getting started

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getting started

Postby clip » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:54 pm

Looking for a guide (warning--elderly man with limited computer skills)

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Metta777
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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:33 am

I would be happy to guide you, is that your first name? Clip? All you need to do as far as the computer is answer back my messages, seems like that would be doable, since you messaged here. So, if you want to proceed there are a few agreements between us. 1. Stay in contact regularly, preferably once a day. 2. Try to lay aside any preconceptions and spiritual practices for the time being. 3. Answer my questions as honestly and openly as possible with some detail. 4. Give me a little information about yourself , what brought you here and what your expectations are if the process is completed. Thank You, Metta777
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:47 pm

Thank you so much Metta777, this is very exciting! After 10 years of seeking part of me is afraid of failure the other part of me is afraid of success. My name is Harold and I agree to your terms completely. Brief h Iistory, I became intererested in Buddhism about 10 years ago--have read and re-read approximately 150 spiritual books. Adyashanti has resonated the most with me so far. I have had good experiences from reading "Gateless Gatecrashers" (read it 4 times so far). Here is where I think I stand right now, when I look for "me" I see a concept with the name Harold which in reality is just an idea or thought and does not exist except in the mind or ego. Once the " I or me" falls away there is only a body with senses, thoughts and feelings. What's left has no opinions, likes, dislikes---nothing. This I understand intellectually but it hasn't been realized. I also see that there is no personal will, because there is no I to have it. My reason for wanting liberation is to live the rest of my life free from the influence of ego and see things as they really are. I hope I will not be too difficult of a student for you. p.s. glad the geezer alert didn't scare you off. Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:24 am

LOL, geezer alert. :-) It sounds like you have done some very good reading. There is agreement with what was read. I like reading too, but no substitute for actual experience. The " I " is used here for the convenience of communicating. Fear may be part of the block. Observe the fear and relate what it brings up. Any bodily sensations? Another question, what is the difference between thought and the thinker? Is there a thinker? Is there an understanding of the structure of thought, why is there no personal will,likes or dislikes? Obviously, some prefer chocolate over vanilla. Regards, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:54 pm

I hit submit without being signed in and lost post, starting over. The fear comment was an attempt to lighten up what is a very serious undertaking. There may be a latent concern after spending 70 years together, of losing "me" but I don't think it is a problem. Re: thought and thinker--during the last two days I have noticed a subtle change when I do my "can you find an "I" routine"--The "I" falls away much faster and I find myself asking, why look when you know it's not there? When the"I" falls away there is nothing to assign the title of thinker, looker etc, to. Thoughts still happen, seeing happens but nothing is there to do them. For the first time things I have read begin to make sense--allow everything to be as it is--without an "I" to disallow there is no choice but to allow. When Buddhism advises to not grasp or push away--without an "I" there is nothing to grasp or push away. Am I missing something? On personal will my experience is that when "I" falls away what's left has no preference whatsoever about anything. Upon return to the egoic state likes and dislikes appear. Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:34 am

That's right. :-) Well, Buddhism is saying don't invest energy in the thought or resist it because resistance sets up opposition in the ego. that why a hypnotist will never say directly not to do something, he will couch anything he says in a positive manner. Instead of saying " You will hate smoking", he will say something like, "when the thought of smoking comes up you will feel a desire for fruit arising". something like that. How that works is the thought arises, the mind wants to grab it and invest energy in it. Once that happens and it is automatic for many people after being conditioned ,the energy invested in the thought becomes identified as self. then concepts are formed. the process has started. Your doing well. :-) So there is no identity anywhere, is that correct? The search has gone on high and low, in the body, in thoughts, in concepts, feelings, emotions and you can't find it?
What about the past and future how do you see those ? Who are you then? Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:14 pm

There is plenty of idenity left, until I remind myself that --there is no "I". My opinions, my belielfs, my judgements, my ownership (car, house, dog, etc). My freedom of idenity comes after the fact, when I remember there is no "me". I have lucid periods of no idenity when I do the "can you find an "I" when you look?" as the "I" falls away the experience of quiet, still awareness flows in. Prior to finding this website I never understood "looking for self" to be literal, I had some concept of trying to look inside my head or something. Regarding the past, good question, knowing now what I didn't know then I can see that during any given era Harold thought he was living life, doing things and making choices. Now I see that a body named Harold was being lived but he was not in control because he didn't exist. I have no idea what was in control. There is also a feeling of awareness of what happened back then but I have no idea how accurate the story is. Now it occurs to me that the same thing must be going on today, I think I am living life but I am not because "I" is only an idea and not real in any way. What is directing my life I have not a clue however there is awareness of sights, sounds, thoughts etc. while all this is going on. Now I am confused. WAIT! I can't be confused there is no "I", and so goes another day in the life of a fictious person named Harold. In the future Harold still will not exist but there will be no confusion because Metta will explain. Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:14 am

LOL!! Metta will point and Harold will draw conclusions. :-) Let's start with the past. It is only a story that the ego tells itself. There is no past in reality. There is no doer, thoughts arise, energy invested, then concepts, it is a process and then these lead action. There is seeing,smelling, hearing, feeling, sensations, this is direct experience, this is real. Someone smacks you in the mouth you feel it. But you cannot and I use the term you to make it easier, get smacked in the mouth from yesterday and feel it again. There is NOW. The future is a projection based on past experiences, your experiences were good, there might be good projections, bad, depression and bad projections. So, are either the past or the future real in any way? Or are only direct ,immediate experiences real ? That is the five senses and the brain. Even then, if there is an accident and 10 people see it and the police ask every witness what they saw, it will be different. He had a red hat, next guy, he had a brown hat and red sneakers. lol. Why is that? Perception? Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:32 pm

I guess I once knew that the past was just thoughts that were happening NOW and the future was just thoughts that were happening NOW, and forgot. There can be no reality to the story ego is telling because ego is just a collection of thoughts resulting in memories and projections with no direct experience. I do worry that the direct experience that is happening NOW is being spun by ego and therefore not reality. I see that past and future require ego while NOW does not, I imagine this is key to something. I would say that direct experience is real if not tainted by ego. I would say that the way people view and report happenings would depend on nature and nurture (mental and physical ability and conditioning). Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:43 am

Direct experience is the five senses and the brain. Since you are a delusion and not real, it doesn't really matter in the outcome. There is no fixed identity because this is just a process. You can't think thoughts before they are thought. They come up to consciousness, you become aware of them and then act or not. There really is not a plan, things just happen, Action/reaction. Anything else is imaginary. conditioning plays and important part and how awake you are. I don't mean in regular terms awake, I mean aware/awake. Most people walk around in a state of dulled awareness carrying imaginary pasts and futures around on their backs, everyone else's expectations, wants, etc. It is exhausting to live like that. They do require ego and ego is a lie. Even if we both wanted to go back and relive the past, we can't, it only survives as imagination. It's dead. So yes, that is the key to something. So if you focus on your breathing, feel your chest rising and falling, look around, what do you see, colors, textures, smells, sensations, what is happening? How many times do we see and not really look? Ex: I always drive, years ago, my car was vandalized, so I had to walk where I was going. It was like being in a different neighborhood, I actually saw what I passed everyday. :-)
Life continues happening even when we are not paying attention and the ego is making other plans. As for the future, we both know that this is also imagination, I don't know if I will wake up tomorrow. No one does, or even if we will live through the day. I had a friend, quit smoking for health reasons and start jogging. On an icy day in Dec while he was jogging a car slid on the ice and killed him instantly on impact. He had a lot of imaginary plans for the future.
Another good part as I see it, even if I am imaginary, lol, is that all the labels we were given by others can be dropped. We were taught everything, look deeply at that and how much of what you have acquired in your brain was from you? Totally original? It starts in infancy and goes from there. We are told what colors are, green, blue, brown, etc., this is daddy, this is a girl, on and on. This is good ,this is bad. Many,many times we are told things that are not realistic or true. One lady was convinced she was stupid, she was told by her family all her life, " You are stupid and worthless". She actually believed it. Went to university and was a 3.8 average student. she cried when she found out she wasn't. So observe your actions/reactions, brain/computer. Same thing, automatic pilot. Look behind it, is there something more? Is there an observance anywhere of a set identity of any kind? What makes the dog,house,car yours? Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: looking around--I noticed the wood grain on the table in detail for the first time, same with kitchen cupboards. Looked at the color and texture of the chair instead of looking a just a chair. Looking out the window I see leaves and branches moving wildly about in some complicated dance. Direct experience seems more interesting than if I listen to conditioning which says, it's just the wind. I agree that we are all pumped full of information most of which is of little value. I am aware that my opinions are of no value and try to keep them to myself. I am unclear on the two sentences that start with "so observe your actions.............automatic pilot" If they are MY actions, MY reactions and MY brain there is a problem because there is no me to own them. The same is true with the dog, house, and car--no enity named me or Harold exists to claim ownership. You wrote about not having to live with the labels other people give--I was reminded of a judge I used to work with who just might have been a Buddha among us. Sometimes when he sentenced a person they would decide, having nothing to lose, to unload their anger on the judge. Angry tirades were hurled at the judge and I never saw any fear, anger, or emotion of any kind. I asked him about it one time and he said "Oh I don't think he was angry at me." I now think that the judge had no self for the words to cling to and they just passed through on their way to outer space. I would like to be able to not take anything personally someday (probably could start today). Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:36 am

That's right, great pick-up Harold. Things,events, thoughts just happen. Since there is no identity there is no my. "The impersonal life" is a book you might find interesting, perhaps you read that. Just for the sake of communicating we use I or similar things. Certainly sounds like that judge had a good understanding. No value is a label. :-) The brain does operate much like a computer, thoughts just arise, feelings, emotions, sensations. So is there an understanding that life is just happening and you have no identity? Neither does anyone else. Communicate without using the word, " I ". Try that on. Yes, noticing things more, being aware of surroundings and things that are normally not seen because the brain is not as caught up in conditioning and labels, just seeing. Today is a great day to start, since that is all we have. So directly, can you see an identity anywhere, in your body, thoughts, feelings?? Or just past experiences stored in the brain, but not real. Give me a direct answer for that please. Hugs, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Have spent as much time as possible today as nothing, just a body with thoughts passing through, along with feelings, emotions and sensations. Trying to remember there is no person for them to report to. This feels contrived, however when I look and cannot find a self it happens automatically. There is an understanding of the saying "no self no problem" now. I can see directly that there is no real me, I , Harold hovering around this body. There still seems to be a phantom me somewhere which I know is fictional. There is still is conditioning to drop off or see through. Harold

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Re: getting started

Postby Metta777 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:58 pm

One sentence that stood out was......." I am aware that my opinions have no value and try to keep them to myself"
There is no " I " to be aware of and " no value" is a judgement. Why would they have no value? How did it become clear that there was no value? Isn't that itself just a thought? Looking is what is needed and it is going well.
"no self no problem" now.

What problem? Conditioning may drop slowly or all at once there is no one way of experience happening, it just happens.
There still seems to be a phantom me somewhere which I know is fictional. There is still is conditioning to drop off or see through. Harold
Where is the phantom me? In thoughts, feelings, the body, look at that directly. Thoughts are strictly a now process as they are experienced. You can imagine a past thought, but it is not the thought experience of the past. Try to think a future thought before it arises. Not possible.
"This too shall pass"

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Re: getting started

Postby clip » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:06 pm

Need some clarification to answer your post. Spiritual terms are used differently by different people and sometimes there is confusion. For example--ego is just a thought--ego is a lie--thoughts are direct experience (real). The problem lies at this end not yours. Words that cause problems--real--reality--true--truth--exist. Thanks


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