No More Delusion Please

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Zafu
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No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:33 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
From some early age, we believe ourselves to be a 'self' that is separate from the rest of the world. This 'self' is only an illusion. However, the conditioning of this 'self sense' in the mind is strong and merely understanding intellectually that this is not real does no good. This 'self' must be directly experienced to see that it is not real.

What are you looking for at LU?
To be guided to a direct experience of 'no-self'. I have read tons about it. "Understand" it deeply on an intellectual level. I have tried to free myself from this mirage, this illusion. It is very tricky, or so that's just how I make it out to be. Nevertheless, I need guidance and help to directly see through the illusion of 'self'. This 'self' that 'persists' creates suffering and pain that are not necessary. I wish to be free from its restrictions.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I have no idea how the guides are trained or taught to guide. I have no idea really how this works. I suspect from what I have seen that I will be given specific directions on how to "look" and what to "look for" in my direct experience. I guess I am expecting that being guided by someone who has already crashed the gateless gate, this person will be able to objectively see where I am heading and continuously guiding me back on track, whereas if I were on my own and from my own experience of trying myself, I can fall victim to falling off the track through self-delusion. Someone who is already on the other side of the "gate" has already been on this path I'm on and can hold me accountable when I am deluding myself.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
For roughly 4-5 years, I have been reading many books, listening to lectures and audio/video clips online by teachers, meditating on and off, practicing zazen on my own, and doing spurts of self-inquiry/contemplation.

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

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm

Hi Zafu,

welcome to Liberation Unleashed. Glad you made it here.
I'm Verananda and I can be your guide if that's okay with you.
Should I call you Zafu or is there another name you would prefer?

Looking forward to our talk,
Verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:24 pm

Hello Verananda!

You can just call me Zafu. Thank you for being my guide! Looking forward to the guidance!

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:48 pm

Hi Zafu,

thats fine, so here are some arrangements we make to work together:
First I want to ask you to check out the Quote-Function and use it as I did here. This will assist us in having a clear dialogue around the questions and answers. You can see here how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

During our conversation I will ask you a series of questions. For each, you will look at your own direct experience (DE) and answer with 100% honesty.

Are you familiar with direct experience (DE) as used for LU-Guiding ? Have you read the LU book or similar? If not no problem, we will then start with this.

I point. You look. You tell me what you see right there.

It is vital that you really do each “experiment” I provide, answer each question and look at your direct experience — in the present moment — instead of relying on analytical thought or memory.

During this guiding, please avoid any other teachings, spiritual books, writings, YouTube videos or talks. You said, you read a lot of books and lisened to audio and video so I hope you are jet ready to put them beside and look directly what is true! :-)
If you have a meditation practice, feel free to continue with it as usual.

It is best to avoid analyzing, speculation and debate. The mind will try to create distraction.

Please make an effort to write here every day or at least every second. This works best if we keep a constant focus on looking. If you are unable to do this on occasion, or you need more time for looking just let me know. I'll do the same for you.


Do you agree with this?


ok, if so, than we can start:
I have tried to free myself from this mirage, this illusion.
that sounds like an I that wants to get ride of itselfe?


Looking forward to your answer
warmly Verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:02 am


Do you agree with this?
Yes of course. I actually am tired of books and any other informational content. I have come to the realization that all this 'knowledge' is very limiting. That in many situations, they actually GET IN THE WAY of true realization. I am actually glad to be done with books and such for the time being. So yeah, that will not be a problem at all!
I have tried to free myself from this mirage, this illusion.
that sounds like an I that wants to get ride of itselfe?
Upon close examination, all attempts of meditation, contemplation, inquiry, or whatever I have done in the past of trying to 'get rid of the self' is simply an act of the "I" trying to get rid of "itself". For example, when I try to "see no-self", it is like a burglar looking around with binoculars trying to spot the burglar lol.

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:44 am

Hi Zafu,
Upon close examination, all attempts of meditation, contemplation, inquiry, or whatever I have done in the past of trying to 'get rid of the self' is simply an act of the "I" trying to get rid of "itself".
Yes. Very important insight. Because of this, here we don't try to become more silent, wiser, a better meditator, an awakened seeker. What we do here is looking what is true. Thats easy and will blow up all these ideas. And it will blow up the idea of an I that can become something better, wiser, enlighted, whatever.
For example, when I try to "see no-self", it is like a burglar looking around with binoculars trying to spot the burglar lol.
Yes thats the second important point. Looking for something that does not exist is a lifetime challenge. Seeing that this something does not exist, that it was nothing more than an illusion, can only happen here an now.

ok, so lets start .....
The basis of our work together is "looking in direct experience".
present experience, direct experience, actual experience is the same word for it.
When looking at the entire spectrum of present experience it can be described with the terms
the seen
the heard
the (bodily) sensed
the smelled
the tasted
and (observed) thought
Can you find something else, more or beyond those terms?
Wouldn't anything "else" be just a thought about such a thing?
If there is anything more, please describe what it is and how it is experienced!


love verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:04 am

ok, so lets start .....
The basis of our work together is "looking in direct experience".
present experience, direct experience, actual experience is the same word for it.
When looking at the entire spectrum of present experience it can be described with the terms
the seen
the heard
the (bodily) sensed
the smelled
the tasted
and (observed) thought
Can you find something else, more or beyond those terms?
Wouldn't anything "else" be just a thought about such a thing?
If there is anything more, please describe what it is and how it is experienced!


love verananda
In my direct experience, there are things seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted. There are also thoughts that are observed. The thoughts just come and go just like the objects seen, heard, felt, etc... There are thoughts about what is seen, heard, etc... This seems to be the entire spectrum.

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:16 pm

Hi Zafu,
The thoughts just come and go just like the objects seen, heard, felt, etc... There are thoughts about what is seen, heard, etc...
the thoughts itself are direct experience but the content of the thoughts is not.
if you think about your dream vacation at the other end of the world, the thoughts are real but the content of the thoughts is thought up, is not real.
Do you agree?
In our investigation it is important to distinguish that: thought and content of thought.

Have a look at an apple. If you have a ‘real’ apple, you can use it for this exercise.

Image

When looking at an apple, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure?
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
However, is an apple actually known?


love verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:11 pm

The thoughts just come and go just like the objects seen, heard, felt, etc... There are thoughts about what is seen, heard, etc...
the thoughts itself are direct experience but the content of the thoughts is not.
if you think about your dream vacation at the other end of the world, the thoughts are real but the content of the thoughts is thought up, is not real.
Do you agree?
Yes, I agree. I'm glad you brought this up, because before I posted that reply, I was actually confronted with this for a second. I was seeing what is in my direct experience, and got confused as to whether thought contents are "direct experience" because technically they are happening in the 'present moment'.

I just became 'present' so I can directly see for myself what is going on here, and I realized thoughts about anything come and go and they are really just contents of my experience happening in the here and now, but what they symbolize or represent are not in the here and now. When being present in direct experience, thoughts are just seen as 'thoughts' that come and go just like the banana is seen as an object in my field of vision that comes and goes (when I look away from it).

Even the thought "banana" when I see a banana is not a direct experience as I can see. It's like the 'raw' thought is present and real, but the label itself is not. The label itself is imagined. The object of perception is present and directly there even without me thinking/labelling it as a 'banana'. The thing itself is not a word or symbol, it's just the thing itself. I have no idea what it really is lol.
Image

When looking at an apple, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

love verananda
Interesting that you are having me use an apple as I used a banana myself just yesterday lol!
What is known for sure?
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?

When looking at an 'apple', I directly perceive an object. Yes, it is a 'space' with different colors than its surroundings. There are also various thoughts about 'it'. That's it.
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?

"Apple" is only found in Indirect experience. I can only imagine an "apple". I feel myself attaching the label "apple" onto the object but it is still there even if I take the label off of it. When the label is on it, it is not a direct experience anymore, just an imagination.
However, is an apple actually known?
This is a bit confusing. When looking at an apple, I can only 'know' things "about it" but cannot seem to know the thing itself, if that makes sense. All knowledge about is is a content of thought. Without thought contents, the 'apple' is "just there". I can't seem to say I "know" it.

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:41 am

Hi Zafu
I was seeing what is in my direct experience, and got confused as to whether thought contents are "direct experience" because technically they are happening in the 'present moment'.
yes, thoughts are happening in the 'present moment', they are direct experienced.
the content of thought is not. There is a thought about vacation, an apple, a banana.
The thought is real. The content ( vacation, an apple, a banana. ) is not real. It is not here.

If it is here, like the apple exercise or your banana we will find out, what ist realy there, what is known for sure and what is just an old belief and can not be verified in direct experience.
but what they symbolize or represent are not in the here and now. When being present in direct experience, thoughts are just seen as 'thoughts' that come and go just like the banana is seen as an object in my field of vision that comes and goes (when I look away from it).
yes, apple and banana are just labels, that is a thought. We will see if "object" or "the thing itself" exist in DE, if it is more than a thought. And what is left over when it is seen as it is.
I have no idea what it really is lol.
yes, thats it. It is looking with the curiosity an not-knowing of a small child. Free from the burden of our collected beliefs!
When looking at an 'apple', I directly perceive an object. Yes, it is a 'space' with different colors than its surroundings. There are also various thoughts about 'it'. That's it.
color is seen. a shape is seen. is this (*applepicture*) a 3D Object?
Can you know this?
take a real apple or banane and look at it. (its important that you really do it)
Can this 3D Object be seen in direct experience?
or is is just: color is seen, shape is seen. ?
Close your eyes, open your eyes. Pay attention to this very short first impression and what is happening.
Describe your observation!
"Apple" is only found in Indirect experience.
We don't know "Indirect experience" in direct experience.
This "Apple" and the "Indirect experience" are nothing more than thoughts, right?
We need it simple! Because it is simple! :-)
I can only imagine an "apple". I feel myself attaching the label "apple" onto the object but it is still there even if I take the label off of it. When the label is on it, it is not a direct experience anymore, just an imagination.
If you take the lable of it, there IS direct experience left.
There is something seen?
If you hold it in your hand, there is somethin sensed?
right?
This is what is meant by ‘looking in direct experience ‘. What you know for sure and is here.
There is no apple left, and no object, but the direct experience of it: the seen, the smelled, the sensed ....

love verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:46 am

color is seen. a shape is seen. is this (*applepicture*) a 3D Object?
Can you know this?
take a real apple or banane and look at it. (its important that you really do it)
Can this 3D Object be seen in direct experience?
or is is just: color is seen, shape is seen. ?
Close your eyes, open your eyes. Pay attention to this very short first impression and what is happening.
Describe your observation!
Ok so I really did this and here's what I found (don't know if I did it right, or I'm being silly here lol).

I was 'looking' at the apple. I kept opening and closing my eyes as well. I see 'colors' and the colors form a 'shape'. This 'shape' is 2 dimensional. Everything seen is really 2 dimensional. When I closed my eyes, and then opened them, the first 2 times I did that, I noticed mental activity assuming the object to be 3 dimensional.

But when I REALLY focus on direct experience, I cannot verify that it's a 3D object. I then realized it was 2D, but then I thought if 3D was assumed and not "true" then why am I assuming 2D is now true? I really looked and seriously I cannot tell if I'm just being dumb here but I "don't know" if it is even a 2D object anymore...
"Apple" is only found in Indirect experience.
We don't know "Indirect experience" in direct experience.
This "Apple" and the "Indirect experience" are nothing more than thoughts, right?
We need it simple! Because it is simple! :-)
Reading this made me realize I made "Direct Experience" something real in itself, when it's just a pointer.. There is no such thing as indirect experience.
If you take the lable of it, there IS direct experience left.
There is something seen?
If you hold it in your hand, there is somethin sensed?
right?
This is what is meant by ‘looking in direct experience ‘. What you know for sure and is here.
There is no apple left, and no object, but the direct experience of it: the seen, the smelled, the sensed ....
I am getting more clear on direct experience! thanks!

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:05 am

Hi Zafu,

wonderful! Great findings!
I was 'looking' at the apple. I kept opening and closing my eyes as well. I see 'colors' and the colors form a 'shape'. This 'shape' is 2 dimensional. Everything seen is really 2 dimensional. When I closed my eyes, and then opened them, the first 2 times I did that, I noticed mental activity assuming the object to be 3 dimensional.

But when I REALLY focus on direct experience, I cannot verify that it's a 3D object. I then realized it was 2D, but then I thought if 3D was assumed and not "true" then why am I assuming 2D is now true? I really looked and seriously I cannot tell if I'm just being dumb here but I "don't know" if it is even a 2D object anymore...
It seems, when opening eyes there is just "Seeing"? No Object, no 2d no 3D. Just seeing as one. Next a 2D shape is percieved and "Forms and Shapes" arise. Next 3D is percived and Objects arise.
So "seeing" is true, evrything else is made by thought afterwards. Its an illusion. Objects are an Illusion.
Can you see, that you found this truth in direct experience, while
"I cannot tell if I'm just being dumb here ..... " is just a thought?


ok, we will do another experiment about thoughts:
Take some time and sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.
Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are
saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.
Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment
instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

I'm curious about what you find out!

love verananda

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Zafu
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Zafu » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:58 pm

It seems, when opening eyes there is just "Seeing"? No Object, no 2d no 3D. Just seeing as one. Next a 2D shape is percieved and "Forms and Shapes" arise. Next 3D is percived and Objects arise.
So "seeing" is true, evrything else is made by thought afterwards. Its an illusion. Objects are an Illusion.
Can you see, that you found this truth in direct experience, while
"I cannot tell if I'm just being dumb here ..... " is just a thought?
Yes I can see that now. Just as after "seeing", my mind started interpreting the things seen and "turning them" into 3D objects, my mind interpreted my "seeing" as "being dumb". Another thought conditioned from beliefs and assumptions.
ok, we will do another experiment about thoughts:
Take some time and sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.
Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are
saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.
Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment
instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Alright I did this experiment and here's what I found:

- I tried to see if I can predict the next thought. I predicted that the next thought would be an apple, and then I had a thought of an apple. And then I realized that the whole " I predicted that the next thought would be an apple, and then I had a thought of an apple. " was itself a thought that I did not predict. So no, the thought prediction was an illusion.

- Every time it seems like I am controlling my thoughts in whichever way, I realize that it was just a thought too! I keep trying to go "back one level" to see what caused this or that to happen, but that only leads to more thinking and not direct experience.

- In direct experience, I observed thoughts passing by, but sometimes I habitually get caught up in the thoughts. This is difficult for me to not do. I 'wake up' after a couple of minutes passing by sometimes to realize I wasn't directly experiencing reality, but being "lost in thought". I then wondered, what does it mean to be "lost in thought". This really confused me.

- After a while I realized I am no longer thinking about an apple and was wondering where that thought went. I wondered about where this current thought came from. I started having a bunch of random thoughts I would not "purposely" choose to think about during this experiment, and yet, I was having them and was wondering, where are these coming from? I don't "know". They just seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere. I then wondered about physical objects that are seen. I thought about how if I looked at a banana, it just appears in my vision out of nowhere too. I can assume it got there because I turned my eyes towards it and the banana was placed there before by me so I can eat it later, but none of that is direct experience that is verifiable here in the now. I can then turn away from the banana and make all kinds of assumptions based on beliefs that the banana is still there but I just can't see it, but these are all just thoughts and beliefs. In direct experience the banana is non-existent. Bananas (any physical object) appear out of nothing and disappear out of nothing just like thoughts.

- I then wondered, thoughts appear all on their own whether I want them to or not. Does this make my life lack free will? What about a persons decision to do "consciousness work" (like this) to free themselves of "self" and "controlling thoughts". How does this make sense? Thoughts on their own just steer towards liberation from 'self' one day? (and continued speculation on this whole thing which was just more thinking of course).

As you can see, I noticed some interesting things, but am very confused as well. Perhaps I am simply speculating and just thinking too much! Either way, these are lots of things that I "don't know" anymore...

-

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:07 am

Hi Zafu,

woderful! Lets have a closer look to some of this:
I keep trying to go "back one level" to see what caused this or that to happen, but that only leads to more thinking and not direct experience.
Is/was there an "I" that cound do this?
Was it under your control?
Or was it just an other thought that arouse?
Even this thoughts are direct experience! (But the content of thought not)
. I then wondered, what does it mean to be "lost in thought". This really confused me.
it is like a fatamorgana. You see an oasis in the desert. As long as it is believed, the whole organism responds. Energy is provided to run there. The body is moving. After it is seen for what it is: an Illusion, all this unnecessary actions stop. Maybe there is still the visual image of the oasis. the image does not disappear (like thoughts) but the illusion is seen through.
Does this help?
In direct experience the banana is non-existent. Bananas (any physical object) appear out of nothing and disappear out of nothing just like thoughts.
Don't miss the direct experience that is there!
Banana itself is a lable, but there is the seen, maybe the sensed, the smelld, the tasted (when you eat it)?
We can't say this object banana exist. there is no proof.
But can we say it does'nt exist? any proof?
There is perception. Thats it. Anything more that is sure?
I then wondered, thoughts appear all on their own whether I want them to or not. Does this make my life lack free will?
Can you find any free will?
What about a persons decision to do "consciousness work" (like this) to free themselves of "self" and "controlling thoughts". How does this make sense? Thoughts on their own just steer towards liberation from 'self' one day?
I will do "consciousness work" is just a thought, right?
Some people think this thought and do it, other think it again and agian and never did it.
Thoughts arise. No control. You found that out.
Wahts about action and decision?

Lets do another experiment:
1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.
Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience.
Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?

Looking forward to your findings ......
Warmly
Verananda

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Verananda
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Re: No More Delusion Please

Postby Verananda » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:28 am

I'm bussy the next 2 days. Take some time for the questions and investigation.
My next post will be on sunday.
have fun verananda


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