Requesting Guidance Please

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goneforgood
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Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:47 am

Hello,
My name is Robin and I am here to ask for guidance to the direct experience of truth.
I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of use. I am also half-way through the PDF version of the Gateless Gate, and have read a selection of forum posts here.
Many Thanks, in anticipation,
Robin ("goneforgood")

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Matt
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks, Robin! I sense your sincerity and commitment.
Maybe you'd like to finish the book if you haven't already, and let me know your experience in reading and contemplating it. At some point, it may help to put reading aside for a bit, in order to focus completely on the issue at hand, that which is most experientially intimate.
Best wishes,
Matt

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:33 am

Hello Matt.

Thankyou so much for answering my request. So grateful for your generosity here.

Yes, I have finished reading the Gateless Gate, and while waiting for a reply here, have been reading Ilona's blog, and Delma's "Tabula Rasa" blog. I am perfectly OK with doing no more reading, now that I am in touch with you.

Reading GG, I could understand the process intellectually, but it was not enough to have me break through the illusion for myself. Then, last night, while reading one of Delma's posts "On a Clear Day" (April 14, 2012), I suddenly saw with completely new eyes what was meant by "no self".

JUST. LOOK. - like I would look to check that the monitor in front of me is real. No self. No "I" - anywhere!

I will come back to describe that experience if you wish me to. However this morning I am back to being swamped in "I" thoughts, and awash with feelings of sadness and despair at my wasted life. I have been walking outside in my garden, describing my physical actions as they happen: "walking happening, seeing happening, noticing happening, hearing happening...." etc., and this has been good. Also, saying "LOOK. No "I" anywhere. There isn't one. SEE?", and reminding myself that thoughts happen, thoughts are real, but the contents are not to be believed. But boy, they're hammering at me!! (tears here)

Last night after seeing that no self exists, I was at first exhilirated, and strode around proclaiming and affirming what I could newly see, loudly and with great joy. (I live alone, so no-one to disturb apart from the cats and dogs lol). Then, I came back to the computer, wanting to share my experience here on the board, and as I began writing and using the "I" word again, my feelings shifted from joy and certainty to doubt and then anger and sadness.

So I deleted my post and decided to wait.

I can see that my whole life has been based on a story of Robin that doesn't exist. A pretty picture I kept trying to paint and keep in place (and it ain't so pretty anyway!! lol).

I'll let you guide me with the questions you see are relevant from here on in, but just want to add that I have been "a seeker" since my early twenties (I'm now 58). About six months ago I got completely fed up with ALL OF IT, and went and sat in my meditation spot, and asked "What do I, Robin, know?". It MUST be in me. There is nowhere else it can possibly be found but here, inside me. Everything else is other people's stuff, and that's no help at all.
I am so sick of other people's verbiage.

Not long after that I came across Mooji, and began listening to satsangs and practising self-enquiry. But still the struggle, the not getting it, the frustration. And so now.....through some great good fortune, here I am, standing at the gateless gate, and you have come to take my hand and show me how simple it really is. I am so grateful to you Matt. Thankyou.
Also, I am fine with not meditating while we dialogue here. No problem. :)

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Matt
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:08 am

Dearest Robin,

A lot of people experience a lot of ups and downs after glimpsing this absence! I sure did. Perhaps the majority do. That's why we have a variety of "aftercare" groups on Facebook, where people can share what's happening and get feedback or a reality check.
There are a couple main things that people around here do with ups and downs. You might remember stuff like this from the book:
1) Look at what's behind the thought pattern that's coming up, for instance, "My wasted life". What lies behind that sadness, or what is it serving to protect? You keep going behind whatever you find. Do you eventually come down to a core? If so, is there something or someone backing up that core?
2)

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Matt
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:12 am

Oopsie.
2) JUST. LOOK. — (Keep at it, for as long as needed) like you would look to check that the monitor in front of you is real. No self. No "I" - anywhere!

Some say that short moments of looking, many times, is more balancing.
In any case please be gentle with yourself!

Much love,
Matt

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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:18 am

P.S.: no need to stop your practice. Simple mindfulness meditation, shamatha, etc., can be especially stabilizing and helpful in the work of looking.

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:35 am

Thankyou Matt.

So, that I have seen that "I" doesn't exist....is IT? I'm through?

So now for the clean-up. Yes I will go behind the sadness/anger/thought patterns when they next arise. Thankyou.
Shall I report back to you here, or are you suggesting I head on over to Facebook? I'm having a lot of trouble internet-wise with facebook lately, and often am unable to post or move from my home page (it freezes). Is there anywhere else I can go?

Yes, looking is THE KEY, isn't it? As soon as I stop and look around...."nope, nothing there"....it becomes clear again. Thankyou for the reminder-confirmation.

I'm feeling disturbed about looking behind the thought patterns. Guess that's an indication there's something there to uncover. It looks like a minefield from here, or quicksand that will suck me down and I won't be able to find my way out. Slight nausea happening. OK. Something/someone doesn't want me to go there, so I'm going to enquire into it and get back to you. OK?

Thanks Matt.
Gratitude for your care.
Robin

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:16 am

Back again, Matt.

As I went to investigate what was behind the sadness and anger...or rather, the nausea I spoke of in my last post.....a distinct image came up of a basket of "pretties": stories, made-up stuff, presents, baubles, colourful ribbons and fluffy stuff. This is the girl I wanted to be but never was. Wanting to be the ballerina, but being given the male part in the performance. It just seems like story to me now, and so so long ago that I have no interest in digging around in the basket. During different phases of my seeking life, I have worked with/consulted counsellors and psychologists, therapists et al, and done plenty of self-awareness workshops and therapeutic practices. All that is over. A basket of fluffy bits, in a way, just looks like left-overs - scraps yet to be discarded.

I took myself for a walk after that, and asked myself what to do with that basket. "Just throw it over the cliff" So I did - metaphorically. If more strong emotional experiences arise, I will take each on its own merits, looking behind, as you suggest.

There is a lovely calm feeling at present. Thoughts were running earlier, all about "I", and one of them, something to the effect of "I can't even get out of my own thoughts" struck me as funny when I saw that it too was just another thought. After that, they all faded into the background again.

I'm not sure where to go next with this. You haven't asked me any of the "standard" questions that I see others have been asked. Are they yet to come, or don't they always apply?

Warm Thanks,
Robin

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:53 am

.......Realising about the sadness of a wasted life: It can't have been wasted, because even though "I" thought "I" was the one making the decisions and choices, it was never so. Life is and has always been living as this body-form from the very start, so nothing can ever be wasted or wrong, or have been any different to the way it was and is. "I" don't own it, and "I" never did.

Funny, because in all those years of seeking, the authentic "self" has always been the goal, the quest, believing there was some unique and pure individual in there somewhere who was yet to find expression. To find there is no self is completely freeing.

Smiles to you Matt,
Robin

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Matt
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:21 pm

Thank you so much. I do feel you've seen it, but only you can make the ultimate confirmation.
No need to go to other online groups at this point, as we focus on confirming the seeing.
So how about an 'agency' question:

1) In direct experience, is a doer found?
Try it: lift your right arm....
Is a doer experienced, or just the sensations and perceptions of the activity?

2) Could you describe in more detail the experience of "To find there is no self is completely freeing."

More questions to follow....

Best wishes,
M

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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:07 pm

In case you want more stuff to chew on (and since we're probably in different time zones if not hemispheres), here are some sharp inquiries. Spend time with each one:

What happens when effortful action visits and there is no reference to "I"?

What happens in the moment of effortful action, when the mind projects a separate self, "I", and the thought is believed?

What happens when sadness, nausea, or anger visits and there is no reference to "I"?

What happens when sadness, nausea, or anger visits and there is reference to "I" and a belief in ownership?

What is experienced in relationship with others, when belief in a separate "I" is seen through?

What is experienced in relationship with others with an unquestioned belief in a separate "I"?

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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi again, Matt.

Thankyou for the questions. I see you have given me a second set as well, which indeed do look "meaty" and in need of chewing over. Thankyou. I will respond in "bites", Hehehe!
1) In direct experience, is a doer found?
Try it: lift your right arm....
Is a doer experienced, or just the sensations and perceptions of the activity?
I have been experimenting with this during the day, noticing how the body walks, the head turns, listening happens, bending, lifting, carrying.......they all seem to happen without any effort or even thought. Measuring and cutting some fabric...a few simple calculations, pin here, cut there.....the hands seem to just know what to do. It's almost as if everything is just one movement - or a continuous flow. Ooh, that's interesting to observe. Just movement changing shape and form as one continuous event.

In raising the arm.....no doer. It just rises - effortlessly it feels. Various sensations perceived: tingling in the fingers, a pulling in the arm muscle, and under the shoulder blade. Not even a thought apparent that preceded the action. It appears spontaneous upon reading the instruction. But the action can be repeated again and again, still with no sense of doer, and no need to re-read the instruction. It just happens.
Could you describe in more detail the experience of "To find there is no self is completely freeing."

It's as if everything has come down to nought, zero, and the burden of having to fulfil a "life purpose" is gone. The authenticity I had been seeking is already here. This complete body and being is already the clear expression of life doing what life does, and there's no "I" to "do" anything about it. The whole "Doing" thing had been grating on me for quite a while, too. In a particular group I belong to, emphasis was often placed on Doing this and Being that, and it all felt such a struggle, like trying to fit myself into a mould of someone else's making; someone's version of a "spiritual being". I had also consulted someone late last year about "my life purpose", and was told, with great emphasis that I was an outstanding soul, and was to basically pull my finger out and get on with it. All that did was puff up my sense of importance and specialness, then overlay it with huge guilt. Seeing what is now seen (no self), life's purpose is already happening, and "I" have nothing to do with it. It's a bit Que sera sera, isn't it? lol.

Looking forward to your feedback, and further questions, Matt.
Thankyou for your time and attention here.
Robin
PS: There are difficulties at this end with the internet lately, and trouble with submitting posts. If it happens that my replies do not appear here for some time, please know that I am still actively engaged and intent on communicating regularly, as I have been to date.

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:47 am

Hi Matt,

I had an instance last night with anger which was a great stepping off point for this second set of questions.
What happens when sadness, nausea, or anger visits and there is no reference to "I"?

What happens when sadness, nausea, or anger visits and there is reference to "I" and a belief in ownership?
These two questions stand alongside each other, don't they? They could both occur in the same event.

So, last night, as I was submitting my last post here for you, the internet kept dropping out, losing the post. (So glad I have followed the suggestion to copy and paste into Notebook as I write.) This has been happening a lot lately with all of my internet activity. It was 12.30am and I was wanting to go to bed. Press the SUBMIT button and wait, wait, wait.....wait, wait.......until after an age of waiting.......connection gone!

The anger went like this: Immediate batch of loud expletives, then sitting to notice what was happening in the body. A mental image of the man at the computer shop (internet service provider) who "I" hold responsible, but who "I" do not like because he has been rude in the past...and wanting to yell at him. But he's not here, and even if he were, there is a mental block about yelling at anyone. So far, this is all "I" anger. And it's tight and constricted, which kind of adds to the anger.

But then I looked and checked again....hmmmm....no "I" here, see? Anger remains, but now there feels no check on it, and the sensations in the body become more intense - flowing strongly and freely, and awareness is heightened. The body got up, moved around, as if releasing the energy, or using it, letting it move. Being unable to express any words to the "cause" of the anger was frustrating. Thoughts of imagined sentences I would say to him in the morning. Kept reminding myself to look and see - no "I" - see, no self anywhere here, yet anger is here now. About 20 minutes of physical moving around with vigour, getting on with preparing to go to bed, observing the body on automatic. High energy! All the physical movement felt good. This is what the body wanted, its natural behaviour for the situation at hand with no "I" present. Then if I bring "I" back into the equation, there is a hardness felt, a constriction of flow, feeling like a gathering storm with nowhere to go, or a dam wall that needs to burst. The separation is clearly felt that "I" am separate from him.

What a fantastic observation! So great to see this. Thankyou!

OK, so then I am in bed. Before getting there, thoughts were there about "How and "I" going to sleep NOW???!!!!" and of course, blaming him. Then I'd do the no-self checking, and the free-flowing energy kept moving through the body. I could see the "me" thoughts happening in the background, but they were not interfering now. Even with this fast energy streaming through, I was still able to say kind gentle words to the dogs, pat the cat gently, with soothing words. By the time i got into bed, and began writing some notes about this event, the body had calmed and the anger was gone. Phew!

OK Matt. I'll just post this as is, and continue into the day with observing and enquiring. Great questions, these. I have a friend coming for dinner tonight, so the perfect opportunity to test out the relationship ones.

Thankyou so much for engaging with me on this. Hope you're having a lovely day!
Robin

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goneforgood
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby goneforgood » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:51 am

"How and "I" going to sleep NOW???!!!!"
read as

"How am "I"........"

Thanks.

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Matt
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Re: Requesting Guidance Please

Postby Matt » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:48 am

Thank you, Robin, for your wonderful posts. I look forward to hearing more, and will follow up.

Include, if you would, a couple deeper probes on what you've written:

• When you say, "Then if I bring "I" back into the equation, there is a hardness felt, a constriction of flow....": What exactly is the "I" that are you bringing back into the equation? (Take a look.)

• When you say, "I could see the "me" thoughts happening in the background, but they were not interfering now": Please describe how these thoughts would interfere, and interfere with what. (Take a good look.)

All the best!
M


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