Requesting a trusted guide

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bsgoats
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Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:19 pm

Hi,

Is there a guide out there ready to take on a challenge? Lifelong spiritual seeker crammed full of too many approaches.

I've been at the non-dual/self-inquiry approach for 15 years now. I see "it" but the realization doesn't stay. Oh it will stay if I "watch the fireplace constantly to prove Santa isn't coming down." But that sort of hypervigilence is tiring, headache producing, and not the "cannot-unsee" realization I have heard about. Unless it is, and I am just being lazy about it? I'm not sure. All I know is if I stop looking, the momentum of me-ness sweeps my life away instantly. It may be days before I again think to question the "I." The most I had was a 24 hour period where I was gone without constant effort. The next day, life was back to normal.

The sense of self to me is literally a body sensation that arises in tandem with thoughts. You would think it would be so easy to sever that connection after all these years of practices. But I still feel my body is me/mine. And it lassos thoughts, stamps them with me-ness. And it feels really solid and unbreakable. Literally a tension arises when I watch it.

I've read the rules and I'm ready to commit to putting forth the effort. I know there is no thing to lose here, just a mistaken perception, so on the surface at least there is no real fear.

You have my thanks in advance, sincerely.

Mark

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The-Song-Of-Me
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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:23 am

Hello Mark,

Wellcome here! I'm up for a challenge if you are too :-)

See the T&C's below and let me know if you agree

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1. You agree to post once a day, time permitting.
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4. and when you do answer, please answer from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long winded analytical and philosophical answers are not needed and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this journey. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
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Love
Silvia
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

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bsgoats
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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:33 pm

Thank you for accepting the challenge, Silvia!

I agree to all terms.

As an update, last night I was reading the Gatecrashers book and now my sense of I does feel less substantial than it has in a long time. It's almost flickering, metaphorically. I will put the book aside for now and I'm giving you my full attention!

Mark

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:08 pm

That's great. So let's get started. I'm sure you must be eager!

It's ok to continue reading GG at the same time. It might actually help deepen the process, but if you feel it's getting in the way of actual experience, then just drop it.

Is there a guide out there ready to take on a challenge?
Why do you think this will be a challenge? What are your expectations about this process?
What are your expectations about seeing through the illusion of self? What do you thingk will happen? What will it feel like? Be as honest and candid as you can. It's good to get all those ingrained beliefs (if you have them) out in the open.

So you
feel crammed full of too many approaches
I bet you're a bit fed up with the endless seeking too? Believe it or not that's a good sign! A feeling of being fed up is a great fuel to see the truth. Like the old buddhists put it, out of Dukkha (disatisfaction) insight arises.
I've been at the non-dual/self-inquiry approach for 15 years now. I see "it" but the realization doesn't stay. Oh it will stay if I "watch the fireplace constantly to prove Santa isn't coming down." But that sort of hypervigilence is tiring, headache producing, and not the "cannot-unsee" realization I have heard about. Unless it is, and I am just being lazy about it? I'm not sure. All I know is if I stop looking, the momentum of me-ness sweeps my life away instantly. It may be days before I again think to question the "I." The most I had was a 24 hour period where I was gone without constant effort. The next day, life was back to normal.
Yes, I can see how that would be tiring and no, you're not being lazy. It's not about paying constant vigilance. This is about seeing something very simple. So simple it boogles the mind in its simplicity. The mind thinks it cannot be that easy! and so it overcomplicates things. Makes it into a battle. But once it is seen, like you said, it cannot be unseen. And it already is true whether you see it or not and has alwasy been true. There is no self.

Do this exercise; Sit down with your eyes open, doing nothing. Whether the body gets fidgety or whether it relaxes into the chair, it's all fine. If the body wants to get up and move, let it. Just watch. Who's moving the body? What's making the body relax? or what's making tap a foot impatiently? If you get up, what did that? What made the decision? Do your eyes dart about, do they focus on a point. What makes the decision to do that? Do thoughts arise? (thoughts about what should and shouldn't happen or whether you should or shouldn't pay more attention, stories..) Are you doing the thoughts? What happens to your attention? Does it drift from bodily sensations, to emotions, to thougths? Does it get lost in stories; the content of the thoughts? What is paying attention? Are you controlling the attention? When the mind gets lost in the content of the thoughts, the stories, does it "come back" again. Do " you" make it come back.
Are you doing any of these?

Just answer freely. Don't worry about the right or wrong answer.
The sense of self to me is literally a body sensation that arises in tandem with thoughts.
Yes, exactly! But is this sense of self YOU? Or is it an idea built upon those sensations and thoughts?
You would think it would be so easy to sever that connection after all these years of practices. But I still feel my body is me/mine. And it lassos thoughts, stamps them with me-ness. And it feels really solid and unbreakable. Literally a tension arises when I watch it.
Ask yourself if there si no "I", how can "I" get rid of it? How can you sever a connection to something that does not exist in the first place? And if there is no "I" no "you" no "self" then who or what is there to get rid of anything? Don't worry we'll look at these feeling of me-ness and see it for what it is. :-) If there is not Santa, how could you kill him? How could you refuse to see him ever again? There is no Santa! So it is with the self

This is rather a long post with a lot of questions for you to answer. Your post had so many juicy bits! You don't need to answer all at the same time. Do what you have time and we'll take it from there.

All the best!
Silvia x
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:57 pm

It's great to have your pointers, Silvia.

What are your expectations about seeing through the illusion of self? What do you think will happen? What will it feel like?


My expectation is that it will be very hard. It's been on the tip of my tongue for years, so close, and yet it's like there is a barrier there that feels like a mountain. A tension so tight it feels solid.

I think when I finally see the truth I'll have a good laugh and then life just goes on, just not happening to a character that is me. I'll feel open, be open. Not attached to the character and the story. Life will lose some of its seriousness because nothing is ultimately at stake. Not minding what happens. Which may or may not change how I act or how I am treated (I'm finally over that enlightenment=winning the lottery thing!). Either way I won't overly care about the story.
It's not about paying constant vigilance
Huge relief here.
Do this exercise;
Are you doing any of these?
No. There is a catch however. When I pay attention, I still feel I have a me who has just let go of the steering wheel and let something automatic take over. Me is still there in the driver's seat. At any point, I can seize control once more. I become "the witness" which is just another me.
But is this sense of self YOU? Or is it an idea built upon those sensations and thoughts?
This right here is a fruitful line of inquiry. How do I know? Because I feel confusion and resistance around it. :) And I have a long winded reply forming which I am going to cut down to this:

The words "I" "me" and "Mark" are convenient English labels for my sense of self. They are interchangeable to me. So yes, I feel my sense of self is me..even thought I know I'm not supposed to!

Literally, it is a sense. A physical sensation centered from my eyes down to about my chest. It feels like a hub, a center point. Like the body of an octopus with the tentacles being the senses. In particular, vision very much feels like an outward movement from a centralized "me." Thought, I sense, (and I'm told this is scientifically accurate) to simply be sub-vocal talking. In fact, one can sense the tongue and jaw muscles attempt to move with every thought. It's literally talking to myself. And that which talks is a physical sensation located behind the mouth, silently or out loud.

For a bizarre metaphor, I offer this: A creepy alien thing that is inhabiting the host body in the physical location I described. That's me! Lovely.
Ask yourself if there is no "I", how can "I" get rid of it? How can you sever a connection to something that does not exist in the first place? And if there is no "I" no "you" no "self" then who or what is there to get rid of anything?
I cannot (feeling a tension rising inside, as if the me octopus/alien with all it's arms is making it's presence known by tensing it's muscles--I'm right here!).

It does occur to me that I don't have enough proof of I. I see the plate of cookies has been eaten, but does that mean Santa is real? When I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach, are there really butterflies in there? This is a surface realization, not a deep one. Might be important so I'm sharing it with you in case you can coax more out of it.

Thanks a million, dear heart.

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:36 pm

Sorry to jump in again before you've had time to see my response, but I just had a flash of insight.

Thinking and imagining are synonyms. Mental pictures and storytelling. And I can't claim a "me" without using it. Ergo, I am imaginary.

Am I on the right track?

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:30 am

Good morning Mark,

Thinking and imagining are synonyms. Mental pictures and storytelling. And I can't claim a "me" without using it. Ergo, I am imaginary.
This is great stuff Mark. Well done! You're getting very close now. So Mark is imaginary? Could you tell me a bit more about this. What does it mean in your experience?

This is your own process so you just keep investigating and writing as you need it.
My expectation is that it will be very hard.
This will be hard is a thought. Can you see that? Do you have to believe this thought?

The mind Loves difficulties and problems. Because it draws a strong sense of identity out of them. Whether the problem is solved or not, the mind will use that to create an identity around it. "I am good at this". "I am bad at that". These are just ideas and assumptions and they are used as a wall that protects at its core the basic belief that I AM.

It will be very hard is an idea. Can you see that? What do you think is hiding behind it?
It's been on the tip of my tongue for years, so close,
I agree! I think you're very close. A bit more heat and you'll pop like a corn kernel! ;-)
and yet it's like there is a barrier there that feels like a mountain. A tension so tight it feels solid.
Let's look at your wording here. Tension; Barrier; Mountain; Tight; Solid. Are these in anyway real and tangible? Or are they just mental labels? Does the feeling have any "real" weight or solidity to it? If you drop the labels and just stay with the feeling as it arises what happens? When you drop the belief that the feeling shouldn't be there, what happens? Can you welcome that feeling with kindness with open interest and curiosity? What happens then?
I think when I finally see the truth I'll have a good laugh and then life just goes on, just not happening to a character that is me. I'll feel open, be open. Not attached to the character and the story. Life will lose some of its seriousness because nothing is ultimately at stake. Not minding what happens. Which may or may not change how I act or how I am treated (I'm finally over that enlightenment=winning the lottery thing!). Either way I won't overly care about the story.
Glad you're not expecting eternal bliss and rainbows! :-)
Can caring still happen even if there is no-one to care? Even if things are no longer seen as personal?
When I pay attention, I still feel I have a me who has just let go of the steering wheel and let something automatic take over. Me is still there in the driver's seat. At any point, I can seize control once more. I become "the witness" which is just another me.
Ok, so where does the self go when you are not paying attention? When you are absorbed in a task or distracted or carrying out a habitual task without thinking. What is that automatic "thing" that takes over you when you are not there. Investigate. Watch as you go about your normal day. What happens when attention drifts away? What happens when attention comes back to the present moment, to the immediate sensations. Is there anything in control of attention? Or is attention just happening? Flowing here and there, now sharpening, now expanding.
This right here is a fruitful line of inquiry. How do I know? Because I feel confusion and resistance around it. :)
You're right. Confusion and resistance are usually good pointers that you're getting closer to the truth. What is it that feels threatened when you question that sense of self? Once again invite the feeling. Drop the labels. Look at it with kindness. What's behind it? What is it trying to protect?
The words "I" "me" and "Mark" are convenient English labels for my sense of self.
Almost! yes they are convenient labels, but... for what?
So, I feel my sense of self is me..even thought I know I'm not supposed to!

Literally, it is a sense. A physical sensation centred from my eyes down to about my chest.

Read carefully what you have written here. Because you're already seeing the truth even if you haven't realised it yet. What is a physical sensation? Can you be a physical sensation? Poke yourself with a stick. Is the resulting physical sensation you? Or is it just sensation?
It feels like a hub, a centre point. Like the body of an octopus with the tentacles being the senses. In particular, vision very much feels like an outward movement from a centralized "me." Thought, I sense, (and I'm told this is scientifically accurate) to simply be sub-vocal talking. In fact, one can sense the tongue and jaw muscles attempt to move with every thought. It's literally talking to myself. And that which talks is a physical sensation located behind the mouth, silently or out loud.
A lot of labelling is happening here. Close your eyes and find that sense of being alive that's always present. Can you find in that aliveness a centre point? If you do what does it feel like? Is it you? Are you making it happen or is it just happening within that sense of aliveness? Can you feel the pull of habit to label all or part of this experience as me? Are you doing that or is the labelling just happening? Just look at everything just as it is. There is nothing that is happening that shouldn't be happening. Aliveness is there, emotions arise, thoughts arise, labelling happens. Is any of it you? Can it exist without you?

This is are all great answers. Thank you for your honesty.

Much love
Silvia
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

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bsgoats
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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:12 pm

Good morning, Silvia!

Thank you again for your willingness to help. The caring really comes through and is returned.
So Mark is imaginary? Could you tell me a bit more about this. What does it mean in your experience?
"I" or "Mark" only occurs in the thoughtstream. Using the word imagination vs. thought is really helping me here, as it all amounts to the same thing. There is no Mark outside of it. I cannot find "it" or "him" in the real world. It's thoughtstuff, imagination. When not thinking and only paying attention to things outside of the thoughtstream, reality in front of me, Mark is not a part of that. It's like the mind is just babbling out a story.
It will be very hard is an idea. Can you see that? What do you think is hiding behind it?
Yes, it's a story being believed. More from the imagination stream. Hmmm something that feels like fear behind it but I can't yet say fear of what. I'll keep looking.
Can you welcome that feeling with kindness with open interest and curiosity? What happens then?
Thank you for the reminder to be kind. It's just sensation now, if I don't label it... LOL I just had a flash of insight. It's just sensation whether it is labeled or not. All this labeling doesn't change reality one bit, it's just blah blah blah.
Almost! yes they are convenient labels, but... for what?
I've looked at this and I hope you will indulge a little bit of explanation here. It actually circumvented some resistance when I looked at it the other way, like the word "you."

At first, I was going to say it is a shortcut to referring to a particular body, with a particular mind, and a particular emotional attitude. But that's not entirely true. I almost think that would be fine if it stopped right there. But, it also refers to something that contains the three objects, that controls the three objects, that owns the three objects. But that thing I cannot find. I don't mean that it's invisible like thoughts and emotions, I mean I can't find any real evidence of it, wouldn't even know what to look for really.

So now I turn it around on "me" and it's the same thing. Where is the owner? Tingling sensations in the face and chest are the object supposedly owned in my definition, and therefore cannot be the owner. What could the owner be? Through none of my senses can I find it.

This is still mostly a surface realization but it is starting to penetrate, too.
Aliveness is there, emotions arise, thoughts arise, labeling happens. Is any of it you? Can it exist without you?
None of it is "me" and I still can't find the owner. Can it exist without me? This provoked another bout of laughter. I can't form the words really. It's all just so silly! Does the sun shine without my permission?

I feel close on all this, my belief in a discrete separate owner is getting flimsier. I'm not there yet but I no longer think it will be that hard!

Thank you, dear Silvia.

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:22 pm

Hello again Mark,

Your last post made me smile. Fine progress is being made. I can tell the illusion is starting to fall apart! :-)
"I" or "Mark" only occurs in the thoughtstream. Using the word imagination vs. thought is really helping me here, as it all amounts to the same thing. There is no Mark outside of it. I cannot find "it" or "him" in the real world. It's thoughtstuff, imagination.
This is good noticing! Tell me a bit more about what you mean by imagination vs. thought.
When not thinking and only paying attention to things outside of the thoughtstream, reality in front of me, Mark is not a part of that. It's like the mind is just babbling out a story.
Ok, you're getting closer, but look carefully.
Are you the thinker of the thoughts.
Are you the payer of attention?

What things are outside the thoughtstream?
What do you mean by reality in front of me?
Is there a separate you in front of reality?
Is the experience of thoughts not direct experience?
Who is the experiencer?
Hmmm something that feels like fear behind it but I can't yet say fear of what. I'll keep looking.
Any progress on this?
Thank you for the reminder to be kind. It's just sensation now, if I don't label it... LOL I just had a flash of insight. It's just sensation whether it is labeled or not. All this labeling doesn't change reality one bit, it's just blah blah blah
.

Excellent! Can you see is the same with every thing?? Go ahead stop dropping labels right, left and centre. What is there left?
What is there left when you drop the label I?
At first, I was going to say it is a shortcut to referring to a particular body, with a particular mind, and a particular emotional attitude. But that's not entirely true. I almost think that would be fine if it stopped right there. But, it also refers to something that contains the three objects, that controls the three objects, that owns the three objects. But that thing I cannot find. I don't mean that it's invisible like thoughts and emotions, I mean I can't find any real evidence of it, wouldn't even know what to look for really.
These three objects, do they exist anywhere other than in your mind?

Do emotions happen independently from the body? Do thoughts happen independently from emotions?
Do thoughts and emotions happen independtly from the body?

Is there a you happening independently from these?
So now I turn it around on "me" and it's the same thing. Where is the owner? Tingling sensations in the face and chest are the object supposedly owned in my definition, and therefore cannot be the owner. What could the owner be? Through none of my senses can I find it.
So if an hunter looked for Big Foot EVERYWHERE and still couldn't find it. What conclusion might he draw?

Close your eyes and picture Big Foot in front of you as vividly as you can. Colour, hair, size, weight, smell, eyes. Do it even if it seems silly. Now open your eyes. Where is BF?

Do the same exercise with the self. Open your eyes. Where is it?
So now I turn it around on "me" and it's the same thing. Where is the owner? Tingling sensations in the face and chest are the object supposedly owned in my definition, and therefore cannot be the owner. What could the owner be? Through none of my senses can I find it.
So you've searched and haven't found a self. But you still don't seem convinced. Is there a residual me-ness anywhere? Are there any areas you haven't explored yet. Is the me the do-er, or the watcher, or the decider...?
None of it is "me" and I still can't find the owner. Can it exist without me? This provoked another bout of laughter. I can't form the words really. It's all just so silly! Does the sun shine without my permission?
Yes! it is all rather silly isn't it! The mind is one sneaky bastard. It will try to appropriate, label and separate everything as self and other even the sun shining! So it is with the rest of experience. But is there a you anywhere separate from the experience of sunshine?
To think there is a you in control f the sun shinning. That is suffering. Do you agree?

You're gathering a nice momentum here. Keep going!

Silvia x
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:19 pm

This is good noticing! Tell me a bit more about what you mean by imagination vs. thought.
As I used the terms, thought was "real" and imagination was "unreal." Now I feel like it is all "unreal" relatively speaking. I suppose thoughts that literally describe what is sensed, or mathematical computations could be considered real. Barely. The other 99 percent is as unreal as me telling as story with wizards and dragons.

To be clear, I see that thoughts as a phenomenon are "real" (subvocal self-talk and images). It's the content of the thoughts which is unreal. In particular "the song of me" to coin the phrase. ;)
Are you the thinker of the thoughts.
Are you the payer of attention?
No and no. It all comes and goes like waves crashing on a beach. I clearly don't feel I'm thinking thoughts. And I have shall we say little control over attention (I know the "right" answer is I have no control.)
What things are outside the thoughtstream?
Reality. Sights, sounds, sensations prior to, and in spite of, labels. The thoughtstream itself is a real phenomenon, as I stated before. The stories within it are not.
What do you mean by reality in front of me?
Is there a separate you in front of reality?
Ah, I see. Yes, that pesky witnessing mindful presence behind the eyes again. No, looking at it now it's not in front. It just IS. One big soup. Including thoughts.
Hmmm something that feels like fear behind it but I can't yet say fear of what. I'll keep looking.
It's the scramble for some teeny tiny bit of control. Even though none is to be had, and I have not found anyone to control it.
Excellent! Can you see is the same with every thing?? Go ahead stop dropping labels right, left and centre. What is there left?
What is there left when you drop the label I?
Just this....this.
These three objects, do they exist anywhere other than in your mind?
LOL. No. More story, labeling, imagination. Convenient for communication, but not the truth.
Do emotions happen independently from the body? Do thoughts happen independently from emotions?
Do thoughts and emotions happen independently from the body?
I need time to investigate this one.
Do the same exercise with the self. Open your eyes. Where is it?
This angle I am now clear on. The character called "me" is fictional storytelling, as is the rest of the imagination stream. It doesn't feel real to me at all any more.
So you've searched and haven't found a self. But you still don't seem convinced. Is there a residual me-ness anywhere? Are there any areas you haven't explored yet. Is the me the do-er, or the watcher, or the decider...?
I think all that's left now is the watcher for me. Harder to shake that perspective.
To think there is a you in control f the sun shinning. That is suffering. Do you agree?
Yes, questioning control is how I ended up on these forums in a roundabout way. One non-dual teaching leads to another. I'm ready to cut down the root. No "me" no control. No need to consciously keep surrendering control every moment of time if there is no real entity that could even control if it wanted to!
You're gathering a nice momentum here. Keep going!
Yes, I think this has been really creeping up on me. The last couple days I keep popping out of the thoughtstream many times an hour spontaneously. It's like, oh that was daydreaming, all that stuff about a "me." I have no control over this, vs. an approach that says to be mindful or stop thinking or question every thought or some such. It's just been happening on it's own.

My life story has lost it's stickiness to a remarkable degree. In fact in this moment I'd have to work to tell you what it is. It seems like too much effort to attach to it, to dredge it up anymore. It's fantasy and I'm totally at peace with that. Or rather, there is peace. It appears, thought loses itself in itself, it snaps out again, and I really don't mind either way.

It's all a story, all of it. Reality is just this.

Please forgive me, language is limited here. I feel like I need to relax into this somehow. I have had the realization but I'm not just sinking into it all. "I" am still clinging to something, maybe the Witness, I'm not even sure. There is no "I." I know that deeply now.

Something is still catching me and I appreciate your help. I'm so tempted to say "I've got it" but it still flickers a bit and I'm not just letting go into the realization, if that makes sense.

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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:56 am

Hello Mark,

Great, great answers. Keep going.
To be clear, I see that thoughts as a phenomenon are "real" (subvocal self-talk and images). It's the content of the thoughts which is unreal. In particular "the song of me" to coin the phrase. ;)
Wonderful!
No and no. It all comes and goes like waves crashing on a beach. I clearly don't feel I'm thinking thoughts. And I have shall we say little control over attention (I know the "right" answer is I have no control.)
How do thoughts happen?
What is attention? How does it happen? Is it the same as awareness?

Explore this little control you feel you have over attention.
Reality. Sights, sounds, sensations prior to, and in spite of, labels. The thoughtstream itself is a real phenomenon, as I stated before. The stories within it are not.
Great stuff.
Where do stories come from? How do they happen?
Ah, I see. Yes, that pesky witnessing mindful presence behind the eyes again. No, looking at it now it's not in front. It just IS. One big soup. Including thoughts.
You're very nearly there Mark. So this witness is behind the eyes. Can you feel it?. And if you can, what does that tell you about the nature of this witness? Does the feeling ever shift to other places in the body? Does it ever disappear?
What happens when it does? Can awareness happen without the witness?
Excellent! Can you see is the same with every thing?? Go ahead stop dropping labels right, left and centre. What is there left?
What is there left when you drop the label I?
Just this....this.
Ok.. what I meant to write here is START dropping all labels. Not stop.. doh! But thankfully I think you got the gist of it anyway ;-)

:-) What does being with this feel like?
Do emotions happen independently from the body? Do thoughts happen independently from emotions?
Do thoughts and emotions happen independently from the body?

I need time to investigate this one.
Sure, keep investigating. No need to rush the answers. How does an emotion or thought arise? Do they arise out of thin air?
I think all that's left now is the watcher for me. Harder to shake that perspective.
Does watching or awaring still happen without a separate you to watch or be aware?
The last couple days I keep popping out of the thoughtstream many times an hour spontaneously.
And what does this tell you about the nature of attention?
When attention is not happening or lost in the thoughtstream, is there still awareness?
Is the awareness Mark?
My life story has lost it's stickiness to a remarkable degree. In fact in this moment I'd have to work to tell you what it is. It seems like too much effort to attach to it, to dredge it up anymore. It's fantasy and I'm totally at peace with that. Or rather, there is peace. It appears, thought loses itself in itself, it snaps out again, and I really don't mind either way.

It's all a story, all of it. Reality is just this.
I'll say it again, great progress!
Please forgive me, language is limited here. I feel like I need to relax into this somehow. I have had the realization but I'm not just sinking into it all. "I" am still clinging to something, maybe the Witness, I'm not even sure. There is no "I." I know that deeply now.

Something is still catching me and I appreciate your help. I'm so tempted to say "I've got it" but it still flickers a bit and I'm not just letting go into the realization, if that makes sense.
There is absolutely no need or point in rushing things through. Things will jut unfold quite naturally. How could it be any differently?

Really take your time today to answer the questions and read through the posts. I won't be around to read it till tomorrow morning anyway. Just keep investigating and writing as it comes to you. It is your own process!

Keep relaxing into your direct experience. Drop the questions into that ungraspable vastness that just is.

Do some sitting doing nothing. Go for a walk. Just be with it.

Have a lovely Sunday!
Silvia
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

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bsgoats
Posts: 11
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Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:21 pm

No disrespect intended if I don't answer all your questions, Silvia. I've seen through all this and it's just very simple!

There is that which happens in reality, prior to labeling/storytelling. And there is The Story. It's as black and white as can be. The storytelling is real, the story is not. Only reality is. Literally. Only reality is. How simple!! LOL

I can barely type all this, so bear with me. Please excuse the use of personal pronouns.

"Me-ness" only happens via an overlay of the imagination stream, the story.

I was stuck on the witness. I paid attention and saw that the mind in a really tiny quiet voice with nano-second-long images was projecting a "me" on top of observing, thus making the witness a solid identity. Boy that's subtle! Sneaky bastard indeed! And yet, I love it. It does what it does. There is an innocence about it, it means no harm. Like a confused little puppy.

I was still getting a little stuck on attention vs. awareness. No longer. Attention is a practical phenomenon directed by the mind/brain. "What time is it?" eye muscles move eyes to the left. "It's 2:00, I'm late!" body feels stress. It's all the interplay of mind and body. Mind believing its stories, body reacting. No space left for a "me" or a controller. I get at a deep level the "three gunas" of Hinduism, the "five aggregates" of Buddhism. It's just natural forces interacting with one another with nothing in charge. Dominoes set into motion.

Awareness is...a label for something indescribable. My feeble attempt? The tv is powered on. It's illuminated. That power is similar to awareness. Awareness is the main power by which this show is observable. Attention and awareness are not closely related in what they describe! Attention is a physical phenomenon of this organism, Awareness lights up the entire universe.

Does the story still come up and take over? Yes. While attention is absorbed in it, does there seem to be an "I?" Yes (perhaps not as strongly as before). As soon as attention returns to reality now, that sense of "I' deflates within seconds. That's the difference. The sense of "I" doesn't linger between storytelling sessions.

"Who would you be without your story?" to quote Byron Katie. I can't answer that without the trap of language. I am not. And yet all is. And there is connection with that. Indivisible with...awareness/universe (just another label not even close).

Cannot unsee. No matter how many times the story creates a sense of I, the second the storytelling pauses, "I" goes right along with the rest of it. No residual. No more belief in Batman when the movie is paused.

My only question is, is this it? Should there be less getting wrapped up in the story temporarily if "I" have passed through the gate? Will it always oscillate like this? Is it supposed to be total with no oscillation? I'm open to whatever you say here.

I just want to keep saying it's all so simple. This entire post is just more story.

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The-Song-Of-Me
Posts: 215
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Location: London

Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:56 am

Hi Mark,

This is beautiful. Face splitting smile overhere. It is clear to me that you have seen.

Do you feel ready to answer the 6 confirmation questions?
My only question is, is this it? Should there be less getting wrapped up in the story temporarily if "I" have passed through the gate? Will it always oscillate like this? Is it supposed to be total with no oscillation? I'm open to whatever you say here.
The only thing that should be happening is what is already happening! Watch out for expectations and stories of what it should be like. Be ruthless with all labels. Like you noticed there is no harm in them, just watch out for the stories they tell. I liked your metaphor of the lost puppy! Yes the mind is like an untrained over-eager puppy! Running after everything, barking at everything that moves, and peeing all over the place. Now you've given a good chance for the puppy to grow up and mature a bit, maybe grow into a good trusted guardian dog than only barks when necessary. And this will happen quite naturally on its own. I don't want to run too far away with the analogy though, again, expectations, stories... ;-)

Everyone is different but it is likely there will be a lot of habits and conditioning left. And you'll probably start seeing some of these habits and conditioning crumbling under their own weight, now that there is "no-one" to sustain them. It's a bit like a city that has been abandoned. It may take a while but eventually it will crumble to dust if there is no one living there to keep it going.

Seeing through the illusion of self it's just a beginning. You've seen the main hurdle on your way to a life authentically lived.
In my experience oscillation might still happen. Some patterns of thought seem to be almost unconscious, and as they start becoming more conscious they lose their power and momentum, but that might not happen immediately. Reading The End of Your World by Adyashanti, helped me understand this a bit better.

There are also some LU aftercare groups you can join on Facebook, once you've been confirmed and blued. They can be very helpful. But in the end this is your own adventure.

Let me know if you have any new questions today.

Much love
Silvia
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W

User avatar
bsgoats
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:18 pm

Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby bsgoats » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:14 pm

Hi Silvia,

Thank you for all your generous help and guidance. It made a real difference in the process!
Do you feel ready to answer the 6 confirmation questions?
I can't find a valid reason why not!
maybe grow into a good trusted guardian dog than only barks when necessary
A beautiful story! May it be so.
And you'll probably start seeing some of these habits and conditioning crumbling under their own weight, now that there is "no-one" to sustain them. It's a bit like a city that has been abandoned.
There is a growing sensation of this. It's barely at the threshold of my awareness, like something is crumbling deep inside. In reality, a story starts, gets a few words in, then trails off...And the body squirms at that. It's not a pleasant sensation, a bit rocky, but I don't feel a real concern nor a power to halt it.

The loss of future is disorienting to say the least! It felt more pleasant when it was artificially induced through mindfulness. Perhaps because the mind knew it would spring back to life the moment the effort ceased. Now I can't make myself believe in a future even through effort. But the work still gets done, mind still gives helpful warnings of tasks to be done in the "near future." It's just the life story that no longer has an arc to it.

So it looks like this awakening might be on the rougher side of the spectrum? Who knows. Literally, LOL. There is some turmoil but it's still not happening to a "me." The realization has taken hold, it's unforgettable.
Let me know if you have any new questions today.
I sure will. Deeply grateful for having your support through this whole thing.

Much love to you, Silvia.

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The-Song-Of-Me
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 12:35 pm
Location: London

Re: Requesting a trusted guide

Postby The-Song-Of-Me » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:40 pm

There is a growing sensation of this. It's barely at the threshold of my awareness, like something is crumbling deep inside. In reality, a story starts, gets a few words in, then trails off...And the body squirms at that. It's not a pleasant sensation, a bit rocky, but I don't feel a real concern nor a power to halt it.
Yes, seeing the truth is not always pleasant! It can be unsettling. I suppose you could say the belief in a separate self is the mother of all beliefs! It's normal to be a bit shaken, even if this is what you've been looking for in one way or another all your life. But it's also profoundly liberating. The difference between dreaming life and living life.

You seem to have no doubt that you have seen, but are there any shady areas you'd still like to explore?

If not, here are the The 6 Questions. There is no rush. If you want to give it a couple of days to setlle, that's perfectly fine.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?
Deeply grateful for having your support through this whole thing.
4

It's been a real pleasure. :)

Silvia x
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

W W


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