I need help

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:16 am

Hi Michael,
Really? I know this is what we are brought up to believe but.....Is it what you find in DE?
I don’t seem to be able to get to real absolute direct experience. Subtle proliferation is still noticed that is causing this feeling of center or I. E.g sound is heard in here (direct), but immediately the mind is aware of it’s direction (non direct judgement) relative to this body out there.

There doesn’t seem to be any space or time between the two to interrupt it. What is the solution, more practice? Or am I missing something obvious?
But can you find the 'I' that is doing it?
In absolute pure experience, no. In absolute pure experience, which I can’t seem to get into except for extremely rare moments, everything happens inside, therefore no other exists and and no I is possible.
If I close my eyes, just be, and direct attention within the head (where you believe your self is) all that is experienced is a sense of vibrancy and knowingness. There doesn't seem to be an entity that could be called a self.

Try it.

Take your time, relax into your direct experience. What is present?
When the attention is directed inward as described, silence is experienced, a vibration there is no self, but also no experience apart from this knowing of nothingness. However as a soon as attention is directed at anything else, an I comes into being.


Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:20 pm

Hi Nessie,

An interesting post.
There doesn’t seem to be any space or time between the two to interrupt it. What is the solution, more practice? Or am I missing something obvious?

You are not missing anything!

Rather, you seem to have a developed mindfulness that is aware of subtle thought.

Remember DE is simply awareness of what we sense in the moment, what we see, hear, taste etc and any thought in the moment. If we wander off in a chain of thoughts, or a storeyline, we have left DE and have simply got lost in thought. ~This is where most folk are most of the time. An endless self referencing daydream.

When the attention is directed inward as described, silence is experienced, a vibration there is no self, but also no experience apart from this knowing of nothingness.

Well noticed!

But there is not nothing else. If a bird is heard, a bird is heard.....
However as a soon as attention is directed at anything else, an I comes into being.
Are you sure about this?........

Let's have a close look and try and find out......

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?

Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?

Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?

Enjoy!

Michael

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:33 pm

Hi Michael,
But there is not nothing else. If a bird is heard, a bird is heard.....
However as a soon as attention is directed at anything else, an I comes into being.
Are you sure about this?........
I think I see now where I was going wrong here...I think. I was directing attention at the background of awareness, the emptiness and silence, and deliberately not paying attention to any anything else in order to stop the self talk, forcing it out of awareness whenever it would occur.

When awareness is kept more open, allowing to occur what may occur, when a bird is heard, a beard is indeed heard - however I find that this increases the chance of a story developing and getting lost in thought. I suppose a balance has to be maintained, not too rigid and not too open either, is this right approach to take?
Let's have a close look and try and find out......

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?
It feels true, but intellectually I can see how this might be an illusion. The problem is, how can I get this to feel untrue?
Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?
In direct experience, there doesn’t seem to be a boundary, because all there is is the experience itself. It feels like this realization should be an aha moment, but it’s not. The only reason I can imagine is because direct experience feels like something I am doing. Sounds silly, but this is my experience.
Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?
It feels like it’s being done. When there is no effort put forth to stay in direct experience, the mind goes into story telling mode and gets lost in thought. The story telling mode seems like the mind’s default mode, can one change it so that the default state becomes direct experiencing?

Regards, Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:30 pm

Hi Nessie,

Please drop the notion of doing anything wrong. Right or wrong has nothing to do with it. It is simply a direct exploration of experience as it is (not what we think it is)....
I suppose a balance has to be maintained, not too rigid and not too open either, is this right approach to take?

If that gets you in the right place then yes. Just being in the moment and noticing what occurs.
In direct experience, there doesn’t seem to be a boundary, because all there is is the experience itself. It feels like this realization should be an aha moment, but it’s not. The only reason I can imagine is because direct experience feels like something I am doing. Sounds silly, but this is my experience.

Ye, Good. I know it is difficult but try and let go of wanting an aha moment......Just open curiosity.......Some folk wake up in a big flash with lots of fireworks while for others it is a subtle gantle shift.......
Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?

It feels like it’s being done.

It feels like perception is being done?

Play around with this more. Try with hearing. Become quiet and relax and then notice sounds.

Where does the sound end and you begin?

Is a self entity hearing a sound or does hearing just occur?

If you as a self is 'doing' hearing why can't you stop it, switch it off?

If you put some food in your mouth does tasting occur by itself or does someone, some separate entity, have to 'do' tasting?


Try a few things, have a play, and report back.

Enjoy your exploration of reality...

Michael

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:47 pm

Hi Michael,
It feels like perception is being done?
Yes. Attention needs to be paid to the present moment. If attention is not deliberately paid to the present moment, one gets lost in thought, and the present moment is missed.
Play around with this more. Try with hearing. Become quiet and relax and then notice sounds.

Where does the sound end and you begin?
As I pay attention I notice that most of the time it feels like sounds occur out there, but after a while subtly it starts to feel like they occur in here. Sometimes it is noticed that they occur in the silence. Awareness is silent, is that what I sound like? Am I the silence that sounds occur in? If so does that mean that all sounds occur inside of me?
Is a self entity hearing a sound or does hearing just occur?
Hearing needs attention to occur. When deeply engrossed in a book, a movie, or whatever, and I am asked a question, the question is not heard. Therefore it seems to be done.
If you as a self is 'doing' hearing why can't you stop it, switch it off?
I can. E.g. when two people talk to me at the same time, I make a decision who I will listen to and focus my attention on their voice, from that point on the other person’s voice is not heard until I direct my attention back to their voice.
If you put some food in your mouth does tasting occur by itself or does someone, some separate entity, have to 'do' tasting?
Attention needs to be paid to taste the food. If I sit down in front of a television and pay attention to the story while eating the food before I know it, the food is gone, nothing was tasted.

Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:04 pm

Hi Nessie,

It still seems like you resist simplicity and are thinking so much about what is happenning.....Try and relax and simply report from experience.
It feels like perception is being done?

Yes. Attention needs to be paid to the present moment.

Who, or what, pays attention?

Can you see that attention moves by itself? Perhaps it shifts from sensation in ankles, to thought, to a loud noise outside.

Do you really believe it is always being directed by a 'you'?

If you were sitting quietly just following the breath and noticing bodily sensations do you think you could stop it moving to a loud motorbikr ot the cry of a seagull?
As I pay attention I notice that most of the time it feels like sounds occur out there, but after a while subtly it starts to feel like they occur in here.

So please tell me exactly where 'out there' ends and 'in here' begins. Use sounds with eyes closed.


(I know you believe that there is a you in here and objects out there... but you are trying to see if it is true).

If you as a self is 'doing' hearing why can't you stop it, switch it off?

I can. E.g. when two people talk to me at the same time, I make a decision who I will listen to and focus my attention on their voice, from that point on the other person’s voice is not heard until I direct my attention back to their voice.

Are you sure? You can switch of hearing?.......I certainly can't.


What about sight? With eyes open please switch sight off.

You believe it is yours, that you are doing seeing, that a self is required. If any of that was true you, (the self), would be able to switch it off.

Please switch sight off.

If you cannot, why not at least entertain the notion that seeing just occurs?


Remember what you are doing here. There is no self. End of story.

You believe there is one, a major delusion, so I keep sending you off to find it. It cannot be found. It is this that begins to be noticed......

Try being in nature. Does a squirrel have a self? Watch carefully. Does a bee moving from flower to flower?

Michael.

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:07 pm

Hi Michael,
Who, or what, pays attention?

Can you see that attention moves by itself? Perhaps it shifts from sensation in ankles, to thought, to a loud noise outside.

Do you really believe it is always being directed by a 'you'?
Attention pays attention, it’s the only thing that can. Yes, I can see that most of the time it moves by itself, but That is not always the case.
If you were sitting quietly just following the breath and noticing bodily sensations do you think you could stop it moving to a loud motorbikr ot the cry of a seagull?
Yes, but it depend on how interested I am in the current sensation. I cannot be aware of two thing at exactly the same time. If a man walked through my front door with a gun, I wouldn’t notice the little girl coming in the back. I live nearby a railway track, I never hear trains, but people who visit initially do.
Are you sure? You can switch of hearing?.......I certainly can't.

Yes you do. There is no hearing while asleep and you have at least a degree of control over when to go to sleep, what time to go to bed, what time to close your eyes, etc.

What about sight? With eyes open please switch sight off.


You believe it is yours, that you are doing seeing, that a self is required. If any of that was true you, (the self), would be able to switch it off.

Please switch sight off.

If you cannot, why not at least entertain the notion that seeing just occurs?

Remember what you are doing here. There is no self. End of story.

You believe there is one, a major delusion, so I keep sending you off to find it. It cannot be found. It is this that begins to be noticed......
I wouldn’t say a self is required; it is entirely possible that there is no self, but a self does explain a lot, and a self makes a lot more sense than a no self.

I would love to know if I was delusional, wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong, but...

Why don’t I experience pain, when you fall and break your leg? Why is it when I close my eyes, you can still see? Why is it that there are people whom you love, and I can’t stand them? Why is it that when you fast, I don’t experience hunger?

I experience a self that is different from your self.

The very fact that you don’t see one and I do, means we’re different. Different equals not the same. Not the same means many not one, hence self and other.

What are you doing differently, that’s what I want to know? You look, don’t see, and point. I look where you’re pointing, and I see. This is almost comical.

Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:27 am

Hi Nessie,

You still largely intellectualise by providing arguements for why the self exists.

This will not help you.

You are here to diligently explore exactly what is occurring in your experience.

I am familiar with the arguments for the existance of a self. It is a bit like folk argueing about the existance of God or not.

Just thought.

Is there a God or not? Look deeply enough and you can find out for yourself.

Attention pays attention
This implied that for a moment you saw that 'you' aren't in control of 'your' experience.
I cannot be aware of two thing at exactly the same time. If a man walked through my front door with a gun, I wouldn’t notice the little girl coming in the back.
So what. Nothing to do with your inquiry.

I live nearby a railway track, I never hear trains, but people who visit initially do.

So what. Habituation. Nothing to do with your inquiry.

Why don’t I experience pain, when you fall and break your leg? Why is it when I close my eyes, you can still see? Why is it that there are people whom you love, and I can’t stand them? Why is it that when you fast, I don’t experience hunger?

More intelectualisation.

What are you doing differently, that’s what I want to know? You look, don’t see, and point. I look where you’re pointing, and I see.

The primary difference between how I went about the inquiry and how you are going about it is that I was genuinely open and genuinely became fascinated by looking. I began to see how the my recieved interpretation of reality was false and this in turn really increased the intensity of the search.

Why are you so invested in defending the notion of a separate self?


Why don't you go back and simply have several periods of just sitting, just being, each day; in an endevour to simply be open to experience free of interpretation.


No one has thought themselves to Awakening. What is required is direct experience of what is.

So it becomes a question of cutting through, or letting go of, the misleading layers of interpretation.

The 'looking' excercises provide the opportunity.......

Just like in all those Zen stories when thinking is blocked and a direct experience of non-duality occurs.

Hope this helps.

Michael

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:50 pm

Hi Nessie,

How are you doing?

I was reading through some pointers and remembered this and you came to mind.


This is a common body awareness practice that might help to separate what you do experience in bodily sensation from what you know to be the case.

Body Exercise

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.

Pay attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on thoughts or mental images:

How many toes do you have?
Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
What is your gender?

In your first-hand experience, does the body have a shape or a form?
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside? If there is an inside - inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside, the outside of what exactly?
Can any ‘I’ or ‘me be found in the body?

What does the word/label ‘body’ actually refer to?
What is the actual experience of the body?
Is anything missing?

Seems like it would be a lot of work but they relly only require a one word answer......

Michael

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:01 am

Hi Michael,

I find that entering direct experience is not to difficult, but a soon as I try to investigate direct experiencing, I start conceptualization. E.g. inside, outside, where what ends, etc. these are all concepts, how can this be done without conceptualizing?

Thanks for the exercise, will try my best not to conceptualize while doing it.

Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:48 am

Hi Nessie,

I am so glad you have re-appeared!

I re-read my post to you (a couple of posts ago) and felt it was rather too blunt and may have upset you.

If I did upset you I apologise. I am here to assist your inquiry (which can be quite challenging) but not upset you!

Explore as rigorously and directly as you can. You are quite right that when we do an excercise it is easy for thinking, conceptualisation, to occur. Never mind (in that regard it is the same for all of us).

So if you are doing an exploration around borders and you notice the sound of a bird and then the thought comes, 'the bird is outside' 'I' am listening inside my body' simply notice the thought (something you are better at than most folk) and then go back to the bird sound.

Then you could ask, ' but can I find a 'me' listening, or is there just a bird calling?

or

Where does the sound end and 'me' begin - or whatever question probes the (non!) boundary for you.

So to flip this on it's head we need to use the thinking that comes up in you to be the spearhead
of your own inquiry.

Hope this helps, and sorry again if I was too blunt earlier and upset you.

Michael.

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:30 pm

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the apology, I appreciate it, but it is quite unnecessary. I like bluntness, it cuts down on time.

I went ‘missing’ because of your instruction ...
... go back and simply have several periods of just sitting, just being, each day...
In paying around with borders, for sound I find that there seems to be no border between myself and it. I hear a sound, when I try to find a border between myself and it, the only feeling I get is that my outside is just beyond it. It therefore appears to occur inside me. However I don’t get the feeling that hearing just occurs, I get the feeling that the sound is all there is.

For external sensation, I can’t tell whether the sensation is inward or outward. E.g. does the sensation come from the skin touching the chair, or from the chair touching the skin, I can’t tell; only that a sensation is felt at a specific point. For internal sensations, the same as for sound, the sensation just occurs and that’s all there is.

That being said, once thought resume, these realizations disappear. The illusion of self is stronger that the truth of ‘no borders’.

Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:59 pm

Hi Nessie,

Sorry for the delay (work) and glad you weren't upset!
In playing around with borders, for sound I find that there seems to be no border between myself and it.



Bingo! that is exactly how it is in our experience.

For external sensation, I can’t tell whether the sensation is inward or outward. E.g. does the sensation come from the skin touching the chair, or from the chair touching the skin
See if you can find chair, or skin in DE?

With eyes closed, relaxed and calm can you find your skull, an outline, nose?

Play around with this. and with inside and outside.....

For internal sensations, the same as for sound, the sensation just occurs and that’s all there is.

Exactly. And it is really interesting if you hear 'external' sensations, like birdsong or traffic and also notice something 'internal' like your stomach rumbling....

Is there really a difference or is there just sensation?

Are they both yours or only the stomach sensations?

Is there an owner of experience, or does experience just occur?

That being said, once thought resume, these realizations disappear. The illusion of self is stronger that the truth of ‘no borders’
An important observation.......


Firstly, Rome wasn't dismantled in a day ;-)


Secondly - you are starting to see how important thought is in creating 'your' world.


Nice work.

Michael

User avatar
Nessie
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:49 pm

Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:26 pm

Hi Michael,
See if you can find chair, or skin in DE?

With eyes closed, relaxed and calm can you find your skull, an outline, nose?
Nope, these do not appear in DE.
Exactly. And it is really interesting if you hear 'external' sensations, like birdsong or traffic and also notice something 'internal' like your stomach rumbling....

Is there really a difference or is there just sensation?

Are they both yours or only the stomach sensations?

Is there an owner of experience, or does experience just occur?
Just sensations, no owner, but there is something that experiences the experience, there is an awareness of it. E.g. an itch, in direct experience, does belong to the one who experience it, but it does enter into the awareness of it.

Regards,
Nessie

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:33 pm

Hi Nessie,

Seems like you have tuned into DE..... Well done.

See if you can find chair, or skin in DE?

With eyes closed, relaxed and calm can you find your skull, an outline, nose?
Nope, these do not appear in DE.

Bang on!

And it is really interesting if you hear 'external' sensations, like birdsong or traffic and also notice something 'internal' like your stomach rumbling....

Is there really a difference or is there just sensation?

Are they both yours or only the stomach sensations?

Is there an owner of experience, or does experience just occur?

Just sensations, no owner.......

Really well noticed. There is experience but no owner of experience. Do let that sink in.......

....but there is something that experiences the experience, there is an awareness of it. E.g. an itch, in direct experience, does belong to the one who experience it.....

Language is difficult here. It is best to stick with one word usually - conscious, awareness, or perception. Any sentance with more than one is usually not accurate or helpful.....

Is it not more like: Sensation is noticed and then thought tells us 'I have an itch', or, 'I am itchy'?

Or, there is perception (no one is doubting that appearances occur e.g. the itch, the birdsong, the scent); but are they just being perceived; or being perceived by a self?

If by a self - where or what is it?


Happy looking :-)

Michael


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest