Just another story -- the singing of seeking

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:23 am

No problem. Thank you for letting me know :)
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:25 am

Thanks again!
So what do you tell me (to your five-year old friend)? How do you know that the cup in your hand is real?

And how do you know that a ghost is not real?

If the question and resulting answer seems too simplistic, good. It's leading us where we need to go.
Keeping this simple: I know the cup is real because I can touch it right now. I can't touch a ghost.
Or to keep with the metaphor, I'd put the cup in my five-year old friend's hand and have them feel it. I'd have them drink water from the cup.
A ghost cannot be touched. It cannot be seen (unless it can, but that's not helpful for this answer). The cup can be experienced directly.

---

Had a bit of an experience (although dunno if that's the right word) the other night when I couldn't sleep. Uhm, dunno if this would count as breaking the rule of 'no other teachers' but went and read some other posts on the forum. On another post somewhere, you asked someone 'where do you feel the I?' This is a question that I've explored before and in the past it felt like the 'I' is related to any sensation that arises ("I'm feeling this; I'm seeing that") but I suddenly realized that the sense of 'I' occurs with a thought. It's the thought that brings the sense of 'I'. The sense of 'I' isn't actually there all the time, but the thought reifies and says that it always is. Like for example typing happens but it's a thought that makes the connection "I'm typing" and then it seems like I'm the one doing it. The sense of I actually feels a lot more fragile than it used to, like it used to be something really sticky and now it's a maybe thing.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:16 am

Hi Isaac,
On another post somewhere, you asked someone 'where do you feel the I?' This is a question that I've explored before and in the past it felt like the 'I' is related to any sensation that arises ("I'm feeling this; I'm seeing that") but I suddenly realized that the sense of 'I' occurs with a thought. It's the thought that brings the sense of 'I'. The sense of 'I' isn't actually there all the time, but the thought reifies and says that it always is. Like for example typing happens but it's a thought that makes the connection "I'm typing" and then it seems like I'm the one doing it. The sense of I actually feels a lot more fragile than it used to, like it used to be something really sticky and now it's a maybe thing.
Great! Nice looking.

But now we have to go back to investigate the difference between experience and thought, since seeing the difference is the bases of this investigation.
Keeping this simple: I know the cup is real because I can touch it right now. I can't touch a ghost.
Or to keep with the metaphor, I'd put the cup in my five-year old friend's hand and have them feel it. I'd have them drink water from the cup.
A ghost cannot be touched. It cannot be seen (unless it can, but that's not helpful for this answer). The cup can be experienced directly.
So the cup is real because it can be experienced with the 5 senses, right?
And the ghost is not real, since it cannot be experienced at all, isn’t it?


Look at thoughts. Remember a cup in front of you is real, tangible. It "exists" in a way that can be examined with the senses. Anyway, the cup can be pointed to and verified.

Why doesn't that happen with thought?

Why can’t you touch a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?
Why can’t you feel a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?

Why can’t you point your finger to a thought?


Can you see that there are ONLY TWO options:
Either EXPERIENCING something by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing, etc
or
IMAGINING = THINKING
Is this totally clear?


Please really-really examine these questions. Be very thorough. Don’t rush through this, since this is the BASIS of everything we are looking at here.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:48 am

Hey! Had some urgent things arise; I may not respond until after Wednesday, but I'm spending a lot of time every day looking. Every free moment and also dedicated time. Really, really want to be thorough with this. Sorry for the inconsistency -- after Wednesday I should be backe to a more consis6tent schedule. Thanks so much!^

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:05 am

No problem. Thank you for letting me know.

Have a nice day,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:27 am

Hey Vivien! I’m so sorry; I didn’t intend to let this dip happen in the Looking. My life conditions have been such that it’s been hard to take time just for looking and I felt ashamed at not being able to ‘make progress’, which is also just an idea. I’m just gonna continue on rather than get lost in the spinning thoughts.
As a quick note: my keyboard started malfunctioning last week sometime. The w, x, and 2 keys are breaking and only sometimes work. I’ll try to catch any misspelled words but I apologize if any mistakes slip past.

So of the time spent on looking at these questions, had a few experiences of insight. This seems almost hard to talk about because talking about it makes it conceptual but I’ll do my best. I understand that the truth is not a state of consciousness to be reached – the light show is not the purpose.
First, I realized that what I originally thought of as Looking was really just looking at thoughts. There’s a difference between Thinking and Looking; I know this is one of the first things you describe but it’s not enough to just hear that there’s a difference.
One experience that arose is sitting and ‘trying’ to meditate. There was this pressure that seems like it takes the space of the middle of my head, a sort of awareness of the veins pulsing on the side of my head. The pressure felt discomforting and there was a desire to dissolve the sensation. The desire to dissolve the sensation is just a story, though. Just an imagining that a sensation should be something other than it is. So the thought arose that “I should stop resisting this sensation.” Then the thought arose “why am I resisting this sensation? I’m gonna stop resisting now.” And then…nothing changed. Except after a few moments, I realized that the only difference is that thought is saying something about the sensation. It is just thought that’s saying “I am resisting this” or “I am not resisting this”; the sensation itself doesn’t change but the thought creates the illusion of resistance.

Also – I really don’t want to get lost in chasing experiences, but I want to report something that happened in one of these meditation sessions because it was odd. There was this sort of realization that there’s another type of thought besides just mental words. I was focusing on the sensation of the pressure in the ‘middle of my head’, and then I realized that ‘this is happening in the middle of my head’ is just a thought, but almost like on a visual/spatial level. In the mental space there arises a sort of internal image of the body. Like the idea that there is separation between an ‘I’ and this sensation is just a thought happening. For awhile I watched how the sensations ‘in my body’ weren’t really ‘in my body’; they just are. There’s a feeling that is labelled as the image of ‘my hand’. I don’t think I’m describing this very well and it’s possible that this is just a tangential experience.
I don’t know if I’m looking properly or looking well enough but I don’t want to be paralyzed by the fear of failure, so I’m just doing the best I can to let response happen.
I don’t even know what I mean by ‘I’ anymore. Resistance happens but resistance happens automatically. Sensation called anxiety happens; ‘I’ don’t intend it to happen. A state of being labelled as Awareness or Consciousness also seems to be happening all on its own; I don’t control what ‘I’ am aware of. There is a sense of being in control of things but no direct proof that control actually exists.
Anyway, back to the questions. Just felt the need to write about where experience has been since it’s been so long since the last post. Hope to be more consistent from now on, but it seems pointless to make a promise if control of life isn’t actually there.
Why doesn't that happen with thought?

Why can’t you touch a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?
Why can’t you feel a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?

Why can’t you point your finger to a thought?

Can you see that there are ONLY TWO options:
Either EXPERIENCING something by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing, etc
or
IMAGINING = THINKING
Is this totally clear?
I see that thought isn’t grounded in reality; thoughts often stem from what’s real but they don’t always tell truths about it. Like the thought ‘I am resisting this’ versus the thought “I am not resisting this” doesn’t actually change the reality of experience. Also when watching thoughts, they quickly start telling more and more crazy or intense stories. Sometimes in meditation or when laying in bed thoughts tell fears like ‘he didn’t answer the phone tonight; what if he died?’ and then thoughts build on thoughts to make a fear that isn’t actually grounded in reality at all – just imaginings about reality.
At first it seems like thought is connected to sensation, so at first thought said ‘a thought can be pointed towards by pointing towards the sensation’, but maybe this is actually just a thought about the sensation. Like the thought that if I pay attention to a hard sensation, it will dissolve. That’s a thought that has been drilled into my head from reading other people, but it’s just a thought and not an experience.
So I want to say that thoughts can’t be touched because thoughts aren’t real, but that’s not exactly the nature of this experience, at least so far. Thoughts happen – in current experience, thoughts themselves are real but the things that thoughts say aren’t real. At least that’s what clarity looks like for me right now.
It’s so easy to say ‘for me’ or ‘I’m gonna try to do this’ and I catch myself every time I say it because I really don’t know what I mean by that. I genuinely don’t know what I’m pointing to when I say ‘I’. It’s like I’m pointing to all the things that are happening on the screen, like typing or thinking or feeling or being aware, and none of this is something that ‘I’ have control over.

Thanks so much for the patience in the delay! Hope everything’s well. ^o^

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:45 am

Hi Isaac,

I’m glad you are back :)
First, I realized that what I originally thought of as Looking was really just looking at thoughts. There’s a difference between Thinking and Looking; I know this is one of the first things you describe but it’s not enough to just hear that there’s a difference.
Yes, there is a big difference. It’s the matter of reality/experience and fiction/thoughts.
So the thought arose that “I should stop resisting this sensation.” Then the thought arose “why am I resisting this sensation? I’m gonna stop resisting now.” And then…nothing changed. Except after a few moments, I realized that the only difference is that thought is saying something about the sensation. It is just thought that’s saying “I am resisting this” or “I am not resisting this”; the sensation itself doesn’t change but the thought creates the illusion of resistance.
Yes, excellent looking.
There was this sort of realization that there’s another type of thought besides just mental words. I was focusing on the sensation of the pressure in the ‘middle of my head’, and then I realized that ‘this is happening in the middle of my head’ is just a thought, but almost like on a visual/spatial level. In the mental space there arises a sort of internal image of the body.
Yes, there are not just verbal thoughts, but visual thoughts.
I don’t know if I’m looking properly or looking well enough but I don’t want to be paralyzed by the fear of failure, so I’m just doing the best I can to let response happen.
No, you definitely don’t have to be paralyzed by fear of failure :)
This looking is not about failing or not failing, rather it’s about seeing if there is a ‘me’ at all who could fail.
So I want to say that thoughts can’t be touched because thoughts aren’t real, but that’s not exactly the nature of this experience, at least so far. Thoughts happen – in current experience, thoughts themselves are real but the things that thoughts say aren’t real. At least that’s what clarity looks like for me right now.
Yes, thoughts are happening. But what the thought is about, the content is not happening, not real.

Let’s look at this a bit more closely.

Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:

Is there a spoon here, in real life?
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
What happened to the spoon?
Did it disappear or it never existed?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:16 am

Good afternoon! I have a strangely severe headache so my post may be shorter tonight, but striving to keep to straight looking.
Imagined a spoon as vividly as possible. Picked up a real spoon and felt the way it touched my hand, then imagined the spoon in the hand when it wasn’t really there. Even tried to assign the feeling ‘spoon’ to the sensations in the hand.
Is there a spoon here, in real life?
Nope, no spoon.
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
No spoon is being experienced in real life, just imaginations. No direct experience of spoon.
What happened to the spoon?
Did it disappear or it never existed?
Nothing happened to the spoon because the spoon was never there. Thinking/daydreaming about the spoon dissolved but the spoon itself never existed.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:30 am

Hi Isaac,

Nice looking.
Picked up a real spoon and felt the way it touched my hand, then imagined the spoon in the hand when it wasn’t really there.
….Nothing happened to the spoon because the spoon was never there. Thinking/daydreaming about the spoon dissolved but the spoon itself never existed.
Now you can see the difference between experience (reality) and fiction/imagination (thought).
This will be the bases, the tool, when looking for the self. Seeing the difference between experience and imagination.

You wrote this in your introduction:
The sense of a self here. I feel like I look through these eyes, though looking happens automatically.
Please find the exact physical location where the ‘sense of self’ is where the looking through the eyes happen FROM.
Where is this location exactly where seeing is happening FROM?

When you have found the place, just FEEL what is there. Just FEEL it.

What is it felt there exactly?

Can you FEEL a self/me there?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:33 am

Hey!
Please find the exact physical location where the ‘sense of self’ is where the looking through the eyes happen FROM.
Where is this location exactly where seeing is happening FROM?
In searching directly, AE points towards the eyes. All that is felt directly is sensation in the eyes.
There’s a sort of visual-imagery thought of trying to look deeper than the sensation of the eyes, but realized that this is just a thought. Any ‘sense of self’ coming from deeper than the eyes is just a thought about it. Err, want to try to clarify on this.
“The mind” (which really just means thoughts) tries to take ‘Looking’ and do this with thoughts that aren’t words. A sort of mental scanning of the places in the head, trying to find the exact place where Seeing comes from. This happened a lot and felt like it was ‘Me’ trying to Think my way there but then realized that this was just a thought happening automatically and not Me doing it. Got really frustrated at first about how even if I know the difference between Reality and Imagination, Imagination keeps happening – but that frustration has kinda faded away lately because I’m not the one doing it, it’s just happening.
In direct experience, though, tracing the place where Seeing comes from just goes right back to the sensations of the eyes.
What is it felt there exactly?
Just physical sensation. Not quite tightness, not quite prickling. Not really sure how to describe it. I just feel the eyes being there.

Can you FEEL a self/me there?
No, nothing except physical sensation. Realized that ‘I’ is identified with Feeling things. There is sensation in the area of the chest; sometimes it is called ‘I’. If there is a sensation called a headache, it is sometimes called ‘mine’. Cannot find anything other than feelings. Really don’t know what ‘I’ is supposed to feel like.

Um…one more thing wanted to share; sorry for the tangents but these experiences are fascinating and nowhere else to talk about them with. The other day there was this sort of realization that whenever anxiety happens there is this sense of hyper-active energy in the chest. It was more like a sense of recognition than just a thought, like ‘woah this feels like what’s speaking the anxiety thoughts’. I know sensations cannot speak about other sensations; thoughts cannot think, more like one thought happens after another so clearly this could be a red herring. But experientially, things really have been a little quieter since then. Seems like there is a sort of disidentification going on, like slowly realizing that these things that happen are not ‘me’ dpoopoing it.

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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:53 am

Can't figure out how to edit on the phone so wanted to add to the tangent -- or the idea of disentangling identific ation is just the story thoughts are saying now, but there absolutely is a sort of growing sense of peace as direct experience is paid attention to and imaginations are increasingly perceived as fiction.
Although some sensations are not always seen through. Headaches and toothaches have been happening lately and though clearly these are happening automatically there is still a desire for the sensation perceived as painful to stop happening.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:19 am

Hi Isaac,
Can't figure out how to edit on the phone so wanted to add to the tangent
The forum cannot be edited. Once you submitted it, that’s it. No second chance :)
The other day there was this sort of realization that whenever anxiety happens there is this sense of hyper-active energy in the chest. It was more like a sense of recognition than just a thought, like ‘woah this feels like what’s speaking the anxiety thoughts’. I know sensations cannot speak about other sensations; thoughts cannot think, more like one thought happens after another so clearly this could be a red herring.
Please bring up the memory of anxiety or any other emotion, like anger, sadness, fear, frustration, etc. You don’t have to make it too strong, just enough to be able to work with.

So when the sensation of anxiety is there, just FEEL it. And as you feel it, investigate:

What is it that is feeling it?
Where is the FEELER of this sensation?
What does this sensation happening TO?


You can do this whenever any emotion or mood is present. Stop for a moment, and inquire.
Headaches and toothaches have been happening lately and though clearly these are happening automatically there is still a desire for the sensation perceived as painful to stop happening.
WHAT has the desire for painful sensations to stop? What is desiring it?
Try to find the owner of the desire.
Seems like there is a sort of disidentification going on
What is it that is disindentifying from the self?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:01 am

Hi Isaac,

How is looking going? Are you still with me?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:46 am

Hi Isaac,

Let’s start it again. We are going to touch on expectations again, since as we talked about it before, they are very important.

Could you tell me what is it that you expect to happen with this inquiry?
What is it that you are trying to achieve or reach to?
Do you have a goal? Or a desire? Something you would hope that will happen?

How do you imagine how seeing no-self would be like and feel like?


Please be as specific as you can.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:54 am

Hi Vivien,
Thank you so, so much for welcoming me back.

I normally meditate twice a day for 20-30 minutes; from now on, I will dedicate one of these sessions to focusing on this inquiry process. I understand consistency is key. I also promise not to follow other teachings for the duration of this pointing (I had been doing a lot of Ramana Maharashi's enquiry lately). I also understand I need to be honest and that last time, I feel I sometimes answered what I knew needed to be said instead of my desires in direct experience. It is easy to understand intuitively that if there is no self already then grandiose changes are a fantasy, but in my own experience I do still have certain desires.
Could you tell me what is it that you expect to happen with this inquiry?
I expect to explore my own direct experience and learn to see life as it is. It seems that there is a persistent illusion of a sense of self; I expect to disidentify with what I'm not.
What is it that you are trying to achieve or reach to?
Do you have a goal? Or a desire? Something you would hope that will happen?
There's a hope of finding Wu Wei, of being at ease with life in all its turns. I know it's not realistic but there's a desire to be in a sort of endless flow state where I don't have to worry about what I think or say, maybe a freedom from anxiety or "should".

I desire a lasting transformative change. There is this sense of something missing, though for the life of me no amount of internal exploration can actually say WHAT seems to be missing.

I really, deeply want to help. I see so much suffering in the world, and I know I'm part of it. I feel like my actions can contribute to pain when I'm not aware or present enough -- I have an engrained pattern of disappearing or "going offline" and I'm scared of life passing me by. I'm scared of not living. I know the purpose of this enquiry isn't for mental health but there's a consistent belief that seeing the truth of no self will be taking a step towards changing patterns. In current life experience, there are some habits of action and thought that feel sticky; there is a belief that seeing the truth of no self will help erode the foundation these experiences stick on.
I want to help others find truth; I want to be able to guide others and maybe make life a little more enjoyable.
How do you imagine how seeing no-self would be like and feel like?
In some meditation experiences, by watching thoughts happen, I eventually reach this place where it's clearly obvious that I'm not what's controlling the thoughts. This only happens in a good meditation session and for a period of time after, and there's an intuitive extrapolation this must be true. I guess I imagine that seeing no self would feel like that more consistently.

There's also this sort of internal, deep desire for a psychedelic-like loss of the psychic sense of self, like losing the centricity and identifying with the whole screen of experience. Desire for Oneness.

I know these answers are not "right" but I also understand that for this exploration to be fruitful, I need to be completely honest.


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