Ready

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brightlight
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Ready

Postby brightlight » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:39 pm

I have read through some other posts and I see the process is nearly identical to what I practice now saving that in my current practice we are only given suggestions for questions to investigate nonself, or anatta as it is referred to in Buddhism. I have been meditating for about 20 years but only started this current practice more recently. I have also recently got rid of all my stuff and became a monk (Theravadan, early Buddhist) so have full time to devote to my undoing. Here we practice awareness of sensations at any/all 6 sense doors, the mind being the 6th. Observing that it's all just nature, no I, me, mine. I think if I spent all day on just this the illusion would fall apart quite quickly but time is divided with learning a new language and the monks rules but we work on awareness all the time, every waking moment. Already it is getting easy to see thoughts and other sensory experiences as just happening. The magic trick is being revealed, the illusion is cracked. It's just a matter of time it seems.

Anyway, I like the lines of questioning here and would like to start the process.

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KevinD
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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:03 pm

Hi Brightlight,

Marvelous intro, it really resonated.
I can help you, if you like.
I was curious about a few things in your intro, but I'll start with one.
the illusion is cracked. It's just a matter of time it seems

Can you expand upon that for me a bit?

(Also, what time zone are you in, and would you prefer to be called Brightlight or something else?)

Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:39 pm

Thank you Kevin for responding.
You can call me bhante, which just means monk or brightlight, which is a translation of my monk name. My time zone is GMT+6:30.

Kevin, please excuse any typos as I only have a tablet to work with. Also not sure how to highlight on this so no quote function until I can figure that out.

Answer: The illusion of self has suffered some major blows over the years of practice. The first was a deep and clear insight in which both body sensation and thought content were seen as if to be just a roiling river of thoughts and sensstions arising and.passing of their own accord, no I or mine in it. However it was not clear whether the observing itself could still be I. The preceeding event was an action that I had done that I felt ashamed about and then memory of the idea on no self.arose and I could see that the action occurred simply as an impersonal habit. The understanding of this was not merely intellectual. The mond stopped rolling in the shame and went into the aforementioned insight. I knew during the insight that due to strong habit, there would be again an identification with thougts and body sensations.

Another insight that further cracked the idea of self: last year while meditating, there was a clear awareness of 4 of the 6 sense doors (mind being the 6th). All senses except taste and smell as there were no strong objects of those sense doors at that time. The conscious experience was simply 4 sense doors being constantly bombarded by sense objects. Nothing personal about and no choice in the matter. It all seemed rather burdensome but not in a personal way.

Other experiences that chip away or weaken the self illusion are more mundane daily experiences.That the body is just a gross object that gets pushed around by the impulses of the mind. Also sometimes that thinking just happens.

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:55 pm

to continue: Sorry my fat fingers on small buttons sometimes produce unintended results. It is often seen in meditation that thinking happens of its own accord. Even the internal push for.mental, verbal, or physical action can be seen as impersonal, not willed but simply arising.due to the current conditions and the habits conditioned to arise in those conditions.

Currently much of the day is spent unaware and in self-view, especially while doing more active things. Yet overall the veil of illusion is wearing thin. It also often times feels like my trajectory is.simply going towards letting go of the illusion. It is simply nature running it's course and that the time is ripe. Mundane insights seem just as important as important as the ones that seemed extraordinary and they are coming more.frequently. I also notice what types of things are arising in my life. Who comes into it and what the themes are. So that is in answer to the second part of the selected quote. That nature is simply running it's course and therefore it seems the falling away of the illusion is inevitable. Just a.matter of time.

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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:25 am

My waking hours are roughly 2pm your time to about 7:30am your time if you are on same time as Vancouver.

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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:14 am

And I've read the disclaimer and agree to the terms.

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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:04 am

Hi Bhante,
Good too feel the eagerness here.
That will work to your advantage.
Our time zone differences are fairly big, but that shouldn't pose a problem--it's done on LU all the time.
The first was a deep and clear insight in which both body sensation and thought content were seen as if to be just a roiling river of thoughts and sensstions arising and.passing of their own accord, no I or mine in it.
I really love this. Beautifully expressed.
My waking hours are roughly 2pm your time to about 7:30am your time if you are on same time as Vancouver.
This should work fine. I'll post once a day and ask you to do the same.

There is quite a bit to look at in your intro, and we will get to issues that may be similar.
I say that because we won't be revisiting the past, we will be only in this very moment, speaking from direct experience, rather than anything learned.
I can't stress the importance of this enough. It is key. I will ask you to draw from those six sense doors.
We'll likely talk a bit more about that in a bit.
And I've read the disclaimer and agree to the terms.
Good.
On with the rest of the formalities.
You and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no '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 a guided inquiry where specific areas can 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.

  • * You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"
    * I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
    * In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
    * Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
    * Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
    * Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
I get that you can't use the quote function on your ipad, but it can be done manually.
Just enter this (without the spaces) [ qoute ] before the text and [ / quote ].
If that fails, just put some hard returns between the question and answer.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too.
For the sake of your success, I ask that you be 100 per cent honest. If you can manage that, this process will be much more efficient.

For ease of seeing, my questions will appear in blue text.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

What are your expectations for this process?
How will it change you?
How will this feel?


You can press 'subscribe to this topic in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive an email every time I post here.
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:23 pm

I have read all the terms and guidance. Let's begin.

Practical question... what are "hard returns" to put between questions ane answers?

Expectations seems too strong a word. There is a thought more like a hope as well as an intuition that a direct line of pointed questions might result in experiencing life without the illusion of self, whatever that is.

How will it change me? Hahaha, I imagine it will destroy "me."

How will that feel? I don't know. It seems that "I" have had glimpses of it and it just feels ok. I don't mean that in a trite way but mean actually EVERYTHING is ok. Right now, not everything is okay because things are still personal. I imagine it will be same, same but different as the cheesy tshirts in Thailand say. It seems that the experiences themselves will not necessarily change, maybe not even the habits, but the view, attitude, perception of experience will change. Change to what? Maybe more relaxed, at ease with existence, unbound.

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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:56 pm

Hi Bhante,

I'm looking forward to this.

I have read all the terms and guidance. Let's begin.
Practical question... what are "hard returns" to put between questions ane answers?
On the iPad a hard return is just labelled "return" on the right side of the keyboard.
Put one or two of those between my question and your answer.

Do I take it you agree to all the terms on the previous post, and you would like me to guide you?
Expectations seems too strong a word. There is a thought more like a hope as well as an intuition that a direct line of pointed questions might result in experiencing life without the illusion of self, whatever that is.
Aptly put.
How will it change me? Hahaha, I imagine it will destroy "me."
Could do. I get the fun nature of your response, but let's keep our eyes wide open. I've seen this manifest in countless ways.
Maybe more relaxed, at ease with existence, unbound.
Could be.
Sounds like expectations are in check. That's good.
Let's move on forward.
(Please answer all questions in blue, both above and below)

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?

What does "I" point to?

The first question that is commonly asked is in regards to what the word "I" or "me" points to in direct experience. For instance:

What does the word "I" or "me" point to, here and now?

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:11 pm

Do I take it you agree to all the terms on the previous post, and you would like me to guide you?
I agree and yes
How will it change me? Hahaha, I imagine it will destroy "me."

Could do. I get the fun nature of your response, but let's keep our eyes wide open. I've seen this manifest in countless ways.
If you ask me questions about the future, I can only speculate or project. I can't possibly know how it will change me, I can only go around that corner and see what happens. I am confused as to how my response equated in that moment to not having my eyes open fully. So what do you mean by that? What would a more open eyed response be like?

I'll get to the rest of the questions shortly.

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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:22 pm

I am confused as to how my response equated in that moment to not having my eyes open fully. So what do you mean by that? What would a more open eyed response be like?
Well, whenever we have any expectations of a result, it can shut our eyes to all the possibilities.
It's no big deal, just a cautionary note.
I'll get to the rest of the questions shortly.
Excellent.
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:22 am

Feeling frustrated. Just typed out a full response, hit preview and lost the whole thing. Let me try again.
Do I take it you agree to all the terms on the previous post, and you would like me to guide you?
yes and yes
What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?
Frustrated, angry, confused. Who the heck is upset right now then? Or what or how? Interesting to note my answer is different than the first time. Different conditions, different responses. Even right now as the emotions subside, I would already answer differently.
What does "I" point to?

The first question that is commonly asked is in regards to what the word "I" or "me" points to in direct experience. For instance:

What does the word "I" or "me" point to, here and now?

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
This seems like all one detailed question? It seems like there is an I that can read words and comprehend questions, check in with mind and body. Give a response. Check in with thoughts, sensations of the body, emotions.

So right now I read, think, feel, consider, respond. Feels like will and agency to affect/control some aspects of this mind and body as well as that which feels beyond my mind and body. Also feels like the tendency to be affected by internal and external things points to an I.

The shape and size are the size of the body but seem to be more predominant and smaller than that depending on the situation. When there is strong thinking, I seems to be in the head and limited to the forehead, almost oblivious to anything else like now. There is a core tingling sensation in heart stomach abdomen region that seems to comprise the I more strongly than the rest of the body, right now felt most strongly ahove the navel.

This is a bit frustrating and confusing because the I seems like an ever changing sensitive, at the whims of the world, conglomerate and yet somehow I derive a sense of a stable I in it.

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brightlight
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Re: Ready

Postby brightlight » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:11 am

When I think about what the I points to it feels like my head is going to explode! And so I twist the question into what points to the I which is more answerable. Many things, as I've described above, point to or suggest an I but it seems nonsensical that such a whimsical I can point to something else.

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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:46 am

Marvelous, Bhante,

You’re doing great.
I’m chuckling to myself as memories wash back—I’ve been through this very place you were at the writing of this.

Lemme just point out a technical tip. Highlight, copy and paste all of the text from the my note to you into the iPad text application.
It’s much more stable, will save on its own, and will prevent headaches in the future. It is possible to highlight text in iPad, just by selecting a word, and pulling the little round handles down.

Also a housekeeping note, my weekend is over. My daily response to you will be around this time.

Now, I’m going to reiterate (as I do painfully often, but there’s a reason) we are going to draw from direct experience (DE) in this very moment, drawing from sight, smell, feeling, felt sense and thought. What a relief, nothing to remember. ;)

Now, forgive me, but I’m going back to that first question for a little tidiness.

To begin, I would like you to settle in to stillness first. (We are going to use some of your monastic training to your benefit). Fall into a place of complete silence. Only then, should you continue.

When I asked you, what comes up for you when I tell you that there is absolutely no “you,” no Bhante whatsoever, nothing more than a thought, what comes up?

At the time you said you were feeling frustrated, angry and confused, and quite correctly asked “who the heck is upset right now then?

I’d like to ask, find for me that alleged entity called Bhante that is apparently feeling these things. Is it real, or is just a thought. Dig deep with DE--in this precise moment only please.

I also want you to mindfully explore this feeling that seems to be confusion. It is often a composite of different emotions that aren't easily identifiable.
Sit with the energy of that, and observe with complete equanimity, the same detachment a scientist would watch a microbe under a microscope.These are questions for you. What are it's qualities? Size? Shape? Hard or soft? Warm or cold? Static or pulsating? How is it changing? Is it moving? Is there something behind it? If so, what is that? Repeat the quality questions on that.

Please report back on how that experiment went.
So right now I read, think, feel, consider, respond. Feels like will and agency to affect/control some aspects of this mind and body as well as that which feels beyond my mind and body. Also feels like the tendency to be affected by internal and external things points to an I.
Yes, indeed.
Part of the illusion of a separate self is that it is doing all these things and controls all these things.
Really quite fascinating.
The shape and size are the size of the body but seem to be more predominant and smaller than that depending on the situation. When there is strong thinking, I seems to be in the head and limited to the forehead, almost oblivious to anything else like now. There is a core tingling sensation in heart stomach abdomen region that seems to comprise the I more strongly than the rest of the body, right now felt most strongly ahove the navel.
They are typical spots in the body where the illusion of self tends to present.
This is a bit frustrating and confusing because the I seems like an ever changing sensitive, at the whims of the world, conglomerate and yet somehow I derive a sense of a stable I in it.
Fantastic.
Great observation.
This illusory "I" called Bhante, the separate self, is ever changing, yet, somewhere between the thoughts, in the inky black of quiet, there is something else— our real self. It is unchanging and stable.
Well how is it we seem to experience both?
It’s a matter of perception. One, our conceptual perceptions are continuing to work on this masterpiece called I.
In direct experience, that "I" is no more than a thought. No more real than Santa Clause or a unicorn.
Good catch.

The following exercise, I'll remind you, must be conducted from direct experience.

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

Is there any separation/boundaries to be found between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


Again, this will be about the time of day for my daily responses to yours. I was able to get a nice start on this with multiple responses because it was the weekend.

Great work so far, Bhante. Keep it up.

In Metta,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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KevinD
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Re: Ready

Postby KevinD » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:03 am

When I think about what the I points to it feels like my head is going to explode! And so I twist the question into what points to the I which is more answerable. Many things, as I've described above, point to or suggest an I but it seems nonsensical that such a whimsical I can point to something else.
Smart.
Any good bank robber gives up trying to blow up the front door when he sees the back door is wide open.
Keep at it.
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj


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