Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

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Lumi
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Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:05 pm

I would welcome connecting with a guide.

Ulla

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Metta777
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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:49 pm

Hi Ulla, I would be your guide if you like. We must have a small agreement though first. 1. Agree to daily contact. 2. Lay aside for the time being any spiritual practice. 3. Be as honest and open with your answers as possible.
Let me know a little about you and what your expectations are about the process. thanks, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Lumi
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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Hello Metta

Yes, daily contact sounds good. I'm not expecting to be travelling for a while.
I'm 60 years old...have been meditating, studying the Buddhist Dharma for many years. Now living semi-retired in the country. I think I have glimpses of there being no 'self', but very aware of feelings, thoughts, emotions, arising from moment to moment. Sometimes they 'stick' for a while, sometimes fall away quickly.
I would like to come to a greater clarity and 'certainty' about what goes on...
I used to work as a psychotherapist. I learnt just how important and 'weighty' words can be.
Art, poetry, fiction are important to me; the fluidity, the indefinability of experience.
Maybe that's a start.
kind regards
Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:17 am

Try to lay aside any previous understandings for awhile. Have you done any walking meditation at all? Are you able bodied to walk? If so, I thought we could try an exercise and then talk about it after.

Take a short walk, about 10 or 15 minutes is good. While walking, put your foot down very slowly, notice which touches the ground first, heel or toe, whichever, notice how the ground or pavement feel underfoot. Notice how the other foot lifts, which part loses touch with the ground first. Then stop for a moment, notice everything around you, make a mental note of it. Rocks, trees, dogs, houses, sky, etc. Notice how your body feels in movement and in the resting state, your breathing. After the walk, take a piece of paper and write down everything you remember seeing. How aware were you? What was the difference between walking and remembering walking?

Awareness does not move through time or space, it is not a thing. Everything moves through awareness. Does awareness have to have an " I " attached to it?

I think this is good for a beginning. Namaste, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Lumi
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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:45 am

I walk a lot....living in the country.
I'll do what you suggest and get back to you.
Thanks!

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:27 pm

A walk today

One of the toes hurts a bit, the boot is tight. Eases. The socks feel pleasant against the soles of the feet; legs soft. The boots sink a little in the mud...then the track becomes harder. Tiny stones. Aware of my balance wobbling a bit when stepping on one. The sound of the stones against the boots. The air pleasantly cool against my face.
A nearby stream making a huge sound, it's everywhere, constant. As if it was inside me too.
The long branches of the spruce tree making big waving movements. The smaller trees stand still. They trunks and bramches bare, subtle shades of brown and grey. White clouds crossing the sky. A buzzard.
A big rock on my left has been cut. Feels as if it's alive with energy. Something rushing upwards through it. The earth around it is red. The moss is deep bright green.
A bright patch appears on the hillside by the track; the sun's out. A thought arises - can I see any shadows?
Cold air around my neck, I put my hood up. Shoulders relax.
Hairs are tickling my face
A strange sound from somewhere; then I realise it's my nostrils making a sound as I breathe.
Pale dry grass. The moss, the granite. Vivid. I find it so beautiful I have a sensation in my body - the chest, the stomach. I stop. The body feels both full and empty, light.
Two small birds flying close to each other.
I sneeze, find a tissue.

As I write this, it becomes a pleasant memory. A story. I'm aware of the fact that I could change it, embellish, edit it...

Does awareness have to have an 'I' attached to it?
NO!
I look at the things around me in this room...They just are what they are. Let them be. The response in me is a kind of appreciation (love almost).

I'll leave it there for now.
Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:18 pm

Does awareness have to have an 'I' attached to it? NO!
I look at the things around me in this room...They just are what they are. Let them be. The response in me is a kind of appreciation (love almost).
'll leave it there for now.
That walk made it so clear. Just being, letting thoughts go. Just direct experiencing. Thoughts like bubbles arising , just being aware of them and then they just pop. Nothing. I have to smile, that walk was nice. Then, pop!

Can you take a character out of a book your reading? It all seems so real sometimes. Can you take yourself out of experience? Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:50 pm

Hello again
'Can you take yourself out of experience?'.....The question pushes me up against a belief that 'I' have to be charge (guarding, protecting, directing...) because, well someone has to be in charge.
It's a strong habit.
This is like a fairground ride, scary and exciting.
As I was cooking last night, I burnt part of the meal.
This morning I was sitting quietly for a while with a cup of tea...feeling happy, calm, content.
Later on, a friend came to see me and we chatted for a couple of hours. She - or something about the dynamic between us - often makes me feel a little tense.
Experiences.
There is nothing to manufacture or manipulate. Awareness is where it is/goes where it goes. It's all deeply relaxing.

I want to stay with that for a while.
Much appreciation, Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:20 am

Hi Ulla,
You had said you wanted to sit awhile yesterday, so I didn't answer just then and let things lie for a bit as you requested. It seems as if the walk was fruitful.
There is nothing to manufacture or manipulate. Awareness is where it is/goes where it goes. It's all deeply relaxing.
It is so relaxing letting go of the illusion of " I " in awareness. Everything just flows through it, yet it stays the same. That calm and peaceful core. Experience flows through, thought flows through.

There is another freeing up exercise I learned. Sit very still, then all of a sudden just say whatever pops into your head and move in whatever way you feel like whether that is dancing or marching or prancing. Just be. I use the term I just to communicate, it's easier that way. the words don't have to make sense at all or not even be words, just sounds.
Keep in mind that this is not an alien experience to you, You went through it already and lived as a baby. It is just a return to the simplicity of looking and directly experiencing. A baby cannot make sense of what it first sees, there is no separation. It is the gradual labeling, categorizing, conditioning that it finally thinks it knows something. when we all know we know nothing. :-) You were never in control, it was only a thought, like you are.
There is something not said between you and your friend, perhaps and I am not sure, but it needs to be. Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:50 pm

Hello Metta

I'm finding this very fruitful - so thank you.
There has been a lot of spaciousness in my experience, that feels good.
Read your reply this morning, did some chikung later. Soft slow movements. Your comment about being a baby were helpful.
Got tangled up in my mind around stressful thoughts...things to do in the next few weeks, challenges. A voice saying 'surely someone has to be in charge to cope with all that'....But no. The thoughts passed, the feelings passed. All is well; all is as it is. That's fine.
I've felt more vulnerable in the last few days, too, in a pleasant way. It's vulnerability that is also fearlessness.
Did the exercise: After sitting still for a while, I found myself circling my head slowly, then stroking and gently rubbing my hands. It felt like love - for myself, for others. It's OK, I said. OK, with a bit anger towards everyone and everything that has told me otherwise...The Finnish words 'all is well' came out. (I'm Finnish). It felt important to circle my arms, too, big movements, dancing around the room.
It's interesting with the friend I mentioned. She has very strong beliefs, wants to be in the right, lives her life in a very dutiful way. I recognise those tendencies in myself. I think we are both moving in the same direction, ie letting go of those things. In our final chat (she lives in France, I'm in the UK, and we don't see each other that often), there were moments of connecting in a different way...although nothing very explicit. That may come later.
Images are coming into my mind...physical sensations too. Breaking out cling film, discarding possessions I don't need. It feels as if something is shifting.

Warm wishes
Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:59 pm

Hi Ulla, Good work.
Got tangled up in my mind around stressful thoughts...things to do in the next few weeks, challenges. A voice saying 'surely someone has to be in charge to cope with all that'....But no. The thoughts passed, the feelings passed. All is well; all is as it is.
Isn't wonderful when we notice things always work out the way they should and things get done anyway. No matter what anyone does life just keeps on living itself.
OK, with a bit anger towards everyone and everything that has told me otherwise...The Finnish words 'all is well' came out. (I'm Finnish).
Good that you recognized that and stayed with it. it is okay. Whatever happened was what was needed to bring you to this point. It just happens and life happens.

Yes, perhaps some truths recognized between you and your friend. How wonderful.

Thinking about nature and how birds just live and sing and don't think about it at all, just awareness happening. They trust the Universe and don't think , " Can I fly? " They just jump and the next thing they are soaring through the blue skies. Do you think that we can do that too, just jump and spread our wings and fly? Awareness doesn't need and " I " , it seems to get along beautifully without it. Warmly, Metta
"This too shall pass"

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:27 pm

Dear Metta,

One of the most helpful things you've said is 'awareness doesn't need an 'I'....That really feels very liberating.
Where I live we see a lot of birds that migrate from Northern Europe and Siberia to Southern Europe and Africa, and back again in the summer. They stay around for a couple of days and then carry on. They have their amazing faculties that enable them to do that.
I have my faculties - but I don't need an 'I' either!
The realisation that is becoming clearer has a lot to do with daring to live in the moment, with the awareness that is present in each moment as it is, unfolds, dissolves. A lot to with trust...it's new, hence the vulnerability. But why would I try to stop this momentum- even if I could? I'm beginning to feel more present, more alert, softer inside. Interested in what happens. Observing happens, awareness happens. It's very freeing.
I keep checking. IS there something else?? That's beginning to feel like going back into an empty house which I know to be empty just to double-check. (Actions of a neurotic person!). But, no, best be on my way out & away.

Best
Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:21 am

Hello Ulla,
. A lot to with trust...it's new, hence the vulnerability. But why would I try to stop this momentum- even if I could?
For many reasons, one could be habit, another some fear or anxiety about , if I am not in control everything will fall apart. Is there a thought there that if " I " give up control something bad may happen? If there is fear, usually the shoulders are hunched up, if that is the case, just notice it, roll your shoulders forward a few times and then backward a few times, stretch your neck. See the fear as someone trying to help, and hear the message that it is trying to give you. Like it is a misguided friend trying to help out in a crisis but not exactly knowing what to do. From experience ego hates to let go. It will throw up all kinds of reasons you shouldn't and a new feeling of vulnerability is more then reason enough. Trust is an important thing, whom do you need to trust? Or what?
(Actions of a neurotic person!).
No, just someone confronting something new and being human. There is nothing in awareness but that, you are that. No judgement, or sense of I must be this or that. Everything is perfectly unfolding the way it should, moment by moment. It is so freeing to drop all the labels, expectations, conditioning, like you said about a house, it's like moving to a new house in your head.
"This too shall pass"

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Lumi » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:43 pm

Dear Metta,

I think this illusion of an 'I' arises out of a fear of not getting what I want...or the fear arises out of the illusion of an 'I'. Living just happens one moment after another. There are endless variations, changes, fluctuations...But I cannot see a separate self above and beyond that. I was trying to look into the fear thing just now (wanting, craving is another aspect of it). To project it onto a separate 'I' seems FALSE, futile.
Trust is a key thing as I'm begining to understand/ experience. So, back to awareness just being, living happening. That feels rich, satisfying. It is enough.
This moment is calm and spacious and pleasant.
Pain happens too (physical pain, the pain of doing something boring or difficult, the pain of being criticised). After writing that sentence, I suddenly thought how ridiculous! I'm remembering & anticipating, fearing again. NO need for it. Such a relief.
As I reorient myself, 'difficult' people in my life seem less of a 'problem' - I feel less 'stuck' in how I view and relate to them.

Ripples going through my body.

Warm thoughts & wishes
Ulla

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Re: Looking for more clarity; some helpful pointers...

Postby Metta777 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:10 am

Hi Ulla,
Some good insights.
I think this illusion of an 'I' arises out of a fear of not getting what I want...or the fear arises out of the illusion of an 'I'. Living just happens one moment after another.


Yes, just like the thought of not getting what you want, is just a thought and then the thought disappears, but when believed or attached to emotion and responded to causes pain or anxiety. Are the thoughts true?
Trust is a key thing as I'm begining to understand/ experience. So, back to awareness just being, living happening. That feels rich, satisfying. It is enough.

Yes, trusting the awareness, the feeling of being, the satisfaction in just being now.
I'm remembering & anticipating, fearing again. NO need for it. Such a relief.


As soon as we leave awareness and start "selfing" ,that is what I call it, lol, back come all the fears and anxiety over just thoughts. Insubstantial thoughts that disappear.
I feel less 'stuck' in how I view and relate to them.
That is wonderful, the freedom. To not take it personally, to realize it is just thought. Just awareness living spontaneously, moment by moment, the difficult people just appearances of thought. To let go of the story or stories we tell ourselves about criticism, or pain. I have physical pain and it helps to take focus and thoughts off it. There are so many thoughts about pain, but it is like going into a house and standing on a weak board and jumping up and down. Warm Wishes, Metta
"This too shall pass"


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