I'm having the thought that I'm losing confidence in my ability to look and answer from experience. not sure if im fabricating the answer based on my idea of how it is. going to speech, i get caught up in my idea of the experience. i dont know how to use the words to answer without losing touch with the immediacy.
LOOKING is natural and “you” can't lose it. What you are reporting are two sets of thoughts – one of old conditioning vs the new (coming from DE). The only way the new would prevail over the old if content is checked with DE.
Do you need to hold on to being, because it can slip away? Or it can be taken away?
i can feel this is at the heart of my predicament. and im noticing some resistance to answering. its like i dont want to know the answer. but okay i should stay with the direct looking..
being is here and theres a softness and openness and something relaxed about it. loose. theres nothing in DE that suggests that it can or cannot slip away. i would have to make some abstract projection to answer what could happen to it. I just know that its here and its not something I am making happen.
It seems like you are confusing states (e.g. openness, softness, relaxation) with being/THIS/whatever is happening. THIS comes in many “shapes”, including “being lost in thought”, anxious, tightness etc.
How is it possible to "maintain" something when you are present
? Present moment is just one present moment, and has anything to do with a duration of a certain state. The minute you start describing the experience (using labels), it “starts” appearing in dichotomous/opposing states – relaxed vs anxious, open vs tight/closed, soft vs hard etc. Is there a difference between these without labels?
There are still sensations, thoughts, seeing… - THIS. Only characterising it as “good” and “bad”, ‘right and “wrong” creates a story of a lack. Is there a "wrong" THIS?
There is a story about trying to be in control and not succeeding and the feelings of guilt and shame that arise with the failure. It is interesting to watch how all this works, how thoughts of lacking and wanting create a ripple of sensations, and how you can’t control any of it. Sensations arise; take a look at them. Which one of them is the sensation of “being in or out of control” of DE? Can you pinpoint it? What is that sensation without the label?
...and then the thoughts come and say that this seeing will wear off and that I have to make the inquiry into some strategy or practice for the future. and thats what happened before and I tried to make it into a practice and to be persistent in looking. and the questions got stale. and in the past couple months, I've been looking back at older posts from the rest of this thread to get new questions to ask myself. and try to familiarize myself with the process. sort of making it into a practice or strategy again. and then that gets stale the questions dont do anything anymore so then i read some other threads and then the same thing happens again. and so i thought that it would probably help to engage with someone and asked for your help...
You don’t need a magic question, just question whatever belief appears as troublesome, check its truthfulness.
and tonight the thing i noticed about the mechanism for wanting is that the thinking mind appears to want to stay engaged with something. to have a meaningful job to work on. and it was apparent that the thinking had conceived this spiritual-type path as the most meaningful job to work on. to give purpose. i had the feeling this was the impulse behind the need for practice and strategizing.
Yes! This is its job – the creation of meaning. But remember, meaning exists only in thought content…Meaning is based on concepts and the link between these concepts. Without labels/concepts can there be meaning?
Meaning is empty :)
I remember you describing to me how thought itself is a sense that is directly experienced but not its content or what its about. Is that to say that the mental noise or image of the thought is DE but without any meaning assigned to it? I'm looking for the DE of thought but its a subtle distinction and im still processing the meaning of the verbal thoughts.
Yes! Thought content is empty and cannot be experienced directly (remember the apple example). There are sensations, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting, and thinking comes along trying to give them meaning. Mental images are like snapshots (quite inaccurate) of DE, very similar to concepts. Compare the actual eating of chocolate vs imagining eating one and you'll see what I'm talking about. Thought says that we can hear and see them but have you actually ever heard your thoughts? Just like mental images, are they the actual object or just thoughts about the object?
What you might find interesting for further exploring is the Ten Fetters. There are a lot of groups that help with that. I think I gave you the links. The videos are quite a nice summary: https://www.simplytheseen.com/videos-and-links.html
I find it a good way to inspect beliefs in a structured way. I try to cover most important beliefs with my guiding, but it’s a good reference of what else can be explored. They say that LU inquiry covers the first 3 and some guides actively point only to these, but for me it covers all of them if you question everything. And I try guiding a bit further.