Where else is it hiding?

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:29 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I think that seeing, means finding a viewpoint where it is clear what is going on when self is "experienced". There is something going on, we call it thoughts, sensations, emotions, intentions etc. There is attention and some awareness. All of this is clearer of less depending on situations, state of mind etc. Self is somehow very slippery. Hiding.

What are you looking for at LU?
I want to deepen my seeing. It is sometimes tricky to realize if knowing is a thought/speculation or an actual seeing. I mean direct seeing, experiencing. I believe I had various glimpses into noself. For example I experienced multiple times that actions of body are unfolding without control and it felt like happening on its own (e.g. moving my hands). Then I had some experience of what I think would someone call a non-dual awareness. When the awareness and mind felt like expanded outside of body into all directions and most (like 99.999%) of attention and awareness was dedicated to outside and the body and felt like small or nonexistent like just a small point in space. But then also I have some information I read about noself. Sometimes mind can get confused - is this what I "think" or what I've "seen"?

I also experienced situations when self is present and strong like when I made a mistake or when I recall a past event I felt remorse or guilt or when there is a strong aversion to what is happening now. Especially when I'm tired and I'm talking to my kids I really really want to remove the self from those situations as I see how many times it is some self-centered desire causing clumsy behaviour towards my kids. I really want to be great father to them. Hope LU helps to see through this.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect guide will help me to see through my self-deception, asks me right questions to create situations where I can see how is it for myself. I hope guide will be patient, I hope guide will be supportive.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
As a child I had experiences which gradually made me investigate deeper and deeper nature of the mind. I remember had a very very vidid experiences of world, it was like being in closer contact with things, colors were bright and sounds rich. Felt like I'm really here. I remember that quite well and was looking for how to get there again as I intuitively felt it is a good place to be. Today I realize that problem is that my attention is most of the time on "thoughts" even when I'm looking on thing like a tree in fact most of my attention is on "concept", "thoughts" about that tree. Not on tree itself. Also few years ago I realized that I do not have to think unpleasant thoughts. I realized I can simply throw them away. Today I would say I realized I'm not those thoughts. That was until now most liberating realization I had. Since then most of my days are quite pleasant and nice. Years later (around 3 years back) I started regular daily meditation using the book "The Mind Illuminated". I meditated over 1000 hours already and experienced Jhanas and many different funny things. I also installed your application with quotes for weeks I was reading quotes and tried to look into my experience if I can "see" what quote is talking about. The sense of "I" has more clarity. However I feel like there are parts of this body-mind still believing in "self" strongly and I hope to deepen this understanding.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:20 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I can assist you with your inquiry.

This is going to be your inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have. We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.

The purpose of which would be for there to be a realisation, more than just intellectually, that there never was and never will be a separate self, as, such. All our efforts will focus on that.

I will tend to ask many questions. That's my job here. These, will be pointers towards no self. It will be for you to examine your experience to find out what's true or not.

I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post daily.
If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
Can we agree on these?

Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for to change?
What do you hope that should happen?
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:03 pm

Hi Vivien,
thank you for your reply.
I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post daily. If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know. Can we agree on these?
I see you are from Australia. I'm in Central Europe, but I'm dedicated to answer frequently and without delays.

Yes. I will do my best to examine my experience and avoid speculations, theories or stories. I hope you will help me to realise if I will be deceived by the mind.
Could you please tell me what are you really looking for?
I'm not really sure. There are few things. There seem to be some desire to understand various past experiences of mind, understand how mind works, there is definitely desire to be free from suffering. By suffering I mean those many little tensions in the mind and body I experience every day caused by remorse, worry etc. I think I seek ease in life. Over my life I acquired many theories for those questions, but none of them fully satisfied my being. Otherwise the search would be over.
How would your life change if you find that?
I believe there would be ease in my life. Happiness. I would enjoy every moment of this life which is left. Even sad and hard moments. I would be sad, but at ease, I would go through struggle, but inwardly I would be calm. I believe this is possible.
What are you hoping for to change?
I hope I will gain some understanding which will change my viewpoint. On some fundamental level, deeper level of this mind, I would realize wrong assumptions. I would then relate to situations differently, think differently, act differently.
What do you hope that should happen?
In the right situation, mind would see things which are and as they are and which contradicts some deep assumptions of the mind. With that I hope all parts of mind change their viewpoint. It seems there is a strong believe in the mind which makes suffering and "selfing" possible.
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?
I do. It is an image of all experiences happening as a one big flux of change. There is still body and mind, which are parts of this flux. It is a one big process of change, moment to moment, but there is not "I". Nothing to call "self". There is no feeling of separation of "me". It feels like reality is one plane of all, that is in a constant flux of change and there is just that.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:59 am

Hi cojetoto,

What name do you want me to call you?
I see you are from Australia. I'm in Central Europe, but I'm dedicated to answer frequently and without delays.
I have had many clients from all parts of Europe, and the time difference have never been an issue, so don’t worry about that :)

Which country to do you live in? (I'm just curious)
Yes. I will do my best to examine my experience and avoid speculations, theories or stories. I hope you will help me to realise if I will be deceived by the mind.
Definitely I will :) That’s my job.

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now.

Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations result in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.
Years later (around 3 years back) I started regular daily meditation using the book "The Mind Illuminated". I meditated over 1000 hours already and experienced Jhanas and many different funny things.
Let’s start here. I’m familiar with Culadasa’s book; but it is very important that you put aside all learned knowledge about this topic, including this book. If you are ready to find what you have been seeking, then you have to become a clean slate to discover things for yourself, in a first-hand experience. If you are full with information then you will just look for the validation of your knowledge, and thus you can miss what is in front of you, here and now.
There are few things. There seem to be some desire to understand various past experiences of mind, understand how mind works
OK. This is something that needs to be put aside. Understanding how the mind works is an intellectual endeavour. But with thinking we cannot get anywhere.

Culadasa has a well-developed theory about how the mind works. But you might remember that even he says that it’s just a theoretical framework.

In this inquiry we don’t go to theories. We don’t philosophize. Rather we are going to examine what is here now, in the immediacy of experience.

Not what we THINK about how things are, but rather seeing experience / reality as it is.

So, what if the mind is not what you think it is? What if mind is just a useful concept to try to explain the human experience and the appearance of thoughts, but it’s not ultimately a fact of reality?

I’m not asking these questions to speculate on them, just to help you to have a different perspective than what you already have.

We will examine the notion of mind thoroughly.
there is definitely desire to be free from suffering. By suffering I mean those many little tensions in the mind and body I experience every day caused by remorse, worry etc.
When there is suffering, it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. Suffering happens when certain stimuli poke or touch our ‘wounds inside’. Those wounds are not a person/self. The self is just an added on narrative.

And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through. These most likely will stay, however, they are much more accessible and easier to work with after seeing through the illusion. This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
I believe there would be ease in my life. Happiness. I would enjoy every moment of this life which is left. Even sad and hard moments. I would be sad, but at ease, I would go through struggle, but inwardly I would be calm. I believe this is possible.
Happiness or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I hope I will gain some understanding which will change my viewpoint. On some fundamental level, deeper level of this mind, I would realize wrong assumptions.
Yes, there will be understanding, but not an intellectual one, but rather an experiential recognition.
But, what if there is no I, who could gain or recognize anything? What if recognition happens, but to no one?
I would then relate to situations differently, think differently, act differently.
But what if there is no me who is relating to situations? What is there is no person, no me, who is thinking and acting? What if relating, thinking and acting just happen on their own, without a central controller or a doer?
In the right situation, mind would see things which are and as they are and which contradicts some deep assumptions of the mind. With that I hope all parts of mind change their viewpoint. It seems there is a strong believe in the mind which makes suffering and "selfing" possible.
You are talking about the mind as if it were a real entity, an agency. But what if it’s not?

What if beliefs are not IN a mind, rather there are beliefs ABOUT a mind?

What if there is no mind in reality seeing things? What if there is no such thing as ‘assumptions of the mind’, since the mind itself is just an assumption?

What if there are just thoughts ABOUT mind and assumptions floating freely, but not contained in or coming from a mind?
Then I had some experience of what I think would someone call a non-dual awareness. When the awareness and mind felt like expanded outside of body into all directions and most (like 99.999%) of attention and awareness was dedicated to outside and the body and felt like small or nonexistent like just a small point in space.
OK. So you had some spiritual experiences. But seeing through the self-illusion is not an experience or a state. It’s not something that is coming and going. So it would be very useful if you could put aside this experience.
Today I realize that problem is that my attention is most of the time on "thoughts" even when I'm looking on thing like a tree in fact most of my attention is on "concept", "thoughts" about that tree. Not on tree itself.
Yes. Almost all of us live that way. So discovering this is very useful. And yet it’s still not enough. Since although this can be recognized, yet the belief in a self-directed, enduring, independent entity (called me) can still go on. So we have to go deeper, to the roots. To the belief in this entity.

But it’s very important that you put aside ALL your expectations. It simply cannot know in advance how it will be. Why? Because all expectations come on behalf of a separate self, who is always in a search for peace, happiness, lack of fear and suffering. We simply cannot imagine it, since we cannot step outside from the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine it within the dream of me. The illusionary me is simply unable to imagine how it would be if it were discovered to be just a fictional character and not a reality. It can only imagine what it wants for itself.

Please ponder on my comments to see your expectations from a different perspective. Because what I can say for sure, it won’t be how you imagine it to be. Since it cannot be known in advance. It’s never how one imagines it to be.

So it would be the best, if you could drop all your expectations, and just to be a clean slate.

Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?

Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:45 pm

Hi Vivien,

thank you very much. Your comments were "enlightening" :).
What name do you want me to call you?
You can call me Peter.
Which country to do you live in? (I'm just curious)
Czech Republic.
If you are full with information then you will just look for the validation of your knowledge, and thus you can miss what is in front of you, here and now.
Yes I think this always has been my "problem". I always loved accumulating knowledge.
But you might remember that even he says that it’s just a theoretical framework.
Yes, I do remember it.
So, what if the mind is not what you think it is? What if mind is just a useful concept to try to explain the human experience and the appearance of thoughts, but it’s not ultimately a fact of reality?

You are talking about the mind as if it were a real entity, an agency. But what if it’s not?
Oh after I read this it struck me. Intellectually I knew this but only when I read your question I realized I quite ignore that "knowledge" and I consider mind a thing, an object, a controller all the time.
what if there is no I, who could gain or recognize anything? What if recognition happens, but to no one? what if there is no me who is relating to situations? What is there is no person, no me, who is thinking and acting? What if relating, thinking and acting just happen on their own, without a central controller or a doer? What if there are just thoughts ABOUT mind and assumptions floating freely, but not contained in or coming from a mind?
After reading it left me a bit in a drift. It felt like when you slip and there is this short moment of free fall, nothing to hold on to (before you hit the ground). But I have no problem with this.
Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?
Absolutely. I will do my best and I think I'm able to do it. One of the things I realized in meditation is that when I started I read, heard about experiences and descriptions and I was looking for them in my experience. How breath sensations should feel, how this or that should be. I later realized I'm not looking at what is in my experience, but instead looking for what I read and compare, exactly how you described it ("Expectations result in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation"). I very much understand how it is important.
Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.Is there any resistance to any of it?
I read them few times. I noticed I was holding in my answers to some ideas of mind an entity. But I accept and believe those are concepts. It make sense even intellectually. This is moment when I'm afraid thinking will deceive me. I can intellectually understand, accept, imagine, conceptualise BUT do I really really truly see it? Anyhow, there is not resistance at all.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
I feel like I already started! So yes :). I'm ready to forget all I know.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:09 am

Hi cojetoto,
This is moment when I'm afraid thinking will deceive me. I can intellectually understand, accept, imagine, conceptualise BUT do I really really truly see it? Anyhow, there is not resistance at all.
Don’t worry about this. If there is anything I can teach you then that is how to see the difference between thinking (fiction) and experience (reality).

This will be the bases for your inquiry. To compare our thoughts (assumptions / beliefs) with the immediacy of the here-and-now experience as it is, ‘before’ or ‘under’ any conceptualization or interpretation.

Experience is what can be known directly by the 5 senses: colors/shapes, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations

The basics of looking is this: you can tell me what is behind your back in two ways

1. You can think about it, remember and tell me from thinking.
2. You can turn around, see it and describe.

So in this investigation I ask you to look at and describe what you experience and not what you think, remember or imagine.

Can you see the difference?

And now let’s start investigating the notion of mind.

Where is the exact location of this ‘mind’ which is supposed to be the placeholder and origin of thoughts?
Can you find it in experience?

Where is this mind, here now, in this very moment as you observe it?
How does this mind look like? How big it is? What colour it has? What texture? What temperature? What taste? Smell?

HOW do you know that a thing called mind actually exists?
What is the experiential proof for its existence?

What is the mind in reality?


Please be very careful that you don’t think about a mind, but you try to experience it directly.

You just turn your attention to the mind, look at it, and describe what you see.
But don’t go to imagination and try to describe how you imagine the mind to be.
Don’t go to theories about the mind, either.
Don’t go to any learned information gained from others.
Look at it in your own, immediate experience, here now.

Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Each post is meant to look for a whole day, again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, please look more. This investigation is about a constant repetition.

You can set aside a time to do nothing else than investigating the questions, but also please try to incorporate them into your daily life (looking for many-many short intervals, like 10-30 second each). Unfortunately, it’s not enough to see something while just sitting and looking (like in meditation). This has to be seen outside of meditation too, in the midst of your daily life.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:47 pm

in this investigation I ask you to look at and describe what you experience and not what you think, remember or imagine.

Can you see the difference?
Yes I believe I see the difference.
Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Each post is meant to look for a whole day, again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, please look more. This investigation is about a constant repetition.
I did spent my day. I made a note and repeatedly look. Can I see it now? Is there something I would label "mind"?
Where is the exact location of this ‘mind’ which is supposed to be the placeholder and origin of thoughts?
I don't know. If it would be a table, I would look for a shape of flat surface with legs in my vision. But I do not know about any characteristics like that of mind. I would not know what to look for.
Can you find it in experience?
When I looked during the day repeatedly with an open mind, I could see visual sensations (very immersive), but obviously I could not see mind or anything like mind. There is not a sound, a touch, a smell or a taste I could label "mind".

Then there are thoughts. They themselves are not mind. But some are definitely about mind. Also they appear like coming from nothing and going to nothing. There is also a sense of spaciousness, which feels "around" these experiences or it feels like they are appearing in that spaciousness. Calmer the thoughts are, more prominent that spaciousness is. That is as close to the "mind" as I can get. Frankly, that does not look like something I would call a mind. Mind has the connotation of agency, aliveness, action. This spaciousness is just silent, empty spaciousness. It seems mind is only an idea. When I "think" about mind, it does not appear anywhere but in thoughts.

With this, thinking process started theorising about what it all means if the spaciousness is mind. But I do see those are theories only.

However - There isn't a conviction that mind wouldn't be that spaciousness. There is also not conviction it is. Hm. Interesting. Can I come to see if it is one way or the other?
Where is this mind, here now, in this very moment as you observe it?
How does this mind look like? How big it is? What colour it has? What texture? What temperature? What taste? Smell?
I think at this point, mind seems to be most likely just a thought. An idea of this entity you mentioned before. I can't tell how it looks, I have no idea how big it is or what color it has or texture or temperature or taste or smell.
HOW do you know that a thing called mind actually exists?
What is the experiential proof for its existence?
I know about "mind" only when I think about it. That seems clear. I can only find it in thoughts. If there is some indication of what mind is and how it is - I'm not able to identify it.
What is the mind in reality?
So it seems to be just a thought someone made up and now we are sharing it.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:41 am

Hi cojetoto,

You did a nice investigation :)
When I looked during the day repeatedly with an open mind, I could see visual sensations (very immersive), but obviously I could not see mind or anything like mind.
Visual thoughts (mental images) are important. These are nothing else than imaginations. But when we don’t see that we imagine (visualize) a mind, then it’s easy to believe that a mind is actually there and experience. While all that happens is a visualization/ imagination.
Then there are thoughts. They themselves are not mind. But some are definitely about mind.
Exactly. So there could be lots of thoughts talking ABOUT a mind, and these assumptions can be supported by mental images of a mind. And if we cannot spot that all that happens are verbal and visual thoughts, we fall into the trap believing that what we think and imagine is an actual real thing, and not just a fantasy.
Recognizing this is essential. Since the self-illusion is created by similar imaginations.
There is also a sense of spaciousness, which feels "around" these experiences or it feels like they are appearing in that spaciousness. Calmer the thoughts are, more prominent that spaciousness is.

However - There isn't a conviction that mind wouldn't be that spaciousness. There is also not conviction it is. Hm. Interesting. Can I come to see if it is one way or the other?
Let’s look at this spaciousness.

How does this spaciousness appear? Is there a subtle visual thought (mental image) depicting thoughts appearing in space? A wide, open, probably black space?

Is there mind outside of words that speak of one?
Is there mind independent of thoughts that are imagined to come from a ‘mind’?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:14 pm

Hi Vivien,

thank you for your sharp questions.
How does this spaciousness appear?
This is quite subtle and hard to observe. There are sounds, visual field, touch and thoughts and I can tell them apart. I differentiate among them. Therefore they have boundaries. These boundaries are defining not only those experiences but also this "negative space" around them. This is how it appears.
Is there a subtle visual thought (mental image) depicting thoughts appearing in space? A wide, open, probably black space?
Yes there is a visual image of "space". Wide, open, transparent, clear, really no colour.

Now I have trouble to tell if that "openness" is an experience or only that visual thought. Frankly that spaciousness feels very empty. There is nothing to describe and it seems all these attributes above are somehow defined only by the boundaries I mentioned. But I have an experience of contraction in mind when there is pain or stress and that spaciousness feels smaller. Smaller means there is less sense experiences and thoughts available, so again it seems spaciousness is only defined by experiences. I also have opposite experience when I stay with that spaciousness it expands. But again that means there is more space and are more sense experiences and thoughts available. Feels like more space for them. So all of these observations are about nothing what can be called spaciousness, because only thing which can be observed is less or more experiences. (Now I'm worried that as I'm articulating these words, there is much thinking in this process to choose words to sentences, am I imagining all of these constructions? Little unsure. It is truly subtle.). If I will continue then observation does not support existence of experience of the spaciousness, it is still all only sense experiences and thoughts. So that spaciousness is only a thought and there are only experiences? Again I feel that little "free fall" feeling.
Is there mind outside of words that speak of one?
I don't know. Seems I can't find anything other than experiences.
Is there mind independent of thoughts that are imagined to come from a ‘mind’?
It seems that not. There are only sensations and thoughts. But I have a hard time to let go of that notion of space containing these experiences. Hm.

Note:
I also wanted to mentioned that from Monday I will be in the mountains maybe with no connection to internet. Until Friday. So in the worst case I won't be able to reply on Tuesday, Wed and Thursday. In the best case I may have some connection and will reply every day. I hope it is OK and we can continue? I'm quite curious what I will find.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am

Hi Peter,
This is quite subtle and hard to observe. There are sounds, visual field, touch and thoughts and I can tell them apart. I differentiate among them. Therefore they have boundaries. These boundaries are defining not only those experiences but also this "negative space" around them. This is how it appears.
What you write about here is a thought based interpretation. This is not coming from looking at experience, rather it’s an interpretation ABOUT experience.

Pay attention to any sounds that are present in the room. Like the sound of the fan of the computer, or the sound of the fridge or the traffic.

Close your eyes, and focus on the sound itself.
Is there an actual border to the sound?
Can you find the exact edges of the sound?

Now shift your attention to the sensations of the legs and bum on the chair.
Is there an actual, experientiable boarder to the sensation?
Can you find any edges?


Now, shift your attention back and forth between the sound and the sensation.
Is there any real boarder between the two? Or all seeming boarder appear as visual images of the fridge or laptop as being the origin of the sound and the legs and bum sitting on a chair being the origin of the sensation?

If you ignore all mental images, is there any boundary or separation between the sound and sensation? Or they appear as one whole experience, and only thoughts cutting experience up and labelling them as ‘sound’ and ‘sensation’?
Now I have trouble to tell if that "openness" is an experience or only that visual thought. Frankly that spaciousness feels very empty.
Can emptiness be felt? Is it an actual bodily sensation?
Or saying that ‘spaciousness feels very empty’ is not an actual feeling/sensation, but rather just a phrase of often use?
If I will continue then observation does not support existence of experience of the spaciousness, it is still all only sense experiences and thoughts. So that spaciousness is only a thought and there are only experiences? Again I feel that little "free fall" feeling.
This is a very good question.

Can you find anything else than experience?
It seems that not. There are only sensations and thoughts. But I have a hard time to let go of that notion of space containing these experiences. Hm.
Yes, because what you see is in stark contrast with what you’ve believed for a long time. So there is a clash between belief and experience. You need to see this more in order to this belief gradually fall away.
Note:
I also wanted to mentioned that from Monday I will be in the mountains maybe with no connection to internet. Until Friday. So in the worst case I won't be able to reply on Tuesday, Wed and Thursday. In the best case I may have some connection and will reply every day. I hope it is OK and we can continue? I'm quite curious what I will find.
No problem, thank you for letting me know. If you cannot post, please still look. Look as often as you can at each day.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:29 pm

Hi Vivien,
What you write about here is a thought based interpretation. This is not coming from looking at experience, rather it’s an interpretation ABOUT experience.
Oh right. Now I see it. That boundary was in thoughts about those sensations. Imagined each sensation as an abstract object with boundaries. Those were thoughts!
Is there an actual border to the sound?
Can you find the exact edges of the sound?
I can’t find any. It’s very soft. When I turn my attention to the sound there is experience of the sound but I cannot find any border or edge in the experience of sound.
Now shift your attention to the sensations of the legs and bum on the chair.
Is there an actual, experientiable boarder to the sensation?
Can you find any edges?
No again I cannot find any edge nor border. It is easy to see.

But there is a little conflict/tension - thinking about “there is this sound you can experience it and differentiate it to other experiences but there is no edge no border. How can that be? How does this work?”. Interestingly there is no conflict no tension when I just look and experience.
Is there any real boarder between the two? Or all seeming boarder appear as visual images of the fridge or laptop as being the origin of the sound and the legs and bum sitting on a chair being the origin of the sensation?
I cannot find anything like border. At best there is a something like continuum between those sensations.

Yes there are borders in visual thoughts. So now it seems that spaciousness is only in thoughts. It is not between actual sensations. What is then that feeling of openness and contraction? Is it more or less experiences available? I’m a bit tired now and have hard time to explore that.
If you ignore all mental images, is there any boundary or separation between the sound and sensation? Or they appear as one whole experience, and only thoughts cutting experience up and labelling them as ‘sound’ and ‘sensation’?
If I ignore mental images I cannot find a separation. It does appear as a continuum and as attention lands somewhere thoughts about that area start to appear. Objects are created. With an “identity”. This is sound of car. This is voice of my daughter.
Can emptiness be felt? Is it an actual bodily sensation?
Or saying that ‘spaciousness feels very empty’ is not an actual feeling/sensation, but rather just a phrase of often use?
I thought it could be felt :). I described it as “something missing” feeling. But now all I’m finding are thoughts. Thought of “this thing X is missing there” or visual thought of black clear space.
Can you find anything else than experience?
Well by definition even intellectually I know I can’t. But there are experiences of sensations of touch, sight, sound, smell or taste and there is experience of thoughts. They do exist but not necessarily their content. But there is also experience of more exotic senses - hunger, temperature, balance... I see the confusion is to confuse thoughts content with experiences.

Thank you Vivien

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:54 am

Hi Peter,

You did a nice investigation :)
But there is a little conflict/tension - thinking about “there is this sound you can experience it and differentiate it to other experiences but there is no edge no border. How can that be? How does this work?”. Interestingly there is no conflict no tension when I just look and experience.
Yes. Paying too much attention to thoughts are literally being translated into contracted sensations in the body.
What is then that feeling of openness and contraction? Is it more or less experiences available?
The question is that whether this feeling of openness and contraction is an actual bodily sensation of muscle relaxations and contraction (which is possible), or it’s just a visualization of openness and contraction. It can be both at the same time.
Please investigate this and let me know what you find.
I thought it could be felt :). I described it as “something missing” feeling. But now all I’m finding are thoughts. Thought of “this thing X is missing there” or visual thought of black clear space.
Can the lack of something be felt?
Can you know that something is missing or is not here without thinking about the thing that is not present?

Can you feel or know in any way that there is no unicorn in the room with you without thinking and imagining a unicorn first?
I see the confusion is to confuse thoughts content with experiences.
Yes, exactly.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:55 pm

Hi Vivien,
The question is that whether this feeling of openness and contraction is an actual bodily sensation of muscle relaxations and contraction (which is possible), or it’s just a visualization of openness and contraction. It can be both at the same time.
Please investigate this and let me know what you find.
This is hard to inspect. When there is contraction it feels like experiences are blocked or limited. Usually I cannot realize there is contraction during contraction.

There are definitely bodily sensations. Tension in the face around eyes and eyebrows or mouth. Tension in limbs or torso.

It seems attention is on a thought which is somehow charged and unpleasant. That feels a bit like a fog covering reality.

On the other hand when there is openness attention is on sensations of sight, sounds etc. there is no tension in body. Experiences feel closer more direct more real. It feels like there is only outside and less of usual inside which are just thoughts really.

But it is like a scale not black end white. Less tension and thoughts more openness and more tension and charged thoughts more contraction.

I was not able to find any particular visualization. Also I was quite tired today so may be less sharp and clear.
Can the lack of something be felt?
Can you know that something is missing or is not here without thinking about the thing that is not present?

Can you feel or know in any way that there is no unicorn in the room with you without thinking and imagining a unicorn first?
No there must be thought of that which is missing. Otherwise it is only experience of what is. This is clear now.

Thanks,
Peter

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6630
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:43 am

Hi Peter,
There are definitely bodily sensations. Tension in the face around eyes and eyebrows or mouth. Tension in limbs or torso.

It seems attention is on a thought which is somehow charged and unpleasant. That feels a bit like a fog covering reality.

On the other hand when there is openness attention is on sensations of sight, sounds etc. there is no tension in body. Experiences feel closer more direct more real. It feels like there is only outside and less of usual inside which are just thoughts really.

But it is like a scale not black end white. Less tension and thoughts more openness and more tension and charged thoughts more contraction.

I was not able to find any particular visualization.
Yes, this is how normally it is. Every single thought believed results in a bodily sensation. And if the thought is negative (which is most of the time), the result is unpleasant contractions in the body.

And from here, there is just one step to conceptualize this and imagine openness and contraction to something special.
But openness is nothing else then muscle relaxation. And it’s pleasant, while muscle tension is unpleasant.

Now we are going to start investigate thoughts.

What do you do exactly in order to think?
How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?


Please be careful not to think about these questions, but actually sit and NOTICE how you think, how you do it exactly. So don’t go to theories, speculations, philosophy, or any learned information. Just notice what is happening here now in the immediacy of your own experience.

Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Look again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, look more.

This investigation is about persistent repetition. Looking at the same thing again and again in experience, what brings about the realization.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
cojetoto
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Where else is it hiding?

Postby cojetoto » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:06 pm

Hi Vivien,

I came back from few days offline.
What do you do exactly in order to think?
The attention is on thought(s). Verbal or visual. There are only few experiences of senses available when attention is on thoughts. It is very absorbing.
How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?
I can’t find how would I make them in any way. They just appear. I found 3 sources of the thoughts.

1. Some external sensation like a sound or something seen

2. Mind-wandering when one thought generates another one

3. Some persistent emotion which seems to repeatedly bring thoughts about previous situation typically

The thoughts simply appeared and are quite sticky and attention could keep them coming.
Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Look again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, look more.

This investigation is about persistent repetition. Looking at the same thing again and again in experience, what brings about the realization.
As I just came back from mountains I’m not sure I spent enough time looking as you suggest. Please let me know what you recommend.

Thanks,
Peter


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests