Looking for the Truth

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LostMe
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Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:28 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I think the "self" means what we almost all human beings feel as a specific person who is in control of life and who is doing all actions. In reality it may not be the case. At LU, I believe those who have seen that the self is just an illusion, have the experience to guide one for seeing this absence of self.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have read some threads in the forum and I admire the fact that that the guides have seen the truth about "self" and they have helped many other people see through the illusion. I am very interested in seeing the truth. I am looking for some help in my investigation as well. I have thought about self and tried to analyze but was not able to come to a true realization that it is the case. If somebody who has already realized the truth can guide me, I really appreciate it.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect that some one who has seen the truth can see why I can not see the truth, where I am stuck and point me in the right direction. Even though I understand the non-self concept intellectually, its not sinking in. I expect not to bother the guides who are generously spending their time to help others who are in the dark. I understand that I have to look, somebody else can not just show it to me, they can only guide me.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been seeking and in inquiring seriously for a long time; I have studied Buddhism and practiced Vipassana for about 10 years. In the meantime, I have read Eckart Tolle, Non-duality and similar spiritual teachings. Through my studying, I understand the concept of "no-self" and It appears to be true and at times I strongly feels so. However, more often than not I see that I operate as if there is self and as if I have control over what I do and what happens.

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: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:38 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I'd be happy to assist you in your inquiry.

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. We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.
The purpose of which would be for there to be a realisation, more than just intellectually, that there never was and never will be a separate self, as, such. All our efforts will focus on that.

I will tend to ask many questions. That's my job here. These, will be pointers towards no self. It will be for you to examine your experience to find out what's true or not.

I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post at least once a day. If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
Can we agree on these?


Tell me, what are you really looking for. How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for?
What do you want to happen?
What is incomplete right now?


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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:40 am

Hi Vivien, Thank you very much for volunteering to help me. I really appreciate your time.
Can we agree on these?
Yes, certainly. More than willing to agree on this.

Tell me, what are you really looking for. How would your life change if you find that?
I want to find out the truth of self/non-self.  If I don't realize that there is no self, then there will not be any change in my life, because that's how I operate now. I mean I am with the view that I am a person. Although I do believe that there is no self, I haven't realized it yet. If I realize that there is no self, then I think life will be more relaxed. You don't need to regret about not making the right decision in the past or worry about doing it right in the future. I don't need to take the ownership of decisions. Now I think I work hard, but if there is no-self who is there to work hard? The heaviness of the feeling will be less.
What are you hoping for?
I hope this will be a smooth journey and eventually I can realize the truth so my search will be over. No need for long meditation retreats then.
What do you want to happen?
It would be nice if I can see the truth about self.
What is incomplete right now?
Until we know the truth about the self for sure, the life is run in the dark. If I haven't known about the non-self characteristic, then I would not be trying realize it and I would think my life is complete. Now that I know intellectually that there is no self, if I don't realize it, I don't feel complete.

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:13 am

Hi,
Thank you very much for volunteering to help me. I really appreciate your time.
You are welcome :)

How can I 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 result 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.
If I realize that there is no self, then I think life will be more relaxed. You don't need to regret about not making the right decision in the past or worry about doing it right in the future. I don't need to take the ownership of decisions. Now I think I work hard, but if there is no-self who is there to work hard? The heaviness of the feeling will be less.
This might or might not happen, it cannot be known in advance.

But what if seeing through the self is not about not having any negative emotions or worries any more, but rather to see that these emotions are not belonging to anyone or anything? What if the freedom is about seeing that emotions are free-floating and not being attached to a me/self?

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.

Also, physiological 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.
I hope this will be a smooth journey and eventually I can realize the truth so my search will be over. No need for long meditation retreats then.
And what if the journey won’t be smooth? Almost everybody has some difficulties during the inquiry at some point. It’s just part of the process.
Now that I know intellectually that there is no self, if I don't realize it, I don't feel complete.
What if the self who doesn’t feel complete in this moment is just a story told? And that there is no self/me who could feel complete as the result of this investigation? What if all this feeling or not-feeling complete is just part of the illusion of ‘me’?

Please ponder on these questions to see your expectations from a different perspective. Because what I can say for sure, it won’t be how you imagine it to be. Since it cannot be known in advance. It’s never how one imagines it to be.
So it would be the best, if you could drop all your expectations, and just to be a clean slate.

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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:47 am

Hi Vivien,
How can I call you? What name would you prefer?
You can call me Grace
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?
Thank you very much for explaining everything in detail. Yes, I read your comments few times and understood more about what seeing through the self is about. I can see the disadvantage of having expectations. I dropped all those so I don't have to compare them with what actually will happen and am ready to accept whatever it will turn out to be. Even if this journey of investigation is a tough one, I am ready for it. No, there is no resistance to any of the comments. I appreciate your help.
What if the self who doesn’t feel complete in this moment is just a story told? And that there is no self/me who could feel complete as the result of this investigation? What if all this feeling or not-feeling complete is just part of the illusion of ‘me’?
Actually, I see that it is a story that mind is telling. If and when the non-self is realized, then there is no one to feel complete or incomplete.
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?
Yes, definitely I will not read or listen to any related teachings. Will put aside the previous knowledge gathered and spend the entire time looking at experiences to see how things that I take as "I am doing" happening.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
Yes, I am ready. I was ready since long time but come across this website only recently. And the direct pointing method is new to me. I was under the impression that one has to realize it through meditation.

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:00 am

Hi Grace,
And the direct pointing method is new to me. I was under the impression that one has to realize it through meditation.
Realizing no-self is possible with meditation, but it’s a long and tough road. Direct point is, well… direct. :) Direct to the point.

All right, let’s start it. 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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:48 am

Hi Vivien,
Realizing no-self is possible with meditation, but it’s a long and tough road.
It sure is long and tough road!
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.
"Immediate experience without any thought interpretation"- Very helpful instruction.
Please sit, doing nothing for a few minutes. Watch thoughts coming and going.
Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
A thought suddenly becomes known to me or I become aware of a thought but can not trace it as to where it comes from. It just lands in the awareness.
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
Can not follow it to a destination. I only know when another thought comes, the previous one must have gone. Can not directly experience the thought passing away.  Only aware of its absence through the presence of another thought.
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?
 Thoughts just appear in the knowing (in the awareness) and disappear but I can not experience any location associated with their coming and going. I will keep watching thoughts further.
Thank you and Goodnight

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:14 am

Hi Grace,

Try an experiment.

Try to create a thought. Any thought, from scratch. What do you find?
Do you notice how thoughts seem to appear, hang around for a while and somehow pass, and then the next thought come?
What is making thoughts to appear?
Now try preventing a thought from appearing. Is it possible?


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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:31 pm

Hi Grace,
Here are the observations of the experiment:
Try to create a thought. Any thought, from scratch. What do you find? 
Do you notice how thoughts seem to appear, hang around for a while and somehow pass, and then the next thought come?
I couldn't create a thought I want but for example, when I decided "I am going to think about what I should do tomorrow" then a flow of thoughts appeared about what I would do. Some thoughts are like clear sentences and some seem to just pass by quickly giving just an idea. When a thought appear, it doesn't seem to hang around for any noticeable time. Sometimes the same thought comes again and again and appears to be like it is there for a while.
What is making thoughts to appear?
Can not know for sure what makes thoughts appear, they appear constantly. They seem to appear in response to various factors such as what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt on the body at the moment.
Now try preventing a thought from appearing. Is it possible?
I couldn't stop a thought from appearing. It is only possible to prevent a random thought appearing when I keep thinking about another specific object. That is also possible only for a short time like few minutes.

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:34 pm

Hi Grace,
I couldn't create a thought I want
And do you make the decision which thoughts you want to create? Or the ‘chosen thought’ arrives on its own, without you making it to happen?
for example, when I decided "I am going to think about what I should do tomorrow"
Are you sure that you’ve made that decision? Can you make a thought to appear? Any thought?
It is only possible to prevent a random thought appearing when I keep thinking about another specific object. That is also possible only for a short time like few minutes.
How do you make the decision to think about a specific object? Are you making this decision-thought to arise? Or this thought also appear on its own?

Are you the thinker of thoughts?


Look very carefully with each questions.

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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:34 am

Hi Vivien,
Thank you for the reply and questions.
I couldn't create a thought I want
And do you make the decision which thoughts you want to create? Or the ‘chosen thought’ arrives on its own, without you making it to happen?
At least some times it appears as if I make a decision about what type of thoughts to have for example, in meditation, I may decide "during next 30 min I am going to do loving kindness meditation" then the thoughts pertaining to loving kindness come up. However, I have no control over it to limit the thoughts to be only on loving kindness. I can not predict what other stray thoughts pop up and when they will. 
for example, when I decided "I am going to think about what I should do tomorrow"
Are you sure that you’ve made that decision? Can you make a thought to appear? Any thought?
I can not say for sure, but like in the example I gave above, it appears to be so to some degree. I think it may not be the case, but how do I investigate to find the truth here? I have been looking at this aspect of thoughts since last reply.
It is only possible to prevent a random thought appearing when I keep thinking about another specific object. That is also possible only for a short time like few minutes
.How do you make the decision to think about a specific object? Are you making this decision-thought to arise? Or this thought also appear on its own?
Here also I meant that in meditation, we keep one specific object such as the breath, then it limits other thoughts popping up. If this decision-thought arise on its own, then why does it arise only when we are ready for it and not other times? That is where I am confused.
Are you the thinker of thoughts?
 It appears to me that some thoughts just arise without any thinker. They become known only after they arrive. There are other thoughts like decisions etc seem as if they are initiated by the thinker. That's how it appears to me now like in the meditation example I gave.

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:45 am

Hi Grace,

The problem is that you didn’t look with the questions, you were just THINKING about the questions. Which is a dead end.

If you want to learn to swim, would it be enough to think about it, or ponder on it? Or would you have to get into the water and actually doing it in experience?
V: How do you make the decision to think about a specific object? Are you making this decision-thought to arise? Or this thought also appear on its own?
G: Here also I meant that in meditation, we keep one specific object such as the breath, then it limits other thoughts popping up. If this decision-thought arise on its own, then why does it arise only when we are ready for it and not other times? That is where I am confused.
Why didn’t you look? Every single question I give you is an invitation for you to investigate your immediate experience, without any thought speculation.

These questions are simple. You literally have to follow them.

So if I ask: “How do you me the decision to think about a specific object?” – then you won’t get the answer by thinking and speculating about the answer, you have to actually LOOK at it in experience. Just as you have to get wet in order to learn to swim.

So, please close your eyes, and make a decision to think about a specific object. But not just make a decision, but also watch like a hawk HOW you perform the act of making a decision.

So how do you do it? Literally, HOW do you do it?
How do you perform the act of decision making?
Are you making the decision-thoughts to arise? Is it your doing?
Or the ‘decision-thoughts’ appear on their own, just as any thoughts coming from nowhere, just suddenly there, and you are aware of this ‘decision-thought’ AFTER it is there?


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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:50 am

Hi Vivien,
The problem is that you didn’t look with the questions, you were just THINKING about the questions. Which is a dead end.
You spot it right, Sorry, yes, I was thinking more than looking, out of habit. Actually, thinking happened due to the habit.
V: How do you make the decision to think about a specific object? Are you making this decision-thought to arise? Or this thought also appear on its own?
G: Here also I meant that in meditation, we keep one specific object such as the breath, then it limits other thoughts popping up. If this decision-thought arise on its own, then why does it arise only when we are ready for it and not other times? That is where I am confused.
Why didn’t you look? Every single question I give you is an invitation for you to investigate your immediate experience, without any thought speculation.
Yes, I appreciate the opportunity for investigation you give me by these questions. I will focus more on looking and drop the thinking.
So, please close your eyes, and make a decision to think about a specific object. But not just make a decision, but also watch like a hawk HOW you perform the act of making a decision.
As I read the question, the decision-thought arose by itself. Still I closed my eyes and then the thought arose "I have to now make a decision to think about a specific object." Then the decision-thought followed.
Then I observed another decision that happened; feeling hungry and a decision thought arose as to go eat something. Decision thoughts seem to arise just as any other thoughts. It seems to arise following another thought of a condition at least in these 2 cases. In the first one, seeing the question, in the second one feeling the hunger sensation.
So how do you do it? Literally, HOW do you do it?
No, I don't do it and I can't do it. It happens.
How do you perform the act of decision making?
I can't perform the act of decision making. The decision-thought arise by itself.
Are you making the decision-thoughts to arise? Is it your doing? Or the ‘decision-thoughts’ appear on their own, just as any thoughts coming from nowhere, just suddenly there, and you are aware of this ‘decision-thought’ AFTER it is there?
No, I am not making it to arise. Act of decision making happens by spontaneous arising of a decision-thought by itself. When the decision thought become known, there comes another thought "I decided to..."/ "I made that decision" All confusion as to who is doing what comes due to extra thoughts.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

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Vivien
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby Vivien » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:15 am

Hi Grace,
You are replying too quickly, so you don’t have enough time to look deeply and repeatedly. There is no rush in this. You have to stay with the questions for a whole day, looking them again and again, and again and again and again…..
It’s not about the number of questions, it’s about the quality and depth of looking.

If someone really looks deeply and repeatedly, then a single question would be enough to see through the illusion.
So, I’m going to give you the same questions again. This time please spend a whole day with them. Look again and again throughout the day.

HOW you perform the act of making a decision?
So how do you do it? Literally, HOW do you do it?
How do you perform the act of decision making?
Are you making the decision-thoughts to arise? Is it your doing?
Or the ‘decision-thoughts’ appear on their own, just as any thoughts coming from nowhere, just suddenly there, and you are aware of this ‘decision-thought’ AFTER it is there?


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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LostMe
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Re: Looking for the Truth

Postby LostMe » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:21 am

Thank you Vivien. Sure, I will stay with those questions for a day and look repeatedly and get back to you tomorrow.


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