Paul Hi Rohit
I came across a thread in the dharmaoverground that mentioned this group and its work in helping people see not/no self, so thought I’d come and check it out
October 8, 2012 at 11:53am · Like
Rohit good. One important thing to ask is, that whatever
teachings, beliefs or spiritual practices, you
have acquired along your journey till now;
Please put them aside until this conversation
is over. All I can do here is give you questions...See More
October 8, 2012 at 1:03pm via mobile · Like
Paul Thanks for the reply Rohit. To be honest, I’m not a 100% sure what to expect. I guess I’m expecting that life will become less problematic – I’ll be less likely to get swept up in my mind’s narratives and emotional responses, which I guess will make fo...See More
October 8, 2012 at 5:46pm · Like
Rohit Close your eyes and watch your thoughts come, change, and go. Look for the owner of the thoughts. Can you find one? Now watch your feelings and emotions come, change, and go. Look for the owner of the feelings and emotions. Can you find one? Now watch your body sensations come, change, and go. Look for the owner of the body sensations. Can you find one?
October 8, 2012 at 5:53pm · Like · 4
October 10, 2012 at 7:59am · Like
Paul Sorry for the late reply, sometimes I am unable to get to a computer for a while.
I have mixed success with this exercise as I’ve been doing throughout the day. If I’m aware enough, I can see thoughts and, to a lesser degree, emotions and sensations, ...See More
October 10, 2012 at 2:09pm · Like
Rohit Watch your thoughts. See if you can see where they are coming from. Are you thinking them? If you think you are, see if you can see yourself doing it. Can you choose your thoughts? If you think you can, see if you can see your self doing it. Now see if you can choose to have none at all.
October 10, 2012 at 4:33pm · Like
October 11, 2012 at 5:00pm · Like
paul It seems I can choose some thoughts, if I make a conscious effort to think about something. I certainly can’t choose most of them though – it seems they are sparked by stimuli both perceived and unperceived. Nor can I choose to have none.
I don’t really understand what you mean by seeing myself as I choose thoughts?
October 12, 2012 at 2:16pm · Like
Rohit <<It seems I can choose some thoughts, if I make a conscious effort to think about something. I certainly can’t choose most of them though – it seems they are sparked by stimuli both perceived and unperceived. Nor can I choose to have none.>>
This is s...See More
October 12, 2012 at 5:46pm · Like
October 14, 2012 at 3:12pm · Like
Paul Sorry for the late reply – have been unable to get online.
“I” may be an illusion, a construct to function in this world, and “I” can see that many thoughts/sensations/emotions arise without choice. But…it is still this “I” which constructs arguments...See More
October 16, 2012 at 12:44am · Like · 2
rohit where do thoughts come from, why do you think X and not Y, what makes certain thoughts appear, are you in control of your thoughts?
The process just lives itself.
And anything that you say to explain it is just a concept. And idea. A thought. Not cho...See More
October 16, 2012 at 4:56pm · Like
Paul Are you talking about each thought being contingent on the one before? I notice that when I get involved with thoughts, they seem to grow and take a life of their own, but when I just notice them, they often vanish like smoke – or keep coming back trying to get my attention.
October 17, 2012 at 12:03pm · Like
Rohit I want you to have a particular thought—the thought of “I” or “me.
Really experience this “I.”
Does it have the quality of something real or is it just another thought ?
October 17, 2012 at 5:37pm · Like
Paul I’ve spent sometime over the last couple of days looking at the “I/me” thought, and the only time it seems real is as part of a larger thought process. When looked at individually, it is as empty as any other thought.
October 19, 2012 at 4:28pm · Edited · Unlike · 1
Rohit Your objective is to look at reality and
a) See that there is no 'self' object in the place where the brain assumes a 'self' to exist, and
b) See that life operates perfectly without the need of a 'self'.
Let me know if it is true?
October 19, 2012 at 4:35pm · Like
Rohit Paul Rimmer
October 22, 2012 at 8:04am · Like
Paul When I’ve remembered, or I’ve managed to maintain present moment awareness throughout the day, both the answers to a) and b) seem to be true. I’ve also noticed that the illusionary self can be used in interactions/planning without having to get too involved with its narrative.
However, I can’t keep this up for long periods due to forgetting, or getting swept up in a powerful thought/emotion/etc.
October 22, 2012 at 3:00pm · Like
Rohit "When I’ve remembered, or I’ve managed to maintain present moment awareness throughout the day, both the answers to a) and b) seem to be true."
You see it's credibility, but not the actual absence of a you in reality.
What lives life? Actually look fo...See More
October 22, 2012 at 5:04pm · Like
Paul I can watch as I plan into the future, or re-live the past, projecting the “self” and be aware of the feelings this elicits – but it isn’t the “self” that lives, it is my awareness of the feelings. The same goes throughout the day, I feel alive when I’m aware of whatever I’m doing or feeling.
October 24, 2012 at 2:09pm · Like
Rohit "it is my awareness/I’m aware of whatever I’m doing or feeling." can you explain this in detail. What do you do to be aware? Do you have to tell yourself to be aware? What is aware of awareness?
October 24, 2012 at 2:49pm via mobile · Like
Paul I’m afraid there isn’t a simple answer for this If I’m walking, I’ll spend sometime just focusing on seeing, then switch to feeling, then hearing, etc. At some point, my sense of self will give way to just observing, and then as I become more focus...See More
October 25, 2012 at 10:30pm · Edited · Like
Rohit "if I’m walking, I’ll spend sometime just focusing on seeing, then switch to feeling, then hearing, etc. "
what is doing the walking, focusing, feeling, hearing?
<<"my" sense of self/"I" become more focused and still/which "I" believe to be the self/e...See More
October 26, 2012 at 11:48am · Like
Paul Hi Rohit. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to take a little break from this dialogue; I feel I need to address a few other aspects of my path before continuing to devote such focus to not-self.
I’d like to thank you for both your time and insight...See More
October 27, 2012 at 11:14pm · Unlike · 1
Paul Hi Rohit. Any chance we could pick up this thread again please?
February 9 at 2:53am · Like · 1
Rohit Yes Paul, let me know where are you with this now?
February 9 at 8:03am · Like · 2
Paul Many thanks Rohit
Yesterday I had my longest and most profound experience of not-self yet. While meditating in bed I had the sense that my body seemed as big as the room, or bigger, as big as anything my senses picked up. I had a very faint sense ...See More
February 9 at 12:03pm · Like
Rohit one question Paul, do you exist?
February 9 at 2:49pm · Like
Paul 'I' exist only in the way the word 'love' does to the actual act, sense, being, and feeling of love. A pale comparison useful only for communicating.
February 9 at 4:49pm via mobile · Like
What is self?
Where has it gone?...See More
February 9 at 6:30pm · Like
Paul Sorry, what do you mean before/after?
The self is a constantly changing series of reactions, knotty strands of narrative built up around pleasant/unpleasant/neutral reactions to stimulus. It is imaged projections of past and future. It is my imagined ...See More
February 9 at 8:46pm · Unlike · 1
Rohit Good i have some more questions for you:
1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
February 9 at 9:41pm · Like
Paul I have a really bust day today, but will try to post my answers before this evening if I can, or tomorrow at the latest. Sorry for the delay!
February 10 at 5:02pm · Unlike · 1
February 10 at 5:02pm · Like
Paul 1) When talking, planning, etc. the concept of an arbitrary ‘me’ is used. When I’m very tired, absent mind falling into old thinking habits, or wrapped up in a narrative, a ‘me’ is used. However, none of these are there when I look for them. When I loo...See More
February 11 at 5:07pm · Like
February 11 at 5:10pm · Like
Paul than* any one
February 11 at 5:12pm · Like
Rohit Hey Paul,I will let other guides review our conversation and let us see if they have any questions.
Tuesday at 7:39pm · Like · 1
Paul Many thanks rohit
Tuesday at 7:50pm via mobile · Unlike · 1
Rohit Paul, you say "I fail to recognise the present moment I actually exist in".
Do you believe that there is an identity that lives in the present moment?
some more questions:
When you say "I", what are you referring to?...See More
Wednesday at 7:50am · Like
Paul 1) No, there is no identity – identity is the contingent formation of our narratives; nothing more than an ever-changing story (albeit a necessary one). As each story consists of imaged projections, desires, aversions, etc., they cannot exist in the present moment.
2) In the example above, and in any other use of ‘I’ (and all other pronouns/etc.), convenience and utility are my motivators in doing so. I actually heisted before including any such use, but felt, in the end, that to do so would be dishonest for a number of reasons. Firstly, I will continue to use it in daily life (again for convenience and utility) and in all conversations where it’s omission isn’t of benefit (such as yourself and other guides do to emphasize and help understanding of the concept of non-duality, or when talking of a detailed phenomenological experience). If my continued use means I may not have grasped something, I would like to know rather than mistakenly believe my current view to be accurate – I won’t get this opportunity for learning if I start changing how I explain things from my own conceptual context (I hope this makes sense?). Unless I am using it unthinkingly in conversation or habit of internal dialogue, its use is always noticed as being empty.
3) There is only experience. I know this because I can experience the experiencer experiencing (quite a sentence! . The illusion of the experiencer experiencing comes from identifying with the narratives that build up around stimuli, and are mistaken as the self. When the self/experiencer is looked at, there are only the senses.
4) I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand how to answer this. Experience is a product of my senses, which are in turn a product of my body. However, I cannot be aware of my body without my experience of the senses. When I look, a concept of my body is defined by my current experience, but I can’t say that one belongs to the other. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, or if semantics is being a problem?
5) I experienced the world free of my own narratives; my senses, and how the threads of desire/aversion created a growing story/sense of separate self. There was also a sense of joy/lightness – but, I also saw these feelings as emergent self.
6) It was, in a way, similar to all the other glimpse of no/not-self I’d previously had. However, it took no effort to maintain, it was constant, and only started to lessen as I grew tired. Just as the other glimpses, it was disorientating at times. Mostly when being involved in conversations or large groups/crowded environments. When experienced, this disorientation, and also a sense of anxiety, were experienced as senses or the creation of self – but at a distance that enabled me to see how it was created, and how to be let go off after a brief acknowledgment and/or examination. I felt light and refreshed, and as clichéd as it sounds, at one with everything experienced.
This sense continued to diminish as the days went on, but a much less powerful version seems to be at access whenever the mind is turned to looking. I have a sense of renewed vigour in my practise, and less concern then previously. Things seem to have ‘slotted’ together in a way that is hard to describe. I see the impact a separate sense of self has like never before, but not with as much concentrated clarity as before. I wonder if it is possible to constantly be in that state, and as I think of this, I watch how desires and aversions are creating such thoughts, such self – and smile and let the thoughts go and do what they will
I honestly don’t know if this is an ‘awakening’ of sorts as described in religious texts, or if it’s ‘just’ a very powerful insight that will fade.
Wednesday at 11:50pm · Like
Rohit Once you see that there is no self in real life, play does not stop, it only begins. And all the conditionings starts falling off.
Yesterday at 1:58pm · Like · 2
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