Woodland Flowers

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:45 am

Nice
And...
Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. 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’?

x

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:35 am

This is taking some more sustained attention, which I find harder to access at the moment.
But here we go. Various experiences there.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Thoughts seem to arise based on old thought habits. A certain momentum. So they are not random.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
I experimented with deliberately thinking about football and setting those thoughts in motion. In that way I deliberately set another avalanche going. But maybe the initial decision of the subject "football" was not chosen?
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?
I couldn't
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’?
On this experiment, it seemed that there is a sequence, but maybe there is more thought organising the sequence, creating the sequence. But that thought must be a habit too... Hmmm

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:21 pm

Hi Rob
Hope you're keeping ok?
Thoughts seem to arise based on old thought habits.
yes,it makes sense that habit will be a factor, doesn't it?

Code: Select all

on this experiment, it seemed that there is a sequence, but maybe there is more thought organising the sequence, creating the sequence. But that thought must be a habit too... Hmmm
ok

Hopefully this next one will be more straightforward - give it a go, anyway
Get a sheet of paper and draw a line that divides that sheet in half. Label one half 'self' and the other side 'other'. Sit down and start a timer for 5 minutes. Every time you have a thought make a mark on the sheet. If that thought is about the self put a mark on the self side, if it’s about something else, mark the other side. If a thought about food occurs due to feeling hungry, mark that on the self side. Any thought that refers back to a self should go on the self side. (I'm bored, I'm tired, is the door locked (my safety) that video was funny (I was amused), my back hurts, I am frightened) get it?
Let me know how you go and what you notice.

xx

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:46 am

Hi, I'm fine thanks. I've managed to move all my counselling and mindfulness groups online but the collective anxiety seems to cloud my mindfulness sometimes. I think that's what makes it so hard to reply to this as quickly as I@d like. But I intend to get back to everyday replies from now on, as things have settled a bit. Are you holed up somewhere safe?

Ok. So I think all thoughts all referred back to me. How I was feeling, what is that body sensation, etc.
Even negative thoughts about politicians must be related to my anger. Various thoughts related to different ways I distract myself I assume are related to me in that I'm trying to get away from unpleasant thoughts.

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:45 pm

Hi Rob,
There's a lot of anxiety around at the moment, isn't there? I'm happily holed up at home, thanks, and have just completed an enjoyable on-line retreat with Kamalashila.
So I think all thoughts all referred back to me.
yep, that's the usual finding! Sadhu! Was it a surprise to find that?

When you're ready, have a look at this next exercise:
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 ie is there any tightening, or any relaxing?
For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.
For example: 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:

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?

xx

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:38 am

Hi PB,
Glad you're well, and had a good retreat.
In reference to thinking knowing my thoughts all refer back to me
Was it a surprise to find that?
I've heard it said many times, but haven't looked closely in a few years, so it was good to do it again.

In terms of the practice and questions:
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
By truer, I'm taking it to mean closer to DE. The first part was very tiring. It took a lot of effort to keep referring back to "I". The clunkiness of it made it feel less true.
The second part flowed a lot more. I found myself tending to not use words at all, simply noticing in pre-conceptual awareness, so even that took effort, but less than in the first practice. There fore I would say it was truer to not put the "I" in. It was just experience, no "I" needed.
2. What is here without labels?
Just this.
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
Labels distance me from my experience. It causes a fabrication, a distancing from reality. It's very interesting to write this out as it's very hard to see otherwise. So, interestingly, labelling in this context (which you are asking me to do) is also very liberating in certain contexts.
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?
There was more tension in my body when I referred back to "I" a lot.

Very interesting. Thank you.

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:53 pm

Hi Rob
Glad you found it interesting.

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"?

xx

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:52 pm

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?
hmmm, well, the images that come to mind are different. The feelings that emerge are different. The physiological affect is different. But are the thoughts different? The differences are based on the meaning I give each thought, not on any inherent quality of the thought, if that's what you mean.
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"?
There are the same differences as in the above response. The thought "me" is as constructed as any other thought.
I've said for quite a few years now that I'm more a verb than a noun, with glimpses of that. These exercises seem to be pointing toward this. Selfing is happening without a separate self. That is clear, but I still live as if this self were some sort of independent being...

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:23 pm

I still live as if this self were some sort of independent being...
ok - what is your evidence for its existence? Can it be found in your direct experience?
x

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:26 am

It's hard to pinpoint.
Will, people relate to me as if there is a self. and I automatically react as if I have a self and they have a self. but as I say that it doesn't seem that necessary to assume that I will they have a separate self. Intellectually it's all very clear to me. It's just in practice it's hard to get out of the habit of believing in a separate self. I'm not sure evidence is the point.

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:56 am

Hi
So at the moment you BELIEVE that there is a self - but have no evidence of it direct experience?
It's like Santa Claus - do you see that? Children believe in him until they don't. Once they know that he's made up, they just KNOW it. That's it.
This work is all about getting you to SEE, to EXPLORE what's actually there in your direct experience. To put aside thoughts and beliefs. And habits - to just look afresh.
Does that make sense?

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:17 pm

So, to be clear, I intellectually believe, and have experience of not having a separate self.
The challenge is living by this and knowing it at all times. I'm not sure what that would entail.
My impression is that I just need to keep practicing these great exercises you offer until weight of accumulated iexperinces swings me into a more stable knowing.
Something like that?

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:04 pm

Hi Rob
So, to be clear, I intellectually believe, and have experience of not having a separate self.
Good. In the end there just is no self - not in the sense we normally mean it (and not as it is generally taught in Tritratna).
The process isn't the same for everyone - but many do experience a sudden "a-ha! - but not everyone does.

Let's continue:
Wherever you are sitting right now, look for an object to use. Don’t pick up the object or turn it around, only look at what can be seen without touching it or turning it.

Have one?
Now look at it and describe what you see. Give yourself a bit of time with it. Just look, nothing else.

Done?

Now describe the back side of the object.
How is it known what the back side looks like?
What tells what it looks like?
How can it be known that there is a back at all? That the object is 3D?
Can this be known in direct experience?
Can an object be known at all?

xx

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aconite7
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby aconite7 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:39 pm

Right.
Now look at it and describe what you see. Give yourself a bit of time with it. Just look, nothing else.
It's a jug, bulbous in the middle, narrowing and widening again. reddish brown with a fairly glossy glaze.
Though in the 2d I actually see it's not a jug but a shape..
Now describe the back side of the object.
How is it known what the back side looks like?
What tells what it looks like?
How can it be known that there is a back at all? That the object is 3D?
Can this be known in direct experience?
Can an object be known at all?
So I can't see the back but I would give a guess what it looks like based on previous experience. memory of looking before.
It obviously can't be known in direct experience. I guess an object can't be known. Maybe this 2D shape I call a jug simply arises with my looking, like they say in quantum physics. If I remember my emptiness meditation earlier and shift into something like that consciousness, then it seems a lot less solid, or I don't assume so much that it is.
maybe it just is what I see, not what I imagine it is?

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Seamist
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Re: Woodland Flowers

Postby Seamist » Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:00 pm

Hi Rob
It's a jug, bulbous in the middle, narrowing and widening again. reddish brown with a fairly glossy glaze.
Though in the 2d I actually see it's not a jug but a shape..
excellent
It obviously can't be known in direct experience.
great. Yes, it thinking(Memory) that makes us think we know.

Great looking, lovely!

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?

xx


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