Trying to experience the nothing that I am

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PhilipJerzy
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Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:43 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I’ve had glimpses / moments of seeing that no self. When I look for a self I either don’t find anything or I see a strong image of my body that eventually falls away. When I look at my thoughts I can see they appear and disappear from nothing.

What are you looking for at LU?
It feels like I’m still not getting something. I’m constantly reidentifying and I only notice I am nothing when I focus. Beyond that it seems like I’m expecting my self to understand it doesn’t exist which makes me laugh but the process continues like that unchanged. It seems like there’s a real sense of noticing the truth in these forums and in the gatless

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect a direct pointing, by someone who has seen the truth and can help me see it as well. Whether it’s with a slap or a gentle nudge, some help to snap me out of this daydream. I expect honesty and openness and a chance to look for myself.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Growing up, my parents always took me on every retreat and seminar and meditation or yoga session. Eventually about 8 years ago I started seeking on my own as well. Most recently I’ve been working with Scott Kiloby as a facilitator doing guided inquiry. His method is one where you watch your thoughts till they fall away and then feel your sensations till they fall away. I’ve seen through many many beliefs this way and it’s transformed my daily life. I’ve done a few sessions on enlightenment lately that has started a burst of energy to see the truth. At this point it seems like my mind is constantly inquiring unless I’m very busy, constantly asking “who’s thinking this, who is seeking this, who is writing this, is there a self right now”

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

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:25 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I can assist you with your inquiry.

This is going to be 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. We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.

The purpose of which would be for there to be a realisation, more than just intellectually, that there never was and never will be a separate self, as, such. All our efforts will focus on that.

I will tend to ask many questions. That's my job here. These, will be pointers towards no self. It will be for you to examine your experience to find out what's true or not.

I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post daily.
If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
Can we agree on these?

Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for to change?
What do you hope that should happen?
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?


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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:55 am

Hi Vivien,

I guess you can ignore my email if you got it, looks like I found my way on here after all.
Can we agree on these?
Yes Absolutely.
Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
My first instinct is to say "nothing" but upon closer inspection what comes up is a burning desire to know something. it doesn't feel like I'm looking for anything specific besides "the truth" whatever that means. I get the sense that nothing would actually change if I found this "truth" but as I look at that I get the words "when I understand things will be better." I can see the thought appear and disappear into nothing but it seems that there is still someone watching the thought, someone looking for the answer even as im looking at it? Im not even sure if I understand that but it feels true.
What are you hoping for to change?
Perhaps to change this state of not knowing? as I asked that question I got a big sense of curiosity and a desire to understand this and then when I understand this to understand the next thing, to continue on this journey. Which im only now realizing is an identity in itself. I recognize I have the belief of not good enough thats been worked with and seen through a lot but still comes up. Often as im struggling to find the self or lack thereof I sense a frustration at my inability or a sadness. It doesn't feel like im trying to change that, in fact I suspect, and in my experience those beliefs try to stay cemented, though I guess as I write that there is a underlying thought of wanting to change that as well.
What do you hope that should happen?
I hope to see the sense of self as happening spontaneously without a me doing it. I guess ultimately I have a hope to live from that place.
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?
when I put my attention to that I have a sense of distance, almost a greater peripheral vision. As I type this I almost see my fingers typing by themselves but its like theres a feeling of I deep in my bones. If I try to conceptualize it it feels like I hit a wall. as I look deeper now I see an image actually. Its just me, my body that is, walking around talking and doing things as normal but I see it in third person as if in that moment I would be seeing in third person. But I can see as I look that I am identified with it as me and so that can't be right. It seems that when I look for the self often I get stuck on a similar image of my body, often attached and enmeshed with sensations so it takes a while to unravel and notice the picture in it.


Thanks very much for the reply and im very excited to look into this.
You have my utmost attention, willingness, and honesty.

Gracefully,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:28 am

Hi Philip,
You have my utmost attention, willingness, and honesty.
Thank you :) this attitude will help you a lot.

I got your email. There have been some technical issues with the site, and not all email notifications got through. It might happen again. If you don’t hear from me in 24 hours, then please check the forum directly.

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now.

Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations result in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I get the sense that nothing would actually change if I found this "truth" but as I look at that I get the words "when I understand things will be better."
Yes :) All expectations are on behalf of the separate self, who wants to feel better. We all want this. But seeing through the self is not a change in emotions. It’s a change from believing in the existence of a stand-alone solid self / me, to seeing it that it’s actually doesn’t exist other than an idea.
I recognize I have the belief of not good enough thats been worked with and seen through a lot but still comes up.
Most of us have this belief. But self-referencing beliefs, which induce suffering or unpleasant emotions, aren’t just depend on a belief in a self. Suffering happens when certain stimuli poke or touch our ‘wounds inside’. Those wounds are not a person/self. The self is just an added on narrative.

And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through. These most likely will stay, however, they are much more accessible and easier to work with after seeing through the illusion. This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
I hope to see the sense of self as happening spontaneously without a me doing it. I guess ultimately I have a hope to live from that place.
Let’s look at what is happening here. It seems that there are way too many of you-s there :)

1. There is the sense of self
2. There is a me which is not doing or making the sense of self happen
3. And an imagined place where the second can live without the first.

Do you see the trick here? What if there is no one, no two, no three, but actually NONE of me/self?

What is there is literally no me at all who is living life and could move to a place where it can live without a sense of self?
What if life is just happening, but without a center, without a me?

The thing is that it cannot know in advance how it will be. Why? Because all expectations come on behalf of a separate self, who is always in a search for peace, happiness, lack of fear and suffering. We simply cannot imagine it, since we cannot step outside form the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine within the dream of me. The illusionary me is simply unable to imagine how it would be if it were discovered to be just a fictional character, and not a reality. It can only imagine what it wants for itself.

Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?

Please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

as I look deeper now I see an image actually. Its just me, my body that is, walking around talking and doing things as normal but I see it in third person as if in that moment I would be seeing in third person.
Let’s look at what is this image exactly.

What is this image made of? Is it a real visual image? Or is this just a thought, an imagination?
I can see the thought appear and disappear into nothing but it seems that there is still someone watching the thought, someone looking for the answer even as im looking at it?
Are you 100% sure that ALL thoughts appear and disappear on its own?
Or maybe there are certain thoughts that are controlled or made to happen?


Please look at these questions very thoroughly.

I would like to ask you to do every inquiry for a whole day. Please don’t reply too quickly. Spend as much time as you can every day looking at that day’s pointers, again and again and again. You can have one or two longer sessions, but also please try to incorporate several small (10 seconds each) mini session into your daily life.

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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:27 pm

Hi Vivien,
This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
Something about this really excites me. That curiosity wants to know the first step and then look for the second.

And this:
And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through.
feels like it provides a lot of clarity. I've heard this many times before but somehow I heard it differently this time. For years I have been working on undoing emotional pains in order to see through the self, maybe that makes it easier, but I haven't thought to just look through the self until now.
Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?
Does that include the Gateless Gatecrashers? But yes absolutely. I can put all aside except for for these instructions. I felt a small little fear come up the first time I read this that said "oh nooo but I can't stop looking, I can't lose my momentum." Ive been sensing more and more identity in the seeker so I welcome this opportunity to watch that and put all things aside.
Please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I hope to see the sense of self as happening spontaneously without a me doing it. I guess ultimately I have a hope to live from that place.
Let’s look at what is happening here. It seems that there are way too many of you-s there :)

1. There is the sense of self
2. There is a me which is not doing or making the sense of self happen
3. And an imagined place where the second can live without the first.
There was a resistance to reading this at first. it felt like I didn't explain myself properly and the more I looked at it the more I noticed that of course I couldn't explain myself properly because what I was explaining doesn't exist. Your response is spot on. There is my sense of self that is being watched. There is the me that is watching. and there is the me in the future that already understands. There are a few more me's there that pop up as I look at that as well. It seems that every thought is a separate me until it is observed.
What is this image made of? Is it a real visual image? Or is this just a thought, an imagination?
It is an imagination and as I sit with it it falls away. When I ask the question again or when my mind just drifts there it reappears in different scenarios. The 'liberated me' walking around, doing things, or talking to people. I see that it is a fantasy, but it keeps reappearing, I guess thats ok. I will continue to watch this as/when it appears.
Are you 100% sure that ALL thoughts appear and disappear on its own?
Or maybe there are certain thoughts that are controlled or made to happen?
What a wonderful pointer. Ive been sitting with this all night and morning and have seen a few things. My first answer was yes of course, because when I focus on a thought I can see it in nothingness and it falls into that nothingness. But as I watched that I started thinking - but who is focusing on that thought, who is holding it still and who is thinking it over and over again in order to notice it disappears. There does appear to be a controller in those moments.

Some thoughts do seem to arise and fall by themselves but other thoughts feel like they are being thought. its noticeable more and more now as I look. A few thoughts will arise and fall with no identification and then an "I" will arise and think a thought. That process isn't noticed and that "I" will then continue looking at other thoughts and watching them fall away, often thinking while doing this. Lately I have been noticing this and it seems like there are multiple layers of thought, thoughts not identified with and thoughts that are identified with.

When I notice this "I" looking I can see myself looking. It is hard to describe but it is like an image of my body from the outside but from the inside. It usually particularly focused around the eyes and head but spreads through my whole body at times. As I watch the "self" that is watching it leads to this image and as I watch that I notice the sensation attached to it. I see space in my head and feel my face and as I feel my face I see my face as a thought but it doesn't feel separate from the sensation. Ive been sitting with that and sometimes the image falls away but often at that point I get distracted, it feels difficult to stay in that.
Please don’t reply too quickly.
I will do my best to wait but there is so much excitement and forward moving energy that just wants to explore and see more.
Regardless I will look deeply and thoroughly before replying always.

Thanks Vivien,

Gracefully,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:58 am

Hi Philip,
Does that include the Gateless Gatecrashers?
Yes. Those pointers are good while you are waiting for a guide or working alone, but when you have a guide you can get more targeted pointers specifically to your beliefs. And also, while you spend time on reading and looking with other pointers, you are spending less time on the ones that are meant for you.

This inquiry is about repeated looking and looking the same thing again and again.
I felt a small little fear come up the first time I read this that said "oh nooo but I can't stop looking, I can't lose my momentum."
But you won’t stop looking, quite the opposite. You should spend as much time as possible during the day to look with questions I give you. This means to look 50-100 times a day again and again. It’s all about repetition.
But as I watched that I started thinking - but who is focusing on that thought, who is holding it still and who is thinking it over and over again in order to notice it disappears. There does appear to be a controller in those moments.
Then let’s stick with this. Seeing thoughts clearly, is essential for this inquiry.

What do you do exactly to think?
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?

And when a thought is present, how do you exactly holding it still?
Is that even possible? Or it just SEEMS that way?

A thought can stay for a while. But does this mean that there is you holding it still? Someone that making it happen? Or the thought just stays on its own, without anyone or anything making it happen?

It is hard to describe but it is like an image of my body from the outside but from the inside.
Let’s put this image aside for a while. We might come back to this later, but currently seeing thoughts clearly is more important to look at.

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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:22 am

Hi Vivien,

These pointers are incredible and so much joy comes to work with them.
What do you do exactly to think?
As I read this now it makes me laugh. It's such a simple question with such an assumed and not looked at answer. it just feels like I am thinking but upon looking I can do nothing to think. It's happening completely by itself. Those appearing as self thought thoughts have the word me included in them and so it almost places me into them but I am not really there, they are referring to nothing. I sense this needs to be sat with more.
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?
This one was even better! Once I had a moment of seeing through the first pointer I thought it would be easy to see through all of these ones since they had the same theme but I struggled with this one for a while.

I would constantly be trying to create thoughts or think of random things but something peculiar started happening, or rather I noticed something that was always there. I would try to think of something random to "birth" that thought. But even then I would notice the knowing had already arisen before I have the thought to think of it. For example I would sit and think "ok lets birth a thought" and id get the knowing of something, lets say a penguin and then my thoughts would immediately say "penguin" as if they created the random thought of the penguin. I sat with this for a while, it seems to have large implications. implications I've read about but never experienced myself. Implications that I am not really doing anything, just claiming what is being done. I would see this for brief moments but would quickly get distracted. It felt like my mind was almost fighting me to not inquire like that.

As I continued looking at this I was thinking ok but what about when im asking myself the inquiry question. "Am I not thinking the thought? Am I not bringing up the inquiry by my choice?" And again as id look it would almost seem like there was something else running the show and the I was just a bystander. As I watched the bystander I got a subtle sense that I might not even be the bystander. It seemed like the pure impulse to inquire with that question would arise and instantly the thought would think and be claimed as me questioning myself.But I could notice a subtle space in-between the happening and the claiming of it.
And when a thought is present, how do you exactly holding it still?
what I noticed with this is that it doesn't hold still. It arises and falls and is brought back up again. but due to not watching close enough I ignore the spaces and gaps, or its almost like I'm fighting to keep it in view. As I watch this, the question comes up, who is deciding to keep it in view. If I dont know how to think exactly, if I can't birth thoughts, how can I keep them present to watch them. and strangely the answer seems to be "I dont know but its happening." which comes to an understanding of Its not me "holding it in place" if you can call it that.
Is that even possible? Or it just SEEMS that way?
I think I accidentally answered this above, but yes it just seems that way. It looks like thoughts are constantly in motion flowing in and out. when one is kept still it just flows in and out just without changing, much. Even then it slowly changes and becomes something else.
A thought can stay for a while. But does this mean that there is you holding it still? Someone that making it happen? Or the thought just stays on its own, without anyone or anything making it happen?
It feels like there is something thats holding it still so to speak. If I concentrate on a word and focus hard to make it not change or not go away it does feel like there is something being done. ----

----I felt like I was missing something so I sat with this a bit more just now and ended up asking "what do I do exactly to hold this thought still" and slowly it seems, nothing. I dont do anything to keep the thought still. And with that a thought argues "BUT you decided to keep thinking the thought at least" so to that I asked "what did I do exactly to decide to think the thought" and it is seen through that I did nothing to decide that. It started unfolding in such a way and again the thought and the self claimed it as its own.

These felt very powerful, I will continue looking at these whenever I have a moment.

Excited to keep looking tomorrow, thanks for these incredible pointers.

Gracefully,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:11 am

Hi Philip,

You did an excellent inquiry! :)

But I would like to ask you to stay with these same questions a bit more. Seeing this very clearly is essential. And this needs to be seen not once, not ten times, but hundreds of times. Until there is no doubt left that ALL thoughts appear on their own.

So stay with them longer, and let me know what you find.

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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:40 am

Hi Vivien,

I've been sitting with these questions non stop today. Im surprised how much more it has deepened, last night it felt like it would be impossible to see it any clearer as it was so faint.

I wouldn't say I've managed to see it hundreds of times. But I can see there is a sort of momentum to it, once I saw it 10 times it started getting easier to notice. I got stuck on something halfway through the day where it felt like I would see what I saw yesterday but there was no "aha" like there was at first, and I started thinking, well if im not in control of my thoughts, if theres no me thinking, then theres no me inquiring either. Theres no me that can control whether I get this or not, whether I see the "truth" or not. I can do absolutely nothing. I stayed with that for a few hours and couldn't really get through it until I realized that it was a thought that I thought I was thinking.

I had a much longer session this afternoon to sit with these thoughts and after that it became much clearer. There were still some places where I would get stuck but with enough time looking I could see there was no me thinking. Just a spark of knowing blooming into existence and the almost simultaneous co-opting of that knowing into thought form as me thinking.

Im able to notice that with many things as I turn my attention to them. It seems like I am choosing to type these words but with a bit of looking I can see that theres a spark to move, something comes out of nothing, and my fingers are moving.

I can see that my brain tries to take shortcuts and just remembers what it was like to notice that spark instead of slowing down and taking the time to really look at how thought happens. I am realizing it can't really be rushed.

--Speaking of rushed. I noticed I felt a large sense of urgency, like I had to do this as soon as possible I want it right now it has to happen now its not fair that this hasn't happened already and so on. There was a large sense of needing to control the experience and again I watched that those thoughts weren't caused by me and so as I experienced them arise and they fell away.

There would also be moments where it felt like I just couldn't catch it. I would only notice a thought had appeared halfway through the thinking of the thought. Then I'd notice that the thought that noticed it-- was already halfway through being thought and was accompanied by the thought that I just can't grasp it. Which I looked at and saw I don't know how to grasp or not grasp something, the mental activity is just happening. I often had to get more still or take a bit more time to see it, and notice that it wasn't me grasping and not able to catch it, that I wasn't making that happen either.

I'll just do a little inquiry session to answer these questions again for you.
What do you do exactly to think?
As I look at this, at first I see nothing. Then there is that spark of desiring to ask the inquiry and then there is the thought that asks the question verbally. I sense that if this was stayed with longer and deeper it would get even more subtle. Right now it feels like nothingness and then a sudden movement and then the thought is seen/heard.
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?
As I do this one I sense the field of nothing seems larger because im intending to create a thought that isn't there yet.. but still theres just a field of nothing, visible blackness in my mind, and then a burst of energy with a knowingness that soon a thought mimics and thinks a description of. I do get the sense that this awareness that is responding to the questions or intentions of the inquiry is aware and responsive to the world around it. it doesn't have a sense of me or even a sense of thing-ness. just a responsive aware energy.
And when a thought is present, how do you exactly holding it still?
As I ask this I notice more space and again I notice the response to this inquiry happening of its own. It is being answered but not necessarily by me. There are moment of assumption where it seems like I'm not thinking the words or holding the word but I am the one who is intending them to be held or that I am the one who is pushing the thought forward again and again so it appears to stay. At this instantly the inquiry comes up "how exactly do I push a thought forward/how exactly do I intend to hold a thought." And so slowly it seems this whole mechanism of thought, of holding thoughts, of inquiring into thoughts, its happening with nothing to do with me.

You asked earlier if theres something making the thoughts happen - and at times it does feel like there has to be something at least reacting to the question, or else the question wouldn't be looked at. When I look for that something there is nothing. There is nothing that makes me ask the question and then nothing that makes me answer it.

It seems like whenever I get stuck its because I don't look far enough back, or close enough at the actual source. If I look at something as a reaction to another thing then that has to be looked at as a reaction to another thing and so on. But with a step back I can glimpse that each thing is independently arising even though they seem connected. That definitely needs to be seen more clearly though.

Lots of small progress today. This is so great. Thank you again for your time and presence.

Gracefully,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:28 am

Hi Philip,

You did a nice investigation.
I can see that my brain tries to take shortcuts and just remembers what it was like to notice that spark instead of slowing down and taking the time to really look at how thought happens. I am realizing it can't really be rushed.
Yes, there is a tendency for almost everybody to rely on a memory, and not look again and again in the moment. Which could just lead to a dead-end. So please always look, never rely on the memory of a previous looking.

But, are you sure that you SEE that your brain tries to take shortcuts? Can you actually OBSERVE this in experience? Or is this just a thought? A conceptual imagination?
As I do this one I sense the field of nothing seems larger because im intending to create a thought that isn't there yet.. but still theres just a field of nothing, visible blackness in my mind,
Are you saying that you literally can SEE a field of nothingness, a visible blackness in the mind?
Or is this just another imagination?

Isn’t this ‘visible blackness in the mind’ appear as a visual thought, a mental image?

And what mind are you talking about? Do you believe that there is an actual mind in reality?

Can you observe a ‘mind’ here and now?
What is it in the very moment as you observe it?
What about its shape? Color? Texture? Size?

How ‘mind’ as such is experienced?
As a thought? Sensation? Sound? Imagination?

Where is this mind? Does it exist outside of thought imagination?

I do get the sense that this awareness that is responding to the questions or intentions of the inquiry is aware and responsive to the world around it. it doesn't have a sense of me or even a sense of thing-ness. just a responsive aware energy.
We will look at the notion of awareness later. But for now, let me just ask this.

How do you know that an aware awareness is responding to the world around it?
Isn’t this just an intellectual conclusion, a speculation?


Can you see what happens here? You cannot find a thinker or a doer, but since you believe that there must be something doing things, there must be a subject, thus the belief of this doer or subject is not being placed on the notion of an awareness. Since you cannot find any place to land it on. This is a trick. A trick to keep the belief in a subject / doer intact.

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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:26 am

Hi Vivien,

Today felt like it was a little more challenging. I noticed I was distracting myself from looking and even a little guilt came up. But I caught that and inquired into it. "What do I do exactly to distract myself?" And there was no answer, just a further noticing that things are unfolding by themselves including any distractions or avoidances. Once I saw that it became easier to look as well.

I did find these question more difficult and I could see thoughts coming that "Its happening by itself so I dont need to worry or try to do anything" But.. I noticed that that was always just a thought that would come up only when I believed it was difficult and that I was having a hard time. Actually inquiring into it I can see that there is nothing difficult. It is only a thought, not attached to anything.

I hope its ok I go through the day like this. I try to be thorough and catch where I get stuck in an assumption or belief but I think I find it reassuring to type it out in case I miss something within all that. Hmm that being said maybe I should look at who is being thorough, how exactly do I be thorough and catch my beliefs...
That is just happening by itself as well. It is all so funny.

Onto the pointers.
But, are you sure that you SEE that your brain tries to take shortcuts? Can you actually OBSERVE this in experience? Or is this just a thought? A conceptual imagination?
What seems to happen is I see a picture of what the noticing of the thought arising seemed to illicit. So I bring up the question 'What do I do to think' and right away I see the image of a spark type thing instead of following through with the inquiry. In order to see through that what comes up is noticing the arising of the spark image as well. With enough focus so that the image doesn't come up for the image...

It seems that very often what happens as well is I'll look into the past. So a thought will arise and I look to see how it arose instead of being present to what happens as the next thought arises. And looking into the past really is just looking at a picture, or looking at the words of the thought. That's when that sense I described yesterday of trying to catch it and being unable to catch it happens.

-- And that connects with another thing that's been happening where naturally inquires have just been arising throughout the day. I'll be hearing something and the thought "what do I do to hear this" arises and there's a sense of being in the past with that. Slowly as I sit with that it feels like I get pulled into the present, so to speak, more like my awareness shifts forward. But its almost like hearing is processed by an I first and so by the time "I" am hearing it, it's already passed by the sound is already gone. This felt pretty subtle, and as that was noticed it seemed like naturally I would be more present, more on the cusp of life unfolding, of sounds happening. But I couldn't quite process that properly.. Which I guess "I" literally can't process that properly/experience it naturally. It also was very brief but it kept happening throughout the day with hearing and seeing and other random things.
Are you saying that you literally can SEE a field of nothingness, a visible blackness in the mind?
Or is this just another imagination?
This was super difficult for some reason. At times I couldn't even get to the place where I could see that field of nothingness. and at other times I did notice that it was an imagination but it was very difficult to stay with.
Isn’t this ‘visible blackness in the mind’ appear as a visual thought, a mental image?
It was difficult to stay with because as I investigated it seemed like I did SEE darkness when my eyes were closed. And that darkness was different from the blackness in the mind that was a thought. but they seemed similar and both seemed non describable and hard to see so it was difficult to even notice either, let alone differentiate.
BUT when I ask the question again "what do I do to birth a thought" I can see that a thought image of a black arena/space for thought appears. So all that struggle I guess for nothing.
And what mind are you talking about? Do you believe that there is an actual mind in reality?
As I read this last night right before bed I was laughing so hard. Even now this is so funny. As soon as I read it it was seen. What a fantastic question. Still it needed to be sat with, and this also I found difficult. Or maybe there was some of that avoidance at first that I mentioned above. As I sat with it at times there was a sense that by noticing the falseness of the mind it was like I was leaving something comfortable. But I sat with that as well and that comfortableness was just an image. still it pops in from time to time as I sit with that question. Before I read that there was absolutely a belief that there is an actual mind in reality. Makes me laugh now just thinking about it.
Can you observe a ‘mind’ here and now?
The mind that comes up is an image. Well it feels like space but when I look at the space it's the image of space. When I look "here and now" there's nothing. It just seems like I start seeing out of my eyes a lot more clearly. It's like my sense of self is thrust forward and isn't 'sitting back' in the mind. Which leads me to think "what is that sense of self that is thrust forward." And I guess this is a bigger question. With my eyes open I see so many things and quickly see how instantly (like with sound) all things are quickly processed by the I. So when I see there's no mind here and now I'm thrust into the noticing of vision. And that feels like so many things that need to be inquired into. I can see my feet and can clearly see the thought that makes it "my foot" or even "a foot." maybe im getting ahead of myself here..
What is it in the very moment as you observe it?
What about its shape? Color? Texture? Size?
When what I wrote above doesn't happen I see it as a black oval shaped space the size of my head. It feels very real unless it's looked at a particular way. But now as I'm looking for it I feel like I can't be present and find the mind, but I can almost slink back into pictures and thoughts and then the mind feels solid within that world of thoughts. I'm not sure if that makes sense. I guess because it's a thought observing a thought so of course the thought thinks the thought is real?
How ‘mind’ as such is experienced?
As a thought? Sensation? Sound? Imagination?
I love the subtleties in your questions. They leave no stone unturned. Out of those options I'd say the closest to the experience is an imagining. After I wrote the above paragraph it really just seems like a thought thinking about a thought that makes it feel real. It's still easy to slip into that but it seems a lot less real and present now.
How do you know that an aware awareness is responding to the world around it?
Isn’t this just an intellectual conclusion, a speculation?
YES. Im glad you said this because I was thinking about that exactly all night. I stayed with this inquiry a lot less than the other ones today but upon reading "intellectual conclusion" I started thinking about what else could be an intellectual conclusion. It seems like so much of what I think is true or even so much of what I think is directly experienced is actually just a conclusion about a past experience, even if that experience just 'recently' happened. Everything just seems like thought. I have sensations through my body when I tune into them but I barely even feel the sensations truly as they are passed through such a strong filter of thought. "my legs that are wearing black pants with white socks that under the pants have hair and skin on them are feeling a sensation that feels like fluttering of a Butterly and it is moving up through the red muscles with tendons and there are bones under..." and so on. Not sure if that is the greatest example. But particularly with this assumption it was almost shocking to realize how much was assumed. A second before I read it it was obvious that the awareness is responding but so many things have to be believed in order to speculate that.
A trick to keep the belief in a subject / doer intact.
I'm also glad you wrote this because I sensed this as well but wasn't sure if that's just how it was or if I was tricking myself. Thank you, thank you. It very much did seem like the thoughts would think "the self that 'does/causes' is just going to be replaced by this awareness that 'does/causes.' But really I guess I don't know that, its all just a thought.

Feels like I kind of rambled today but it seems that while today felt slow, lot's of little shifts are happening.

Thanks for reading, replying, helping, and being.

Gracefully,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:54 am

Hi Philip,
Today felt like it was a little more challenging. I noticed I was distracting myself from looking and even a little guilt came up. But I caught that and inquired into it. "What do I do exactly to distract myself?" And there was no answer, just a further noticing that things are unfolding by themselves including any distractions or avoidances. Once I saw that it became easier to look as well.

I did find these question more difficult and I could see thoughts coming that "Its happening by itself so I dont need to worry or try to do anything" But.. I noticed that that was always just a thought that would come up only when I believed it was difficult and that I was having a hard time. Actually inquiring into it I can see that there is nothing difficult. It is only a thought, not attached to anything.
These are very good observations.
It seems like so much of what I think is true or even so much of what I think is directly experienced is actually just a conclusion about a past experience, even if that experience just 'recently' happened.
Exactly.

So there is the raw experience… colors, shapes, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, feelings, emotions + mental images and verbal thoughts popping up from nowhere. This is ALL what is happening. This is it. This is reality. This experience, here now.
But, and there is a big BUT here… we don’t see those mental images and verbal thoughts only as pure imaginations, and conceptual thought-fluff…. Rather we believe them to be real. We are so enchanted with this conceptual overlay over reality, that we are mistaking this conceptual thought-fluff with reality.
Everything just seems like thought.
Not everything but most things are just thoughts. We are living in a virtual reality of our own thoughts.
I have sensations through my body when I tune into them but I barely even feel the sensations truly as they are passed through such a strong filter of thought.
Yes! But if you shift your attention to sensations, then it’s easier to notice when thoughts are overwhelming the experience, and covering up WHAT IS. The simple experience of sensations.
But particularly with this assumption it was almost shocking to realize how much was assumed.
Excellent! You are doing a very nice investigation :)
I'll be hearing something and the thought "what do I do to hear this" arises and there's a sense of being in the past with that. Slowly as I sit with that it feels like I get pulled into the present, so to speak, more like my awareness shifts forward.
Let’s investigate the notion of time.

Is it possible to be anywhere else then here now?
When there is a thought about the past, WHEN does that thought is happening?
And WHEN does a fantasy about the future is happening?

Is it possible to fall out of this present moment?

When there is a thought or image ABOUT the past, then is that the ACTUAL past?
Or that is just a thought or imagination ABOUT the "past'? And only thoughts commenting on it saying ‘It’s a memory, it’s in the past’?

Is there other time and space than here now?
Do you need to try to be here now? Or to be present?
Can you be not present? Is that possible?


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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 am

Hi Vivien!

Today was fun, I really enjoyed these questions. They seemed subtle and nuanced at times but grossly obvious at other times. More and more I'm noticing how much of my experience is thought based, especially with todays pointers.
Is it possible to be anywhere else then here now?
Another brilliant pointer that just immediately unseats the self. What was interesting with this is sometimes it led to a weird old memory type feeling of being trapped. Like awareness is only here now, and it's stuck here. There is nowhere else, nowhere else exists. That weird blurry memory (thats just a thought image) of trying to escape, and like being stuck in a cage trapped and wanting to get out. I can see that's just a thought but it caught my attention the few times it happened because it seemed so familiar yet forgotten. As I look at that image now though there is no real sensation attached to it, just the picture.

I had an experience before during a non-dual guided meditation where "now" was beyond time and beyond space. Before that I had always conceptualized "the now" as right now and then now and then now, but at the moment I saw it was now and only now, all time moving through the now and not the other way around. Well I didn't quite experience that today, at least not to that depth, but there were moments of clarity similar to that. There is only now and not even a controller in the now, just unfolding. I don't really have the expectation of experiencing that again, but I feel like that gave me a clue of where to look. That ever present now-ness.
When there is a thought about the past, WHEN does that thought is happening?
And WHEN does a fantasy about the future is happening?
I stayed with this almost non stop today. It seemed very elusive. When I was lost in thought through the day, fully identified with the thoughts about past or future it seemed real. But when I try to look at it, they don't. I can't bring up a thought about the past or future to truly see if it's in the now because when I'm looking like that, it's already in the now and just a thought. What I noticed happening is: I would be lost in the future or the past, distracted, and I'd notice then ask myself if I was still here now while I was distracted. What came up at first was yes I was just here now while thoughts thought about themselves and the identity was wrapped up in that and so awareness wasn't noticing other things. But as that kept being noticed through the day I saw that that was an image. It felt like I can't know if I was still here now while distracted in the past or future because thats not happening now. What is happening now is that memory of being distracted is being noticed and not the actual experience of being distracted. So I'm not sure if I can answer that question. When I'm enchanted by past or future thoughts there's only the present experience of being enchanted by thoughts and not the experience of being aware of being distracted by thoughts. And the experience of noticing the distraction of thoughts is actually just a visual image of the past that has no reality. So the only honest answer is that I don't know when a past thought is happening. When it's noticed it's happening now, when it's not noticed, its not noticed and I can't even be sure that it happened because it's just a memory image.

Hope that makes sense.
Is it possible to fall out of this present moment?
No, theres nothing I can do or find or experience that shows that's possible. The more I look the more noticeable it is that there's only this present moment. This can quickly become an image though. It seems the first time I ask this after a break from inquiring everything feels very present, it seems there was presence before and presence continues and seems infinite. But quickly I start looking at the image of presence instead of actually noticing it. But even while looking at the image of presence instead of being aware of it, there is still only presence. All the thoughts and beliefs are on top of the present moment. Like if you cover up a desk with sheets of paper, there's still a desk underneath even if you can't see it. The desk is supporting everything on top of it.
When there is a thought or image ABOUT the past, then is that the ACTUAL past?
This is similar to the other question above. There is nothing in my experience that I can find that it's the actual past. I can only notice my experience in the present.
Or that is just a thought or imagination ABOUT the "past'? And only thoughts commenting on it saying ‘It’s a memory, it’s in the past’?
Yes. I enjoyed looking at the idea of memory. I can tell there's more to inquire with memory but I had a few moments where I could see that all memories are just thoughts. I can't actually know that the past even existed. So in fact there is only here now with a constant added memory of "a moment ago." There are only thoughts now about the past. It was interesting how the thought/image I spent the most time looking at was the memory of myself being distracted just a moment before. It seemed so recent that it was categorized as "still pretty much now." And it took some time for that to be noticed as a memory.
Is there other time and space than here now?
I can't find it. Every other time and space is a memory and so it's just a thought. The only thing I can really know exists now is the experience of answering this question on my computer. Now and here. Sensations and images and sounds of what is arising. All other places and times are thoughts. Those thoughts might be believed at times but they are only believed here and now.
Do you need to try to be here now? Or to be present?


When I was exploring this again it seemed inescapable. Certainly the illusion of trying to be here comes up. I notice theres a sense of relaxing in order to try to be here now. But I can't decide when to relax or even know how to do that, it's not me doing it. But that here now-ness is ever present. It seems silly to think I have to do something to try to be here. Like asking if I have to try to exist. It's completely beyond me. Oh that's funny.

Can you be not present? Is that possible?
I can kick and scream and try to get out of the present but that would all be happening in the present. As it is its just happening in a thought. I can't even purposely distract myself to see if I can be not present because in the present I'm distracting myself. And moments where I'm not present are only ever memories that are just thoughts and have no reality. Just a thought telling itself that it wasn't present a moment ago.

Wow all that seems pretty revolutionary but also very normal. Still feels like there's a lot to go through but I guess that's just another thought.

Thanks for the great pointers, had a great time inquiring with them.

Gracefully, with love,

Philip

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Vivien
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:47 am

Hi Philip,
where I could see that all memories are just thoughts.
Exactly.
I can't actually know that the past even existed. So in fact there is only here now with a constant added memory of "a moment ago." There are only thoughts now about the past. It was interesting how the thought/image I spent the most time looking at was the memory of myself being distracted just a moment before. It seemed so recent that it was categorized as "still pretty much now." And it took some time for that to be noticed as a memory.
Excellent observations.
But that here now-ness is ever present. It seems silly to think I have to do something to try to be here. Like asking if I have to try to exist. It's completely beyond me. Oh that's funny.
Is there any difference between experience and ‘present moment’?
Another brilliant pointer that just immediately unseats the self. What was interesting with this is sometimes it led to a weird old memory type feeling of being trapped. Like awareness is only here now, and it's stuck here. There is nowhere else, nowhere else exists.
So are there three things happening:

1. Present moment
2. Experience
3. Awareness

How many things are there in reality?

I can kick and scream and try to get out of the present but that would all be happening in the present.
And what is it that could kick and scream? Is there something separate form THIS (what is happening here now) that could try to get out of the present?
Or the present moment, or the present experience shows up AS a story of someone wanting to kick and scream?
It felt like I can't know if I was still here now while distracted in the past or future because thats not happening now.
So are you something separate from this moment?
Are you separate from experience?
What I noticed happening is: I would be lost in the future or the past, distracted, and I'd notice then ask myself if I was still here now while I was distracted.
“I would be lost in the future or the past” – what is this I that is OUTSIDE of the thoughts of future and past, and thus can be lost IN them?

Is there actually anything being lost IN thoughts? Or just experience shows up AS the thought-story of someone being lost in thoughts?


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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PhilipJerzy
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Re: Trying to experience the nothing that I am

Postby PhilipJerzy » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:23 am

Hi Vivien,

Thank you. So much gratitude for this process.

Yesterday I went on a walk with my dog after writing my reply and.. well whatever I wanna say just seems like a picture of a memory now. So much is unfolding and being noticed.
Is there any difference between experience and ‘present moment’?
After sitting with this a while it seemed I did differentiate the two.
So are there three things happening:

1. Present moment
2. Experience
3. Awareness
In fact I differentiated all three even though on first glance intellectually I answered they are the same. Slowly I noticed that I believed that present moment was a moment in time that "I" can be moved in and out of. I believed that experience was the things "I" perceived in the present moment if I managed to be in the present moment. And I believed awareness was the "thing" that experienced the experience.

Hahaha

Thoughts on top of thoughts.

This was hard to investigate. I sat and sat and watch and watched. and I didn't even know where to look. Slowly though the cracks showed. Experience is the present moment. My only knowledge of a so called present moment is the experience of it. So they are the same thing. And the awareness of the experience is just an image.

I saw just a glimpse of that at first but it developed through the day a lot.

It feels silly to even write about the past because its just a thought, it feels like I'm telling you a story now and not some experience that I had.

How many things are there in reality?
It's getting hard to explain the perception now honestly, thought comes up and colours the experience as I type, with images of what supposedly happened "earlier." And that doesn't feel like an honest thing to say, the memories just seem so fake. How to explain? I guess.. the perception of life is the only thing there is in reality. It feels like there are a lot of thoughts that want to explain and talk about that but that is what seemed true when I wrote it.
And what is it that could kick and scream? Is there something separate form THIS (what is happening here now) that could try to get out of the present?
Just an image. Even the self watching the image is an image.
Or the present moment, or the present experience shows up AS a story of someone wanting to kick and scream?
Yes and once that's thought about then there's only the story of someone who thought about a story of someone wanting to kick and scream.
So are you something separate from this moment?
Everything that is separate from this moment appears as an image or thought. At times there is a thought that tells me that a moment ago I was separate from this moment but that is just a story and an image in this moment.
Are you separate from experience?
It seems often that an image/story comes up of a self that experiences, or if that's noticed then of an awareness of the self experiencing. But even the idea of being aware of experience is a second behind the actual experience. The experience is only experienced and then its gone. Not even experienced, even that is a thought. It's simply experience. Through the day I could tell the self (or maybe rather thoughts about this story) kept trying to catch the moment of experience. Still now at times it feels that way until it's noticed that it's a thought chasing a thought.

Actual experience is so .. simple.

I think I had an expectation that there is some kind of high that comes with experiencing the present moment whatever those words mean. Even now it's so simple that I overlook it, or do I simply belief a thought that its been overlooked, or is there even just a thought saying I belief that I've overlooked (it doesn't seem possible to actually overlook). It's just experience, theres no magic about it. It happens and already it's gone. Then there's the awareness of it happening and the feeling of trying to be aware of the experience but that's already not experience. It's just the feeling of the keyboard key pressing in and the sound of the keyboard clacking. Everything else is just a thought. Even those words are too late.

That feels like, just, shocking. but also not shocking. And also thoughts keep coming saying I'm missing something, but who could be missing what? Thats just a thought about a thought.
“I would be lost in the future or the past” – what is this I that is OUTSIDE of the thoughts of future and past, and thus can be lost IN them?
This was the "awareness" that wasn't actually awareness but another identity. Just another thought. Just another dream. I keep getting this sensation like I'm waking up from a dream. Like it's time to wake up and go about my day. It's very odd.
Is there actually anything being lost IN thoughts? Or just experience shows up AS the thought-story of someone being lost in thoughts?
Just an image of being lost in thoughts with an image of a self noticing the image.

It seems like SO MUCH is just images.

Yesterday I went on a walk with my dog after posting my reply. And I started noticing how every memory is a fantasy. And what really changed my perspective was when I realized that while I stopped believing that the memory was real, I kept believing that the thought that I would be thinking had actually been thought. It's like I'm walking, thinking about how I was walking my dog, and then I noticed I was looking at an image and believing it. But I kept believing that some outside entity thought the thought and that was real and lasts forever.

And when that was noticed it seemed like.. every thought I ever thought didn't happen. Thoughts can only happen right now. Even those thought's I just wrote about didn't happen, or I can't know that they did. It's just an image of an image of someone thinking. It seemed at this moment that time just started collapsing and everything I've ever experienced was actually happening now. I could only experience it now. This was experiential and can't really be put into words. It was just clear for a moment that everything is happening now and only now, there was no past, no matter how much I believe in it. No matter how recent it was. This lasted maybe 15 seconds but as I notice the images more and more this seems to keep coming up.

I am shocked at how much is a dream. But even that is a dream. The only thing that I know of a dream is a thought telling me I'm in a dream.

Everything is definitely feeling very funky, feels like lots of progress, but there can't be progress, I am only what I am now.

Still, it feels like there is still things to be seen.

Thanks for the revolutionary pointers, like always.

Gracefully, with love,

Philip


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