Ready to see

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sschulz
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Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Tue May 16, 2017 7:08 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
My understanding is that thoughts in combination with sensations and perceptions give the sense of a "me" interacting with objects but that there is no such "I' that is separate from experience.

What are you looking for at LU?
Looking for guidance to keep questioning and looking instead of adding to my intellectual understanding (have enough of that-perhaps too much). Hoping for a clearer more direct knowing-a felt knowing.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Looking for perceptive questions that uncover hidden beliefs. Also looking for encouragement to keep from slipping back into old ways of thinking and guidance on how to navigate through life -although I have a feeling this won't be necessary.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I am a student of Rupert Spira and am familiar Advaita Vedanta-both modern interpretations as well as the traditional teachings. I teach yoga and try to practice meditation regularly. I have had a handful of "glimpses" but seem to slip back into old ways of thinking. I definitely felt some "gate crashing" reading Liberation Unleashed. I would like to deepen this and continue!

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?:
11

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 1:02 pm

Hello

Welcome to LU. I would be happy to help you with your inquiry.

From reading your intro I gather you're quite familiar with the work we do here so my question is would you like to start from scratch or from a particular spot? For instance if you're already not identifying with the body or thoughts but you're stuck at the awareness level.
Let me know whichever is more helpful for you and we can get started.

Cheers!

Andrei

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 2:58 pm

Hello Andrei, thank you so much for your assistance. Perhaps it's not necessary to start at the very beginning -what I have realized from reading the book is that I never truly just looked. Every time I did self inquiry it is now clear I just gave a answer from the mind one- that I picked up from all my reading. That was a bit of a surprise and I see why now it didn't have much impact.
The questions from Liberation Unleashed just had a way getting me to look directly. Very clearly there were expectations and what I found was a bit anticlimactic and yet a relief at the same time. Not sure in my situation where the best place to start i would be perfectly willing to go back and review to solidify the seeing. Thank you so much!

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 3:30 pm

All right, then we'll just go with the flow, see how things unfold and if at anytime you find something unclear or which you'd like to spend some more time with it let me know.

What Im going to stress on right from the beginning because its of paramount importance to everything we do here is the technique of direct experience (aka direct pointing).

Looking is direct-experience - that which is, not that which you believe it is, or that which you think it is.
Direct experience uses SENSATIONS and SENSES (hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting). Everything else is interpretation and it's done by the mind - be it a conscious thought ("I like that object"), or a subtle thought like when you feel drawn towards an object without actually thinking it.

SENSES in DE mean only the original input. For example you hear a noise. That's DE. Next you interpret that noise as a car or whatever. That's not DE anymore, it's the mind doing it's interpretation.
Same with sight. You look ahead of you and see colours and shapes. When you start to name the colours and the objects you see, you've left the territory of DE and entered the mind.

SENSATIONS in DE, again, are the original input. You sense something in your arm. Then your mind interprets it as pleasant ("It was just a tickle") or unpleasant (pain).

In short, DE is sensation without interpretation

If you get the hang of DE you're all set to see through not only the illusion of the self but much more.

What I would like you to do is look in DE and tell me if there's a "self" to be found anywhere. Do a short scan through everything that makes the "you", be it thoughts, your body, your opinions, awareness, your choices, your destiny, anything. Whatever feels "personal" is a red flag.

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 3:53 pm

Yes, I have been practicing Direct experience for the last week or two. Excellent to start there because that was the breakthrough for me. So all that is experienced is sensations and thought. That's what is noticed when I just look -even when looking for "myself". I'm starting to see my body as just another object in space. I first noticed it driving with my hands on the car steering wheel. They didn't feel or seem like they were mine. That was cool- such a subtle shift and now sometimes when I speak I hear my voice and it sounds like someone else talking. Just another sensation but not mine. I can feel this is what LU is getting at, yes?

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 4:09 pm

I can feel this is what LU is getting at, yes?
It is indeed.

So, you said sensations are not "yours", what about thoughts?
Can you think and choose a thought?

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 4:41 pm

Yes. A bit more personal because they're private. But just looking at them closely they are just more objects. So easy to forget. It appears that thinking is happening on its own because thoughts just pop up. And thank goodness I'm not doing the thinking because some of the thoughts are, well, I can see the conditioning pretty clearly!

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 4:49 pm

In direct experience, can you find an “I” that experiences experience?

In other words, is there a watcher separate from the seen?

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 5:47 pm

After spending so much time witnessing, this really is the question that needs direct looking I would say. Ok, so looking directly at experience there is....just the experience itself- not an I that experiences the experience- but certainly a thought stream that comments on it (as i can see from my last post-
And slipped right into speaking from that pov)

Experience is itself awareness since they come together. And since there is no I that experiences that must mean awareness is even embedded in objects themselves since objects and the experience of them come together-too much of a jump right now?

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 7:24 pm

Experience is itself awareness since they come together.
Hmmm, I haven't looked at things from this perspective. I guess if you take the word experience from the perspective of somebody experiencing things and not just things happening then yes awareness and experience do come together :)

Anyway, the point was to see if there is anything in "you" that thinks "you" experience stuff and you don't seem to so it's all good.

Let's try another angle.
Is there a self that controls breathing, that walks, that does daily activities, or do they just happen?

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm

I guess I went there because beyond knowing that there is not a separate self I want a direct knowing that my identity is awareness itself. I'm feeling that when it gets solid that there is no separate self that will become clear. Sometimes you read that "this is all there is" or "look around, this is it" I never really got that until now. It seems that DE's emphasis is all about thing just happening. I get that and to focus on that has been very helpful. I will try to stay in this mode and simply answer your questions.

It does seem that there is someone intending and doing those things- unless I look. When I look I don't find a central controller- I only find "things" like thoughts, feelings and sensations- and more thoughts, feelings and sensations. It's curious that this couldn't be felt until now - this gives one a funny feeling. Like: What do i do with this information? Just another thought I know but there must be more depth to this seeing, its implications i mean.

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 8:22 pm

I guess I went there because beyond knowing that there is not a separate self I want a direct knowing that my identity is awareness itself.
Yeah, not so fast there :D

Are "you" awareness or awareness just is independent of any sort of "self" whatsoever?

This platform on which things happen, call it awareness, call it mind-screen, call it consciousness, etc. Is that a deeper level of the "self" or is it just another bodily function?

(I get a sick pleasure from crushing people`s beliefs! :D )
It's curious that this couldn't be felt until now - this gives one a funny feeling.
:) As you can start to notice, seeing through the illusion of the self is more like a change of perspective. Things themselves stay the same. It's how you look at them that changes.
What do i do with this information?
For now just relax and enjoy it. Go deep into it. Let it permeate your being and change how you look at the world.

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 8:53 pm

Are "you" awareness or awareness just is independent of any sort of "self" whatsoever?

Well....there is no separate self and yet there is awareness here. So this is interesting because I'm tempted to write: so i guess I am awareness. And then you will ask what I are you talking about. So maybe it should be said that there is awareness here. Not sure I interpreted your question as you intended.

This platform on which things happen, call it awareness, call it mind-screen, call it consciousness, etc. Is that a deeper level of the "self" or is it just another bodily function?
[/quote]

Hmmm, that is any interesting question. It can't be a bodily function because the body shows up in it. A deeper level of the self? What self are you talking about? The one that can't be found? Because that wouldn't make sense... Is that a trick question?

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Andrei
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Re: Ready to see

Postby Andrei » Sun May 28, 2017 9:31 pm

The reason why I ask about it is because in some cases there's a danger of stopping from identifying with the body or thoughts or whatnot but turning awareness into a state of mind and identifying with it instead. "I am not my thoughts. I am that which sees thoughts popping up." There can be a rather subtle identification going on there, but identification nevertheless, and any form of identification is the "self". The mind can be a very tricky thing.

However, from my experience any identification with anything should give birth to a conflict of some sort, because identification is mind and mind is conflict and conflict begets unhappiness, otherwise none of us would be here looking for a paradigm shift.

I myself was identifying with awareness, I was turning it into a state, so I had to look into it and find a way to deconstruct it until there was nothing left. But this was just my take and everybody is different.

If you want us to speak more about awareness we can but if you feel no such conflict there, no identification happening, then there is no problem and we can move on.

Let's talk about choices.
Take two objects/possibilities, of which you might ordinarily choose either e.g. coffee or tea, blue pen or black pen, salt and pepper, then sit and see if you can find the choice-point where you could go either way. Describe how choosing happens.

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sschulz
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Re: Ready to see

Postby sschulz » Sun May 28, 2017 10:01 pm

I think that same issue could be some of what is going on here. Now I can see that I have intellectualized so much of what I have learned and it wasn't helping to alleviate any suffering because there was still a separate self.

Going out to dinner with friends-a good opportunity to look for this choice point. Will respond later with my findings.

Thank you so much for going back and forth with me today. Very, very grateful for your time!


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