Emptiness

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Gerd
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Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:06 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I experience my"self" with a self. Some people say, that in fact there is no "self". In order to see or realize this, one method seams to be, that someone is guiding me through this process of seeing.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for guidance to see through my "self". Realizing, that there is no "self". Seeing, that there is no I. Loosing the illusion of a "self". Getting liberated from my mind. Realizing that life happens by itself.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to get liberated from myself. I hope to get more in contact with the true nature of life. Getting relieved from the thoughts in the mind. Not taking happenings too personal. Experiencing life as an impersonal process.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
30 years of interest in "spiritual" topics. 20 years of meditation practice. 5 years of reading, hearing (Youtube), retreats with the topic of non-duality.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
10

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:48 pm

Hi Gerd,

My name is Aragon, and I am happy to assist you in exploring the idea of the separate self. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate. Realising that the seeming independent finite separate self is illusory is not an intellectual understanding although it may be formulated in intellectual terms. Rather it is an experiential knowingness that is intimately your own and cannot be shaken or taken away.

At LU we are described as guides and not teachers as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises, questions and some dialogue.

Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings about the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been and with this realisation a shift in perception happens.

You can’t just sit and ponder what we are exploring, you must apply the ideas to your life; see them in action…actually do the work (practical application) every day, day in and day out.

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

Disclaimer:-

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:-

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/na ... f=4&t=660

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Also,

Please let me know the name you would like me to use to address you - your username, or something else?.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:28 pm

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.
Hi Aragon,
I confirm, that I read the Disclaimer, Terms & Conditions and in the FAQ's "Liberation Unleashed is not....".
Please let me know the name you would like me to use to address you - your username, or something else?.
It's good when You are using my username "Gerd".
Thank You!

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:06 am

Hi Gerd,

Thank you for reading the links, including the disclaimer; and learning how to use the quote function :)

Just so that we are clear, to have the realisation that there is no separate self, you must be 100% committed to seeing it. It can’t be a nice idea, an intellectual curiosity. You have got to pursue this as if you have no other choice. Check in and see if that is how committed you actually are.

Some housekeeping guidelines:-

1. Unless exercises given need several days to be accomplished; post at least every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know. If you wish to post every day, that too is okay!

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration. Be here with an open and curious mind.


Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word - it will save you time in the long run!


You said something of your expectations when you were asked the introductory questions for this forum, but in order for us to delve more deeply into this and so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration - ie what life will look like; what life will feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc. - please answer the 4 following questions in your own words:-

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

I will do my best to come back to you within 24 hours of your replying.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:41 pm

Hi, Aragon,
so I will keep my daily meditation 30' in the morning and 30' at night.
How will life change?
I don’t think my life will change. What will change is my experience of life. But I’m sure it’s not imagineable how this change of experience will be.
How will you change?
Maybe I don’t take life too serious. Maybe my experience of life will be more relaxed. Maybe I can accept life more as it is.
What will be different?
Life will be the same but my experience of life will be different.
What is missing?
I don’t know what’s missing but it’s for sure that there is something missing. I tried to fulfill the missing gap with “More” or “Different” but I’m clear that all I know or experienced so far cannot be this missing link. The reason why I’m in this Forum is to find/experience this missing link.

Thank you for your support.
Staying highly motivated,
Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:19 pm

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for your reply.
so I will keep my daily meditation 30' in the morning and 30' at night.

Just curious, what sort of meditation are you doing?


I don’t think my life will change. What will change is my experience of life. But I’m sure it’s not imaginable how this change of experience will be.
Maybe I don’t take life too serious. Maybe my experience of life will be more relaxed. Maybe I can accept life more as it is.
Life will be the same but my experience of life will be different.


All these answers seem fine. Your expectations are not too high or out of line with what happens when this is seen. In a way nothing much changes.

I am guessing you once believed in Santa? Do you remember finding out that he wasn't real. Didn't life go on pretty much the same? And would it be possible to re-believe in Santa again, after seeing through it in that way...?

So you are the same, and life is the same.... after all there never was this 'me' that you took to be true, why should life change if it is seen through.

And yet there is a difference. Perhaps as you say, life will be more relaxed. Perhaps life will be seen more as it is, without an overlay concerning 'me'. Perhaps the personal story will be seen through and the attempts to hold on because of that will fall away. People experience the shift differently and it is difficult to know how it will be for you. But if you are not looking for drama and 'extreme' expectations in the shift, then expectations shouldn't stand in your way.


What is missing?
I don’t know what’s missing but it’s for sure that there is something missing. I tried to fulfil the missing gap with “More” or “Different” but I’m clear that all I know or experienced so far cannot be this missing link. The reason why I’m in this Forum is to find/experience this missing link.

Could it be that there is nothing missing, in the sense that there is nothing to find? That the whole idea of there being something extra to experience or find created the problem in the first place? Could it be that it is the removal rather than the addition of something that is needed? Maybe you could consider that there is nothing to find or experience and all that needed is to see clearly, which is what this guiding is designed to do.

...........................................................................

So let’s start with the key components of having the realisation that there is no finite separate self. LOOKING and actual experience (AE)

LOOKING is just plain looking at what is here right now, in every moment. Actual experience (AE) is image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value.

The term ‘actual experience’ (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ without the thought stories. So, LOOKING’ is just plain looking at actual experience (AE) in the current moment.

It is no different to looking for your car keys in a drawer when you think you have misplaced them. You sift through the drawer looking at what you find, discarding anything that is not your car keys.

In this investigation, instead of looking for car keys, you are looking at you actual experience - the raw experience MINUS the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience.

The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no finite separate self.

So we are going to learn what actual experience is and what LOOKING entails.

I would like you to sit somewhere quiet and become aware of sounds. Close your eyes and just listen to the sounds for a few minutes. Really hear them.


Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? And make sure that the sound is something you will hear again, for the next phase of this exercise.


I look forward to hearing what you find.

Great that you are highly motivated,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:42 pm

Hi Aragon,
Just curious, what sort of meditation are you doing?
It’s a normal zen-meditation (Rinzai).
Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? And make sure that the sound is something you will hear again, for the next phase of this exercise.
So the sound is a car passing in front of the house.
I look forward to hearing what you find.
I experience short moments of AE (hearing) and then the mind comes in with big car, small car, loud car, too fast car and so on. It also occurred that in the moment of hearing (AE) there is a kind of nothingness.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:39 pm

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for your reply.
Just curious, what sort of meditation are you doing?
It’s a normal zen-meditation (Rinzai).

So some kind of noting, labelling, pure awareness?


Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? And make sure that the sound is something you will hear again, for the next phase of this exercise.
So the sound is a car passing in front of the house.
I experience short moments of AE (hearing) and then the mind comes in with big car, small car, loud car, too fast car and so on. It also occurred that in the moment of hearing (AE) there is a kind of nothingness.

Great that you are keen but let's not jump ahead....

Hearing is an interpretation. It is not AE. As I wrote in the previous post, actual experience (AE) is simply the raw experience of colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought.

So you heard the sound of a car passing.

With this in mind...I would like you to repeat the exercise and answering from your direct actual experience (AE) only (and not from thinking), tell me...

- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a car passing'?


I look forward to hearing what you find.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:51 pm

Hi Aragon,
- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
Ok. I see what you mean. There is only the sound and then the mind comes in and tells from experience that it’s a car. Actually just hearing the sound (AE) there is nothing which could be said about it.
- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a car passing'?
The experience itself is not in the space of words. In order to put it into words the mind has to come in and it becomes a description. The experience itself cannot be expressed.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:32 am

Hi Gerd,

Thank you for your reply.....
- How is it known that the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
- What is it that says the sound is 'the sound of a car passing'?
Ok. I see what you mean. There is only the sound and then the mind comes in and tells from experience that it’s a car. Actually just hearing the sound (AE) there is nothing which could be said about it.

Yes, there is initially only the sound. But something else then happens. Something IS 'said' about the sound. You say 'the mind comes in' but that again is an interpretation, a 'story' about what is happening.....

What is actually present in AE when 'the mind comes in'?

What is AE of 'the mind comes in?


Also,

Can you clarify what you mean when you say 'tells from experience that it is a car'?

How is it known that it is a car passing (and not someone outside with a ghetto blaster for example)?

Can a car be found in AE?


- What is the actual experience (AE) of 'the sound of a car passing'?
The experience itself is not in the space of words. In order to put it into words the mind has to come in and it becomes a description. The experience itself cannot be expressed.

For sure there is a story about what is happening, but is it really a description? What is actually present (AE) to describe?


Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:07 pm

Hi Aragon,
What is actually present in AE when 'the mind comes in'? What is AE of 'the mind comes in?
In AE is the experience of a sound (in this case a car) present. When the mind comes in it’s not an experience (like hearing, tasting, smelling…) any more, it’s thinking.
Can you clarify what you mean when you say 'tells from experience that it is a car'? How is it known that it is a car passing (and not someone outside with a ghetto blaster for example)?
Experience here means experience which was made before. For example seeing and hearing a car. So from that experience on the mind knows how a car sounds.
Can a car be found in AE?
No, in AE can only the sound be found. The mind is connecting the experience of the sound with the car.
For sure there is a story about what is happening, but is it really a description? What is actually present (AE) to describe?
Actually present is the AE of a sound and then the mind is connecting it to an older experience which fits into that AE and says this sounds like a car. So it’s not a description but more a remembering and comparing of older experiences.

Wish You a good weekend, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:07 pm

Hi Gerd,

Thank you for your reply.
What is actually present in AE when 'the mind comes in'? What is AE of 'the mind comes in?
In AE is the experience of a sound (in this case a car) present. When the mind comes in it’s not an experience (like hearing, tasting, smelling…) any more, it’s thinking.

In AE yes there is a sound. You say, 'in this case a car', but can that information be found in the the AE of sound alone?

.......

You say 'When mind comes in' is thinking. But can you find thinking in AE? Or do you just find AE of thought?

So, sound is AE, as is the face value of thought, however, the content of thought (what the thought is about) is just story. Thoughts either points to AE or it points to thoughts about thoughts.

Thought says sound was 'car passing'. The actual experience of this is sound + thoughts about 'car passing', but can 'car passing' actually be known as AE or is it simply the actual experience of thought?



Can you clarify what you mean when you say 'tells from experience that it is a car'? How is it known that it is a car passing (and not someone outside with a ghetto blaster for example)?
Experience here means experience which was made before. For example seeing and hearing a car. So from that experience on the mind knows how a car sounds.

Here again you are not answering from AE. You have a story about the mind knowing something.

What is the AE of 'mind'? Does the label 'mind' point to colour, smell, taste, sensation, sound or thought?



Can a car be found in AE?
No, in AE can only the sound be found. The mind is connecting the experience of the sound with the car.

Can 'The mind is connecting the experience of the sound with the car' be found in AE? Or is that just a story?

Is there a car in AE to connect to? Or is there simply a thought which is labelling the sound as a car?



For sure there is a story about what is happening, but is it really a description? What is actually present (AE) to describe?
Actually present is the AE of a sound and then the mind is connecting it to an older experience which fits into that AE and says this sounds like a car. So it’s not a description but more a remembering and comparing of older experiences.

And again, these are just ideas about what is happening. Can you find anything in AE when doing this exercise other than the sound and the thought?


Getting clear about AE is hugely important in this guiding. It really is the key that unlocks all doors. It can be frustrating at times but really is worth the effort.

Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:45 pm

Hi, Aragon,
so I'll try again!
Thought says sound was 'car passing'. The actual experience of this is sound + thoughts about 'car passing', but can 'car passing' actually be known as AE or is it simply the actual experience of thought?
As I understood is AE the experience of smelling, tasting, hearing…. A thought is not an experience, there is nothing to experience. It’s only to see what the thought tells.
What is the AE of 'mind'? Does the label 'mind' point to colour, smell, taste, sensation, sound or thought?
There is no AE of mind. The label mind points to thought.
Can 'The mind is connecting the experience of the sound with the car' be found in AE? Or is that just a story?
No, the connection cannot be found in AE. So it’s a story. But the only two things there are, are the experience and the sound (mind). I cannot find/see anything else.
Is there a car in AE to connect to? Or is there simply a thought which is labelling the sound as a car?
There is no car in AE. There is only the thought of labelling.
And again, these are just ideas about what is happening. Can you find anything in AE when doing this exercise other than the sound and the thought?
Ok., I see what you mean, there are just ideas about connections. There is only the sound and the thought.

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:39 am

Hi Gerd,

Thank you for your reply.

Thought says sound was 'car passing'. The actual experience of this is sound + thoughts about 'car passing', but can 'car passing' actually be known as AE or is it simply the actual experience of thought?
As I understood is AE the experience of smelling, tasting, hearing…. A thought is not an experience, there is nothing to experience. It’s only to see what the thought tells.

AE is simply the raw experience of colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought.

A thought is experienced. Are you really looking, or are you referring to your Buddhist knowledge?

Thought can appear as words (seen or heard), or as mental images.

Take some time to do this exercise. Sit quietly and let your eyes look around the room alighting on various objects.

Do you experience the naming of that object? Maybe a voice speaking in the head or something?

That is thought labelling (being experienced)......

Can you see that?

Next, think of a friend, or a place you used to live, or the president of the USA.

Do you see an image in the mind? That is thought as a mental image?

Do you still think there is nothing to be experienced?



What is the AE of 'mind'? Does the label 'mind' point to colour, smell, taste, sensation, sound or thought?
There is no AE of mind. The label mind points to thought.

Yes - A thought, in and of itself is like a container.
The content of a thought is what a thought is ABOUT

When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored - this is what is called actual experience of a thought.

So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction.

Do you see the difference?

Can 'The mind is connecting the experience of the sound with the car' be found in AE? Or is that just a story?
No, the connection cannot be found in AE. So it’s a story. But the only two things there are, are the experience and the sound (mind). I cannot find/see anything else.

How do you mean the 'experience'. The experience of what exactly? And why write (mind) after sound?

Where is the 'mind' located exactly?

Please describe in precise detail what this 'mind' looks like.


Is there a car in AE to connect to? Or is there simply a thought which is labelling the sound as a car?
There is no car in AE. There is only the thought of labelling.

Yes, there is simply the sound, and the thought labelling the sound as 'car passing'.....

And again, these are just ideas about what is happening. Can you find anything in AE when doing this exercise other than the sound and the thought?
Ok., I see what you mean, there are just ideas about connections. There is only the sound and the thought.

Yes, there is the sound, and maybe a thought, 'car passing' .... which maybe followed by another thought 'sounds like an old car', which may be followed by another thought 'the mind just came in'.....

But the meaning of the thoughts is story, not AE. In AE there is just sound + the Face Value of Thought.

Does that make sense?


Wishing you well,

Aragon
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:06 pm

Hi Aragon,
AE is simply the raw experience of colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought.
What is meant by “face value”? The dictionary says: apparent value. Is this correct?
Do you experience the naming of that object? Maybe a voice speaking in the head or something?
That is thought labelling (being experienced)......
Can you see that?
Yes, I can see the labelling.
Do you see an image in the mind? That is thought as a mental image?
Do you still think there is nothing to be experienced?
Yes, I can see the image in the mind. The experience of smelling, hearing…. is different from seeing the image. But I can call this seeing also an experience.
So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction.
Do you see the difference?
Yes, I can agree with this, there is a thought in reality but the content is fiction.
How do you mean the 'experience'. The experience of what exactly? And why write (mind) after sound?
Yes, this was not very precise, sorry: So, the only two things there are, are the experience of the sound and the mind telling it’s the sound of a car.
Where is the 'mind' located exactly?
I don’t know… somewhere where thinking happens… in the brain?
Please describe in precise detail what this 'mind' looks like.
As I cannot look at “mind”, like looking at a table or a house, I cannot describe it.
But the meaning of the thoughts is story, not AE. In AE there is just sound + the Face Value of Thought.
Does that make sense?
Yes, it does make sense. Just to clarify: with “the face value of thought” you mean the container of the thought?

Thank You, Gerd


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