Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:39 pm

I have friends who say they have benefitted a lot from Liberation Unleashed and I'm curious about how it works.
I'm a Buddhist practising within the Triratna Sangha.
At the moment I don't have any expectations in particular of the conversation on the forum. I am requesting Dridhamati as my guide if he is willing to do that.

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:22 am

Hi Marlene,

Is it OK to call you Marlene or would you prefer something else?

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed (LU) and yes I'm happy to guide you.

Before we get started, a few points…

… about the process itself:
1. Could you please confirm that you agree with the Disclaimer on the home page of the LU site?
2. Let's aim to write as often as possible, even if it's short. It is a good way to keep up the momentum. I've guided people as far as Australia and NZ so I'm used to time lag (I'm in France at the mo').
3. Responses require utmost honesty.
4. Responses are best formulated from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). If you are unfamiliar with Direct Experience please let me know.
5. You are ready and willing to look at and challenge any fixed view, any taboo that's currently held. That's any, no exceptions.

… about posting:
1. You might want to familiarise yourself with the useful 'Quote' function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ote#p12593.
2. Another trick is to write your post in your favourite word processor, then copy & paste it into the editor on the LU forum, then format it as you wish. That way you won't lose your work half-way through (which can happen if there is a hiccup with the Internet connection...)
3. Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in.

Assuming there's agreement with the formalities above, let's start shall we.

In the response to this first post could you please say a little more about what brings you here, and particularly what you mean by “I'm curious about how it works.What is this 'it' that is referred to? What ideas do you have of the work that is done through this dialogue we are about to start? That sort of thing.

Looking forward to working with you!

All the best
Dridhamati

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:04 am

Found your reply to my post Dridhamati, thanks for that. I didn't get any notification it was there but had got to the stage of thinking I should check LU website in case.

Just sending this as a quick acknowledgement. Will reply more fully tomorrow.

Marlene

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:51 pm

Hi Dridhamati,
Just to tidy up a few things....

Yes, I've read the disclaimer.

About what to call me - these days I tend not to use Kulaprabha on public sites, so I used Marlene to enroll here. I'm happy for you to use Kulaprabha since as far as I can make out this thread is one-to-one, ie just you and me seeing it. A read through of the FAQs seems to say that's the case, is that right?

About Direct Experience and whether I'm familiar with it. Well I've done a reasonable amount of solitary meditative reflecting on moment to moment what's in my experience. I often use the five skandhas as an initial framework for that and then see what emerges. I don't do much formal sitting practice these days. It's as likely to happen sitting on the bus, lying in bed, walking along the road as sitting still on a chair. But I haven't ever done that sort of reflecting, or any reflecting, in tandem with another person.

When I said "I'm curious about how it works" the "it" meant working on that sort of reflexive experience with another person.

As to the work that may be done, OK, my thoughts about it were : maybe it'll be kinda like a just sitting practice but with talking added in; or like writing a journal when I'm on retreat musing about my experience and my self and the impermanence of those.

Right now though I'm thinking well I'm just going to have a conversation with you. Probably about impermanence.

I will say that over the weekend I was having cold feet about starting. I didn't get any email notification of your reply but I was also procrastinating about checking on the website to see if you had replied. I don't really why that was. I felt nervous. And underneath that I felt sort of shut down around the impetus that had made me start the ball rolling. The impetus to start came out of being on a weekend at Adhisthana for people ordained by Bhante.

Thanks for taking me on!
Regards,

Kulaprabha

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 am

Hi Kulaprabha,
Yes, I've read the disclaimer.
Thank you.
About Direct Experience and whether I'm familiar with it... ... in tandem with another person.
From what you say here it is possible that you've already 'practiced' direct experience, without calling it that.
Direct experience is just that: what is experienced by the 6 senses (the 5 physical senses: sight hearing, taste, touch and smell; and mind or mental activity). But when it says 'just that', it is meant 'just that'. To paraphrase a famous teacher: in the seen, just the seen, etc...
And there will be some exercises to facilitate observation in direct experience.
The process here is very much one of shared practice: the exercises are meant to be practised by both of us. And then questions are asked of you, to encourage a seeing to emerge.
It is worth noting that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer: answers are about what is observed in direct experience. If it hasn't been observed, that's ok. It means that perhaps the exercise wasn't clearly explained, or there may be resistance to seeing, or...
Is this a bit clearer?
Right now though I'm thinking well I'm just going to have a conversation with you. Probably about impermanence.
Impermanence will come into it, but the main purpose of our dialogue here is to connect at an experiential level with, to 'see', to 'realise', the nature of what is commonly referred to as 'self, me, mine.'
I will say that over the weekend I was having cold feet about starting.
Please feel free to mention fear. It may arise again, and it can be coopted in the process.
Thanks for taking me on!
Pleasure!

As a first exercise, please observe the reactions to the following statement:
The 'self, me, mine' is an entirely constructed notion, which has no observable basis for existence. In other words, 'I, Kulaprabha' has no more inerent permanent existence as last night's dream.
Then report back on these reactions.

All the best,
Dridhamati

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:41 pm

Hi Dridhamati,
You wrote:
The 'self, me, mine' is an entirely constructed notion, which has no observable basis for existence. In other words, 'I, Kulaprabha' has no more inerent permanent existence as last night's dream.
I have a inner nodding response when I read the words. They’re familiar words to me. I can sort of breath them in and out. I'm not puzzling or feeling threatened. I have a trusting response to them.

I was looking out of the window before starting to type this. Our birch tree is turning yellow. Our neighbour’s ash tree is almost all yellow. I look at the vine immediately outside the window and it’s turning red. Nature is often very pleasing. I also notice that when my attention moves from the one to the next of these pleasing sights, I’m not catching me there in the moment of movement between them. I can’t find a me who makes the decision to look at the next thing.

I marvel at that: experiencing things but not able to distil myself out from the experiencing.

I laugh at it. I mean, who’s typing this then? how am I going to get out of this chair? Who will decide what I eat for breakfast? Comical questions that seem unanswerable.

I also resist the words:
no observable basis for existence


I don’t like that phrase. I’m not keen about there apparently being no me, especially no me in the in-between moments. I'm not breathing the words in and out any more. I tighten up, both physically and mentally. It’s like the driver has disappeared, the engine’s running in neutral and who’s going to get it out and on the road?

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:04 am

Hi Kulaprabha,
...I also notice that when my attention moves from the one to the next of these pleasing sights, I’m not catching me there in the moment of movement between them. I can’t find a me who makes the decision to look at the next thing.
I marvel at that: experiencing things but not able to distil myself out from the experiencing.
In similar situations, that's the experience here also. Thank you for this.
I also resist the words, I don’t like that phrase [no observable basis for existence]. I’m not keen about there apparently being no me, especially no me in the in-between moments...
Isn't this a paradox?
Further up, there is a description of observed sensations (looking at nature, shifting of focus, ec), and the added statements that "I’m not catching me..." and "I can’t find a me..."
Isn't this phrase [no observable basis for existence] stating exactly the same thing, in a different way?

Are there any differences in the inherent nature of this particular sensation [I resist / I don’t like that phrase] and all the other sensations about nature [...Nature is often very pleasing...]?
Can anything be found that's resisting?


All the best,
Dridhamati

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:48 pm

Hi Dridhamati
Sorry for the delay in replying. Was at the Scottish Green party conference over the weekend. Then had to catch up on our game against Samoa.
You said: Isn't this a paradox?
Yes it is a paradox. It is stating the same thing in a different way and I felt that as I was writing it. The felt sense is different in each: one is pleasant, one unpleasant. But then moving back and forth along the spectrum of feeling happens all the time.
Can anything be found that's resisting?
Hmm. Well there's something that feels it might fall into the in-between gaps and disappear. Actually it did once do that, actually more than once, and it did disappear. And it was fine. It was more than fine. Habits linger.

Kind regards,
Kulaprabha

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:22 pm

Hi Kulaprabha,
The felt sense is different in each: one is pleasant, one unpleasant. But then moving back and forth along the spectrum of feeling happens all the time.
OK, there's a difference in the quality of the felt sense.
And now, looking deeper...
… are there any differences in the inherent nature of these felt senses [I resist / it's unpleasant] and all the other felt senses about nature [...Nature is often very pleasing...]?
Hmm. Well there's something that feels it might fall into the in-between gaps and disappear. Actually it did once do that, actually more than once, and it did disappear. And it was fine. It was more than fine. Habits linger.
Hmm.
And what is this 'something', this 'it'? Can 'it' be located? Can 'it' be seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted?

All the best
Dridhamati

PS. Good on you for making it into the quarter finals.

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:25 am

Hi Dridhamati,
You said: are there any differences in the inherent nature of these felt senses [I resist / it's unpleasant] and all the other felt senses about nature [...Nature is often very pleasing...]?
No inherent anythings. Just experience. Coming and going. If there's nothing inherent somewhere then there can be nothing inherent anywhere.
And you also said: what is this 'something', this 'it'? Can 'it' be located? Can 'it' be seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted?
Nothing there that is seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted. Or located. There are ghost-like swirlings in my mind with voices and fingers. More dream-like than dreams if I look closely.

Here is part of a quote that arrived in my inbox the other day from Tricycle’s daily email:
The idea of understanding is linked to .... a break in an ongoing flow of movement.
It was the ‘break in an ongoing flow’ being linked to understanding that caught my attention and stayed in my mind since. Later in the morning, after taichi and a swim, sitting in the sauna looking out at the pool. Just watching sunlit ripples on the water. Thinking: I don’t sit here looking to break the rippling flow by spotting an "it" between those ripples. I just enjoy the rippling for what it is.

Then thinking that, of course, it is a valuable exercise to look for an "it" in my experience and not ever find one. But maybe no need to keep repeating the exercise and missing, interupting the on-goingness. Reminded me of that story about the guy with arrow in him being too attached to it (what kind of arrow was it, and how did it get there, etc etc) to let it go.

Full tricycle quote here: http://www.tricycle.com/brief-teachings ... erstanding

best wishes,

Kulaprabha

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:37 am

Hi Kulaprabha,
No inherent anythings. Just experience. Coming and going.
And now, looking in direct experience at this experience, just the experience.
Does experience have qualities such as pleasant, or unpleasant, soothing, threatening, etc?
If there's nothing inherent somewhere then there can be nothing inherent anywhere.
Again paraphrasing a famous teacher, here is a question for your statement: if it were so would it not point to nihilism, and if it weren't so would it not point to eternalism?
Nothing there that is seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted. Or located. There are ghost-like swirlings in my mind with voices and fingers. More dream-like than dreams if I look closely.
In other words, only mental activity. And as you say, dream-like.
Now, looking in direct experience at all this mental activity a bit more closely. A thought (that’s the mental event or mental sensation) emerges, now:
Can this thought actually do anything? That is, does this thought, in and of itself, have the capacity to perform an action?
It can be tested with this exercise:
Stand up with arms along the body.
Now think “I am raising the right arm.” - Does the right arm move?
Then think “I am raising the left arm.” - Does the left arm move?
Repeat a few times with either arm, and see what happens.

That's a very good quote from Tricycle, thanks for bringing it up, and there's a lot to unpack in it. I'll come back to it later.

All the best
Dridhamati

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:19 pm

Hiya,
Dridhamati wrote: Does experience have qualities such as pleasant, or unpleasant, soothing, threatening, etc?
Yes, experience has feeling-tone, using that word to indicate vedana, and noticing that the same feeling-tone doesn’t always arise in response to the same/similar event on different occasions.

Skipping to your question
Can this thought actually do anything? That is, does this thought, in and of itself, have the capacity to perform an action?
Noticing that my arm hasn’t moved. So, in and of itself, the thought has no capacity to perform an action. And I have just folded my arms without any accompanying conscious thought.

Then returning to this
Marlene wrote:
If there's nothing inherent somewhere then there can be nothing inherent anywhere.
Dridhamati wrote: Again paraphrasing a famous teacher, here is a question for your statement: if it were so would it not point to nihilism, and if it weren't so would it not point to eternalism?
Arrgh. I’m just a simple scientist, Dridhamati. I can’t unravel questions like that. Any chance of some multi-choice possible answers? :-)
But having a go…

When I wrote the above, I was trying to say that it’s not tenable for anyone to hold that there are some instances of inherent nature, eg a personal soul or self, existing in the midst a very, very large number of observed instances of lack of inherent nature.

I couldn’t prove that. But surely something existent with an inherent nature couldn’t change, or interact, or co-arise, or co-become, or cease. How could it even arise in the first place. If it did exist, it would be isolated eternally. And since partaking in interactions, etc is happening all the time, that would seem to rule out inherent-ness and eternalism.

Without any inherent nature, but with conditioned nature then arising, becoming, ceasing, interacting, impacting is all possible. That’s not nihilism though. It’s conditioned coproduction.

Off to watch the match....

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:37 pm

Hi Kulaprabha,
Yes, experience has feeling-tone, using that word to indicate vedana, and noticing that the same feeling-tone doesn’t always arise in response to the same/similar event on different occasions.
OK, so what needs to be done now, is look at experience as it immediately -or directly- happens, 'before vedana' so to speak.
And the question remains:
Does experience have qualities such as pleasant, or unpleasant, soothing, threatening, etc?
Noticing that my arm hasn’t moved. So, in and of itself, the thought has no capacity to perform an action. And I have just folded my arms without any accompanying conscious thought.
So where is this 'self, me, mine' commonly known as Marlene/Kulaprabha? Is there such an entity? If so where can it be found?
Dridhamati wrote: Again paraphrasing a famous teacher, here is a question for your statement: if it were so would it not point to nihilism, and if it weren't so would it not point to eternalism?
Sorry I should have been clearer. There was no answer expected for this question, which is why it wasn't bold.
Arrgh. I’m just a simple scientist, Dridhamati. I can’t unravel questions like that. Any chance of some multi-choice possible answers? :-)
Heck Kulaprabha, I wouldn't go near trying to answer this question. ;-)
But having a go…
When I wrote the above ... It’s conditioned coproduction.
Nicely debated.
Of course what we're concerned with here is 'realising' or 'connecting with' experientially with the lack of an inherent essence called 'self, me, mine'.
By extension, looking at the sensations resulting from experiencing 'other', another realisation occurs. And we can go there later if you wish.
Off to watch the match....
Rugby? Poor French, I think decimated would be appropriate. Yikes.

All the best
Dridhamati

User avatar
Marlene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby Marlene » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:54 pm

Hi there,
You said:
OK, so what needs to be done now, is look at experience as it immediately
-or directly- happens, 'before vedana' so to speak.
And the question remains:
Does experience have qualities such as pleasant, or unpleasant, soothing, threatening, etc?
Before vedana arises, sense impression(s) are coming into focus in my inner awareness as moments of experience. Awareness of interaction between ‘something’ and one or other of my six sense organs and that interaction becoming an occasion of sight, hearing, thought, taste, touch, smell.

In looking into my own experiencing reflectively, I’ve noticed that vedana comes along pretty damn quick after the moment of interaction. There must be a discontinuity because vedana can’t be a property of the incoming sense impression itself, or of the sense organ itself. The particular vedana, wherever it lies on spectrum of feeling-tone, is a subsequent property of me interacting with the particular sense-impression. So answer to your question, in the very moment of connection/interaction there are no qualities like pleasant, unpleasant, etc.
So where is this 'self, me, mine' commonly known as Marlene/Kulaprabha? Is there such an entity? If so where can it be found?
Well, speaking for this entity Marlene/Kulaprabha, she’s a bit like a character in a novel as the plot and the character unfold with time; she’s definitely appeared in quite a few previous volumes of this novel; and the novel is written by her, by and large, though she has been surprised by some very unexpected plot twists that have arisen. With an actual book, you’d probably know where it was. The novel entitled ‘Marlene’ is probably more like an e-book stored in the ‘Cloud’ downloading whenever/ wherever needed.
Is there such an entity?
Are there flocks of starlings or shoals of herring? Well yes, there are and they have amazing coherence that gives the impression of a definite whole entity. She might be a bit like that. I was thinking today about how experience seems a continuum but when you look closely it’s a series of moments. I suppose I must be always imaginatively filling in the gaps between those discrete moments.

I saw your post late last night, too late to reply, but went to bed mulling over what you’d written. Then suddenly experienced myself as looking out from a skull. I mean, skull as in just the bare skeletal bone of a hollow skull. It lasted a few minutes. I wasn’t asleep. I was startled to begin with. It wasn’t unpleasant, threatening. It was just ordinary experience, but very immediate, simple and clean. Clean seems a strange adjective to use but that’s how it seemed and how I remember it. Then I went to sleep.

Bye then,
Kulaprabha

PS Still recovering from losing 34-35 after a penalty awarded wrongly in the 78th minute. Ah well, these things happen. They’ll get a heros’ welcome home. NZ has now got another few million or so supporters.

User avatar
dridhamati
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:09 pm
Location: Christchurch, NZ

Re: Marlene H (requesting Dridhamati)

Postby dridhamati » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:30 am

Hi Kulaprabha,
Before vedana arises, …
… interacting with the particular sense-impression.
This is a mixture of experience and thinking, where “In looking into my own experiencing...” refers to experience, and “There must be a discontinuity...” refers to speculative thinking.
While speculative thinking has its place in the relative world of samsara, please remember: this dialogue is concerned with what is directly experienced, not what is speculated.
So answer to your question, in the very moment of connection/interaction there are no qualities like pleasant, unpleasant, etc.
So while this is in agreement with the experience here, how is this conclusion informed:
1 from sustained observation of direct experience?
Or...
2 from speculative thinking?
Please feel free to test observation of experience, again and again. :-)
Well, speaking for this entity Marlene/Kulaprabha, …
… whenever/ wherever needed.
Again, this is a lovely piece of thinking.
First the original question isn't answered, is it. But then again, maybe it is since the paragraph starts with “speaking for this entity Marlene/Kulaprabha...”
How about giving it another attempt?
Remembering that we are concerned with direct experience here:
Where is this 'self, me, mine' commonly known as Marlene/Kulaprabha? Is there such an entity? If so where can it be found?
Are there flocks of starlings …
... might be a bit like that.
Well, please go back to the top of this post, to direct experience.
Are there flocks of starlings or shoals of herring?
I was thinking today about how experience ...
Why not observe experience, rather than 'think about' how experience is. ;-)
Then suddenly experienced … but very immediate, simple and clean.
Thank you for sharing that.
Clean seems a strange adjective to use but that’s how it seemed and how I remember it.
'Clean' is an adjective I would easily apply to direct experience: clean of all the interpretations, conceptualisations, dualisms, mediations, etc that is superimposed upon it by small mind.

And that's the whole purpose of direct pointing: observing the unmediated, direct experience.

Again paraphrasing a famous teacher: in the seen, just the seen; in the …

All the best
Drdhamati


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest