no next

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:48 pm

Hi-

Sorry. I did the exercise on Friday night but forgot to post about this and the other questions. Will do now.
How do you know "this body" even exists, much less as "different" from some "4 other people and dog?" Did you actually see these "4 other people and dog?" Or was thought just arising about them? This is much like the famous Zen koan about a tree falling in the woods - without you to see them, are these people & dog anywhere to be found in Direct Experience?

There is an awareness of something labeled as "body" but no DE of a "body".
Just thoughts about the other people and dog. Definitely not DE of people and dog, just DE of thoughts.
Yes, there is awareness. Is this "awareness" some kind of "I" or "me?"
Just thoughts about "I" and "me". "Awareness" is also just a label. Cannot find anything discrete that is "awareness".
In "witnessing, observing, thinking about..." is there any "I" or "me" *doing* anything? Or is it all simply arising?
Nope. Still cannot find any of those. all simply arising, happening.
1) How many things do you find? Are there two things (hand and desk) or is there one thing – AE of sensation.
Just sensation. For some reason this was easy on Friday night and easy now. No problems with this.
2) Do you notice 'one thing feeling another thing'? Or is there just 'a sensation'?
Just sensation.
3) Do you find an 'I', a body, a hand 'feeling' . . . or is there just 'a sensation'?
Just sensation. Some thoughts arising about this, but they are irrelevant.
Look very carefully. Where does ‘feeling’ end and sensation begin? Can a dividing line between ‘feeling’ and sensation be found? Or is there just sensation?
Just sensation.
Can a ‘feeler’ ever be found in 'what is being felt' – AE of sensation?
Obvious now that there is just sensation and then thoughts arise including "I" thoughts. Awareness of sensation is all.
If that is all, and no INHERENT FEELER is found . . . would anything that is suggested as the feeler be other than a concept/idea/thought?
Clearer that there is just awareness of sensation, or more simply, just sensation. Then, "I" thought comes in and takes credit for being a "feeler".
What is found?
Just sensation and thoughts arising. For some reason, as was stated above, this seemed easy. Probably much easier than moving to a new place, I would imagine.

Steven

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:10 am

It feels lately that the sense of "no self" is deeper but the frequency of this realization is disappointingly infrequent on a daily basis.

Wondering, who is it that is disappointed? There is a sense of self at this moment. I notice that there are just thoughts but that feels a bit mechanical right now, to write that. Of course, there is just disappointment; there is no one to be disappointed. And the disappointment is not DE! Just thoughts. The seeing of that is happening now.

To look for the controller right now, seems more direct at this point. So much clearer that there is no controller at this moment as the typing and seeing and breathing and thinking is happening. Actions and perceptions are happening right now and then, a label/thought and sometimes an "I" thought.

So much lighter when realizing that there is nothing that needs to be changed as there is no "I" to change anything.

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Anastacia42
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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:23 pm

Good morning,

Yes, right on track. You're doing very good looking and noticing what is DE. Yes, much lighter.
Remembering the time when everything just dropped away years ago during a deep depression, and there was just love. Lost the sense of self; so really, not afraid to lose anything now, even if there was something to lose, which is yet to be found and won't be found.
Is there an expectation that this is what will happen again, and this time permanently?
Looking for that which thinks is acting to look for the self. Nothing found, just thoughts, sensations and perceptions. Realization that I am still taking the content of thoughts way too seriously. Re-read your recent post about "graffiti". Will continue to remember that thought "knows nothing whatsoever about reality".


Thought A says “I want my commentating thoughts to go away” or “I want these unpleasant thoughts to go away”.

Thought B says “I want thought A to go away”

When thought A is present, thought B has not yet arisen. Thought B arises and says “I wish thought A would go away”. Thought A has already gone! You can’t have two thoughts at the same time. It’s just another thought that says I want my commentating thoughts to go away.

Is the first thought aware of something which the other thoughts somehow don’t see? It seems that way, but when we look closely, what is found?

Looping happens but eventually will stop, but there is no time frame on that. The key is to look. A thought appears and is hooked into, and with that, the re-identification of a separate self appears. This then seems to give rise to increased body reactions and increased thoughts about those body reactions! It is this looping that builds momentum and the story of a ‘me’ comes, once again ‘alive’.

Yes, let's look more for a controller.

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 your direct 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.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?

Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?

Report what is found.

Moving, unpacking *shrug* It just gets done. ;)

Love,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Good afternoon,
Is there an expectation that this is what will happen again, and this time permanently?
Yes. You have addresses this before. Somehow, there is still a concept that there will be a dramatic shift with permanent loss of sense of identity. Realizing now that the example of old woman/young woman is more accurate.
Is the first thought aware of something which the other thoughts somehow don’t see? It seems that way, but when we look closely, what is found?
When one realizes that the content of thoughts is not direct experience, it is simple. No matter what order the thoughts arise or what they are commenting about, they are still not DE. It is important right now for "me" to focus on DE. Still seem to have thoughts then images arise due to the thoughts and around and around they go.
How is the movement controlled?
Not sure. Not a conscious process. I am not controlling it.
Does a thought control it?
No.
Can a "controller" of any description be located?
No, just thoughts theorizing about the brain, etc.
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.
Not sure how the decision is made and there is no decision point found.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
No idea.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No.

There is no controller but there is clearly a body doing this which I call "me" which is different from others. Do I still at some level think that there is a controller? Maybe, as most of the time, there is no feeling of peace when this realization starts to sink in. Sometimes, there is a lightness/freedom/happiness when the realization hits home and the gears turn without any effort. Just not sure why there is not more lightness.

Steven

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:49 am

Good evening,

Will repeat the exercise:
How is the movement controlled?
Absolutely not controlling it. Very strange.

Does a thought control it?
No. I would theorize that the brain is doing it and it is not in my awareness, but the DE is that it is just happening and I have know idea how it is controlled. The bizarre point is that everyone takes this for granted, that we control these simple bodily movements. The thought is that I must be deceiving myself, almost getting brainwashed by this website! It is as if I cannot believe it. Of course, I know it is the other way around and that our society has accepted this illusion...etc.
Can a "controller" of any description be located?
It seems that the organism is doing its own thing and there is intelligence to it. Still, there are thoughts that if I just look hard enough, I will find the controller. Who is the "I" that will find it? More looping now.
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.
No decision point. Thought takes credit for it-sometimes- after the fact.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
No idea.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No.


Steven

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Anastacia42
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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:15 am

Thank you. Oddly, I posted a reply before this last & it isn't here. Not sure what happened.

Trying again.

Is there an expectation that this is what will happen again, and this time permanently?
Yes. You have addresses this before. Somehow, there is still a concept that there will be a dramatic shift with permanent loss of sense of identity. Realizing now that the example of old woman/young woman is more accurate.
Right. That is my job to continue to address this every time it comes up.

What would it feel like not to be a separate self?

Is the first thought aware of something which the other thoughts somehow don’t see? It seems that way, but when we look closely, what is found?
Still seem to have thoughts then images arise due to the thoughts and around and around they go.

And how is it known that thoughts and images go hand in hand?

This is an assumption in cause and effect. There is no time, so there is no cause and effect. One thing does not follow another.

How is the movement controlled?
Not sure. Not a conscious process. I am not controlling it.
Yes! Not knowing is exactly it.

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.
Not sure how the decision is made and there is no decision point found.

“Decision” is just a label for a certain type of thought. However, there are not many different thoughts or types of thought. It is only content of thought that differs, and the content of thought is simply thoughts as well. But thoughts are simply thoughts.

So “decision” is content of a thought. Decision is a story. Even "decision point" is an oxymoron as decision implies something preceding something else and that can´t happen in when all there ever is, is the NOW..
There is no controller but there is clearly a body doing this which I call "me" which is different from others. Do I still at some level think that there is a controller? Maybe, as most of the time, there is no feeling of peace when this realization starts to sink in. Sometimes, there is a lightness/freedom/happiness when the realization hits home and the gears turn without any effort. Just not sure why there is not more lightness.

Here is an interesting exercise. Normally we believe that sensation is coming from sight - the object seen. In this example, the object being the ‘hand’.

1. Close the eyes and hold up one hand. Pay attention only to the felt sensations ‘of the hand’.

2. Open the eyes, and now observe the hand by looking only.

3. While looking at the hand, pay attention to the felt sensations.

Repeat 1 to 3 as many times as needed and investigate…

Normally we believe that the sensation is coming from the sight, the ‘object’ seen (hand).

But actually, is there any link between the sensation and the sight, meaning that the sensation is ‘coming from’ the sight (labelled as hand) or only thoughts and mental constructs link them?

Can you see that both the ‘visual sight’ and the sensation appear simultaneously but ‘separately’, meaning that none of them is coming from the other or contained by the other?

They just appear equally, ‘beside’ each other without any hierarchy or link between them?

You can repeat this with all of the body parts below, one-by-one.

- feet

- legs

- arms

- belly

- chest

- head (looking into the mirror)

Spend some time doing this and report back on what you found.

Please put aside all expectations. You are aware of your expectations, so put them to one side as a courtesy to yourself. There is no reason why! What exactly wants to know why? What actually cares why? You don’t look. You need to look each time a why question appears to see who is it exactly that wants to know. Can you find anyone when you actually look? You need to look each day, day in and day out…that is the key. Not wondering about questions that are not relevant. None of these are relevant.:

How? Implies cause.

Why? Implies meaning.

Where? Implies space

When? Implies time.

What? Implies thingness

None of them exist in Direct Experience. You can LOOK & see this for yourself.
The bizarre point is that everyone takes this for granted, that we control these simple bodily movements. The thought is that I must be deceiving myself, almost getting brainwashed by this website! It is as if I cannot believe it. Of course, I know it is the other way around and that our society has accepted this illusion...etc.
It feels bizarre. Yes. And yet, it is something you can clearly see if you only look.

Love,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:59 am

Hi Stacy,

Definitely appreciate the repetition. It seems that my expectations and conceptualizing without LOOKING still happen even though at some level, there is a realization that looking at DE only and looking for whether there is a self are what needs to happen again and again. I am really grateful for your patience and time!

Did the exercise several times.
What would it feel like not to be a separate self?
There is no separate self so would feel much like it does now, only with the realization that the separate self-thoughts are not correct, just like there is no "university". The illusion is seen through and life continues.
Normally we believe that the sensation is coming from the sight, the ‘object’ seen (hand).

But actually, is there any link between the sensation and the sight, meaning that the sensation is ‘coming from’ the sight (labelled as hand) or only thoughts and mental constructs link them?
Saw clearly after doing the exercise several times that sensation is completely separate from sight labelled as any of the body parts. The thoughts linked them. Will refrain from "why" or "how" but noticed that thought started to do that right now.
Please put aside all expectations. You are aware of your expectations, so put them to one side as a courtesy to yourself. There is no reason why! What exactly wants to know why? What actually cares why? You don’t look. You need to look each time a why question appears to see who is it exactly that wants to know. Can you find anyone when you actually look?
What exactly wants to know why? Looking for that now...just thoughts and more thoughts. Nothing behind the thoughts
What actually cares why? Looking again. Thoughts about "Steven" and memories of Steven as a child and what this body looks like. Thoughts about your post related to beliefs just being thoughts and memories just being thoughts in the NOW.

I still cannot find anyone when I actually look. The content of the "I" thought seems more believable than some other thoughts. For example, the thoughts seem to want to protect this organism and that organism is "me". However, no controller is found now but there is a process right now while looking in which there is something that wants to protect whatever is typing rather than wants to protect the monitor or keyboard. Excuse the grammar please, but difficult to communicate at times.

Will do the exercises again tomorrow.

Thanks!

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:19 am

Hi Stacy-
How? Implies cause.

Why? Implies meaning.

Where? Implies space

When? Implies time.

What? Implies thingness

None of them exist in Direct Experience. You can LOOK & see this for yourself.
Yes. Noticed that they are not in DE. Thought is required for those questions and content of thought is not DE.

Listening to music, typing, a bit of back discomfort...sensation with labels of "back" and "discomfort", bodily sensations with more labels.

Thoughts trying to label more and more things right now. Trying to find meaning. Looking for someone behind all of this that "wants to know why".
Can you find anyone when you actually look?
No. When I actually look at the body, there is no "me" that can be found. Thoughts cannot find it. None of the senses can find it. Someone asks "Why do I continue to look for the self. Waste of time. It is not there. Really. It can never be found?" Noticing the "why" question. Just another thought.

There is a clear understanding that the senses will never find an "I". But there is a belief that the sense of "I" is different from other things and that there is an "intuition" that it exists. Pure fantasy, but this thought continues to persist, which is frustrating. I know the correct things to write like: "Is there anything behind the frustration?" or "Is frustration direct experience?". No and No. Those answers are right. I know that with certainty. Still holding on to an irrational, religious belief that science/direct experience/rationality cannot find an "I" because it is different from everything else somehow but it still exists. All thoughts, I know. Sorry for the rambling.

Steven

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Anastacia42
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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:43 pm

Good morning, Steven,

You have been given many tools to see whether or not thought knows anything and yet you persist with the idea that thoughts know something.

What is the pay off for not investigating each thought as it arises to see if it is a valid thought or if it is just telling a story?

Do you actually check thoughts with the "blahblahblah" exercise I gave you? It doesn't seem so. If you did you would be seeing whether what thought is saying/pointing to is actual experience or just pure fantasy.
Thoughts trying to label more and more things right now. Trying to find meaning. Looking for someone behind all of this that "wants to know why".
Thoughts, which have not substance or capacity to know or do anything are "trying to label more things right now"? Really? That is like saying that a rock is trying to label more things now.

Don't just tell me you are looking to see if you find someone who "wants to know why"? I want you to look and tell me if you found someone!

Does sound want to know why?
Does color want to know why?
Does thought want to know why?
Does smell want to know why?
Does taste want to know why?
Does sensation want to know why?

Can you locate anything in sound, color, thought, smell, taste and sensation that wants to know why? It takes a minute to look.

Replace the thought "I still believe there is a me" with "blahblahblah" and what is there...what remains?

We are not going to get far unless you start to become aware of thoughts as simply an appearance. You have to start to become the observer of thoughts every day.

Here is a step-by-step description of another way to look at thoughts:

First, sit for at least 20 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day.

Close the eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them. If you find yourself following thought, just gently bring your attention to noticing each thought as it appears and then watching it pass and watching the next thought appear. Steps 1-6 are the key to this exercise, so notice thought very very carefully.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.

Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” 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” or any sorts of thoughts.

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 come in.

This is how to look at thoughts.

Looking how they come and go.

And observing the short gap between them.

Noticing how the current thought is passing.

And waiting for the next thought to come.

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

As usual, relax with this. You're not trying to make anything happen. It's already happening. You just need to wake up to it and observe it happening.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:07 pm

Stacy-
What is the pay off for not investigating each thought as it arises to see if it is a valid thought or if it is just telling a story?
I am not sure what the pay off is, but I am confused by something. Thoughts arise like "need to make a right turn" while driving or "I am cold". They seem important such as when driving or if I need to put on more clothes but don't refer directly to sensations. I think that I forgot about a meeting at work, because of being focused more on the present. Having a difficult time as the thoughts that do not directly relate to what is being seen, heard, tasted, etc. are necessary at times, but not sure what to do with them. I can't just say "blah blah blah" to those thoughts as I would not be able to function.
Do you actually check thoughts with the "blahblahblah" exercise I gave you?
Have been doing it for a few weeks. Has been very helpful except for the confusion noted above. Over 99% of the thoughts that are noticed do not refer to DE and most are not relevant to activities of daily living...random and not important thoughts, usually. Chatter. Noise.
Thoughts, which have not substance or capacity to know or do anything are "trying to label more things right now"? Really? That is like saying that a rock is trying to label more things now.
That is part of my confusion. There is more noticing when thoughts label things like "monitor", "typing", "music". I thought that is natural and what thoughts do sometimes.
Can you locate anything in sound, color, thought, smell, taste and sensation that wants to know why? It takes a minute to look.
Definitely not.
Replace the thought "I still believe there is a me" with "blahblahblah" and what is there...what remains?
Was trying to communicate that when I look over and over, there is never a self found. I write this because this is the experience, but not sure why there is no feeling of a shift, even subtle shift, right now. Maybe it has happened and I cannot tell, but not sure.

Worked on the exercise several times. It is clear that the thoughts come from "who knows where" and disappear into "no idea where". Clearly, there is no control over these thoughts.

A little sadness now. Not sure what is holding on to the idea that there is a self despite absolutely no evidence to support it. Not exactly a feeling of frustration right now, just tired of finding nothing over and over and over and over...feeling of stupidity or hopelessness about this.

Appreciate your tough love. Projecting onto you, that you are ready to give up. Hope not.

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:08 am

Hi Steven,

No, not ready to give up.
I can't just say "blah blah blah" to those thoughts as I would not be able to function.
How do you know? Have you tried? What if everything can just go on by itself without any thinking necessary on your part at all?

I don't see any responses about looking for the gap between thoughts. So I'll wait for some information about that and write to you probably tomorrow or the next day.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:22 pm

Rereading this and adding...

And have you noticed that it's been doing this all along?

If there is no controller, and no thinker, and content of thoughts is just something arising that has no meaning... then your entire life has been simply arising with you telling some story about doing and controlling and thinking.

Have you noticed?

LOOK!

These exercises point to noticing that in Direct Experience.

Love,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:09 pm

Hi Stacy-

Paying more attention to the gap in between thoughts.Watching now. Much clearer that the thoughts just arise and disappear like other objects. When watching, the frequency of thoughts decreases and the gap seems to increase. Kind of relaxing to do this.
And have you noticed that it's been doing this all along?

If there is no controller, and no thinker, and content of thoughts is just something arising that has no meaning... then your entire life has been simply arising with you telling some story about doing and controlling and thinking.

Have you noticed?
Read this at lunch and laughed. Read this again while pasting and laughed again...and again. Not funny but so obvious. Now, some sadness again. This is so tiring and it is a relief to see what is so true. There is no possible way that there is anything "in me" that is typing or thinking right now. There is just too much to do at one time. It is simply not possible. I ask myself, "can there be intermittent control?". Not finding that now or ever.

It is a story that I have been telling myself but not really me telling myself. I don't really care why, honestly, at this point. Just tired about sad right now. Not going to try to figure out why. Anger now. No idea why. Tears. Will stop writing as my tendency is to analyze, but don't want to do that right now. Not even going to proofread.

Steven

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Re: no next

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:17 pm

Good morning!
Read this at lunch and laughed. Read this again while pasting and laughed again...and again. Not funny but so obvious. Now, some sadness again. This is so tiring and it is a relief to see what is so true. There is no possible way that there is anything "in me" that is typing or thinking right now. There is just too much to do at one time. It is simply not possible. I ask myself, "can there be intermittent control?". Not finding that now or ever.

It is a story that I have been telling myself but not really me telling myself. I don't really care why, honestly, at this point. Just tired about sad right now. Not going to try to figure out why. Anger now. No idea why. Tears. Will stop writing as my tendency is to analyze, but don't want to do that right now. Not even going to proofread.
Yes, many emotions will bubble up and pass through. That is quite normal as we notice and let go of old beliefs. Went through this, also. Still do, sometimes, when seeing through something untrue that hasn't been released yet.

The tiredness is noticed when we stop holding, tightening, gripping, trying to control, etc. We notice how much effort we've put into trying to do things that can't actually be done, that are being done without any need for us to force or control or even think hard about them.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief may happen, and not necessarily in a linear way: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance. Denial *tends* to come first and Acceptance tends to come last. Just watch them go by.

There is a ton of work to do *after* seeing no self. In fact, it might be said that *most* of the work happens afterwards.

Seeing no self is truly only a beginning.

There is likely to be a feeling of disorientation, of no place to "land." The old ways don't work. The new ways aren't clear or familiar.

There is no "right" and no "wrong." It is all simply "what is."

From one of the recommended books on this site:

"An accurate ad for enlightenment would make the toughest marine blanche. There is no higher stakes game in this world or any other, in this dimension or any other.The price of truth is everything, but no one knows what everything means until they're paying it."

~ Jed McKenna
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damndest Thing

How are you doing with watching the gaps between thoughts?

Much love, as always,
~ Stacy

"In the Japanese monasteries they warn you not to come in."

Natalie Goldberg
"Thunder & Lightning"

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Steven257
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Re: no next

Postby Steven257 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:03 pm

Hi Stacy-
How are you doing with watching the gaps between thoughts?
Not so well today, for some reason. Feel calm today and will try again tonight. Whenever I look for the gap, there is just awareness of more thoughts.

Almost finished "Gateless Gatecrashers". Taking some time with it intentionally. One relevant observation involves the "witness". As I am trying to find the gap, the witness still feels like "me". I know there is just witnessing but this seems to be one of the last hideouts of the illusion of the separate self...as the witness. Suggestions?

Steven


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