direct experience over intellectual understanding

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:08 am

Hi Kelly,

Don’t be too sad or worried, these things can happen. For some people there are some bigger flip-flops at the beginning. Just keep going.

What I’m thinking is that probably it would be better if I leave you alone with this, since the clarity came when you were left alone without any pressure to respond to me.

So I suggest that you don’t write to me for a week or two, and just wait and see what happens.
Vivien

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:56 am

Hi Vivien,

Ok, that probably does make the most sense.

Could you maybe just comment on this:
V: So do you believe that a thought is needed in order to look?
That looking is requiring a thought to happen?
That looking cannot happen without a thought saying “let’s look”?
K: Yes, looking and seeing happens when a thought arises saying “look and see what is actually happening in direct experience”. If the thought doesn’t arise than theres experience and the heavy veil of identification with the thought story going on and on.
Thanks so much,
Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:00 am

Hi Kelly,
V: V: So do you believe that a thought is needed in order to look?
That looking is requiring a thought to happen?
That looking cannot happen without a thought saying “let’s look”?
K: K: Yes, looking and seeing happens when a thought arises saying “look and see what is actually happening in direct experience”. If the thought doesn’t arise than theres experience and the heavy veil of identification with the thought story going on and on.
I would say that no, thought is not necessary to look. Yes, sometimes thoughts initiate looking, but looking can happen without an intention to look. The more looking happens with intention, the greater the chance that it happens on its own, without any thought/intention to look.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Hi Vivien,

It’s been a strange back and forth flow of seeing it and not seeing it. Last week there was a sudden seeing of how obvious it was that there is no self and everything was just happening on its own accord. It was so blatant that I was just laughing and thinking how funny it is to be so lost in the story! It was so plain and simple. But then after a bit, thoughts again appeared, trying to hold onto the seeing of it in some way and the fear arose that the veil would come down again. So once again it was like sand slipping through my fingers and after a while I felt confused once again- lots of thought identification and seeking arising to see it again. It’s so strange how the seeing of it can be so simple and obvious in one moment and then feel like it’s the hardest thing to do in the next. I don’t know why the looking and seeing feels so arduous and difficult a lot of the time. Moments of more glimpses have come and gone but they have just been very fleeting. I keep trying to look over and over... maybe I should just keep up with this for longer?

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:01 am

Hi Kelly,
maybe I should just keep up with this for longer?
Yes, just keep going :)

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:14 pm

Hi Vivien,

I’ve been trying to avoid writing to you because I know theres not much more that can be said. But I’m giving in because I feel so incredibly stuck in such a limbo state again. I’ve been “trying” as hard as I possibly can to look as much as possible- I’ve put post its all over the house to remind myself to look for a doer/thinker/feeler/chooser in every possible moment. I continuously see that there’s absolutely nothing behind what’s happening, but for some reason or another it just continues to feel monotonous and arduous- because the thought to look has to constantly arise first. There haven’t been any more glimpses since when I explained to you the clarity and simplicity that was seen in those few hours, which feels like it happened ages ago. I’m avoiding all nondual material that makes me think about this intellectually, even though I still have such a desperation to still seek. I see it, but I don’t see, it’s SO frustrating! Any other thoughts?

Thanks and hope you are doing well,
Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:39 am

Hi Kelly,

I was thinking how to help you, and I have an idea. I don’t know how busy you are, but it would be good if you could allocate a whole day or at least a half a day for continuous looking.

Of course you can do this only, if you don’t have too many commitments to others, since this would require to have as little human connection as possible (during those hours).

So my idea is that you allocate a whole day, or a half a day, or a 2-3 hours in a row (the longer the better) and you do nothing else than look.

There are two important factors which could help a lot.

First, it’s curiosity. So you are not going to do this long looking session as a homework, with a ‘something I must do but rather I would do something else’ mindset. But rather with curiosity. To see what you can find out, as if you were in a jungle and patiently waiting for a rare species of animal to appear… and when it’s there, you look at this rare animal with interest and curiosity.

Second, it’s a laid back state. It’s not a hard work. It’s just to be open to see what appears.
You just lay back and the illusion can show itself and you can explore it.

Thoughts might wander off, but it’s not a problem. Just come back and continue.

So whatever you do during that day (or hours) the only focus is not on what you are doing, but on the self.

So it doesn’t mean that you have to sit in a meditation pose for a whole day :) I’m not planning to torture you :)

You can stand up, you can walk around, you can do dishes, you can brush your teeth, you can make a meal, you can do any activity that doesn’t require too much thinking…

But whatever do, slow it down a bit. Slow it down, so you can observer what is actually happening. That task is to catch any moment when the sense of self appears in any shape or form. And then investigate:

How does the me feel like?
Which sensations are connected to the sense of me?
And then feel the sensations.
And then find out:
Where is the information that this is me? How do I know?


Do this continuously for the whole day (or half day)… all day long… try to be in a relaxed laid back state, and just wait for the me to appear.

If you spend a whole day this inquiry, you will literally investigate the me for 100+ times.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:39 am

Hi Vivien,

I thought your suggestion to spend a day focusing on this was a great idea so today my husband gave me the space I needed and took my son out for about 7 hours so that I had the house to myself. It started out great, and I tried to just relax into looking for the me every time that notion appeared. The problem is that anytime there is slight clarity, thoughts try to make it into something to hold onto, and then I go down the whole road of conceptualizing once again. By the end of today I felt so drained and exhausted, mainly because the thoughts were just running rampant again trying to make this into a thing. I know I have to back off again, and let things settle, but I figured I’d write you you about what were both insights and stumbling blocks:

I realized that I need to simply SEE what’s happening in experience, not look. Because looking to me always implies this act of searching for something and the more I look for the self, the more unattainable and conceptual this all gets because as we’ve said before, I can’t actually find what doesn’t exist. So I realized that I have to focus on SEEING what does exist- and to see if that includes functions of a self, which are doing, thinking, feeling, etc- all implying some form of effort- and I never ever find these things. There’s no effort to see, feel, hear, think. I looked at this over and over as much as possible today.

In my experience the me feels most apparent in thought, not sensation. When there’s a thought that claims experience and claims that it knows experience - this is the stickiest part right here for me. I remind myself that a thought cannot know experience because it is also known.

But then I kept getting sucked backed into the notion of being the unknowable knower- aka awareness- even though we’ve talked about this a thousand times that there is no separate awareness in experience. But this is always where I get stuck. All there ever is is what’s happening, so how could there possibly be a knower of what’s happening. But I just can’t fully see this experientially. Unless experience is just flowing along without any thoughts appearing and therefore no reflecting on it, there is always the notion of subject/object, knower and known. Why do I feel so trapped in this?! There just doesn’t seem like anyway to actually see this because any type of understanding appears through thoughts which create the duality.

Sorry for the madness again Vivien, today was just very rough ☹️

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:47 am

Hi Kelly,
I thought your suggestion to spend a day focusing on this was a great idea so today my husband gave me the space I needed and took my son out for about 7 hours so that I had the house to myself.
I’m glad that you had the chance to do it.
I realized that I need to simply SEE what’s happening in experience, not look.
But looking IS seeing what happens in experience :)

Looking = seeing
So I realized that I have to focus on SEEING what does exist
Exactly.

And does a self exist in experience?

Please don’t reply to this from memory, but rather just SEE what is here now in this very moment.

Is there a self here in this very moment?

(I might be going to use the word ‘look’, but please interpret it as ‘to see what is’).
and to see if that includes functions of a self
Not just look (see) if there is a ‘function of a self’, but if there is an actual self.
A clear, unmistakable, obvious self. Is there?

In my experience the me feels most apparent in thought, not sensation.
How could a self be FELT to be most apparent in thought? Can a thought be felt?
Or only sensation can be felt?


Don’t answer this intellectually, but actually check if ANY thought can ever be felt.

Can you FEEL the thought ‘warm’?
When there is a thought ‘warm’ can the warmness actually be felt?
Can the thought ‘sweet’ be actually tasted?
Can the thought ‘fragrance’ be smelt? Not imagined, but actually smelt?
Can the thought ‘high pitch sound’ be actually heard? Not imagined, but actually heard?


Really try to these out, and see if these are actually possible.
But then I kept getting sucked backed into the notion of being the unknowable knower- aka awareness-
Is there an undeniable, clear, unmistakable, obvious awareness/knower when experience is looked at right here, now?

Don’t go to the belief/assumption that awareness cannot see or know itself. That would be just more thinking.
But actually look at and see what is here right now, without any thoughts (when all thoughts are ignored).

If you replace the words knower/awareness with blah-blah-blah, what is left of the notion of knower/awareness?
There just doesn’t seem like anyway to actually see this because any type of understanding appears through thoughts which create the duality.
And then what? Thoughts will ALWAYS create the illusion of duality.
Since all there is to duality is thinking/thought.

But check this out for yourself…..

What is the experience of duality, here now, in this very moment?
Please tell me, how is duality experienced exactly?

Can duality be felt?
Can it be heard?
Can it be seen?
Can it be tasted?
Can it be smelled?

There can be THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘duality’… but is there an ACTUAL duality in experience in this very moment?

Are the thoughts about duality is actual experiencable duality?


Please don’t think about any of these questions.

If you catch yourself thinking and speculating, then in that very moment STOP and SEE what is making those thoughts to appear?

Can you SEE a thinker of those speculating thoughts?


Spend lots of time with these questions again and again.

Probably it would be a good idea to print these out, or keep them on your phone, and look at them time after time, again and again.

Spend several days of thorough looking before replying.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:47 pm

Hi Vivien,

I really appreciate all of your questions, but I know that if I answer them in writing I will be lost in thought again, despite my attempts to write directly from looking. I’m finding that if I read anything about nonduality, or talk about it at all, I’m thrown right back into the conceptualizing of it. So I’ve been trying to be steadfast with my focus to just constantly look for the arising of a doer, thinker, feeler or any efforting at all behind all experiencing. Because like I had mentioned before, even the notion of a “separate self” has become a very vague concept. It’s not like I ever find some kind of “thing” that is the self in experience- that is obvious. So I keep looking for the efforting, over and over again. The more it’s seen that everything is happening of its own accord, the more this all starts to sink in. Although it’s been incredibly gradual, so I think I just have to stick with this and keep forging ahead without expectation. I keep thinking of that saying of a camel going through the eye of a needle- that’s what this has been feeling like! I have to stay so hyper focused on looking so as not to get lost in the concepts.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:35 am

Hi Kelly,

If this is working for you, then go for it. Do whatever works for you.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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