Looking for clarification and guidance

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misha
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Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:26 am

Hi,
My name is Misha.

-How did you wake up? What happened?
Last week I came from a meditation retreat ( I practice Vipassana for 2 years ). I was a bit frustrated and went back to my seeking routine : ) . Also during the retreat I have decided to save some money and go for a spiritual journey to South East Asia...
But then I stumbled on Elena and Ilona interview in the "Buddha at the gas pump" and something made sense.
So I started to read the book and something clicked. I am going through the application right now...it is really nice.

-What changed? What is different after seeing through the illusion?
There is a feeling of freedom.. like something has lifted.. doubt comes and goes, fear of freedom comes and goes.. there is still lots of traction but things eventually pass through much easier than before.

-What is the self?
Self is something that arises and passes away. it feeds on thoughts, feelings, emotions.. It comes and goes by itself in a way..It's a construction..Its hard to describe it...

-How would you explain this to someone who is interested in this, but not yet familiar with the topic?
It would be had to explain : ) I would say that self claims everything that arises in the body and the mind. And one can not run from it but should see it's nature instead.
For example: A story only exists when there are people who pass it through from generation to generation. Self is this story, it passes from thoughts to felling to emotions and so on again and again...

-What brings you to this forum?
at this time there is a need to share my experiences and get guidance

Thank you !

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:49 am

Hello Misha, welcome.

Was there ever a self that needed to be seen through?

Was there a tipping point? A feeling or seeing that pushed 'you' over?

You say 'self . . . comes and goes by itself' -- that it 'feeds on thoughts, feelings, emotions'. This sounds like 'self' is some 'thing' separate from thoughts, feelings, emotions -- is this how you see it? If there is no self, what is it, exactly, that comes and goes? Can you look again into your experience and say more about this.

Thanks!
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:58 pm

Thank you for your quick reply!

The self did not need to be seen through. It is a construction an imagination so it never exist the same way the body exists, the sensations exist, the thoughts exist. It's not something I can point at...and when I finally tried to point at it or find it, I did not find anything. I see self as a construction that goes together with thought, feelings, emotions. It is not very clear to me and because of that it's hard to describe it. Also because it's not very clear to me doubt arises. Maybe I should wait a little and see how things unfold.

I guess the tipping point was when I was watching the interview with Elena and Ilona and their seeker description ( the people that come to them, their own lives) matched my description...they also talked about how relaxation helped them to see it and I think it helped me too. Then I just read some questions from the book and suddenly something was lifted… something was realized and I started looking at things differently. I wanted to cry and sometimes to laugh..
But I don't have a clear memory of how exactly it happened.
Yesterday I went to a park for a walk and ended walking for several hours because it was so wonderful to look at things at present moment.. but at the same time I get tense and have a hard time falling a sleep because I am so aware of all the tensions that are build up through the day.
But the best thing is how everything passes through much quicker and new understanding and compassion for other people ( even thought I have managed to snap at my mom already ).

Everything is so new to me ( even thought nothing has changed ) and it's so confusing when I try to explain it...

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:19 am

Hello Misha, thank you for explaining your experience in more detail. Yes it can be confusing at first -- especially when doubts arise, even when it is seen that there is no-one experiencing doubt! Relaxation is a key point -- whatever is happening is going to happen anyway as there is no "you" in control -- so just continue to be aware of what comes up and allow whatever is there to pass by.

I'm going to give you a few more questions, please answer them from your direct experience of the past few days (as opposed to answer them intelectually). Then I'll ask some other guides to have a look and they may ask you for a bit more background. We have some post-gate forums where people who have seen through self-view can share and discuss and I'm sure you'll find them useful. So here goes:

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 saw through self-view? 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
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:55 am

I feel like having a taste of no-self being and then I am back to the self, me, I mode and then another taste of no-self being and back to self, me, I mode of being.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No there is no separate entity 'self' 'me' 'I' .. never was. Just seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling .. being aware.

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.

Right now - thought about not understanding how to answer this question arises. My conditioning starting from school arises of how I was always bad at school and bad explaining things. Fear of not being able to explain something again, feeling of “poor ME” (with all the conditioning) arises.

Right now - Thought arises “Maybe I am not quite there...” conditioning of the long path and expectations of the enlightenment arises.

Right now - sound of door opening . Thought “MY brother went out.” Conditioning related to MY relationship with him and emotional reaction arise.

Right now - thought arises : “I should impress to look good “
.
Right now – doubt arises and the story of myself with it.

So this self is when a thought arises with labels to put yet another label on another experience.
A label of good, bad, and so on.

..I need some time to answer this question properly.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you saw through self-view? Please report from the past few days.

There is more clarity in everything.. time is less relevant and sense of time is different in general.. less fear : ) ...less stress about problems in life and more energy to fix these problems... more enjoyment/appreciation of people and nature... more awareness... more relaxation.. more faith...thoughts about what's next ( possibilities to enjoy life and help others)... doubt about all of this... constant looking for “self” … or “self' looking for itself.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I was a bit frustrated in my spiritual search. Just returned from a retreat in a monastery where I was a bit disappointed with my search but nevertheless decided to save some money and go for a spiritual journey.. because I felt stuck. I don't remember what exactly pushed me over ..I just remember an input of energy and belief that this is something important, doubt disappeared..

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything
happen? Give examples from your experience.
No, I don't decide , intend, choose or control anything that happens by itself … because there is no “I” . there is no one to decide , choose, control ..
If I was to decide anything I would decide to fall asleep . But there is no I to decide something like that and there is no one to force me to sleep. People struggle so much when they can't fall asleep because so much thoughts arises of how inconvenient it is for THEM and how cranky THEY are going to be the next day. But I cant sleep and feel relatively fine about it because there is not much that can be done about it. And this realization itself only helps to relax a fall asleep without involvement of “self”.

6) Anything to add
Thinking to call people and tell them . But then doubt arises that I will not be able to explain or doubt in general about the whole thing.

Basically lots of doubt ( but much less than before, I even remember my teacher in 5th grade wishing me to be less doubtful).

Sorry for lousy grammar and style. Thank you for doing this !

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:27 am

Hello Misha, I've had a chat with other guides and we think it would be really helpful for you to discuss further with me these issues around doubt so we suggest moving this thread over to the 'Guiding' section where we can look at this together. Is this OK with you?

kind regards,

Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:39 pm

Hi Mark
Of course it ok with me. I greatly appreciate what you do here.
Thank you for that.
Should I start I new thread in the Guiding section or continue here?

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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:08 pm

Hi Misha, I'll get an admin to move the thread over to Guiding so we can keep everything in one place. I'll write more later today so please check back (in both places as it may take a little while to move the thread). thanks.

Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:15 am

Hi Misha here is a short video by Adyashanti on how you can't have a continuing "A ha!" moment after seeing through no self. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLQD90La ... e=youtu.be

Please consider this question: what is it that is causing you confusion at the moment -- the fact that doubts about your experience still arise or the belief that they should not be arising?

kind regards,

Mark
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:15 am

Hi Mark, thank you for your hard work and thank you for that video. It gave me a sense of direction. Today I am lost all day in different stories of me and a new story came out of me being like that guy in the Matrix movie that wanted to go back to the Matrix and not remember anything. I recognize fear in that story..and unwillingness of the mind to see. when it's all quite nice it's much easy to let go... but letting go during stressful times is harder because so many stories of me are involved that are hard to swallow.

To answer your question:
I guess my confusion is the belief that it should not be arising because there are still lot's expectations and I observed some of them today.

I seem to be more destructive or more aware of my unskillful conditionings and how these conditionings are passed on to my next self and people around me.
From what I understand the stories are not going to go away just yet. But the skillful stories will stay and the unskillful stories will go with time.. until time comes and all the stories will go.
So one of the expectation is that it's going to be sudden, bypassing the reality of this moment : )
And my whole spiritual path is used to bypass what is happening now.
And same habit to bypass present moment is operating in the same way right now.

Just by reading what I wrote here it seems that I am back to seeking itself (maybe I was never through )
Which brings me to another expectation. The expectation that the seeking itself will never come back.

Just one more expectation : expectation of liberation of the heart ( compassion, loving-friendliness ..)

sorry for writing so much.

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Jack'n'theBox
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:29 am

Hello Misha, can you explain a bit more what is going on with you?

What do you mean by 'stories' exactly? Are you talking about mental narratives and the emotional responses they trigger?

What is it that gets 'lost' in these stories? Is there anything outside the stream of thoughts/sensations/feelings that can be lost or found?

Is there anything (a self?) that can control the stories that the mind comes up with? Is it that the stories occur that is the problem -- or rather, that some 'thing' still identifies with or believes in these stories?

Can you think of the stories as a kind of 'mind weather'? They blow through awareness on the way to somewhere else. Do you need to pay attention to them? Do they have any agency? Does the storm bother the sky?
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:53 am

Hi Mark,
--What do you mean by 'stories' exactly? Are you talking about mental narratives and the emotional responses they trigger?
Yes I was talking about mental narratives .

--What is it that gets 'lost' in these stories?
The self is getting lost in the mental narrative when it's trying to understand itself.

--Is there anything outside the stream of thoughts/sensations/feelings that can be lost or found?
Yes, there is the stream of thoughts/sensations/feelings but the self arises with some of these thoughts/sensations/feelings. For example if I talk to someone I know – memories surface, past judgments surface, past conditionings surface.
I will try to answer this tomorrow.

--Is there anything (a self?) that can control the stories that the mind comes up with?
There is nothing that can control the mental narratives. If left alone this narrative arises and goes away. If the mind doesn't let go it grows and multiplies into a more complicated narrative.

--Is it that the stories occur that is the problem -- or rather, that some 'thing' still identifies with or believes in these stories?
Yes something is still believing in the the mental narrative. Something is still seeking.. there are brakes of stillness but only due to breaks in the mental chattering …

--Can you think of the stories as a kind of 'mind weather'? They blow through awareness on the way to somewhere else. Do you need to pay attention to them? Do they have any agency? Does the storm bother the sky?
Today the “mind weather” is not so crazy. There is almost no doubt and no fear ( strangely , I faced the fear in a vivid dream which woke me up to see that my fear is an illusion of the mind).
There is more clarity but also more chasing and strangling which really got me tired to the point the body took control of the crazy mind forcing it to relax.

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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby Jack'n'theBox » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:39 am

Hi Misha this seems to me the root problem:
Is it that the stories occur that is the problem -- or rather, that some 'thing' still identifies with or believes in these stories?
Yes something is still believing in the the mental narrative. Something is still seeking.. there are brakes of stillness but only due to breaks in the mental chattering …
It is possible to a have a glimpse of no-self but for residual habits and patterns of 'selfing' to reassert themselves but once the self has really been seen as an illusion, doubts may arise but there is no 'thing' to which they can stick or which can 'believe' them. My suggestion is that we go through a guiding session starting from point zero -- put aside any ideas or expectations -- and start to look with fresh eyes at the question "Is there or has there ever been a 'self' behind my thought and actions?" If you are OK with this, let's start.

At LU we ask clients to investigate their Direct Experience (DE) -- this means the bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts that arise in awareness -- and see if they can find any kind of self or me that is 'experiencing' these phenomena. Let's start with sensations:

Try this exercise. Sit in a chair and bring awareness to all the contact points your body has with the chair and the floor. Feel the sense of pressure in your feet, move up to the pressure in the backside and the back. Close your eyes and focus just on the raw experience – ignore the ‘inner picture’ that has constructed the experience as ‘my body sitting in a chair’. Can you feel where the body ends and floor/chair begins or is the experience itself seamless? Without using thought – before thought intervenes – what is the nature of the experience? Where is the experience taking place? What are its qualities? When thought tries to intervene, just drop it and return awareness to the raw experience. Report back what you find.
People see it far away. What a pity! They are like a man who, standing in water, complains of thirst -- Hakuin

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:16 pm

Starting from the beginning sounds great to me. Thanks for that.
I will post tonight my report from the sensation exercise.

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misha
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Re: Looking for clarification and guidance

Postby misha » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:09 am

Hi Mark,
Here is the result of the experiment:
As I sat down on a cushion there was a clear awareness of the sensations with a clear distinction of where the body ends and the cushion begins. As the mind/body began to calm down into stillness and silence the awareness of the body boundary started to be less clear. At times when I was focusing on individual sensations, there was no boundary or even a place where the sensation is coming from . it was just sensation.


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