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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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 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:31 pm

Hi Dalim,

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.

Great! So where does this leve you in relation to there being a self?

Is there one or not?

And if so, where?

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 14, 2020 3:30 pm

Great! So where does this leve you in relation to there being a self?

Is there one or not?

And if so, where?

I'm not sure if there is a self or not. I've been really frustrated because I know from looking into my direct experience that there is no self in my experiences but I still feel as though I have one in my day to day life. I'm starting to question if I have been giving you answers derived from my actual direct experience or if I just knew intellectually what the right answers were supposed to be.

I can't seem to be able to access my actual direct experience. Today I noticed there was still a subtle layer of conceptual thought layered over my experience of the five senses.

Is there something im doing wrong? Or is this just a matter of needing more practice?

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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 15, 2020 10:55 am

Hi Dalim,

I'm not sure if there is a self or not. I've been really frustrated because I know from looking into my direct experience that there is no self in my experiences but I still feel as though I have one in my day to day life.

It is likely to take more than one seeing of no self for it to be realised. That is why it is important to repeat thexercises / looking until it is realised to be true.

I'm starting to question if I have been giving you answers derived from my actual direct experience or if I just knew intellectually what the right answers were supposed to be.

We did note in the beginning that honesty is required - so only you can answer that.......It is not helpful that so many folk now come to the forum as intelectual no-self / non-dual intelectual experts. Somehow you have to let all previous ideas go and just forensically look at experience until you see it how it is.


I can't seem to be able to access my actual direct experience. Today I noticed there was still a subtle layer of conceptual thought layered over my experience of the five senses.

This is just simple confusion (as you are now experiencing doubt). DE is whatever sensual experience there is (seeing, hearing, touch etc) and thought as it occurs in the moment. If a chain of thought, analysis, or a story proliferates we have simply got lost in thought. So if we notice that has occurred during, for example, an investigation using hearing (and we find ourselves planning what to have for supper!) we simplt re-focus on what is being heard and then try to find out what, if anything, is doing the listening.
Is there something im doing wrong? Or is this just a matter of needing more practice?

You are not doing anything wrong. Doubt is valuable (though uncomfortable) if it drives you deeper.....


Forget practice (a religious idea). You are looking / investigating. Practice creates path and a goal somewhere in the future. Unhelpful BS.

Hope the above helps.

Don't let anything knock you off track! The 'ego' is likely to play tricks and doubt could well be one of them....

Michael

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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 17, 2020 10:01 am

Hey Dalim,

What's cooking? Are you ok?

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 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:28 pm

Hi Michael
What's cooking? Are you ok?
Everything been going good. I've been trying to narrow down where the feelings of a separate self are coming from since I haven't been able to find a clear location in the experience of my senses. I found that I still have a strong illusion of a self making choices. There's a feeling that there is a separate "me" that decides what movie to watch, or even something as simple as what arm i'm choosing to lift in the air right now.
There must be something that makes these decisions.

I also notice there was a subtle feeling of my individual personality being myself. My sense of self becomes stronger when I think of my own unique personality characteristics, my desires and unique life experiences. There's a feeling that my self is a combination of these things. I even notice sometimes when I ask myself where my "self" is I naturally think of my own face and body as though im identifying with my own physical characteristics.

I know I must investigate all these things further and see if there is really a "Self" that owns any of these experiences. A lot of the doubt and frustration are clearing up as i become more naturally curious of where my "self is if anywhere.

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 18, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi Dalim,

Thanks for your post.

Everything been going good. I've been trying to narrow down where the feelings of a separate self are coming from since I haven't been able to find a clear location in the experience of my senses.

Well done. Important that you note this Dalim. You have had a good hunt round for a self and not found one. This is your experience - not something a guru has told you in a 'What is enlightenment?' Youtube video!

I found that I still have a strong illusion of a self making choices. There's a feeling that there is a separate "me" that decides what movie to watch, or even something as simple as what arm i'm choosing to lift in the air right now.
There must be something that makes these decisions.

Ok. Generally choice is dealt with after having a good look at thought (because the choice is aften experienced as a thought) so looking at thought is what we will do next. So, we are coming to choice, via thought, so please do not feel that I am not addressing your concern.......


What we will do now is really look at thought carefully so here are a few questions. This batch deal with thinking in a generalised way and then the next will have you look at "I" thoughts:

Don't agonize, or think, simply look and answer from the gut.

Where do thoughts come from?

Where are they going?

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can you choose what to think?

Can you choose what not to think?

Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?

I think you will enjoy this,

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 19, 2020 9:09 am

Hi Michael
Where do thoughts come from?
I'm honestly not sure. Some thought seem to be reflections of something happening in the external world for example if i hear the sounds of ocean waves the image of ocean waves will pop into my mind. But other times thoughts seem to come out of nowhere.

Where are they going?
I'm not too sure. If I stop thinking thoughts seem to vanish into nothingness.

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
If it is possible it seems to be really difficult. I've tried stopping thoughts when thinking of something negative by thinking of something else but it usually seems like I have to allow my mind to naturally drift to something else on its own.
Can you choose what to think?
yes I can. If I decide to think of a yellow bus right now then an image of a yellow bus will pop into my mind.

Can you choose what not to think?
This on the other hand seems almost impossible to do. If i tell myself not to think about an elephant an elephant will automatically pop into my mind.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
yes I can begin to think of something that disgusts me or makes me sad. I can choose to think about the death of my brother right now and I will become sad.
Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?
After looking at this closely they usually seem to be just occuring. This is most noticeable When I catch myself drifting in thought I realize at that point that were a stream of thoughts going through my mind with no experience of a "self" but just the thoughts themselves. The place where it seems there is a strong sense of "self is when choosing what to think. I seem to have some power of what I decide i'm going to think about.

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 22, 2020 8:53 pm

Hi Dalim,

Sorry for the delay but my work load (wage slavery) increased...

Where do thoughts come from?

I'm honestly not sure. Some thought seem to be reflections of something happening in the external world for example if i hear the sounds of ocean waves the image of ocean waves will pop into my mind. But other times thoughts seem to come out of nowhere.

Yup, out of nowhere.
Where are they going?

I'm not too sure. If I stop thinking thoughts seem to vanish into nothingness.

Exactly. Arise and disappear, in and out of nothingness.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

If it is possible it seems to be really difficult. I've tried stopping thoughts when thinking of something negative by thinking of something else but it usually seems like I have to allow my mind to naturally drift to something else on its own.


Not sure I agree. I can't stop a thought in the middle. Chains may break, or change course.

Why not have another look?

Can you choose what not to think?

This on the other hand seems almost impossible to do. If i tell myself not to think about an elephant an elephant will automatically pop into my mind.

Agreed. Thoughts just appear.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

yes I can begin to think of something that disgusts me or makes me sad. I can choose to think about the death of my brother right now and I will become sad.
An interesting answer. It seems they can be influenced, but for how long. Soon they will drift off and do their own thing.

(Sorry to hear about your brother).

Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?

After looking at this closely they usually seem to be just occuring. This is most noticeable When I catch myself drifting in thought I realize at that point that were a stream of thoughts going through my mind with no experience of a "self" but just the thoughts themselves. The place where it seems there is a strong sense of "self is when choosing what to think. I seem to have some power of what I decide i'm going to think about.

Yes, very important this. Again we think we are in the driving seat, choosing, deciding and running the show. But is this really true. Generally thought arise. If going away in a timely way lists will be made, suitcasr packed car checked or whatever. But was a separate self required.

Does a bird have a separate self? It can select territory, attack, defend, feed, get a mate, build a nest, rear young.

Complicated behaviours just like us but with or without a self?

Stay noticing thought. Notice how it claims decisions, choices, actions. Notice 'I' stories.

If you can try and spend time in nature. Warch birds and animals. A lot going on but do they have selves?

We imagine we are very different (because we have cars and mobile phones).

:-)

But are we?

Then next time we will focus on 'I' thought questions.

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 26, 2020 2:26 pm

Hi Michael, no worries about the delay I've been busy with work as well.
Not sure I agree. I can't stop a thought in the middle. Chains may break, or change course.

Why not have another look?
On closer inspection you seem to be right. Thoughts may change course or be interrupted by another thought that grabs my attention then a new thought stream starts. I do seem to be able to generate a thought though. Like I said in my last post if I choose to think of a yellow bus a thought of a yellow bus will appear in my mind. Who makes that decision?
Stay noticing thought. Notice how it claims decisions, choices, actions. Notice 'I' stories.
I've noticed this very strongly when looking into direct experience. When focusing on the experience of hearing, thoughts quickly claim the experience as mine or a mental thought of a barrier tells me that sounds are happening outside of myself. This is the same with feelings of touch and any other sensory experience. This makes truly observing direct experience difficult.
Sorry to hear about your brother
I accidently worded that wrong in my last post. My brother isn't actually dead I was just referring to the mere thought of him dying bringing about strong negative emotions. I should have worded that better. My apologies.

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 26, 2020 10:31 pm

Hi Dalim,

I am glad your brother is alive!
On closer inspection you seem to be right. Thoughts may change course or be interrupted by another thought that grabs my attention then a new thought stream starts. I do seem to be able to generate a thought though. Like I said in my last post if I choose to think of a yellow bus a thought of a yellow bus will appear in my mind. Who makes that decision?

Well done. Yes, there is some capacity to generate new thought - but does that take a seperate self? Would our super complex brain be enough?

Stay noticing thought. Notice how it claims decisions, choices, actions. Notice 'I' stories.


I've noticed this very strongly when looking into direct experience. When focusing on the experience of hearing, thoughts quickly claim the experience as mine or a mental thought of a barrier tells me that sounds are happening outside of myself. This is the same with feelings of touch and any other sensory experience.
.

Brilliantly noticed. This is very important to see. The self is really a thought construction......

Let's look at 'I' thoughts now:

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?

Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?

Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?

Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?


Do relax and take your time

You will enjoy these I’m sure!

Michael


Let's look at the 'I' thought questions......

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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 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:31 pm

Hi Michael
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
I can't find an 'I' that generates thoughts.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No i can't find the 'i' in experience.
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
This is becoming more and more clear to me as I investigate my experience. There is an experience of a thought or other sensory experience and then another thought quickly claims that experience as happening to a 'self'. There is also a feeling that corresponds with the 'my' thought. I somehow fall into the belief that the label of 'I' on experience is representative of my direct experience.
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
There is no 'I' that actually controls thoughts. Just another thought that tries to claim thoughts as happening under the control of some 'I'
Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?
lol I have tried but without any success. When I first noticed my mind is constantly labeling experience with the thought of 'I' my first reaction was to suppress it but I learned that I can't and all I need to do is see the thought for what it is, which is just a thought that doesn't actually reflect 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 » Fri May 01, 2020 6:17 pm

Hi Dalim,


Great answers. Bang on!!
When I first noticed my mind is constantly labeling experience with the thought of 'I' my first reaction was to suppress it but I learned that I can't and all I need to do is see the thought for what it is, which is just a thought that doesn't actually reflect my direct experience.
So where are you in relation to a separate self?

Do you see it is just a thought story and identification with thought?

Mchael

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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 May 03, 2020 4:40 pm

Hi Michael
So where are you in relation to a separate self?

Things have stayed relatively the same in day to day experience regarding the self. The moments of clarity I have while looking at direct experience go away once I resume my normal day to day activities.
Do you see it is just a thought story and identification with thought?
When looking at my direct experience I see glimpses of how my mind produces the thought of a self and I identify with it but like I said in the paragraph above this realization is only clear when focusing on my direct experience. I'm not sure where else im supposed to go from here as the realizations i've been having don't seem strong enough to break my illusion of self.

Is this just a matter of having to repeatedly observe my direct experience to break the illusion? Or is there something else that i'm possibly missing?

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 » Mon May 04, 2020 11:03 am

Hi Dalim,

Do you see it is just a thought story and identification with thought?

When looking at my direct experience I see glimpses of how my mind produces the thought of a self and I identify with it but like I said in the paragraph above this realization is only clear when focusing on my direct experience.
But is it 'my mind'.......... You have to be ruthlessly honest.

What mind? There is no way you can find mind. But you invent one and then think it is yours........

If you look at something or hear something can you honestly say there is a mind, a 'your mind'?

Get a bit ruthless and really take on board what is being seen.

Same for 'my mind produces the thought of a self and I identify with it'. You already know this is nonesense because you have seen that thoughts just appear, can't be stopped or made to happen etc.

What is identifying with thought?

Can you really find anything there except the next thought - also confirming a self, Dalim as the central character in existance.....

Could 'your' experience be interpreted as: 'thoughts appear about a self, an 'I', which are believed and that weave an illusion, a narrative, the Dalim story......

I think you need to up the anti and really make it your quest. Look and keep looking. The key is thought and the temptation to believe them.....

thought content is unreal, labelling and interpretation. It doesn't matter how well a glass of water is described it is no good if you are thirsty!!

I think your inquiry really needs to become your own where you are really looking with a relaxed and curious intensity.

So; is there a self?, what is awareness?, Is there mind? are 'I' thoughts true?, to what do they refer?, etc, etc.

Pick something and really drive it home.......

Have fun, You are after the truth after all.....

Michael

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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 May 08, 2020 7:06 pm

Dalim,

How are you doing?

What's cooking?

Michael


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