Pathless path

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:44 am

Hi

This is great. This is how it feels to SEE.
It feels as if everything becomes infused with presence or awareness somehow, there’s a tender intimacy with all of experience. Everything just appears by itself. There is a sense of wonder and of a subtle joy and fulfillment. Experiences have a lightness and brightness that’s neither physical nor visual. How wonderful!
Lovely!

Would you like to look at time?

Time Exercise

There is a general assumption that there is linear time that started (if started at all) somewhere very far in the past and advances to the distant future. The present moment (now) is considered to be a very small fragment of time, or an event that is moving forward on a linear line, coming from the past and advancing to the future.

But is there an experience of the ’now’ moving along the line of time? Any experience of one ‘moment’ giving way to the next? Is there any actual or direct experience of one event following another?

How fast is the ‘present moment’ actually moving?

Just look at 'this moment', can you find a point where it began?

How long does the ‘now’ last?

Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?

When does the ‘now’ exactly become the 'past'?

What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?

So is there actual experience of ‘time’ or thoughts about ‘time’?


Next we can look at memory and body.

Enjoy!
~ 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 Oct 22, 2020 10:01 am

Good morning!

Yes, I’d like to look at time :)
But is there an experience of the ’now’ moving along the line of time? Any experience of one ‘moment’ giving way to the next? Is there any actual or direct experience of one event following another?
No, there’s no direct experience of one event after another. It’s more a continuous flow of experience, with no cuts or breaks in between, just fluid transitions or changes, like the movement of the head goes hand in hand with a change in visual perception.
How fast is the ‘present moment’ actually moving?
There are changes in experience, the perception of movment (e.g. right now I’m sitting in a train and looking out of the window and the landscape is moving past quite quickly) but the „present moment“ is not moving at all. It seems to be totally still and unmoving.
Just look at 'this moment', can you find a point where it began?
No
How long does the ‘now’ last?
It seems outside of time, with no beginning and no ending. So, it doesn’t last at all.
Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?
No beginning and no end
When does the ‘now’ exactly become the 'past'?
Never
What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?
Thoughts
So is there actual experience of ‘time’ or thoughts about ‘time’?
Thoughts about „time“

I’m loving this! It feels like something has shifted to an awareness that’s changeless, timeless and boundless, but aware of change and movement and body. This awareness just is and I am this awareness.

Loving
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:29 pm

Good morning,

Yes, as I said, it was about time that you had a short circuit. Good! And take note that this shift in perception happened when you had time to do this every day.
It’s more a continuous flow of experience,
Can you see this "flow" in Actual Experience? Look very, very closely. You mentioned movement. What movement? How do you know this? DO you? Or is it only that the content of thoughts tell you this?
the „present moment“ is not moving at all. It seems to be totally still and unmoving.
Yes. Stillness.

You have read and heard about this stillness for years. THIS is the stillness, the peace that passeth understanding.

Same with the view out of a train window. What if it is all an optical illusion? Maybe you are sitting still and the view is a movie that only looks like it is outside of the window.
What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?
Thoughts
To be clear: you mean "Thoughts Arising," which they do, but not "content of thought," which is made up - right? Please be very clear in your replies. It helps both of us. (as if there were 2! :) )

Okay, those should clarify the Time exercise some. Now, let's try Memory.

Memory Exercise

Almost everybody believes that a memory thought is referring to something that has happened. That a memory thought is a different thought than a non-memory thought.

Please don’t go to thought explanations, but just let a memory be there, and look at it. Look at what is actually going on and not what thoughts say - but what actually is.

What is memory exactly?

What is the memory ‘made of’?

WHEN does the memory appear?

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought? How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?

Then, look at a thought about the future.

What is the future thought ‘made of’?

WHEN does the future thought appear?

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought? How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?

Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future. What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future? If there is difference and how is that difference is known exactly?


These will be fun.

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 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:47 pm

Hi Stacy,
And take note that this shift in perception happened when you had time to do this every day.
Yes, it’s definitely good to have this level of focus and continuity!
Can you see this "flow" in Actual Experience? Look very, very closely. You mentioned movement. What movement? How do you know this? DO you? Or is it only that the content of thoughts tell you this?
Hmm, I guess you’re right, I can’t see the flow. I can’t see a beginning or end of one moment, but I also can’t see the flow of experiences. I don’t really see movement. It’s the comparing of before and after in thoughts that tells me this. And still there is a sense or a feeling of increased flow, beingness and spaciousness…
Same with the view out of a train window. What if it is all an optical illusion? Maybe you are sitting still and the view is a movie that only looks like it is outside of the window.
That seems a bit far fetched to me. Are you suggesting that my whole experience of reality is an illusion?
To be clear: you mean "Thoughts Arising," which they do, but not "content of thought," which is made up - right? Please be very clear in your replies. It helps both of us. (as if there were 2! :) )
:D
Yes, I mean „thoughts arising“

Ok, memory exercise!
What is memory exactly?
I’m not really sure. It seems to be mental construct, like a mental image or a movie, appearing in my mind’s eye. It seems to have sound, color, movement, characters. It can trigger feelings and physical sensations.
What is the memory ‘made of’?
Content of thoughts?
WHEN does the memory appear?
Now, in actual experience
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought? How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
I can’t see a difference.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
Content of thoughts
WHEN does the future thought appear?
Now, in actual experience
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought? How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
I can’t find a difference. I don’t know how it is known that a future thought refers to something that will happen…
Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future. What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future? If there is difference and how is that difference is known exactly?
I can’t find a difference either. Past and future don’t exist?! First this felt like a threatening realization. Like loosing my orientation or the ground to stand on. But then it started to feel like a dropping away or a relaxation and at the same time a centering or grounding, but not in anything solid, but in an empty openness.

Love
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:27 am

Oooookaaaay, mostly you're SEEING and let's connect some more dots.
I don’t really see movement. It’s the comparing of before and after in thoughts that tells me this. And still there is a sense or a feeling of increased flow, beingness and spaciousness…
Yes! The more we see what's true, the more sense of spaciousness expands. Remember, this will be a
honeymoon period. It may last a long time, and it almost always comes & goes.

This is why we spent so much time learning the difference between Thought Arising, which does happen, and the content of thoughts. which is made up, just stories.
That seems a bit far fetched to me. Are you suggesting that my whole experience of reality is an illusion?
I am. But don't take my word for any of this. That's how we all got so confused in the first place!

LOOK & LOOK & LOOK some more!

What tells you it's the train moving? Is that the content of thought? or AE?

Haven't you ever slipped & lost the story? Felt a lurching feeling that the train was sitting still & the view was moving? Play with it.

What is the memory ‘made of’?
Content of thoughts?
Don't ask me. LOOK! (Colored Socks again!)

I can’t find a difference either. Past and future don’t exist?! First this felt like a threatening realization. Like loosing my orientation or the ground to stand on. But then it started to feel like a dropping away or a relaxation and at the same time a centering or grounding, but not in anything solid, but in an empty openness.
Right! Perfect.

Yes. We sometimes warn people not to go down this road unless they're sure. There's no going back once you've SEEN.


"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in. "

~ Natalie Goldberg,
"Thunder & Lightening: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft"

Keep looking at this. Tell me what you're SEEING (and other AE). Don't believe content of thoughts - thoughts lie.

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 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:52 am

Hi
WHEN does the memory appear?
Now, in actual experience
I missed one i meant to check on. Yes, now. There is no other time, as you saw in the previous exercise.

Thought Arising is Actual Experience

Content of thought is made up

So, can you say a memory is an Actual Experience? Or is it just that thought tells you that?

And don't worry about the train perspective if it's bothering you. It *is* very disorienting.

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 Oct 26, 2020 1:15 pm

Hi Stacy,

sorry for the late reply. I was just traveling over the weekend and am on my way back to Berlin now.
Yes! The more we see what's true, the more sense of spaciousness expands. Remember, this will be a
honeymoon period. It may last a long time, and it almost always comes & goes.
Yes, it seems to be coming and going already over the course of the weekend. It feels like the old way of experiencing or the habituated sense of self is easily activated again by circumstances and habit.
This is why we spent so much time learning the difference between Thought Arising, which does happen, and the content of thoughts. which is made up, just stories.
Yes, this distinction is very helpful and sometimes I still get a bit confused between the two.
I am. But don't take my word for any of this. That's how we all got so confused in the first place!
Alright!
What tells you it's the train moving? Is that the content of thought? or AE?
As I’m sitting in a train again right now, I can study this first hand ;)
It’s content of thought.
The AE that gets interpreted as the content of thought „the train is moving“ consists of changes in visual perception, bodily sensations, sounds.
Haven't you ever slipped & lost the story? Felt a lurching feeling that the train was sitting still & the view was moving? Play with it.
Absolutely. If something’s moving outside there can be the illusion of the train moving instead of the object outside moving.
Don't ask me. LOOK! (Colored Socks again!)
Haha, yes, I got confused again about the difference between thoughts arising and content of thought here. The memory is made up out of content of thoughts.
So, can you say a memory is an Actual Experience? Or is it just that thought tells you that?
Yes, a memory can’t be an actual experience. It’s just thought that tells me that. It’s pretty amazing and puzzling that content of thought (like e.g. a memory of a frightening experience) which is made up can lead to actual experience (e.g. contraction, increased heart rate, etc.). It’s like we’re putting ourselves into a trance state and take it to be real. Even though there’s not even an „I“ who does this. It’s just happening.
And don't worry about the train perspective if it's bothering you. It *is* very disorienting.
I find it quite fascinating to play with it. It’s like letting go of everything that thought tells me and just staying with actual experience. From there I’m still and unmoving and it seems like the world outside is moving past. Although that’s just another illusion, right?

Loving

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:33 pm

Hi Pascal,

You're doing great LOOKING here. How do things seem to you today?
Yes, it seems to be coming and going already over the course of the weekend. It feels like the old way of experiencing or the habituated sense of self is easily activated again by circumstances and habit.
Yes, it looks like "circumstances and habit," but more accurately, what pulls you out of the truth is a lie. That's blunt. Another way of putting it is believing an unquestioned thought, which is always rooted in a fear or an expectation, the past or the future. You may not be sure what the thought was. They can be hard to see because we *believe* them, but remember, old woman/ young woman picture? Or finding out a parent was Santa Claus? Once you've got it, there is no going back.
Yes, this distinction is very helpful and sometimes I still get a bit confused between the two.
Yes. It takes practice to establish the new habit of questioning all stressful thoughts to find the lie that created the stress & took you out of the peace of the present moment. It's a process. You can do this.

You clearly have the train illusion down and can probably switch back and forth whenever you like. Good!
Yes, a memory can’t be an actual experience. It’s just thought that tells me that. It’s pretty amazing and puzzling that content of thought (like e.g. a memory of a frightening experience) which is made up can lead to actual experience (e.g. contraction, increased heart rate, etc.). It’s like we’re putting ourselves into a trance state and take it to be real. Even though there’s not even an „I“ who does this. It’s just happening.
Yes. Exactly. You've got it.
It’s like letting go of everything that thought tells me and just staying with actual experience. From there I’m still and unmoving and it seems like the world outside is moving past. Although that’s just another illusion, right?
Yes. You are right on track! ;)

Okay, here is an exercise about "body."

Introductory Body Exercise

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.

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

Can it be known how tall the body is?

Does the body have a weight or volume?

In the actual 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 - the inside of what exactly?

If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?

What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?

Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You can
look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering,
having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.


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 Oct 28, 2020 11:44 am

Hi Stacy,
How do things seem to you today?
This sense of presence or beingness or isness is more in the foreground of my attention. It seems to be always present. Sometimes I’m not aware of it because I’m focused on some content or task, but whenever I check or just relax, it is there.

Thanks a lot for your comments and clarifications!
Really useful!

Ok, body exercise:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
No

Does the body have a weight or volume?
I don’t know. I can’t find it in actual experience, so no.

In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
No

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
In actual experience, no.

Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
I was sitting on a cushion, but no ;)

Is there an inside or an outside?
I can’t find it in actual experience, so no.

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
It refers to content of thought.
In actual experience there are just sensations, but not a thing called „body“.

What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Sensations appearing in spaciousness.
Shapes and colors.
Touch.

Loving
P

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:46 am

I pressed "submit" too quickly without putting your questions in quotes...

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:21 pm

Good morning,

Beautiful. Don't worry about the missing quote. I just now put a quote in blue by mistake.

So, Pascal,

Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?


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 Oct 29, 2020 1:16 am

Hi Stacy,
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
I can’t find a separate entity anywhere in direct experience—so, no.
The belief in a separate entity was just a trance and never the actual truth.
The funny thing is that still everything functions in the same way, habitual patterns, ways of expression and relating on different levels—physical and mental—are still the same, it’s just that there’s no separate entity at the center of it anymore. At least when I look, that is. I still get temporarily caught up in the trance of a separate entity, but it’s more out of habit—like a moment of not being present or getting lost in thoughts—and not like an actual truth. And then when I return to actual experience it feels like a relief and is very joyful. I often have to laugh when seeing through the trance—seeing the emptiness and insubstantiality of the trance. Anyway, this feels wonderful and it feels in some way like I’m just at the beginning of this exploration.

Love
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:24 am

Beautiful! Yes, I believe I warned you that this would ne the beginning, not an end.

Please answer these clearly & from your current understanding:

Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.


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 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:21 pm

Hi Stacy
Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
Ok, the way it seems to me now, is that the illusion of separate self is a trance state in which we take ourselves to be separate from the rest of existence and through which we then experience life—as an experience based in separation, fragmentation and contraction rather than as one of undivided wholeness, oneness and expansiveness—our natural condition. I don’t know whether there’s much more to it, really. This trance starts the moment we consciously or unconsciously believe our thoughts, assumptions or beliefs that tell us that we’re separate. And then we start perceiving the world accordingly, as a world of objects, people, time and space. This trance seems very real and convincing and most other people agree that it’s real which gives it some extra credibility. But it only seems real as long as its basic assumption—the illusion of separate self—isn’t properly investigated.
How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It feels wonderful and liberating. There’s a simplicity and clarity to this seeing which is very refreshing, pristine and sobering. And there is a felt sense of rightness and truth to it. Also, there’s a sense of empty open spaciousness, like a nakedness or transparency as well as a sense of effortless flow, immediacy, fullness and connectedness. There is stillness and continuous unfolding, silence and aliveness, emptiness and fullness, peace and bliss. In some sense absolutely nothing has changed while at the same time everything seems different. How astonishing and paradoxical!

Loving
P

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:39 pm

Pascal. that's beautiful! Now you're SEEING & not just thinking.

What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?


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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