Pathless path

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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:00 pm

Hi Stacy,

sorry, I was away again, teaching at a summer academy out of town. But now I should be at home for the most part of the next few weeks and I'm eager to do more exercises. I've tried the Palm Flipping Exercise a few times. Here are my observations:
How is the movement controlled?
I don’t know. It’s happening for sure, but if I don’t go to thoughts I can’t find out how it is controlled from direct experience…
Does a thought control it?
No
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
I can’t locate a controller anywhere in my direct experience. A thought might pop-up suggesting that my brain is the controller. But that’s just a thought and I don’t have ANY evidence in my direct experience that that is actually the case…
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
I can’t find such a point. The only things I can find, are the sensations of the movement and thoughts appearing. There’s no evidence in direct experience that the two are linked in the way suggested.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
I don’t know. It just happened. One hand moved. First the right hand and then later the left hand.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No

Love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:33 am

Hi Pascal,

All true. Isn't that fun to notice?

What do you teach?

This next exercise is one I still do. along with a few others when I want tob realign with what's true.

Doership Exercise

Although you see that there is no noticer/ observer/ witness in the Palm Flipping exercisr, no one "choosing," there may still be the feeling of identification of being the ‘doer’. That it still ‘feels’ like there is a self that is the ‘chooser’.

So let’s have a look at this as it has to do with the sense of seeing.

Take a few relaxed breaths to let the dust settle for a while, and then:

Look on your right.

Then look on your left.

Finally, bring your head back to centre, close your eyes and look in front.

Okay, so when you look on the right, the view on the right is seen (whatever that is).

When you look on the left, the view on the left is seen (whatever that is).

And then, when you look in front of you with eyes closed, the view in front is seen (ie ‘black space’).

So, when the view on the right is seen, do you have the ‘choice’ not to see? I’m not asking can you ‘choose’ to see something else like another view or ‘black space’ if you close your eyes. The question is; can you turn seeing off? Can you NOT see what is seen?

Same thing with the view on the left, can you NOT see the view on the left?

Same thing with the view in front with closed eyes, can you NOT see the ‘black space’?

Can you turn off seeing?

What did the 'chooser' choose? Did a 'self' choose something?

If you are unable to choose what you're aware of, then what else is there to choose?


Remember, any exercise can help you to SEE no self. Repeat any of them any time you like, as we go.

Relax and have fun with this.

Much love,
~ 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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:53 pm

Hi Stacy,

yes, it’s fun in the way that it makes it very clear that this whole idea of a self or a doer is based in thought and not in direct experience.

I was teaching a typography workshop :)
Although you see that there is no noticer/ observer/ witness in the Palm Flipping exercisr, no one "choosing," there may still be the feeling of identification of being the ‘doer’. That it still ‘feels’ like there is a self that is the ‘chooser’.
It’s definitely the case that there is still a feeling of a „doer“.
So let’s have a look at this as it has to do with the sense of seeing.
Are you saying that the feeling of a „doer“ has to do with the sense perception of seeing?
So, when the view on the right is seen, do you have the ‘choice’ not to see? I’m not asking can you ‘choose’ to see something else like another view or ‘black space’ if you close your eyes. The question is; can you turn seeing off? Can you NOT see what is seen?
No, I can’t turn of seeing.
Same thing with the view on the left, can you NOT see the view on the left?
No, I can’t NOT see the view on the left.
Same thing with the view in front with closed eyes, can you NOT see the ‘black space’?
No, I can’t NOT see the view in front with closed eyes.
Can you turn off seeing?
No, I can’t turn off seeing.
What did the 'chooser' choose? Did a 'self' choose something?
No, there is no choice—what’s seen is simply seen.
If you are unable to choose what you're aware of, then what else is there to choose?
So, I can’t choose what I’m aware of and I don’t control the movement of the body. I’m wondering whether I can choose what I focus my attention on. But if I look at the focus of attention, it’s the same thing: in direct experience there is no evidence that there is an I or self directing the focus of my attention.

Love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:25 pm

Hi Pascal,

Yes, all true.
Are you saying that the feeling of a „doer“ has to do with the sense perception of seeing?
No, just that this exercise had to do with seeing. Let's look at this "sense of self" or a "doer." It is kind of like a phantom limb. If there has never been a "self," then the only thing that changes is we notice this. Many things do not change. It's always been like this.

Explore ‘Sense of Self’

Let’s say that you have lost your keys and you swear that you left them in your coat. You go to look and check all the pockets - the keys are not there. You swear they must be as that was the last place you remember them. You have a vivid memory of putting them there after you left the house. But when you check they are not there. At this point you can keep believing that the keys are in your pocket, or you can admit you were mistaken. This is just like that. You may see clearly that the self is an illusion but still feel a sense of self - just like the keys.

But feeling something to be true and seeing that it is or is not is different.

Now, I’d like to ask you to explore this SENSE of self very, very thoroughly. Not by thinking about it, but by FEELING it.

Keep the focus of attention on the sense of self and inquire:

Does the sense of self have a location?

Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?

Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?

If the answer is yes, how does the sense do this exactly?

Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?

What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?

This is why we may find ourselves coming back to your expectations at the start and at the end.

This one can be very helpful. Remember, you want to SEE, so LOOK. Right answers are nice, but it is more important to spend time LOOKING.

Loving,
~ 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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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:40 pm

Hi Pascal,

The suggestion that you post every day is for your benefit. With lots of gaps between exercises our beliefs and fears tend to fill those gaps and prevent us from seeing.

I last heard from you 4 days ago when you said you were back in town and ready to proceed. Is everything okay?

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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:28 pm

Hi Stacy,

you’re right! Sorry, for the delay again! I unexpectedly had the opportunity come up to go to the Baltic Sea for a few days, which I did… :)

I’ll try to post each day or each other day from now on!

I’ve done the Sense of Self exercise a few times in the meantime and I noticed that my sense of self changes. Sometimes it feels limited/separate, but mostly it feels expansive/whole/undivided. Right now this is what comes up in response to the questions:
Does the sense of self have a location?
It doesn’t have a location, it’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Yet this empty fullness or full emptiness is experienced most vividly as a sense of condensed presence or isness in the chest area.
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
No, it doesn’t have a shape or a size. What appears within it, has a shape or a size. Although that’s not really accurate as there is no inside or outside…
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
No, it doesn’t say or communicate anything.
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
No, it itself doesn’t have any characteristics or attributes. Whatever appears within it, has characteristics or attributes. But again, "within" doesn’t really make sense here.
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?
It can’t be described really, but if I had to describe it, I would say it’s made out of undivided wholeness, spaciousness, oneness…

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:22 am

Hi Pascal

Thank you. I haven't been *anywhere* due to the virus, so I can't blame you one but for traveling if you have the opportunity!

So, what you are describing sounds more like a sense of no self.

Is there a separate self that you can find? Was there ever?


Loving,
~ 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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:07 am

Hi Stacy
Is there a separate self that you can find? Was there ever?
When contemplating this question just now, there was the answer that there never was a separate self and then with it or in response to it came a deep relaxation, a kind of letting go or releasing of tension or contraction. This idea of a separate self seems to create contractions on a physical, emotional and energetic level. So nice when this releases. Now I feel like taking a nap… :)

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:51 am

Hi Pascal,

How was your nap?

response to it came a deep relaxation, a kind of letting go or releasing of tension or contraction. This idea of a separate self seems to create contractions on a physical, emotional and energetic level.
Yes!

The contracting seems to happen when we're lying to ourselves & others. Expansive sensations seem to accompany truth.

This exercise asks you to notice those body sensations.

Mind labelling experience

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation ie is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.

For example:

I am sitting on a chair,
I am hearing a clock ticking,
I am looking at a computer screen,
I am feeling hungry.

Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just
a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs.

For example:

Sitting on a chair,
typing,
breathing,
blinking,
hearing the clock.

(Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labelled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?

2. What is here without labels?

3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

4. Did you notice any differences in the body?


Loving,
~ 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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:36 am

Hi Stacy,

here is what I noted down during the exercise:

I feel my fingers on the keyboard
I hear someone making bacon
I feel the laptop on my legs
I feel my chest move up and down from my breath
I feel a tightness in my shoulders
I hear a sound outside my window
I hear the sounds of my typing
I hear a child cry and wine
I feel tired
I see the screen of my laptop
I hear a child cry
I hear a window open
I feel the wooden floor under my right foot
I feel the couch under my left foot and leg
I hear an email coming into my mailbox
I feel the flow of my breath into my body
I feel a tightness in my neck
I feel my lips touch each other
I have a thought about someone
I feel a longing in my stomach
I feel my heart beating
I feel a sadness in my throat and chest
I have thoughts about the past
I feel a presence in my chest
I feel my back against back rest of the couch
I taste the dryness in my mouth
I hear a humming from outside
I feel fresh air on my foot
I hear a window opening or closing outside
I feel a relaxing in my body
I hear the church clock ring
I am looking at the instructions for the exercise
I am thinking I did something wrong as I didn’t start each sentence with „I am“

feeling sensations in fingers
sitting on cushion
sitting on couch
feeling weight of my lower arms
feeling tired
hearing phone vibrate
seeing phone screen light up
feeling shoulders
feeling neck
hearing a crow outside
seeing floor and chairs in front
hearing more crows
seeing plant on the left
hearing sound from email coming into mailbox
feeling hungry
thinking of coffee
feeling craving for coffee
thinking about drinking coffee
hearing people outside
feeling pressure of my bodyweight against the cushion
hearing someone open a bike lock
feeling sensitive in chest area
hearing the rumble of the subway underneath the earth
thinking
looking at screen
typing
feeling sensations in fingers
feeling tightness in throat
hearing the humming of the fridge
feeling tightness in shoulders
feeling the warmth from the laptop on legs
hearing email coming into mailbox
breathing
feeling tired
feeling the fresh air from outside
feeling contentment
feeling a softness in my chest
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
The second one feels more direct, simpler, more immediate and therefore more true
2. What is here without labels?
Just this—a unified field of beingness-experiencing-presence. An undivided wholeness.
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
Just describe it.
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?
There was at the same time a detachment from the experience and a greater intimacy with it.

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 am

Hi Pascal,

All good.
There was at the same time a detachment from the experience and a greater intimacy with it.
Yes, I can see this interpretation. Those are both content of thought, not Actual Experience.

What about sensations? What body sensations do you notice with each part of the exercise?


Loving,
~ 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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:11 pm

Hi Stacy,
What about sensations? What body sensations do you notice with each part of the exercise?
I had to do it again in order to answer from direct experience and not memory.
Here’s my new list:

I am sitting on the couch
I am looking at the screen
I see the upload weel turning
I am thinking about the upload speed
I am thinking that I’m happy
I am feeling tired
I am thinking that I’m looking forward to sleeping
I am feeling my toes
I am seeing the lights in the room
I am thinking that the upload speed is too slow
I am typing
I am feeling my fingers on the keyboard
I am seeing something on my right eye that is blurring my vision
I am feeling hungry
I am feeling sleepy
I am feeling impatient
I am feeling tension in my shoulders
I am hearing the fan of my computer
I am hearing crickets outside the window
I am hearing something unidentifiable inside my room

Swallowing
Looking
Feeling fingers on keyboard
Feeling tiredness
Hearing static from electricity
Feeling expansion in chest
Feeling lightness
Feeling the weight of the body
Seeing movement and color
Breathing
Feeling lips touching
Feeling warmth from my computer on my lap
Feeling heaviness in my head
Thinking
Looking
Hearing
Feeling pressure
Feeling tension
Hearing a car drive by
Seeing the room
Feeling tired
Feeling heaviness of eyelids
Feeling weight of shoulders
Swallowing
Hearing cars
Seeing movement
Seeing brightness
Tasting toothpaste
Rubbing eyes
Yawning
Having blurry view

I’ve experienced all the body sensations named above.

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:46 pm

Hi Pascal

Can you notice a general difference between body sensations doing the first list & body sensations doing the second list? One sensatikn f or each list?

Check in the gut & heart areas.


Loving,
~ 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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wangchuk
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Re: Pathless path

Postby wangchuk » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:00 pm

Hi Stacy,

the first one has a slight sensation of contraction and the second one of expansion.

Much love,
Pascal

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Anastacia42
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Re: Pathless path

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:17 pm

Good morning,

Yes, that's what the exercise asks you to notice.

Can you remember a time when you lied to
someone you love?

Remembering, do you find any sensation In the same "family" of sensations as one of the two above? Which one? Expansion or contraction?


Loving,
~ 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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