QuantselfLaFont Thread

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QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Look forward to working with a Guide. Guided attention to liberation for four years. Attended Byron Katie’s School for the Work. Use Heart Rate Variability monitor to observe the interplay of thought and emotion.

Read three case studies in the Gateless Gatecrashers and a third through Enlightening Quotes. Have read the FAQ’s, quite a few threads and understand the commitments.

I don’t expect anything to change - I would like to continue to reinforce the shift in perspective that comes with looking. I also like to be clever and use the lingo so looking forward to a Guide calling me out on that.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:46 pm

Still here. I would like a Guide. Thank you.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:31 am

Hi QuantSelfLaFont and welcome to the forum, it's good to have you here!
I can be your guide if that's ok with you.
I would like to continue to reinforce the shift in perspective that comes with looking.
Can you please explain what you mean with this?
How is this shift in perspective like in your experience?
What do you do to look?
I also like to be clever and use the lingo
Why? :)

Looking forward for your answers,
Sandra

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:28 pm

Sandra,

Thanks, much gratitude for offering to be a guide and OK for me. I have read the guidance on how to post and agree to post daily.
P: I would like to continue to reinforce the shift in perspective that comes with looking. S:Can you please explain what you mean with this? How is this shift in perspective like in your experience?
Can remember several shifts that occurred that were surprising in magnitude and speed -
1. the words "I am going to run an Iron Man" came from my lips one afternoon and that day went out and ran 15 miles - prior to that 5 miles had been the average run. Simply creating concept "I am the guy who runs Iron Man" resulted in huge shift in physical performance - and that shift sustained for over a year
2. at Byron Katie School the question was posed "Who would you be without your exercise?" - I took it on board and considered it and the 1.5 hour a day workout "need" (ie thought/story) simply disappeared. Again creating a concept "without exercise I'm just a happy guy that doesn't have to exercise" shifted my experience instantly - and all the stress of the workout need was simply absent
3. Just yesterday had a Coursera course that occupied a lot of attention and result was feelings of stress. The time commitment was taking me away from more interesting matters and there was a lot of sensations about it. On examining found that "I" wanted to share how clever I was with coworkers and friends because I had done this very topical and cool technical course. I had made the story "I am the guy who did that course" and I realized it was all a story to somehow show off. I reversed it ("That course is taking me"), the story dropped and I unenrolled the course. Stress sensations gone.

So memory has powerful examples of thought/story shifts that can remind what is possible. LU is the first place in my memory/experience where the shift around "I" is presented in such clear language.

In each case memory is of an "aha" moment like when the image shifts on an optical illusion. The two faces become a vase or vice versa. In the memory its a runner becomes an Iron Man or a manic fitness becomes a happy regular guy, etc. With the same speed and flash of recognition. the experience is instant, effortless and fascinating.
What do you do to look?
Looking involves some verbal process that folds the perspective/story back in on itself. Like "who would you be without exercise." The process seems to bend the story in a way that it evaporates and what is left is what is the shift. Have tried many methods (meditation, silence, reading, biofeedback, hemi-sync, etc) and the verbal process seems to work the most quickly and effortlessly. The exercises and questions in the "Enlightening Quotes" pdf are a pleasure to engage with I notice
P:I also like to be clever and use the lingo. S: Why? :)
Oh old Catholic school habits of being the first to put the hand up with the right answer! :) Training as a soldier to finish the mission come what may. Reactions as a technology worker in the internet to be on the whiteboard with the breakthrough innovative idea, etc. All bundled into a reaction habit that makes an "I" have the need to be a good student and "do things right." It is a habit of fitting in, conforming, being a team player, being a good soldier, etc. I recognize its a bedrock reaction that is as much a story as anything.

Thanks again for the guiding!

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:27 pm

Thank you for your detailed, clear answers and for the enthusiasm QuantCell LaFont (shall I call you like this?)!
Can remember several shifts that occurred that were surprising in magnitude and speed -
1. the words "I am going to run an Iron Man" came from my lips one afternoon and that day went out and ran 15 miles - prior to that 5 miles had been the average run. Simply creating concept "I am the guy who runs Iron Man" resulted in huge shift in physical performance - and that shift sustained for over a year
2. at Byron Katie School the question was posed "Who would you be without your exercise?" - I took it on board and considered it and the 1.5 hour a day workout "need" (ie thought/story) simply disappeared. Again creating a concept "without exercise I'm just a happy guy that doesn't have to exercise" shifted my experience instantly - and all the stress of the workout need was simply absent
3. Just yesterday had a Coursera course that occupied a lot of attention and result was feelings of stress. The time commitment was taking me away from more interesting matters and there was a lot of sensations about it. On examining found that "I" wanted to share how clever I was with coworkers and friends because I had done this very topical and cool technical course. I had made the story "I am the guy who did that course" and I realized it was all a story to somehow show off. I reversed it ("That course is taking me"), the story dropped and I unenrolled the course. Stress sensations gone.

So memory has powerful examples of thought/story shifts that can remind what is possible.
I get what you're saying. Those are shifts in experience around the story of the I. Thoughts changed, life changed. It's fascinating when that happens.
LU is the first place in my memory/experience where the shift around "I" is presented in such clear language.

In each case memory is of an "aha" moment like when the image shifts on an optical illusion. The two faces become a vase or vice versa. In the memory its a runner becomes an Iron Man or a manic fitness becomes a happy regular guy, etc. With the same speed and flash of recognition. the experience is instant, effortless and fascinating.
I wouldn't call seeing that the I exists only as a thought a shift or an experience, although it can feel like that for a while. Both ideas imply the existence of someone to whom shifts happen and that lives different experiences and that's not the case. But what you're saying above is pretty close to what's possible to happen.
Looking involves some verbal process that folds the perspective/story back in on itself. Like "who would you be without exercise." The process seems to bend the story in a way that it evaporates and what is left is what is the shift. Have tried many methods (meditation, silence, reading, biofeedback, hemi-sync, etc) and the verbal process seems to work the most quickly and effortlessly. The exercises and questions in the "Enlightening Quotes" pdf are a pleasure to engage with I notice
What was your main motivation to follow those methods? Changing the self or find what's true?
After seeing how thinking easily shifts, how do you know when something is the true?

What are your expectations for our conversation? Are you searching for something? How will you know that you found it – for instance will it feel a certain way or you will change?

Looking forward to working with you!

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:21 am

Please call me Paul.
What was your main motivation to follow those methods? Changing the self or find what's true?
Always a desire to walk a long, hard path and get a big glowing payoff for the supreme effort. Looking to be the only one to make it. One of the first books I read as a kid was "Walkabout." Joined the Army to do the elite soldier thing, came to civilian work environment looking for difficult projects for which I volunteered. Read about heroic spiritual journeys and wanted to do that (never did). Took up fitness Iron Man training as discussed in earlier post. Clear pattern/story of virtue coming from the journey of 1000 steps that no ordinary person can survive. This Long March hero story permeates much of the "I" story of Paul.
After seeing how thinking easily shifts, how do you know when something is the true?
The shifts imply that thinking is inherently not true. Thoughts are approximations and close inspection uncovers how spurious they are. Truth can only be direct experience, pre-label and pre-thought. I understand the paradox' here and to keep writing would be wordsmithing. Even my "truth" about truth is untrue.
What are your expectations for our conversation? Are you searching for something? How will you know that you found it – for instance will it feel a certain way or you will change?
My expectations are explicitly:
-enter a conversation that will point to the "No-Self" as advertised
-uncover lingering blocks that I cannot see on my own, beyond things like the love of the long hard slog
-being able to engage in the discussion about liberation without learning Buddhism, Hinduism or any other "ism"
AND just realizing implicitly I expected:
-getting a certification sticker saying "liberated" from LU (I know this is not what LU does, but the image popped out while writing so had to share)

I entered this discussion seeking a prize, an attribution that I was a certain distance along some path. I approached this like it was a running race. Byron Katie was a 10K, this would be the half marathon, etc. I understand this is all nonsense, but I have to call it out. I swapped out my interesting Coursera story with an LU story. One certificate for another. Feeling kind of glum and silly about it.

Thanks for the continued Guiding!

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:32 pm

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your honesty and openness!
When I write I use personal pronouns. English isn't my mother tongue and trying to use a non dualistic lingo is not my thing. If that becomes a hindrance we can talk about language and the way labels keep the illusion of a you in place ;)
After seeing how thinking easily shifts, how do you know when something is the true?
The shifts imply that thinking is inherently not true. Thoughts are approximations and close inspection uncovers how spurious they are. Truth can only be direct experience, pre-label and pre-thought. I understand the paradox' here and to keep writing would be wordsmithing. Even my "truth" about truth is untrue.
In LU truth is defined as what doesn't disappear when there is no thinking about it. Computer is real, it doesn't disappear when thinking about dinner time. Dinner time isn't real, when thinking about computer it can't be found.
My expectations are explicitly:
-enter a conversation that will point to the "No-Self" as advertised
I'll do my best.
-uncover lingering blocks that I cannot see on my own, beyond things like the love of the long hard slog
It can happen.
-being able to engage in the discussion about liberation without learning Buddhism, Hinduism or any other "ism"
Even if I wanted I couldn't enter that kind of discussion or teach those subjects. My path didn't went that way, so I don't know much about those "ism". Anyway, this conversation isn't about discussing or learning. It's more about the simple looking to what is always available to be seen, when thinking doesn't turn it in something else.
AND just realizing implicitly I expected:
-getting a certification sticker saying "liberated" from LU (I know this is not what LU does, but the image popped out while writing so had to share)
Yes, that's not what we do, it's good that you know that :)

Please focus on what is happening right now and let this sink in:

There is no separate self at all in reality. No agent that is in charge, no manager, no watcher, no owner of life; all there is is life flowing freely as one movement.

Watch, wait, notice, write - what comes up? Is there fear? Is there doubt? Resistance? Frustration? Something that wants to scream and make a turn away, something that says this is not working? Or maybe there is a feeling of wow, joy, relief?

Notice all that is going on inside and just put it down in writing.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:35 am

When I write I use personal pronouns. English isn't my mother tongue and trying to use a non dualistic lingo is not my thing
Then I will also user personal pronouns. Non dualistic language pulls my clever lever so maybe good to avoid
In LU truth is defined as what doesn't disappear when there is no thinking about it
Thank you for clarifying. I will consider this more.
Watch, wait, notice, write - what comes up? Is there fear? Is there doubt? Resistance? Frustration? Something that wants to scream and make a turn away, something that says this is not working? Or maybe there is a feeling of wow, joy, relief? Notice all that is going on inside and just put it down in writing.
Going on inside when noticing:
Quiet. sound; door slam, motorcycle engine from left to right, car engine noise up hill to left. Voice off in distance to left center. Relaxed in center of body, relief, quiet. Desire arises, a thought to keep this frozen in time, not wanting to lose this and I can hold on to this peace if I practice - and now mental chatter. Have to write notes before going to bed, have to check time on tomorrow's meetings. Assessing how this is not quiet. In head.

When thoughts come up from the silence is my feeling that I am behind, off track or late. The feelings are urgency, elevated heart rate, tightness in chest and tension in neck. Things to do. Lists to make. What is not working is I am not moving fast enough.

When I shift to silence from thoughtfulness (suddenly or slowly) I sometimes just relax motionless in place, sometimes I laugh a "ha" like I get a joke. A "Wow" feeling, like a breathtaking view comes into view by surprise. I feel relief, "true" objects looks sharper and I hear a lot of sounds. Bangs, voices, motors, electrical whines from machinery, etc.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:25 pm

Hi Paul,
Quiet. sound; door slam, motorcycle engine from left to right, car engine noise up hill to left. Voice off in distance to left center.
This ^ is seeing - reporting what is present here and now after looking with the 5 senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. I'm glad to know that you can see what is going on.
Desire arises, a thought to keep this frozen in time, not wanting to lose this and I can hold on to this peace if I practice - and now mental chatter. Have to write notes before going to bed, have to check time on tomorrow's meetings. Assessing how this is not quiet. In head.
This ^ is thinking - reporting thought content.
When thoughts come up from the silence is my feeling that I am behind, off track or late. The feelings are urgency, elevated heart rate, tightness in chest and tension in neck. Things to do. Lists to make. What is not working is I am not moving fast enough.
When a strong feeling or fear arises in this investigation don't try to avoid it, Paul. Fear may appear in many shapes, resistance and impatience included.

If this happens again, be gentle and try to find what these "protective mechanisms" are supposed to be hiding, protecting.

Ask yourself: what is this experience made of? Where is it coming from - can I see an entity, a Paul, causing or owning this experience? What happens if instead of resisting and trying to avoid, I stay present and open? Does experience change when I look to what is going on?

And share what you find. If you keep feeling emotions staying on the way of investigation, please tell me and we will look at them.
When I shift to silence from thoughtfulness (suddenly or slowly) I sometimes just relax motionless in place, sometimes I laugh a "ha" like I get a joke. A "Wow" feeling, like a breathtaking view comes into view by surprise. I feel relief, "true" objects looks sharper and I hear a lot of sounds. Bangs, voices, motors, electrical whines from machinery, etc.
I understand what you're saying.

Let's look a little more. At this moment, what is this I that you talk about and where can it be found? Don't think about the answers. Just look for the I - like if you where looking for a cellphone - and tell me what you find, please.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:21 am

P: The feelings are urgency, elevated heart rate, tightness in chest and tension in neck. Things to do. Lists to make. What is not working is I am not moving fast enough.

C: Ask yourself: what is this experience made of? Where is it coming from - can I see an entity, a Paul, causing or owning this experience? What happens if instead of resisting and trying to avoid, I stay present and open? Does experience change when I look to what is going on?
This experience is made of a thought and a feeling reaction, or sometimes a feeling then a though explanation for it. Specifically I will think "I am going to be late" then an icy energy shoots down my torso, then there is a lot of energy in the torso then more thoughts. Or I will feel the torso energy and mentally ask "Why am I so uptight?" and the thoughts will then tumble out to try and explain it. So its an image/thought and sensation combination that flows up and down or down then up depending. I don't see an entity causing it. There is this feeling of being out of position in time and then the stress sensations and thoughts come.

When I stay present and open to the sensations they dissipate. When I notice and call out the actual sensations "energy in torso, swirl in forehead, tightness in shoulders" etc it goes away. When I think more thoughts the sensations continue or worsen.
At this moment, what is this I that you talk about and where can it be found?
I cannot find "I" when I look for it as a separate, individual thing.

"I" arrives unnanounced in reaction to situations - an email (reaction - "I am getting a bad deal here.") a nasty comment (reaction - "I am being attacked"). Often it is implied when the language is inverted to hide it. In my email example the "I" is hidden when the reaction is "That person is aggressive" vs "I am getting a bad deal here." These reactions feel exactly like thoughts. I can never see these reactions outside of me.

At this moment my eyes see a computer, a water bottle and a sleeping dog. I hear a car moving right to left outside. No "I" here.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:55 pm

This experience is made of a thought and a feeling reaction, or sometimes a feeling then a though explanation for it. Specifically I will think "I am going to be late" then an icy energy shoots down my torso, then there is a lot of energy in the torso then more thoughts. Or I will feel the torso energy and mentally ask "Why am I so uptight?" and the thoughts will then tumble out to try and explain it. So its an image/thought and sensation combination that flows up and down or down then up depending. I don't see an entity causing it. There is this feeling of being out of position in time and then the stress sensations and thoughts come.

When I stay present and open to the sensations they dissipate. When I notice and call out the actual sensations "energy in torso, swirl in forehead, tightness in shoulders" etc it goes away. When I think more thoughts the sensations continue or worsen.
Good work looking, Paul.
I cannot find "I" when I look for it as a separate, individual thing.
Yep, that's it. Quite simple.
"I" arrives unnanounced in reaction to situations - an email (reaction - "I am getting a bad deal here.") a nasty comment (reaction - "I am being attacked"). Often it is implied when the language is inverted to hide it. In my email example the "I" is hidden when the reaction is "That person is aggressive" vs "I am getting a bad deal here." These reactions feel exactly like thoughts. I can never see these reactions outside of me.
Yes, when stories and thoughts about the self happen it seems there must be an I to whom they refer to. Like you noticed, language as a big role in maintaining the illusion of the existence of this character.
You also noticed that the story doesn't match what is going on. Seeing the difference between what is happening and what isn't happening can be very freeing.
At this moment my eyes see a computer, a water bottle and a sleeping dog. I hear a car moving right to left outside. No "I" here.
Nice!

You said:
I can never see these reactions outside of me.
This sentence implies the existance of a you inside a body reacting to an external reality.
Let's make some experiences around these beliefs.

Find a quiet place where you can sit, relax and close your eyes. Without thinking, just staying with what can be experienced here and now:
- can you experience an inside and an outside, a border, a separation?
- can you feel "body", a place where an I is contained?
- can you locate an I "inside" separated from an "outside"?

When you get up and walk around, can a you be experienced inside the body, controlling the body? What can you see causing movement?

Have fun looking for the I, Paul!
I'm looking forward to your answers.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Without thinking, just staying with what can be experienced here and now:
- can you experience an inside and an outside, a border, a separation?
- can you feel "body", a place where an I is contained?
- can you locate an I "inside" separated from an "outside"?
LOL, no separation. Sound of siren, feeling in belly, children laughing in schoolyard, energy near sternum , are all one continuous gyrating sensation. LOL because the audible and sensate blended so they seemed part of one continuous noisiness. In terms of the noisiness there is not inside or outside. When truck goes by on the street the rumble and vibration is in my belly, in the chair and in the street all at once.

When thoughts arise the "my" obscures the continuous gyrating sensation. For first time I understand the actual sensation of contraction due to thought. Even in thoughtful mode the sensation outside and inside seem like one noisy, vibrating space.

I cannot recall ever seeing that before! Thank you.
When you get up and walk around, can a you be experienced inside the body, controlling the body? What can you see causing movement?
No, the body just walks. There is definitely no commander dictating the movement. The "I Commander" is somewhere else, anticipating the lunch meeting or wondering if the coworker did his task. LOL, the body just kind cruises along.

I had a funny moment where I stood in response to the instruction above and the "I Commander" thought "Where are we going?" Had a moment of genuine curiosity then came back to feeling my feet on the floor and hearing sounds and the I Commander was gone and was off pacing the floor in a relaxed way.

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:29 pm

Wow, lovely answers Paul!

Let's look to the "I Commander" :)

I know that if you read the questions below you can answer them from your intellectual understanding.
Don't do that! Be curious and have a look, really see what is happening.

Find a quiet place where you can sit, relax and close your eyes if needed, while you look at thoughts:

Let's say there are thoughts arising about the past or about the future:
- When are they happening?
- Are thoughts creating past or future events? Or even now events?
- Can you find the stories about Paul here and now?

- can thoughts think? does the thought elephant think thoughts about elephants or something else?

- what is doing the thinking? can you find a cause, a origin, an entity making thoughts?

- the thought "I Commander" points to something that is present in your experience? Can this I be found or is this I only a thought?

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:54 am

Let's say there are thoughts arising about the past or about the future:
- When are they happening?
They arise in the present moment. Past is a thought, future is a thought.
- Are thoughts creating past or future events? Or even now events?
No. They arise in the present. They potentially describe or attach names to sensations, sights and sounds that are past, present or future. They often just are filled with images and labels that describe a fiction. Nothing creates the past or future. Nothing creates the present. It is just the present.
- Can you find the stories about Paul here and now?
I don't fully understand this question so I will write and explore it. Right now there is the computer, the traffic sound, the lingering taste on my tongue of recently eaten spicy food. Sound of media in next room.comes of up of stories earlier today about a "Paul/I" that floated through and caught attention and emotion - images of work, images of family, images of potential actions to take. Came, rose and moved on. In this moment no story, no impulse to move toward (or away from anything).
- can thoughts think? does the thought elephant think thoughts about elephants or something else?
Clearly, definitely no. Thoughts arise. The thought "elephant" is a ghost, a shadow, a fast moving image, and then it is gone. If I notice the thought of an elephant, stay present and try to find that thought of an elephant it goes away. The thought is real, the elephant is not.
- what is doing the thinking? can you find a cause, a origin, an entity making thoughts?
Can't see the origin. I have stories about the way the brain and nervous system is organized, but they are stories. I cannot even remember the detail. Its a story. Sitting here thoughts appear. Just "blop" up into awareness then float up to the right for some reason. For no reason. They are not even associated to what is in front of me.
- the thought "I Commander" points to something that is present in your experience? Can this I be found or is this I only a thought?
I commander is a wisp of smoke passing through my awareness. There is no I commander. This too is a thought.

Breaking from the answers, your wonderful posts come to me in the early morning my time (I think I am 9 hours behind you) and I consider them through the day. Sometimes I send the questions to my own email box and pull them out when on the bus or in a quite moment. I answer in the evening. So my language mixes with some memories earlier in the day and the "sitting" when I write that evening.

Seeing is happening. A shift occurred with the "inside/outside" question.. the noisy/vibration experience became an easily accessible baseline that I have accessed through the day. In the noisy/vibration experience thought is just another input and it comes and goes. I have experienced of listening to a plane overhead and a thought come and they both fade simultaneously.

I remember having a story that I was a visual person. I am delighted to find that sound is my access to the present. I listen and the inside/outside disappears..sound goes through and is not outside and it all is one noisy and cool space of action and frenzy. Feels like pure energy!

In consequence to the seeing there is a quietening of the "I commander" that is simply a thought stream that looks into the future and works backward from some image of a goal accomplished. Thought habit of many years. The "I commander" still does his duty (God bless him!) and his images flow up and out and know it is like the script on a computer screen...useful when needed, distracting when not. The volume of thought is the same, the ability to dominate awareness is somehow lessened. The I commander has lost his bark!

Feeling a lot of appreciation to you for the guidance. Thank you for pushing me into awareness that is simultaneously new and at the same time "Oh wait a minute I have seen this all along." :)

Cheers,
Paul

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Re: QuantselfLaFont Thread

Postby Canfora » Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:19 pm

Dear Paul, thank you for your beautiful answers.

Today is Saturday! Yay!
If you can, go outside and look at life. Walk in the street, talk with someone, look at trees and birds, be present with what is happening.
I commander is a wisp of smoke passing through my awareness.

Your mission for today - besides looking for a separate self in "real life" - is to see if you are this awareness you're talking about.

When you aren't thinking about these "spiritual matters", what can you see living life? Can you find an entity - be it a small you (self) or a big you (awareness)?

When it seems there is a you present, a separation, what makes this subject, entity, separate self, personal awareness, this separation seem real?

Take some pen and paper with you and take notes, if necessary, and tell me how it goes :)


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