< 1 2
 
   
 

Seeing the one who is seeing

 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  9365
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
23 July 2020 11:02
 
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.

Zen master Dahui comments:

“If you want to know the realm of the enlightened, you should make your mind as clear as space; detach from subjective imaginings and from all grasping, making your mind unimpeded wherever it turns.” 

“The realm of the enlightened is not an extermal realm with manifest characteristics; buddhahood is the realm of the sacred knowledge found in oneself.  [the knowledge you were born with]

“You do not need paraphernalia, [psychedelics etc.] practices, or realizations to attain it - what you need to do is to clean out the influences of the psychological afflictions connected with the external world that have been accumulating in your psyche since beginningless time.

“Make your mind as wide open as cosmic space; detach from graspings in the conceptual consciousness, and false ideas and imaginings will also be like empty space.  Then this effortless* subtle mind will naturally be unimpeded wherever it turns.”

Dahui (Ta Hui Tsung Kao - 1089-1163) quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary

* If you notice any mental effort, it means you’ve gone past it and are looking for something ‘out there’ . . .  something you don’t have.  (greed on the march)

 
 
unsmoked
 
Avatar
 
 
unsmoked
Total Posts:  9365
Joined  20-02-2006
 
 
 
06 August 2020 11:19
 

Zen master Yuansou comments:

“If you do not listen truly, you will call the bell a pitcher, and inevitably wind up adding error to error, talking about “Buddha,” “Zen masters,” “mind,” and “essence.”  How is this different from gouging a wound in healthy flesh?

“Real Zennists set a single eye on the state before the embryo is formed, before any signs become distinct.  This opens up and clears the mind, so that it penetrates the whole universe.  Then they are no different from the Buddha and the founder of Zen.

“This is called the crowning meditation, the jewel that reflects all colors, the inexhaustible treasury, the gateway to spiritual powers, the diamond sword, the crouching lion, the blaze - there are various names for it.

“Now there is nothing in the universe, nothing mundane or transmundane, to be an object, an opposite, a barrier, or a hindrance to you.”

(Yuansou quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

‘gouging a wound in healthy flesh’  -  Does Yuansou mean the effort to improve the consciousness, the seeing that has taken more than 3 billion years for evolution to develop?

[ Edited: 06 August 2020 11:26 by unsmoked]
 
 
fineman
 
Avatar
 
 
fineman
Total Posts:  3
Joined  18-09-2020
 
 
 
18 September 2020 06:54
 

I am in exactly the same position. I’ve been enjoying the Waking Up app for 18 months, but the instructions to “look for what is looking” and “turn attention upon itself” are beginning to frustrate me. I end up “trying” to do something, although I’m never sure what, but then apparently i should not be ‘trying’ or ‘struggling’ or grasping. I’m missing something, and yet, apparently I should not be thinking like that….

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16155
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
18 September 2020 10:59
 
fineman - 18 September 2020 06:54 AM

I am in exactly the same position. I’ve been enjoying the Waking Up app for 18 months, but the instructions to “look for what is looking” and “turn attention upon itself” are beginning to frustrate me. I end up “trying” to do something, although I’m never sure what, but then apparently i should not be ‘trying’ or ‘struggling’ or grasping. I’m missing something, and yet, apparently I should not be thinking like that….

Have you ever come across the Achilles paradox (from Zeno of Elea, ca 450BC)?

Achilles has a footrace with a tortoise. Because the tortoise is so much slower, it gets a head start. Therefore, Achilles can never catch up. Why? Because when Achilles reaches the point where the tortoise started, the tortoise will have moved ahead to a further point. And when Achilles reachers that point, the tortoise will again have moved ahead. And so on. Achilles is always reaching a point where the tortoise has already been. (This paradox still drives some philosophers nuts.)

This is a Koen: one must jump to the limit point of the infinite sequence. “Look at the one who is looking” is a poor suggestion because who is it that is looking at the one who is looking? Do you then look at the one who is looking at the one who is looking? 

One resolution of the Achilles paradox is that with each step Achilles becomes more transparent so that at the point where he would catch up to the tortoise he has also vanished from existence.

 
fineman
 
Avatar
 
 
fineman
Total Posts:  3
Joined  18-09-2020
 
 
 
21 September 2020 03:23
 

Thank you for the reply. I’ve never been particularly impressed with the Zeno’s Paradox, not entirely sure why. I suspect because I accepted the moment I learned that an infinite series can sum to a finite number. At which point Zeno’s paradox seems needlessly complex - why not just say “How can you ever go anywhere since there are an infinite number of steps needed to get anywhere”

But I’m still not sure how this helps in a practical sense with following the advice to look for one’s head or look for the looker. If that advice is poor, is there a better approach? Or is looking for an approach to this again ‘grasping’ and therefore wrong by definition?

 
Twissel
 
Avatar
 
 
Twissel
Total Posts:  3145
Joined  19-01-2015
 
 
 
21 September 2020 06:07
 

I have come to the personal conclusion that Meditation, beyond the benefits of conscious and directed breathing, is mostly bull.
Whatever psychological and physical effects are observed are the result of changing the O2/CO2 balance in the blood due to slowed breathing.
Using the time for introspection or rest is great, but I think it mostly boils down to blood chemistry.

 
 
fineman
 
Avatar
 
 
fineman
Total Posts:  3
Joined  18-09-2020
 
 
 
21 September 2020 06:34
 
Twissel - 21 September 2020 06:07 AM

I have come to the personal conclusion that Meditation, beyond the benefits of conscious and directed breathing, is mostly bull.
Whatever psychological and physical effects are observed are the result of changing the O2/CO2 balance in the blood due to slowed breathing.
Using the time for introspection or rest is great, but I think it mostly boils down to blood chemistry.

I have had a different experience. I’ve found the practice of looking at everything from body sensation to thoughts and emotions as ‘all part of consciousness’ a very interesting one that I find helpful when I sense emotion beginning to dominate my thought processes, or thoughts beginning to dominate my mood - it is a toolkit allowing me to observe that process from a distance and choose whether or not to be carried along on the wave of first person experience.

 
burt
 
Avatar
 
 
burt
Total Posts:  16155
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
21 September 2020 09:22
 
fineman - 21 September 2020 03:23 AM

Thank you for the reply. I’ve never been particularly impressed with the Zeno’s Paradox, not entirely sure why. I suspect because I accepted the moment I learned that an infinite series can sum to a finite number. At which point Zeno’s paradox seems needlessly complex - why not just say “How can you ever go anywhere since there are an infinite number of steps needed to get anywhere”

But I’m still not sure how this helps in a practical sense with following the advice to look for one’s head or look for the looker. If that advice is poor, is there a better approach? Or is looking for an approach to this again ‘grasping’ and therefore wrong by definition?

Zeno is very subtle. The applicability here goes with the endless chase: an ancient skeptic argument says this, too: Complete self-knowledge is never possible because the self that knows is always a step beyond the self that is known. So “looking for the looker” is an endless chase that can only stop with a leap beyond where the one who is looking vanishes. Of course, that doesn’t help much in saying how to actually accomplish that, but there are schools that provide training along the way. They tend to involve much more that simple witness meditation, however.

 
 < 1 2