Why do I need I?

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Kachna
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:06 am

Why do I need I?

Postby Kachna » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:07 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the self is a result of lifelong conditioning that gives us sense of control and can have nothing to do with the reality present at the moment. I imagine it as our history that prevents us from perceiving the reality more objectively and by taking it seriously we cause ourselves unnecessary tension and disconnection.

What are you looking for at LU?
A guidance in the process of looking deeper, a meaningful conversation that will be challenging my thoughts and habits and helps me find some more clarity. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed and stuck in the process of "releasing" the idea of self and sometimes I imagine I go in circles.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
A non-judgmental approach of the guide, gentle guidance by questions and excercises, an open-minded discussion and support in the process if it gets blury or difficult. I would like it to be fairly regular yet not demanding me to do mandatory daily tasks or something as strict as that.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I am a psychologist but I have been actively engaged in the topic only for about 9 months, guided by a friend and some other resources. Using combination of excercises, meditation, discussions, psychedelic experiences.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
8

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adamrenton
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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:17 pm

Re: Why do I need I?

Postby adamrenton » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:58 pm

Hello there Kachna!

My name is Adam and it will be my pleasure to guide you through this process. I will explain a few things first and then we will jump into the discovery of no self.

Are you ready Kachna? :)

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Kachna
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Re: Why do I need I?

Postby Kachna » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:19 am

Hi Adam, nice to meet you:)

Thanks for offering the guidance. My name is Katerina and I´m ready to start!

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adamrenton
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Re: Why do I need I?

Postby adamrenton » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Wonderful dear Katerina! Let's begin our little adventure, shall we?

First the boring part:
To communicate in a nice, orderly fashion:
1. Please learn the quote function

Here is my posh acquaintance with some tips:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

2. I will ask questions in blue text. Like this:

Do kangaroos fly?

Simply highlight them separately, press quote and answer the question.

Yay! We're done with the boring stuff. Now the magical saga unfolds!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Image

This is the EPIC CHEST OF OPENNESS.
Let's put everything in it. That means - any expectations, opinions, religious dogma, science - even Jesus and Buddha will fit in (it is THE epic chest after all).

After that - I'd like you to:

- STOP watching any material related to spirituality
- post regularly (if you won't be able to post in 3 days time and more - let me know)

Some of those may seem harsh - but believe me - through consistency and unfiltered inquiry - we will kick butts like a ninja.

_______________________________________

A major point in this inquiry is to know what is the difference between our DIRECT EXPERIENCE and the process of MIND LABELING. We won't go far without knowing the difference.

Here's an explanation (which we will back up with an exercise):

There is a cup on a table. We pick it up.

1. We notice the mind labeling it.
"It's a nice cup", "The cup is cold/warm to the touch", "The cup is heavy/light" or even "This is a cup".
Mind might even label some other things in the room and weave stories centered around them.

Those descriptions are what we call: MIND LABELING.

2. Now - let's put the stories aside.

We notice the sensation of holding - what mind calls "a cup". We notice the shifting colors, tap on "the cup" and listen to the sound it makes.

In this instance we focus on: sensation, hearing, smelling, tasting, looking (sight). Any thought emerging - regardless of its content - is just a THOUGHT.

This is an experience without the thought story. We don't go into the mind but stay with the DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

_____________________

Here's the exercise:

Take some object and use it the same way. First notice the MIND LABELING and describe the thoughts which emerged. Then describe the same thing using DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

Have fun!

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Kachna
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Re: Why do I need I?

Postby Kachna » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:55 pm

Hi Adam,

thanks for the practical guidance. I will try to remember not to watch any videos related to spirituality when they pop up and will do my best to respond regularly.
Take some object and use it the same way. First notice the MIND LABELING and describe the thoughts which emerged. Then describe the same thing using DIRECT EXPERIENCE.
I did this excercise with a dried apricot.

MIND LABELING: I need to describe this apricot. The smell reminds me of summer. I imagine it looks a bit gross like a really old and burnt skin. I imagine it will taste good. I might eat some more later on. It is probably not good to eat this this late at night.

DIRECT EXPERIENCE: I can smell the sweet apricot smell. I can feel it is sticky and cold. I taste the sweet taste in my mouth and feel the structure of it with my tongue and teeth. I can hear the sound of me biting the apricot.

Have a great rest of Sunday!
Katerina

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adamrenton
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:17 pm

Re: Why do I need I?

Postby adamrenton » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:00 am

Very nice Katerina!
I will try to remember not to watch any videos related to spirituality when they pop up and will do my best to respond regularly.
Thank you! Let's avoid those for now and just simply look into our experience. Don't worry with the posting too. This is not a race. We need to simply take it step by step - without theorizing. I'm here for you.

_________________________

Thank you for taking the time with the exercise. Nice job!
Now - to deepen the understanding - let's jump in into a more advanced exercise.

Direct Experience - Labelling Daily Activities

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you
can.

Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:-
Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct
experience) and report back how you go.

This way - we will bring the direct experience closer into view and understand what it is fully.

Please post at least three daily activities.

Take care!

Adam

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Kachna
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Why do I need I?

Postby Kachna » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:47 am

Hi Adam,

I enjoyed this last excercise very much, it was nice to slow down a but throughout the day to feel the sensations.
Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.
1) working on my computer
Hearing the clicking sound of the keybord - sound
Feeling my fingers taping it - sensation
Seeing the screen - image/colour
Thoughts about work and this excercise

2) peeling and eating a grapefruit
Feeling the skin of the fruit - sensation
Hearing the sound of the skin when peeled - sound
Seeing the fruit - color/image
Smelling the grepfruit - smell
Feeling the mouthwatering - sensation
Tasting the grep - taste
Thoughts about it being healthy

3) Taking a shower
Hearing the sound of water falling - sound
Seeing my hands in the water - color/image
Smelling the shampoo - smell
Feeling the water on my skin - sensation
Thoughts about the shower being pleasant
Tasting the water in my mouth - taste
Feeling my fingers on my skin - sensation

Have a great day!
Katerina

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adamrenton
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:17 pm

Re: Why do I need I?

Postby adamrenton » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:48 am

Hi Katerina,

Thank you for taking the time with this exercise. Great job!
I enjoyed this last excercise very much, it was nice to slow down a but throughout the day to feel the sensations.
I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself! The world is a magical place and I hope you have even more fun along the way!

Now I'm bringing more of the blue questions into to the game. It is a way to clarify some answers and make you look further. They might sound like I'm judging what you've just written but I'm simply pointing to reality. It is done with the best intention and love. I'm with you!

In numbers 1-3 you wrote:
Thoughts about work and this excercise/Thoughts about it being healthy/Thoughts about the shower being pleasant
Labeling happens but is the content of the thoughts Direct Experience? Or is it just simply thought after thought?

________________________________________

In order to see the Direct Experience more clearly - we need to find - what people usually refer to as "a gap". It is simply noticing the silence between thoughts and then - noticing it even as they appear. It will help us tremendously.

And do I have and exercise for you!

"The Gap Exercise"

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least
10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes
and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a
pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better
things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought
passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a
few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:-
Looking how they come and go, and observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as
possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and
just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two
thoughts.


As always - take your time. Then - post me 3 examples from your inquiry.

Have fun Katerina!

Adam

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Kachna
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Why do I need I?

Postby Kachna » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:49 am

Hi Adam, good morning,

I have to admit I´ve been struggling with this last excercise.
Labeling happens but is the content of the thoughts Direct Experience? Or is it just simply thought after thought?
I imagine they are thoughts about thoughts not labeling of direct experiences. Would you then clasify thought about direct experience a part of the direct experience? For example Feeling the cup of coffee being hot (sensation) - thought "hot" ...?
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as
possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and
just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two
thoughts.
I´ve been trying this excercise over the last few days and am not sure how to process it. I imagine when I sit down to observe the gaps, I constantly put my mind into those potential gaps by thinking whether this is a gap rather then allowing one thought to pass and wait for another.
There are moments when I imagine I´m simply aware of some sensation and before I label it in my head that could be the gap?

Thanks for your help!
Katerina


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