Looking for a guide

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NilsKromhout
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Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi,

I have been browsing through the website and reading the book.
It looks to me as something I really want it this moment.
I have been 'seeking' for a while and want to 'find' now.

I have been reading about and listening to non-duality for some years now, visited some teachers.
But... (probably one of the most common phrases for seekers)... I understand it intellectually but I don't experience it. I can argue quite well that there is no "I" steering my life, there is no free will, life just happens. I am not this body. Feelings, thoughts, sensations arise and go away without a 'me' having anything to do with it.
But if I write this, I feel I am repeating someone else's words, not writing from experience. And I can't put together that there is no "I" but I still experience an "I" that feels pain when my fingers get hit by a hammer.

Since I have seen some other first posts I can answer some questions right away.
Yes I commit to posting every day, focusing only on this not reading other stuff, answering from my direct experience as honest as I can. I have looked at the introduction posts and video and how to use the quote function.

Reading the stories in the book I really want to 'wake up' as well. I know this is the wrong motivation because there is no me to wake up, but that is my motivation if I'm honest. I have this image of realization that I will be peaceful all the time, accept things happening all the time and not suffer anymore.

But maybe I should stop now because this is just an introduction.

Best regards, Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:41 am

Hello dear Nils,

Merry Xmas to you.

Thank you for your introduction - nice and clear and honest!

Nils, you wrote, "And I can't put together that there is no "I" but I still experience an "I" that feels pain when my fingers get hit by a hammer."

Question, is this really true, Nils? What is really noticed in this situation? Its a good example that you have brought up here. Can you "go through" this example again...but this time, look very very directly at it (not think about it)...just list what is sensed as this situation occurs. Draw on all 5 sensory perceptions and list what appears to be experienced by these five senses (perhaps the sense of smell wont be playing a part here).

Concurrently, list the various thoughts that pass through. Just like making a shopping list or ticking off an inventory, not delving into the content of the individual thought itself. ie thought 1) ....; thought 2) ....

Warmest wishes,

Shell

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:49 am

2)...and would you read this, please Nils? Just so we are clear on what we mean by using direct experience...

http://this-is-cosmik.blogspot.ca/2012/ ... ce-de.html

Thank you! Love, Shell xxx

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NilsKromhout
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:38 pm

Hi Shell,

Merry X-mas to you too!

I just hit myself on the fingers too see what would happen... :-)
No, if I imagine this situation then I guess the sensory input is:
- seeing a hammer contact with a finger
- probably hearing some kind of thumping sound
- feeling pain (or some kind of unpleasant feeling if don't label it pain)
- a jerk of an arm pulling the finger away
- maybe an emotion of startling, shock

Then these thoughts could come in:
- "I just hit my finger"
- "how stupid!"
- "why can't I be more careful, now this chore will take even longer"
- "will my finger be OK, is it damaged?"
- "if it is badly hurt I won't be able to go to work or play piano"

After these thoughts more feelings could come up: embarrassment, anxiety, frustration.

Then if I start applying what I read about direct experience I think:
- "wait, I just read there is no me, it is not my finger and "I" didn't do anything"
- "'hammer hitting finger' just happened, no doer"
- "but why do I feel pain if this finger attached to this body is hit, and not if the fingers on another body are hit?"
- "and why do some experiences seem "closer" to "me" than other experiences"

This last set of thoughts I added because I was wondering about them doing this exercise. Also I tried to do the "walking without there being a walker" exercise. I started to see events happening without a doer, but had similar thoughts as above about some experience appearing closer to me than others
If you think it is better to not go this, that's fine. I trust you know best what would help me more. I definitely don't want to get stuck in a philosophical discussion. Been there, done that!
But I wanted to add them in case it is useful to go into them.

Thanks for your help!
Warm regards, Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Great Nils, well done. Your answers (and your questions) really give us the meat we need to work with. We can come back to your questions later if we need too. My only job is to keep feeding you the questions...and for you to continue to supply answers to D.E (direct experience).

Question: WHERE is the "I" to be found in those fingers that just got struck by a hammer? In the eyeballs that apparently viewed the incident? In the ears that apparently heard the "thump" of the hammer? WHERE is the "I" (you) located in the body? Please answer honestly from direct experience, not from others answers that you may have read. Direct experience is essential here, now.

Much love,

Shell

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NilsKromhout
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:53 pm

Hi Shell,

If I'm honest and not recite what I have read somewhere else, I experience a "me" somewhere in my head. It's not in my fingers, or eyeballs or ears, but somewhere in the middle of my head.
I guess it has to do with seeing and hearing. If I have my eyes open I experience myself behind my eyes. If I close my eyes, I experience myself between my ears, probably because that is where I 'hear' the sound.

It's a bit frustrating!
I feel like (for some time now come to think of it...) someone who has been told that Santa doesn't exists and my parents put presents under the christmas tree, and who tries to understand it by figuring out how Santa and my parents can both put presents under the tree, or what Santa then does during christmas if parents do all the work!
And in the meantime someone keeps reminding me that THERE IS NO SANTA!

I understand there is no "me" in my head, only braincells, but I can't help feeling it there. You'll probably say: "Do you really feel it there? Isn't it a thought that says you feel a self in your head?" I guess even the experience of feeling a self in my head is just an experience, not really a self needed for that. The idea of a self is only an idea, a thought. But I can't really tell the difference between a thought about a feeling and a real feeling.

Maybe I'm not looking deep enough.
Or it is "me" who is trying to see there is no "me".
Am I trying to explain too much instead of looking?
If you want me to give shorter answers let me know.

In short, the answer to your question: I don't find the "I" in finger, eyeballs or ears. I experience seeing and hearing in my head. I connect this experience with an "I" located in my head.

By the way, when I wrote the line "there is no me" I felt a tinge of fear that I've never noticed before about losing my family. Or them losing me.

Best regards,
Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:46 am

Hi Shell,

If I'm honest and not recite what I have read somewhere else, I experience a "me" somewhere in my head. It's not in my fingers, or eyeballs or ears, but somewhere in the middle of my head.
I guess it has to do with seeing and hearing. If I have my eyes open I experience myself behind my eyes. If I close my eyes, I experience myself between my ears, probably because that is where I 'hear' the sound.

It's a bit frustrating!

In short, the answer to your question: I don't find the "I" in finger, eyeballs or ears. I experience seeing and hearing in my head. I connect this experience with an "I" located in my head.

By the way, when I wrote the line "there is no me" I felt a tinge of fear that I've never noticed before about losing my family. Or them losing me
Hi dear Nils,

Rest assured, you are doing great. Your answers are not too long, they are very clear and really give me what I need to work with. What you are discovering is perfectly normal, including the fear.

To the fear: you will not loose your family and they will not lose you by your passing through the gateless gate. The experiences of liberation vary from a subtle shift, like a tiny pop of surprise, "oh, this is what this is!"... to quite dramatic processes...and everything in between. Its different for everyone. Fear IS just a thought...and that is all it is. Look deeply and see what fear is trying to protect, ok? Let me know what you find. That is my first question for you.

My second question for you: look deeply, and let me know when the story of "I" (a personal you, separate from all animate and inanimate things in the world) was learnt. You'll need to watch babies...or remember your childhood...or remember bringing up your own newly born children to directly experience/ see this for yourself. OK?

Looking forward to your two answers.

And let me repeat, you are doing wonderfully well. Your honesty is a delight, and so is your sincerity/ determination to see.

We will come back to your statements about feeling like your me is somewhere in your head a bit later, OK?

Love, Shell xxx

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NilsKromhout
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:16 am

Hi Shell,

Thanks for your encouragement and your time for this during christmas. It is a different kind of christmas for me like this, quite wonderful. I think it is very special what you guides do here. Maybe after I have gone through the gate I can contribute as well in some way.
To the fear: you will not loose your family and they will not lose you by your passing through the gateless gate. The experiences of liberation vary from a subtle shift, like a tiny pop of surprise, "oh, this is what this is!"... to quite dramatic processes...and everything in between. Its different for everyone. Fear IS just a thought...and that is all it is. Look deeply and see what fear is trying to protect, ok? Let me know what you find. That is my first question for you.
I'm trying to answer this from deep inside, not to come up with a rational logical answer with my mind.
The fear is trying protect a life that is built up over the past years. My life. But if there is no me, there is nothing to protect (but now I'm repeating what I read somewhere...). Truth is, if I don't think I don't even feel fear of losing anything. That I can really see. Then there is just what is. I can't stop thinking, but I could see that thinking is also just part of what is.

A minute ago I felt irritation during my typing this text, when the kids were in the bath making a lot of noise and mess. The irritation was trying to protect my (irrealistic) picture of a nice peaceful morning, or a nice life that is in order with nice obedient kids, or my efforts to improve my life by doing these exercises. In other words all fantasies that have no base in reality.
But then again these fantasies come up and I shouldn't try to get rid of them. They are part of reality in the form of thoughts arising in this character called Nils. Or... they are not really coming up IN the character, they are just coming up. But "I" can see these thoughts, not anyone else... Who is "I"?
"I" is just a collection of experiences, physical objects, feelings, that are artificially grouped together by a couple of beliefs. However there is something that is aware of all things that happen, but I don't know if I could call that "I".
My second question for you: look deeply, and let me know when the story of "I" (a personal you, separate from all animate and inanimate things in the world) was learnt. You'll need to watch babies...or remember your childhood...or remember bringing up your own newly born children to directly experience/ see this for yourself. OK?
It must be between 1 and 3 years old that the story of "I" is fully formed. But it's probably already around 1 year old when a child gets the first hints from their surroundings that they are separate from the rest. Before that they make no distinction between the body they experience as always being close to them and the rest of the world. Anything they do not see, doesn't exist, they are truly in the here and now.
But then other people tell them that this is their hand. Before that, they can see a hand moving through their field of vision and just be curious about it. At a certain moment they learn that it is their hand and that they can move it. Although I wonder what comes first, the hand moving or the thought of moving the hand. Science has shown that the thought follows the movement. And yesterday I could shortly see it directly when I somehow saw myself cleaning the dishes without me "doing" anything, just watching it.

I hope my answer are clear enough.

Best regards,
Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:13 pm

Hi Shell,

Thanks for your encouragement and your time for this during christmas. It is a different kind of christmas for me like this, quite wonderful. I think it is very special what you guides do here. Maybe after I have gone through the gate I can contribute as well in some way.
Hi dear Nils,
You are very welcome. Its very natural and wonderful to contribute after passing through the gateless gate...and just lovely that you have already expressed the desire to contribute. For sure you will be a wonderful guide.

Truth is, if I don't think I don't even feel fear of losing anything. That I can really see. Then there is just what is. I can't stop thinking, but I could see that thinking is also just part of what is.
This discovery from direct LOOKING LOOKING LOOKING (not thinking and analysing) is important, Nils. Yes, thinking, just like seeing, smelling or any other form of perception is simply part of the entire picture that seems to occur in any one given moment. They are NOT separate at all. Its all just one frame of a movie happening simultaneously.

But, YOU need to see this directly by LOOKING. So I have an exercise for you. And I want you to do it. Really do it. Find a moment when you can sit somewhere, like in a park setting. I want the eyes to be closed when you get to be seated in your park. I want the eyelids to suddenly blink open, and for you to LOOK, like a new born babe...or an alien landing on this planet for the first time. I want you to approach this exercise as if you know (intellectually) NOTHING about this world or anything it contains, which would include the body you may or not at this point be identified with. And I want you to report, very, very honestly, what is there in the movie frame when the eyelids are blinked open. There will be a tremendous amount to report about, in just one second.

Part 2 of this exerices is noticing thoughts that arise as you LOOK. Are thoughts really a special and unique and important part of the entire sensory frame of the world that the eyes suddenly perceive? OR, are thoughts simply just part of what is arising in the entire frame of the world that is being perceived?

Part 3 of this exercise: is ANY of what is arising simulateously PERSONAL to an individual? - and this would include thoughts, of course.

Part 4 of this exercise: LOOK (dont think about it!) very very very closely at ALL the movement being perceived, which includes the movement of thougts. From clouds forming and blowing over, to wind blowing, to horns tooting, to digestion sounds in the body, to breathing occruing in the body, to thoughts and thoughts and thoughts (often seemingly connected into stories and theories9....LOOK...LOOK and LOOK:- are YOU, an individual "I" controlling ANY of this?

Or...is life just lifing along without ANY effect on you?
Is seeing and the seen just happening?
Is hearing and the heard just happening simulatneously?
Is the passage of thoughts and the awareness of thoughts passing by just happening simultaneously?
Is smelling and that what is scented or smellt just happening simulataneoulsy?
Is touching and the touched just happening simulataneously?
etc, etc, etc.

Is ANY of this fleeting moment of extreme perception PERSONAL to an individual?

Or,is the whole show simply just appearing to disappear and re-appear in a new moment?

Please, LOOK very very very closely.

Andy my last question for you for this post:

Are YOU awareness?

Or, is awareness also just part of the arising and disappearing world?

Im pushing you hard, Nils. And I have never done this before. But, I feel you are really close....really really close to passing through the gateles gate. And I dont want you to pass through with a simple realisation that "I" (an individual you) does not exist. That level of passing through is not an end to suffering. I want you to fully realise that NO one is in the world. And that includes your beloved family. They ALL exist eternally and are beloved of you forever. But NO ONE is here in the world. Its an hallucination.

What comes up when I say this?

PLEASE take as muc time as you need to do all of this, NIls. Normally, we only give one or two questions or exercises per post. Please, please, dont rush this...go very deep into LOOKING (not intellectualising).

You will serve yourself best if you approach this exercises as if you REALLY know NOTHING at all.

Much love,

Shell xxx

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:20 pm

2)...I forgot this: this is your last question for the post above:

Having honestly and sincerely completed and answered everything in the post above, please answer this:

Does a spitball being thrown in the world have less, more, equal or absolutely no effect whatsover on what you are, compared to a nuclear bomb going off in the world?

Much love,
Shell xxx

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NilsKromhout
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:57 pm

Hi Shell,

Wow! Big exercise.
Thanks for that. I'm excited to do it.

Just for you to know. In my timezone (Netherlands) it is bedtime now, so it will be a while before I post again with the results, since I will do the exercise tomorrow during the day.

Thanks again!
Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:55 am

That fine dear Nils,

I want you to have the time to be very focused...as well as the time to report fully. Take more than a day for it,if that feels what is needed, because it IS a very deep LOOKING exercise. "SEEING" takes but a second, and then you can never forget it. The process to "SEEING" (which I mean as a very deep, visceral unshakable kind of AHAAAA!!!) will seem to take however long it takes.

Utter focus on deep experience for the exercise and the determination to SEE is what we encourage you to stick with right now in the process.

Im in the Netherlands time zone too, so its perfectly fine.

Much love,

Shell xxx

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby NilsKromhout » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Hi Shell,

I tried all day looking and looking without thinking. While driving the car, sitting in the kitchen, walking through the city center. I will continue tomorrow and try to find a good spot to sit down and take a bit more time in one place.
But I thought I'd give you a 'status update', to see if you might have some tips or corrections if I'm no doing it right (if there is a 'right' way).
So I have an exercise for you. And I want you to do it. Really do it. Find a moment when you can sit somewhere, like in a park setting. I want the eyes to be closed when you get to be seated in your park. I want the eyelids to suddenly blink open, and for you to LOOK, like a new born babe...or an alien landing on this planet for the first time. I want you to approach this exercise as if you know (intellectually) NOTHING about this world or anything it contains, which would include the body you may or not at this point be identified with. And I want you to report, very, very honestly, what is there in the movie frame when the eyelids are blinked open. There will be a tremendous amount to report about, in just one second.
I did this while sitting in the kitchen.
I find it hard (impossible really) to describe what I see while pretending not to know anything because then there are no words either to describe.
But using some rudimentary words, I see shapes and colors, lots of them, but there is nothing more I can say about them. All else is interpretation, and shapes and colors is already interpretation. In reality it is one picture. But that last sentence is what you said, I don't actually see it yet myself.
And my attention is drawn by things that stand out, e.g. are brighter than others or shinier.
Part 2 of this exerices is noticing thoughts that arise as you LOOK. Are thoughts really a special and unique and important part of the entire sensory frame of the world that the eyes suddenly perceive? OR, are thoughts simply just part of what is arising in the entire frame of the world that is being perceived?
What I can see quite clearly is that the mind is like a playful cat jumping on everything that moves, assessing it, framing it in forms, separating it from other forms and labelling it. All the time with everything! And then it tries to connect it with each other and with previous experiences and knowledge to draw conclusions about a possible future. It feels like an overactive automatic obsessive paranoid labeling machine sometimes. Amazing really!
It's so strong. Clearly uncontrollable and unstoppable.
Also the label 'self' or 'me/mine' is quite clear.
So I would say based on this experience that thoughts are not important at all. They are helpful in the functioning of a human being.
Part 3 of this exercise: is ANY of what is arising simulateously PERSONAL to an individual? - and this would include thoughts, of course.
I am also trying to see it as one whole experience arising simultaneously, not separating sights, sounds, thoughts, feelings.
I see more and more that nothing is personal, not even body movement or thoughts. The mind makes it personal afterwards. Very quickly, almost instantaniously, but still after the sensory input, and only a really small part of the total sensory inputs, where the focus is on.

But I can't shake the feeling of a person yet, or something personal that is looking. So not there yet I guess...
Part 4 of this exercise: LOOK (dont think about it!) very very very closely at ALL the movement being perceived, which includes the movement of thougts. From clouds forming and blowing over, to wind blowing, to horns tooting, to digestion sounds in the body, to breathing occruing in the body, to thoughts and thoughts and thoughts (often seemingly connected into stories and theories9....LOOK...LOOK and LOOK:- are YOU, an individual "I" controlling ANY of this?
I see that I am not controlling any of the movements. Certainly nothing outside the body, but also nothing of the body. The head moves when someone passes. Hands are typing this with me (something) seeing this happening and also the thoughts happening. And also seeing that the mind is claiming it, trying to own it and steer it, but only afterwards, so not influencing anything at all. My wife passes behind me. Thoughts come up and feelings. They linger a bit because the mind hangs on to them. Then they disappear.

What happens if I really try to LOOK is that I start staring at a certain moment, not focussing anymore. Is that good?
Also I get distracted by thoughts many times.
Are YOU awareness?
Like I said above, I still have a sense of personal. I still consider my hands as MY hands most of the time, not just hands. And at the moments that I don't consider them my hands, I still think of the everpresent background awareness as ME.
I see now I wrote "think of" in the previous sentence. That's probably what is happening.
Im pushing you hard, Nils. And I have never done this before. But, I feel you are really close....really really close to passing through the gateles gate. And I dont want you to pass through with a simple realisation that "I" (an individual you) does not exist. That level of passing through is not an end to suffering. I want you to fully realise that NO one is in the world. And that includes your beloved family. They ALL exist eternally and are beloved of you forever. But NO ONE is here in the world. Its an hallucination.
I appreciate you pushing me and not giving me the simple way.
What comes up when you write that is that I don't see that (yet!), but I believe it and would like to see it very much.

So... a long post, but maybe you can give me some comments (without repaeting yourself) if you think that is helpful. Maybe based on what I write you can see if I'm doing something that is not so useful, or point out what I can focus on more.
If not I just continue. Your previous posts are very clear, so I can work with those quite well.

Just one last question (I know you're the one asking questions in this forum): do you know these 3D pictures, that you have to look in a certain way to see the full picture? You can look and look and for no apparent reason suddenly you see it. Is this a bit like that? I just continue the exercises and some day I will see it?

With thanks and love,
Nils

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:47 pm

Dearest Nils,

there is soooo much gold in your post above...things you have really "seen" through direct LOOKING. No, you are not doing anything wrong. You are training yourself, for want of better words, to perceive wholly (and holy is in the middle of that word ;-) ). In fact, you are doing wonderfully well.

I dont have the time now to answer you as you probably would love that I would, right now. Do you feel ok with repeating this exercise under the same conditions (not knowing condition, like a babe) tomorrow. Dont force it...just repeat it with open mindedness and ´gentle curiosity.

And send a note tomorrow evening, with any new discoveries that you have made with a repeat of the exercise. its brilliant that you already see that thoughts are not personal, that you have no control over when thoughts come or disappear, that they can build up into quite some story, always based on a non existant past and a non existant future. We are not striving for thoughtlessness...thoughts are a part of this whole picture which are not separate from anything else in the whole picture in any given second.

Its perfectly normal that you feel that there IS a "you". Of course there is! But the real you is eternal and changeless and formless and can never be affected by anything in the world. Of course there is a you. But your you is the same as my eternal you. There is only One. Take joy and try the exercises again, because you have made marvellous progress with them.

The day that you SEE it, you will realise that you have ALWAYS seen it...not really seen as in looking...just...knowing your beloved eternal Self.

I really appreciate your post and all the effort you have put into it. Let me do it justice by having the time, as soon as I can, to read it many times and answer what needs to be answered.

In gratitude, in peace, in love,
Shell xxx

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Shell
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Shell » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:53 pm

2) I just had a second read over what you wrote. You will use a lot of it when you are guiding. its brilliant and clear and easy to understand. Remember, doubt is also a thought. I see that you have already SEEN through the illusion of "I" and the nature of mind (there is no mind...just a monkey chatter of thoughts that seem to persist!!!). But, then then you get caught up in the doubt thought and the story around those thoughts. One of the non-existant egos last battles! Good for you, I am thrilled for you, and with you, for you progress today!


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