Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:13 pm

I'm not going to answer each individual question this time because each is pointing to the same thing. When I close my eyes and let the thoughts and thought impressions subside (which is often a challenge), I realize there is no clear distinction of where the body ends and the environment begins, or just exactly from where the sensations are originating.

There is just this sense of a bubble of awareness, or a general field of awareness, as I said before, and sensations occur in that field. There is definitely no sense of self in that field.

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:29 am

Hi Craig,

Thanks for your answers. I think its worth spending time exploring sensation as many people identify their sense of self within the interplay between sensations and thoughts. It's very useful in this inquiry to be really super clear on the difference between thoughts and sensations.

Paying very close attention to sensations now, read the following statement and pay attention to your reactions, especially to sensations arising in the body, feelings and also $to thoughts that might come up.

There is no I, no self, nobody who is doing anything. There is no I at the centre of experience. There is nobody acting, creating or controlling. The seat behind the steering wheel is empty. There is no doer of deeds.

Please take some time exploring the statements above and post back your responses.

Amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:26 pm

I performed the exercise several times and the only sensations I noticed were the faint pulsing of energy. The feeling I had after reading each statement and observing was an expectancy, a waiting for some reaction. There never was any sort of reaction, but then one time I had a random thought of, "If there is no doer of deeds, then who is doing this exercise and waiting for a response," but then the thought fell away.

I just did the exercise one more time, and the sensations that arose were just a steady stream of awareness. I did have one thought while reading, and it was "This is just recitation of words."

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:27 pm

Hi Craig,

From your answers it appears you can find no sense of self in sensations or have any resistance to the fact "you" don't exist.

Can you find or locate a sense of self anywhere in your experience?

Is there any sense of a "me" in here looking out at a "world" out there?

Who is reading these words on a screen?

Who is typing these answers?

Is there any sense of "you" being seperate from what is going on around you?

best wishes

amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:20 pm

My answers are mixed on this round of questions. When I sit and experience sensations and activities directly, I do not sense a self apart from them. However, when I talk to someone or have a lot of thinking going on, that sense of self is pretty strong. When I look at it closely, the source of the sense of self eludes me.

I think the sense of self is tied closely to thoughts, not sensations and activities. It just seems to sort of be there, somewhere in the mix of thoughts.

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Hi Craig,

Can you say more about this "strong sense of self" that arises when you talk to other people?

How do you know this sense of self is present? Does it manifest in sensations or thoughts?

When you say it "sort of be there, somewhere in the mix of thoughts," can you say a little more about this please? Do you mean the self is a special type of thought or is the thinker behind the thoughts?

Amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:19 pm


Can you say more about this "strong sense of self" that arises when you talk to other people?

How do you know this sense of self is present? Does it manifest in sensations or thoughts?
The sense that there is a continuance presence there engaging with the other person is what I mean by the strong sense of self. Thought seems to be its mode of understanding and relating, and then speech its means of conveyance to the other person.

Because the thoughts are conveyed in my head in my voice, it seems that it is the self doing the thinking. When I look closely for a self in the midst of all of these thoughts and speech, I don't see one; however, the awareness itself in that case seems to be the self.

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:12 am

Hi Craig,

When you say,
Because the thoughts are conveyed in my head in my voice, it seems that it is the self doing the thinking. When I look closely for a self in the midst of all of these thoughts and speech, I don't see one; however, the awareness itself in that case seems to be the self.
Do you really mean you "hear" your thoughts in your own voice? Is the self the one that talks / thinks or is the self the one that is being spoken to?

Looking further at thought,

Sit quietly, relax a bit and watch one thought after the other come up. Look at each question for about 5 minutes. You don't need to do the exercise in one piece.

Do you bring thoughts? If so from where and how?
Do you send them away?
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
Can you know your next thought before it arises and stop it from arising if you don't like it?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Did any of these thoughts come on purpose?
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?”

Warm wishes
Amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:10 pm

Thanks for your patience. I find myself getting impatient with myself (kinda sounds insane: who is impatient with whom?)

Anyway, you have left me a lot to work with. I will spend the day on these exercises and reply tomorrow with my findings.

Thank you.

Craig

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:14 pm

These exercises comprised a very eye-opening line of investigation.
Do you bring thoughts? If so from where and how? Do you send them away?
No, I do not bring thoughts. They just arise, and mostly in relation to the environment and/or circumstances at hand. For example, when I did this portion of the exercise, thoughts arose about the question, in relation to the exercise. Also, a song played via thought. That happens all day for me. Music plays in my head. Kinda drives me crazy sometimes. In that sense the thought is just like a recording that just plays on its own. It starts up when it wants.

Also, thoughts arose in relation or in response to other thoughts. Obviously, there is no “I” causing them to arise. However, when I notice a thought arising, I can put energy behind the thought as though I am saying, or sub-vocalizing, the thought in my head.

I don’t send thoughts away, but I can stop them mid-thought when I am aware of them. It is as though awareness shines upon the thought and sees it as just a thought that is unnecessary, because I already know the message the thought intends to convey.
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work? Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
No, I cannot predict what my next thought will be. It’s impossible and is related to the next question of planning my next thought. The very act of predicting or planning are themselves thoughts. Those thoughts may spring other thoughts, but they are thoughts nonetheless. Thus, oftentimes, thought begets thought.
Can you know your next thought before it arises and stop it from arising if you don't like it?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
I cannot know my next thought before it arises, but I sometimes feel a thought impression prior to the internal “vocalization” of that thought. I suppose a thought impression is still a thought.

As far as controlling thought, I guess my comment above about stopping a thought applies. However, the tricky thing about stopping a thought is that the message of the complete thought is known even if the thought is stopped midstream. So, who or what knows the thought? (this may be a different line of exploration)
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
The only power I can see that a thought has is to affect one’s emotional state. A thought can induce anger or sadness or happiness, etc.
Did any of these thoughts come on purpose?
No. It’s crazy, but I can’t have a thought on purpose. I tried to make myself just think of some topic totally out of the blue, but then the kicker is that thinking of a thought out of the blue is just a random thought itself and, by definition, randomness cannot be done on purpose! If I try to purposely think a thought based on something I cognize, then that is not on purpose either but is a response to my environment and sensory perception.
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
No, the content is not real. Thought can initiate physiological systems, such as the fight or flight response, making the content of thought seem real, but it’s not real. Thought is just a bunch of internal noise, albeit sometimes meaningful, that seems to try to make sense of the endless stream of stimuli interacting with the nervous system. So, I can't experience the content itself.

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:23 pm

Adding to my answers above: I missed an important inquiry that you asked me about...
Do you really mean you "hear" your thoughts in your own voice? Is the self the one that talks / thinks or is the self the one that is being spoken to?
I usually hear my thoughts more than I have the feeling of "speaking" them. When I am focusing on them, however, it seems I speak and hear them simultaneously. This presents quite a conundrum. Who is speaking and who is listening.

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:16 am

Hi Craig,

Thanks for your answers. I just want to focus on something you said and see if we can explore it a little further,

When you say,
Obviously, there is no “I” causing them to arise. However, when I notice a thought arising, I can put energy behind the thought as though I am saying, or sub-vocalizing, the thought in my head.
Where is the I that puts energy behind the thoughts?

What does this "I" feel like?

Notice the next time you do this and investigagte who or what is putting energy behind thoughts? See if you can identify whether there is a self present in order for this to happen.

Does thinking just happen automatically in relation to the environment or circumstances? Is a self necessary for any of this thinking or interacting with the environment / circumstances or does it just happen?

Take some time to look at whether thinking is just arising or whether there is some kind of self regulating or pulling the strings behind thinking.

Good luck :)

Amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:32 pm

Where is the I that puts energy behind the thoughts?

What does this "I" feel like?

Notice the next time you do this and investigate who or what is putting energy behind thoughts? See if you can identify whether there is a self present in order for this to happen.
I don't know where the I is that is putting the energy behind the thoughts. It's just attention. And when I really pay full attention in direct observation, the thoughts that feel like I am doing them - as opposed to those that just arise as though on their own - feel like words at the back of my throat, which makes perfect sense. It's what is called sub-vocalization. It's as though my vocal chords and tongue are prepared to vocalize the thoughts. It's clearly just a process that the brain has been programmed/conditioned/taught to do.
Does thinking just happen automatically in relation to the environment or circumstances? Is a self necessary for any of this thinking or interacting with the environment / circumstances or does it just happen?
Thinking definitely just happens in relation to the environment, and I cannot find a self behind it, but there is something there that I cannot put my finger on that seems like a self. During these past several days of this process, I've had moments where the me just falls away, and it's quite liberating, but for some reason that sense of I-ness returns. I don't know what it is. It may be the constant stream of awareness. The awareness takes in the stimuli from the environment and then acts upon it, thinks about it, speaks, reacts, etc. For some reason it has this sense of I-ness to it, and thought, even though when investigated is clearly just an automated function of the brain, seems to reinforce the I-ness of awareness. I feel stuck here.

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amrita
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby amrita » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:45 pm

HI Craig.

This is really great looking and I want to encourage you to keep investigating for any sense of I-ness within your experience. Sometimes this process can feel frustrating or confusing or that we are going round and round in circles. The key to all this is to look with kindness and tenderness at what is going on. Many people identify their self with aspects of their experience such as sensations, feelings or thoughts. However, if we look deeply into the nature of experience we can clearly see that all of these processes are impersonal. They are just occuring without any need for a self to guide or regulate them.

For example, when you say,

I've had moments where the me just falls away, and it's quite liberating, but for some reason that sense of I-ness returns. I don't know what it is. It may be the constant stream of awareness. The awareness takes in the stimuli from the environment and then acts upon it, thinks about it, speaks, reacts, etc. For some reason it has this sense of I-ness to it, and thought, even though when investigated is clearly just an automated function of the brain, seems to reinforce the I-ness of awareness
Can you describe what this sense of I-ness feels like? Is it something felt in the body or is more an identifcation with the process of thinking?

Can you break this sense of I-ness down into bodily sensations and thoughts? What exactly is sensed in this sense of I-ness?

What is the nature of this awareness? Does this awareness belong to you or is there simply awareness of phenomenon such as sensations, colours, sounds, thoughts etc?

Is awareness personal or impersonal?

Warm wishes

amrita

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lunarpig
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Re: Serious Seeker Seeking Solace from Seeking

Postby lunarpig » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:47 pm

Can you describe what this sense of I-ness feels like? Is it something felt in the body or is more an identification with the process of thinking?
It's an identification with the thinking process, yet I know a thought is just a thought. Looking at this conundrum and making sense of it is like trying to bite my own ear.
Can you break this sense of I-ness down into bodily sensations and thoughts? What exactly is sensed in this sense of I-ness?
I can't. It's nothing but a lingering habit, this sense of I-ness. It's an offshoot of the process of thought, and the thoughts say I this, I that, but I can't find a single damn thing they're referring to. They're just referring to an idea, a shadow. I think the body is fighting this because I'm starting to feel sick as the result of this line of inquiry.
What is the nature of this awareness? Does this awareness belong to you or is there simply awareness of phenomenon such as sensations, colours, sounds, thoughts etc?

Is awareness personal or impersonal?
There's clearly just awareness of all these sensations as the result of the nervous system doing its thing. And it's obviously impersonal. At this moment, I feel the attachment to I-ness is tenuous at best, but I am alone at the moment. I will continue this direct inquiry throughout the evening to explore the I-ness during social interactions. This round of exercises has been quite sobering.


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