Thursday, December 15, 2011


Note:  This post is written to dovetail This Excellent Commentary by Rikki Winchester.  Check it.

The most ridiculous idea that circulates post seeing no self is that it's a cure all.  Yes, this next statement is true:  Once seen No Self can't be unseen. 

But that's not the end of the self.

What it is, at first, is a relief.  A huge relief from the seeming burden of constantly creating a self, or of holding onto useless identity-based baggage.  Abused as a child?  That wasn't you.  Made several awful mistakes?  There's nothing for it to be attached to.  If the thought now pops up that the deed done was especially abhorrent, then should the opportunity to act similarly again arise, the behavior will most likely not be engaged in. 

All those mistakes or unfortunate things from the past aren't following a You around and so don't have to be repressed.   Good news, right?

On the flip side, if you're known to go around performing charitable acts on par with Mother Theresa, after which you play the Humble Card by proclaiming humility, the mouthful of false humble pie is unnecessary.  There's no one to take credit.  This time it's really true when you say, with a dismissive wave, "Aw, it was nothing, really."  Yeah.  Really.  It wasn't.

So you see, everything outwardly seems to remains the same.

Except it's entirely different.  And the difference is in an altered perspective within thought.  Your friends and family may not notice anything unusual at all, except that the neurotic behavior may have eased.  Or maybe the constant clinging to storylines start to fall flat.  Other changes?  The incessant chatter about your problems and your worries ring hollow, and it's possible that the image-propping monetary purchases begin to slow down.

Maybe.  Hard to say.  There's no one controlling it.  But the personality is likely to largely remain. 

Personality is a thought pattern, and the Self is still recreated with each new and habitual selfing thought that pops up.   What's more, that self is always created within the current moment even when that new thought is supposed to be accessing a cherished "memory".  The memory isn't past, it's happening now. When it's gone, it disappears completely, taking that just-created version of You with it, until next time the brain's electrical impulses take a similar route and produce another thought like it. 

But it won't be the same thought.

In that way, "You" have always been a Tabula Rasa.  Clean slate.  But that's a truth which still requires seeing through the false selfing thoughts as they arise, each time they arise.  This is especially true for the selves newly liberated.

No Self is not a one-and-done, not a cure-all.  Keep questioning, keep looking.  There's a whole lot more of the slate to clear.

Photo credit:  ThereXandXBackXAgain on deviantart

Sunday, December 11, 2011

As This Story Had Gone...

How it seems, presently, is that I started this looking, this digging to figure out what All This is all about, probably as a child.  It goes back as far as I can remember.  And there have been iterations.  

There will be more.

In the past few years, all of my searching for answers intensified as I perceived a self who would face greater and greater personal challenges to that fictitious state called Happiness.  My initial relentless pursuit was to establish a real coping mechanism to handle my story's "less desirable" aspects, those I imagined were coming soon.  Lots of people do the same, thinking that a spiritual or truth pursuit will spare the pain of a difficult situation.

There's no such thing.  Everything appears fully as there's nothing, no self, to prevent it.

Religion is a false buffer if it's used to shield.  And so is No Self. Everything that life is, is faced fully. There is no other way. The false shield of thought, the overlay, is a mask, a pattern of thinking that claims to try to alter the story. And yet within that fantasy, this masking is ultimately felt as more harmful than good.

So what do I mean about ending suffering with regard to seeing that there is no tangible self?  It's not that there is no pain, no anger, no anxiety.  Those are elements within Life Itself.  The freedom is in the fact that there's nowhere for it to stick.  Because when it comes up for any of us, the suffering is in hanging onto it as part of an identity, or trying to push it away as part of a desire to have it not be part of our identity.

Once it's seen that there is no identity except for one arbitrarily constructed in wisps of thought, there's no either clinging or pushing it away.  It just is, as it is, nothing more.  There's no one there to hold it or carry it.
photo credit:  everRiviere on Deviantart

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fantastically Real is Better Than Fiction

One of the most interesting side effects of realization is when the stories we create are clearly seen for what they are.  In this case, it's the story of a ride in a Time and Space Machine.

Warning:  After realization it gets more and more difficult to lie, even to "yourself".  

And everything is just a story.

Here's one:

Just yesterday (a concept I have more and more difficulty parsing), I flew home to South Florida from Atlanta.  It's a relatively quick flight which lasts less than two hours by the clock.  The trip reminded me of another flight, a long one from New England to Hawaii involving multiple planes and a flight pattern over the Pacific to land in Oahu.

Or so the memory goes.  In another version of the story, I  flew high and fast through the night skies, over a massive body of ocean and under billions of stars, then hours later, arrived in another place, another time.

Both stories are good ones.  It's all in the telling.

But without those two particularly interesting conceptual overlays, what was the more immediate experience?

In yet another version, there was a sensation called "walking", of moving through an opening, sitting in a cramped area, warmth, feelings of discomfort, odd sensations of pulling and pushing, moving pictures on a white screen, a few big bumps, loud noises, then again the sensation called "walking" down an aisle, where people stood to say,

"Aloha!  Welcome to Oahu!"

There is another version that seems more fantastic than most, but a check of reality proves it out as the truest.   In this one there was nothing happening, not even time.  Thought and sensation arose from nothing, out of nowhere, seemingly following each other.  They arose to no one.  They appeared neither inside nor outside.  The entire experience had no beginning and no end, and was Life Itself.... no experiencer ever necessary.  

Fantasicly real.

photo credit:  bosniak on deviantart

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mom's here for her yearly Thanksgiving visit.

And that's quite a good thing considering that lately, life's been throwing herculean challenges in this character's path.

Listing them out, while tempting, is too much like wallowing in a story, a Me-ing. Yes the events exist as story, but seeing through the mind's attempts to claim these things as "mine" is both amusing and irritating, simultaneously.  Because mom's here, there are also old patterns of Me-ing  resurfacing, especially those which would turn to a mom for comfort or consolation.

Obviously, there's still some post-no self transitioning going on here.

But watching mom's thought patterns from the other side of the threshold is interesting.  It's easy now to see where those in this personality have come from.  Sometimes it's endearing to watch her familiar gestures just to see how they match up to this body and brain's thoughts and movements.  And observing as she processes events as either an insult to the self, or a compliment to the self, is an exercise in waking up all over again.

Then there's just listening to her dole out advice on handling life's changes.  Some of them come from a place so deep in wisdom that I'm in awe.  I hear the words, but the message just doesn't apply the same way it used to.  Instead, the advice is appreciated for the moment spent in her presence, knowing that the mom I always assumed was there is instead an amazing expression of life itself.

There's no point to this entry, actually.  It just wanted to be written.

Photo credit:  LakeRoad

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Map and the Terrain

Yesterday afternoon I sat at a sidewalk cafe and had a beautiful salad, a glass of wine, and a frigging amazing piece of chocolate cake... by myself. I sat under palm trees watching the sun fall across the buildings as it sunk low in the sky. The colors of the buildings changed as time passed. The people walking or driving by changed, the taste of the salad changed with each bite, and the thoughts changed with each sip of wine.

At least that was the interpretation.

I began reading this article right then, at the table, and saw clearly, experientially that it was all an unbelievable and completely indescribable experience once I separated it from the map. It was all just incredibly beautiful in my version. And I looked at the people walking by in groups (it's a tourist town)... many of them completely involved in stories, bumping into other passers-by as they talked about past or future events, seemingly blinded to the actual terrain. And as the article pointed out, it was true!... They had no concept of the map exactly as I'd constructed it. Their entire worlds were other than "mine".

The waiter stopped by and we chatted. We didn't talk about the article specifically, but he "got it". Got that there was just this whole world of reality in front of our eyes, and that it's possible to miss it or rewrite it entirely when relying on the maps in our heads.

It follows that even while being aware of the reality of the experience, and of seeing it without words, each of us still went home with concepts of the events, with separately mapped worlds. It's impossible to take the actual terrain with you. as it's completely gone once the experience has passed. All that's ever left is the constructed model with all of its subjective attributes, none of which are wrong unless they are mistaken for the reality.

And that's when I really appreciated the fundamental difference... the true EXPERIENCE of the terrain as it is, when it IS, Reality separated from the conceptual. It's incredibly more open and free than the map can ever convey.

photo credit: James Stark

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A letter from Gabriel...

One of the best letters I've ever received!

Dear Thassa-
During the last correspondance we had (months ago), you asked me to write a sort of final report on our work together... I'm sorry that I forgot this obligation for so long! Perhaps it's a good thing, though, because I've had a bit of time and experience in which to really reflect on the impact of Emptiness. So, the following is my account, which you should feel free to post any or all (or none!) of publicly, with my name included.

First of all, let me say that you still have my deepest gratitude for taking the time to see me through, step by step, checking back in with me at various times, and finding new ways to shake things up when needed. Your relentless questions thoroughly permeated my life during that period of our correspondence, creating a sort of sublime confusion. It was fortunate that I had the time, health, and support from my friends and family as I railed to anyone who would listen about the amazing absence of a Self. After weeks of this, the impact finally settled in: While at work, deeply concerned with discovering if there was in fact anything at all to discover, I found my Self not so much disappearing as synchronizing, or falling back into the broad context of the Universe at large. It was a moment and an eternity (really, it was!), wherein a great, unified field was seen- and yet, nothing out of the ordinary was happening whatsoever. The world was not changed, but the insistence that there was an "I" in it was simply abandoned. No need to go along with the frantic story of How and Why and Who. It was a natural thing when it finally happened, like a leaf falling from a tree.

That impact has not gone away since, although a maturation of the impact is certainly underway. Life since that event has been much more simple and direct. Life is messy, yes, and problems, suffering, misfortune occur. And yet, all it takes is a glance over the shoulder, so to speak, and the Emptiness of things is readily obvious, and therefore the context and conditions of the problems are clear. To be more direct, I've seen my Mother undergo a sudden ailment and hospitalization, and instead of loosing my head, like I would have at one point, I was able to be a stabilizing influence to her and the rest of my very worried family. Or on a long river trip thru very rugged and remote Alaskan wilderness, I was able, somehow, to very calmly and clearly face great dangers, like ice-cold rapids and very close grizzly bear encounters. I even summoned up the balls to finally propose to my long-time girlfriend! Read this as gloating or hubris. Whatever. The point is, there is a very real and pragmatic result to realizing No Self, and it has something to do with optimizing the human condition.
Of course, there are no superpowers involved- quite the oppposite, it's simply being grounded in the here and now. This isn't about bliss states or ivory towers to sit high upon- just life, as it is, happening moment by moment. The key here is to stop resisting the flow of things. To stop insisting on having it "my" way, like a child does, and to instead swim in the powerful current of life, no matter what is thrown at you, like a full-grown human being. The things I describe here are really only the beginning. The Self does still try to slip in, now and then, but it only takes an instant, and the rug is yanked out from underneath it once again. Maybe one day it'll stop coming around.
For further guidance, I've found a lot of great help in ancient Chinese poetry, of all things. "The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain" (translated by Red Pine, aka Bill Porter), is fantastic, and makes me laugh and think every time I pick it up. Absolutly zero bullshit there! The writings of Zen Master Bankei are also very good, and quite different from a lot of other Zen fluff out there.
Anyway, much more work to be done in emotions, ethics, and contributing to others, to name just a few things! But for now... Life does suffice, doesn't it?

Thank you again, Thassa, for shining a light in the darkness, for being a guide. You are very good at what you do, and I hope you do it for a thousand others, too.

Yours truly,

photo credit:  Space I and Space II jay-cougar-prints

... And... There Goes Dan

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:


Good morning. The trigger is not happening. It doesn't seem to matter that I cant find the source of thought (the projector or the receiver). I go back to the "I am" feeling and "Who am I" question and the "headless" experiments of Ramanamaharshi, Nisagardatta and Harding. The first ends in a feeling of "self" that I am to stay in touch with and it moves from head to chest, sometimes light and sometimes very heavy feeling (but these are just feelings). The second results in a decidedly intellectual (I don't know!), if I can't find the source of thought or the receiver of thought than I could say "nothing", but that doesn't seem to matter as this nothing is then "looked for" with the same results....but the emotional drive and pattern of looking continue, and the WANT for them to stop also presents...another thought-feeling.

My thoughts regarding the matter of unacceptance. - I am in love with the idea of Dan as I prefer the feeling of pride and spin the positive aspects of a Dan story to "milk" it like a pride drug. I am afraid of dropping the idea of Dan. I fear the loss of control...the unknown next moment and prefer the lie of the history of an "I" which is essential in the provision of a pattern which will allow a prediction of the next moment. I know how full of shit I am and as soon as I stop spinning the story I pay the price of its history...its inertia.

Thank you for your time.


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail>
To: Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2011 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: Trigger

Hi Dan,

I can certainly help you.

A couple of ground rules and questions if you'd like to try...

I help people see the reality of no self only, and do so in a very practical manner. Sometimes that doesn't suit the seeker as I don't reference any of the teachings, and instead work with you to check your own experience in reality. The method is very simple, so simple in fact, that it's often overlooked at first. But it's effective.

What I ask is that you put aside all spiritual teachings while we do this. Everything we do will be based in physical reality and verifiable fact. You can go back to them afterward, but for now they may cloud this part of the realization. With focus and honesty, we can be done with this within a week, possibly a bit more depending on how quickly we exchange emails and how focused the looking is.

If this sounds good for you, we can begin! :)

The question I have for you is,

What are your expectations for seeing no self? What do you suppose the shift might look like?


On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 6:14 PM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:


That absolutely works for me. Thank you very much I so appreciate your willingness to do this.

What are your expectations for seeing no self?

A. Openess to everything as it comes (even the selection of one thing over another without spinning a story of "Well I guess this makes me "that sort of guy".), untouched by the ups and downs (emotions resulting from the story of who I am , history, and wanted future...if sadness is felt I want to experience sadness, if anger is felt I want to experience anger, but I don't want them to be filtered or created by a self image that MUST be this or that) Oneness (no separation and really immortality of being "nothing in particular" regardless of what that which does not die looks like). Oneness that opens me to seeing myself in everything but threatened by nothing. A release from the fear of death or insult. Surrender. I want to surrender and not feel as if I'm running the isolated show of Dan., building a Dan to worship. I don't know what it would visually look like other than what I see now without the individual personalization. I'm also thinking that I would like to be hollowed out...nothing unecessary needs to be here.

What do you suppose the shift might look like?

A. I suppose it would look like what I see now (half the world in front of me and where I feel myself to be in the unseen). I suspect the shift might feel like an openess that comes from the release of a limiting / containing idea. I suspect it would look different insofar as the importance placed on thoughts of identity are concerned. I suspect these would expand or be removed.

I can try and be more "to the point" and objective if I've missed the mark.

Thank you so much again.


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail> To: Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2011 7:45 PM
Subject: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

Perfect. All of it. You've seriously given this a lot of consideration.

You should know that sometimes this realization results in a quick and hard "shift", and sometimes it's subtle. The reason for the subtle shift is simple. The fact of no self is already the case, and it's evident everywhere you look. It's already true. So, it's a matter of just recognizing that.

Another helpful thing to know is that this is the simplest truth you can imagine. When I say simple, I'm talking about how a child knows this, and how no intellect is required to see it. As a matter of fact, sometimes intellect can delay the seeing, because you can fall into thinking it through, reasoning, or trying to believe.

It's not a belief. It's verification.


Let's get started.

Part 1
Take a look in front of you right now. Choose an object in the field of view and describe it in your mind. Note color, size, shape, texture. Try to describe everything about what you see.

Write out the description for me here, please.

Part 2
While still looking at that object, think about the last movie you really enjoyed watching. See a scene in your mind, and describe it. But keep looking at the object.

Write out a very brief description here.

Part 3
Try describing the object and the movie at the same time, and watch the thoughts. Do they happen simultaneously, or one at a time? Are you able to think about both at once or is there a sequence?

Try to think two thoughts at the same time.

Write out a very brief description of what happened when you did this exercise.


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:


Part 1.
"Take a look in front of you right now. Choose an object in the field of view and describe it in your mind. Note color, size, shape, texture. Try to describe everything about what you see.
Write out the description for me here, please."

White, approximately 6 or 7 inches, smooth in texture but there is a grainy surface if inspected closely, the top has a approx ¼ inch “lip” that juts out, and the entire piece is cylindrical with an empty center, somewhat discolored brown, and shadows fall onto its outer and inner aspects. The bottom is also “lipped” but it’s a recess approx .5 cm. There is a coffee inside a brownish white colored fluid and its room temperature to the touch. Its light weighing maybe a couple of oz’s. Its color is white and there appears to be a piece of tiny tape on the afore-described lip.

Part 2
"While still looking at that object, think about the last movie you really enjoyed watching. See a scene in your mind, and describe it. But keep looking at the object.
Write out a very brief description here."

There was a woman in a wedding dress running across the road of a somewhat busy street and her friends were in a dress shop as they just tried on dresses for her upcoming wedding. Earlier in the day they had eaten food from a Brazilian restaurant and now they were food poisoned. The woman makes it ¾ of the way across the street and she squats down and poops in her dress. LOL!! She states its coming, its coming and she poops in the dress while the women watch on the other side and one of the women says…”you’re really doing it, you’re really shitting in the street.” The movie was Bridesmaids and it was HILARIOUS!

Part 3
"Try describing the object and the movie at the same time, and watch the thoughts. Do they happen simultaneously, or one at a time? Are you able to think about both at once or is there a sequence?"

I can only alternate between the two and cannot think about both at once.

"Try to think two thoughts at the same time.
Write out a very brief description of what happened when you did this exercise."

It became apparent as I was trying to describe the movie while looking at the cup that I could not really focus on the cup if I was describing the movie. I couldn’t really focus on the movie if I was focused on the cup. It was quite pronounced. I also found “cup” thoughts slipping into the stream of recollection of the movie as I recalled the movie but my attention switched to the cup.


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

Terrific work and description, Dan. Thank you for doing the exercise with care. And! Bridesmaids was absolutely hysterical! :)

What the exercise shows is two things:

Mind does not exist except as a concept or label. There is no storage of thought, only presently arising thought, one at a time. "Mind" is often thought of as a collection, but that collection doesn't exist anywhere.

It also shows that thought is separate from reality. Completely. This isn't news, but it's a truth nearly completely ignored. We take the content of thought to be very real, or relate it to the world around us. This was a loose example, but in paying attention to the process of thought, we can see how it works.

So, a few things to consider:

1. Thought happens one at a time. There isn't a collection of thought or "mind". There is only singular thought.
2. Memory is thought that does not relate to presently existing reality.
3. Even presently arising thoughts do not necessarily refer to the present physical reality.

Watch how thoughts and memories can "disconnect" from an object, and yet the view of the object remains unimpeded.

Do the exercise with the body. Look at the hands without the thought, "my hands". For a second or two, let the "my" thoughts fall away. Then, look at the legs without the thought, "my legs". Just gaze at them. See how they exist even without the "me" or "my" thoughts, and how nothing about reality changes one bit without those thoughts.

Bring yourself back to thoughts of "my hands", then repeat the exercise a few times. Look at them without thought, then bring the thought back in.

What happens to the body without the thoughts? Can you say what the object even is? Does it "belong" to anything? Does it continue to exist in physical reality?

Please write down your findings.

Then, find a memory of "yourself" from childhood but continue to look at the body. A memory that's self-referent brings up the "I" thought. Notice how the memory replaces current thought and does not co-exist.

Let me know what you find.

On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:24 AM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:


I have a couple of weeks off and obsess over this work so I'm rolling with it. I hope you don't mind. :-)

What happens to the body without the thoughts? Can you say what the object even is? Does it "belong" to anything? Does it continue to exist in physical reality?

Without thought the hand is just there as it appears to be of its own accord as are the legs. I do find that thoughts still, goofy-looking, primative, small, but with as close to no thought as possible the hand seems to lose itself in the background as the attention becomes diffuse. The parts of the body do not seem to belong to me without the thought of "hand, leg, or mine, my". The ownership feeling is absent. You can't say what it is. It's not as if the thoughts stopped entirely as the goal came up on occassion and when this happened it seemed to have the aforementioned descriptives attached to it. Ex. No thought (thought)...look how it looks different, so primitive (thought), and then when this stopped it just blended into the background unless my eyes adjusted to see it. The hand does continue to exist in physical reality.

Then, find a memory of "yourself" from childhood but continue to look at the body. A memory that's self-referent brings up the "I" thought. Notice how the memory replaces current thought and does not co-exist.
Let me know what you find.

I noticed that my memory was of learning to ride a bike, but the memory picture was of a little boy (me) on a red bike being pushed by an old woman (my grandmother). I was watching the memory but from the third person view. (which isn't the point of the exercise, but what I saw). It was more of a recalled picture and then the thought "that's me over there and that's my grandmother over there", but then the thought was "I'm learning to ride a bike in this memory." It does replace current thought and they do not coexist. The memory drew attention away from the hand even. As the picture of the memory was constructed the details of the hand became less apparent., but the hand was still there

From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail: Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

Good. Two things I'll point out from this exercise.

Self is a thought that arises and is not inherent. Even when looking directly at what is thought of as a self, without thought, self is simply not there at all. It's a complete construct and overlay. See whether this holds true in experience. Test it out with the exercises given.

Secondly... Isn't it interesting how memory is in third person? Odd isn't it? That's because we are literally constructing a self upon the prompt to pull up a memory. And still, memory is simply thought. Thought is real... a real event. But the contents are not. They only *refer* to something. Sometimes those things are imaginary, and sometimes have a counterpart to what is contained in the environment.

Think of a unicorn.

Think of your self.
See how both thoughts occurred equally? Within the same conceptual space and had the same quality? The reason you know the unicorn isn't real is because you were taught that it doesn't exist, and you've never seen one.

Here's the kicker. You've never seen a self either. The difference is that you (the brain) was repeatedly taught that it does exist. This started as a baby and has been reinforced throughout "you", as a human's, entire life cycle. It has never been questioned until now.

Putting that together, you can see how self does not exist outside of thought, and that thought happens just one at a time. So what is happening to construct a self is a series of thoughts that pop up. It's literally a habitual thought pattern only and has no counterpart in reality. Self is twice removed! First it occurs only in thought and secondly it *appears* to be a continuous entity but simply is not. It's broken up by utter non existence of a self, probably for a good part of the time. When prompted by the environment, however, another thought pops, and there is an appearance of continuity, an impression of it always having "been there". But where?! It can't be found!

Does all of this hold true in "your" experience? Where are you, where is the self, outside of thought?

Please let me know what you find, and any objections/fear/hesitation that comes up.


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 4:33 PM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:

Does all of this hold true in "your" experience? Where are you, where is the self, outside of thought?

Bear with me here please....

There is no "I" or "my" outside of thoughts. I believe its the reason people say "I'd like to die in my sleep.". This statement recognizes that without identity or posession there is no fear of loss. There is also no pain when one is unconscious such as in deep sleep or while under sedation. So this could also be responsible for the above statement .

My first fear is that each pain would impose an undeniable "my" or "I" unspoken. I.e. ..."if you dont think you exist go step in front of a bus."

It does strike me that "I" is always a redundancy to what is happening (but it points to prioritization...a prioritization that exists based on the quality of events...I would feel this hand hurt, but I dont feel your hand hurting if it were hit with a hammer. Doesn't this imply a reasonable priority for this hand...a sense of "my" as prioritization? But wouldn't this prioritization exist without "my"? What breaks the priority that seems to follow "my body"? It seems to follow it based on actual events where the depth of experience is greater both positive and negative when they happen to "my" body.
If the "I" and "my" are thoughts not created by "me" how do they get uncreated? I say this as there is a belief that a significant event needs to be present where the "self" is wiped out entirely and thereby the impulse to create it or look for it leaves.
Wow - Thats everything. Absolutely everything. Thank you so much for prompting me to write it out and I look forward to your reply. I apologize for the messiness of it, but I've looked at this inside and out at various times and may need an "outside lever to move the world".

From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail> To: Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

It's not possible to stop the "I" thoughts as they are ingrained patterns of thinking which occur in the brain. And we are indeed humans with a biological need to survive, as all life has. So, jumping in front of a bus isn't recommended for the human! The body would feel pain, but no self or I would be involved. It would be just pain occurring. That sounds odd, but check experience to see whether it's true. Pinch "your" leg. Why is an "I" thought necessary for the sensation?

Is an "I" needed for pain or joy? Or does it just arise? :)

But... the prioritization is in thought and force of habit too. There are other humans in the world. If you were to hit me with a hammer, this body and brain would experience a sensation based on a biological response to injury. The "I" would come in to claim it, as it comes in to claim everything. But it's completely unnecessary to the experience.

It's important to know that the thoughts and sense of "I" exists and is necessary for functioning in the world as it has evolved. There is no need to be rid of it or uncreate it, simply to see it for what it is... yep, just thought.

The body and brain takes care of all functioning perfectly as does all life.

Trees don't need an I to grow. Life doesn't need an I to exist.

Do you have pets? Observe how every response is automatic. There are patterns of behavior, and characteristics or tendencies, but is there a self or I?

Go for a walk to another room. Is there an I necessary for the legs to move and coordinate, for breathing or for beating the heart?

How about thought? Do You think thoughts, or do they just appear, then upon reflection the "I" attributed?

Can seeing be stopped or started?

What do you find?


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 6:42 PM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:

"But... the prioritization is in thought and force of habit too. There are other humans in the world. If you were to hit me with a hammer, this body and brain would experience a sensation based on a biological response to injury. The "I" would come in to claim it, as it comes in to claim everything. But it's completely unnecessary to the experience.”

- Oh sh*t. You're not wrong. Without the "I" there is still experience, but "who experiences it"? Nobody as such...there may be a point of experience though...a point of increasing intensity as space is transversed. The establishment of a proximal relationship may be necessary in order for things to be experienced in a specific way, but there is no "I" there just potential to experience in a specific way, but its always doing this with or without an "I". I mean if I were strapped to a tree in the desert and only had the experience of being strapped to a tree I would be no less or more existent then if I had all kinds of experiences. I was insisting on subject-object, but its all as much "subject" as it is anything. The experience varies, but experiences vary with or without an "I" thought. The variation doesn't create identity via intensity or lack thereof. I'm no more "me" on a roller coaster than I am walking down the street (even though the experience of movement is that much more intense on the roller coaster.) So, the intensity of experience even in the "I" paradigm never implied identity....merely the "I" did.

“It's important to know that the thoughts and sense of "I" exists and is necessary for functioning in the world as it has evolved. There is no need to be rid of it or uncreate it, simply to see it for what it is... yep, just thought.”

...and thoughts aren't real, but reference objects in reality and fantasy...scissors or unicorn neither is made real by the thought, but scissors exist in physical reality and not as a function of thought, unicorns also exist in the experience of thought, but not in physical reality. The "I" exists much the same way as the unicorn. Holy sh*t!

“The body and brain takes care of all functioning perfectly as does all life. “

- I have no argument with this. I've had an inkling that this was true as I can't imagine being responsible for all of the biological functions of my body. It's that damn "executive functioning" I felt responsible for, but even the "options" of this function appear without my seeing their source or understanding the depth of the interaction with the environment, past, and all the other variables that result in their presentation.

“Trees don't need an I to grow. Life doesn't need an I to exist.”

- No argument here.

“Do you have pets? Observe how every response is automatic. There are patterns of behavior, and characteristics or tendencies, but is there a self or I?"

- They think they own everything but only as interpreted by my tendency to animapamorphise the patterns seen. There is no evidence that an "I" exists.

“Go for a walk to another room. Is there an I necessary for the legs to move and coordinate, for breathing or for beating the heart?”

- No!

“How about thought? Do You think thoughts, or do they just appear, then upon reflection the "I" attributed?”

- I've watched this for quite sometime...they just appear and disappear into an unknown "blackness".

“Can seeing be stopped or started?”

- I've also reflected on this...and "I" does nothing for seeing to take place. There is no need for the thought of "I" to see.

“What do you find?”

- Holy sh*t. This has been something I haven't been able to do and I've been working on seeing it via all types of exercises. It is almost undeniable. Who is the point of my life? What is the sense of "I am" or "I exist"?


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail> To: Dan <email@emailaddress>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

Amazing, isn't it? Deceptively simple, as if some cosmic joke has suddenly delivered the punchline!

The point of existence is in and of itself, the entire point. There is no you who has to make a point of it and life continues perfectly as it always has. It exists because it Is. Take a moment to let that soak in. There is no need for grasping, seeking, struggling through "my life". Freedom is what this is.

Who is the point of my life? What is the sense of "I am" or "I exist"?

The sense of "I am" is because life moves through all observed, and it exists within the human "being". It's just that there is no collective entity steering what is simply happening in all of its amazingness! Relax into it and see what happens.

What does life look like without the "I"? Is there anything missing?

On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:

Holy cow. I need to sit with this for a bit. I can't believe how effective this is. Can I get back with you if something presents? Thank you so much.


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail>;
To: Dan <email@emailaddress>;
Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]
Sent: Tue, Sep 27, 2011 11:55:15 PM

Sure thing.

Whenever you come back, I have three questions I generally ask to ensure those I help aren't left in an "unfinished" or incomplete state.. between worlds, so to speak. If you could answer, I'd really appreciate it as it would mean peace of mind that the pointers given were helpful and complete.

1. What is the self or I? How is it constructed?
2. Is there a you anywhere at all?
3. What is different "now" from "before"?

Thanks, Dan. There's more information, but I will let you sit with this a bit. Feel free to ask anything in the meantime.


p.s. I can give you more to read on my blog. There are accounts of two others I've been able to help. The names have been changed to protect their identity, but they've allowed me to post the exchanges in the hope that it might help others. Please don't mind the disjointed nature of the posts.... I had to reconstruct them from email and omit any personal information.

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:01 AM, Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:

1. The self is merely a thought. It places an unecessary subject into a world of subjects thereby creating an object that experiences which is merely implied and never existed. It may be a function of simple acceptance via belief or mental organization. Things do exist in a physical sense its just there's nobody to experience them.

2. if there is it would need to be everything and if this is the case then no "I" is needed to distinguish one aspect from another, so-no.

3. I don't see anything differently. I just don't feel like there is an "I" doing anything. It's transient in intensity.

The anxiety feeling has passed. :-). There is still a thought present regarding a satirical of such magnitude that the mental pattern of a habitual I creation would cease to be. I just can't say it would be anything other than a brain reprogramming. No subject would be changed.


From: Thassa Amzwar <thassaamzwar@mail>
To: email@emailaddress
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 8:51 AM

Subject: Re: No Self Inquiry [Dan M]

Thank you very much, Dan.

Are there any questions? I do have some resources/reading options.

This is a continuous process, especially after the initial seeing, and it can be helpful to continue reading or discussing with others.

The website has more reading material in "chapter 2". But this is where the site administrator and I differ in teachings. His material points to consciousness/awareness, but there are other teachings which point to that which is beyond consciousness/awareness - the void or emptiness. 

From here, the journey will happen as it may. Some teachings will resonate more than others, and the "path" taken may meander. No worries. It will all happen as it does, and no teaching is absolute, merely pointing to truth which has to be discovered by "you".

some of the resources I can point you to include Facebook groups. There are several people I work with there and on other sites. What we do is help anyone who asks by working with them on Facebook itself, in a forum, or via email. In addition, we've also set up a couple of groups where we work out all of the questions which can come up after this seeing. It's an interesting mix and there are sometimes lively debates on teachings or how to "deepen" this. At the very least, it's interesting. :)

Ok, the groups....

Clearing House - this group has a "western" slant and does not discuss Eastern philosophies or thought.

Liberation Unleashed - members of this group come from a more Eastern view of enlightenment. It's popular and the administrators are very good at assisting folks through a transition period.

If Facebook isn't for you, you can also email the no-self site admin, Scott. His email is He has more information also on consciousness/awareness, and would be glad to know that the site was instrumental in helping you.

The resources I'm pointing you to are free, by the way. None of these folks have formal teaching or accept fees. It's entirely volunteer.

Please stay in touch for a bit as I'd like to be sure you're getting along ok. :)

And finally, may I use post exchange (with your name and personal info removed of course) on my blog? It can be really helpful in assist others who may have some trepidation about the process.

Take care, Dan. I'm so glad for "you". There's lots more to come.


Dan <email@emailaddress> wrote:
Definitely interested in the "void" or "emptyness" paradigm. Probably has to do with the materials I've read and meditations I've practiced up to this point. Consciousness and Awareness just confuse me :-)

You can absolutely post this exchange on your site. It feels as if the ramifications of what you have shown me have yet to be seen in their entirety. My sense of "doership" is dead, and my sense of "self" is wide open, but there is still a thought that it will go deeper in its manifestation and I believe its in response to what feels like a full head about to burst.

I will visit those resources and thank you so much. I will DEFINATELY be in touch :-)


photo credit:  we need space by davespertine

Thursday, August 11, 2011

M's No Self Realization - Tuesday, August 9, 2011 4:04PM

On Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM, msec wrote:

I would be grateful for any help you could give me in finding a trigger for this.

Best wishes


On 31 Jul 2011, at 01:17, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Sure. Be glad to help out.

Let me ask a series of questions, and you answer with 100% certainty. The only thing I ask is that you examine it carefully, and be sure of the answer. I won't give you answers myself, at least not to the first questions, but will let you know if you're on the right track.

Sound good? :)

first question:

What influences thoughts?

On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 5:42 AM, msec wrote:

Thank you

Answer to first question: What influences thoughts?

Past and present experiences and future expectations.

On 1 Aug 2011, at 00:54, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Yes. Thank you.

What form does that influence take? In other words, what happens when there is experience? How does it affect thought? And what form does "expectations" take?


On Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 8:30 PM, msec wrote:

What happens when there is an experience? It is analysed and judged to be good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant.

How does it influence thought? Good experiences result in thoughts of joy and love. Unpleasant experiences lead to thoughts of fear, anger and hatred.

What form does expectation take? Similar experiences will lead to similar results and similar thoughts/ feelings.

Thank you

Best wishes


On 2 Aug 2011, at 02:35, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Ok. Good!

So would you say that thought influences thought? Would that be an accurate statement?

Feel free to check this statement to be sure it's 100% accurate in your experience.


On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 4:27 AM, msec wrote:

Thank you

Yes thought does influence thought.


On 3 Aug 2011, at 01:08, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Excellent. Thanks, Md.

Next question. :) What influences beliefs?


On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM, msec wrote:

Thank you

Thoughts influence beliefs.


On 4 Aug 2011, at 01:34, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Do you have a cheat sheet? ;)

Right again!

Next, the last question of this kind.....What inifluences self concepts?


On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM, Msec wrote:

Thank you

No cheat sheet, just getting lucky I guess!

Experiences, thoughts and beliefs influence self concepts.


On 5 Aug 2011, at 00:41, Thassa Amzwar wr ote:

Yes. Thoughts influence self concepts.

And let's break the rest down some.

Experiences, through thought, influence self concepts.

Beliefs, influenced through thought, influence self concepts.

Are those two statements 100% true in your reality, your experience?


On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 7:45 PM, Msec wrote:

Yes they are true.


On 5 Aug 2011, at 00:47, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Good. On point.

Where do thoughts take place? Where do they exist?

Difficult question to answer.

You want to say in your head, but that doesn't feel right.

They come from somewhere else, some place outside of me and this space and time.


On 5 Aug 2011, at 01:14, Thassadit wrote:

Yes, but now see how things get fuzzy and words like "feels" come in?

Where in reality do thoughts take place, including all beliefs and concepts?

What do you know for certain? Would they take place if there was no head?

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 6:54 PM, msec wrote:

Things have always been a little fuzzy!?

Can't know for certain where thoughts take place, therefore can't know where beliefs and concepts originate from.

You could say thoughts are processed and communicated through your head but I can't say for certain whether they originated there.


On 6 Aug 2011, at 01:13, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

That's ok. We're just looking at where they take place. Where they happen in reality as we know it. Because they just arise from nowhere, seemingly. But they're often influenced by other things like environment...something heard or seen or smelled.

But right now we're working in reality. We want solid evidence of a self if we can find it...So,

When in deep sleep, do thoughts come? If there was no brain, would thinking still happen?

Take a look. Where do the thoughts/beliefs/self concepts happen?


On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM, msec wrote:

I agree initial thoughts ideas seem to come from nowhere. They are then built upon by experiences, environmental cues and feedback.

In deep sleep thought may or may not occur but i can't know as I don't remember. But I don't remember every thought I've ever had, does that mean they never happened?

No brain no thought I guess. Nothing to process thought with, no tool to know I exist. I would cease to exist either in this form or I would cease to exist permanently.

Where do thoughts/beliefs/self concepts happen ?

I don't know where they come from, I can't even remember their initial conception. All I have is the continually evolving thought etc. The layer upon layer of thought etc, built upon as a result of different experience over time.

I don't even know from where or how they came, these thoughts etc. that have defined me made me who I am.

So where is the I/me in all this if what I essential am is a collection of thoughts/ beliefs ideas with no clear indisputable source. I can only conclude that I don't really exist I am no more than a collection of programmed thoughts and ideas that have been set running.

I am no more than a computer program, machine that had been set running. There is nothing to strive, fight for there is nothing to fix or be.

All my beliefs, desires and fears are an illusion for I don't exist.

There is no-me, no-self.

So what do I do now?


On 7 Aug 2011, at 02:39, Thassa Amzwar wrote:


Tell me, does this mean that no self is seen? Or are there still questions?

It's true. Life is living without a director, chooser, or self. And there has never been a self, but look how life continues, beautifully.

Let me ask 3 questions to see where "you" are with this:

1. What is the self?

2. Is there an "I", and "you" anywhere in reality?

3. Is there anything different now that this is seen compared to "before"?



On Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 7:25 PM, msec wrote:

Yes I see. It came as a relief to realise that there's no I am that I am nothing.

But at the same time it's quite sad, like a bereavement.

A great feeling of loneliness and purposelessness.

1. There's no-self

2. There's no I

3. Yes everything and nothing is different. The old still has desires and fears, but there is now a background of knowing that these old feelings are nothing real. Desires built upon false ideas who's origin can't be verified.

I feel more disconnected from the world around me. It all seems very hollow and false.

Best wishes


On 8 Aug 2011, at 01:33, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Actually, take another look. See how life lives itself and has always done so beautifully without a self to intervene or take blame or direct things. Just like plants, animals.. everything exists perfectly in nature. Though there isn't a self, there is still a human, a body, brain... a wonderfully orchestrated and perfect organism which exists as part of life.

Is that seen also?

And, ask any questions needed for full understanding. Are there any?


On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM, msec wrote:

Sorry I don't see that.

Best wishes


On 9 Aug 2011, at 01:26, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

But none of that belongs to or happens to a self. So who would be affected by those feelings?

Is it possible there is more work to do?


On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM, msec wrote:

Yes i believe so.

The no-self was seen briefly on Saturday. But there is a lot of internal conflict now.

Thank you

Best wishes


On 9 Aug 2011, at 02:07, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Tell me what was seen and how it happened.

On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 10:04 AM, msec wrote:


I was working through the last questions you gave me and it suddenly dawn upon that there was nothing, no I no-self behind what I thought was me.

I could not be sure of my origin where this I I called myself came from.

I felt that everything I believed myself to be all my desires and fears had no clear origin.

I realised in reality I don't really exist.

Then I felt and still feel the emptiness the nothingness that everything everywhere comes from. That gave me peace. But now I feel such immense anger and despair.

I believe and hope that this is just the last stand of my ego-self. I long and have longed to be able to surrender to what is.



On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Hi M,

The good news is that there is no you to surrender, so there is no need to do so. Life continues to live itself without a you surrendering anything. It's all ok.

But this is important. Don't fear the emptiness because it's where the peace is. Look into it, but don't try to get lost in it. See how that peace dissolves anger and fear. There is a profound sense of "Ok-ness" in that emptiness.

Try it and let me know what happens.


On 9 Aug 2011, at 19:35, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Is there anything more we can work on with regard to seeing no-self? Is there more you feel we should work with?

I have three questions to ask if you feel you are done with this part.

Thanks, M.


On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 2:49 PM, msec wrote:

Yes I'm done with this part.

Please ask your questions.



On 9 Aug 2011, at 19:52, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

Ok. Thank you.

Here are the questions:

1. What is the "I"?

2. Is there a you anywhere at all?

3. What is different "now" than "before"?


On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM, msec wrote:

1. A phantom, it doesn't exist.

2. Everywhere and nowhere.

3. Everything. Now peace.

Thank you


On 9 Aug 2011, at 20:39, Thassa Amzwar wrote:

thanks M! :)

Have you contacted Scott at He has the "more to come" part if no self is done. He may ask questions too to ensure our work is complete.

But... because you've expressed that there is anger and sadness or emptiness, I would like it if you'd keep in touch. There may be a missing piece because I haven't had anyone express this quite the way you have, so it could mean that I failed to communicate something important.

Where does the anger come in? Feel free to talk about it?


On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 4:04 PM, msec wrote:

Thank you

Anger has gone, it was born of frustration and limitation felt by the I. It defined who it was, nourished for years by these thoughts.

So when the truth was seen the initial reaction was one of anger " you've been looking all these years for truth and the truth is there's actually nothing there to find". Quite funny really.

I'm happy to keep in touch.

Thank you very much, I do appreciate all your help and guidance.

Best wishes


photo credit: FZMWay