Just another story -- the singing of seeking

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

Postby NinetoNone » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:57 am

I guess I also honestly hope to have a quieter, less distracted (ADHD) internal thought process. I know this isn't realistic -- I've read your response to others you've guided about how No self does not directly mean thoughts will just stop existing, but it is an honest desire.

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

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:36 am

Hi Isaac,
I normally meditate twice a day for 20-30 minutes; from now on, I will dedicate one of these sessions to focusing on this inquiry process. I understand consistency is key.
Yes, consistency is key. But also look in the midst of everyday life, even if just for 10-30 seconds each.
It seems that there is a persistent illusion of a sense of self; I expect to disidentify with what I'm not.
‘Disindentifying from the illusion’ is still based on the belief in a self.

Since what could disidentify from the illusion?

Do you think/believe that there is another self, a real Self, with a capital ‘s’ which could disidentify from the small self?
There's a hope of finding Wu Wei, of being at ease with life in all its turns.
Sorry for bringing bad news, but seeing through the self won’t result in ‘being at ease with life in all its turns’. Not at all. And not even close.

With this desire, what you actually desire is to no more have any unpleasant emotions/sensations/experiences. But this is not possible. It’s not possible to eradicate half of the emotions and have only the positive ones.

Peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I know it's not realistic but there's a desire to be in a sort of endless flow state where I don't have to worry about what I think or say, maybe a freedom from anxiety or "should".
Yes, it’s unrealistic… you are trying to stop being a human! Human experience cannot be avoided, and unpleasant sensations/emotions are part of being a human.
I feel like my actions can contribute to pain when I'm not aware or present enough
There are several beliefs here.

First, that there is a self, a me, or ‘something’ which is aware and can be more present.
It’s not about being present, since there is literally NOTHING which could be present or be aware.

Also, there is the belief that experience can be controlled (to be or not to be aware or present).
I have an engrained pattern of disappearing or "going offline" and I'm scared of life passing me by.
This is part of the story about the illusionary self.

There is no you, who could ‘go offline’, and could be scared of life passing by it.
This fear is part of the illusion about a ME.
There is nothing, literally nothing, no you, no self, no I, which has a life, or life could pass by it.
I'm scared of not living.
This is also on behalf of the non-existent self.

Do you believe that there is a you who lives?
I know the purpose of this inquiry isn't for mental health but there's a consistent belief that seeing the truth of no self will be taking a step towards changing patterns.
This is the first step, and LOTS of further looking is needed. The falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism.
In current life experience, there are some habits of action and thought that feel sticky; there is a belief that seeing the truth of no self will help erode the foundation these experiences stick on.
Probably it won’t. Since the personality, emotional patterns, habits stemming from childhood traumas and experiences won’t dissolve just because the self has seen through. However, it can be easier to work with after seeing through the self.
In some meditation experiences, by watching thoughts happen, I eventually reach this place where it's clearly obvious that I'm not what's controlling the thoughts.
There is a big belief here.
The belief is that ‘I am not my thoughts’.
That I am something else than my thoughts.
That there is a self, which is outside of thoughts and observing the thoughts.
That there is something in the background of experience, watching it.

This seemingly something in the background watching thoughts, IS EXACTLY the self-illusion. Is this clear for you, even if just intellectually?

Is it clear that what we are searching for is this ASSUMED watcher / witness / observer / noticer / experiencer / seer / looker / feeler / awareness / consciousness / Self / whatever?

Is it clear that no matter what name/label you use, it’s ALL pointing to the SAME illusion?
This only happens in a good meditation session and for a period of time after, and there's an intuitive extrapolation this must be true. I guess I imagine that seeing no self would feel like that more consistently.
No. Since it’s not about saying that I’m not the body, I’m not the thoughts, but I am this noticer / seer / experiencer /witness / whatever in the background.

This is still the self masquerading as something bigger, better, something different, by being a witness / awareness / consciousness, which is untouched by the ‘harshness of life’.

This is a very common spiritual belief/concept, which is quite enchanting, since this romantic idea leaves a room for the imaginary self to be something real. And this imaginary self is masquerading as awareness/observer in a form of pleasant sensations, this self is untouched by the ‘harsh reality of life’. Since it’s just observes what happens, but always untouched by anything, even by death. So this idea is very attractive… since I can live on forever… I will never die… I can never be hurt… I am always pure and untouched.
There's also this sort of internal, deep desire for a psychedelic-like loss of the psychic sense of self, like losing the centricity and identifying with the whole screen of experience.
This is huge. There are very big expectations here, which has nothing to do with how things are.
I’m sorry, but this won’t happen.
Seeing through the self is not something magnificent experience, it’s not the reliving of a psychedelic experience where the self was seemingly lost.

Seeing through the self is NOT a state!
It’s not a different state than what currently is happening!
It’s very mundane.
It’s very sobering.
It’s actually sobering UP from all these huge desires of on behalf of the self.
Desire for Oneness.
This is even bigger belief than the previous one. I know, it’s very popular in spiritual circles, but it’s just another romantic idea. I won’t be alone any longer, since I will be one with everything, with the whole universe.

The one that desires for this fusion or unity with everything else, IS the self-illusion.
There is literally nothing that could be one with everything else.
It’s impossible. Since what is not there in the first place, cannot unite with anything.

And how even this union would happen? What would become one with everything else? The body would merge into a tree, or there might be a belief in a soul or something that could merge with other seeming souls?

I’m not asking these questions to prompt further speculation, but to point out that this oneness business is just the further expansion in the belief in a self.
I know these answers are not "right" but I also understand that for this exploration to be fruitful, I need to be completely honest.
Yes, and I really appreciate your honesty.
I guess I also honestly hope to have a quieter, less distracted (ADHD) internal thought process. I know this isn't realistic -- I've read your response to others you've guided about how No self does not directly mean thoughts will just stop existing, but it is an honest desire.
The thing is that as long as you try to cling onto these desires, you won’t be able to really look and investigate reality as it is, since you will be searching to find routes to fulfill these desires.
Can you see this?

Can you see that what you really want is not to see through the self, but to fulfill these desires?

If seeing through the self don’t give ANY of your desires and hopes, would you still want to do this inquiry?


Please really consider this last question. Also, read this post many times slowly, before replying.

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 Mar 08, 2020 12:59 pm

Since what could disidentify from the illusion?
The gut answer is that the illusion disidentifies from itself and sees it is not really there...Your pointers make me see how much I've been holding onto the idea of a True Self, a larger self that is not the small self.
Do you think/believe that there is another self, a real Self, with a capital ‘s’ which could disidentify from the small self?
Oh gosh. I guess I really have been looking/thinking this is what would happen. It seems so stupid when you point it out but your description of the enchanting, romantic illusion of an untouchable, permanent self is so spot on.
Do you believe that there is a you who lives?
Oh, this is a piercing question. Honestly speaking, I guess I HAVE been operation from this perception. An idea that life is me -- a sort of Oneness that underlies everything. But I see now how that is just perpetuating the illusion of a self on a grander scale.
This seemingly something in the background watching thoughts, IS EXACTLY the self-illusion. Is this clear for you, even if just intellectually?
Intellectually, yes. I understand now that I have no idea what it will be like to truly see through the illusion.
Is it clear that what we are searching for is this ASSUMED watcher / witness / observer / noticer / experiencer / seer / looker / feeler / awareness / consciousness / Self / whatever?

Is it clear that no matter what name/label you use, it’s ALL pointing to the SAME illusion?
Yes.
Can you see that what you really want is not to see through the self, but to fulfill these desires?
Yes, I can see this. I've seen for a long time that there are cravings for things and that those cravings won't bring any lasting peace; it's just a never-ending desire for the next craving. I don't know how to stop craving, but even that is operating from the belief that there is a me who COULD stop the craving. As you pointed out, if there's no me then there's no one who CAN stop the craving.

If seeing through the self don’t give ANY of your desires and hopes, would you still want to do this inquiry?
Yes. If I do not do this inquiry, it is just choosing to keep seeking routes for a fantasy desire fulfilled. I understand, intellectually at least, that it's a fallacy to try to take something unreal from what is real.

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

Postby Vivien » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:34 am

Hi Isaac,
V: Since what could disidentify from the illusion?
I: The gut answer is that the illusion disidentifies from itself and sees it is not really there...
Not even that. It’s not about identification or not. Since identification is just a concept, not something that actually happens (although we might believe otherwise).

Disidentifying from the illusion won’t happen (since there is no identification with the illusion in the first place).
The illusion will still appear, and sometimes it will be taken as real (even after seeing through the self).
It’s not about seeing through the illusion 24/7, not at all.
Rather it’s about consistently seeing it without fail, every time when looked at.
But when there is no looking, the illusion can be taken to be real.
Oh gosh. I guess I really have been looking/thinking this is what would happen. It seems so stupid when you point it out but your description of the enchanting, romantic illusion of an untouchable, permanent self is so spot on.
I’m glad that you’ve found it helpful.

We are going to start to investigate thoughts. Seeing thoughts clearly is essential part of the inquiry.

It is very important that you never think or ponder on the questions. Rather you actually have to look what you can see in your immediate experience without any thought interpretation.

Please always be thorough with looking. Look repeatedly several times before replying.

Please sit, doing nothing for a few minutes. Watch 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?
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?


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 Mar 10, 2020 5:06 am

Hi Vivien, just wanted to check in and say I can't respond tonight but I've been -- and am still -- practicing this pointer. More tomorrow. Thank you so much.

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

Postby Vivien » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:38 am

All right, thank you for letting me know
"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 Mar 12, 2020 8:41 am

Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?
I can't trace a thought back to where it came from in DE. Terms like the present moment or silence are concepts that spring into ideas, ways of splicing DE into a part. But these concepts are not separate from thoughts and conceptual thinking happens automatically. I can't tell where a thought came from or really where it is. I keep looking to my head as the origination of thoughts but in consistent analysis I'm really just experiencing physical sensations like tension and saying 'this is where thought comes from'. I call the sensations in my head Me and then say thoughts are Mine. In DE, thoughts come and go. Where to where? No clue, they're just here and then not. I have no control over them other than momentary repression and I'm.not sure even that is something I choose because if I sit and do nothing, I'll start "doing something" and then remember the intention to "do nothing" at a random point in time.

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

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:53 am

Hi Isaac,

You’ve done an excellent looking :)
Terms like the present moment or silence are concepts that spring into ideas, ways of splicing DE into a part.
Yes, exactly.
I keep looking to my head as the origination of thoughts but in consistent analysis I'm really just experiencing physical sensations like tension and saying 'this is where thought comes from'.
Yes. So we mislabel this sensation, and call it an I.
I call the sensations in my head Me and then say thoughts are Mine.
HOW do you know exactly that the sensation is labelled ‘me’ is INSIDE the head?
And what is it exactly that is calling the sensations as ‘me’?
I have no control over them other than
What is this I that has no control over thoughts?

Be very careful not to speculate the answer, but actually search for the thing which has no control over thoughts.

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 Mar 16, 2020 7:46 am

what is it exactly that is calling the sensations as ‘me’?
Just thoughts. “This is me” arises as thinking. There’s feeling/sensation and a thought that ‘hey this sensation is me’ and the two seem to go together so that every time I feel sensation I think ‘I’m feeling this’.
HOW do you know exactly that the sensation is labelled ‘me’ is INSIDE the head?
May need some help with seeing this one clearly, but I’m doing my best to stick to actual looking because there seems to be a lot of conditioning of conceptual thinking.
At the end of the day, I don’t think I truly know the sensation labelled ‘me’ is INSIDE the head because even that’s an inference. But this is the sticky inference that is hard to see past: I feel a tension at the place in space I call the side of my forehead. I place a finger on the spot where the tension is and I can feel a thrumming sensation that language labels as pulse. The inference is that the sensation is felt and pointed to at this place in space, which I can touch and call my head. Therefore the sensation seems to be inside the head.
What is this I that has no control over thoughts?

Be very careful not to speculate the answer, but actually search for the thing which has no control over thoughts.
Keeping the last part of this in mind because it’s so easy to speculate/conceptually consider this question but actually searching is getting easier.
In direct observation, can’t find a specific I that has no control over thoughts. There’s a thought and then another thought that says “I have no control over thoughts” but that’s just another thought. There’s sensation and then an almost pre-verbal desire to want uncomfortable sensation to end, but that’s also happening on its own without an I to do it.
But can’t find the I that has no control over thoughts anywhere in direct experience. It’s frustrating, sitting and trying to observe direct experience and hoping that something will shift. Or at least there’s a feeling and then a thought that says ‘this feeling means I am frustrated and want something to change’ – thoughts don’t seem very trustworthy, like they could be saying anything.
Equally frustrating that desire and aversion are beyond control, these feelings happen automatically too. They’re no more ‘I’ than the thoughts are.
I can’t find the I and yet act like there’s one right here. I’ll sit down for meditation – thoughts come. Thoughts go. Sometimes there’s silence for a few moments or distracting thoughts and then I realize that even though I’ve been distracted, I have seemingly been right here. There’s still this presumption that I = Awareness, but I can’t find Awareness at all in direct experience. I can’t find Awareness + Thought, just Thought. So the only way I find an I is through conceptual consideration that “I = what’s there before and after all experiences” but I don’t actually FIND anything in direct experience that is there before or after everything else.

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

Postby Vivien » Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:10 am

Hi Ken,

You did an excellent looking :)
I can’t find the I and yet act like there’s one right here.
What is the ‘acting as if there were an I’ like?

What would acting be like if it were totally clear that there is no real I?


Please describe it as precisely as you can, without using any metaphors, interpretation or imagination.

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 Mar 20, 2020 2:55 am

You did an excellent looking :)

Thank you! I've been trying to practice actual looking as much as possible;
Please describe it as precisely as you can, without using any metaphors, interpretation or imagination.

These gentle but firm reminders help so, so much. Thank you!
What is the ‘acting as if there were an I’ like?
Deceptively struggling with answering this without interpretation or imagination. Acting is already happening, whether or not the illusion's intact. My best answer so far is that acting as if there were an I is believing the I-thought and feeling shame at not doing things good enough, as if there were an I who could do something better or worse. But that sounds eerily like desiring an end to unpleasant experiences.
What would acting be like if it were totally clear that there is no real I?
Huh. Don't think acting would really differ; there is already no I, just the illusion. Hearing, Seeing, Thinking, Feeling, Tasting - all these already happen. Already there is stimulus and response. So seems like only difference would be in whether or not the illusion is believed. Whether or not I believe the thought that "I am Awareness". Earlier I thought something like "No experiencer of awareness, just experiencing." So it's not I + Experience, more like experience is a verb.

Geez, falling into interpretation is really easy. Gonna send this now because I don't know how to look better. Thanks so much!

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

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:50 am

Hi Isaac,
These gentle but firm reminders help so, so much. Thank you!
Welcome :) please always watch out for interpretations and speculations, it’s easy to fall into these traps.
My best answer so far is that acting as if there were an I is believing the I-thought and feeling shame
All right, let’s look into this.

What is it exactly that is believing in the I-thought?
Where is the exact location of the believer of the I-thought?

Please be very careful not to think about the answer, but actually search for the believer.

And what does shame is happening TO?

What is that feels the same?
Where is the feeler?
Where is the exact location of the feeler?

Already there is stimulus and response. So seems like only difference would be in whether or not the illusion is believed. Whether or not I believe the thought that "I am Awareness".
Please read your above comment carefully.

Do you see that there is a belief that there are two selves:
- the I who believes the thought (self 1: the I itself that believes)
- that it is awareness (self 2: awareness)

So this I has to be something else than this assumed awareness in order to be able to believe the thought “I am awareness”. Can you see this?

Can you see that it’s even logically fails?

Earlier I thought something like "No experiencer of awareness, just experiencing." So it's not I + Experience, more like experience is a verb.
This is just thinking and speculating to make experience (what IS) into a verb.

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

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:09 am

Hi Isaac,

How things are going?

I hope you are well,
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 Mar 27, 2020 8:19 am

Hi! Thank you for checking on me. I am exploring these questions every day; I will post a response very soon. Quite tired tonight, but otherwise well. Hope you and yours are safe!

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

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:41 am

All right. I'm looking forward to your reply.

Have a nice day,
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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