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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:01 am

Hi Vivien,
In the past you said things like: “I am the mind”.
Is this still how you perceive yourself to be? Are you the mind?
No. That one just fell away once it was looked at. It’s strange now looking and seeing it clearly doesn't point to anything.
How and what do you perceive yourself to be exactly?
I can’t find anything when I look. Which some part is having trouble accepting. But when I don’t look there is a sense of being here, it’s defined by sensations. It’s defined by what it’s not. Attention or awareness of what is happening. It moves about but there seems to be a tether that draws it back to the head and thoughts.
Do you perceive that you are the thinker of thoughts?
Generally the impression is I am the thinker, or there is an acceptance of what is thought. But when I look, I can't find a thinker or where thoughts come from or go.
Do you perceive that you are the feeler of feelings, emotions and sensations?
When I look, I can't find a feeler, just feelings. But in general the impression is I am the feeler.
Are you the one who is hearing sounds?
Once again, when I look I can't find a hearer, but the general non-looking state reverts to me being the hearer.
Are you the one looking out the eyes form inside and seeing the world out there?
When looked for, there is no see-er, but it seems like the combination of all the senses when attention isn't being paid props up the idea of there being someone here.
A: It occurred to me this morning that there is a belief in a "self" and anything that can be is used to support that belief. And recently, “I don’t get it” has been coming up. Which is funny, that "I" that doesn't get it just points to more sensations. There's no one to get nothing.
V: Is this something you clearly see experientially, or rather this is just an intellectual understanding?
Sorry, up until the last sentence I could see, but "There's no one to get nothing" is an intellectual leap.

We've been at this a long time, and when we started you asked me to look for the self and I've been doing that. It seems there's a growing acceptance that there's nothing to be found. And the only real expectation at this moment is that there will be a recognition of something, but a voice is going "Why is this taking so long? What am I not getting?" Every time "I" is used in thought and there is an awareness, I try to find that "I", but there's nothing. "I" seems to latch on to anything sensation-wise in my body and say "here I am" until looked at. Knower, needer, controller, owner. Does every label need to be looked at?

Anyway, looking now for who needs to "know".

Thank you,

Andrew

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:23 am

Hi Andrew,
We've been at this a long time, and when we started you asked me to look for the self and I've been doing that. It seems there's a growing acceptance that there's nothing to be found. And the only real expectation at this moment is that there will be a recognition of something, but a voice is going "Why is this taking so long? What am I not getting?" Every time "I" is used in thought and there is an awareness, I try to find that "I", but there's nothing. "I" seems to latch on to anything sensation-wise in my body and say "here I am" until looked at. Knower, needer, controller, owner. Does every label need to be looked at?
The time it takes to see through the illusion can differ a lot. Please be patient. If you are persistent enough, sooner or later you will be able to see through it.

Let’s try out something else. For some people, there is a temporary state of being the watcher or the witness of whatever is happening. This is not the full realization of there being no separate self, but it could be a useful temporary landing point.

So my suggestion is to try out this route. It could help to acknowledge and discover what you are not, by shrinking the identification from the body-mind to a witness or watcher or noticer. Doesn’t matter how we call it.

And from here it could be easer to see that you are not even the witness.

So what do you think? Are you in?
Generally the impression is I am the thinker, or there is an acceptance of what is thought. But when I look, I can't find a thinker or where thoughts come from or go.
I would like to ask you to watch or notice thoughts throughout the day. For now, you don’t have to be bothered with who or what is watching, just be a silent witness to all thoughts that appear.

At first, it might be a bit difficult, but the more you do it the easier it gets, just as any skill. Actually, it’s a skill that can be learned.

So for the following days your only task is to watch thoughts from a distance. Just to notice them as they come and go. Don’t do anything with them. Don’t try to cling to them or push them away. Just silently watch them.

Notice as many thoughts as possible in your daily life.
Let me know what happens.
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
Posts: 110
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:05 am

Hi Vivien,

Yes, I'm in!

Thank you for your guidance as always. I'll report back in a few days.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:27 am

Great! :)
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:09 am

Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:24 pm

Hi Vivien,
So for the following days your only task is to watch thoughts from a distance. Just to notice them as they come and go. Don’t do anything with them. Don’t try to cling to them or push them away. Just silently watch them.

Notice as many thoughts as possible in your daily life.
Let me know what happens.
OK. So I’m not sure if I an doing it properly, but my experience was consistently this: I’d become aware of a thought and kind of step outside it to observe the thought, then the thought would kind of “freeze” in mid flow and disappear. Any associated physical sensations would pass as well once the thought had gone. This was true of verbal and visual thoughts. Then immediately another thought would come to replace it, often something like, “Am I doing this right? It’s a little difficult to witness thoughts if they keep disappearing.”

The thoughts are always coming, but there is a deeper appreciation/understanding of their unreality. Nothing else “dies and disappears” when attention is removed from it.

Thank you,
Andrew

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Vivien
Posts: 7037
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:45 am

Hi Andrew,
This was true of verbal and visual thoughts. Then immediately another thought would come to replace it, often something like, “Am I doing this right? It’s a little difficult to witness thoughts if they keep disappearing.”
But this is exactly that needs to be seen. That thoughts are not static live entities, but rather fleeting unsubstantial phenomena.

Have you noticed that there are gaps between thoughts?

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 5-10 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.
2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:
Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.

Vivien

(ps: I'm sending you a private message, so please watch out for it).
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:09 am

Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:26 am

Hi Vivien,

Hope as is well. I'm just writing to say, there is nothing to really write about which is why I haven't.

Just looking, which seems to be more focused, and witnessing which doesn't seem to be getting any easier. Not finding much in the way of self other than sensations and thoughts, there has been some irritability and anger surfacing whenever I ask for the self to "reveal" itself, so letting that do it's thing.

Anyway, just letting you know I'm not dead yet.

Andrew

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Vivien
Posts: 7037
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:46 am

Hi Andrew,
there has been some irritability and anger surfacing whenever I ask for the self to "reveal" itself, so letting that do it's thing.
But how could a non-existing entity reveal itself? It’s like asking for the non-existent unicorn in your room to reveal itself. No way not to be frustrated. Since this non-existent unicorn will never ever reveal itself. Since what does not exist in reality, cannot reveal itself. And idea cannot reveal itself. You are talking to a phantom. To an imagined ghost who is not there.

Another analogy would be like to ask Santa to reveal itself. Would that ever happen? Would a real Santa ever appear showing that it exists?

How can you look for something that is just an imagination?

It’s not about looking for something that doesn’t exists in reality.
Rather it’s about NOTICING what is here now in reality.

Discovering that there is no separate self other than an idea happens by seeing what IS here.

So is there an I here now in this very moment?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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