Inquiry

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jycha
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Inquiry

Postby jycha » Sun May 28, 2017 11:53 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the "center" we call our self is illusory, yet is the source of all our personal suffering. While I've had flashes of "no-self" these were temporary; the "center" keeps returning.

What are you looking for at LU?
To receive assistance with questioning the self, to get clarity into what aspects (beliefs, attachments, etc) keep the illusory self operative in my life. Finally, to learn how to let go of the self, to be liberated from this illusion.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Help in "self" inquiry, to help me see the hidden concepts and beliefs that sustain the experience of a separate self. Trying to do this on my own seems difficult because I feel there are so many blind spots... I think another pair of "eyes" will help me reveal hidden belief structures and challenge me to let these go.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've been meditating for a couple of decades and have had some powerful experiences that seemed like insight into "no-self." The traditions I've been involved in have included Zen and insight meditation (and a lot of reading Krishnamurti)

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

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:09 pm

Good evening (here in Australia) My label is vince.
What label would you like me to use for you (jycha ?)
Instead of talking about 'no self', tell me what are the characteristics that you see as your self.

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:11 pm

Greetings Vince,
You can use the label jake.
Here is a list of "self" labels that came to mind:
I am not enlightened
I am spiritual
I am alienated
I am tired (physically and emotionally)
I am not ready, well prepared to write, speak, etc
That's all for now

Thank you for responding to my thread.

jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:07 pm

Good evening Jake,
Here is a list of "self" labels that came to mind:
I am not enlightened
I am spiritual
I am alienated
I am tired (physically and emotionally)
I am not ready, well prepared to write, speak, etc
Good stuff. Now read them to yourself and notice the feelings, the sensations in the body as you ponder the meanings (as you read them)
after you have done that;
Now write out the list again, but omit the "I am"
As an example, if you had said "I am a person that likes pizza", you would rewrite it (perhaps) saying "pizza tastes good".
...anyway, give it a go. There is no correct answers. Just report how you felt different between the first list and the second one.

love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:08 pm

Dear Vince
For each "I am..." statement there was a slight contraction in the center of my chest. The I am not enlightened gave rise to a feeling of lack, of not being enough. The "I am alienated" one created a slight feeling of being rejected and the "I am tired" a feeling of heaviness.

Here are my other statements:
There is no enlightenment (relaxed chest and sense of detachment
Spiritual is spiritual... what does that mean? (Relaxed and unconcerned)
There is little contact with people
( so what feeling)
Fatigue comes and goes (letting my body and mind be as they are)
Who is ever ready? (Disinterest)

Overall I feel more relaxed.

In gratitude
Jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:56 pm

Good evening Jake,
The I am not enlightened gave rise to a feeling of lack, of not being enough. - There is no enlightenment (relaxed chest and sense of detachment
Amazing, the difference, aye ? The power of language.
Now, can you find any evidence of a self, other than as a response to language ?
Can you imagine that a SENSE of self, is the result of conditioning that was inculcated using language that consistently reinforces the I/me/mine/my/you/your/us/our/etc ? That is the sensations that arise when any variation of "I am..." is experienced.
If you were to describe all of the characteristics of Jake, all his likes and dislikes, then add his history and all of the details surrounding this, there would be a lot of information. Would you agree ?
If i call this the story of Jake, (maybe even a whole book), can you see that it is ABOUT an organism with a label of Jake ?
It is description. It is explanation. ..but it is not him. It just REFERS to him.
So putting all of this aside for the moment, can you find anything (other than this) in experience that is an actual self ?


love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:59 pm

Dear Vince,
I began this inquiry by listing some more I am ... statements (I want status, I am worried about my job, why am I not free of fear--I am not free of fear, etc). I noticed cars passing my house and for a second just listened. The thoughts then became like false pictures, imaginary projections into an imaginary future (and past), and things seemed to drop away. All "I" could find was just perceiving, perceiving, perceiving, hearing cars go by, just that. No "me" to be found except when thinking started up. I just gently went back to listening, and there was nothing else but perceiving, with thoughts flowing by but without any significance. I recall reading Bankei some time ago and he said something to the effect of just remain in the unborn. Is this the unborn? That simple, just listening?
Peace,
Jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:32 pm

Good evening Jake,
No "me" to be found except when thinking started up.
So describe this "me".
Jake, do go through my last post and attend to all of the questions there.
All "I" could find was just perceiving, perceiving,
Good one. So answer this from experience (not logic);
Is an experiencer required to do the experiencing of the experienced ? (remember, from experiencing.)
Is this the unborn?
Is this direct experiencing, before thoughts arrive to describe/explain/corrupt ?


love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:40 pm

Greetings Vince,
Good evening Jake,
No "me" to be found except when thinking started up.
So describe this "me".

'A thought of someone needing to get something done, or not being sure if "he" is doing this inquiry correctly. There is a slight contraction of the chest area (body sensation) and the thought of "I" but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind the sensations or thoughts.'

Jake, do go through my last post and attend to all of the questions there.
Good evening Jake,
The I am not enlightened gave rise to a feeling of lack, of not being enough. - There is no enlightenment (relaxed chest and sense of detachment
Amazing, the difference, aye ? The power of language.
Now, can you find any evidence of a self, other than as a response to language ?

'No; a self becomes apparent in the process of mental reactions and sensations but when looking there is nothing behind these reactions/sensations.'

Can you imagine that a SENSE of self, is the result of conditioning that was inculcated using language that consistently reinforces the I/me/mine/my/you/your/us/our/etc ? That is the sensations that arise when any variation of "I am..." is experienced.

'I have a question; can one have a reaction (mental/bodily) without a belief in self, or is the belief so ingrained/automatic that it is not seen, at least without some digging?'

If you were to describe all of the characteristics of Jake, all his likes and dislikes, then add his history and all of the details surrounding this, there would be a lot of information. Would you agree ?
If i call this the story of Jake, (maybe even a whole book), can you see that it is ABOUT an organism with a label of Jake ?
It is description. It is explanation. ..but it is not him. It just REFERS to him.
So putting all of this aside for the moment, can you find anything (other than this) in experience that is an actual self ?

'When looking, no. A concept of self arises when reactions are going but I can't locate an actual self. Its like hearing the cars go by, just hearing without someone hearing (unless I stop listening and go into conceptualization).'

'Thank you for your questions.
Peace,
Jake'

love

vince
All "I" could find was just perceiving, perceiving,
Good one. So answer this from experience (not logic);
Is an experiencer required to do the experiencing of the experienced ? (remember, from experiencing.)

'There seems to be just perceiving; a perceiver is thought about when not attending to the experience. But experiencing is already happening, its not a decision "I" made.'
Is this the unborn?
Is this direct experiencing, before thoughts arrive to describe/explain/corrupt ?


love

vince
Peace,
Jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:21 pm

Good evening Jake,
No "me" to be found except when thinking started up.
So describe this "me".
A thought of someone needing to get something done,
Just to be clear, are you saying that you are the thought, or that you are the feeling of needing to get something done?
or not being sure if "he" is doing this inquiry correctly.
..or a feeling of confusion ?
There is a slight contraction of the chest area (body sensation)
Who or what is experiencing this ?
and the thought of "I" but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind the sensations or thoughts.'
Can you identify where these thoughts come from ? (identify in experience)
'No; a self becomes apparent in the process of mental reactions
When you say "becomes apparent", in what way does this happen ?
When looking, no. A concept of self arises when reactions are going but I can't locate an actual self.
Do you think that what was previously seen as a self, is actually a concept of self ?
There seems to be just perceiving; a perceiver is thought about when not attending to the experience.
Excellent. Now do this as an exercise. Pick something to perceive and focus on it while being aware of the thinking process until it slows. See if you can experience perception without thoughts, even if for a split second.
Describe what happened (as best you can)

love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:31 pm

Dear vince,
So describe this "me".
A thought of someone needing to get something done,
"Just to be clear, are you saying that you are the thought, or that you are the feeling of needing to get something done?"
I am the feeling of needing to get something done. It's as if I'm identifying with the emotional/bodily pull when the thought of needing to do something arises.
or not being sure if "he" is doing this inquiry correctly.
"..or a feeling of confusion ?"
Definitely feeling of confusion.
There is a slight contraction of the chest area (body sensation)
"Who or what is experiencing this ?"
I don't know. When looking the sensations are just changing.
and the thought of "I" but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind the sensations or thoughts.'
"Can you identify where these thoughts come from ? (identify in experience)"
No; the thoughts seem to appear then subside.
'No; a self becomes apparent in the process of mental reactions
"When you say "becomes apparent", in what way does this happen ?"
When mental reactions are occurring (usually as scenarios) there is self looking at someone or situation. The self is located, e.g., in from of an imaginary person. The self feels real because bodily sensations and emotions are happening during thinking.
When looking, no. A concept of self arises when reactions are going but I can't locate an actual self.
"Do you think that what was previously seen as a self, is actually a concept of self ?"
Yes, it is a concept of a self.
There seems to be just perceiving; a perceiver is thought about when not attending to the experience.
"Excellent. Now do this as an exercise. Pick something to perceive and focus on it while being aware of the thinking process until it slows. See if you can experience perception without thoughts, even if for a split second.
Describe what happened (as best you can)"
I chose to listen to a fan running. At first there was just hearing then switching back and forth to thinking ("am I doing it right?") to realizing "Am I... " was just more thinking. Back to just hearing the fan. Thoughts subsided in a few minutes, but there seemed to remain a "body situated in a room" image (?) lurking in the background. That background image faded and there was just hearing. This time there was no space... as if the sound was inside my head, then my entire body. This lasted just a few minutes.

Peace,
-jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:45 pm

Good evening Jake,
I am the feeling of needing to get something done. It's as if I'm identifying with the emotional/bodily pull when the thought of needing to do something arises.
Say this without the "I am". Is the identifying still there ?
Does there have to be ownership for it to be accurate ?
We are not changing anything, just considering it from a different perspective.
Definitely feeling of confusion.
What happens if you accept the feeling of confusion as being ok ?
If it is seen as just a feeling, without the need to do something about it. Without saying that it means something.
I don't know. When looking the sensations are just changing.
Good observation.
The self feels real because bodily sensations and emotions are happening during thinking.
Now, this is a big one. It's a good and useful thing that there is a SENSE of self at times. Without it, to negotiate daily existence would be very difficult. Communication might be impossible.
The big question is; Is it necessary to believe that the feeling of a self means that an actual self exists ?
This time there was no space... as if the sound was inside my head, then my entire body. This lasted just a few minutes.
Would it be accurate to say that during these few minutes, that in experience, all there was, was 'sound-ing' ?
No you. No world. No body. No thing. ...just sound-ing ?

love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:12 pm

Dear Vince
Good evening Jake,
I am the feeling of needing to get something done. It's as if I'm identifying with the emotional/bodily pull when the thought of needing to do something arises.
Say this without the "I am". Is the identifying still there ?
Does there have to be ownership for it to be accurate ?
We are not changing anything, just considering it from a different perspective.

No there isn't any identifying; planning to do something does't have to mean its "my" planning. Your last statement was very revealing. There was an assumptiom or expectation that "no self" meant no more reactions, hence the subsequent belief "I am still not there," or I've relapsed back into illusion when reactions occured.
Definitely feeling of confusion.
What happens if you accept the feeling of confusion as being ok ?
If it is seen as just a feeling, without the need to do something about it. Without saying that it means something.

Then it really isn't a problem, just another arising that's not mine.
I don't know. When looking the sensations are just changing.
Good observation.
The self feels real because bodily sensations and emotions are happening during thinking.
Now, this is a big one. It's a good and useful thing that there is a SENSE of self at times. Without it, to negotiate daily existence would be very difficult. Communication might be impossible.
The big question is; Is it necessary to believe that the feeling of a self means that an actual self exists ?

So there can be a sense of self that really in't there, we can just act as if. This has always been a stumbling block for me; many times I've been with others in a state of meditation, like I was barely there.... assuming this was an authentic way of being.
This time there was no space... as if the sound was inside my head, then my entire body. This lasted just a few minutes.
Would it be accurate to say that during these few minutes, that in experience, all there was, was 'sound-ing' ?
No you. No world. No body. No thing. ...just sound-ing ?

Yes, it "felt" as though everything faded away and just the humming was humming.

Peace, and thank you.
Jake

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vinceschubert
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Re: Inquiry

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:18 pm

Good evening Jake,
There was an assumptiom or expectation that "no self" meant no more reactions,
Yes, that's pretty universal. Pop spirituality has it that when enlightened, we are no longer human.
This may have arisen from no longer having a self (when in fact, there never was one - other than a believed story).
If you think about it this way; the human organism is very efficient at lots of things. ..like tying your shoe laces. It learns that if repetition happens then it can automate it pretty quickly. Good aye ? it saves having to be conscious of every step taken.
It's habit or conditioning that leads to this. It can become a 'problem' when we habituate maladaptive behavior. ..but there it is. We get angry and frustrated about defending our story of our selves when another story says that it shouldn't have happened the way it did.
Once we recognize the difference between what is actual and what is concept, we start to see the nature of the maladaptive behavior and the conditioning starts to change.
This is a rewiring of the neuronal pathways in the brain. The old habits drop out because they don't keep getting repeated.
i recommend that the moment you recognize that you are lost in a story line, even if it is well after the fact, that you celebrate the recognition with a good hearty laugh.
Very quickly you will get so good at this that you will have that recognition in the middle of being swept up by emotion. At this point there will be an acceleration of the de-conditioning, because the old behavior won't get completed.
When you consider how many years of conditioning brought you to this point, you can't help but be patient with the speed of change.
or I've relapsed back into illusion when reactions occured.
You will live with the illusion. That's healthy. Before, when the story was believed, it was a delusion. Now it's an illusion that is recognized.
If it is seen as just a feeling, without the need to do something about it. Without saying that it means something.
Excellent. ..and this means that there is no negative emotion to follow it.
assuming this was an authentic way of being.
A nice state, yes, but consider this; Is there any way that actually exists that isn't authentic ?
Yes, it "felt" as though everything faded away and just the humming was humming.
You can refer to this as direct experiencing.
Now what happens to it the moment we try to explain or describe it ?
Is it possible to do it justice with words ?

love

vince

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jycha
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Re: Inquiry

Postby jycha » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:13 am

Dear Vince,

[/quote]Once we recognize the difference between what is actual and what is concept, we start to see the nature of the maladaptive behavior and the conditioning starts to change.
This is a rewiring of the neuronal pathways in the brain. The old habits drop out because they don't keep getting repeated.
...
Very quickly you will get so good at this that you will have that recognition in the middle of being swept up by emotion. At this point there will be an acceleration of the de-conditioning, because the old behavior won't get completed.
When you consider how many years of conditioning brought you to this point, you can't help but be patient with the speed of change.[/quote]

Yes, there is a faster dropping of the sense of owning and/or being the story, and looking to see if an "I'm getting better at this or getting somewhere," thought arises. Simply noticing thoughts and feelings are happening.
I do have a question about the process of deconditioning; is this across the board or do I need to attend to specific stories? I'm thinking of addictions like smoking.

.[/quote] A nice state, yes, but consider this; Is there any way that actually exists that isn't authentic ? [/quote]

Yes, actually existing ways are authentic. I was wondering about your earlier comment that a sense of self is needed in everyday interactions. It seems that my relations with others are evaporating (except with immediate family).


[/quote] You can refer to this as direct experiencing.
Now what happens to it the moment we try to explain or describe it ?
Is it possible to do it justice with words ? [/quote]

Not at all.

With gratitude,
Jake


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