Awakening

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Geoff
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Awakening

Postby Geoff » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:03 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I think it means that a guide will point me in the direction of looking to recognize that there is no "me" located in my brain or body. Right now this is an intellectual understanding for me. My attention seems to be identified with the contents of my mind which is always referencing "me". I have had fleeting glimpses of Being.

What are you looking for at LU?
To awaken to the truth of the one-self. I"m not sure what that actually means but as I mentioned I"ve had moments of spacious awareness. I don't expect to feel bliss or peace all the time, but I sense that I"m not the story my mind is telling me and I'd LOVE to live more truthfully and authentically. I"m tired and a bit frustrated that i'm still living from the reference point of a separate self given that it's actually just made up. It's like i'm caught up in a movie and reminding myself it's just a movie but still caught up. I am married, have three wonderful children, and a full work and social life. I'm not looking to change anything on the outside. ( I would like to be more kind an compassionate) I want to see the truth of my experience.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I suppose the guide would ask me questions that would point to directly look at the source of my experience. I would expect that I would need to bring total honesty and sincerity to this conversation and be dedicated to any homework.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Hi have read a number of books and participated in online workshops. Rupert Spira and others. I do meditate, pray, and try to open to what lies beyond the mind. I haven't done a lot of direct inquiry.

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

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:02 pm

Hello Geoff,

Thanks for your patience and for your answers, if you are still seeking a guide I would be happy to help. A few bits of housekeeping first:

At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ[/

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.

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.

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?



Best wishes,

Nic

PS you sound like a busy man, so do not worry too much about posting every day. It would be helpful to build and maintain momentum though, the more this looking is on your mind the sooner it will start to work!

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:50 pm

Dear Nic,

First and foremost, I want to thank you for offering to be my guide. I consider it an honor. I'm quite excited for this journey.
My daughter is getting married on Thursday and I"m traveling the next week so things are busty, but to be honest, aside from wanting to be there fully for her, there is nothing more important to me right now than the call to truth.

To answer your quesions:

How will Life change?

I don't know how life will change. I imagine that it will be more of a flow, that I will see thoughts and "my thoughts" and be less attached and compelled by them as I have in the past. I expect to suffer less and take like so much less personally. Meaning- less frantic about how life "needs" to work out for "me" etc.

How will you change?

I don't think I will change much in terms of my outside life. I have a wonderful outside life, family, job, friends, etc. I do think that I'll experience life on a deeper level. in the past I felt a sense of openess and had hints that life wasn't personal, I expect have more of that and less living in the lie of the personalized ego.

What will be different?

The only thing that will be different will be the vantage point. I do expect to be calmer and more at peace. To have a less attached relatioship to my thoughts and senstations.

What is missing?

I don't know. I don't understand why i"m so caught up in identifying with my pesonalized self when I can never seem to find one. Maybe what is missing is what exactly I'm afraid of letting go of? I'm confused by this.

Thanks again,
Chaim

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:56 pm

Hi Nic,
Sorry- I meant things are "busy", not "busty" ha ha. Typing to fast!

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:17 am

Hi Geoff,

You are welcome, it is a privilege and a pleasure to do this. No worries, I understand you are busy, and I totally understand about life events and so on. I hope the wedding goes well!
I don't know how life will change. I imagine that it will be more of a flow, that I will see thoughts and "my thoughts" and be less attached and compelled by them as I have in the past. I expect to suffer less and take like so much less personally. Meaning- less frantic about how life "needs" to work out for "me" etc.
This, and all your replies sound totally realistic, and I would say that any expectations can interfere with the process. It would be great to simply drop the expectations and dive into the work. If you are looking for certain results, you may not see what is happening.
I don't understand why i"m so caught up in identifying with my pesonalized self when I can never seem to find one. Maybe what is missing is what exactly I'm afraid of letting go of? I'm confused by this.
You clearly have done some looking before, so it would be great to try and work out what it is that is missing or clinging. It may simply be one area or aspect of experience, and hopefully we can uncover what that is.

If I say to you clearly right now that no separate self exists, does anything come up for you? Do you know what is missing? Do you know what you cling to?
I think it means that a guide will point me in the direction of looking to recognize that there is no "me" located in my brain or body. Right now this is an intellectual understanding for me. My attention seems to be identified with the contents of my mind which is always referencing "me". I have had fleeting glimpses of Being.
This is the key, moving from intellectual understanding to direct experience. The main way to do this is by looking, and seeing the difference between what is thought or constructed by thoughts and assumptions, and what is actually here in our experience.

Try this:

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for awhile.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling every thing into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.

Give it some time

Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects. Just look at the seeing itself. Observe the pure process of seeing. This is direct experience (DE).

Please let me know how this goes, and if you feel clear about the difference?

Best wishes,

Nic

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Nic,
If I say to you clearly right now that no separate self exists, does anything come up for you? Do you know what is missing? Do you know what you cling to?
There is a "but" that comes up. "But what about my wife and children?" "you mean it's not really "my" family"? A sense of fear comes us that I will lose something. I cling to a need for security. Something to rely on. The thought of emptiness produces fear. What is missing is trust and peace and openess to whatever is reality. I may be over reaching here but I think there is a young part of me that deeply fears abandonment and it's somehow the mind is conflating emptiness with isolation.
Please let me know how this goes, and if you feel clear about the difference?
This was quite interesting. I watched my mind label and compare. Catagorize and then even go off on some tangents pretty quickly.

When I just noticesdseeing, almost immediately i saw that everything was moving. trees, people, etc. I had not noticed this before. There was an aliveness and presence to everything. Thoughts would arise and I could ignore them most of the time.
There is a quality to the seeing that the mind can't capture. The difference seems to be a running commentary and pictures of life with many definitions, vs undefined and unlabeled movement or "flow"

Thanks,
Chaim

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi Nic,
If I say to you clearly right now that no separate self exists, does anything come up for you? Do you know what is missing? Do you know what you cling to?
There is a "but" that comes up. "But what about my wife and children?" "you mean it's not really "my" family"? A sense of fear comes us that I will lose something. I cling to a need for security. Something to rely on. The thought of emptiness produces fear. What is missing is trust and peace and openess to whatever is reality. I may be over reaching here but I think there is a young part of me that deeply fears abandonment and somehow the mind is conflating emptiness with isolation.
Please let me know how this goes, and if you feel clear about the difference?
This was quite interesting. I watched my mind label and compare. Catagorize and then even go off on some tangents pretty quickly.

When I just noticesd seeing, almost immediately i saw that everything was moving. trees, people, etc. I had not noticed this before. There was an aliveness and presence to everything. Thoughts would arise and I could ignore them most of the time.
There is a quality to the seeing that the mind can't capture. The difference seems to be a running commentary and pictures of life with many definitions, vs undefined and unlabeled movement or "flow"

Thanks,
Geoff

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:22 pm

Hi Geoff,
There is a "but" that comes up. "But what about my wife and children?" "you mean it's not really "my" family"? A sense of fear comes us that I will lose something. I cling to a need for security. Something to rely on. The thought of emptiness produces fear. What is missing is trust and peace and openess to whatever is reality. I may be over reaching here but I think there is a young part of me that deeply fears abandonment and somehow the mind is conflating emptiness with isolation.

I don't have a family, but relationships haven't suffered at all in my life. If anything, the less preoccupation with self means one is more available and connected. It is common to have fear and doubt, but in actuality nothing is lost except an illusion. You can think of it like this - if it was never there but always assumed, then what is lost apart from the assumption?

There is always the possibility that the sense of separation is what causes isolation, and thought causes the fear of it! Only what is separate can feel isolated right? Is there anything in experience right now which is to be feared except thought?


I hope that is useful; I don't want to give any expectations but the results of this enquiry were so much more a blessing than anything to fear.

When I just noticesd seeing, almost immediately i saw that everything was moving. trees, people, etc. I had not noticed this before. There was an aliveness and presence to everything. Thoughts would arise and I could ignore them most of the time.
There is a quality to the seeing that the mind can't capture. The difference seems to be a running commentary and pictures of life with many definitions, vs undefined and unlabeled movement or "flow"
Beautiful! This presence and flow is clear and refreshing isn't it? How would you describe it? Are you able to access it now as well? Is there anything that can obstruct that flow?

When you are looking, is there any sense of an I who is looking? Can you find the division between seer and seen? Of course thought will jump in, but in direct experience, can you find the two? We 'know' there are eyes and so on, but can you even find these in DE?

You could try the same with hearing - if you sit and listen, with the eyes closed, can you find a hearer? Can you find sound arising and an entity who is hearing the sound?

Best wishes,

Nic

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:54 pm

Hi Nic,
You can think of it like this - if it was never there but always assumed, then what is lost apart from the assumption?
Wow. This was so helpful. It kind of stopped me in my tracks. All the inner fear and drama just kind of dropped out. I don't really have anything to say but.. wow.
There is always the possibility that the sense of separation is what causes isolation, and thought causes the fear of it! Only what is separate can feel isolated right? Is there anything in experience right now which is to be feared except thought?
I have to share that I was in a restaurant with my wife and daughter when I read this. I read the last line and immediately burst out laughing. I couldn't stop for about 30 seconds. The laughter just kept coming. Something inside got a glimpse of the truth of it and laughter came out. My family was like "what the hell is going on??". I tried to explain but couldn't say much. The rest of the dinner was pretty surreal. The food was beyond delicious and even the rice seemed like a gift that I could eat it. Eating itself seemed like a gift. There was a lot of love and good feeling coming through and all I wanted to do was hug my family. My mind does not understand what happened. I know better than to assume anything about what this means as I have had a few openings like this before but I feel deeply grateful and hopeful that this can occur. In this moment I do feel less attached to the Chaim character. it's like - that's the guy I play on tv or something :o). Again- I don't expect this to continue but it's quite wonderful. I wonder if life is like this all the time for you. There's this sense of well being and openness. There are emotions but there is less of an attachment to them.

I'll try to answer your other questions tomorrow but i wanted to write this to you while it was still fresh.

In Gratitude,
Chaim

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:08 pm

Hi,

Should I call you Chaim then or Geoff?

Thanks for this, was funny and a pleasure to read! Sounds like a definite opening! I look forward to hearing how the exercise goes.

Best wishes,

Nic

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Hi Nic,
Sorry- if this is viewed publicly let's go by Geoff.
Is there anything in experience right now which is to be feared except thought?
I wanted to start with this again because it was so powerful and I wanted to look again. It's a great question and so humbling.
I was going to write "uncomfortable sensations" but that doesn't really make sense. I've noticed that I have a reflexive and immediate resistance to my stomach clenching like "oh no!" I can't see the thought but there is an immedate sense of aversion and almost panic when this happens. Is this aversion just more thought? Unconscious thought? IF this is more thought than the answer is a resounding NO. Though my stomach is bit clenched right now and I have no idea why. This is frustrating as there is nothing to be afraid of and yet there is still fear arising, and hanging around. Very different than my reaction last night which was to derinitely an opening.
There is always the possibility that the sense of separation is what causes isolation, and thought causes the fear of it! Only what is separate can feel isolated right?
This seems so true. I look forward to seeing this clearly . It had a lot more "pop"" to it last night. Please LMK if there is anything you would suggest in my looking to see this more clearly.
How would you describe it? Are you able to access it now as well? Is there anything that can obstruct that flow?


I am able to access the flow now. There doesn't seem to be anything that can obstruct it, rather attention can go off of it and onto thoughts.
When you are looking, is there any sense of an I who is looking? Can you find the division between seer and seen? Of course thought will jump in, but in direct experience, can you find the two? We 'know' there are eyes and so on, but can you even find these in DE?
Hmm. When I am looking, there doesn't seem to be a sense of an "I". I can't find any point of separation between seeing and seen. There is definitely something seen, but seeing and seen are not separate, and seer is such a good questions, i'm not sure who seer belongs to other than what I can reference in thoughts. So seer and seen are not separate but it's more inferred. When it comes to eyes i get confused. I can't find eyes in direct experience, but are you suggesting that seeing does not occur through eyes, retina, ocular nerve, brain? I get stuck on this point. as I know people who are blind, ei- eyes are not working and therefore don't see.
You could try the same with hearing - if you sit and listen, with the eyes closed, can you find a hearer? Can you find sound arising and an entity who is hearing the sound?
I can't find a hearer, only sounds arising and falling, They seem to be arising within something to something, bu that to which it is arising seems open and undefined, impersonal.

Thanks and looking forward to your response,
Geoff

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:25 pm

I've noticed that I have a reflexive and immediate resistance to my stomach clenching

Yes, body and mind are so connected. Have you had the experience of imagining a discussion or situation in which you are arguing about something, or setting the world to rights, and then realise that there is massive tension in the jaw, shoulders, or belly? So thought can create physical tension, and I think vice versa. Fear can arise as a response to an actual danger, or as a response to thoughts about danger. If this happens, Ive noticed you can release the tension in the body, or if you release the thought this can happen as well. What I was pointing to is that so often tensions and fear are simply mind-made, and have no basis in reality, even if they seem to pertain to a potential future event. 99% of what we worry about doesn't come to pass, so its so helpful to not let thought dictate our states. So learning to look at DE and distinguish it from thought experience can save us an awful lot of tension and worry!

This is frustrating as there is nothing to be afraid of and yet there is still fear arising, and hanging around. Very different than my reaction last night which was to derinitely an opening.

It is ok, an opening might lead to another layer being revealed maybe? Yet opening is available to you in every moment, it is just a matter of seeing and finding it. Again, it is only thought that stops the opening, and this means that opening is only a moment away. That open awareness is basically with you now, and in every moment, and it is only thoughts that obscure it. Once you see it, it is available, and you have had glimpses so this is wonderful.

There is always the possibility that the sense of separation is what causes isolation, and thought causes the fear of it! Only what is separate can feel isolated right?
This seems so true. I look forward to seeing this clearly . It had a lot more "pop"" to it last night. Please LMK if there is anything you would suggest in my looking to see this more clearly.

Well hopefully this whole process is literally about seeing this clearly!

I can't find any point of separation between seeing and seen. There is definitely something seen, but seeing and seen are not separate, and seer is such a good questions, i'm not sure who seer belongs to other than what I can reference in thoughts. So seer and seen are not separate but it's more inferred. When it comes to eyes i get confused. I can't find eyes in direct experience, but are you suggesting that seeing does not occur through eyes, retina, ocular nerve, brain? I get stuck on this point. as I know people who are blind, ei- eyes are not working and therefore don't see.

Nice looking. Yes so there is no separation between subject and object, or seer and seen, except what is inferred. This is what we need to see, as we do infer someone seeing. This creates that separation, yet it is not to be found. This isn't to say that eyes and nerves do not exist, or dispute the science of eyesight, but merely point that all of our knowledge and thought is what makes it so hard to land in direct experience.
When pointing to what we can know in DE, it is necessary to realise how our knowledge and intellect actually make that hard to see. Its like that old phrase, before enlightenment mountains are mountains (or eyes are eyes) and then they are not, and then after enlightenment mountains are mountains again. Do you see what I mean? Its like shaking our assumptions and showing how much we construct our world through the mind. One of the chief constructs, or assumptions, is this separate self, and in order to see clearly in DE that this doesn't exist and can't be found, we need to learn to separate the two (DE and thought-made experience)

It would be good to keep looking at this, for it to become really clear that in the seen there is only the seen, and that no seer can be found. In the heard only the heard, in the thought only the thought Try to keep with that enquiry for a while in daily life, and let me know if it suddenly becomes clear or if something else happens :)


Here is another exercise to help with this process (I am aware you might have a busy day or two, and hope it goes well so don't worry if theres no time I understand!)

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation ie is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.

For example: I am sitting on a chair, I am hearing a clock ticking, I am looking at a computer screen, I am feeling hungry. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs. For example: sitting on a chair, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing the clock. (Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labelled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
2. What is here without labels?
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:12 pm

HI Nic,
Just coming up for air from my daughters wedding last night (so wonderful!) and I"ll try to get back to you by end of day tomorrow or Sunday at latest. I was able to do the exercise. So interesting.

Thanks
Geoff

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Geoff
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Re: Awakening

Postby Geoff » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:43 pm

Hi NIc,
If this happens, Ive noticed you can release the tension in the body, or if you release the thought this can happen as well. What I was pointing to is that so often tensions and fear are simply mind-made, and have no basis in reality, even if they seem to pertain to a potential future event. 99% of what we worry about doesn't come to pass, so its so helpful to not let thought dictate our states. So learning to look at DE and distinguish it from thought experience can save us an awful lot of tension and worry!
I would love to hear more about how to release tension in the body if you don't mind sharing.
Try to keep with that enquiry for a while in daily life, and let me know if it suddenly becomes clear or if something else happens :)
I"ll try to so, there's been a lot intensity coming up which has quite frankly been distracting. I think my mind goes into "a how do I get out of this suffering/discomfort mode" It's quite a party :o)
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
2. What is here without labels?
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?
The exercise was quite interesting. Of course the second set of experiences were more true, more objective. Breathing is occurring is a more objective description than I am breathing.

What is here with out labels seems to be a flow arising experiences. Or maybe more precisely a noticing of arising experiences. For example, I just noticed the sound of the air conditioner. The sound has been here all along but didn't exist in my experience until attention noticed it. I also notice that without labels there is more of a quiet. More of an openess in which experience occurs.

Labels in no way could possibly effect the experience. I get kind of a "hit" when I reflect on this and it quiets me down for a minute. Then the mind starts labeling and attention seems to take them seriously which is frustrating Nic as on one level i can see it's the inner drama queen yet on another level i'm having a whole mind/body reaction can't seem to get attention off of it. (i do realize that last sentence is inherently flawed as it implies "I' can liberate myself from the "I" which is nonsensical.) Sometimes it feels like i'm in one of those chinese finger puzzles and keep saying "stop pulling" but he pulling continues.

The body seems more relaxed without the "i" though there seems to be alot of contraction and intensity. Less resistance to experience maybe? I know you mentioned another layer being revealed but it's confusing for me as if there is no separate self then what creates these layers? I notice false and limiting beliefs that seem to be operating in my subconsious. (fear of rejection, unworthiness etc) I apologize if i'm getting ahead of myself here. No need to address this if it's not on topic.

Best,
Geoff

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Skygazer74
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Re: Awakening

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:06 pm

Hi,
I would love to hear more about how to release tension in the body if you don't mind sharing.

Well its not really the subject of enquiry but I do it with breathing - breathing in I notice where there is tension and breathing out I release it. Shaking helps too, just kind of standing up and bouncing yourself up and down. TRE is useful if you are interested, trauma release exercises, you can look that up as its a bit more complex.


Of course the second set of experiences were more true, more objective. Breathing is occurring is a more objective description than I am breathing.


What is here with out labels seems to be a flow arising experiences. Or maybe more precisely a noticing of arising experiences. For example, I just noticed the sound of the air conditioner. The sound has been here all along but didn't exist in my experience until attention noticed it. I also notice that without labels there is more of a quiet. More of an openess in which experience occurs.

Great! That is exactly it, more an openness and less of taking it all personally..

Labels in no way could possibly effect the experience. I get kind of a "hit" when I reflect on this and it quiets me down for a minute. Then the mind starts labeling and attention seems to take them seriously which is frustrating

And mind does what it will do, until it doesn't. Of course labels and communication are still useful, and yes it can be like an automatic response. I wouldn't worry about it, trying to stop it won't help, it is more the seeing that labelling is not experience, and consequently thought is not the experience. Can thought experience anything? Is the frustration present in the body, or is it thought?


By looking and enquiring into direct experience, we just see the raw experience underlying mental activity, until it is clear that DE, or pure awareness, is inherently free from anything except the arising and passing of phenomena. It is free of any label, category, structure or duality, and is of course free of self. DE is even free of wanting and not wanting, free of time, space, and of course suffering. So all we have to do is look, and see that clearly. Yes the mind will kick up a bit of a fuss from time to time, and kind of wriggle and writhe, but that is all fine, it is part of the process. I shouldn't worry about it, or take it too seriously, rather just let it go and return to the looking and experiencing. I hope that is useful?

The body seems more relaxed without the "i" though there seems to be alot of contraction and intensity. Less resistance to experience maybe? I know you mentioned another layer being revealed but it's confusing for me as if there is no separate self then what creates these layers? I notice false and limiting beliefs that seem to be operating in my subconsious. (fear of rejection, unworthiness etc) I apologize if i'm getting ahead of myself here. No need to address this if it's not on topic.

I think what I said above answers some of this, except to say that there is a lifetime of conditioning and psychology! I think the key is to notice that the judgements, the frustration, the beliefs, are thoughts. It is so liberating to find the space around these thoughts, the sky of awareness in which all of these thoughts arise and pass. In every moment that spaciousness is there to be opened into, so that thought is less powerful.


Let's try this:


This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:-
Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.


Can you find the gaps between the thoughts?
What happens, what do you notice in the gaps?
Can you the boundless space of awareness around the thoughts?

Let me know how you go.


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