Another Self-Inquiry thread

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
User avatar
Riken
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:04 pm

Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by Riken » Fri May 27, 2011 1:32 am

Hey guys!

My previous thread on this same topic got great answers, but I am still finding I am coming to the same points repeatedly, still feeling like there is something left to realize.

I know that many will jump on that point and say something like - "The very thought that there is something to realize is what keeps you seeking". Yes, I can completely see this perspective, however despite being aware of this tendency to seek, it has not gone, so I am still drawn to inquiry.

Please, if you will respond to this, talk from your direct experiences and discoveries. Many people speculate on inquiry and don't actually follow it through to it's conclusion which I have been trying to do.

So anyway without further ado, I will explain my process:

1. I sit quietly, normally not asking a question such as "Who am I?". I don't ask because I don't feel like I need to anymore because the mind is so quiet it feels 'dead' - and try to direct my attention onto that 'one' who is watching. (The knower, consciousness, awareness itself) As instructed on this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPdLl3HVYM0

2. At this point the mind is very quiet. I might not say it's 'focused' because ever since a previous experience of inquiry where I discovered the lack of ego for the first time, my life has been feeling incredibly weird, almost as if I don't exist at all - even when I wake up in the morning I don't feel a big separating line between the waking and dreaming states. But alas - at this point the mind has mostly shut up.

3. Now after sitting for a few minutes with no thought, it feels like the attention is straining slightly to see the witness. (I should point out here that I'm not looking for the witness as a phenomenon or object).

4. I realize that I am even watching this straining of attention so I cannot be that.

5. Eventually, after thoughts and sensations are negated, I seem to be at a 'dead end'. Here I start pondering "I can't see myself because what I am is not an object" - so I start wondering if I am doing something wrong.

6. I see these doubts and stay with the inquiry, tracing back slowly and negating everything that appears.

7. Noise comes, music that I've been listening to throughout the day appears in the mind and no matter how much I let go of control it seems to distract me somewhat. You know when theres a song that you just can't get out of your head? Well that happens..


End of inquiry.
Results: 0

Only confirmation of what I already know takes place; the confirmation that when I look 'inside' as it were, I can never find anything, no ego, no 'me', just a blackness, a nothingness.
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players"

tod
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:25 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by tod » Fri May 27, 2011 3:28 am

Riken wrote:Hey guys!

My previous thread on this same topic got great answers, but I am still finding I am coming to the same points repeatedly, still feeling like there is something left to realize.

I know that many will jump on that point and say something like - "The very thought that there is something to realize is what keeps you seeking". Yes, I can completely see this perspective, however despite being aware of this tendency to seek, it has not gone, so I am still drawn to inquiry.
Are you drawn to inquiry or merely observing it? Or can you take both stances?
Please, if you will respond to this, talk from your direct experiences and discoveries. Many people speculate on inquiry and don't actually follow it through to it's conclusion which I have been trying to do.
As far as I can see the inquiry here has not concluded. I watch it continue. No conclusions are drawn.
End of inquiry.
Results: 0

Only confirmation of what I already know takes place; the confirmation that when I look 'inside' as it were, I can never find anything, no ego, no 'me', just a blackness, a nothingness.
I cannot find anything either, and so appear to be giving up, giving up being involved in the search. I seem to be realising that I am the "blackness/nothingness", ie nowhere to be found, and am slowly 'occupying that ground'. I am increasingly just watching inquiry when it decreasingly occurs.

User avatar
ashley72
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by ashley72 » Fri May 27, 2011 3:46 am

Riken,

Is your self-inquiry always sitting in a quite room alone?

For me the first "non-cognitive" Self-realization about the formless came after (Nature-Inquiry) contemplating the stillness of trees, flowers, birds and clouds. Just be with it whatever you stumble upon or catches the eye, there is a depth there that defies analysis by the mind. When out it big open spaces, the blowing of air on the face, the great expanse can really help to free up a lot of inner-space. A great feeling of peace comes over you, and clarity arises. Any thoughts that arise are completely seen and let go off. After a while everything is seen as simply coming and going, nothing to grab onto.... there is no examining or analysing of anything but everything is seen so clearly.

I only say this because if your hitting a brick wall, it might be better to experience inquiry from another perspective. You can always come back to Self-Inquiry... just see what happens in nature by Inquiring there.... you might be surprised.
Last edited by ashley72 on Fri May 27, 2011 6:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
RCharles
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:23 am
Location: Northern California -- Sierra Nevada Mountains

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by RCharles » Fri May 27, 2011 5:05 am

Hi Riken,

First, congratulations on developing a practice. Keep it up!

Second, there's way too much thinking, analyzing, seeking going on. When you meditate, don't do anything but watch. Just watch your breath or mantra or emptiness. If thoughts come, watch them, notice them and let them go and return to the breath or the silence. If sounds come up outside, just notice them, and then return to the breath or the nothingness.

What you are doing is natural. If you were learning to play tennis, you'd wonder, "Am I holding the racket right? Am I in the right place on the court. Is my stance right?" You're doing the same with meditation. Eventually it gets more natural, just as tennis does, but until then, don't try to do anything but watch and let go, returning to the breath, the mantra, or the silence each time something comes to your attention. Just keep coming back to your point of focus each time you wander off. There's nothing more to do.

Regarding seeking, that's natural to do too. After many years of practicing, I still find myself seeking sometimes. Seeking is just another thought, so let it go and return to presence. Experiences and insights will come without seeking, including some that feel good and some that don't. All of them will pass, and none of them need to be judged as good or bad. They are just thoughts. You don't need to seek them or cling to them. They come according to their own timing, and no amount of seeking and trying will make them happen or not happen. All you have to do is be present, watching whatever happens and then returning to breath, mantra, or silence. That's ALL.

Chuck
Last edited by RCharles on Fri May 27, 2011 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

rodriguez_88
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, California
Contact:

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by rodriguez_88 » Fri May 27, 2011 5:22 am

Riken wrote:
End of inquiry.
Results: 0
:lol:

rodriguez_88
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, California
Contact:

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by rodriguez_88 » Fri May 27, 2011 6:15 am

Riken wrote: 7. Noise comes, music that I've been listening to throughout the day appears in the mind and no matter how much I let go of control it seems to distract me somewhat. You know when theres a song that you just can't get out of your head? Well that happens..
I'd say stop listening to music for a couple of days. It's also been a distraction for me in the past. If it's not helping, just press pause. It'll be there when you come back to it. :)

walken
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:41 am

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by walken » Fri May 27, 2011 7:17 am

rodriguez_88 wrote:
Riken wrote: 7. Noise comes, music that I've been listening to throughout the day appears in the mind and no matter how much I let go of control it seems to distract me somewhat. You know when theres a song that you just can't get out of your head? Well that happens..
I'd say stop listening to music for a couple of days. It's also been a distraction for me in the past. If it's not helping, just press pause. It'll be there when you come back to it. :)
Stop listening to music isn't going to do a damn thing. The mind will "get a song stuck it's head" to avoid silence. If the mind has nothing to think, it will do whatever it can to fill the void. It fears silence because it knows that silence means its death.

rodriguez_88
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, California
Contact:

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by rodriguez_88 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:34 am

Okie dokie then, walken :)

Just sharing my direct-experience.

Ralph
Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:08 am

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by Ralph » Fri May 27, 2011 8:14 am

End of inquiry.
Results: 0

Only confirmation of what I already know takes place; the confirmation that when I look 'inside' as it were, I can never find anything, no ego, no 'me', just a blackness, a nothingness.
There is your answer but you don't like it... do you?

see...

- there is nothing in it for you
- there is nothing for you to get
- you cant take it with you
- you don't exist

It is not a looking at but a looking from ... and until this is realized/recognized, you will continue to inquire.

The end of inquiry means just that. It is the end of you.


“When I see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see that I am everything, that is love and my life moves between these two“.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

User avatar
ashley72
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:24 am

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by ashley72 » Fri May 27, 2011 10:39 am

Riken, Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaWfcrA6 ... ata_player

hanss
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:14 pm
Location: Gothenburg - Sweden

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by hanss » Fri May 27, 2011 11:06 am

First, this might come out as harsh or unpolite. But that is not my intention. Consider this (not saying it is the truth), that self-enquiry does not work for you. At this phase, right now. That the Universe does not care one yota about your process, your methods, your goal, your expaction for result or what can be read in Advaita books, what I say or what someone else says. That you will get what you need when you are ready for it. And all you can do is to accept that.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

alex
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:28 am

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by alex » Fri May 27, 2011 12:40 pm

Hey Riken, please try this. ..it's still immportant I think to ask the question 'what am I' but you have to do it with REAL meaning. Find that true desire. Then let go and see where it takes you. You mention that you 'strain' to see the witness. This will NEVER work, when you COMPLETELY let go you will naturally end up resting as your presence. This for me feels like nothing but a very alive nothing. You have to find your own integrity and ability to let go. Xx

arel
Posts: 581
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:11 pm

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by arel » Fri May 27, 2011 1:40 pm

End of inquiry.
Results: 0
That made me laugh :)
Only confirmation of what I already know takes place; the confirmation that when I look 'inside' as it were, I can never find anything, no ego, no 'me', just a blackness, a nothingness.
You have your confirmation, why don't you trust it? Sounds to me that you have that simple seeing.. Yes, no "me", just nothingness, and that nothingness is YOU, is awareness. Wouldn't you say it's "alive"?
It's kind of funny to even tell you this, because you already know, but doubts keep coming up, the mind is restless, and is what obstructs that seeing, and makes you ask questions. Come back to "it" again and again and you will gain confidence in this your knowledge. The thought that there is more to it is imagination. And the doubt that keeps coming up is what happens in ths clear Seeing.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

snowheight
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:56 pm

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by snowheight » Fri May 27, 2011 3:19 pm

Ralph wrote:
End of inquiry.
Results: 0

Only confirmation of what I already know takes place; the confirmation that when I look 'inside' as it were, I can never find anything, no ego, no 'me', just a blackness, a nothingness.
There is your answer but you don't like it... do you?

see...

- there is nothing in it for you
- there is nothing for you to get
- you cant take it with you
- you don't exist

It is not a looking at but a looking from ... and until this is realized/recognized, you will continue to inquire.

The end of inquiry means just that. It is the end of you.

“When I see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see that I am everything, that is love and my life moves between these two“.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Or to state this more directly:
Riken wrote: 5. Eventually, after thoughts and sensations are negated, I seem to be at a 'dead end'. Here I start pondering "I can't see myself because what I am is not an object" - so I start wondering if I am doing something wrong.
Who is it that wonders? Who is it that could be doing something wrong? Who is it that ponders? Who is it that conceives of a dead end?

Riken,

What do you feel while you are doing this?

What do you hear?
What do you smell?
What is the sensation on your skin? -- the temperature of the air, the feeling of contact with the floor or the furniture .. is there an occasional breeze?
Do you feel any sort of a sense of calm?
Do you notice your breath ... how often they come ... or are they any deeper?

The answer to who you are will not come as any sort of a revelation, in fact, from my experience over these past two years, when a deep state of meditation is recognized, it is that recognition itself which will trigger a reaction in the mind. 0 is good. You have to feel 0 to know this.

Read what RCharles wrote above:
RCharles wrote: If thoughts come, watch them, notice them and let them go and return to the breath or the silence.
That is where surrender, acceptance and non-judgment come in to play, and it seems that you do have at least a head start on this:
Riken wrote: 6. I see these doubts and stay with the inquiry, tracing back slowly and negating everything that appears.
When you say "tracing back slowly and negating", what do you mean, exactly? How is this negating carried out? By whom is this negating carried out? What is the attitude of the one doing the negating? Is it dismissive? Final? Forceful? Certain? Authoritative?
RCharles wrote:What you are doing is natural. If you were learning to play tennis, you'd wonder, "Am I holding the racket right? Am I in the right place on the court. Is my stance right?" You're doing the same with meditation. Eventually it gets more natural, just as tennis does, but until then, don't try to do anything but watch and let go ...
My experience with practice is much more shallow (not as much time, no formality) than that of Charles, but I can see what he describes happening -- it's almost like the mind is becoming jaded to the experience of whatever this is ... but that doesn't really cover it, and the reason it doesn't is that this is not something that can be jaded to and what seems to be happening is that: #1 as the mind gains a deeper mis-understanding of what is going on the probability of it reacting forcefully diminishes and #2 the "connection" to the "Witness" seems stronger over time -- now that (#2) is just a bullshit statement which doesn't mean anything and for why that is I cite the endless arguments about paradox I've posted on this forum but I hope that you can see (not understand) what I'm talking about.
RCharles wrote:Just keep coming back to your point of focus each time you wander off. There's nothing more to do.
For you the "point of focus" RCharles has described is the fundamental question of self-inquiry ... what is that fundamental question, Riken?
Ralph wrote: “When I see that I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see that I am everything, that is love and my life moves between these two“.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Ralph ... didn't you post Nisargadatta formulating this in a subtly different form once before?

"My mind tells me I am nothing and my heart tells my I'm everything and my life runs between the two"

Riken, you don't seem to want to hear what you are saying to Amorbis ... to put it bluntly ... are you doing this with heart?

Don't interpret that as a claim that you are a fraud or that you are deceiving yourself. For whatever my recognition of your direct experience is worth it is there, but remember, you are the one holding out the beggar's bowl.
Riken wrote: 7. Noise comes, music that I've been listening to throughout the day appears in the mind and no matter how much I let go of control it seems to distract me somewhat. You know when theres a song that you just can't get out of your head? Well that happens..
From listening to what others have had to say I've come to recognize this as a completely natural common occurrence. Have you tried pausing your inquiry for a few moments after this happens and picking up either right where you left off or "directly before"?

I have, and the results can be rather spectacular.

From further listening to others, it would seem that it is a rare perspective indeed who is not often welcomed back to the Middle Kingdom by an energetic thought stream, but other times, a nice state of no-mind will persist after I've found which pocket my keys are in.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

User avatar
Riken
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:04 pm

Re: Another Self-Inquiry thread

Post by Riken » Fri May 27, 2011 4:03 pm

hanss wrote:First, this might come out as harsh or unpolite. But that is not my intention. Consider this (not saying it is the truth), that self-enquiry does not work for you. At this phase, right now. That the Universe does not care one yota about your process, your methods, your goal, your expaction for result or what can be read in Advaita books, what I say or what someone else says. That you will get what you need when you are ready for it. And all you can do is to accept that.
Hey. You didn't come across as harsh, but I can't agree here because infact self-inquiry was the only practice to give me insight and cut away what I thought I was. No worries.

Again, I think the thread was misconstrued by pretty much everyone apart from Arel. It's noones fault, its the nature of the interwebz.


@Snowheight - As for negating objects, it's not a cynical removal of anything, it's just seeing that whatever I can perceive is not ME because in order for it to be perceived that has to be a ME for it to appear to, the attitude is one of indifference to anything that arises, letting everything that isn't me float on by, no judgments.

@RCharles - Nah, there isn't actually much thinking going on at all or much analyzing or seeking, your just projecting onto me here. Inquiry is not the same meditation your describing, it doesn't need a mantra or anything like that - did you read the post properly? :?

@Ashley72 - Appreciate the responses, good video, but not really directly related to what I'm asking.

@Ralph - There is more to the answer than that, I am not a blankness or a nothingness because I am there to perceive it.. so... no..

Did anyone actually watch the link from Mooji?
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players"

Post Reply