Trackless Bird

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Periwinkle
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Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Sat May 20, 2017 3:02 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the “I” which I think I am is a mental construct, my mind grasping at an independent, permanent identity which demands my constant maintenance and reinforcement for its continued presence, as well as causing a host of problems for myself and others. I find it prevents my being fully present, loving and available.

What are you looking for at LU?
In January I had an unexpected and blissful experience of freedom from “me” which lasted for about a day and came after a brief experiment with self inquiry. It upended what I thought I knew about enlightenment, and opened the door to new understandings. Since then, I have been desperately focused upon returning to that place. Lifelong pursuits have fallen away and it’s all I can think about.

I get that the bliss aspect was probably just the contrast with my previous mental state and will not last. But I’m not looking for bliss, just relief. The world seems different to me now, so something has definitely shifted, but I’m not there yet.

It would be great to get some help from someone who understands what I experienced and who could help me focus on the steps I can take to cultivate that seeing again.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I don’t know what to expect, I’m open. What I want is to return to the freedom I experienced, so anything to help me lean in that direction will be welcome. After 40+ years of seeking I've lowered my expectations yet at the same time am hopeful.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I’m 62 and have been in seeker mode since I was 20. I’ve spent a good deal of time with a half dozen awakened people from various traditions, mostly Vedanta and Tibetan Buddhism, the most significant being 17 years with a Buddhist master. Since he passed away I’ve been “in the wilderness.” Then a few months ago, I began to ask the Universe for help and was led to self inquiry through a number of different people on YouTube. Something clicked and I had the experience described above.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat May 27, 2017 2:21 pm

Hello!

Welcome to LU and thank you for your introduction.

Happy to walk along and explore this with you.

Let me know if you're ok to go ahead, and we can make a step.

Oh, what's your first name? :)

With best wishes,
John
a guide here.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Sat May 27, 2017 10:21 pm

Hi John.

Thanks for your kind offer of help. I really appreciate it.

My name is Skye. Anything else you want to know?

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat May 27, 2017 11:31 pm

Hey Skye,

Nice to meet you. You've had quite a journey.

When you think of yourself, what shows up?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Sun May 28, 2017 1:50 am

Nice to meet you as well, John. Again, thanks. So eager to do this, so I'm happy that you're getting right to it.
When you think of yourself, what shows up?
My first thought is that I show up as an idea. An image of Skye that I've amended through the years, and which I'll adjust, depending on whom I'm telling it to. It's like a resume, assembled to validate me, make me special, make me wanted. But in saying this, it makes me feel like I'm losing my footing, nothing to hold on to. Not frightened so much as disoriented, losing my balance.

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Sun May 28, 2017 2:54 am

But then five minutes after writing the above I'm back to the old tricks, wanting to impress someone with some photos I took. So sick of it being all about me.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sun May 28, 2017 11:05 am

Hi Skye,
My first thought is that I show up as an idea. An image of Skye that I've amended through the years, and which I'll adjust, depending on whom I'm telling it to. It's like a resume, assembled to validate me, make me special, make me wanted. But in saying this, it makes me feel like I'm losing my footing, nothing to hold on to. Not frightened so much as disoriented, losing my balance.

Thank you.

What is it about saying this that "makes me feel like I'm losing my footing"?

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Sun May 28, 2017 2:09 pm

What is it about saying this that "makes me feel like I'm losing my footing"?
For the few minutes that I was thinking about it, the idea that Skye is an image that I've heavily invested in for so long being no more than that- an image - makes me sort of WTF? Who am I? What am I? Is there really nothing there?

Which all sounds very profound, and what a good self-inquirier should say, until, as I mentioned, I interact with others and Skye pops back up, solid as ever.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sun May 28, 2017 3:38 pm

Hi Skye,
For the few minutes that I was thinking about it, the idea that Skye is an image that I've heavily invested in for so long being no more than that- an image - makes me sort of WTF? Who am I? What am I? Is there really nothing there?

WTF is a proper response. If you weren't going WTF, you would be in the wrong place. :)
Which all sounds very profound, and what a good self-inquirier should say, until, as I mentioned, I interact with others and Skye pops back up, solid as ever.

We can set aside the social habits of interaction for this inquiry because we are challenging the very ground on which such habits makes sense. Ok?
"Who am I, What am I, Is there nothing really there?"

Of course, its natural to want a safety net - for it may feel that after being Skye for so long, the only alternative is to be bobbing around in space. :) But all this is premised on the idea that somehow, Skye is real, and if not actually real, as good as real, in terms of practical living.

What if you were to see that Skye never existed in the way you had thought - ever. And so, in a real sense, nothing changes. You still eat, walk, speak, fart and breathe. You just have stopped pretending to be someone called Skye.

Take this in, roll it over, and share any discoveries.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Mon May 29, 2017 2:49 am

What if you were to see that Skye never existed in the way you had thought - ever.
I recalled Skye at various stages in my past - as a child, at adolescence, in my 20's, 30's, 40's and so on, and I can intellectually see that Skye was merely an idea at each of those times, and did not ever exist in the solid way I've normally remembered myself. Skye was just a label I layered onto a collection of body/mind/behaviors. (In addition to me applying the label, others also accepted and used this labeling.) I understand this, but it is an intellectual understanding.

One thing that also came up for me is how, at each stage, I remember the experience of being me as being mentally painful.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon May 29, 2017 11:25 am

Hi Skye,
I recalled Skye at various stages in my past - as a child, at adolescence, in my 20's, 30's, 40's and so on, and I can intellectually see that Skye was merely an idea at each of those times, and did not ever exist in the solid way I've normally remembered myself. Skye was just a label I layered onto a collection of body/mind/behaviors. (In addition to me applying the label, others also accepted and used this labeling.) I understand this, but it is an intellectual understanding.

An intellectual understanding is a good platform from which to spring.
One thing that also came up for me is how, at each stage, I remember the experience of being me as being mentally painful.

Ok, that's good to notice.

Right, an overview of the landscape we're exploring here. There is the everyday experience of being me, pretty much the same experience lived for decades. In my case, a life of being John. John is seen as growing and changing and ageing. Somehow, John is woven into this living being - is this living being, they are one and the same.

Now yes, 'John' is a label, but there is something else going on, a real experience of a living person, with a personality to match - it is unquestionably personal - and I call this me, and call this me, John.

Or to put it as Skye:

Now yes, 'Skye' is a label, but there is something else going on, a real experience of a living person, with a personality to match - it is unquestionably personal - and you call this me, and call this me, Skye.

Do you recognise this? Is there anything you could add to clarify the way in which being-Skye is commonly experienced?

With kind thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Mon May 29, 2017 8:16 pm

Now yes, 'Skye' is a label, but there is something else going on, a real experience of a living person, with a personality to match - it is unquestionably personal - and you call this me, and call this me, Skye.

Do you recognise this? Is there anything you could add to clarify the way in which being-Skye is commonly experienced?
There are a few things I notice.

There appears to be only one, unique body/mind labeled Skye. He's this age, sounds like this, has these skills, these shortcomings, these politics, these blind spots, this body type. He could easily be picked out in a roomful of a hundred people by someone who is familiar with those unique markers.

The above aspects of Skye are available for anyone to experience, but there are other aspects that appear to be completely private; thoughts and behaviors that only I seem to be privy to, some of which I choose to keep hidden, some which I share with others.

How I appear to myself and how others view me is often wildly at odds, and depending on whom you ask, you'll get a very different report of what Skye is.

Skye also appears to be married to time. He appeared to arise in 1955, is abiding for a stretch of time, and will undoubtedly come to an end at some point. Hopefully not that soon! :)

The identity of Skye keeps being amended as time passes. What seems to be solid identities continually morph into new ones, with different aspects taking the foreground or background - single, married, professional, artist, friend, student, teacher and so on. Identities I once considered important are now less important or do not exist at all.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon May 29, 2017 11:00 pm

Good stuff.

While reading this sentence the body breathes.
The body needs no name.
If Skye is a fiction, can it breathe?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Tue May 30, 2017 12:19 am

If Skye is a fiction, can it breathe?
Thanks for that, John. Let me sit with it. I'll be in touch tomorrow.

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Periwinkle
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Re: Trackless Bird

Postby Periwinkle » Tue May 30, 2017 11:47 am

If Skye is a fiction, can it breathe?
No, it is lifeless. Life breathes the body without Skye. Skye borrows life from Life.


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