RonC Q & A

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DrWilko
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RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Sat May 06, 2017 12:19 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That my perception/experience of my "self" is not how things actually are. That my sense of being in some way separate from that which I perceive as "other" is an illusion created by some kind of consciousness - out if fear or presumably at some stage of development, necessity.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm not entirely sure. I've only recently come across it. I was once deeply involved in a Buddhist tradition. I find it difficult to use Buddhist literature these days - I find it in many ways questionable and I find I have to kind of filter it. I suppose I'm looking for something un-filtered to guide me towards an insight that I've intuitively always believed, but only rarely had any direct experience of.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Again, very new to this idea. But I gather it's a series of guided questions designed to bring me to a direct realization that there is no separate entity "me". I also gather that the guide is likely someone who themselves experiences it perceives in this way.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I lived in Buddhist communities for a total of about 7 years. I maintained a meditation practice of 1-2 hours per day for a period of 10 years or so, interspersed with periods of retreat an more intensive practice. I studied a particular strand of Buddhism (Triratna) over that time. More recently, I have a very sporadic meditation practice mainly consisting of breath awareness and formless or just sitting practice. I was affected strongly by the work of Ekhart Tolle more recently, and I still use his work as a kind of guide, points to reflect upon. But I no longer have any active connection to a "spiritual" community.

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

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Thu May 11, 2017 5:49 am

Hello out there guides. Since discovering LU about a week ago, through some discussion with some Buddhists involved in a movement that I was practising with some years ago, I have been thinking of practically nothing else. I was always somehow led to believe the breaking of any of the "fetters" was so difficult that only senior practitioners with many years experience stood a chance, and even then only in very rare cases. For years I felt that "insight" type practices were only for more experienced practitioners. Needless to say, I haven't been involved with any "spiritual" group now for about 15 years. If someone had told me that really seeing through the fallacy of the existence of a self were a real possibility, it would have been a complete game changer.

I've been following the conversations in "The Gateless Gatecrashers", and they've set off a chain of reflections, investigations and "experiments". I've been searching and searching for a self and can't seem to find one in the present moment, though when I look back at events, it seems like "I" was there doing them. Something is really shifting, and even in the last week I'm noticing some positive "loosening" type effects, like not identifying with passing events or emotions and therefore letting go of them more quickly. But it's difficult to know how close I am or if it's just some kind of mind trick right now.

So a "bump" for my search for a guide really. Things have snowballed a bit since I came across this last week and are not the same anymore. Guidance would be greatly welcomed!

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Tue May 16, 2017 1:54 pm

Hi DrWilko.
Welcome to the forum. Looks that your bump worked :)

We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.
All I ask if that you write from your experience alone, not from what you heard, read, seen others describe, but from your own feeling and understanding.

So what is that you are looking for? How would it look when it's found?

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Tue May 16, 2017 11:11 pm

Ilona!
Thank you!
So what is that you are looking for? How would it look when it's found?
Yes, this is what I'm looking for! At least, the investigation. I guess this is what it looks like.
I'm guessing your questions might be pointing to something deeper about my search.... in terms of what I think the experience of no-self would be once realized? Anyway, I'm going to mull that one over on my way to work and respond more fully (if that is what you meant) when I return.
More background later if you want. For now - my name is Dave. I live in Tokyo and work at an international primary school.
I'm really excited to be setting out on this investigation with you! Thank you for responding to my call.... I will be as honest as I can be and do my best to truly look at my experience as directly as I am able.
Dave x

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Wed May 17, 2017 12:19 am

Hi Dave, lovely to meet you!
Yes, investigate what you expect the experience to be and write to me once you pondered deeply on that.

Im in Mexico at the moment, hello Tokyo. :)
Truth realized will set you free.
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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Wed May 17, 2017 1:54 pm

Hi again Ilona,
Lovely to meet you too. Thanks again and hello Mexico! :)
So what is that you are looking for? How would it look when it's found?
It’s quite difficult to put into words what my expectations are, and why they are. My brain tells me that I am looking for “the beginning” rather than an end to anything, but I don’t know how much of that is me rationalising things after having read a fair bit in the Gateless Gatecrashers, and on this forum. I wonder whether I just think that’s the “right” answer. When I look within, at how I expect it to feel, how I think experiencing it will be, the answer’s not so conceptual or clear. From the feeling point of view something just seems off, and always has done, from early memories of standing in the playground realising I was somehow locked in my own perception of things, that I had no way of knowing whether “this” was all a dream of my own creation. Trying to imagine how the world looked through the eyes of another. Seeing things, other beings at a very young age and noticing that adults could not see them, and of course, then not seeing them myself, conditioned out of whatever that was. Vivid memories that never left me and kept me searching.

As a young adult, I remember feeling like I got somehow “close” to what I thought was some kind of awakening through the practice of meditation, yoga and the study of Buddhism, only to find that after years of practice, I somehow “felt” further away from that experience. So I guess the question is what was that experience? I remember it felt something like groundedness and connection and a flow of emotion and awareness that affected me profoundly and seemed to solve the childhood feeling/realisation of “disconnect” and separateness I described earlier. That feeling of connectedness and groundedness seemed to be sustainable for a period of time though somehow got lost, and I started chasing, giving up after about 5 years and getting very depressed and down about it subsequently. On a gut level, I guess this community leads me to hope that some of those “answers” to the disconnect, to regaining what I felt I lost, lie in seeing more clearly that this experience is just life, not me, you. I’m hoping the “answer” is simpler than I thought it was. I remember looking at the teaching of no-self in Buddhism and thinking instinctively that it “felt” right, but all my subsequent practice seemed very much based on personal striving towards a goal - I never really instigated direct seeing of it, as I thought that would all come later.

Since then, well life has taken its course, and things still feel "off", you know? Like they did all those years ago. I'm looking for things to stop feeling that way. I don't see why they should really.
How would it look when it's found?


My experience from last week, where I was more or less constantly mulling this over while I was conducting my own investigation, I noticed a number of effects. I noticed that when negative emotions arose, I was holding on to them perceivably less. Small moods or interactions that often lead to conflict or difficult communications with my wife, for example, didn’t lead to those conflicts (they still happened though!). Recognising, or at least reflecting on these things not being me, seemed to be responsible for this effect. Equally, I noticed that I enjoyed positive emotion and feelings of connection and joy in people more keenly, however fleetingly at times. Life felt like more of a smooth “ride”, though I also felt I was doing a lot of work on the side to sustain it. There was a tiredness there by the end of the week and consequently, on the weekend I felt quite dissipated, with thoughts crowding in and less able to maintain a focussed line of enquiry into my experience. So I’m wondering, will I know I’ve found “it” when I don’t need to put so much effort into investigating where self might be (and finding it nowhere), and can just experience the realisation that self isn’t present and let experience unfold with less willful effort involved?
...investigate what you expect the experience to be…
I hope you don’t mind wading through my slightly long answer Ilona. I’m trying to be as honest as possible and notice where I’m trying to find a “right” answer, acknowledging it and trying to “feel” what the answer seems to be within me. Seems like that way throws up more questions though - hence the long winded reply as I find myself unraveling while I’m typing! I’m going to treat that last quote as applying to what I expect from this experience of being guided. All I can say is that having read a bunch of stuff on this forum, and about half of the Gateless Gatecrashers, it's obvious that what I am reading is people’s real experience - I wouldn’t have believed it until I came here, honestly - it is amazing! What is happening here is amazing and what you are doing is amazing. Which isn’t to say I’m expecting it to be all bells and whistles. I am sure it will be difficult at times. Just that I can see that you are very experienced at guiding people through this investigation, which I hope will help me to stay on track until I have realized and seen and know what I instinctively search for. And I am grateful, and hope I can do my side of it, investigate intensively and honestly as much as possible.

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Thu May 18, 2017 1:59 am

Thank you very much for thoughtful and full reply. Writing it all down helps mind to focus, unwind, so feel free to express in as many words as it feels like.

I can see that you are in the process already, good stuff. Don't try to do anything about it, just notice that something is going on, allow whatever wants to happen just happen.
It's good to remember to be as gentle to yourself as you can. It can get intense.


So let's get right to it.
Allow this thought in, really allow it to come close and watch what is happening. Notice body sensations, thoughts and feelings, resistances or relaxation.

There is no I at all, no separate from life being. No manager, driver, witness, ghost in the machine, puppet master, etc. None as in zero.
There is one life, aliveness, consciousness.


Write what shows up immediately.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Thu May 18, 2017 11:48 am

Hi Ilona,

I got your reply when I was at work on my break. I was able to spend some time during 2 breaks taking in what you said and checking for my immediate responses. I wrote down what came up as much as I could as it came up. I also have some other thoughts which will come after. There’s quite a lot of it!

But before I do that I need to tell you something that will affect our investigation. My father is currently in hospital and I have just heard that he is not getting better, but worse (cancer), and will not be returning home (he lives with his wife in Melbourne). This means probably weeks at best. In any case, I’ve decided to pay what will probably be my last visit to him - this has come at exactly the same time as embarking on this! So - my feeling is that I want to continue with this through supporting my dad and his wife over the next couple of weeks. I say more about that in ramblings below! But I would understand if you for whatever reason felt from your experience this was not a great time to be doing this. And I would respect it fully if you felt it best we put this on hold. Equally - well my thoughts or feelings on the subject may change as events unfold. I’m prepared for that and so I also want to know if you’re okay with me changing my mind at some point and deciding to put this on hold for a bit myself? Right now, I feel like I want to continue though. I hope that’s clear enough!

Anyway, you wrote:
There is no I at all, no separate from life being. No manager, driver, witness, ghost in the machine, puppet master, etc. None as in zero.
There is one life, aliveness, consciousness.


Write what shows up immediately.


During two breaks at work, here was my immediate response, letting that in as fully as I was able to at the time:

I want to believe it. I don't want to believe it. I'm worried, especially now, if this is really true, that there will be no one to love my father, who is dying. Where does the love come from. Who loves? There is a restfulness. A weird combo action of emptiness and loss and a welling up inside. Who is my father, what is he? What is our relationship? How does it work if there's no me? Questions questions questions. And yet it does feel that all this is just happening. No real "me doing", but maybe "me having" (emotions, feelings, experiences), I don't really know. Can I “have” things if there is no “me”, just happening? Is it that there’s doing, just no "me" doing? What about deciding? Aren't "I" doing that? Well I investigated that - I never can seem to find me doing that.

So no driver, yes. I see that, sometimes, mostly? Definitely when I investigate my experience and I try and find a "decider", I never seem to find one. But no witness? I struggle with that. Not sure. A witness can observe and when I investigate, it feels like "I'm" observing. But when I look at who is investigating and I find no one, then I ask who looked? It's layers and layers Ilona, endless layers of "me" it seems, each time I ask, I look, I investigate, always "I" - and then my brain tells me I'm tired. It's tired. Too complicated, too hard.

Heightened perceptions. Sound isn't just sound. Some people are speaking French in the staffroom. It affects my body, my emotions profoundly. I am connected. All is happening around this centre. That makes me smile. I am shaking, but it's just my heart beating, my breathing, aliveness.

-

Awareness of flesh in contact fingers holding, tapping phone, my back against the wall, the pressure against my backside as I sit down. Eyes looking out. From where? My head. Colours, impressions, forms, people.

Reading your statement again. If I really let that thought in, there's an anxious feeling, but actually no questions, or none with any answers it seems.

I'm sorry this is so random. I thought I knew what to say, but when I just let the thought in and focussed on my immediate response, it was all this. There's a certain poignancy to the rain falling outside. Some of these feelings are because of my father, a quite dissolving and intense experience as well. But it feels right to stay with this process while this thing with my dad is also going on. It feels like it can only help - that if this knowledge, this experience is of any value at all, then it can only help? Surely.

Thoughts come, time to go back to work. A decision to move. What decision? Who decides? I try to watch for the decision when it happens, not just after when I label the thought. The decision to move, who makes it, when does it happen? Children are making noise over there, coming in from the rain. I feel the impulse to move but I'm still writing. I will watch and report back.

Back at desk for some marking, kids in music lesson. Well that kind of didn't work. I bumped into a colleague and by then it was raining so hard it became “when would we both make a run for it to the other building” - decision was made based on rain easing off. By then I'd lost focus/continuity of purpose - was no longer observing my experience so closely. No awareness of a me "making" a decision, but not such a good experiment this time maybe?

-

I thought I had more to say, but reading that back I realise they are just thoughts, concepts, ideas from my investigations last week, half remembered. Not about this investigation right now. I think what I wrote describes where I’m at emotionally with this stuff, and conceptually as far as the witness thing goes. But I did want to give this bit further reflection:

You said:
There is one life, aliveness, consciousness.
I just went for an evening stroll with this one. Tried to really take it in and go deep as you suggested. Strange feeling of lightness coupled with turbulence. A thought as I first walked out was “does this make me a robot?” I’m still obsessed with this decision angle. If I don’t make decisions is it all pre-programmed stuff. Then I thought that seemed ridiculous - this can't be what it's like to be a robot! - and tried to imagine what it would be like if your statement were true. I guess that means I don’t really believe it yet, but I guess it’s logical implication of there being no me , right?

I let go and loosened up a bit. For a good while I did notice that all of this life was just happening, from the people passing me in the street and the dogs, and the cars and sounds and air. Things seemed to slow down a lot. Very peaceful for a while in this busy Tokyo. Then I got some food and came home. Strange feeling of separation and connectedness at the same time. I think that’s all I can say for now.

Anyway, I hope you’re having fun in Mexico Ilona. Thank you so much for reading this stuff and being my guide. Let me know what you think about continuing with this re: the situation with my dad when you can. Big love from here in Tokyo.
Dave x

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Thu May 18, 2017 8:32 pm

Hi Dave, thank you so much for writing all this down. Great investigation. I can see you are focused and that's helpful.
I'm so sorry about your dad. It's good that you are going to see him and have an opprtunity to connect. Sending love for you both on this process...

Through the day, find one thing, that you actually do, that is not simply happening on its own. Do you need to do anything in order to be? Is there a button to switch on and off sensations, feeling, sounds, colour, taste, smell? Is there a struggle to survive or being/ awareness is on by default?

And keep looking at the choice, what happens first, an impulse, an action or a thought about it? In which order does it work?
Can a thought do anything?


Write as much as you feel like.
Much love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Fri May 19, 2017 8:32 am

Hi Ilona,


I am at Narita airport on my way to see my dad and his wife. My sister US flying in from Arizona on Tuesday. I was also at work this morning - so a different kind of day for exploring. It's felt more difficult to focus and “feel” some of the questions, but I want to send this now, as in a minute there will be checking in and changing money and all those airport things.


What follows are my first thoughts for each question from early this morning, which I then added to at points throughout the day. I did feel like I had a good realisation about awareness that felt like a breakthrough this morning on the way to work. It also seems like I solve some of my problems with the earlier questions. Anyway, see what you think.


Big love,
Dave

Through the day, find one thing, that you actually do, that is not simply happening on its own.

I’ve kind of tried this (will again). The only thing that springs to mind is applying awareness, focus to any given phenomena.


Choices like how I interact with the kids, deal with a behaviour issue. I feel like I missed an opportunity to explore that one today a bit. Looking back, there seems to be a period of observation, an impulse, then a thought or thoughts about possible actions, then an action (sometimes almost independent of the thoughts, I find myself doing it another way entirely - it's seat of the pants, make it up as you go along winging it! I guess based on some memory of what worked before?)


Anything that involves effort. Striving? They all seem to be kinds of decisions, or habit patterns from the past triggered by the thought “time to…”, or “I should”. A bit like getting up for work though - I just do those things. Sometimes I even don't do them - like I don't do Japanese study or the exercise, even though the thought to do them is there!

Do you need to do anything in order to be?

No, I can be, passively, for example when I am asleep. Unless I am applying focus, this seems to be the case most of the time (am I mostly asleep?)

Is there a button to switch on and off sensations, feeling, sounds, colour, taste, smell?

No - this seems to happen on it’s own, (eg. sleep again)... But there does appear to be an ability to focus in on particular sensations, and to ignore or dismiss others as unimportant. How “directed” this is appears to be the topic of this particular investigation….

Is there a struggle to survive or being/ awareness is on by default?

Gut response so far - no struggle, just being. Even a perceived struggle is just being? Existence wants to continue, seek a beneficial situation? What about effort though? Need to investigate doing more than necessary eg. Develop awareness through meditation, develop body through exercise. How/why does that happen? What is the impulse? Is it sense of self? Is it just being trying to “be” in a better way? I don't know, I'm not sure yet.

And keep looking at the choice, what happens first, an impulse, an action or a thought about it? In which order does it work?

Usually it’s an impulse or even action first - thought label after. Sometimes there’s a thought about a future action that arrives and gets labeled “decision” or “decision making” (often with a inner dialogue “I” attached to it as well, as though the self really wants to claim this!) - then there's a comical process whereby I try and catch myself making it or doing the “decision”, which I am genuinely now finding hilarious! I've been doing this, for example, by seeing what happens when I “decide” to exit the station a different way, or change my running route. I also see what happens when “I” change my mind mid-process, play cat and mouse with decision. And then…. Just the action, doing it seems, no matter how hard I try and focus - the thought about that doing then comes after, then the label (almost immediately). I never find it (the decision or choice) because I always seem to just do and label later that was my decision, or thoughts arrive that I label decision or decision making (that may or may not correspond to what I actually end up doing!) Hilarious! Nothing there - no decision at all. What an idiot!

Can a thought do anything?

It just struck me that awareness is just literally like the other things! Thoughts are happening just like all the other things. Why/how could it be any different? Why would there be another thing behind thought, when there's nothing behind any of the other things, making it work?


The answer is no. Thought doesn't do anything because nothing does anything. Thought just thinks. It doesn't make any difference the order, if it comes before or after the action or even impulse, because when the action happens nothing makes it happen, it just happens, like everything else around. Deep breaths here. This was while changing trains on my way to work. It made me smile. I felt a bit like yesterday when seeing what it felt like that there is only one consciousness. I felt a connection, a flow with the other beings around. Like we were all dancing a unique dance that was entirely dependent on everyone else's and couldn't be any other way.


It's a relief actually. If I really realise this, I don't have to chase to find the decider, the observer anymore.


What seems to make it complicated is that all these things interact, thought, sensation, impulse, action, thought etc. Etc. And there seems to be a desire to understand this in a way and make it something cohesive - indeed a fear of all this unravelling. A palpable anxiety in the solar plexus, pit of the stomach. So it's exciting, a relief, and terrifying all at the same time.

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Fri May 19, 2017 7:08 pm

beautiful process, thank you for taking this seriously.
right, the focus is something to look at next.

when you have a few minutes, sit quietly and watch focus itself. try first with eyes open and then with eyes closed. give it at least 10-15 min for each exercise. see what moves focus. what attracts attention. are you moving attention or it moves then thought says i did it.
is attention something you do or something that is perceived? is it the body that moves attention? is it character? is there a witness?

write what you observe. and keep up great work!
sending love.

enjoy your journey.
Truth realized will set you free.
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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Sat May 20, 2017 1:51 pm

Hi Ilona,

Another different day. A difficult one in many ways. I arrived at the airport after a night flight, got your message, was driven to my dad’s house. Half an hour later at the hospital seeing my dad. I saw him 6 months ago - he was up and about and going to restaurants. Now - well I was shocked Ilona. Completely unprepared. Overall I spent about 4 or 5 hours just being with my dad today.

I am staying in my dad and his wife’s place, and her sister is here. My sister and my wife are coming next week. I’m staying in the living room which has two doors opening into it - so no privacy to speak of. The first time I tried to do your exercises from a prone position on the sofa with somewhat predictable (though not completely unfruitful) results! Anyway, I am now so tired that I’m just going to send this, and not reflect on it too much. I think you are probably in a better position to see right now how useful any of it was. I’m just too tired. I will probably meditate for a short while in the morning and try to re-connect with the second exercise. I’m going to try and stay with it somehow.

See what you think and big love to you,

Dave X
when you have a few minutes, sit quietly and watch focus itself. try first with eyes open and then with eyes closed. give it at least 10-15 min for each exercise.
First thoughts: been difficult to find time so far. No time alone. Visiting dad. In shock. Tired from flight.

Lay down in living room, doors open. Activity going on in other rooms. Decide to try from this position.

“Decide” again. Seems to be an intention since reading your post. Does the intention make it happen? Don't know. Notice sounds.
see what moves focus. what attracts attention.


Thought arrives to focus on sound - “let's focus on sound”. Become absorbed by sounds for a while. Keep drifting off. Eyes heavy. Interrupted by phone call next door. One of dad’s friends calling. My dad’s wife has to deliver the bad news so become emotionally involved in this.

Drift off again (sleepy). With eyes closed, decide to try again, but am aware I had already started to become absorbed in sounds and bodily sensations. Not an ideal time to try these experiments maybe. Try later?
are you moving attention or it moves then thought says i did it.


Attention moves and focus deepens. Thought sometimes comes before (it seems), but any thought seems to interrupt the focus (thought itself could be the focus?) Thought seems to follow a noticing of a particular sensation, then a “decision” to focus on that thing too.

It still feels like an intention to focus begins the process though. Then thought seems to happen just as (ie. almost immediately after) the focus begins to settle or deepen, “deciding” to continue with the process. Then thought becomes more of a distraction to the object of focus.
is attention something you do or something that is perceived?
In all honesty I don't know yet. Seems like both maybe?
is it the body that moves attention?
I don't think so - though any movement sometimes becomes a focus of attention.
is it character?
I don't even know what character is. The tendencies I have? If it is tendencies, it would seem not. More likely opposite - often my tendencies distract my attention. On the other hand, maybe it does? I mean, if I get distracted, isn't that a shift of attention? So the character tendencies of Dave have shifted attention? Need to check this again. If so, would it not be the same for body?
Is there a witness.
Here's a thought - is attention not a thing, but just stuff happening - eg. sensing, hearing, feeling? And then there's thought - just another thing happening. But thought kind of often puts a barrier between the natural state of awareness by trying to create a story with an actor. What if thought is the object of attention itself? So no witness, just awareness itself unfiltered? Need to check this with the exercise again. Is this just a notion or my experience or am I just too tired to tell right now?

-

Tried again, doors closed, eyes open.
Awareness seems to do a circuit of focus on its own: breath, belly, sound, sensation. Thought comes in like a big clunking fist about what the sounds are, where they're coming from. Awareness comes back to fill in the space, the”mess” that thought has made.
Awareness seems to be on areas (loosely breath, sensations and sounds) for a few cycles, interrupted by thoughts. Then it seems possible to have them all going on at once, including the thoughts, without the thoughts disturbing, just “passing through”.
...witness?
Honestly not sure. Is awareness itself a “witness”?
...body (that) moves attention?
Maybe. At one point I turned to see whether loud noise outside (footsteps) was someone coming - this changed the focus to the moving sound and conversation outside.
Is it character?
If character is tendencies, maybe? I don't know - is it tendencies that these things have around this centre of a body that got me here? Is that broadly speaking what intention is? Weirdly one in which I have no control of, so, no real intention?

-

Tried again, about to go to bed.
Nothing much to add here. Very tired after a long day. One thing I noticed here was that when tired, thought seems to move in and tends to obscure focus.

Not sure how much sense any of that makes. Some of it seems contradictory.

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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Sat May 20, 2017 11:49 pm

Just tried again this morning, eyes closed.
Focus seems to like to deepen and broaden on its own, to take in more aspects of my experience. Thought can arrive before to focus on a particular thing - the breath for example, but a bit like with decision, what happens after just happens, and is often unrelated to the initial thought! When thought arrives after, it usually becomes a distraction, like a running commentary, until focus is sufficiently deep to just hold it as part of the whole experience.

...body (that) moves attention?
Is it character?

Sometimes the body senses something or moves - that can shift attention and thought likes to chime in afterwards.


If character is like, tendencies, then yes, particular tendencies, habits, patterns of thought can distract, and therefore shift the attention.

is there a witness?

Unless witness describes awareness itself, then no witness. Thought tries to invent a witness by kind of trying to write a story of the experience with me as the central character along with unrelated asides. If thought itself were the witness it would be completely unreliable! But awareness itself doesn't seem to have a character - it's just awareness, so I don't see how awareness could be a witness.

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Ilona
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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby Ilona » Mon May 22, 2017 3:58 am

Really good work, and quite an intense situation. It's amazing that all this inquiry is happening at this time.
Thank you for taking this seriously and really getting down to the work. Keep writing. You have good insights.

Have a look at this
Word awareness and the being aware. Like, you are now aware of words on the screen. So there are words on the screen and wareness of them, or it's one and the same, but a different way language expresses? Check in actuality. Awareness, content of awareness, can they be separated?

Now look, is there a gap between experiencer and the experienced? Is there a line between inside and outside?

Let's here your thoughts on this
:)
Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
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DrWilko
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Re: RonC Q & A

Postby DrWilko » Tue May 23, 2017 1:08 pm

Hi Ilona,

I'm not going to say too much about this. It's been very emotional. My father died yesterday morning. I was there with his wife and sister. I intended to carry on with this process through this time if possible and would like to try and continue.

I would really appreciate maintaining our connection. However, my sister and wife have now arrived, I'm in very close proximity in a very shared space, so my opportunity to reflect and post may diminish.

I have included below my reflections over the last day and a half. Thank you for continued guidance and dedication Ilona. Much love xxx

-
So there are words on the screen and wareness of them, or it's one and the same, but a different way language expresses?
Words on screen. I am aware of shapes on the screen but the way it's understood as language is by thought “saying” what the shapes represent. Often wondered how necessary that is and seem to remember a time when I could read without the inner voice.

If I see or smell or taste a thing, rather than reading, I don't have to internally verbalise it to understand it, though thought’s background chatter likes to create labels and stories.

Now - in meditation.
Awareness, content of awareness, can they be separated?

Now look, is there a gap between experiencer and the experienced? Is there a line between inside and outside?


I got caught up here in other language - “perception” and “experience”.

In an earlier post, I said it’s just things happening. What is awareness of things happening? Is it a separate experience?

Eyes open.

To experience something (for me to have an experience of its existence) I must perceive it in some way. I perceive with my senses, and thought also, because I experience and perceive thoughts. Is the perception different or separate from the actual experience (my only ability to ‘know’ the thing itself exists is based on an experience of it?)? Well it can seem that way, because I can see the calendar on the wall. In this case the perception and experience are the same thing. But if I close my eyes it still seems I know the calendar on the wall is there, even though the actual sight of it is lost. This is because thought gives me an image or memory or verbal reminder that it's there.
But in that situation, isn't it just that it's now the thought about the calendar that's actually experienced, and therefore perceived? And memories and rules about how the world works gives me a knowing that it's objectively there. My experience is actually of the thought...

But - when I wake up from the experience of a strong dream, I often don't know where I am for a while. In that case, I neither perceive nor experience the calendar, or have a knowing that it's there. So it would seem that perception and experience of things happening or existing are kind of the same thing? There's no gap as such, just a field of perception based on what's available to the senses and thoughts at any given moment.

So awareness is really just whatever is perceived by the senses and thought? With thought acting like an interpreter and filling in blanks when sense information is incomplete, as well as damn well making stuff up?

Hypothesis: Awareness is not a thing in itself, just the senses and thought. But…. How is it that the experience of awareness itself seems to grow and deepen, and be able to “hold” more stuff. Next investigation…

-
Awareness, content of awareness, can they be separated?
I have my phone in my hand. I'm aware of it. There is ‘content of awareness’. I hide the phone from view. Still aware. Still content, because I know where I put it. Someone takes the phone, destroys it, vaporizes it, whatever. I can't find it. I'm aware of it, but no content. But is what I'm aware of in the second two examples just a mental image or thought of the thing - that's the content of awareness, not the thing itself? Ah! It's all questions Ilona!

-
Awareness, content of awareness, can they be separated?

Now look, is there a gap between experiencer and the experienced? Is there a line between inside and outside?
Tried to focus on the “gap” here.

Eyes closed.

It seems to be that there is a gap. It seems like there are things or events, and perception of the things or events. For example I hear voices in the other room. I cannot confirm there are people in the other room but my experience is that there are people talking in the other room. Thoughts create a general impression of image or, verbal stories of the events of perception.

So again, there just seems to be things happening or existing, and perception of things happening or existing. Thought, whether it is an image or story, seems to interpret the perception of those things. I perceive those events or things through my senses. So is it just things happening or existing, my sensation of those things happening or existing, and thought interpreting those things?

Awareness is just the sensations and thoughts themselves? That's how consciousness manifests itself? Awareness of things appears to move due to tendencies. Tendencies would seem to be habit patterns of sensation or thought. I've already examined how thoughts just come, decisions just happen. So habits or memories emerge. Knowledge of those things being what they are seems to be based on tendencies, memories, memories of rules of how the world works. It would seem the brain stores memories. If I am anything, if there's a character called Dave, it would seem to be in these memories and tendencies.


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