direct experience over intellectual understanding

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:45 am

Hi Vivien,
Try to create a thought. Any thought, from scratch. What do you find?
It just appears in the same way that any other random thought would! The “intention” that is considered to be behind it isn’t really anything at all. Intention is just another thought too!
Do you notice how thoughts seem to appear, hang around for a while and somehow pass, and then the next thought come?
Yes, yes. There’s all this focus on “me” doing the “thinking”. But there’s no effort behind it whatsoever. I’m going to keep looking at this too.
What is making thoughts to appear?
Nothing!
Now try preventing a thought from appearing. Is it possible?
Its totally impossible because the thought would have to already have appeared to try and then prevent it from appearing. Or I had the thought of “ok, I’m not going to think of ice cream for the next minute.” And then a bunch of garbled thoughts appeared as if there was something or someone holding back thoughts or trying not to let thoughts in. But really the thought of ice cream was still there. Trying not to think of something is already thinking about it.

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:07 am

Although the one thing I’m struggling with is if someone were to give me a directive- like saying, think of a purple elephant with pink spots. That image/thought just appears without “effort” per say but it still feels like there’s intention there- to be able to follow directions of a visualization or something. But I guess the “choice” to do it or not do it is also just appearing.

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:30 am

Hi Kelly,
There’s all this focus on “me” doing the “thinking”. But there’s no effort behind it whatsoever. I’m going to keep looking at this too.
But is there a focus on an actual me, actually doing the thinking?
Or both ‘me’ and “I am thinking” are just thoughts appearing on their own?
Is there an actual ME thinking?
Is there a thinker?
Trying not to think of something is already thinking about it.
Exactly.
Although the one thing I’m struggling with is if someone were to give me a directive- like saying, think of a purple elephant with pink spots. That image/thought just appears without “effort” per say but it still feels like there’s intention there- to be able to follow directions of a visualization or something. But I guess the “choice” to do it or not do it is also just appearing.
Please don’t guess, rather investigate what it actually happening.

So, close your eyes, and think of a pink elephant, and investigate:

How does the intention to follow the direction appear?
What is this intention made of? Is a thought? Sensation? Sound? Smell? Taste? Image? Color?


Then “intend” to continue visualizing the pink elephant, but at the same time zoom onto to the ‘intention’ very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.

Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to continue to visualize the pink elephant”, but THE intention itself.

Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?
In what form or shape the intention itself appears?

Can you actually find an intention there, or just the thought “I intend to continue to visualize the pink elephant”?


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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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:53 pm

Hi Vivien,
But is there a focus on an actual me, actually doing the thinking?
Or both ‘me’ and “I am thinking” are just thoughts appearing on their own?
Is there an actual ME thinking?
Is there a thinker?
“Me” and “I am thinking” are always just thoughts appearing on their own accord. Whenever I look for the source of any thought it’s nowhere to be found. And that too is just another thought appearing and disappearing. There is no ME thinking, or any kind of thinker- so the word thinking doesn’t even make any sense because it implies someone purposefully doing it. Thinking doesn’t happen, thoughts just appear, effortlessly.
So, close your eyes, and think of a pink elephant, and investigate:

How does the intention to follow the direction appear?
What is this intention made of? Is a thought? Sensation? Sound? Smell? Taste? Image? Color?
The intention is definitely just a thought. I see that the direction given and the doing of the direction just happens on its own, or doesn’t. It’s a very habitual thought of “I am following directions” that gives the appearance of the doer.
Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?
In what form or shape the intention itself appears?

Can you actually find an intention there, or just the thought “I intend to continue to visualize the pink elephant”?
I can not find the intention or the intention “maker”. I find a thought that claims to be having the intention, and then while seeing the image of the pink elephant, more thoughts that claim to be struggling to hold the image of the pink elephant, and maybe also a little constriction in the body. The combination of the sensation and thought definitely makes it feel more purposeful and like a “me”. But nowhere do I find a Kelly that’s doing all this- or even any doing at all. There are just the thoughts/image and sensations, staying for a while and then changing.

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:11 am

Hi Kelly,
You did a nice looking. I hope you have found ways to incorporate looking into your daily life. It’s essential.

Think of something that makes you happy.

Is there a Kelly creating that emotion?
Is there a thought creating that emotion?
Or an image creating it?
What is creating it?

Is there a Kelly feeling happy?

Did the experience of happiness last, or some other feeling came up after some time?
How did this change happen, did you choose another thought to make the happiness change to something else?

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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:38 pm

Hi Vivien,
Think of something that makes you happy.

Is there a Kelly creating that emotion?
Is there a thought creating that emotion?
Or an image creating it?
What is creating it?
The thought of what makes me happy just appears, along with a pleasant body sensation. That’s what forms the emotion. And it just appears, there is no actual “effort” to create it.
Is there a Kelly feeling happy?
Thoughts take ownership for a Kelly, but in actual experience, there is no specific experience of a Kelly that contains the happiness. There is just happiness, which is made from a thought and sensation.
Did the experience of happiness last, or some other feeling came up after some time?
How did this change happen, did you choose another thought to make the happiness change to something else?
The happiness drifted away- it wasn’t so abrupt apart from the fact that after a while I just realized it wasn’t there anyone, and other emotions were... and then changed again. There was definitely no choosing to make the happiness change to something else. Other thoughts just arose that brought along other sensations, and then other emotions.

These directed lookings have been really helpful for me Vivien, I thank you so so much for keeping so laser focused with me. There has been a lightness in knowing where and how to genuinely look now, but I still face so much resistance from thoughts day to day. So many thought they create the illusion of confusing me and misguiding me and trying to still figure out how things are. I’m getting better at recognizing them and looking for the source, of who is thinking this, who is being affected, who is being mislead and confused... but often there is still so much “not seeing” which is frustrating. I have a fear that without you there, I would forget to “look and see”. So I just keep trying to constantly remind myself, like you’ve always said, that I need to look and look hundreds of times a day. I need to remember to keep it simple right? Thoughts keep pretending that there’s another way to see this but looking at the source of those thoughts is really the only way right?

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:25 am

Hi Kelly,

You did a nice looking.
These directed lookings have been really helpful for me Vivien, I thank you so so much for keeping so laser focused with me. There has been a lightness in knowing where and how to genuinely look now, but I still face so much resistance from thoughts day to day. So many thought they create the illusion of confusing me and misguiding me and trying to still figure out how things are. I’m getting better at recognizing them and looking for the source, of who is thinking this, who is being affected, who is being mislead and confused...
I’m glad to hear that you find it useful :) just keep going, you are doing well.
but often there is still so much “not seeing” which is frustrating.
When there is a frustration, look for the one who is frustrated.
You can turn everything into looking, even the frustration that is coming from not being able to see clearly :)
I have a fear that without you there, I would forget to “look and see”. So I just keep trying to constantly remind myself, like you’ve always said, that I need to look and look hundreds of times a day. I need to remember to keep it simple right?
Yes, it is that simple. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. Eventually it will become automatic. Looking is like a muscle.
Thoughts keep pretending that there’s another way to see this but looking at the source of those thoughts is really the only way right?
There is no other way. How would that be possible? The illusion is created by thoughts, by the conceptual overlay, so the only way to see is to see thoughts for what they actually are. To debunk their lies :)

Think of a car.

Share your experience of what happens when ‘you think’ of a car in as much detail as you can.

How did the thought arrive?

Was there a Kelly there choosing the particular car that appeared in thought, it's colour, size, etc?

How did that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared?


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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:15 am

Hi Vivien,
When there is a frustration, look for the one who is frustrated.
You can turn everything into looking, even the frustration that is coming from not being able to see clearly :)
Yes, I am seeing more and more opportunities for looking!
Think of a car.

Share your experience of what happens when ‘you think’ of a car in as much detail as you can. How did the thought arrive?
I did this a few times today and each time I thought of a car it was either a past car I’ve known, or a collection of aspects of cars I’ve known or seen. But regardless of that “story”, any aspect of a car that “I imagined” just appeared. There are a billion different images and aspects of cars that could have appeared and yet there was no choosing to make any one of those appear. The images just arose.
Was there a Kelly there choosing the particular car that appeared in thought, it's colour, size, etc?
No, it was just appearing!
How did that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared?
Yes, exactly- it just did! It makes me think of thoughts I used to have back in college, thinking that I could be or do anything I could imagine. I was so incredibly overwhelmed because I thought I had to make that decision- to choose what and how to “be” from a billion options. And now, to start seeing that the choice is choiceless is amazing! Thoughts still resist this but when I look and glimpse this it really is incredible. That even the most frustrating indecision is still just what is appearing.

You mentioned that looking and seeing will become automatic after a lot of practice. Does it eventually solidify in some way? Like how it would seem crazy to believe in Santa again after knowing he isn’t real? There still seems so much action and reaction on behalf of a separate self. I’m definitely not expecting this to disappear but I’m curious if that kind of fades as the looking becomes more and more prevalent.

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:17 am

Hi Kelly,
You mentioned that looking and seeing will become automatic after a lot of practice. Does it eventually solidify in some way? Like how it would seem crazy to believe in Santa again after knowing he isn’t real?
It’s not about solidification or not taking the self into real ever again.

There is nothing wrong with sometimes diving into the story, and taking the self as if it were real. Since every time when looking, it can be seen again and again. So it’s not lost. Once it’s clearly seen, it cannot be lost ever again. Might not always seen, but it’s never lost, since upon each looking it’s seen again and again.

Constantly seeing no-self 24/7 sever would be a state. And no states are permanent. It’s their nature to change.

And we are not after a fleeting state. We are after an experiential CONVICTION that there is no separate self and there has never been. Even though it’s not always seen, but the conviction is there, and it can be checked at any moment by looking.
There still seems so much action and reaction on behalf of a separate self. I’m definitely not expecting this to disappear but I’m curious if that kind of fades as the looking becomes more and more prevalent.
No, by seeing through the self, reactions won’t go away. That would require lots of further looking, since reactions are conditioned patters gathered from birth, with requires serious further inquiry.
Thoughts still resist this but when I look and glimpse this it really is incredible. That even the most frustrating indecision is still just what is appearing.
Yes :)

Now let’s look into if there is control over memories.

Sit quietly, close your eyes, and choose a memory to come up, and inquire:

How do you choose which memory to come up?
Is there a storage place where all your memories are stored, and you go there and pick and choose which memory to think of?
How do you make the visual thoughts of that particular memory to show up?
Does that image stay or it shift into something else?
Can you hold onto that one particular image?
Can you intentionally or willingly let go of a visual thought?
And when there is a shift, what do you do in order to that visual thought shift into another?
And can you catch the exact moment when the one visual thoughts change into another one?


Repeat this exercise several times before replying.

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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:06 am

Hi Vivien,
How do you choose which memory to come up?
There’s a thought that appears claiming to have chosen the memory but there’s no function of actually choosing. The memory just appears.
Is there a storage place where all your memories are stored, and you go there and pick and choose which memory to think of?
Again, thoughts claim that they memories appear from the “unconscious” which is like a storage place, but in actual experience the memory doesn’t actually come from anywhere. It’s just suddenly there.
How do you make the visual thoughts of that particular memory to show up?
They just kind of flow out.
Does that image stay or it shift into something else?
It is constantly shifting.
Can you hold onto that one particular image?
There’s the thought of “staying with” the image for a while, but in experience it just stays and goes on its own accord.
Can you intentionally or willingly let go of a visual thought?
Thoughts claim to, but no I can’t.
And when there is a shift, what do you do in order to that visual thought shift into another?
Nothing!
And can you catch the exact moment when the one visual thoughts change into another one?
No, it’s completely unpredictable in the most direct sense- just like the speed or the way that I raise on lower my hand right now.

I’ve been frustrated the last few days because it’s been so busy and there just hasn’t been a remembrance to look very often at all. And then when I remember again I feel like I’m starting back at square one, trying to “convince myself” once again that there is no one actually doing all this. It’s just hard because I also feel like it can be challenging to see it in certain situations where thoughts are so all consuming. But I keep trying to come back to it in the moments of frustration and look for the one who is frustrated. I have to be incredibly vigilant not to be swayed but the opinion of thoughts, but I do see that in those times there are only thoughts and sensations present, creating the frustration.

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:12 am

Hi Kelly,
Again, thoughts claim that they memories appear from the “unconscious” which is like a storage place, but in actual experience the memory doesn’t actually come from anywhere. It’s just suddenly there.
So can you see that thoughts are not matching experience?
Can you see that thoughts are not ‘reliable source of information’?
Can you see that thoughts are just conceptual distorting overlays on experience?
And then when I remember again I feel like I’m starting back at square one, trying to “convince myself” once again that there is no one actually doing all this.
If looking is not frequent and relatively continuous then it can be difficult to get back to it. Since it’s like a muscle which need to be trained. We cannot expect to have a significant result if go to the gym just once or twice a month. And every time we will feel that we are staring the whole thing from scratch again.
But I keep trying to come back to it in the moments of frustration and look for the one who is frustrated. I have to be incredibly vigilant not to be swayed but the opinion of thoughts, but I do see that in those times there are only thoughts and sensations present, creating the frustration.
Good, just keep doing this.

Observe these in your daily life:

Do you have unpleasant thoughts? Do you chose them?
Why do you have them if you have control over thoughts?
If thoughts can be thought or created, why not make it so that only pleasant thoughts are thought?
If you had any control over thoughts, why don’t you just stop choosing unhappy or negative thoughts?
If you were the thinker of thoughts, wouldn’t it be the easiest thing to think whatever you like, and not think what you don’t like?


Please set a timer for 10 minutes. The task is to think EXCLUSIVELY pleasant thoughts for the whole duration. Not a single negative thought, and not even a neutral one. But 100% positive. If you are the thinker/creator of thoughts, this should be the easiest thing to do :)

Let me how it goes.


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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:27 pm

Hi Vivien,
So can you see that thoughts are not matching experience?
Can you see that thoughts are not ‘reliable source of information’?
Can you see that thoughts are just conceptual distorting overlays on experience?
I can see that thoughts are different from experience- that they are a commentary or specific perspective on experience. It’s just really hard to brush them aside as unreliable sources of information since they’re deemed “less real” than sensory experience. I still struggle with this but I do see it.
Do you have unpleasant thoughts? Do you chose them?
Yes I do have them and I definitely don’t choose to have unpleasant thoughts.
Why do you have them if you have control over thoughts?
If thoughts can be thought or created, why not make it so that only pleasant thoughts are thought?
If you had any control over thoughts, why don’t you just stop choosing unhappy or negative thoughts?
Yes, it’s a good point. If I truly had control I wouldn’t have sad or depressing thoughts. I would never choose those.
If you were the thinker of thoughts, wouldn’t it be the easiest thing to think whatever you like, and not think what you don’t like?
Its strange because it actually seems like an impossible task- even to conceive of. Because if there were a thinker to choose, there would still be negative thoughts - because there would be an awareness of preferring one type over the other- meaning both thoughts already appeared. I’ll explain this more below.
Please set a timer for 10 minutes. The task is to think EXCLUSIVELY pleasant thoughts for the whole duration. Not a single negative thought, and not even a neutral one. But 100% positive. If you are the thinker/creator of thoughts, this should be the easiest thing to do :)

Let me how it goes.
It was totally impossible! It initially appeared like I could repeat a lot of positive thoughts to myself over and over again. But on closer inspection, in the “background” there were thought images of negative thoughts and thoughts about “trying not to think about these ones”. So of course the thoughts were already there! The judgment of any thought was already an awareness of both good and bad. So there just isn’t any way for there to be control to only have one type.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:17 am

Hi Kelly,
I can see that thoughts are different from experience- that they are a commentary or specific perspective on experience. It’s just really hard to brush them aside as unreliable sources of information since they’re deemed “less real” than sensory experience. I still struggle with this but I do see it.
You are misunderstanding what I’m pointing at.

Thoughts are ‘not reliable source of information’ NOT because thoughts are less real than sensory experience. No.

They are unreliable, since they are making all sorts of claims which are NOT MATCHING the experience.

When you start to investigate if a thought is telling the truth or not, it turns out that more often than not, they don’t. And you can check the validity of thoughts by LOOKING and SEEING what is happening in experience to see if what is happening is the same what the thought is about.
Can you see what I’m pointing at?
It was totally impossible! It initially appeared like I could repeat a lot of positive thoughts to myself over and over again.
Please do the exercise again. Set a timer for 10 minutes with the intention of having only positive thoughts all along.

How do you set the intention to have only positive thoughts?
Do you make the intention-thought happen? Are you doing it?

What do you DO EXACTLY when you repeat lots of positive thoughts?

First, where do you get those positive thoughts from?
Is there a storage place somewhere and you go there and choose and pick the positive thoughts you want to repeatedly think?

And how do you perform the act of repetition?

Are you the one making the decision of repeating a certain positive thought?
If yes, how do you do it exactly?

Only reply from experience without any speculation, theory, imagination or interpretation. Just the pure facts.
The judgment of any thought was already an awareness of both good and bad.
Are thoughts appear in awareness?
How does this awareness is experienced?

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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:41 pm

Hi Vivien,
Thoughts are ‘not reliable source of information’ NOT because thoughts are less real than sensory experience. No.

They are unreliable, since they are making all sorts of claims which are NOT MATCHING the experience.

When you start to investigate if a thought is telling the truth or not, it turns out that more often than not, they don’t. And you can check the validity of thoughts by LOOKING and SEEING what is happening in experience to see if what is happening is the same what the thought is about.
Can you see what I’m pointing at?
Yes, I see what you’re saying- that thoughts are the overlay on top of experience that doesn’t necessarily match what’s actually happening. My thoughts just argue that why are we giving more weight to experience than to thoughts. But that just creates so much confusion for me. I see that thoughts are always commenting AFTER the fact, about how experience is, or BEFORE the experience, to say how it’s going to be. The thought itself appears presently but the content is always a story that usually isn’t happening presently.
Please do the exercise again. Set a timer for 10 minutes with the intention of having only positive thoughts all along.

How do you set the intention to have only positive thoughts?
Do you make the intention-thought happen? Are you doing it?
The appearance of making it happen is still so consuming sometimes! It’s so frustrating that I still get so caught up in the content and forget where to look sometimes. But when I sit here and try to “make myself” think only positive thoughts- when I look in the right place, from where they arise from, there is no “me” creating them. Even though these positive thoughts are arising in accordance with this intention, there’s no “making” it happen- only the thought that says so. The intention to have only positive thoughts also just arises. Thoughts say “I” set the intention because I read your directions and followed them but it just happened that way.
What do you DO EXACTLY when you repeat lots of positive thoughts?
Nothing! There’s just the positive thoughts and then another thought appearing saying that I’m trying really hard to have positive thoughts. But the “trying really hard” isn’t anywhere to be found.
First, where do you get those positive thoughts from?
Is there a storage place somewhere and you go there and choose and pick the positive thoughts you want to repeatedly think?
definitely not! They just appear.
And how do you perform the act of repetition?
The repetition of positive thoughts is just happening and the fact that it’s seen as repetition is also just another thought.
Are you the one making the decision of repeating a certain positive thought?
If yes, how do you do it exactly?
It’s so hard to break the notion that “I” am doing it! But when looking for the source it’s so obvious in some sense that it comes from nowhere. There no act of actually doing it whatsoever.
K: The judgment of any thought was already an awareness of both good and bad.
V: Are thoughts appear in awareness?
How does this awareness is experienced?
Again, there I am getting caught up in those convincing thoughts. It’s more like that along with the appearance of a thought, and the appearance of a thought that says “that previous thought was positive”, there also arises quieter thoughts that deemed as negative and unwanted. In direct experience there are no thoughts as well as something called awareness- there are just the thoughts appearing.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:01 am

Hi Kelly,
Yes, I see what you’re saying- that thoughts are the overlay on top of experience that doesn’t necessarily match what’s actually happening. My thoughts just argue that why are we giving more weight to experience than to thoughts.
If you were in a desert close to dying of thirst, would you be able to quench your thirst and saving your life by thinking about water, or would you need the actual, experientable water?

If you say that you would need the actual experientiable water, then why? Why thinking of water wouldn’t be enough?


The reason why we are giving more weight to experience rather than thoughts, is exactly the same reason why you would want the actual water in the desert, and not just the thought of it.

So what is that reason? Why are we giving more weight to experience than to thoughts?
It’s so hard to break the notion that “I” am doing it! But when looking for the source it’s so obvious in some sense that it comes from nowhere. There no act of actually doing it whatsoever.
You have to see this again and again and again. Until you no longer believe the thought “I am thinking”.

So no matter how busy you are during the day, look many times to check if you are thinking or thoughts just appear.

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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