Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stream Entry

Hey  Elena,

I have been following the direct pointing thread on DhO site, and would like to followup on your invitation for pursuing the realization of non self.

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday and Sunday reflecting and contemplating the brutal beginnings eBook and the information in the , at some point there was a clear aha moment, I went through the exercise of looking at objects and recognized each one of them as real.

The table is real ,
The computer is real,
The leg is real,
The hand is real,
The self is .... gasp ... no where to be found ...


There was a sense of exhilaration


as well as great relief,


the next morning I woke up feeling slightly changed lighter,


less sticky.


There was a clear "feeling" of non self as opposed to an "understanding" that there is no self.


That being said the effect has worn off quickly, the insight is there as long as many of the other insights into how my mind works so I am wondering
a) Whether that was the experience of non self you are referring to ?

it may be, we can continue to chat and see

b) If it was , how can my direct experience be deepened and sustained ?

liberation is very simple. It is not sustaining some belief or experience. it is simply seeing the truth of the illusion, and then let it unfold in the order of your own body/mind makeup

like take Santa. We all believed in him in a childhood. Then was a moment when we recognized that Santa is an illusion, it does not exist. Our life did not change at that moment, the only what was gone - the illusion.

Same here. All the tensions accumulated through the life will remain.

The only what's gone - it a belief that there is a me, entity, structure. That structure was binding all the beliefs, tensions and thoughts about oneself. As it seeing through, this mess of staff that was build on that assumption will start gradually fall off. 

Seeing that there is no you is not an end, just a beginning, BUT without it all the effort was coming from the self itself to maintain it. Even years in meditation can serve as maintaining "spiritual", "hard-core", "dharmic" self.

so I ask you now: 

look ant tell me if there is you in any shape of form in the reality?



Very little, the thing that decides , the thing that has an intent that generates the intent, but I am doubting it now, the intent seems to come from no where and then disappears, in fact I only recognize the intent after the fact (i.e. "I must of decided to type" because I am typing now) , but also when I make a conscious decision I will type now, I don't know where that decision came from, I can only conclude that I must have decided, only now I am doubting that I did.

In interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I have also been an insight practioner and have attained stream entry confirmed by a teacher in august of last year. So my starting point for this experiment was probably farther along then most people you normally work with.

Elena: tell me what was confirmed by your teacher. in simple language, how you would explain to a 18 y.o.? I want to be on one page with you here.

I reported to the teacher that when closing my eyes, I felt that my mind and body were made of mist, I experienced waves of exhilaration, followed by sense of constriction, followed by relief , followed by a discontinuity in consciousness,  the discontinuity was subtle, for lack of a better term it felt like a subtle "blink".  Since then that the dharma has been doing it's thing, I have had more dramatic discontinuities, but the permanent change seems to be that there is simply a lot more space between thoughts,  often times the mind literally feels like a car idling at the stop light, where in the past it was always in one gear or another.

but also when I make a conscious decision I will type now,

there is no you to make conscious decision, it just seems because thought came that there is a you,
then thought came that you will make a decision
thought came that is describing decision

impulses to the body
typing happening


where the hell is you?

thought exist
body - exist

you - not

I don't know where that decision came from, I can only conclude that I must have decided, only now I am doubting that I did. 


look deeper

and tell me more

About your “Stream Entry” realization. If they call it stream entry, it's fine,  but I would say, stream entry is when one sees through the illusion. Anything before that - including very high states - it's all operating in the field of the self. I had what you described 8-9 years ago, exactly what you described - mind/body dissolution - bangha. When I came back self grabbed that experience and made it "very deep self".  I dont want to degrade the experience. It's indeed very transformational - it's cleared the mind so much then now you can actually look. it took me 8 years after that state, it took you much less longer:)

continue to look

look at this:

it rains

does anything raining rain? It rains.

does anything living life? Life is.

there is no nouns anywhere. it's all verbs

all different patterning of the same - Existence existing

Look deeper

Look now

look around

Tell me anything what's going on in your head now

ok, so a self is just is a thought, I accept that, but it it's a thought that keeps arising, I guess the point is that this is not a problem as long as it's viscerally clear that the thought of a self is a just that -  a thought nothing more. 

Tell me anything what's going on in your head now

I started thinking about death, I was going to say that when we die we become a noun but that's not true because the second we stop breathing we start decaying, so yeah everything is a process a verb, this lead to thoughts about birth, since we are a process it's not quite clear when we were born, but I think I am digressing.

The theme of death is not a coincidental though, there  are flashes, moments when there is a strange sense that everything is haunted, it's there in form but somehow lifeless, in the same way a ghost town is physically real but at the same time it is an eerie reminder of what was once a town.


yes.I just do not like here word accept. Please please do not accept anything - look and see for yourself. I have a feeling you do, just used wrong word here.
when you drive or walk or else there is no driver

just as there is no breather

breathing just happening

is it true?

G: yes, driving, walking, breathing they all just happen, the second I notice them they are claimed as "I\me" doing the breathing, it's a reflex , it's automatic, I was going to say not much I can do about it, but then realized there is no I to do anything about it.

what about getting lost in thought ? I was going to say who is doing thinking, who is lost, but again , thinking , "losting" just happen.

I am not convinced though that saying that things just happen is the same as saying there is no self, because a sense of self is more of a "feeling" then a thought, the feeling is there every time I notice that things just happen. Just to be clear I am not saying that there is a self or there that there isn't one (cause the thought/feeling are clearly there) , just that my recognition that things "just happen" is not the same is what " mean by "there is seeing but no seer, thinking but no thinker"

What you are talking about is a state, spiritual state, unity state, or whatever you can call it. State is not permanent. Can come, but it's impossible to hold it. It's gives an insight into the nature of being. There are 2, maybe more, but I will say for the sake of this endeavor, 2 possibilities after the state is gone. One - the self comes back with even more conviction and grab that experience and color itself in more "specialness", more "spirituality"
And another possibility is that what we are here after: when you saw: yes, there is only seeing, thinking, no me structure in all these movement of life, it's just an illusion, you come back and KNOW this. No need to remember it every moment. Realizing the illusion of the self is very simple - Just that - realizing that self is an illusion.
Basically nothing will change overnight, BUT at the same time, now all the life will be springing out from this fundamental knowing of the truth. And it will all be unfolding from that, gradually unrolling every inch in the body/mind system. This is what is called stream entry. A beginning to an end.

Write to me more, just blabber, so I can see where we stand. Focus on seeing, on looking what is. Take something in your life what's now, like going and walking, and write anything that comes up.

/*There was some blabbering going on, I will omit. G. said he felt the compassion for people around when he was walking and looking*/
- As people walked by the thought came to me , those poor guys there not free,

yes, lots of people around to help, but also keep in mind, there are no people to help, so to speak. it''s all movement of the consciousness, and if consciousness wakes up in one embodiment, the ripples goes all over and wake up other embodiments without even explicit guiding and looking. Some may have like a brick coming down on them, never even searched for anything:)

how silly of me I am not free.

Yes, you are
not free
or free,
because there is no you.

- Still a clear sense that things are happening, reaching for the drink, cutting the food, keep telling my self there is no need for a me.

Elena: good. and you don't need to tell this to yourself, like you don't need to tell yourself there is no such thing as Santa, you just know this, no reminder necessary. You don't go around and remind it yourself all the time. Same here. Once seeing - never unseeing. May seems like, like when you sit in a movie theater and taken over by the scene, but then you know in a moment that you are in a movie theater and this scene is just an illusion. But imagine somebody whos life is in the chair of the movie theater and he watches movies constantly - so he is living as it his reality and all this is real. You need to drag this man outside and point to him that what he was seeing there is an illusion. When he see it for just one time, even if he returns to his seat, he will know, may forget sometimes, but never again will take the movie as the reality.


Yesterday was a tough day. This morning it occurred to me that I(or the mind/body process)  was going through the classical insight stages. The heightened awareness , the religious "zeal", the anxiety, the fear, the sense of wanting it all to end, they are all classical insight stages. this realization was helpful in that it pointed to the fact that the Self is there resisting/identifying with the experiences, once I saw that the unpleasant experiences have subsided (in insight lingo that would be early equanimity stage). 

Elena: Remember, you are facing really tricky one - self, that can play all kind of tricks. You can't make a haircut for yourself. Same here. Write to me. Write as it happening, not next day with all your conclusions.
Right now , I can't point to a self but I don't feel like reality is just happening, there is still a sense of me controlling things,

Elena: Look into this sense of self. What it is? Break it onto components.


G: for example I was going through dark stages of insight, recognized them and used familiar techniques to move beyond them,

Elena: Hmm. Did we talk in the beginning about this work? I state a question. You go look, then come back and give me the most honest answer. Did we talked about it? Did I say anything about go back and do your familiar


 G:i don't feel like any of that just happened, there was recognizing, investigating, relaxing , accepting ... but I still claim those as something that a "me/I" observed/initiated/controlled at the same time there is a doubt whether there was any "me/I" there at all.

Elena: Look at doubt. Doubt is a feeling arising, just a feeling. You don't need to analyse why he is here. You invite doubt closer, it's here anyways. And you ask doubt what it want's to reveal to you, what information it brought. Then you just casually sit, shut up and listen.

Same with fear. You did some technique yesterday, maybe meditated or whatever you did, you just pet the fear and it went away.

Next time you have fear, if you will, write to me. You need to stare fear in the eyes. No more equanimity techniques for now. You have to promise me. You can do whatever you want later on, after. Now - bare honesty, clear, precise writing of whatever comes up.

You have your ideas about liberation. You need to drop it. Now. drop it. Seriously, drop it.

Write to me with all honesty what you know about liberation without referencing what you read and what you heard. Just what you know exactly.


G: I want to say nothing because my mind just goes blank when I try to t express what I know, but to me it's shift in perception,I experience it quite often, something where I feel transparent like Teflon, nothing sticks , like I have nothing to hold on to, when I look at people it's as if there is nothing there just their body their form, it's liberating yet scary at the same time.  I felt quite a bit of that yesterday I was litteraly feeling nauseated, in the same way you can get on a roller coaster. Obviously the nausea ,the fear are not liberation, maybe not even the transparent/teflon quality of experience but it's in that neighborhood, being able to abide peacefully and continuously in that experience is liberation.

I just want to make sure we are on the same page here, I didn't pacify the fear/anxiety, I recognized the fear/anxiety is not me and stopped resisting it, is that different from staring it in the eye ?

Elena: OK. fine, let's believe it for now.

 being able to abide peacefully and continuously in that experience is liberation.

It's called being dead 

Look at that "constant reflex". Look closer. What it is. Thought? True?

I tried and tried, eventually I realized I am looking for something that isn't there, then I asked what was there and what I saw/felt were peaceful sensations, I sank into that a bit, the contrast between the tension and struggle and peace I felt was striking. Then phone a call came in that I had to take, one hour later I try to locate the self, there is less of a reflex or I should say there is less of a struggle.

No control, yes. But what you do, what you out for escaping into familiar territory. You build up this really thick dharma self, really clever, deep, wise one. I want you to turn your attention and look at it. Honestly. Now write what comes up in your head about it.

Write and we look at any doubts
one by one. 

One doubt I have is whether I am agreeing that their is no me because it's to difficult to find it, as I am writing this I realize how silly that is, the me feels so real , it should be ease to find, then another doubt arises, well you can't find it because the thing doing the looking is you, how can you see your self without a mirror? I don't have a good response for that, do you ?

release the struggle. what you are looking for is not there, you right, otherwise you would find it very easily. DO you struggle a lot to find computer or hand or thought?
You don't struggle because computer, hand or thought exist. They are part of the reality. Self is not part of the reality. Self is part of the reality just the same as batman now in your room. Try to see batman. Can you see? You can easily access a thought of batman, yes - thought exist, bunch of thoughts -  and you have an image of batman, but other then that - poof. Illusion. Phantom.

Self is the same thing. The more hard you try to see it, the more you see it's futility. You can't see what does not exist, you right.

So when you are in your daily life feel like self exist, what changed? Self is miraculously becomes existent? No. You just being lazy to look what it actually is. So look, don't make me start cursing, ok?

You feel like you are a self sitting here, look what is there:
sensations, thought, feeling, whatever - break it down.

do it. look. seriously, look. Do not take even 5% of your focus to analyze and compare to your dharmic knowledge of enlightenment. Just fkn look. That is the only what you need to do now. Like you are 6 y.o. boy. you never heard, never about signs of classical enlightenment bullshit, never heard what all this signs means that you disperse your focus on. Drop it. Drop it. drop it.
Otherwise will be sitting in meditation and searching for years to come. drop all the fk dharma knowledge.
100% focus on LOOKING what is really there and what is not. That's it.

G: One doubt I have is whether I am agreeing that their is no me because it's to difficult to find it,

it's impossible to find it

because there is no you
no you at all
I am not kidding
no fking you
thats not a joke
'its true


as I am writing this I realize how silly that is, the me feels so real , it should be ease to find,

exactly, if its so real, like watermelon between your hands, go find it. Can't? Wonder why?


There is an uneasy feeling, a feeling that their is a need to prop up a delusion.

Uneasy feeling - go there. 2 lines on uneasy feeling? Thats all? What uneasy about this feeling. Look at the feeling. Look behind the feeling. Ask the feeling what information it has for you. And listen.

The uneasy feelings come from doubt. I don't doubt my experience but I am doubting the motivation for the rationalization, is it serving to hide/avoid something.
Elena: not good enough. go and look more. look more. look. no you. No. seriously. no mysticism. nothing special. just no you. simple. Look.

G: I will , when ever I catch my self thinking there is a self I will look.

- There are sensations

sensations are part of the reality, yes

, there is a certain sense of heaviness/solidity in the chest area and the face, coolness on the skin, awareness of movement of the abdomen.

yes, all this is part of the reality - body, sensations, yes

- There are audible thoughts, which imply that there is a self that is hearing, and visual thoughts that imply that there is a self that is seeing.

thoughts, thought, no matter what the subject of the thought. thought is impersonal phenomena, arises-passes, some "I" thoughts, some other thoughts ...


For example as I am typing this sentence,

no, you are not. there is no you.

there is an assumption that either I am dictating the sentence to my hands

you are not dictating
and hands are, body phenomena
there is no you.


or that I am reading the words that are being typed.

"I" is reading?? where is the I? it's just a label.

When I pay closer attention

You can't pay closer or not closer or very very close attention. You just can't. There is no you. Attention is. no you.


I realize that there is another option :

Realization is,
it's just a thought, a feeling.

the typing and reading are each just happening on their own
Yes, and it's done through the body and the brain.

and indeed I find that my typing gets ahead of my reading ,

typing and reading not yours. there is no you. Look, it's just an imaginary label we habitually stick to every experience in the reality.


paying closer attention I notice

noticing is happening. Look again for what you call "I" here


that my fingers

Your fingers?

their own and it's all happening with precision and speed that would be difficult for me to replicate

there is no you

if I consciously moved each finger and typed each letter.

there is no fkn you. Look, G, I am serious. It's just a joke, do you hear, just a joke this "I", "me". 

- Right now their are no particularly noticeable feelings.

You lazy like a fuck.

You don't look.

Give me your best shot now. Best simple looking at the reality as it is. Its simple as looking at your wife or girlfriend or mother. It's simple - you look and see that all this is Life living itself. Existence living itself. There is no you who is living this life. You is just a label. Label that points to some experience in the reality. It's just a pointer, a label, nothing more then that. You can drop it anytime - nothing will change - nothing. Life like lived itself will continue to live - nothing will change - just seeing of the reality as it is happens. You as you now just stay the same - all the good and bad and all the staff. It just it's not personal, there is no person, NO. there is life happening in all these patterning. We use this label from early years, its so sticky, seems if it drops, I will disappear. Nothing will disappear. If you drop the notion that Batman is exist what disappear? What? Nothing. Because it never existed. Same here. Look.

Drop all your assumptions about what liberation is. Read and FEEL what I gave you in the last couple of emails.

Take a good look and write me tomorrow.
Good night.

G: Thoughts of "I" are impersonal, HA!! The gate was seen, reality is friction-less, no need to push things along, everything is where it should be ,  there are no doubts!

wow. tell me more. do you think I can fall for 3 lines of exclamation marks??

Mind is blank, like a dear in the headlights, as if it's saying why are you asking me if something that isn't there is there ?

The thrill the exhilaration subsided,  but the identification with the self is not there, well that might be putting it to strongly but there is a clear sense that what ever is there is not self it's something else,not always seen clearly as a thought or a sensation, but what it ever it was , it's clear to the mind that self it wasn't. Also, the mindfulness of the arising of the  "I"  sensations/thoughts is there, a certain vigilance, the tibetan saying that mindfulness is like the granfparent watchnig a child just came to mind.

 you could see that self is not there.
And actually never been, as you pointed.
The state will subside.


Life goes on, and since life ALWAYS was going on without "self", nothing essentially will change. There is nothing to change, right?

You look whether you still believe that there is a you that lives your life.

What would you say?

Life is going on it's own no one is living it but oh how easy it is to forget, while your outside of the movie hall it's as plain as can be but then a transparent screen comes down on top of reality and the movie starts playing again. The audience recollects there is no self but is engrossed in the movie, a voice in the back keeps saying this is not real and the audience agrees "of course it's not we our outside of the movie hall now let's move on with our lives and help others out get out of the movie hall"
So to answer your question no , no one is living my life but knowing /believing that is not enough because the experience becomes like a recollection of a dream and ceases to be real

Elena: You looked and saw there is no you living life, Life just is. You saw there is no self. If you really did, then you saw that self never being there, never.

So if self never being there is a first place, what will happen to life now?  life has always lived without self, then it not necessarily going to be any different. Essentially nothing change. All the conditioning is still in place, beliefs, limitations.

Do you see it?

"but knowing /believing that is not enough

Knowing IS NOT believing. Knowing IS enough, believing is not.

Is it true?

because the experience becomes like a recollection of a dream and ceases to be real

experience is real, never being so real, you - not

Is it true? If not, let's look at what's there that stands on your seeing.

G: Hey Elena,

It's been a couple of days now and things are settling in, it's clear in a very visceral and direct manner that the entire experience of living is impersonal, always was and always will be. As you mentioned below the conditioning, beliefs and limitations are still there but the reflex to identify with things is no longer there.  There is a sense of cool detachment, letting things be where they are , no need to pull them or push them away.  Reality is much more vivid and bright and a sense of ease and contentment is emerging.  

Experience is real, "me","i", are just labels for an amalgamation of thoughts and sensations that are always in flux. The dream referred to is what "I" think you would call a state, in that state it's so obvious that there is no self and out of that state there is knowing of it but it's not immediate and direct, same reality different perceptions of it.  See, it's not clear if your saying that that there is only one way to perceive reality, and whether your speaking from a position of direct perception or one of knowing and where "I" should be at this point along that continuum to be considered "done" by your standards. "I" feel like "I" got the knowing part down, and maybe it's just a matter of letting things deep further for the "state" to become ever more present in daily life.

You right, it will all unfold. It's subtle. When you take the root out, all structure start to dissolve. In some the dissolving is subtle, in some - like demolition. So you just go and life life, and enjoy unfolding.

Let's keep in touch, ok? Write any time.

Feelings and staff will come up. Just look behind them what they are really. You will notice all loose it's weight and stickiness.

Whatever you inspired to do - do it. Now you will do it from life living inspiration, not from the self looking to perfect itself.

You know - enlightenment is about chopping wood, carrying water. It's not fancy.

G: Elena, many thanks for the effort and patience, this has been the most profound opening since I started in my practice, I agree with you this is what the definition of Stream entry should be, without seeing non self clearly, one can make progress perhaps even profound progress, but "self" will keep messing things up and confusing what ever is seen or achieved. Best Regards, G.