Just another story -- the singing of seeking

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NinetoNone
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Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:34 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Nothing I can point to is me, though it feels like everything is. Seeing happens, feeling happens, thoughts happen; identification happens, attachment happens, longing happens. This personality was born through all the factors that arose and behaves like a system. Patterns arise and fall. This is what I've seen directly, though I still experience +

What are you looking for at LU?
-+The sense of a self here. I feel like I look through these eyes, though looking happens automatically. I feel like I make choices but then I get up to turn on the air conditioner or eat food without thinking about it beforehand. I feel like I'm right here but this labeling happens after the fact. Sometimes 'after the fact' is a split second after; sometimes actions happen automatically for longer periods and then I realize that I witnessed doing them. But if there is no true self then witnessing itself must also happen automatically. I understand this and it seems right, though I don't rest in this understanding; I still feel like I'm here.~

I feel like I've been wandering around on the surface, going parallel instead of deeper. I feel like my perception is tainted and that I am asking the questions the wrong way, though I know that even these are just thoughts being sung on repeat. I am hoping to see clearly, to experience the essential nature in clarity. I have been searching alone for so long and I've come to realize that I fall in the same trips as the ego of the seeker has done for countless stories, traps such as the map trap or the observer trap. It feels like tires spinning without catching purchase. There has always been desire to help others find their spiritual truth, but to attain the ability to truly help there must first be clarity in this centrality of awareness.
I want to penetrate my own traps; I want to stop overthinking, to stop over-analyzing everything. My hope is that LiberationUnleashed might provide a way forward.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Probably to be told that I'm overthinking things ~laugh~ It's incredible how deeply I've resonated with each and every story in the Gatecrashers PDF; I've seen others ask the questions that could come from my mouth. I've seen the patterns play out -- and I guess it's my turn now to become part of this tapestry. From a guided conversation I expect that I will receive feedback on the ways in which I'm asking the questions wrong, the ways in which I might still be held back by a deeply-rooted presumption. It seems sometimes that some teachers respond with frustration to the musings of the ego; I don't think that will help me, but of course the ego says that. I hope for honest feedback that might help penetrate the idea of this ego fixation and intend to be absolutely honest to the best of my ability.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I do not have official training; I have never reached out to a teacher before, but I have seen myself in the eyes and voice of so many other seekers. We ask the same questions; we stumble in the same ways.
I absorb as much as I can about ideas of spiritual practice, about seeking truth and transcendence. I would argue that I fall into what Shinzen Young calls the map trap -- somewhere a thought came to me once: "learn all the maps; let none of them define you." And yet the maps do define. Labels make limitations. For me the deepest fascination for awhile was the Enneagram; I learned the ways the ego creates itself. Mine is the ego of the Seeker, the identity that desires Union above all. This ego is a dance between the identity of the self-forgetting and the identity of the self-aware (the 9 and 4, to use enneagram terms). I have always deeply felt that there is something more to life; my beliefs of nonduality may take very spiritual overtones, but they are beliefs. I seek truth.
Lately I practice some form of self-enquiry in every moment I can. I never developed deep concentration practices -- I cannot yet enter a Jhana; this mind felt more attuned to the practice of just becoming aware of everything that arises. I have experimented briefly with psychedelics and cannabis brought about an experience of seeing thoughts come and go without the owner, but I do not want this to become a pattern all its own. Currently my practice consists of returning to awareness in every moment I can. Whether at work, talking on the phone, laying in bed, petting my cat -- every time I think of it, I try to check in with the present moment. I try to find myself. I see how what I call 'me' is labeling a physical sensation or a thought, such as the heartbeat in my forehead; sometimes I get lost in trying to dissolve uncomfortable sensations, but I also believe that's a distraction.
I am also currently striving to learn to induce shamanic trances and to practice dream yoga, though these spiritual practices are not directly focused towards attaining No-Self -- they are focused towards the goal of finding something else in reality other than what feels mundane in front of me, and likely aren't conducive to the goals here at LU.

I answered 9 on the question below: I want to believe I would be an 11, but I see how patterns resist being broken...for example, the desire to be an accepting person that makes others feel safe is a very deeply held belief. I understand that it is not 'me', but I cannot imagine breaking the pattern. There may be some experiences that resist itself, though when those experiences arise I will strive to look them in the face.

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

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:36 am

Hi,

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

At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

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.
To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

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.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:15 am

Hi Vivien! Thank you so much for responding. I would love to have you as my guide. :) I have read the terms, conditions, and what LU is not. I absolutely intend to respond truthfully and I understand the necessity of Looking. I will absolutely try to respond every day, but some days I may fail -- I have a lot of responsibilities to manage, but this is extremely important to me.

How will Life change?

There isn't a Self to remove, just an illusion to see through. Seeing no-self is not some magical button that will fix every latent problem or that will just cause unhealthy patterns to dissolve. There is already no Self; life will largely continue as it does. What the mind feels will change: there is a conceptual belief that though sensations labelled Pain will arise, Suffering may not have the same foundation on which to build. Sensations will still come and go, but there may be a decreased need to hold onto them when the perception of centricity is experientially seen through. However, this idea of the inner weight being reduced is also thought content.
How will you change?
To use an example; the mind used to worry about the idea of thoughts manifesting our reality; I used to be scared to acknowledge bad thoughts like parents dying for fear that it would bring this idea into being. Eventually it was seen that these thought-fears are just thought content and sensation arising, one pattern of many, and even the fear that arises in response to the thought comes automatically. So now there is less pressure (though admittedly still not zero) to try to ignore or change the program -- the program runs automatically. Similarly, things are running fine without a Self already. However, the belief in the Content of the thought called Me may be lessened. Patterns will shift as the awareness does. In terms of how I will change, there is a belief that there will be less need to Seek, less need to feel in control of everything when that control is known to be an illusion.
What will be different?
This is a challenge to answer. How can things be different? Only an illusion dies - there is no self already. There is a belief that the content will change, that things will be taken less personally when there is no experience of separate Self, but this is also thought content. Don't know what will be different. Waking up will still happen, work will still happen, thoughts will still happen. Life will happen automatically, as already it does. There is a desire that the feeling of effort, of forcing thoughts or speech will fade. There is a desire for a sort of lightness, but this is also just belief. When struggling arises, it happens automatically. When anxiety arises, it happens automatically. Perhaps the content will change but realistically experiences will continue on.
What is missing?
Nothing is missing. Thoughts labelled as the mind whisper that something is missing, but these thoughts are stories that arise automatically.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:54 am

Hi,

What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations results in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’. Is there any resistance to any of it?
There isn't a Self to remove, just an illusion to see through. Seeing no-self is not some magical button that will fix every latent problem or that will just cause unhealthy patterns to dissolve.
It’s very good that you can see this. Many seekers expect that their problems will be solved and there will be just bliss and happiness. But this is cannot be further from the truth.
What the mind feels will change: there is a conceptual belief that though sensations labelled Pain will arise, Suffering may not have the same foundation on which to build. Sensations will still come and go, but there may be a decreased need to hold onto them when the perception of centricity is experientially seen through.
Suffering doesn’t just depend on the belief in the self, it’s the result of wanting and not wanting this experience (whatever it might be). And this conditioned pattern of pushing and pulling experience won’t dissolve. This needs lots of further looking to gradually fall away.

Suffering is also rooted in childhood issues, traumas which will be unaffected by seeing through the 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.
Eventually it was seen that these thought-fears are just thought content and sensation arising, one pattern of many, and even the fear that arises in response to the thought comes automatically. So now there is less pressure (though admittedly still not zero) to try to ignore or change the program-- the program runs automatically.
Fear of negative thoughts arise based on the belief that these thoughts are mine, I have control over them, and I am the one that will suffer any consequences if I’m not controlling them ‘correctly’.

But thoughts cannot be controlled.
Thoughts doesn’t belong to me or to anything at all.
Nothing owns thoughts.
And there is nothing that could suffer the consequences of not-well controlled thoughts.
The program runs automatically, just as you said.

We will look into this.
However, the belief in the Content of the thought called Me may be lessened.
This is a big and unrealistic expectation. Watch out for this.

Self-referencing thoughts won’t lessen. Why would they?
There is already no self, and yet there are an almost constant stream of self-referencing thoughts.

The problem is not with the thoughts of I/me/mine, but with the belief that there are a REAL I/self behind these thoughts.
Only an illusion dies - there is no self already.
Even the illusion won’t die.
The illusion of the self WON’T STOP appearing.
The only change is the RECOGNITION that the self is just an illusion.
But it the play will still go on.
The illusion of the self will still play out, just as now.
There is a belief that the content will change, that things will be taken less personally when there is no experience of separate Self, but this is also thought content.
Taking things personally is a conditioned pattern. And these patterns won’t disappear in an instant. It will need lots of further looking to gradually fall away (over years).

Seeing through the self is just the BEGINNING, just the first step, not the end.
Currently my practice consists of returning to awareness in every moment I can.
Is there a belief in awareness? What if awareness is not what it seems like?

When it’s seen that a seer, taster, smeller, feeler, thinker, etc. cannot be found, the identification often goes to the seeming appearance of a self-existent, self-aware awareness, which is the knower of everything that appears.

So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self. Since all the seeming realness of the separate self comes from the seeming realness of a standalone awareness. So as long as awareness is not seen for what it is, the belief of the separate self is not really seen through… it’s just hiding behind the notion of a standalone awareness. Do you see this?

This awareness is an ultimate illusion, it really seems very real. But nonetheless, it’s still an illusion. And for those who engaged in non-dual teachings this sometimes can be a serious stumbling block.

Can you entertain the possibility that awareness is not what it seems like?

Do you have a resistance to the notion that awareness might be an illusion too?
If yes, could you please explain why?


For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening ANY teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?


Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:32 am

Fear of negative thoughts arise based on the belief that these thoughts are mine, I have control over them, and I am the one that will suffer any consequences if I’m not controlling them ‘correctly’.

But thoughts cannot be controlled.
Thoughts doesn’t belong to me or to anything at all.
Nothing owns thoughts.
And there is nothing that could suffer the consequences of not-well controlled thoughts.
The program runs automatically, just as you said.
Sensation arises in the chest with these words; this might be resistance. Thoughts label the sensation as fear at the thought of losing control of the thought. Or rather the thought is the label?
This seems to happen exactly as said. The thought and the sensation-labelled-fear happen. There is a sense (or is it a thought?) Of ownership, like this is my thought and my fear and I need to do something about it.
Self-referencing thoughts won’t lessen. Why would they?
There is already no self, and yet there are an almost constant stream of self-referencing thoughts.

The problem is not with the thoughts of I/me/mine, but with the belief that there are a REAL I/self behind these thoughts.
Only an illusion dies - there is no self already.
Feeling in chest-area responds to this; a label might be excitement, kinda like 'oh, of course.' Then tightness arises, sensation labelled as frustration or skepticism. Thought says something like "but how do I do/experience this?" Thought says piercing this belief feels impossible, unachievable.

---
Is there a belief in awareness? What if awareness is not what it seems like?

When it’s seen that a seer, taster, smeller, feeler, thinker, etc. cannot be found, the identification often goes to the seeming appearance of a self-existent, self-aware awareness, which is the knower of everything that appears.

So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self. Since all the seeming realness of the separate self comes from the seeming realness of a standalone awareness. So as long as awareness is not seen for what it is, the belief of the separate self is not really seen through… it’s just hiding behind the notion of a standalone awareness. Do you see this?
Felt excitement immediately when reading this; really resonated with this description. I've definitely come to identify as a concept of some invisible, intangible, all-pervading formlessness that exists underneath all concepts. So many nondual teachings seem to point to this, but there seems to be a conceptualization. Thoughts where the content is about other thoughts, just (seemingly) getting subtler.

Excitement is overwhelmingly the first emotion. Amazement at pinpointing the areas where I feel like I'm stuck, but of course it is just thought saying that there is something called me to be stuck here and that there is something I must do because how could anything be missing? What is is what is.
After the labels of excitement and amazement there is a sense calling itself fear.
This awareness is an ultimate illusion, it really seems very real. But nonetheless, it’s still an illusion. And for those who engaged in non-dual teachings this sometimes can be a serious stumbling block.
Sensation-labelled-fear arises in response to this. Thought says something to the effect of "I learned the wrong ways; my perception is wrong and I can't fix it."
Thought speaks the fear that if identifying as awareness is the ultimate illusion, how can this illusion be pierced?
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness is not what it seems like?

Do you have a resistance to the notion that awareness might be an illusion too?
If yes, could you please explain why?"
Yes, I can and want tor entertain the possibility that awareness is not as it seems, though I don't know how to do this. Resistance seems to be automatic, possibly because of time spent learning lessons, but there is a deep decision to see clearly. I do not consciously have resistance to the possibility that awareness is an illusion; expcited to challenge what may be an automatic pressumption.
Can we agree on these?


Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
I agree to the terms and I am ready to start the investigation. I noted the bodily sensations of resistance above, though there was notably more excitement than resistance -- particularly with the sections describing the ownerlessness of thought and the illusion of the concept of awareness. Thanks for all you do!

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:57 am

Hi,

I got your email. I would like to ask you to write me some lines when for any reason you cannot post in a day. So I will know that you are still with me, and the reason that you’re not writing is not because you changed your mind. All right?
Sensation-labelled-fear arises in response to this. Thought says something to the effect of "I learned the wrong ways; my perception is wrong and I can't fix it."
Thought speaks the fear that if identifying as awareness is the ultimate illusion, how can this illusion be pierced?
You don’t have to worry about the how. I will help you with precise questions where to look to see through it. Your only job will be to actually look there, and not just think about it. So don’t worry.
Thought says something like "but how do I do/experience this?" Thought says piercing this belief feels impossible, unachievable.
No, thoughts are not telling the truth. You will see that most of the time thoughts are talking rubbish :)
Amazement at pinpointing the areas where I feel like I'm stuck, but of course it is just thought saying that there is something called me to be stuck here and that there is something I must do because how could anything be missing? What is is what is.
Here is an important question. When you wrote the above did you actually SEE EXPERIENTIALLY that only thoughts say that there is someone called ‘me’ that is stuck and that these thoughts are were not your own, not your making?
Or is it rather a learned knowledge that only thoughts talk about the self, and you just wrote down this learned information?


It’s very important that you write me ONLY what is true in your EXPERIENCE, and not what you think or learned about. Since I have only your written words here to work with.
Thoughts label the sensation as fear at the thought of losing control of the thought.
This fear is based on the assumption that there is a you/self which currently have control over thoughts, but this control can be lost as the result of this investigation.
But there is already no you/self.
So there is nothing that could have control over thoughts.
Not even now, while you still believe that there is a you who has control over it.

So let’s start it here. With thoughts.

Please sit on a chair doing nothing for a few minutes. Watch the thoughts coming and going.

Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination, if there’s any?
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?


Please repeat this exercise several times before replying.

What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:25 am

I got your email. I would like to ask you to write me some lines when for any reason you cannot post in a day. So I will know that you are still with me, and the reason that you’re not writing is not because you changed your mind. All right?
Sounds good! I’ll try my very best to write at least a little bit every day, even if it’s not exactly answering very well. I have no expectation of dropping interest in this – the experience of Seeking consumes so much of my life, and this enquiry feels the most direct and guided path that I can find. Whether we call it personality or ego or just patterns, everything that I am leads me here.

As a brief note – I’ve had times in my life where I went through this weird warbling of worrying about the language of using ‘I’. For the sake of clearly expressing this direct experience, I’m not gonna worry about the use of pronouns for now or writing might never get finished on time.
What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?
Oops! I missed this question the first time around in my haste to respond. For the purposes of this public forum, I’d prefer Isaac. Thanks so much!


Amazement at pinpointing the areas where I feel like I'm stuck, but of course it is just thought saying that there is something called me to be stuck here and that there is something I must do because how could anything be missing? What is is what is.
Here is an important question. When you wrote the above did you actually SEE EXPERIENTIALLY that only thoughts say that there is someone called ‘me’ that is stuck and that these thoughts are were not your own, not your making?
Or is it rather a learned knowledge that only thoughts talk about the self, and you just wrote down this learned information?

It’s very important that you write me ONLY what is true in your EXPERIENCE, and not what you think or learned about. Since I have only your written words here to work with.
I really appreciate this question! The answer feels complicated, but I’ve also got fears of overcomplicating everything. I’ve had very clear experiences, mostly through meditation or altered states of consciousness, where thought so clearly happens with or without a Me to do it. It is these experiences that have brought about an identification as That Which is Aware. However, I still get lost in the content of thought so easily. When I’m not deeply focusing on where thought comes from, I get lost in the waves of thought and then later down the line realize that I’ve been hyperfocusing on just the one aspect of my experience. So in daily life I *feel* like I’m the one thinking my thoughts, but I also know that can’t be true because I’ve had some experiences where it doesn’t happen. But that awareness of thoughts happening automatically isn’t something that pervades every moment of experience; it’s more like something that’s touched occasionally. Something that seems to be true even though I get lost in the story. But I’m tired of being lost in the story. So I suppose there’s an expectation that eventually the story, the thoughts, won’t be strong enough to take me along for the ride.

I’m going to do my very best to answer in terms of my own experience rather than just what I have learned to be true. Intuition is part of my personality’s framework – extrapolating patterns is a natural pattern, but it is not directly Seeing.
Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
No, they seem to appear automatically in awareness. Although when I say awareness here am I conceptualizing awareness? I don’t know where thoughts come from.
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination, if there’s any?
I cannot follow thoughts; they disappear, and another thought takes its place. Sometimes there seems to be space between thoughts but often it’s hard to tell exactly where one thought ends and another begins. There is a seemingly constant stream of internal dialogue, constantly appearing and disappearing into nothingness.
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?
I want to say something like nothingness or silence, but even that may be speculating. There is silence sometimes and then thought seemingly fills that silence, but it may be a leap to connect the two. No, I cannot directly tell where they come or go.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:56 am

Hi Isaac,
For the sake of clearly expressing this direct experience, I’m not gonna worry about the use of pronouns for now or writing might never get finished on time.
Yes. This is an important point. Please don’t leave out the word ‘I’ if it feels or seems like in the moment of writing that there is an ‘I’ writing.
But you don’t have to worry about this at all. Just write normally.
I really appreciate this question! The answer feels complicated, but I’ve also got fears of overcomplicating everything. I’ve had very clear experiences, mostly through meditation or altered states of consciousness, where thought so clearly happens with or without a Me to do it.
I would like to add something to this. It’s not just simply about writing what is true in your experience, but what is true in your experience NOW.

What I’m trying to say that NEVER rely on the MEMORY of a previous experience, but rather ALWAYS LOOK AFRESH with every single question I ask.

And I might ask the same thing repeatedly, and still please always look with each of them again and again and again.

It’s the continuous, repeated searching and searching and more searching, and not find what brings about the realization.
It is these experiences that have brought about an identification as That Which is Aware.
But this is still an identification. This is still a belief in the self. Just the identification moved from the body-mind to awareness. But the ‘I’ stayed intact. There is still a belief in an ‘I’, in a self, just it’s been identified with a different ‘thing’.
But that awareness of thoughts happening automatically isn’t something that pervades every moment of experience; it’s more like something that’s touched occasionally.
Here is a BIG and unrealistic expectation that once the self is seen through there will be no more ‘lost in thought’.
But this is NOT how it is. So it’s better if you let go of this expectation, since it won’t happen.
But I’m tired of being lost in the story. So I suppose there’s an expectation that eventually the story, the thoughts, won’t be strong enough to take me along for the ride.
You see, there is a belief that there is something or someone being lost in story and this ‘me’ is being taken along the ride.
I want to say something like nothingness or silence, but even that may be speculating.
Yes, it’s a speculation.
Can it actually be seen or known where thought are coming from and where they are going?
Or the only thing can be said, that a thought is present and then not?
No, they seem to appear automatically in awareness. Although when I say awareness here am I conceptualizing awareness? I don’t know where thoughts come from.
Yes, this is conceptualization.

Can it be ACTUALLY SEEN as thoughts appear IN awareness?

In order to say that thoughts appear in awareness, there has to be two things present:
1. The thought itself
2. An awareness

And these two still not enough, since thoughts have to be SEEN to appear IN awareness.

Just like a cup and tea.
The tea is IN the cup.
The tea and the cup both can be SEEN and experienced.
And also, it can be observed/seen that the tea is INSIDE the cup.

Now do the same with thought and awareness.

The thought is present.

But where is the container, the awareness (like the cup)?
How does this awareness-container look like?
How big it is?
What is it made of?
How is it experienced?

And if you were able to find and locate this awareness, then and only then you can check if thoughts are actually appearing INSIDE this awareness. But can you?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:11 am

Hey! Tonight’s response may be a bit rushed because of time constraints with posting but I deeply want to post at least once a day (ideally more, when things aren’t so hectic – mom’s having a bit of a dental emergency).
What I’m trying to say that NEVER rely on the MEMORY of a previous experience, but rather ALWAYS LOOK AFRESH with every single question I ask.

And I might ask the same thing repeatedly, and still please always look with each of them again and again and again.

It’s the continuous, repeated searching and searching and more searching, and not find what brings about the realization.
This makes so much sense! Okaydoke, I’ll be sure to keep this in mind and do the best I can. Thanks so much!

Can it actually be seen or known where thought are coming from and where they are going?
Or the only thing can be said, that a thought is present and then not?
In direct experience, all I know is that thoughts are present and then they are not. Thoughts seem to be really subtle sometimes, and sometimes I don’t always seem to know where thought ends and sensation begins. It’s almost like thought and sensation gets married, especially with the sensation in the back or side of my head. So sometimes it seems like thought comes from sensation, but it would be more accurate to say there is sensation and then there is thought about that sensation.
Also sometimes action happens automatically and then I tell myself that I was thinking when really no thought was attached. For example, last night my partner and I were holding hands while she was driving. I was focused on watching thoughts, and when she took my hand I would automatically squeeze hers and then immediately afterwards a thought would follow that ‘oh I thought of squeezing her hand’ when in actuality there was no explicit pre-thought, just a post-thought. Oh woops I’m already thinking about the past – wow, not drawing on memory is harder than I thought it would be.
Can it be ACTUALLY SEEN as thoughts appear IN awareness?
I cannot find awareness directly, no.
But where is the container, the awareness (like the cup)?
How does this awareness-container look like?
How big it is?
What is it made of?
How is it experienced?

And if you were able to find and locate this awareness, then and only then you can check if thoughts are actually appearing INSIDE this awareness. But can you?
Answering these questions together; if you would prefer I can try to break them up. What I seem to think of as awareness is just this present moment. All I’m really aware of is what arises right now. It’s always right now. This seems obvious to me; I’m not aware of anything other than what’s happening right now. Even thoughts about the past or the future happen right now. Waves of memory are powerful sometimes but even thinking about the past or worrying about the future happens right now. So it seems like the container of awareness is this present moment. Conceptually it seems like the present moment is just a super thin razor’s edge in the expanse of past and future, but I don’t actually know past or future in direct experience – only ideas that reference the concept of past and future.
In the present moment, I am aware of the light in the room. I am aware of the feeling of the keyboard beneath my fingers; I am aware of the mental sound of thoughts dictating what is being written. I am aware that I feel like I’m right here, right now. So it seems like awareness is the present moment, but I can’t find any boundaries or edges to this experience. I can’t find anything separate from this present moment.
And if you were able to find and locate this awareness, then and only then you can check if thoughts are actually appearing INSIDE this awareness. But can you?
I think I struggle with this a little bit. Are thoughts appearing IN the present moment? All I really know is that thoughts appear. They don’t really feel like they’re INSIDE anything else.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:59 pm

Hi Isaac,
. So sometimes it seems like thought comes from sensation, but it would be more accurate to say there is sensation and then there is thought about that sensation.
Exactly. A thought cannot come from a sensation. Rather, the thought is labelling the sensation as this or that.
Answering these questions together; if you would prefer I can try to break them up. What I seem to think of as awareness is just this present moment.
You didn’t LOOK. You rather wrote down your IDEAS / THOUGHTS about the notion of awareness.
What I seem to think of as awareness is just this present moment. All I’m really aware of is what arises right now. It’s always right now.
So present moment = awareness?
Because if the present moment is awareness then the present moment must be aware, but is it?

So, are you saying that the present moment is aware, or that there is a YOU that is aware what is happening in the present moment?
Waves of memory are powerful sometimes but even thinking about the past or worrying about the future happens right now.
Yes.
So it seems like the container of awareness is this present moment.
This is a thought speculation.

There is a belief that there is such thing as awareness and this awareness is contained in the present moment.

But can you find ANY of those (awareness and the present moment) in order to make such a statement?

What is the experience of the present moment ITSELF?

Try to remove everything from this present moment. Remove all objects, colors, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, thoughts, everything. What is left? Is there a ‘present moment’ left?

Or the present moment just another concept, idea?
In the present moment, I am aware of the light in the room. I am aware of the feeling of the keyboard beneath my fingers; I am aware of the mental sound of thoughts dictating what is being written. I am aware that I feel like I’m right here, right now. So it seems like awareness is the present moment,
This is a thought speculation that awareness is the present moment.

Have you ever experienced awareness ITSELF (without any objects)?
Have you ever experienced ‘the present moment’ ITSELF (without any object)?
If no to both, then HOW do you know that ‘awareness is the present moment’?
I am aware of the light in the room. I am aware of the feeling of the keyboard beneath my fingers; I am aware of the mental sound of thoughts dictating what is being written. I am aware that I feel like I’m right here, right now.
What is this ‘I’ that you are talking about? WHERE is this ‘I’ that is SUPPOSEDLY aware?
I think I struggle with this a little bit. Are thoughts appearing IN the present moment? All I really know is that thoughts appear. They don’t really feel like they’re INSIDE anything else.
Exactly!

So then WHERE is this ‘present moment’ or awareness you are talking about?

When experience is looked at directly, it’s clear that thoughts DON’T appear in anything.

Thoughts appearing in awareness or in the present moment, is just a BELIEF, an IMAGINATION, but NOT REALITY. Can you see this?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:41 am

Hey! So sorry -- missed a day; tried hard to post last night but things kept getting in the way.
So present moment = awareness?
Because if the present moment is awareness then the present moment must be aware, but is it?
Ah, wow. This definitely doesn’t make sense when it is spoken directly, but this was a conceptualization. Like somehow the present moment is some nondual deity seeing through the eyes of all experience, but that is absolutely just a conceptualization or a belief and there is no direct proof of this. +
But can you find ANY of those (awareness and the present moment) in order to make such a statement?

What is the experience of the present moment ITSELF?

Try to remove everything from this present moment. Remove all objects, colors, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, thoughts, everything. What is left? Is there a ‘present moment’ left?

Or the present moment just another concept, idea?
Can’t find anything other than objects, colors, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, and thoughts. The present moment is just made of things. All that’s really known is that there are things appearing right here, right now.

Have you ever experienced awareness ITSELF (without any objects)?
Definitely not.
Have you ever experienced ‘the present moment’ ITSELF (without any object)?
Nope.
If no to both, then HOW do you know that ‘awareness is the present moment’?
*Can’t* know this. There is no direct proof of awareness or present moment separate from colors, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, and thoughts that take the form of objects coming and going.
What is this ‘I’ that you are talking about?
I don’t know. I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know if I’m referring to seeing, or maybe to the results of actions being taken. This was written to be quick and easy; it could just as soon be said that It is known that there are colors called keyboard, sensation labeled blanket or laptop or jeans; sound is labeled fan or girlfriend or cat. The ‘I’ seems to be a label pointing towards the concept of Knowing these objects, but as noted above – awareness cannot be found in direct experience. The only way to know is to know an object and that object is slapped with a label of some sort by a thought.
WHERE is this ‘I’ that is SUPPOSEDLY aware?
I don’t know. ‘I’ always points towards an object of one of the sensations noted before. I hear this; I see that. I want to write more but I don’t have any more of an answer than I don’t know.

So then WHERE is this ‘present moment’ or awareness you are talking about?
The first thought that came was ‘everywhere’ but that’s just a thought. Can’t find a ‘present moment’ in direct experience; can’t find anything separate from the objects. I can only find experience itself.
Thoughts appearing in awareness or in the present moment, is just a BELIEF, an IMAGINATION, but NOT REALITY. Can you see this?
Yes, thoughts are just here and then gone; can’t honestly say they appear IN anything.

It’s feeling really hard to talk about some of these things because it feels like every thought is a conceptualization and therefore a step away from direct experience. I don’t know if it’s related to the searching or just generalized stress or if there even needs to be a cause and effect but the last several nights have seen a sharp rise in sensations called headache, which I want to call resistance. Wanted to note the experience because I was asked to note if resistance arises in the body and this may be related.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:41 am

Hi Isaac,
Can’t find anything other than objects, colors, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, and thoughts. The present moment is just made of things. All that’s really known is that there are things appearing right here, right now.
HOW do you know that the present moment is made of things? Isn’t this just another conceptualization?
Can’t find a ‘present moment’ in direct experience; can’t find anything separate from the objects. I can only find experience itself.
Exactly! There is just experience.
I don’t know if it’s related to the searching or just generalized stress or if there even needs to be a cause and effect but the last several nights have seen a sharp rise in sensations called headache, which I want to call resistance. Wanted to note the experience because I was asked to note if resistance arises in the body and this may be related.
Is there a story to this resistance? What would the resistance say? What is it resisting?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:23 pm

HOW do you know that the present moment is made of things? Isn’t this just another conceptualization?
Oh, good question. Hm. Trying to respond to this purely with direct experience.
At this writing, there is what is called a cat nuzzling up against what is labelled laptop. Seems like there is a thing called a cat and a laptop. But what is actually known is hearing labelled as purring, color labelled as laptop or as cat, feeling labeled as fur. Thoughts label these experiences into something cohesive, something like a thing called cat when in actual direct experience there are just a bunch of sensations that point towards experience labelled as cat.
So in immediate looking all that is seen are -ing sensations mentally turned into nouns.
But…there isn’t some experiential change in consciousness in acknowledging that verbing expressed as nouns. Maybe there’s still some subtle expectation that there should somehow be a change in consciousness, though? Why would there be a change in consciousness if there’s already no-self? That makes no sense, but the thought returns like a song playing on repeat. Again thought content takes the stage.
In direct experience, only the six senses happen. Even that vaguely feels like a conceptualizing; there is happening and it is called seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and thinking – thinking is what labels the happening as individual happenings. It follows that it cannot be known that the present moment is made of ‘things’, but thoughts feel stuck here. Wait, how can thoughts feel? Thought says “I’m stuck – it feels like there are things all around me even if I can only know experience.”
Is there a story to this resistance?
Oh gosh, so many different stories arise in thought. Thought is always stories and thoughts do their job so well. The first story – that was being played well before the question was asked – was that because I’ve been taking headache medicine quite consistently of late, I’m going to start feeling headaches more often. This is definitely just story made of thought in the form of ‘memory’, which is happening automatically right now.
In a different story: late last night, was laying in bed and waiting for sleep to happen. Felt anxious about fears of losing the stability of this home, which felt like a sort of death of identity. As the story goes, freedom would be lost; safety would be lost; time with cat or partner would be lost. All of a sudden there was an intense sensation-emotion and ‘I’ heard myself say/cry “I don’t want to die.” This seemed so very out-of-the-blue.
Much less headache tonight. Does sensation-tension-resistance find voice through thought? Are thoughts just creating story after story?
Other thoughts on resistance: tired of being lost in conceptualizations. There is this old train of thought that comes back to mind and seems like a logical fallacy, but the thought also plays on repeat: if there is ultimately no one doing any of this, then experience-called-liberation is something that happens automatically when it happens. Seems silly to try to ‘become liberated’ if there is no doer, and the thought arises that the effort is what is ‘fogging the lens’. But then there is the next thought that sense of effort, the tension, the labels, and even clarity (which is itself just a concept) – all happens automatically. If there’s an experience called trying, it’s already happening automatically. Although trying itself cannot be found in direct experience – just feelings and thoughts called trying.
Ah, but…this is content of thoughts, and content of thought is often untrue. So much focus on content of thought. This is what feels like it brings resistance; the habitual focus on the content of thought is increasingly frustrating. Yet that sense called frustration happens automatically; ‘I’ certainly don’t intend to summon frustration just like ‘I’ don’t intend to get lost in the content of thoughts.

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Vivien
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:40 am

Hi Isaac,

Reading your comments, what I can see is that although you do some moments of looking at experience, but after you are conceptualizing about what has been seen, and trying to figure it out. So you spend much more time in story-land than actually looking at experience.
But…there isn’t some experiential change in consciousness in acknowledging that verbing expressed as nouns. Maybe there’s still some subtle expectation that there should somehow be a change in consciousness, though? Why would there be a change in consciousness if there’s already no-self?
This is a conceptual fantasy.
Change in consciousness? In order to that happen, there should be such thing as consciousness.
But this is just a learned knowledge, just a concept, not an experience. We will come back to this later.
In direct experience, only the six senses happen. Even that vaguely feels like a conceptualizing; there is happening and it is called seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and thinking – thinking is what labels the happening as individual happenings. It follows that it cannot be known that the present moment is made of ‘things’, but thoughts feel stuck here. Wait, how can thoughts feel? Thought says “I’m stuck – it feels like there are things all around me even if I can only know experience.”
This is purely conceptual. This is just a logical conclusion and it has nothing to do with experience.

But you are right, thoughts cannot feel, they just ‘talking’ about feeling this or that. But that doesn’t contain any experience. Just thoughts.
In direct experience, only the six senses happen. Even that vaguely feels like a conceptualizing; there is happening and it is called seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and thinking – thinking is what labels the happening as individual happenings.
This is an important point. Thought is NOT the sixth sense. Since thought doesn’t contain experience.
This is about see the distinction between experience and fiction (imagination).
tired of being lost in conceptualizations.
All right. It’s really time now to STOP this conceptualization. Since this is very-very simple.

This investigation should be very simple. You don’t need your intellectual mind to figure out anything.

We are only ever looking for facts of reality, but not knowledge about reality. So, you'll need to put all learned concepts aside (like awareness, consciousness).

We are going to strip away as much intellectualization as possible. We are going down to bare bones. To the simplest simplicity.

Intellectual understanding is what moves the needle the wrong way on the dial. We're going to move it back to the simplest position possible.

You have to look at each questions with the eyes of a little child, who has no intellectual knowledge about how things work.

I will at times ask things repeatedly, or in very simple language. If that happens, trust the process as it's meant to stop the intellectualizing an allow exploration of the experiential.

This is very simple. I cannot emphasize the simplicity enough, actually. Have you heard phrases like, "It's right here" or "It's so simple"? It's a good idea to take that very literally.

Imagine, that you are a five-year old child, and I am your five-year old friend. We are playing together in the kindergarten. Do you get the picture? :)

So while we are playing, you are trying to explain to me that how you know that the cup in your hands is real.

So what do you tell me (to your five-year old friend)? How do you know that the cup in your hand is real?

And how do you know that a ghost is not real?


If the question and resulting answer seems too simplistic, good. It's leading us where we need to go.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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NinetoNone
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Re: Just another story -- the singing of seeking

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:49 am

Hey! You asked for me to drop a few lines when I can't write; I'm functioning on very little sleep so I'm gonna miss tonight's message but I just wanted to affirm that I'm absolutely still interested and I'll be more in touch later today after I've had some rest. Thank you so much for the directive insight and for all you do. ♥


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