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My path so far, different views from stages.

EarthninjaEarthninja WandererWest Australia Veteran
Hi guys! Namaste.

I would like to share where I am at so far on the journey, the reason is so that you guys can see where I am coming from and I'd love to hear your advice or your own stories. :)

I'll try put this into words as best as I can,

My understanding so far is that I may not just be the body and mind. I still feel I make decisions and have a strong reflex to associate myself as the body/mind complex. Mostly when I'm around people.

However a lot of the time during self inquiry (asking who is the perceiver of thoughts) I become awareness.

Then I can see the body and mind functioning however I am separate from it. Everything becomes equal in observation. I can not find the observer and there is a strong depersonalisation.
I can see the ego/thoughts objectively and become the observer of thoughts rather than the thinker.

The whole scope of vision becomes your experience but you are not separate from it. Rather it feels like you ARE all experience.

This sometimes has a peaceful feeling to it but the mind/ego hates this. I've had intense fear arise but I know it's just the mind trying to understand what's happening. The problem is I can't stay as awareness for long before I associate as the mind again.
The person comes back. . .

It's like the awareness literally dreams it's a person, and when you become awareness again it's obvious. Only the reflex to associate is do strong.

I really have no idea who I am but I have a huge understanding I'm not the body or mind. It stills feels like I am though so I'm not sure how to see through it totally. I can see that presence has no concerns for anything, it simply observes existence. This is why I feel this is a good path to understand how to end suffering. Passive awareness doesn't suffer but a person does.

My plan is to keep trying to maintain being "presence" and not person. I am doing self inquiry and sitting meditation. I'm also planning on going to India to see if I can clear some things up.

My biggest questions are 1) I know I am presence but what is it? 2) presence doesn't feel like enlightenment (as described) so I am missing something, I've heard it as understanding that which is aware of presence is nirvana.

So that's where I'm at guys, I've been practicing for about 2 years now.

How about you guys? Thoughts? Sorry for the novel.
lobstermmoShoshinElizpegembaraBuddhadragondantepwHamsakaDavid

Comments

  • mmommo Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Earthninja, Interesting indeed. :) Surely, you are into something. Congrats. 2 years? your experience really encourages to get back to my meditation.

    Earthninjalobster
  • @Earthninja said:> My understanding so far is that I may not just be the body and mind. I still feel I make decisions and have a strong reflex to associate myself as the body/mind complex....However a lot of the time during self inquiry (asking who is the perceiver of thoughts) I become awareness.

    So you don't view this awareness as an aspect of mind? Is it worth differentiating here between the mind, and mind objects like thoughts and feelings?

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @mmo thanks, to be honest it is more about having the right pointers and the insight just happens. For me it's self inquiry, literally focussing on trying to find the fundamental self. When this was not found the awareness came in. The meditation helps focus and stills the mind.

    @SpinyNorman thanks, I always tend to write this. When I say mind I'm referring to thoughts/ego.
    Is the awareness an aspect? I think it's consciousness. It's passive awareness rather than attention.
    Again I say mind but I really mean ego/thoughts m.
    Not sure exactly what this awareness is though. It's just here. Always.
    mmo
  • robotrobot Veteran

    What's in India?

  • @Earthninja said:> SpinyNorman thanks, I always tend to write this. When I say mind I'm referring to thoughts/ego. > Is the awareness an aspect? I think it's consciousness. It's passive awareness rather than attention.

    In the Buddhist model there are 6 types of consciousness, one for each of the 5 senses and one for the mind. Usually they appear to merge, though it's possible to isolate them by paying attention to a particular type of consciousness. I would say that consciousness always has an object, in other word we're always conscious of something.

    bookwormlobsterEarthninjaBuddhadragon
  • ElizEliz Arizona, USA Explorer

    @Earthninja said:
    Hi guys! Namaste.

    I would like to share where I am at so far on the journey, the reason is so that you guys can see where I am coming from and I'd love to hear your advice or your own stories.

    @Earthninja Thanks so much for sharing this. I feel that I am at a similar place to you on the path. I am dealing with the same issues that you have outlined here... I can relate completely to all of your description with my current meditation practice. I'll watch this thread to see what others have to say. :)

    Earthninja
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on "my self." He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, stress is passing away. In this, one's knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extents, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.090.than.html

    ElizEarthninjaBuddhadragon
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @SpinyNorman that makes sense, I might have to look into each separate aspect. It does feel like one field of awareness but I could need to look into the different consciousnesses. Interesting thanks.

    @Eliz thanks for you sharing also, there's not many people I can talk to about this stuff. I'm glad there are people with similar experiences. :)

    @bookworm thanks for the link, yes I'm lucky enough to have read something similar which is why I thought id put this on here.
    I know there's more to the awareness as far as Anatta goes. It doesn't feel like a complete seeing. So there is still delusion. So I must not cling.

    @lobster thanks very much for confirming. I used the Advaita non dual line of inquiry to get to this point. They refer to "presence" but I know even this is not self.
    I've just started reading 12 links of dependant origination and I have a feeling I need to look into this.
    I am beginning to understand emptiness but I need to perceive DO like you mentioned.
    Not sure his to go this, obviously I understand intellectually but I have to have a direct experience of DO. Anybody know how to?

    Thanks you all.

    With metta, chris
    Eliz
  • @Earthninja said:

    I am beginning to understand emptiness but I need to perceive DO like you mentioned.
    Not sure his to go this, obviously I understand intellectually but I have to have a direct experience of DO. Anybody know how to?

    http://liberationunleashed.com
    They have a forum and will take you through the exploration.

    Earthninja
  • @Earthninja said:
    Hi guys! Namaste.

    However a lot of the time during self inquiry (asking who is the perceiver of thoughts) I become awareness.

    Then I can see the body and mind functioning however I am separate from it. Everything becomes equal in observation. I can not find the observer and there is a strong depersonalisation.
    I can see the ego/thoughts objectively and become the observer of thoughts rather than the thinker.

    The whole scope of vision becomes your experience but you are not separate from it. Rather it feels like you ARE all experience.

    So that's where I'm at guys, I've been practicing for about 2 years now.

    How about you guys? Thoughts? Sorry for the novel.

    2 years only - wow.

    Is there awareness if there is nothing(no experience) to be aware of?
    Is awareness separate from experience?
    Is it possible that the experiencer and the experiences are inseparable?

    Could it be that there is only experiencing or awarenessing? No "experiencer" as such.

    Something worthwhile reflecting on.

    Jeffrey
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @lobster the link looks great, I follow a blog that's similar but doesn't have the pointers like this one. Some of them are Exactly how I feel.

    "Without the mind where does inside and outside meet?"

    "Being able to control your thoughts is just another illusion"

    Mind blowing stuff :p

    I will definitely join, thanks @lobster
    Eliz
  • ElizEliz Arizona, USA Explorer

    @Earthninja said:
    lobster the link looks great, I follow a blog that's similar but doesn't have the pointers like this one. Some of them are Exactly how I feel.

    "Without the mind where does inside and outside meet?"

    "Being able to control your thoughts is just another illusion"

    Mind blowing stuff

    I will definitely join, thanks lobster

    @lobster, that link is very interesting- I've never seen this before. Thanks to both you and @Earthninja for sharing.

    Earthninjalobster
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Eliz I follow awakeingintoreality@blogspot.com.au I'm on my phone so I don't know how to paste the link.

    Check out the 7 stages of awakening. The experiences seem to relate to stage 1 and 2 for me.
    Somehow I need to see through being the "witness".

    Thanks a stack guys .
    Eliz
  • ElizEliz Arizona, USA Explorer

    @Earthninja said:
    Eliz I follow awakeingintoreality@blogspot.com.au I'm on my phone so I don't know how to paste the link.

    Check out the 7 stages of awakening. The experiences seem to relate to stage 1 and 2 for me.
    Somehow I need to see through being the "witness".

    @Earthninja , thanks so much. This is excellent. I just found the link to the blog that you mentioned. I will check this out now as well. I'm going to read through their description of the 7 stages of awakening now - and think about how this relates to my meditation experiences as well. Thanks for the link.

    I also recently read a book that you might find somewhat interesting. Parts of it are a little odd, but I found the descriptions of Anatta to be helpful for me. The title is Stepping out of self-deception (http://www.shambhala.com/stepping-out-of-self-deception.html). The only issue that I have with the book is that it isn't really anchored in any particular Buddhist tradition. However, the descriptions are pretty interesting.

    Earthninja
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Eliz your the second person to mention this book to me, I'll have to look into it thank you. I'm not caught up on Buddhism only books. Wisdom is wisdom regardless from which tradition. Thanks again :)
    Eliz
  • @pegembara said:Could it be that there is only experiencing or awarenessing? No "experiencer" as such.

    Then who is being mindful?

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Or what. :)
  • or not :p

    Earthninja
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Then who is being mindful?

    The same "who" that sees, hears, smells, think and feels.

    What or who hears?
    That's emptiness or sunyata. Things are actually no things.

    "It's good, monks, that you understand the Dhamma taught by me in this way, for in many ways I have said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'

    "Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    "Lord, who clings?"

    "Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'clings.' If I were to say 'clings,' then 'Who clings?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes clinging?'

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.than.html

    lobsterEarthninjaJeffrey
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    The Prajna-paramita (Perfection of Wisdom) Sutras taught that all entities, including dharmas, are only conceptual existents or constructs.

    Though we perceive a world of concrete and discrete objects, these objects are "empty" of the identity imputed by their designated labels.[15] The Heart sutra, a text from the prajnaparamita-sutras, articulates this in the following saying in which the five skandhas are said to be "empty":

    Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
    Emptiness is not separate from form, form is not separate from emptiness
    Whatever is form is emptiness, whatever is emptiness is form

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Earthninja

    Perhaps the bundles of vibrating energies we call beings ( human beings in our case) are just consciousness's way/means of observing itself....

    Listen to the whole 6 minutes or start at 5 minutes in, for the juicy food for thought bit :)
    Who knows...It could well be the answer to your question....in a roundabout way... :)
    Death and your Dissolution Alan Watts

    EarthninjaEliz
  • ElizEliz Arizona, USA Explorer

    @Earthninja , Here are a few more readings that you might find useful.

    I've been reading these lately to think about the issues that you brought up here. Just a few more references (in case you haven't seen them yet) :)

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/notself2.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/into_the_stream.html

    EarthninjaShoshin
  • @pegembara said:The same "who" that sees, hears, smells, think and feels.

    Which is what exactly?

    Eliz
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @pegembara said:The same "who" that sees, hears, smells, think and feels.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Which is what exactly?

    @SpinyNorman a good question......

    "Consciousness ?" ....and what is consciousness ? who really knows ? only consciousness knows....so perhaps there should be a muster of the aggregates and sense doors so as to ask consciousness itself :) And when the answer finally comes, can it be put into words (really be explained by conventional means, so it is clearly understood by all ) ? How long before contradictions arise ? And all the non sense that goes with it :)

    .

    bookworm
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    Which is what exactly?

    "Lord, who makes contact?"

    "Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'makes contact.' If I were to say 'makes contact,' then 'Who makes contact?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes contact?' And the valid answer is, 'From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.'"

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.than.html

    Regards

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    @Pegembara, Why not just say "I don't know"?
  • @ourself
    Because that is not a valid answer. The Buddha had an answer which is in the dependent origination formula. The aim is to deconstruct the self or I and view things in terms of cause and effect. He knew what was going on!

    In terms of emptiness, there is no who or what, only "empty phenomena rolling on".

    Hope that makes sense.

    EarthninjaTravellerDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited April 2015
    @pegembara;

    So how do you tell the difference between the different sets of empty phenomenon rolling on?

    I know where you're coming from. The problem is if we follow that example we run the risk of seeing things in light of only one of the two truths.

    Do you see what I'm getting at here?

    Duality is not an enemy, it is a tool.
    pegembara
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @ourself said:
    Pegembara, Why not just say "I don't know"?

    @pegembara said:
    ourself
    Because that is not a valid answer.

    It worked for Bodhidharma but ok...

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    No it didn't. If I remember, he was poisoned as he was not a likeable character and rather brusque. He failed to appreciate that he lived in the human realm and was even rude to the emperor.
    http://www.chanmeditationlondon.org/chan-history-buddhism-chinese/chan-history-patriarchs-chinese-history/

    It didn't work for Bahiya either. If you see a cow coming at you, you better get out of the way.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.than.html

    "Citta, these are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.09.0.than.html

    So this peculiar teaching of the Buddha is only meant for those who are ready.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    Expresses the self without grasping the self.

    Sounds much more reasonable than empty phenomena rolling on, eh?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @pegembara said:.... So this peculiar teaching of the Buddha is only meant for those who are ready.

    Did you mean 'particular', rather than 'peculiar'...?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited April 2015
    The teachings on emptiness only seem confusing because people like it to sound all mystical and complicated.

    Really, it's pretty simple and logical.
    ShoshinEliz
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @federica said:

    So it was said of him at the time. But what, then, was the fundamental ground of that teaching? Of the many ways that such a question might be answered, perhaps the simplest and best is this: "He expounded the teaching that is peculiar to Buddhas: suffering, origination, cessation and a path" (MN 56). These four are known as the Four Noble Truths. This, with the cognate teaching of No Self, may be said to constitute the fundamental ground of the teaching of Buddhas; this is what marks them, sets them apart and entitles them to the unique epithet "Buddha."

    The three discourses here presented display precisely, in all its incomparably serene simplicity, without assumptions, that special fundamental teaching, from which all Buddhism branches, and to which it all points back.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel017.html

    bookwormlobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited April 2015
    That there is nobody to suffer is delusion and will not help.

    Just ask Nobody.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited April 2015
    @Earthninja;

    Going back to your original post, when you have had this experience, are you doing formal sitting meditation?

    The reason I ask is because when I first experienced what seems to be the same thing, I was doing walking meditation.

    That was probably about 12 years into my practice.
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @ourself thanks for the reply, no originally it started during walking meditation.
    This time around it is seated but my eyes open. What I was doing was focussing on remaining as awareness rather than having a focus. Once I was observing thoughts objectively everything expanded.
    I really liked your above post about emptiness and the self.
    David
  • @ourself said:> That there is nobody to suffer is delusion and will not help.
    Just ask Nobody.

    I tend to agree, it doesn't make much sense to say that nobody is suffering, or that nobody is being mindful or meditating or whatever.
    As I see it anatta is negating an essence or soul, and not a conventional self. Similarly sunyata is negating inherent existent, and not existence itself, again the negation is of an independent essence.

    lobsterDavidpegembara
  • @pegembara said:This, with the cognate teaching of No Self, may be said to constitute the fundamental ground of the teaching of Buddhas;

    But anatta is negating an essence or soul, and not a conventional self. "No-essence" conveys the meaning of anatta better than "no-self".

    lobsterTraveller
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    But anatta is negating an essence or soul, and not a conventional self. "No-essence" conveys the meaning of anatta better than "no-self".

    I see anatta in the same way and interpret Nanamoli's No Self as having no essence or soullessness. Since everything is always in a state of change (becoming otherwise) there is nothing that you can point to and say that is the essential self.

    The world attached to things that are constantly changing and assumes a "self" there. That is why we celebrate birthdays! We assume a self that grows/becomes old. Think about this.

    This world is burning.
    Afflicted by contact,
    it calls disease a 'self.'
    By whatever means it construes [anything],
    it becomes otherwise than that
    .[1]Becoming otherwise,
    the world is
    attached to becoming
    afflicted by becoming
    and yet delights
    in that very becoming.
    Where there's delight,
    there is fear.

    What one fears
    is stressful.
    This holy life is lived
    for the abandoning of becoming.
    Ud 3.10

    lobsterbookwormTraveller
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 2015

    In the mahayana there is a true nature. But the skhandas are not the true nature and they are a mistaken perception. I think it is in the ratnagotravibbhaga and the shrimaladevi sutra. For myself I generally meditate and forget everything I read haha. But even from the beginning we have a longing for something that brings us to Buddhism. The longing nature itself could be thought of as is the true nature but what it longs for is all conditional impermanent things which lead to suffering.

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @Earthninja said:
    Hi guys! Namaste.

    I would like to share where I am at so far on the journey, the reason is so that you guys can see where I am coming from and I'd love to hear your advice or your own stories. :)

    I'll try put this into words as best as I can,

    My understanding so far is that I may not just be the body and mind. I still feel I make decisions and have a strong reflex to associate myself as the body/mind complex. Mostly when I'm around people.

    However a lot of the time during self inquiry (asking who is the perceiver of thoughts) I become awareness.

    Then I can see the body and mind functioning however I am separate from it. Everything becomes equal in observation. I can not find the observer and there is a strong depersonalisation.
    I can see the ego/thoughts objectively and become the observer of thoughts rather than the thinker.

    The whole scope of vision becomes your experience but you are not separate from it. Rather it feels like you ARE all experience.

    This sometimes has a peaceful feeling to it but the mind/ego hates this. I've had intense fear arise but I know it's just the mind trying to understand what's happening. The problem is I can't stay as awareness for long before I associate as the mind again.
    The person comes back. . .

    It's like the awareness literally dreams it's a person, and when you become awareness again it's obvious. Only the reflex to associate is do strong.

    I really have no idea who I am but I have a huge understanding I'm not the body or mind. It stills feels like I am though so I'm not sure how to see through it totally. I can see that presence has no concerns for anything, it simply observes existence. This is why I feel this is a good path to understand how to end suffering. Passive awareness doesn't suffer but a person does.

    My plan is to keep trying to maintain being "presence" and not person. I am doing self inquiry and sitting meditation. I'm also planning on going to India to see if I can clear some things up.

    My biggest questions are 1) I know I am presence but what is it? 2) presence doesn't feel like enlightenment (as described) so I am missing something, I've heard it as understanding that which is aware of presence is nirvana.

    So that's where I'm at guys, I've been practicing for about 2 years now.

    How about you guys? Thoughts? Sorry for the novel.

    -For what it's worth, in my opinion, "presence" is the space of the mind...

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