Looking

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John888
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Looking

Postby John888 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:04 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
By no real, inherent "self" I understand that there is no solid entity controling the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come and go.

Thoughts arise on there own and pass on there own. Feelings arise on there own and pass on there own. Sensation come and go on there own. There is no entity controlling these.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for someone to guide me to seeing the truth of no self and to validate the understanding I already have.
There is an understanding of no self, but there is doubt about the depth of understanding this.
I don't know if I really deeply understand it. Sometimes the "I" thoughts and feelings still come, especially when I am not experiencing reality directly.

An example is when my father has a different opinion then me and presents his idea as the truth, then there comes irritation and a lack of validation. The other way around is also true, when he agrees with me, then there is a joyfull feeling. This for me is the evidence that the believe in "I" is still there. So I would be really gratefull if someone who has seen the truth can guide me in this process of seeing the truth.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect that the guide will ask me questions that make me look deeply and that there will come more clearity and understanding about the truth.
I hope that the guide can help me to see clearly what I understand and were I need more understanding and helps me to more understanding.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
From childhood I often felt different. I didn't Always understood why people do and say the things they do and say.
On one hand I felt insecure and shy, but on the other hand I felt special. This began around the age of 9.
When I was 16 I began writing an philosophy book with all my experiences, things I learned, things I thought would be valuable of understanding, so all the wisdom I would gather. This helped in life but still the wisdom was only intellectual and it didn''t penetrated deeply. So then I came across a meditation teacher and went on a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat. It was tough but there were a lot of insights. After the retreat I meditated intensely, went to two other 10 day retreats and meditated when not at retreat at least two/three hours a day. Meditation became the most important part of my life and I also tried to remain mindfull during daily life as much as possible. After about three years of this I lost motivation because the suffering was far less then before I meditated and because there was a desire to do more new things in life. So since then there are periods that I meditate and there are periods that I don't. There is the deep understanding that meditation is beneficial and that's why it would Always be a part of my life. My first retreat was 6 years ago and now I meditate one to two hours a day.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 9

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John888
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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:19 pm

I just want to tell you what happened.
The last few days I was reading the posts here on the forum and ask myself the same questions that were ask in the posts.
The questions were asked during reading and also during daily life. I become more mindfull during the day and there was clearer seeing.The realization the there was no self who was in controle became more and more real, but often also confusion and believe in the story of the ¨I¨.
Yesterday I was talking/philosophise to this with friends and we were laughing at the idea of a seperate entity called ¨Joey¨, where is ¨Joey¨, ¨Joey¨ doesn´t like this or does like this. It was getting late so I decided to sleep there, but had to get up early, so slept around 2 hours. When I got home, I slept for another 2 hours. Surprisingly this body-mind system could function really well and there was experience happening. I meditated for 2 hours and then went to take a shower. Before the shower there was the experience of heaviness and believe in thoughts. In the shower, there was sudden laughter, ¨who is Joey¨ ¨Who is thinking¨, it was seen as an illusion. There was the decision to go for a walk in nature.
When walking in nature, suddenly I realized: ¨Walking is happening without a doer¨, ¨Hearing is happening without a hearer¨, ¨Seeing is happening without a seer¨, ¨Sensation are happening without someone/something to make it happen¨, ¨Thoughts are arising and passing without someone/something to make it happen¨. I knew this already, but somehow it really was seen clearly. There was just experience, nobody experiencing. The decision to go left or right, were automatically made, no separate self needed. Thoughts were arising, some of them were acted on and some were not acted on, but there was nothing who was acting or making the decisions. The senses became sharper, experience became more alive. Everything just happened. There was just looking. Thought were arising ¨Is this it?¨, ¨Will it stay¨(sensation in the body we label as doubt), ¨Who is the one wanting it to stay¨, ¨Nobody, just thoughts arising¨. Then there was laughing. Then thoughts ¨Could this really be it?¨ ¨Will it stay?¨ ¨Is there really the realization or just the thinking?¨, sensations we label doubt arising. Then again looking and realizing: ¨Walking is happening without a doer¨, ¨Hearing is happening without a hearer¨, ¨Seeing is happening without a seer¨, ¨Sensation are happening without someone/something to make it happen¨, ¨Thoughts are arising and passing without someone/something to make it happen¨. Then I started getting tears in ¨my¨ eyes. The words of my first meditation teacher came to mind: ¨There is free will, but it is not ours, it is this mechanisme who makes the decisions¨. Then again looking and realizing that life just happens. Words of Bruce Lee come to mind: ¨I does not exist, when there is an opportunity to hit, ¨I¨ do not hit, it all hits by itself¨. Tears and chills were showing. Thought came ¨Is this really it?¨ ¨Is the illusion really seen through?¨. Feelings of gratitude were arising and there was real sensitivity. Then suddenly I heard ¨my¨ name and two people ¨I¨ know came walking towards me. They were asking questions and ¨I¨ answered but it was weird. ¨I¨ didn´t know what to say, the answer came but they were not accurate and well formulated. ¨Thoughts came ¨How can the given answer be like that, there is seen through the illusion, right?¨ ¨Yes, but there is real sensitivity right now, precisely because the illusion is seen through¨. Then a feeling of calm was arising. Thoughts ¨This view will be internalised in time, just relax¨ ¨No expectations¨.
Then when ¨I¨ came home, there was putting off the socks and after that there was a thought ¨Wait, why did ¨I¨ put off my socks?¨ ¨Because you have warm feet¨. Just thoughts arising and passing. ¨I¨ meditated and as soon as ¨I¨ sat and closed the eyes, the eyes were rolling for a few minutes. Uncontrollably, left, right, up, down. After few more minutes ¨I¨ went to my laptop to write this down.

There is still doubt if this is it, but the looking will continue.

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John888
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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:50 pm

Today I walked outside again. Then while walking there suddenly was a loud sound, head was turning towards the sound, seeing was happening (of a kid screaming to other kids and looking at me), there was an intention to greet the child, then there was an intention not to greet, then the decision to not greet. All of this was happening without anyone doing it. There was just observation of the experiences happening. This observation was also just happening on his own without anyone or anything doing it.

If there is a guide who sees any blindspots or things were there needs more clarification, I would be very grateful for his or her pointers.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:52 pm

Hi John,

Thank you for what you've shared. I'll take a look this evening.

Best wishes,
John, a guide here.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:09 am

Today I walked outside again. Then while walking there suddenly was a loud sound, head was turning towards the sound, seeing was happening (of a kid screaming to other kids and looking at me), there was an intention to greet the child, then there was an intention not to greet, then the decision to not greet. All of this was happening without anyone doing it. There was just observation of the experiences happening. This observation was also just happening on his own without anyone or anything doing it.

What is it that you are describing as "without anyone doing it"?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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John888
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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:06 am

Thank you for your reply.
Today I walked outside again. Then while walking there suddenly was a loud sound, head was turning towards the sound, seeing was happening (of a kid screaming to other kids and looking at me), there was an intention to greet the child, then there was an intention not to greet, then the decision to not greet. All of this was happening without anyone doing it. There was just observation of the experiences happening. This observation was also just happening on his own without anyone or anything doing it.

What is it that you are describing as "without anyone doing it"?

Thank you,
John
There was just the observation of experience. Even the observation happened automatically without any control. There was no ¨I¨, a separate entity who planned to do all this and then executed it(and even if there was planning then that would also be done just because of causes and conditions, like all the conditioning and the input through the six senses). It just happened according to all the conditioning from birth till now and stimuli that triggered the conditioning. Actually there is only now because past and future are just thoughts that appear now but has content/a story what is labelled as past or future. So what am ¨I¨ describing as ¨without anyone doing it¨? That there was just experience, because observation is part of the experience. Life is happening.

The ¨I¨ thoughts become very clear and are being observed. When there is identification, it is felt in the body (in-between the chest and the stomach. The identification observed as ¨I¨ thoughts with the sensations in the body are seen to happen pretty frequently to many of the experiences. It is seen as just that: ¨Thoughts¨ and ¨sensations¨.

I want to tell you something what happened yesterday. For the sake of easy writing I will use the I just like that. I live with my parents and I feel that my father has certain expectations of me. Some things I do he likes and some things I do he don´t. There is the conditioning to search for validation from my father. So yesterday I was in my room listening to a talk from a spiritual teacher and then my father walked in. There was seeing that he walked in, then there was the thought ¨ow no, he doesn´t like that I am watching this¨ ¨I should close the video¨, there was a body sensation of heart beating fast and warmth in my head (adrenaline rush, you can call it shame) then there was the intention to close the video, then there was a thought ¨No, I have the right to live my own life¨ and the intention to leave the video on and watch it. So the video stayed on and my father left. Then there were thoughts ¨What does he thing of me?¨ ¨It doesn´t matter, you live your own life¨. All of this was observed, and it was seen as just thoughts and sensations, there was no believe that this was happening to ¨me¨.
There was this idea that shame would be gone after seeing no-self, but the combination of these thoughts and sensations are labelled as shame, so it is still here. Ah maybe seeing that shame consists of these combination of thoughts and sensations, and that these thoughts and sensations do not belong to an ¨I¨, is what is meant to have no shame, since the label shame has fallen apart. Can you say something about this?

All the best,
John

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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:26 am

During the meditation a few minutes ago there was the observation of the breath at the abdomen and the breath became shorter and shorter until there was no breath, no movement of the abdomen. There was the observation and the abdomen just didn´t move for like 20 seconds then automatically without anticipation, the abdomen started expanding. There is no controle, just life happening.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:13 pm

There was just the observation of experience. Even the observation happened automatically without any control. There was no ¨I¨, a separate entity who planned to do all this and then executed it(and even if there was planning then that would also be done just because of causes and conditions, like all the conditioning and the input through the six senses). It just happened according to all the conditioning from birth till now and stimuli that triggered the conditioning. Actually there is only now because past and future are just thoughts that appear now but has content/a story what is labelled as past or future. So what am ¨I¨ describing as ¨without anyone doing it¨? That there was just experience, because observation is part of the experience. Life is happening.

The ¨I¨ thoughts become very clear and are being observed. When there is identification, it is felt in the body (in-between the chest and the stomach. The identification observed as ¨I¨ thoughts with the sensations in the body are seen to happen pretty frequently to many of the experiences. It is seen as just that: ¨Thoughts¨ and ¨sensations¨.

I want to tell you something what happened yesterday. For the sake of easy writing I will use the I just like that. I live with my parents and I feel that my father has certain expectations of me. Some things I do he likes and some things I do he don´t. There is the conditioning to search for validation from my father. So yesterday I was in my room listening to a talk from a spiritual teacher and then my father walked in. There was seeing that he walked in, then there was the thought ¨ow no, he doesn´t like that I am watching this¨ ¨I should close the video¨, there was a body sensation of heart beating fast and warmth in my head (adrenaline rush, you can call it shame) then there was the intention to close the video, then there was a thought ¨No, I have the right to live my own life¨ and the intention to leave the video on and watch it. So the video stayed on and my father left. Then there were thoughts ¨What does he thing of me?¨ ¨It doesn´t matter, you live your own life¨. All of this was observed, and it was seen as just thoughts and sensations, there was no believe that this was happening to ¨me¨.
There was this idea that shame would be gone after seeing no-self, but the combination of these thoughts and sensations are labelled as shame, so it is still here. Ah maybe seeing that shame consists of these combination of thoughts and sensations, and that these thoughts and sensations do not belong to an ¨I¨, is what is meant to have no shame, since the label shame has fallen apart. Can you say something about this?

Thanks John. I see where you are at. Ok, this is wonderful, and maybe exhilarating, even thrilling, to be seeing life in this way. :) With that, comes a natural intensity, a desire to know 'what has been achieved' (let's say). Though my suggestion to you would be to take out some of the intensity, and give this space to unfold, and it will.

Because of all the teachings around this stuff, it's easy to get caught up in interpretation, and before we know where we are, our interpretation becomes dogma. So again, let the primacy of experience 'speak' to you. Sure, there are ideas of 'control', 'self' etc, but no need to throw these over what's happening like a net. Enjoy this unfolding in its own time and space.

As to the shame, I'd encourage you to continue to develop your already excellent self-observation skill. Such reactions will come up from time to time, and its helpful that they do, because we learn so much in the handling of it.

The self-narratives such as shame, not good enough, worthless etc, will continue to play out. In a way, they have their own 'existence', quite apart from the whole 'self/no-self' seeing. Our tendency is to push away or suppress such reactions when they show up, like when your father came in. They're a bit like old horror movies. :D A good practice is to let the movie come and play out fully. And you can watch the whole thing, but from this new perspective. No longer caught in the narrative. When the movie plays through, it has less 'grip' from then on, and will just fade out.

Anyway, all good, chill a bit, and feel free to share the next chapter as it unfolds.

With warmest wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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John888
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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:02 pm

Thank you, I am very grateful for your support and advice!

I will take your advice and chiil out a bit, let it unfold on its own without laying concepts and interpretations over the experiences.
And when these concepts and interpretations do manifest, its just another part of experience.

To be honest there is a bit of resistance or fear to take out some of the intensity, a feeling that this realization can be lost.
In the past there were insight experiences through a lot of meditation, when the intensity of meditation became less, the insight experiences were well maybe not forgotten but let´s say not directly accessible.
On the other side, there is the noticing of a kind of effortlessness of observing, so I guess there has to be trust in the process.

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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:14 pm

Thank you, I am very grateful for your support and advice!

I will take your advice and chiil out a bit, let it unfold on its own without laying concepts and interpretations over the experiences.
And when these concepts and interpretations do manifest, its just another part of experience.

Great.

To be honest there is a bit of resistance or fear to take out some of the intensity, a feeling that this realization can be lost.
In the past there were insight experiences through a lot of meditation, when the intensity of meditation became less, the insight experiences were well maybe not forgotten but let´s say not directly accessible.
On the other side, there is the noticing of a kind of effortlessness of observing, so I guess there has to be trust in the process.

Ok, go with what seems to be a good level.
Yes, trust.

Realisations are compelling and, of course, we want to hold on, to not 'lose' it, but then again, the realisation is dynamic, always shifting, like a fast-flowing river. We get what we get. :) But yeah, make the most of it.

Someone once told me there's a time to grip tight, a time to hold lightly, and a time to let go. So, I'll pass that on to you. :)

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:40 pm

Thanks. I will trust in the process.

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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:05 am

What's occurring? :)
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:40 am

Hello John,

Nice to hear from you. To answer your question about what´s occurring.

The believe that there is an ¨I¨, a separate entity who controls everything is seen through. Experience is happening without someone or something who controls it. The identification with certain experiences still happens, but it is rather quickly seen to be not ¨me¨ or ¨mine¨. There is still a feeling/sense of an ¨I¨ but the believe that there really is an ¨I¨ as a separate self is seen through. I guess the thing is to keep looking from direct experience and keep seeing the process of identification happening and so keep seeing that the ¨I¨ as a separate entity is an illusion until the identification completely drops away or is seen through automatically. Do you think that this understanding is correct?

So a few questions from my part.
What do you mean by ¨someone¨ who has crossed the gate? is that ¨someone¨ who has seen through the illusion of a separate self? Or is that ¨someone¨ who doesn´t have any identification with experiences and doesn´t have the feeling/sense of an ¨I¨?
Just curious ¨I¨ know this are all concepts but for a better understanding of things: Is ¨someone¨ who crossed the gate, what they in theravada buddhism would call stream-enterer?

Much love and gratitude,
John

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Re: Looking

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:21 am

I guess the thing is to keep looking from direct experience and keep seeing the process of identification happening and so keep seeing that the ¨I¨ as a separate entity is an illusion until the identification completely drops away or is seen through automatically. Do you think that this understanding is correct?

Well, it's one perspective. It does have implications, in that social conditioning has lots of tentacles. :) So, by setting such a goal, ideal, it might not serve you that well, in that you might see identification as a 'failure'. Not saying you would but many do. The key (in terms of what we do here) is to have seen the nature of this 'me' abstraction. As regards how social conditioning plays out, treat it lightly. Yes, learn from it each time, and so deepen the insight, but not with any goal in mind (which brings a tension and judgement which is un-necessary).

So a few questions from my part.
What do you mean by ¨someone¨ who has crossed the gate? is that ¨someone¨ who has seen through the illusion of a separate self? Or is that ¨someone¨ who doesn´t have any identification with experiences and doesn´t have the feeling/sense of an ¨I¨?

Just using everyday words to refer to a human being that turned up here. :)

Some questions for you?
How would you describe, from experience, the illusion of self?
Where is the illusion?

Just curious ¨I¨ know this are all concepts but for a better understanding of things: Is ¨someone¨ who crossed the gate, what they in theravada buddhism would call stream-enterer?

I've heard that term bandied around, but not being a buddhist, I wouldn't know.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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John888
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Re: Looking

Postby John888 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:43 pm

Well, it's one perspective. It does have implications, in that social conditioning has lots of tentacles. :) So, by setting such a goal, ideal, it might not serve you that well, in that you might see identification as a 'failure'. Not saying you would but many do. The key (in terms of what we do here) is to have seen the nature of this 'me' abstraction. As regards how social conditioning plays out, treat it lightly. Yes, learn from it each time, and so deepen the insight, but not with any goal in mind (which brings a tension and judgement which is un-necessary).
Thanks for pointing that out. Sometimes it happens that I see identification as a ¨failure¨, maybe this is because there is the expectation that because I have seen through the idea of a separate entity the identification should be gone. Haha and this is another identification with the thoughts that make up the expectation. Experience is as it is, so no need to speculate or project another layer of conceptualization at it.
How would you describe, from experience, the illusion of self?
There is experience happening and then there is a thought ¨I experience this¨. Because this happens with a lot of the experiences, this creates the idea of an ¨I¨ as a separate entity that experiences everything. Then because this idea of an entity is created, it can be attacked and it has to be defended. This creates suffering because there is a constant struggle to keep the entity safe, strong and good.
Where is the illusion?
The illusion is an idea, that consists of thoughts, that are believed to be true.
The illusion is where thoughts arise. I don´t know from where thoughts arise, they just do.

Kind regards,
John


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