This is it

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Kim S
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This is it

Postby Kim S » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:12 pm

Hi

Would very much like someone to guide me to see through the illusion. I have read the disclaimer and agree.

Happened upon the interview on buddha at the gas pump only yesterday, but Ilona and Elena presented in a way that really spoke to me. Immediately got the feeling that this is real, possible and within reach. I have read a few cases from Gateless Gatecrashers and some threads on the forum.

I get the feeling I'm close, but also have some fears that I'm deluding myself or a hopeless case. I'm willing to give it my best!

Thanks in advance /Kim

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:18 pm

Hi Kim and welcome,

My name's Pete and my role is to guide you through your own unique process.

There are a few things that we need to make clear before the journey begins.

Tell me a bit about yourself, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for. Also, what time zone are you're in - I'm in Somerset in the UK.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 110% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read this article: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lots of love,

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:15 am

Hi Pete! Thank you so much for your quick reply and for taking the time!

I have read the intro, seen the video and accepted the disclaimer.

I'm at GMT+2

I've been searching for something since I first tried psychedelics some 15 years ago. I got some glimpse of life without a separate self and it seems to me far superior to my normal way of experiencing. I've tried some meditation, mostly vipassana, but never really got a good practice going. At times I forget or try to ignore this search, but it always pulls me back. I'm looking for help seeing through the illusion of a permanent separate self, once and for all!

What are your expectations for this process?
Well, I hope it will help me to See. Expect it to be take longer and be more difficult than I would like.

What is it that you are searching for?
The end of unnecessary suffering.

How will you know that you found it?
Not sure. I notice a lot of suffering in my life that seems to be based on the idea of "me", so I guess I would know when this kind of suffering is ended.

How will this feel? How will this change you?
Peacefull. More joy and less anxiety in my life. Dealing with difficulties in a more skillful way. More compassion.

And finally, I would very much like you to be my guide. Love. /Kim

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:25 am

Oh, and I accept the ground rules ;)

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi Kim,

Thanks for accepting me as your guide and for letting me know a bit about yourself.

I took quite a lot of psychedelics back in the dim and distant past and I think those experiences are what first put me on the path to where I am now.

I think it might be useful to stress that in no way is meditation a prerequisite for what you're about to do here, i.e. looking into your direct experience to see whether a separate self can be detected at all.
Q What are your expectations for this process?

A Well, I hope it will help me to See. Expect it to be take longer and be more difficult than I would like.
It should certainly help you see life/"your" life, more clearly. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just look, look, look in direct experience.

It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. As I've just said, the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside all expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and are so not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there is and never has been a "you", a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist. There's no Santa Claus.

So, excellent. As I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also, the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would “be like” or what life ought to “look like” once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that “getting it” is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - "seeing through" Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, "there's no Santa"! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, "positive", "negative". However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I'll post once a day, perhaps occasionally more, and will tell you in advance if I know I won't be able to post. It would be good if you could do the same.

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this. Moving on towards the core of this work.

Observe closely, and let me know what your reaction is when I say to you that:

The "I" that you think you are is not real.

It can't be found in real life if searched for.

It is only a thought (although a very deeply ingrained one) in your head.

There's no 'you' thinking your thoughts.

There's no 'you' living your life.

Something is living your life, but its not 'you'.


Just take those statements deep inside. Really let them sink in.

What physical sensations do you notice?

What thoughts do you notice?

What feelings do you notice?


Lots of love,

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:11 pm

Ok great! I feel excited to get going.

So this is what happens when I take in your statements:

Seems like you are threatening me, like you're going to make me disappear. A thought arises: ”But I’m here”. Tension in the stomach. I notice feelings of loneliness and fear.

Are these the kind of direct experience reports that are useful. /Kim

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:44 pm

Another question. My partner showed interest in what I was doing and I let her read the thread and we talked some about it. Is this ok or could it in some way disturb the process?

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:21 pm

Hi Kim,

First, I think it would be useful to say a bit about the crucial importance of direct experience as the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the excellent article on direct experience in the introductory post. Lecture over for today, you'll be glad to learn.
Seems like you are threatening me, like you're going to make me disappear. A thought arises: ”But I’m here”. Tension in the stomach. I notice feelings of loneliness and fear.
It's quite common to have these feelings when the truth of non-self starts to really kick in. So, although it's clearly unpleasant and can be disturbing, don't worry, it's a good sign. Just remember not to push away from the feelings of loneliness and fear, as well as perhaps other negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Don’t fight it, allow it. Go with it. Let it Rip. Face it. Ask the question, " Is it true that there is no separate self whatsoever in reality?" Let the doubt in, let the anger in, let the fear in. Ask for the truth to be revealed.

Fear particularly, often seems to rear its head at this point so, when fear is present, look deeply in direct experience and find what's actually happening.

Walk up to the fear and look it in the eye. Don't try to get rid of it in any way. Embrace it and allow it to be experienced. It's your friend, there to protect you. It's just that it can't discriminate between a real danger and an imaginary one.

Look behind the feeling of fear and see what, if anything, is there.

What sensations do you notice?

What thoughts do you notice?

Do the thoughts come after the sensations? What do they say about the sensations?

Behind all of that, does the fear have a story to tell? If so, what is that story?



You will not disappear. You cannot. You never “were” in the first place. Existence exists and always has and always will. What does not exist is this “you” —the imaginary ownership of a piece of existence.
Another question. My partner showed interest in what I was doing and I let her read the thread and we talked some about it. Is this ok or could it in some way disturb the process?
The essence of what you're doing here is for you to see for yourself that there is no "I" and never has been. Even my role as guide is merely to point out to you where to look, and sometimes to clarify, but not to influence you in any way. Clearly, in the end it's entirely up to you, but it probably wouldn't be helpful if your partner, or anyone else, had any influence on this process. However, it's not a secret or anything like that and I can't really see any harm in giving her an overall impression of what's going on, without necessarily getting sidetracked by detailed discussion or anything potentially distracting like that. Hope this helps.

P x

Ps It's my birthday tomorrow (Thursday) and so I'm out most of the day. I'll try and get a reply to you by the end of the day but, if I can't, I"ll reply Friday.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:42 am

Hi Kim,

My ps might have been ambiguous. I meant, if and when you reply to my last post, sent last night, there might be a delay, until tomorrow (Friday), until I reply to that as I'm out today. There's no need for you to wait though, reply to my last post whenever.

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:51 am

And that should have read, "as and when", not "if and when"' doh!

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:45 pm

Happy birthday Pete! I hope you enjoyed your day.

So I’ve kept working with your statements today:
The "I" that you think you are is not real.

It can't be found in real life if searched for.

It is only a thought (although a very deeply
ingrained one) in your head.

There's no 'you' thinking your thoughts.

There's no 'you' living your life.

Something is living your life, but its not 'you'.
Today there was a lot more anxiety and tension in the stomach and also the rest of the body and the last statement evoked envy.

After asking myself "Is it true that there is no separate self whatsoever in reality?" the notion came to me ”if I’m not real, then maybe nothing is real!”. Looked around the room and everything seemed kind of cartoony for a while.
Look behind the feeling of fear and see what, if anything, is there.
Don’t really now how to make sense of how to ”look behind the feeling”. I do see that the feelings come as some sort of defense mechanism.
What sensations do you notice?
Lots of tension in the stomach and the rest of the body.
What thoughts do you notice?
”But I’m seeing. That means I exist”
Do the thoughts come after the sensations? What do they say about the sensations?
Not sure but I think the tension came first and then thoughts. Not sure what you mean by the second question.
Behind all of that, does the fear have a story to tell? If so, what is that story?
I sense that the statements are true and that I feel threatened that I will disappear if I accept them.

I have also been trying to find myself in different ways during the day. Thoughts seem to arise without a creator. I seem to move about and do stuff without ”me” really doing anything. But seeing strongly implies to me that there is someone, me, watching.

Looking forward to hearing from you. /Kim

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:08 pm

Hi Kim,

Thanks for your birthday wishes; I had a great day here in deepest Somerset, enjoying good food and drink and a very hot, sunny day. Not quite so hot today, but still nice.
Today there was a lot more anxiety and tension in the stomach and also the rest of the body and the last statement evoked envy.
As I've said, these feelings sure aren't pleasant but they are arising because, deep down, "you" have started to see that there really isn't a "me" there, or indeed anywhere at all. Basically, fear (and the feelings of anxiety, disquiet, confusion, envy etc. that frequently accompany it), is there to protect you. Fear is our friend and has evolved to protect us (and all sentient beings) from perceived dangers and threats, like being attacked, falling from dangerous heights and so on. However, fear can't discriminate, so it kicks in when it "thinks" there's a danger. Often people have irrational fears such as insects, water, pigeons, clowns, or whatever, where there is no danger. The frightened person knows, intellectually, that there's no danger, but the fear persists. In your case, just like many people looking to see through the illusion of a separate self, fear is arising to protect you from losing something that only your thoughts tell you is there in the first place. As we go through this process, I'd like to take you gradually, in a loosely structured, flexible way through all of the areas of experience where a self-entity could possibly be, so that you can look there in direct experience. You will see for yourself that, without any doubt, there is no "I" that needs to be protected and so nothing for fear to do. As you go through the process it will become clear at the most fundamental level that the fear that you're presently experiencing with associated other negative feelings has nothing to protect and is simply not needed.
Don’t really now how to make sense of how to ”look behind the feeling”. I do see that the feelings come as some sort of defense mechanism.
Leading on from what I've just said, what I mean is that, looking in direct experience, is there anything underlying the feeling of fear? Is it protecting anything, specifically an actual "I", or is there nothing else there, just a physical feeling giving rise to the thought, "I'm afraid of this", " I'm scared" or whatever?

Take a few deep breaths, relax and LOOK, as always, in direct experience.

Do you notice the emotions before or after the sensations and thoughts? What is the relationship among them?

You'll begin to notice that sensations usually come first (tightness in the pit of the stomach), followed by thoughts that stick labels on the sensations ("That's fear I'm feeling"), followed by a full-blown emotional response ("I'm afraid").

Do you notice that in your experience? Do you see how the thoughts work like a labelling machine?

Now look at this facet of the labelling machine:

When you notice a thought "I feel fear," what is that "I"?

When you notice a thought "I feel anxious," what is that "I"?

When you notice a thought "I feel envious," what is that "I"?

When you notice a thought "I can't figure this out," what is that "I"?

What does "I" refer to in those thoughts? Can you point to it? Does it have a shape, size, color, sound, fragrance, feel? Or are there just thoughts appearing in experience, one after the other?

I sense that the statements are true and that I feel threatened that I will disappear if I accept them.
"You" can't disappear because "you" are just an illusion and weren't there in the first place! Life/"your life" has gone on just as it has so far without any need for a self to make it happen.
I have also been trying to find myself in different ways during the day. Thoughts seem to arise without a creator. I seem to move about and do stuff without ”me” really doing anything.
That's brilliant, you're clearly starting to see it! Noticing that things that "you do" happen automatically is key to seeing that there is no separate self. Great stuff.

And so, finally,

"What does the word "I" or "me" point to, here and now?"

Love Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:50 pm

Hi Pete!

Wow this is really hard work for me! ;)

Lots of narratives going on today. I'm just gonna put them out there so you know whats going on. Not sure if it's relevant to our work here so don't feel the need to adress it if it's not.

"I'm too tired from my migrane, so I won't be able to make progress. I'm always tired so maybe it's not even possible for me to see through the illusion."

"I'm really close now"

"I'm just fooling myself, I'm not close at all"

"I'm going to be so happy when I'm finished with this. I'm gonna have an advantage over other people"

"I already saw through the illusion"

"I really wish I was done with this so i can relax"

"I'm not only fooling my self, I'm fooling Pete too as he seems to belive I made progress"

The general feelings during the work today has been shifting between anxiety to excitement and joy.

Do you notice the emotions before or after the sensations and thoughts? What is the relationship among them
At first I saw this: Feeling -> tension -> thoughts
When looking more at it (and after reading how it's "suppose" to happen): tension -> thought. As in only the tension and the thought, no feelings.

The thoughts explain the tension and feeling, but sometimes it really seems like the thought is just verbalising information that is already there. Like it's repeating an invisible thought if that makes any sense to you.
Do you notice that in your experience? Do you see how the thoughts work like a labelling machine?
Yes i do. I also see some kind of flow between them, for example there seems to be a flow from the tension towards the mouth before the thought is verbalized internally.
What does "I" refer to in those thoughts? Can you point to it? Does it have a shape, size, color, sound, fragrance, feel? Or are there just thoughts appearing in experience, one after the other?
It just seems to be a thought. I also noticed in a different situation that "I" referred to another thought.
"What does the word "I" or "me" point to, here and now?"
Having more and more difficulty finding anything that sticks. Everything seems to be slipping away if you know what I mean.

Love /Kim

Ps. I'm spending a lot of time with checking my spelling as I'm not a native english speaker. I know it's kind of rude not to write properly but would you be ok with me just writing and not checking? I'm sure you would still understand me.

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moondog
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Re: This is it

Postby moondog » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:00 pm

Hi Kim,
Wow this is really hard work for me! ;)

Lots of narratives going on today. I'm just gonna put them out there so you know whats going on. Not sure if it's relevant to our work here so don't feel the need to adress it if it's not.
Yeah, it can be tough at first.This is a really basic illusion to see through and so it feels draining and stirs up all sorts of thoughts, like the ones you mention. However, they are just thoughts, arising and passing in awareness, including the "I am a separate (special) person" type I-thoughts that you are having. These are thoughts just like any others. Thoughts are fine so long as you can see them for what they are - conceptualisations of what's already been directly experienced, sometimes with added commentary, opinion etc to protect, maintain,benefit the illusionary self. They come and go and may well continue to do so for the rest of your life (and my life) but you'll see them for what they are and they'll lose their power and influence.
The thoughts explain the tension and feeling, but sometimes it really seems like the thought is just verbalising information that is already there. Like it's repeating an invisible thought if that makes any sense to you.
Good. You can see, in direct experience, that thoughts are really "afterthoughts" in the sense that they arise after the event or, in any event, aren't directly connected, except in as much as the thought content may be a commentary on the event.
there seems to be a flow from the tension towards the mouth before the thought is verbalized internally.
Good observing, and you can see how the mind constantly labels raw experience.
It just seems to be a thought. I also noticed in a different situation that "I" referred to another thought
So you can see that "I" is only a thought, often followed by another thought that refers to or supports the former. Then opinions or beliefs are formed from that.
Having more and more difficulty finding anything that sticks. Everything seems to be slipping away if you know what I mean
I do know what you mean and it's a clear sign that you're increasingly seeing that there is no self to be found.

So excellent and, as we are on thoughts and thinking, I reckon it would be good now to start our "organised tour" of aspects of direct experience by first of all just going over in a slightly more structured way our look at thoughts and thinking.

Where do thoughts come from?

Are you in control of them?

Can you stop a thought from coming?

Can you stop it in the middle?

Do you know what the next thought will be?

Is "I" a different thought from the thought of say, a table?

Can a thought think?


There's no rush, so take your time and examine all of this closely. Just wait for thoughts to come and see what you notice.
I'm spending a lot of time with checking my spelling as I'm not a native english speaker. I know it's kind of rude not to write properly but would you be ok with me just writing and not checking? I'm sure you would still understand me.
Your English is so good that I hadn't even realised that it's not your first language, so no worries even if you don't do a thorough check. I'll let you know in the unlikely event that I don't understand something. Out of interest, what is your native language?

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Kim S
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Re: This is it

Postby Kim S » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:06 pm

Hey friend. Hope you are doing well!

Here is what I came up with:
Where do thoughts come from?
Nowhere
Are you in control of them?
Not really. See below.
Can you stop a thought from coming?
No, although when looking for them they seem to not come so much and when they do come it's in the form of barely noticeable "whispers".
Can you stop it in the middle?
Yes
Do you know what the next thought will be?
No
Is "I" a different thought from the thought of say, a table?
"I" seems to be there to create me and "table" seems to point to something more concrete although both seem to point to concepts really. But I'll give you that it's a lot easier to find an actual table :)
Can a thought think?
No

I don't feel comfortable saying where I'm from on the public forum, as I believe it will then be easy for people who know me to identify me. I'll send you a PM.

Love /Kim


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