Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:40 am

Hi Ben,
I've read back over my own thread and can see how I was responding through thoughts a lot of the time. It's very simple when you strip it down to what can be experienced, if it isn't sensation, sound, smell, taste or image, it must be thinking. I understand this better now. I think why I've been struggling is because I start looking with your question in mind, and all though looking is happening its often thoughts about my reply which will inevitably end up as 'intellectualizing' because the actually looking hasn't taken place. I've seen the thoughts and believed their contents.
It's very good that you can recognize this. Please make a mental note of this, since this will come back. Intellectualizing is a conditioned behaviour, so it will show up many times again and agian, and you have to catch it when it happens.
because I start looking with your question in mind
Now let’s investigate the notion of ‘mind’.

Is there a kind of entity called ‘mind’ that does something?
Can you point to the ‘mind’ here now? Can you find one?

Can you observe what you call ‘mind’ here and now?
What is it in the very moment you observe it?
What about its shape? Color? Texture? Size?

How ‘mind’ as such is experienced?
As a thought? Sensation? Sound? Imagination?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:05 am

Hi Vivien,

Sorry for the late reply, I've had a busy couple of days.
Is there a kind of entity called ‘mind’ that does something?
Can you point to the ‘mind’ here now? Can you find one?
No, 'mind' is only an entity in thoughts. There is no tangible 'mind' that I could experience (or point to). When I'm looking there was very little in the way of thoughts about 'mind', there was nothing predominantly, other than the sound of the fridge running, a thought picture of the window and a sensation in my chest. That's what I experienced recently in these moments of looking.
Can you observe what you call ‘mind’ here and now?
What is it in the very moment you observe it?
What about its shape? Color? Texture? Size?
There was no experience of the intellectual taught concept of 'mind' I can't see how it would exist, The only thing I could observe were very few thoughts about 'mind'.
No shape, color, texture or size.
How ‘mind’ as such is experienced?
As a thought? Sensation? Sound? Imagination?
For me only as a thought, but I also found I have very few thoughts that refer to a 'mind' at the moment.

Thank you!
Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:43 am

Hi Ben,
For me only as a thought, but I also found I have very few thoughts that refer to a 'mind' at the moment.
It’s not about whether there are thoughts about a mind or not. Not at all.
Rather it’s about the BELIEF if such thing as ‘mind’ as a source of thoughts exist or not.
Can you see the difference?

So does a ‘mind’ as a source of thoughts actually exist in reality?

Please don’t think about the answer, don’t think about this topic at all.
Rather LOOK for to find an ACTUAL, REAL, EXISTING mind.

And look again and again and again, about 100 times for a whole day repeatedly before replying.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:52 am

Hi Vivien :-)
Can you see the difference?
Yes.
So does a ‘mind’ as a source of thoughts actually exist in reality?
No, no experience of a mind whatsoever. I can see this clearly now.

Thanks,
Ben.

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:26 am

Hi Ben,
No, no experience of a mind whatsoever. I can see this clearly now.
Great. Now we start to dive into the notions of control, decision and choice.

It's clear that when we breathe, blink, digest food etc. there's no 'I' involved, but how is it for you when walking?

How is it when doing various everyday things like say, brushing your teeth, washing up, that kind of thing? Try all kinds of stuff.

Is there any 'I' there for any of these actions, or are they just happen on automatic?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Requesting Vivien as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:04 am

Hi Vivien
It's clear that when we breathe, blink, digest food etc. there's no 'I' involved, but how is it for you when walking?
Over the course of beginning to notice this, it became very obvious there is no control over walking. It just happens, there was no contemplating where to place the foot, the foot simply was just placed.
How is it when doing various everyday things like say, brushing your teeth, washing up, that kind of thing? Try all kinds of stuff.
It's very evident that all these actions have no controller behind them, similar to the orchestra of experience, the orchestra of action just happened. There is no one conducting the orchestra of action.
Is there any 'I' there for any of these actions, or are they just happen on automatic?
Completely happening automatically.

Thank you so much!
Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:20 am

Hi Ben,

All right. Now we start to investigate decision making.

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?

Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which and to raise?
Is there a controller? Where?

How is the decision made?
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
Is there a decision maker? Where?


Repeat this many times before replying.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivien as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:10 am

Hi Vivien!
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?
There was nothing in experience that could choose to raise a particular hand, a hand just happened to raise. Sometimes thoughts arise about raising a particular hand, but the thought itself had no control over the hand, I tried to ignore the thoughts. I experimented by raising the hands quicker and it became very apparent that the thought, didn't have anything to do with it. When thoughts couldn't keep up with the speed, hands were just being raised randomly without any input or narrative thoughts.
Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which and to raise?
Is there a controller? Where?
I couldn't find a controller, it was completely random, thoughts would arise about the experience of the hand being raised. The action of raising a hand was just at the surrender to the body's natural flow, nothing raising it, just raising happening. It's similar to when you're tapping your foot, then a thought arises about the foot tapping. It doesn't change anything, the foot has been tapping regardless of the thought.
How is the decision made?
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
Is there a decision maker? Where?
No decision maker. In experience a hand was just raised, I continued to ignore thoughts and it was completely random. There was no decision about the height or the speed at which it was raised, sometimes thoughts would creep in about it being 'faster' etc.. but that didn't change that it was already just happening.

Thank you :-)
Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:08 am

Hi Ben,
I continued to ignore thoughts and it was completely random.
Please repeat the exercise many time, but this time look for the ‘thing’ that is ignoring thoughts.

What is it exactly that is ignoring thoughts?
Look for the ignorer.


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:12 am

Hi Vivien,
What is it exactly that is ignoring thoughts?
Look for the ignorer.
Sorry, I'd like to elaborate on this more. I just cannot find an ignorer, ignoring only ever happened in thought. So there's nothing ignoring thoughts, it is a thought that arises about ignoring.

Thanks,
Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:45 am

Hi Ben,

Now we start diving more into decision making.

Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely. Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.

When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.

What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully


Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention when the decision is made. Particularly pay attention to thoughts, as the decision is made.

Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?


Now, act according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:14 am

Hi Vivien,
Sorry for the late reply. I made time today to go get chocolate, I don't particularly desire any food in the house at the moment lol.
What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully
Just thoughts.
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
The thought just arose. A thought came saying 'I'm going to eat it', then I looked again to find the 'I', but it's just a thought. No 'I'.
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
Nothing apart from a thought. I don't think there are decisions outside of thoughts, (eg taking into account pros and cons each time). Things still do and don't happen apart from the presence of a thought, decisions don't get made about everything yet the experience contains a lot, despite of a decision being made to do or not do it. Doing just happens.
How exactly the decision is made?

When I'm asked to make a decision, a thought arose with a conclusion.
What is it that performed the chosen action?
I'm not sure, eating just commenced.

Thanks, Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:44 am

Hi Ben,

I’m giving you another exercise just to make sure that everything is super clear about this topic.

Lie down onto a bed. Observer very carefully how the decision arises to get up.
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
What makes the body get up?
Is there an ‘I’ that commands the body?
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?


Repeat this with sitting in a chair. Describe in detail the decision of standing up.
How does the decision happen exactly?
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?
What makes the body to stand up?


Now let’s investigate intention.
Sit in a chair and observe how the intention of standing up happens.
How is it known that there is an intention to stand up?
While sitting there, say internally several times ‘I intend to get up’. What happens?
What is it that made the intention to get up?


Now, zoom onto the intention (of getting up) very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.
Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to get up”, but THE intention itself.
Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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BeeNee
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Re: Requesting Vivien as a guide :-)

Postby BeeNee » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:55 am

Hi Vivien,

Sorry about my absence, I hope it doesn't feel as though I'm ungrateful to you. I wholeheartedly appreciate your dedication and service in helping me with this realisation, but it can be HARD! If I'm being completely honest (which feels also very vulnerable and hard, yet I can understand the importance) I had been feeling quite good for some time and then things flopped, all of a sudden there were more story's (with a no hope narrative), heavy feelings and a no desire, resulting in doing nothing. I know that those can be valuable times to look, but that's easier said than done. I think I had an expectation that when I look and see the truth of the experience, it should automatically make me feel better, but in my case that's just not how it unfolds. This isn't a tool for happiness and avoiding pain, this is simply about seeing that there is no self. Then one day turned in two so on and so forth, then an anxiety arose about you being disappointed and angry lol. I just couldn't face it! It came back once I was feeling better and wasn't swept up in a 'me' story, there was a remembering that the 'me' is only an entity in thoughts and thoughts are real in the experience, but the contents of them aren't. I could really see for a brief moment, that the intimacy of experience is always here despite there being self referential thoughts or not, which is ultimately referencing a self that doesn't exist.
I have glimpses quite often, but its really hard for me to hold what I realised in those moments. Is it essential for me to remember all of these or does that not matter in eventually having an obvious shift, like people talk about?
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?
No.
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
I didn't have a decision or command that prompted me to get up, I just got up.
What makes the body get up?
I felt energy rising in the body and it became increasingly uncomfortable to be laying down, the body naturally moved to a position of comfort.
Is there an ‘I’ that commands the body?
There was no 'I' commanding the body. With the rise of energy in the body, thoughts came along the lines of 'I want to get up' or 'I need to do xyz' but they had no sway in the getting up. They were thoughts about the energy in the body and the increasing desire to move. I want to say the thoughts about getting up can prompt the energy in the body to rise and start moving, but I can't observe the thoughts doing any prompting action.
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?
For me it had no affect on the outcome. It took quite a while for me to get up, so over the period of time I was laying down before getting up, the words 'GET UP' were internally shouted a couple of time. I didn't notice any change in how my body was feeling after yelling 'GET UP'.

Repeat this with sitting in a chair. Describe in detail the decision of standing up.
How does the decision happen exactly?
I sat down and concentrated on the experience (sounds, sensations etc..) ignoring thoughts. Then just stood up, this time there was really no decision, I just got up and sat back down. This really highlighted that I thought I needed thoughts in order for these things to happen, but really they just happened. The bodily processes are perfectly capable of moving despite of whether or not thoughts were present or not.
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?
Not for me at this stage. I suppose I do, do this for example when I'm in bed at night and am weighing pros and cons of whether or not to get out of the warm bed for a glass of water or not. But I can see that those are just thoughts coming from no self, just arising. I will look closer at this when I'm in that situation.
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?
Definitely no doer! thoughts about doing it are present sometimes. But I can really see it just happens.
What makes the body to stand up?
I don't even think I can experience what makes the body get up. I just get up, bodily processes happen. No self doing it.

Now let’s investigate intention.
Sit in a chair and observe how the intention of standing up happens.

How is it known that there is an intention to stand up?
Just within thoughts about intention or action.
While sitting there, say internally several times ‘I intend to get up’. What happens?
There was just the narration 'I intend to get up', there was no carry on effects of those words for me, I just continued to sit.
What is it that made the intention to get up?
Nothing, intention is only a concept withing the realm of thoughts and thinking.

Now, zoom onto the intention (of getting up) very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.
Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to get up”, but THE intention itself.

Can you locate THE intention itself?
No, It only exists in thoughts.
How the intention is actually experienced?
Within a thought.

Many Thanks,
Ben

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Vivien
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Re: Requesting Vivian as a guide :-)

Postby Vivien » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:14 am

Hi Ben,
If I'm being completely honest (which feels also very vulnerable and hard, yet I can understand the importance) I had been feeling quite good for some time and then things flopped, all of a sudden there were more story's (with a no hope narrative), heavy feelings and a no desire, resulting in doing nothing.
Thank you for your honesty and openness.
I think I had an expectation that when I look and see the truth of the experience, it should automatically make me feel better, but in my case that's just not how it unfolds. This isn't a tool for happiness and avoiding pain, this is simply about seeing that there is no self.
It is a very common spiritual belief that awakening is about getting into a state of bliss and happiness (or at least not having negative emotions any more). But it’s simply impossible. Since emotions are states, and no state is ever permanent. It’s the nature of states and emotions to change. It’s like there cannot be a continuous daytime without the darkness of a night. It’s impossible.

Seeing through the self has literally nothing to do with the coming and going of emotions.
Since seeing through the self is not a state.
It’s not a different state than what you are normally having.

And by the way, only just a self, just a me wants to get into a pleasant state, while never ever experiencing the negative ones again.

Only the illusory Ben wants to gain something from this investigation. To get something from himself.

So Ben, the non-existent self wants to gain something from seeing it’s non-existence. It’s quite funny actually :)
then an anxiety arose about you being disappointed and angry lol. I just couldn't face it!
My emotions are my responsibility :) So if I had anger or disappointment then I have to deal with them, not you. :) So don’t worry about how I feel.
I have glimpses quite often, but its really hard for me to hold what I realised in those moments. Is it essential for me to remember all of these or does that not matter in eventually having an obvious shift, like people talk about?
The realization has to be unshakeable, enduring, eternal, irrefutable as in "once seen cannot be unseen" is the discovery that it is the truth of reality. And that every single time it's looked for, hunted, tested... it's utterly and absolutely true. The truth doesn't waver. The test never fails.

And... whoa. wtf? This thing is never, ever actually there no matter how many ways and times its looked for. Do you see how practical, trustworthy and solid that finding might be? That it's the one thing that never fails? Ever.

And it doesn’t matter if there is a sense of me, or a sense of self present or not. It’s about seeing that there is literally nothing there, no Ben at all, every single time when it’s looked for, REGARDLESS of the presence or a seeming appearance of a ‘sense of me’.
I want to say the thoughts about getting up can prompt the energy in the body to rise and start moving, but I can't observe the thoughts doing any prompting action.
Let’s look into this.

Do you see that your above comment is just an intellectual reasoning, but not the reality of experience?

Please repeat the exercise again.

Can you actually observe as thoughts are literally prompting energy in the body?
Can the energy being observed as literally making the body move?
What is this energy exactly? Is this something else than a sensation?

This really highlighted that I thought I needed thoughts in order for these things to happen, but really they just happened. The bodily processes are perfectly capable of moving despite of whether or not thoughts were present or not.
Exactly! Great observation.
Not for me at this stage. I suppose I do, do this for example when I'm in bed at night and am weighing pros and cons of whether or not to get out of the warm bed for a glass of water or not. But I can see that those are just thoughts coming from no self, just arising. I will look closer at this when I'm in that situation.
Please do so. It’s important to be super clear on this.

When thoughts of pros and cons are coming up, are you doing that?
What is it that is thinking thought thoughts?
What makes those thoughts to appear?

Nothing, intention is only a concept withing the realm of thoughts and thinking.
Yes.
V: How the intention is actually experienced?
B: Within a thought.
And what happens in thought can actually be experienced?

Try this out:
Can the thought of ‘sweet’ be actually tasted?
Can the thought of ‘hot’ be actually felt?


Investigate these thoroughly.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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