this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

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dalim20
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this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:49 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand intellectually that there is no self. The sense of self i have is a persistent illusion that can be seen through.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm hoping to permanently see through the sense of self instead of just understanding it intellectually. I'm hoping that seeing through my sense of sense of self will allow me to be more at peace and live the rest of my life freely.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I'm expecting a guide to have fully seen though the illusion of self and can direct me to my own experience, so that i'm able to see through my own illusions. All i need from a guide is someone who can help direct me to my own direct experience.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have practiced many forms of meditation off and on since i was in middle school.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:32 pm

Hi Dalim,

I've read your preamble and am happy to work with you.

Do read, if you haven't already, all the guidelines and disclaimers on the Gate and check out the 'quote' method. Let me know if you have any problems.

Typically, I will ask a series of questions and or ask you to do various exercises and I hope you will answer from your direct and actual experience as honestly as you can.

From your introduction it is clear that you want to see and to 'know' so I needn't really mention not digressing into abstractions and theory.

Please let me know if this is all ok with you.
Click on the spanner/wrench symbol at the bottom and select subscribe in order to receive email notification of my posts.

Yours,

Michael.

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:41 pm

Hi michael

Thanks for taking the time to work with me i'm really excited to see through my illusion of a separate self. I've already read through all the guidelines and know how to use the quote function. Everything you've said sounds good to me and I will do my best to answer each of the questions with honesty and from my direct experience.

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:40 am

Hi Dalim,

The key to this process is looking directly at your experience, noticing, (avoiding intellectualization) and reporting honestly.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me. What do you think seeing no self will mean for you, or give you?

And

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

The aim is so that you begin looking with a sense of open curiosity free from preconceptions of any kind. To this end it is also recommended to not read Dharma / spiritual books or watch 'spiritual' videos while engaged in this enquiry so outside ideas do not colour your direct experience.

Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days out of consideration let’s notify each other accordingly. That way we can create a continuity and momentum.

Enjoy the process,

Michael

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Hi Michael
Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me. What do you think seeing no self will mean for you, or give you?
I think a part of me hopes that seeing no self will allow me to no longer suffer, to have a new found sense of eternal peace and to have a lot of your average human neuroses go away. Another part of me realizes that seeing through self won't solve all these problems because my "self" has never existed, so there's no reason to think seeing through this illusion will change much. Therefore, i'm trying my best not to expect anything and keep an open mind.
Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.
I think there's a small part of me that's afraid that seeing through my sense of self I will lose a piece of who I am and will miss it. Lol i know that doesnt make much sense because there never was a "self" but that fear still comes up on occasion. Sometimes I think this fear and aversion has caused me to not look as deeply as I could when doing certain practices in the past.

Dalim

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:09 pm

Hi Dalim,

Thanks,
I think a part of me hopes that seeing no self will allow me to no longer suffer, to have a new found sense of eternal peace and to have a lot of your average human neuroses go away. Another part of me realizes that seeing through self won't solve all these problems because my "self" has never existed, so there's no reason to think seeing through this illusion will change much. Therefore, i'm trying my best not to expect anything and keep an open mind.

For myself not all sufferring ended but most did. Initial pain will be felt but the prolifferation of stories is seen through and it is that second and third darts etc that creates so much sufferring. There is a noticeable sense of happiness and well being and addiction and neurosis if not ended then reduces. As you say at the end it is important to be open and simply be curious.
I think there's a small part of me that's afraid that seeing through my sense of self I will lose a piece of who I am and will miss it. Lol i know that doesnt make much sense because there never was a "self" but that fear still comes up on occasion. Sometimes I think this fear and aversion has caused me to not look as deeply as I could when doing certain practices in the past.

I haven't known anyone miss having a fictitious self! I understand that you could think that but really you are going to be in a much freer and happier state....

There is nothing of concern in what you have said. If any expectations or fears arise you can communicate them and I will help you work through them.

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is necessary to clearly understand what I mean by 'direct experience’ DE, since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Michael

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:09 pm

Hi Michael
So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?
I can do that. Right now I feel the sensations of dryness in my throat and mouth and the thought that I should drink water so that uncomfortable sensation goes away. I feel the sensations of my butt sitting on my chair and the sensations of my breath rising and falling. when I focus on my vision I can see the images of a screen and my desk in my direct experience.

Dalim

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:01 pm

Hi Dalim,

It is good to spend time in DE at different points throughout the day, even if only relaxing and noticing.

You have a good basis to start from so let's get underway!

Sitting quietly somewhere, become aware of the six senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and whatever is passing through the mind.

Focusing on sight say to yourself,
'I am seeing - a table, wall, lamp, whatever it is.

Then with sound 'I am hearing - traffic, the fridge, or whatever.
'I am touching - the floor, cushion, chair, as occurs.

Smell and taste are obviously subtler so don’t worry if you don’t notice anything and we'll come to questions directly about thoughts later.

Then do just the same without the 'I'?

'Seeing table'
'Hearing a dog'.
'Smelling incense' etc
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"

Enjoy!

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:10 pm

Hi Michael
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"
When I drop the notion of "I" the only thing that seems to be left is just the sensations themselves. But the "I" seems to come back when I ask myself who the sensations are happening too or who is choosing to become aware of my six senses. When doing the exercise and focusing on the sensations I can't seem to find where there's an "I" in them.

My sense of self during this exercise seemed to become blurry as I wasn't able to exactly tell where it was. At times it felt like just a thought and other times as a sort of feeling or essence that was experiencing these sensations.

Dalim

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:17 pm

Hi Dalim,

Great post!
When doing the exercise and focusing on the sensations I can't seem to find where there's an "I" in them.
Exactly!

When I drop the notion of "I" the only thing that seems to be left is just the sensations themselves. But the "I" seems to come back when I ask myself who the sensations are happening too or who is choosing to become aware of my six senses.
So the next step in your inquiry is to answer your questions:

What is this self that returns as thoughts arise?

My sense of self during this exercise seemed to become blurry as I wasn't able to exactly tell where it was.
Where is it located exactly?

Can it be found?
At times it felt like just a thought and other times as a sort of feeling or essence that was experiencing these sensations.

Could it be just a thought and thoughts about thoughts?


We will leave feelings or essence.....There will be a sense of beingness or aliveness pre and post gate.


You are well on the case here - well done.


Michael.

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:21 am

Hi Michael
What is this self that returns as thoughts arise?
The "self" that returns when thoughts arrive seems to be just a thought as well

Where is it located exactly?
I can't seem to find an exact location. When i'm focusing on my senses the only thing that seems to be there is just the experience of these senses by themselves. When i'm paying attention I seem to notice my brain quickly try and label the sensations as "mine" or something happening to "myself". These realizations become clear for a small moment when im completely focused on my direct experience but as soon as I lose my focus and I get distracted by thoughts the strong feeling of my"self" persists.

At times it feels like my mind is working against me. When I tried to investigate where this "self" was located exactly and I realized there wasn't a "self" in the direct experience of my senses my mind would come up with new places it could possibly be.

I hope i'm writing all of this clearly and would be happy to try and explain better if im not. I will continue to investigate my direct experience, because the brief moments of clarity makes me think i'm onto something.

Dalim

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:44 pm

Hi Dalim,

Great post!

The "self" that returns when thoughts arrive seems to be just a thought as well

Bang on! The crux of it. The self is a thought story. You must keep noticing this.

I can't seem to find an exact location. When i'm focusing on my senses the only thing that seems to be there is just the experience of these senses by themselves. When i'm paying attention I seem to notice my brain quickly try and label the sensations as "mine" or something happening to "myself". These realizations become clear for a small moment when im completely focused on my direct experience but as soon as I lose my focus and I get distracted by thoughts the strong feeling of my"self" persists.
Really important that you keep seeing how thought claims experience and weaves it into the 'self' story. Very well done.


You haven't got a mind but we had better let that go for now.


When I tried to investigate where this "self" was located exactly and I realized there wasn't a "self" in the direct experience of my senses my mind would come up with new places it could possibly be.


I think you will find that it is thought that comes up with other places - is it not?

Where are these other places?

Your intuition is correct.


You are right in the key area (that was quick!). Keep exploring. Look in the areas that thought is suggesting. So if it is saying it is your body explore that.....

Also try the following exercise:


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?

Have fun


Michael

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:06 pm

Hi Michael
Where are these other places?

My thoughts were pointing to the background awareness or beingness I felt as my true self. But on closer investigation that experience of awareness I have just like my other senses are just experiences and my thoughts are trying to claim them as mine. I feel like i'm getting more used to recognizing that my thoughts do not always accurately reflect reality.
In direct experience can a boundary be found?

There doesn't seem to be a boundary. There are just experiences, experience of touch, experiences of sounds and perception of a water bottle and I can't seem to find a "self" in any of these direct experiences just thoughts telling me that there is. Although It's hard for this to become clear. My thoughts are persistent in making me feel as though my body and skin are the barrier between me and outside objects.
Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?

There is just perception.

I don't want to get off topic with the exercises but I did have a question about a strange experience I had this morning.
This morning I woke up with a episode of depersonalization. It only lasted about an hour but I had a feeling of reality and myself being dream like or less real. I've had these experiences throughout my life but they've usually lasted only a few minutes whereas this episode lasted about an hour. I was just curious if this experience could be related to the exercises i've been doing or if I should just ignore the experience.

Thanks. Dalim

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MichaelD
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby MichaelD » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:45 pm

hi Dalim,

Great post!
Where are these other places?

My thoughts were pointing to the background awareness or beingness I felt as my true self. But on closer investigation that experience of awareness I have just like my other senses are just experiences and my thoughts are trying to claim them as mine.
Wow. Just so. Well done.

There will be a sense of beingness post gate -it just doesn't belong to an 'I' or a self as you observe above.

Great that you are noticing thought is claiming experience as 'yours'. Notice this as much as you can in any and all situations. It is thought that is telling the 'I' story....

In direct experience can a boundary be found?

There doesn't seem to be a boundary. There are just experiences, experience of touch, experiences of sounds and perception of a water bottle and I can't seem to find a "self" in any of these direct experiences just thoughts telling me that there is.

Again, well noticed!

My thoughts are persistent in making me feel as though my body and skin are the barrier between me and outside objects.

Ok. Use sound with your eyes closed.

Where is the boundary between sound and self?

Can any boundary be founf at all?

Can any self be found at all?

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

There is just perception.

Excellent!

Do you realise that you have just observed that experiences are just occurring, being noticed, but no-one, or nothing, is doing the noticing? You have just noticed the absence of a self doing the percieving........

Stay with this as it is all so important. See what you are seeing deeply and repeatedly. Use sound to notice boundarylesness and the absence of a self doing the percieving.

I don't want to get off topic with the exercises but I did have a question about a strange experience I had this morning.
This morning I woke up with a episode of depersonalization. It only lasted about an hour but I had a feeling of reality and myself being dream like or less real. I've had these experiences throughout my life but they've usually lasted only a few minutes whereas this episode lasted about an hour. I was just curious if this experience could be related to the exercises i've been doing or if I should just ignore the experience.

I'm sorry Dalim but I simply don't know. Are you concerned? Would it be wise to seek medical advice?


All the best,

Michael

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dalim20
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Re: this is my second time hear but wasnt able to finish due to life responsibilities. Hoping to get it done this time

Postby dalim20 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:38 pm

Where is the boundary between sound and self?

Can any boundary be founf at all?

Can any self be found at all?
No there is no boundary just sound. I notice this more clearly when I get lost while listening to music through my headphones and when I snap out of this state I realize there was no feeling of an "I" listening just the sounds of music by itself.

I'm sorry Dalim but I simply don't know. Are you concerned? Would it be wise to seek medical advice?

I'm not concerned at all. It was just a strange experience and was curious if it could at all be related to the practices i've been doing.


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