Could it be this simple??

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ed76
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Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:05 pm

Hi - Here is a quick introduction:
I have been seeking and engaged in some sort of search, since I was about 18. This has included a great deal of reading, reflecting and meditating. I can remember being at university and reading J.Krishnamurit. I kept feeling like I was getting it......but then had to read more. This cycle has remained a strange hobby/compulsion for the last 15 years or so. However Several years ago though, I put down all the non duality books - Sri Nisargadatta, Rammana Maharshi, Tolle, Tim Freke, Tony Parsons, A H Aalmas, Antony De Mello etc etc. Not only did I put them down I sold a lot of them.

I decided to commit to the Buddhist Path - specifically The Triratna Buddhist Order. This really has transformed my life , I have become happier, friendlier and more content with life. I have a much wider circle of friends and these friendships continue to deepen and grow on a daily basis. However the old seeking energy is still there and I am still very open for anything that might work or help!

Anyway, I guess I had probably written off Insight and Awakening as some sort of endgame conclusion to a life of purification, dedication and spiritual discipline. A long way off, maybe even life times.

Looks like I might have been a bit hasty with that conclusion.

Anyway I have spent the last week or so, reading GG and some of the surrounding material and something seems to have clicked for me. It seemed very subtle no fireworks for me but a lot of pleasure and ligthness. I have been watching the last day or so to see if it dissapears.......but to my surprise I feel quite stable, even in the absence of thoughts or reflections.....very much like Santa..........I don't need to continually reflect to know he doesn't exist.

So I wanted a bit of help really, firstly to establish if I have really seen it ...........there is still a bit of conflict here because of past expectations of what it would be like.

I also wanted to connect with others to share in this amazing and yet ordinary recognition.

Of course this recognition cant really slow all this momentum my mind has towards growth and develoment....life flows on and life is looking for ways to develop. Im interested to see how this recognition trickles into this pattern of growth and creative expression....it would be useful to hear how this manifests for others.

look forward to hearing from someone,

Ed

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:14 am

Hi Ed,
Welcome to the forum.
Very nice to hear that something clicked for you while reading GG book. Yes, it is simple and it's obvious, no matter what stories say about that.

You mentioned expectations, what do you expect this seeing will do?
What is the difference in daily life now that you may have noticed?

Is there any doubt about non separateness?
We usually ask some final questions, can you say you are ready for them or there may be some looking required to clear some sticky points?

Looking forward to hear from you.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:50 am

Hi Ilona,

Great to hear from you. Im not sure how to word this now as part of me thinks I have seen this, so whatever my expectations were, they now seem redundant. However, as I mentioned there does still seem like a little confilct.

So one of my expecations was that I would feel a sense of completion, that its over, done and finished. No more books, no more seeking. However my experience isn't like that, I guess I love the truth and I love to hear it expressed by different people in different ways.........that doesnt seem to have changed. Now it feels a bit more like im not struggling with it or trying to get it or see it......I just enjoy being reminded about it.

What is the difference? - My mind seems a bit quieter, I seem a bit more present and relaxed. There is this very subtle sense of space at my centre, or behind my experience. There is a feeling of trust that things take care of themselves.......but not in a passive way.

If I have got it (and of course I might not) - Its quite new and I am just waiting to see if it will fade or dissapear...at the moment though my confidence seems quite high, but I still seem to testing myself every now and again (or rather thats what is arising)

Is there any doubt about non separateness? - Well there wasnt until you asked me the question.....Well its all just manifesting by itself......but within that impersonal arising there is a sense of seperateness, of being me...but I dont feel like I own or am responsible for that feeling. I guess its a sort functional sense of I am me.

maybe there is a sticky point there?? - let me know what you think

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:32 pm

Hi Ed,

You say part of you have seen this and that there still seems to be some conflict, we can look at that together.

Is there a center, to which experience happens? Can you find the center and describe it, from your direct experience right now. Feel the sensations and look, what is behind them, what are they made of and what drives them.

When you look at someone else, what do you see, what is separate from what? And is there separation without story?

The shift can be very subtle. It may take time to adjust initially, reading books and watching videos has a different taste now, nice, everywhere you look there is confirmation, that kind of flavour, no more looking for answers, right?


Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:37 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thanks any help would be much appreciated!

Is there a center? - No not really, everything is happening as normal but it is sort of held within a sense of spaciousness. Looking for a centre, just takes me into thought or speculation - however I cant really engage with the search as I recognise that what ever presents itself isn't going to be valid as an answer.

Whats behind my sensations? - well nothing really. what are they made of, I guess (without want to get too poetic) they are all made from the fabric of awareness. What drives them? - they are just unfolding, like a natural process - It seems cause and effect still holds up.

When I look at someone else, the image of that person arises. What is separate from what? - Well the whole thing happens very easily and naturally.......however as soon as I am invited to speculate on what is going on, certain models pop up........they are them, I am me, im in here they are out there. This sort of answers the next question, prior to thinking about what is going there wasnt a sepereation, or even a unification - these terms only seem to arise in relation to talking about an experience, or decribing a conceptual framework.

I guess separation and unity both rely on a subject object split. Left to its own devices my consciousnesses doesn't make the split, until it is required to abstract it for the purposes of thought or speech. So no there is no separation without a story.

So far I seem to passing through a few stages
Firstly was Wow - thats amazing.
Then there was desire to keep running the scripts to make sure I had got it - Do I exist, Where am I, Where do thoughts come from etc.
Then was a period of testing, is it still there, have I lost it or could I lose it and also a desire to have it confirmed or not confirmed by someone else.
Now Im feeling a bit more confident that It seems quite stable
However I am also processing it, in relation to my expectations and trying to see what are the implications.
what does this mean in terms of living my life, where does this leave my spiritual practice?
There is no more looking for answers but there is a sense of there still being more to do.....not in a heavy way, its like I have just taken off the rucksack full of stones and the sun has come out!

My sense is that it could deepen as it soaks into my mind and body and I am interested in how to work with that. On the other hand maybe it has no bearing on the contents of my experience - what comes up. Either way life manifests itself through me as an urge to grow and develop. Even though I don't attribute this to my will or mine, it is still present. This doesnt feel like an end point for me.

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:39 pm

Hi Ilona,

Not sure how these things usually unfold but if your bit busy at the moment, would be good to try and process this with someone.....there is quite a lot of energy there, and at the moment I seem to have slipped into a slightly apathetic mood - Like the teacher (my sense of self) - has gone out of the classroom and I can just let everything slide a bit........So if you or anyone could give me a hand, that would be great....sorry if that comes across as impatient.

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi ed, sorry for delay, I have been busy with life stuff.
How are you today? Can you say YES, shift has happened or is it still happening?

It may be quite intense feeling wise, but just allow it all to pass, keep the space open, notice that it's all flowing freely, including thoughts about it. It may take a couple of days to settle in. And it's true, this is not an end, just a fresh start :)

Let me know if you have any questions.
Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:43 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thats no problem...hope everythings ok!

Im pretty sure there has been a shift. The shift doesnt really seem to have happened on the level of the mind, but obviously it seems very interesting to the mind - so there a lots of stories going on - Have I seen it, Havent I seen it, whats in it for me. etc I also dont seem to have passed through anything particualry significant in terms of energy, unity, emotions etc. So there is some speculating about that.

I think I have spent so long seeking, part of me still is holding out for some sort of experience, state or something like that.

At the same time behind it all is a sense of peace that none of it is personal.........also very hard to talk to people about it, because they think its something amazing, which makes them skeptical that I have found anything of value especially when I tell them nothing changes or is any different ....it seems to get a bit confusing.

Also I have lost all my orientation towards my spiritual practice, I cant get into mediation as there was just so much seeking energy tied up with it as an activty...but somehow the implied goals dont hold up anymore. I am split on this thinking I should just push on anyway.

So on the one hand I feel fine and happy to trust the process, on another I want to tie up the loose ends and understand what remains, what are my values and how do I avoide drawing false conclusions...for example, as there is no self I can just drop all effort at developing myself further.

Any advice would be great = )

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:16 am

Yes, sounds very much that line of no return was crossed :)
The best advice I have is use writing as a tool to clarify, just write what feels true, honest and just as you see it, for yourself. This way mind focuses and has to look. There is no need to push, instead allow what comes up to come up, notice that old patterns are dropping, let them go, something else will fall into place. Meditation may come back later, or not, it all unfolds naturally. It does not mean that no action is necessary, only means that when spontaneous pull for action comes up, say yes, see what happens. Trust that feeling insider that tickles with excitement.


Yes, there are tons of expectations about what this should be like, but it's not what can ever be expected. Expectations do not magical dissolve, they are like weeds, may come back and grow new ones, it is always good to remember to tend this garden, see what else in your opinion should be different then it is.

What do you see when you look at others now? What is going on, how would you describe it? Your partner, family, friends? Strangers? What do you see when you look at ed?

Write a lot!
Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:28 am

Hi Ilona,

Thanks that great advice! I started doing some writing this morning and I was interested at what came up.

The mind thinks.....and it loves to tell stories, stories about myself, stories about life and reality, stories about other people etc The of course it starts to tell stories to itself about its own stories.

So my mind has been telling a few stories recently about seeing something, and then as if to make this a bit more interesting it starts to tell me another story about losing something, this creates a phisical, emotional response which sort of re-enforces the story, makes it more exciting, and eager to listen to the next exciting chapter.

So on of the expectations was probably that I wouldnt believe my stories anymore, or that I might be happy to have them playing away in the background without getting stuck or pulled in.

However, the stories about me, my journey, my unfolding process...are so compelling - that before I know it, its no longer a story but the truth/reality - I guess this what is meant by getting stuck.

This of course is only a problem in the degree it doesnt conform to my expectations - this then feeds the story that i havent got it and before I know it, im back online reading and watching non duality videos.....which goes even more against my expectations..and so on and so on.

What do I see when I look at others now?....Ill investigate a bit more today........my sense is simply sensory input - quickly followed by more stories about them and who they are, a resulting emotional tone and then more stories.........its a very sticky process.

Have a good day & chat soon = )

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:58 pm

It feels like when I glimpsed the reality or truth of no self, it was like a flash of lightening......but not a dramatic one, more like a fliker on the horizon when a storm is many miles away. Afterwards it seems quite quiet, so I could almost imagine I hadnt seen anything. But then before long a distant rumble of thunder seems to build and build getting louder as the sound catches up.

Seeing, is a cause - but the effect I can see now unfolds slowly and gradually. I saw a quote from vince talking about the process of seeing thought as thought, or recognised as thought - 'each time it is seen, it weakens, this is deconditioning happening'. - I am happy to watch that now, not be greedy or impatient....moments of peace seem to be happening more frequently......things are changing and working themselves out.

What do I see when I see others?

At first nothing really....just things unfolding as normal. Then the question comes to mind! - habitual response is the story of that individual living their life, doing there thing and being themselves. On deeper reflection, the experience of them and me and our unfolding interaction is simply a manifestation of life. We are all just hollow, our lives and expressions simply life manifesting in endless variety...according to the countless conditioning factors that precede this moment. Finally a recognition that these aw well are all stories.

A thought comes up though - As a buddhist, I had been engaged in actively telling myself stories about others..there sufferings, there joys etc - as an aid to actively develop compassion and kindness. I suddenly have a fear of falling into indifference.....but that recognition alone suggests that that is unlikely.

Ilona I have been reading so much of your work recently, it amazes me how well you guide people to this recognition. I am really grateful to have found this site and come across your work and all the other contributors - whose work i am only starting to explore!

many thanks

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:43 pm

How is it going Ed?

Thank you for your kind words. I love to pass this on :)

Yes, I recognise what you are saying.
First seeing was the opening. The awakening is a process, not a point in past time. Living life from knowing that nothing is happening to a separate entity is a ride without false driver.

Can you say that you are ready for the final questions?

Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:59 pm

Hi Ilona,

Wow must be Synchronicity at work as I have was just about to post!

Assuming these are the correct questions! - here we go:

1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever? how about self, is there anything that is separate from everything else?

No. Me depends on mine.......ownership. Nothing is owned, it all manifests spontaneously – This includes the illusion of separation. As nothing is owned there is no owner.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

My sense is that the sense of self arises out of two primary conditioning factors. Biology and Culture. Biologically are bodies and minds are linked up in very intricate ways following centuries of evolution. There is one lens where every human attribute and behavior can be understood through its evolutionary pay off. Opposable thumbs meant we could pick up tools. A sense of self meant we could anticipate the future and reflect on the past. The brain and our use of language all built and re-enforced this faculty. Culture – we learn from our parernts or caregivers – everything they said and did helped to create this sense of Me and I.

3) How does it feel to see this? describe in detail.

Very similar to seeing a magic eye painting or another optical illusion. Suddenly it clicks and once seen its hard to see why it wasn't so obvious in the first place. Brings up lots of stuff really, excitement, freedom but also disappointment that it wasn't what you expected – not much bells and whistles. A sense of trust, surrender and letting go...even though that can paradoxically involve doubt, striving and clinging.

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it. 

Probably through the lens of ownership. Get them to see how this is a label not reality and that it can be applied and removed from all phenomena. Or focus on the nature of thought or volition and how they arise.

5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? was there a specific moment when seeing happened or was it gradual? what exactly happened?

Well it seemed to creep up on me a bit – however there did seem to be a specific moment of seeing. I kept reading GG and post on LU – then sitting back and really looking for I. I was asking who am I and then using a sort of noting technique to remove each resulting phenomena of any sense of ownership. For a while things kept presenting themselves, including my field of vision, the sound of my thoughts, sensations in my face and chest. So I kept asking the question and things would pop up.....then it was suddenly like I got it.....and nothing even bothered to try anymore, I was just left with my experience exactly as it was before but with no sense of owner...or no need to search! - That seemed to be it for me.....something seems deep, stable and resolved ever since – even though my mind is as active and delusional as usual!

6) When you say "I", what are you referring to?

I am referring to a collection of phenomena including a physical body, stream of consciousness, a bundle of habits. These arise and fall away within awareness, but within the conceptual net that overlays reality, I call these things I. In fact I take all these ingredients put them in a pot, mix them all about and call the combination 'I'.

7) Is there an experiencer experiencing, or is there only experience?

There is only experience.

8) Actually look. Does experience belong to the body, or does the body belong to experience?

The body belongs to experience........experience is primary, everything depends on it.

9) What did you experience at the moment you awoke?
Something like being shown how a magic trick works, just a sense of 'ohhh so thats what they mean!'

10) Describe your experience in the hours and days following awakening.

Quite varied really, moments of real happiness, letting things be and easiness. Then feelings of doubt (as the name of this thread implies). Feelings of anticipation – how will this life unfold without a captain at the helm. Feelings of freedom, I'll trust myself to do the right thing at the right time. Feelings of confusion regarding effort, laziness, self discipline, spiritual practice etc etc. A desire to connect with others who have seen this. A desire to help others to do the same. A sense of disbelief – I had read so many books watched so many talks.....deep down I had given up – as I mentioned I even sold about 90% of all my non duality books – I just got sick of getting glimpses but no real transformation. A sense of gratitude and awe that people have found a way to communicate this in a way that works!!

There we go thats about it for now.....let me know what you think!

Cheers,

Ed

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby Ilona » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:29 am

Great answers, thank you.

A couple questions more for you.
Was there ever a separate self?

I am referring to a collection of phenomena including a physical body, stream of consciousness, a bundle of habits. These arise and fall away within awareness, but within the conceptual net that overlays reality, I call these things I. In fact I take all these ingredients put them in a pot, mix them all about and call the combination 'I'.
Here in this sentence- I call these things I. What is the first I?
Is this I the one that owns mind? The voice in the head? Can you describe in more detail, please.



Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Could it be this simple??

Postby ed76 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:08 am

Hi Ilona,

This becomes quite a balancing act in terms of language. But lets say that there has been an unfolding here that is related to a specific mind/body. In the course of that unfolding one of the habitual patters has been to label some things as I or mine.......this includes awareness, volitions, thoughts, habitual patterns, physical sensations. The sense of ownership also extends out towards relatives, possesions, groups, nationality etc

The labeling process has been real but the implied owner has always been false. I guess a clearer way to phrase it would be - These things are given the label of I. The label of I makes it easy to talk about but in its the process of abstraction, something is added or inferred that is false.

There is still a very strong conceptual map of reality in place. Although there has been a recognition that all these phenomena arise independantly. There is still a sense of being embodied and seperate - this unfolding is specific to this body and mind. These frameworks arent mine but yet they appear as vaild as before.

Its snowing outside! - This all part of the same unfolding...what is operating through this mind and body is the same thing driving everything - however at the same time what arises is the view out of my window and not my neighbours.........suddenly feel quite happy though so maybe there is some recogntion of interconnectedness there!

Consciousness seems tied up with this specific body.........what arises is this life and not my neighbours life. IS this an illusion or a paraodox to be accepted??.............How can I reconcile the impersonal aspect of life, with the personal?

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!


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