no next

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Anastacia42
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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:17 pm

The focusing on the 'now' is so much less burdensome. Confusing content of thought with reality is tiring. Was in the car and there was a feeling of relief and freedom in just experiencing the 'now'. So much simpler. A loving friend told me yesterday that I can be "over-analytical". Ok, that is probably obvious to you right now. I complicate things way too much! You are on to something with the last post.

There really is no feeling of "self" when focused on the 'now'. Granted, this is nonduality 101, Buddhism 101, etc. but understanding it more directly now. Anyway, just wanted to write that.
Goooooood morning!

You're cooking with gas! Smelling the coffee! Firing on all cylinders!

I'm out here in Colorado (ha! ha! on all counts [I, here, Colorado]) doing a huge Happy Dance!

Yes! THIS!

Yes, you can be "over-analytical." Yes, you "complicate things way too much." We ALL do. Expectations, anal-ysis, complications - all get in our way. It IS stressful. Which way would you be more effective - peaceful or stressful?

DUH, right?

Just marinate in what is NOW. How finely can you cut it?

Imagine that what you call "now" is an inch on a ruler.

Focus, LOOK at that and then imagine you can divide that "inch" into 12 pieces and zoom in to a closer focus on a more minute NOW, such that 1/12 of your "inch" is now the "inch." Zoom in closer. Then do it again. And again.

Repeat as much as you like. What do you find?

Never mind what "I" said, look what "you" said:
The focusing on the 'now' is so much less burdensome. Confusing content of thought with reality is tiring.
"no next," indeed.
Love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:37 pm

Crying a bit. What did I just find when I divided that ruler into smaller and smaller increments? Unexpectedly, ultimate freedom and space...and then the tears and tears now. I am so tired of struggling! Going to let this process unfold now.

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:57 pm

Yes. <3
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:46 pm

Good morning,

Forgot to write that your post in the early afternoon on Friday made me laugh. That was funny!

Not quite sure what to write. That happens sometimes. In part, I used to analyze here and now I try not to, as it is not usually helpful.

It does seem simpler, as there is an acceptance that the thoughts/story line will still occur, and that is totally natural for living humans. The thoughts are like the subtitles in an English-speaking movie-why would I always need to read the subtitles? Now, they appear and disappear and sometimes they are necessary to function and at other times, just watch them like all other DE. Definitely can see that the content of thoughts is not reality and thoughts are not aware of what it says. No author of thoughts.

Feeling lighter, although somewhat subtle (which is ok, I know) because it is so liberating to know that there is no controller or author of the thoughts, so there is nothing to do...although still looking for a "self" each time there is apparent identification with thoughts.

Still feel like there is something trying to protect a "self-image" at times, like when I think about a project at work right now and am concerned that people may feel disappointed in me if there are mistakes. Not sure what that means or what to do about that.

It is so beautiful today. Things seem incredibly simpler when I am walking outside surrounded by plants, trees and little animals and insects. 'No self' is very tangible, not subtle.

Seeing the expectations that things should be different somehow, just watching that now. Noticing the paying attention to the content, not actual experience, not reality! Much more evident that LOOKING is what is important. Able to laugh a bit more at the frequent silliness of the content of thought. Monkey mind.

Love,

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:21 pm

Hi Steven,

Very happy to make you laugh. . . and cry. Keep in mind that tears are like anything else - just tears happening. The interpretation is content and not DE. Can you see this? Yes or no?

Couldn't they be tears of joy? Relief? Something else? Or even nothing at all? Just tears?

Possibly the reason you don't know what to write is that you don't have a direct question right now. You replied to what happened when you zoomed in on NOW, cried and said you wanted to let it unfold. So, I waited to post anything further while you marinated. :)

There are some fine points to look at in your answers to the questions on time, but I chose to leap on something you were doing "right" rather than go into those. Let's look at some of the details of those responses. It's hard to language these things as AE, I know, and yet, it's worth it to SEE the differences.

Just some fine tuning, really:
thoughts always happen as a singularity in each moment
Can you see how this points to "time," which you are discovering does not exist in DE? What singularity? What moment? Can you point to either of those as color, sound, sensation, taste, smell or thought arising without content?
Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?

it does not start or end as it is not in time.
That answer seems to say there is such a thing as "time." Is there or isn't there? Time just is not.
What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?

Just thoughts 'now' with content that sometimes refers to a 'past'.

Even if the content is referring to a ‘past’, when is the content actually arising?
Seems like the identification with this story line is creating suffering...still...but is there a separate self? No. Cannot find anything separate.
LOOK at this thing you are labeling as "suffering." Is this content? Or Direct Experience?

What is actually appearing/known is label + sensation + color + thoughts ABOUT suffering, but can suffering be found?

A thought arises, "I still believe there is a 'me.'" So what? A thought arose. The content? Still not Direct Experience.

This "feeling" of a "self." Does this "feeling" suggest in any way that it is a "self?" Without thought, how could it possibly be known that this "feeling" points to a "self?" LOOK again. What Direct Experience is found?

If you get confused answering these questions, stop. Find NOW. Zoom in on that to find Direct Experience. THEN look at the question again.

Love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:52 pm

Highlighting what you said here, also:
It is so beautiful today. Things seem incredibly simpler when I am walking outside surrounded by plants, trees and little animals and insects. 'No self' is very tangible, not subtle.

Seeing the expectations that things should be different somehow, just watching that now. Noticing the paying attention to the content, not actual experience, not reality! Much more evident that LOOKING is what is important. Able to laugh a bit more at the frequent silliness of the content of thought. Monkey mind.
:)
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:29 am

Good evening,
Keep in mind that tears are like anything else - just tears happening. The interpretation is content and not DE. Can you see this? Yes or no?

Couldn't they be tears of joy? Relief? Something else? Or even nothing at all? Just tears?
Yes. The interpretations are always not DE. Thoughts are DE.

Seeing that thoughts and feelings arise and the body has responses, but they are not MY responses and any interpretation is not actual reality/experience although the thoughts and bodily sensations are DE too.

[thoughts always happen as a singularity in each moment]
Can you see how this points to "time," which you are discovering does not exist in DE? What singularity? What moment? Can you point to either of those as color, sound, sensation, taste, smell or thought arising without content?
Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?
Yes. There is no singularity or moment. That is another interpretation and content of thought. They have no color, sound, sensation, taste, smell or thought arising. There is no DE of time.


[it does not start or end as it is not in time.]
That answer seems to say there is such a thing as "time." Is there or isn't there? Time just is not.
What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?
Thought/memory/conditioning created that answer. Assumption that there is actual time was revealed in that answer. Looking at it more deeply with DE, zooming in on DE. Just sensations such as hearing music, typing, breathing, etc. What does all of that know of time! Content of thought has a narrative with an idea of "time", but again, content is not DE.

[Just thoughts 'now' with content that sometimes refers to a 'past'.]
Even if the content is referring to a ‘past’, when is the content actually arising?
Now. That is all there is..'now'. Just 'now'.

[Seems like the identification with this story line is creating suffering...still...but is there a separate self? No. Cannot find anything separate.]
LOOK at this thing you are labeling as "suffering." Is this content? Or Direct Experience?
Just interpretation/content. Not DE.
What is actually appearing/known is label + sensation + color + thoughts ABOUT suffering, but can suffering be found?
No. Just a label which is a thought.

A thought arises, "I still believe there is a 'me.'" So what? A thought arose. The content? Still not Direct Experience.
This "feeling" of a "self." Does this "feeling" suggest in any way that it is a "self?" Without thought, how could it possibly be known that this "feeling" points to a "self?" LOOK again. What Direct Experience is found?
Looking. Just sensations, raw vibrations, not even a separation of hands/table and butt/chair, etc. Rudimentary. All "self" thoughts are just thoughts but when LOOKING, really LOOKING...no 'self'.

And now, I need to brush my teeth. Too personal?

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:56 am

Steven,

Beautiful!

No, needing to brush your teeth is not "too personal." Just thoughts arising and tooth-brushing happening.

Okay, an exercise on memory and then to offer you some questions.


Past and memory go hand-in-hand as almost everybody believes that a memory thought is referring to something that has happened; that a memory thought is a different thought than a non-memory thought.



Please don’t go to thought explanation, but just let a memory be there, and look at it.


What is memory exactly?

What is the memory ‘made of’?

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?

WHEN does the memory actually appear?

How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?



Then, look at a thought about the future.

What is the future thought ‘made of’?

WHEN does the future thought appear?

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?

How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?



Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.

What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?

If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?


Look at what is actually going on and not what thoughts say… but what actually is.

So much loving this,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:14 am

Good evening Stacy,

I worked on this several times in the past couple of days.
What is memory exactly?
If looking at DE only, and that is what we do here, they are thoughts with content. The content is different, of course, from the content of some other thoughts. The thoughts involve the labeling of an event with content that says "this happened in the past", but when one looks at DE, there is not an experience of the past, just experience of NOW. There is no experience of a past and never can be.
What is the memory ‘made of’?
please see above.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
please see above, but basically, the content differs but they are just thoughts, nothing special.
WHEN does the memory actually appear?
Now. There is just 'now', so there can be no other answer. Thoughts and sensations and any DE happen 'now'. There is only 'now'.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
It is not known. When one looks, these thoughts happen 'now'.


Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
Thoughts with content that involve images and ideas including an idea of time with a future. Content is never DE. Thoughts are DE, not content.
WHEN does the future thought appear?
Now.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
The thoughts are exactly the same. Just thought. Again, content is different, but we deal with DE only and thoughts are DE, not content. So, no difference.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
DE happens now so not possible.


Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
Thoughts are thoughts. If we ignore content and deal with DE only, no difference. No difference between thoughts of any kind about anything.
If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?
Not different.

And that is that.

With love,

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:18 am

Yep, pretty much!

Steven, we have a tradition of asking some final questions. Do you feel you're ready for that?

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:51 am

Hi Stacy,

I am really at a loss in regard to whether I am ready for those questions. Feel free to present them and we could see what happens.

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:03 am

Hi,

That is a great way to look at it. We do use the questions just to see what else we might need to cover.

Please answer each piece.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

Much loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:19 pm

Good morning Stacy,

I will not proofread or correct any typos, etc. Hope that is ok.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
Just going to write and see what happens...this body was born, just like bugs and flowers and trees. Nothing separate at all. How could that even be possible? A multitude of separate things with borders? Ludicrous. Not scientifically possible. Just not logical and not DE. Never was or can be any separate entity. Just awareness in the present Now including thoughts which create an illusion of separation. Thoughts, like everything, happen Now. They have no awareness and are not separate either. No separate "me", "I" at all anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Never was.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
Do not remember exactly when it started but sometime in childhood, there began a process in which thoughts created a belief of separation. An "I" in the body and an outside world. This was and continues to be our societies belief system so it is reinforced by others. There is no actual "feeling" of a separate self, but thoughts about "I". In communicating, such as in this forum, the "I" concept is needed to express things but if one looks, no "I" is ever found. So, the truth is that there really is no separate self. It is like batman, in that it does not really exist, but unlike batman, this concept of "I" can be helpful in communicating. We just need to know that it does not really exist.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Right now, it feels so obvious. Almost amusing how obvious it is and I want to share it. When I do try to share it with some people, and they have no idea what I am talking about, it can feel frustrating at times as they look at me like I am psychotic. However, there are days in which a thought-story line continues throughout the day and there is tension in the body and contraction. I still need to look for the self, which I know is normal. Still have the expectation that this contraction and daydreaming should not be happening as frequently, so I wonder if there is not a deeper understanding. Right now, there is a lightness and understanding that there is no separation, but just did yoga, so the mind-body is in a different state right now compared to workdays. Now, I can see that despite all this mental activity, there is nothing behind it, whereas before the dialogue, there was a belief that "I" was behind it and that I could control thoughts. Now, they just happen and there is awareness of this activity.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
Not quite sure as it seems like the process is still ongoing. However, the reality that thoughts happen and there is absolutely no controller of thoughts, actions, etc...no controller at all!...was liberating to the extreme.
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Decision, intention, free will, choice and control. That is easy because they all just happen! Cosmic events like the weather. If they existed, that would imply a separate entity. However, that entity has never been found. What makes things happen? I have absolutely no idea! Please let me know, if you figure it out. How does it work? Who the heck knows. Laughing. People try to figure this out with a multitude of theories, but no one really knows. What am I responsible for? I used to think that if I said that no one is responsible for anything, there would be chaos. Now, I would say that there are no separate entities, so it does not really matter if I state the correct answer, which is that I am not responsible for anything, simply because there is no "I". How could "I" be responsible for anything? "I" doesn't exist! Are fairies and unicorns responsible for anything? No, because the question makes no sense. They do not exist, just like "I".
6) Anything to add?
This all seems so obvious right now. However, thought comes in and creates images of future suffering, etc. and it is almost like there is something trying to hold onto a peaceful mind state. Each time things like this happen, there is a looking for something behind it, and nothing can be found. The peaceful feeling is so pleasant, so there is some desire to hold onto it.


With love as always,

Steven

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Anastacia42
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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:07 am

Good evening, Steven,

Quite beautiful and peaceful, as you say.

Okay, so it's not so subtle, then. :) Sometimes it is.

There will be times when you may feel like you have "lost it." Don't worry. That isn't the case. But this is the beginning of how to look at life's usual situations in a clearer way. As you go, things will come up and seem challenging. Use the support we will point you to. Question. Look.

On Question 5, there don't seem to be any examples from your life. Could you please provide a few of those? Here is what you wrote:
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

Decision, intention, free will, choice and control. That is easy because they all just happen! Cosmic events like the weather. If they existed, that would imply a separate entity. However, that entity has never been found. What makes things happen? I have absolutely no idea! Please let me know, if you figure it out. How does it work? Who the heck knows. Laughing. People try to figure this out with a multitude of theories, but no one really knows. What am I responsible for? I used to think that if I said that no one is responsible for anything, there would be chaos. Now, I would say that there are no separate entities, so it does not really matter if I state the correct answer, which is that I am not responsible for anything, simply because there is no "I". How could "I" be responsible for anything? "I" doesn't exist! Are fairies and unicorns responsible for anything? No, because the question makes no sense. They do not exist, just like "I".
Thank you!

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:27 pm

Stacy-
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

On Question 5, there don't seem to be any examples from your life. Could you please provide a few of those? Here is what you wrote:
Maybe an example from this morning. There is now frequent LOOKING to see if there is a controller, intention, free will. For example, this morning: There were thoughts about this and that person and wondering who thinks about "me" more. Thinking about who cares about "me" more. When I looked, there were just thoughts and a noticing of intentions to act but no actual doer, controller or thinker. Then the thought came "fall from grace", when moving out of the NOW. Realization that all that is needed is in the NOW and no person will give me the happiness that is longer for. There is peace in the NOW.

The stories obviously continue as noted above. Now, there is the observation of the mental stories unfolding but there is no driver, just a passenger.

Realizing that your post about time and NOW were and are perhaps the push. Seems obvious now but this was forgotten a week or two ago. So, when the mental stories continue...and they are still happening at the same frequency...there is immediate relief when looking at what is happening NOW, DE NOW. So much simpler than the previous over-analyzing!

One more example: picked up wife from train and she made a comment that was a bit hurtful. Watched the bodily sensations, watched the "I" thoughts arise. What is new is the realization that what was happening is what was supposed to happen...her comment, all of the reactions in this mind-body, the thoughts, the thoughts about the thoughts. Nothing "I" could do differently as there is nothing separate from the DE. Even this writing is happening without a driver.

Hope these are enough examples.

Thanks!

Steven


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