Zero lower bound

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Abraxaz
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Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:33 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
This site was recommend by fellow mediator at the zen center i attended weekly. He said it was a key aid in helping understand the idea of "nonself" He had mentioned that this teaching is often shrouded in mystery in Zen while its really quite straight forward if taught well - and that this site was one of the clearest ways to learn it.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I am looking to deepen my understanding of the core concept of nonself. I feel I may be getting a sense of this from my current practice And was looking away to deepen this experience.

What is your past experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I currently sit in meditation for 30 to 40 minutes every day first thing in the morning. I attend longer group sittings every week and sometimes set for koan interviews. I have significant history as a nonpracticing catholic

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?:
10

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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Welcome to LU, Abraxaz.
My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
He said it was a key aid in helping understand the idea of "nonself" He had mentioned that this teaching is often shrouded in mystery in Zen while its really quite straight forward if taught well - and that this site was one of the clearest ways to learn it.
You mention 'learn it', whilst the guidance itself isn't a teaching or any knew knowledge to understand, or beliefs to take on board.
The guidance here is for a realisation. Since you have a Zen background, the guidance is here is to break the first fetter of the ten - The realisation that the self is empty, or in other words, to realise that there has never been an inherent self.
The realisation also breaks the next two fetters, doubt and uncertainty about the Dharma, and attachments to spiritual practises and rituals.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I am looking to deepen my understanding of the core concept of nonself.
Understanding would suggest taking on more ideas and beliefs, rather than realising it's actually true.
You'll notice I refer to myself as a guide rather than a teacher. I can guide you to realise something.
There is no inherent self - There never has been or will be.
I currently sit in meditation for 30 to 40 minutes every day first thing in the morning. I attend longer group sittings every week and sometimes set for koan interviews.
Meditation and Introspection are useful. What we do here is simply an extension of your own self-inquiry but focussed into specific areas.

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:07 pm

Welcome to LU, Abraxaz.
My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
He said it was a key aid in helping understand the idea of "nonself" He had mentioned that this teaching is often shrouded in mystery in Zen while its really quite straight forward if taught well - and that this site was one of the clearest ways to learn it.
You mention 'learn it', whilst the guidance itself isn't a teaching or any knew knowledge to understand, or beliefs to take on board.
The guidance here is for a realisation. Since you have a Zen background, the guidance is here is to break the first fetter of the ten - The realisation that the self is empty, or in other words, to realise that there has never been an inherent self.
The realisation also breaks the next two fetters, doubt and uncertainty about the Dharma, and attachments to spiritual practises and rituals.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I am looking to deepen my understanding of the core concept of nonself.
Understanding would suggest taking on more ideas and beliefs, rather than realising it's actually true.
You'll notice I refer to myself as a guide rather than a teacher. I can guide you to realise something.
There is no inherent self - There never has been or will be.
I currently sit in meditation for 30 to 40 minutes every day first thing in the morning. I attend longer group sittings every week and sometimes set for koan interviews.
Meditation and Introspection are useful. What we do here is simply an extension of your own self-inquiry but focussed into specific areas.

Xain Image
Thanks for the fast response
How should we start?


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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:43 am

Well, soon as you like - But did what I mention make sense?
Do you have a grasp of the fetter model and/or stream entry?
Do you have any questions or things you want to bring up before we begin?

What expectations do you have of the guidance - And the end realisation?

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:07 am

Yes what you said made perfect sense. it was very much in keeping with the expectation I had for this interaction.

I do not have a an understanding of "stream entry" nor the fetter model. Although I attend a zen center - I should have maybe clarified that it is a Korean Son temple (i simply used zen as it seems more people understand that)

I do not have any specific questions as of yet. I'm sure they will come to me as we get further into the process.

As to expectations, it may be best to try an analogy. When I was young there were these 3D posters (here is an example http://www.magiceye.com/3dfun/stwkdisp.shtml) For a long time I could not see the 3d image - It requires a shift in the way you look at the image to see the 3d aspect otherwise it just looks like a mess - but one day I could. once you see the image - its easy to see, but its sometimes hard to know how to see the image in the first place. I'm hoping to see more clearly how things are. Meditation has had profound impact on my life and there has been change. I expected that this would help refine my practice further.

I'm happy to provide you with any other information about me that you may need and am ready to start when you feel you know enough about me to point me in the direction

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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks for your reply, Abraxaz.
Thanks for clearing the 'Zen' up - I won't put forward any more Buddhist path stuff, and will take a more simpler tack from this point on.

Thank you for the 3D poster analogy (I love those posters) - It's a fair comparison.

Another comparison we often use is that of Santa Claus - When young, we believe that Santa is a real person.
Then we come to realise he's just a myth - A fictional character - An idea.
Nothing changes . . . but we realise what has been happening all along! (It was really Mum and Dad putting out those presents!) :-)
Meditation has had profound impact on my life and there has been change. I expected that this would help refine my practice further.
Perhaps. I hope you are prepared to consider that there was never a real 'you' meditating. Or a real 'you' that practices.

Some pointers before we begin:

> Be completely honest with me, and yourself.
> Most of the guidance I will ask you what you can FIND, not what you THINK might be going on.
If you find yourself analysing or thinking what the correct answer is, you are not answering from what you can find.
> The more determined you are to see this through, the more likely you are to achieve it.
> Put aside all non-dual beliefs, spiritual, religious, scientific and medical knowledge. Approach this whole thing as simply as possible from basic principles.
> Please try to reply at least once per day - This maintains a momentum in the guiding which is important. If you know you won't be able to reply for a few days, just let me know beforehand - It's ok.

Oh . . . in order to reply 'in quotes' like I have done, a guide for that process is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

Ready to start?

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:57 am

Thanks for clearing the 'Zen' up - I won't put forward any more Buddhist path stuff, and will take a more simpler tack from this point on.
Feel free to continue the Zen and Buddhist references - they are welcomed. If you feel they are not helpful, by all means, do away with them.
I hope you are prepared to consider that there was never a real 'you' meditating. Or a real 'you' that practices.
yes. my first understanding while meditating was that I did not control anything: my thoughts, my feelings, what I felt, even my breath. When focusing on the breath for a long periods the sensation arises that the breathing is happening in an independent kind of way. "I" am not controlling the breath - how long it is, how often it comes. The body breathes.

I'm ready to start. Thank you for your help, your time is appreciated.

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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:24 am

Let us begin simply by addressing 'I' or 'me'.
What do you believe that word points to.
Please answer in simple terms from what you honestly believe right now - This is nothing about spiritual or religious beliefs, terms or phrases.

For example, do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
As simple as that.

Perhaps 'I' refers to the body - The body is doing the seeing of the words, the body is hearing sounds around it and feeling the chair or seat.
Perhaps 'I' refers to the body that it has control of itself. 'I move my arms', 'I move my hands when typing'.
Perhaps 'I' chooses and decides - 'I' chose to begin guidance at LU', 'I will be deciding what to type in a reply to you'.
Perhaps 'I' thinks and experiences those thoughts - 'I am thinking what to say', 'I had an idea yesterday', 'Right now I am seeing an object in my imagination'.
Perhaps 'I' has had past experiences and 'I will have future experiences'.

Those are a few pointers which I believe most people would agree with. Maybe they ring true for you?
What do you think? Let me know your own thoughts and opinions of what 'I' means or refers to.

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:54 pm

I would say that's a very accurate description of what I feel most of the time.

I've always felt that 'me and I' refers to this body, mind and my life in the process of time. As in 'I attended school' or 'I learned to play piano so now I can play the piano'. The future was not decided or controlled, but was not entirely random either. It seems I directed the course of things to some degree - where I live, who I married, what job I chose.



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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:30 pm

It seems I directed the course of things to some degree - where I live, who I married, what job I chose.
Interesting.
So there is an 'I', a separate self that had control and choice over life to some extent.
We'll look into that deeper a little later - You might realise something eye-opening.
I would say that's a very accurate description of what I feel most of the time.
Good. We'll take the tack of 'I am this body here'.

The usual belief that 'I am this body' is usually tied in with the belief that the body as a separate item is responsible or 'DOING' the senses - 'I see', 'I hear', 'I feel' etc

This first exercise is a very basic one that I start off with.
I do this to attempt to 'focus' you to answer from what can be FOUND (or possibly NOT found) rather than THINKING what the correct answer might be, or going to medical, scientific or spiritual beliefs.

We will begin with 'seeing' - Just that one sense on it's own.

Close your eyes.
With eyes closed, you will now experience 'blackness'. There may be other things you can find going on, sure. If you are looking at a bright light, there may be a red glow. There may be sparkly bits or cloudy flecks appearing and disappearing - It really doesn't matter about the specifics.
Just to make things simple, whatever you can see with eyes closed, I'm going to refer to it as 'black' or 'blackness' just for simplicity.

1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
3) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Person be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?

What do you find?

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:53 am

1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
Yes. The experience is that of "blackness" as you described it'
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
No. Not in the sense of my eyes 'seeing' other than blackness.

) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
no. they eyes see images or dont see them.

4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Person be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?
This question is the reason for the long lag time in reply.

So if I think about seeing then I have words for seeing. AS in, "I am seeing blackness" or "I see the lamp", but when I don't think those things , no, there is not a thing that can be found doing those things. There is however, a persistent nagging sensation of the head being the vantage point of the experiencing and seeing things.


I found that I do have a question now. Will you know if or when I have seen things clearly? Will I be able to show you?

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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:32 am

2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
No. Not in the sense of my eyes 'seeing' other than blackness.
That wasn't what I asked.
I asked what could be found.
Did you find a pair of eyes?
There is however, a persistent nagging sensation of the head being the vantage point of the experiencing and seeing things.
Sure, but this is 'feeling', and we haven't moved to that sense just yet.
That's next.

This first exercise is to focus you and get you to answer from what you find rather than speculation.
I found that I do have a question now. Will you know if or when I have seen things clearly?
This seems a strange thing for you to ask.
Don't YOU want to realise something?
The guidance is to get you to a place where you are 100% certain that you've seen through the illusion. Then you'll tell me that it's clear.

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:46 pm

That wasn't what I asked.
I asked what could be found.
Did you find a pair of eyes?

No. I found no eyes behind seeing. The experience was either images or no images. Seeing or not seeing. Focusing on that alone there was nothing else


Im curious as to why you found the last question strange. is there answer to the question?

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Xain
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Xain » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:32 pm

No. I found no eyes behind seeing. The experience was either images or no images. Seeing or not seeing. Focusing on that alone there was nothing else
Good.
In witnessing the blackness, is there a 'behind seeing'? Or an assumption that there is one?
Im curious as to why you found the last question strange. is there answer to the question?
You seemed to be more interested in my opinion of whether you have seen or not, rather than you realising something yourself.
I can gauge if you've seen from what you reply, but my opinion is largely irrelevant. I'm only a guide - I point, you look, you realise. Once you know, you know. It will be 100% clear.

Xain ♥

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Abraxaz
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Re: Zero lower bound

Postby Abraxaz » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:54 am

in witnessing the blackness, is there a 'behind seeing'? Or an assumption that there is one?
There is just seeing. unless I am thinking about the things I see, there is nothing else but seeing.
You seemed to be more interested in my opinion of whether you have seen or not, rather than you realizing something yourself.
I was wondering about how this experience and understanding is demonstrated to anther person. You can not see for me of course - but you may be able to tell if things are not clear to me - and be extension when they are. I'm not more interested in your opinion than my own seeing - simply asking a question about the nature of guiding. Your answer seems to indicate that its not important - which makes sense, if there is no delusion possible about the seeing of the unreality of self.

When we started, I used the analogy of the magic eyes pictures. If you tell me the picture is about a cat when it is a dog, I know you have not seen it. I was kind of wondering if it was like that.


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