Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

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NoMeHere
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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi Stacy,

It's not clear to me what kind of response you are looking for. These were the previous instructions:
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back how it goes.
I thought I did that with my response. If not, can you elaborate what you mean with "how it goes"?

Now the instructions are:
Reply with at least two or three lists of those labels for two or three different times that you did the exercise.
I don't understand what you mean here. Can you please elaborate or provide an example?

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:37 pm

Hi,

Yes, of course.

The example was provided in the original exercise and provided again when I reposted it to the last post. Here it is again...

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

Seeing a cup, simply= image/color
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

The original directions also suggested that you do this several times during the day... I am asking you to post at least two or three of those lists exactly like the one above.
would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can.
Please be sure to include all five senses plus thoughts arising.


Thank you,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:01 pm

Hi Stacy,

OK, I think I understand it now, but just to be absolutely clear:

What I did perviously was for example during a walk to note and label everything that arises with these 6 labels. I did this for one hour straight, and lots and lots of things arose and were labeled, far too many to write in a list. I also did this several times per day for shorter time periods.

So this is NOT what I'm supposed to do. Instead, focus on one object several times throughout the day, and analyze everything that is knowable from such focusing, and write a list. For example:

For the keyboard I'm typing on, I hear it clicking ... sound
I feel the keys with my fingers ... sensation
I see its shape ... image
I don't small or taste it ... nothing to note
I don't look at anymore, but there is a mental image ... thought

Is this correct?

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:49 pm

Hi Michael,

This is closer, yes. Good!

You are over-thinking this. That is normal at the beginning. This is a very simple exercise.

Remember that the replies to me are just for me to help you with feedback. Relaxing into SEEING in the way that is instructed in the exercises is the real point. Each exercise is a meditation. Do them in a relaxed way. There are no points for labeling things for an hour if you were only asked to label things several times during the day. No wonder you were dizzy!

So, yes, what you did this time is much closer. You threw in some extra pieces & maybe strained yourself by doing it for an hour, but it is much closer.

It is best for it to be different objects each time and you may mention senses & thoughts about more than one object in one sitting, but keep it simple. Relax into noticing. Really SEE. Really LOOK.
For the keyboard I'm typing on, I hear it clicking ... sound
I feel the keys with my fingers ... sensation
I see its shape ... image
I don't small or taste it ... nothing to note
I don't look at anymore, but there is a mental image ... thought

Do you notice how you included "I" in each item in your list? Let's drop that for this exercise. There will be other exercises about "I."

There probably is some kind of taste in your mouth and some kind of smell in the room. Note those.

Here is how I would do my keyboard, which is really just an item in my this-moment experience, similar to the original coffee cup example:

Clicking = sound
Smooth hard feeling under fingers = sensation
Black keys, silver frame, DELL lettering = image and color
Wondering what to eat for lunch today = thought
Chemical smell of paint just applied in my office = smell
Slight taste of crackers I just ate = taste


Check every sense, yes. You can do more than one for each sense, as well. I could also say:

Image on computer monitor of LU site = color
Sound of "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac = sound
Hoping paint really isn't toxic = thought

and so forth. But no need to go overboard and do the 100 things you can see, hear, touch, smell, taste & the 100 thoughts that arise in the time you are doing the exercise. Please mention at least one of each sense, and a list of 8 to 10 is plenty.

Again, the point is how you become aware of the difference between the label and the Actual/Direct Experience of the thing you are describing. It will be very, very important to be able to recognize this in subsequent exercises.

Please do this a few more (short) times and write out at least 2 more like the examples to show how your experience went.

Warmly,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:10 pm

Thank you, this is very clear now. I thought we were doing noting similar to what we did in the Finder's Course or similar to Shinzen Young's teachings, but it really is a completely different exercise. I will report back in a day or two.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:39 pm

Great! Yes, there's a reason we suggest dropping previous teachings at the door. They will only confuse you.

Just keep these in mind and it will help:
3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color 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.
Looking forward to your replies!

Warmly,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi Stacy,

Thank you. Still a bit confused about whether I'm doing it right, so I rather respond sooner. Did this several times in the last couple of hours, and here are lists for the last two objects:

iPhone (switched off)

Reflection on the glass — image/color
Smooth rounded edges — sensation
Noise coming through the open window — sound
Salty aftertaste from late lunch — taste
Fresh, cool air from outside — smell
The thought “no thoughts are coming up” — thought

A letter

Letterhead, letters — image
Feeling the texture of the paper between fingers — sensation
Thinking about what to think about the letter — thought
Rustling noise of the paper — sound
Smell of the letter and ink — smell
Aftertaste from late lunch, salty — taste
“Am I doing this exercise right” — thought

Please let me know if I'm on the right track!

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:47 pm

Hi Michael!

YES! Now you're cooking with gas! (as we used to say).

Remember, the POINT of this is to learn that only 6 things may be found in Direct Experience:

Seeing image/color
Hearing sound
Touching aka Sensation
Tasting taste
Smelling scent
Thought Arising (but NOT the "story" or "content" of thought - that is totally made up)

Here is another exercise that makes it even clearer that labels are not the things they refer to. They are merely the content of thought that we made up.

Label-Reality Correlation

There is a belief that labels have a one-to-one correspondence with something called "reality." But there isn’t. Just like it is a generally accepted belief that labels like "good" and "bad" are inherent characteristics of "things." But actually, they are not.

When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’, what is the actual experience?

Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?

Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality?"

Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?

Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?

If the label ‘GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’, is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?

Does redness become "good" or "bad," or do the labels have no effect whatsoever on ‘reality’?


Remember about the color of socks. Don't just think about this. Actually LOOK.

Warmly,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:14 pm

Hi Stacy,

I did this a couple of more time. Here is another example for a bottle of water:

Reflection of the water in the bottle -- image
Shape of the bottle -- image
Sound of the water when shaking -- sound
Smooth texture of the bottle in the hand -- sensation
Aftertaste from breakfast -- taste
Noticing no smell in the air -- (no) smell
Narrating the experience above -- thought
Thoughts about the mind narrating everything -- thought
Thoughts about thoughts about narrating everything -- thought

The main takeaway from this exercise was noticing that the mind narrates everything. This gives all experience a "personal" feeling, if in reality, there is nothing personal about it.

I didn't do the other exercise yet. Will do this as well and get back to you.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:34 pm

Thank you, Michael!

That is perfect. And amusing. It sounds like you're having fun with this. And that's a great way to approach it. Very relaxed.

Looking forward to your next post.

Warmly,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:03 am

Thank you Stacy.

I'm not really sure what to do with the Label-Reality contemplation. What you write is of course correct, but it seems to be obvious. I don't think many people believe that a label reflects reality 1:1. That's why it's just a label, and not the actual thing it labels.

I remember the discussion of the label "library" in the gatecrasher book, but I'm not sure if I completely get the point. Yes, "library" points to a concept, something that consists out of a building, books, people who read books, etc. But that can be said for anything, since everything can be further divided into smaller parts. For example, it could be said that the label "apple" doesn't point to anything real either, but rather to a collection of cells, which doesn't point to anything real either but instead to a collection of molecules. You can continue this until you end up with quantum fields, which, with our current understanding of physics, would be the only thing that really exists.

OK, thinking about this some more, perhaps the point is that a label like "I" or "me" never points to anything ever, it is only concept, only story, while "apple" at least points to some physical, measurable qualities. No part of "I" could ever be measured or experienced, while apples, cells, molecules, etc. can be.

So yes, there is a difference. I think I get it :) I won't delete what I wrote above though, it's just my stream of thoughts, but feel free to ignore everything but this last paragraph. Oops... too late, you already read it!

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:23 am

Hi Michael.

I need to remind you of a couple of the guidelines:
3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color 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

You have not done the exercise.

Please go back to the Label-Reality exercise and answer each question as directed.


I'm not interested in your analysis of the exercise. Simply do what the exercise instructs. Please do not write a lot of stream-of-consciousness analyzing. It is getting in your way and keeping you from seeing.

Please write back and agree to follow the instructions and stop analyzing everything without doing the exercise. Otherwise, there is no point in continuing.

Thank you,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:17 am

Hi Stacy,

Sorry for that. I actually did the exercise, but I should have written down the answers. So here it goes:

When you look at the word label ‘GREEN’, what is the actual experience?
Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?
The red color is experienced.
Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality?"
No.
Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?
Yes.
Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?
It is just a label with the experience of the red color.
If the label ‘GREEN’ is replaced with the label ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’, is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?
No.
Does redness become "good" or "bad," or do the labels have no effect whatsoever on ‘reality’?
No effect.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:51 am

Thank you, Michael.

I noticed that you did not agree to stop posting analysis without doing the exercises. Do you agree to this?

If so, here is the next exercise. Please follow the directions exactly. Do not add anything and do not skip anything. Remember these are meditations. They lead you to seeing. If you don't do them nothing will happen.


This exercise can further help distinguish between what I call "story" or "content" and the simple fact of Direct or Actual Experience (DE or AE).

DE is color, sound, sensation, smell, taste and the fact of thought arising (but not the content of that thought or the story that thought tells.)

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 color; a thought saying "apple;" and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, the story, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something - because that is only more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, color, smell, taste, sensation and the fact of a thought arising.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color 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 (AE.)

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

Taste labeled "apple" is known.
Color labeled "apple" is known.
Sensation labeled "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?

Let me know what you find.


Thank you,
~ 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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:11 pm

Hi Stacy,
I noticed that you did not agree to stop posting analysis without doing the exercises. Do you agree to this?
Yes, I'm trying my best!
If so, here is the next exercise. Please follow the directions exactly. Do not add anything and do not skip anything. Remember these are meditations. They lead you to seeing. If you don't do them nothing will happen.


This exercise can further help distinguish between what I call "story" or "content" and the simple fact of Direct or Actual Experience (DE or AE).

DE is color, sound, sensation, smell, taste and the fact of thought arising (but not the content of that thought or the story that thought tells.)

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 color; a thought saying "apple;" and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, the story, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something - because that is only more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, color, smell, taste, sensation and the fact of a thought arising.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color 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 (AE.)

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

Taste labeled "apple" is known.
Color labeled "apple" is known.
Sensation labeled "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?

Let me know what you find.
I'm really trying to do the exercise, but I don't know what I should do exactly. I simply agree with everything you said, and it all seems obvious. Yes, taste, color, etc. is known, just like the arising of a thought is known, but the label that comes up as part of a thought is just that, a label, with no 1:1 correlation to anything that exists in reality. No "apple" is found in actual experience. The content of thoughts are "story", not reality.

I'm sorry if I'm doing the exercise "wrong" again, but I really don't know what there is to meditate on. You give the answers to your own questions above already, and yes, I agree with all your answers! In fact, I don't see how anyone (self or no-self) could not agree to them.

Perhaps I'm blocked somewhere, and I'm still missing some core element of how this style of looking or inquiry works.


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