Hey Kevalino this is your thread

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Mad biker
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Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:46 pm

Hey Kevalino this is your thread

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Kevalino
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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:43 am

Hi Mad Biker,
I'm here and ready to go. Thanks for agreeing to take me on. Kevalino

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:27 am

OK that's fine we are all linked up.
I will be back to you later today.

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:29 pm

OK, lets get the formalities out of the way :

If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we
shall begin.

There are a few ground rules, please respond to confirm:
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”

Also a couple of very mundane points...

1. You might find it helpful to click the 'subscribe topic' link at the bottom of the page, so you know when I post a reply
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


Please could you introduce yourself a little, particularly:

* what brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
* what do you hope to get out of the journey?
* what would you expect it to be like if you are successful?
Be as expansive as you want, hey just cut loose! But give me fully written, complete sentences in plain English with no abbreviations and little, or better still, no slang terms or figures of speech, as the all of the latter can impede comprehension. For the same reason it can be worth leaving aside idiosyncratic humour. I like a laugh like the best of them but the limitations of this medium are such that all of the above can slow things down in the comprehension department!
No let's go!
With much warmth.
Mb

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Kevalino
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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:32 am

Hi Mad Biker,

I am responding with an affirmative to everything you have asked me to confirm in your previous post.

A little about me - I started practicing in the Buddhist tradition about 7 years ago when I had an experience that completely changed my life. I was unrecognizable when I came home. Comments like, “Who is that woman in Kevalino’s shoes?”, “You were so fucking tight!”, and “It won’t last (meaning the changes in me)” abounded. My husband at the time actually said he would have been less surprised if I had come home and told him “Aliens abducted me and now I am a lesbian.” This should give you a good idea of how I manifested prior to that experience.

In essence, I swallowed the red pill seven years ago to wake up and see how deep the rabbit holes goes. Since then, just about everything in my life revolves in some way or another around the spiritual path. I have a demanding career in healthcare, teach meditation and Buddhism, go on retreat 6-8 weeks a year, practice Reiki and yoga, blah, blah, blah.

I came to Liberation Unleashed (LU) when a friend told me about the website last month. Before I go on about that, though, I think some background will be helpful. I just came back from a long retreat all about direct pointing to see through self. I arrived determined to do just this. The retreat had another primary purpose for me, but that was secondary. I was determined to see through self and was there for one thing only - insight. I threw myself into practice and about halfway through, hit a wall of confusion, restlessness and anxiety. I tried doing “nothing” (like lying in my hammock all day), but that still felt like I was doing “something.” My teacher encouraged me to welcome confusion and to stay with the unfolding process. I wrote in my journal on July 4th:

“This deep longing in my heart and confusion as to how to proceed. Making effort and diving into practice, which has been the habitual tendency, no longer seems to be what is needed right now. It feels like I am now getting in the way. Something higher and bigger is calling me to let go and surrender, but I don’t know how. I feel my body knows and is trying to tell me something, but I am resisting. I feel stuck in this tension with no way out. I know intellectually it is not ‘me’ making everything happen and that this is just a mental holding pattern of thought.”

In a meeting with my teacher that day, I just broke down an wept uncontrollably. The tension and longing to awaken was just too unbearable at that moment. When I stopped and looked up, all she said was, “There’s nothing wrong.”

That afternoon, something broke loose. I can’t explain it and don’t feel the need to. All I can say is my body finally let go and I knew I had surrendered to that something. I knew that my life, from that day forward, was not my own, And, it never was. I was not in control. It was pure relief and joy. This was not an intellectual knowledge. It was a true knowing that was accompanied by deep love and care for others - the kind of love that makes your heart hurt when you take someone in.

Something fundamental shifted that day, but I can’t explain it in words. A few weeks later and a week after the retreat ended, I had a horrible experience. Some old conditioning and patterns were triggered and came back with a vengeance. I could not sleep that night. I was in pain and my mind would not stop. Energy sensations were shooting through my body. Shame, doubt and a host of other afflictive emotions rained down upon me. I even had thoughts of leaving my spiritual community and going out on my own. I must have finally fallen asleep at some point in the early morning hours. When I got up, all I could think of was WTF was that. I was really down, perplexed and drained.

This is where my friend and LU comes in. We happened to have dinner that night. It was very fortuitous that we met because he was leaving the next morning. He helped me make sense of that experience and told me about LU.

There have been more shifts since that night that still seem to be unfolding. I suppose what brings me to LU is to know whether I have seen through self. I resonate with much of what I read in the Gateless Gatecrashers about expecting some big bang and fireworks to go off when one sees through self. That is what I expected too, but it hasn’t been like that for me. Ilona is also very clear that there is no doubt once one has seen through. I wonder if I have seen through, but I have doubt. So, maybe not.

What I want to get out of this journey is clear and unequivocal knowledge that I have seen through the illusion of self. If I am successful, what I expect it would be like is perhaps how I felt as kid when I found out Santa Claus wasn’t real. I was angry at my parents for days and then life became rather ordinary again, but I now had new knowledge that changed my world.

Thanks,
Kevalino

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:40 am

Heavens, that is a really lovely read Kevalino!
I have no doubt that you are going to absolutely stroll through this process.
To make things easier for me though, I just want to start with my usual basic openers to get us lined up for that nice stroll together.
If you are using an iphone I ask you to just stop reading right now and wait till you are back home in a room with no other humans present, pets are fine.

So, as you sit there in front of your screen, I want to first ask you to move towards a bit of general awareness by attending to your next six breaths. I am not asking for any deep absorbtion just a relative calm, and a relative leaving behind of what you were last doing, a relative sense that we are about to enter into an enquiry in a spirit of openess and kindly awareness together.

Tell me your response to this statement: You have no self and never have had a self at any time.

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:38 am

I noticed slight nervousness as I started reading your reply. When I read the statement, “You have no self and never had a self at any time,” my body immediately responded with tingly energetic sensations in my chest, abdomen, arms. The sensations lasted for the whole 30-40 minutes that I sat with the statement. The sensations are similar to those I experience with fear. However, while my body responded, I did not feel or sense any particular mental or emotional response. I trust my body and find it often knows more than my head, so something was definitely going on.

As I continued to sit, I noticed a subtle resistance and some distraction. It felt awfully familiar, and then I realized it was very similar to what I experienced on my recent retreat. I noticed a question arise in my mind - “What are the implications of this?” There were no answers, but only that subtle resistance in the background.

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:21 am

I noticed slight nervousness as I started reading your reply. When I read the statement, “You have no self and never had a self at any time,” my body immediately responded with tingly energetic sensations in my chest, abdomen, arms.
I tend to see it as a good sign when this kind of response comes up to that question. It is almost as though the old socially constructed 'self' starts to think; "Gulp! this is the beginning of the end for me!" While at the same time the good old body begins to take a look and recognises our true human heritage and thinks: "Yippee! I am now on my way!"

But that is rushing ahead, let's just go gently in stages
As I continued to sit, I noticed a subtle resistance and some distraction. It felt awfully familiar, and then I realized it was very similar to what I experienced on my recent retreat. I noticed a question arise in my mind - “What are the implications of this?” There were no answers, but only that subtle resistance in the background.
A subtle resistance in the background is just fine too. As for "implications", none of us have regretted going through the Gate.

OK Let's go:
Just settle in with some breathing, Six breaths or so, no big deal concentration just a relatively kindly presence.
Are your thoughts you? Can you find a 'self' anywhere there?

Exercise:
Say to yourself; "Right I am just going to think a thought right now" then just go ahead and think it... What happens when you do this exercise?

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:10 am

Nice stroll together? I’m not so sure. It seems like there might be some kicking and screaming. When I read your instructions, I noticed immediate resistance. I just didn’t want to reflect on your questions or do the exercise. I found myself thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I know I am not my thoughts and they arise from nowhere. I saw this on the retreat when we engaged in similar exploration.”

However, while this resistance is present and it may seem I’m not being very receptive, there is also a deep trust in this process, and a desire to engage in this work. I hope you’ll bear with me and trust this paradox yourself.

So, I sat down on my cushion. After some quiet time, I felt the urge to talk to myself out loud. I found myself saying, “I know you don’t like these fucking exercises and think you know. Give it a chance. Give it a chance.” That seemed to be what was needed for me to get on with it.

I looked, and no, I am not my thoughts, nor could I find a self anywhere there. All thoughts just arise and cease. When I identify around a thought or grasp on to it, that’s when I feel a sense of contraction and solidity that is mistaken for an “I” because it is so familiar and comfortable (the mental holding pattern).

It was the exercise that generated a “holy shit.” What I saw is that it’s impossible to make myself think a thought. I thought it was possible initially, but when I looked closer, even the thought I was going to make myself think arises from nowhere. I don’t control any of my thoughts. The bodily sensations came back at the point I saw all this.

My question for you is where does volition fit in this picture?

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:25 pm

Ho, ho, ho!
Kicking and screaming is fine too BTW!
Looks very good and very on track. A proper fuller reply to this one is coming later.

Meanwhile let's go for the body: Take a look at Reginald Ray's 'Touching Enlightenment' righ now. If you have already read it then just refresh yourself with the Introduction and opening chapter as, like all decent Academics he will have summed up the whole book in those two pieces. More about this bit later too. My Teabreak is over and I am now back to work; back to your screen circa six-ish pm UK time.

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:05 pm

I will get along to volitions in good time.
Meanwhile;

Kevalino said;"The bodily sensations came back at the point I saw all this."


Please expand on this and tell me which bodily sensations came back and tell me what your response to that was like?

OK Just settle there now in your seat and notice the arisal and departure of your six breaths before reading on.

Regarding the main thrust of your text: Yes we all know a lot, many a teacher says we already know all we need to know from the first five verses of the Dhammapada, and I think that is quite right! But let's do 'Beginners Mind' here OK? Because sometimes what we know can get in the way.

You know how when you are teaching the Beginners Mind concept to a class, you can start to access it again yourself? So, OK I just want to ask that of you for the duration of our enquiry.

Let's just get back to basics with breathing and body and all that nice stuff because a major major item that I cannot sufficiently emphasise the importance of is that of 'letting go'. Just LETTING GO into an openness with a clarity and sensitivity. Do not be upset if I say this again at any point it is really unbelievably central. I call it 'unbelievably central' simply because folk rarely believe just how central relaxing really is. They too often think;

"Oh yeah, yeah, I know relaxing, calm, blah blah etc, but when does the real shooting through the Cosmos begin!?"

There is a relatively easily accessed way of doing this: The lovely thing about the body is that we can just use it as a handy barometer for calming down relaxing and letting go. We can help to shake off our grabby-ness by just noticing that impatience, and breathing into it.

(Now that I am home, I took another look at Reggie Ray and his first three chapters comes to only 12 pages so by all means just batter through the lot! If you don't have a copy just Kindle it as it is a very readable gem that will not interfere with our work here and you will go back to it again and put others onto it too.)

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:46 am

The bodily sensations were the same as I described before - tingly energetic sensations around my upper body. I didn’t notice much of a response. It was mainly just noticing it and wondering if the body is sensing a threat. There wasn’t any emotionality that I can recall.

Yes, thanks for the reminder about beginner’s mind, coming back to the body and relaxing. Please let me know what Reggie Ray book you are referring to.

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:43 am

Looks like you only opened your final feed and therefore missed my earlier one from the afternoon? Please check back over as I sometimes send wee orientations to clients during the day too. So, like I said, 'Touching Enlightenment' is the recommended companion tome (and no, I am not on a commission)
The bodily sensations were the same as I described before - tingly energetic sensations around my upper body. I didn’t notice much of a response. It was mainly just noticing it and wondering if the body is sensing a threat. There wasn’t any emotionality that I can recall.
'Tingly energetic sensations' is nice! (If there is a next time, then give it a bit more time and you will start to notice that there actually IS an emotional response to this sort of sensate stuff this but it need not detain us here)

I rarely like it when folk say; 'Just bear with me' but there is almost no way round it with an apparently dumb-ass question like this one:

Do your thoughts ever wander in meditation?
In other words do you ever set out on a particular train of thought (to follow the breathing say) but then your thoughts start thinking something else entirely?

If so, can 'thought' really be seriously believed to be 'you'?

What about the body then? Is 'the body' you?

Just get comfy on the floor there, do your six breaths and notice if the body sometimes does things all by itself that you had not asked it to: Gurgling sounds, heartbeat, breathing? Growing it's hair and nails? I mean WTF is THAT all about? It is costing us serious time and money to attend to all that grooming when most of us would rather just stick with the current hair and nail length! And while we are at this aspect of enquiry, how many of us would actually choose to get smelly?

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Kevalino » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:21 am

Thanks for referring me back to Reggie Ray. That book had a big impact on me when I read it a couple years ago. I enjoyed coming back to it, and the reminder that we can only touch enlightenment with the body.

I also appreciate the tip to investigate the sensation further for its emotional undertone. I found that helpful. I was overlooking it due to the absence of obvious, strong emotions accompanying the sensations. It’s very subtle, but it’s there.

Ok, I’ve used “bear with me” once and you’ve used it once, so let’s just agree not to use those three words again for the duration of this inquiry.

To answer your first question (the dumb-ass one), yes, this happens during meditation, and often at the moment. I’ve also been curious about how this happens off the cushion as well. I may drop off a load of laundry in my bedroom, intending to begin folding the clothes. However, as soon as I put the load down, I turn around and water my plants instead. Or, I’m lying down, and then “make the decision” to get up. Or, I’m looking around the room and noticing how the decision is made to look at one thing or another. Sometimes it seems like a thought comes first and then I’ll look. At other times, it feels almost instantaneous, as if it’s just happening. In either case, it arises out of nowhere.

Same with the body. If it’s all just happening, then there’s no one behind the wheel, is there?

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Re: Hey Kevalino this is your thread

Postby Mad biker » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Ok, I’ve used “bear with me” once and you’ve used it once, so let’s just agree not to use those three words again for the duration of this inquiry.
Love it!!!
Same with the body. If it’s all just happening, then there’s no one behind the wheel, is there?
Mmm! Well let's just see.

I am going to regularly be asking you to 'just look', and regularly use the expression 'Direct Experience'. (The former is usually a mere abbreviation of the latter)

So before going any further and just to make sure we both continue on the same page as we have been doing so far; I want to ask you to download and digest a document from the articles section of the LU Homepage by Neil Jalahadeen entitled: 'Direct Experience' where he gives a decent definition of what is meant by that term. So just give that a look right now.

Now do your few breaths just sitting there in your seat at your ease.

OK, when you look at something right now, let's say the top right hand corner of your monitor, is there an actual seer seeing it? Or is there instead just that which is actually seen?

When you hear something now, just sitting there, perhaps it is the wind or your monitor fan or traffic sounds, is there an actual hearer or is there instead simply that which is heard?

That taste in your mouth right now, is there a taster tasting it? Or is there instead simply this taste itself?

Get back to me addressing these questions from the perspective of your Direct Experience.


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