Guide Request

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:43 am

Hi Tom,

You did a nice investigation.
The bodily sensations change from one to another, and along with it there's an overall feeling of lightness and relaxation.
Nice. So as a by-product of looking sometimes there is a feeling of lightness and relaxation. That’s good. But be careful not to make it into a goal. Sometimes there are pleasant by-products of this investigation, sometimes there isn’t. And that’s OK. We are not doing this for the by-products, we just ever investigating what is real and what is not.
When looking this way, it sometimes seems like I am putting in so little effort that I'm not sure if I'm actually actively looking or not.
So when there is effort, is that your doing?

Please spend a whole day on noticing any moment when it seems like that “I put effort into something”.

Is effort actually done by someone, or effort (or efforting) happens automatically, on its own?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:25 pm

Hi Vivien,
Nice. So as a by-product of looking sometimes there is a feeling of lightness and relaxation. That’s good. But be careful not to make it into a goal. Sometimes there are pleasant by-products of this investigation, sometimes there isn’t. And that’s OK. We are not doing this for the by-products, we just ever investigating what is real and what is not.
Good to know, thank you. I'll try to see it all as just part of the process then. Including the times during looking where there was frustration and other less pleasant by-products.
So when there is effort, is that your doing?
I don't see a me doing the effort, but when I am looking in experience I just see the effort happening.
Please spend a whole day on noticing any moment when it seems like that “I put effort into something”.
Is effort actually done by someone, or effort (or efforting) happens automatically, on its own?
Effort or efforting seems to be happening automatically, on its own, without anyone doing anything.

Both these pointers were very useful to practice, thank you.

I also noticed a few things:

First, I've felt a new kind of clarity or stability these past few days. I at first wasn't sure if it's temporary, but it seems to be sticking around.

Second, along with the clarity I've noticed a lot of different emotions coming up. That includes doubts and fears about the looking process. Thinking for example that it is some kind of conspiracy, and that there'll be a precise point where I have to stop the process (and then, fear that I'll miss that point). Or thinking I am far enough now and there's no need to continue. I see these thoughts and emotions for what they are though, and they don't seem to be getting in the way of the process.

Third, I've noticed that more and more it starts to feel strange to ask the questions with the word 'I' in it. So, for example, looking for 'moments where I put effort into something' doesn't feel right, as if there's distance to this question. It almost feels like an impossibility. On the other hand, looking for 'moments where effort is happening' feels much more correct, and a better description of reality.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:05 am

Hi Tom,
That includes doubts and fears about the looking process. Thinking for example that it is some kind of conspiracy, and that there'll be a precise point where I have to stop the process (and then, fear that I'll miss that point).
What do you mean by this? That our conversation will stop at some point? Or that you will have to stop looking at some point, and you won’t know when to stop looking?

Looking is a way of living. Even when the self-illusion is seen through, looking shouldn’t stop. As we talked about this before, this is just the beginning, far from being an end. So if you want to things to deeper and more and more conditionings to fall away, you have to adopt looking into your daily life. With time it becomes a habit, which happens automatically.

This is not some quick process, but a journey of a lifetime, an orientation to see life in a different angle, each day is an opportunity to discover a little more.
Or thinking I am far enough now and there's no need to continue.
Be careful with these kind of thoughts. If there is no continuous looking to become a habit, this seeing can gradually fade away. It happened to many. And they come back later to start looking again since they feel that they’ve lost the seeing.
Third, I've noticed that more and more it starts to feel strange to ask the questions with the word 'I' in it. So, for example, looking for 'moments where I put effort into something' doesn't feel right, as if there's distance to this question. It almost feels like an impossibility. On the other hand, looking for 'moments where effort is happening' feels much more correct, and a better description of reality.
Yes :)

Please sit for some time and just notice how everything is just happening effortlessly.
Look around.
What is being done for colors and shapes to be? Is there anything be done for colors and shapes to be, or they are just there effortlessly?


Listen to the sounds.
What is being done exactly for the sounds to be?
And when the attention is on a sound, what is being done to know the sound? Is there any doing? Or it’s just known effortlessly?


Now shift the focus on FEELING the body.
What is being done exactly for the body to be?
Is there any effort in being?
Or the body just IS, effortlessly?


Focus on the sensations of the hands.
What is being done for the sensations to be?
Aren’t the sensations happens effortlessly?


Look at the hands.
What is being done exactly for the image of the hand to be, to exist?
Is there a you making the image of the hands happen?
Is there any effort in seeing?


Now notice thoughts.
What is being done for thoughts to be?
Is there any effort for thoughts to appear? Or they just appear effortlessly?

What is not happening effortlessly and needs your doing?


--

What about the work related topic we had a session about? How are you with those feelings?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:14 pm

Hi Vivien,
T: That includes doubts and fears about the looking process. Thinking for example that it is some kind of conspiracy, and that there'll be a precise point where I have to stop the process (and then, fear that I'll miss that point).
V: What do you mean by this? That our conversation will stop at some point? Or that you will have to stop looking at some point, and you won’t know when to stop looking?
It is the second one, a fantasy that I will have to stop looking at some point in order to prevent total emotional & mental catastrophe. This is a pattern I've noticed for years, such that whenever I'm in a period of discomfort & change, resistance often arises in the form of fear along with thoughts that I have to stop progressing before it's too late. I know the pattern well so I'm used to it, and eventually always recognise it for the fear that it is.

Another common thought pattern I've had in the looking process, which is a kind of counter of the above one, is fear of abandonment. That if I do things too slowly, or incorrectly, I will either not see through the self illusion or will be abandoned by you, my guide. I also know this pattern well from other areas in my life and over many years, so I also eventually recognise it.

Both patterns have become weaker as the looking process has continued, and as I've gained trust in the process and in you. The fears just rear up every once in a while, usually around the same time as I'm making a big jump in progress (like over the last days).
Looking is a way of living. Even when the self-illusion is seen through, looking shouldn’t stop. As we talked about this before, this is just the beginning, far from being an end. So if you want to things to deeper and more and more conditionings to fall away, you have to adopt looking into your daily life. With time it becomes a habit, which happens automatically.
'Looking as a way of living' is a helpful way to look at it. I will make this my goal, if one can call it a goal. I've always been extremely curious and dedicated, and thus most definitely want things to go deeper and more conditionings to fall away. I already feel looking partly becoming an automatic habit, and every day it's getting more integrated in everyday activities.
This is not some quick process, but a journey of a lifetime, an orientation to see life in a different angle, each day is an opportunity to discover a little more.
Put this way, this in many ways makes the process sound more manageable, and enjoyable too.
What is being done for colors and shapes to be? Is there anything be done for colors and shapes to be, or they are just there effortlessly?
Nothing is being done for colors and shapes to be. They are just there effortlessly.
What is being done exactly for the sounds to be? And when the attention is on a sound, what is being done to know the sound? Is there any doing? Or it’s just known effortlessly?
I do not find anything being done to know the sound, and see that it's just known effortlessly.
What is being done exactly for the body to be? Is there any effort in being? Or the body just IS, effortlessly?
There is no effort being done for the body to be, and it just is effortlessly.
What is being done for the sensations to be? Aren’t the sensations happens effortlessly?
The sensations are also happening effortlessly, and I don't find anything being done.
What is being done exactly for the image of the hand to be, to exist? Is there a you making the image of the hands happen? Is there any effort in seeing?
The image of the hands just exists, without anything being done. I don't find effort in seeing.
What is being done for thoughts to be? Is there any effort for thoughts to appear? Or they just appear effortlessly?
When looking, I see thoughts appearing effortlessly. However this is the only one that I sometimes have difficulties with in my daily life. Then I sometimes have doubts, thinking that I have to make effort to make them appear. I will continue trying to focus on thoughts in looking.
What is not happening effortlessly and needs your doing?
When looking in my my experience, I don't find anything that isn't happening effortlessly and needing my doing.

Today I often noticed again the very pleasant by-product of lightness and positive thoughts about the future. I sometimes get swept into it, but overall am more and more aware of it.
What about the work related topic we had a session about? How are you with those feelings?
Those feelings are much better. I actually find it hard to believe that one session can make such a difference, but I feel much more confident and clear in my creative & collaborative projects. And after that session was actually the start of a second major jump in the looking process. I also suspect it was helpful to humanise the looking process by seeing you online, as I notice I see the looking process & the words on the screen in a different way. So I am very glad and also grateful for the session.

I am not yet very proficient at carrying out the process (that you shared) myself. I am thinking to continue playing with it, and then maybe request another session in some time. To do a refresh of the process we already did to make sure I have it, and then also an introduction into the deeper process you mentioned. Let's see though - I want to first play more with the existing process.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:06 am

Hi Tom,
This is a pattern I've noticed for years, such that whenever I'm in a period of discomfort & change, resistance often arises in the form of fear along with thoughts that I have to stop progressing before it's too late.
This pattern also has its roots, and it can looked at the similar way we did during our session.
is fear of abandonment.
This is another topic which can be looked at the similar way. We all are full of these kind of patters and learned behaviours, reactions and feelings. And whenever these are triggered, the feeling of a solid self can seem to be pretty real. Since the story and the sensations and feelings are welded together into a coherent perception of me.
That if I do things too slowly, or incorrectly, I will either not see through the self illusion or will be abandoned by you, my guide.
You don’t have to worry about this. I’m here with you as long as it takes. We are on page 8, and my longest thread so far was 34 pages! So no worries :)
I also know this pattern well from other areas in my life and over many years, so I also eventually recognise it.
It’s a one thing to recognize it and it’s another to look at it deeply so it can gradually fall away.
When looking, I see thoughts appearing effortlessly. However this is the only one that I sometimes have difficulties with in my daily life. Then I sometimes have doubts, thinking that I have to make effort to make them appear.
When there are doubts, just notice, is doubt your doing? Do you consciously and intentionally choose to doubt it?
Or even doubting thoughts happen on their own? And you are just noticing them?

Those feelings are much better. I actually find it hard to believe that one session can make such a difference, but I feel much more confident and clear in my creative & collaborative projects.
I’m glad to hear that :) Sometimes one session is enough, sometimes more is needed. It depends on lots of factors. Like, your willingness to look and feel, and the depth and strength of the belief itself. And since you were open to look and feel, I would be surprised if there weren’t any noticeable change.
And after that session was actually the start of a second major jump in the looking process.
Yes. Since it gave a glimpse how to look and investigate.
I also suspect it was helpful to humanise the looking process by seeing you online, as I notice I see the looking process & the words on the screen in a different way.
Yes. It’s very different to talk in face to face than in written format.
I am not yet very proficient at carrying out the process (that you shared) myself. I am thinking to continue playing with it, and then maybe request another session in some time. To do a refresh of the process we already did to make sure I have it, and then also an introduction into the deeper process you mentioned. Let's see though - I want to first play more with the existing process.
All right. When you feel that you are ready, we can talk again.

Now let’s look at the phenomenon, called ‘Tom’.

How do you know that you are ‘Tom’?

Notice the feeling called 'feels like I am Tom.
Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:46 pm

Hi Vivien,
You don’t have to worry about this. I’m here with you as long as it takes. We are on page 8, and my longest thread so far was 34 pages! So no worries :)
That's reassuring, thank you. Although I must say, 34 pages is also slightly disconcerting :) If that's what it could take though, I'm in it for the long haul.
It’s a one thing to recognize it and it’s another to look at it deeply so it can gradually fall away.
And thanks for the replies to all the other extras. The above tip was especially helpful. As I've gotten quite good at spotting patterns, but I did not realise the difference between recognition and looking so deeply toward it falling away.

In general I also want to say thanks a lot for your commitment and patience. I feel grateful actually with every message I receive. It's really quite special work you do.
When there are doubts, just notice, is doubt your doing? Do you consciously and intentionally choose to doubt it?
Or even doubting thoughts happen on their own? And you are just noticing them?
Good! I see that doubt it not my doing or conscious choice. The doubting thoughts happening on their own, and I'm just noticing them.

I think there's more I can learn from looking here, so I intend to keep specially on the lookout for thoughts of doubt over the next few days.
How do you know that you are ‘Tom’?
Here I find only sensations and thoughts. I notice that I almost always go to thoughts to look for the answer to this question. As with the other questions about 'Tom', it gives a very static impression, while also making me feel slightly uncomfortable or exposed. I am curious why. The impression is one of it being both very personal, and at the same time very impersonal, like a label, as if the word 'Tom' has nothing to do with me.
Notice the feeling called 'feels like I am Tom.
Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.
What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?
In contrast to the previous question, this one feels much more accessible and concrete. I almost always go to the body to look for the answer, so it is much easier to sink in to and be with it.

At first, when looking with this question it appeared as if I was in a kind of in between space (between thoughts and bodily sensations) which I decided was what a 'feeling' was. After some more looking though, I realised that actually it seems there is no such thing as feelings. Rather, there are either bodily sensations, or there is a thought related to those sensation. But the feeling on its own doesn't exist. This has helped me get more clear on something that has been bothering me for the past week or two: what exactly a feeling is. I'm curious if I'm on the right track here and seeing accurately.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:54 am

Hi Tom,
Although I must say, 34 pages is also slightly disconcerting :)
That’s been my record so far :)
And thanks for the replies to all the other extras. The above tip was especially helpful. As I've gotten quite good at spotting patterns, but I did not realise the difference between recognition and looking so deeply toward it falling away.
Recognition is the first step, which is essential, but often by itself is not enough. Especially, if you react the same way.
In general I also want to say thanks a lot for your commitment and patience. I feel grateful actually with every message I receive. It's really quite special work you do.
Thank you for your kind words. You are most welcome :)
I think there's more I can learn from looking here, so I intend to keep specially on the lookout for thoughts of doubt over the next few days.
Yes, that’s a good idea.
After some more looking though, I realised that actually it seems there is no such thing as feelings. Rather, there are either bodily sensations, or there is a thought related to those sensation. But the feeling on its own doesn't exist.
Excellent observations :) I wouldn’t say that feelings on their own don’t exists, but rather that feelings have two components: sensations + the story around them. But yes, all there is to a feeling or an emotion is the sensation + the story or a thought label of ‘such and such emotion’.

Now let’s go back to the phenomenon, called ‘Tom’.
Tom is more than just a story, isn’t he?

Tom is a person with a particular personality, with certain characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, familiar feelings and emotions, the feeling of looking out the eyes, facial expressions, a certain gait, the way you walk, postures, gestures, tone of voice, accent, etc. This particular person, called ‘Tom’ appears as a psychological ‘me’, bound by the past, and is always looking to the future.

Just notice the habitual facial expressions Tom has.
Are those facial expressions you?
Are the habitual behaviours ‘of Tom’, you?
Is the gait of the body, and how the body walks, you?
Are the habitual postures and hand gestures, you?
Is the tone of your voice, you?
Are the thoughts ‘in the head’, you?
Is the narrative / story ‘of Tom’, you?
Are the memories ‘of Tom’, you?
Are the desires on behalf of Tom, you?
Are the likes and dislikes, you?
Is the avoidance of pain an unpleasant experiences, you?
Is the seeking of pleasant experiences, you?


Please investigate each of the above carefully.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:54 pm

Hi Vivien,
I wouldn’t say that feelings on their own don’t exists, but rather that feelings have two components: sensations + the story around them. But yes, all there is to a feeling or an emotion is the sensation + the story or a thought label of ‘such and such emotion’.
That's helpful. The question of what a feeling or emotion is has been bothering me for a while. This clarifies it, and also matches with my experience.
Tom is more than just a story, isn’t he? Tom is a person with a particular personality, with certain characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, familiar feelings and emotions, the feeling of looking out the eyes, facial expressions, a certain gait, the way you walk, postures, gestures, tone of voice, accent, etc. This particular person, called ‘Tom’ appears as a psychological ‘me’, bound by the past, and is always looking to the future.
This, along with the questions below, blew my mind. It's like the world tilted for a moment when I first started playing with it. Or as if the ocean just got much, much deeper. I like it.
Are those facial expressions you?
Are the habitual behaviours ‘of Tom’, you?
Is the gait of the body, and how the body walks, you?
Are the habitual postures and hand gestures, you?
Is the tone of your voice, you?
Are the thoughts ‘in the head’, you?
Is the narrative / story ‘of Tom’, you?
Are the memories ‘of Tom’, you?
Are the desires on behalf of Tom, you?
Are the likes and dislikes, you?
Is the avoidance of pain an unpleasant experiences, you?
Is the seeking of pleasant experiences, you?
I worked with each of these a lot throughout the day. I did it in two ways:

1. Sitting or walking quietly while focused only on the task of questioning and looking. I ask the question and then look in my experience with whatever is going on at the moment, just like with most of the other questions we've worked with. I always come up with sensations or thoughts (I ran through this list about five or six times a day, for 10 minutes each time.)

2. After I had the hang of the list, I started noticing everyday tasks in my life and then matching them with the appropriate question. So for example, when I noticed my posture I immediately asked 'is this posture me?', at the same time as noticing. The advantage I felt with this is that I could notice the activity and ask a question in real-time: that seemed to be more clear than method #1.

I also started to make my own questions according to any activity at all that I was noticing. For example, 'is this way of reaching for the doorknob, me?', or 'is this desire for chocolate, me?'. This was not only fun, but also really helped with integration into everyday life since I could follow a simple pattern in forming questions, in the moment. As one of the things I've been working with in the past days is how to integrate looking better into as many daily activities as possible.

I assume these are both suitable methods, but am sharing just to double-check.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:06 am

Hi Tom,
You did an excellent investigation :)
2. After I had the hang of the list, I started noticing everyday tasks in my life and then matching them with the appropriate question. So for example, when I noticed my posture I immediately asked 'is this posture me?', at the same time as noticing. The advantage I felt with this is that I could notice the activity and ask a question in real-time: that seemed to be more clear than method #1.

I also started to make my own questions according to any activity at all that I was noticing. For example, 'is this way of reaching for the doorknob, me?', or 'is this desire for chocolate, me?'. This was not only fun, but also really helped with integration into everyday life since I could follow a simple pattern in forming questions, in the moment. As one of the things I've been working with in the past days is how to integrate looking better into as many daily activities as possible.
Yes, this is perfect. So with this guiding, you gradually learn how to formulate your own questions and look at them in your daily life. This is one of our ‘goals’ here; to be able to look on your own.

So in your whole life (except in early childhood) you believed that you are Tom, a particular person, an individual with free will who was born at a certain date and is living through time and space, gather experiences, memories, skills, etc.
The focus is on the persona, called Tom, and the view that Tom is the doer - which is the conventional normal everyday view.

So, we look at what shows up as Tom to see whether it contains any agency, or whether we've been fooling ourselves all these years, identifying with a phantom :)

So we're hunting after any sign of Tom we can get our hands on and pin it down, and to say: “here you are”.
This sign could be anything: a thought, mental image, feeling / emotion, a gesture, the ‘voice talking in the head’, a familiar feeling or sensation in the body, the feeling of looking out the eyes, memories, anything at all that we can pin down as being Tom.

Once you’ve found something which could be Tom, then zoom on in to find ‘Tom’ himself in that fleeting feeling, emotion, sensation, thought, image, gesture, whatever.

And if you can find an actual person, Tom there, then it’s fair to say that “I am Tom”.
But if you can’t…. then hunt for another sign of Tom.

Hunt and zoom on, hunt and zoom on, hunt and zoom on… and just keep going.

And if after you’ve exhausted yourself and still cannot find Tom himself, then sorry to say, but you’ve been fooling yourself in your whole life :)

So hunt and let me know what you find :)

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:01 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks first for the entire explanation. It was a lot to take in, so I reread a few times slowly and probably will come back to it a few times. Gives a good context for how to structure looking.
Hunt and zoom on, hunt and zoom on, hunt and zoom on… and just keep going. And if after you’ve exhausted yourself and still cannot find Tom himself, then sorry to say, but you’ve been fooling yourself in your whole life :) So hunt and let me know what you find :)
On the upside I had lots of time today to look. Hours and hours actually. On the downside, this was possible because I became sick (nothing serious: it's something I get every so often) and couldn't do much else except lie down. And I most definitely exhausted myself, as instructed :)

I mostly continued as I did yesterday, noticing whatever I noticed and asking if this was 'Tom', or 'me'. When it was getting too much of the same, I tried switching to variations on other questions we've done before e.g. 'is there anyone doing this [sensation/action/thought, etc.]', or noticing the automaticness of what was happening.

I found this switching between questions beneficial to help me keep sane, but also because after following the same pattern for some time I noticed I would start to get lazy. So for example, instead of noticing the sensation that was there, I might notice a mental image of the sensation while still thinking it was the actual sensation. So when this happened I knew it was time to switch patterns.

Although I'm miserable from being sick, I'm happy to be integrating this more in my daily life and taking the freedom to adjust it as necessary. I should be healthy in a day or two, but either way I will most likely have lots of time to do not much else but looking. So bring it on :)

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:56 am

Hi Tom,
On the upside I had lots of time today to look. Hours and hours actually. On the downside, this was possible because I became sick (nothing serious: it's something I get every so often) and couldn't do much else except lie down.
I’m sorry that you are not well, but yes, it’s a good opportunity to investigate what is here-and-now.
I mostly continued as I did yesterday, noticing whatever I noticed and asking if this was 'Tom', or 'me'.
I’m not sure how you do it exactly, but be careful not just simply ask if this is Tom or me, but after asking it, really check that that particular ‘thing’ (sensation, thought, emotion, posture, whatever) is ACTUALLY a REAL person with volition and agency, or it’s just a fleeting sensation, thought, emotion, posture, whatever).
When it was getting too much of the same, I tried switching to variations on other questions we've done before e.g. 'is there anyone doing this [sensation/action/thought, etc.]', or noticing the automaticness of what was happening.
OK. You don’t have to stay with the same thing again and again, if you can clearly see that that particular thing is neither me or Tom.
Rather, look for another sign of Tom. And investigate that.

Let this investigation be flexible, constantly moving from one seeming sign of Tom to another one.
So look for ANY feeling, sensation, or any perception that FEELS to be me or Tom.

Don’t just mechanically go through the same thing again and again. Rather notice, what FEELS to be me / Tom, and then investigate that.
I found this switching between questions beneficial to help me keep sane, but also because after following the same pattern for some time I noticed I would start to get lazy. So for example, instead of noticing the sensation that was there, I might notice a mental image of the sensation while still thinking it was the actual sensation. So when this happened I knew it was time to switch patterns
This sounds quite mechanical. Always put attention to whatever FEELS or SEEMS to be me in that very moment, and investigate that. And if the next moment Tom seems to be somewhere else or something else, then investigate that.

This ‘sense of me’ is not static, it is constantly moving. So move with it. Chase it around :)
Although I'm miserable from being sick,
If it seems that that “I am miserable for being sick” – then investigate if this miserable-ness is actually a person, me / Tom.

You have an everyday you that you take yourself to be, right?
If so, tell me about the everyday you.
Is it a story or a narrative, or does it have a physical location?

What is it exactly that you call ‘me’ (in everyday life)?


When you’ve found the ‘thing’ or ‘things’ that you call me in your everyday life, then investigate it if that ‘thing’ is an actual real Tom, Tom himself.


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:00 pm

Hi Vivien,
You have an everyday you that you take yourself to be, right? If so, tell me about the everyday you.
Is it a story or a narrative, or does it have a physical location?
It is now very clear that the everyday me is a story or a narrative, which cannot be pinned down to a physical location.
What is it exactly that you call ‘me’ (in everyday life)?
Thoughts are very clear today, coming one by one and very visible (probably due to there not being much outside stimulation, or energy in the body). So I've seen throughout the day the me is contained in thoughts. It actually seems that almost every thought contains a me.

Besides thoughts I also noticed changing sensations. This makes me wonder if the 'me' we're looking for in these exercises is the same thing as the 'doer' that we looked for in the past. My interpretation has been that the feeling of a 'doer' in the body is the feeling of taking action and making something happen - usually a strong pull or tension. Whereas the feeling of 'me' is just any raw sensation, without necessarily including the feeling of action. Let me know though if my interpretation is not correct.

I ask because especially today my body is not very active, so sensations hardly have any strong pull or tension. I mostly just noticed more everyday sensations like breathing or different body parts, and they are just there.
When you’ve found the ‘thing’ or ‘things’ that you call me in your everyday life, then investigate it if that ‘thing’ is an actual real Tom, Tom himself.
It was not possible to find an actual real Tom, either in the thoughts or the sensations. Since the body-mind is moving very slow today, this is absolutely clear.
If it seems that that “I am miserable for being sick” – then investigate if this miserable-ness is actually a person, me / Tom.
I explored this, without finding a me or a person. I understand the pointer was meant for a feeling, but I also tried exploring it with the strong physical sensations I occasionally had today (e.g. nausea) - although I'm not sure if it makes sense or not to do that. The result was interesting though, as I discovered a clear distinction between the physical sensations and the story I have about my health, which shows up in thoughts.
Don’t just mechanically go through the same thing again and again. Rather notice, what FEELS to be me / Tom, and then investigate that.
OK. You don’t have to stay with the same thing again and again, if you can clearly see that that particular thing is neither me or Tom. Rather, look for another sign of Tom. And investigate that.
I think you're right that yesterday I had been getting mechanical about this. I also hadn't realised that once I have clearly seen something, it's not necessary to go back to it.
I’m not sure how you do it exactly, but be careful not just simply ask if this is Tom or me, but after asking it, really check that that particular ‘thing’ (sensation, thought, emotion, posture, whatever) is ACTUALLY a REAL person with volition and agency, or it’s just a fleeting sensation, thought, emotion, posture, whatever).
I think this part is going fine. After asking a question, I notice that it's a fleeting sensation, thought, etc. I don't normally notice or conclude if it's actually a real person, as it seems enough to notice the fleetingness (and absence of a real person with violation and agency).

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:31 am

Hi Tom,
Besides thoughts I also noticed changing sensations. This makes me wonder if the 'me' we're looking for in these exercises is the same thing as the 'doer' that we looked for in the past.
Isn’t the me believed to be the doer?
My interpretation has been that the feeling of a 'doer' in the body is the feeling of taking action and making something happen - usually a strong pull or tension. Whereas the feeling of 'me' is just any raw sensation, without necessarily including the feeling of action.
OK, so there are feelings there. That’s all right.

But the question is that any of those feelings are an actual autonomous entity with doership?
Or those are just feelings, nothing else?
The result was interesting though, as I discovered a clear distinction between the physical sensations and the story I have about my health, which shows up in thoughts.
Nice.
Tell me how you experience a 'me'/self/myself (however you label it) at the moment.
What aspects of your experience strike you as self-like?
Is there anything observable, that is you?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:00 pm

Hi Vivien,
Isn’t the me believed to be the doer?
Aha. This made a lot of sense, and also makes it even clearer why and how to ask questions. The way I understand it then, is this: I notice a succession of many sensations or thoughts. When I notice them as fleeting, then it is simply changing raw data. When this data is believed to be the one making the data happen, then it is believe to be the doer. And when I investigate, the questions are targeted at determining if this data really is the doer.

I'm really getting the hang of looking during most ordinary tasks, and coming up with questions on the spot. And it is feeling even more natural to ask questions.
But the question is that any of those feelings are an actual autonomous entity with doership?
Or those are just feelings, nothing else?
Perfect. I asked this question to feelings throughout the day. And it is very clear that in experience they are just feelings, and nothing else.
Tell me how you experience a 'me'/self/myself (however you label it) at the moment.What aspects of your experience strike you as self-like?
Is there anything observable, that is you?
At the moment, the aspects of my experience that strike me as self-like are my hands typing, the feeling of looking through eyes in a head, the furrowing of a forehead, and the feeling of legs on the couch. When I observe closely though, the hands are looking & colours/shapes, the forehead and legs are just sensations, and the feeling of looking is sensations in the head plus seeing. As I write this, there was also a thought about whether this was correct or not. It felt like a self was thinking over the idea, until I saw the thought disappear and I realised it was fleeting.

I also took some time to investigate other people in the same way I've been investigating my-self. The same seems to apply. So if I look closely when I am seeing my partner, or friends, it is actually just shapes/colours. And when I hear their voices, it is just hearing. And when I think of them, it is actually just a fleeting thought. So actually I could not find any evidence for their selves either. This doesn't strike me as disturbing in any way, which surprises me.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:05 am

Hi Tom,
Aha. This made a lot of sense, and also makes it even clearer why and how to ask questions. The way I understand it then, is this: I notice a succession of many sensations or thoughts. When I notice them as fleeting, then it is simply changing raw data. When this data is believed to be the one making the data happen, then it is believe to be the doer. And when I investigate, the questions are targeted at determining if this data really is the doer.
Just notice what happens when you just stay with the feeling of doership, but without calling it anything.
Sit with this feeling, nothing special, a feeling like all the other feelings.
Sit for a moment with the feeling, purely as a feeling.
As it's a feeling, feel it. It has no name, nor needs one.

What happens when you just sit with this feeling of doership, but without naming it or calling it anything?
At the moment, the aspects of my experience that strike me as self-like are my hands typing, the feeling of looking through eyes in a head, the furrowing of a forehead, and the feeling of legs on the couch. When I observe closely though, the hands are looking & colours/shapes, the forehead and legs are just sensations, and the feeling of looking is sensations in the head plus seeing. As I write this, there was also a thought about whether this was correct or not. It felt like a self was thinking over the idea, until I saw the thought disappear and I realised it was fleeting.
OK. Just sit with these sensations too, but without calling them anything.
These are just feelings, sensations, nothing special, nothing more.

What happens when you just sit with them, only as sensations?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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