Help with seeing through the notion of my self

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ChrisG
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Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi,
My name is Chris; I am male, 63 years old and have been practicing within a Buddhist context for sixteen years.

In my reading, I have come across Daniel M Ingrams and Jed McKenna who I found helpful in dispelling some views around what awakening is or isn’t. More recently, I was introduced to Liberation Unleashed by a friend and sat down and read through Enlightening Quotes in one session (later realising it is intended for slower and more considered reading!). I felt joy and sadness and occasional bursts of uncontrolled laughter but particularly was drawn by the clarity, the simplicity and a sense of quiet confidence in the writing. I finished the Quotes with a feeling of gratitude towards the writer where often I would find myself with reservations about what I have read.

My commitment to Buddhist practice came around the time my father died. Shortly after his death I experienced an overwhelming anger towards him and within this found myself realising that anger was not a black ball of something somewhere inside me that I had to get rid of but rather arose habitually under certain circumstances. Since then I have continued to experience anger but without the fear and guilt previously associated with it. Recently this experience has come back to me with a sense that the realisation I had then has wider implications for me. If I have expectations around what Liberation Unleashed has to offer they would seem to relate in some way to this.

I hope this will suffice as an introduction and would be grateful if someone wished to engage with me as a guide towards seeing through this notion I currently have of a self.
Many thanks
Chris

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:35 am

Hi Chris :) Thanks for Introducing yourself .. I would like to guide you through this process ..

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:00 am

Before proceeding, I want your agreement on some conditions placed below:

1. Post atleast once a day ( more often if you want ) Or email me if you are not able to.

2. I will ask questions and you answer.... listen
very closely to the answers that arise in you.
Answer to the very best of your ability at that
time.

3. Be committed to this as you would for any meditation or yoga practice. If possible, set aside any spiritual practices and get involved in finding out this illusion through looking at the experience directly.


If you agree to the above, would like to know what are your other expectations to see through the illusion of 'I' and of any concern/fear about that.

Takecare

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:16 am

Thank you, Mary, for offering to guide me. I agree to the conditions above and will get back to you later today with a reply to your query about my expectations, fears and concerns about seeing through the illusion of 'I'.
Thank you for responding so quickly.
Chris

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:57 am

It's my pleasure to guide you :) And post whatever comes up to you with honestly. Between, here are few things that I missed out to mention -

Sometimes this website logs you out while you submit the post. So, make sure you have copied the content elsewhere. And sorry for the inconvenience.

I reside in India (GMT +5:30) .. And you?


Looking forward to hear from you.
Takecare

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:36 am

Ah! I wondered why you were up so early. I live in the UK. I will take care with posting as you suggest.
Chris

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:02 am

Hi Mary

“If you agree to the above, would like to know, what are your other expectations to see through the illusion of 'I' and of any concern/fear about that”

Expectations: To be happy to have gone through this process of seeing through the illusion of ‘I’, otherwise why proceed? There are habits associated with who I am in this world, irritation when someone gets in my way when walking or driving in town, judgments about the people I work with, deeper habits around food and sex; mostly I run with them, sometimes I see the pain in them. I would like to loosen their hold, reduce the pain.

My concern is that in expecting or wanting this I am simply wishing for a happier ‘me’; and the fear I feel is of failure. How can ‘I’ wish to see through the illusion of ‘me’?

As I sit here it is getting very late, I have had a long day and need to get some sleep. I started writing to you, yesterday, feeling bright and positive, able to communicate clearly about myself. Now, I am feeling confused.

Will try and write again tomorrow.

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:08 am

Hello Chris,
I like your honesty. Your expectations are normal and as this journey continues, there is all possibility that your expectations might just disappear, Pufff ....... You never know.

And talking about the feelings that are arising, just let them be. Do not try to suppress it. Just stare at it and see where is it's origin.

So, let's begin by asking:
Who is expecting? What does 'I' or 'Me' point to?

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:33 am

Hi Mary

“Who is expecting? What does 'I' or 'Me' point to?”

When I read this I burst into tears. I am sitting here trying to see “where is the origin” of these feelings of sadness and fear. I cannot see a place they come from. That they come from inside me seems obvious. But where is that? They come from my heart; my chest is constricted so this must be true. But I can feel my heart, have seen my heart in an angiogram; it just beats. The constriction in my chest is an expression of the feeling; not where it comes from. The turmoil of feeling is dying away now and I need to get ready to go to work. What the ‘I’ points to must be where the feelings come from but I can’t see it. I will try to stay in touch with this through the day and write some more this evening.

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:11 pm

“Who is expecting? What does 'I' or 'Me' point to?”

I have been me throughout my life. It appears to be the one constant. ‘I’ doesn't point to the body; the body is not constant, it has changed throughout my life. I own my body, it is my body and ‘I’ am not it. Besides, it does all sorts of weird stuff I don’t control or even understand. A while ago I woke up and my body got out of bed. As it happened I noticed I hadn't decided that it should happen right then, it just did. Since then, most mornings, I try to see how I decide to get out of bed. It really isn’t very clear; there is the doing and there is the deciding and there are thoughts about it but I find it difficult to see how exactly how they all connect.

I realise this is talking about my thoughts and not engaging with my direct experience. The emotions of this morning were quite strong and now I feel rather empty and perhaps not so engaged. And it is getting late and I think I will continue with this tomorrow. I am asking my work colleagues if I can work a little less for a while.

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:34 am

Yes, I first ask people to tell me what does 'I' point to because it shows me what they consider this 'I' to be, which helps me to give the pointer that eliminates the belief they are holding, to ultimately realise the illusion of 'I'.

You told me 'I' is not the body. That's good. So, it must be clear to you that Chris is not 'you',it's just a story having past, present and future, since Chris is just a name given to the body!

Here comes the main part which you're looking forward to, 'Direct experience'.. I will ask you to do some exercise, give me answers that arise out of your experience and not the thoughts.. Ok? :)


Lie down and put on some loud music. Just be there, relaxing. Is there a hearer or is hearing just happening? Can this hearer be found in direct experience? Do not look for an answer as to who is listening. These are just thoughts. Report me what happens in DE(Direct experience)

Takecare

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:40 am

There is sound in experience. It is as simple as that. When I get up to dance there is just body moving to the sound.

There are also tears and some tensing in the body.

Thank you

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:42 am

That's a very good start :) Let's get to the next question..

Can you SEE your heart at this moment? If I ask you to locate your heart, look at the thoughts that arises and also the hand that tries to locate it... And what makes it 'your' heart? Isn't it thoughts again?

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ChrisG
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby ChrisG » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:35 pm

“Can you SEE your heart at this moment? If I ask you to locate your heart, look at the thoughts that arise and also the hand that tries to locate it... And what makes it 'your' heart? Isn't it thoughts again?”

I place my hand over my heart. Thoughts arise: ‘how easy it is to place my hand over my heart’, ‘how comforting to do so’, ‘the heart is the centre of my being’. The hand on my heart seems to physically confirm its existence.

But no, at this moment, I cannot see my heart or feel it or hear it. There is nothing in my present experience to suggest it exists except for the thought of it. However, that thought seems to be buttressed by other earlier thoughts, even knowledge from reading books about the heart or the experience of seeing another person’s heart on the dissection table. Yet even this, at this moment, is nothing but thoughts as memory. And my heart as the centre of my being, as the source of love and compassion? This can only be thoughts as concepts, beautiful, perhaps helpful but essentially no more than thoughts.

In my direct experience I can neither locate nor grasp a heart.

And what makes it ‘mine’? I guess the thought of it is attractive.

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Mary Asha
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Re: Help with seeing through the notion of my self

Postby Mary Asha » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:34 am

Hello Chris,
Let's take some of your statements and interrogate it.

I place my hand over my heart. Thoughts arise:
‘how easy it is to place my hand over my
heart’, ‘how comforting to do so’, ‘the heart is
the centre of my being’. The hand on my heart
seems to physically confirm its existence.
Was there a 'you' placing your hand or did hand just move?

Think of set of random numbers at this moment.
Do they come up in your head as '7!' '42!' '56!'
Or do they come up as 'I know 7', 'I know 42', 'I know 56' ?

Take a look at your thoughts. Do they come
from 'you'? Where do they come from?

And what makes it ‘mine’? I guess the thought
of it is attractive.
LOOK, Is there is a 'you' guessing that? Can thought think?


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