Setting off on my journey

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Dorothy
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Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:40 pm

Hello! This is Dorothy, aged 76, and very keen to break though views of separate self before I die.
A friend has suggested that I ask for Sang Chu as a guide, if that is possible. I am about to send for
Gateless Gatecrashers, and after that I look forward to whatever comes.

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:34 am

Hello Dorothy, I have sent you a personal message. Maria

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:26 pm

Hello Dougita,

A little bit about myself before you get back. I have been meditating, not every day, for almost 20 years,
and am committed to a Western Buddhist movement. I have been on quite a few retreats, but not recently, due mainly to the problems of getting to the Retreat Centre. I am not very strong, and public transport, across
country is a bit too much for me, unless I have a companion with me, which is not always possible.

I have experienced a few so-called 'insight moments', not necessarily in meditation, when I became aware that I was not separate from my surroundings, or from other people. There was immense joy within me during and
briefly after these happenings, but it doesn't last!! I am confident that you can lead me to an experience which does last. However - I am scared! I have just started reading the book, and almost at once I see that the first person in it was also scared, so that is helpful, and I realise, intellectually, that my ego, or whatever, is likely
to have strong objections to being found out in its deceit.

Apart from the above, I want to say how grateful I am to you, and the other men and women who are giving freely of their time and energies to help others. So, before we begin - thank you.
Dorothy

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Hello Dorothy,

Many thanks for introducing yourself and I would be happy to guide you.

Firstly --- what would you like me to call you?
Secondly - Please confirm you have read the disclaimer http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
Thirdly - we have a working agreement - please see below

1. You agree to post at least once a day.
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to
3. Responses require your utmost honesty
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
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:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

If you are happy with the above please begin by saying a little about what you hope to get out of this. What are your expectations about going through the gate?

Love,

Maria (I don't mind being called Douglita or Maria, whichever name feels more comfortable).

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:53 pm

Hello Maria,

I will try to post once a day, that's all I can say. I will be away from home from July 22nd to 26th, a nd August 2nd to
11th or 12th. After that should be plain sailing.
Responding honestly - yes, and I am not usually given to long windedness. Maybe there will be times when you ask me to say more!. I am glad that continuing my meditation practice is fine. I do the Loving Kindness/Compassion/Sympethetic Joy/Equanimity ones, interspersed with some Mindfulness of Breathing.

I would like you to call me Ann, which is actually my 'real' name, I think this will help me to engage more directly.

What I hope to get out of this is to see the true nature of reality - which sounds rather pompous. Alos, I don't know what it means! I hope to get rid of the idea of me as a separate entity, with all the efforts/struggles which that entails. As I said, I know that there is no 'me' intellectually, but....but... I am certain there is more. I suspect that when I have broken through, it will be as if shedding a burden, but, of course, how would I know?


I am part way through the book, and already am doing a lot of thin king about 'me' 'I', and wondering what it might really mean to lose all that, permane ntly.

Love, Ann

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:29 pm

Thank you, Ann. So we can begin. There is no need to get 'rid' of any ideas here or acquire any new beliefs but simply to look and see what is actually there. Seeing means to look in your direct experience and see what is true. Seeing does not require thinking in a conceptual way but rather a 'coming to your senses'. You mentioned being scared in your introduction. What is behind the fear? What is there to lose?

So first thing for you to explore by LOOKING: is there anything that requires no beliefs and cannot be doubted?

By the way, ‘looking’ is shorthand for being directly aware of – it could refer to any of the senses.

Love,
Maria

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Hello Maria,

Thank you for that. I did send you a second email, while you were away, but I don't know what became of it.
No matter, it was various ramblings and things which had occurred to me. let it go.

So, today there has been washing up, ironing, and a bit of shopping, and very easy to see that there was no 'me' involved, only a body and mind, etc, doing things. When I am not involved in doing things, or listening to my husband, or friends, it is, obviously much easier to look, and I can feel a some frustration about that. On the other hand, maybe I need to pay more attention?
Ah. Answer the question Ann...It cannot be doubted that my thoughts arise completely at random, and are NOT
directed by any 'me' in ay way at all. It cannot be doubted that my body is a (hot) collection of bits , all working together without any help from a separate 'me'.

It seems to me, at the moment, that what keeps tangling me up is the emotions. Lets say - there is no 'me' feeling these emotions. Are you saying that they simply arise, like thoughts? No. Wait a minute. They seem to arise in response to stimuli, which can be speech or action of another person, or maybe a memory.
Right, there is no 'me' remembering.......I am trying really hard to sort this out. It's like a tangle of string, only I can't find the right bit to pull to undo it.

Hope all is well with you.
Love, Ann

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:03 pm

Dear Ann,
I did send you a second email, while you were away, but I don't know what became of it.
Sorry that the email got lost - I don't know what happened there but checking back I didn't receive an email from you while I was away.
So, today there has been washing up, ironing, and a bit of shopping, and very easy to see that there was no 'me' involved, only a body and mind, etc, doing things
Good observing.
When I am not involved in doing things, or listening to my husband, or friends, it is, obviously much easier to look, and I can feel a some frustration about that. On the other hand, maybe I need to pay more attention?
You can look while engaged with any activity or look while quiet and absorbed. Look: 'Who is paying attention? 'Who is not paying attention?'
It cannot be doubted that my thoughts arise completely at random, and are NOT
directed by any 'me' in ay way at all. It cannot be doubted that my body is a (hot) collection of bits , all working together without any help from a separate 'me'.
Again, good observing! You mention 'no *separate* me'. Next time you observe your body and thoughts have a look to see if there is ANY 'me' there at all to be found at all in any shape or form.
what keeps tangling me up is the emotions. Lets say - there is no 'me' feeling these emotions. Are you saying that they simply arise, like thoughts? No. Wait a minute. They seem to arise in response to stimuli, which can be speech or action of another person, or maybe a memory.
Right, there is no 'me' remembering.......I am trying really hard to sort this out. It's like a tangle of string, only I can't find the right bit to pull to undo it.
You do not need to try really hard to sort anything out. This is not about getting something right or sorted and I am not here to convince you of anything. Trust staying with your experience right here and now and your ability to see what is true or not true in your experience. So here is a little 'exercise' to engage with:

Become aware of your feelings and emotions. Stay with the flow of experiencing without labelling those emotions at all. Are the emotions felt by anyone, or happening to anyone? Are 'you' the emotions?

Tell me what comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no 'you' in any way, shape or form and never has been a 'you', nor will there ever be?

With love,
Maria

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:18 am

Dear Maria,

Good morning! Before I forget, I never responded to the comment about me (again!) being scared.
I am not scared now, it was possibly fear of undertaking this investigation, for want of a better word. Now, I'm fine
about that. Also I never got back to looking at the 'quote' information, but I will do that. This is the best I can do
for now.



You can look while engaged with any activity or look while quiet and absorbed. Look: 'Who is paying attention? 'Who is not paying attention?'



"You mention 'no *separate* me'. Next time you observe your body and thoughts have a look to see if there is ANY 'me' there at all to be found at all in any shape or form."

No, there isn't. I used 'separate' meaning to emphasise that there isn't.




"This is not about getting something right or sorted "
Thank you for spelling that out. I do need to remember it.


"Become aware of your feelings and emotions. Stay with the flow of experiencing without labelling those emotions at all. Are the emotions felt by anyone, or happening to anyone? Are 'you' the emotions? "

Right. I can easily answer that, but it would just be words, so I will go away and Experience them, and LOOK.


" there is absolutely no 'you' in any way, shape or form and never has been a 'you', nor will there ever be?"

There was an immediate knee-jerk reaction of .....'But'.... which is interesting. Right now there are feelings of inadequacy, fear of not succeeding. Um Who is feeling this. And I DID label them. Wait.....
No, 'I' am not the emotions, though there is need to keep coming back to this, over and over. No, the emotions are not happening to anyone....Ah! They just ARE. In the same way the thoughts just ARE.

I'll keep at it Maria.
Love, Ann




With love,
Maria[/quote]

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:09 pm

Dear Ann,

I never responded to the comment about me (again!) being scared....
I am not scared now, it was possibly fear of undertaking this investigation, for want of a better word. Now, I'm fine
about that.
Great :-)
Also I never got back to looking at the 'quote' information, but I will do that. This is the best I can do
for now.
To use 'quote' you have to be in Post reply' not 'Quick reply' mode and this gives you editing options. You can highlight text you want to use then click the 'Quote' button on the side.

" there is absolutely no 'you' in any way, shape or form and never has been a 'you', nor will there ever be?"
There was an immediate knee-jerk reaction of .....'But'.... which is interesting. Right now there are feelings of inadequacy, fear of not succeeding. Um Who is feeling this.
The 'But..' is probably connected to the habit patterns attributing 'self' to themselves. Is that so? Similarly what you say about "feelings of inadequacy, fear of not succeeding" Can it be seen that this is simply another self-perpetuating habit pattern, a mere conditional arising, impersonal?

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I / me' that you hold 'yourself' to be? Or, if you prefer this approach:
What does the word 'I' or 'me' point to here and now?

I'll keep at it....
I have no doubt about your ability to see this through Ann, from what you said in your introduction.

With love,

Maria

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:26 pm

A couple more practical things while I remember them:

The site page can sometimes 'time-out' while writing and you can lose what you've written, so it's best to use 'word' or whatever you normally use to write a text on your computer, then copy and paste it here.

If you click the subscribe to topic box in the bottom lefthand corner of the page you will automatically get email notification of any reply.

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:51 am

Hello Maria,

Thanks for the practical tips, and here I am in Word. I’ll have a go at the Quotes, when I - when
there is no need to be clock watching, as there is this morning.
The 'But..' is probably connected to the habit patterns attributing 'self' to themselves. Is that so? Similarly what you say about "feelings of inadequacy, fear of not succeeding" Can it be seen that this is simply another self-perpetuating habit pattern, a mere conditional arising, impersonal?
Yes, I am beginning to see that, and I did think about it a lot during the day, especially as, at one stage there was a big upsurge of resistance, of clinging frantically to those old patterns of “ME ME ME” which was So painful. There was some understanding of what was probably happening, but, oh, oh, hugely uncomfortable. Of course, it passed, then returned a time or two, but less powerfully. It is happening now, as a background. It seems that the best response is to realise where it comes from and to adopt an attitude of “Oh Yes, I can see through you..I know what you are doing, and you are not going to win”. It got stronger as I wrote that…….very interesting, but definitely a battle. Understandable, the poor old habit patterns have had their own way for many decades.

There was a lot of Looking since yesterday, not only thoughts, but feelings, were arising and departing, over and over, nothing to do with any ‘me’, it’s just happening. Weird.
It feels alien at the moment, but there are glimmers of understanding that it can become a normal way of living.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I / me' that you hold 'yourself' to be? Or, if you prefer this approach:
What does the word 'I' or 'me' point to here and now?

That looks like todays homework, as I (!) do want to get to grips with it.

More anon,
With love and gratitude,
Ann

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Douglita
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Douglita » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:15 pm

Dear Ann,
t seems that the best response is to realise where it comes from and to adopt an attitude of “Oh Yes, I can see through you..I know what you are doing, and you are not going to win”. It got stronger as I wrote that…….very interesting, but definitely a battle. Understandable, the poor old habit patterns have had their own way for many decades.

Adopting a different attitude can be helpful and not believing the usual 'story' you may tell yourself etc..but beliefs are still on the level of mental constructs (beliefs, ideas, notions) and as you say, even after all this time it's still a battle isn't it? And stories like to run and run! Why don't we cut to the quick…Which can you have full, unequivocal confidence in: actual immediate experience or mental constructs? Which of these is completely beyond doubt?

If you bring direct attention to the thought that is happening now, what happens to it?
There was a lot of Looking since yesterday, not only thoughts, but feelings, were arising and departing, over and over, nothing to do with any ‘me’, it’s just happening. Weird.
Good work :-) I am glad it is just happening. Of course...it is just happening anyway but you are seeing it...
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I / me' that you hold 'yourself' to be? Or, if you prefer this approach:
What does the word 'I' or 'me' point to here and now?
Yes that was the 'homework' for today ;-) Let me know how it goes .

Love,

Maria

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:21 am

Dear Maria,

Yesterday, there were a number of amazing experiences. In the morning I really looked at what ‘I’/’me’ points to here and now? Mm…….Nothing…… As you say, that is from direct experience, with no mental constructs.

I looked at thoughts, feelings,no problem. Pondered a bit on ‘choices’, but then something I had read in the Gatecrashing book gave me the clue, so, again, no-one is making any choices…………Aha! It is all happening without any ‘me.

In the afternoon there was a fixture at the local Buddhist Centre, about Creative Writing/Meditation - ‘I’ do write poetry, so this was an attractive item.
‘I’ hadn’t driven the car for a few days, but, yesterday, it was very, very, clear that
there wasn’t anybody actually directing this driving! Not like being on automatic pilot,
quite a different experience, lighter, freer. Then, at the Centre, meeting with others,
again, it was as if ‘I’ had shifted slightly. ‘I’ was definitely present, and engaged, but as if from a different angle, also, very light-hearted.

Later, when people, including ‘myself’ were reading out what they had written,
there was interest, appreciation, and pleasure. Only after that was the realisation that this was not ‘my’ normal way with this type of situation. What ‘I’ normally
do is to get into either, “My work is better that so-and-so’s - clever me”, or,
“So-and-so’s work is better than mine - useless me”. There was none of that,
not a scrap, not even the next time round……..not at all. It was a major shift,
and it isn’t possible to describe how good that felt, how liberating. Or, if you like -WOW!!

There is only a faint trace of resistance, extremely subtle, but on the whole, there is
still this experience of openness, freedom, and delight. Not euphoric, not bubbly,
but as if all is right with the world.

I will look for your response later today, as I am going away in the morning for a few days solitary in a friend’s house.


With love,
Ann






Dear Maria,

Yesterday, there were a number of amazing experiences. In the morning I really looked at what ‘I’/’me’ points to here and now? Mm…….Nothing……

I looked at thoughts, feelings,no problem. Pondered a bit on ‘choices’, but then something I had read in the Gatecrashing book gave me the clue, so, again, no-one is making any choices…………Aha! It is all happening without any ‘me.

In the afternoon there was a fixture at the local Buddhist Centre, about Creative Writing/Meditation - ‘I’ do write poetry, so this was an attractive item.
‘I’ hadn’t driven the car for a few days, but, yesterday, it was very, very, clear that
there wasn’t anybody actually directing this driving! Not like being on automatic pilot,
quite a different experience, lighter, freer. Then, at the Centre, meeting with others,
again, it was as if ‘I’ had shifted slightly. ‘I’ was definitely present, and engaged, but as if from a different angle, also, very light-hearted.

Later, when people, including ‘myself’ were reading out what they had written,
there was interest, appreciation, and pleasure. Only after that was the realisation that this was not ‘my’ normal way with this type of situation. What ‘I’ normally
do is to get into either, “My work is better that so-and-so’s - clever me”, or,
“So-and-so’s work is better than mine - useless me”. There was none of that,
not a scrap, not even the next time round……..not at all. It was a major shift,
and it isn’t possible to describe how good that felt, how liberating. Or, if you like -WOW!!

There is only a faint trace of resistance, extremely subtle, but on the whole, there is
still this experience of openness, freedom, and delight. Not euphoric, not bubbly,
but as if all is right with the world.

I will look for your response later today, as I am going away in the morning for a few days solitary in a friend’s house.


With love,
Ann









Dear Maria,

Yesterday, there were a number of amazing experiences. In the morning I really looked at what ‘I’/’me’ points to here and now? Mm…….Nothing……

I looked at thoughts, feelings,no problem. Pondered a bit on ‘choices’, but then something I had read in the Gatecrashing book gave me the clue, so, again, no-one is making any choices…………Aha! It is all happening without any ‘me.

In the afternoon there was a fixture at the local Buddhist Centre, about Creative Writing/Meditation - ‘I’ do write poetry, so this was an attractive item.
‘I’ hadn’t driven the car for a few days, but, yesterday, it was very, very, clear that
there wasn’t anybody actually directing this driving! Not like being on automatic pilot,
quite a different experience, lighter, freer. Then, at the Centre, meeting with others,
again, it was as if ‘I’ had shifted slightly. ‘I’ was definitely present, and engaged, but as if from a different angle, also, very light-hearted.

Later, when people, including ‘myself’ were reading out what they had written,
there was interest, appreciation, and pleasure. Only after that was the realisation that this was not ‘my’ normal way with this type of situation. What ‘I’ normally
do is to get into either, “My work is better that so-and-so’s - clever me”, or,
“So-and-so’s work is better than mine - useless me”. There was none of that,
not a scrap, not even the next time round……..not at all. It was a major shift,
and it isn’t possible to describe how good that felt, how liberating. Or, if you like -WOW!!

There is only a faint trace of resistance, extremely subtle, but on the whole, there is
still this experience of openness, freedom, and delight. Not euphoric, not bubbly,
but as if all is right with the world.

I will look for your response later today, as I am going away in the morning for a few days solitary in a friend’s house.


With love,
Ann









Dear Maria,

Yesterday, there were a number of amazing experiences. In the morning I really looked at what ‘I’/’me’ points to here and now? Mm…….Nothing……

I looked at thoughts, feelings,no problem. Pondered a bit on ‘choices’, but then something I had read in the Gatecrashing book gave me the clue, so, again, no-one is making any choices…………Aha! It is all happening without any ‘me.

In the afternoon there was a fixture at the local Buddhist Centre, about Creative Writing/Meditation - ‘I’ do write poetry, so this was an attractive item.
‘I’ hadn’t driven the car for a few days, but, yesterday, it was very, very, clear that
there wasn’t anybody actually directing this driving! Not like being on automatic pilot,
quite a different experience, lighter, freer. Then, at the Centre, meeting with others,
again, it was as if ‘I’ had shifted slightly. ‘I’ was definitely present, and engaged, but as if from a different angle, also, very light-hearted.

Later, when people, including ‘myself’ were reading out what they had written,
there was interest, appreciation, and pleasure. Only after that was the realisation that this was not ‘my’ normal way with this type of situation. What ‘I’ normally
do is to get into either, “My work is better that so-and-so’s - clever me”, or,
“So-and-so’s work is better than mine - useless me”. There was none of that,
not a scrap, not even the next time round……..not at all. It was a major shift,
and it isn’t possible to describe how good that felt, how liberating. Or, if you like -WOW!!

There is only a faint trace of resistance, extremely subtle, but on the whole, there is
still this experience of openness, freedom, and delight. Not euphoric, not bubbly,
but as if all is right with the world.

I will look for your response later today, as I am going away in the morning for a few days solitary in a friend’s house.


With love,
Ann

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Dorothy
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Re: Setting off on my journey

Postby Dorothy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:25 am

Sorry Maria,
You have got my last message several times over!!

A.


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