Request for guidance from Perry

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Trampas
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Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:15 pm

Hello there. I'd like to take the plunge.

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Trampas
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Re: Request for guidance from Perrym

Postby Trampas » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Sorry...I meant Perrym

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:51 pm

Hi Trampas,

Just a preliminary - please could you confirm that you have read and understood the Disclaimer on the home page?

To kick things off:

What are your expectations for this inquiry?
How will this feel?
How do you think it will change you?

Regards,

Perry

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:23 pm

Hi Trampas,

Just a preliminary - please could you confirm that you have read and understood the Disclaimer on the home page?

Hi Perry,

Yes I can confirm I have read and understood the disclaimer

In answer to your questions:

"What are your expectations for this inquiry?"

To be honest, I don't have expectations so much as hopes. I hope to successfully build on all the little insights I've had over the years, particularly back in the days when I went on retreat regularly and oriented my whole life more directly towards the 'spiritual' quest. If successful I'd expect to see things as they are - that there is no fixed, permanent self, just an ever changing set of conditions, loosely held together by an identity labelled as "I".

"How will this feel?"

In prospect it feels exciting and also terrifying. I'm quite wedded to me, or at least there's a lot of fear protecting this "me". From what I've read though the reality of it may be quite prosaic. No flashing lights, no thunderclap, but just a more fluid experience of life.

"How do you think it will change you?"

I'd like to think I'd be considerably less selfish! Also less frightened. More open. And possibly able to concentrate in meditation for longer than a few seconds!

That will have to do for now. Many thanks again for taking me on! :-)

Best,

Trampas

Regards,

Perry

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi Trampas,

I'm glad your hopes/expectations are pretty grounded :-)

By the way - this site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write, so when you press 'submit', you lose what you have just written ... it is best to write elsewhere, then copy/paste into this website when you're ready, that way, if it throws your message away, you still have it elsewhere ... You Have Been Warned!

So, let's get down to business!

What is your immediate response when you read:

There is no ‘self’, no ‘me’, no ‘I’, and there never has been. The sense of ‘self’ and what appears to be ‘selfing’ behaviour have always arisen in the complete absence of any truly existing ‘I’.

Best wishes,

Perry

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Trampas
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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:52 pm

Thanks for that Perry! :-)

My first response is “yes of course”. I kind of know this thanks to nearly three decades of Buddhist practice, study, reflection etc. My heart responds to it and I have an image of a cartoon character jumping up and down excitedly pointing at it, saying “Yes, Yes, Yes!”

However, my second response is contradictory. “I” say “No!”. So what is this second response based on? On the one hand it is based on a lifelong memory of being “me”. I remember waking up in the womb and the consciousness that was there then feels very similar to the one writing to you now. It feels like it’s me and always has been me. Thanks to my elephantine memory “I” go back a long way. Then there’s another response, which might be easier to clear up as it’s principial or maybe just semantic. In my understanding of things it’s not so much that a self doesn’t exist as that it doesn’t exist in the way we assume it does. There is literally “no thing” there, just a succession of mental events bound together by an identity, more or less held in place for now by a physical body. So my understanding of the ‘I” is that it is a convenient label for this succession of events taking place within this body. Is this different to what you are saying? If so how? AND of course, if this is all too theoretical and heady, please feel free to tell me so and divert me onto more fertile ground!

Finally, I should add there is also a response of fear. I don’t like the sound of it and want to curl up and cry.

I think that will do for now!

Best,

Trampas

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:05 pm

Hi Trampas,

To remix your words a little, I'd agree with:
So my understanding of the ‘I” is that [...] there is literally “no thing” there
However, is this your experience? When you use the word 'I', are you really only using it as a convenient label?

The basic method of enquiry used here on Liberation Unleashed is to examine direct experience to see if any entity 'I' can be found - it is well worth reading this short article to get a clear idea of what is meant by 'direct experience'.

So as you sit here right now, what is directly experienced? Where is 'I' to be found?

Best wishes,

Perry

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:11 pm

Hi Perry,
So my understanding of the ‘I” is that [...] there is literally “no thing” there
However, is this your experience? When you use the word 'I', are you really only using it as a convenient label?
No, I don't think I use 'I' like that. It's a basic assumption, one in which I seem to believe.
So as you sit here right now, what is directly experienced? Where is 'I' to be found?
Ok. I've read that article. Thank you. I feel physical sensations. Hands on the laptop. A slight fever and sore throat, tingling in the arms. I see the screen, the Liberation Unleashed page. I hear voices. I'm not sure about the presence of an 'I'. There's certainly lots of thoughts and I strongly identify with them. It's this incessant, running (and sometimes very tedious!) commentary that I think of as me. It's what I've built my identity around. It never stops. At best I can get a bit of space around the thoughts but mainly they are really what I think of as me.

Given my slight fever I think I'm in danger of rambling, so I'd be call it a night and have another go tomorrow.

Thanks again for your time. I really hope to crack this!

Best,

Trampas

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Trampas
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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:54 am

Hi again.

As an addendum to last night. After I signed off I think something or other happened. Standing in the bathroom I looked around taking in everything I could see, then becoming aware of the sounds and physical sensations, and for a time had a strong sense that the 'I' was extra to all that. For a few minutes there was just experience. I felt calm, light and very playful. I went to bed in that state but woke up in the early hours back to normal and then in the morning was in a stinker of a mood trying to get my reluctant son up and out in time to catch the school bus - the raging beast was back! :-). However, later I decided to scoot into town to work in a bar. It takes about an hour. This journey often functions as a sort of bardo, a pause for reflection, and my thoughts turned back to last night….not as strongly this time, but the same sense returned to some degree. I again felt very free, light, playful and uncharacteristically calm.

I reckon I might be onto something here.

Best,

Trampas

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:56 pm

Hi Trampas,
Standing in the bathroom I looked around taking in everything I could see, then becoming aware of the sounds and physical sensations, and for a time had a strong sense that the 'I' was extra to all that.
yes! great observation! we'll return to this

... but first, I'd just like to say a little about the difference between a 'realisation' and a 'state' - it is well worth getting this clear as early as possible....

Realising that there is no self is a cognitive shift - something that was once believed is no longer believed.

Feeling unencumbered by a sense of self is a 'state', which can come and go both before and after realising that 'self' is an illusion.

The reason this is important is that, even after realising no-self, the 'sense of self', as well as most of the habitual thoughts, feelings and behaviours built up under the illusion of self, will continue in the short term (not surprisingly - these are lifetime habits). Sometimes this is called 'selfing' ... so 'selfing' carries on for a while, even though it is known that there is no truly existing self at the core of it all.

We'll probably have cause to return to this later, but I just thought it worth dropping in early!

.... back to the investigation!
For a few minutes there was just experience.
Is there ever more than 'just experience'?

So, for example,
I see the screen, the Liberation Unleashed page. I hear voices.
What is the 'I' here, in addition to seeing and hearing? Is it really there? How is it created?

Best wishes,

Perry

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Trampas
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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:49 pm

Hi Perry,

Thanks for that.

For a few minutes there was just experience.
Is there ever more than 'just experience'?
Good point. Either there is ‘just experience’ or there isn’t. My clearish realisation of this fact may just have lasted for a few minutes, but if it’s true, it’s true. Full stop.

So, for example,
I see the screen, the Liberation Unleashed page. I hear voices.


What is the 'I' here, in addition to seeing and hearing? Is it really there? How is it created?
I don’t know what the ‘I’ is. Looking around the room again now I see the lamp, the TV, the Avalokiteshvara thangka, the fireplace...These are all real experiences, as are the sensations of my bottom on the sofa, the clothes against my skin, my fingers on the keyboard, the warmth of the laptop. There are thoughts going on too - lots of them. One voice is insisting that the ‘I’ exists, but that’s not the ‘I’, it’s just a set of thoughts. I don’t know whether the ‘I’ is really there, but I certainly can’t locate it.

Again that will do for now. I wonder whether I’m not better reflecting casually during my activities rather than sitting down to do it. When I concentrate I seem to try to bulldoze my way through to reality. I’m not sure that’s fruitful. :-) If I get any further I’ll send you an addendum again.

Best,

Trampas

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:25 am

Hi Perry,

Meditating this morning I ended up reflecting on next week's football match between United and City. I am very attached to the guys in red and hope they win, but it doesn't take much to see that although there will certainly be 22 men on the pitch, goals will probably be scored, and fouls will be committed etc, there is actually no Manchester United there. The club may have a formal legal existence and millions of people may feel passionately about 'it', but there's nothing to be found. There's a football ground, players, manager, coaching staff, debts piled on by naughty owners, but no essential Manchester United. Fortunately the same holds true for the other lot! :-) Similarly, 'I' was sat there meditating,feeling a whole host of sensations, and thinking lots of thoughts, but without an essential abiding self. The strongest thought going on was "I exist" or words to that effect. It was very insistent, but there didn't seem to be anything behind it. There were just thoughts. I understood that....at least to some degree.

Best,

Trampas

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:15 pm

Hi Trampas,

Hey, some really good stuff here! :-)
Good point. Either there is ‘just experience’ or there isn’t. My clearish realisation of this fact may just have lasted for a few minutes, but if it’s true, it’s true. Full stop.
Yes, I agree ... and yet, sometimes it seems that there is something other (or more) than 'just experience', yes? ... so what is going on at these times? What can you discover by investigating this directly? Put aside what you have deduced and see what can be found in direct experience...
I don’t know what the ‘I’ is. Looking around the room again now I see the lamp, the TV, the Avalokiteshvara thangka, the fireplace...These are all real experiences, as are the sensations of my bottom on the sofa, the clothes against my skin, my fingers on the keyboard, the warmth of the laptop. There are thoughts going on too - lots of them. One voice is insisting that the ‘I’ exists, but that’s not the ‘I’, it’s just a set of thoughts. I don’t know whether the ‘I’ is really there, but I certainly can’t locate it.
:-)

Can you keep looking until you either find it or you're convinced it ain't there?

This lends itself to gentle investigation on and off during the day while in different mental states ... maybe you can't find it while sat contemplating in a chair, so what about when out and about, for example?
Similarly, 'I' was sat there meditating,feeling a whole host of sensations, and thinking lots of thoughts, but without an essential abiding self. The strongest thought going on was "I exist" or words to that effect. It was very insistent, but there didn't seem to be anything behind it.
Sounds promising!

Can you elaborate what you mean by "there didn't seem to be anything behind it"?

Best wishes,

Perry

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Trampas
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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby Trampas » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:34 pm

Hi Perry,

Thanks for all that. :-)

Good point. Either there is ‘just experience’ or there isn’t. My clearish realisation of this fact may just have lasted for a few minutes, but if it’s true, it’s true. Full stop.
Yes, I agree ... and yet, sometimes it seems that there is something other (or more) than 'just experience', yes? ... so what is going on at these times? What can you discover by investigating this directly? Put aside what you have deduced and see what can be found in direct experience...
The fact is when I investigate at times a very strong voice insists there is more than just experience, but the voice is just another experience. There is nothing I can find behind it, although writing this now seems to really wind it up!
Similarly, 'I' was sat there meditating,feeling a whole host of sensations, and thinking lots of thoughts, but without an essential abiding self. The strongest thought going on was "I exist" or words to that effect. It was very insistent, but there didn't seem to be anything behind it.
Sounds promising!

Can you elaborate what you mean by "there didn't seem to be anything behind it"?
I mean the thought "I exist!" no matter how loudly and vehemently expressed is just a thought, just an experience. As I wrote above I can't find anything behind it. I was going to write, "there is thought but no thinker" (and indeed just have!) but a voice again pipes up insisting it's me. "I am the thinker you ---- idiot". There is a lot of energy in it, but again if I look at it, there's 'no thing' there. And if I repeat to myself "I don't exist and never have" a delicious sense of freedom and possibility opens up, but at present it still feels like it's over the other side of a hedge. What's the hedge? Me! Me! Me! Me! But once again when I look at this "me" it's just a thought tied up with a lot of feeling. There's no me there. Ggggrrrrr!!:-)

That will have to do for now. Hopefully I'll have a bit more reflection time over the weekend.

Best,

Trampas

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Re: Request for guidance from Perry

Postby perrym » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:14 pm

Hi Trampas,
the voice is just another experience [...] when I look at this "me" it's just a thought tied up with a lot of feeling
Yes! Great work - the whole lot!

I can't fault your approach - keep it up!

This is wonderful - you do all the work, I just applaud from the side lines :-)
Ggggrrrrr!!
is there a growler or just growling ;-)

... but seriously, take a moment to appreciate this voice of 'self belief' - it is part of a whole complex of patterns that have played their part in protecting this growing organism ... the time has come to drop the patterns now, they are no longer helpful, but not without a nod of appreciation for what they have done...

cheers,

Perry


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