Guide Request

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:21 pm

Hi Vivien,
Why your replies are in past tense? Are you replying from memory?
Yesterday I discovered it felt cleaner to write in a passive way / past tense, as without an I in the sentence it was easier to see clearly what I was writing. Perhaps it also led me to write partly from memory, so I now understand why it's better just not to write in the past tense.
So every time I ask a question, you always have to look afresh, to see it again and again what is being pointed it. Can we agree on this?
I agree. I actually spend minimum an hour a day - sometimes more - asking the questions and looking (I keep a small notepad of the questions with me), plus I look all day during and between everyday activities. Each of the hundreds of times I'm asking per day, I look at direct experience.
T: There was no actual me or self behind the thought about whether to fight. Just another thought.
V: Can you actually see this experientially, or rather this is just an intellectual understanding?
When I look behind the thought about whether to fight, I only find sensation, and sometimes a thought. I cannot say with certainty if this is a 'no me' or a 'no self'. But I do not find a me or a self.
The exercise taught YOU?
When I look for a person learning or being taught, I cannot find anything except changing sensations.
Where is this ME, you are talking about?
When I search for the ME, I only find my experience.
Thoughts don’t need to be fought?
When I look, I realise I don't know the answer to this question anymore.
So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?
I cannot find a Tom who can decide whether to fight or not fight a thought.
So where is this Tom, who supposedly could decide that fewer thoughts are better?
I cannot find this Tom, who supposedly can decide that fewer thoughts are better. Only my experience.
Where is Tom? Show him to me.
I cannot find a Tom, or show him to you. Only changing sensations and thoughts.
How is Tom perceived?
When I ask this questions, I only receive sensations and an occasional thought as answers.
By which of the 5 senses?
None of the five senses perceives Tom or shows me where he is.
Are you 100% sure that you can clearly see experientially that there is no thinker of thoughts?
I only experience sensations and some thoughts when I ask this question.
Where does the decider live or resides?
I cannot find where the decider lives or resides.
In the head?
When I look specifically in my head, and throughout my body, I cannot find where the decider lives or resides.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:32 am

Hi Tom,
Yesterday I discovered it felt cleaner to write in a passive way / past tense, as without an I in the sentence
Please don’t do that. Don’t leave out the words of I/me/my/mine, especially if they feel to be true. If you leave out these words, then you are giving the impression that you can see something while you can’t. It’s important, because I give the next sets of questions according your comments, and if you comment as if you’ve seen something but you have only intellectual understanding, then my questions will be inappropriate and not useful. Can we agree on this?
I agree. I actually spend minimum an hour a day - sometimes more - asking the questions and looking (I keep a small notepad of the questions with me), plus I look all day during and between everyday activities. Each of the hundreds of times I'm asking per day, I look at direct experience.
Very good :)
I cannot say with certainty if this is a 'no me' or a 'no self'. But I do not find a me or a self.
In almost all replies you are saying that you cannot find Tom, the I, the decider, etc.

Do you expect to find the no-me, or the no-self?


Let’s say a thought makes the claim: “There is a unicorn in the room”.
Then you start to search for unicorns, but they cannot be found. Cannot be experienced.

After seeing that they cannot be found, cannot be seen, cannot be experienced in any way, would you still say that it cannot be known for sure if there is a unicorn in the room or not? Or would you say that although thoughts talk about unicorns, but actually there is no unicorn in the room?

Or would you expect to find a no-unicorn in order to say with conviction that there is no unicorn in the room?
When I search for the ME, I only find my experience.
MY experience? What owns experience?
What or who is it that has experience?

What or who experience happens TO?
Does experience happen to Tom?
Does experience happen to thoughts?
Does experience happen to sensations?

Does experience happen to anyone or anything at all? Or there is only experience?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:58 pm

Hi Vivien,
Please don’t do that. Don’t leave out the words of I/me/my/mine, especially if they feel to be true. If you leave out these words, then you are giving the impression that you can see something while you can’t. It’s important, because I give the next sets of questions according your comments, and if you comment as if you’ve seen something but you have only intellectual understanding, then my questions will be inappropriate and not useful. Can we agree on this?
Yes, I can agree. Thanks for the explanation. I now see why it's important to speak in the language that comes naturally, rather than leaving words out.
Do you expect to find the no-me, or the no-self?
I do not expect to find the no-me or no-self. I expect to continue looking from many different angles and in the context of different questions, until some point when I have seen enough to be convinced that it is fruitless to look and that there is no self to be found.
After seeing that they cannot be found, cannot be seen, cannot be experienced in any way, would you still say that it cannot be known for sure if there is a unicorn in the room or not?
If after seeing that the unicorn truly cannot be found, seen or experienced in any way - and I thoroughly checked that myself - I would not say that it cannot be known for sure if there is or isn't a unicorn.
Or would you say that although thoughts talk about unicorns, but actually there is no unicorn in the room?
Yes, I would say that there is for sure no unicorn in the room.
Or would you expect to find a no-unicorn in order to say with conviction that there is no unicorn in the room?
I would not expect to find a no-unicorn in order to say with conviction that there is no unicorn.

I very much like this comparison, and it seemed to make some things clearer. At the same time, I feel a protest in myself ... A unicorn is big and easy to spot! And most rooms are pretty simple. I should be able to tell a room's unicorn status at a glance, with minimal looking. I feel like verifying the self is a much bigger and more complex undertaking.
MY experience?
It does feel like these in some way are my experiences. It is only different once I start looking.
What owns experience?
When I look, the only answer I get is just more experience. I cannot find anything that owns these experiences.
What or who is it that has experience?
I cannot find anything or person what has that experience. Just sensations and thoughts.
What or who experience happens TO?
I also cannot find anything or anyone that the experiences happen to.
Does experience happen to Tom?
I cannot find a Tom to whom experiences happen.
Does experience happen to thoughts?
When I look in my experience I do not find thoughts that experience happens to.
Does experience happen to sensations?
The answer I get in return is just more sensations.
Does experience happen to anyone or anything at all?
I cannot find anyone or anything at all that experience happens to.
Or there is only experience?
When I look there is indeed only experience.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:09 am

Hi Tom,

Look around, all colours are given, they are happening. It’s not that the me-character can choose and make colours that are present into different ones. Or choose not to see green and see pink instead. Colours are happening. Shapes are happening. Sounds are happening.

What about sensations? Are they happening or the me-character doing them?
And how about feelings? Are they something the me-character does or something that is given?

Now look, what is not given?

Is the me-character doing anything in life?
Or is it given? As an idea? Or as an entity?


Please investigate these in the midst of your everyday life. Investigate with an intention to go to the bottom of this issue, and REALLY SEE what is going on.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:03 am

Hi Vivien,
What about sensations?
Looking in experience, it is not possible to change the sensations. They just come and go. I have also tried to predict them with thinking, but that was not possible either.
Are they happening or the me-character doing them?
The me-character is not doing the sensations: they are all just happening.
And how about feelings?
In a similar way, the feelings are also happening, and just come and go.
Are they something the me-character does or something that is given?
The feeling are not something the me-character does. They are given.
Now look, what is not given?
I cannot find anything else in experience that is not given. Everything experienced is simply given and happening.
Is the me-character doing anything in life?
The me-character is commenting and claiming all sorts of things, but only inside thoughts - which I experience are fantasies. Looking at experience, I cannot find anything the me-character is actually doing in life.
Or is it given?
I am not sure whether the question was about the me-character or about the things happening in life being given. I have taken it to mean the me-character. In which case, I have seen enough to say with confidence that the me-character is a given too.
As an idea?
And also confident enough to say that the me-character is an idea. I do not find the me-character in experience. I find it only in the idea or content of thoughts, which I always experience to be fantasies.
Or as an entity?
The me-character is an entity; something I believe in.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:00 am

Hi Tom,
I cannot find anything else in experience that is not given. Everything experienced is simply given and happening.
Is this something you clearly see in your everyday life, or rather it’s just an intellectual undrsanding?
The me-character is an entity; something I believe in.
So the question was whether the me-character is an idea or an entity. And you said that you are confident to say that it’s just an idea.

So then how can it be an entity?

And you say that the me-character is something I believe in. So WHAT is this I that is believing in the me-character?


Please be careful not to analyse the question or think it through. Ignore thoughts, and just notice this I as it performs the act of believing in the me-character.

Describe this beliver as precisely as you can, without any story or theory. Just the raw facts of it.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:16 pm

Hi Vivien,
T: I cannot find anything else in experience that is not given. Everything experienced is simply given and happening.
V: Is this something you clearly see in your everyday life, or rather it’s just an intellectual undrsanding?
I see this clearly when looking. I also often see it in my everyday life, but not always. So yes, it is just an intellectual understanding. I am annoyed that I am still stating intellectualisms like that.
T: The me-character is an entity; something I believe in.
V: So the question was whether the me-character is an idea or an entity. And you said that you are confident to say that it’s just an idea. So then how can it be an entity?
It looks like I became stuck again on the definition of an entity. I had interpreted an idea and an entity as using different words to describe the same thing - something contained in thought. That's why I said the me-character was both an idea and an entity.

I looked back at how you previously explained to me what an entity was, and also googled around. So I think I get it now. An idea is contained in thought, and doesn't exist. An entity is something that has independent existence. Assuming that's correct, then when I look in my experience I see the me-character as an idea, but not as an identity.
And you say that the me-character is something I believe in. So WHAT is this I that is believing in the me-character?
When I look at my experience, the only answer I get is the changing sensations.

Even though I was the one who made the original statement that 'the me-character is something I believe in', I cannot explain it. The statement feels equally nonsensical when I look in my experience and also when I try to answer it intellectually.
Describe this beliver as precisely as you can, without any story or theory. Just the raw facts of it.
I have no answer here again. I cannot describe this believer in any way with raw facts. Silence is perhaps the most precise I can be.

I feel very stuck or frustrated today, like I am blocked or blocking myself from seeing something. I'm not sure if it's the exercises, or just me today, or something else.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:25 am

Hi Tom,
I feel very stuck or frustrated today, like I am blocked or blocking myself from seeing something. I'm not sure if it's the exercises, or just me today, or something else.
Frustration is normal and very common. Almost everybody gets frustrated a few times while investigating.

Let’s look at things a bit differently. So far we’ve been searching for a self, for an I, for a thinker, doer, decider.

Let’s see what happens if you stop searching, and you just notice what is present, here, now, in this very moment.

There are colors, shapes, sounds, sensations, emotions, tastes, smells… It’s all life. It’s all happening.
There are objects in the room, like chairs, table, laptop, etc. The body is also here. Movements are happening. Breathing is happening. Life is happening.

Spend as much time as possible to notice WHAT IS HERE NOW. Just notice what is. So you don’t have to search for anything. Rather just notice what is here.

Let me know what you find.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:09 pm

Hi Vivien,
Frustration is normal and very common. Almost everybody gets frustrated a few times while investigating.
Thank you. That's reassuring.
Spend as much time as possible to notice WHAT IS HERE NOW. Just notice what is. So you don’t have to search for anything. Rather just notice what is here. Let me know what you find.
I notice a series of changing sensations: from just seeing the shapes and colours, to feeling bodily sensations and movement, to hearing sounds. And among all that, thoughts come and go too.

I have also realised that many things in my everyday life seem to happen more automatically now. So a lot more movements, actions and activities happen without a commentary e.g. claiming credit for it, or analysing it, or trying to predict it. The feeling of going in and out of a movie, which I had strongly at the beginning of this looking process with you, is not very strong now. Life feels more often like a continuous movie.

It also actually feels like the looking process continues automatically too, whether I was making effort or not, although I'm not certain about that. I especially felt this in the first half of the day today: I was so used to looking very intensively in every spare moment that it was difficult to not look, and just to allow myself to notice. Towards the end of the day I got more used to it though.

Either way, I feel enthusiasm and energy to carry on further!

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:48 am

Hi Tom,

You did a nice investigation.

Now, I would like to ask you to continue to notice whatever is present in each moment. Just continue with this relaxed observation.

As the day goes by, is there any moment when a doer shows up?

If it seems that way that a doer shows up, stop for a moment, and just notice what is ACTUALLY HERE NOW. There could be thoughts, sensations, emotions, movements. But is any of those a doer?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:30 pm

Hi Vivien,

This is a great exercise.
As the day goes by, is there any moment when a doer shows up?
Yes, there are moments when a doer shows up.
If it seems that way that a doer shows up, stop for a moment, and just notice what is ACTUALLY HERE NOW. There could be thoughts, sensations, emotions, movements. But is any of those a doer?
And then when I stop at that moment and notice what is here, I notice that I cannot find a doer. I instead find the seeing, the feeling, the hearing, the thought, etc. And it often dissolves.

Throughout the day today I also passed through a lot of different emotions, which sometimes changed from one to another quickly. From very calm to packages of fear, anger and bits of sadness too. It was all very manageable though, especially with the above approach, so never felt difficult.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:51 am

Hi Tom,
And then when I stop at that moment and notice what is here, I notice that I cannot find a doer. I instead find the seeing, the feeling, the hearing, the thought, etc. And it often dissolves.
And what or who is it that notices what is here and finds only seeing, feeling, hearing and thoughts?

Is there something here now doing the noticing? Or noticing just happens on its own, without someone or something making it happen?

Is there here in this very moment an experiencer of experience or there is only experience (including thoughts) happening?

Or there is only the experience (sounds, colors, shapes, sensations, etc.) constant changing but always being, existing?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:10 pm

Hi Vivien,
And what or who is it that notices what is here and finds only seeing, feeling, hearing and thoughts?
I do not find anything or anyone that notices what is here and finds only seeing, feeling, hearing and thoughts. I only find the looking, feeling, etc. itself.
Is there something here now doing the noticing? Or noticing just happens on its own, without someone or something making it happen?
I do not find something here now doing the noticing. I only experience the noticing itself.

It often appears like it's just happening on its own, without someone or something making it happen, but I am not sure about that.
Is there here in this very moment an experiencer of experience or there is only experience (including thoughts) happening?
In this very moment I cannot find an experiencer of experience. I only find the various experiences, like sensations and thoughts.
Or there is only the experience (sounds, colors, shapes, sensations, etc.) constant changing but always being, existing?
Often in my everyday life, and especially while looking, it appears as if there is only the experience that is constantly changing. For example, now there is a bodily sensation, then seeing shapes, then a thought, etc. From one to the other. This doesn't last though, and I cannot be sure if it is always being or existing, even if it sometimes appears that way for a time.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:06 am

Hi Tom,
It often appears like it's just happening on its own, without someone or something making it happen, but I am not sure about that.
Than this is where you have to put you focus. Look until it’s totally clear without any doubt that everything is just happening, without any doer, watcher or noticer.
Often in my everyday life, and especially while looking, it appears as if there is only the experience that is constantly changing. For example, now there is a bodily sensation, then seeing shapes, then a thought, etc. From one to the other. This doesn't last though, and I cannot be sure if it is always being or existing, even if it sometimes appears that way for a time.
I’m not implying that a sensation for example is always existing, not at all. What I’m saying that experience is always on, always happening. It might show up as a sensation, or a thought, or a sound, taste, smell, colors and shapes, feelings and emotions or the combination of any of these.

Is there anything or anyone making experience (whatever is happening in each moment) to be?
Or experience (whatever is happening) is happening automatically, effortlessly on its own?

Is there a doer for THIS moment to be?

What is being done for the body to be?
What is being done for colors and shapes to be?
What is being done for sensations to be?
What is being done for sounds to be?
What is being done for thoughts to be?

Is anything that is being done, and not just happens on its own? Anything at all?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:39 am

Hi Vivien,
Than this is where you have to put you focus. Look until it’s totally clear without any doubt that everything is just happening, without any doer, watcher or noticer.
When looking, it is very clear that everything is just happening, without a doer, watcher or noticer. I spent many hours today only looking with these questions, and also looking throughout everyday activities. So I feel confident. I think my hesitation to claim certainty is that the statement feels final & conclusive. I am still, for example, able to generate thoughts of doubt. And in my everyday activities it is sometimes less clear than the times when I am focused only on looking.
I’m not implying that a sensation for example is always existing, not at all. What I’m saying that experience is always on, always happening. It might show up as a sensation, or a thought, or a sound, taste, smell, colors and shapes, feelings and emotions or the combination of any of these.
Thanks for clarifying. Then I understand. I can see this very clearly while looking, and often throughout daily activities too, that the experience is constantly changing but always being, existing.
Is there anything or anyone making experience (whatever is happening in each moment) to be?
I cannot find anything or anyone making experience to be.
Or experience (whatever is happening) is happening automatically, effortlessly on its own?
Most of the time when looking, and often in my everyday activities, it seems that experience is happening automatically and effortlessly. Or, at the very least, I see stretches of experience happening without commentary.
Is there a doer for THIS moment to be?
I cannot find a doer for this moment to be.
What is being done for the body to be?
I cannot find anything being done for the body to be.
What is being done for colors and shapes to be?
I cannot find anything being done for colours and shapes to be.
What is being done for sensations to be?
I cannot find anything being done for sensations to be.
What is being done for sounds to be?
I cannot find anything being done for sounds to be.
What is being done for thoughts to be?
I cannot find anything being done for thoughts to be.

I can also add that examining thoughts is the trickiest for me to examine.
Is anything that is being done, and not just happens on its own? Anything at all?
I cannot find anything at all being done, that isn't just happening on its own.

Tom


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