In the seen will be merely what is seen…
“One of my preferred Buddha quote is this one:
“Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: ‘In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.’ In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.
When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen… in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be ‘with that.’ When, Bahiya, you are not ‘with that,’ then, Bahiya, you will not be ‘in that.’ When, Bahiya, you are not ‘in that,’ then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering”.
In my own words, I would first ask the person to listen to a sound. Then ask them who is hearing the sound. They most likely would tell me “I do.” I would then point out that “I do” is simply a thought. I would ask again to describe to me their direct experience of hearing the sound and see what their response is and go from there.
I might also explain that “I”, “my”, “mine” are simply concepts (labels) that don’t have an actual existence in our direct experience. These concepts are useful within a social context but understanding that they are simply concepts is very important because when we believe in them, they distort the way we perceive reality.
I could give the example of labeling a cup “my” cup. While it is useful to agree on what is mine and yours, in actual reality, there is just a cup (which in itself is also just a concept, a label I put on my direct experience.) Useful to communicate with other people, but not useful if we believe that the label is the actual experience of the object.”