Who am I?

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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:40 am

Examine this sensation and thoughts. Is it one and the same or there are two events? Sensations gap thoughts? Knowing gap sensations?
Knowing gap thoughts?

Thought seem to be thought by me
Is there a gap here between thinker and thinking?
Is there a thinker or simply thoughts arising?
Are you making thoughts arise? If so, do you know what thought will arise before it shows up? Is thinking a doing or a happening?

Look until it’s no longer seems but is known how it is.

Love.

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Micha2019
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:14 pm

Trying to see if thinking and feeling is one event or if there is a gap between: at first I found I could not focus on thoughts and feelings at the same time. So it seemed like there is a thought first and then a feeling or vice versa.
When I subsequently relaxed my focus I could see that both are there at the same time, sort of overlapping in awareness. From there I tried to find a gap between thoughts and sensations, and could not find one. Also no gab between thoughs and knowing of thoughts, or sensations and knowing of sensations. It’s all one happening.

A gab between thinker and thinking?
So what feels as a thinker is there together with thoughts. Same happening, same event. No gab, and no thinker.

Am I making thoughts arise?
All I can find are thoughts that come automatically, associatively. I tried to come up with an original thought, i.e. one that was not associated with something else in the same time or before. And I could not do that.

So thinking is a happening.

With love,
Micha


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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:33 am

Yes, good work!
Let’s connect this to the sense of being, aliveness, awareness, knowing that I am.
This is here always. Simple awareness of being aware. Nothing extraordinary, just a most natural state of being.

Experiences come and go, beingness remains. Knowing of experiences and experiencing is one and the same.

Check this now
Is there I to which experiences happen?
Is there I separate from life happening?
How do you see free will and choice?

Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:08 pm

In the morning, when I started exploring your questions, after a while there was no I anymore. There was beingness and experiences within beingness/awareness. Being aware of being aware got a new meaning for me. And also I got to understand questions such as ‘Is there I to get benefits?’ differently than before: there is no I to get benefits. Whereas before I thought there is still a person to get benefits, I am just not identifying with that person anymore.

Likewise, about free will and choice, I understood that there is no person to have free will or choice. The question whether free will exist is not relevant, because to who would it apply? There is no one to have free will; there is also no one to NOT have free will.

Then I stopped inquiring for a while and when I later today got back to it, I couldn’t get to ‘it’. There was frustration about not seeing it and resistance to start inquiring again. Also, there was an eagerness to ‘find it’ again. And that all seemed to get in the way of seeing.

In the evening, during a peaceful walk through the park, experiencing the sense of being was very easy. At the same time, the sense of an I (i.e., identification with thoughts & sensations) was still there but rather vaguely.

With love,
Micha


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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:12 am

Thank you for sharing. Good to hear that there were openings and seeing.

The experiences come and go. Experience of expansion, experience of contraction, like breathing, in and out, naturally. Welcome that. There is nothing to fix. It’s all a happening. Frustration to see this again is what is happening.

And there is also knowing, that i As a separate from the whole entity is impossible. The illusion is not going to disappear, it’s recognised to be illusion. It’s like seeing a man in red clothes and knowing that this is not a real Santa- magical creature that lives in the north. That man in red clothes can continue masquerade, it can never be believed to be real. That’s more like it.

Identification is happening. What does it stick to? What is that it hooks on? What is the glue made of? And what is that needs an identity?

Have fun with these questions.
Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:27 pm

Dear Ilona,

Not sure if I really understand the questions about what identification sticks to and what needs identity. Also, aren’t identification with a story about Micha (i.e. my identity, e.g. Micha identifies as a teacher, a brother, a child etc.) and identification with sensations that feel like me different things? About the former I would say it sticks to nothing, it’s just a story. But I don’t get how to see what identification with sensations sticks to…

So perhaps these are not the type of answers you are looking for:

Is the glue the wanting to awaken? There is a strong wish for the I to achieve something, to get somewhere, to see something. Letting go of this idea of I means there will be nothing achieved. Keeping the idea gives a sense of control over a better future. Is this wanting what glues the I, or what fuels it?

Perhaps it’s good to first see what identification to sensations/thoughts is in my experience…
Identification is thinking that thoughts and sensations belong to a me. With thoughts it is not that I think I AM the thoughts, but that I am thinking/producing the thoughts. With certain sensations it really feels as if I AM those sensations. So there is a rather direct identification with sensations, but not with thoughts. Thoughts seem connected with those sensations and are therefore seen as mine.
That is the identification: sensing and an immediate labeling of those sensations as me.

As far as I can tell, when there is identification, there is always attention focussed on the sensation I identify with. And the stronger the focus, the stronger the identification.

And what do you mean by ‘what needs an identity’? Needing in terms of survival/existence?

More questions than answers I’m afraid. The looking process was interesting though.

With love,
Micha


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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Fri May 01, 2020 5:48 am

Thank you for answers.
Is the glue the wanting to awaken? There is a strong wish for the I to achieve something, to get somewhere, to see something. Letting go of this idea of I means there will be nothing achieved. Keeping the idea gives a sense of control over a better future. Is this wanting what glues the I, or what fuels it?
Very good. Let’s look at Wanting to awaken and be in control of better future. That’s a big one.
This wanting is saying that this here now is not enough. What’s missing?
Awakening does not fix anything, it is not an achievement.
Life is not a destination, it’s a happening, experiencing. Like a dance, or music. When you dance, you don’t have a goal to achieve the end, you dance, because it’s great experience. Music does not go to achieve anything, it’s flows.
For an exercise play your favourite song and listen. Is there a goal of a song?
Can you let go of idea that there is something called awakening that needs to be achieved? This idea is in the way of living life NOW, with all the beautiful and ugly experiences.

Do you own experiences? What is that claims experiences mine? Is voice in the head makes sensations mine? Does word my own sensations? Look closer there. What do you actually own? What is not given to you?

Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Fri May 01, 2020 7:51 pm

1. Wanting.
I meditated for a while on the question ‘what is missing?’. What came up was that all wishes I have for life are made up of thoughts and accompanying sensations that reflect wanting. (The latter also being a labeling process of a sensation). And just being aware of this made the wanting loosen its grip on my idea of a self separate from life.

I understood that when wantings are merely thoughts and sensations, then there is nothing more behind them, they are not owned by me, they are just there in awareness. All things I think am missing are just thoughts, they have no real substance, so in that sense nothing is really missing. I could not say the opposite is true: that everything is there. But what seems missing is just a creation of the brain, not something real.

2. Control.
So if I have the idea there need to be an awakening, then I am trying to change things, which by definition stands in the way of accepting what is here now, of seeing what is here now. Then I am waiting for the future. Then I am imagining I can control things, I have influence. Then I see myself separate from life, because then there is a me who controls something else = life.

This thinking though feels a bit like fooling myself that I really cannot do anything. I AM inquiring now right? That is to change something. Or is seeing better not a form of changing…? - Seeing the truth is seeing life as it flows. It does not change life. (And even if life changes after being able to see the truth, I can never know if that is BECAUSE of seeing the truth).

So why is getting to see the truth not an achievement?
Because it is part of life. Everything is part of life. Being aware of it is part of life. Being aware basically is life. And the idea of control (in this case: achieving) is also part of life. If there is something that could control life, it had to be something that is outside of life/awareness. And there is nothing I can find that is outside of awareness. And nothing is outside of life, outside of awareness. Thus there is nothing that can control life, because the controlling is also part of life, as well as the intention and effort to control.

3. Do I own experiences?
No. The sense of I is part of experience. If I look at other experiences, and I am simultaneously aware of the experience of the sense of I, then I see one experience that is not experienced or owned by anything. There is just experiencing of what is in awareness, no experiencer.

What do I actually own and is not given to me?
Everything I am or think I am is a result of previous experiences, circumstances, happenings. So basically, I do not own anything in the sense that I have not made anything happen out of free choices.

With love,
Micha


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Ilona
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Sat May 02, 2020 6:03 am

Thank you for reply. I read it several times and it is just passing through me, no substance. Your answers come from thinking, it’s mind trying to understand. Let’s get to the actuality instead.
All things I think am missing are just thoughts, they have no real substance, so in that sense nothing is really missing. I could not say the opposite is true: that everything is there. But what seems missing is just a creation of the brain, not something real.
Get real. What is missing. Don’t dismiss that as thoughts. Look deeper. What are you really longing for? Get to the root of it. By denying you are not seeing it. I invite you to look at it, with whole honesty. What is your deepest longing? Answer the call.

Why- because narrative is not what we are looking here for for, it only shows your current beliefs about it, a suitable, believable story. Let’s drop that.

There is nothing to achieve in order to be. You are aware already. Noticing that you are aware is not an achievement. It’s a normal, given, always present background. Does being aware of experiences make them mine?

I invite you to look, rather than think about it. You can’t think your way out.
Look at actuality, the present moment, see what is here. What is not here. Describe what you see.

Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Sat May 02, 2020 1:43 pm

What is missing?
I want it because I am curious. I’m a psychological scientist; wanting to know and explain the mind is my second nature. I’m open to the possibility that there is somewhere a deep lack in my life that I am not seeing. But I have been looking for that often; I can’t find anything.

Perhaps it’s as obvious as wanting freedom. In different ways I have been searching for that all my adult life. Freedom from any boundaries in spontaneous being. That is freedom from insecurities, norms, lethargy; perhaps also freedom from needing to intellectually understand everything haha.

OK, seeing what is here/not here in the present moment:
When I close my eyes, I feel closed in/limited by the body, by an image of me, by thoughts. They all have boarders, keeping me in. Partly that feels safe and familiar, but it feels also restrained and I want to spread out.

Achievement?
I understand there is nothing to achieve in order to be. I get that. But NOTICING that I am is something else. It took me quite some time to understand how I could notice it, and perhaps it is not even fully understood. It takes effort, so being able to notice seems an achievement.

Being aware of experiences does not make them mine in the sense that I don’t have control or saying over them. But they are mine in the sense that I am the only one that has them.

With love,
Micha


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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Sat May 02, 2020 2:35 pm

I hear you.
OK, seeing what is here/not here in the present moment:
When I close my eyes, I feel closed in/limited by the body, by an image of me, by thoughts. They all have boarders, keeping me in. Partly that feels safe and familiar, but it feels also restrained and I want to spread out.
With eyes closed, can you find that boundary that is keeping you inside? Are thoughts like a container?
Is there such line at all?

See, there is already no prison. Only thing that holds you in this imagines prison is the agreement to experience what it is like not to be free.

Can you look for yourself, what is in the way of freedom?
What are the boundaries make off?

How do you know they ARE there?

It’s great that you have curiocity about the mind. Can you tell me, what is the natural state and form of the mind? Does your mind know it?

Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Sun May 03, 2020 3:27 pm

1. Boundaries?
If I look at the sensations, I also notice I have an image of a body in the mind that places the sensations at specific positions. As if the sensations feel according to the shape of the body. But actually, those are two things: the image, and the sensations. The latter are blobs of sensations that are in constant movement. But without the image of the body in mind, those blobs do not have a particular position. And the contour of the body is also not to be found as a solid line in the sensations. So no, no boundary there, only as an imagination.

With the thoughts, I think the boundary comes from the content of the thoughts: thoughts that say who I am, how I should behave (e.g., norms, expectations), what I look like. When I focus on being in the moment, the thoughts are actually not there. It’s mostly in normal daily life that they’re here.

And then I think I have a belief that I am inside this body, made up of these sensations. This belief and the content of the thoughts, seem to strenghten the feeling of being locked in the body.

2. the mind
I don’t think the mind knows the natural state and form of the mind. All I know of the mind are its fruits: thoughts and the absence of thoughts (silence). I can see how the mind behaves: type of thoughts, regularities in the thoughts, how thoughts react to thoughts or other types of input, etc.. I’m not even sure if the mind really exists because all I know are thoughts.

With love,
Micha


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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Mon May 04, 2020 5:12 am

And then I think I have a belief that I am inside this body, made up of these sensations. This belief and the content of the thoughts, seem to strenghten the feeling of being locked in the body.
Let’s look at this first.
What we call the body is sensations. Body is an umbrella word for all these sensations. Are you inside sensations? Feel your left foot. Are you inside that sensation? Face? Are you inside the sensation? Is body feeling sensations? Is body a container for sensations?

Explore this closer.

There are sensations happening. Are you a sensation? Which one then?
What about distant sounds, are they inside the sensations called body?

There is knowing of sensations. Is knowing and sensations two different events or one? Are sensations inside knowing or knowing inside sensations? Is there an inside and outside sensations?

Spend some time with this and write what you notice.

Love.

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Re: Who am I?

Postby Micha2019 » Mon May 04, 2020 7:51 pm

Thank you.

Sensations do not seem to have a location; sensations of my head are not a meter away of sensations of my belly. Only when I add an image/picture of the body to the sensations, I have an idea of a location for sensations, congruent with the image of the body. I see that with feeling sensations, I normally always picture or see the body, and therefore think the sensations have a location.

And I cannot see an inside to the sensations either. No outside also; with eyes closed, there is nowhere I can not feel sensations. And with eyes open sensations sort of overlay everything I see and hear.

There are specific sensations that really feel as me. When I start looking at them an inquire them, I see I am not those sensations, but then other sensations have started feeling like me, and if I look at those, again other start feeling like me. This continues until I try to have al sensations of the head in awareness and then, after some inquiring, none of the sensations feel like me anymore.

Knowing of sensations:
It first felt as if there were sensations and something that knew them. I searched for what that something was. And then I saw that that that were actually thoughts about the sensations. When I looked again and was AWARE of there being thoughts in addition to the sensations, it became clear that the knowing of the sensations and the senations were the same event (and the thoughts had nothing to do with the knowing). So there was not an extra thing looking at the sensations.

With love,
Micha


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Re: Who am I?

Postby Ilona » Tue May 05, 2020 6:47 am

I’m not sure if I gave you this already, but here it is
Look through this lens, see how everything fits.

It’s called bahyia sutra. Play with it. Especially with the visual perception. See if colours and shapes inform you about a seer, or there is only the seen?

In the seen, there is only the seen,
in the heard, there is only the heard,
in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
Thus you should see that
indeed there is no thing here;
this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
Since, Bahiya, there is for you
in the seen, only the seen,
in the heard, only the heard,
in the sensed, only the sensed,
in the cognized, only the cognized,
and you see that there is no thing here,
you will therefore see that
indeed there is no thing there.
As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
between the two.
This alone is the end of suffering.


Write what you notice.
Love


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