requesting a guide

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robyn lee
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requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:06 pm

Hello,
I'm writing to request a guide. Not sure how much information you would like. Maybe a bit about me: I'm 66 years old and have been a practising Buddhist for about 27 years. I've been a part of a Buddhist group for most of that time. Even though I have meditated fairly regularly for many years, I feel at an impasse. Feels like I can't go back but also can't go forward. I read Gateless Gatecrashers and found it helpful, the women's accounts more than the men. One of the women talked a lot about being in her head and ruled by her thoughts. I recognised that. A very good friend of mine has been in this process and found it helpful. I'm open to what the process will bring.
Thanks,
Robyn Lee

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:06 pm

Hello Robyn Lee, my name is Paulo, and it would be a pleasure to guide you. Thank you for sharing a little of your background, but firstly a few ground rules -

1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from personal experience only.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

If you are happy to agree to the above, let me know and we can begin.

Paulo :-)

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi Paulo,
Thanks for agreeing to guide me. I have read the ground rules and agree to them. If I can't post every day, I'll let you know. I have read the disclaimer and I'll try to be as honest and personal as I can. I do want a guide, not a teacher. What happens next?
Robyn Lee

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:35 pm

Hi Robyn Lee,

Thank you for agreeing to the ground rules. You ask what happens next, well, let's begin from where you are -
I feel at an impasse
Can you describe this impasse.

How does it differ from where you want to be?

Paulo.

[I will be putting any question in bold and underlined, so you can spot them easily among the text. Also, it's good learn how to use the quote function, as you will find it useful when responding to posts. See this page here - http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 ]

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:36 pm

Hi Paulo,
The impasse is a kind of stuckness. My practice has taken me so far: through meditation I am calmer and much more aware but I still have a sense of self. This is strongest when I am in an emotional state (anger or frustration come to mind) and weakest when there is more awareness. I know that just because there is a unique
me
it doesn't follow that this is a self. But I haven't dropped self altogether. My personality (nature) is more nihilist than eternalist and my fear is that without a sense of self there will be nothing.
How does this differ to where I want to be? I intuit that life could be freer and that
no self
does not equate to
no person
. But the fear is strong. I dreamt the other night (just before starting this process with you) that I lived on the top floor of a house and every time I went up or down the stairs I carried all my belongings on my back. I felt the dream was telling me that I don't have to bear this burden any longer and that I can live lighter and freer.
Thanks again for your help,
Robyn
Have I used the quotes correctly? I'm not that good with computers!!

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi Paulo.
Robyn again. I can see that I haven't used the quotes correctly. Should these be for quoted material from previous messages. Anyway, hope you can make sense of it!
Best wishes,
Robyn

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:46 pm

Hi Robyn,

Yes, the quotes are for bits and pieces from previous messages, like my quotes below. Just copy and paste the piece you need into your new message, select it there, and press the quote button (simple when you know how!). But don’t worry, you’ll get it.
my fear is that without a sense of self there will be nothing.
I intuit that life could be freer and that no self does not equate to no person . But the fear is strong.
In my experience, feeling fear around the thought that ‘I’ is an illusion is something that can be expected, and we can take a look at this right away -

So let us use direct experience to teach us about fear - you may wish to take a quiet moment alone to look at this one – Close your eyes and think of what it is that’s currently activating fear for you. It doesn’t have to be a ‘thing’ or a ‘person’, just whatever caused the reaction you shared in your previous post.

Allow any fear that arises to just be there. Notice where you experience fear in the body – watch it, study it. Let it be there for as long as it’s there.

Share what you experienced.

[You may wish to read the story of ‘Philip’ in Gateless Gatecrashers (pg 15). But of course, always look to your own experience.]

Paulo

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:45 pm

Hi Paulo,
What's currently activating the fear? I think it's because I know I am in a period of change, at a turning point. In a sense, there's nothing left to do with my life but wake up! I have felt this strongly for about a year. How I meditate has changed. I used to be more directed in my practice but now I just sit and allow whatever is there to arise. I have a sense sometimes of luminosity beneath the surface of everything and I can stay with this for awhile but then it feels too much to bear and my rational mind kicks in.
I sat quietly today and what arose was grief, particularly in my heart region which felt very sore and tender. It felt that the grief was about lack of courage. An image arose of me on a sinking ship; someone on the river bank is holding out a hand for me to grasp. But do I have the courage to leap for that hand? There was a lot of tension in my heart region around this image.
I reflected later that fear has been a powerful force in my life. I think I need to stay with this for awhile.
Thank you for being my guide. I am finding the dialogue very helpful.
Robyn

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:31 pm

Hi Robyn, thanks for your response, and it’s my great joy to be your guide - I’m glad you’re finding it useful so far :)

Let’s call this one a ‘learning experience’. I understand you may have engaged in various meditative practices in the past, and here we use a technique of direct pointing and looking at what IS in direct experience. A slight adjustment to approach will do the trick.

Thinking, reflecting, and dream analysis all occur ‘in’ thought and we might consider these illusions. Here we look at what’s real, in particular the illusion of a separate self.

Perhaps it would be useful to orient you to direct experience before we go further –

Firstly let’s look at THOUGHT –

Think of a car.

Share your experience of what happens when you think of a car in as much detail as you can.

How did the thought arrive? Was there a Robyn there choosing the particular car that appeared in thought, it's colour, size, etc?

How did that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared?

[You may be interested to read this article by Neil on direct experience - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html ]

With love, Paulo.

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:26 pm

Hi Paulo,
Yes, this is a different approach. I won't have time to send you a longer reply today but I will read the article and I'll look at 'thought'. I'll send you a response tomorrow.
love,
Robyn

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:13 pm

Hi Robyn, thanks for checking in and letting me know. I certainly look forward to your response when you have some space to share.

Paulo :-)

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:13 pm

Hi Paulo,
I read the article and found it helpful so thanks for that!
In answer to your questions:
I thought of my own car, a Ford Fiesta, which I've only had for a few months after being car-less for ten years. It's nine years old but it's reliable and I like it's colour - metallic green. I also like the fact that it's been well used and it's a bit beat-up. A brand new car would make me anxious. The mechanic who works on the car says it's a good little work horse!
You asked how did this thought arrive? Why did this particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared? It feels that this car was bound to arrive because it's new in my life. After not having a car for so long, I now have one.
On an emotional level, it does feel that there is a 'Robyn' who chose this particular car, that I am the perceiver. But I can also see, on an intellectual level, that this car arose because of past conditioning, i.e. the way I have defined myself as not having a car in the past and now owning one. I can see that this is a "stream of self-referencing thoughts that are based on past conditioning".
But I can feel emotional resistance to de-constructing 'Robyn'.
Hope this is helpful.
Love,
Robyn

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Hi Paulo,
I wanted to add something. There are times when it does feel like I don't have a self, when it feels that all that is going on is perception. This happens when I am absorbed in something and thoughts don't arise, when I am gardening or drawing/painting. Then 'I' don't feel divided or separated.
Love,
Robyn

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Paulo
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:40 pm

Thanks Robyn, nice detailed response – that’s just what we’re looking for, perfect.
I thought of my own car, a Ford Fiesta, which I've only had for a few months after being car-less for ten years. It's nine years old but it's reliable and I like it's colour - metallic green. I also like the fact that it's been well used and it's a bit beat-up. A brand new car would make me anxious. The mechanic who works on the car says it's a good little work horse!
You can see here that a single thought snowballs into a whole story, with sub plots and minor characters taking part. But is there an ‘I’ there directing the show and deliberately choosing what thoughts come next? Try this same exercise any time you wish with other images, perhaps a horse, a tree (something simple), and ask yourself the same questions. Observe how the thought just pops in and then gets clothed in a story a little later.
On an emotional level, it does feel that there is a 'Robyn' who chose this particular car, that I am the perceiver.
What is perceiving the perceiver? Surely you only know there is a perceiver if something is perceiving it – what is that something, and what’s perceiving that?

[This question may sound a little cryptic, but look, really look here – what’s behind that perceiver, and the perceiver of the perceiver ... and on and on?]
But I can also see, on an intellectual level, that this car arose because of past conditioning,
Here we will work with experience, so that you can be in no doubt about the illusion of a separate self. For most people understanding on an intellectual level is not enough, they have to ‘live’ the truth.
But I can feel emotional resistance to de-constructing 'Robyn'.
This is perfectly normal, just allow that emotional resistance to be there, it will come and go just like any other experience.
I wanted to add something. There are times when it does feel like I don't have a self, when it feels that all that is going on is perception. This happens when I am absorbed in something and thoughts don't arise, when I am gardening or drawing/painting. Then 'I' don't feel divided or separated.
This is a very nice observation, some people call it flow, or being ‘in the zone’. Understand that this is just a passing state, coming and going just like thoughts and experiences do. In reality there is no self at all, so whether you are in or out of the ‘flow’ there’s no self anywhere. But all in good time …

Love, Paulo.

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robyn lee
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby robyn lee » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:56 pm

Hi Paulo,
I really understood what you said about the story of the car - the way a thought comes into our heads and we expand it and give it qualities and it snowballs from there. I do this all the time, particularly with thoughts but also with emotions where I can find myself moving away from the initial thought or emotion quickly and it just proliferates.
When I read the description back to myself, I did think who wrote this? It seems to have a life of it's own.
I appreciated what you said about allowing the resistance to be there, in a way resistance is bound to be there almost as part of the process.
You asked me: Who is perceiving the perceiver? What's behind the perceiver? When I really look at this I can't find anything. There really is nothing behind the perceiver. It made me laugh, thinking about it. It's as if 'I' am the originator, almost a god, which is ridiculous. I know I'm not the originator. This feels important but I don't think I can say any more about it right now.
Thanks again!!!
Love,
Robyn


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