Pushing Through

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sek
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Pushing Through

Postby sek » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:25 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the mind creates an abstraction to thoughts, sensations and feelings which creates the sense of the separate self.

What are you looking for at LU?
I would be most grateful for a person to help guide me and keep on track and push through to full awakening. I feel I have the basis of the understanding, but some aspects are sticking and not fully realized on the experiential level.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To help me reach the goal. I would hope to be open and find direct help and answers, techniques to any blocks or misunderstandings I may have. To be clear on what i need to do, to check on all aspects of my existence and rejection of the separate self.


What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Long term - mediator (mantra) and have had prior awakenings or transcendental experiences but keep going round in circles and not free from my feelings emotions and mind. I feel blessed that i have uncovered this path that 'I' believe will be true liberation.

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

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:49 am

Hi Sek,

I am happy to guide you. If you are happy to proceed post back and we can begin our conversation.

Best wishes

Amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:41 am

Hi Amrita,

Thank you, that would be great.

Best wishes

Steven

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:04 am

Great! This inquiry uses a method of directly looking at experience and to investigate what is experienced for any sign of a self or I until it is clearly seen there is no self anywhere to be found. Does that make sense?

If so, let's get started. Let's begin by looking at the difference between direct experience and what thought (thinking) says about what is experienced. Here is an opening question for you.

What is the difference between direct experience and thinking about experience? What can be experienced directly?

Please post back whenever you are ready and we can continue our conversation.

Best wishes

Amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:38 am

Hi Amrita,

OK, so I would say that direct experience’s would be: Hearing, Seeing, Touching, Sensing, Smelling and Tasting.. And that the difference between thinking about experience and it directly would be thoughts that add a label to the Sound – say Dog Barking as opposed to just hearing that sound as a noise, and so on with the others i.e. labelling of the experience as opposed to just pure experience of it.

Thank you.

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:46 am

Fantastic answer! Should I call you Steve or Sek?

In this inquiry we are "looking" or paying attention or taking awareness to the direct, immediate experience of the senses. The "pure" experience of the senses as you say. We will look at thought and thinking a bit later but for now here is an exercise to get you started with this.


Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:


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.

Practice that for a day or so and post back when you are ready.

love

amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:36 am

Hi Amrita,

Steven is good.

Regarding the exercise set…generally it has shown me that my experience to all those experiences are generally coloured by thoughts, feelings and emotions.

For most of the weekend I was running on automatic and trying at times to be aware of the direct experience, but for several reasons didn’t have the space to truly feel those experiences. Sometimes thought patterns or old thoughts and emotions, things about family, friends, me start to affect the overall experience so I feel limited to that moment and what my mind if telling me.

I found that waking in the morning my senses felt bit dulled until I washed or drunk coffee or after exercise that I felt a different more relaxed but felt that that feeling would be temporary i.e that the relaxation that is seemly caused by exercise will wear off.

I found it easiest to separate out sound…as with eye closed felt a bit meditative i.e could try to isolate the sound. Seeing think is the sense that has the most impact and try to fix on a direct experience without thought was difficult without any effort to block out thoughts.

I has a blocked nose and the feeling of not being able to breathe well felt like it was definitely me…I,e I thought in my mind…’I can’t breathe’…’I have blocked nose’…’ I don’t like having a blocked nose’ etc…

Tasting…well I enjoyed some food over the weekend but it came down to me…I want a piece of cake…enjoying the taste of it. Also at times feeling hungry which precipitated the need for food and then satisfying that emotion.
Touching was limited to times when say I held me daughter and hugged her. That felt real…that we were sharing a hug and there was an emotion attached to that. Or feeling hot as the weather has been…feeling that ‘ I feel hot and uncomfortable,

Interacting with my family allot of stuff happens automatically and at times I am rushing around with no time to effectively be present…just doing what needs to be done and ‘getting on with it’

Thank you

Steven

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:16 pm

Hi Steven,

It's great to notice how much of your "direct experience" of life is layered with thoughts, feelings and emotions. The key to seeing through the illusion of self is to really pay attention to what is directly experienced so lets try working with physical sensations.

Again take some time to explore the exercises and post back whn you are ready :)


If you close your eyes and look at the sensations in your body can you find any self or I within any of those sensations? Do these sensations belong to you or are there just sensations?

With your eyes closed touch something. Can you describe what the sensations are like? If you push against something with your hand can you experience your hand separately from the thing you are pushing against or are there just sensations? Is there a self or I anywhere to be found in the sensations?

As you go about your daily life, try closing your eyes at different times of day whilst engaging in different activities and pay attention to the sensations. Can you find a separate self anywhere within the experience of physical sensations?

Amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:51 am

Sitting yesterday…my mind was active and was abit distracted…but when I closed my eyes and started to try to find myself in the experience of touching an object, my mind seemed to quieten and felt meditative. I have found a silence when trying to find myself when touching an object with my eye closed.
I noticed after eating certain foods a bodily sensation might arise. And then my normal reaction might be pleasant or unpleasant which associates with me…or thoughts of like or dislike.. but if I take a step back I can know that the feeling or sensation is just that…independent from me. Its thought that tries to lump me in with the feeling.

What interesting if I try with eyes shut and without using my thinking mind, if I try to label the experience of touching a pen…its almost impossible to truly verbalise that feeling of touch.

Pushing against something as you suggested…as you say…I can feel something…but without mind filling in the description, it isn’t clear exactly what I am feeling apart from the sensation. I feel or maybe my mind wants to break free in that situation and become one with the sensation but feel that something is holding me back, or something it distracting me, or something in my mind is saying I am odd for sitting here doing this…or that if my wife came home and caught me she would think I am losing it – but I know this is the mind trying to take over and get back to normal business of controlling everything. Thoughts about what others think or what I am discovering and how to explain myself to others are constantly with me.

Am I right that we can’t focus on two sensations at once…that our awareness goes to one thing after the other…so sometimes we might experience different sensations but the most dominant one is the one that if experienced? However if I relax my attention and close my eyes, maybe I can feel a sort of pulsing in my body with tingly in my feet, but nor sure I experience them as one but as separate.

Thank you.

Steven

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:17 pm

Hi,

Its a great obsevation that
What interesting if I try with eyes shut and without using my thinking mind, if I try to label the experience of touching a pen…its almost impossible to truly verbalise that feeling of touch.
and I agree. It's very difficult to verbalise or translate sensations into thought. As much as possible try not to get up in conceptualisations of what is happening and simply pay attention to what is being experienced.

Lets try "looking" at sounds and hearing next.

If you close your eyes and become aware of sounds taking place around you, can you find a self that is listening or is there simply sound arising? Listen to sounds near and far. Is there a self or I that is listening or are sounds arising (within the field of awareness)? Can you say these sounds are arising "inside" or "outside" of you? Try to listen to the actual sound and not become caught up in labelling or thought stories about the sound.

Best wishes

Amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:17 am

Hi,

I cant try find a self when listening to sound…yes it just arises…but thought keeps making me feel that there is a self or trie’s to label or bring some kind of context too it. I felt that sounds are arising inside of me which is insightful and interesting considering in a physical world they do not originate there?

Thank you

Steven

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:01 am

Hi Steven,

As you say,
thought keeps making me feel that there is a self or trie’s to label or bring some kind of context too it
Let's look at thought and the thinking process next..

Lets look at thinking next

Sit quietly, relax, and watch one thought after the other come up. Look at each question for about 5 minutes. You don't need to do the exercise in one piece.

Do you bring thoughts? If so from where and how?
Do you send them away?
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
Can you know your next thought before it arises and stop it from arising if you don't like it?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Did any of these thoughts come on purpose?
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?

Good luck X

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:05 pm

Hi, sorry for long posts...Thank you Steven

Do you bring thoughts?
No…they seem to appear from nowhere…but then are thoughts or ideas about something practical…they feel like they are more purposeful or that they are being directed by my. So in that way yes I can bring them…or do they count as perceptions?
If so from where and how? Do you send them away?
I might try to send some thoughts away…previously through mediation…would focus on a mantra to make the current thought pattern dissolve and have a clear mind. In this way they are directed away. But think otherwise they go way at will. Some seem to linger for too long which is cause of suffering, making them or wanting them to go away…well that is the question…sometimes in prayer in a bad situation…might want the situation and thoughts to change i.e go away…in reality they only go way when we stop focusing on the content?
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it?
I like this…it takes me out of any thought pattern in my head…and feels like I am open but stuck inside…but also like something wants to shift inside me.
Otherwise, think it reality that isn’t the case…as I am writing this…the words are coming from inside me…and as I ponder what to write next, it feels asif the cogs are turning in me to develop the text…but maybe I just type without the need to be so focused on each word that is written and also question arises who do these words that have been written belong too..
Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought.
As I sit here…I can feel a kind of internal movement or pulsing…I can’t predict the next thought…but thoughts come by them self, so they feel like they are coming to me now? As I put the mind under scrutiny it seems to back off abit..like it doesn’t like the attention turned onto it?
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
– No I can see that I cannot plan on what to think before then, however sometimes I see myself scanning for something to trigger a thought or perceptions…i.e look at a bill on the table that I need to pay or look at emails…to try to stay ontop of practical matters which bring there own thoughts with them…so that feels like I am planning on thinking those thoughts or being involved with them and then that doing becomes my being kind of thing?
Can you know your next thought before it arises and stop it from arising if you don't like it?
It feels like I am liable for my thought…i.e I feel a guilt if I think something not nice about someone…and wish I didn’t think it as it makes me feel bad and then starts a chain of other thoughts associated with it.
I used to use a mantra and breathe with eyes open or closed to not pay attention to thoughts and move them away – in this respect I guess I cannot stop them arising…just either pay or not pay attention to them?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
I want to have a coffee is a thought about having a drink…I can control whether I act on that or not? But these thought itself might emerge If I am feeling thirsty or tired. If I think or perceive something about myself…say I need to loose some weight…I might try to counter it with other thoughts to lessen the impact of the initial thought perception. In that way I can control the impact but the thought comes from a side of that judges my phycail appearance and from social conditioning? Are urges considered thoughts…i.e I want to eat a piece of that cake…I can control the urge but not the original thought…
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Currently thoughts seem to influence they way I feel and act in my life…but a nice thought about something and similar a not nice thought make me feel a certain way, depending on other circumstances…the worst thoughts are those that I cant seem to understand or the language feels muted…a stuck position. However this exercise has make me feel more aligned with my thoughts in terms of looking at each arising and judging it on its merits…but maybe I don’t need to consider thoughts at all or how do I differentiate useful or not useful thinking?
Did any of these thoughts come on purpose?
I something feel that thoughts to solve problems or work and practical matters come from paying attention to that thing and then the right thoughts emerge and it’s a process of filtering and deciding on action. I sometimes feel a thought my come to make me feel bad and that sometimes negative thoughts are accompanied by the image or voice of a person that I do not feel comfortable with for any reason i.e they are condemning me or similar. I cannot say if they come on purpose and sometimes it feels like a though is there to help me learn or evolve…as part of my life that has my best intentions in heart opposed to other thoughts that doesn’t…
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
It feels real – think when I am too much in a hurry/busy, no time to think and be i.e. I don’t have the distance between myself and the thought…they feel real that they are inside me…but they cause anxiety. And churning on other thoughts…sometimes in the past I have had feelings and thoughts about someone or something that have proved to be right…sometimes wrong…but the thoughts were there (as understood by me) as a safe guard for myself and situation. I guess there are lots of other thoughts that never come true – but question is which to listen too…?
Also if I am speaking to someone…I hate the feeling of having to go along with there way of speaking…i.e people bringing you into there reality of life…or group think, banter chit chat…kind of thing…people think your rude or other if you don’t act all false..

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amrita
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby amrita » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:18 pm

Hi Steven,

it's clear from your answers that some thoughts are certainly more helpful than other types of thoughts but what is a thought?

Is it words in your head, if so do you "see" the words as if they were on a screen? or do you hear the words, like a voice in your head? If so, is the voice that is speaking you or is the person being spoken to (the one that is listening) you?

Do you think in pictures? if so, are they static images or are there move clips playing?

Now, you have looked a bit at your thinking process can you describe how you think to me? Not the content but the form of the thought e.g. pictures and words? What are the building blocks of the mental representations we call thought in direct experience?

Last question for now, what is the relationship between the thought (mental representation) of something and the thing itself? For example, what is the difference between a thought about an apple and an actual, material apple?

Love

Amrita

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sek
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Re: Pushing Through

Postby sek » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:18 pm

If so, is the voice that is speaking you or is the person being spoken to (the one that is listening) you?

I would say that I am sometimes the person that is being Spoken too as in listening and sometimes the person speaking and this can depend on…not sure. I really like this…as when you understand it, its seems ludicrous that I should be talking to I, but, that is what is happening…a kind of fusion of the two in a never ending chat.

In terms of thinking, its hearing words (not written) but also images and movie clips if I try to direct my thought to something past or future.

The difference between the initial thought of an apple and an actual apple is the thought is a blurry image type thing in me that isn’t really clear and hasn’t much detail, cant really describe it from the thought of it as its too vague, but could only describe it from memory using words. where as the material apple holds all the real detail that can be experienced directly by me. its surprising how hard it is to really know your own thoughts…feels like just trying to recall what you just thought has gone…and not always sure how the message was received i.e in picture or words.

I find sometimes getting caught up in other peoples thought patterns and/or that my own self is blocked by having to act and think in a certain way to fit in.

Thank you, Steven


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