Passing through, carrying on

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Thirteen
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Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Wed May 08, 2019 1:35 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Seeing, instead of believing, that ...
...there’s no thinker behind thoughts, no actor behind actions, no focuser behind focusing, etc.
...self is a label pointing to an artificial subject of experiences experienced by this particular embodiment of life.

What are you looking for at LU?
Someone to help me see any invisible expectations I might have about ”passing through the Gate”. Someone to help me see any blind spots where I might be holding on to beliefs about a self. Someone to help me focus when I might experience resistance, fear or distractions.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
That I will be instructed to look at parts of my experience that are keeping me ”stuck” and that I haven’t looked at in depth. That I can get ”tailored” instructions to my particular questions or observations. That someone snaps me out of it if I’m sticking to the traditions that I have followed.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I’ve been doing samatha and vipassana meditation regularly for a couple of years. I’ve been reading LU dialogues and quotes for a couple of weeks.

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

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Wed May 08, 2019 1:50 am

Hi Thirteen,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

You and I will simply have a conversation, but this process is essentially an extension of your own inquiry. It is 'guided' so that specific areas may be examined.

I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?

Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Wed May 08, 2019 6:19 am

Hi Vivien. Thanks for starting the guidance, I’m happy to have you. Ground rules sound great.
How will Life change?
Life will feel even more meaningful as my choices will be dictated less by worrisome thoughts and anxious feelings and more by my values. People around me will feel better (happier, motivated, understood,...) after interacting with me.
How will you change?
There will be clear seeing that things are running on their own, which I’m expecting will result in less attachment to feelings and thoughts. I will see that my thoughts, feelings and behaviors arise as a result of conditioning instead of ”me choosing them”, and this will allow the ones that are not contributing to my well-being to drop as the attachment to them decreases, even though the thoughts and feelings themselves might not decrease in intensity. I will become kinder, more compassionate and more present in my interactions with other people.
What will be different?
The relationship to thoughts and feelings will be different. Especially: There’ll be seeing that attention is choosing its focus on its own, instead of me choosing where to focus. There will be seeing that behaviors (deciding to make an action and then following through with it) happen on their own, instead of me choosing what to do, me doing.
What is missing?
A ”breakthrough”, a clear shift in perception maybe accompanied by strong feelings in the body, that will leave no doubt that the self has been seen through.

Wow, there are quite a lot of feelings of embarrassment after typing these on a public forum. Also, thoughts of being naive after reading my expectations.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Wed May 08, 2019 8:22 am

Hi Thirteen,

How can I call you?

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But awakening cannot be found in the future.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’.
Is there any resistance to any of it?
Wow, there are quite a lot of feelings of embarrassment after typing these on a public forum. Also, thoughts of being naive after reading my expectations.
Thank you for your honesty. This is just a conditioned reaction on behalf of a seeming separate self. Be prepared that these or similar reactions might come up again during our investigation. But that’s all right. It’s enough to see them for what they are. Just conditioned reactions. Just thoughts and certain sensations.
Life will feel even more meaningful as my choices will be dictated less by worrisome thoughts and anxious feelings and more by my values.
Worrisome thoughts and anxious feeling might or might not lessen. Here is an important point to mention. Just because the separate self has been seen through, it doesn’t mean automatically that self-referencing thought - including thoughts about worry or suffering, will stop.

Self-referencing thoughts and stories still arise as ‘contents’ of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
I will see that my thoughts, feelings and behaviors arise as a result of conditioning instead of ”me choosing them”, and this will allow the ones that are not contributing to my well-being to drop as the attachment to them decreases,
Dropping of conditionings either happens or not, but it won’t happen to YOU. Since there is no you in the first place, whom this could happen to.
I will become kinder, more compassionate and more present in my interactions with other people.
Also, this might or might not happen. Seeing through the self is not self improvement. And the personality is mainly left untouched.

Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
There will be seeing that behaviors (deciding to make an action and then following through with it) happen on their own, instead of me choosing what to do, me doing.
You ALREADY not choosing anything :) but it might seem like. But just because the illusion of the self is seen for what it is, it doesn’t mean that a seeming chooser or a sense of self will never arise. But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to. For many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again. But this is not the case. Due to a lifetime of conditioning, self-constructs still arise out of habit and life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.
A ”breakthrough”, a clear shift in perception maybe accompanied by strong feelings in the body, that will leave no doubt that the self has been seen through.
This is a big expectation! The shift not necessarily happens with a clearly defined breakthrough, like a BUMMM! If you expect this, then you might miss what is really going on. For many, this is a gradual transition with a sequence of small insights, which can add up and some day they wake up knowing that the self has been seen through but without knowing the exact moment when it happened. So if you expect a big BUMMM, you can miss the small insights what might happen right here right now.

Before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?

So, what we are going to do is that I’ll give you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

So, the first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Wed May 08, 2019 6:13 pm

How can I call you?
You can call me Sami.
Before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
Actually, mostly relief and feeling of clarity (thoughts: ”Of course it is like that”).

However, this part caused some tightness in chest area to arise: ”But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self.”. There’s a doubting thought: is it possible to differentiate between these? There’s a thought: I don’t think I believe in a self but I feel a sense of self. Hard to explain.
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, but there are some very short periods where I get a sense as if this is ”just happening”. It’s not really a thought, but a sense of being/perceiving experience. But yes, mostly I have the sense that ”I have chosen” to engage in this process and am now choosing to read and type these words.
What does the word 'I' point to?
It’s pointing to the idea of someone choosing what part of experience to focus on (e.g. does attention go and highlight the feeling of pressure in stomach, or the humming sound from the fridge). It’s pointing to the idea of someone choosing to get up from chair and boil water before answering this question.

It keeps coming back to this idea - nothing else in direct experience.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
If ”I” choose to move my arm, it is the arm that is attached to the body that is attached to the head from where looking happens that is moving - that’s why I call it my arm. If I close my eyes, and focus on the sense of expansion/contraction in my hand, the sense of expansion/contraction moves around the space as I move my hand.

Thoughts: ”I” control some muscles and limbs in the body, but I don’t control sensations, some other muscles, organs etc.

So the ”voluntary” control of some muscles and limbs + the experience that sensations move around the space simultaneously with the ”voluntary” moving of body parts give rise to belief that this is ”my” body.
What makes this body ‘you’?
Thoughts: Nothing. I would not be less ”me” if e.g. my legs were amputated. Brain is also not me, because there are a lot of things going on in brain that don’t come to awareness/I can’t control.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Thu May 09, 2019 4:17 am

Hi Sami,
However, this part caused some tightness in chest area to arise: ”But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self.”. There’s a doubting thought: is it possible to differentiate between these? There’s a thought: I don’t think I believe in a self but I feel a sense of self. Hard to explain.
After the illusion is seen through, it’s easy to differentiate between the two. Since with the ‘sense of self’ just a quick looking is needed to see that the sensation or thought that is believed to be ‘me’ is just a sensation (or a thought), and there is no ‘me’ anywhere to be found.

The belief happens only on the level of thoughts. A belief is nothing else than the content of a thought which isn’t seen only as an arising thought, but rather its ‘content’ is taken seriously. But we will look at this later.
Yes, but there are some very short periods where I get a sense as if this is ”just happening”. It’s not really a thought, but a sense of being/perceiving experience
This sense of being/perceiving is still the illusion of the self in a subtle form. Just now the label has changed from ‘me’ to ‘being’ or ‘the sense of perceiving’.

So let’s to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.
But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.

The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching — prior to thought is what we refer to as Direct Experience. So notice what is directly experienced versus THOUGHTS ABOUT what is experienced.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?

Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?


Remember: actual experience (AE) is: sounds/hearing, smells/smelling, taste/tasting, sight/seeing, sensation/sensing, and seeing the appearance of a thought.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Thu May 09, 2019 6:49 pm

A belief is nothing else than the content of a thought which isn’t seen only as an arising thought, but rather its ‘content’ is taken seriously.

Very nice explanation, I was wondering what causes the difference between a conscious thought and a bit more ”deeper” thought/belief.
This sense of being/perceiving is still the illusion of the self in a subtle form. Just now the label has changed from ‘me’ to ‘being’ or ‘the sense of perceiving’.
So sneaky!
Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
There are colors and shapes.
Sound of fridge, humming.
Sensations in fingers, stomach, throat, nose, cheeks,...
In these, I don’t see a seer.
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
Cannot be located in sense data. Only at the level of thoughts. Thoughts/beliefs say there is
- someone having the intention to look at the words
- someone orienting attention to look at the words
- someone looking at each sense modality for a self

Also thoughts: how the heck can beliefs be ”looked at”? They’re like soap, escaping when trying to grab them for examination.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Fri May 10, 2019 5:22 am

Hi Sami,
Cannot be located in sense data. Only at the level of thoughts. Thoughts/beliefs say there is
- someone having the intention to look at the words
- someone orienting attention to look at the words
- someone looking at each sense modality for a self
Nice looking.
Also thoughts: how the heck can beliefs be ”looked at”? They’re like soap, escaping when trying to grab them for examination.
Beliefs are nothing else than thoughts. So they can be looked at as any other thoughts.

The whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. So therefore, we will investigate thoughts and thought labels thoroughly.
So then let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions. Look for the answer BEFORE thought interpretation kicks in.

Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts? – don’t think, rather look for a ‘thinker’
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer and quote ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Try to answer them only from direct experience, and leave aside all intellectual interpretation or understanding. Please, DON’T THINK about the answers, rather LOOK at what is before thoughts. Take your time.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Fri May 10, 2019 7:50 pm

Where do thoughts come from?
In terms of DE, nowhere. An image pops up in my mind, and then there’s inner talk about it, but I cannot catch where the image comes from.
Where are they going?
Nowhere, they sort of disappear. Most of the time they are replaced.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
No.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Not really, but sometimes it feels like ”I” want to choose another thought which then becomes the next thought.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Not really (but see answer above). However, most of the time the ”avoided” thought comes back.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
Cannot find it in DE... Sometimes it feels like there are very subtle pressure-like sensations around forehead or between eyes, then a thought-image pops up, then some inner talk... But nothing separate from these sensations and thoughts.

I notice that when I try to choose something random to think about, there’s first a thought: ”let’s try to find something else to think about”. Then scanning of thought-images. Then a feeling, choosing of image, then inner talk about image. Cannot find a separate I in process.
”I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
Only thoughts after thoughts. Inner talk. Some body sensations.
What is the thinker of thoughts? – don’t think, rather look for a ‘thinker’
Looking for a thinker only results in more thoughts and body sensations and feelings of frustration and resistance.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Thinker of thoughts does not appear in experience. Only thoughts about the thinker of thoughts.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
I seems to only be found in thoughts.
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
There are just thoughts (among body/sensory sensations, sounds, colors). Thoughts keep coming and going. A lot of inner talk, meshed with images. Sometimes singy-thoughts/inner music.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
It seems impossible. Thoughts cannot be chosen to be had, can’t be chosen to not to be had. Can’t be chosen to be maintained. Choosing not to have a thought is a thought about having another thought to push the non-willed thought away, but often it is only temporary. Thought I also seems to come automatically.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Sat May 11, 2019 1:28 am

Hi Sami,
V: Where do thoughts come from?
S: In terms of DE, nowhere. An image pops up in my mind, and then there’s inner talk about it, but I cannot catch where the image comes from
.
And where do the thoughts come from?
Where do the ‘inner talk’ come form?
And what is it exactly that is trying to catch the ‘place’ from images come from?
Not really, but sometimes it feels like ”I” want to choose another thought which then becomes the next thought.
How exactly is it feels like I want to choose another thought?
Go to the feeling, how is it felt exactly?
Can this felt at all?
If not, how all this ‘feels like’ happen?
Cannot find it in DE... Sometimes it feels like there are very subtle pressure-like sensations around forehead or between eyes, then a thought-image pops up, then some inner talk... But nothing separate from these sensations and thoughts.
Great looking!
I notice that when I try to choose something random to think about, there’s first a thought: ”let’s try to find something else to think about”. Then scanning of thought-images. Then a feeling, choosing of image, then inner talk about image. Cannot find a separate I in process.
Localize this ‘feeling of choosing’. Where is it exactly?
And how is it known that feeling ( = sensation) is the ‘feeling of choosing’?
Only thoughts after thoughts. Inner talk. Some body sensations.
What is the actual difference between thoughts and ‘inner talk’?
Looking for a thinker only results in more thoughts and body sensations and feelings of frustration and resistance.
What is this resistance about?
Thoughts cannot be chosen to be had, can’t be chosen to not to be had. Can’t be chosen to be maintained. Choosing not to have a thought is a thought about having another thought to push the non-willed thought away, but often it is only temporary. Thought I also seems to come automatically.
Very nice!

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Sat May 11, 2019 7:11 am

Hi Vivien,

I’ll start with this:
What is the actual difference between thoughts and ‘inner talk’?
First of all, sorry about confusing use of words. With ”thought”, I mean inner talk / mental images / mental sounds.
And where do the thoughts come from?
Where do the ‘inner talk’ come form?
I notice that thoughts appear like commentary on the the sense data. E.g. if I see a chair, I might think about sitting. Or if there’s stingy and bubbling sensations in my hand, thought comes that says it’s itching. Sometimes thought is affected by another thought. But in terms of DE, thoughts seem to appear from nowhere/as if they’re always there.
And what is it exactly that is trying to catch the ‘place’ from images come from?
There’s heightened attention to thoughts, and effort to see what happens just when a ”new” thought appears. There are thoughts (inner talk + mental images) that it is ”me” who looks.
How exactly is it feels like I want to choose another thought?
There are thoughts going on. Then there’s thought ”I exist”, followed by thought ”I can choose”, followed by a scanning of mental images and then settling in one. Except for scanning, the process is super fast and subtle.
Go to the feeling, how is it felt exactly?
Can this felt at all?
Hmm. The feelings are localized to chest, but there’s awareness that I very sneakily strengthen my inhalation to make ”examining thoughts” clearer, and this inhalation is associated with the feelings in chest. If I don’t put in this extra effort made possible by changing inhalation, ”wanting to choose” looks like a thought, nothing else.
If not, how all this ‘feels like’ happen?
It’s a thought, but not as clear/articulate as e.g. inner talk. Belief?
Localize this ‘feeling of choosing’. Where is it exactly?
Very hard... I thought about different fast-food places, oil companies, countries, car labels and picked one ”that feels right”. In countries, some countries just popped up without any feelings. In the others, I noticed some ”relief” in forehead or just behind eyes when I chose ”one that feels right”.
And how is it known that feeling ( = sensation) is the ‘feeling of choosing’?
It follows the ”decision” thought, so there’s a thought that the feeling must be ”feeling of choosing”.
What is this resistance about?
Some thoughts that come up and cause resistance against the idea of no-thinker, no-chooser:
- ”It (thinker/chooser) feels so obvious, how can it be otherwise”
- ”My work can’t be futile” (I work as a psychologist)
- ”What’s the point of 8-fold path if there’s no one who ”voluntarily chooses” to follow it”
Sensations of contraction in front of body, chest. Some sadness, fear? Thoughts about these feelings: maybe caused by possibly having to give up old beliefs.

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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Sat May 11, 2019 8:45 am

Hi Sami,
Hmm. The feelings are localized to chest, but there’s awareness that I very sneakily strengthen my inhalation to make ”examining thoughts” clearer, and this inhalation is associated with the feelings in chest. If I don’t put in this extra effort made possible by changing inhalation, ”wanting to choose” looks like a thought, nothing else.
So the sensation of the chest, is the actual experience (AE) of a sensation, and not the AE of a ‘feeling of wanting to choose’. Choosing cannot be felt, only sensations can be felt. Is this clear?
V: If not, how all this ‘feels like’ happen?
S: It’s a thought, but not as clear/articulate as e.g. inner talk. Belief?
So when a sentence starts with “it feels like” or “it seems like”, it’s a sure sign that it’s a thought description, not an actual feeling. “Feels like” is just an analogy. Not a real feeling (sensation). Can you see this?
Very hard... I thought about different fast-food places, oil companies, countries, car labels and picked one ”that feels right”. In countries, some countries just popped up without any feelings. In the others, I noticed some ”relief” in forehead or just behind eyes when I chose ”one that feels right”.
I know I'm repetitive: But that feeling is just the feeling of a sensation. Just a sensation is felt, not the choosing itself. Choosing cannot be felt, only sensations can. So certain thoughts ABOUT choosing might be followed by certain sensations. But those are just sensations. Choosing as such cannot be felt. Can you see this?
V: And how is it known that feeling ( = sensation) is the ‘feeling of choosing’?
S: It follows the ”decision” thought, so there’s a thought that the feeling must be ”feeling of choosing”.
Yes, but just because a thought ‘says’ that “this feeling must be the feeling of choosing” – does this thought transform the sensation into the ‘feeling of choosing’?
Some thoughts that come up and cause resistance against the idea of no-thinker, no-chooser:
- ”It (thinker/chooser) feels so obvious, how can it be otherwise”
The chooser or the thinker cannot be felt! Only sensations can be felt. So the feeling of a chooser or a thinker is just an illusion. And this illusion is created when certain sensations are mistaken as a chooser or a thinker. Or in other words, thoughts label certain sensations as ‘chooser’ or ‘thinker’. We will look at this process more closely.
- ”My work can’t be futile” (I work as a psychologist)
I used to be a psychologist too. And no, your work isn’t futile. But after seeing through the self you might can look your work from a different angle, from a different point of view. But it’s definitely not futile. Some people go to therapy after seeing no-self. Usually working with traumas and personal issues is easier after seeing no-self.
- ”What’s the point of 8-fold path if there’s no one who ”voluntarily chooses” to follow it”
As far as I can see this, the 8-fold path is written to those who are still believe in a separate self. And even after seeing through the self the 8-fold path is useful, since personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. So it’s useful to have a ‘guideline’, so to speak.
Sensations of contraction in front of body, chest. Some sadness, fear? Thoughts about these feelings: maybe caused by possibly having to give up old beliefs.
Thank you for sharing this with me. It’s important because fear can be a hindrance of going further. But actually, fear is nothing more than a protective mechanism, and it does its job well. There is a belief, a story somewhere about pain or negative consequences to seeing the illusion of the self. And the fear tries to protect you from these supposed negative consequences. So let’s find out what this story is about and see if they are real threats or not.

What I’d like you to do is to investigate the fear/sadness. Examine it closely. Feel it. Don’t try to fix it or solve it, just sit with it.
Ask the fear/sadness as if it were a some kind of entity:

What do you want to protect me from?
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?

Observe what images and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear/be sad.
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the fear/sadness?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
Posts: 36
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Sun May 12, 2019 8:01 pm

Hi Vivien,
So the sensation of the chest, is the actual experience (AE) of a sensation, and not the AE of a ‘feeling of wanting to choose’. Choosing cannot be felt, only sensations can be felt. Is this clear?
Yes.
So when a sentence starts with “it feels like” or “it seems like”, it’s a sure sign that it’s a thought description, not an actual feeling. “Feels like” is just an analogy. Not a real feeling (sensation). Can you see this?
Yes.
So certain thoughts ABOUT choosing might be followed by certain sensations. But those are just sensations. Choosing as such cannot be felt. Can you see this?
Yes.
Yes, but just because a thought ‘says’ that “this feeling must be the feeling of choosing” – does this thought transform the sensation into the ‘feeling of choosing’?
No. The thought is just a thought about the felt sensations.
What do you want to protect me from?
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?
There are thoughts related to fear: if self is seen through, this embodiment might act in ways that other people might consider psychotic, and end up in psych ward; in social situations, this embodiment might act inconsistently with previous behavior and other people might think this is weird and they might start to shun him; this embodiment might reveal vulnerable feelings and might get hurt or ridiculed for doing that. These are the most discernible thoughts.

There are thoughts related to sadness: if self is seen through, Sami will be no more, he will come to an end; he will have to give up old but safe and familiar ways of being.
Observe what images and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear/be sad.
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the fear/sadness?
Actually, no discernible justifying thoughts come up now. Instead, there are thoughts of freedom and relief/release of burden, thoughts that this is what should happen, thoughts of compassion to self, thoughts that it's time to move on. Now there are also doubting thoughts - doubts about whether these latter thoughts are again "expectations" in subtle form.

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Mon May 13, 2019 2:24 am

Hi Sami,
There are thoughts related to fear: if self is seen through, this embodiment might act in ways that other people might consider psychotic, and end up in psych ward; in social situations, this embodiment might act inconsistently with previous behavior and other people might think this is weird and they might start to shun him; this embodiment might reveal vulnerable feelings and might get hurt or ridiculed for doing that. These are the most discernible thoughts.
Thank you for your openness and honesty. I understand these fears, I had similar thoughts too, especially ending up being judged by others having a psychological disorder. :) I think this is coming from our profession. And looking back now, I find it quite funny :)

The self, the you, you believe yourself to be is ALREADY doesn’t exist. So seeing that there is no inherent self will change nothing. The only change will be the knowing or seeing that this is just an illusion. But everything goes on just as before. Only the perception changes.

It’s similar when you’re watching a movie which is so enchanting that you completely forget that you’re in a movie theatre, sitting in a chair, watching images projected onto the screen. It totally seems like and feels like as if you’re in scenes of the movie together with the characters. And then suddenly, you ‘wake up’ from this illusion. But the movie will still go on. You just discover that the whole movie is just a fantasy. But the movie will go on, it won’t stop appearing. So there is only a perception shift.

It’s just a shift in perception, like with these images bellow (what you’re probably already familiar with). As if you were seeing only in one way for your whole life, and now there’s a shift, and you can see from a different perspective. But you can still see the original, old version too. From now on, you can switch back and forth between the two.
Image
Image
this embodiment might act inconsistently with previous behavior and other people might think this is weird and they might start to shun him; this embodiment might reveal vulnerable feelings and might get hurt or ridiculed for doing that.
If you read your above comment, you can see that all those fears are on behalf of a separate self.

The self is always in some sort of fear and self-protection. Since it’s believed that everything behind the skin is me, and everything outside of the skin is not-me. So the self needs constant protection from all perceived threats to protect its survival and seeming integrity.

So those thoughts above come up on behalf of this self as a protective mechanism.
But when it’s seen the self for what it is, just a mirage in the desert, it can also be seen that these protective thoughts are totally unnecessary. There is nothing there to protect.
There are thoughts related to sadness: if self is seen through, Sami will be no more, he will come to an end; he will have to give up old but safe and familiar ways of being.
Sami doesn’t have to give up anything! There has never EVER been a Sami there, who could give up anything.
So really, nothing will change, since Sami is ALREADY a fantasy, it’s always been.

The only thing that changes is the seeing or deep experiential knowing of this. But everything will go on just as before. The seeming Sami will still appear, will still do its thing, just as before.
there are thoughts of freedom and relief/release of burden, thoughts that this is what should happen, thoughts of compassion to self, thoughts that it's time to move on.
That’s good.
Now there are also doubting thoughts - doubts about whether these latter thoughts are again "expectations" in subtle form.
If expectations come up, that’s all right. They don’t have to go away. It’s enough to see them only as expectations, and not taking them too seriously.

Before going on, could you please reply what came up while reading my comments?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Thirteen
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 1:29 am

Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Mon May 13, 2019 4:58 pm

Hi Vivien,
Before going on, could you please reply what came up while reading my comments?
There arose feelings of safety, calm and appreciation. Thoughts about free will (we don’t have to go there though). Also, some frustration about not having the perception shift yet, and impatience related to that. Some sensations in the chest, near the surface, which are labeled as excitement. Not taking them too seriously.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write about these things in such depth.


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