Only see when seeing

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:46 pm

Hey Michael,
Do you feel any difference now you have seen this?
Something happened. Two nights ago, I suddenly woke up around 02:30 and I just knew that there was no self anymore. There was only this very enjoyable awareness of sensation and thoughts as the arose. No more feeback loop. No observer just awareness of things. I was so sure then that the self was gone. At that time a memory came up. It was a scene from the movie Little Buddha during the enlightenment experience where Buddha says, ( as I recall), Architect, you will not build this house again. I really understood. I thought, yeah, The foundation is washed away, Impossible to rebuild, no point in returning.
I kept falling back to sleep and waking up. I just wanted to enjoy this. When I finally got up I felt like the self was back but some interesting things happened later. My meditation was different. Just awareness with no getting lost in thought. Very pleasurable. Later that day, someone said something that I would normally have taken as offensive. The physical feeling caused by offensive remarks had changed. It seemed to hit something in the chest that blocked it from intering the heart. I was very aware that the physical reaction process had been stopped short of completion. It felt as though they were talking about someone else. No anger or defensiveness at all.
Is there a seperate self?
No. I think I could say no and pass a lie detector test. But I feel like the self still has a foot in the door.
Is there seperation at all?
Yes. I feel pretty much as I always have but life is punctuated by moments of no self.
What role does thought play in this?
I think it's a big part. I'm a 68 years old and I have a lot of thought stuff. I found myself picturing my body/brain as hollow with sensations and thoughts just passing through it observed without triggering a self reaction. This causes small brief joyfull feelings to arise later as perceptions arise without the usual accompanying thoughts. Perception without the perceiver is very pleasurable and comforting. It seems to cause a very pleasurable feeling to arise in the whole torso.

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:30 am

Hi Kevn,

Wow, Bingo!

That was very fast.
Two nights ago, I suddenly woke up around 02:30 and I just knew that there was no self anymore. There was only this very enjoyable awareness of sensation and thoughts as the arose. No more feeback loop. No observer just awareness of things.
Great.
I was so sure then that the self was gone. At that time a memory came up. It was a scene from the movie Little Buddha during the enlightenment experience where Buddha says, ( as I recall), Architect, you will not build this house again. I really understood. I thought, yeah, The foundation is washed away, Impossible to rebuild,
Fantastic - though it may not be complete and perfect Buddhahood just yet........
My meditation was different. Just awareness with no getting lost in thought. Very pleasurable. Later that day, someone said something that I would normally have taken as offensive. The physical feeling caused by offensive remarks had changed. It seemed to hit something in the chest that blocked it from intering the heart. I was very aware that the physical reaction process had been stopped short of completion. It felt as though they were talking about someone else. No anger or defensiveness at all.


Yes I love meditating now that it is different too. Zazen / Just sitting. Stillness and silence.
Perception without the perceiver is very pleasurable and comforting.
Yes, but is there anyone to be comforted?

Glad you are less triggerred and reactive. Reactivity may or may not have gone entirely but there are other contexts /forums available in which you can explore that once our conversation is over.
Is there a seperate self?
No. I think I could say no and pass a lie detector test. But I feel like the self still has a foot in the door.
This is where we need to focus now.

If there is no self how can it have a foot in the door?

What door!!!?

You will still have "I" thoughts. It is just that now you know they are empty - referring to an entity that doesn't exist. It is this ongoing narrative that causes the belief in a separate self.

See if you can notice that.

If it helps you to understand your new perspective this ongoing occurance of "I" type thoughts folk tend to call 'selfing'.

Enjoy your new perspective. As the shift has occurred so quickly I suggest we work out some of the ramifications - largely by looking at thought closely and then I will ask you the final questions.

I am really happy for you. :)

Michael

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:26 pm

Hi Michael,
I was very relieved by your reply. Something big definitely happened. Something has changed, but I am definitely not enlightened. Even though I am quoting Keanu Reeves, which normally proves enlightment 😂😂😂 no, still a big self there.
Ok, so you asked:
If there is no self, how can it have a foot in the door?
Feels like this self is a guy who has taken off a heavy back pack but now just a lighter guy still there.
What door?
I'm really trying to understand that. I think that is the key thing. I feel like the foot and the door are one thing.
Feels like maybe the door is just an extra habitual thought that gets automatically launched. Kind of like OCD responses. The one/self doing the comparing is a thought. I'm going to try to notice this extra thought as it happens.
Is there anyone to be comforted?
Feels more like thoughts to be resolved. Like an operating procedure to prevent selfing needs to be written.

Thank you so much 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:31 pm

Hi,
I was very relieved by your reply. Something big definitely happened. Something has changed, but I am definitely not enlightened. Even though I am quoting Keanu Reeves, which normally proves enlightment 😂😂😂 no, still a big self there.
Dam right!! Quoting Keanu Reeves normally proves enlightenment - what further proof would anyone need? :)

Yes, there is direct experiense which is felt as sensation and then thoughts come in, labelling, discriminating, claiming, and most significantly of all creating "I" stories. The narrative of our life. So it ends up us playing the central character in an ongoing movie.

What we will do now is really look at thought carefully so here are a few questions. This batch deal with thinking in a generalised way and then the next will havr you look at "I" thoughts:

Where do thoughts come from?

Where are they going?

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can you choose what to think?

Can you choose what not to think?

Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Are thought belonging to a self or just occurring?

I think you will enjoy this,

Michael

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:36 pm

Hi,

I forgot to say - don't agonize, or think, simply look and answer from the gut.

:)

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:05 am

Hi Michael,

Yeah brother, lets really get into thought because goddamn it!
Ok, here goes:
Where do thoughts come from?
Well sometimes a sensation will trigger a thought, but other than that it seems like they just appear out of nothing.
Where do they go?
Nowhere. They seem to come from nowhere and then just fad into nothing like a small cloud in an otherwise clear sky on a really hot day.
Can "you" stop a thought in the middle?
Not really. What happens is that I can try to shift attention from the thought to awareness of attention, but while it feels right to just be this attention, I'm not sure this isn't just another thought.
Can you choose what to think?
No. I can intentionally start to think of something but other thoughts will pop up almost immediately.
Can you choose what not to think?
No.
Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, I can't.
Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?
They just occurr. My whole life I've always felt that all thoughts I have are my thoughts. They come out of my brain and they are produced by me and they represent me, like my flag. 44 years ago starting zazen to improve "myself". So, adding Japanese and Chinese bricks to the house. Then adding Indian and Tibetan bricks. All those gurus, just selling bricks. Ok, ranting a bit here. I'm not enlightened but I see at least solidly intellectually that there is no self. Self is just a horrible assumption. A sacrificial victim! An excuse! I've got tears running down my face. It's the most wicked lie ever.

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:31 am

Hi Kevn,

Sorry for the delay. Two of my students had a fight and it was my son's birthday so all quite full on.
Where do thoughts come from?
Well sometimes a sensation will trigger a thought, but other than that it seems like they just appear out of nothing.
Where do they go?
Nowhere. They seem to come from nowhere and then just fad into nothing like a small cloud in an otherwise clear sky on a really hot day.
Can "you" stop a thought in the middle?
Not really. What happens is that I can try to shift attention from the thought to awareness of attention, but while it feels right to just be this attention, I'm not sure this isn't just another thought.
Can you choose what to think?
No. I can intentionally start to think of something but other thoughts will pop up almost immediately.
Can you choose what not to think?
No.
Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, I can't.
Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?

They just occurr. My whole life I've always felt that all thoughts I have are my thoughts.

Exactly. Shocking isn't it?

Me too with Buddhist practice. Thirty years but never taught EXACTLY what to focus on (which is all LU does).

I see at least solidly intellectually that there is no self. Self is just a horrible assumption. A sacrificial victim! An excuse! I've got tears running down my face. It's the most wicked lie ever.

I see at least solidly intellectually that there is no self. Self is just a horrible assumption. A sacrificial victim! An excuse! I've got tears running down my face. It's the most wicked lie ever.
I am suprised you now say intellectually when a profound shift seems to have occurred. Intelectual understanding does not usually move folk to tears.

Here are the "I" thought questions:

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?

Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?

Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?

Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?

This lot should help you get even clearer!

Michael

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:47 am

Hi Michael,
Glad you and yours are safe and we all survived the latest mass shooting.

Ok, down to business:
I'm surprised you say intellectually when a profound shift seems to have occurred
You are a long term Zen practicioner and I'm sure you know what it's like to have a profound experience during zazen brought on by intense mental stillness. That timeless bliss. Anyway, I've encountered people who experianced that and then conclude they are enlightened and ready to teach others. They want to be gurus. They get bloated on views and all real progress stops. They are really tragic and annoying. I never want to be that guy. So, I might be too cautious. Also, after my revelation and the certainty that accompanied it, the I thought still comes up.
Can an I be found which generates thoughts?

No, that is a mistaken notion.
Is it possible to prevent the thought I from appearing?
It seem ultimately possible to me right now but it keeps poping up. However, more and more often throughout the day I experience moments of a growing certainty that there is no I.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No, it seems to be an extra running program, or like a TV playing in the next room. Feels like I'm close to understanding the
mechanism. There is a point in the thought process where the I thought jumps in or on the other thought.
Could it be that the I that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes,it can't be anything else. Thoughts are all that is involved. There is no being involved.
Is there an I that controls thought?
Ha!, there is no I! Only a troublesome habit of thought. There is no being other than Being.

Thank you Muchael. Yes, it all needs to sink in but there is no doubt. Very clear about that.
🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:23 pm

Hi Kevn,
Can an I be found which generates thoughts?
No, that is a mistaken notion.

Is it possible to prevent the thought I from appearing?
It seem ultimately possible to me right now but it keeps poping up. However, more and more often throughout the day I experience moments of a growing certainty that there is no I.

Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No, it seems to be an extra running program, or like a TV playing in the next room. Feels like I'm close to understanding the mechanism. There is a point in the thought process where the I thought jumps in or on the other thought.

Could it be that the I that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes,it can't be anything else. Thoughts are all that is involved. There is no being involved.

Is there an I that controls thought?
Ha!, there is no I! Only a troublesome habit of thought. There is no being other than Being.
Well done - just an ongoing thought story about a fictional character. "There is no being other than Being" is a wonderful way to describe it.
It all needs to sink in but there is no doubt. Very clear about that.
Excellent. Awakening (rather than a random sartori or peak experience) is actually characterised by irreversibility and doubt ending so it is significant that you feel that there is no doubt about what you have seen / experienced.

What I will do now is ask you the final questions. Since it has all been so quick there are likely to be some confusions left or knotty areas to work through so answer them with that in mind. So rather than see them as a kind of test let's use them to highlight different areas of experience and just deal with any confusion that may still be present. When we have done that I will then present our dialogue to other guides for verification. It is normal for then to pose a question or two as well.

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.

Take your time with these, there is no rush. Answer themany way you wish - one at a time, in pairs, all at once, whatever works for you.

Enjoy the process :)

Michael

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:18 pm

Hi,

I somehow missed the last of the questions, so here it is:

6) Anything to add?

Michael

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:33 pm

Hi Michael,
Anything to add
I am very grateful to those who developed LU and to you Michael, my guide through this process. LU will lead so many to true liberation. It's really a brilliant program.
I live in Southern California, a place of many spiritual paths and teachers. None of them can guide anyone to liberation. They believe in the self and they operate self improvement programs. The poor things just don't know any better. They were trained by people who didn't know any better.
Thank you
🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi,

There may have been a glitch. There is a post prior to the last one that you have answered with 5 questions on it! :)


Cheers,

Michael.

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:43 am

Michael,

Yes there was a glitch. I answered all the questions but one and then put it away for the night. The next morning I couldn't find it, so I answered all the questions a second time. I actually think my second set of answers were better that the first. I do hope that all the questions have been answered. If not, let me know. Thank you.
Kevan

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MichaelD
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:11 am

Hi,

I don't understand. As far as I can see they are still not on our thread. Best to write answers in a Word doc then Copy and Paste and then submit. If submission fails you still have the answers you have written in the Word doc. So we know that we are talking about the same set here they are again:

LU has a set of questions that help to give a summing up of what you have seen and might help clear up any remaining confusion.

Would you have a go at answering them?

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?

Please take your time and answer as fully as possible, that really helps. You can answer them any way that suits you, one at a time, in pairs, or all at once, whatever is best for you.

Sorry if this will now be your third attempt. Sounds like there is a submission / upload glitch. the advantage is it will keep you looking and will help you resolve confusions.

Am really looking forward to your answers!

Warm rehards,

Michael.

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kevnj240
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Re: Only see when seeing

Postby kevnj240 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:26 pm

Hi Michael,
I’m not very knowledgeable about different computer apps so probably my fault. I mean, I was successful some of the time.
Anyway, whatever happens I will have a copy and won’t have to start all over again.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
The self only exists as a thought. A habit of thought, and has never been anything else, 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.

I think the illusion of self begins sometime between the first and second year of life. From my experience I would say that the illusion of self happens when a perception is thought about in three ways or stages. An oak tree is perceived . Stage one, “I” see a tree. This thought implies that there is a self who is the observer of the perception. Stage two, “I” see that it is an oak. This thought implies that there is a self waiting in your head who has evaluated past knowledge and determined that an oak was perceived. Stage three, “ I” have seen an oak. This thought implies that an overall self now owns the memory of seeing and correctly identifying a tree. Three thoughts that seem like one thought that strongly suggest that an experiencer, evaluator, and repository of memories, you, lives in your head.

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.
Seeing this is hugely liberating. I had thought of myself as a being who might have been struggling for billions of years. Sometimes rising, sometimes falling but always failing to extricate myself from the cycle of birth and death.
Now, there is no I to be reborn. Now there is safety, certainty, happiness and very pleasant physical sensations that arise when I contemplate reality. I find myself frequently surprised by happiness and peace. I laugh easily and often. I’ve had a few profound zen experiences over the years and I thought this would fade away as those did, but it hasn't.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
Well, long story short, I had a terrible upbringing. There was a lot of fear and mental anguish. I was totally unprepared for life. I was a terrible person. I suffered a lot.
So, I’ve been a seeker since my mid-teens. Better late than never, I found L.U.. All the different things I had tried, all the different books and teachers were just self improvement. Strangely, so many respected Buddhists teach that the self can be improved to the point that you can take it with you into enlightenment.

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 is a thought of having made a choice from available options.
Intention is a thought of willing to do a certain thing.
Free will is an illusion that “we” can choose any course of action at this moment. In reality, what will be done is determined by all that has been thought said and done in the past.
Choice is really an illusion the same as free will, for the same reason.
Control...an illusion. Same as above.
What makes things happen? Any happening is both a result and a cause. Things happen due to all that has happened going back forever.
How does it work?
Everything? I hope to be able to explain that one day. One of those existential questions I mentioned. Let me give it a shot. Being exists. It did not “come” into existence. It is outside of time. I don’t understand why or how but Being gave rise to space/time and matter, (I really hope to understand that one someday). Matter followed the laws of physics and here we are. Since everything except Being has causes and conditions, it is said by the non-duality folks that the everything doesn't really exist. They also say that nothing has ever really happened. Those are very esoteric and useless things to tell people. Not unlike saying that your children don’t exist and never happened. I want to see if I am missing some deeper truth there, what it is, and how to express it in a useful way.
What am I responsible for?
Only as far as possible to act in accordance with the Truth.

6) Anything to add?
I would like to improve my understanding. It may seem overly ambitious but I want to be able to answer all the existential questions if that's possible. I want to develop the ability to help sincere seekers, and those poor sidetracked ones who, based on their satori experiences, want to be gurus.

Thank you Michael


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