Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

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Sunyata67
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Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:10 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The Egoic self as imagined is obviously not existing, but a construct of the parts of self. There is no real inherent self because the self is an aggregate. The "self" is also not unchanging. A search of the thought processes in the mind can see that there is no place with one self. The word inherent is interesting though..there is something.......

What are you looking for at LU?
I have seen no self at some level but there is still some self left as I still have aversion and clinging......also how can one avoid nihilism or a belief in attman as extremes? I realise that there is no constant I but nothing has really changed for me. Still not always fully aware and in control of my emotions even if I understand them.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?

probably something like the guiding practices in soto zen, koan practice, thought and meditation enquiry..... Not sure if conversation is trhe way to go though, I think practice may be better as conversation is in the world of constructs.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Several years practice in Theravada followed by several years soto Zen. I have managed to calm my mind and mostly am aware of my thoughts and emotions, I have had some insights. I am fairly intellectual and have struggled sometimes with feelings and heart based practices. I like both just sitting meditation and concentration meditation but recent practice has been sporadic.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 11

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:00 am

Hi

Just wanted to say on here, reading through my post below that it was written quickly and probably doesn't say that much about me and why I am here. For a long time I had no interest in no self. I practiced mediation to gain things, and "I" did and was happy with that, didn't really want to change much, just had an interest. I managed to relax anxieties, free up space in my mind between thoughts, develop more empathy, a whole host of things I liked. I enjoyed mediation but had no real interest in changing myself or being radically different but I did change slowly over time in easy manageable steps. Then my wife got cancer and died, that was two years ago. That changed my motivation completely. I was practicing Buddhist techniques but had never been put under any pressure to believe anything or conform in any way. I am a scientist and very rational and also agnostic. I had never been interested in enlightenment, or believed in Karma or rebirth literally, though I have seen the truth of some aspects of the Karma teachings. That changed when my wife dies. I wanted to see if I could find a divine, get enlightened, I had a real push to practice. My practice altered radically. I had one to one sessions with Buddhist teachers I knew, I meditated a lot and read and thought a lot, tried many things, went on retreats. I had trouble with love based practices, my heart was broken, happy to let you know is now healed. One of my enquiries of no self. I had a bit of a breakthrough with a zen priest and a singing bowl. I meditated and he lead, I realised that the sound was no distant, it had no location in space, I also realised that no matter how hard I looked there was no hearer. The enquiry was around the reality and I saw that there was only sound. I processed this over a few weeks and was OK with it and the physical senses. Moved on to the formations of the mind. I had a huge breakthrough one night after a weeks into a two week retreat. Its hard to describe really what happened but it was a radical change. I was at first euphoric but then pulled myself back mid the experience, I was afraid as hadn't expected anything quite like what HAPPENED, I FELT A BIT LIKE I HAD GONE in too far and I was afraid of losing my sense of identity and seeing through that I had no control, I think I had a pretty strong ego. I had mixed emotions for a while, I knew something big had happened and somehow life seemed different, but I was worried about functioning in the real world, holding down a job etc. Over the next few weeks I kind of came back into the "normal way of being. I know I am not describing this very well. I feel ready to go through this again now as I think I am stronger, I was in a bad place back then. I have made some radical life changes post that event. I used to have a high powered managerial job in science and travel a lot for a big pharma company and care a lot about what people thought of me and achieving. Now I work at a less demanding job as a bench scientist and don't miss the money and prestige at all. One of the the practices I was dong at the time was meditating on impermanence and death, that helped me a lot as now I only do things that please me and somehow feel right.
Apologies for such a long post. As I have seen no self you might wonder why I am here. Well I think I can learn and also some I have known can verbalise and explain these things, I find that difficult to communicate this or put it in any coherent way, maybe working through it would help. Also I was never really very good at the noting practices off the mat, never really got on with them in the past, always got distracted and stopped. It seemed fairly clear to me what was a thought and what was a thing, but feel maybe I missed something.

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Jadzia
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Jadzia » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:41 pm

Hello Sunyata67,

I am Jadzia, if you like we can have a look at the different aspects of the no self concept.
You obviously came quite some way and did a lot. For the moment everything needed is the beginners open mind.
I have seen no self at some level but there is still some self left as I still have aversion and clinging......also how can one avoid nihilism or a belief in attman as extremes? I realise that there is no constant I but nothing has really changed for me. Still not always fully aware and in control of my emotions even if I understand them.
Please have a look at your expectations.
Does the idea of a self as appearing in content of thoughts has to disappear completely?
What will change when you’ve seen “fully”? What won’t change and stay the same?
What would happen with emotions?

I’d always like you to answer all questions one by one and add whatever comes up.

Love,
Jadzia

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:13 pm

Does the idea of a self as appearing in content of thoughts has to disappear completely?
Goood question, I think it does not. Others deal with us as though we are a self, and the self construct has uses in living everyday life. I have had experiences where this construct seems to go, the big one where the elements seemed to fall away, seen just as habits... Also more frequently where there is an awareness but it has none of the elements of self, it doesnt seem like a me, especialy when turning the awareness on itself.

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:42 pm

What will change when you’ve seen “fully”? What won’t change and stay the same?
What would happen with emotions?
I have lived through a few changes already and I suspect these may continue. Worries about past and future are far less. I still have some attachments that sometimes make me wonder if I would be OK if certain things happened. I get triggered into unconscious reaction very little, but very threatening or emotionally charged things still do.. Emotions and feelings dont sick much, they are less and more balanced. I dont have much anger asI dont judge others, i feel sorrry for their delusions and suffering that make them do unskillful things. have a feeling that for reactions i need to look more not at them but what triggers them and where they come from and what the componentts are. If i act skilfully though mostly. Such situations dont arise. For me at the moment everything is changing, nothing stays the same. The cutting wood and carrying water is the same, the way it is done is different. The constant stream of happening happens whether there is a self or not. I think i was being a bit negative when I said nothing had changed, I have.

Jadzia thank you so much for answering my call. I wish you health and happiness. I am looking forward to whatever may happen with a beginners mind.

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:05 am

What will change when you’ve seen “fully”?
OK, theres something more here. I am a Scientist, i think i want to understand reality, the universe! Now I think that may not be possible, the clearer I see the more I see an infinite mystery. I think i have a residual longing that there cold be such a thing as “fully” understanding. I have found so far everything Bhuddism told me to be true in that it said, do this and that will happeen, and it did. The teachings have claims in them that I havent seen yet, maybe Ive picked up some beliefs.

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Jadzia
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Jadzia » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:36 am

Others deal with us as though we are a self, and the self construct has uses in living everyday life. I have had experiences where this construct seems to go, the big one where the elements seemed to fall away, seen just as habits...
The what you call elements, the thoughts, beliefs, memories ect. are habits and quite useful ones, yes.

Is it necessary to always be aware of not being a separate self? Is this some kind of more advanced modus or is the change between being no person and a person equally part of what is?
I have lived through a few changes already and I suspect these may continue.
Yes, it read like this and big fat yes: there are more to come.
The realizing or remembering of being not a separate entity which does the thinking and controls everything is just the beginning, sort of a first step.
There are several other beliefs and identifications connected to the one belief in a controller, they all have to unravel too. Life is very helpful with this. ;-)
have a feeling that for reactions i need to look more not at them but what triggers them and where they come from and what the components are.
Have you ever experienced the trigger mechanism, can you be sure that there is one? Some mechanism which connects a reaction to a thought or emotion?
If you look is there a triggering mechanism you can find or is it an assumption, aka explaining thought, aka memory of something learned, aka past?
The cutting wood and carrying water is the same, the way it is done is different. The constant stream of happening happens whether there is a self or not.
That’s it.
So what tells about “This is cutting wood and this is fun?” and “This is cleaning the dishes, so boring?”
Are both different kind of experiences or just experience.
Is experience touched by the labels added to it?
I am a Scientist, i think i want to understand reality, the universe! Now I think that may not be possible, the clearer I see the more I see an infinite mystery. I think i have a residual longing that there cold be such a thing as “fully” understanding.
Beautiful, yes, infinite mystery.
The question here is: Is it is possible for mind to grasp this at all?

Love,
Jadzia

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:26 pm

Thank you for the dialogue Jadzia, writing responses is helping me think.
Is it necessary to always be aware of not being a separate self? Is this some kind of more advanced modus or is the change between being no person and a person equally part of what is?
Good pointer, no it is not necessary to always be aware of not being a separate self . Can be both at once, or one or the other state, it is all good 

There are several other beliefs and identifications connected to the one belief in a controller, they all have to unravel too. Life is very helpful with this. ;-)
I know what you mean, I have a sense now of a dance with life and being shown or realising things that I am ready to remember or see anew. I think this is a thread that would be valuable for me to continue discussing but no questions about this for now.
Have you ever experienced the trigger mechanism, can you be sure that there is one? Some mechanism which connects a reaction to a thought or emotion?
If you look is there a triggering mechanism you can find or is it an assumption, aka explaining thought, aka memory of something learned, aka past?

I haven't experienced the trigger mechanism, just experienced the result. The trigger could be bad experiences from the past or fear beliefs about the future which seems to start a strong habitual pattern, so one kind of thought triggering a cascade of thoughts, causing changes in behaviour. Assumptions taking me away from the actual moment. There is also looks like an interaction between my thoughts and the thoughts of the other in the situation with me. Generally another that has triggered some perceived deficiency or weakness I or they see in me. As with other thoughts I cant really see where they come from, they seem to just be come

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:33 pm

So what tells about “This is cutting wood and this is fun?” and “This is cleaning the dishes, so boring?”
Are both different kind of experiences or just experience.
Is experience touched by the labels added to it?
Judgemental thoughts try to add labels onto the experience
It is just experience, not different, before it did seemed to be touched by the labels. Now it is not touched by the labels. I am not judging the experience but just doing the thing as best I can and watching and experiencing.

Beautiful, yes, infinite mystery.

The question here is: Is it is possible for mind to grasp this at all?
Our reality is more amazing and beautiful than we can comprehend, yes infinite mystery :-)


It seems that it is probably not possible for my mind at least, sometimes I can relax into everything and enjoy it for what it is. Other times the old science habits come up, looking for patterns and cause and effect. Actually I think things cannot fully be understood as seems that when looking closely at this or that, we can see both this and that whenever we try to apply labels and models. However, we now understand much more than our ancestors about reality and the universe, and because of Science our lives are greatly enriched. Science still doesn’t answer the big questions yet, but only recently things like atomic power were unknown.. For example light is energy in the form of waves, we can model it, but no it is mass in the form of photons and we can model that, in fact it seems to be both at once like the whole universe, all is linked and there is no one thing without another. In fact there is no such thing really as light it is merely a part of a spectrum of frequencies of wavelengths, a tiny part of the spectrum detected by our eyes. Not really any different from sound, which is detected by our ears, or heat by our skin.

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Jadzia
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Jadzia » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:19 pm

I know what you mean, I have a sense now of a dance with life and being shown or realising things that I am ready to remember or see anew.
This is beautifully put.
I haven't experienced the trigger mechanism, just experienced the result.
Did you look?
Can one see, smell, hear, taste, feel (physical sensation), smell, aka experience, a trigger? No. So where is a trigger noticed?
In thought, as content, assumption in thought?

Time to have a close look at the nature of thought, ok?

We can experience via senses. Smell, taste, feel, hear see. And we can notice thoughts, just as in: Here is a thought.
You most certainly did it already, please do it again. Just sit quietly and notice your thoughts. Just noticing and not interacting, like watching clouds pass the horizont.
Observe and notice what thought does.
Can you say where thoughts come from and go to?
Can you decide what to think, like only positive things?
Are you the thinker of thoughts?

See how often the words I,me,mine turn up in thoughts, directly or indirectly.
An example for indirectly would be: “This is a stupid hat.” – meaning “I don’t like the hat”.
See how thoughts weave Sunyatas story, tells about likes, dislikes.
See how it seems that one thought follows the other and knows of the other – is it really so? Can thoughts know something?
Can thoughts do something?
Do you find different categories of thoughts?

Take time and have a close look. Being clear about the nature of thought makes a lot easier.

Love,
Jadzia

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:22 pm

Did you loo
k?
Can one see, smell, hear, taste, feel (physical sensation), smell, aka experience, a trigger? No. So where is a trigger noticed?
In thought, as content, assumption in thought?
Yes 
I have looked. I could not find any trigger, the apparent triggers are indeed stories and assumptions in thought, they occur very quickly AFTER a situation as a reaction.
Time to have a clos
e look at the nature of thought, ok?
Yes, have done this before, just done it again and same result.
Can you say where thoughts come from and go to?
Can you decide what to think, like only positive things?
Are you the thinker of thoughts?
No :-)
See how it seems that one thought follows the other and knows of the other – is it really so? Can thoughts know something?
It is not how it seems, sometimes thoughts come quickly, apparently in a group, but they do not actually follow, there are also many unassociated thoughts, we just reinforce the associated ones. Thoughts cannot know something.
Can thoughts do something?
Do you find different categories of thoughts?
No and No. There seem to be many, but this is not so when looked at closely. All thoughts are essentially the same thing, the differences are labels added after.

Blessings and Love to you.

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Jadzia
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Jadzia » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:28 am

Beautiful.
I have looked. I could not find any trigger, the apparent triggers are indeed stories and assumptions in thought, they occur very quickly AFTER a situation as a reaction.
Can you be 100% sure it is a reaction? What if thoughts only guess?

Do we reinforce the associated ones or is there a thought with the content “I just did”?

So thoughts don’t do anything and don’t know anything. There are lots of them, all the same – thoughts - which can be labeled differently.
Like memory and phantasy…..Thoughts about what seems to be past and future.
Thoughts = words, concepts, ideas.
It seems that it is probably not possible for my mind at least, sometimes I can relax into everything and enjoy it for what it is. Other times the old science habits come up, looking for patterns and cause and effect.
Aren’t both just experience labeled in different ways?
One probably labeled as new, fresh, good, the other maybe as old and a bit stale.
Is one way superior over the other or is this just another thought, while life does the life-ing?

Love,
Jadzia

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:43 pm

I have looked. I could not find any trigger, the apparent triggers are indeed stories and assumptions in thought, they occur very quickly AFTER a situation as a reaction.
Can you be 100% sure it is a reaction? What if thoughts only guess?
Hmm…no. Good observation, yes the thoughts are around guessing about consequences or an imagined chain of events or the best thing to do next.
Do we reinforce the associated ones or is there a thought with the content “I just did”?
Interesting, seems both. There are claiming thoughts of the type “I just did that”, and value thoughts of that was good or bad, and then maybe justifying or story thoughts of why it was good or bad, and what might happen next. I think we can reinforce some thoughts or trains of thought by going with them or giving them energy in a kind of cascade. If a thought is just seen to come and let to go then there seems to be less energy to it and it isn’t followed with others. Hard to describe this stuff in words. There is some interesting science work on “neural plasticity” that seems related, certain neuron firings correlated to ways of thinking become more common depending on environment and how often used. I think seems emotions/reactions are triggered and then thoughts claim them.
So thoughts don’t do anything and don’t know anything. There are lots of them, all the same – thoughts - which can be labeled differently.
Like memory and phantasy…..Thoughts about what seems to be past and future.
Thoughts = words, concepts, ideas.
Yes 😊
It seems that it is probably not possible for my mind at least, sometimes I can relax into everything and enjoy it for what it is. Other times the old science habits come up, looking for patterns and cause and effect.
Aren’t both just experience labeled in different ways?
One probably labeled as new, fresh, good, the other maybe as old and a bit stale.
Is one way superior over the other or is this just another thought, while life does the life-ing?
Very helpful, thank you. This seems obvious looking now 😊
One way is not superior over the other, just another thought, while happenings are happening 😊

I am appreciating your help with this, thank you.

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Jadzia
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Jadzia » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:47 pm

I think we can reinforce some thoughts or trains of thought by going with them or giving them energy in a kind of cascade. If a thought is just seen to come and let to go then there seems to be less energy to it and it isn’t followed with others.
Identification with a thought makes it sticky. How does one decide to reinforce? ;-)
And yes, just noticing and a thought comes and goes.
One way is not superior over the other, just another thought, while happenings are happening
The other day I found a quote by Joan Tollifson:
“Consciousness or intelligence-energy or whatever we call this whole happening apparently enjoys experiencing many different things. It enjoys stories. It enjoys the game of hide and seek. It enjoys getting totally absorbed in a movie, and it enjoys waking up again.”

Isn’t it so that everything is possible, everything can happen?
Stuckness can happen, freedom can happen, happiness and sadness can happen.
Aren’t they all equal, aren’t they all what is – simply to be lived through?

Love,
Jadzia

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Sunyata67
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Re: Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.

Postby Sunyata67 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:11 pm

Identification with a thought makes it sticky. How does one decide to reinforce? ;-)
And yes, just noticing and a thought comes and goes.
Interesting, looking back doesn't seem credible that I wrote that :-)
There is no I reinforcing anything and no decision is made.

Thank you for the great quote.
Isn’t it so that everything is possible, everything can happen?
Stuckness can happen, freedom can happen, happiness and sadness can happen.
Aren’t they all equal, aren’t they all what is – simply to be lived through?
Yes :-) Its good to see this reaffirmed.

I think I have found what I need :-)

I am going to relax and drop any residual resistance and see where this wonderful dance takes me. I know I can trust whatever is going to happen, no matter what happens this beautiful dance will continue, whether there is an I or not.
At the moment it seems quite easy to come back into awareness for long periods, and then be happy when thoughts and the thought games happen, they are very "unsticky" if that's a word. I* think its even more than everything can happen :-) I think everything is happening.


Namaste

Sunyata


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