Request a guide to explore no-self

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ashwinravi
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Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:18 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that the 'I' is a deeply ingrained pattern which does not exist when looked at closely and directly. The 'self' or 'I' is a creation of thought; when thinking ceases, it improves the odds of seeing through the 'I' or 'self'

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to rid myself of the illusion of the separative nature of 'I' with the help of an experienced guide. This will help in putting an end to the seeking I embarked 9 years ago. In addition, I hope to deepen my looking for dysfunctional patterns post awakening

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect guidance, accountability and direct pointers from a guided conversation to help me see and experience 'no-self'. I had a tried once at LU about two years ago, but abandoned the process after 3 days or so. I intend to commit to the whole process till the end this time

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?

I've tried breathing meditation, kriya yoga, MBSR, Fred Davis' Direct Pointing, Scott Kiloby's methods, Matt Kahn's audios and videos and Rupert Spira's videos, besides listening to a host of other spiritual teachers on and off

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 8

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:08 pm

Hello ashwinravi,

I'd be happy to guide you through it, if you like. Would you like me to use ashwinravi or another name?

Some groundrules:
- Try to reply every day, or write when you'd unable to reply for a period.
- The approach we will be using involves looking at our direct experience: http://liberationunleashed.com/resource ... xperience/
- Please learn to use the quote function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

I understand that the 'I' is a deeply ingrained pattern which does not exist when looked at closely and directly. The 'self' or 'I' is a creation of thought; when thinking ceases, it improves the odds of seeing through the 'I' or 'self'
yes, good. The ceasing of thoughts is not necessary though.
As a starter, can you provide a description for what this 'I' or 'self' is held or supposed to mean?
And after coming up with a description, can you look at your experience and see if your description matches your experience? Let me know what you get.

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:23 pm

Hi Floris,

I'd be happy to guide you through it, if you like. Would you like me to use ashwinravi or another name?

Thanks for choosing to guide me! You could simply call me 'Ashwin'.

As a starter, can you provide a description for what this 'I' or 'self' is held or supposed to mean?

This 'I' seems to point to a mental image of my body. Whatever is part of the body, including thoughts, feeling and sensations, feel like 'I'. But whatever is outside this body, is felt and perceived as 'not-I'

And after coming up with a description, can you look at your experience and see if your description matches your experience? Let me know what you get.

Upon closing my eyes and looking directly, all I 'see' is a dark field with thoughts streaming in and out. There are also some sensations noticed. Rain drops and loud voices are heard. It seems as if all this experiencing isn't dependent much on 'I'

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Hello Ashwin,

Thanks for choosing to guide me! You could simply call me 'Ashwin'.
No problem, let's get started.

This 'I' seems to point to a mental image of my body. Whatever is part of the body, including thoughts, feeling and sensations, feel like 'I'. But whatever is outside this body, is felt and perceived as 'not-I'
Yes good, we will look into this.

Upon closing my eyes and looking directly, all I 'see' is a dark field with thoughts streaming in and out. There are also some sensations noticed. Rain drops and loud voices are heard. It seems as if all this experiencing isn't dependent much on 'I'
Good looking, and you're right, it's not dependend on an I.

- Can you close your eyes again, and look for this I, person, or self again.
- Then afterwards, try to clear your mind and notice how that is like.
- Then think 'I', your name or try to get to whatever feels most like 'you', and describe what that is and what you find.

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:15 am

Can you close your eyes again, and look for this I, person, or self again.

When I close my eyes and look as directly as possible, here's what's observed:

- thoughts one after another

- breathing

- felt contractions in the stomach

- sounds arising (from a fan & sounds from outside the room)

The 'I' arises only when thought about or referenced! Otherwise, it's thoughts, breath, sensations, and sounds.

Then afterwards, try to clear your mind and notice how that is like.

There's just a dark space-y field

Then think 'I', your name or try to get to whatever feels most like 'you', and describe what that is and what you find.

When I think my name, immediately this is what is observed:

- a mental image, literally, my name, pops up -- 'Ashwin'

- an image of my face pops up right after

- feel a contraction in the stomach area

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:57 am

Hi Ashwin,

great looking, keep it up.
When I close my eyes and look as directly as possible, here's what's observed:

- thoughts one after another

- breathing

- felt contractions in the stomach

- sounds arising (from a fan & sounds from outside the room)

The 'I' arises only when thought about or referenced! Otherwise, it's thoughts, breath, sensations, and sounds.
With the 'I' here, do you mean the thought 'I', or a feeling?

When I think my name, immediately this is what is observed:

- a mental image, literally, my name, pops up -- 'Ashwin'

- an image of my face pops up right after

- feel a contraction in the stomach area
Good. now you say 'my name' and my face, can you look if you can find anything present, in or outside of the body that owns the name and face? Another way of asking the same thing: Can you find something the name and face belong to? And could any thing literely own another thing? Or could this ownership be only concept?
Does paying money for a piece of land really makes it 'yours'?
What do you think about all this?

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:28 pm

Hi Floris

great looking, keep it up.

Thank you!

With the 'I' here, do you mean the thought 'I', or a feeling?

In the context you ask, it was more the thought 'I' than the feeling. I must concede, however, that there is more stickiness with the felt sense of 'I' than the thought sense

Good. now you say 'my name' and my face, can you look if you can find anything present, in or outside of the body that owns the name and face? Another way of asking the same thing: Can you find something the name and face belong to? And could any thing literely own another thing? Or could this ownership be only concept?
Does paying money for a piece of land really makes it 'yours'?
What do you think about all this?

Wow, great set of questions to ponder upon.

now you say 'my name' and my face, can you look if you can find anything present, in or outside of the body that owns the name and face? Another way of asking the same thing: Can you find something the name and face belong to?

When looked at directly, the word 'Ashwin' and the image of Ashwin's face appear as discrete mental images. It makes no sense to impute that these images have an owner, when looked closely

And could any thing literely own another thing? Or could this ownership be only concept?
Does paying money for a piece of land really makes it 'yours'?
What do you think about all this?

Nope, one thing can't, in a literal sense, own another, because these things are discrete by definition, and no relationship exists between them, unless we conceptually define one

Paying money for a piece of land merely is meant to dissuade other people from using this land, when a legal agreement is added. In an actual sense, the piece of land exists by itself and doesn't require an owner for its existence

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:23 pm

Hello Ahswin,
Nope, one thing can't, in a literal sense, own another, because these things are discrete by definition, and no relationship exists between them, unless we conceptually define one

Paying money for a piece of land merely is meant to dissuade other people from using this land, when a legal agreement is added. In an actual sense, the piece of land exists by itself and doesn't require an owner for its existence
yes, nice.
In the context you ask, it was more the thought 'I' than the feeling. I must concede, however, that there is more stickiness with the felt sense of 'I' than the thought sense
And does the thought 'I', or felt sense of I imply there is an actual self? If you look, is anything findable where the label 'I' could be attached too?
When looked at directly, the word 'Ashwin' and the image of Ashwin's face appear as discrete mental images. It makes no sense to impute that these images have an owner, when looked closely
Yes, good observation. How about the body -by which I mean the visual field and the sensations-? Does that have an owner?

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:00 am

Hey Floris,

And does the thought 'I', or felt sense of I imply there is an actual self? If you look, is anything findable where the label 'I' could be attached too?

Nope.

The thought 'I' is self-referential, when looked closely. The felt 'I' is a little tricky, but it seems to be a mixed composition of an image of a body seated on a chair and a felt sense of aliveness.

Unless compelled by deep-rooted habit and social conventions, I can't find a single thing that needs to attach with the 'I'.

How about the body -by which I mean the visual field and the sensations-? Does that have an owner?

Nope. Vision and sensations, can and do occur, without the need of an owner

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:03 am

Hey Ashwin,

From an earlier message of you:
The 'I' arises only when thought about or referenced! Otherwise, it's thoughts, breath, sensations, and sounds.
Then if the ´I´, which I gather from you is a thought of the body, with a sense of aliveness mixed in only arises when thought about or referenced, then isn't that 'I' only an arising, just like a sound or a sensation?
The thought 'I' is self-referential, when looked closely. The felt 'I' is a little tricky, but it seems to be a mixed composition of an image of a body seated on a chair and a felt sense of aliveness.

Unless compelled by deep-rooted habit and social conventions, I can't find a single thing that needs to attach with the 'I'.
Yes good, that's because there is no I or self. Try to point to you, where do you point to, and is there an actual you there?

If you scan all your experience, sight, sensations, sounds (perhaps smell, thought and taste too), is there a person/self in it, or are only the sight, sensations and sounds present?

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:41 pm

Then if the ´I´, which I gather from you is a thought of the body, with a sense of aliveness mixed in only arises when thought about or referenced, then isn't that 'I' only an arising, just like a sound or a sensation?


Yes, the 'I' is an arising, and not a permanent property/setting

Yes good, that's because there is no I or self. Try to point to you, where do you point to, and is there an actual you there?

When I close my eyes and look, all that is observed is a dark field with a sequential set of images of head, torso and limbs. There's no 'me' in these images unless thought is brought in to label these images

Upon opening my eyes, objects and space are noticed, and so are a set of limbs and torso. There's an extremely strong reflexive tendency to identify with the set of limbs and torso and consider it as 'me', but direct experience is showing that this is not the case as the word 'me' is another discrete arising

The following words appear - "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Are these words merely arguing for the case of separation instead of proving it? (Q. to self)

If you scan all your experience, sight, sensations, sounds (perhaps smell, thought and taste too), is there a person/self in it, or are only the sight, sensations and sounds present?

Colors, shapes, textures are noticed and certain tight sensations are felt in the stomach, but there's no self in any of these arisings

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:38 pm

Hello,

When I close my eyes and look, all that is observed is a dark field with a sequential set of images of head, torso and limbs. There's no 'me' in these images unless thought is brought in to label these images

Upon opening my eyes, objects and space are noticed, and so are a set of limbs and torso. There's an extremely strong reflexive tendency to identify with the set of limbs and torso and consider it as 'me', but direct experience is showing that this is not the case as the word 'me' is another discrete arising
Yes, so is it accurate to say that the personhood is more of a constructed thing? And if so, who created it?

The following words appear - "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Are these words merely arguing for the case of separation instead of proving it? (Q. to self)
the keyword there is "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Does this sense imply there really is seperation, or only that there is currently a sense or feeling which is labeled 'sense of seperation'?
And also "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Can you see that this 'me' is not a real thing, and only something which feels different than other things?

How has this whole investigation been happening? Can you identify anything that has been doing the looking, thinking, cognizing and trying? It can't be the sense of self or 'I' thought right? Or is the only thing findable the looking, thinking, trying, etc?

Keep looking! Anything there?

Floris

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:41 am

Hi Floris :)

Yes, so is it accurate to say that the personhood is more of a constructed thing? And if so, who created it?

Yes, it would be

The person likely created themselves, through use of language. Words like 'I', 'me', 'mine' etc can take a life on their own, as I'm discovering, without necessarily pointing to a stably-persisting entity

the keyword there is "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Does this sense imply there really is seperation, or only that there is currently a sense or feeling which is labeled 'sense of seperation'?

Separation is indeed experienced - objects with shapes and colors are noticed, and they are separated from me by space

How has this whole investigation been happening? Can you identify anything that has been doing the looking, thinking, cognizing and trying? It can't be the sense of self or 'I' thought right? Or is the only thing findable the looking, thinking, trying, etc?

This aspect is pretty clear - no 'I' or self is needed to think, cognize, look or try. All these activities can be powered through and completed without any agent

Keep looking! Anything there?

It's the feeling of separateness that feels like a sticking point in the inquiry currently. Perhaps we could explore this a little more slowly and gently, Floris?

Ashwin

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Florisness
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby Florisness » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:57 pm

Hello there,

It's the feeling of separateness that feels like a sticking point in the inquiry currently. Perhaps we could explore this a little more slowly and gently, Floris?
Yes we can, thank you for letting me know.

You might have misunderstood my previous writing which I requoted underneath. I was trying to draw your attention to a feeling or sense which we could label 'sense of separation' that you might experience, which then results in the conviction or idea of 'there is separation'. Does a sense of separation imply real separation? Lets examine this further in a couple steps.
the keyword there is "but there's still a nagging sense of separation between me and objects around me". Does this sense imply there really is separation, or only that there is currently a sense or feeling which is labeled 'sense of separation'?
Separation is indeed experienced - objects with shapes and colors are noticed, and they are separated from me by space


For these exercises, find a quite place where you can be undisturbed for the length of your contemplation, sit down and close your eyes. I'll give you the whole thing at once, but take the time you need, and you don't have to do everything in the first go. Perhaps go through it in multiple attempts, reply in 2 times if you wish or not. Try working chronological, but you can revisit some parts at any moment. Whatever works for you.

Notice what the experience of 'the body' and the 'outside world' is like for you, first start with the body:

Notice the sensations, the warmth, the sense of center there might be. Bring to mind that this experience is something which is probably held as the body, you, and inside. Then work a little to remove the idea that there is a body, you, and inside (for the moment). Examine what is actually experienced and try to reframe from putting any labels, ideas, and descriptions onto what you experience. What do you notice here, and does anything change after trying to have worked on removing the ideas, descriptions and labels?

Go to the experience you call head, fingers, legs, etc. and find out what is really is. Try to work again on ridding yourself of the idea of experiencing a head, fingers, legs etc. Then notice that what you call head, legs, feet, fingers etc are sensation. Is anything more present there then what we can label 'sensations'? What actually are, experientially, these parts you call head, fingers, feet, etc?

Notice that the region where you hold the 'head' is, might feel more like a center then the region where are called 'the feet'. Notice that even some things might feel more like you and closer, that you can't actually detect a border between the zone of the head and feet which would cause one thing to be more 'in you' and something else to be 'out you'. Go with the attention up and down from the headregion towards the feetregion and see if there is any in- or outside.

The outside (world):
By whatever experience you explore, again try to remove all ideas and concepts of what you're investigating. draw your attention to what feels outside. Sounds might be the easiest to explore. Notice sounds that feel close, and then try to notice sounds which feel further away, then try harder to find sounds which are even further away. Now make an internal sound (thought) to work with for a while. how does this experience differ from sounds far away? carefully go with your attention between the internal sound, and outside sounds. Explore again now -as you did with the body exercise- if you can find a boundary or border which makes one thing inside and another outside. What do you find? Again, remove labels and ideas. Try to suspend thinking and examine carefully. In the domain of sound, can you find an inside and outside? You can do the same with sight.

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ashwinravi
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Re: Request a guide to explore no-self

Postby ashwinravi » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi Floris,

Thanks for the detailed set of pointers! I'm currently exploring the first one you've presented - working with the idea/possibility that there is no me, no body and no inside.

I'll write to you again tomo, sharing what's found

Warmly, Ashwin


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