Die before you die

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Rachszk
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Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:22 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the self or 'me' does not actually exist as a specific or separate entity. When I look I cannot find this me or the doer. I see actions and thoughts and I have looked many times and I know these thoughts simply arise I know decisions are made but there is a felt sense of a me which I cannot shake.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to be free from the fear of death. To be honest I sought liberation enlightenment etc.. for over twenty years. About six months ago I gave up. There was no more interest, I just figured it wasn't for me. I got on with life. In a way this as a positive thing, I was finally able in many ways to accept life on its own terms, awakening I realised had been driven to some degree by a desire to escape my humanity and many of the difficult realities of life. But the question of 'who am I' always hung around at the back of my mind. But more recently my mind has been thinking about death and the end of my existence. And the thought brings me deeper into the present moment but fills me sadness and fear. I think of the words 'to die before you die', and I wonder if really seeing through the illusion of me, will bring some peace.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I feel bad saying this but I struggle to believe that I can see that there is no 'me'. I would like to see the spell broken, in the hopes that I can see the truth and find some peace. But maybe it won't bring peace and thats fine too.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
As said twenty years + reading, meditation, videos etc.. Adyashanti, mooji, tolle, and loads of other teachers, frequent visits to the Buddhist temple to meditate.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:39 am

Hi Rachshzk,

How can I call you?


My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self', though I can only point the way. You have to 'see' it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

You and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no such entity as a 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

This process is essentially an extension of your own inquiry. It is 'guided' so that specific areas may be examined.
I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:02 pm

How can I call you?
[
Rachel

And before I answer the questions I just want to say 'thank you'.
How will Life change?
I'm not really sure.
How will you change?
I don't know. Maybe I would not be afraid of death?
What will be different?
I won't wonder 'who am I?' anymore.


What is missing?
I I know the above answers are not very detailed but as I said I have been seeking for a very long time. And a lot of that was driven by hopes and expectations of what Awakening or enlightenment would be like. I expected my life would change on the material level. I believed that I would find peace and happiness and that I would become a better person. I think I always thought that Awakening or recognising who I was would in some way add to myself and give me a better quality of life. now the only thing I can honestly say is I don't really know what my life would be like or what I would be like if I saw the truth of no self. Perhaps there is just one hope or expectation that maybe I will not feel afraid of death. With regards to what is missing, again I do not know. There is a restlessness inside of me I constantly look for the next thing that I believe will make me happy, and if I am able to get it, then for a bit I am happy, i am at peace for a little while. But then the cycle starts again and I don't really see an end to it. Sometimes I think even if I could have the most perfect life I could imagine, or be given everything I think I would ever want, I would still feel, this sense of discomfort and unrest at my core which sounds incredibly ungrateful, but it is something that I sense but cannot put into words or explain why. So it is a feeling that something is not quite right, it's a sort of restlessness, that ultimately does not know what it is looking for.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:26 am

Hi Rachel,
And before I answer the questions I just want to say 'thank you'.
You’re welcome :)
Perhaps there is just one hope or expectation that maybe I will not feel afraid of death.
This might or might not happen. It could happen, since when it’s seen that the self is nothing else but a fiction, then it also gets clear that there is nothing to die. Since there has never been an inherently existing self, it cannot die either. However, self-clinging thoughts still can arise out of a lifetime long conditioning, so the thought of fear of death might still appear. But upon further investigation, it can be seen that there is nothing inside the body that could die when the body reached its end.
There is a restlessness inside of me I constantly look for the next thing that I believe will make me happy, and if I am able to get it, then for a bit I am happy, i am at peace for a little while. But then the cycle starts again and I don't really see an end to it.
Welcome to the human existence :) This is the experience of almost all humans, since this restlessness is the nature of the self. The self can never be at peace. The self wants to be happy, but it’s impossible. Since the perceived unhappiness comes from the constant fabrication of the notion of self. If the self wouldn’t be taken so seriously the natural state of ease and peace and contentment would be recognized. But as long there is a pursue for happiness on behalf of the self, it cannot happen. Since the belief in an inherently existing self and the clinking that comes with it is the source of all sorts of suffering.
Sometimes I think even if I could have the most perfect life I could imagine, or be given everything I think I would ever want, I would still feel, this sense of discomfort and unrest at my core…
….So it is a feeling that something is not quite right, it's a sort of restlessness, that ultimately does not know what it is looking for.
Yes. And what is it that is not quite right? That we believe in something that is not inherently exist. We fabricate a conceptual layover onto the experience, and believe that this fabricated layover is reality itself. We fabricate a whole story about experiences happening to this self.

Before starting our investigation, please report what came up reading the comments above.
Was there any resistance to any of it?



So, what we are going to do is that I’ll give you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

The first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:33 pm

Before starting our investigation, please report what came up reading the comments above.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
No resistance. There is some anxiety around the idea of seeing the non existence of a 'me'.
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, but this feels like a loosely held idea. Because the sense of 'i' does not appear to to have any reality as an entity anywhere. So for descriptive purposes I would agree with your statement. But to stop and look and find the personal me in or as this person is something that seems to be mysterious or elusive.
What does the word 'I' point to?
'i' is a feeling in my body, mostly my chest. All I can say is when I look for 'i' mainly my attention goes to a feeling of solidity inside my chest mainly, or I become aware of looking through my eyes. I recognise that when I feel a sense of 'i' this is just a feeling in my body, and I am conscious that it cannot be 'me' because then there would be two me's, the one inside my chest and the one who knows or acknowledges the feeling inside my chest. If I am looking through my eyes, then I feel as if 'i' am looking through my eyes but the 'i' is nothing or awareness.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
The fact that I feel as if I control some of my movements. But again if i really sit with this I see the movement happening but can't find a 'me' doing the action. It is as if there is something between the thought or desire to pick up a cup, and the actual picking up of the cup and I say that is 'me' I am picking up the cup. But everytime I try to 'trace it back' as it were, to find the root of either a decision or an action I just find, I can't find this me. But still I seem to cling to the idea that there must be a me because otherwise how is this all happening?
What makes this body ‘you’

I'm not sure I believe this body is me. When I sit and bring my awareness to any body part I cannot find a 'me'. I just feel like my body is here and I experience parts of it.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:06 am

Hi Rachel,
There is some anxiety around the idea of seeing the non existence of a 'me'.
Thank you for sharing this. Anxiety implies fear. And fear is a protective mechanism. It means that there is a belief or story about pain or negative consequences to seeing the illusion of the self. And the fear tries to protect you from these supposed negative consequences.

So what is this fear or anxiety about? What is it saying?
I recognise that when I feel a sense of 'i' this is just a feeling in my body, and I am conscious that it cannot be 'me' because then there would be two me's, the one inside my chest and the one who knows or acknowledges the feeling inside my chest.
Yes, exactly! Nice looking.
The fact that I feel as if I control some of my movements. But again if i really sit with this I see the movement happening but can't find a 'me' doing the action. It is as if there is something between the thought or desire to pick up a cup, and the actual picking up of the cup and I say that is 'me' I am picking up the cup. But everytime I try to 'trace it back' as it were, to find the root of either a decision or an action I just find, I can't find this me.
We will investigate control later, but you’re definitely on track.
But still I seem to cling to the idea that there must be a me because otherwise how is this all happening?
Who wants to know the answer to this question?
To whom is this important?


Since the whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts, let’s have a look on them. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Try to answer them only from direct experience, and leave aside all intellectual interpretation or understanding. Take your time.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:29 pm

[quoteSo what is this fear or anxiety about? What is it saying?][/quote]

Hi again and thanks for the time your putting in to reply to my posts.

Part of my seeking was to find some reassurance around the idea of death, or some hope of an afterlife. Now i just don't know and non-existence the total end of being/knowing has to be a possibility. And even though i know if that is true then I won't know anything about it. But the thought of it makes me feel sad and anxious. Even though life can be hard and struggle still I don't want it to end. So if there's no me, then there's no me to survive death. So to me facing 'no me' actually feels like facing death (maybe i'm being too dramatic). Because then that's it, the me is seen to be an illusion, non-existent, I suppose it hasn't died but has been seen to never exist and what remains, my body, thoughts, emotions all happening, they will drop when the body or mind gives out. I feel a sense of meaninglessness. But I am also aware that this is from the viewpoint of a separate self or a me, I believe to be here, so perhaps upon seeing this no-self, then this anxiety or sense of meaningless will no longer arise, perhaps?
But still I seem to cling to the idea that there must be a me because otherwise how is this all happening?
Who wants to know the answer to this question?
To whom is this important?
Me, Rachel.
Where do thoughts come from?
I don't know mostly they just seem to happen. If i trace them back it feels like they come out of nowhere (they could be coming from my brain but I don't know), but' 'i certainly don't cause their origin, and even deliberate thought, if i'm planning, it just feels like the decision to say plan a day trip arises, then there is a gap and a plan or fancy arises, like thoughts just follow on or beget one another, in between thoughts there is a gap, but i give the thoughts my full attention,and it produces a me feeling and then i would say 'i am thinking about where to go on my day off'.
Where are they going?
To silence.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
I can stop thinking for a very short time if I concentrate. Sorry I'm not sure i understand this question?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No, not at all.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
I wish i could! No. But sometimes I will try to argue with negative thoughts, but again i almost see this as a knock on reaction. I have a negative thought, then another thought comes, like 'that's not very nice' etc.. but if i look closely the thoughts are happening one after another, due to conditioning or circumstances. Again it feels like my attention goes to these thoughts and then I just automatically say 'i'm thinking negative thoughts' when really i know that negative thinking is happening, so it seems there is something about where my attention goes to when i think a thought or feel an emotion and this gets translated into 'me' or it takes ownership. But i don't really know what attention is either, a strong focal point. which 'i' can't control. The focus moves around my body or hones in on thoughts.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
Right now, i feel like thoughts are happening, i am aware or focused on the thoughts, and the focal point has a feeling of 'me' to it.

Sorry i feel i am struggling a little to focus on the questions, I am going to leave this for now as I feel i need to sit with what i have realised for a bit. I will try to finish the rest of the questions later this evening, but if i do no I will come back to them tomorrow. Thank you, Rachel.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:32 am

Hi Rachel,

I thought it’s better if I don’t wait for you to finish answering the questions, rather I address to notion of death, because it seems to be important for you.
Part of my seeking was to find some reassurance around the idea of death, or some hope of an afterlife.
Probably no amount of seeking could give a definitive answer to this question. Even in Buddhism, which ‘promotes’ the notion of rebirth, there is a serious contradiction and disagreement between different branches.

You say that if there is no self then there cannot be an afterlife. And this is what some Buddhist traditions say too, that since there is no agency hidden inside the body, therefore there is nothing that could reborn. But teachers of other branches say that although the personal self, the whole story of me is a fiction, and that cannot reborn since that has never been there, the consciousness or the awareness which manifests through each body-mind can reborn in some way. And there is even a third view, that even consciousness or awareness is not an entity of itself, so that cannot reborn either.
So, if there is no self, we still cannot say for sure that there is nothing after the death. But even if the notion of the existent of a separate self were true, still there is no guaranty that there is anything after death.

According to certain texts, at the time of the Buddha, this was a hot topic, and lots of seekers went to the Buddha asking about death, rebirth or afterlife. And almost all cases the Buddha refused to answer to these questions and he said that it’s a waste of time to speculate on this. He said that both views that (1) we would exist after death, and that (2) we would cease to exist after death are wrong and none of them are true.

I personally also have/had a fear of death and also wanted to have some existence after death. But I realized two things. One is that it’s doesn’t matter what happens after death, the only thing that matters is what happens while I’m alive. And if the trying to figure it out is accompanied by fear, then ‘I’ create my suffering right here, right now, while I’m alive.
Secondly, the fear of death arises only on behalf of the separate self. Speculating and fearing death is nothing else than a conditioned thought and emotional pattern. It’s a belief. And whenever this pattern arises, it always comes with the notion of the self. Actually, this a clever way to keep the sense of self ‘alive’ or active even after the no self has been seen clearly. So the solution is to see how this pattern of thoughts and accompanying emotions arise on behalf of the self, welded together into a thick bundle. Then separating this bundle into its components (like thoughts and sensations) and investigate them one-by-one, seeing them for what they are and that there is no self hiding in them. And then both the sense of self and the fear of death evaporates. But there is no guarantee that they won’t appear again and again (even after seeing no self), since this a conditioned thought patter. But with each looking this pattern gets weaker and weaker and at some point it stops emerging.

And by the way, both notion, that there is nothing after death, or there is some continuity after death are just beliefs. Nothing else. Just the content of thoughts, which are never real. Since a thought as a ‘container’ is real, but what the thought is about (the content), is just a fiction. But this is a topic that we would investigate later among many others.

Could you please comment on what came up while you read my reply?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:23 pm

Could you please comment on what came up while you read my reply?
Yes I agree, I read your post this morning and have had the day to reflect on this issue. I have clung to the story/ pattern in the hope of finding a solution. Accepting that I cannot know and that the end of my existence could be a reality still creates feeling of Sadness and mild anxiety. At some point in this story there will usually be a feeling of resignation but then at a future date the thoughts and feelings arise again and I indulge them. So I think the best thing to do is accept the fact a, this body for sure will die and b, I don't know what will happen, and c, it could be total non existense. But I suppose I don'tt have to indulge the story but could infact use this conditioning to try and see the truth of no self. I'll try to answer the rest of the questions you left for me yesterday.
What is the thinker of thoughts?
I don't know?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
I think I see what you mean. The 'i' thought, as in 'I am thinking', that too is just a thought but what does it point to where is the 'i'?

[quoteDo you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?][/quote]

Am I just being thought? Like are my thoughts creating a sense of me? If I is just a thought that I believe stands for something solid or real. Yes 'i' is a thought but like a lot of words it points or represent something. So the I thought isn't me it's a thought that represents me. It does just arise, I cannot control it. But I can't see or find what it points to. It's frustrating, mentally I can see what your saying but it's like something just isn't clicking.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:59 pm

Hi Rachel,
It's frustrating, mentally I can see what your saying but it's like something just isn't clicking.
Please be patient with yourself. We will do the investigation as long as it takes. There is no rush, we have plenty of time. And we will investigate the topic very thoroughly, not leaving any stone unturned.
sometimes I will try to argue with negative thoughts, but again i almost see this as a knock on reaction. I have a negative thought, then another thought comes, like 'that's not very nice' etc.. but if i look closely the thoughts are happening one after another, due to conditioning or circumstances. Again it feels like my attention goes to these thoughts and then I just automatically say 'i'm thinking negative thoughts' when really i know that negative thinking is happening, so it seems there is something about where my attention goes to when i think a thought or feel an emotion and this gets translated into 'me' or it takes ownership. But i don't really know what attention is either, a strong focal point. which 'i' can't control. The focus moves around my body or hones in on thoughts.
This was a very nice looking.
V: Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
R: I can stop thinking for a very short time if I concentrate.
What is it exactly that is doing the stopping (of thinking)?
Try to find the thing that is doing the concentration. What is it exactly?
Right now, i feel like thoughts are happening, i am aware or focused on the thoughts, and the focal point has a feeling of 'me' to it.
The feeling is nothing else than a sensation, with a thought label ‘it’s me’. We will investigate this feeling of a focal point of me later.
V: What is the thinker of thoughts?
R: I don't know?
What if there is no thinker of thoughts?
V: Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
R: I think I see what you mean. The 'i' thought, as in 'I am thinking', that too is just a thought but what does it point to where is the 'i'?
Exactly! This is what we try to find out. So the ‘I’ is just a thought. And the question is whether this thought points to something in reality.
Am I just being thought? Like are my thoughts creating a sense of me?
Very-very good questions. This is what our whole investigation will be about.
If I is just a thought that I believe stands for something solid or real. Yes 'i' is a thought but like a lot of words it points or represent something. So the I thought isn't me it's a thought that represents me.
Exactly! Usually, thoughts point to something real. But does all thoughts point to something that really exist?

Let’s look at the word ‘university’. What does the word ‘university’ points to?
Is the building itself the university, or the building just building?
Are the teachers the university, or are those just people?
Are the students the university, or are they just people too?
Is the curriculum the university, or that’s just the curriculum?
Are the tables and desks and board the university, or are those just furniture?
Is the certificate of degree is the university, or is it just a piece of paper?
Where is the university exactly?

Does the word ‘university’ point to something real?
Or is it just a notion?
And what about the ‘I’?
I have clung to the story/ pattern in the hope of finding a solution.
I’ll reply to the topic of death a bit differently, from a different point of view this time.

“I have clung to the story/ pattern” – there might be clinging going on, but there is nothing there doing it. Clinging happens, without a doer. So not just the topic of death is story (conditioned chain of thoughts), but the clinging to the topic of death is also just a story, just a conditioned sequence of thought accompanied with bodily sensation, which are labelled as ‘fear’ or ‘anxiety’.
Can you entertain the possibility that this might be the case?
Accepting that I cannot know and that the end of my existence could be a reality still creates feeling of Sadness and mild anxiety.
“accepting that I cannot know” – where is the one exactly that could or could not know? – find the location
“end of my existence” – where is the one located exactly that could have an end to its existence?
At some point in this story there will usually be a feeling of resignation but then at a future date the thoughts and feelings arise again and I indulge them.
“and I indulge them” – what is it exactly that is doing the indulging?
Is there a doer doing the indulging or rather indulging just happens?
So I think the best thing to do is accept the fact a, this body for sure will die and b, I don't know what will happen, and c, it could be total non existense.
The one that fears of its non-existence is ALREADY NON-EXISTENT! It's never been there. It's always only been an illusion, a fantasy.
LOOK! There are ONLY THOUGHTS about MY existence or non-existence.
Where is this thing, called me, is actually located?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:47 pm

What is it exactly that is doing the stopping (of thinking)?
Try to find the thing that is doing the concentration. What is it exactly?
]

It's nothing. I can't find anything doing the concentrating. Just a sensation of focusing / or concentrating in my body.
What if there is no thinker of thoughts?
I have never found one. But shifting from intellectual knowledge to experiential or direct knowing seems not particularly easy.
Does the word ‘university’ point to something real?
Or is it just a notion?
And what about the ‘I’?
I stands for a combination of body, thoughts, sensations and emotions. So it's a label for the movements of these energies, it doesn't actually stand for any one thing or any particular entity or part.
Can you entertain the possibility that this might be the case?
That clinging is also just another thought pattern creating emotions, definitely, yes there are other thoughts around this thought, I can see that, 'i have too..' or 'i can't let go...' thoughts follow the initial thought, creating sensations. All the thoughts are arising in space. A clinging thought carries with it a stronger emotion. But yes I can see it is just a thought.
accepting that I cannot know” – where is the one exactly that could or could not know? – find the location
“end of my existence” – where is the one located exactly that could have an end to its existence?
Nowhere.
Where is this thing, called me, is actually located?
Nowhere. I cannot find a me. There is thought, emotion, and a focal point, and awareness / space. There is awareness of a thought . Another thought arises that says 'I am thinking'..but that 'i' is also just a thought. But something knows the 'i' thought. The Knower or awareness, but this feels like space or nothing. The mind also labels this as 'i', perhaps in a way it is,as all the things that feel like 'i' such as thought, body , emotion, focal point and awareness all create the experience of a person. But broken down these are all parts or pieces like a jig saw. So 'i' stands for all the parts as a whole or in conversation you can use it to point to the individual parts, e.g. I am happy, which points to an emotion, but it doesn't actually stand for a thinker of thoughts because there isn't one. I'm not sure if I am understanding this correctly, but it is difficult to see why I can see this intellectually, but not really know this experientially.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:32 am

Hi Rachel,
It's nothing. I can't find anything doing the concentrating. Just a sensation of focusing / or concentrating in my body.
So, is it possible that concentration is happening, but nothing is doing it?
‘Just sensation of focusing’ – so there is the sensation appearing, a thought label it as ‘focusing’ or ‘concentrating’. Can you see it?
V: What if there is no thinker of thoughts?
R: I have never found one. But shifting from intellectual knowledge to experiential or direct knowing seems not particularly easy.
When the thinker cannot be found, isn’t it experiential?
If the thinker has never been found, what makes it only intellectual?
I stands for a combination of body, thoughts, sensations and emotions. So it's a label for the movements of these energies, it doesn't actually stand for any one thing or any particular entity or part.
If you can see this, then what makes it feel only intellectual?
That clinging is also just another thought pattern creating emotions, definitely, yes there are other thoughts around this thought, I can see that, 'i have too..' or 'i can't let go...' thoughts follow the initial thought, creating sensations. All the thoughts are arising in space. A clinging thought carries with it a stronger emotion. But yes I can see it is just a thought.
If you can see this, then this is not just intellectual. What do you expect to be different?
There is awareness of a thought . Another thought arises that says 'I am thinking'..but that 'i' is also just a thought. But something knows the 'i' thought. The Knower or awareness, but this feels like space or nothing.
We will investigate awareness later. But if it’s seen that awareness is nothing, then it’s also coming from the actual experience. Since awareness as such cannot be found either. It SEEMS as if it’s there, but actually when looking happens, there is nothing there.
But broken down these are all parts or pieces like a jig saw. So 'i' stands for all the parts as a whole or in conversation you can use it to point to the individual parts, e.g. I am happy, which points to an emotion, but it doesn't actually stand for a thinker of thoughts because there isn't one.
Exactly! This is also coming from looking.
I'm not sure if I am understanding this correctly, but it is difficult to see why I can see this intellectually, but not really know this experientially.
It seems that there is some hidden expectation here. There is a belief that how seeing it should look like. And then there is a comparison between the experience and the expectation and with the result that ‘it’s not what I’m looking for’.

So what is the expectation?
--
Here is an interesting exercise.
Go and make a cup of tea or coffee. As you do this notice whether a 'self' does it. Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of going to the kettle, switching it on, getting the cup (etc) when 'you' control the process?

How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:16 pm

[what is the expectation?
quote]

sorry I hope you don't mind if I answer this question first and I will answer all the others but this one jumped out to me. I am expecting to know there is no me as convincingly as if I were to look at the window and see the sun shining and know that the sun is shining. But at the moment I feel like I keep looking and I see that I cannot find a me there is, Sensation, thought etc but something keeps saying this is me and so I keep feeling like there is a personal me a doer/ thinker. So I did not have time to answer the questions this morning after I read your replies but I kept in mind the coffee exercise you asked me to do and thought I will do this at some time in the day and see what happens so ........

[quote How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?]
..... After I came home from work I sat down to drink a cup of coffee. And observe the experience. I could not find a me as I raise my arm to drink to drink my coffee there was just a moment when the urge arrived to lift my arm. In fact it felt as if everything was just happening spontaneously. But my mind kept coming in and wanted to narrate what was happening, "I am lifting my arm, I cannot find a me who is lifting the arm it seems to happen spontaneously from an energetic urge/force..." So here I found another sense of me in the narrator or the Observer. So again I looked at the narrator the thoughts are just, arising including the eye or me thought. So again I I took another step back from the narrator to find the Knower of thoughts. With the recognition but no one was taking a step back again this was just another thought I will take a step back and look at the Knower Aand a spontaneous change of Focus or attention . At this point I can only say that the knower is something I cannot experience that somehow even that I try to label as me. It's like the I shapeshifts and when I do not see it in one place it's sneakily pops up in another. So going back to the knower is it really me but then I cannot find the knower either it's like knowing just is.

[quoteSo, is it possible that concentration is happening, but nothing is doing it?
‘Just sensation of focusing’ – so there is the sensation appearing, a thought label it as ‘focusing’ or ‘concentrating’. Can you see it?][/quote]

Yes, and then there is the question again, what kknows concentration? Concentration seems to happen either spontaneously or following the thought I must concentrate, But even if it follows the thought it's still just hhappenens. But I am aware of the focal Point. So what is aware of the focal point? My mind quickly says me again. But direct experience says awareness just is.
[When the thinker cannot be found, isn’t it experiential?
If the thinker has never been found, what makes it only intellectual?/quote]

Yes I suppose it is. I didn't realise that. So how is it I can keep seeing the same thing over and over again, no me, no doer, no thinker, but still not feel convinced?
If you can see this, then what makes it feel only intellectual?
I think it's because if I really knew, as clear as I know I have a nose and two eyes , I don't walk around believing I have two noses and one eye and running back to the mirror every five minutes trying to convince myself that I do in fact have two eyes etc.. but I feel I keep looking, I see no me, but thenn I spend the day taking everything so personally, and I believe this creates a lot of suffering. But having said that as I sit here writing this somehow the belief doesn't feel quite so strong, I think I will have to sit with this a little and see where it goes. I will let you know tomorrow, thanks Rachel

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Rachszk
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Rachszk » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:19 pm

Really sorry about the layout of my previous post apologies I'm replying on a tablet and it's very tricky to copy and paste, I should have previewed it. Hope it's not too difficult to decipher.

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Vivien
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Re: Die before you die

Postby Vivien » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:00 am

Hi Rachel,

You did a very nice looking :)
but I feel I keep looking, I see no me, but thenn I spend the day taking everything so personally, and I believe this creates a lot of suffering. But having said that as I sit here writing this somehow the belief doesn't feel quite so strong,
There are lots of misunderstanding about awakening out there. In Buddhism, they describe the process of awakening in four stages. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage, called Arahantship. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

Here at Liberation Unleashed we guide to stream entry. But for many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again. But this is not the case. Due to a lifetime of conditioning, self-constructs still arise out of habit. It needs time and lots of further looking for it to gradually dissolve. But even this dissolution can never be 100%, since in order to exist on this planet, we need to have some sort of sense of self. That here ends my body and there starts the food on the spoon which needs to be put inside this mouth and not someone else’s mouth.

Suffering happens when being lost in thoughts happens. It means that the thoughts in that moment are not seen only as arising thoughts (only as ‘containers’ coming and going), but rather they ‘content’, what they are about is taken as reality. And of course, since each thought is about the self, the self is taken as something real. And this, let’s call ‘delusion’ still can happen even after seeing the illusion of the self. But when it’s investigated, it can be seen for what it is. But there is no guaranty that in the next moment the story of a self won’t reassert itself. It’s a habit of the mind. It’s a conditioned pattern of thinking. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.
I could not find a me as I raise my arm to drink to drink my coffee there was just a moment when the urge arrived to lift my arm. In fact it felt as if everything was just happening spontaneously. But my mind kept coming in and wanted to narrate what was happening, "I am lifting my arm, I cannot find a me who is lifting the arm it seems to happen spontaneously from an energetic urge/force..."
Exactly. Although it’s been seen that raising the arm just happened spontaneously, the narrating ‘mind’, which is about the self, claims that it was her doing.

This is what I was talking about above. So although it’s clear that things just happen without a doer, thoughts about a doer still arise as a result of conditioning. But when it looked at, it can be seen that there is no doer.
So here I found another sense of me in the narrator or the Observer.
OK, let’s separate the two, the narrator and the observer. The observer can be called as awareness. And the narrator is just thoughts popping up on behalf of the self. The inner narrator is always about the self. That’s it’s job. And after seeing no self, the narration still goes on. But upon looking, it can be seen for what it is. Just thoughts popping up. Nothing else. Nothing serious.
It's like the I shapeshifts and when I do not see it in one place it's sneakily pops up in another.
Exactly. This is the nature of the self. When there is an investigation to find the self, it just moving or jumping from one place to another. Since it’s seen that there is no self in the thoughts, the illusion jumps (let’s say) to the eyes. If the sensations of the eyes are seen for what they are, only sensations, without any self being inside them, the illusion of the self could jump to the chest as a feeling… and it goes round and round and round. This is what we call the ‘sense of self’. And for humans, the sense of self is the strongest conditioning of all.
So how is it I can keep seeing the same thing over and over again, no me, no doer, no thinker, but still not feel convinced?
Because all of the above. Feel free to comment on what I wrote above.
At this point I can only say that the knower is something I cannot experience that somehow even that I try to label as me…..to the knower is it really me but then I cannot find the knower either it's like knowing just is.
Yes. It seems that there is a knower, but is there really?
Is it possible that there is a some sort of agency, who is doing the knowing?
Or maybe the knower is just another illusion, and knowing just happening without a knower?
But I am aware of the focal Point. So what is aware of the focal point? My mind quickly says me again. But direct experience says awareness just is
This focal point is the ‘sense of self’. We will investigate it later.
But direct experience says awareness just is
In English, awareness is a noun, not a verb. Nouns imply agencies, or entities.
But can such thing be found as awareness?

Stop for a moment now and take a thought. Be aware of the presence of the thought.
Can a thought be separated from the knowing or awareness of it?
Try your best to separate the two from each other. What happens?

Is there a dividing line between the thought and the knowing or awareness of it?
Can you find the line where the thought ends and the knowing of it starts?

Can you find a though without the knowing of it?
Can you find knower or awareness without any object (like thought, sensation, sight, sound, taste, smell)?


Repeat this exercise many times during the day. Experiment not just only with thoughts, but also with mental images, sounds, taste, etc. Let me know how it went.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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