friday night!

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:19 am

Hi nass,

In the apple exercise, usually you would write your comparison:

1. Imaginary fruit (describe the experience, comparing to #2 and #3)

2. Real fruit (describe the experience, comparing to #1 and #3)

3. Description (describe the experience, comparing to #1 and #2)

OR describe each one

1. description
2. description
3. description

then a paragraph comparing all 3.

You did it differently, but I believe you got the gist of the exercise.

I'm pretty sure I responded to what you wrote:
Also you mention sending documents and refering me to books if I still want them, but I have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe you take me for someone else?
Didn't you say you wanted more exercises? (quoted below) I just said there are plenty & you can have as many as you like.
When you asked about the self, I was like "I'm not ready yet, I want more exercises!".
This is the next exercise:
Can you find any "self" or "I" or "me" that is equally real', vivid, genuine, immediate?" Or not?

LOOK very carefully. We've noted there is no self "behind the eyes." Where is it? Or is there such a thing?

What is found?
Is that clearer?

Good night!
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:34 am

Ok, I'll answer those again:
Can you find any "self" or "I" or "me" that is equally real', vivid, genuine, immediate?" Or not?
No.
LOOK very carefully. We've noted there is no self "behind the eyes." Where is it? Or is there such a thing?
It is embedded in most thoughts. The "sense" is stronger when not focused on, because assumed, implied.
What is found?
Nothing. Phenomena and thoughts arise and go.

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:28 pm

Good morning!
What is found?
Nothing. Phenomena and thoughts arise and go.
Exactly right. Good. Yet there *is* what I call "awareness." That's real. Awareness doesn't disappear. It just isn't a "self." This can be confusing. We're using words for things that have no words, and so, it is inevitably a bit inaccurate, but it's the best we can do. Some people use, "consciousness." I don't. Where I live "conscious" has become a marketing word, like "artisanal." We even have a company called "Conscious Coffee." And conscious can imply effort or focus, which simply isn't required. Awareness happens best in relaxation, meditation, calm. There is no effort. It just IS.
It is embedded in most thoughts. The "sense" is stronger when not focused on, because assumed, implied.
Exactly - content of thought about more content of thought. Let's try this one:


Mind Labelling Experience

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 i.e. is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”. Post it here as a list like this:

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, separately, one at a time, for clarity:

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? Please describe the location and sensations, briefly. Things bodies can feel pressure, temperature, tightness, relaxation, etc. (not emotions - those are content of thought)



Have fun with it.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Haha, what a nice exercise! Let me post the lists as blocks of text, otherwise it would be too long (I didn't use pen and paper):

"I"
I am seeing my hands on the keyboard. I am sitting on a chair. I am tasting the taste of a drink in my mouth. I am seeing a tree outside. I am thinking about the correct wording. I am feeling my butt on the chair. I am drinking. I am tasting chocolate flavored drink. I am taking a deep breath. I am thinking about what time it is. I am seeing the time on the screen. I am feeling my forearms pressing on the table. I am swallowing. I am rotating my torso to strech my back. I am feeling my belly touching the t-shirt. I am hearing the sound of air going in and out of my nose. I am swallowing. I am feeling my cold feet. I am exhaling. I am remembering to pay attention to tensions or relaxation. I am checking the sample list if the words I use are ok. I am thinking there’s only a minute left. I am scratching my forehead. I am listening to the sound of the scratching. I am moving one of my legs onto the chair. I am thinking about wanting the exercise to be over. I am touching my teeth with my tongue.

"no I"
typing on the keyboard seeing a glass breathing feeling cold fingers typing on the keyboard thinking looking at a pen looking outside the window smiling thinking looking at the fridge looking at the words on the screen chuckling feeling cold fingers smiling hearing the clock ticking focusing on the sound of the clock seeing the cellphone turning the head looking outside the window hearing the fridge starting to buzz seeing the dishes inhaling thinking smiling waiting scratching a cheek straightening the back looking at left hand looking at the veins looking on the floor feeling relaxed smiling exhaling hearing the sound of the fridge trying to hear the sound of the clock looking at the plants thinking looking at the sky smiling looking at the plants seeing chairs seeing paper seeing a card thinking exhaling checking the time moving hands typing words smiling laughing looking at the clock seeing a glass feeling the forearms on the table breathing relaxing the face thinking getting bored moving eyes moving eyes closing eyes seeing dark feeling cold fingers licking lips breathing thinking

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
I'm not sure about the word "truer", but let me say that the second part felt closer to reality, more immediate, dumb... so yes, the second part was truer when it was typed. When I looked at the two texts afterwards, the first one seemed "truer", since it gave some information about the subject. Then again it started to look ridiculous. Now the second seems truer.

2. What is here without labels?
What is. Or we can label it "experience".

3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
I don't know.
Well, they definitely don't affect the one being experienced. I guess that's what the question was about. Just as the name doesn't affect the mountain, the label doesn't do anything to the experience. It points to it.

4. Did you notice any differences in the body?
I'm not able to give the locations precisely, I didn't pay much attention to that, but: althought I was relaxed during the first part, there was what felt as less tension during the second; there was something very lightly tingly or tickly soon after the beginning of the second part in my torso, there were tensions in my face as I smiled, and then again relaxation of the face when I stopped smiling; towards the end of the second part, when I closed my eyes and was waiting for another sensation or thought, there was nothing - it can't be described as a bodily sensation, but seems like appropriate to note here.


I felt light and giggly after the end of the exercise, then when I was giving the answers, there was more tension again. I'm gonna experiment with the "no I" some more, seems like a good direction. I mean..
there was feeling of low tension and gigglines after the end of the exercise; then when the answers were being given, there was more tension again. more experimentation is imagined to take place with the "no I", seems like a good direction.
(I'm trained in gestalt psychotherapy so I'm used to appropriate actions, feelings and utterances to myself, as opposed to saying e.g. "one always wants to belong...", so abandoning this perspective and getting impersonal seems like betraying some principles; now when described like this, it seems right and fun.)

Thank you, I'm looking forward to next pointing.

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:36 am

Hi nass,

Glad you liked the exercise. Of course, liking isn't a prerequisite to having them "help" or be "useful" to SEEING.
I'm not sure about the word "truer"
Understood. Many don't like using that word. Within the limitations of language, meaning that as soon as a thing is named. it's a lie, because the name will never be the thing named, within that limit, it can be useful. Just like your mountain example. But that's philosophy. Let's keep LOOKING.
I felt light and giggly after the end of the exercise
Yes! Typically, that's how "truth" or "what is " which we call Actual or Direct Experience here, feels... expansive, "light & giggly."

Conversely. "lies," or what is not AE or DE does, as you noticed, feel tense or some call it "contracted" or "heavy."

Noticing AE versus content of thought (stories, made up, not "real) is the point of this exercise. You've got it. Excellent.

Notice how this is SEEN & FELT? It's undeniable.


Label-Reality Correlation

There is a belief that labels have a one-to-one correspondence with ‘reality’. But there isn’t. Just like it is a generally accepted belief that labels like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are inherent characteristics of ‘things’. But actually, they are not.

When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’ , what is the actual experience?

Is the colour red ‘experienced’, or is the colour green ‘experienced’ as the label suggests?

Does the label ‘GREEN’ have a one-to-one correspondence with ‘reality’? Or does the label suggest something else other than what is here now (red colour)?

Is 'green' associated in any way with the experience of the colour red; or is green just a label that overlays the actual experience of red?

If the label ‘GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’ , is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?

Does redness become ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on ‘reality’?


I realize some of these will be easy for you, but the practice of LOOKING is what matters.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:23 am

Yes, this seems rather easy.
When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’ , what is the actual experience?
colours
Is the colour red ‘experienced’, or is the colour green ‘experienced’ as the label suggests?
red is experienced
Does the label ‘GREEN’ have a one-to-one correspondence with ‘reality’? Or does the label suggest something else other than what is here now (red colour)?
no, no direct correspondence. the map is not the territory.
Is 'green' associated in any way with the experience of the colour red; or is green just a label that overlays the actual experience of red?
just an overlaying label, associated by thought (habit, agreement)
If the label ‘GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’ , is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?
no
Does redness become ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on ‘reality’?
there's no effect on "reality"

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:52 pm

Okay, good. Following up on that...

Friend/Stranger

Bring up a thought about a character labelled "friend".
Then bring up a thought about a character labelled "stranger".

Compare these thoughts.
Is there a difference in these thoughts?
Is there a true difference or is it just different content?

Now, bring up a thought about a character labelled "friend".
After that, look at a thought about the character labelled "me”.

Is there a difference?
Is there anything special about thoughts with the content "me-character"?



The next one will be different.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:12 pm

(friend vs. stranger) Is there a difference in these thoughts?
Is there a true difference or is it just different content?
There isn't. Just different content.

(friend vs me) Is there a difference?
Is there anything special about thoughts with the content "me-character"?
No difference. The "me-thought" isn't special in itself.
When repeatedly bringing up the "friend" thought, the attention seems to stay on thoughts, when focusing on "me", there's switching between thoughts and sensations, as in the thought "this is my body and sensations".

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:00 am

There are some questions here, too.

Is there ANY relation between the content of the thought and the physical body?
Since there isn't any experience of any object or body, is it just a content of thought?
How can a thought - or any sensation - be known?

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 am

Hi nass,
, when focusing on "me", there's switching between thoughts and sensations, as in the thought "this is my body and sensations".
Could that be because of more attachment to the "me" thoughts? Don't worry about it. Just keep LOOKING.
s there ANY relation between the content of the thought and the physical body?
Since there isn't any experience of any object or body, is it just a content of thought?
I cannot answer any questions for you. I can guide you to your own answers. And I will. There are body exercises, but we aren't quite there yet. Those will help.
How can a thought - or any sensation - be known?
Thought? Or Thought Arising? Or Sensation? Your question has confusing conflations. These exercises will bring you to your answers.

Remember...

Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (sensation only, not emotions)
Tasting
Smelling
Thought Arising (not content of thought)


Here is the next exercise. You seem to SEE that Thought Arising happens and content of thought is made up. This exercise puts it together in an interesting way. If you don't like soccer, you can find something else, maybe an Olympic sport you like.

Sports Exercise

Please note that you will have to check the link when using this exercise, to make sure it is still viable, as sometimes they are removed from YouTube.

The following link is a 7 minute clip of a soccer game. If you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy5pL-myDzw


1. Watch one minute with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in, the whole experience.

2. Once the first minute is completed, now watch another whole minute with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (thought) offers lots of know-how, even advice. It seems to feel as though they can influence, somehow, what is going on, as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome. The commentary may seem to heighten any supporter feelings which are there, and call for an identification with one team or other, and with the importance of the game itself.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary, the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Again notice all the differences in what is appearing as experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.

What did you find when doing this exercise?

Is the commentary on the soccer game a necessity for the play to happen?

And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?


Fun, isn't it?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:00 am

Good morning Stacy,
What did you find when doing this exercise?
With the sound off, there wasn't a context for what was going on on the screen. At times there was more focus on what was actually happening (or what was actually seen) and then there was more focus on thoughts (unrelated to the match), which sort of "turned off" the seeing. It seems one could look at the images on the screen for a long time, focusing on thoughts ("being lost in thoughts") and not seeing (or remembering) any of the content. The commentary adds a layer or filter of meaning.

Is the commentary on the soccer game a necessity for the play to happen?
No. It's added post-hoc.

And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
No.
There's a doubt, though, regarding the analogy. After the soccer example, I watched a cycling video - the principle and conclusion was the same, the race happens regardless of the commentary. However, if a rider had the commentary streamed to his earpiece (which sometimes they do), the race would have a different development. So althought the commentary isn't necessary, it can seemingly influence the happening. But now I imagine we can't mix the external commentary with the happening itself, because if it was heard (e.g. by the riders), it would just become part of the happening and there would be a new "outer" commentary arising. It seems clearer now, althought it points back to my questions from last night. I guess we'll get to that later then.


One last thing:
You seem to SEE that Thought Arising happens and content of thought is made up.
I got stuck on "made up". I guess you mean it just as "imaginary", right? To me it suggested an activity of someone making up the thought, which didn't seem true.

Thanks!

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:46 pm

Hi nass,

That's lot of thinking there.

Could you please do the exercise again?

This time read each instruction, one at a time, then do it & answer only what is specifically asked in each & every numbered question & post each one here.

Quote the question, than reply.Then the next question, then reply.

Don't try to summarize & interpret other than exactly what the exercise asks you to do

Once you've done that, I'll reply to both posts. I'm not ignoring your questions. We'll get to those.

Remember Coloured Socks. Stay in this moment & reply.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:49 pm

PS. I'm realizing that the way the exercise is worded, it does invite you to summarize. I want to break it down into smaller chunks for you. That's why I'm suggesting you make comments on each numbered item separately.

I may change the exercise next time I give it.

Thanks!
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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nass
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Re: friday night!

Postby nass » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:18 pm

I started again, but I really didn't know how to proceed. The first point says "let it sink in". If I'm to comment on that, I can say "ok", or I can tell you about the experience, but on too many levels, from anything between "I saw girls playing football" to "colours appeared continuously", or I can tell you my thoughts about what it's like to watch a silent game. Can you ask a specific question?

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Anastacia42
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Re: friday night!

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Hi nass,

That's a valid request. Leaning in a different direction that may be more helpful, since that was not.
Is there ANY relation between the content of the thought and the physical body?
Since there isn't any experience of any object or body, is it just a content of thought?
How can a thought - or any sensation - be known?
First, we want to be able to consistently recognize the difference between Though Arising and content of thought.

Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (sensation only, not emotions)
Tasting
Smelling
Thought Arising (not content of thought)


Thought Arising is not a Sensation.

Try this:

Observing Thoughts

Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. LOOK very closely.

Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence?

Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

Please answer each question separately.


Take your time. Relax & enjoy the process.

Much loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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