It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

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Odethai
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It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:07 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I have "seen" it several times before in the previous 2 years. But it slips away. I wish to be done with the slippery nature of this and to be done altogether with seeking.

To clearly answer, I saw that there is no one in here...just vast emptiness, no-thing, no one, and a relaxation like I've never felt in this life.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for help anchoring this knowing so that it no longer slips away. I would like to live daily life from this knowing Experientially, not just as a memory of something I saw once. To go about my day to day life and tasks and relationships with this "seeing", this knowing.

I'm looking for peace in daily living... the end of seeking; the end of slipping; completion of my awakening, coming home -- and staying home ;)

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I don't know what to expect. I hope a guide might have better questions than the ones I'm asking myself. I hope I can describe where/when I feel stuck and they can help disentangle me. It'd be nice to find someone who understands where I am on the path and gently assists me. I was meeting with an awakened woman last year but her manner was uncompassionate and the result was an ego (here) that dug in even deeper. Embarrassing but true. I'd like a guide with a gentler manner than hers.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
1) is it true? (Beliefs, judgments, etc) 2 years +
2) physical pointing - recently
3) non-doership satsangs on YouTube by Roger Castillo -- 1 year off and on...
4) Sara Brach's ego relaxation techniques YouTube - emotional work, and more
5)accepting what is (practice) -- I've been at this one for a few years but was missing the point until a few months ago.

There may be more but these are what's coming to mind.

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

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:14 am

Hi Odethai,


My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

You and I will simply have a conversation, but this process is essentially an extension of your own inquiry. It is 'guided' so that specific areas may be examined.

I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660


Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.


How can I call you?



Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:30 pm

Hi Vivien,
Thank you for offering to work with me. I've read everything you sent, watched the video and I'm happy to agree.

Please have a heads-up that I simply may not be able to log on every day, but I will do my best. There are days when I don't have a wifi connection. Also, I will be traveling to Portugal on business from May 21 - Jun 21, so we'll need to be mindful of the time difference, and I will be working from a location that is rarely has wifi. I can explain if needed. I will do the best I can during that time to connect, but I just want you to know in advance that if it's anything like my trip last year, I may be challenged.

How will life change?
Truth? I don't know.
My guess is that life won't change -- life will keep "life-ing".
How will you change?
Truth again? I don't know.
I have friends who are "awakened" and they appear to lack empathy and have low tolerance for those of us not yet "awakened." I am concerned that I will become like this…especially to my sister who has been a loving, accepting, supportive presence and best friend in my life.

But there are teachers, Tara Brach is one example, Miranda MacPherson is another, who appear to be very empathetic and/or compassionate. Mind you, I don't know them personally.

If it's anything like the glimpses I've caught of what we are, I will likely relax even more and have more peace in daily living. I can only say this because it's what has already happened here from healing and "seeing" what I've seen. So maybe that peace and relaxation will go even deeper, but even this I can't say for sure.
What will be different?
I don't know.
What is missing?
Knowing the seeking and integration is done.
How can I call you?
Can I private-message you my contact information via your email address or send it through your website?



Thank you again and I look forward to your guidance :]

Odethai

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:58 am

Hi Odethai,
Please have a heads-up that I simply may not be able to log on every day, but I will do my best. There are days when I don't have a wifi connection.
Thank you for letting me know.
Can I private-message you my contact information via your email address or send it through your website?
I’ve got your messages. I don’t have to call you on your real name if you don’t feel comfortable doing it in a public forum. I can call you Odethai, if it’s OK with you.
I have friends who are "awakened" and they appear to lack empathy and have low tolerance for those of us not yet "awakened." I am concerned that I will become like this…
But there are teachers, Tara Brach is one example, Miranda MacPherson is another, who appear to be very empathetic and/or compassionate. Mind you, I don't know them personally.
There are lots of misunderstanding about awakening out there. In Buddhism, they describe the process of awakening in four stages. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage, called Arahantship. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

So there might be some people label themselves as ‘awakened’, but more often than not, it doesn’t mean the final stage. Awakening is a process. So if someone lack empathy and have low tolerance it means that the illusion of the self is still active for them. Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
If it's anything like the glimpses I've caught of what we are, I will likely relax even more and have more peace in daily living. I can only say this because it's what has already happened here from healing and "seeing" what I've seen. So maybe that peace and relaxation will go even deeper, but even this I can't say for sure.
This might or might not happen. It depends on the intensity of triggers and traumas. But usually seeing no-self potentially could bring more peace and relaxation, but it doesn’t mean that agitation or suffering will never arise again.
V: What is missing?
L: Knowing the seeking and integration is done.
The seeking for the self could be done, but it doesn’t mean the sense of self will never arise again.

What do you mean by ‘integration is done’? – no self-referencing thoughts ever again? Or no all personal traumas being healed? Or what exactly?

Before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?

So, what we are going to do is that I’ll give you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

So, the first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:47 pm

Hi Vivien,

I would just like to see how this goes before using my real name or posting my real contact info on an open forum.

I didn't know about the 4 stages of awakening -- thank you for that. It makes some sense out of some of the "I'm more awakened than you" conflicts I read in the comments sections of the youtube videos I watch.
What do you mean by ‘integration is done’? – no self-referencing thoughts ever again? Or no all personal traumas being healed? Or what exactly?
What I'm referring to is that I've seen that there's no one here, and it was like, "OH, of course…there really is no one here, just like all the teachers say -- no structure, no past/future, no needs or desires or regrets…no one, nothing." And relaxation is an insufficient description, but it's the closest word I can use to describe what accompanied this realization, this seeing. And then the next day, I couldn't access it. I knew what I saw, but I couldn't See it the next day. I couldn't live from that knowing. It's a memory. I thought my seeking was over that night, and the next day there I was again, seeking…to "see" that void again.
Once in awhile I can see it again for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it's been very fleeting, very slippery. By "integration is done," I mean that this is no longer fleeting or slippery or just a memory of something I saw once. I mean that when I live from this seeing, and not from the fictional character the majority of the time (as opposed to now, living from the fictional character so much of the time)…this is what I mean by integrating. I guess I could've just said, I mean the later of the 4 stages you mentioned. :]

Maybe what I saw and experienced was not "It." If that's the case, I'm okay with that and let's get started moving me toward what "It" really is.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
Yes, when you mentioned that you guys guide people to just the first stage…I was hoping to go further. But I'm here to see if this can help me, so I'd like to continue anyway.
Other than that, no resistance.
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, in THIS moment, despite that I saw no one is here a few weeks ago, I have to be honest, I experience me, a person sitting here, typing these words to you. (see what I mean? check back in an hour or tomorrow and I'll have to say I don't believe I am a person, etc.)
What does the word "I" point to?
Me, this awareness that sees out of these eyes. Well, if I imagine a finger pointing to this "I" I could say it's pointing to nothing.
What makes this body 'yours'?
Wow. This question made things kind of screwy. I would've said "that no other consciousness is experiencing through this body." But that brought up the One Consciousness…that there's only ONE here appearing as many. hmm...

I guess the best way I can answer this today is to say that "I" wake up each day through/with this body…"I" don't wake up each day through/with your body or Donald Trump's body so it could be said this is my body. When this body has pain, it's experienced here, within this awareness, not there within yours. But I'm still being teased by the "One consciousness, One awareness" thing. ugh. help.
What makes this body "you"?
I don't feel this body is ME, it feels like it's mine, but not ME.

by the time I got through these questions, I feel very expansive and like there's no way I am a person sitting in a chair…that I'm everywhere, non local.
It's not my intention to confuse matters, nor to give you a play-by-play of every shift and whim. Just felt like I should mention it.
This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening.
I re-read your instructions, and I have to confess that I did take time to think about these answers above.
The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.
I am not this body.
I don't have control over this body...if I did, pain would never come, I would be as slender as I like :] I wouldn't age, etc.
I don't preform these functions, they happen.
The body was born and will die...I don't know what happens to this consciousness.


A little logistical question -- when I was using the quote thing, on the first 3 or 4 questions you sent me it was putting them in double quotes. I was editing them to single

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:59 am

Hi Odethai,
I would just like to see how this goes before using my real name or posting my real contact info on an open forum.
I think there’s been some misunderstanding. We will do our conversation only in this thread, so there is no need at all to share any of your personal information (like Skype name, etc). I only wanted to ask for a name to address you. But it’s totally fine with me to address you as ‘Odethai’. We don’t need to change that. I hope this helps.
A little logistical question -- when I was using the quote thing, on the first 3 or 4 questions you sent me it was putting them in double quotes. I was editing them to single
I only use double quotes when I want to quote both my question and your answer to it. Otherwise, I use only single quotation too. How you did it is all right. Only your last quote went off a bit, but I could read it. You can preview how the page would look before submitting it. There is a preview button next to the submit button.
What I'm referring to is that I've seen that there's no one here, and it was like, "OH, of course…there really is no one here, just like all the teachers say -- no structure, no past/future, no needs or desires or regrets…no one, nothing."
OK. Let’s address these one-by-one.

“No structure” – the structure of the psyche, or the structure of the personality doesn’t have to vanish. Actually, if it would happen we wouldn’t be able to function as humans. It’s enough to see that these structures are nothing else than structures, and they don’t belong to or are about a separate entity. The freedom is coming from seeing this, not by abolishing it.

“No past and future” – I’m not sure how clear is for you what past and future really are. But we will investigate it later. The notion of past and future are not problematic by themselves, since they are nothing else than thoughts appearing right here, right now. So they don’t have to stop appearing. The ‘problem’ comes when these mental constructs are taken as reality on behalf of a separate self. So freedom comes when the identification of these notions is seen through. But they don’t have to stop appearing. We need them to function in the world.

“No needs or desires or regrets” – All of these arise on behalf of the self. After seeing no self they still arise as the result of life-long conditionings, but when they looked at closely, it can be seen that there is nothing (no entity) behind them, so their grasps can lessen a bit with each looking. But it needs lots and lots of looking to decondition these deeply ingrained habits. But again, they are not problematic by themselves. Only when they are taken seriously and not seen for what they really are.

“No one, nothing” – the sense of self also not problematic by itself. Since it’s nothing else than bodily sensations. Only the identification of these sensations creates suffering. So these sensations don’t have to disappear, and they won’t, since they are part of the experience, and they are needed for the survival of the organism. It’s enough to see that these sensations are not ‘me’, or not the location of awareness.
And relaxation is an insufficient description, but it's the closest word I can use to describe what accompanied this realization, this seeing. And then the next day, I couldn't access it. I knew what I saw, but I couldn't See it the next day. I couldn't live from that knowing. It's a memory. I thought my seeking was over that night, and the next day there I was again, seeking…to "see" that void again.
It seems that you had a peak experience, which can come and go. We’re not after having certain experiences over others (although they can happen), but rather clearly seeing the fiction of the self. It does not involve having any special experiences, but rather a deep knowing which coming from seeing it clearly. It’s important to not attach these kind of peak experiences, because they are impermanent. And although they can be pleasant, they are coming and going.
Once in awhile I can see it again for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it's been very fleeting, very slippery. By "integration is done," I mean that this is no longer fleeting or slippery or just a memory of something I saw once.
We can go through the whole process to see if there is some remnant of believing in an inherently existing self.
Yes, when you mentioned that you guys guide people to just the first stage…I was hoping to go further. But I'm here to see if this can help me, so I'd like to continue anyway.
It’s relatively easy to guide to seeing no self, which is the first step of awakening. However, as someone goes deeper it gets harder and harder to point there, since those are beyond words, so cannot be effectively described. Furthermore, to get to the final stage can take years, and it’s rare compare to seeing no self. The reason for this is because it requires lots of work. And not just on work on the sense of self, but on psychological issues, triggers and traumas that hold us back (what I mentioned before). But I personally have been working a lot on the ‘sense of self’ itself, how the process of the illusion is created, and although it’s outside of the scope of the usual investigations in this forum, I can give you some pointers how to help break these habits of self-clinging A BIT faster and easer. But still, this is a work you have to do for yourself, and it takes lots of time to decondition the deepest habits of the human mind.

But let’s look at this differently. There is a more important question to ask:

Who is it exactly, who wants to have no structures?
Who is it, who wants no past or future?
What is it exactly that wants for needs and desires to stop appearing?
What wants to become ‘no one, nothing’?

Please look carefully and thoroughly when answering these questions.
Me, this awareness that sees out of these eyes.
This is a subtle form of identification: “I am awareness”. And this me-awareness has a physical location somewhere in the head. This awareness also can do things, like looking out the eyes. But is this really the case?

How is it known exactly, that the ‘I’ is equal to awareness?
Wow. This question made things kind of screwy. I would've said "that no other consciousness is experiencing through this body." But that brought up the One Consciousness…that there's only ONE here appearing as many. hmm...
Again, there is an identification with ‘One Consciousness’. I know, it’s a popular notion in Advaita circles, but let’s examine this a bit. I’d like to look it for yourself, and not just simply adopt what others might say.

What is the actual experience that there is “One Consciousness”?
What is the actual experience that there is a consciousness located in Odethai’s head, and that the same consciousness is located in Vivien’s head?
How is this known exactly, that those supposedly located consciusnesses are the same?
How is it known exactly, that consciousness is located anywhere?


We will investigate consciousness / awareness thoroughly later.
I guess the best way I can answer this today is to say that "I" wake up each day through/with this body…"I" don't wake up each day through/with your body or Donald Trump's body so it could be said this is my body.
This sentence assumes that there is SOMETHING inside the body/head, that could wake up and have experiences. But what if it’s not how it is?

What if awareness is just another illusion?
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness / consciousness is not what it SEEMS?
I don't feel this body is ME, it feels like it's mine, but not ME.
So if the ‘me’ is ‘awareness’, then it means that awareness owns the body. It seems like that this awareness you’re talking about is an entity. It seems that the belief in the separate self has be replaced by a subtle form of identification with awareness.
by the time I got through these questions, I feel very expansive and like there's no way I am a person sitting in a chair…that I'm everywhere, non local.
“that I’m everywhere, non local” – what does the word ‘me’ in this sentence refer to? To awareness?
OK, suddenly it has been seen that awareness isn’t localized in the body/head. But does this mean that this ‘non-localized awareness’ is you? Or it’s just is?
It's not my intention to confuse matters, nor to give you a play-by-play of every shift and whim. Just felt like I should mention it.
That’s all right. Actually, I’d like to encourage you to do so. It’s help me to see where you are at any given moment.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:25 pm

Hi Vivien,
Who is it exactly, who wants to have no structure?
No one. I didn't say I don't want structure, I was doing my best to describe what I experienced that night which is difficult to do with the limitation of words.
Who is it, who wants no past or future?
No one. I've heard it before from some teachers that your past isn't here now, your future isn't here now, therefore, if you're honest, they don't exist, and that's what I experienced that night.
But, like you said, probably just a peak experience.
What is it exactly that wants for needs and desires to stop appearing?
No one. This is what the experience was like.
What wants to become 'no one, nothing'?
It's just what was experienced that night.
How is it known exactly, that the 'I' is equal to awareness?
I don't know. I would've answered 'Teachings, inquiry' but as I sit here, i don't know.
I guess it's not "known exactly."
What is the actual experience that there is "One Consciousness"?
I've seen this in plant medicine journeys. But I can see that I have no proof for this, except an experience in an enthiogenic trip.
What is the actual experience that there is a consciousness located in Odethai's head, and that the same consciousness is located in Vivien's head?
You're right, this is an assumption.
How is this known exactly, that those supposedly located consciousnesses are the same?
It isn't known. It was assumed.
How is it known exactly, that consciousness is located anywhere?
It isn't. But when asked by a past teacher 'how do you know you exist?' my experience was 'because I am here, now, aware.'
This sentence assumes that there is SOMETHING inside the body/head, that could wake up and have experiences. But what if it's not how it is?
Good, let's see What Is.
What if awareness is just another illusion?
Good! Help me see that. (by see, I hope you can infer what I mean...help me recognize/realize that)
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness/consciousness is not what it SEEMS?
Absolutely, it's why I'm here on this forum working with you.
"that I'm everywhere, non local" - what does the word 'me' in this sentence refer to?
OK, suddenly it has been seen that awareness isn't localized in the body/head. But does this mean that this 'non-localized awareness' is you? Or it's just is?
Felt like it was me, meaning it was being experienced here. Not me as an identity with a name and occupation, but just back to that consciousness/awareness/knowing thing.
You're asking me to consider that it's not mine, it just exists, and I've made up a story that it's me/mine? Is that correct?



I re-read the ground rules, noticed #4 and realized that I've been listening to others' teachings since we began. I'll put them away for the duration of your guidance.

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:46 am

Hi Odethai,
No one. I didn't say I don't want structure, I was doing my best to describe what I experienced that night which is difficult to do with the limitation of words.
All right. The reason I asked these questions is because it seems to there is a desire to get back those ‘qualities’ what you experienced. But I might have misunderstood you.

So this is what you wrote about the experience you had:
What I'm referring to is that I've seen that there's no one here, and it was like, "OH, of course…there really is no one here, just like all the teachers say -- no structure, no past/future, no needs or desires or regrets…no one, nothing."
So you had an experience of clear seeing, and now there is a desire, you’d like to get back what you saw. If I understood you correctly, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

So if this so, if there is a desire to get back those ‘qualities’, then what is it right here, right now that wants those back? Where is the ‘wanter’? That was my previous questions about.

And you started your answers to those questions with “No one.” So currently it’s not clear for me whether it’s clear to you, right now (it’s seen in the immediate, actual experience, right here, right now), that there is no one wanting all these, there is no doer, there is no self, or is this just an intellectual understanding. Could you please comment on this?

I’d like to mention here, that when I ask a question, I’m never asking to describe what you know from learning or from other teachers, or what thoughts say about the matter. I’m always asking what is your immediate, current, direct experience, right here, right now, in this moment.
I've heard it before from some teachers that your past isn't here now, your future isn't here now, therefore, if you're honest, they don't exist, and that's what I experienced that night.
We will investigate the notion of time and past and future thoroughly later. You’ll see it for yourself whether those statements are true in your actual experience.
V: What is the actual experience that there is "One Consciousness"?
O: I've seen this in plant medicine journeys. But I can see that I have no proof for this, except an experience in an enthiogenic trip.
The experience of plant medicines can be very profound, and can feel very real. But when its effect is gone, those experiences become memories. So those experiences are similar to peak experiences. They come and go, and we cannot sustain or live with those experiences. So rather, let’s see what is available, what can be seen right here, right now, in the actual experience. What is always here, always accessible.
V: What is the actual experience that there is a consciousness located in Odethai's head, and that the same consciousness is located in Vivien's head?
O: You're right, this is an assumption.
V: How is this known exactly, that those supposedly located consciousnesses are the same?
O: It isn't known. It was assumed.
So these answers arrived as the content of thoughts, which could be very misleading.
It isn't. But when asked by a past teacher 'how do you know you exist?' my experience was 'because I am here, now, aware.'
Yes, this question is part of the Advaita teachings. We will look at this later when we will investigate awareness.
V: "that I'm everywhere, non local" - what does the word 'me' in this sentence refer to?
OK, suddenly it has been seen that awareness isn't localized in the body/head. But does this mean that this 'non-localized awareness' is you? Or it's just is?
O: Felt like it was me, meaning it was being experienced here. Not me as an identity with a name and occupation, but just back to that consciousness/awareness/knowing thing.
You're asking me to consider that it's not mine, it just exists, and I've made up a story that it's me/mine? Is that correct?
Yes. So although there might be a SENSE of a non-localized awareness, but it doesn’t mean, that it’s me. Only thoughts suggest that “It’s me”. And when this thought is not seen as arising thought only, but rather it’s content is being taken as reality, the identification with awareness happens.
I re-read the ground rules, noticed #4 and realized that I've been listening to others' teachings since we began. I'll put them away for the duration of your guidance.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. If you listen to other teachings, that can be confusing and can hinder our progress here. They can add more intellectual understanding, which is already ‘too much’ so to speak. You need to see this for yourself.
V: What if awareness is just another illusion?
O: Good! Help me see that. (by see, I hope you can infer what I mean...help me recognize/realize that)
Of course. We will investigate awareness deeply, but later. First, we have to look at thoughts thoroughly, since the illusion is created by thoughts. Without being able to see thoughts clearly, we cannot advance in subtler inquiries, like the body, time or awareness.

So from now on, I’d like to ask you to reply only from your actual experience; observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching — prior to thought is what we refer to as Direct Experience. So notice what is directly experienced versus thoughts about what is experienced.

So then let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer and quote ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Try to answer them only from direct experience, and leave aside all intellectual interpretation or understanding. Please, DON’T THINK about the answers, rather LOOK at what is before thoughts. Take your time.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:56 am

Hi Vivien,

You won't hear from me again until Sunday...saturday if I get back a decent hour.
Could you please comment on this?
There is 'wanting' happening. The core desire is for seeking to end and that 'wanter' doesn't care so much about past, present, structure, no-self, etc. But you're correct, there is a 'wanter' 'wanting.' And it's wanting something familiar to that liberating experience.

So where is the 'wanter'?
I guess it's just feelings and thoughts of desire, that feel like energy in the chest area of the body.

And my use of 'no one' was intellectual understanding. Not 'No-self'.

Where do thoughts come from?
I don't know where they come from.
I really saw this a few days ago. As I was waking up naturally, peacefully, without an alarm clock or other jarring experiences, a disturbing thought about my finances was present. For no reason, there it was. I would never do this to myself, beginning the day with something so negative and disturbing for no reason. It was already there, before I was even fully awake. So it was seen that I'm not doing this.

Some seem to be connected to past experiences, conditioning, but WHERE do they Come From, Arise From? I don't know.
Where are they going?
I don't know. I can't find where they come from or go to.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
(After a few minutes) It's difficult to say for sure because the mind is suddenly very quiet, but it seems like I can stop them in the middle. I'll try this again when the thoughts start rolling in again.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, as you saw from my first answer in this line of inquiry, I definitely didn't choose and it came anyway.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No.
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
I don't know.
What is the thinker of thoughts?
I really don't know.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No. Not through the five senses, not through direct experience.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Whoa. (not that it's important to this inquiry, but there's a heavy, tangled "feeling" in the head…)
It could be.
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
If I understand the question correctly, I think (haha) from what's being revealed here that I may be 'being thought'
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
In my current moment direct experience, it doesn't seem possible to prevent a thought from appearing.
And right now, during this inquiry, "I" thoughts still arise. I don't seem to be able to prevent them from appearing.

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:01 am

Hi Odethai,
You won't hear from me again until Sunday...saturday if I get back a decent hour.
Thank you for letting me know.
And my use of 'no one' was intellectual understanding. Not 'No-self'.
I’d like to ask you to write only what is true in your experience. If no self is just an intellectual understanding in the moment, then let me know, or totally avoid using language that would infer otherwise. It’s important, because I give the next sets of questions according your comments, and if you comment as if you’ve seen no-self but you have only intellectual understanding, then my questions will be inappropriate and not useful.
V: Where do thoughts come from?
O: I don't know where they come from. I really saw this a few days ago.
OK, you saw this a few days ago. But can you see it NOW?

When I ask a question, I’m always interested in what you can see RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.
If something happened only in the past, but now it’s not accessible, then that’s just a memory, an thus a belief now, nothing more.
V: Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
O: (After a few minutes) It's difficult to say for sure because the mind is suddenly very quiet, but it seems like I can stop them in the middle. I'll try this again when the thoughts start rolling in again
.
What is it exactly that is dong the stopping? – please don’t just think or contemplate it, but rather LOOK BEFORE THOUGHTS INTERPRETATIONS.
V: “I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
O: I don't know.
This is not something you have to figure out mentally.

There is a belief that “I am the one that thinks”. So when a thought appears “I think this or that” then what is the word ‘I’ in the sentence point to (or refer to) in actual experience?
V: What is the thinker of thoughts?
O: I really don't know.
There is a belief that there is a thinker of thoughts. If this is true, then this thinker can be easily found. So find it. Search for the thinker. Look everywhere. Look into thoughts, look into sensations, look into the body, look into images, look every possible location. Where is the thinker of thoughts?
V: Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
O: No. Not through the five senses, not through direct experience.
OK. Your respond implies that although the thinker cannot be found through the five senses, through direct experience, but it can be found in some other ways.

So if the thinker cannot be found through the five senses, then how can it be?


Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:44 am

Hi Vivien,
Ok, you saw this a few days ago. But can you see it NOW?
yes.
What is it exactly that is doing the stopping? - please don't just think or contemplate it, but rather LOOK BEFORE THOUGHTS INTERPRETATIONS.[/quotes]
The mind is doing the stopping.
There is a belief that "I am the one that thinks". So when a thought appears "I think this or that" then what is the word 'I' in the sentence point to (or refer to) in actual experience?
Nothing.
There is a belief that there is a thinker of thoughts. If this is true, then this thinker can be easily found. So find it. Search for the thinker. Look everywhere. Look into thoughts, look into sensations, look into the body, look into images, look every possible location. Where is the thinker of thoughts?
No where. I can't find the origin/the creator of thoughts.
So if the thinker cannot be found through the five senses, then how can it be?
It can't.

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:16 am

Hi Odethai,

Thank you for your replies.
V: What is it exactly that is doing the stopping? - please don't just think or contemplate it, but rather LOOK BEFORE THOUGHTS INTERPRETATION
O: The mind is doing the stopping.
OK. Here the notion of the thinker (as a doer) has been replaced with the notion of the mind (as a doer). So the identification went from the thinker to the mind. So although the label has changed, the doer remained. Can you see this?

So what is the actual experience of ‘mind’?
What is the actual experience of ‘mind’ stopping a thought in the middle?


Let’s look at thoughts even more closely. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.


Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only peaceful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
What can a thought do?
Does a thought have volition?
Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?


Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:58 am

Hi,
Can you see this?
yes
So what is the actual experience of 'mind'? What is the actual experience of 'mind' stopping a thought in the middle?
There is no 5-sense experience of mind stopping a thought.
So, you asked the question, "can you stop a thought in the middle of it" and I tried it a few times and the thought did stop/dissolve, whatever word we can give it...but what this is looking like is that the 'I' that stopped the thought was, itself, just a thought.


sit for 30 minutes...


Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only peaceful thoughts?
No
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No
What can a thought do?
nothing.
Does a thought have volition?
No

Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?
No
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says 'these thoughts are in sequence' or "they take content from previous thought", or that "one thought follows another thought"?
Just another thought saying 'these thoughts are in sequence'

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:46 am

Hi Odethai,
Just another thought saying 'these thoughts are in sequence'
Nice looking.

Here is an exercise which points out the difference between direct experience and content of thought.

There are two types of thoughts:
(1) Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
(2) Visual mental images of a ‘cup’

So I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?


The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images (as ‘containers’), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However, their contents, what are they about are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?

Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about) is really happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:49 pm

Hi Vivien,

I will continue the exercise of noticing content of thought over the next day or two. In the mean time, here is what was seen during 'the cup' exercise:

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
No.
Can you pour tea into it?
No.
Can you drink from it?
No.
Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Just an image.
Is there an appearing mental image?
Yes.
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?
No.
The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images (as ‘containers’), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However, their contents, what are they about are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
Yes. I can see that the image appears here now but only as a thought/fantasy in the mind. It's not real, and can't be experienced through direct experience.

Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about) is really happening, or the content is just pure imagination.
Let me know how it goes.
Vivien


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