Separating fact from fiction

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:32 am

Hi OnlyOne,
In the mornings, within a minute or two of waking up, thought is seen/observed to start up and intense suffering appears. These are thick, and sticky thoughts with 'uncomfortable' feelings/sensation. This is best described as 'dread'. Each and every day, these are watched and felt as fully as possible without trying to label them. What is not there is also looked for and the reality of the experience is questioned. The feelings are identified in the background as 'bad' and happening to 'me'. It's an exhausting process which can go on for a couple of hours or more.
Thank you for sharing this with me. We can work with this.

It can address this from two angles.

Let’s investigate the me that this experience is happening TO.

I would like to ask you to start investigating the ‘me’, as soon as you wake up. If it helps, please write down these questions to a piece of paper and keep close to your bed, so you can look at them as soon as you wake up. Also it can help to re-read them when it seems that you are ‘swallowed up’ by this emotion.
The feelings are identified in the background as 'bad' and happening to 'me'.
As soon as the feeling is there, you can investigate it from two angles:

1. What does this sensation/feeling happening TO?
WHERE is the ‘me’ EXACTLY that is feeling is sensation/emotion?
Find its exact location.

The trend of certainty (for want of better words) can increase throughout the day with the intense, 'dread' sensations appearing periodically.
2. The sensation itself can be investigated too.

Put the attention onto the sensation.

Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is the ‘feeling of dread’?
Does the sensation contains the information that it is suffering?
Does the sensation communicate at any way that this sensation is bad?
What makes this sensation into the ‘feeling of dread’?
How do you know that this sensation is ‘bad’, ‘dread’ or ‘suffering’?


Please spend lots of time investigating these questions. Let me know what you find.

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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:32 pm

Hello Vivien,

Thank you for this.

I have looked at this today whilst that emotion arose and this approach has helped to separate and focus the observation. The acid test is in the morning and I have written down the questions and placed them next to my bed.

What does this sensation/feeling happening TO?

There is no actual experience of anything it's happening to.
WHERE is the ‘me’ EXACTLY that is feeling is sensation/emotion?

I can't find a separate 'me'.
Find its exact location.

I cannot.
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is the ‘feeling of dread’?

No, it's just a sensation.
Does the sensation contain the information that it is suffering?

No, it's devoid of any information stating it is suffering.
Does the sensation communicate at any way that this sensation is bad?

No, there's no inherent 'bad' property in it. When felt, isolated, it's just a sensation.
What makes this sensation into the ‘feeling of dread’?

Investigating this it seems to be a consequence of a 'feeling of dread' thought and a sensation connected through a believed 'me'.
How do you know that this sensation is ‘bad’, ‘dread’ or ‘suffering’?

It can't be known. If I really look for 'bad', 'dread', 'suffering' or similar label as a property of any actual experience in isolation, sensation or otherwise, it's not there although thought content suggests it is.

Something happened this afternoon whilst I was investigating and watching. There is still a sense of 'me' there but thoughts seemed to have lost some of their pull and it takes 'effort' to look at them. They are somehow less important. I will, however, continue to look for 'me'.

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:25 am

Hi OnlyOne,
Something happened this afternoon whilst I was investigating and watching. There is still a sense of 'me' there but thoughts seemed to have lost some of their pull and it takes 'effort' to look at them. They are somehow less important. I will, however, continue to look for 'me'.
It doesn’t matter if there is a ‘sense of self’ or not. We are not after an experience. We are not after having a different experience than this one. Seeing through the self is not about getting into a different experience/state where there is no sense of self.

It’s rather the simple RECOGNITION that there is no self at all, and it has never been.
But selfing thoughts still appear.

We're investigating the facts of reality, and not "how to not feel like a self or not to have a sense of self". So, the selfing feelings aren't the problem. The problem is that the facts of reality aren't clear.

But you did a nice looking.

Please stay with this ‘dread’ feeling in the morning for a few more days. Please investigate it every morning as soon as you wake up. This by itself can be enough to see through the self.

Look, if this sensation is BELONGING TO anything.
Is there an actual I/me that this sensation is being attached to?

Thoughts are saying that it’s ‘my feeling’, ‘it’s happening TO ME’.
But is there an ACTUAL ME that this sensation is happening to?

What is there an owner (a me) of this sensation?
Or is it rather free floating without being hooked to or attached to anything?


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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:31 pm

Hello Vivien,

Thank you. Your words are extremely helpful and direct.

Please stay with this ‘dread’ feeling in the morning for a few more days. Please investigate it every morning as soon as you wake up. This by itself can be enough to see through the self.

I will do this and look in the way you have explained previously. I did so this morning and found it difficult to get out of the morass of entangled thoughts and sensations. I will persist as I must.

Look, if this sensation is BELONGING TO anything.
Is there an actual I/me that this sensation is being attached to?

I am doing this repeatedly throughout the day and have also looked again at other actual experience. It has been much easier to observe that smells, colours, sounds and tastes are appearing to no one. I also noticed less intense sensations are easier to isolate. I have also been touching different things and noticing the texture/sensations appearing on their own. There is no feeling of fingers, just the texture sensation.

Thoughts are saying that it’s ‘my feeling’, ‘it’s happening TO ME’.
But is there an ACTUAL ME that this sensation is happening to?

There is no evidence of 'me' in actual experience. I am looking for it everywhere.

What is there an owner (a me) of this sensation?
Or is it rather free floating without being hooked to or attached to anything?

I can see that less intense sensations are free from any attachment. There is nothing attached which can be seen, smelt, tasted or heard in actual experience. There is nothing which is trying to experience them either, they're just there.

I will apply these questions to the 'feeling of dread'.

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:33 am

Hi OnlyOne,
I can see that less intense sensations are free from any attachment. There is nothing attached which can be seen, smelt, tasted or heard in actual experience. There is nothing which is trying to experience them either, they're just there.
Yes. It’s important to mention here that our aim is NOT the change the experience of this feeling/sensation. We are not after a better or more pleasant experience.

We are just investigating the facts of reality. So the aim is not to change or to get rid of this feeling/sensation, but rather to SEE clearly that it doesn’t happen TO anything.

To see that this feeling doesn’t happen TO YOU.
Since there is NO YOU, which this feeling could happen TO.
There is no evidence of 'me' in actual experience. I am looking for it everywhere.
And is there an evidence of ‘me’ in non-actual-experience?

Is there a me/OnlyOne AT ALL? At ANY 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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:49 pm

Hello Vivien,

I applied the questions/exercises this morning and it was subtly different. Looking at thought arising and then sensations appearing enabled a slightly better separation of sensations from thought.


And is there an evidence of ‘me’ in non-actual-experience?
Non-actual-experience - mind made content. There is only the suggestion of a 'me', which is believed. I can't find a 'real' me in there anywhere.

Why does this belief continue when there's no evidence of 'me'? There's no evidence of anyone there to 'have' a belief in the first place. It seems that thought content contains the belief to perpetuate and sustain itself; that seems to be an intellectual diversion going nowhere and beyond unravelling.

A 'me' is there pointing to something that's not there, that's what needs to be recognised.

Is there a me/OnlyOne AT ALL? At ANY time?

Is there a me which is seeing ... no.
Is there a me me which is smelling ... no.
Is there a me which is tasting ... no.
Is there a me which is listening ... no.
Is there a me which is feeling ... no.
Is there a me which is thinking ... no.

I can't find one. At all. At any time.

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:05 am

Hi OnlyOne,
Why does this belief continue when there's no evidence of 'me'? There's no evidence of anyone there to 'have' a belief in the first place.
What do you mean by ‘this belief continuing’?
Do you expect that the ‘sense of self’ stop appearing?
A 'me' is there pointing to something that's not there, that's what needs to be recognised.
Isn’t it recognized already?
What is missing for its recognition?
Is there a me which is seeing ... no.
Is there a me me which is smelling ... no.
Is there a me which is tasting ... no.
Is there a me which is listening ... no.
Is there a me which is feeling ... no.
Is there a me which is thinking ... no.

I can't find one. At all. At any time.
All right. So the self/me cannot be found.

How does it FEEL to see that the self cannot be found?
Is there any doubt?


Which is the truer statement:
The self cannot be found
or
There is NO self/me at all, and it has never been?


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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:18 pm

What do you mean by ‘this belief continuing’?

As the recognition that there is no one here is not fully realised and become 'truth', the sense that I am still something remains.
Do you expect that the ‘sense of self’ stop appearing?

No, but I would expect that when the 'sense of self' is looked at it would be recognised as false. Maybe have set myself up to fail with an expectation of how things would be and am constantly comparing.
Isn’t it recognized already?

There still appears to be 'searching' happening as thought content and there is attachment to that.
What is missing for its recognition?

I feel this is more like needing for something to be taken away rather than adding something.
How does it FEEL to see that the self cannot be found?

When I look and see and find nothing, there is a recognition of something obvious.
Is there any doubt?

Yes, maybe it's due to the thought that it can't be this simple followed by a desire to explain it intellectually.
Which is the truer statement:
The self cannot be found
or
There is NO self/me at all, and it has never been?

'There is NO self/me at all, and it has never been' has a stronger ring of truth to it.

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:46 am

Hi OnlyOne,
As the recognition that there is no one here is not fully realised and become 'truth', the sense that I am still something remains.
All right. Let’s clarify what we are doing here.

We are not after stopping the ‘sense of I’ or the ‘feeling of I’ to appear. We are not after changing the experience into a different state where the ‘sense of I’ never appear ever again.

We are not after to get into a different state that what is here right now. States comes and goes. They are never permanent.

Rather, we are after the FACTS of reality, to see that even though there is the appearance of a ‘sense of I’, there is no ACTUAL or REAL I behind words and sensations.

To see that thoughts and sensations doesn’t happen TO anything or anyone.
No, but I would expect that when the 'sense of self' is looked at it would be recognised as false.
Yes. This is what we are looking for. To see that although there is the appearance of a ‘sense of self’, there is NO ACTUAL self there. So upon looking it can be seen again and again that the self is just a fiction.
Maybe have set myself up to fail with an expectation of how things would be and am constantly comparing.
You have to be very careful with expectation. They easily ‘sneak in’. Watch out for any expectation.

All expectations, no matter what you expect is not what it is going to be like. Anytime you feel stuck, come back to expectations, if there is something that you think that should be happening, but it isn't- there is an expectation behind it. They are not useful but in the way.
There still appears to be 'searching' happening as thought content and there is attachment to that.
WHAT is doing the searching?
Find the searcher. Where is it?

And WHAT is attaching to the searching?
Find the one that is attaching. Where is it?

I feel this is more like needing for something to be taken away rather than adding something.
WHAT is it that has the need for something to be taken away?
Find the needER. Where is it?


Please be very thorough. Look many-many times during the day.

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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:50 pm

There seems to be a lot of validation and confirmation going on at the moment. Absence of someone? Check. Nothing there at all? Check. Thought content vs actual experience - untruth.

WHAT is doing the searching?

Searching is happening in thought. Thought arises to no one and to nothing.
Find the searcher. Where is it?

There isn't one there. Nobody is searching.
And WHAT is attaching to the searching?

In actual experience, zero.
Find the one that is attaching. Where is it?

It can never be found because it isn't there.
WHAT is it that has the need for something to be taken away?

It's a story, made up by thought.
Find the needER. Where is it?

The needER is an illusion. A suggestion which doesn't exist.

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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:58 pm

I forgot to say hello Vivien and thank you!

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:28 am

Hi OnlyOne,

We are going to investigate how a decision is made.

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?

Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
WHERE is the controller/me?

How is the decision made?
Is there a decision maker/me?


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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:49 pm

Hello Vivien,

This was an interesting exercise. I found it difficult to do it without at least being aware of thought happening. There was also some resistance to it.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?

There's nothing there which is choosing. Thought suggests that choosing is happening (it seems to be self referencing as part of the thought) but there's nothing there that the thought is appearing to. The absence of a chooser is more apparent when hands are raised quickly (very small interval in between raising either hand). If hands are raised more slowly (longer interval in between raising hands and more attention on the thought), the thought is more convincing.
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?

Outside of thought, no I can't.
Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?

There's definitely nothing which can be found which is doing this.
WHERE is the controller/me?

There is no controller entity.
How is the decision made?

I'm finding this impossible to answer unless I reference thought content.
Is there a decision maker/me?

No. Even if a decision was made, it wouldn't have been made by anything - that's logic which may be irrelevant though.

I found it easier to observe body actions happening of their own accord in normal day to day activity. Sitting down and doing something more 'deliberate', less so.

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Vivien
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:28 am

Hi OnlyOne,
This was an interesting exercise. I found it difficult to do it without at least being aware of thought happening.
What is the problem that there were thoughts appearing?
Is there an expectation that thoughts will be switched off, or at least lessened?
There was also some resistance to it.
What was this resistance about? Could you please tell a bit more about it?
If hands are raised more slowly (longer interval in between raising hands and more attention on the thought), the thought is more convincing.
Please repeat the same exercise a few more times. But this time slowly, very slowly.
And investigate:

Is there a chooser/me when the movements are slow?

WHERE is this me/chooser/decider EXACTLY? – tell me the exact location
I found it easier to observe body actions happening of their own accord in normal day to day activity. Sitting down and doing something more 'deliberate', less so.
So make a deliberate decision to when and which hand to raise.

WHERE is the self/me/I that is making deliberate decision? – find its exact location

If there is one, it should be easy to find :)

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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OnlyOne
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Re: Separating fact from fiction

Postby OnlyOne » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:38 pm

Hello Vivien,

What is the problem that there were thoughts appearing?

You mentioned when doing the exercise -Don't go to thoughts, examine your experience. Withrawing attention away from thought is what was difficult.

Is there an expectation that thoughts will be switched off, or at least lessened?

No lessensing, but rather seeing the way in that they are not personal to anyone.

What was this resistance about? Could you please tell a bit more about it?

I read the questions and thought content was already anticipating what the outcome would be. I found it difficult to put that to one side and look at direct experience only. There was expectation there.

Please repeat the same exercise a few more times. But this time slowly, very slowly.
And investigate:


Is there a chooser/me when the movements are slow?

Choosing thought appear but those are not chosen by anything.

WHERE is this me/chooser/decider EXACTLY? – tell me the exact location

There definitely isn't one.


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