no self

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PauliePaul
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no self

Postby PauliePaul » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:00 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the notion of 'self' is an illusion, perhaps a construction. It is not useful and never has been.

What are you looking for at LU?
To see for myself if my answer to the last question is actually true. And to rid myself of thoughts and behaviours that are dependent upon there being a 'self'. To achieve clarity on this and to arrive at an 'awakening'

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Openness, honesty, patience, clarity, kindness, consideration, listening and no judgment - from myself and the guider. I would like the process to take as long as it takes - not to feel rushed or to move too slowly.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I am relatively new to meditation and Buddhism. For about a year and a half I have been participating in an Insight meditation group in the Terravada tradition. I would like more enquiry.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 9

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:52 am

Hi PauliePaul,

My name is Jadzia. Nice to meet you at LU. Shall I call you Paul?

I guess you already read the guidelines and disclaimer and had a look how quoting works?
If not, please do so.
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041
http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

We work with direct looking. Only that is considered real which can be experienced directly.
So always answer from your actual experience only, not from what you have read, heard, learned or known so far. Only from what you yourself can observe directly at the moment with your senses:.
smelling, tasting, hearing (sound), physical sensation, seeing (colour/image) and appearing thoughts.

For the time of our investigation it would be good to put aside all spiritual resources like books, teachings, philosophy ect. You'll have to see if the meditation you are just doing benefits the process or gets in the way, both is possible - you will just have to see.

Let’s try to post daily to keep up the momentum. If you cannot post, or need more time, let me know, I’ll do the same.

Take some time and have a look at possible expectations concerning this process and answer these questions.
What does seeing through the illusion mean to you?
How would you change and maybe your life?
What would you gain?
Is there something you wouldn’t like to loose?


Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:04 pm

Hello Jadzia,
It's nice to meet you too.
Yes, Paul is good.
I have read the guidelines and disclaimer but not something on how quoting works. The link you provided appears not to be working and I can't find the section on it on the site. Can you help please?

I should be able to post every day - there may be the odd day when I miss - but most of the time that should be fine.

I will do my best to work from my actual experience and not from written and other sources. I have quite a lot of experience of academic work, and therefore written and other sources of information, so that's why I say 'try my best'! But I will. And I will certainly refrain from reading any spiritual sources during the period of this investigation.

It's great to start with my expectations. Seeing through the illusion of self means, or could mean, a number of things to me:
freedom; understanding; clarity; truth; a letting go. Focussing upon my actual experience, it could mean some of my behaviour changing, potentially quite a lot. I could be less anxious. I could be more carefree. I could be less controlling. I could let go! It would be nice to find out that self does not exist.

I think that I could sleep better, be more relaxed and worry less. It is possible that I would see the world and everything in it in a clearer way. I might experience more clarity. I might gain a better life!

On the other hand, there is some fear. I have been around on earth for quite a while (63 years) and for what feels like most of that time I have 'had a self'! Or it feels like that. I obviously don't know what it might feel like losing this and the fear is that a huge void may appear. A big dark hole. At this present moment, this fear is not very great. I have been thinking about the LU process over the last few weeks and this fear has been around then quite a bit. But now we have started, it seems to have been put to one side a bit - hope that you understand what I mean by the latter. The fear is not my central concern. It is very much a secondary or even third or fourth consideration. My curiosity is dominating! I can't actually imagine, right now, losing anything as a result of this investigation.

I think that I've written all I want to for now - apart from telling you that I am not currently an academic.

Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:47 pm

Hi Paul,
The link you provided appears not to be working and I can't find the section on it on the site.
It is very easy:
Step one: select the text to quote.
Step two: press the "Quote" button above the text edit field.
The same procedure applies to all text editing functions.
so that's why I say 'try my best'!
That’s good enough for the beginning. ;-)

Most of your expectations are quite realistic.
Truth is: no one can really say what will change with gating, it is different for each and everyone. Quite often changes don’t come overnight. Gating can start a process of unraveling and sort of everything can happen. To stay is open very helpful.

You wrote freedom, this is a big word which can have so many meanings – what does it mean for you concerning gating?
On the other hand, there is some fear. I have been around on earth for quite a while (63 years) and for what feels like most of that time I have 'had a self'! Or it feels like that. I obviously don't know what it might feel like losing this and the fear is that a huge void may appear. A big dark hole.
Fear is pretty much normal in this kind of investigation.
Thing is - actually not much will change, life will happen and go on quite as it did before.
There won’t be a void. Why not?
Self is an illusion which exists but isn’t exactly what it appears to be.
We are talking here about the illusion of the separate self which seems to be the controller, thinker, doer or the one which chooses, which are about the strongest beliefs concerning the self.
Think of a fata morgana of a lake in the desert – Is there a lake? No. What’s there is nothing but flickering lights.
Can there be a void if an illusion is seen as one? Can something which wasn’t there in the first place be missed?

Whenever fear turns up during our time always say so – there are various ways of dealing with it. Even fear might not be exactly what you learned or think.

Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:57 pm

Hello Jadzia,
I thing I got the quoting thing:
Or maybe not...

'Freedom' for me as regards this investigation means losing some things: behaviours; thoughts; outlooks that have been with me for a long time but are not at all useful. Things to do with wanting to be in control, managing things very carefully and 'well', fretting about things going 'wrong' etc etc. It feels that seeing no self will make these things redundant.

And actually, it feels as if the process is already beginning - I have been thinking and feeling that I can see that I am not the 'master of my destiny'. Something else is happening that I am not in control of. If I look back upon my life, it looks like I made some very big decisions regarding education, relationships and career. But, I am beginning to question whether 'I' made these decisions. Was I responding to something else? Something within but not something I was aware of. It's interesting - it feels as if something is already beginning to happen!
The fear is definitely 'at bay' at the moment - not close at all. I am thinking about this investigation a lot at the moment and it seems to be the most important thing happening for me right now. But I will tell you straight away if it does show up.

I get the point about not missing something that was never there in the first place. But it does feel like a radical, and very exciting, step to take to actually directly see that it is not there.

Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:33 pm

Hi Paul,

For quoting just copy the text into your answer, mark it and click Quote – you will get there….
And actually, it feels as if the process is already beginning….
You open up and start to doubt beliefs that starts the process. Yes, it is radical and at the same time like coming home.
'Freedom' for me as regards this investigation means losing some things
Maybe not exactly loosing some things – but most certainly seeing them in a different way which can be freeing.

Let’s start with the basics of our work here:
We work with direct looking. Only that is considered real which can be experienced directly.
If you stop right now and have a look at everything you can experience, can you experience something different than colour/shape (seeing), sound (hearing), smells, taste, bodily sensations?
You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience (AE).
Does this sum it up?


Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:52 am

Hi Jadzia,
I did stop and look at everything I was experiencing at that moment and I did encounter thought. And I can see that thought has some independence from me. But, and this is the question that keeps coming back to me, during my life I decided to go to art college, then changed direction for particular reasons and studied politics and sociology. I then worked in universities for 20 years. I then decided to return to art and am now a full-time painter. While I can see that there were things outside of my volition that influenced some of these decisions, surely it was me, in the final instance, who actually made the decisions? I also made some other big decisions such as moving to London when I was 24. All of the decisions I refer to are very much outside of the culture that I grew up in. That is, they are big decisions that took me on paths that perhaps I wasn't expected to go on. And, I know that some of the decisions were in circumstances that were favourable to them being made and I might not have made them without these favourable circumstances. e.g. my decision to move to London was influenced by me being accepted on a course there and my girlfriend also being accepted on a course there. I didn't take up the course but the idea of living in London had been lodged in my thoughts and I liked the idea.

Overall, I am thinking - where is the self in all of this? Who made these decisions? Was it my 'self''? Or was something else involved?

Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:33 pm

Well, thoughts are catching …..
So catching obviously that you missed the questions. ;-)

If you stop right now and have a look at everything you can experience, can you experience something different than colour/shape (seeing), sound (hearing), smells, taste, bodily sensations?
You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience (AE).
Does this sum it up?


That what can be observed in actual experience (AE), in the moment, right now is real.
What about thoughts?
One can observe thoughts in AE – to some length – so thoughts noticed are real.
What about the content of thoughts – can the content be observed in AE? Is the content real?
What does this say about all the thoughts you had about decision?

Here a little experiment for you:
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?


Please answer each question individually.

Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:23 pm

Hello Jadzia,
Thank you for this and all I can say at the moment is 'Whoops'! My mistake.
I won't be able to do the observing and experiment until Monday so I will post to you then.
Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:38 pm

No problem, Paul, take your time and enjoy your weekend!

Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:41 pm

Hi Jadzia,
Something got cancelled this evening so I have some time.
So, I stopped and looked at the things I was experiencing.
You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience (AE).
Does this sum it up?
Thoughts seem to have a different quality to sensations. Sensations feel like passive observations. Thought seems active, fast-moving, uncontrollable and sometimes random.
What about the content of thoughts – can the content be observed in AE? Is the content real?
What does this say about all the thoughts you had about decision?
I don't know if the content of thoughts can be observed in AE. Certainly not in the same way as sensations. Thoughts seem to be mysterious sometimes. I can't tell where they are coming from. As regards my thoughts about decision, it seems very likely that all my thoughts that I described in my last post had lots of other factors or elements which contributed to the decision. I can state some of them - the context being conducive - which I stated before - plus the element of 'adventure' - making big changes to have new and different experiences. And it seems that it is possible that I was not 'in control' of all of these things. But I can't say anything about what was outside of 'my control' other than thinking about it makes me feel very excited!
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?
My first thought is that the actual movement is a reflexive action in response to your suggestion to do it. Then, I sometimes speeded up and slowed down, Don't know why I did that, Sometimes I focussed upon different parts of the hand. Again, can't say why.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
My first thought is you - because you initiated the process. You began it - how I did it is different to that though.
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.
It is a reflexive action. Not responding to thought. responding to your suggestion.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
I used the right hand. This could be because I am right handed. But I didn't make this decision consciously. I just did it.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No.

Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:37 pm

I am sorry, Paul, but you didn’t answer the question.
If you stop right now and have a look at everything you can experience, can you experience something different than colour/shape (seeing), sound (hearing), smells, taste, bodily sensations?
You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience (AE).
Does this sum it up?

Thoughts seem to have a different quality to sensations. Sensations feel like passive observations. Thought seems active, fast-moving, uncontrollable and sometimes random.
Allow me to be very strict here because these are the basics on which we work at LU.
You try to look through an illusion, right? How does one prove that something is non existent?
One can’t. One can only find out what is real or not.
That what we take in with our senses is real, it is there, it can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or felt.
Thoughts can be noticed as well, in the sense of “Hi, thought, here you are”.

The tool is looking at what can be experienced in the actual moment (actual experience).
So please have a look if you can experience something different than colour/shape (seeing), sound (hearing), smells, taste, bodily sensations.
Don’t follow a train of thoughts but observe and find out in an experiential way. Really search if there is another way of experiencing or not.

Lets get this clear first and then we go back to the experiment, ok?

Love,
Jadzia

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PauliePaul
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Re: no self

Postby PauliePaul » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:14 am

Hi Jadzia,
I don't understand this:


You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience(AE).
Does this sum it up?

What is the 'one' in the first sentence and I don't understand the second sentence at all. Does what sum what up?

Best & Love,
Paul

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

You will also notice thought, in the way that there is one in actual experience(AE).
Does this sum it up?
Ok, let me rephrase it.
In actual experience there is thought, too, in the way that you can notice thought.
A thought turns up and it goes, that is something which can be observed in AE.

Does this sum it up means:
One can experience smell, sound, taste, physical sensation and colour/form (seeing) in the actual experience by the senses, right now. That plus the noticing of thought happening is that all that can be experienced?

Check each bit and see if the written text sums possible experience up or is there more.

Very important: check by actually looking and not by thinking about it and tell me what you find.

Love,
Jadzia

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Jadzia
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Re: no self

Postby Jadzia » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Let me add an example to see what actual experience is, how is a cup of coffee experienced:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Break down you activities into the actual experience same way as in the example by labeling daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

Give me some examples and share what you find out when you do this.

Love,
Jadzia


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