Who am I?

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Tue May 05, 2020 10:11 pm

While practicing with the seeing part of the sutta: A few things make me think there is a seer: (1) if I move my head or eyes I see different things. (2) With my eyes I can focus and defocus, changing the perception.

So because there is a way to change perception, it feels like there are objects that I see, and there is a place from which the perception of the seen can be adjusted.

I do see that if the seen changes, it is still the seen. So IN the seen itself, there is nothing else than the seen. No things are added, there is just knowing of what is seen. But if colors and shapes in the seen change, then it seems like something outside of the seen has an influence over the content of the seen.

The things that seem to influence the seen are sensed. That is all I know from experience. Both the seeing and sensing are happening. Then there are thoughts as well, that seem to indicate a seer. But the thoughts are also part of what is happening.

I’d like to play with the sutta a bit more tomorrow, because I think it is making me see that there is no witness to everything, just knowing of what is.


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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Wed May 06, 2020 6:37 am

Same way..
in the witnessed there is only the witnessed, no witness
In the known there is only the known, no knower.
In the understood, there is only the understood, no understander.
In the thought, there is only the thought, no thinker..
in the noticed, there is only the noticed, no noticer..

Spend as much time as needed.
Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Fri May 08, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi Ilona,

It was nice playing a few days with the sutta and you added sentences.

Sometimes the doer is really well hidden. When inquiring, I would check sensations and see if they are me or just sensations. Sometimes, even when I see they are just sensations, there is still a sense of someone doing that inquiry. And I cannot pinpoint that sense – I’m not sure if it is a sensation or a thought or something else. So even with seeing the sensations as sensations, there may be more sublte sensations that give a sense of a me. It feels like there might always be such sensations, and I’m not sure if it helps to trying to find them if they’re not clearly there…?

At some points it felt like there was no me at all, but I could also see that there was an identifying with sensations. Seemed like both these things can exist simultaneously.

Your sentences seemed more complex than the sutta: “In the understood, no understander”. I could work with that, without really searching for particular sensations of thoughts. The understanding was a more complex process of which I could be aware without diving into all sensations and thoughts that came with it.

All in all, I’ve been working with going deep into sensations, trying to see everything that was there. And on the other hand, I tried to see processes in a more superficial way. The former made me see better what perceptions are there exactly, while the latter seemed more natural.

Another thing was that I had some more thinking about an earlier question of yours, about what is missing, what I’m searching for. Then I answered ‘freedom’. But another thing I realized is a more permanent sense of joy. And I saw that sadness was in the way of that, so I have been trying to give sadness more space. This gave a sense of relief whenever I did that without identifying with the sadness.

With love,

Micha.


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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Sat May 09, 2020 4:15 pm

Hi Micha.
Good work. I really like this question
I’m not sure if it helps to trying to find them if they’re not clearly there…?
Aha, it doesn’t.
An analogy of this would be a kid trying to find Santa, maybe he is there, maybe he can be there, it is posssible I can find him. perhaps in the north. So I keep looking with the sense that there must be someone to find at the end, to point a finger at it and say, here it is, the real Santa! I knew he is real. And another kid, who knows that Santa is fiction, is not obsessed with the question and is living his life without stressing out about the question as he knows, real Santa is impossible. It’s a fantasy and a story about Santa. It is a nice story and it’s part of life.

So here comes the question. Is this looking for a sensation that is “me” helping?
I invite you to look at this- there is nothing there, no one to find.
To see what I am pointing to, you have to put focus on that, and see how everything fits, or not.

Good to notice that by giving space to sadness there comes a release.
Joy, sadness, all emotions are part of life. And yes, it would be nice to feel more joy! Joy of being.

Love

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Mon May 11, 2020 11:40 am

Hi Ilona,

Yes, that makes perfect sense! I was looking very hard with a sense to find something in the end. Even though I knew there was nothing to be found, the mere seeking did suggest somehow there was something there and perhaps reinforced the idea of a me, more than showing there is no me.

When I started looking from a different perspective, i.e. there is nothing to be found, then the looking eased/softened. I tried this in different situations and could not find a situation in things did not fit.

What I found difficult was that there was nothing to hold on to. Previously, with focussing on things that felt like me, I had those sensations or thoughts to fixate on. With seeing there is nothing there, I am a bit lost in the search and I notice a need to focus on something. What I do then is scanning things in my perception trying to see how things are without this sense of an I.

With love
Micha

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Mon May 11, 2020 1:39 pm

When I started looking from a different perspective, i.e. there is nothing to be found, then the looking eased/softened. I tried this in different situations and could not find a situation in things did not fit.
More specifically, it felt less confined then before when I felt I was the body. And with things fitting, I mean that nothing seemed to be missing; everything I did or was aware of did not need a me to do or see things.

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Wed May 13, 2020 5:38 am

Yes, there is nothing to hold on to. And so it is. Letting go may be scary, but holding on is painful.
What are you noticing in normal everyday life? How are your relationships with close people? Does anything look different?
What has changed since the start of this conversation?

Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Wed May 13, 2020 7:58 pm

I notice there is hardly any worrying. Even quite big things in terms of money, work, housing - that are all unstable at the moment - don’t worry me at all 90 percent of the time. And if there are worry-thoughts, I notice them and that’s all it takes to stop them.

I have less expectations about people close to me, less ideas about how they will behave or think about me. There is more of an open approach with them, and I am much less trying to behave in a way that I think they will approve of.

There is little attachment to things and people anymore. At the same time I can enjoy or love them just as much. Maybe even more.

And while I see so many people struggling during this corona time, I am just fine, content and relaxed.

Love,
Micha

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Thu May 14, 2020 5:26 am

That’s lovely, thank you for sharing. Good to hear that there is less worrying! That’s a nice effect.
Is there any doubt about the illusion of a separate self?
Do you still feel separate from life happening?

Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Thu May 14, 2020 10:08 am

I'm very sure there is no one to be found, no one there. Still, I feel like I need to make myself do things sometimes - get off the couch and find a job, answer that email finally, etc. Otherwise it will not happen. So there is an idea of control there still. On the other hand, I do see that even this 'pushing myself' does not come from a separate me, but are thoughts on which no I has an influence.

Do I still feel separate from life happening?
Less and less. It happens when I feel uncomfortable, or any negative emotion actually - that really brings me back to sensations and thoughts that feel like a separate me. When that happens I inquire, and that makes me see quite quickly that there is no separate me.

I guess it is a process in which old beliefs about how I and the world function gradually are being exposed to this new light of understanding. And the same with FEELING separate - it's not yet a constant feeling; I need to look closely sometimes after which the feeling of non-separateness appears.

With love,
Micha

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Sat May 16, 2020 6:15 am

Yes, it is a process and it continues. Every moment there is an invitation to see the obvious freshly. And life brings all the conditioning that says otherwise up, to be met in this new knowing.

Can you examine and tell me, what is a difference between a feeling of connectedness and knowing that separateness is impossible?

I don’t know if I gave you this video to watch, and even if you did, watch this again. https://youtu.be/LXrfQqvwIcU

Can you become connected to life?
Is anything separate from awareness?
What are you?

Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:51 pm

What is a difference between a feeling of connectedness and knowing that separateness is impossible?
I guess if you feel connected you know that there is no separateness at that moment. But feeling connected is something that I experience or I don’t experience. So when I don’t feel connected separateness seems possible again. I haven’t seen yet that separateness is impossible, just that the opposite can be true.
I HAVE seen that I am not this bodymind, so that seems something that I know is always true. But that is more a believe than a constant knowing.
So to see there is no me (at times) is not the same as seeing I am connected to everything. Perhaps then, there is really not a full seeing that there is no me.

Can you become connected to life?
I don’t understand. The clip speaks of aliveness as an energy. I think when I try to feel that I am searching feelings and sensations again. And things I perceive do not feel like an energy: when I look at the table in from of me, I don’t see how that is an energy, it looks very solid to me.
Perhaps I’m answering your questions too much from the mind, from trying to understand. It all seems very rational and dry, and I feel I’m not really getting anywhere…

Is anything separate from awareness?
Things that I know are there but that are not perceived by me: the wall behind me, a friend in another city, etc. Things that I perceive are all in my awareness, including thoughts and sensations that feel like a separate me.

What are you?
I am aware. I am alive and here, present.

With love,
Micha

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Mon May 18, 2020 7:47 pm

I hear you.
But feeling connected is something that I experience or I don’t experience. So when I don’t feel connected separateness seems possible again.
What I’m talking about is not an experience of connectedness. It is knowing.
Let’s look at this.

Look at colours, with eyes, there are different colours and shapes, and forms have names. Forms have different functions and are separate from each other. Like a pen is not the same as a phone. Right?
But visually what is seen is pure colour. The mind labels the shape and says, this is pen, this is phone. And you can not use pen to call a friend. But both pen and phone are made of colour.
What information is perceived through visual sense alone? Are you in control of what colours and shapes are seen? Or are they here? If you look at the colour called grey, can you make it blue or green at will? And if you look at form called arm, hand, fingers, are they “my colours”? Are there colours not mine? See, visually there is only colour. + labels. Which come later.

Are you inside the colour? Is colour called hand and colour called wall are you? Is there anything in visual perception that informs you about the wall being solid? Just look, what do you see?
We will go through all perception channels, for now focus on seeing colours and investigate, what information comes thought visual channel.
Examine this.

Write what you notice
Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Tue May 19, 2020 3:51 pm

I wonder where depth comes from. How can I make an estimate of how far away something is from my body? While at the same time, the colors I see are not distant from the body. And it looks like I can see a space between my body and an object at a distance. Then again, the ‘color’ of that space overlays the color of the object, so it is one color actually. And thus the space is made up, it’s not in the visual perception.

So why the 3D appearance of my surroundings? It must be something learned – e.g., if a color which I label as a chair has a specific size, it must be at a distance that gives it that particular size (objects further away seem smaller); combined with how objects are positioned from each other in 2D: e.g. the cat on my balcony is at 3 meters, at the back of the balcony; but really I see it in 2D placed at the high end of the wooden floor.

When I look at my trousers and focus on only seeing colors, then immediately I don’t see them as ‘my’ legs anymore. So normally when I look at them, there is seeing them + labeling them as ‘legs’ and ‘mine’.

In my visual perception, the hand is colors. They are not “my colors”. To put it like that was new to me and makes sense.

The wall is white, and it has gray spots (shades from its embossing). I deduct from the colors that it is embossed, but that is an addition to the colors which are first seen. I can also deduct its material from its colors and that is how I know it is solid. But the colors itself do not hold any information about it being solid.

Perhaps next to color, movement is a direct perception? The wall does not move, which gives away that it is not likely to be liquid (although I guess it still can be if it is contained), nor gas. Then again, movement is seen as a changing of colors; so colors are still the only information you get from visual perception. I deduct that something is moving from the changing of colors.

With love
Micha

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Tue May 19, 2020 7:27 pm

Good work! Ok, next, left examine sounds and hearing.
Listen
Are some sounds mine and some sounds not mine?
Pay attention to the loudest sounds that are present. Now switch to the most subtle sound that is heard.
Do you hear colours? Smells, taste?
What information are you getting through sound channel?
Is there an owner of sounds?
Is there inside and outside of sounds? Are you aware of sounds or are sounds aware of you? What is the relationship here? Are you doing anything to make sounds heard or are they heard effortlessly?

Is sound separate from knowing of it?
Have a play and write your observations.
Love.


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