Emptiness

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Gerd
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Gerd » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:29 pm

Hi Aragon,
Without thought saying so, how can it possibly be known that thoughts are appearing in sequence?
It can only be known with thoughts.
You may have Thought 1 which talks about marmalade. Thought 2 perhaps also talks about marmalade. But does it not require Thought 3 to say "Thought 1 and Thought 2 are linked?
Yes, I agree with this.
Can the link actually be found outside of the content of thought. What is the actual experience of the link other than a story in thought?
Yes, it’s just a story.
What does the thought "I am experiencing thought sequences" point to as AE?
It points to a fiction.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:53 am

Hi Gerd,

Yes, great.....

What does the thought "I am experiencing thought sequences" point to as AE?
It points to a fiction.

Yes, it points to thought :)


The following link is a 7 minute clip of a football/soccer game. If you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

This exercise is to help you see that narrator of the game is no different to the narrator labelled as ‘my thoughts’, and that the game played is no different to life unfolding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy5pL-myDzw

1. Watch for 2 minutes with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in and notice what the actual experience is.

2. Once the 2 minutes are up, watch for another 2 minutes with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (aka thought) offers lots of know-how and advice about what the players should or shouldn’t be doing and how they should be playing the game - as if thought can somehow influence what is going on - as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome. The commentary seems to heighten feelings, and calls for loyalty with one team or another, and expounds the importance of this choice, and further expounds the importance of the game and its outcome.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary. Just watch the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Just notice what is happening as actual experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know the commentator is talking about, (and ignore all of your own thoughts as well), and just notice the actual experience of sound.

Let me know how you felt when the sound was turned on.
Did you get caught up in the moment with the excitement of the crowd, and/or the excitement of the commentator and his commentary of the game?
How did you feel when the sound was off and there was no commentary at all.

Is the commentary on the football game a necessity for the play to happen?

And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?


Looking forward to your reply - 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 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:19 pm

Hi Aragon,
Let me know how you felt when the sound was turned on.
The sound/commentator was very dominant and in a way disturbing. And it was obvious, that the commentator cannot influence what was happening on the playground.
Did you get caught up in the moment with the excitement of the crowd, and/or the excitement of the commentator and his commentary of the game?
Yes, this is true too. In a way I got caught up with the excitement.
How did you feel when the sound was off and there was no commentary at all.
It was not so nervous, it was more relaxed. And on the other hand the experience of seeing was more intense. There was the experience, that everything was happening by itself.
Is the commentary on the football game a necessity for the play to happen?
No, there is no commentary necessary for the play.
And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
No, life is happening by itself. There is no narration of thoughts necessary.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:43 am

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, as you see, what is happening is just happening and no narrative is needed. But when that narrative arises about what is happening, it does create an emotional response and we can get drawn into the story as if the story itself is real. But again, when we see the narrative is just a narrative and not really what is happening, our experience of what's happening can change quite dramatically - maybe being much more relaxed and less nervous like you said.

In doing the observing of thoughts did you find a thinker of those thoughts? Can you find one now?

For the next day or so observe thoughts commentary as it arises. I want you to pretend that everything that your ‘mind' is saying,’ is being spoken out loud by a person following you around. So treat “the mind” as an external event; almost as a separate person.

Please take your time, and let me know how you go and what you noticed.

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 Sep 11, 2020 9:03 pm

Hi Aragon,
In doing the observing of thoughts did you find a thinker of those thoughts? Can you find one now?
No, I cannot find a thinker.
For the next day or so observe thoughts commentary as it arises. I want you to pretend that everything that your ‘mind' is saying,’ is being spoken out loud by a person following you around. So treat “the mind” as an external event; almost as a separate person.
When I’m doing something like walking on the road or preparing a meal, I don’t realize the narrator. The narrator is in a way hidden in the background. When I wake up like “I should listen to the narrator”, I sometimes get what topic the narrator was talking about (mainly mental images) but I don’t get what he was saying in detail. And the moment I get aware and want to listen what the narrator tells, the narrator stops talking.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:23 am

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for this....

The idea was to watch it over a couple of days and notice how the narrator narrates everything...just like you observed with the sports exercise. So you pretend the 'voice' speaking your thoughts is like the narrator of the football game..... just relax and kind of have a bit of fun with it..... we'll try this again, but first can we do this:

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

Here is a step-by-step description of how to observe and become aware of all thoughts.

The first thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close the eyes and just notice thoughts, be they words, mental images or snippets of music etc, but don’t engage with any of them. If you find yourself engaging with thoughts, just gently bring your attention to observing each thought.

When I ask you to look for the gap, the purpose of that looking is to slow thoughts down, as thoughts can be like a machine gun and fire a multitude of thoughts, one after the other and be very noisy, subtle, chaotic or calm. The objective of this exercise is to observe each and every thought as it arises and subsides.


1. Notice the current thought that is present.

Like when you are sitting with eyes closed and all that is seen is the ‘blackness behind the eyes”. A thought might arise “oh look, there is a red glow appearing in the darkness behind my eyes” or “it feels strange sitting here watching for thoughts” 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” – whatever thought is appearing.

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.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.


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 arises.


This is how to observe your thoughts:-

 Watch how each thought arises and subsides
 Watch and observe the gap (be it a short subtle gap or a long gap) between each thought
 Notice how the current thought is passing,
 And watch and wait for the next thought to arise/appear.


Again, take your time with this.... How did you go observing each thought as it arose and observing the gap between thoughts when sitting silently?


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 Sep 12, 2020 8:28 pm

Hi Aragon,

I will go on a bike tour from tomorrow morning on and will be back on tuesday night.
So I will do the exercise You were describing as often as I can during theses days and will tell You on Wednesday.

Thank You for Your support, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:09 am

Have a lovely time Gerd.. Thanks for letting me know.... Speak to you soon 🙏😀
... 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 Sep 16, 2020 8:01 pm

Hi Aragon,

back home again! We had a wonderful time and thanks god nobody got hurt.
Again, take your time with this.... How did you go observing each thought as it arose and observing the gap between thoughts when sitting silently?
At the beginning of the exercise there doesn’t seem to be a thought. But it takes a few moments until thoughts arise or are noticeable. Then the thoughts seem to be short and change quickly but after a while they slow down and stay a longer time. Sometimes there is a gap or at least seems to be gap. Sometimes I’m getting engaged with the thoughts but after a while ‘I wake up’ or get aware of the engagement and come back to the observation.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:53 am

Hi Gerd,

Glad you had a good time and came home safely :)

Thanks for your reply....

At the beginning of the exercise there doesn’t seem to be a thought. But it takes a few moments until thoughts arise or are noticeable. Then the thoughts seem to be short and change quickly but after a while they slow down and stay a longer time. Sometimes there is a gap or at least seems to be gap. Sometimes I’m getting engaged with the thoughts but after a while ‘I wake up’ or get aware of the engagement and come back to the observation.

I'm curious - is this new for you? Have you been aware of thoughts before - ever just observed them?


Often when we are aware of thoughts, we kind of unknowingly slip back into bring involved in them. For example:


Did you notice the thought that said "no thoughts are coming"?


So now that you can be aware of the thought 'speaking', let's go back to this exercise:


For the next day or so observe thoughts commentary as it arises. I want you to pretend that everything that your ‘mind' is saying,’ is being spoken out loud by a person following you around. So treat “the mind” as an external event; almost as a separate person.


So, to clarify, if the thought "I need a cup of tea" arises, rather than taking that as your thought, pretend it is being spoken by a third person (not you) - an external event.


Please take your time, and let me know how you go and what you noticed.


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 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:32 pm

Hi Aragon,
I'm curious - is this new for you? Have you been aware of thoughts before - ever just observed them?
In zenmeditation it’s about trying to be aware what is, to be present, trying not to be in your thoughts. But when you try to be aware a lot of thoughts are arising. So in a way it’s not new for me…. It’s just the other way around. So I was aware of thoughts before.
Did you notice the thought that said "no thoughts are coming"?
I was not aware of this thought but you are right I had this thought.
For the next day or so observe thoughts commentary as it arises. I want you to pretend that everything that your ‘mind' is saying,’ is being spoken out loud by a person following you around. So treat “the mind” as an external event; almost as a separate person.
This is very difficult for me! In daily life I’m usually engaged in my thoughts, meaning I’m not realizing what I’m thinking because I’m doing what I’m doing. When I realize that I’m engaged in my thoughts I’m getting into actual experience (so to say ‘I’m waking up’) and there are no thoughts. Sometimes it happens when ‘I wake up’ that I get the last topic I was thinking about but I don’t get the details. This is different when I sit in silence and have the possibility to watch the thoughts coming and going as I was describing yesterday.
So coming back to your example ‘cup of tea’: it’s clear to me that there has to be a thought like ‘I need a cup of tea’ before I go and prepare one but I have no chance to catch this thought.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:39 am

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for your answers.....

In zenmeditation it’s about trying to be aware what is, to be present, trying not to be in your thoughts. But when you try to be aware a lot of thoughts are arising. So in a way it’s not new for me…. It’s just the other way around. So I was aware of thoughts before.

Yes, I was a meditator - some 25 years! Even in meditation it can be that we are involved in thought without really realising it. Not sure how that is for you, but I began to realise this more and more as I went through this process myself.

Did you notice the thought that said "no thoughts are coming"?
I was not aware of this thought but you are right I had this thought.

They can appear to be quite sneaky like that ;)

This is very difficult for me! In daily life I’m usually engaged in my thoughts, meaning I’m not realizing what I’m thinking because I’m doing what I’m doing.

Yes, it can be more difficult when one is engaged in life as opposed to meditating, but still possible. Maybe you could simply set an intention to try to be more aware of thoughts (words and images) as you go through your day and see how that goes....

........

Okay, so we have become aware of what actual experience is, and how looking is done with AE. We have looked at how thoughts work. These are two important keys to the whole guiding, as you need to see what actually IS as opposed to what thought says IS. It is a given now that you know how to LOOK to see what IS and you are aware of how thought overlays AE with stories.

It’s important to implement exercises given into your daily life, not just so you can respond to your thread. Try to put the exercises into use throughout your day as you go about your day.

So let’s have a look at the idea of control, choice and decisions.

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

  • How is the movement controlled?
  • Does a thought control it?
  • Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
  • 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.
  • Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?


Please answer ALL the questions individually

I look forward to seeing 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 Sep 18, 2020 9:45 pm

Hi Aragon,
Not sure how that is for you, but I began to realise this more and more as I went through this process myself.
Yes, in the beginning, when I started sitting in silence it was really shocking for me how many thoughts there are, I usually don’t realize in daily life and that it’s impossible to control them.
Maybe you could simply set an intention to try to be more aware of thoughts (words and images) as you go through your day
I will keep on trying as good as I can :-)
How is the movement controlled?
This comes back to the example of the ‘cup of tea’. So there has to be a thought that is controlling the palm. But the thought cannot be controlled. The thought is just appearing.
Does a thought control it?
Yes, a thought is controlling it. But as I just said, the thought cannot be controlled.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
No ‘controller‘ can be located.
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.
There is a decision point for turning the hand but this decision point is just happening. It cannot be controlled or anticipated.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No, I cannot find a separate individual that is deciding to turn the palm.

Thank You, Gerd

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Aragon
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aragon » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:47 am

Hi Gerd,

Thanks for your answer.

How is the movement controlled?
This comes back to the example of the ‘cup of tea’. So there has to be a thought that is controlling the palm.

Look carefully here....

Is a thought controlling the palm? Or is there an assumption that thought is controlling the palm?

Is it possible for you to look without any pre-conceived ideas and just see what is happening?



Also, can you try this, when you are walking, or riding your bike.....

Do you need a series of thoughts to walk/cycle. Or does walking/cycling happen without thoughts?

Are thoughts actually the catalyst for actions?

If thoughts are about something else whilst walking/cycling, does walking/cycling cease?



Perhaps notice this, and then go back to looking at the hand.


Can you answer all the questions again. Write what you find, without trying to get the question right:

How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
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.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?



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 Sep 19, 2020 9:18 pm

Hi Aragon,
Is a thought controlling the palm? Or is there an assumption that thought is controlling the palm?
It’s very well possible that it’s an assumption. But when I turn the palm a thought seemingly says ‘do it now’ or ‘do it slowly’ or ‘fast’ and so on. It can be that the decision is not made through a thought and the thought claims it very quickly as its own decision. But then this happens so quickly that I cannot experience this!
Is it possible for you to look without any pre-conceived ideas and just see what is happening?
The answer refers to the answer before: I don’t get what’s really happening.
Do you need a series of thoughts to walk/cycle. Or does walking/cycling happen without thoughts?
Yes, walking/cycling is happening by itself. But what is happening when I speed up or stop? Is this also happening by itself or is thought involved?
Are thoughts actually the catalyst for actions?
I don’t know?
If thoughts are about something else whilst walking/cycling, does walking/cycling cease?
I agree that it’s happening by itself. But where come all the decisions from: fast, slow, left, right, stop….?

Thank you, Gerd


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