Unsure

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Fatburger100
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Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:49 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
No real self means that in single, present moments of awareness, no nameable, definable object can be "I." Sensations occur to no one but an impersonal awareness that isn't seperate from the sensations themselves.

What are you looking for at LU?
I understand no-self intellectually and have had a handful of satori and several years of spiritual terminology in my mind, yet still striving for some certainty and finality about this experience. I have seen and felt what a conflicted mind does and want to understand its relationship to no-self better.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I want an honest, firm direction without distractions or pitfalls. I will do my part to answer with complete honesty and allow for mistakes and misunderstandings to drop. I am excited and relieved at the same time of this hope for a direct pointing instruction, as I've never meet any teachers outside of books or online videos; having a direct contact seems a lot more intimate.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have seen many talk about non-self and non-duality with such a clear precision and intelligence about such an incomprehensible subject which got me interested and lead me to buddhism, and lately Dzogchen. I have read many of the masters and understand their work intellectually without too many flaws, but have yet to have a final experience myself. I feel I have benifitted from the teachings so far and wish to teach others, but dont want to be hypocritcal and want to be able to speak from my own direct experience.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 8

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:50 am

Hi Fatburger!

My name is Kay and I am happy to assist you with exploring the concept of the separate self. My role is to point by using exercises and questions. You don’t actually have to do anything other than to LOOK at what is being pointed at to see you are already seeing and always have been seeing what actually is. This simple seeing also notices that there is no self here - there's just what is going on, that this is already going on for everyone right now but the mind comes in and makes it complicated and says it's difficult and out of reach. My job as a guide is to help you see that this basic awareness/seeing is always here and always has been.

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

Disclaimer:-

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:-

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/


“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ&app=desktop

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:14 pm

Hello Kay,
My name is Anthony, I have read the disclaimers and faq. I look forward to our discussion, thank you very much for your willingness. I am sorry about the late reply, I haven't been able to get around a computer lately. I'll do my best to stay on top of it now.

Best regards,
Anthony

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:50 am

Hey Anthony,

Thank you for reading the links, including the disclaimer and how to use the quote function.

Some housekeeping guidelines:-
1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration. Be here with an open and curious mind.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word - it will save you time in the long run!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration ie what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc in your own words could you please answer the 4 following questions::

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:13 pm

How will life change?
Life will go on as it always does, but with increased acceptance and understanding of reality.
How will you change?
The body will do its thing I will still need to work and survive, but there will be no "I" running the show.
What will be different
My understanding of the relationship between direct observation of what is and conceptual labelling.
What is missing
I'm personally quite satisfied with my life, but I want to understand reality without a self empirically and then go forth to help others.

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:40 pm

Hello Anthony,

The questions were a means to seeing what expectations you have about what this exploration will give you and how life will look ‘after’. Expectations compare what is happening now to an imagined future happening, and if the current happening does not match the imagined, this is then labelled as ‘liberated’ or ‘not liberated and can blindside the fact that the realisation that there is no separate self has happened. When desired expectations are not met, fear, anger, resistance, frustration can arise, so be aware of this also. There is nothing to be done with expectations other than to be aware of them and any others that appear as we move through this exploration.
How will life change?
Life will go on as it always does, but with increased acceptance and understanding of reality.
Yep, life goes on as it always has. What changes is the perception of life and what it all means.
How will you change?
The body will do its thing I will still need to work and survive, but there will be no "I" running the show.
This seems to point to the idea that there is a ‘you’ who resides in the body but who is just a puppet who is needing to survive! What “I” is that exactly?
What will be different
My understanding of the relationship between direct observation of what is and conceptual labelling.
So you are not wanting world peace? (smiling)
What is the expectation that this understanding will give/bring you? What will life look like then and what will change for you then?
What is missing
I'm personally quite satisfied with my life, but I want to understand reality without a self empirically and then go forth to help others.
What exactly is it that is “personally satisfied with my life”?
I have read many of the masters and understand their work intellectually without too many flaws, but have yet to have a final experience myself. I feel I have benifitted from the teachings so far and wish to teach others, but dont want to be hypocritcal and want to be able to speak from my own direct experience.
I would like you to put aside all this intellectual knowledge…because this will be a hindrance. I would like you to be here with openness and curiosity…like that of a child who is only just seeing now what life is.

Are you always in your head? Do you have a busy mind…always thinking?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:23 pm

This seems to point to the idea that there is a ‘you’ who resides in the body but who is just a puppet who is needing to survive! What “I” is that exactly?
I guess I've never really examined it before. It seems like there is the body and it's physical functions and needs like food and whatnot, and a witness behind these functions. But then even the idea of a body is just an idea that comes and goes, and the idea of a separate witness witnessing thoughts is another thought taking place in another moment.
What is the expectation that this understanding will give/bring you? What will life look like then and what will change for you then?
I suppose this understanding will make everything fit right in the world, make it make sense, calm it down and lower the stress. There is a subtle hope that it will change feelings of self-worth and give me confidence to talk and guide others about no-self.
What exactly is it that is “personally satisfied with my life”?
I looked around the room and had a feeling of contentment then the thought "satisfaction" came in. And the idea of the whole of my life and what I've been through was also thrown under the label "satisfied." However, there seems to be nothing concrete, not boy or mind, that is "satisfied with its life," there was just a momentary emotion and then thought abut that emotion that occurred.
Are you always in your head? Do you have a busy mind…always thinking?
Not exactly, it seems a mixed bag. I can sit with direct experience and have no thoughts whatsoever for periods of time and other moments there will be thoughts but it is seen to not alter the experience at all, so they just arise and pass. Then there are the "normal" moments when there are thoughts of awkward interactions and feelings of insecurity which are more frequent than other types of thinking.

Thank you for your time and patience,

Anthony

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:36 am

Hello Anthony,
idea of a separate witness witnessing thoughts is another thought taking place in another moment.
Yes, exactly….brilliant observation!
What is the expectation that this understanding will give/bring you? What will life look like then and what will change for you then?
I suppose this understanding will make everything fit right in the world, make it make sense, calm it down and lower the stress. There is a subtle hope that it will change feelings of self-worth and give me confidence to talk and guide others about no-self.
Thank you! It’s best to be 100% upfront throughout this exploration and not give seeming ideal/right answers.

There has NEVER been a separate self. There wasn’t one yesterday, there isn’t one now who is reading this, and there won’t be one tomorrow. Did anything, other than perception change when it was seen the Santa Claus was simply a story character? Change may or may not happen, but it is not happening to a ‘you’!
What exactly is it that is “personally satisfied with my life”?
I looked around the room and had a feeling of contentment then the thought "satisfaction" came in. And the idea of the whole of my life and what I've been through was also thrown under the label "satisfied." However, there seems to be nothing concrete, not boy or mind, that is "satisfied with its life," there was just a momentary emotion and then thought abut that emotion that occurred.
Nice looking, Anthony. Yes…if you look at the current experience, what is actually appearing now you will soon see what actually is as opposed to what thought says is.

Okay, you seem to be aware of AE, but we begin as we mean to go on! So we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is. The term ‘actual experience’ (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ and noticing the thought stories about them...so ‘looking’ is just plain looking at what is here right now ie image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value. It is no different to looking for your car keys when you think you have misplaced them but instead of looking for car keys, you are looking at AE - raw experience and noticing the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience. The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no separate self.

The following exercise points to what I mean.

If you have a ‘real’ apple then you can use that for this exercise.


Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is an apple actually known?

Throughout our exploration, what is highlighted in blue text is what I would like you to answer please. Don't forget to use the quote function.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:41 am

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
There is no apple, only the sight of the apple and thoughts like, "apple, red, healthy"
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No apple can be found, only a conceptual abstraction which is sort of weaved through the senses and then labeled an apple.
However, is an apple actually known?
There is a feeling of an apple in hand, the is the sight of its color and shape, there is the sound of a crunch, there is a taste, and thoughts about it, yet no apple exists outside of the mental label "apple." It seems to be a very convient referential label for communication, but not actually found in actual experience. What an odd yet releiving thing, looking around a room and seeing things as they are without the label. Its almost stripped down to direct perceiving, perhaps like how an animal would see things.

Keep em coming Kay!

Thank you very much,
Anthony

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:28 am

Hey Anthony,
However, is an apple actually known?
There is a feeling of an apple in hand, the is the sight of its color and shape, there is the sound of a crunch, there is a taste, and thoughts about it, yet no apple exists outside of the mental label "apple." It seems to be a very convient referential label for communication, but not actually found in actual experience. What an odd yet releiving thing, looking around a room and seeing things as they are without the label. Its almost stripped down to direct perceiving, perhaps like how an animal would see things.
Lovely looking!

You have already started to look around you and see things, noticing the labels and thoughts about them…so continue this as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell,
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation.
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought.

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:09 pm

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Seeing the sun= color,shape
Feeling the warmth= sensation
Thought about warmth and beauty of the sun=thought

Hearing trucks= sound
Thought of value of truck ie. "noise"= thought

Hearing music=sound
"This is music"=thought

Petting cat=sensation
Seeing cat=image
Hearing meows=sound
Thought of petting cat=thought

Body whistling=sensation
Sound of whistling=sound
"I am whistling" = thought

The sound of trucks labeled noise verses the music labeled "music" or pleasant was interesting to note. Theres actually no difference in sound in AE, its all a constant flow of near infinite sounds, yet thoughts label some as noise and some as music even though there is no pleasantness or unpleasantness in the direct experience of sound itself.
I do not know if anyone "enjoyed" the warmth of the sun, that was just a thought placed upon the sensation of warmth. "Enjoying" is just a thought, the sun is just a thought, beauty is just a thought, warmth is just a thought, yet the sensations are experienced, as is the thought.

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:16 pm

Hi Anthony,
The sound of trucks labeled noise verses the music labeled "music" or pleasant was interesting to note. Theres actually no difference in sound in AE, its all a constant flow of near infinite sounds, yet thoughts label some as noise and some as music even though there is no pleasantness or unpleasantness in the direct experience of sound itself.
Great observations! There is never no sound. There is never no ‘thing’ not going on. Many equate ‘quietening’ the mind as silence or stillness (not so). However thoughts are not sound. And yes, it is only thought that opines there are pleasant and unpleasant sounds but thoughts know nothing :)

So let’s have a look at thought.

Here is a thought exercise. Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.

Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?


Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:20 am

Where are they coming from and going to?
When there are no thoughts, there simply aren't any thoughts. There's no set destination for them to go to and come from, as that would only be another thought.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Not at all, I can sit still and hear a bird and the thought "bird" comes in almost by itself, just as the actual sound came in "by itself" for lack of a better term.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No, the thought that is there has to be thought, just as the sound of the bird is heard exactly when it is.
Can you predict your next thought?
No, each thought arises and is cognized exactly as it appears.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No, the thought that is thought is the only one that is there, there is no range, there is only a single present thought.
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
No.
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No.
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
No, there is no middle of a thought, thoughts are done being thought when there are no more thoughts.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?
No logic behind it, from commentary, memories, to imagination and a song I haven't heard in years, thoughts have no order at all.

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forgetmenot
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Re: Unsure

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:32 am

Hey Anthony,
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
No, there is no middle of a thought, thoughts are done being thought when there are no more thoughts.
Thanks for the laugh! :)

Right...moving along..let's look at control/choice/decisions.

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?


Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Fatburger100
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Re: Unsure

Postby Fatburger100 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:31 am

How is the movement controlled?
It sort of just happens, really. Its not controlled by anything conceivable.
Does a thought control it?
All a thought can do is attempt to explain, describe, and comment, it has no real control over actions at all.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
No, at first the thought "the body" came in but then left my hand alone to flip up and down hahaha.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
"How" almost seems superfluous. It is directly occurring in actual experience, it's concrete, it IS. Any thought about a previous decision seems unnecessary and transparent.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
It is not even the hand itself or body or brain that has control over it, those are just thoughts. I've got no explanation or description for it at all actually hahaha. Its quite funny more than anything.

I can't help but be appreciative after each of these exercises! Thank you again!


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