Requesting a guide

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eyeman
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Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 12:22 am

Hi, I'm a Mitra in the Triratna Buddhist Community in the UK. After talking to a friend (who has already passed through the gate), I've decided I'd like to also find a guide to help me see beyond the delusion of self.

I've taken the liberty of reflecting on the following:

There is no self at all in reality. No me that lives my life.

What comes up after writing this initially is frustration and wanting to 'turn away' from solving this delusion. I know it to be true intellectually, I feel it to be true but like a lot of simple wisdom/truth, I find it very hard to make into a perminent transformation. eg: when I think of something else, it's likely to contradict this 'knowledge'. I suppose to put it simply, if I think about it - then I see there's no self, if I stop thinking about it, it's forgotten it's a bit like temporary insight perhaps.

I'm not currently aware of any fear or obvious resistance arising but aknowledge that this could be because I can't get past my initial conundrum.

If I have any fear regarding this process (and any other for that matter), it's that I have a level of scepticism that one learns to 'talk the talk' and say the right things and possibly even convince the 'self' that insight's been achieved. I should also note that I'm not entirely sure if there's any real distinction between gaining insight and believing you've gained insight.

Expectations of what liberation is going to be like.

I have stopped myself from developing too many expectations as I doubt the reality can be put into conceptual language very well and experience has shown me that developing a view on something we haven't experienced is pretty pointless. I do however feel (from reading some of the stuff on this website) that it's in some ways the first step of an on-going process of seeing through this then further delusions.

Many thanks in advance to anyone prepared to 'take me on' :-)

Love

Mike

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed May 08, 2013 11:39 am

Hello Mike, my name is Paulo, wonderful to have you here and it would be a pleasure to guide you.

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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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 2:30 pm

Hi Paulo,

Thanks so much for agreeing to be my guide. I fully agree with the ground rules and have read the disclaimer. I cannot foresee any situation where I'll be unable to post daily so I'm ready to go with an open heart and mind.

Mike

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed May 08, 2013 4:41 pm

Hi Mike, great to have you on board!
I should also note that I'm not entirely sure if there's any real distinction between gaining insight and believing you've gained insight.
All we do here is look at our beliefs around the idea of a separate self, what is illusion disappears, what is real remains. Did you believe in Santa Claus at some point in your life? When you looked a little deeper at that belief, chances are you discovered something surprising - Santa Claus was JUST a belief. There is a world of difference between reality and belief, it's only when you get there that you know it, and all you need to do is look.

Consider the following statement -

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Take a little time to consider that statement throughout your daily life. Look and consider it in different situations, and see if you can actually find anything outside the present moment.

Have fun with that one, Paulo.

[If you are engaged in, or studying any religious or spiritual systems or activities, I would ask that you put them aside for the time you are going through this process. Daily meditation is fine btw.]

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 5:53 pm

Hi Paulo, thanks for your quick response.
Nothing exists outside the present moment.
I do appreciate that much that is discussed here will need more time to reflect upon it. I have, however spent a few years looking into this very statement and feel confident that this is true. Nothing that is real, exists outside the present moment. However as someone who is not liberated from the delusion of 'self', I still feel that the past is part of who 'I' am now though in a different form. (My interpretation of the past is unlikely to reflect reality at all - eg: my perception and memory is distorted by too many things).

I'd say this was a good example of something that I believe and know to be true, and the longer I've known it to be the case, the more it has effected my life in a permenant and positive way but it's not absolute (yet at least), as I'm aware that I can forget this and act upon thoughts of past and future as though it exists in reality.

I don't know if this amounts to insight, some insight or no insight into the truth of only the present moment existing. I rationalise that even after full insight - we still need to function in a world filled with people who don't have that insight so continue to 'play the game'.

The above is perhaps mostly based on my thinking.

What I honestly 'feel', is that any view I have of past or possible future is a tangled grey mess of 'if's' and 'maybe's', perhaps this is due to at least some insight that there's little point in plunging the mind into a time that doesn't exist?

One final point is that there are some memories, which I like to hold onto - happy ones etc... I have no idea whether those memories are accurate or not but since they give me pleasure, I do keep hold of them.

Many thanks

Mike :-)

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed May 08, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks Mike,
I have, however spent a few years looking into this very statement and feel confident that this is true.
It’s important in this process that you rely only on your ongoing experience in the here and now. You may have had some wonderful insights in the past, but those memories take you away from the now, and away from direct experience, into thought and illusion.
However as someone who is not liberated from the delusion of 'self', I still feel that the past is part of who 'I' am now though in a different form. (My interpretation of the past is unlikely to reflect reality at all - eg: my perception and memory is distorted by too many things).

I'd say this was a good example of something that I believe and know to be true, and the longer I've known it to be the case, the more it has effected my life in a permenant and positive way but it's not absolute (yet at least), as I'm aware that I can forget this and act upon thoughts of past and future as though it exists in reality.

I don't know if this amounts to insight, some insight or no insight into the truth of only the present moment existing. I rationalise that even after full insight - we still need to function in a world filled with people who don't have that insight so continue to 'play the game'.

The above is perhaps mostly based on my thinking.

What I honestly 'feel', is that any view I have of past or possible future is a tangled grey mess of 'if's' and 'maybe's', perhaps this is due to at least some insight that there's little point in plunging the mind into a time that doesn't exist?

One final point is that there are some memories, which I like to hold onto - happy ones etc... I have no idea whether those memories are accurate or not but since they give me pleasure, I do keep hold of them.
In what time frame did these thoughts and feelings occur when you had them?

Paulo :-)

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi Paulo,

I'm happy to let go of past thinking on such topics as directed (as best I can).

I'd say that all the above is relevant to my current (in the now) thinking as it's where I'm currently 'at'. (as I think about it now after two or three years of contemplating it). eg: If I wrote about it tomorrow, I might write something different - though these thoughts are pretty much consistant ones for me at the moment.

I hope that makes sense and answers your question.

Thanks

Mike :-)

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed May 08, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi Mike,
I'm happy to let go of past thinking on such topics as directed (as best I can).
You will see more clearly a little later on that there is truely only the now, and we can live 'in' thougts in the now, i.e. a dream, or we can live in reality. Here we look at waking from the dream of a seperate 'I', and waking to reality of what is now.
I'd say that all the above is relevant to my current (in the now) thinking as it's where I'm currently 'at'. (as I think about it now after two or three years of contemplating it). eg: If I wrote about it tomorrow, I might write something different - though these thoughts are pretty much consistant ones for me at the moment.

I hope that makes sense and answers your question.
That's good, but just a very subtle point - I understand the thoughts and feelings REFER to where you think you are now, but, WHEN do all these thoughts occur?

Paulo :-)

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi Paulo, I can already see that you are a very patient person :-)

In response to 'When do all these thoughts occur?'

I feel they occur in response to something - eg: Your question, this sets my thoughts and feelings in motion in response to that question. If I refer to past experience (sorry), I'd say that negative situations are more likely than positive ones to spark thoughts on living in the now.

I'm now asking myself if such thoughts just come into my mind without any apparent trigger and also 'do I have any control' over when such thoughts occur? I have no current answer to this question so will try to observe this happening and report back.

Thanks Paulo

Mike

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Wed May 08, 2013 9:43 pm

Hi Mike, thanks for your response,

Life isn't really all that complicated, it's all too easy to go down the rabbit hole of thought and get lost. Let me give you a lifeline here, and perhaps put the question in a different way -

Think of what you had for dinner yesterday. What was it? rice, chips, any meat or vegtables? Recreate that past experience as vividly as you can in your thoughts.

When did that memory of the past event occur? Past, present, or future?

Imagine what you might have tomorrow for breakfast. Some juice, cereal, toast? Again, imagine that experience as vividly as you can in your thoughts.

When did that future imagining occur? Past, present, or future?


Now look very closely at your ongoing experience right now - is there anything at all outside the now, outside the present moment?

Take some time and just look, no theory, no speculation, just look and see, and let me know what you find.

Paulo :-)

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed May 08, 2013 11:38 pm

Ah! The light bulb has gone on - thanks Paulo, I think you've probably saved me from taking a very long route in the wrong direction.

I'll do as you say and look at my experience and report back tomorrow - something definitely clicked into place when reading your message.

Many thanks for a very valuable first day with guidance.

Mike :-)

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Thu May 09, 2013 12:04 am

Thanks Mike, look forward to your response,

Paulo.

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Thu May 09, 2013 9:34 am

Good Morning Paulo,

When I imagine a meal I had yesterday, conjouring up thoughts of how it looked, tasted, smelt, how it felt to eat etc... I see clearly that these are thoughts occuring in the present moment. Likewise with an imagine meal tomorrow. Just thoughts and nothing more happening in the now.

This occurs with any thoughts of past or possible future experiences, they can only be accessed in present moments.

If my mind thinks about your response to what I've said, I can see that I'm thinking about something that doesn't currently exist. There is no words written in response at this current moment.

My only difficulty here (and I hope I'm not going off track), is that if I have thoughts of a past event, eg: a few days ago, I cut the branch from a tree in my garden. I can see that this is just a thought. However, I feel confident that if I now go into the garden, I will find that the tree will be missing that branch in reality. I understand that I can only experience seeing that in the present moment but I'm now thinking - if nothing exists outside the present moment, then how am I able to predict the branch will be missing?

Thanks

Mike

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Paulo
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby Paulo » Thu May 09, 2013 5:41 pm

Thanks Mike,
When I imagine a meal I had yesterday, conjouring up thoughts of how it looked, tasted, smelt, how it felt to eat etc... I see clearly that these are thoughts occuring in the present moment. Likewise with an imagine meal tomorrow. Just thoughts and nothing more happening in the now.
Excellent work Mike, you can see now that nothing exists outside the moment. Even if a thought refers to the past or future, or is representative of a previous present moment, i.e. a memory of a past event, it all happens in the here and now. Even those happy memories you may like to revisit all happen in the present.

Let’s look at that a little deeper –

Thoughts are real, but the content is not.

Consider that statement in light of your own ongoing experience, and share what you find.
My only difficulty here (and I hope I'm not going off track), is that if I have thoughts of a past event, eg: a few days ago, I cut the branch from a tree in my garden. I can see that this is just a thought. However, I feel confident that if I now go into the garden, I will find that the tree will be missing that branch in reality. I understand that I can only experience seeing that in the present moment but I'm now thinking - if nothing exists outside the present moment, then how am I able to predict the branch will be missing?
One step at a time Mike, for now we will stay focused on seeing through the illusion of self. If you still cannot answer that question for yourself by the time we’ve completed this process, and if it’s still a question for you, ask me then.

Paulo.

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eyeman
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Re: Requesting a guide

Postby eyeman » Thu May 09, 2013 8:25 pm

Thanks Paulo,

I'll reflect on this and post with whatever arises.

Mike :-)


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