Every autumn, when my kids go back to school and share viruses with their friends, I get sick, and this year is no exception.
I have been finding it really hard to focus properly, and I have put off replying, apologies. I'm still rather fuzzy, but I'll do my best....
I new without doubt, of course hearing was just hearing
I am glad that is so clear - it is a very valuable realisation
Thoughts distracted me from just seeing until I realised that I had to let thoughts just happen, that thy are not to be got rid of.
This is important: we are not trying to change anything, we are not trying "get to" or "sustain" a state of "just seeing" as opposed to some other state. Nor are we trying to let thoughts happen rather than think deliberately. We are just trying to see more clearly whatever is actually going on
Changes may well happen along the way, but for now, it is best to consider any changes as simply side effects of greater clarity, not targets to aim for and achieve through training.
To elaborate on a traditional analogy - say you were scared because you thought you saw a snake in the bushes in your garden, and so you avoided certain parts of your garden where you thought it lived. Someone else, who looked clearly, might see it was just a piece of rope. You notice that they are not scared, in spite of having seen into the bush, and they move freely about in the garden.
The 'training' approach would be to force yourself to go into all parts of the garden, in spite of your fear, and to "try not to be scared", in the hope that eventually you would also be free from the fear and limitation. The 'seeing' approach would be to be led up to the bush, and for you to look clearly until you see for yourself that it is not a snake but a piece of rope. Fearlessness and freedom are side effects of that clarity, they don't need training.
I hope I have not over-laboured the point, but it is an important one. We are so habituated to training ourselves that it can be hard even to notice this assumption at first! Does this make sense?
So there are a few directions we could go in from here... I definitely want to come back to thought and belief, but let's consider vision. Here are some pointers to investigate in direct experience:
If your eyes are open, is there any choice to see or not to see?
Is there "I" doing the seeing, and visual impressions being seen? If so, where is the split between the two? Where is "I" in seeing?
When you look at a completely abstract work of art, it may just be shapes and colour, raw and unlabelled; when you look at something you know and understand, like a keyboard, do you notice that there is more going on than just the the raw experiences of shape and colour?