Pathless path

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:14 pm

Well, first, happy birthday! I love mountains. I live in Colorado partly for that reason.

Yes, so once you saw that there was no self, did that knowledge then disappear? Has it gone away?

Or did you simply find areas in life where you are still believing what we call "content of thought" or "story" or . . . really, "lies" that our minds have made up?

Is it really a level? Or just a story/lie/contentof thought you had not noticed, yet? There will be many, many of these, for years to come.

Did finding you hadn't questioned that particular story make it real?

Or were you able to see through it now that it has come to your attention?


Remember, It is not the purpose of LU to guide people to any permanent state of bliss or anything. Most people come to greater Awareness gradually.

LU simply helps you to see there is no self. We then check that Awareness with the questions I gave you and offer some community in our Aftercare groups or maybe referrals to things like Ten Fetters work, which I emailed you.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:23 am

Hi Stacy,
Well, first, happy birthday! I love mountains. I live in Colorado partly for that reason.
Thanks a lot! Me too, I love the mountains. I’ve been to Boulder once and really loved it there :)
Yes, so once you saw that there was no self, did that knowledge then disappear? Has it gone away?
No, you’re right! This knowing has never gone away and it can never really be forgotten. What seems to happen is that it can get covered over by the uninvestigated identification with a part instead of the wholeness of all that is. But the knowing is still always there.
Or did you simply find areas in life where you are still believing what we call "content of thought" or "story" or . . . really, "lies" that our minds have made up?
That sounds right.
Is it really a level? Or just a story/lie/contentof thought you had not noticed, yet? There will be many, many of these, for years to come.
Hmm, that makes a lot of sense and is somehow very reassuring!
Did finding you hadn't questioned that particular story make it real?
No, I guess not.
Or were you able to see through it now that it has come to your attention?
Yes, I was able to see through it now. So simple, really. Thanks :)

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:38 pm

Thank you, Pascal. That's great. I'm going to get some other guides to take a look and see if there are any further questions.

I'll reply within a few days. Also, keep an eye on the Private Messages at the top right. When we are ready to invite you to the Aftercare groups, etc. you will see a message there.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:24 am

Hi Pascal

It turns out that partly because this thread is pretty short & partly because it's hard to tell whether you're SEEING or "thinking," I'd like to walk you through some exercises and see how those go, okay? They'll be fun.

First a couple of definitions to help us communicate about this hard-to-describe stuff.

Colored Socks

There is a big difference between knowing that there is nothing to give up and seeing that there is nothing to give up.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference:

If I ask you what color socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can think about it, you can think back to this morning and try to remember putting your socks on, and you can probably tell me what color you think they are.

• Alternatively, you can take a quick look at your socks and tell me what color they actually are!

Hopefully you would agree that you can only be 100% certain by looking.

For the purpose of seeing this "no self" idea, it is very important that you are clear about this difference.

Knowing is about knowledge which is all in the mind and we are not interested in that

We are only interested in looking at and seeing what is actually going on in your present moment-to-moment experience. We are only interested in your Direct Experience in the moment..

Direct or Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, not emotion. Emotion is Sensation plus made-up thoughts & labels)
Tasting
Smelling
Thoughts Arising (but not their content)


Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.

Thanks for your patience in doing a bit more.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:43 am

Hi Stacy,

that sounds great! I'm looking forward to doing some exercises! :)
Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.

Yes, that's clear!

Love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:32 pm

Good morning (in Boulder),

Here is a simple exercise to be sure you are distinguishing between Direct Experience and stories *about* DE

Direct Experience - Labeling Daily Activities

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply color/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/color
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back with a list like the one above.

Post several of your own observations in a list like the one above, please.

Refer to this green list of Actual/Direct Experience for help. You will refer to this often doing these exercises.

Direct or Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, things bodies can feel, not emotion. Emotion is Sensation plus made-up thoughts & labels)
Tasting
Smelling
Thoughts Arising (but not their content, which is made-up)



Relax & have fun with this and all exercises. As you know, we have to relax to SEE.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:09 pm

Hi Stacy,

sorry for the delay. I’m back from the mountains now, but will leave for somewhere else in the mountains again tomorrow. So, a lot of traveling at the moment…

Here are two lists from the last couple of days:

Seeing color and shapes on the screen in front of me
Hearing the sounds of my fingers hitting the keyboard
Feeling the pressure of my fingers against the keys
Having a thought about what to write
Hearing the cracking of the wood burning in the oven
Hearing sounds from the rain outside
Feeling the pressure of my back against the backrest of the bench I’m sitting on
Feeling cold on my hands
Feeling my ankles touch each other and the heel against the bench
Hearing a hum
Having a thought about where the hum is coming from
Seeing green and yellow from the meadow outside the window and dark green from the trees behind and grey from the mountains beyond and white from a waterfall
Feeling the pressure of my butt against the cushion of the bench
Feeling the release of tension in my left shoulder
Feeling the cold of air moving into my nose and down my throat

Hearing bird song
Hearing the sound of my shoes on the ground
Hearing the sound of the door opening
Seeing water
Seeing the green of plants
Seeing the grey green of stone and moss
Seeing the white of clouds
Hearing bird song
Having a thought about the beauty of this
Seeing my legs and the sleeves of my jacket moving
Hearing my own voice recording
Sensing pressure in the sole of my foot when stepping
Sensing the needles of a tree brush across my forehead
Hearing the steps of my feet on the gravel
Seeing the white of the glacier across the valley
Seeing yellow of flowers and brown of fir needles on the ground
Seeing white red white of the hiking trail sign
Hearing myself breathe
Feeling an openness in my chest
Seeing clouds different shades of grey and white
Seeing blue, dark blue, brown, white, black, beige of the mountain across the valley from where I stand
Feeling pressure on the soles of my feet
Feeling drops of rain on my head and on my shoulders

Is that what you were asking for or did I get it wrong somehow…? :-D

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:22 pm

Hi,

Maybe look at the example. Which part of what you wrote is AE?

For each item on the list, please say what the Actual Experience is, *exactly* as on the example list.

That's the part to be learned - what Actual (or Direct) Experience is. What you listed is the story we made up, the story that content of thought tells. I see AE words, but I can't tell if you understood because it is all one phrase & not clearly separate like the example.

I see no items about your thinking. Please add some of those & correct the format of the others showing that you know what AE is. Thank you!

Loving
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:26 pm

Hi Stacy,

do you mean like this?

Seeing color and shapes on the screen in front of me = seeing
Hearing the sounds of my fingers hitting the keyboard = hearing
Feeling the pressure of my fingers against the keys = feeling
Having a thought about what to write = thoughts arsing
Hearing the cracking of the wood burning in the oven = hearing
Hearing sounds from the rain outside = hearing
Feeling the pressure of my back against the backrest of the bench I’m sitting on = feeling
Feeling cold on my hands = feeling
Feeling my ankles touch each other and the heel against the bench = feeling
Hearing a hum = hearing
Having a thought about where the hum is coming from = thoughts arising
Seeing green and yellow from the meadow outside the window and dark green from the trees behind and grey from the mountains beyond and white from a waterfall = seeing
Feeling the pressure of my butt against the cushion of the bench = feeling
Feeling the release of tension in my left shoulder = feeling
Feeling the cold of air moving into my nose and down my throat = feeling

Much love,
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:54 pm

Yes. Good. The point is that only the word on the right is real. The rest is a made-up story that we call "content of thought." That is what we ignore here. We only want to focus on Actual/Direct Experience. Nothing else.

I still don't see any about your thinking. This is very important. Here are a couple of examples:

Thoughts about doing this exercise = Thoughts Arising
Thoughts about what to have to eat = Thoughts Arising
Thoughts about going to sleep = Thoughts Arising

Only the item on the right is real. The thought arises, yes. That is undeniaable. However, as we will see as you explore this, the content of thought had to be learned. It has no existence on its own. It's like Santa Claus. Once you see this, you can never un-see it. You will always know what is real and what is not.

Please do several about your thinking. I know it seems obvious, but this is where people get very stuck - believing thoughts. We want it very clear so you do not get stuck like that. And then we will do more to get clearer about this.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:14 pm

Hi Pascal,

Forgive me, please. I was looking on my cell phone when I first replied. I do see 2 about thoughts in your second attempt at the exercise. Here is another exercise to try while you're traveling:

Observing Thoughts

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’?

Look closely and let me know how that goes for you.

Quote each question and then answer beneath it, one at a time, please.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:05 pm

Hi Stacy,

sorry for the long pause. I was in the mountains, but now I’m back in the city.

I tried the Observing Thoughts exercise three times in the meantime. It wasn’t so easy to ignore the content of the thoughts as often I would only realize that I was caught up in thinking after the fact.

But I think I got what you were trying to get at with the thinking aspect in the Direct Experience – Labeling Daily Activities exercise. I’ve realized that there is a more subtle layer of thinking that I wasn’t really aware of before: almost every direct experience that becomes conscious seems to be immediately interpreted by some cognitive process that analyzes and categorizes it. It’s almost as if there are two categories of thoughts—the ones that interpret my direct experience and the ones that don’t related to direct experience but to past experiences/memories or projections into the future/phantasies.

So, for example I’m sensing my hands touching each other with my eyes closed. The direct experience is just sensing, but with it comes a mental image of my hands touching, which is not direct experience but a mental interpretation or thought. Or I hear a sound which is just hearing, but immediately my mind interprets the sound as „someone speaking“ or „bird song“ or „church bells ringing“.

But back to the Observing Thoughts exercise and your questions:
Where are they coming from and going to?
They seem to be appearing out of nowhere and disappearing back into nowhere.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No
Can you predict your next thought?
No
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
No
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No
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’?
Mostly they seem to be pretty random. But sometimes thoughts seem to follow a temporal progression when dealing with a memory. Like, this thing happened and then this thing happened and then this thing happened…

Loving
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:00 am

Hi Pascal,

Welcome back. Yes, we only care about Direct/Actual Experience here.

Do not analyze. Do not explain. Do not justify. All of that obscures SEEING, which is the only thing that matters here.

Direct or Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, things bodies can feel, not emotion. Emotion is Sensation plus made-up thoughts & labels)
Tasting
Smelling
Thoughts Arising (but not their content, which is made-up)

sometimes thoughts seem to follow a temporal progression when dealing with a memory. Like, this thing happened and then this thing happened and then this thing happened…
So LOOK. Does it follow a temporal progression or is it only a thought that says it does & you believe that with no Direct or Actual Experience proving it?

Don't think. LOOK.

LOOK

Watch this.:

https://youtu.be/wyNwhK2Ur1c

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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wangchuk
Posts: 44
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:42 pm

Hi Stacy,
So LOOK. Does it follow a temporal progression or is it only a thought that says it does & you believe that with no Direct or Actual Experience proving it?
You’re right, there’s no direct experience that says that there is a temporal progression in my thoughts. That’s just another thought. Actually there’s no temporal progression in direct experience at all…!

Loving,
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:14 pm

True. There is no "time" in Direct Experience.

Remember, any one of these exercises can show you there is no "self" or it could happen in a moment of deep relaxation.

Try this one:

Palm Flipping Exercise

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.

2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.
Watch like a hawk.

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

How is the movement controlled?

Does a thought control it?

Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?

Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?

As always, remember to LOOK (not think about it) and quote each question separately with a reply underneath it.

Much love!
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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