Zen_Tony. This one's for you

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Zen_Tony
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Zen_Tony » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:20 am

Greetings from Greece : )
The “I” is an illusion. Does that mean it is not real?
So you're asking if the illusion is real...I think i'm a bit confused on the meaning of the terms "real" and "illusion" [although they way you explained what is real made perfect sense]. But as far as I can understand, a thought is just a thought. If I imagine that I'm eating an ice cream, images, sounds or even feelings to some extent may come up, but the content of the thought does not exist apart from it. When the thought disappears the ice cream goes with it.
So the "I" can be said that is not real because in the absence of an "I"-generating thought, there is no "I". So thinking about "I" creates the experience of it and the experience creates the thought....right?
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
As far as I can see, worry, guilt, jealousy, anger etc. are reactions to what is happening to "me" and their root must be in identification with a story about "me" and in great depth the belief that "I" exists. Emotions and contraction of the body seem to be fueled by the story, the belief. So, in the absence of the belief, there would be no reason for emotional charge or contraction in the body to arise.
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!
As suggested, I questioned plenty of times during the day my experience to see if I could find a doer there. It was definitely interesting to see how the habitual notion of "someone doing" was seen as just that every time I was honest enough to look with fresh eyes. It was also very refreshing in some way to observe how a hand moves without needing anyone to move it or to order it to move. Same with thoughts. A thought is not being thought. It's unknowable until it appears and I saw that there can be a conscious decision without someone doing it. Although most of the time, the idea that "I" saw it was believed, but it was cool anyhow.
I tried to ask as often as possible stuff like "Am I doing this?" and when thoughts appeared I just tried to observe if there was a "someone" behind them, like an "I" that creates or experiences them.
I found no one - this I can be sure of! hehe!
It actually feels like core beliefs have softened, but still there are operating.
I noticed that one of my strong beliefs is that "I'm in charge of my attention - I control it". Which is not just a belief in a statement, it's an experience which feels real.
Also in brief moments of frustration the belief in the story was coming up really strong and it made me wonder - will this disappear after the realization of no self? Will there be constant [right] mindfulness? If there is no belief in a self would only the present moment be experienced?
I know that there is no actual value in my question, I m just curious.
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
Hmmmmmmmm....The only thing that I can find as real is the experience of it. Because if you're convinced that you're someone, that's all it seems to take for it to happen. I mean, thoughts can speak of a self based story, emotions can appear, but if it's crystal clear that appearances need no one in order to happen, then I guess no matter what appears, no belief will be formed.
So what I'm saying is, I believe that the belief in the "I" is real. And isn't that funny? Because I could easily not have this belief....
Who is waiting?
Haha! Whoever was waiting sure isn't present right now! : )
But yes, I can see again that there is belief in the momentary arising of the "I". There is the idea that it can stop being believed but when the "spell" starts up again it's experienced as real as the absence of it. I hope I made my self clear...

Looking forward to your reply! : )

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Kiwi
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:14 am

Greetings to you from waterlogged Australia : )
So you're asking if the illusion is real...
No, my question was asking if the illusion was unreal!! Your answer, however show that you have understood the point I wanted you to look at
But as far as I can understand, a thought is just a thought. If I imagine that I'm eating an ice cream, images, sounds or even feelings to some extent may come up, but the content of the thought does not exist apart from it. When the thought disappears the ice cream goes with it.
Exactly – the icecream is just a thought that you believed to be real – until such time as you cease believing it to be real. Then the icecream disappeared. The thought was never real – only a belief made it seem real – until you stopped believing. Thought is given a reality only by the belief that thoughts are real{quote]So the "I" can be said that is not real because in the absence of an "I"-generating thought, there is no "I". So thinking about "I" creates the experience of it and the experience creates the thought....right?[/quote]The “I” is certainly not real, but not for the reasoning you advance here

What is real: that which can be seen, touched, smelt, heard or tasted. What is unreal? Anything that ceases to exist if we stop believing in it. A child’s belief keeps the tooth fairy alive and real until the moment when the child ceases to believe. Thereafter the tooth fairy will always be seen as an illusion, an invention, unreal

The I is not real simply because it can’t be seen, toughed, smelt, tasted or heard. The non-reality of “I” precedes any thought. Thinking about “I” returns the thinker to the un-real and the illusionary – to where the tooth fairy is real
As far as I can see, worry, guilt, jealousy, anger etc. are reactions to what is happening to "me" and their root must be in identification with a story about "me" and in great depth the belief that "I" exists. Emotions and contraction of the body seem to be fueled by the story, the belief. So, in the absence of the belief, there would be no reason for emotional charge or contraction in the body to arise.
Correct. A thought is not real, A collection of thoughts about the same thing (a belief) is not real. Both thoughts and beliefs are not real – just like the tooth fairy!
It was also very refreshing in some way to observe how a hand moves without needing anyone to move it or to order it to move. Same with thoughts. A thought is not being thought.
Yes, thoughts just happen
It's unknowable until it appears and I saw that there can be a conscious decision without someone doing it.
The words “unknowable” and “conscious decision” tell me that the mind has entered the story again! A thought appears. Decisions are made. Just that.

As soon as you start using words like know/unknow, conscious/unconscious, decision/indecision, you’ve engaged the mind to do what it does best: manipulate things past , present and future. Those result of such mind activity will almost always be dualistic, judgmental, illusionary and untrue – as you told me earlier.
Although most of the time, the idea that "I" saw it was believed, but it was cool anyhow.
I tried to ask as often as possible stuff like "Am I doing this?" and when thoughts appeared I just tried to observe if there was a "someone" behind them, like an "I" that creates or experiences them. I found no one - this I can be sure of! hehe!
Excellent. When you stay in direct experience, you see the illusionary and unreal nature of thought. The moral: Stop thinking about things. Simply observe and experience.
It actually feels like core beliefs have softened, but still there are operating. I noticed that one of my strong beliefs is that "I'm in charge of my attention - I control it". Which is not just a belief in a statement, it's an experience which feels real.
If you believe in something then your thoughts and actions will both support that belief. A belief in control is not simply a belief in a statement about control, it is a belief that every thought and action must support the “all or nothing” nature of that belief. If you doubt part of a belief, you call ALL parts of that belief into doubt. You either believe totally that Elvis is alive or you don’t believe that at all. So when you say its “not just a belief in a statement, its an experience which feels real”, I wonder what game your mind is playing! :-))
Also in brief moments of frustration the belief in the story was coming up really strong and it made me wonder - will this disappear after the realization of no self? Will there be constant [right] mindfulness? If there is no belief in a self would only the present moment be experienced? I know that there is no actual value in my question, I m just curious.
The answer is yes. There is only the present moment, and experience can only ever be experienced in the present moment. There is no “story of me” in the present moment, because the present moment has neither past nor future. It only has the present. No past nor future = no story. There are still memories which are acknowledged but they are not "my" memories

“Mindfulness” is a mind-created label, the opposite of which is non-mindfulness. Such labeling takes us back into the dualstic and illusionary world of the tooth fairy. Apart from that, I’m not sure what you mean by “right mindfulness (and I’m not sure I want to know as it sounds judgmental and even painful :-))
So what I'm saying is, I believe that the belief in the "I" is real. And isn't that funny? Because I could easily not have this belief....
Funny indeed - and that brings us to the issue of "self". This is, for you a critical issue that you need to investigate. In any earlier post you mentioned the I and the "self" in the same sentence (from memory you wrote something like "I am getting frustrated at myself" and I commented along the lines "are there two things there - the "I" and the "self?" Time now to have a long hard examination of this issue.

So...

Tell me from your direct experience (no mind stuff allowed to form conclusions!) what this “self” is that you’ve mentioned a number of times. Look deep. How is the “self” created, what is it created from? What is it created by? Why is it created? What keeps any notion of “self” active. What would be the impact on “you” if the self suddenly wasn’t there any more?

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 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:53 pm

Hello once more Mike,

I hope that all is well with you : )
I've been quite busy the the last few days doing all kinds of stuff, I feel tired and that seemed to influence the intensity of the drive to investigate reality, but I still I try to be aware and observe how "my" life is unfolding...
The words “unknowable” and “conscious decision” tell me that the mind has entered the story again! A thought appears. Decisions are made. Just that.

As soon as you start using words like know/unknow, conscious/unconscious, decision/indecision, you’ve engaged the mind to do what it does best: manipulate things past , present and future. Those result of such mind activity will almost always be dualistic, judgmental, illusionary and untrue – as you told me earlier.
As I have told you before, a duality that persists and confuses me a lot is that of doership-non doership. Effort, will, control, conscious action, all seem to somehow contradict what is perceived as spontaneity and involuntary actions.
It's like there is a great investment in the belief that I must be here to control "my" mind and "my" body...I guess I know on some level that this is just a belief, but that does really help and I can clearly see it operating, so any pointers on the subject would be very useful.
The moral: Stop thinking about things. Simply observe and experience.
I have come to this conclusion - not intellectually - but no matter how many times I see that thinking is futile, its just so familiar that I find my self thinking a few seconds later...It's so frustrating to see how addicted I am to perceiving reality through thoughts and how I cannot escape their grip....
If you believe in something then your thoughts and actions will both support that belief. A belief in control is not simply a belief in a statement about control, it is a belief that every thought and action must support the “all or nothing” nature of that belief. If you doubt part of a belief, you call ALL parts of that belief into doubt. You either believe totally that Elvis is alive or you don’t believe that at all. So when you say its “not just a belief in a statement, its an experience which feels real”, I wonder what game your mind is playing! :-))
I think that what I mean when I said "it's not just a belief in a statement" is that there is a difference for me between believing that Elvis is alive[it's only an idea with no proof] and believing that there is a self here controlling the mind/body[which is more that an idea because it's like there is constant confirmation of it].
I may be confused [99,9%] but I see a difference between the two...
“Mindfulness” is a mind-created label, the opposite of which is non-mindfulness. Such labeling takes us back into the dualstic and illusionary world of the tooth fairy. Apart from that, I’m not sure what you mean by “right mindfulness (and I’m not sure I want to know as it sounds judgmental and even painful :-))
I see what you mean....And you're right, the thought that tells you that you're not mindful enough or that you have not achieved "right mindfulness" yet, causes so much unnecessary pain...And it's so funny when you look back, when you thought that an idea[practice] like that could bring you closer to the truth....
Tell me from your direct experience (no mind stuff allowed to form conclusions!) what this “self” is that you’ve mentioned a number of times. Look deep. How is the “self” created, what is it created from? What is it created by? Why is it created? What keeps any notion of “self” active. What would be the impact on “you” if the self suddenly wasn’t there any more?
Whenever I had the time to just be still for a while I tried paying attention to the self and I noticed that in a deep level, which I am not aware of most of the time, the "life" of the self is based on constant struggle, constant effort/resistance. Even trying to allow the present moment feels so forced and fake.
I could not find a logical answer as to why it is like this, but it seemed that the struggle is fueled by an underlying fear. It actually felt like a fear to openly experience life...
As to why it is created, I really don't know...Life would be so much easier if all that struggle just disappeared - although this statement is from the perspective of the self...

Mike I would really like to have something more to say but I keep writing something, I read it and then I delete it because it feels like a product of pure imagination[mind]. Everything I say feels like a lie...

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Kiwi
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:47 am

Hi Tony,
I feel tired and that seemed to influence the intensity of the drive to investigate reality, but I still I try to be aware and observe how "my" life is unfolding...
Tony, looking inwards in an inquiry like this can be, at times, intense and hard work. Be gentle with yourself. The Truth doesn’t show itself simply because you drive yourself to find it!
I may be confused [99,9%] but I see a difference between the two...
That difference is a matter of belief. You don’t believe Elvis to be alive, and you do believe that there is a self – because you can find constant confirmation that the belief is more than an idea. The issue of course is whether either belief is true - lets find out!!
I tried paying attention to the self and I noticed that in a deep level, which I am not aware of most of the time, the "life" of the self is based on constant struggle, constant effort/resistance.

I could not find a logical answer as to why it is like this, but it seemed that the struggle is fueled by an underlying fear. It actually felt like a fear to openly experience life...
Well done, Tony. It may seem to you that you’ve run into a dead end, but you haven’t – you’ve unearthed the reason for the apparent dead end – but you can’t see it as that, so let’s dig deeper

Lets look at this “self”

It’s one thing to intellectually conclude that the “I” does not exist. You looked and you couldn’t find it – not the body, not the career, not family or friends, not possessions. All of those things are not “I” The “I” is not real. But even after working that out, it still seems that it hasn’t gone – and it is this realisation that is frustrating you.

The notion of “I” still persists, Tony because it has an identity that doesn’t go simply because you have intellectually determined that the “I” is not real. The identity persists, and in persisting is providing you with a struggle. You want the “I” to go, and this identity (the “self”) does not want to go

Little wonder that it doesn’t want to go. The identity of Tony has been with you as long as your body was born. Parents, relatives and friends all worked to give you that identity – that sense of self. You yourself have continuously refined that identity all your life. Can you imagine Tony without an identity?
I tried paying attention to the self and I noticed that in a deep level, which I am not aware of most of the time, the "life" of the self is based on constant struggle, constant effort/resistance
What a gem this statement of yours is. You’ve noticed that the “self”, your identity, the story of you, is never satisfied? The self always seems to want more, want something that’s just out of reach, want something better. The self is never satisfied. Even when you say “enough”, the self will always say “just try this” Look again at what you’ve written and feel the link between struggle and self.
and believing that there is a self here controlling the mind/body
Another gem of an observation. What dies the self do? – it controls the mind/body. How? Through the belief that without an identity “I” would be in danger

The “I”, Tony is the easy bit to see though. The self is the real villain, because it gives the “I” an apparent identity. If we try simply to get rid of the “I” without removing the “I”’s identity, the notion of “I” will persist and seem to be real. It seems real because of the identity that has been built up around it. It is the self that needs to go and many advaita teachers have seen this when they emphasize the importance of no-self. The “I” cannot survive without an identity. It is the self which provides the “I” with an identity to “make real” the existence of the “I” . As you’ve discovered, simply concluding that there is no “I” is not enough – we need to get rid of this “story”, this identity on which the “I” has been built.

How do we do that. We examine the nature of this “self”, this identity of me. How is this identity created? Is the identity about who I really am or is it there simply to keep the illusion of “I” alive? How is the self created, anyway? How is it kept apparently alive? Examine the self deeply and honestly, Tony and the whole illusion will collapse like a house of straw.

And that’s what I want you to do now. Focus on the self . Nothing else. Focus on the identity of Tony. On Tony’s self.

Let me know what you find

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 11, 2012 12:24 am

Hey Mike,
Look again at what you’ve written and feel the link between struggle and self.
So I tried to look as honestly and innocently as I could at what "Tony" is all about. As you said the idea of the "I" is somewhat seen as just that, but underneath the characteristics of the personality [likes/dislikes,opinions,memories] is that sense of "raw" self that seems to be present in every experience.
What feels as a basic element of the self except the struggle, is the constant desire to escape the present experience. And it does that by making up stories, desires, setting goals or whatever, until I get caught in one of those, unconsciously believing that this is an escape from suffering...
It's almost like the self is in continuous search for relief/rest but it's own nature is struggle and fear, so every time it tries to solve this dilemma it just ends up creating more struggle. It seems like a circle from which it can never escape...

Something else came to mind that I wanted to ask...
There are times in which I can take a certain point of view and have an experience according to that. Let's say, that a thought arises, saying "examine if there is something in experience that is not new"...So I "see" life from that angle and it is much easier to see that actually nothing in my experience is not new. I can do that with other statements like "everything is part of awareness", "there is no "I" here" etc.
So, on one hand this "practice" gives me some kind of experience which I label true or more true than my "usual" experience and there is the belief that this helps the SELF wake up. On the other hand, it feels like I'm not totally honest and that I'm manipulating reality, creating my own subtle realities just to get some kind of pleasure.
There is a saying, I think from Ramana, about "using one thorn to remove an other". Do you think that this is a method that could help or create more illusion?

On your last questions I could not write something in form of a paragraph so I'll just paste some sentences I wrote on my notepad while contemplating.
How is the self created, anyway?
The self is like a mirroring effect. It comes after experience.
It can know who/what it is only in relation to the perceived experience.
So the self is a reaction to experience.
How is the self kept apparently alive?
The self depends on the notion of time.
As long as there is reality in the idea of past and future, the self can be kept alive.
Past tells me who I am and future gives me the opportunity to become something more/less.
I know who I am because of memory. It's knowledge based on repetition.
Is the identity about who I really am or is it there simply to keep the illusion of “I” alive?
On the one hand the identity needs continuous effort to remind me that I am a self, that I am Tony. That feels fake because there is a feeling of Being that needs no effort at all. On the other hand without being reminded of who I am, I know nothing about me. Somehow, unknowing gets rejected immediately.
It is always there but so is the rejection of it.


That's all I have for the moment...I will continue looking...

Thank you once again for helping me Mike! It really makes a difference!

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Kiwi
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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:30 am

Hi Tony, thnks for the post.
So I tried to look as honestly and innocently as I could at what "Tony" is all about. As you said the idea of the "I" is somewhat seen as just that ... What feels as a basic element of the self except the struggle, is the constant desire to escape the present experience. And it does that by making up stories, desires, setting goals or whatever, until I get caught in one of those, unconsciously believing that this is an escape from suffering...
Certainly some honest searching going on here, Tony, and I really admire the effort you're putting into this.. Excellent.. Lets see if we can clarify things a bit. Consider this sentence “I, myself believe that ….”
The “I” on its own, is just a word. It points to the mind/body.
The myself (my self) is also pointing to the mind/body.
The “I” and the “self” are pointing to the same thing – the mind/body called Tony. The two terms are synonyms (meaning the same), but the self is way more powerful because it brings an identity (“made up stories, desires, goals”) to the “I”
but underneath the characteristics of the personality [likes/dislikes,opinions,memories] is that sense of "raw" self that seems to be present in every experience.
When you describe the self as “underneath the characteristics of the personality” you are right. The self, from experiences, creates beliefs that “I should do this, act this way, say these sorts of things etc. These “personality traits are the outcome of conditioning (behaviour) arising from beliefs
It's almost like the self is in continuous search for relief/rest but it's own nature is struggle and fear, so every time it tries to solve this dilemma it just ends up creating more struggle. It seems like a circle from which it can never escape...
It’s the nature of the self and it’s created beliefs that whatever “I” do is“never good enough” Ever caught yourself (your self) criticizing something that you’ve done. The “critical voice” that is telling you off is voicing the self’s beliefs. The self is telling the “I” that its efforts are not good enough (when you look at it, this is crazy stuff: the dimension of “I” called the “self” is criticizing the actions of the “I” – it’s criticizing itself!!) The result, as you point out is a merry-go-round of criticism, insecurity, unhappiness, struggle
Something else came to mind that I wanted to ask...
There are times in which I can take a certain point of view and have an experience according to that. Let's say, that a thought arises, saying "examine if there is something in experience that is not new"...So I "see" life from that angle and it is much easier to see that actually nothing in my experience is not new. I can do that with other statements like "everything is part of awareness", "there is no "I" here" etc.
So, on one hand this "practice" gives me some kind of experience which I label true or more true than my "usual" experience
When an experience happens, the self will always examine that experience to derive something that can be attached to the “I”. For example, some people spend money on lotteries (the “experience”). Sometimes they win some prizes. The self will examine these experiences and can create a number of stories to add to the “I” – for example “I spend too much money on lotteries” or “I never win much” or “I’m really lucky in winning money” At any one time one of these stories will be more believable and that is the story that will be associated with the “I”. Next month, the story may change as my beliefs arising from the experiences that “I” have, change.

These stories are called beliefs. A belief is always “owned” by the “I”, like: “I am lucky, I am useless, I waste money – and so on. These beliefs are 100% creations of the mind. They might arise from an experience, but whereas the experience was real, the mind-created beliefs are pure fantasy. However, while these beliefs are 100% fabricated, they are believed by the “I” – which is another fabrication.

So, the self “spins a story about an experience that “I” had”, the truth of which “I” believe, and so “I” make the belief part of the “story of me” But its all bullshit. The only thing that happened was the experience of buying a lottery ticket. Everything after that was an illusionary belief-based story
and there is the belief that this helps the SELF wake up.
It is, of course, a rare experience that does not “wake the self up” The self ensures that we always have an opinion on everyone and everything; that we are easily upset, offended and upset, that we are always on the search for “something bigger, brighter or better”
On the other hand, it feels like I'm not totally honest and that I'm manipulating reality, creating my own subtle realities just to get some kind of pleasure.
For the self, a very valid identity for the “I” to have is guilt. Guilt (“just to get some kind of pleasure) ensures that the perpetual wanting, self doubt, self-criticism, and flow-on feelings of anguish, pain and struggle are kept “on the boil”.
There is a saying, I think from Ramana, about "using one thorn to remove an other". Do you think that this is a method that could help or create more illusion?
The only way of ending the illusion is to see that it is just that: an illusion. And the only way of doing that is to “kill off” the belief that beliefs are true, real. All beliefs are mind-created untruths. Once that is seen, belief in all beliefs (including the belief in “I”) ends. Thereafter, there is simply experience happening – WITHOUT beliefs arising. Ramana’s belief that one thorn can be used to remove another is just that – a mind-created belief.
The self is like a mirroring effect. It comes after experience.
Agree
It can know who/what it is only in relation to the perceived experience.
Once it is realized that there is no self to provide an identity to the “I”, then the illusionary “I” completely collapses, leaving the truth of who you are to shine though. From that point on, there is only experience. No “I”, no self.
So the self is a reaction to experience.
The self reacts to an experience to create a story that can be attached to the “I”
The self depends on the notion of time.
Tony – time is a belief. The past and future are mind-created and have no factual reality. Only the present moment has reality. The world around us, however uses the conventions of time, and we use those conventions to help us get though each day in an orderly way, and to provide our mind with “past memories” and “future plans”. In a dualistic world time is believed to be “real” – but it’s not. It’s an illusion

You are right though, beliefs are built over time. Once it is seen that the present moment is all there is, the belief in the realness of “time”, past” and future” is seen as an illusion. In the now, the self cannot create beliefs to sustain it. The self collapses.

Beliefs are strengthened each time the same sort of experience is encountered by the mind/body. A belief that illustrates this could be “Why is this always happening to me?
As long as there is reality in the idea of past and future, the self can be kept alive... Past tells me who I am and future gives me the opportunity to become something more/less.
All belief, all wrong. How can you possibly be better that you are right NOW?
I know who I am because of memory. It's knowledge based on repetition.
I know WHO I'M NOT because of a belief in time-based memory. Knowledge is all a mind-interpretation of an experience
Tony, while you believe that your beliefs define who you are you will not experience the serenity that dropping all beliefs can bring. Look at your beliefs as they arise. Ask “is this belief indicating a truth about me, or is it perpetuating the illusion that I am a separate person, with a separate identity and a separate existence? Keep asking that question. Eventually you’ll realize that all beliefs are simply NOT TRUE
On the one hand the identity needs continuous effort to remind me that I am a self, that I am Tony. That feels fake because there is a feeling of Being that needs no effort at all.
It is fake because it is a mind creation. An untruth. Looking to the self to give you an identity is looking completely in the wrong direction. Who you really are can only be found when the self goes and beliefs crumble. Only then will you realize the truth of who you are – and that truth is, indeed effortless

You’ve found an important truth, though. Belief in beliefs will always keep you from finding the truth of who you are
On the other hand without being reminded of who I am, I know nothing about me.
A belief. Drop the beliefs, then look. You’ll find everything you need to know about yourself. Constructing a knowing of who you are based on beliefs will keep you from finding that truth.
Somehow, unknowing gets rejected immediately.
It is always there but so is the rejection of it.
The mind is rejecting any notion that it cannot control. Why” because it is afraid. What is is afraid of? Is that fear valid, or is it a min-created fear

The goal is simply to realize that the self and all of the beliefs that the self creates are ALL illusionary. False, Unreal.
That's all I have for the moment...I will continue looking...
Great. Probe, question, analyse, dismiss. Keep doing that until you’ve run out of things to dismiss! Sounds hard, but is not. Don't give up. Just keep asking the question “is this real or not?” If it’s not it’s not worth hanging on to. Eventually, your mind will realize that you’re serious and the crumbling will accelerate.

Happy hunting, Tony!

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 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:23 pm

Hello Mike,

Everytime I read your answers everything seems so clear. It felt so easy and natural just being in present experience and whenever a thought was coming up, to state something about "me" - what "I" must do, what "I" feel, what "I" need - it was just dropped so effortlessly....
I feel though that the need to grasp the "technique" of effortless being is something that no matter how many times is dropped, always comes up again with a really strong grip.

Also, there is the belief about how "I" forget questioning the self during my daily activities and this somehow shows that "I" don't want liberation badly enough, so "I" don't deserve it.
Pure fantasy, I know...But as you said "I" have to feel guilty about something!

Even the idea of this "super great enlightenment experience/achivement" is starting to seem as totally irrelevant, but that has a weakening effect on the drive of seeing through the illusion of self...

There is the feeling that I've hit a wall...I really don't seem to have any more vital questions [for now at least] and there's nothing left for me to do, but investigate and question beliefs. And this is makes the "I" feel immobilized...

So yeah...that's what's happening I guess...Any recommendations?

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:42 am

Hi Tony,
Everytime I read your answers everything seems so clear. It felt so easy and natural just being in present experience and whenever a thought was coming up, to state something about "me" - what "I" must do, what "I" feel, what "I" need - it was just dropped so effortlessly....
It is excellent that when you let go, the “I’ and its demands etc simply and effortlessly drop away. However, then you write
I feel though that the need to grasp the "technique" of effortless being is something that no matter how many times is dropped, always comes up again with a really strong grip.
The belief that this effortlessness is too hard to sustain arises. What has happened? A belief has surfaced. It wants you to stop you doing what you're doing. Why? Your beliefs system, your "I" (which is simply a belief) feels its current position threatened, unsafe.
Also, there is the belief about how "I" forget questioning the self during my daily activities and this somehow shows that "I" don't want liberation badly enough, so "I" don't deserve it. Pure fantasy, I know...But as you said "I" have to feel guilty about something!
Another "I" belief aimed at stopping you from continuing by making you feel guilty!
Even the idea of this "super great enlightenment experience/achivement" is starting to seem as totally irrelevant, but that has a weakening effect on the drive of seeing through the illusion of self...
Another belief, this time saying that your "I" thinks its all a waste of time
There is the feeling that I've hit a wall...I really don't seem to have any more vital questions [for now at least] and there's nothing left for me to do, but investigate and question beliefs. And this is makes the "I" feel immobilized...
Stuckness has occured - you must be getting close!! The "I" is feeling immobilised becuse it is under threat. The "I" wants you to stop because your starting to directly experience what that there is no "I", no "mind" and no "beliefs" The "I" is fearful that when you discover the Truth it will be out of a job.

It won't really, you know. Every truth-realised person still has an "I"-ness, but it is irrelevant. It no longer dominates. The illusion still continues after the Truth is realised, but it is seen as an illusion and therefore easily dismissed. The mind certainly is still used, but it is no longer preoccupied with keeping the sense of "I" to the forefront. Beliefs still occasionally surface, but are seen as illusionary and then disappear. In short, Tony, Truth-realisation is not a case of "either Truth or the illusion" but rather "Truth is seen and so is the illusionary". Truth excludes nothing. There is nothing to be fearful of.

It is a truism that obstacles arise when the belief system feels threatened. You intellectually understand that beliefs are illusionary, that there is no substance to them – but you haven’t internalized that understanding. There is an understanding but yet not a direct KNOWING that beliefs are bullshit, so when the mind feels under threat, it retrieves the beliefs to protect itself

Why is the mind threatened? You are breaking the habit 9of a lifetime. In that lifetime habit, the mind has become the “ruler” and you respond to what the mind says. With the increasing realization that the mind is an illusion, that all thoughts and all beliefs are bullshit, the mind finds itself under threat. It fights back by retrieving beliefs to protect it’s dominance. Those beliefs raise doubts, uncertainties.

What to do? Simple. Focus on the illusionary nature of beliefs like a laser. Do so, not with an intensity of anger, despair or frustration but with a focused calmness. An attitude of “I know what’s going on, this will not stop me” Start by considering the nature of the obstacle you have encountered: What is stopping me?, why am I feeling this way? Look at the questions you have raised in this post – for each one ask “why is that belief coming up? To the answer you get, ask “why” again. Drill down to get to the “core” belief behind what you have written

Make a list of the other beliefs that come to mind that may be contributing to this obstacle. Look at that list. Drill down to get to the core belief. Core beliefs will have to do with linking your current awareness of Truth to safety. Remember that control is definitely linked to safety. These core beliefs will reflect a fear, like “seeing the truth of who I am will change my identity, that no-one will love, that I’ll be an outsider, that I’ll lose my ability to think, that I’ll no longer have the skills that enable me to work, that I'll lose control of my life” etc

Examine every belief – especially those that you have drilled down to reveal. Probe the truth of them until you experience their untruth. Go beyond the intellectual to the direct knowing that they are bullshit.

It’s at this point, Tony that the inquiry starts to sharpen. That’s good news, because it means that, as far as the mind is concerned, its control is under threat. Keep at it my friend!!


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 18, 2012 12:38 am

Hello again Mike : )

I'm still here :P

Thank you for your reply...As you suggested I tried as much as possible to focus on the beliefs that arise and question them, to see why do the operate, what is the purpose they serve.
I'll make a list of some beliefs I feel are basic elements of "me" in case you have something to suggest in order to see through them more easily.

1) I am not the body, but the body's condition affects me and ultimately, the body's death is equal with my death.

2) Reality is scary[in many ways] when I cannot think about it, draw conclusions and protect my self.

3) Awareness, aliveness, presence are all qualities of the self[me].

4) In order for something to be known or experienced, it must have borders, it must be localized and identified [by me]. There is no other kind of knowing/experiencing.

5) There is something I can DO in order to awaken [there are also things that take me away], but I have not yet found what it is. (But I'm hopping to find it)

Also, you said in your post "there are no beliefs" - what do you mean by that? The belief in the tooth fairy doesn't exist?

I know that it is impossible for me to imagine how life would be without me, because every imagination has as it's basic element the "I". Whatever is said, thought, done, has this "I-ness" to it.

Stuckness still happening....but nonetheless, seeing of the illusion[at times] is happening as well....

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:10 am

Hi Tony

You’re still here – and so am I!. Isn’t life great!
Stuckness still happening....but nonetheless, seeing of the illusion[at times] is happening as well....
… and that’s a good thing…at least to see the illusion you must be differentiating between what is real and what is not! The goal is to now increase the seeing of the illusion

With very rare exceptions, all of us have been where you are right now. Stuck. Can’t seem to go forward and with a realisation that you can’t go backwards either. Stuck. Probably a bit pissed off. The cause of the stuckness is almost always beliefs that seemingly refuse to let go their hold. Let’s look at this from a different direction
==================
Ever sat in a park, just sat and watched what was going on? If find that doing so is good to get things into perspective. Sitting there, watching people come and go, perhaps cars moving nearby. Just still enough at times to hear the birds and insects do their thing. A gentle breeze rustles the leaves. Perhaps you can even get a smell of nearby flowers from time to time. Just sitting there, just noticing what is happening around you.

What is happening around you? In a word, life is being lived.
==================
What is aware of what is happening? If a person is seen, eyes are picking up the energy of that person, and transferring this “energy signature” via the optic nerve to the brain where that energy pattern is decoded into an image that is projected in the brain and “seen” – but what is seeing the image? Can’t be “you” – you are not your brain; can’t be the brain: it is not self-aware; can’t be the eyes – they only register energy.

What is it that is aware of the brain’s image?
===================
Now look at that scene again. People come and go, birds, insects, the wind – everything comes and goes. These are things. But even when things have gone from the park, the park goes on. The park is not diminished by things going any more than it is enhanced by things coming. The park simply is. If you sit there and simply notice, you’ll become aware that there is something in that park, “underneath all of the things that come and go. It isn’t visible, or audible. It doesn’t have a smell. But it is there. An undefinable “something” that is in the background, but always there. It being there allows everything else in that park to function, to exist.

When you become aware of it, that “something” in that park, behind the comings and goings is constant. It is there whether early in the morning or late at night. It is there whether the park is dark and silent or crowded and noisy. It is always there.
===================
This “underlying something” has been given many names to describe it. To some, it is awareness, to others consciousness, some call it Absolute Truth, or The Infinite. To others it is God. No matter what the label, they are all pointing to this “something” that underpins everything else.

To recognise the existence of this “something” in the park is only possible because you are the same thing – after all, to recognise is to re-cognise – to become aware of something again. When you recognise the existence of this “something” in the park, you do so by cognising it in yourself. You are that “something” in the park. You are awareness.
================
Now go and sit in the park, silently; just noticing what you notice. Become aware. Tell me what you notice. Tell me what is aware
================

I’ll get to the rest of your post – the list of beliefs – once we’ve completed the issues I’ve raised in this post. OK?

Blessings, my friend

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 Mar 19, 2012 3:13 am

Ok Mike!
I'll try to do that tomorrow and I'll let you know about my experience.

Thank you very much for your post it was refreshing!
Even though this feeling of stuckness makes the whole search seem difficult & pointless at times, your support really helps me remember that this is just a phase and that truth is there[here] waiting for me! : )

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:40 am

Hi Tony
I'll try to do that tomorrow and I'll let you know about my experience.
Cool!

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 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:12 am

Hey Mike!

How's the weather in Australia?

Here for the last few days we have been enjoying the sunshine and it's really great! :)

So, I had the opportunity to visit a park and just enjoy living in a relaxed way for a while :) I sat on a bench and let my mind rest, in order to experience the moment as deeply as possible.
Sounds, smells, bodily sensations, all came to appear effortlessly once the mind stopped creating a story.
Something that became noticeable after a while was that I don't know how to really rest! My body could rest somehow, but the constant need of the mind to induce the state of relaxation and to find something that would make the moment even better actually prevented rest to be experienced....
After that, something that became apparent was no matter what was happening inside or outside of "me", was happening without "my" approval.Thoughts, feelings, birds, people, sunshine, wind...Everything was doing it's own thing and nothing in experience was orchestrated by me. I was just experiencing what each moment included.
A sense of serenity was more evident after that realization and although there was a lot of noise around, everything seemed more peaceful. I enjoyed just being there, not focused on something in particular.
For an instant I seemed to lose the borders of "me" because it felt like I didn't have to "carry" that anymore...So there was a feeling of spaciousness I could say in which the body of Tony, the body of the guy sitting on the next bench, the grass, the bird's body and the tree had the same amount of importance. Everything was just part of experience. Nothing more, nothing less...
After that, the mind as me came in and tried to understand this way of experiencing, claim it as mine, tried to hold on to it and sustain it, but it failed....That triggered disappointment and frustration, but thankfully the setting was ideal so I go could let go of these emotions quite easily and just rest again....
What is it that is aware of the brain’s image?
Depending on my point of view, there can be an corresponding answer. I could easily say "I'm aware of the image" but when the "I"-thought does not appear, the image doesn't belong to someone. Even in the assumption of "me" existing, it is absolutely evident that "I" am not doing the cognition of each image. It's something that is happening completely on it's own.


In a moment of silence I remembered your phrase "that there is something in that park, "underneath" all of the things that come and go". It seemed to match my experience because I could sense/see an aliveness to what I perceived, but it didn't have to do with a particular tree, the grass or the birds...It was like everything was existing in that "field of aliveness"...

Although I did not get any new answers to my questions, it felt like a great time-out from myself! : )

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Re: Zen_Tony. This one's for you

Postby Kiwi » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:57 am

Hi Tony
A great last post, full of insight and clarity.
So, I had the opportunity to visit a park and just enjoy living in a relaxed way for a while :) I sat on a bench and let my mind rest, in order to experience the moment as deeply as possible.
Sounds, smells, bodily sensations, all came to appear effortlessly once the mind stopped creating a story.
And how did you “stop the mind creating a story”? Simply by being in the present moment. Works every time. Keep doing it.
Something that became noticeable after a while was that I don't know how to really rest! My body could rest somehow, but the constant need of the mind to induce the state of relaxation and to find something that would make the moment even better actually prevented rest to be experienced....
“Rest” is a mind-driven pursuit. “I must rest” is not a statement from the body, it’s a statement from the mind. As you say, trying to find relaxation though the mind prevents relaxation from being experienced. Stop trying to relax – it’s a mental concept anyway. Just be in the present moment and relaxation will occur.

Your observation here, in a nutshell is what its all about: when you stop trying to achieve something, you allow it to occur. Why?, because the mind does not function in the present moment – it finds it too boring and wants instead to drag ‘you” off to contemplate the past or the future. Stay in the present moment.
After that, something that became apparent was no matter what was happening inside or outside of "me", was happening without "my" approval.
Yippee! What happens is beyond control. Can you control life? No It just happens. When you relax and allow life to just “be” then everything continues to happen and in a relaxed acceptance, you go along with it. No fighting, no struggle, no control – all of these occur when you try an dominate (with your mind) what is. Control is a belief, an illusion.
Thoughts, feelings, birds, people, sunshine, wind...Everything was doing it's own thing and nothing in experience was orchestrated by me. I was just experiencing what each moment included.
Wonderful clarity
A sense of serenity was more evident after that realization and although there was a lot of noise around, everything seemed more peaceful. I enjoyed just being there, not focused on something in particular.
The simple joy of experiencing what is
For an instant I seemed to lose the borders of "me" because it felt like I didn't have to "carry" that anymore...So there was a feeling of spaciousness I could say in which the body of Tony, the body of the guy sitting on the next bench, the grass, the bird's body and the tree had the same amount of importance. Everything was just part of experience. Nothing more, nothing less...
Wonderful clarity here, Tony. What happened? In the letting go, you were life itself. A satori moment. The illusion was momentarily banished and you were that which you are seeking: life itself
After that, the mind as me came in and tried to understand this way of experiencing, claim it as mine, tried to hold on to it and sustain it, but it failed....That triggered disappointment and frustration, but thankfully the setting was ideal so I go could let go of these emotions quite easily and just rest again....
Outstanding. You told the mind and emotions to go and returned to the present moment where there is only life happening. Keep doing what you’re doing Tony!
Depending on my point of view, there can be an corresponding answer. I could easily say "I'm aware of the image" but when the "I"-thought does not appear, the image doesn't belong to someone. Even in the assumption of "me" existing, it is absolutely evident that "I" am not doing the cognition of each image. It's something that is happening completely on it's own.
Amen brother!
In a moment of silence I remembered your phrase "that there is something in that park, "underneath" all of the things that come and go". It seemed to match my experience because I could sense/see an aliveness to what I perceived, but it didn't have to do with a particular tree, the grass or the birds...It was like everything was existing in that "field of aliveness"...
That field of aliveness is what is sometimes referred to as ‘consciousness”, “awareness” or “oneness”. To me, it is life itself. It is the Absolute – it’s always there underneath everything. It’s what enables everything to be. Yes it is subtle – which is why so many miss its existence. But once perceived, it is obvious that its always been there and will always be there
Although I did not get any new answers to my questions, it felt like a great time-out from myself! : )
You didn’t experience “Time out” from yourself – you experienced the Truth of who you really are – and didn't it feel great!
====================
Now I want you to consider that that “field of aliveness” is not only “underneath all the things that come and go”, it is the essence of who you really are, beyond the illusion that others call Tony. In Truth aren’t you that same field of aliveness?

Love

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 22, 2012 10:42 pm

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the kind words.

I tried looking from this perspective today and there seems to be some sort of doubt coming up...I'm not saying that the doubt is fully believed, but I want to be 100% honest here and not give "right" answers. Whatever is an illusion must be seen through and I will not rest till that has been achieved!

So...The feeling of locality often drops, especially when I rest and close my eyes, but the feeling that I am somewhere, limited still persists and somehow convinces me. I have tried questioning it but I end up with an intellectual conclusion, which is not really useful...

Something that amazes me at times is that there is actually nowhere to go to reach consciousness, because moving occurs in it....So there are times when I feel lost in thoughts and frustration might arise, even regret, and then there is the seeing that consciousness can't be touched by any of these....Which is great! hehe!
I really want though for that confidence to be present in the midst of fear or sadness..!

Going back to your question...The field of aliveness I can sense seems to be covered with a layer of tension...this is how the feeling of "self" appears to me right now... And this tension seems to have something like a magnetic pull...don't ask me what is it pulling - I don't know!!!! :P

It's seems like a difficult to contemplate because it feels "I" can access the field only when I'm not interested in thinking...when that happens, everything looses it's importance and there's no need to investigate anything...When thoughts of seeking an answer come back though, all I can do is think about it....It's really weird putting it into words, but that's best way I can describe what is happening...


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