Zen_Tony. This one's for you

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Kiwi
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Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:01 am

Hi Anthony,
Welcome to Liberation Unleashed
Lets begin by telling me a bit about your self and your "no-self" expectations
Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:40 pm

Hello Mike!

I'm really glad I found this site and I'm able to talk with you...So, I'll start by saying that I've not been on the spiritual path for that long, it's something like 5 or 6 years. I started with western mysticism but I really felt that something very important for me was missing. So I investigated the fields of Yoga,Buddhism and Zen and when I finally stumbled upon Nisargadatta's "I am That" I was totally blown away. It really made sense, although I could not feel what he was describing. Later on I studied other non-dual teachers and the buddhist concept of emptiness and I have been at 2 satsangs as well.
I practice meditation and mindfulness but I haven't experienced any major shifts in consciousness except after my second satsang, when for about 2 or 3 days I could see/feel that everything is experienced because of awareness and that recognition seemed to create a very beautiful feeling in me, something like "the joy of being". Everything was wonderfully simple...but that went away and I was back in the regular ego state like nothing had changed.

What I expect from the "no-self" realization is for some things to be more clear to me, for life to be simpler and not to experience everything through the filters of the conditioned mind. I also expect for fear to leave, since the thoughts about what's going to happen to me won't be believed. Fear is influencing my life and I don't want that anymore...

Intellectually I guess, I can reach the conclusion of no self since everything that is observed has no self to it and everything seems to change, although "I" seem to be here unmoved. I have noticed in myself that there is too much trust in an objective reality, which gives rise to the notion of me. Right now, I m looking at my experience and although there is nothing that can confirm that there is a separate self here, there is a strong sense of ownership...It's like this is my seeing, my hearing, my experience...

I really hope you can help!

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:44 am

Hi Tony

An excellent first post. Your english is perfect, my friend, even though its not your native language. You've raised a few issues very clearly which I'll repond to before raising a few questions towards the end
I'll start by saying that I've not been on the spiritual path for that long, it's something like 5 or 6 years. I started with western mysticism but I really felt that something very important for me was missing. So I investigated the fields of Yoga,Buddhism and Zen and when I finally stumbled upon Nisargadatta's "I am That" I was totally blown away. It really made sense, although I could not feel what he was describing. Later on I studied other non-dual teachers and the buddhist concept of emptiness and I have been at 2 satsangs as well.
Wow, you’ve certainly packed a lot in! The inquiry of self is not a spiritual one, it’s simply an inquiry to realize the Truth about who you are. Insofar as the Truth (capital “T”) is Absolute, Truth is consistent with spirituality. It is important however, to put aside whatever beliefs you have learned and practiced and look for answers with an absolute and unbiased honesty.
I practice meditation and mindfulness but I haven't experienced any major shifts in consciousness except after my second satsang, when for about 2 or 3 days I could see/feel that everything is experienced because of awareness and that recognition seemed to create a very beautiful feeling in me, something like "the joy of being". Everything was wonderfully simple...but that went away and I was back in the regular ego state like nothing had changed.
In truth, although it might seem that you “lost” the joyful feeling you describe, it is never not present” It simply becomes obscured by the untruths that are self-created – and it is these un-truths that we will be investigating
What I expect from the "no-self" realization is for some things to be more clear to me, for life to be simpler and not to experience everything through the filters of the conditioned mind. I also expect for fear to leave, since the thoughts about what's going to happen to me won't be believed. Fear is influencing my life and I don't want that anymore...
That sounds like a pretty good outcome of this inquiry!
Intellectually I guess, I can reach the conclusion of no self since everything that is observed has no self to it and everything seems to change, although "I" seem to be here unmoved. I have noticed in myself that there is too much trust in an objective reality, which gives rise to the notion of me. Right now, I m looking at my experience and although there is nothing that can confirm that there is a separate self here, there is a strong sense of ownership...It's like this is my seeing, my hearing, my experience...
You’ve already realized a really important point. The Truth is always constant, never changing. The word of “things” is full of relative truths that are perceived differently by any or all of the 7 billion humans looking at those “things”. The “I” that you have mentioned a lot in this post is one of those 7 billion. Intellectually, you sound as if you already understand this point
I really hope you can help
In this inquiry, you’ll do the work, my job is simply to prod and guide you to a directly-experienced realisation that is beyond the intellectual. You’ve looked through other threads on this site and will understand the nature of the inquiry process: I’ll pose questions to point or clarify and you’ll respond in posts of absolute honesty. Please don’t tell me what others think or have said – I’m honestly not interested. I am vitally interested in your own words that reveal the result of deep, personal self-searching. If you can aim for one post a day (more is OK and I love longer responses that are “heart-felt”), we’ll make progress. OK?

The first thing I want you to do is think about the nature of “I” This is the “I” that in your post has been to satsangs, meditates and can intellectually work things out

Does the “I” that you mention in your posts point to anything that is real?

Please think about this question deeply before answering. Please make the words you write "yours" - don't repeat what someone else has said, or something you've read. I'm only interested in your direct experience

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:38 pm

Hi Mike and thank you for your quick response!

Although it is difficult to totally avoid the "easy" answers of the mind, I can really feel that honesty plays a key role in this inquiry so I promise to be as honest as I can : )

So, to answer your question about the "I"... It certainly seems that this I is real. I will go actually go as far as saying that if anything is real, it has the same reality with the "I". In this moment it really seems like "I" am choosing to reply to your post, "I" am thinking of what to write and this feels almost unquestionably real. Although choice appears suddenly and out of nowhere, it is automatically felt like part of the "I".

If I use the help of my intellect, I can examine this sense of self and come up with some explanations about the "I". For instance, even if my body and senses where to suddenly disappear, it feels that "I" would still be here, as a sense of aliveness. On the other hand, the sense of identity seems to be based on the image of this particular body and a certain way of thinking or perceiving of what is happening.

There's also a witnessing/cognitive quality to the "I". It is because I am able to experience a computer screen, hands typing, the feeling of the body on the chair, thoughts about what to type, that I can be sure of myself being here. It's like everything is a mirror. I can sense on one level that this is an idea, but there are many subtle layers of ideas like that....

Emotions play a big role too in portraying the sense of "I". Everytime an emotion comes up, it feels like it is revealing to me who really am. There's a very strong identification when it comes to emotions, which makes me feel trapped...So you could say that there is resistance there as well....

That's all I can think of the "I" right now....I hope this helps you to understand what's going on here because I really feel lost and confused..!

Thank you very much Mike. I'll try to post at least once a day!

Tony

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:55 am

Hi Tony
Another thoughtful and honest :-) post. While you conclude that you feel lost and confused, I can see early progress.

Working out whether “I” exists is conceptually a difficult one to consider because we have, though habit, come to associate the “I” with either the body bearing our name, or with the workings of our mind, or with the body/mind combination they believe themselves to be or have.. Ask most people to describe who they are and they will likely tell a story out where their body has been, what it’s done etc etc. If asked to point to the “I” they believe they are, they will usually point to their body. Why do they do this? Because they’re never challenged their habitual assumptions they've made - that they are their body, or their mind.
Although it is difficult to totally avoid the "easy" answers of the mind, I can really feel that honesty plays a key role in this inquiry so I promise to be as honest as I can : )

So, to answer your question about the "I"... It certainly seems that this I is real.
It might “seem” to be real, but what is doing the “seeming”? Your mind is doing the seeming. So now, besides wondering whether the “I” is real, you now have another puzzle to examine: Does the mind exist?
I will go actually go as far as saying that if anything is real, it has the same reality with the "I". In this moment it really seems like "I" am choosing to reply to your post, "I" am thinking of what to write and this feels almost unquestionably real.
You’re absolutely right that writing, replying can only ever be real as it is happening in the present moment. But is the “I” that is doing the writing or replying, “real”
Although choice appears suddenly and out of nowhere, it is automatically felt like part of the "I".
As life unfolds in the present moment, it presents as options that can be taken. So there is always choice
If I use the help of my intellect, I can examine this sense of self and come up with some explanations about the "I". For instance, even if my body and senses where to suddenly disappear, it feels that "I" would still be here, as a sense of aliveness.
A profound observation, to associate "I" with "aliveness" Are you saying at the same time “I am not this body""?

The body is real – I can touch it, smell it, see parts of it. No doubt about it, the body is real – it exists. But the body is not who I am.

I look at it this way. There is an “I” which is associated with the body, but is certainly not the body. As you point out, were parts of the body to be surgically removed (say an arm and a leg) there would still be that sense of aliveness throughout the body. That aliveness is not “of the body” but it is undoubtedly there. “I” would continue without being diminished even though the body has lost a few limbs!

If the body is not who “I” am, the issue is still “Does the “I” exist – is it real”?
On the other hand, the sense of identity seems to be based on the image of this particular body and a certain way of thinking or perceiving of what is happening.
This “sense of identity is the association between the “I” and the body bearing my name. The “I” is sensed to have the same reality as the body because an identity has been constructed centered on this sense of “I”. As I’ve just written above, this “I” appears to be associated with the existence of a body bearing “my” name..The more identity that is attributed to the body, the more real the “I” appears to be
There's also a witnessing/cognitive quality to the "I". It is because I am able to experience a computer screen, hands typing, the feeling of the body on the chair, thoughts about what to type, that I can be sure of myself being here. It's like everything is a mirror. I can sense on one level that this is an idea, but there are many subtle layers of ideas like that....
Once we get the issue of the “realness of the I” clarified , we’ll return to this concept of the witnesser. It’s a vital issue for us to think about, but if it’s OK with you, I’d rather we focus with great determination on this “I” that “seems to exist”
Emotions play a big role too in portraying the sense of "I". Everytime an emotion comes up, it feels like it is revealing to me who really am. There's a very strong identification when it comes to emotions, which makes me feel trapped...So you could say that there is resistance there as well....
This is another part of the investigation I’d like to defer until we have this “I” clarified. OK?

To summarise and move forward
You’ve put a lot of absolute honesty into this post and what you have written reveals that you’ve made a good start to discovering the truth of the existence of “I”. Excellent work :-)

You have said that, intellectually you see that “I” am not my body. But do you honestly know that that is true. Or are you saying its only true intellectually With all of the issues we will discuss, your understanding needs to me more than merely an intellectual one. You need to directly experience the answer, to know beyond any doubt that you’ve found the “true answer”

So for now, the question still needs to be answered “Do “I” exist? Is the “I” real?

Here’s a “plan of attack” for you to consider. Write down the statement “Am I my body” on a piece of paper. Examine that statement from every angle. Ask “is that statement true” and write down all of the reasons you can for why it is a true statement. Then switch sides and write down all of the reasons for why it is a false statement. Look at what you’ve written and work out whether the reasons you’ve written are statements of fact or whether they’re statements that cannot be supported by fact. Draw a line through the statements that cannot be supported by fact – they are untrue and don’t represent reality or they are opinion and not fact.

Do this with other statements, such as “Am “I” my mind”, Am “I” my job” “Am I my family?” “Am “I” my bank account?” “Am “I” my qualification?” and so on.

Try to leave the mind and the intellect out of the picture. Pose the question and answer “from the heart”, from your experience. The mind will always end up confusing the issue.

Eventually (so you have some sense of where you’re going) you’ll conclude that “No, I’m not this, or that, or that, or that…” So what on earth is this “I” that can’t be found??? Does the “I” really exist, or is simply made up and not real?

That’s more than enough to be going on with! I'm already looking forward to your response!

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Zen_Tony
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:32 pm

hey Mike!

First of all I feel that I would l like to thank you for your support - it really makes a difference for me :)
I'm really enthusiastic about this but I also get disappointed because it's difficult to actually separate what is true from all the beliefs that are running, so your help gives me strengh to carry on! : )
You have said that, intellectually you see that “I” am not my body. But do you honestly know that that is true. Or are you saying its only true intellectually With all of the issues we will discuss, your understanding needs to me more than merely an intellectual one. You need to directly experience the answer, to know beyond any doubt that you’ve found the “true answer”
So I actually did what you suggested and I wrote down on a piece of paper reasons I am the body and on the other side reasons I am not. This made everything much clearer to me since I could see all my beliefs in front of me and that actually made me realize a bit more deeply that in order to identify with the body[or with anything for that matter], a belief must be operating.
An observation that made sense was that "I" is not the same thing as the body, because there Is no bodily sensation that is "I", there is no bodily image that is "I", there is no bodily sound that is "I" etc. Also, "I" is not always aware of a body being there. It's more of an intellectual conclusion, but it's all I've got..!
Although I see that using reason is giving me some insight, it also feels like something is missing and the insight is not registered deeply enough...That's why I said in my previous message that I intellectually get it, but there is not an absolute conviction that whatever "I" am has nothing to do with the body...because the body through it's image, it's abilities and it's condition seems to influence the "I"...right?
So now, besides wondering whether the “I” is real, you now have another puzzle to examine: Does the mind exist?
For me mind=thoughts and there is no mind outside of thoughts. So, If there are no thoughts there is no mind...But as long as there are thoughts, there is a also the idea of the thinker. What actually confuses me is the whole notion of "will". As soon there is will to think of something or will to do something, it feels that the "I" is involved.
Another thing that I find hard to tackle is the sense of locality. It's like I'm observing what is happening from a certain place. Vaguely, somewhere in my head...When I look carefully though, it is obvious that all bodily sensations are appearing in the same "space" let's say, and there is no sensation closer to me or another that is distant....
But the power of habit is very strong and it overrides this observations as soon as my attention goes to something else....Is there a way to prevent that from happening?
So, to answer your question, the mind seems to be just an idea. Thoughts come and go but there is no thing that creates thoughts or that stores thoughts.
So for now, the question still needs to be answered “Do “I” exist? Is the “I” real?
The most truthful answer I can give is that it feels like "I" refers to an entity which is not in the body but is somewhere nonetheless, because there is a feeling of locality and a sense of ownership of will/effort and emotions.
I feel really stuck there...but I'm sure that will change soon :)

I would be glad to have your point of view on the issues I'm facing!

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:37 am

Hi Tony!
First of all I feel that I would l like to thank you for your support - it really makes a difference for me :)
My pleasure. I’m honoured to be working with you
I'm really enthusiastic about this but I also get disappointed because it's difficult to actually separate what is true from all the beliefs that are running, so your help gives me strengh to carry on! : )
I’ll say more about the role of beliefs below. Your enthusiasm is evident and great to see
So I actually did what you suggested and I wrote down on a piece of paper reasons I am the body and on the other side reasons I am not. This made everything much clearer to me since I could see all my beliefs in front of me and that actually made me realize a bit more deeply that in order to identify with the body[or with anything for that matter], a belief must be operating.
Excellent. Spot on. I’ll comment more about this after the next two paragraphs
An observation that made sense was that "I" is not the same thing as the body, because there Is no bodily sensation that is "I", there is no bodily image that is "I", there is no bodily sound that is "I" etc. Also, "I" is not always aware of a body being there. It's more of an intellectual conclusion, but it's all I've got..!
Although I see that using reason is giving me some insight, it also feels like something is missing and the insight is not registered deeply enough...That's why I said in my previous message that I intellectually get it, but there is not an absolute conviction that whatever "I" am has nothing to do with the body...because the body through it's image, it's abilities and it's condition seems to influence the "I"...right?
What stops you from experiencing total conviction that you are not your body? Thought and the operation of the mind. Why is the mind resisting your insight? What is it afraid of?

Tony, at the heart of this not having “an absolute conviction” is belief. As soon as the directly-experienced observation that “I” is not the same thing as the body” was formed, the belief that “something is missing” was applied. Where did that belief come from? What is a belief anyway?.

In your opening paragraph, you wrote “it's difficult to actually separate what is true from all the beliefs that are running” and you’re 100% right. Beliefs often sabotage the truth by turning you away from it, by causing doubt and confusion (leading to frustration and anger) to arise. Why would they do that?

To focus on this, try this: write down a belief on a piece of paper. As an example, based on what you have written, I might write “I believe that mind-formed conclusions over-ride directly-experienced evidence” Now write “why” on the next line. Then, on the next line, write your answer (mine might be something like “because logic is way more reliable than an intuition”) Then look at the answer you have written and ask a question to test the truth of that answer.(I might ask to the question I wrote “Do I know for a fact that logic is more reliable, or is that an opinion? I might answer that question by writing “Its an opinion” And so on. You are challenging the Truth of a belief that the “I” has believed for many years. Why do this? We believe or beliefs to be true – until we question them. It’s not enough to simply say “that belief is bullshit” or try and ignore them because a belief will simply not be overturned that easily. You have to prove to the “I” that its beliefs are NOT based on Truth. Challenge the Truth of a few beliefs in this way and you will start to see beliefs for what they Truly are.
For me mind=thoughts and there is no mind outside of thoughts. So, If there are no thoughts there is no mind...
Wonderful analysis. Is it your experience that there is no mind or an intellectual conclusion?
But as long as there are thoughts, there is a also the idea of the thinker.
Is the thinker of thoughts the “I” or another “onlooker” called the thinker? Are you suggesting the existence of an entity called “the thinker” that is independent of the “I”
What actually confuses me is the whole notion of "will". As soon there is will to think of something or will to do something, it feels that the "I" is involved.
Tony sit for a while somewhere quiet and consciously try not to think. Still the mind as much as you can. How long did it take before you were conscious of a thought. Where did that thought come from? Did you :make” the thought? Can you ever “will” a thought to appear “on demand”? Can you stop thoughts from arising? Are you in control of the thoughts that arise? This is a deeply insightful thing to do. Make no judgments about whatever you notice happening. Just examine the thought process

Have you at any time since birth ever consciously forced a thought to arise? Ever created a “my thought”? When you say “I think that …” isn’t that statement made after the thought has occurred? Isn’t the “I” statement simply reporting the thought (which has been claimed by the “I” as “my thought?) Thoughts are not generated by the “I”, “my thoughts” do not exist. Thoughts occur, that is true – but where do they come from.? How do they morph into “my thoughts”? What is turning a thought into “my thought”
Another thing that I find hard to tackle is the sense of locality. It's like I'm observing what is happening from a certain place. Vaguely, somewhere in my head...When I look carefully though, it is obvious that all bodily sensations are appearing in the same "space" let's say, and there is no sensation closer to me or another that is distant....
I think you’re on to something red-hot here, but I need you to clarify what you’ve said

Are you saying that “I” am in my head somewhere”? or are you saying that the “everything that is “me” exists without being bound to a specific location? Or are you saying something different? Look at this issue deeply and tell me what you find.
But the power of habit is very strong and it overrides this observations as soon as my attention goes to something else
The mind kicks in and over-rides the insight. Why would the mind do this?
So, to answer your question, the mind seems to be just an idea. Thoughts come and go but there is no thing that creates thoughts or that stores thoughts.
Spot on. Great outcome There is no physical mind. It is not real. The concept of “mind” is a creation of thought.
The most truthful answer I can give is that it feels like "I" refers to an entity which is not in the body but is somewhere nonetheless, because there is a feeling of locality and a sense of ownership of will/effort and emotions.
Tony, there is no doubt that an “I” exists, but as what does it exist? This is the BIG question that you are finding the answer to. Rightly, you conclude that the “I” is not the body, You’re right – it is “somewhere” and you gave (I feel) a huge insight as to where that might be when you wrote “there is no sensation closer to me or another that is distant” Are you saying that the “somewhere” might be “everywhere”? Consider this long and hard. Could this “I” which is not the body be “everywhere”? If it wasn’t without a fixed location, where else could it be if not everywhere?
I feel really stuck there...but I'm sure that will change soon :)
Hang in there – you’re doing really well. You’re inquiring with exactly the right approach – absolutely honesty. I’m really looking forward to your next post

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:46 am

Hello Mike,

I hope you are well : )
Thanks for your very clear and helpful post!
Tony, at the heart of this not having “an absolute conviction” is belief. As soon as the directly-experienced observation that “I” is not the same thing as the body” was formed, the belief that “something is missing” was applied. Where did that belief come from? What is a belief anyway?.
If I understood correctly, you're saying that after seeing that "I" and the body is not the same, the mind comes up with the idea that "something must be missing" so that is the reason I feel uncertain, although I yearn for certainty? And that is where the belief has come from, I think. It has always been a struggle for me to be certain about something. It's like the mind's constant attempt to find something stable and unchanging to hang on to it so it can feel security. Because the feeling of insecurity is something that goes really deep in me...
And how could it be otherwise? Here I am believing that "I", a seperate person, exist, with absolutely no evidence to prove my belief, but somehow I'm convinced that it's true!

In my opinion, a belief is a thought that imposes a story upon the present moment, pretending to be true while not presenting the necessary evidence...and that's why I suppose there must be always uncertainty, right?
Beliefs often sabotage the truth by turning you away from it, by causing doubt and confusion (leading to frustration and anger) to arise. Why would they do that?
Oh yes, I have experienced that, quite a few times! :P Yesterday night I spent almost an hour just looking at my living room wall, not thinking about something in particular, just looking. And It was so weird for me to see to me how the conscious mind was doing as little thinking as possible, but on the other hand, the sense of "me" looking was there! I was really amazed [and frustrated] by the fact that the mind could pull such a trick!
I have read before that the mind sabotages the truth, but I really could not understand why...Why would the mind care so much to sabotage the search for truth? But I guess that if the truth is uncovered, the whole structure of beliefs that revolve around the notion of "me" would collapse, so it's afraid huh?
But if it is so, what does the searching for truth? I mean, If the mind doesn't want the truth, then who does?
To focus on this, try this: write down a belief on a piece of paper. As an example, based on what you have written, I might write “I believe that mind-formed conclusions over-ride directly-experienced evidence” Now write “why” on the next line. Then, on the next line, write your answer (mine might be something like “because logic is way more reliable than an intuition”) Then look at the answer you have written and ask a question to test the truth of that answer.(I might ask to the question I wrote “Do I know for a fact that logic is more reliable, or is that an opinion? I might answer that question by writing “Its an opinion” And so on. You are challenging the Truth of a belief that the “I” has believed for many years. Why do this? We believe or beliefs to be true – until we question them. It’s not enough to simply say “that belief is bullshit” or try and ignore them because a belief will simply not be overturned that easily. You have to prove to the “I” that its beliefs are NOT based on Truth. Challenge the Truth of a few beliefs in this way and you will start to see beliefs for what they Truly are.
I did that. I had some insight about some beliefs but it got tricky after a while because there was actual resistance from the mind to look....But your observation is 100% accurate - I trust "my" logical conclusions so much. I tried to question my beliefs in that area and saw that this is happening only because of stored opinions and experiences like "logic can provide proof", "logic can provide method therefore security","truth can be always explained through logical statements" and stuff like that...I found that It's very hard to un-convince your self from ideas that seem so...assuring? comfortable? It's like the mind is saying "come on man - why are you doing this? these are your most faithful servants! you're being ungrateful!" haha! If you know what I mean!
But in all seriousness, I do not give up. I will continue doing what you suggested and I hope that more and more light comes through....
Is it your experience that there is no mind or an intellectual conclusion?
I cannot be really sure about this [there goes the need for certainty again] but It seems that there is no mind in my experience. Just "me" thinking.
s the thinker of thoughts the “I” or another “onlooker” called the thinker? Are you suggesting the existence of an entity called “the thinker” that is independent of the “I”?
Yes the thinker of the thoughts is the "I". It's like in the same time, thoughts share a portion of truth about the "I" bu also the "I" is the one who makes them happen.
Tony sit for a while somewhere quiet and consciously try not to think. Still the mind as much as you can. How long did it take before you were conscious of a thought. Where did that thought come from? Did you "make” the thought? Can you ever “will” a thought to appear “on demand”? Can you stop thoughts from arising? Are you in control of the thoughts that arise? This is a deeply insightful thing to do. Make no judgments about whatever you notice happening. Just examine the thought process
I did again what you suggested. I just sat, staring at the wall with the intention to still the mind. Of course after a while a thought came in, uninvited. So it was obvious that "I" did not create the thought. What I observed actually was that each though has something like an energy field and depending on it's intensity it has the power to fuel up for a while the sense of "I". So the "stronger" the thoughts, the "stronger" the sense of self. That was actually something I noticed for the first time actually and I thought it was cool :P
So my conclusion is that there is no thought generated by the "I", but it's the thought it self that keeps referring to it. It's like the thoughts always try to maintain the "I" belief in the center of attention... Is this right? or is it just another idea?
Have you at any time since birth ever consciously forced a thought to arise? Ever created a “my thought”? When you say “I think that …” isn’t that statement made after the thought has occurred? Isn’t the “I” statement simply reporting the thought (which has been claimed by the “I” as “my thought?) Thoughts are not generated by the “I”, “my thoughts” do not exist. Thoughts occur, that is true – but where do they come from.? How do they morph into “my thoughts”? What is turning a thought into “my thought”?
You know, until today, I was actually 100 % positive that I am creating some of the thoughts that appear, no matter what spiritual truth I have read and no matter how many times I meditated. I could see that thoughts just happen on their own sometimes - especially during meditation - but there was always a belief that "I" chose to sit for meditation. I am kind of afraid though that this realization I had about "will" is going to turn into a new belief, but oh well...Do you think there's something I can do?
But to answer your question, what is turning thought into "my" thought as far as I can see, is the belief that the person that thoughts are talking about is something real and solid. It's an unquestioned belief....
That energetic "grip" of thoughts is kind of tricky as well...Although there might be no-one that thoughts actually grab, it certainly creates a strong feeling of someone...which I guess is also based a lot on habit...
Are you saying that “I” am in my head somewhere”? or are you saying that the “everything that is “me” exists without being bound to a specific location? Or are you saying something different? Look at this issue deeply and tell me what you find
That is super tricky too! Because although when I look with my attention to find the place I feel "I" am I find nothing-no one, there is also the feeling that I am still somewhere. I think this is fueled by the sense of sight mostly, because it feels that "I" am experiencing the "objective" world from a certain point. So, despite the fact that I cannot locate my self, I cannot reach the realization that I am everywhere, because I am definitely not in the computer screen, but I seem to be at a certain distance from it..Can you understand? I'm not sure I explained it well...I can see it's some kind of a trick of my mind, but it's hard to say how the belief is constructed....
The mind kicks in and over-rides the insight. Why would the mind do this?
I don't know but I definitely feel the urge right now to bang my head against the wall.................
Seriously, why does the mind spends so much energy to protect something it already knows is an illusion?

Could this “I” which is not the body be “everywhere”? If it wasn’t without a fixed location, where else could it be if not everywhere?


Please, help me a bit more with this...I feel I am so close....How can it be everywhere?
I am "looking" again with my attention right know...going behind the eyes, inside the head, behind the head...There is no point from which awareness begins....Actually the search for the location of the "I" and the sensation of the head happen in awareness....The sensations of sight and sound create the idea of being somewhere....it seems that "I" am the one who is aware of the sight and the sound that are present each moment....how can we tackle this?

Mike there's also an issue with guilt - that I'm wasting your time...The "I" feeds from it a lot...so say something about this please....

Thank you once again and I'll waiting for your reply!

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:15 am

Hi Tony,
I’m very well thank you and all the better for reading your post, the end of which got really exciting to read.
Thanks for your very clear and helpful post!
As always, a pleasure
If I understood correctly, you're saying that after seeing that "I" and the body is not the same, the mind comes up with the idea that "something must be missing"
Correct. The mind could just as easily say “something is wrong” Look at your “core beliefs” Don’t they all have “keeping me safe” as the core that underpins their reason for being? Lets say that a couple of friends want to go skydiving and invite you to join them. The thought “that’s dangerous” enters your mind. You hesitate to join your friends. Why? There is a belief like “I need to keep myself safe” operating. “Keeping safe” incidentally includes those beliefs that are not to do with physical safety, but security of the identity of “me”
so that is the reason I feel uncertain, although I yearn for certainty? And that is where the belief has come from, I think. It has always been a struggle for me to be certain about something. It's like the mind's constant attempt to find something stable and unchanging to hang on to it so it can feel security. Because the feeling of insecurity is something that goes really deep in me...
That “feeling of insecurity” is a statement of fear. If the mind is always challenging the “I” that you believe yourself to be, then it’s a never-ending tension. Insecurity is another way of saying “who’s in control?” isn’t it? At one level of thought you yearn for security. At another level of thought are notions of doubt and insecurity. That on-going tension between the I and the mind is what Buddha labelled “suffering”
And how could it be otherwise? Here I am believing that "I", a seperate person, exist, with absolutely no evidence to prove my belief, but somehow I'm convinced that it's true!
You’re on fire, Tony!! Go for it. The illusion is starting to crumble
In my opinion, a belief is a thought that imposes a story upon the present moment, pretending to be true while not presenting the necessary evidence...and that's why I suppose there must be always uncertainty, right?
A belief is a thought that imposes a story of me upon the present moment. A belief is always about “me”. A belief’s reference point is always centred on the belief that there is an “I” that needs to have “my story” added to.
Oh yes, I have experienced that, quite a few times! :P Yesterday night I spent almost an hour just looking at my living room wall, not thinking about something in particular, just looking. And It was so weird for me to see to me how the conscious mind was doing as little thinking as possible, but on the other hand, the sense of "me" looking was there! I was really amazed [and frustrated] by the fact that the mind could pull such a trick!
That is the illusion. The mind has a powerful influence
What does the mind have a powerful influence over?
What lets the mind (something that doesn’t exist) pull such a trick?
I have read before that the mind sabotages the truth, but I really could not understand why...Why would the mind care so much to sabotage the search for truth? But I guess that if the truth is uncovered, the whole structure of beliefs that revolve around the notion of "me" would collapse, so it's afraid huh?
Tony, you’re so right my friend. I cheered when I read that last sentence
Why would the “whole structure of beliefs” be afraid
If the whole structure of beliefs did collapse, what would be left? Look closely at the “chain of events” that would follow the collapse of the belief structure.
What does the belief structure do if it feels afraid and under threat?
But if it is so, what does the searching for truth? I mean, If the mind doesn't want the truth, then who does?
That is a very, very good question
What are the possible answers?
What if who you really are IS the Truth?
I did that. I had some insight about some beliefs but it got tricky after a while because there was actual resistance from the mind to look....
What is an insight except a moment of Truth? The mind steps in to resist that insight.
Why is it doing this?
What does it hope to accomplish by resisting every time you get an insight
But your observation is 100% accurate - I trust "my" logical conclusions so much. I tried to question my beliefs in that area and saw that this is happening only because of stored opinions and experiences like "logic can provide proof", "logic can provide method therefore security","truth can be always explained through logical statements" and stuff like that...
Tony. Remember that the only Truth we’re interested in is the Absolute Truth – that which is constant, never-changing. Absolute Truth has no opposite Truth is not a thought, an idea or a conclusion – it is a realisation, a “flash of insight”. It will never become part of your knowledge base, as something that you know, because the Truth is beyond mere knowledge and cannot be “found, proved or defined” through the working of the mind – which deals only in knowledge. All knowledge is subject to doubt. The Truth of who you are can only be realised through the experience of it, not through the mind.
I found that It's very hard to un-convince your self from ideas that seem so...assuring? comfortable? It's like the mind is saying "come on man - why are you doing this? these are your most faithful servants! you're being ungrateful!" haha! If you know what I mean!
I know exactly what you mean. The mind in fact, will actively try to stop you from finding the Truth of who you are by raising doubts – and your “logical statements” above indicate that this is happening. Ask yourself why those statements are “floating through your mind” and the answer will indicate the fear that your logical mind has about your finding the Truth
But in all seriousness, I do not give up. I will continue doing what you suggested and I hope that more and more light comes through....
More light will come through as you keep inquiring within. The Truth is not hiding from you. With each insight about what is NOT TRUE, there is less to obscure the Truth from being realised, and therefore – as you put it – more light will come through.
I cannot be really sure about this [there goes the need for certainty again] but It seems that there is no mind in my experience. Just "me" thinking.
But there is no “me”. You’ve told me that.
Do you believe that there is a “me”?
If there is no “me” what does that last sentence you wrote say?
Yes the thinker of the thoughts is the "I". It's like in the same time, thoughts share a portion of truth about the "I" bu also the "I" is the one who makes them happen.
Correct. Now why would the illusionary, unreal “I” create yet another non-existent entity called “The Thinker”?
I did again what you suggested. I just sat, staring at the wall with the intention to still the mind. Of course after a while a thought came in, uninvited. So it was obvious that "I" did not create the thought. What I observed actually was that each though has something like an energy field and depending on it's intensity it has the power to fuel up for a while the sense of "I". So the "stronger" the thoughts, the "stronger" the sense of self. That was actually something I noticed for the first time actually and I thought it was cool :P
Outstanding. A thought is a pattern of energy. Not “my thought”, not a real entity. But energy that becomes more and more powerful each time we associate the “self” with that pattern of energy. Have you noticed that the more habitual a thought is, the more powerful it is?
So my conclusion is that there is no thought generated by the "I", but it's the thought it self that keeps referring to it. It's like the thoughts always try to maintain the "I" belief in the center of attention... Is this right? or is it just another idea?
You’re correct. The self, remember develops an identity (“me”) through beliefs Consider that a belief is simply a thought that over time has become habituated. The initial thought that “gee, that was difficult”, repeated over time becomes the belief that “I’m useless” In the end, both the thought and the belief are patterns of energy. Those patterns of energy are never constant. They change all of the time. They are not real
You know, until today, I was actually 100 % positive that I am creating some of the thoughts that appear, no matter what spiritual truth I have read and no matter how many times I meditated. I could see that thoughts just happen on their own sometimes - especially during meditation - but there was always a belief that "I" chose to sit for meditation.
Is the “I” sitting for meditation or is the body. You’ve told me that “I am not the body” So if the body sits for meditation and I’m not the body, what, simply is happening?
I am kind of afraid though that this realization I had about "will" is going to turn into a new belief, but oh well...Do you think there's something I can do?
You’ve mentioned “will” a couple of times. I’m not clear about what you’re saying here. It’s clear you’re afraid of something. Spell it out for me.
But to answer your question, what is turning thought into "my" thought as far as I can see, is the belief that the person that thoughts are talking about is something real and solid. It's an unquestioned belief....
Absolutely. The existence of “I” is a belief. We’ve had beliefs for so long that we usually don’t question them.
Are beliefs real, or do they just feel real.
Does a belief indicate a TRUTH or is it a made up fabrication?
Is the statement “I’m afraid” a statement of Truth or a belief?
That energetic "grip" of thoughts is kind of tricky as well...Although there might be no-one that thoughts actually grab, it certainly creates a strong feeling of someone...which I guess is also based a lot on habit...
What grabs a thought and creates a “strong feeling of someone” based on that thought? That which “grabs a thought” has been doing that from the time you started to believe that you were a separate person with an identity separate from all others – so is it any wonder that it has become habitual?.
That is super tricky too! Because although when I look with my attention to find the place I feel "I" am I find nothing-no one, there is also the feeling that I am still somewhere. I think this is fueled by the sense of sight mostly, because it feels that "I" am experiencing the "objective" world from a certain point. So, despite the fact that I cannot locate my self, I cannot reach the realization that I am everywhere, because I am definitely not in the computer screen, but I seem to be at a certain distance from it..Can you understand? I'm not sure I explained it well...I can see it's some kind of a trick of my mind, but it's hard to say how the belief is constructed....
Tony, the Tao te Ching talks of the “world of things” You and I live in that world of things. Every day we use concepts like “this is closer” and “that is far away” In other words, each “thing” has a location

When you say that there is another “I” that you feel exists “somewhere”, you’re saying that you expect the “I” to be a “thing” and as a consequence, to have a location “somewhere”

This is where we need to emphasize that to this point in the inquiry the “I” which you have been telling me about does NOT exist (that is, it is not real, it’s an illusion)

The “I”that you’re starting to talk about now appears to be beyond the illusion. You can’t pin down the location of this :I” and it appears to be not in a specific location. Thoughts have entered (“I am definitely not in the computer screen”) and you’re doubting because of that stream of thought. That says you can’t have two “I”’s

There are two I’s – one is an illusion and one is pointing to the truth of who you are. One is located somewhere (or it was until you saw through the illusion). The other “I” is pointing to the Truth of who you are. Does Truth have a location?
I don't know but I definitely feel the urge right now to bang my head against the wall.................
Seriously, why does the mind spends so much energy to protect something it already knows is an illusion?
You cannot assume that the mind knows it is anything except “real”.
Is the mind “real” Can you find the mind? Does it “live” anywhere?
Is the mind part of the illusion?
Please, help me a bit more with this...I feel I am so close....How can it be everywhere?
Million dollar question. What is this “it” you are referring to. Look deeply. Look deeper than deep. Find the Truth. What is this “it”
I am "looking" again with my attention right know...going behind the eyes, inside the head, behind the head...There is no point from which awareness begins....
You’re describing boundaries when you talk of “begins”
Does Awareness have boundaries – a line around it to indicate where awareness starts or stops?Is awareness confined to a specific location
What is Awareness anyway – tell me
Actually the search for the location of the "I" and the sensation of the head happen in awareness....

A moment of insight – beyond knowledge. A realisation. Fabulous
The sensations of sight and sound create the idea of being somewhere....it seems that "I" am the one who is aware of the sight and the sound that are present each moment....how can we tackle this?
You have tacked it and you have given an answer. Look at what you have written starting from “I” am … moment” What am “I”?
Mike there's also an issue with guilt - that I'm wasting your time...The "I" feeds from it a lot...so say something about this please....
Tony, You are so much NOT “wasting my time” Please kill that thought off! You are so close. I can feel it. Look closely at the last 20 - 30 lines or so of this post and tear them apart. Answer the questions. Look at your answers. Tear your answers apart. What’s the truth about who “I” am? Don’t back off now. Remember also that the Truth of who you are is not complicated. If complication arises, look at what the mind' is doing.

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:34 pm

Powerful post Mike : )

I seem to be spending a lot of time with your last few posts...It takes me more than an hour to contemplate your questions and write a decent yet truthful (as much as possible) answer...And on the one hand it seems to be necessary but on the other it seems that whatever I write is inadequate and there is too much struggle when all I want is just a simple truth....
But anyway, let's get started...
That is the illusion. The mind has a powerful influence
What does the mind have a powerful influence over?
What lets the mind (something that doesn’t exist) pull such a trick?
...the mind has a powerful influence...I see we agree on that....but you ask over what.....
Which really confused me....but then I realized that confusion is a state of mind and not a state of being...so the mind has a powerful influence over it self!?
And what lets the mind create a center ["I"] ? Hm....I can't see anything that would not let the mind do that, except itself....Life is allowing the mind to do whatever it wants...or so it seems right now...

There is a feeling of "I don't know what's going on" in me now...

So, the illusory mind has an illusory powerful influence over illusory me.....Interesting situation....

and that takes me to your next questions...

Why would the “whole structure of beliefs” be afraid
If the whole structure of beliefs did collapse, what would be left? Look closely at the “chain of events” that would follow the collapse of the belief structure.
What does the belief structure do if it feels afraid and under threat?


I will answer your second question first...The only thing that the poor belief structure seem to can do against fear, is to produce more beliefs....until it reaches a belief that seems reassuring, a belief that overrides fear....right?
But what would be left after the collapse of the belief structure? Now that is a good question....
No answer comes....I waited in stillness for a while but the only thing that I can "see" that would follow the collapse of the structures is "unknowingness" for lack of a better word....

That is a very, very good question
What are the possible answers?
What if who you really are IS the Truth?


What if who I really am IS the truth....I guess that this realization would completely stop the search for truth, since it would be always available...But if it is so, how is it that the truth is not recognized? Doesn't this Truth have a certain flavor? Or is the search for "flavor" just a mind game?
Confusion seems so real and so limiting at times....although it is just another experience, somehow the feeling of "this is not it" accompanies the experience...A really believable feeling....

What is an insight except a moment of Truth? The mind steps in to resist that insight.
Why is it doing this?
What does it hope to accomplish by resisting every time you get an insight?


Yes, the insight seems to be just a moment where Truth shines by itself....no explanations, no interpretations, no intentions, no comparison...and most of all, no "me" there...only pure, unfiltered experience....And then the mind steps in...why? The easy answer seems to be "fear"...for some reason, mind is terribly afraid of the truth. It's like it's whole existence is based on a lie, so it will do everything possible to avoid seeing that....right?
But if this is true, then the whole seeking "game" seems like a lost cause....because the mind is seeking for something it doesn't want to know....Confusion arises again....Help!

Tony. Remember that the only Truth we’re interested in is the Absolute Truth – that which is constant, never-changing. Absolute Truth has no opposite Truth is not a thought, an idea or a conclusion – it is a realisation, a “flash of insight”. It will never become part of your knowledge base, as something that you know, because the Truth is beyond mere knowledge and cannot be “found, proved or defined” through the working of the mind – which deals only in knowledge. All knowledge is subject to doubt. The Truth of who you are can only be realised through the experience of it, not through the mind.


Thanks Mike, I'm trying to keep that in mind....and it's actually true for me, because I don't want a statement or an explanation of any kind. I don't want something that "I" can get and then loose it...But this experience you speak of seems so out of reach...it's like, there's nothing "I" can do to make it happen...

Do you believe that there is a “me”?
If there is no “me” what does that last sentence you wrote say?( "but It seems that there is no mind in my experience. Just "me" thinking.")


Every time that thought arises, the notion of "me" appears..."me" has began like a very well known myth in the mind....It's automatically registered as something familiar with great history and importance, but nothing can prove it's reality...and it's only reality is in it's believability...I''m so sure that as soon that it won't be believed anymore, it won't have any power, it will be totally irrelevant...
So if there's no "me"....I guess that my sentence says that thinking is happening in awareness and there is no-one to whom thinking belongs...they're just thoughts....But this is an easy answer...and although I would like it to be obvious, it's not....

Now why would the illusionary, unreal “I” create yet another non-existent entity called “The Thinker”?


I guess because in that way it can claim ownership of the thoughts that arise and establish a more real sense of "someone"? Because without "me" being the thinker, it seems that the whole idea of self would collapse much easier...

Have you noticed that the more habitual a thought is, the more powerful it is?


Yes...And it's power seems to be the ability to create a strong sense of "me"...It creates a little story in which "I" is always the main character....

Is the “I” sitting for meditation or is the body. You’ve told me that “I am not the body” So if the body sits for meditation and I’m not the body, what, simply is happening?


A truer description would be that "I" experience the body sitting for meditation...That's what seems to happen in my experience...But there is the sense, that "I" control the body, so I am the one making the body sit for meditation...
It's that identification with will/effort I've been telling you...It's really difficult for me to see that there is no-one making an effort for something, anything...It's like at the same time I feel the tension that effort creates as something that is not me, just a feeling of tension, but in the same time the belief that "I am making an effort" to still the mind, to post a reply, move the couch or whatever, is very real....The feeling of effort is immediately owned as well as the idea of the future goal that effort comes with....I hope my explanation was clear enough and I would really like see through that, which I have, but only during meditation when the mind is really still and now it's nothing but a memory....

Are beliefs real, or do they just feel real?


How can someone separate the two? I really don't know...My experience[memory] has shown me that beliefs aren't actually real, but they appear real until you see that they're not...So let's take an example.
I have the belief that when I'm worried about something, that I'm worrying about something that is real and I should be worrying about it because it something important. As soon as I dis-identify from the feeling of worry, the whole story collapses and it is seen that there was no reason to worry at all, because right now something completely different is happening. But when I was immersed in the thought, the story of it was real for me....
So what I'm saying is that beliefs feel as real to me as any other experience when they are believed to be true...

Does a belief indicate a TRUTH or is it a made up fabrication?


A belief can indicate a lot of stuff, but it cannot indicate the absolute truth...That's something I can be sure about....Because truth is an experience that has nothing to do with preconceptions, assumptions, conclusions...it's so much simpler, richer and much more direct than any belief....

Is the statement “I’m afraid” a statement of Truth or a belief?


Hmmmm....Right now there is no one who is afraid, so this is just a story - a belief...I guess that even if there was someone who was afraid, what would be actually be happening would be an identification with a story about an entity which is in some kind of trouble in the future....and that is just a story, a belief....But it sorta of feels like I'm lying now, because it's easy for me to say that fear is just a product of identification when I'm sitting in my safe living room, but If my house was on fire, I would be terribly afraid that's for sure!
What is a statement of truth after all? Can truth be encapsulated in a statement? Even the phrase "I am" can seem untrue, because aliveness is associated with an object....I think I need a clarification with this one...

What grabs a thought and creates a “strong feeling of someone” based on that thought? That which “grabs a thought” has been doing that from the time you started to believe that you were a separate person with an identity separate from all others – so is it any wonder that it has become habitual?


I guess not at all... Habit is something that the mind seems to be very familiar and comfortable with and it really likes to operate based on that...The point is that after a certain point, it's no longer just a habit, it's a way you experience reality..."You" and the habit have become one...so "I" may be the strongest habit of this particular mind, but is there a way to actually see it? I mean if all the other habits, conclusions and beliefs are based on the "I", is it possible for the conditioned mind to see the base of it's conditioning?

Tony, the Tao te Ching talks of the “world of things” You and I live in that world of things. Every day we use concepts like “this is closer” and “that is far away” In other words, each “thing” has a location

When you say that there is another “I” that you feel exists “somewhere”, you’re saying that you expect the “I” to be a “thing” and as a consequence, to have a location “somewhere”

This is where we need to emphasize that to this point in the inquiry the “I” which you have been telling me about does NOT exist (that is, it is not real, it’s an illusion)

The “I”that you’re starting to talk about now appears to be beyond the illusion. You can’t pin down the location of this "I” and it appears to be not in a specific location. Thoughts have entered (“I am definitely not in the computer screen”) and you’re doubting because of that stream of thought. That says you can’t have two “I”’s

There are two I’s – one is an illusion and one is pointing to the truth of who you are. One is located somewhere (or it was until you saw through the illusion). The other “I” is pointing to the Truth of who you are. Does Truth have a location?


That really made sense Mike....
No Truth is not somewhere...it is nowhere in particular. If I start to believe that truth is somewhere, I am automatically lying...This seems to be very clear....

Is the mind “real” Can you find the mind? Does it “live” anywhere?
Is the mind part of the illusion?


Upon looking into experience, mind is found nowhere...Thoughts talk of a mind, but there is no such object in experience...So if "mind" needs a thought-based story to exist, it's is just part of the illusion...

What is this “it” you are referring to. Look deeply. Look deeper than deep. Find the Truth. What is this “it”


I am referring to the sense of a very intimate aware presence if I can call it that....That which needs no proof but cannot be confined to an explanation[thought] because it is that which observes the arising and the disappearance of thought....and that is aware of "me", "others", "things", emotions, stories....everything that can be known, must firstly appear in "it"....
That's all I can say...

Does Awareness have boundaries – a line around it to indicate where awareness starts or stops?Is awareness confined to a specific location


No....All I can see are things, which have boundaries, appearing and in the same time "I" am aware of them appearing...There is nothing I can imagine or experience that does not enter the field of awareness...
So, I could easily say, that the capability of being aware is something that knows no limits...

What is Awareness anyway – tell me


I experience awareness as the ability to know [not intellectually but directly] everything that is happening. But it still feels as someones ability for some reason...Like there is a center of experience....I really don't know why, but there is this feeling there, no matter what I do...

Mike I am sincerely giving all I can give...For the last few days, this is all I kind think about...But really it's starting to tire me...I feel exhausted mentally and frustrated.... I won't quit, because there is no turning back [there is actually nowhere to run to anymore] but this seems so unfair at times...Why is it so difficult to rest with the truth?
I really appreciate your help and I hope I get this before I go crazy!

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:44 am

Hi Tony,

Thank you for your very honest and comprehensive post. There are some real gems in what you have written, but I'm not going to address them right now

I have been reflecting on the nature of seeking for the truth and I have been driving you too hard. I can feel the honesty of what you write in your posts – especially the last two. It is very obvious that you are looking deeply into your own experience in your efforts to find the truth. You have discovered some very powerful insights that we will definitely come back to. Right now, however, I sense a mounting frustration because you can’t “see” what those insights are pointing to. The Truth appears to be eluding you rather than coming closer. I have been asking too many questions at once, my friend and that has started to overwhelm you. I apologize.

The goal is to have you realize the Truth of who you are. It is not a goal for you to realize that by tomorrow! rest assured you will get it. There's absolutely no point, though, in having the inquiry "drive you crazy"!!

I am going to suggest that we have go back and quick look again at the basics – the “I”, the self and especially the mind – in our search for “what is True?. Sort of a "mid term summary". Keep all of the flashes of inspiration you have had, all of the insights and as we go over things, see if any of those insights fall into place. I promise to ask fewer probing questions at the one time and to make sure that you understand fully before moving on. :-)

How do you feel about “backing off” the intensity and pace of our inquiry a bit and going back to re-cover the basics?
Is this “plan of attack OK with you?

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:09 am

Hey Mike : )

Thank you for caring about me ! :) You know, truth is something that has been in my top priorities for about a year or two...It's an interest that comes naturally, it's something I really enjoy but lately I've been pushing my self a little too hard because the desire for results has kicked in, when there are a lot of things that need to be more clear to me I believe...Every now and then I may experience a moment when I connect with something beyond my usual self and truth is being revealed to me - which is great when it happens - but these moments are so few in comparison with the amount of time I experience the world as the ordinary self I'm used to and I have seen that no matter what kind of insight I have, If I don't get some of the basics as you said, I'll always end up confused and frustrated...But please, no need to apologise! I feel really lucky to be able to speak with you and receive your guidance...It's something I have been really praying for, because I can see I need help with this...

As you said, frustration is building up because I have been on "I want it all and I want it now" mode for a while but I'm sure that's not the way to approach this...I would be happy if I could realize the absolute truth by tomorrow but most probably it will be more gradual than that and that's something I need to accept...I feel like a spoiled kid lately that needs to have what it wants or else its miserable!

Also, there is great confusion concerning the mind[thoughts]. In trying to answer your questions I saw how much interference comes up by the intellect, that has all this spiritual non-dual answers about everything and it's really making it difficult to see what is actually there....it's like looking through a thick fog sometimes....
I can see this basic fear operating "I must label and understand everything that is happening or else how will I know what is going on? I may even disappear if I don't"....

So yeah, I think backing off the intensity for a while might be useful. It will give us the ability to build a stronger foundation and re-examine areas where I seem to be stuck...

Please, guide the conversation as you feel it's more beneficial and I'm sure that great things will happen - sooner or later!

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Kiwi
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:52 am

Great, stuff, Tony

Things will happen - have no doubt of that

Consider this one sentence that you wrote in your last post: I'm worrying about something that is real and I should be worrying about it because it something important. and give me a “deep from within” detailed answer to the question "Does the “I” that worries, exist." A conclusion is highly desirable (sitting on the fence is not an option!) and please show the reasoning behind your conclusion

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Zen_Tony
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:50 pm

Hey Mike,

Before answering your question, I would like to pose one that keeps coming up for me...Does reasoning play an important role in your opinion in the process of realization of no self? or is it something that we need to use because we are conditioned to look and comprehend experience through this tool, but it is something that must be left behind at some point?

I also read a quote just a few minutes ago from Karl Renz that seemed to trigger something in me, which said something like "the "I" is the first false idea that conditions everything that follows it, so see the lie in everything you experience, especially the "I" that experiences"....Good stuff : )

So...
I'm worrying about something that is real and I should be worrying about it because it something important.
I'm trying to remember the feeling of worry as much a I can, so I can generate a strong sense of self, in order to address the question as it if was real for me right now....so the answer would be as true as possible and not a mere intellectual one...
By doing that, I noticed that I'm trying to create a sense of self, that isn't here now, so it's an impermanent sense, which already "removes" reality and solidity from it...
Something that becomes evident while observing through imagination the scenario of worry, is an energetic contraction that is felt in the body but also it's like the field of awareness becomes narrower...there is a strong sense of purpose in everything I do, and the purpose seems to be "to get rid of worry as soon as possible", so there is no interest in anything else....so the self that is co-ordinating all the efforts seems to be an entity that is suffering and that is trying to get rid of it by manipulating experience...
About it's existence...No matter how I look at it, there can be no proof for the existence of someone, a solid thing, that experiences what is called worry...The story is about the "I" that has something to worry about, there is identification with the body and the thoughts that happen, but there is no one who is actually driven to escape suffering...there are only thoughts that indirectly speak of an "I", they use the body as a vehicle so the story can appear real, but no matter how intense the sense of worry, no matter how clouded is the mind or how strong is the contraction of the body, no "I" can be generated, only the idea of it...
It's kinda tricky because there is something real there that gives reality to everything happening, but an actual "I" that is worrying is not there....It's a belief, it's a spell....It's a collection of sensations and thoughts that have been habitually imputed to the "I"...but although everything in the moment of worry seems to be talking about a self, there is actually no self that all this is happening to! It's so weird...and kinda funny : )

I think that I will stop here....If you suspect that some areas are not clear to me, please ask more questions.

It's really weird how we overlook that basic ability of perception/cognition and we get caught up in what appears and we complete ignore this so mysterious ability...

I'll be waiting for your deeply probing questions!

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Kiwi
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:36 am

Hi there Tony,
Before answering your question, I would like to pose one that keeps coming up for me...Does reasoning play an important role in your opinion in the process of realization of no self? or is it something that we need to use because we are conditioned to look and comprehend experience through this tool, but it is something that must be left behind at some point?
I was intending test out “what is real?” with you and your opening is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Investigate these three paragraphs to start with and give me feedback on what you feel or find about what I’ve written

Real is what remains if your belief in it ceases. Think of the tooth fairy: as kids we believed in the tooth fairy. We believed that it was the tooth fairy who gave money every time we lost a tooth. When we found out that it was our parents who gave the money, we stopped believing in the tooth fairy. Withdraw the belief and the tooth fairy ceased to be real. The tooth fairy was an illusion, a fabrication sustained by belief alone.

In other words, reality is what can be directly experienced by the senses. If we can touch something, see something, smell it, hear it or taste it directly, then it is real. No imagination is involved. What is real must be directly experienced. If it is not able to be directly experienced, it is not real, but rather a recollection. Our mind recalls stuff so often we can feel that recollections, memories are real. They are not. They are fabrications of the mind that are made to seem real by our beliefs in them.

Your question “Does reasoning have any part in the realization of no-self”? can only be answered with the mind. The mind can only recall read-knowledge, filter that through thoughts and beliefs to arrive at a reasoned conclusion. In other words, all the mind can use is un-real stuff. Knowledge, thought and belief cannot be tasted, seen or touched. They only stand because of a belief that what they tell us is true. So, NO; reasoning plays NO part. Ask the question instead “is the self real? and answer it through your direct experience.

Like every analytical thinker, yours is a struggle of the mind? Are you struggling over anything real?
No matter how I look at it ...The story is about the "I" that has something to worry about, there is identification with the body and the thoughts that happen, but there is no one who is actually driven to escape suffering...there are only thoughts that indirectly speak of an "I", they use the body as a vehicle so the story can appear real, but no matter how intense the sense of worry, no matter how clouded is the mind or how strong is the contraction of the body, no "I" can be generated, only the idea of it...
When you look at this paragraph and the ones around it, there was a lot of intellectual rationalizing before your conclusion that the “I” is a spell”, an illusion. Great. I agree with that conclusion. The “I” is an illusion.

Does that mean it is not real?

A thought can have a emotional manifestation – in this case “worry” It can also have a physical manifestation – a “contraction of the body” – pain. Without thought, would there be such emotional or physical manifestations in the body? Investigate this and tell me what you come up with

Now for the next day, focus on this sentence you wrote “an actual I” is not there” – Experience it. Every time you do something, ask yourself “am I doing that?” Take it out of the mind and experience it. At the end of the day, tell me what you found – not what you thought!
It's kinda tricky because there is something real there that gives reality to everything happening, but an actual "I" that is worrying is not there....It's a belief, it's a spell....It's a collection of sensations and thoughts that have been habitually imputed to the "I"...but although everything in the moment of worry seems to be talking about a self, there is actually no self that all this is happening to! It's so weird...and kinda funny : )
Yes, there is humour in it. Who said that realisation had to be serious? :-)
So its the spell of belief that maintains the illusional identity (self) of an "I"?
What's real then about the "I", thought, self or belief? Anything? You tell me
I'll be waiting for your deeply probing questions!
Who is waiting?

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose


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