Chris's thread

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:31 am

Hi Vivien

So sorry. Yes, more detail.
What is a feeling exactly? Isn’t a feeling a bodily sensation?
Or if there is no bodily sensation with the ‘feeling you are talking about’, then is that REALLY a feeling, or rather just a thought?
Yes you’re right. I don’t feel ‘me’ with any of my senses; it’s simply a thought. I think this what I meant but misspoke; it’s like when you say you did something because it ‘felt right’, when it would be more accurate to say you ‘thought it was right’. But too much thinking here, probably.
So when I watch my thoughts, I see them arising on their own; there is no ‘I’ creating them. And when I look for what is looking at the thoughts, there is nothing. No revelations here yet but I’ll keep looking.
is it possible to look at the coffee without thinking “this is a coffee, and I’m going to drink it”? Is it possible to EXPERIENCE it only by looking at it and SEEING it without thinking about it?

And when you take a sip, is it possible to just FEEL the warmth of it, without analysing and thinking why it’s warm, and how long will it stay warm?

And is it possible just to experience the TASTE of it, without analysing it, or thinking how bitter it is, or whether it needs some sweetener or not?

Is it possible to EXPERIENCE the SMELL of the coffee, without thinking “this smell reminds me of his or that”?
I see the difference clearly, but find it hard to stop thinking about it. Like you say, the thoughts keep coming up, like weeds; it’s so automatic, I can’t just experience something without labelling it. But when I ignore these thoughts, the experience comes more into focus. I could go into detail about the taste, temperature, texture etc. but I feel as though this would be thinking/labelling again.
Do you see, I’m asking you the same thing: not just to think it through what I wrote above, but actually do it in experience. Do you see the difference?
I ‘think’ so; thinking is part of experience but the content of thought is just labelling? So the illusion will be seen through only by looking, not thinking. On it.

Thanks!
Chris

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:49 am

Actually, Vivien, I may have misspoken again. Before, it was something in my head and shoulders. It was a kind of feeling. But after looking some more, it seems more like a thought.

Since you said:
So how do you know that this FEELING is the feeling of ‘inside here I amness’ and not something else?
What makes this everyday feeling / sensation into a ‘inside here I amness’?
Why not call it a sensation or just a plain feeling?
I seems that I may have been looking at it wrong. 'Me' is a thought, not a sense.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:51 am

Hi Chris,
it’s like when you say you did something because it ‘felt right’, when it would be more accurate to say you ‘thought it was right’
Yes, this is an important distinction. We often say ‘it feels like’, but without any actual bodily feeling/sensation.
I could go into detail about the taste, temperature, texture etc. but I feel as though this would be thinking/labelling again.
In order to communicate we have to use words/labels to describe the experience. But there is a big difference between using simple words/labels to describe experience as precisely as we can, and giving an interpretation ABOUT experience.
Can you see the difference?
I see the difference clearly, but find it hard to stop thinking about it. Like you say, the thoughts keep coming up, like weeds; it’s so automatic, I can’t just experience something without labelling it. But when I ignore these thoughts, the experience comes more into focus.
We are not aiming to stop thinking or to stop the labelling process.

In order to be able to stop thinking, first, you have to be the thinker of thoughts. But are you?

It’s not about stopping thinking altogether. No. It’s instead of focusing on the thought contents that are arising, it’s about SHIFTING your attention to the immediacy of experience.

Look at an object, like a cup.

And as you look at the cup and EXPERIENCE it by SEEING, do you see that thoughts come and go?
Thoughts might ‘talk’ about the cup being seen, or about something totally unrelated.

But, experience/seeing happens REGARDLESS of the presence of thoughts. Do you see this?

Is there any effort in seeing (meaning experiencing) the cup in front of you?
Or seeing happens effortlessly regardless of the presence of thoughts?


Now take the cup into your hands.
Now, experiencing the cup happens not just be seeing it, but by feeling it.

Notice the thoughts that come up that might talk about how the cup look like, how it feels, or might a story come up about the cup.

But while all these thoughts happen, the experiencing of the cup never stops.
It’s constantly seen and felt.
Can you that regardless of thought labelling, the experience of the cup never stops?

And you have two options.
You can either pay attention the thoughts stories about the cup, or you can SHIFT your ATTENTION to experiencing, seeing and feeling it.

When you focus on the thoughts ABOUT the cup, the experience of the cup is in the background hardly noticed.
But if you shift the focus on experiencing, then thoughts go to the background.

And you just ignore the thoughts in the background by not giving attention to them, since your focus is on seeing and feeling and not on thinking.

Do you see where I am getting at?


So when I say that you don’t need your intellect, it just simply means that you don’t have to turn to thinking and thinking about the self, creating stories and speculations about it, rather you shift your focus on EXPERIENCE the self, just as you can experience the cup by seeing, feeling, etc.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:40 am

Hi Vivien,

I think I'm getting this now. Well, mostly.
In order to communicate we have to use words/labels to describe the experience. But there is a big difference between using simple words/labels to describe experience as precisely as we can, and giving an interpretation ABOUT experience.
Can you see the difference?
I’m not sure if I do. Wouldn’t any description be an interpretation of experience, however simple or precise?.
We are not aiming to stop thinking or to stop the labelling process.
In order to be able to stop thinking, first, you have to be the thinker of thoughts. But are you?
I see this clearly. So thoughts are like anything else in experience; I can’t help them any more than I can help hearing sounds. I’m not the hearer, there is no hearer; hearing just happens. It’s the same with thoughts.
Look at an object, like a cup.
And as you look at the cup and EXPERIENCE it by SEEING, do you see that thoughts come and go?
Thoughts might ‘talk’ about the cup being seen, or about something totally unrelated.
But, experience/seeing happens REGARDLESS of the presence of thoughts. Do you see this?
Yes, I clearly see the distinction now.
Is there any effort in seeing (meaning experiencing) the cup in front of you?
Or seeing happens effortlessly regardless of the presence of thoughts?
The experience is totally effortless. The thoughts about the cup also spring up effortlessly; but they are two distinct things. ‘I’ am doing none of it.
But while all these thoughts happen, the experiencing of the cup never stops.
It’s constantly seen and felt.
Can you that regardless of thought labelling, the experience of the cup never stops?
Yes, experience continues uninterrupted. I’m starting to appreciate now how much I miss in experience because I’m too busy thinking about it.
And you have two options.
You can either pay attention the thoughts stories about the cup, or you can SHIFT your ATTENTION to experiencing, seeing and feeling it.
When you focus on the thoughts ABOUT the cup, the experience of the cup is in the background hardly noticed.
But if you shift the focus on experiencing, then thoughts go to the background.
And you just ignore the thoughts in the background by not giving attention to them, since your focus is on seeing and feeling and not on thinking.
Do you see where I am getting at?
Yes I see. Still, it’s hard to maintain concentration. After half a minute or so, thoughts are front and center again. But I’ll keep at it; trying it with everything throughout the day.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:28 am

Hi Chris,
I’m not sure if I do. Wouldn’t any description be an interpretation of experience, however simple or precise?.
Yes, of course, but we have to communicate. How would I know where you are at a given moment, if you wouldn’t communicate with me what you see?

That’s why I’m asking to describe what you see as precisely as you can.
Yes I see. Still, it’s hard to maintain concentration. After half a minute or so, thoughts are front and center again. But I’ll keep at it; trying it with everything throughout the day.
Just as a warning: we are not trying to change how experience or thoughts show up. We are not aiming for a different existence where there are less thoughts, and more focus on experience. If it happens, then it happens. But this is not a goal.

The goal is to see the DIFFERENCE between experience (reality) and thoughts (fiction).

Let’s see what happens if 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: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:38 pm

Hi Vivien,
Yes, of course, but we have to communicate. How would I know where you are at a given moment, if you wouldn’t communicate with me what you see?
Ok I get you.
Let me know what you find.
Ok, so in this moment, there is the computer screen, keyboard, my desk, books and various other things on my desk; the wind outside; a slight cold; the taste of tea in my mouth; sensations of tingling around the surface of my body; the warmth of my clothes; my bum on the chair and feet on the floor; the slight ache of an injury in my forearm; cold air running through my nose; thoughts of a conversation I was having earlier; worries about not writing enough; a song I’ve been writing keeps popping up; empty bottles on the floor; the cream-coloured wall; the taste of a cigarette in my mouth.

Is this the sort of thing you mean?

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:39 pm

I'll keep doing it throughout the day as always.

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:37 am

Hi Chris,

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 thinker shows up?

If it seems that way that a thinker 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 thinker?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:59 am

Hi Vivien,

Sorry, I had trouble accessing the site yesterday.
As the day goes by, is there any moment when a thinker shows up?
Yes, when I’m lost in thought, it still seems as though it is me doing the thinking. But when ‘I’ look, I clearly see that there is no thinker; thoughts are just arising with no central control. I had a nap yesterday, and as I was waking up it I thought as though I saw it. Clearly there was no self, thoughts were as spontaneous as sounds; but as I regained more consciousness, it was back to normal again and I had to make a concerted effort to see the spontaneity of thought, as usual.

If it seems that way that a thinker 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 thinker?
No, no thinker, except when lost in thought. I’m getting better at this exercise though so I’ll keep it up.

Thanks,
Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:06 am

Hi Chris,

Yes, there have been some issue with the website, admins working on it.
Yes, when I’m lost in thought
You say ‘when I’m lost in thought’ – so what is this I that is lost in thought?
Where is the one that can be lost in thought?
Is there a self, an I, outside of thoughts, who sometimes gets lost in thought?
Is there any other I than the thought of I?

I’m getting better at this exercise though so I’ll keep it up.
Yes, the more you look, the easier it gets. So please continue looking at this whenever it seems that there is a thinker, doer, chooser.

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: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:56 am

Hi Chris,

Yes, there have been some issue with the website, admins working on it.
Yes, when I’m lost in thought
You say ‘when I’m lost in thought’ – so what is this I that is lost in thought?
Where is the one that can be lost in thought?
Is there a self, an I, outside of thoughts, who sometimes gets lost in thought?
Is there any other I than the thought of I?

I’m getting better at this exercise though so I’ll keep it up.
Yes, the more you look, the easier it gets. So please continue looking at this whenever it seems that there is a thinker, doer, chooser.

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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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:55 am

Hi Vivien
You say ‘when I’m lost in thought’ – so what is this I that is lost in thought?
The I is just a belief; when ‘I’ am lost in thoughts, there’s a belief that it’s ‘me’ who is lost in them. Without concentration the belief runs on autopilot, uninterrupted.
Where is the one that can be lost in thought?
It is a thought that appears in consciousness like all other thoughts; its location is no more exact than the location of any other thought.
Is there a self, an I, outside of thoughts, who sometimes gets lost in thought?
No, the belief in ‘I’ just sticks to all the thoughts implicitly, creating the illusion that it is the one thinking them.
Is there any other I than the thought of I?
None to see.
Yes, the more you look, the easier it gets. So please continue looking at this whenever it seems that there is a thinker, doer, chooser.

Let me know what you find.
So actions and choices are the same. The thought of I sticks to all of them and creates the illusion of a central controller. Still, it’s hard to shake this belief; it persists despite being aware of these things. I’ll keep at it again.

Thanks Vivien,
Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:57 am

Hi Vivien
You say ‘when I’m lost in thought’ – so what is this I that is lost in thought?
The I is just a belief; when ‘I’ am lost in thoughts, there’s a belief that it’s ‘me’ who is lost in them. Without concentration the belief runs on autopilot, uninterrupted.
Where is the one that can be lost in thought?
It is a thought that appears in consciousness like all other thoughts; its location is no more exact than the location of any other thought.
Is there a self, an I, outside of thoughts, who sometimes gets lost in thought?
No, the belief in ‘I’ just sticks to all the thoughts implicitly, creating the illusion that it is the one thinking them.
Is there any other I than the thought of I?
None to see.
Yes, the more you look, the easier it gets. So please continue looking at this whenever it seems that there is a thinker, doer, chooser.

Let me know what you find.
So actions and choices are the same. The thought of I sticks to all of them and creates the illusion of a central controller. Still, it’s hard to shake this belief; it persists despite being aware of these things. I’ll keep at it again.

Thanks Vivien,
Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:07 am

Hi Chris,
It is a thought that appears in consciousness like all other thoughts; its location is no more exact than the location of any other thought.
How do you know that thoughts appear IN consciousness?
Where does this information coming from?

Can you observe the process as thoughts appear IN a consciousness?

What is the experience of consciousness here now?
So actions and choices are the same. The thought of I sticks to all of them and creates the illusion of a central controller.
You say that the thought of I sticks to actions and choices.
So how does this sticking happen?
What does the glue made of?


And where is the location of this illusionary central controller?
Still, it’s hard to shake this belief; it persists despite being aware of these things.
And what or who is it that is aware of these things?
The I is just a belief; when ‘I’ am lost in thoughts, there’s a belief that it’s ‘me’ who is lost in them.
And how does the belief that “it’s me who is lost in thoughts” show up?
How does a belief look like?

How is a belief is experienced?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:06 pm

Hi Vivien,

I had problems with the site again yesterday but seems OK now.
I'm really struggling with these questions. I was unsure of what you meant by some of them. These are the best answers I can come up with at the moment but I'll keep at them. Maybe there's still something you can work with.
How do you know that thoughts appear IN consciousness?
I don't really understand this question. Where else would they appear? Would they appear AS consciousness? Articulating it? Like the waves in the ocean metaphor?
Where does this information coming from?
I don’t know where the information comes from, it just appears. I’ve no idea how the experience is formed by the brain, all I know is that thoughts are experienced.
Can you observe the process as thoughts appear IN a consciousness?
Again, I’m not sure what you’re asking. All I can say is that they pop up unprompted, seemingly out of nowhere.
What is the experience of consciousness here now?
The usual: thinking what to write; TV screen; keyboard; desk; sensations around the body; sounds outside; wind and cars; the heat in the air; tiredness; food bulking my stomach.

You say that the thought of I sticks to actions and choices.
So how does this sticking happen?
My first answer was this: because of the label ‘I’; ‘I’ use it so often that it sticks to everything: ‘I think’, ‘I do’, ‘I choose’.
But now I’m not so sure. I’ll keep looking.
What does the glue made of?
Again, my first answer: it’s made of the label ‘I’ or ‘me’. Not so sure now.
And where is the location of this illusionary central controller?
It doesn’t have an exact location, it seems to be somewhere behind my eyes, like other thoughts.

Still, it’s hard to shake this belief; it persists despite being aware of these things.
And what or who is it that is aware of these things?
There is no ‘who’ or ‘what’ to be seen but I am still tempted to ‘I am aware of these things’; it just seems to make sense. I know this is the wrong answer; maybe it’s conditioning. I’m getting frustrated and feeling like I’m not getting anywhere. I’m still determined to see it through though.
The I is just a belief; when ‘I’ am lost in thoughts, there’s a belief that it’s ‘me’ who is lost in them.
And how does the belief that “it’s me who is lost in thoughts” show up?
How does a belief look like?
How is a belief is experienced?
I can’t say that it looks like anything. It feels like a part of other thoughts; a tag-along. A belief or a thought is simply there; like sounds, sights, tastes etc. A belief such as the self informs other information in the thinking process. In fact, all thoughts about concepts, objects, people or whatever are based on beliefs, and they interconnect with one another to weave a story about something. But none of it is completely accurate; thoughts describe the world imperfectly. Thoughts are constructed of labels and ‘I’ is a label-a shorthand- used to signify this organism; it comes in handy when talking about ‘myself’. I feel like I’m going round in circles again.

Sorry Vivien, does it normally taking this long? I feel like you're giving up your time and I'm just not getting it.

Chris


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