Clearing

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:09 am

Hi Stacy!
Is it difficult to focus on the instructions?
Yes, I find it difficult when too many things are written down all at once, especially because English is my second language and I have an other language where I interpret messages. But either way, I want to get clear on this more than ANYTHING, so I rush to get things moving. But I’m slowing down now :-)
I know at times, I've been a bit . . . altered. . . and it can be a bit disorienting when we are clearly seeing through all of this. Is that what is going on?
Definitely disorienting, because up until this point, the only avenue I had was reading spiritual books and videos alone...no direct contact from anyone, no direct questions being asked. So glad I found this avenue and I’m learning to open up, confused and all :-).
Have a look at an apple. When "looking at an apple," there's color; a thought saying "apple;" and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
Looked at an apple. Yes thought is saying, ‘looking at an apple’ ‘this apple looks delicious’.

But what’s 100% true? Thought above appearing, Color appearing, shape appearing, smell when I smelled it, and sensation when I picked it up with my hand.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT "apple?"
No ‘apple’ here. There is nothing ‘separate’ called apple. Only thing available is color and thought about an ‘apple’.
However, is an apple actually known?
The only thing that’s known when looking is only the experience of knowing a round shape object, that is red in color, via seeing, tasting, smelling, sensation, and thought appearing. The object itself doesn’t naturally have ‘apple’ written on it - only thought labels it ‘apple’.

Best,
Alexa

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:18 pm

Good morning!

Thank you. That makes sense. - second language and first time communicating about it. What is your first language?
But I’m slowing down now :-)
Great! That will help. Just be sure to read all the instructions carefully and you'll be fine. It can be tricky, because we have to use language a little differently, also.

It is a pleasure to work with you. I'm gladc you are here, too.

Your replies about "apple" are nearly perfect. Just a couple of little refinements.
The only thing that’s known when looking is only the experience of knowing a round shape object, that is red in color,
What is it that tells you this object is "round?" Or "red?"

Those are also labels, are they not?

Of course, so is "object" and every word in this sentence,, but we're stuck using some kind of language.



Answer that, and I will also give you the next exercise.

Fruit Exercise

Have a piece of fruit handy, or something that you like to eat.

For the first couple of minutes imagine you are eating the fruit…..feel the sensations of chewing, the taste, the texture, the fragrance, hear the crunching sound that the chewing makes. Really enjoy the imaginary piece of fruit as much as you can.

Then for the next couple of minutes actually bite the fruit and see the difference.

Experience the fruit with curiosity and dive into the sensations of chewing, swallowing, the sounds and the taste. Really enjoy the experience of actually eating the piece of fruit.

Then for another minute or so describe the taste and smell in as much detail as possible.

Write about it here. What was the experience like?

After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit
2. Real fruit
3. Description


This will probably be easy. You have already been mentioning similar distinctions.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:42 am

Hi Stacy!!
What is your first language?
Amharic :-) (Ethiopian)
What is it that tells you this object is "round?" Or "red?"

Those are also labels, are they not?
Wow! These questions are amazing - thought tells me it’s round and red. That is a label made by thought, but in experience those labels are not there!!
Have a piece of fruit handy, or something that you like to eat.
Banana
For the first couple of minutes imagine you are eating the fruit…..feel the sensations of chewing, the taste, the texture, the fragrance, hear the crunching sound that the chewing makes. Really enjoy the imaginary piece of fruit as much as you can.
Ok...I closed my eyes to do this and I really imagined touching the banana, biting into it, smelling it and swallowing it. It felt like a movie playing, but more of using my memory to recall how a banana tasted like before. I could almost taste the banana, and felt like I can smell it.
Then for the next couple of minutes actually bite the fruit and see the difference.
I held the banana and took a bite. The actual taste of the banana was full of texture in my mouth - compared to when I imagined it. I could feel the little bumps. I felt the coldness and sogginess against my tongue - when before when I imagined it,
it was like a whisper, not tangible.

The actual smell of the banana felt closer to me, versus when I imagined smelling the banana, I was kind of guessing what it might smell like, using my previous memory of eating a banana. I also noticed the sensation inside my nose, as if I can see the aroma entering my nose.
After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit
2. Real fruit
3. Description
1. Imaginary fruit - a movie playing, a depiction of what the banana might taste, smell, or feel like. No sensory input from banana but only using past experience or memory to create a ‘real experience’, without a banana.

2. Real fruit - swarm of sensations felt. Smell, taste, touch, hearing, all happening at the same time. When actually biting the banana, muscles in my mouth are felt. The tongue was sensing textures and temperature. The nose was smelling the banana and the banana peel. I could hear my jaw moving, teeth moving, and food being swallowed.

3. Description- imaginary and actual eating of the banana were both experiences to me. The first experience was imagined and the second was direct contact experience. I don’t know how else I can describe this other than the directness of all the sensations.

Best,
Alexa

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:14 am

Hi Alexa,
Amharic :-) (Ethiopian)
Thank you. I don't think we have any one guiding in that language, but I was interested to know.

As for the exercise: Yes, good work!

Just one thing, though. On the third question you are asked to describe eating the banana. This is to be compared with imagination and with actually eating.
3. Description- imaginary and actual eating of the banana were both experiences to me. The first experience was imagined and the second was direct contact experience. I don’t know how else I can describe this other than the directness of all the sensations.
I think that was just a language translation problem. Could you please describe eating a banana? Just to complete the exercise.

The point of this exercise is something you already know. We can imagine & we can describe, but it is not the same at all as actually seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling.

Warmly,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:03 pm

Morning!
I think that was just a language translation problem. Could you please describe eating a banana? Just to complete the exercise.
Eating a banana involved direct access to sensations. While eating, I discovered little bumps inside a piece of a banana and sensed the shapes and textures of those bumps. The smell of the banana was just simple, no guessing, the smell was there. There was hearing of the banana being chewed and swallowed. Other sensations were noticed- the jaw moving, teeth grinding, facial muscles moving, and the sensation of food going down the stomach.

It’s actually crazy the differences between eating imaginary and real. I can see how all the sensations register effortlessly- but I needed to pay attention to those sensations to be able to report to you :-).

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:41 pm

Good morning!
Eating a banana involved direct access to sensations.
Yes, direct experience in eating the banana. . . however . . .
While eating, I discovered little bumps inside a piece of a banana and sensed the shapes and textures of those bumps. The smell of the banana was just simple, no guessing, the smell was there. There was hearing of the banana being chewed and swallowed. Other sensations were noticed- the jaw moving, teeth grinding, facial muscles moving, and the sensation of food going down the stomach.
Notice all the labels that are not DE (Direct Experience). That is why it feels more distant than doing.

Bumps, piece, shapes, textures, chewed, swallowed, jaw, moving, teeth, grinding, facial, muscles, moving, food, going, down, stomach.

Every single one of those is what? Just like "red" and "round," aren't they?

Just to notice.

Here is your next exercise. We're moving on to thought.


Finding the Gap

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as
they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to
look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least
10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes
and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.

Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “these are my feet” or “here is a
pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better
things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought
passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a
few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:-

Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as
possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and
just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two
thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.


Have fun!

Sending love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi there!
Every single one of those is what? Just like "red" and "round," aren't they?
I didn’t realize how much I was ADDING to direct experience! Thank you for pointing this out! :-)
Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as
possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and
just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two
thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.
Ok...I did this as much as I could throughout the day yesterday and this morning. I tried to catch thoughts as they came and said to my self, ‘thinking, thinking, and waited until they passed. After a few times, I had a hard time finding a gap. But last night I did the exercise again and in between two thoughts, I noticed nothing.

It was just nothing there - I mean there was darkness since I had my eyes closed but I just saw the darkness. I felt myself inside the darkness. Then a thought came commenting about ‘the darkness’, then I noticed the darkness again.

When I did the excercise this morning, I kept waiting for thinking to start and stop. The thoughts were a sting of sounds that kept being heard, but I detected a small fraction of a second where thoughts stopped, and I’m still there. It was quiet and blank, like seeing the color clear...but thought came back and said something about the quiet.

Best,
Alexa

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:22 pm

Good morning,

Yes! Nearly everything is added on & not DE. We use only six words to describe direct experience. Even those are labels, but we have to communicate somehow.

Actual Experience is

Image/Color or Seeing
Sound or Hearing
Sensation or Feeling/Touching
Taste or Tasting
Smell or Smelling
Thought Arising (but never the content of thought. That is made up and has no reality in Direct Experience or Actual Experience.)


Okay, take a look at this one. .

Sports Exercise

Please note that you will have to check the link when using this exercise, to make sure it is still viable, as sometimes they are removed from Youtube.

The following link is a 7 minute clip of a soccer game. If you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy5pL-myDzw

1. Watch one minute with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in, the whole experience.

2. Once the first minute is completed, now watch another whole minute with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (thought) offers lots of know-how, even advice. It seems to feel as though they can influence, somehow, what is going on, as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome. The commentary may seem to heighten any supporter feelings which are there, and call for an identification with one team or other, and with the importance of the game itself.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary, the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Again notice all the differences in what is appearing as experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.
What did you find when doing this exercise?

Is the commentary on the soccer game a necessity for the play to happen?

And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?



Have fun!

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:54 am

Hey Stacy,
4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.
What did you find when doing this exercise?
This was interesting! I did the excerise like you said...and on step 4, I turned the volume ON and ignored the commentary and noticed it as sound. The sound turns out was part of the whole array of sensations too...image/seeing, and hearing/sound. Although the commentator was talking, I ignored his actual words and only focused on the sound. Very interesting!
Is the commentary on the soccer game a necessity for the play to happen?
Not at all...the players don’t even hear the commentary...they are just playing anyway. They don’t need the commentary to play - commentary is extra, just opinions about the game.
And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
Not at all. Life happens regardless of thought’s comment or opinions. Life doesn’t require thought’s opinions to be life or happen, just as the soccer players continue to play and move with or without the commentary. The inner narration of thought is just that, narration, opinions, suggestions, persuasions...but technically the narration is just sound.

If the viewer of the game agreed or disagreed with the commentator, then that means the viewer took the narration seriously somehow. But if the viewer took the narration as simply sound or just unnecessary commenting, then the viewer will just hear sounds and see the images on the screen...nothing more.

I hope this made sense :-)
Alexa

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:13 am

Hi Alexa,

Yes, perfect sense. I realize these are fairly easy from where you are, but I don't know what helpful piece may show up for you in each one's so let's just keep going.

Observing thoughts

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.

Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?



Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:46 pm

Morning!

This excercise was challenging :-)
Where are they coming from and going to?
I have no idea where thoughts are coming from or going. It feels like from no where. It also feels like from my head, but where exactly from my head, I don’t know.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
I did nothing. These thoughts appeared randomly, automatically. I didn’t do anything to make a thought appear or disappear.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No. I can’t do anything about it. If I were to make a different thought appear at the exact moment, it would mean I can control the thoughts, which I clearly can’t.
Can you predict your next thought?
No. I tried, for curiosity. And all I got was more thoughts about guessing the next thought. I can’t predict the next thought because I can’t control thoughts..they are free.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
I tried to focus on positive thoughts for this part of the activity, and it felt good at first but there were thoughts that covered it up with a negative tone. The negative thoughts seemed to be stuck on me for a while. Both positive and negative are still thoughts. Since they’re all thoughts anyway, and I can’t control them, even if I wanted to...no I can’t select which thoughts to have.
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
I can’t choose any thoughts, who can actually choose? They appear without me anyway.

**While I’m writing this, I remembered what you said about ‘round’, ‘red’ object referring to the ‘apple’.

Side Question - Isn’t saying a thought is ‘painful’, ‘negative’, ‘fearful’, also labeling a thought? So all thoughts are just thoughts...they don’t need labels?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No, I can’t pick and choose any thought. I don’t know where it comes from, where it goes, can’t control when it comes or what thought it will be. It does feel though some thoughts are pleasant - which feels like I want to keep those thoughts, but I can’t even if I wanted to.

The unpleasant thoughts felt sticky, like I wanted to figure out what they are saying, which led to some more thoughts about them. I know I can’t contol thoughts, but the unpleasant thoughts felt like I had a responsibility to fix them, to figure them out, hoping they can turn into positive thoughts :-). This was the challenging part for me.

Eventually I remembered to ignore what the thoughts were saying and watch them for the direct experience that they actually are. Thoughts are just thoughts. The ‘comments’ they are making is ADDINg to direct experience.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No...thoughts are free. The way to prevent a thought from appearing is to be the thought itself, which I don’t even know where it comes from or where it’s going or what it will say. I can’t control any thought, I can’t prevent a thought from appearing, it would be too late after the fact.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
It seems like it has a sequence, but this is another thought commenting on the previous thought, which is more thought? If 2 thoughts can see each other and talk to each other, they are having a face to face conversation. But they are there without my control anyway. I feel like the only way to even decide if thoughts have any order in their commentary is to be fully involved in what they’re saying, which is basically being involved in the soccer commentator’s words.

Thank you for reading, hope this made sense!
Alexa

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Anastacia42
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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi Alexa!

Working with you is such a joy.

There are people who show up here struggling with sense of self, with the difference between thought arising and the content of thought, and with the ideas of decision, control, free will and intention - which is another kind of fun, speaking of labels. You have done so much work on your own this past year that you're very clear.

Yes! Your answers line up completely with Direct/Actual experience.
I know I can’t contol thoughts, but the unpleasant thoughts felt like I had a responsibility to fix them, to figure them out, hoping they can turn into positive thoughts :-). This was the challenging part for me.
Yes, a lot of our culture is based on the idea that we can change or improve. It was fabulous when I finally was no longer a self improvement project. Now I have a ton of free time.
**While I’m writing this, I remembered what you said about ‘round’, ‘red’ object referring to the ‘apple’.

Side Question - Isn’t saying a thought is ‘painful’, ‘negative’, ‘fearful’, also labeling a thought? So all thoughts are just thoughts...they don’t need labels?
Yes! Exactly right. Well, I guess we can skip that exercise. You've gone ahead on your own. Perfect.

There is an exercise where we compare the labels of "friend" and "stranger." And another where the letters appear red, but the word is "GREEN" where we look at whether or not the label changes the experience.

Seems like you can SEE that those, also, are just labels. Right?

Let's see, what to do next?

Doership Exercise

Although you see that there is no noticer/ observer/ witness, there may still be the feeling of identification of being the ‘doer’. That it still ‘feels’ like there is a self that is the ‘chooser’.

So let’s have a look at this as it has to do with the sense of seeing.

Take a few relaxed breaths to let the dust settle for a while, and then:

Look on your right.
Then look on your left.

Finally, bring your head back to centre, close your eyes and look in front.

Okay, so when you look on the right, the view on the right is seen (whatever that is).

When you look on the left, the view on the left is seen (whatever that is).

And then, when you look in front of you with eyes closed, the view in front is seen (ie ‘black space’).

So, when the view on the right is seen, do you have the ‘choice’ not to see? I’m not asking can you ‘choose’ to see something else like another view or ‘black space’ if you close your eyes.

The question is: can you turn seeing off? Can you NOT see what is seen?

Same thing with the view on the left, can you NOT see the view on the left?

Same thing with the view in front with closed eyes, can you NOT see the ‘black space’?

Can you turn off seeing?

What did the 'chooser' choose? Did a 'self' choose something?

If you are unable to choose what you're aware of, then what else is there to choose?


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:12 am

Stacy,

You have no idea how much I’m enjoying talking with you! I feel so much relief, I don’t feel that crazy anymore!
There is an exercise where we compare the labels of "friend" and "stranger." And another where the letters appear red, but the word is "GREEN" where we look at whether or not the label changes the experience.

Seems like you can SEE that those, also, are just labels. Right?
Yes, just labels. Anyone can label anything, anything they want. But it won’t change the natural thing that is labeled.
So, when the view on the right is seen, do you have the ‘choice’ not to see? I’m not asking can you ‘choose’ to see something else like another view or ‘black space’ if you close your eyes.

The question is: can you turn seeing off? Can you NOT see what is seen?
No, I can’t turn seeing off. I cannot not see what is seen. Actually, I just realized that what I see is the eyes seeing. Without labeling any objects that I see, I just see, seeing.
Same thing with the view in front with closed eyes, can you NOT see the ‘black space’?
I cannot NOT see the black space. Even though there are no ‘objects’, I still cannot NOT see...I can’t turn seeing off.
What did the 'chooser' choose? Did a 'self' choose something?
A chooser? How could there be a chooser if I can’t turn seeing off? It feels like something chose to turn head to the right or left. Did the choice happen by itself too, like seeing happens by itself?

Did a ‘self’ choose something? It feels like something chose to turn the head left and right, but no chooser to turn seeing off. If I can’t turn seeing off, then I can’t choose anything either.
If you are unable to choose what you're aware of, then what else is there to choose?
Interesting! There is nothing else to choose, the choice is already made. I just happen to see the result of the ‘choice’ but I don’t choose.

This is a little uncomfortable though :-). So who or what makes choices? Is it just a human thing where we feel like we make the choices but its just a feeling that we can make choices?

Best,
Alexa

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Re: Clearing

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:53 am

Good morning!
You have no idea how much I’m enjoying talking with you! I feel so much relief, I don’t feel that crazy anymore!
Yes. Isn't it funny how seeing what really is and being sane feels crazy because so few people do it?
This is a little uncomfortable though :-). So who or what makes choices? Is it just a human thing where we feel like we make the choices but its just a feeling that we can make choices?
Remember the 6 things that are Actual Experience? This is just thought arising. A story a mind makes up we believe... Or not. You are correct. No one makes choices. There is no one to make choices.

Is it just a human thing? No idea what anything else may experience.
Without labeling any objects that I see, I just see, seeing.
Yes! "just seeing." Let's do this one.


Mind labelling experience

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation ie is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.

For example:

I am sitting on a chair, I am hearing a clock ticking, I am looking at a computer screen, I am feeling hungry. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs.

For example: sitting on a chair, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing the clock. (Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

Please share your lists here.

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labeled and answer the following four questions:


1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?

2. What is here without labels?

3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

4. Did you notice any differences in the body? Check.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Alexa
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Re: Clearing

Postby Alexa » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:33 am

Hi there!

So helpful:-)
Is it just a human thing? No idea what anything else may experience.
This made me laugh out loud!
Please share your lists here.
I am sitting on sofa
I can hear the heater
I feel an ache in my stomach
I am looking at my phone
I am typing
I can see my coffee
I have a knot in my chest
I am thinking about work
I can feel the sensation in my feet
I can see my clothes
I can taste the coffee
I am drinking coffee
I am breathing
I can feel my heartbeat
I can hear my heartbeat
I am thinking about work
I feel an itch on my neck
I feel an itch on my eyebrow
I am scratching my neck
I feel soreness in my throat
I can hear thoughts commenting
I Am looking at a picture of my kids
I am breathing
I am blinking
I am drinking coffee
I am looking at the clock
I am feeling sweat on my palms


Feeling sweat
Hearing beep
Seeing phone
Feeling sensation on back of head
Tasting coffee
Drinking coffee
Looking at phone
Thinking about kids
Thinking about work
Typing
Blinking
Hearing heartbeat
Seeing coffee mug
Feeling cramp
Hearing something
Itching eye
Breathing
Thinking
Hearing
Looking at floor
Itching leg
Looking at clothes
Looking out window
Hearing breathing
Looking at clock
Feeling feet
Feeling chest
Sitting
Feeling
Hearing footsteps
Thinking
Worrying
Itching scalp
Drinking coffee
Taking deep breath
Thinking about someone at work
Feeling
Anticipating
Planning
Worrying
Sweating
Listening
Loving
Thanking
Wanting
Seeing the floor
Breathing
Sitting
Looking
Hearing
Breathing
Feeling
Tasting
Thinking
Worrying
Thinking
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
The list without the ‘I’ is truer, there is no one doing any of those things.
2. What is here without labels?
I don’t think I understand this question:-). Without labels, it’s just things happening - hearing, feeling, sitting, drinking, looking...without adding the ‘I’ who claims to do them. Another way I understood this question...what is here is just things happening by themselves, no one to make them happen, no one to do them.
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
The labels ‘I am drinking’ for example is describing what’s happening but it won’t affect what’s happening. It seems like the ‘I am’ drinking comes AFTER the fact of drinking. Drinking happens first, then ‘I am’ doing the drinking comes next...but it’s not true.
4. Did you notice any differences in the body? Check.
The first 10 minutes of describing using ‘I’ felt familiar. But the body felt constricted because it was following something to do, waiting for something to happen.

The 10 minutes without using ‘I’ felt distant, airy. There was a sense of distance, no personal coloring of what was happening. At this point, I felt like the only responsibility I had was to report what was happening instead of claiming ‘I’ was doing anything.

I also sensed a tug of war, thoughts saying ‘this is too simple’. ‘You can’t do anything without the ‘I’.

Best,
Alexa


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