Ready

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Last-ditch
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Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:18 pm

Been seeking, mostly through Buddhism and Advaita, for several years now. Did Ruthless Truth maybe a year ago and made some progress, but my particular guide seemed stuck on a formula that wasn't quite connecting. Subsequently lost faith in this process, but now have come full circle and believe that this is probably the most promising means to see through this habit of selfing. The intellect is on-board with no-self, but the shift that matters hasn't happened yet. I've read through many dialogues and investigated for myself the questions posed to other seekers to no avail. I think I need the accountability of interaction, and I hope for guidance that can go beyond the formulaic. Thanks in advance.

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vinceschubert
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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:18 pm

Ok Last-ditch, just a couple of things to start;
Will you agree to stay with this process until it is done ?
Will you agree to (normally) post at least once each day ?
Give me a name to relate to.

Start by describing what you expect liberation will be like.

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:04 pm

Hi Vince. Thanks.
Will you agree to stay with this process until it is done ?
I've heard this can take anywhere from a day or two to several months. If that's true, no problem. I've stuck with a fairly unrewarding meditation practice for a few years, so I think I can do this:)
Will you agree to (normally) post at least once each day ?
Sure
Give me a name to relate to.
David
Start by describing what you expect liberation will be like.
I have little to no expectations. Well, maybe I expect some sense of resolution to my seeking. Aside from expectations, though, I have some hopes that in time I'll see a reduction in painful thought habits such as anxiety, insecurity, depression (mild), and feelings of unworthiness.

I'm excited to work with you, Vince, and grateful for your time and efforts.

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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:52 pm

I'm excited to work with you, Vince, and grateful for your time and efforts.
Good one David.
i too meditated for years, but now know that it can never deliver on liberation, although does have some other beneficial results.
David, by your reply, i deduce that you are close, maybe even facing the gate (the gateless gate). i can confidently predict that all of your expectations will be met. They are exactly what someone already liberated would describe.
Of course, you might be just repeating what you learned at Ruthless, so i want you to Look again at those thoughts (your expectation) and investigate whether they are second hand knowledge or beliefs that you have integrated. Where do they originate ? (those particular thoughts)
Are there any contradictory thoughts hidden there ? (does another part of your mind say "rubbish" when you think those thoughts ?)
Are you in control of your thoughts ?

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:45 am

Great. I'm encouraged already.

Wow, to say that meditation can "never" deliver on liberation is pretty bold, but I'd agree that there seems to be more efficient and direct means emerging. I see direct pointing as an updated and interactive version of self-inquiry, which appears to me to have brought a great many people liberation. Other approaches, like the "Pragmatic Dharma" movement, e.g. also seem to be liberating people. I know that's at a tangent to our primary purpose here, but I hope we can, in good humour, call each other on our BS if we think we smell it:)

Glad you think realization may be close. That's what I've been feeling too. Listening to frank teachers has hopefully given more realistic expectations, and vipassana/mindfulness has brought awareness to what kinds of suffering are rooted in the belief of self.

I'm definitely not parroting anything from Ruthless Truth. It was my impression when I was there that they were confirming people too quickly and too much of the pointing was simple expletive expletive LOOK!

So back to your question, my thoughts (or expectations) feel pretty authentic and integrated, but they've come about through a resonance between my experience and teachings that seem true.
Are there any contradictory thoughts hidden there ?
Not that I'm aware of. It really does feel like I've been hanging around near the gate for a while. Of course, I'd be delighted at any and all creature comforts that might transpire from realization, but I know that those aren't part of the guarantee. It feels like life has cornered me into this search, and at the moment most other interests are gone. It's like my life momentum has ground to a halt until this is cleared up, and then I look forward to how things unfold when there are fewer toxic thoughts to get in the way.
Are you in control of your thoughts ?
No, but that's not realized in every moment.

See, it's a little bit tricky for me because it feels like I've been bumping up against that gate, maybe even seeing through it, but probably not actually passing through it. There have been moments where it felt like something was happening, but it didn't stick. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I expect that passing through the gate is a little like rolling a boulder over the crest of a hill and that gravity takes over after that. I know that realization can be subtle (especially at first), but when it really happens you're bound to notice the load getting lighter, right?

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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:58 am

I hope we can, in good humour, call each other on our BS if we think we smell it:)
Absolutely, i insist. i will also use a 'zen stick' if necessary.
i did Vipassana (& still do) for about 8 years and never even heard of anyone being liberated. (& i repeatedly asked "where are the enlightened ones ?")

It's not necessary to realise in every moment that you don't control thoughts. It's a huge step just to accept that thoughts just arise.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I expect that passing through the gate is a little like rolling a boulder over the crest of a hill and that gravity takes over after that. I know that realization can be subtle (especially at first), but when it really happens you're bound to notice the load getting lighter, right?
Without doubt you will notice 'things', changes in reactions to what normally would get emotions active, but we get ahead of ourselves here.

Tell me how your "I" works.
Where did it come from ?
Is it the same one you were 10 years ago ?
Where does it reside ?

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:05 am

Yes, keep that zen stick handy, cuz I won't be surprised if you need to use it.

Regarding vipassana, there are communities of practice that are taking more of an "open-source" approach and laying it all out on the table. These groups are definitely showing results, and I had a lot of progress in this way, but it can be a very bumpy road. If you're ever interested I can pass along any info, because I think their mapping of the stages of insight can add a lot of richness to anyone willing to go down the rabbit hole.

Anyway...

Okay, how the "I" works: it seems that the sense of "I" is a unifying cognitive process — gathering memories and tying them together as "I", or combining various sensory inputs into a concept. This probably isn't seen as clearly as it needs to be, but it's the best I've got at the moment.

It's hard to imagine an "I" without memories, so it seems that it habitually rises from memories.

10 years ago? If what I've said so far is true it would have to be a different I, but there's a cognitive dissonance there.

The "I" resides in the mind, because that's where it happens, but not in one particular location, because the "I" is a process and not a thing.


Ha, I may need the stick sooner than I thought. I'm answering you with sincerity, but it doesn't feel like clarity yet. It's all I've got so far, but I can sense the mind is speeding up on pondering these questions. Fun.

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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:05 pm

the sense of "I" is a unifying cognitive process...
To paraphrase this; the feeling (sense) of I is a thought process that gathers other thoughts (mainly from memory) into something that it calls I. It also thinks about sensory stimulation and adds meaning then takes ownership of the ensuing thought conglomeration (concept)
The "I" resides in the mind, because that's where it happens, but not in one particular location, because the "I" is a process and not a thing.
Dave, is the mind anything other than thought ?
If it is Not, then residing can't happen, but certainly thoughts can behave 'as if'
but I can sense the mind is speeding up on pondering these questions.
Good, we need the mind to go really fast then stumble.
Thoughts can't comprehend what you will SEE, though they will try to reduce it to understandable levels.
We are not looking to Add anything to 'you'.
We will Remove false belief that filter and distort 'reality'

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:37 pm

Dave, is the mind anything other than thought ?
If it is Not, then residing can't happen, but certainly thoughts can behave 'as if'
I'm not sure if the mind is just thought (active) or if it also serves a function of passive awareness. Either way, maybe my terminology wasn't clear. I guess I meant that the "I" happens in the mind instead of resides. Or would it be more accurate to say that mind happens in the brain, and that "I" is mind? Do I sound sure? Ha, no, but it's the best this mind can produce before getting on with the day's business.

I like your last paragraph. Crystal clear.

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vinceschubert
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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:47 pm

mind happens in the brain, and that "I" is mind
You also mentioned before that I is a process, so it seems that you are already NOT delusional about there being a core 'you', an I that can be extracted and photographed. Good.
So if the I is just thought process, why would you have an emotional response to an insult ?

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:16 am

I've asked myself that question before and come up empty. Tonight I sat with it longer and still can't come up with a sincere answer.

Gonna have to sleep on this and try again in the morning. All I can manage so far are fragments of an answer.

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Well I'll just have to share some fragments and see where that leads.

So yeah, no concrete, physical anywhere. Pretty clear on that.

And it seems pretty clear as well that the "I" is a process of identification with things and concepts that are not self.

An insult provokes an emotional response only when it is identified with. If someone were to call me too blurry, there'd be no suffering in that because no part of the mind would believe that. If, however, I were called too fat, it's much more likely that that might be believed and identified with.

If someone were to insult my family or even country, that would also provoke an emotional response because there's identification with them as well. Flattery, of course, is the same in the opposite direction.

So I'm not sure where things are getting stuck here. It seems that people here experience such freedom when they realize that there's no self, and I'm pretty sure I fully get that, but there's no sense of freedom because the subconscious process of selfing, or identification, still goes on.

What's the snag here?

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:22 pm

Whoops, forgot a word there. No concrete, physical self anywhere.

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Re: Ready

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:10 am

No snag, well maybe, i suspect that there are hidden expectations that you are measuring against.
You got it perfectly - it's the identification that is the problem.
How do you stop the identification ?
You don't !
..but it will evaporate as is has the light of recognition exposing it for just another story created by thought.
Run through some imaginary scenarios where identification is provoked and see if you can identify (pun intended) the mechanism of identification.
Once you recognise a trigger of awareness that it is (or about to) occurring, you will catch yourself with a chuckle many times during the day.
there's no sense of freedom because the subconscious process of selfing, or identification, still goes on.
A sense of freedom is just like a sense of self - it's just mind conjuring, albeit much more pleasant (relaxed) but still just a story being told.
This is the BIG news David;
THIS IS IT!
Whatever is happening, good/bad/? is IT! Total Reality.
Here is my blog entry for last Christmas day - see if it resonates.
This is my trigger of recognition.
When quiet and still and focused on a recognition of the fact that what is IS, the sweet spot is appreciated.
When there is a knowing that the situation as it stands is the current situation, the sweet spot is experienced.
When there is an acceptance of everything in the Now of this life, the sweet spot is known.
When the infinite details that make up the current experiencing are seen as irrelevant to the Fact of Now, the sweet spot is here.
When the bullshit that thought/mind is using to camouflage the actual is accepted as part of the actual, the sweet spot is now.
When welcome acceptance of the totality of Now is present, that is the Sweet Spot.

vince

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Last-ditch
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Re: Ready

Postby Last-ditch » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:25 am

Well huh. That's it? No, not what I was expecting. I guess I'd seen it before, but it had become a belief that I hadn't challenged in a while so it was good to prove to the mind once again.

You're probably right that I had hidden expectations. If this is awakening/satori/stream-entry/liberation, then I have to wonder where the honeymoon was. If this is the end of seeking, yet none of it has come as a surprise to me, why am I here to begin with?

Not to be ungrateful, but I'm just expressing my knee-jerk disappointment. I feel somewhat misled by the way that the direct pointing community is representing itself (not you, rather its public proponents). This realization is practically unavoidable with a decent Buddhist teacher. I wouldn't be surprised if most people recognized this after just a few weeks of vipassana noting practice.

Now, with that off my chest, I imagine it's critical to apply this awareness again and again to see what happens at deeper levels of subconscious identification. Maybe only then will I realize the freedom I'm seeking. Who knows?

I'll read over your last post a few more times and try to absorb your pointers to the "sweet spot" and learn to recognize that more in daily life. I'll also take your suggestion to practice spotting the identification in scenarios that rouse the "I".

So, I'll just sit with this and let it sink in more. Haha, I know I don't sound like it, but I'm very grateful for your efforts. Even if you just helped me realize what it was that I already knew, that's a valuable realization. Thanks, Vince.


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