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Seeing the one who is seeing

 
Cindercharlie
 
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Cindercharlie
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12 September 2019 16:23
 

I’ve listened to the Waking Up meditations for some time. I struggle with “seeing the one who is seeing”. Any thoughts?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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17 September 2019 22:23
 

Greeting Mr. Charlie.

There are few on the forum who follow the app. I guess yer not allowed to use a mirror. It might be a pitch to convince you of the illusion of self.

 
 
SittingBullShit
 
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SittingBullShit
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17 October 2019 05:46
 

Hi cindercharlie,

It’s been a month since you posted. Any progress on “seeing the one who is seeing”?

Best,
Steve

 
Gandalf
 
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Gandalf
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20 June 2020 05:29
 

I had a lot of trouble with this. Seriously took me 6 months of trying almost every day to finally be confident that I had glimpses of the insight. Today, I took a very light dose of LSD and meditated. I didn’t just glimpse this nature, I could hold on to it. It was my first experience with LSD.

 
jro
 
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jro
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28 June 2020 07:28
 
Gandalf - 20 June 2020 05:29 AM

I had a lot of trouble with this. Seriously took me 6 months of trying almost every day to finally be confident that I had glimpses of the insight. Today, I took a very light dose of LSD and meditated. I didn’t just glimpse this nature, I could hold on to it. It was my first experience with LSD.

Yeah, I suspect that it works much better with psychodelical drugs. In the waking up app, Sam constantly instructs to “simply turn attention upon itself”. But even though this is supposedly simple, I have absolututely no idea what I am supposed to to. I wonder if there can be any more specific instructions on what to actually do or whether it just doesn’t work without psychodelic experience.

 
burt
 
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burt
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28 June 2020 08:55
 

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Need I say more?

There are three stages involved in “Being There.”

1. Experiencing a state
2. Learning how to return to that state
3. Learning how to remain in that state.

 
jro
 
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jro
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29 June 2020 13:20
 
burt - 28 June 2020 08:55 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Need I say more?

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

 
burt
 
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29 June 2020 19:36
 
jro - 29 June 2020 01:20 PM
burt - 28 June 2020 08:55 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Need I say more?

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

Tough to learn to quite the mind so that this is possible. Can take years if all one does is this sort of meditation. There are lots of other methods that help though.

 
jro
 
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jro
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30 June 2020 00:49
 
burt - 29 June 2020 07:36 PM
jro - 29 June 2020 01:20 PM
burt - 28 June 2020 08:55 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Need I say more?

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

Tough to learn to quite the mind so that this is possible. Can take years if all one does is this sort of meditation. There are lots of other methods that help though.

I have a daily practice for 12 years now. I know that it is tough.  My question was concerning the method though. How do I “turn attention upon itself? Can you actually do it or does it just happen at a certain stage?

 
burt
 
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burt
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30 June 2020 09:52
 
jro - 30 June 2020 12:49 AM
burt - 29 June 2020 07:36 PM
jro - 29 June 2020 01:20 PM
burt - 28 June 2020 08:55 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?

Need I say more?

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

Tough to learn to quite the mind so that this is possible. Can take years if all one does is this sort of meditation. There are lots of other methods that help though.

I have a daily practice for 12 years now. I know that it is tough.  My question was concerning the method though. How do I “turn attention upon itself? Can you actually do it or does it just happen at a certain stage?

The ancient skeptic philosophers claimed that complete self-knowledge was impossible because the self that knew would always be beyond the self that was known. To know something requires separation from it so that it can be known so no matter how many times one stepped back from their self in order to know it, the self that had “stepped back” remained unknown. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Achilles and the Tortoise paradox, but that’s what their argument was based on. That goes back to around 450BC from Zeno of Elea. He claimed that if Achilles and a tortoise were to have a race, and the tortoise was given a head start, then Achilles could never catch up because by the time he reached the point where the tortoise had started, the tortoise would have moved ahead to a further point. And by the time Achilles reached that further point, the tortoise would again have moved ahead. And so on. It sounds crazy, we know that Achilles wins, but philosophers have argued ever since about this and the issues is still unsettled for some. One resolution was that with each step Achilles becomes more tenuous so that at the point where he would have caught the tortoise he has also vanished. Sorry for being longwinded, “turning attention on itself” is like Achilles reaching a point where the tortoise has just been, at least so long as there is anyone who is attempting to attend. You must have had at least brief flashes of “emptiness” so as far as method goes, it seems a question of learning how to reproduce those and then stabilize that state.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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01 July 2020 07:23
 

I don’t follow the app but the question had me pondering while I was out cutting grass.  And it made me think of the F Stop on a camera.  The more time we spend controlling the settings the less focus we have on the things that continue to move.  And we have some expectation of what it is we wanna see but then get all hung up on the apparatus and it becomes the obstruction we’re looking to shed.  Instead of the thing that opens the lenses that lets the light in.  Like if you were to head out during a meteor shower and point the camera at the sky hoping to capture a shot of a shooting star you’d be taking a stab in the dark.  Setting the camera down leaves the sky wide open.  Suspending expectations mitigates disappointment and without the shudders in the way there’s nothing obstructing the view when the action starts.  And you can remain still enough to take it all in.

 
 
jro
 
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20 July 2020 05:03
 
burt - 30 June 2020 09:52 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?
One resolution was that with each step Achilles becomes more tenuous so that at the point where he would have caught the tortoise he has also vanished. Sorry for being longwinded, “turning attention on itself” is like Achilles reaching a point where the tortoise has just been, at least so long as there is anyone who is attempting to attend. You must have had at least brief flashes of “emptiness” so as far as method goes, it seems a question of learning how to reproduce those and then stabilize that state.

Thanks for your deliberations, but following the pointing out instructions isn’t in the first place a philosophical but a practical endeveaour. There is a gap here. When Sam says “just turn attention upon itself”, I literally want to know what mental muscle to contract. When he says, “do so quickly” and further instructs you to make the effort very brief and use the sound of his finger snip to keep it brief, I hear the snip, but really, nothing happens in my mind during that very brief moment. I think that having a real teacher who can guide you through your efforts makes a difference and there is simply a limitation to how much an app can do. Or maybe one really needs to go through several years of pure concentration training in order to be ready for the pointing out instructions. (even though Sam thinks that this isn’t necessary, but maybe that’s a misconception on his part because he has taken the shortcut with psychodelics.

 

 
burt
 
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burt
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20 July 2020 11:04
 
jro - 20 July 2020 05:03 AM
burt - 30 June 2020 09:52 AM

Who is the one who is seeing the one who is seeing?
One resolution was that with each step Achilles becomes more tenuous so that at the point where he would have caught the tortoise he has also vanished. Sorry for being longwinded, “turning attention on itself” is like Achilles reaching a point where the tortoise has just been, at least so long as there is anyone who is attempting to attend. You must have had at least brief flashes of “emptiness” so as far as method goes, it seems a question of learning how to reproduce those and then stabilize that state.

Thanks for your deliberations, but following the pointing out instructions isn’t in the first place a philosophical but a practical endeveaour. There is a gap here. When Sam says “just turn attention upon itself”, I literally want to know what mental muscle to contract. When he says, “do so quickly” and further instructs you to make the effort very brief and use the sound of his finger snip to keep it brief, I hear the snip, but really, nothing happens in my mind during that very brief moment. I think that having a real teacher who can guide you through your efforts makes a difference and there is simply a limitation to how much an app can do. Or maybe one really needs to go through several years of pure concentration training in order to be ready for the pointing out instructions. (even though Sam thinks that this isn’t necessary, but maybe that’s a misconception on his part because he has taken the shortcut with psychodelics.

You’ve diagnosed the issue: it’s not a mental muscle that is to be contracted, rather it’s relaxing already contracted mental muscles.

I think that “seeing the one who is seeing” is an unfortunate turn of phrase. It easily falls into an infinite regress. Better, in my opinion, is something like “awakening the witness,” or perhaps “allowing seeing.”

Here’s a story that might help out. Years ago I was a graduate student attending my first professional conference, a five day affair. Being very dedicated, I started off going to all of the sessions I could and listening attentively. Can you say “information overload…” By the middle of the third day my mind was so full and thoughts were jumping about this way and that and I felt that everything was massively confused. I remembered something my paternal grandmother had told me in my early teens about sometimes needing to sit down, close ones eyes, and just relax. So I found a comfortable chair, sat back, and closed my eyes. In my mind, it seemed as if there were al these blobs of light zipping about one way and another. I “sat back” and watched this happening and after a while there were fewer of them, and then fewer, until at last there was only a single train of lights moving off into the distance, then a single point of light, then gone, leaving emptiness. It felt very relaxing and I enjoyed it for a few minutes, then opened my eyes. I thought to myself “cool, that was a nice five minutes.” Then looked at a clock, it had been over an hour. But my head was clear and the things from the presentations I’d gone to that were actually relevant for me were well sorted in memory. It took me a long time to figure out how to reproduce that state of relaxation and stabilize it (say 30 years or so), but knowing that it was possible, and being able to occasionally return to it was very useful. The point is, it wasn’t a matter of “doing” anything but rather not doing, not making any effort.

A favorite phrase of one of my teachers was “Don’t touch the painting.” When I look around I see the room I’m sitting in as I write this, as well as the words appearing on the screen of my laptop. Described that way, I’m touching the painting. That is, I see bookshelves filled with books, carpets on the floor, chairs, a couch, pictures on the walls, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum. I’ve made identifications that fix things into definite patterns of relationships. But if I drop those identifications and simply allow sensations to present themselves, it’s the same picture but now it’s open for multiple other possibilities. If I identify that thing as a “dictionary” it becomes difficult to think of it as “an effective doorstop.”

If you’re interested I suggest investigating the writings of Idries Shah.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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20 July 2020 16:34
 
Nhoj Morley - 17 September 2019 10:23 PM

Greeting Mr. Charlie.

There are few on the forum who follow the app. I guess yer not allowed to use a mirror. It might be a pitch to convince you of the illusion of self.

What if the universe or reality is just one thing?  (uni-verse, not duo-verse)  Can the eye see itself?

 

 
 
Skipshot
 
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21 July 2020 01:06
 
jro - 29 June 2020 01:20 PM

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

Before an answer can be given, what are you trying to achieve?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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21 July 2020 20:15
 
jro - 30 June 2020 12:49 AM

Yes, because the question is: What is the method? How do I do this supposedly “simple” thing? Each time Sam says “just turn attention upon itself” or “simply look for the one who is looking” I just have no idea what I am supposed to do. So I fail at it every single time.

Since this is obviously not a physical “looking” or “turning”, it is something that has to be imagined, and for me, imagination mostly just doesn’t work, be it with Metta meditation, be it with all kinds of other methods where you are asked to imagine something and work with an inner image.

I wonder if, without psychodelics I simply have no chance of getting there, else my brain just isn’t capable of whatever that magic trick is.

I have a daily practice for 12 years now. I know that it is tough.  My question was concerning the method though. How do I “turn attention upon itself? Can you actually do it or does it just happen at a certain stage?

The universe has the means to be aware of itself.  You.  No effort or practice or meditation needed.  Is there something separate from the universe that wants to spy on this?  Have you found someone separate from or outside the universe that wants to watch the universe seeing?

Zen master Fayan comments:

“The teaching of the mind ground is the basis of Zen study.  The mind ground is the great awareness of being as is.”

(Fayan - early 10th century - quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary

[ Edited: 22 July 2020 12:06 by unsmoked]
 
 
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