It's always been your inquiry. I find staying in touch with a few other people who see through the illusion is very rewarding and guiding has also been wonderful.

Seeing life unfold is great.

I do have six questions for you though. Please take time to look at these and answer each one?

You're welcome to tackle three at a time if it helps?


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

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

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

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

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Please give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

:-)

Jon

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Seek3r
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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:45 pm

Hey Jon,
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There's no separate 'self' just the belief in one - there's thoughts that relate to 'me', they do not extend past thought.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of a separate self begins with an inherently belief in self. Everything we do is undermined by this belief, which reinforces and references 'it'. Drop a plate as a kid, 'Mum says 'I' am in trouble'. Over many years that becomes habit - we don't question it, we are never taught to, if we do then we literally think more thoughts rather than viewing what is happening to create a 'self'. Honest, pure viewing is a skill that needs to be fostered, maybe people lack the requisite concentration power to do so - and so they remain stuck in their belief.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
If I just go about my day-to-day, my experience is very ordinary, very neutral - when I am still, my experience is quite fulfilling. There's no where to go, everything I need is here and now.

I don't want to inflate my experience or give anyone the wrong impression at all. I still have all my old bad habits, I still feel anxiety, I still have negative thinking, I still have all these things (you can take a guess at whatever else). But the difference is, my perceived level of suffering has RADICALLY reduced.

I have been liberated, I don't feel liberated (blissfully, soaring through the air type of feeling). I feel remarkably sure, content I suppose.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
It was Thursday the 21st of February, I was trying to answer your questions sincerely, to do that I had to examine what has happening in my mental talk space. I realised I had thought about thoughts about thoughts - I fell into deep concentration.

'So many of my thoughts are about 'self' noticing thought. Up until this point I've only noticed the obvious ones. I've somehow managed to still superimpose a self to describe an experience/insight. But what it really is, is more thought about 'self' going undetected'

I went off to an exam, I had anxiety in a crowd of people I didn't know. I noticed myself shaking, noticed myself thinking negatively, tightening down. I wanted to laugh aloud - I was not suffering like I used to despite all that was happening at that moment. I remember thinking 'Did I just fucking did it?' and watching that too. I can remember that day very vividly, almost on a minute to minute basis.

I'll answer more in my next post.

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Re: Wanting help in creating & sustaining momentum

Postby Seek3r » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:55 am

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Please give examples from experience.
It's very difficult to describe these things as I am now. Everything happens on its own, everything falls into place without much effort at all. I don't know how I get to the end of this sentence, I don't know how I manage to type - so much of my existence is a mystery, yet it everything functions perfectly. I can't be responsible for any of it, there's just no way - I'm truly just the continuation of countless things before me.
6) Anything to add?
Nothing :)

I guess this is the end of the inquiry process. I never thought I would be here so soon. Thank you for guiding me Jon, I've been able to shed so much in such a short period of time.

With great appreciation,

Peter


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