For Perrym Getting started

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Amara G
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For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Hi P,
Thanks for agreeing to guide me! Deejay sent me your email and I'm keen to get started. Have read the disclaimer and will proceed to introduce self.
I've been meditating for 25 years. A homeopath once told me it was probably a life saver as I really needed to find my inner life. Felt pretty grounded in samatta practises but did not have much guidance to go through into insight practises. Spent a few years studying with a dzogchen teacher which was good.

Then I read Daniel Ingrams book and found myself believing it was possible to gain insight. Last year I focused on being able to regularly and reliably experience dhyana which I did. Then I started wondering which insight practise to choose. Meanwhile last year I also spent 10 days on retreat with Byron Katie. I love her work and this has become my insight practise. I write most mornings and uncover beliefs that I take to Inquiry. Almost always I get 'seeing through' experiences (on a micro scale) and a sense of freedom when a belief 'my children hate me...' turns into something that becomes a source of amusement and lightness.

I have been on the LU website for some weeks. It's been very inspiring reading the journey's others make. I've become very foccussed on it, reading something most days. In the process the inquiry has begun to live in me. At first I was just trying to identify..'if there is a 'self' where exactly is it? What I tended to find was all the places of tension in my body were the places I tended to identify as self. This I found quite amusing! Gradually I got various images, like the weather which takes many different forms but no one is at the helm doing or being the weather! Also imagining a river saying 'I think this' 'I think that' 'this bend needs to change' etc.

On Friday I was reading a post and as I was reading I saw - like a tiny flash of lightening and a recognition that 'I' was just a label, that there was no actual I. It was a definite sense of recognising something very obvious - a simple misunderstanding. There was no whistle or fanfare. Everything went a bit quiet in a cool clinical sort of way. I'm used to being a bit of a love junkie so a bit unexpected. There was about 30% less chatter and an unfamiliar clarity in the way I was going about things. But by sunday I was just pretty grumpy.

Thinking about expectations I certainly notice I think 'seeing through' should fix me forever!;) All I know is that I have been seeking for a very long time and I'm really tired of all this effort and TRYING SO HARD!

I know these are just thoughts, but my fear is that because this is leading to an idea of 'not in control' I will not be able to do it, as control is a very strong habit. The other fear is that of going into this while living a full on family life and working nearly full time. I kind of know this is fine but I just wanted to mention it anyway.

Thinking again, what do I expect to happen in 'seeing through' I expect to see things differently, hear things differently
because I will see something new that was always there but which I hadn't seen before.

Anyway I think this is all for now. All best wishes.

A

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:05 pm

Hi P,
Hope you are well.

Today felt quite big. Had a good convo with friend and got the image of a flock of birds, they come together to travel to Africa, lots of actions, 'decisions' are made without any words/concept and with no 'one' in charge/control.

Yesterday I realised that I was comfortable dismantling beliefs, but my sense of 'I' was definately located in my thinking. So I saw that I need to see through the belief that I exists in my thinking.

Driving on the motorway today I was playing with there is no perceiver only the perceiving and as I tried to let that sink in I found myself experiencing a sensation like the car was about to take off into the air. As if it was driving itself and 'I' wasn't driving it anymore, like I could completely relax it was a feeling like trying to get the hang of floating or balancing on a bicycle for the first time. A new experience that was kind of always there waiting for me to relax into.

It reminded me of a dream I once had in which I was carrying a long and heavy sofa on my back trying to get through a door way. I was at the same time observing myself groaning and grunting under the weight of it. Then I did a double take and zoomed in closer to my back where the sofa was supposed to be and I noticed that the sofa was not actually touching my back! So I zoomed out as it were and saw that at either end of the sofa there was an Angel that was actually carrying the sofa!

The experience in the car left me feeling very relaxed and light. So much energy bound up in trying to corral thoughts into being an 'I' that is in control.

Anyway that's all for today.

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perrym
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby perrym » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:59 pm

Hi Amara,

Thanks for the intro, and for the opportunity to work together!
I saw - like a tiny flash of lightening and a recognition that 'I' was just a label, that there was no actual I. It was a definite sense of recognising something very obvious - a simple misunderstanding.
So things are already well under way :-)

I love your simile of the weather, it really captures the dynamic complexity of experience, all happening according to its own internal laws, nobody doing it. And the falsity of language is so obvious with the weather - "the wind blows" ... does it? No, there is just blowing, of course!
Thinking about expectations I certainly notice I think 'seeing through' should fix me forever!;)
... and I guess at other times you suspect that it might not ... ? You'll find out! The main thing to understand (as I'm sure you've picked up) is that the shift in perspective may not immediately change anything much at all.
my fear is that because this is leading to an idea of 'not in control' I will not be able to do it, as control is a very strong habit
as you say, these are just thoughts, stories .... fortunately, you don't have to give up control in order to see that there never has been a self in control :-)
Yesterday I realised that I was comfortable dismantling beliefs, but my sense of 'I' was definately located in my thinking. So I saw that I need to see through the belief that I exists in my thinking.


OK, I expect we'll come back to this
The experience in the car left me feeling very relaxed and light.
Interesting, and a lovely dream image.
So much energy bound up in trying to corral thoughts into being an 'I' that is in control.
yes indeed, being sick of the strain and complexity of sustaining the illusion of self is a great place to start
...

From what you've told me, you understand intellectually that 'I' is an illusion, an idea, a label; and you have also seen this directly that 'I' is just a label. And yet....?

So, sitting here, right now, there is seeing, feeling, hearing, thoughts arising, where is 'my self' in all this?

x
Perry

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:59 pm

Hi P,
Thanks for your response, I'm very new to these forums...never been on face book etc. Can't yet work out the quote functions! Anyway:


"So, sitting here, right now, there is seeing, feeling, hearing, thoughts arising, where is 'my self' in all this?"

sensations of warmth in my feet, tension in my back - pretty clear 'I' not located in the grosser sensations of the body. Having said that there is a heaviness in my experience particularly around my solar plexus. 'Me' seems very present. I think this heaviness is associated with a number of stories running judging, disappointment in reactivity.

As I zone in on it the heaviness seems to lighten. Physical discomfort seems to reinforce the sense of 'me'. Hooks in stories that solidify it. ' I' is awareness of the screen, of my fingers touching key board. There is tension in my body the experience of thoughts coming and going, a desire to tell the story rather than just know that thinking is taking place. Thoughts, body, awareness, movement between these three. Can I find a driver no. Yet my thinking does not want it to be that empty.

"But i've tried so hard to be 'good' and achieve all these years does that mean there is no-one who can take credit for all of that? This means all the credits i've put in the bank are useless. This evening I read my son the penultimate chapter of the Hobbit. He's been really taken with it for the last month as we have been reading it. He got very quiet and started to cry. 'it's the best book i've ever read' there was something so genuine and soulful about this moment and there was a sense of significance that seemed to go against the whole no-self thing. As if I wont be allowed moments of poignancy it there is no-self.

Taking credit and assigning blame .....to let go of these is baffling.

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perrym
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby perrym » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:08 am

Hi Amara,
sensations of warmth in my feet, tension in my back - pretty clear 'I' not located in the grosser sensations of the body. Having said that there is a heaviness in my experience particularly around my solar plexus. 'Me' seems very present. [...] Physical discomfort seems to reinforce the sense of 'me'.
nice observations!

Can you home in some more on exactly what "the sense of 'me'" is in direct experience? Can you distinguish direct sensations from the process of labelling 'this is me'?
"But i've tried so hard to be 'good' and achieve all these years does that mean there is no-one who can take credit for all of that?


:-)

x
Perry

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:21 pm

Hi P,
Thanks for your response.
Can you home in some more on exactly what "the sense of 'me'" is in direct experience? Can you distinguish direct sensations from the process of labelling 'this is me'?
Again feeling heaviness in solar plexus seeming to arrive from stories of how things should have been. the job of thinking seems to be to create solidity. The more pernicious the story the heavier and more 'real' something feels. As if thoughts are trying to weave a shroud of enough substance to exist in its own right.

Yes I can distinguish direct sensations separate from labelling - together that is where the sense of 'me' comes from. Sensations provided a solidity and thought provides the justification.

I untangled the knots that I was tying myself in about control by realising that trying to understand something before it has been seen is putting the cart before the horse.

There have been quite a few times today when there was an awareness of a different relationship to thoughts and feelings. A recognition that they are not personal.

Going deeper into these sensations of heaviness in the solar plexus there is a quality of 'holding on' a gripping. The thoughts that reinforce this have the quality of thirst for something unattainable like 'this' is never good enough, there has to be more. It is the wanting itself that I identify as 'me'. Wanting things to be different, there is no rest. And I can see this too is not personal.

XXX
A

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:12 pm

Hi P,

Last 24 hours have been uncomfortable. Found myself in a familiar reaction which led to strong aversion, hatred of everything. Finding it even hard to know what to write. Anger that reality will not conform to my bidding. So deeply in the inquiry now almost obsessed with it. Where is the self. I can't find it, I know it doesn't exist intellectually, I feel slight glimmers and shifts, yet don't get it. Frustration, impatience what is it going to take ?

What is missing. Noticing thought. 'I feel frustrated' Noticed how less heavy and sticky it is when I just acknowledge the frustration without other words. Then feel the sensations making up frustration. There are tears ....like shaking the bars of the prison, but there is no 'I' to get out of prison. At times it just feels like overheating is going to grind me to a stand still.

An element of nihilism creeping in...what's the point if there is no one in charge, nothing to make happen, nothing to improve. Identifying with being in charge being in control... self doubt, I'm not intelligent enough...Such a habit of wanting pushing striving. Habit energy wanting to believe in something, rally around something Exist as a separate something.

So Now there is heavy sensations at the top of my head, breathing, familiar tensions in the body, warmth, wind outside,
where is the Self right now? I can stick with physical sensations, then I get caught in thought. It seems there are two ways of experiencing thought. One is with a tightness which has 'I' as it point of reference and another as thoughts that rise and fall without tension.

I think it's 'just' fear really, and the habit of protection.

This morning in my writing after a phenomenal rant wrote: "No matter how hard the sea storms, it always returns to
waves" So there is also a degree of perspective even while very uncomfortable.

All good wishes

A

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perrym
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby perrym » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:18 am

Hi Amara,

A lot of really good observations in your last couple of posts - sorry I've not been able to reply sooner.
Where is the self. I can't find it, I know it doesn't exist intellectually, I feel slight glimmers and shifts, yet don't get it. Frustration, impatience what is it going to take ?
Uncomfortable, but that drive is good! Let's see where we can go with it....
It seems there are two ways of experiencing thought. One is with a tightness which has 'I' as it point of reference and another as thoughts that rise and fall without tension.
That is no doubt true - but of course, the aim is not to develop a better way of thinking but to see what is really going on, particularly at times when the illusion of self is strong.

We're going to do something that might seem a bit odd .... let's investigate this I-centred 'tightness', which will mean deliberately allowing yourself to enter into the kind of state you probably try to avoid normally

So set aside a little time for investigation, and recall this 'tightness', recall the kinds of thoughts that tend to arise with 'I' as the point of reference ... for example, try saying to yourself "I" and "me", or recall a really self centred thought .... summons up this 'sense of self' in order to have a really good look at it.

A few things you might like to look out for:
can you notice 'sense of self' strengthening and weakening, coming and going?
can you identify the raw sensations that come and go with 'I'? the 'flavour of self', the 'posture of self'? the 'tone of self'?
can you notice the transition into belief/identification and out again? .... one moment being 'in' a story, the next moment it being past and therefore 'other'?

what else do you notice in direct experience about these thoughts?

OK, so having deliberately 'provoked' the sense of self in order to investigate, give yourself a break to 'just sit', and allow whatever arises to arise.

Now here's the question: in the midst of a thought "with a tightness [...] which has 'I' as a point of reference", is there actually anyone doing it? You know the answer intellectually, but check in direct experience ... is there any controlling entity making the thoughts happen, or do they just happen like any other thoughts?

best wishes

Perry

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:01 am

Hi,

Thanks for your comments. Today has been easier, lighter. Have not had space to take in and act on your suggestions. Will look and investigate tomorrow. Hope you are having a good weekend!

A

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:50 pm

Hi,
Just got back from having lost a daughter - bit of a drama, lots of fear...turns out to have been a bit of a misunderstanding! Sound familiar?



Spent an hour or so with the questions you suggested today. Didn't have to summon up gross 'I' sense - was experiencing it at the time. Seems like I'm cycling through ease and clarity then murky lurky discomfort.
recall the kinds of thoughts that tend to arise with 'I' as the point of reference ..
(How annoying just spent 45 minutes writing and seem to have lost it. Will recreate.)

Thoughts arising:
I make things happen
Someone's got to be in charge
I'm in charge
I've got to make good things happen

Strong image of me in the kind of argument I don't have. Lots of anger and taut face jabbing finger at my chest and finger pointing at 'other'. A lot of power felt in being able to communicate 'don't f with me'

Very strong being with this. It has come off the background wall paper and into the room. Very aware of how as a natural leader and general bossy boots, my identity is bound up in needing to be in charge.


At home its hard to see how having the kids get enough sleep, get to school on time and practise their instruments does not depend on an I in charge! But have been playing with this recently, trying to sit back and watch and surf what is, rather than trying to direct traffic.

Did I find a self in the investigation? no...

Did I find sensations? Yes so many. Especially my shoulders and hips where all the 'in chargeness' seems to be.


Feel like there is a lot more mileage in these questions and I will keep going with them.

Very helpful, really feel on the edge of practise with this so thanks. I hope guiding 3 people is not too much!


All Best
A

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:04 pm

Hey,

Since doing the focussing on what thoughts arise with the 'I' point of reference have been less under the sway of thoughts and thinking. Have had a couple amusing banters with my inner dialogue...." and you my friend are nothing but an A grade story, guaranteed to cause substantial mischief if I entertain you for more than a few seconds....."

Another favourite is "gotta get this done" creating a lean-forward anxiety which drains the life out of me.

Also still identifying where I have a sense of someone being home but when i look more deeply it is not there.

I worked out the in charge thing... there's bossiness but no boss! I'm still getting on occasion a kind of tantruming childs voice...'What do you mean there's nobody there? That CAN'T BE possible.'

Catching stories.... So much of this is held in the body which seems to be experiencing more aches and pains than normal. At one point I located the 'self' in a particular vertebrae in my back.

Especially the solar plexus I can feel it being tight then it relaxes but I can't catch how it tightens up again yet. I think it is something in the in breath.

That's all for now. Tightness still being investigated.

All Best

A

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:38 pm

Hi,
Many beliefs are being revealed. The most embarrassing one that 'I' really thinks it is better than some people and worse than others! But if there is no 'I' then why feel embarrassed ? In being in the inquiry and feeling more alive, and it's easier when I'm on my own. Just want to be still and really observe what is going on. There is a sense of resisting not wanting to take in the implications of the 'no self'. Like all the hoopla and significance would disappear. It's pointless speculating but resistance is, heavy sensations plus commentary.
Fortunately you don't have to give up control to see there has never been a self in control
This sentence is just a bone rattler for me. I can feel the attachment to 'my history' 'my efforts', 'my sacrifices' 'my martyrdom' It's as if 'I wish you'd told me that..... my life might have looked very different' but all the conversation is coming from a me, so it's kind of check-mate. It's hard to accept 'being no-one', although on the other hand there is an appeal - more peace less tension!

During the day It seems i'm better at exploring the sense of self. When posting trying to reflect then there is a tendency to go further away from direct experience, but in a way this is good as it also reveals where attaching thoughts are.

Good night
A

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perrym
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby perrym » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:21 pm

Hey, I've replied at least once in the last few days, but I don't see my replies here!

!!

I'll try again!

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perrym
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby perrym » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:06 pm

Hi Amara,

Take two!

I'll comment on all your posts, but some of them are a bit old now, and you may have moved on...
Thoughts arising:
I make things happen
Someone's got to be in charge
I'm in charge
I've got to make good things happen
Do thoughts just arise on their own, or are "you" making them happen?

Can you see in these thoughts a 'story' with 'I' as a character in the story?

If so, investigate the "I" in the story - does this character represent something found in direct experience, or is it a fiction?
its hard to see how having the kids get enough sleep, get to school on time and practise their instruments does not depend on an I in charge!
So what would "I" contribute to all this? Which element of the process requires "I" for it to happen?
" and you my friend are nothing but an A grade story, guaranteed to cause substantial mischief if I entertain you for more than a few seconds....."
:-)

And the "I" who might entertain the story? Another story? A hall of mirrors?
Also still identifying where I have a sense of someone being home but when i look more deeply it is not there.
excellent, that sounds on the right track!
I worked out the in charge thing... there's bossiness but no boss! I'm still getting on occasion a kind of tantruming childs voice...'What do you mean there's nobody there? That CAN'T BE possible.'
Yes! Bossiness but no boss is exactly right ... is that direct experience or a theoretical insight?

And the tantruming child ... happening on its own, or is there really someone speaking the voice?
all the conversation is coming from a me
is it? really?

or is it just that there is a sense of 'me'?

is a sense of 'me' actually a 'me'?

x
Perry

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Amara G
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Re: For Perrym Getting started

Postby Amara G » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:14 am

hi,

Thanks for your reply. Will read it more fully tomorrow. Last night while reading a thread had a clear image of something like the invisible man (do you know the film?) He has to wrap his face up in bandages so that he can make sense to people. Like - No-one there and the personality and body like the cloths the invisible man has put on. Not really him... but him isn't there at all. It's felt different today. Aware of the character doing it's thing. Everything exactly the same but not. Something has simplified. Hmmmmmm.

Metta

A


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