‘No doer of the deed is found...’

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Seamist
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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:58 pm

Hi Sara,
What's your sense of where you are at now? Do you feel ready to do the final questions?
Prabhakari

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River1
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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:44 pm

Hi Prabhakari,

I don’t know. And that suggests to me that I’m probably not ready for the questions, or perhaps that some expectations need to be cleared up. I feel like all I can do is share a bit more of my experience, and say a bit more about expectations, and ask what you think.

Over the last few days I’ve felt generally confused! I can’t quite ‘get a handle’ on what’s going on.
Yesterday I noticed strong feelings that seemed to arise from nothing in particular, and thoughts trying to figure it out, to pin it to this or that, but nothing held, there’s no story to hang it to that lasts - it’s kind of like the battery is running low and there isn’t much energy in the stories, and so I felt a stange sort of way where I wasn’t really able to ‘understand’ my experience.

I notice that I’m saying ‘I don’t know’ a lot, and I’m finding it difficult to get much clarity - my experience feels a bit ‘all over the place’, a bit messy or something. I feel sort of perplexed. I find it hard to concentrate, to meditate - I’m just sitting in front of my shrine with open arms.

And within this there are also moments of intense joy and ease and relief and clarity. Intense love and rushes of priti through my body.

In writing this, I get the sense that things are definitely shaken up, but there is still a bit of holding on to the thread of habit, a desire to ‘understand’ what’s happening, a bit of resistance.

I wonder what you make of this???

Sara x

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:11 pm

Bit of a shift since I emailed you earlier. I think it was helpful to write things down.
When I looked for who, what, was confused I realised I couldn’t find anything. Something relaxed, stopped trying to ‘make sense’ of experience. There was just experience. There is just experience. I feel a real sense of ease and clarity. There is no ‘me’ trying to make sense of it. It just is!

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:40 pm

So interesting! And a delight to read
Let's speak again tomorrow xxx

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Hi Sara
How are things with you today?
xx
Prabhakari

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:13 pm

Hi Prabhakari,
Things today are much as I described in my last message - feeling a sense of ease, openness, fluidity, and a lot of energy too. I'm quite simply enjoying.
Sara x

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:57 pm

Excellent! No need to do anything more at the moment xx

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:40 pm

I suggest that you give me an update sometime in the next week - whenever seems the right time for you xxx

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:18 pm

Hi Prabhakari,

Well.....

It has been an interesting week, sort of normal and yet different!

I’ve been quite attuned to the moments when ‘selfing’ seems most visceral - very much connected to craving and aversion. And also when there is a decision to be made. I notice the tension in my body, the thought stories. There is still a habit, but not a belief.

I think I’d like to look at the final questions - what do you think?

Sara x

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:42 pm

There is still a habit, but not a belief
- that's to be expected And that's the key difference: you no longer believe it
I think I’d like to look at the final questions - what do you think?
I agree and was about to suggest it!
I'll post them in the morning if that's ok.
Well done!

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:39 pm

Hi Sara,
Here they are!
Take your time and be sure to answer them from direct experience

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was
there ever?
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from
your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue?
Please report from the past few days.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen?
How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
6) Anything to add?

xx

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:47 pm

Thanks for these. I’ll take my time as you suggest - I have busy few days and a weekend away so it will be some time next week at earliest.
Sara x

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:18 pm

No rush at all

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby River1 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:51 pm

Hi Prabhakari,

Here we go!

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was
there ever?

I can find no separate entity 'self', 'me' or 'I' anywhere, at any point. There has never been a 'self'. No 'thing' exists that is separate from experience and that I identify with as 'me'.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from
your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.


The illusion of a separate self is an idea, a concept, that is overlain on experience. The illusion is based on a story, made of thoughts, that says that 'I' am a separate entity that is 'having' or 'doing' experience. I can notice, in my own experience, the process of a thought trying to claim experience – this is how the illusion starts and is maintained. Thought claims experience, 'owns' it as 'mine' – 'I' am writing on the computer, 'I' am tired, 'I' have decided that I will take a break in 5 minutes etc.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue?
Please report from the past few days.


It feels sort of simple and elegant. Experience feels richer, closer, cleaner. There is less 'stick', more fluidity, a greater sense of ease.
Over the last few days I have noticed that there is a more natural responsiveness happening – I find myself doing things in an easy, straightforward way that beforehand would likely have involved more tension, or had a 'build-up' of story around it. For example, I find myself getting on with tasks that I don't enjoy doing or have been putting off, without such a fuss! I notice that thought-stories are much less 'charged' – their gravity is not so strong. I feel much more present that before. I am noticing and appreciating things more – things that have been part of my life for a long time but that I don't pay much attention to – the beautiful patterns of wrinkles on people's faces, the way the blackbirds dip their heads and scurry across the garden. I feel lighter, looser, richer.


4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?

For me there were lots of small movements – it was a slow and gradual process and I don't recognize a definitive moment as the final 'shift'. There were moments of realizing that felt significant – for example, in seeing that awareness does not contain experience, that I cannot find anything separate from experience. Experience does not take place 'within' anything. And also in the explorations around choice – seeing that there isn't a point of choice in my experience, that no such thing as 'a decision' can be made.

I recall a few particular instances where a clear shift happened – for example, when I did the exercise imagining an apple centred in my head, then a canary, then a 'me' – this seemed to really drive home that the 'me' illusion is no more real than the imagined apple or bird.

Another shift occurred one day when I was out walking the dog, (feeling particularly tense with the effort of trying to understand, to see!) and suddenly the effort seemed to drop and I felt a huge physical release in my body, and the most intense experience of clarity and fluidity. This seemed to 'fade', but be a significant shift that was part of the conditions that allowed, with time, a more sort of 'steady' seeing to emerge – it became apparent that when I looked for the self I simply couldn't find anything, and the whole thing about looking for it didn't quite make sense anymore!

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen?
How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.


Decision, intention, free will, choice and control are ideas overlain on experience - something happens and thoughts say that 'I' did it – 'I' made a decision, 'I' made such and such happen. Nothing makes things happen – there is a flow of experience, a whole river of conditions in which there is constant change, constant 'happenings'. Our tendency is to then claim part of experience as something that 'I chose' to do, giving the illusion of control.
There is a flow of experience, and I can't claim any of it as 'mine' - therefore I can't take responsibility for it. But I can recognize that everything is based on conditions. For example, the other day I noticed the arising of negative thoughts about somebody – I recognized that the thoughts were part of the conditions that might give rise to more negative thoughts, or emotions, or actions, and at the same time I recognized that they did not 'belong' to me – I didn't choose them or make them happen. This too, illustrates that free-will is an idea – I can't choose my thoughts, I can't control my awareness. Sitting on the train yesterday I couldn't choose not to listen to the person talking very loudly, I couldn't choose not to smell the spilled beer on the floor, I couldn't choose to concentrate on what I was reading. Experience was happening, and I was not in control.
Recently, when I'm out walking, I find myself smiling as I go – watching the experience of walking, noticing that I cannot find a self that is choosing which direction to go, or how to move my body. Without effort, it happens.
Another example would be the experience of getting around to writing up an essay that I didn't feel much enthusiasm for! Over the last weeks I had 'decided' to get on with it – I had written it in my diary for a specific day, I had said to my mum 'this morning I'm going to go write that essay' – in short, I'd done all of the things that I would have considered making a decision to do it – and still it didn't happen. And then a few days ago I turned on the computer and found myself beginning the essay. So, 'I' did not choose when to write the essay. At some point, writing happened.

6) Anything to add?
I'd like to add a massive thank you – what a gift, so generously given.

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Re: ‘No doer of the deed is found...’

Postby Seamist » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:19 pm

That all looks good to me, Sara.
I'll re-read it tomorrow, and then run by the other guides. There are often questions at this stage, usually mostly of clarification, but will set what emerges. Xx


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