Looking Through

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Coyote76
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Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:28 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That what we call self is just a thought or idea that comes and goes in awareness, and that I am not that idea.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for an end to the mind that is constantly seeking. I would like to truly be convinced that a separate self is non-existent, and would like help in finding out what is currently holding me back.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect the guided conversation to help me see where I am getting stuck in being unable to see through self. Through intensive questioning and honest feedback, I hope that the lived experience of no self can be uncovered and revealed for what truly is.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I was a daily meditator for about six years and have sat through several Zen retreats. This helped to slow things down and see that many things I thought were me (body sensations, thoughts) were not actually me. I stopped sitting about a year ago when I realized I was just using it as a technique to get to some imagined, enlightened future. Since then I have just been returning to the present moment in daily life. When I just look, thinking stops momentarily and things seem clear, but a "me" arises again quickly and I keep associating with that. Even when I can see the I-thought as just a thought in awareness like any other, there's a part of me that's unconvinced.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 11

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:28 am

Hi Coyote
I’m Sarah and I’d be happy to speak with you. What would you like me to call you if not Coyote, or is that ok?
Ave you looked around our site? You know what we do here?
Looking forward to speaking with you.
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:37 pm

Hi Sarah
Thank you for your reply. You can call me Brian.
I've definitely looked around the site and have an idea how this works. Actually, while I was waiting for a guide I read Gateless Gatecrashers and saw that there was no "me". Reading the conversation between Jamie and Elena, Jamie is right on the edge, and Elena says "Stop acting like a child, Jamie....Is there any "you" in reality in any shape or form? Find out. Now. Answer me." The words just hit directly. I looked, and what do you know, there was no "me" looking. There was only looking. It was so simple and easy. I couldn't stop laughing for a good half hour. I washed the dishes and there was nobody washing the dishes, just the dishes being washed. It was so funny.
Since then the "me" is of course still arising and has a lot of influence, but a cursory glance reveals it for what it is, just another thought, another label. No self to be found.
So anyway I don't know if there are more checking questions to make sure the gate has actually been crossed, but that's what has happened lately.
Thanks again, look forward to hearing from you.
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:22 am

Hey Brian
Lol. Yes I would just like to dig a bit and see if there is anything left! Is that alright?

If so have a little look at these questions:

Do you intentionally bring any of these thoughts? Or do they come and go on their own? If you do bring them from where and
how?
Can you send them away, stop them or get rid? Can you suppress your next thought before it arises? Does it work?
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Can a thought think? In other words do you experience a thought thinking?
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
Hugs Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:40 pm

Hey Sarah,

Let's dig in!

Do you intentionally bring any of these thoughts? Or do they come and go on their own? If you do bring them from where and
how?

I cannot intentionally bring up any thoughts, they most definitely come and go on their own. If I try to intentionally force a thought, there is a brief pause, and then another unexpected thought! No control.
Can you send them away, stop them or get rid? Can you suppress your next thought before it arises? Does it work?
I cannot suppress any thoughts before they arise. Something eventually arises, and when it does, it's unexpected what it will be. Some thoughts do dissolve when awareness is brought to them, but this is not the same as sending them away or getting rid of them.
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
I don't know what I'm going to think before I think it. Thoughts just bubble up. I might tell myself something like "I'm going to think about elephants", which may generate a few thoughts about elephants...but the initial thought itself was totally unpredictable. And a new unpredictable thoughts will replace this in short order.
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
Nope. There's still a story present that says this is true, but when I actually look, it's definitely a false story.
Is there is a thought that you can control?
Not that I can find.
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Lol, I was about to answer that a thought can motivate action. But after watching, the action happens regardless of the thought. They often appear together so look correlated, but they're independent!
Can a thought think? In other words do you experience a thought thinking?
A thought most definitely does not think.
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
The content of a thought is not experienced.

I have a tendency to be brief, so please let me know if you need me to expand on any of these answers.
Thanks,
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:37 am

Hi Brian
You are very clear! But I will ask if I need a bit more! Ok ;)

So I want to look at our idea of separation and what is really being experienced. Starting with sight.

Gaze at an object. Turn up that inner magnifying glass to observe what's happening in direct experience. In seeing, what is being experienced? What is happening when "seeing" is happening? What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing. Do you first perceive the object using some other sense, and then see it later? Can you find a dividing line between the object and the seeing of it? Or are the object and the seeing of it inseparable? Is there an entity called "you" experiencing the seeing? Can you find a dividing line between "you" and seeing? Is it an accurate description of direct experience? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and seer and an object? Or is there only seeing? What do you see about the thought, "I'm seeing that object"?

Try it with various sights e.g. out of the window at a distant view. See if you can find a way to separate the object from the seeing and the seeing from the seer. Where does one start and the other end?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:02 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for your questions.

With the inner magnifying glass turned up (great phrase, by the way), I'm actually finding it hard to describe in words what the direct experience of seeing is. The easiest thing to say that kind of makes sense is that the direct experience of seeing is just seeing. Prior to any labels or separation, "seeing" is itself the direct experience of seeing. There is just a totality, or wholeness, to it.

However, there is a movement back and forth between this totality of seeing, and a separate "me" in here seeing objects out there. Only under investigation does the separation disappear. The thought "I'm seeing that object" is very sticky, and while it can be seen as just another thought passing through, there is a strong tendency to grasp on to it.

Thanks!
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:00 am

Hey Brian
The thought "I'm seeing that object" is very sticky, and while it can be seen as just another thought passing through, there is a strong tendency to grasp on to it.
If you look during your day at how labelling happens, notice ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc And what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership? Can you see where and when it labels - before, during or after?

And see if there is a weight, or feel heavier, like with ‘my money’ compared to just ‘money’, ‘my relationship’ compared to ‘relationship’ or ‘my time’ compared to ‘time’ – does if feel different?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:07 am

Hi Sarah,
If you look during your day at how labelling happens, notice ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc And what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership? Can you see where and when it labels - before, during or after?
If I look carefully, it appears labelling mostly happens to certain feelings...so boredom becomes my boredom, or anxiety becomes my anxiety. The "I" label can also appear to comment on actions or thoughts, but less so.

It is not all the time. It is not even most of the time. The "I" feeling tells itself it is most of the time, but actually it only appears sporadically. If I really look, it is just a commentary. Just like with the frequency, it tells itself there is ownership, but this is not so. Time-wise, the "I" thought labels after the feeling or thought.

There is a different feeling tone to "my money" or "my relationship", it feels much more tense. There is a contraction around the ownership.

Thanks,
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:17 am

Morning Brian
There is a different feeling tone to "my money" or "my relationship", it feels much more tense. There is a contraction around the ownership.
Explore that. What is it made up of? Thoughts? Sensations? Emotions? Thought stories? Something else?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:20 am

Hi Sarah,

The contraction due to the ownership seems to be made up of mostly thoughts or feelings that then trigger stories that "I" latch on to. A thought triggers a feeling, which triggers a story about the past or future, and it can cascade from there. Under investigation, the thought is just a thought, or the feeling just a feeling, and the story doesn't get triggered. It just seems to be a certain pattern that plays itself out, but is dissolved with attention.

It's interesting that answering and investigating all of this just seems to loosen the "I" story in general. Today lots of thoughts and feelings arose that would have normally triggered a "me" story, but they were just watched and passed on without the momentum ever getting started.

Thanks,
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:56 am

Some lovely noticing Brian.

So back to separation!

Notice the sounds you’re hearing, like the chirping of the birds. Notice the habitual thought, "Those are birds." Notice the habitual thought, "I hear that." Now just pay attention to how hearing happens. Take your time with it. Can you find a dividing line between the sound and the hearing of the sound? Are you doing the hearing? Or is it truer to say that hearing is just happening? Then look to see whether there's a dividing line between the hearing of it and a separate entity, a "you," doing the hearing. In other words, what does it mean when you say, "I'm hearing that sound"? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and hearing and a sound? Or is there just one experience of hearing, with no one as a hearer. Look closely. Try it with various sounds. See if you can find a way to separate the sound from the hearing and the hearing from the hearer. Where does one start and the other end? So what do you see about the thought, "I'm hearing that sound"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience? What is a noise? Is that a label also?
Enjoy. And happy Easter if it’s your thing.
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:03 am

Thanks for the Easter wishes! Not my thing, but it was still a nice day. Hope yours was great as well.
Can you find a dividing line between the sound and the hearing of the sound? Are you doing the hearing? Or is it truer to say that hearing is just happening?
It is only true to say that hearing is just happening. There is no hearer. There is no separation, just hearing.
In other words, what does it mean when you say, "I'm hearing that sound"? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and hearing and a sound? Or is there just one experience of hearing, with no one as a hearer. Look closely. Try it with various sounds. See if you can find a way to separate the sound from the hearing and the hearing from the hearer. Where does one start and the other end? So what do you see about the thought, "I'm hearing that sound"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience?
In direct experience, there is only hearing. The sound cannot be separated from the hearing, nor the hearing from the hearer. To say, "I'm hearing that sound" is only a thought, but not what actually happens. It's just a habitual way of viewing things, another thought that bubbles up and passes just as easily. If the thought is "grabbed", this generates a familiar story of me in here hearing things out there, but it's not true.
What is a noise? Is that a label also?
Great question! Haha, yes, noise is also just a label! So interesting.

Thanks,
Brian

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:07 am

Hi Brian
Lovely. So onto touch and sitting! :)

Touch the table (or any object) with your eyes shut (or open). Pretend like it’s the first time you have ever touched a table. Go straight to the raw sensation/perception. What is your direct experience of this ‘table’? List your direct experience. Is it senses again? Is it thoughts again? Look very closely. Which comes first the senses or the thoughts? Does the sensation of touching come with a shape, density, weight, size, colour, age or function? Does this sensation come with a ‘not me’ label or ‘other’ label? Is it one sensation/perception or two? Look at how thoughts try and take over, try and explain, try and prove. Notice your memories or references with which you compare the experience. Sit with these sensations. Look at them. Look at the labelling e.g. table, hand. Look at the thoughts or story that attach at the end of this list if any. What is your direct experience of these words? Do they exist outside of thought? Are they sensations again? Are they just thoughts again? Look very closely. Which comes first the sensation or the thoughts? Don’t pay attention to the thoughts just look at what they do, when they come in.

Sit on a chair with your eyes closed. Feel the Direct Experience of sitting there. Notice thoughts thinking, labelling and explaining. Notice memory too. Notice sensations experiencing. Notice the sensation of bottom on chair – what is that – a thought? Notice the ‘me’ ‘mine labels e.g. this is my bottom – but look closely at that sensation labelling – is it yours, or just coming and going along with thoughts, ever changing. Is it the thought that wants to own? How many sensations do you notice? 2? One bottom sensation, and one chair sensation? How is that possible? Where does one sensation end and another begin? Locate that line. Can you feel that line? Or is that thought? Can you sense that line – or is that thought explaining the sensation?

Eyes closed. Turn your attention to your skin. Do you have Direct Experience of it being outside?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Coyote76
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Re: Looking Through

Postby Coyote76 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:26 pm

Hi Sarah,

I've been very rushed today and can't give these questions the attention they deserve. I'll give an in depth reply tomorrow.

Thanks,
Brian


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