LU Thread

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:51 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Guides use direct pointing techniques to help me see in direct experience that belief in the self is a misinterpretation, a mistaken belief that there is a fixed unchanging entity that inhabits my body, that makes decisions, choices and that directs my actions. This misunderstanding is then packaged and labeled as "me".

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for help/guidance so that I can clearly and irrefutably see that the belief in the self in incorrect. I hope that terms such as "self" are adequately defined so that we are both speaking the same language.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I except a level of responsiveness and dialog that is possible in a one to one communication versus something static like reading a text or even someone else's thread. I hope that we establish a common language early in the dialog to avoid confusion.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been a practicing Buddhist for 19 years. Prior to that, practicing in a yogic/Hindu context. I have received direct pointing guidance regarding the self from another organization about a year ago and need further guidance to be clear about what I see and understand.

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

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:45 am

Hi Verygneiss

I'm a guide here and happy to have a conversation with you.

What name can I refer to you by? Let me know when you are ready to begin.

Warm regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:00 am

Hello Bodhi,

Thank you for being my guide. We can start right away if that is OK with you.

Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:32 pm

Hey Jim.

It's good to meet you. Sure let's begin your inquiry.

So tell me about your current sense of self - how do you experience this? What reality does it have to you?

Warm regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:00 pm

Hi Bodhi,

This question can be answered in several ways.

When I am mindful and look directly at what is happening, I can honestly say that experience just happening, without anyone causing it to arise or there to own it. Decisions happen, choices are made, preferences exist, likes and dislikes exist, tendencies exist, desire and ill will occurs, all sorts of experience is present, but none of these experiences are "mine", there is no "me" here to experience it as some solid, fixed unchanging entity. It seems like there is just experience happening and presumably consciousness present to be aware of it, but no me, no "self".

On the other hand, when life gets difficult, stressed, rushed and events arise that are beyond my capacity to deal with skillfully, in other words when life gets challenging, I begin to identify with these experiences as "mine" and there is a reversion back to a familiar "me", a Self that likes/dislikes, controls, struggles and exists as an solid entity. The old pattern of identification with experience reasserting itself, but temporarily. I have heard the term "selfing" used, which may or may not apply to this phenomenon.

So, during the course of the day these two ways of relating to experience can come and go. There are times when it seems like I have clearly and fully seen through the Self (lower 1st fetter self) and there are times when identification with experience (usually unpleasant experience) is in complete control and I behave and feel like the Self is very real.

I have spoken to a number of people who have completed the LU program and enthusiastically and emphatically speak of NO SELF as if they have never tightened around or identified with experience again (as I do frequently), the notion of Self never even enters their minds and this realization appeared to them as suddenly as a thunderbolt.

Therefore, I ask myself "Have I just partly seen through the Self? " or "Am I not getting it at all? " or "Has my realization of No Self been so gradual as to make it seem like a non-event and that the selfing process manifesting in all sorts of assertive ways is just the next obstacle on the path? "

There is also an element of mystery in examining the existence of the Self. I can clearly see in direct experience that decisions, choices, effort, intention and direction just happen and do not need a Self to occur. In Buddhist terms they are based on a vast web of conditions, past and present (5 skandhas). I can see how in the past I misinterpreted these occurrences as the Self. However, the mystery lies in how intention manifests. To believe that we are all simply adrift in a sea of conditions with no influence at all seems totally nihilistic. It seems like there needs to be some kind of "conditioner" (no not for the hair) to make a change in trajectory and the whole realm of ethics possible. This is probably going off into too much philosophy and beyond the scope of this program.

I hope this reply is not too long winded. I am looking forward to hearing back from you. Best,
Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:14 pm

Hey Jim

Thanks for the most useful and informative response.
I have spoken to a number of people who have completed the LU program and enthusiastically and emphatically speak of NO SELF as if they have never tightened around or identified with experience again (as I do frequently), the notion of Self never even enters their minds and this realization appeared to them as suddenly as a thunderbolt.
The realisation itself is something that is not forgotten. It is the direct knowing of the truth of no-self. However, this does not mean that the illusory self does not show it's head again. Since the "Self" is a habit - a form of conditioning - it keeps appearing as habitual thought patterns. It has a particular momentum, even after the illusion has been seen through.
Therefore, I ask myself "Have I just partly seen through the Self? " or "Am I not getting it at all? " or "Has my realization of No Self been so gradual as to make it seem like a non-event and that the selfing process manifesting in all sorts of assertive ways is just the next obstacle on the path? "
We can look in depth at your realisation of no-self in our conversation so that you can ascertain for yourself how clearly you have seen. "Selfing" will most likely continue even after the clear seeing - but it is just habitual.
There is also an element of mystery in examining the existence of the Self. I can clearly see in direct experience that decisions, choices, effort, intention and direction just happen and do not need a Self to occur. In Buddhist terms they are based on a vast web of conditions, past and present (5 skandhas). I can see how in the past I misinterpreted these occurrences as the Self. However, the mystery lies in how intention manifests. To believe that we are all simply adrift in a sea of conditions with no influence at all seems totally nihilistic. It seems like there needs to be some kind of "conditioner" (no not for the hair) to make a change in trajectory and the whole realm of ethics possible. This is probably going off into too much philosophy and beyond the scope of this program.
We shall put aside all philosophy for now and look at direct experience. The truth we need to uncover is right here and now, and relying on second hand information is a detraction from the goal. :)

I hope that's all cool?

If you sit quietly for a couple of minutes and go within - look for how the self is creating itself and share what comes up.

Warmest regards :)
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi Bodhi,

Thank you for your insightful reply.

Just got back from a long, steep climb in the mountains. Now, eyes closed, body pleasantly tired, mind alert, center of awareness around the heart. Experience of all six senses flowing, and awareness to take it in. No particular sense of self present or creating itself. Just a sense of awareness of experience.

As time goes on, I detect an unpleasant smokey smell coming from the kitchen and can sense some old views/opinions arise about what is going on, a mild habitual reaction. As a result I can feel my center of awareness move upwards to around my head, more thought based. Then the unpleasant loud grating sound of the neighbor's shop equipment. Also a mild negative response from me. But no real sense of a self reestablishing itself as sometimes occurs with emotionally charged events. Then thoughts of what needs to be done tonight and tomorrow start arising.

That's all I have to report at the moment. Experience and awareness. No particular ownership of either.

Let me know if this is a useful way to look. Thanks again,
Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:23 am

Hi Piers

Good work :)
Let me know if this is a useful way to look.
This is a great starting point, thank you.
As time goes on, I detect an unpleasant smokey smell coming from the kitchen and can sense some old views/opinions arise about what is going on, a mild habitual reaction.
Then the unpleasant loud grating sound of the neighbor's shop equipment. Also a mild negative response from me.
Then thoughts of what needs to be done tonight and tomorrow start arising.
Let's start looking at our experience of reality. There are sensations in direct experience as well as thought and its content. You have spoken about all of these above.

By isolating a sensation, let's say touch, can a separate self be found?

So if you seat yourself on a chair, close your eyes and relax. Become intently aware of the location of the point of contact between body and chair. Sense the sensation that is occurring there.

Can you sense a separate body and chair, or can you sense only a sensation? Are there two things present or only one?

My warmest regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:15 am

Hi Bodhi,

In direct experience there is just the sensation, one thing, not two.

Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:40 pm

Hey Jim

Thanks for the response.

Please can you confirm that in direct experience of the senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touch you can only find the sensation and no separate sens-er and sens-ed.

If this is the case, please do let me know how separation and a separate self is created.

Warmest regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:50 pm

Bodhi,

In direct experience it is just the raw sensations. In seeing, the most basic experience is colors and shapes, then recognition of what they represent (the label and solid subject/object relationship) and finally the self in created by identifying with the experience with likes, wants, opinions, ownership as my experience. In direct experience, there is no ownership.

The same goes for the other physical senses. In the most fundamental direct experience, hearing is just sound sensations, followed by labeling as this or that which creates the initial separation, followed by an overlay of identification with the experience as mine and me that cements the sense of self. So in direct experience, I do not see any self of any kind.

On a different matter, what time zone are you in? Perhaps we can coordinate communications a little better.

Thanks,
Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:12 am

Hi Jim
the self in created by identifying with the experience with likes, wants, opinions, ownership as my experience. In direct experience, there is no ownership.
Yes - great.
So in direct experience, I do not see any self of any kind.
Thanks for the confirmation.

So would you say that the "self" is created by thoughts and thinking - given that "likes, wants, opinions, ownership" are all the content of thought?

If so - who is the creator of these thoughts? Who has choice or ownership over the creation of the "self"?
On a different matter, what time zone are you in? Perhaps we can coordinate communications a little better.
I've just moved to Australia so I'm GMT plus 10 at present and I usually have time to check and respond to threads late in the evening my time. What is your time zone? Are you finding that our responses are too far apart in time?

Warmest regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:36 pm

Hello Bodhi,

Yes, I would say that the self is created by a misinterpretation of experience, through mental activity and by thoughts, based on a mistaken belief. In my direct experience I see all thoughts arising on their own. I do not create them or control them. I can point my attention in a certain direction, but the detailed content of what arises in thought is beyond any control. Thought sensations (mental activity) just arise, as if out of thin air, without me willing it into existence or controlling what arises.

So the creator of these thoughts presumably are the habits that result from the vast web of causes and conditions that preceded them. In direct experience I cannot see the existence of a self that controls/chooses/owns the thoughts and views creating the illusion of self. Its just an accumulation of habits and beliefs. Awareness is present, but not a self.

I can clearly see that there is no self in the drivers seat, directing experience, making choices, taking action, even though all these things do occur. However, at the same time one has a responsibility to make an effort to influence future conditions, which is where the mystery lies. Why else would we all be here on this website seeking knowledge, wanting to see how things really are? Is it purely random that I am spending time here instead of in front of the TV? Another leaf blown here by the wind? Sorry, philosophy again, but an obvious and relevant question.

In direct experience, there is just a flow of sensations resulting from conditions. When life gets difficult and I constrict around experience, it seems that a residual habitual identification with experience kicks in, manifesting as selfing. Conversely, when the flow of life is pleasant and mindfulness is abundant, duality feels quite attenuated.

I hope these answers the questions you pose.

Regarding timing, I am in the US, Mountain time, about 16 hours behind you. So your late evening is my very early morning. It seems like sometimes communication happens every other day. To shorten the gap, I will try my best to reply to your evening posts in the mornings.

Best Regards,
Jim

User avatar
b0dhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:45 am
Contact:

Re: LU Thread

Postby b0dhi » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 pm

Hi Jim
Regarding timing, I am in the US, Mountain time, about 16 hours behind you. So your late evening is my very early morning. It seems like sometimes communication happens every other day. To shorten the gap, I will try my best to reply to your evening posts in the mornings.
Since I've just moved between continents, my life has been a little chaotic to say the least :) I will attempt to respond to you as soon as possible, and in my mornings as well when I can. This should help with keeping some momentum to your inquiry. Hope this helps.
So the creator of these thoughts presumably are the habits that result from the vast web of causes and conditions that preceded them. In direct experience I cannot see the existence of a self that controls/chooses/owns the thoughts and views creating the illusion of self. Its just an accumulation of habits and beliefs.
Excellent work!
Awareness is present, but not a self.
Whatever it is you find that is present, is that findable? Can you find awareness itself? Can you find the cause or source of awareness?
I can point my attention in a certain direction, but the detailed content of what arises in thought is beyond any control.
And what makes attention point in a particular direction besides previous causes and conditions?
at the same time one has a responsibility to make an effort to influence future conditions,
Are future conditions the play out of past causes and conditions or are they directed by this "one" you refer to? If they are not directed, what is this responsibility you speak of?
Sorry, philosophy again, but an obvious and relevant question.
All philosophy would be more stories of thought content, more "Selfing". Do you agree?
Conversely, when the flow of life is pleasant and mindfulness is abundant, duality feels quite attenuated.
Is there duality when there is "no self"?

Wonderful progress Jim :) I look forward to your most engaging answers.

My warmest regards and respect :)
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

User avatar
verygneiss
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:48 am

Re: LU Thread

Postby verygneiss » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:43 pm

Hello Bodhi,

Thank you for your efforts in guiding during the chaos of moving. Do what you can, but please don't overextend. FYI, I will be available until the end of the month and then completely out of internet access for a month.
Whatever it is you find that is present, is that findable? Can you find awareness itself? Can you find the cause or source of awareness?
Consciousness is just present. I can't see a cause or a source. If you are fishing for the self, I certainly don't see that the self as the source of consciousness or awareness.
And what makes attention point in a particular direction besides previous causes and conditions?
Great question! In direct experience, directionality and intention just happens, just like thoughts and mental activity. And I can see that previous causes and conditions underlie the arising of direction, effort and intention. I can see how the totally pervasive effect of this entire web of conditions is beyond our perception and comprehension, and how readily we can construct a self around it.

However, there seems to be something else in the mix. I can see that 99.9% of what arises is due to the past. However, new causes and conditions also come into play in the present moment. I can see clearly that "free will" is a very rare occurrence, but there seems to be a rare element of agency that manifests as a condition. Yes, I realize that agency is a forbidden word in direct experience inquiries, but is there a reason to equate agency or free will with the existence of a self? Does one necessarily represent the other or is it a matter of seeing through the construct? It seems that one does not have to identify with the rare occurrence of agency, to create a self out of agency. Agency too is a condition, but a rather mysterious one. I don't see a contradiction or problem here. This rare free will, for lack of a better term, is also empty of intrinsic existence, not a self unless I want to relate to it as such.

The above starts taking us into the area of the Two Truths, ultimate and conventional. I do not agree with your suggestion that philosophy is a form of selfing. It is the way we process, explain and understand in conventional terms and language what is seen in direct experience. Try turning on your computer and engaging with this dialog in direct experience.
Is there duality when there is "no self"?
In my direct experience of my six senses, when I am fully absorbed in them, there doesn't seem to be any duality, no subject/object relationship. Experience just flows with no self to observe. In day to day experience, degrees of duality are present. Seeing through the grosser illusion of self (1st fetter) may attenuate delusion at the leading edge of practice, but it does not necessarily see through it. It is a different matter when talking about the more subtle illusion of self (8th fetter).

I hope my ramblings address the questions you are guiding me through. I am looking forward to hearing from you about the question of Agency = Self.

Best,
Jim


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests