Looking for a guide

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Hector's ghost
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Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi, I would be grateful if someone could help me through this process.

I have been meditating for over thirteen years but don't feel any closer to liberation than when I first started.

I stumbled onto this site by accident. I understand the whole 'no-self' thing in theory, but do not feel it as my reality. I feel like the kid who still believes in Santa, even though I've heard about other kids who no longer believe because they know for certain he doesn't exist. I think I get it -- I am convinced I am not my body -- but feel that "I" still exist as consciousness inside a shell. I see myself as awareness.

I think I have flashes of what this is all about, but any help to get me through the gate would be much appreciated,

David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Hello ghost,

I would be happy to guide if you wish.

Come back.

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Hector's ghost
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:05 pm

That would be great, thank you.

David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:19 pm

Hi David,

Please read the rules of guiding near the top of the forum and confirm that you agree to our ways here. Specifically you will post each day, set aside other modalities for now and answer questions from direct experience. Minimum conceptualising or philosophies for now.

Glad to have you here.

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Hector's ghost
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:52 pm

Hi Sunil,

I've read the rules and agree to how things are done here. I've read the book, watched the videos and have a pretty good idea how the process works. During the process I'll stop reading other stuff and give up on the conceptualising.

I'm ready to start when you are.

David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:52 pm

Okay, David. Let's begin.

You started this by saying that you are not the body but exist as consciousness or awareness.

I would like to hear why you think you are not the body and why you think you are awareness or consciousness?

What is this body you are in? Whose is it?
And what is awareness that is you?

Best wishes.

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Hector's ghost
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:41 pm

Hi Sunil,

Here's where I'm coming from:

A few years ago I used to attend meditation classes and weekend courses at a local Tibetan Buddhist centre. After a course I attended on Emptiness I became convinced I am not my body. So, for instance, when last week I had a haircut I did not feel I had lost a part of myself. Similarly, if someone stole my leg it would be as if someone had taken my car. I would not feel I had been diminished. However, I would be annoyed as it's MY leg and MY car. I am not my body but I feel it belongs to me.

I can go a little deeper than this. When meditation I can stand outside my thoughts (and to some degree my emotions) and witness them as occurring out of a void. However, as with my body I still feel like I own them, that the witnessing awareness is me. So in meditation (and to some degree out of it) I know I am not my thoughts but still feel the "I" at a deeper level. I have only once had an experience of no-self during meditation. At one stage I used to meditate focusing all my attention on a piece of music. On one occasion I seemed to completely disappear. There was music playing but I vanished. There was no me, just an experience of sound occurring. This is how I have always imagined awakening to be like.

So to answer your question, My body is a collection of biological components that I see as belonging to me. I am aware of it, as well as my thoughts at a deeper level, but cannot get past the feeling that I am this awareness. This is the point I need help pushing beyond.

With Regards,
David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:55 pm

Hi David
I am not my body but I feel it belongs to me.
Where is this entity that owns this body? Can you locate it?
I can go a little deeper than this. When meditation I can stand outside my thoughts (and to some degree my emotions) and witness them as occurring out of a void.
Again, direct experience please. Where is this thinker of thoughts, feeler of the emotion and the witness that you feel is you. Can you find this entity? You c an find the meditation cushion, the hall and chairs but the witness?
that the witnessing awareness is me.
How is this witnessing awareness different from you? What attributes, its shape size, its effect on your body, feelings it generates in your body.
I have only once had an experience of no-self during meditation.
What was that which had this experience of no self?
At one stage I used to meditate focusing all my attention on a piece of music. On one occasion I seemed to completely disappear. There was music playing but I vanished. There was no me, just an experience of sound occurring.
How do you know you disappeared? Where did you go when this happened? Were you there before and did you then reappear? What did it feel like before, during and after?
This is how I have always imagined awakening to be like.
Where is this imagination happening? isolate the physical location, David.
So to answer your question, My body is a collection of biological components that I see as belonging to me. I am aware of it, as well as my thoughts at a deeper level, but cannot get past the feeling that I am this awareness.
How do you conclude that these biological components belong to you? Mine belong to the maggots in the ground waiting for me to keel over. You will keep yours for eternity?

We will wait to discuss awareness but can you tell me if you are not just changing the name from I, me and self to awareness? Do you see it as some sort of graduation from lowly me to high and mighty awareness?

Lots to think about. Please answer each question with what comes up not necessarily what you may think...

Best wishes

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Jaya
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Jaya » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:13 pm

Hi there,
I am hoping for a guide. I got very excited when I heard about this site. Like folks on here, I feel that i resonate with the notion of no-self, i guess maybe more with the notion of no fixed self. The only way I can describe this is glimpses of being in a different way to how i am feeling right now. I know intuitively that there is another way of 'being' in the world and very hopeful around this but feel stuck.

I have been meditating for over ten years and have been trying to get to know this self to break free from it and would like to think i have made some progress which is why this excites and fascinates me. When i try and explore say for example painful experience and try and think about where my fixed self is or who is experiencing this it works to some extent but there is a sense of something which i cant put into words!! maybe consciousness but I am no freer in my experience. I do not seem to be able to sustain any of these experiences which is frustrating. I have worked very much on metta and mindfulness.

Not sure what else to write but if someone can help i would really appreciate that.
metta Jaya

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Jaya
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Jaya » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:14 pm

I am sorry if i have written this in the wrong area!!! I dont wish to interrupt anyones conversation!

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Hector's ghost
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:07 am

Hi Sunil,

You gave me a lot to think about last night.

When I try to look for the entity that owns my body I don't find anything. If I sit quietly and examine my experience I find that the feeling that I own my body is a thought that I can examine. I tried to step back and examine the nature of this awareness. Again nothing at first, then another thought appears that this is me. So I examine this thought, and so on. It's easy to get into a kind of frustration loop. I recognise this frustration as another thought (this time centred in my chest) which joins the loop. The only way out of the loop is to stop thought and to just be aware of my body and surroundings.

You asked is the witnessing awareness different from me. Right now, as I look around the room and examine my surroundings there is no gap between my looking at something and it appearing in my awareness. This awareness only becomes me if I try to analyse it and thought appears. Again, another loop appears that only stops when I cease my analysis of the situation and become present in the room.

It is the same with things that appear in my imagination. I see them as thoughts but again find it difficult to step back to witness the witness. It feels like my awareness keeps going backwards into my head but not getting anywhere. Perhaps I'm looking to hard?

And yes, I agree that changing the name from "I" or self to awareness is just playing with words. Thing is I get what are the "right" answers here, I don't just want to give you the answers I think I should be writing, I want to write from what I experience. The thing you said in your reply about the body being worm food, and do I intend keeping my body for eternity, was the part that resonated the most. When I sat with that thought for a while I was almost on the cusp of this body not being mine. I want to say there was a feeling of detachment, but it was more subtle than feeling. Similarly, if I look at one of my belongings (my laptop, say) I can look sat the feeling of it belonging to me and find a space behind that. In that space there is no gap between the object and my awareness of it.

Speak to you soon,
David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:58 pm

Hello David,

Yes, ownership is a constant companion of self. I have a house, land, shoes. Lets take things registered in your name. Can't be a better confirmation of ownership? But, is this registered to a name, a body with recognizable thumb impressions or you? If you say you, what is this you! The thumb, the body? Or is it a label your parents, the lawyer or judge put upon a body? What are you David? Shall we ask the worms? Or your friends? Would the answers be the same? Or would any one answer be what you have in your mind? What do you have in your mind as you?

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:57 pm

David, I hear some esoteric words like detachment, space. Please drop anything other than simple direct experience. We are not going into a mudra and penance here, we will simply see that you and self or awareness or so many other ways to address this person is just not there. He is as false as Santa. No hide and seek. If you don't agree, please argue with me.

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Hector's ghost
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Hector's ghost » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:43 pm

Hi Sunil,
I hear some esoteric words like detachment, space.
Sorry if it sounds that way. it's not intentional, i'm just using those words to try and describe the experience. Honest! I'll try and find better words to better explain my direct experience. I agree with what you say about no hide and seek and the need for direct seeing.
What are you David? Shall we ask the worms? Or your friends? Would the answers be the same?
Hmm, good question, but difficult to answer from direct experience. I'd imagine the worms and my friends would see me quite differently. My friends probably have a mental image of me that bears no relationship to how I see myself.
Lets take things registered in your name. Can't be a better confirmation of ownership? But, is this registered to a name, a body with recognizable thumb impressions or you? If you say you, what is this you! The thumb, the body?
I can see how the labels on the deeds to my house and my car's registration document are labels pointing at something which I now see probably isn't me. As I write these words I do feel a certain amount of distance to these labels. At the moment I'm sat in the park by a lake. I can feel the sun warming my legs and for a moment there I felt warmth but it wasn't necessarily me that was being warmed. Warmth was just happening to my leg without any need for ownership.

As I was writing that last paragraph I was interrupted by my eight year old son who wanted me to take him into the woods (I'm in the middle of England, by the way, not some remote wilderness!). While we were climbing a steep hill I was thinking how I'm not as young as when I used to bring him when he was little, and that I'm getting older. Then it struck me: who's getting older? The thought was so keen that for a good thirty seconds I again experienced a feeling of distance, like I was watching myself, including the me feeling. These feelings of distance have happened a couple of times this afternoon. But as to who is having these feelings I don't know. It doesn't really feel like anyone is.
What do you have in your mind as you?
If i look closely i can see thoughts, feelings, narration all happening in my head and chest. I tend to get wrapped up in all these and only notice them when i remember to look. Is the "I" feeling merely thoughts wrapped in other thoughts? It seems that way if i look closely. I keep trying to look to see who it is that is able to witness these thoughts, but as before I am unable to find anything, just an awareness of more thoughts. And as before, if I look too hard I get stuck in a frustration loop. I'll keep looking.

Regards,
David

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kvotski
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby kvotski » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:01 pm

Wonderful work, David. Keep looking but let me plant a seed for you. If it ain't there may be it ain't there, it never was and it will never be.


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