Awake

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Portabales
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Awake

Postby Portabales » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:23 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Everything I take to be me - body, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, personality - are in truth constantly changing and evolving processes, with no unchanging "me" to be found.

What are you looking for at LU?
To really see and experience this as opposed to having an intellectual idea or concept. To awaken from the illusion of me that persists despite, or probably because of, logical reasoning and intellect.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To be posed questions and challenges which will help me to awaken from the dream of me. But with all my being, and not just the mind, so that it's a total experience. To receive feedback and in particular to be disabused of any false notions that I have awoken, until that is the case.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Meditating for 25-odd years, mainly mindfulness and loving kindness. MUCH reading (probably too much!) - Krishnamurti, Adyashanti, Anthony de Mello, Eckhart Tolle. Involved in FWBO/Triratna movement over 20 years, but not currently.

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

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Portabales
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Re: Awakening - yes please?

Postby Portabales » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:14 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Everything I take to be me - body, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, personality - are in truth constantly changing and evolving processes, with no unchanging "me" to be found.

What are you looking for at LU?
To really see and experience this as opposed to having an intellectual idea or concept. To awaken from the illusion of me that persists despite, or probably because of, logical reasoning and intellect.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To be posed questions and challenges which will help me to awaken from the dream of me. But with all my being, and not just the mind, so that it's a total experience. To receive feedback and in particular to be disabused of any false notions that I have awoken, until that is the case.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Meditating for 25-odd years, mainly mindfulness and loving kindness. MUCH reading (probably too much!) - Krishnamurti, Adyashanti, Anthony de Mello, Eckhart Tolle. Involved in FWBO/Triratna movement over 20 years, but not currently.

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

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:45 am

Hello Portabales, my name's Mark -- what would you like me to call you?

This process works best if you set aside some time to look and answer questions each day -- doesn't need to be a long time -- 30 minutes should suffice. It's the quality of looking that counts.

So if you are happy to get going, let's get started!

If I say to you:

There is no ‘self’, no ‘me’, no ‘I’, and there never has been. The sense of ‘self’ and what appears to be ‘selfing’ behaviour simply arise in the complete absence of any truly existing ‘I’.

What are your immediate responses to this?
What emotions arise?

cheers,

Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:11 pm

Hi Mark, and thank you for making contact. I am George.

So, my responses are:

I've done so much reading about, and meditation on, the idea that there is no inherent self, me, I; that body, thoughts, beliefs, even personality are in a constant state of change/flux. I can see this intellectually and logically, and to some extent experientialy (I'm getting older!) but there remains a sense that there is a self lurking somewhere. I can see how this is a product of thought, but there it is - I'm still in the dream.

When I recall the idea of no self I feel a sense of relief that nothing really matters in the greater scheme of things, and that this means there is no me that will die, just as there was no me before being born (and even for a while after, maybe?)

But there's frustration most of the time, because my non logical, non intellectual side still identifies very strongly with a me made up of body, mind, rôles etc. And a vague sense of worry, that I've been seeking enlightenment or awakening for so long and I may not do it before I die.

I'm still not sure I REALLY know I'm living in a dream, but I do so want to wake up!

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:24 pm

Hello George,

I've done so much reading about, and meditation on, the idea that there is no inherent self, me, I; that body, thoughts, beliefs, even personality are in a constant state of change/flux. I can see this intellectually and logically, and to some extent experientialy (I'm getting older!) but there remains a sense that there is a self lurking somewhere.
Right. Here at LU we look directly to see if we can find this thing called "self" in experience. When I say "look" I don't mean reflect on or think about -- I mean look -- just as you would search about your room to find your car keys. Please try to answer from what you find in direct experience and not from reasoning or thought.

You mention that body, thoughts, beliefs are in a constant state of flux . . . true enough. But what is *behind* body, thought and belief -- can you find a "self" or "me" that owns or controls them?

Let's start with "my body" -- what does "my" here refer back to? Is there an owner of the body?

xx Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:26 am

No. No, I can't find it.

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:52 pm

OK great. Let's take a look at thoughts:

Can you predict what your next thought will be?
Can you choose which thoughts to think (e.g. I will only think "positive" thoughts"?)
Can you find a connection between thoughts that isn't just another thought?
The thoughts that show up and seem to be "narrating" your daily activities -- who/what are they talking to?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:45 pm

I can make a decision to think something, but more often the thoughts arise spontaneously. I can cultivate an attitude or personality that thinks mainly positive thoughts but an awful lot is dictated by external circumstances and my programmed reactions. Of course all this is thought, but I see a difference between active thinking and thoughts which arise spontaneously or as reactions.

As to the thoughts narrating day to day life, they just are. They are thoughts talking to other thoughts!

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:36 pm


As to the thoughts narrating day to day life, they just are. They are thoughts talking to other thoughts!

OK great observation!

Let's look at this "active thinking" vs "spontaneous thinking". Let's get interested in this "I" that can actively think, decide or do things.

Please decide to think about some specific thing for the next two minutes -- what is that thing?

Did you know in advance what it would be? How was the decision made? Was it made by some entity or did the topic just appear?

Now for those two minutes think thoughts only about that thing.

Is this possible?

Can you find something that is in charge of or directs the thinking process? What is that thing?

Is there a "think-er" behind thoughts?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:02 pm

The thing I thought arose because of something which happened yesterday, so it just came into my mind. To think only of that thing for two minutes wasn't possible. Other thoughts and sensations kept cropping up. But I could direct myself to return to the topic so there appeared to be some degree of control. However the experience was more like talking to myself than actually just thinking.

Most of the thoughts seem to think themselves but I still seem to have a sense of a me that actively tries to problem solve, plan, etc, and that's what I mean by the "active thinking".

But then I suppose this is the brain, really just another organ in the body, performing its function. So I can no more say"I" reside in the brain than I do in my little finger!

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:23 pm

Hi George, thanks for this -- you are doing great.

Let's just emphasise again, though, that you need to look and respond from "direct experience" -- what you can actually find (remember my analogy of looking around for the car keys?).

Your response "I suppose this is the brain" -- is as you say a supposition! We don't have direct experience of the brain doing anything. Like the idea that it is the self that is doing things -- that is just a supposition in thought. Note that when I ask questions like "can you find . . ." that's an invitation to look for something in experience and not speculate. It will really help you to keep this focus.

You say "I still seem to have a sense of a me that actively tries to problem solve, plan, etc,"

OK good, let's hone in on this "sense of a me".

Before doing so let's get clearer about what "experience" is made of. Can you find anything in experience now that isn't a thought, a sensation or a "feeling" (i.e. some kind of emotional tone)?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:00 pm

No, I can't.

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:03 pm

So the sense of me is just a thought

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Awake

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:19 pm

So the sense of me is just a thought
Yep!


So can this "me thought" do what you said, i.e "actively try to problem solve, plan, etc"?

Just watch your activities throughout the day -- is there a "me" driving your life? Look at walking, cooking, eating, driving, speaking, listening, thinking . . . all these activities that happen . . . can you find something behind or prior to the activities that somehow "directs" them?

Look at your hands as they chop vegetables or carry food to the mouth or as they type our a reply to this message . . . whose hands are they?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Portabales
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Re: Awake

Postby Portabales » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:26 pm

No, the "me thought" doesn't appear to do anything active, except accumulate other thoughts and experiences which strengthen it. The problem solving, planning etc are all processes of thoughts triggered by other thoughts, or external stimuli. So in response to the arrival of the evening, a thought arises "what should I plan for tomorrow?" Other thoughts arrive with suggestions and then judgments are made - yet more thoughts based on experience or conditioning - and so the plan takes shape. Similarly with problem solving. And the other activities you mentioned.

When I was washing dishes earlier today, there was no sense (or thought) of belonging when I looked at the hands. Just now when I looked at them I thought "these are my hands", and in a practical everyday sense that still seems true. But when I looked more closely I saw they are just hands, part of a body whose function is to put thought into action (ha, and which also gives rise to thought through feeling and sensation!) If I cut a fingernail and put the clipping into the bin, would it still be mine, even after it had been taken away and disposed of? No. Same with the hand.

And with everyday activities such as eating, drinking, breathing, walking... There is no thought which directs these processes, the body does them automatically.


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