Stillness

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:46 am

What is the actual experience of hearing birds calling?
Try a one word answer...without explaining...give yourself permission to stay with AE
sound

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:59 pm

Hello Faithy, a couple of practical things first. Could you make one post when you reply rather than several shorter ones - its easier for me to cut and paste from one post. You can separate out written text using the quote function and spacing. 

Also, you are not answering all of the questions, so I’ll colour the questions to answer in blue so you can pick the text out more easily. So if its blue answer it.

You said you’re trying to honest when you answer - that’s the only way we can do this by being honest, so keep doing that! Remember, we’ve all gone through this process of transitioning from thinking to looking and it takes a little time :-)

Lets continue to look at the difference between thoughts ‘about’ something and actual experience.
So there was a thought (a memory) that said 'this' sound had previously been named this way plus another thought/memory of being told 'this' sound has 'this' label. Good to see that. Go back and listen, without thoughts labelling experience in the same old way how can you know that the sound heard is birds calling?
I'm trying to be honest in this answer. The mind says no but there is something subtle that seems to just know. An image of a bird and a feeling of love and joy very fleeting, more of a glimpse so perhaps there is a knowing beyond the mind in actual experience or maybe it's just a figment of my imagination?
Remember...we are only looking at actual experience - its useful to keep this really simple.

AE is the knowing of sound, smell, taste, sensation (ie touch and feelings), colour (ie image) and the face value of thought.

Thought in and of itself does not contain any experience, if it did you would be able to taste the word 'coffee' when it arises. Thought either points to actual experience or it points to thoughts (interpretations) about actual experience.

What is the AE of a mind? Can you find a mind in your AE? Is the 'mind' a smell, taste, colour, sound, sensation or thought? Look now...can you find a mind anywhere other than thoughts about a mind? Keep the answer short, dont be tempted to explain or think it through...can you find it in AE?


The actual experience (AE) of a mental image is a thought. So when a 'mental' image arises it is simply a thought about something labelled as a bird and is not an actual bird.



If you break down the actual appearance of 'bird' down to AE, it is simply the AE of colour (can you check that out).
Without thought how can it be known that what is appearing is a bird? Do the colours themselves suggest in any way that they are a bird...or is it thought that suggests this?


And please don't say memory...because a memory is simply a thought - be it words or a mental image, arising now. We will look at memory a little later on. For now we are learning how to look, and looking is learning to see what is actually appearing as ie what your actual experience is, opposed to what thoughts say is appearing.

Now break down the feelings of "love and joy" - what is actually experienced? What is the actual experience of love and joy? Are they a smell, taste, colour, sound, thought or sensation? Without thought, how can it be known that the sensations appearing are love and joy? Do the sensations themselves suggest in any way that they are love and joy? Look again. Tell me what you find….

Let me know your answers to questions in blue

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:49 am

Thank you Collette for your reply. I hope this format is easier this time.
What is the AE of a mind? Can you find a mind in your AE? Is the 'mind' a smell, taste, colour, sound, sensation or thought? Look now...can you find a mind anywhere other than thoughts about a mind? Keep the answer short, dont be tempted to explain or think it through...can you find it in AE?
No. I can't find a mind in AE.


If you break down the actual appearance of 'bird' down to AE, it is simply the AE of colour (can you check that out).
Without thought how can it be known that what is appearing is a bird? Do the colours themselves suggest in any way that they are a bird...or is it thought that suggests this?
Yes. It is just colour and thought suggests a bird.

Now break down the feelings of "love and joy" - what is actually experienced? What is the actual experience of love and joy? Are they a smell, taste, colour, sound, thought or sensation? Without thought, how can it be known that the sensations appearing are love and joy? Do the sensations themselves suggest in any way that they are love and joy? Look again. Tell me what you find….
I have sensations in the body but thought labels them. The AE is just body sensations.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:19 pm

Hi Faithy,

just want to clear up 2 previous questions before we go on to the next :

Can you find a brain that says 'birds calling' in direct experience? Are you answering from memory here, drawing on what you know rather than what you actually experience? Looking into your experience, very simply, what is it that says 'bird calling'?
No. I can't find the brain in direct experience saying bird call. i hear the call and there's quickly a realisation that it's from a bird
Great! You cant find 'brain' in AE. So, thought points to sound and label it bird! Without thought it would not be known that the sound was that of a bird.

What is the actual experience of hearing birds calling?

sound
Super duper! :-) Great looking.

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:37 am

Great! You cant find 'brain' in AE. So, thought points to sound and label it bird! Without thought it would not be known that the sound was that of a bird.
Yes. We are in total agreement. Thought labels sounds. Sounds are just experienced as the sounds themselves.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:04 am

What is the AE of a mind? Can you find a mind in your AE? Is the 'mind' a smell, taste, colour, sound, sensation or thought? Look now...can you find a mind anywhere other than thoughts about a mind? Keep the answer short, dont be tempted to explain or think it through...can you find it in AE?

No. I can't find a mind in AE.
Great looking, no mind to be found in AE, so there is just the thought label ‘mind’. The label mind is the AE of thought not the AE of a mind.
If you break down the actual appearance of 'bird' down to AE, it is simply the AE of colour (can you check that out). Without thought how can it be known that what is appearing is a bird? Do the colours themselves suggest in any way that they are a bird...or is it thought that suggests this?
Yes. It is just colour and thought suggests a bird. 


Yes and no. Yes, thought provides the label ‘bird’ but...

Is there something in the AE of colour that suggests ‘bird’? Does colour suggest in any way that it is bird? Can you look again?
Now break down the feelings of "love and joy" - what is actually experienced? What is the actual experience of love and joy? Are they a smell, taste, colour, sound, thought or sensation? Without thought, how can it be known that the sensations appearing are love and joy? Do the sensations themselves suggest in any way that they are love and joy? Look again. Tell me what you find….
I have sensations in the body but thought labels them. The AE is just body sensations.
Yes, the AE of feeling (joy and love) is sensation, clean looking.



 You say ‘you have’ sensation ‘in the body’. Does sensation = a body? 
Without thought how can it be known that sensation is in a thing called a body?





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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:50 pm

Is there something in the AE of colour that suggests ‘bird’? Does colour suggest in any way that it is bird? Can you look again?
There is the shape of colours but a thought is necessary to label the shape of the colours a bird.
You say ‘you have’ sensation ‘in the body’. Does sensation = a body? 
Without thought how can it be known that sensation is in a thing called a body?




No. Sensation is simply that. The concept of a body containing it is a thought.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:26 pm

Is there something in the AE of colour that suggests ‘bird’? Does colour suggest in any way that it is bird? Can you look again?
There is the shape of colours but a thought is necessary to label the shape of the colours a bird.
Yes, thought labels AE 'bird'.
You say ‘you have’ sensation ‘in the body’. Does sensation = a body? 
Without thought how can it be known that sensation is in a thing called a body?




No. Sensation is simply that. The concept of a body containing it is a thought.
Yes, thought labels AE 'body'. Great.

The interpretation of actual experience (which you've noted) happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with, and overlay actual experience.

Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience.

Direct Experience - Labelling Daily Activities

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:-

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and report back how you go - look forward to hearing from you.

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:05 am

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.
Hi Colette,

I've practised mindfulness for several decades but could not believe when trying to do this exercise today how busy thoughts are labelling everything. I actually felt disorientated when I realised that the pattern of labelling was underlying most of todays experiences. For example when watching waves on the beach if I don't label them waves and beach I didn't get as much pleasure in the experience. Trying to just watch colour was hard work.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:28 pm

I've practised mindfulness for several decades but could not believe when trying to do this exercise today how busy thoughts are labelling everything. I actually felt disorientated when I realised that the pattern of labelling was underlying most of todays experiences. For example when watching waves on the beach if I don't label them waves and beach I didn't get as much pleasure in the experience. Trying to just watch colour was hard work.
Hi Faithy,

I empathise, we can practice mindfulness for a long time and still not know how to 'look' simply and clearly. But you noticed that thoughts label experience persistently...that's right, that happens. Did you actually get the chance NOT to label 'waves' or 'beach' or did labelling happen automatically? Can you control thoughts?

Also, was there any emotion arising while doing this exercise e.g. frustration, displeasure? What was the AE?

I'm thinking it might more manageable to select one activity e.g. eating an apple:

Whats the AE of looking at the apple =
The AE of chopping it into pieces =
Holding the segments =
Eating the segment =
Naming the type of apple =

Try it out some more times throughout the day. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought. Let me know how it goes

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:11 am

Hi Colette,
Did you actually get the chance NOT to label 'waves' or 'beach' or did labelling happen automatically? Can you control thoughts?
No. The thoughts are pretty consistent. They move between foreground and background at times. I can't control them but I can move my focus for short periods so they are not as dominant.
Also, was there any emotion arising while doing this exercise e.g. frustration, displeasure? What was the AE?
Yes there was emotion which thought would label stress. The AE was sensations in the gut area.

I've been trying to play with labelling AE as colour, sensation ,thoght etc lots of times during the day. Just trying to be aware of actual experience rather than thoughts about the activities and sights.

I've actually just worked a 24 hour shift so I'm going to leave the apple exercise tomorrow when I'm not so tired.
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:31 pm

Was there any emotion arising while doing this exercise e.g. frustration, displeasure? What was the AE?
The AE was sensations in the gut area.
Yes, the AE is sensation. Without thought, sensations cannot be broken down any further or into different types of sensation ie fear, sadness, happiness etc because all that is actually appearing is sensation, everything else is thought. How does that land with you - that all of these so called different emotions are simply sensation with different labels?

Without thought can gut or body be known in AE?

Yes, no one is controlling thought and the mind continues to label everything, an old habit, but you can see this already. Labelling will continue AND still the breakdown of activities, objects, emotions into AE is possible. So dont wait for the mind to stop labelling just continue to practice breaking down activities, obj and em to AE. It takes time to soften old habits but each time you see or hear, smell or taste or feel something the chance to practice arises.

I hope you get some rest after your long shift

Colette

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:20 pm

Whats the AE of looking at the apple =
The AE of chopping it into pieces =
Holding the segments =
Eating the segment =
Naming the type of apple =
I did this exercise with a mango.
Looking at the mango seeing colours. Thoughts judge the mango. Thoughts seen. back to observing colours.
Chopping the mango. Sensations and sounds, thoughts back to sensations and sounds.
Eating taste, thoughts back to taste. Thoughts are trying to control every experience!
There seems to be fleeting awareness of something other than thoughts but there is more awareness of the thoughts and the power of them now.
Yes, the AE is sensation. Without thought, sensations cannot be broken down any further or into different types of sensation ie fear, sadness, happiness etc because all that is actually appearing is sensation, everything else is thought. How does that land with you - that all of these so called different emotions are simply sensation with different labels?
I can see the truth of this now.
Without thought can gut or body be known in AE?
No.

I'll continue to breakdown experience into AE.

Thanks for your guidance Colette.

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Colette01
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Re: Stillness

Postby Colette01 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:39 pm

Hi Faithy,

great looking, clear, simple and decisive. Keep looking and breaking down to AE for another day and please do share some examples of AE.
"There seems to be fleeting awareness of something other than thoughts
Can you say more about this experience fleeting though it may be, perhaps watching closely between thoughts

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Faithy
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Re: Stillness

Postby Faithy » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:55 am

Hi Colette,
I'm sorry I haven't got back in touch earlier.
I've been super busy helping my daughter and her toddler move so there hasn't been many spare moments to practice.
I'll get back on track now and let you know some examples of AE tomorrow.
Thanks for your patience.


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