Chris's thread

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:01 pm

Hi Vivien

Thank you for the encouragement. I'm still quite ill today so it's been hard to concentrate again. I'm getting really frustrated with it all. Anyway I did what you said. Here's a few of the exercise I did.

Smells- cinnamon, herbes de provence, smoked paprika
Are you making smells appear or is it showing up on its own?
No, I have no control over the smells’ appearance or its quality. It simply appears as is.
Is the smell controllable? Can you adjust smell to your liking?
Can you have a different odour than what is appearing in this very moment?
Totally uncontrollable; I can try to mix and match the smells, but it’s no good. I have no control over the odour as it arises.
Describe the smell in as many words as you can. How description and experience differ?
Smoked paprika- smells slightly burned, tangy, nostril-stinging, reminds me of crisps, smells warm strangely
Herbs- smells like plants or a greenhouse, slightly pungent, smells like the outdoors
Cinnamon- very sweet, tingly, smells how it tastes,
It’s hard just to experience the smell without thinking about it. Thoughts are so automatic. I can choose the words I use to describe the smells, but I cannot choose the quality of the smell itself; it’s not open to change or revision. Smells can be pleasant or unpleasant, but the words used to describe, in and of themselves, are not. Words are just noises, signifiers.
Can you see that both experience of smell and description arise as a simultaneous happening?
Yes, but they are still 2 distinct things.
What do you notice from this investigation?
That thought is detached from experience; but description is tied to experience in that its purpose is to communicate experience.

Blueberries
Are you making taste appear or is it showing up on its own?
No it’s appearing on its own.
Is taste controllable? Can you adjust taste to your liking?
Can you have a different taste than what is appearing in this very moment?
No, I have no choice about the taste in my mouth; it is what it is.
Describe the taste in as many words as you can. How description and experience differ?
Smooth, strong and sour aftertaste, rich, tangy,
Actual experience has a real impact on my experience; description is just a series of labels created to communicate the experience. Both are spontaneous (I don’t control the words that pop into my head) and experience, of course, influences description but they are 2 separate and distinct appearances.
Can you see that both experience of taste and description arise as a simultaneous happening?
Yes, one naturally and always accompanies the other but they are still separate things.
What do you notice from this investigation?
That thoughts are separate from experience. Thoughts are there to communicate experience but they’re not the real thing.
What do you do in order to think?
I do absolutely nothing; thoughts just arise like sounds or sights. I have no control over them.
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?
I don’t. Thoughts birth themselves without warning.

Probably not a lot to go on there but I did try really hard. Hopefully I can concentrate better tomorrow.

Thanks Vivien
Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:57 am

Hi Chris,
It’s hard just to experience the smell without thinking about it. Thoughts are so automatic. I can choose the words I use to describe the smells, but I cannot choose the quality of the smell itself; it’s not open to change or revision. Smells can be pleasant or unpleasant, but the words used to describe, in and of themselves, are not. Words are just noises, signifiers.
Yes, but you can always shift your attention to experience instead to thoughts about the experience.

Imagine that you are sitting in a loud coffee shop with you friend and having a conversation. There is a fairly loud music in the background, and also the noise of the coffee machine, people talking, laughing, some children occasionally screaming, and yet despite all that noise, you can zoom on (focus on) what she is saying to you, and you can have a pleasant conversation.

This is the same with looking. Despite all the noise that thoughts do, you can focus on (zoom on) to other aspects of experience, like a sensation or a sound a smell.

Please spend another day just noticing whatever is happening. Please try to look in the midst of your everyday life. Just try to notice whatever is happening, instead of thinking about what is happening. Just shift the focus on experience. Of course, thoughts will come interpreting, judging, ect., but you can notice them too.

Let me know how it goes.

Can you notice that sometimes there is a gap between thoughts?


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 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Hi Vivien
Please spend another day just noticing whatever is happening. Please try to look in the midst of your everyday life. Just try to notice whatever is happening, instead of thinking about what is happening. Just shift the focus on experience. Of course, thoughts will come interpreting, judging, ect., but you can notice them too.

Let me know how it goes.
There's been an improvement today. I'm finding it easier to concentrate and thoughts seem to appear just like sounds again. I have no control over thoughts; I do not author them, they are out of my control. Will get back on it tomorrow, hopefully with full concentration.

Can you notice that sometimes there is a gap between thoughts?
I don't see this. Thoughts seem to go on continuously. I'll keep looking. Thank you for your patience.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:39 am

Hi Chris,
V: Can you notice that sometimes there is a gap between thoughts?
C: I don't see this. Thoughts seem to go on continuously. I'll keep looking.
Please look at this more.

Here is an exercise how to notice the gap between thoughts. This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 5-10 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.
2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:

Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.

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 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:24 pm

Hi Vivien

A bit of a short one. I've been doing the exercise, but this is all I could really come up with so far.
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.
OK, I see that sometimes there is a gap between thoughts. Most of the time one thought seems to overlap with the next but sometimes there’s a gap. No revelations, but I’ll keep practicing. It's hard to concentrate still, hopefully will do better tomorrow.

Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:12 am

Hi Chris,

Please stay with this exercise a few more days. The aim is to learn how to observer thoughts.

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 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:28 pm

Hi Vivien

Not much to report again today I'm afraid. I've been doing the exercise as you said. I definitely see that there are gaps between thoughts; and at other times thoughts goes imperceptibly into the next. I'll keep at it of course.

I've also been working on the pointer about the birthing of thoughts. I'm not where at was at a week ago but will keep working on it until I am.

Sorry to not give you much to work with. I will try as hard as I can to get back on it.

I'm working tomorrow so may not get a chance to post anything but I'll definitely have time on Friday.

Thanks
Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 am

Hi Chris,
I've also been working on the pointer about the birthing of thoughts. I'm not where at was at a week ago but will keep working on it until I am.
Yes, this is important. So just pause many times in your daily life, and just check:

What do you in order to think?
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?
Sorry to not give you much to work with. I will try as hard as I can to get back on it.
You don’t have to be sorry. I’m here to help you as long as it takes. :)
I'm working tomorrow so may not get a chance to post anything but I'll definitely have time on Friday.
All right. Thank you for letting me know.

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 21, 2020 9:03 pm

Hi Vivien

Thanks again for being so patient. I've been doing the exercises as before, and I see the answers just as I did before. I see that I don't create thoughts, they create themselves; I see that there is no taster when I eat food, just taste appearing; and that thoughts pop up automatically to describe experience. Despite this I still feel like I'm not getting anywhere.
Last week, before I got ill, I really felt like something was happening but I can't seem to get it back. I'm probably being too impatient. I'll keep looking.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:38 am

Hi Chris,

It’s good that looking came back :)
Despite this I still feel like I'm not getting anywhere.
Last week, before I got ill, I really felt like something was happening but I can't seem to get it back. I'm probably being too impatient. I'll keep looking.
What is this hurry? Do you expect some kind of reward at the end, so you are in a rush?
Why not enjoy the ride?


This is a good time to re-examine your expectation.
So what is it exactly that you are after?
And what that ‘thing’ will bring to you?


Please look for the one who is impatient.
Find him. Where is he? Where is the impatient one?

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 22, 2020 8:24 pm

Hi Vivien
It’s good that looking came back :)
Yes, I’m noticing a subtle change today. I’ll keep at it.
What is this hurry? Do you expect some kind of reward at the end, so you are in a rush?
Why not enjoy the ride?
I was in a bad mood yesterday and I think it leaked into my view of everything, so I was being a bit pessimistic. I was just annoyed that I was doing well last week but am now struggling to get back to where I was. Enjoy the ride is good advice.
This is a good time to re-examine your expectation.
So what is it exactly that you are after?
And what that ‘thing’ will bring to you?
I was just after getting back to where I was before. I know that it’s useless to be annoyed and that the only way to see through the illusion is to just get over it and push forward.
Please look for the one who is impatient.
Find him. Where is he? Where is the impatient one?
I’m not feeling impatient today- in a much better mood- so I can safely say that the impatient one is nowhere. I decided to look for the contented one instead, and I can definitely say that he isn’t anywhere either.
Happy to be back on track.

Thanks Vivien
Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:58 pm

Hi Chris,

Great, let’s dive deeper.

Do you notice that the ideas that appear as thoughts are not the same as direct sense experience?
That they are something extra that is added on to the immediate raw experience?

And can you see that the me-thought is not different for any other ideas/concepts? That the me-thought is also just an added extra (by thoughts) overlaying (on top of) the immediate experience?

That the ‘me’ is just a thought narration? Nothing more?

Is there any doubt that it might be otherwise?


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 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:57 pm

Hi Vivien
Do you notice that the ideas that appear as thoughts are not the same as direct sense experience?
That they are something extra that is added on to the immediate raw experience?
Yes thinking is a separate process to experience. Whatever thoughts arise, sensory experience carries on regardless. Beliefs about the person having an experience don’t align with the actual experience itself.
And can you see that the me-thought is not different for any other ideas/concepts? That the me-thought is also just an added extra (by thoughts) overlaying (on top of) the immediate experience?
Yes, the me-thought has no effect on what I’m actually experiencing. Again, the two are separate.
That the ‘me’ is just a thought narration? Nothing more?
‘Me’ is a descriptive word used to communicate experience- ‘the person experiencing is me’- but there is no me having an experience, there’s just experience.
Is there any doubt that it might be otherwise?
There’s still some sense of ‘me’. It’s hard to shake off, but I see that it’s just a thought now, separate from sensory experience. Sights, sounds etc. happen without it.

So I don't quite get the last part but I'll keep trying.

Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:36 am

Hi Chris,
There’s still some sense of ‘me’. It’s hard to shake off, but I see that it’s just a thought now, separate from sensory experience. Sights, sounds etc. happen without it.
OK, let’s look into this.

I would like to ask you to spend a whole day on focusing on this ‘sense of me’.

How does this ‘sense of me’ is perceived?

Can this ‘sense of me’ be touched?
Can it be felt?
Can it be heard?
Can it be seen?
Can it be stated or smelled?

How does it appear exactly, in what way or form?


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 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:20 pm

Hi Vivien
How does this ‘sense of me’ is perceived?
It is a thought like all the rest; it doesn’t appear anywhere, it arises spontaneously.
Can this ‘sense of me’ be touched?
Can it be felt?
Can it be heard?
Can it be seen?
Can it be stated or smelled?
No to all the above.
How does it appear exactly, in what way or form?
It’s an appearance, just like any thought. It doesn’t appear in a place and isn’t perceived by any sensory experience, it just appears. No effort is required for its creation.

I've also been working a lot on this pointer:
Do you believe that there is such thing as a mind where thoughts appear IN or being created?
I find it very useful to simply look at experience and notice it all happening by itself.

Thanks
Chris


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