Before I answer your questions, I want to ask you a question. How can/should I talk to others about the things I'm discovering through this practice? Are there any suggestions what to talk about, what not to talk about? I don't mean the details of the 'course' specifically but talking about no-self. Even among Buddhists I have found that they were reluctant to discuss this somehow, or considered it a 'dangerous' subject, or just stared blankly. I would have thought that this was the most crucial element or at least one of the most crucial elements of any practice moving towards awakening, but now I feel a bit alone with this view. Thank you for any suggestions.
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that this sensation is ‘the clothing touching the skin’? Or that sensation is ‘hair tickling my face’?
No. What I have come to realize while practising in the last few days is that sensations are very closely tied into thoughts. It is always the thoughts that interpret for me what I’m experiencing, where I’m experiencing it etc.
Can you see that without concepts / thoughts all these added information cannot be known? That ‘clothing touching the skin’ or ‘hair tickling the face’ is just a conceptual overlay on what is actually happening?
Pay close attention to the heartbeat. Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any what that it’s a ‘heartbeat’? Or that the sensation is the result of a heart beating? And what is the AE of ‘pulsating movement’? Without thoughts, can it be known that this sensation is a ‘pulsating movement’?
Again, as above, all this is my thoughts explaining for me what’s going on. The sensation itself, the direct experience, don’t tell me any of it.
However, a question that arose, and maybe we’ve discussed it before but I can’t remember, is, why is it a problem if it’s the thoughts that tell me all this added information? Do we have to assume that thoughts are mistaken, or that they have an ‘agenda’? Do we have to assume that only actual experience is reliable? In fact, to me these experiences in a way prove the opposite: actual experience is closer to a total blank than to anything meaningful. So why do we keep seeking it out?
So, the body is just a sensation, and the heartbeat is just another sensation. So can the sensation labelled ‘body’ contain another sensation labelled ‘heartbeat’? Can one sensation come from or be inside another sensation? Or that one is being inside the other is just suggested by thoughts and mental images?
I think it’s just the thoughts and mental images that suggest that one sensation is ‘within’ the other. Of course factually it is correct, but the sensation itself doesn’t tell me this. However, as above, what does this teach me - that sensations are in themselves insufficient to make sense of anything, no?
1. There has be an AE of a heart.
2. There has to be the AE of movement.
3. There has to be the AE of the movement originating or coming from the heart.
#1: But the sensation labelled ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of sensation only.
The mental label ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of a mental label only.
The mental image of a heart is NOT the AE of a heart, but AE of a mental image only.
So what is the AE of a heart?
#2: What is the AE of a movement? Can movement as such be actually experienced? Or only sensations can be experienced, and movement is just a conceptual overlay on the sensation?
you’re right. I’ve been looking into this heartbeat thing and it’s true that I’m only finding certain sensations, which my thoughts then associate with ‘heart’ and ‘beat’ etc.
#3: In order to #3 be true, there has to be 2 separate sensations. One sensation for the heart, and another sensation for the movement. If both sensations are found, then we still need to actually experience if one sensation labelled ‘movement’ is coming from the other sensation labelled ‘heart’. But is this so?
Well factually yes, of course, but my actual experience can neither confirm nor negate this.
What is the AE of a skin? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a flesh? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a body? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a hair? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a ‘physical mass’? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
Neither skin, nor flesh, nor body, nor hair can be actually experienced as such, only sensations related to them. And the same applies to the rest of the questions you pose, regarding lungs and nose and breathing and air. Upon contact there is a sensation, which my thoughts associate with a part of the body.
The nose cannot be felt. Only sensations can be felt.
And only thoughts and mental images suggest that this particular sensation is a nose.
But the sensation itself, doesn’t suggest in any way that it’s a nose.
The sensation doesn’t come self-labelled as nose.
The sensation doesn’t know anything about a nose.
The sensation is just is. Doing and suggesting nothing.
Can you see this?
Yes, it’s all correct.