requesting a guide

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journeygirl
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Location: Phoenix

requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:52 pm

Hello,

I live in Phoenix, Arizona and have been practicing meditation for a few years with the Shambhala center and participating in their path. But then I bumped into Adyashanti on Youtube and have been obsessed with truth ever since. I've been reading the Gateless Gate and feel more drawn to truth than ever. I'm a little freaked out and excited but at the same time I know there is no me (at least intellectually). I'm in recovery for 19 years after a very painful bottom of IV drug use and homelessness. In that time, there has been a lot of detangling of trauma, concepts and beliefs but I would love your guidance.... In fact, I've been saying "I need a guide" out loud for weeks... and then life found this site.

I humbly ask for guidance.

Peace and love,
Nancy

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:05 am

Below is more about my experience-


I read the gateless gate yesterday and it inspired me to practice inquiry—I had an interesting experience --nothing earth shattering but it was more than my mind…. I was in yoga and I was inquiring as to where ”the me” was… I couldn’t find me! It wasn’t my hands, my mind, my feet, my stretch, my pain, my heart, or anything that I could pin point. The mind started wondering and it tempted “the me” to look at the other participants and compare my poses with theirs. I looked over at the woman next to me and was taken aback when realizing we are the same thing! If I don’t have an ‘I” and she doesn’t have an “I” than we must be the same thing. Which is??? I don’t know… but it isn’t a somebody. I suddenly had a great deal of compassion when I felt our sameness….and then a feeling that spoke that since we are the same why would I ever want to compete with or feel less than?… or more than?… It was interesting… it’s a new little knowing that seemed to be fleeting… I found myself wanting to hold on to this… I didn’t want to forget it or lose it… and now it’s back in my head.

I’ve also had some vibrations in my body. I don’t know what or if it has to do with the tea in China.

Today I kept checking back to the request page and noticed views without any offers to guide. I would start to make up stories and theories about what was wrong with my request and then would giggle at my ego and how very clever it is. I relaxed quickly and knew it’s fine… nothing wrong..

I am going to an Adyashanti silent retreat on Sunday so I wouldn’t be able to post every day anyway until I came back on Friday. I just wanted to get a head start.

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Steve
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Location: Arizona, U.S.

Re: requesting a guide

Postby Steve » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:33 am

Hello, Nancy. Welcome to Liberation Unleashed! I will guide you if you like. Thanks for introducing yourself and describing your experience. (I live in Tucson, by the way, right down the road.)

There are a few formalities to take care of. If you haven't already, please read the Disclaimer and watch the short video on the LU home page.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start. Please confirm that you agree.

1. You agree to post at least once a day, time permitting. (If you can't respond fully on a given day, a few words to let me know you're still engaged would be appreciated.)

2. I will post questions, which prompt your investigation and answers. (I'm here to guide, not to teach.)

3. When you answer/report, please do so with 110% honesty.

4. And when you do answer, please answer from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are not needed 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.

5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this journey. Really commit to begin looking for this separate self, this "I"; look for what is the experience throughout the day as this looking happens. Since you're planning a retreat next week, of course that's okay. And if you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's fine to continue that. And it's great to keep reading threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.

Here are a couple of notes about posting in this forum.

1. Learn to use the quote function. There are instructions in this post.

2. The forum can log you out without warning. If you're typing a post directly in the edit box here, and you get logged out before you click Submit, your words can get lost. There are two ways to avoid this. One, use the Preview button frequently. That will keep you logged in. Or two, type your responses in a separate program like Notepad first, then copy and paste them into the forum. (But that way you don't get to use the quote function and have to use BBCode to highlight quotes.)

We can get started as soon as you confirm that you've seen all the above and agree to it.

With Love,
Steve

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:03 pm

Hello Steve,

Yes, I've watched the video and read the disclaimer and I agree to everything.

Thank you for taking the time to guide me... I'm already getting caught up on using the words "I and me" when I write...any suggestions?

Peace and love--
Nancy

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Steve
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Location: Arizona, U.S.

Re: requesting a guide

Postby Steve » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:14 pm

Hi, Nancy. Very good. It's my pleasure!
I'm already getting caught up on using the words "I and me" when I write...any suggestions?
Yes: Don't worry about it! Write and speak naturally without trying to censor yourself. Your concept of those words will be changing anyway -- perhaps very rapidly. It would be a real conversation-stopper if you had to explain exactly what you meant each time you used one! :) There are no "no-self" language police here.

Let's start by exposing your expectations. Be complete. Bring out all the thought stories about a different, better future. This may be the only time I'll ask you to report thought stories. Take advantage of it. :)

What do you expect from this conversation?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

With Love,
Steve

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi Steve,

The things running through my head

…first thing I was compelled to tell you about all the great things I have accomplished in my life… how far I’ve come in life blah, blah

and then my head starts saying that waking up will make me not care about what people think and will be able to do sales and make lots of money” and many thoughts about how this is going to make me a better person and I won’t need anyone anymore.

And other thoughts are, “are you kidding, you cannot awaken… who do you think you are? This cannot happen to someone like you”. I just notice these thoughts and move on.

Then I start thinking about how you got a hard case… how you got stuck with the difficult women that lives in her head and that you are begrudgingly guiding me because nobody else wants to… then trying to talk myself out of really believing that thought.... my upper body feels shaky inside and anxious -- a sort of scary vibration happens in my upper body when I believed that thought.

I often notice my hands have an energy happening too but it isn’t scary. I especially notice this while in meditation.

In a 30 minute meditation today I noticed thoughts and the sense that I’m not doing this correctly… I asked, “who’s not doing this correctly”? I looked and couldn’t find a who… but I found a head that was saying it. There were lots of vibrations (tingling sensations) in my upper body, which was loose and relaxed. My lower body was tighter so nothing noticeable there. Thoughts came and went without belief in them. My eyes were shut and I noticed movement and color behind my eyelids and steady vibration (like a motor) in my pelvic area.

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:21 pm

I did not see your reply when I wrote the previous post. I just getting it now. I'll be back in a few with your questions answered.

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:03 pm

Interestingly I answered some of your questions before I got your message in the previous posting. The story-maker upper doesn’t have a lot of pull these days (at least with this subject).

What do you expect from this conversation? I expect you to ask questions that will guide me through an investigation of sorts… where I will be able to see the truth.
I expect to have some sort of change occur where I’ll be able to “know” we are all one… I already know this but it will be on a deeper level… a knowing. I won’t feel the need to hang on to it or I’ll lose it. I think fear will leave me and I’ll know how to navigate through this world – I’ll fight with myself less. I’ll be more intuitive when helping people. I’ll suffer less. I feel open and willing to accept whatever happens. I’m a little concerned that I’ll be lonely—but I know that’s a story. It seems so few people want this path… I’ve cut through much of the lonely bullshit story—although there is a desire for a relationship. It’s lessoned over the last few years… now it feels more like a habit of wanting rather than an actual longing.

What is it that you are searching for?
I’ve always wanted to know why we are here. And what the Universe is and how it all fits together…. Where do I fit together with it. I knew coming out of the shoot that my father’s religion just couldn’t be true. I’ve questioned everything my whole life… except while on drugs.. then I was oblivious. I’m searching for the truth. Plain and simple. I want to be more effective in helping others and not have fear… about what I should or shouldn’t do. Self – Doubt is a mother f… I’m searching for direction—not to fulfill some grandiose passion… (been there done that)… just how to relax with what is and know (really know) I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I want to lose the struggle ---


How will you know that you found it?

I really don’t know how I’ll know. Maybe it will just be a knowing or maybe you’ll be able to tell me. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know much about a lot of things.

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Steve
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Steve » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:48 am

Hi, Nancy. Nice! Yes, what you wrote earlier did address some of the questions from a different perspective.

It's important to get expectations out into the open. The ones you wrote about in the latest post are mostly common and fairly benign, but I have to tell you (consider this an extension of the Disclaimer) that there are absolutely no rules about what happens as a result of this dialogue. Each one responds uniquely in his or her own way and time. All we offer is a framework and guidance for your own inquiry.

So now that the expectations are on the table, discard them as much as possible. We may have to revisit some of them later, and that's fine. Or we may not. The important thing is for you to be open and honest about what you actually observe in your experience. Don't try to make it fit any preconceived ideas.

With that out of the way, you raised an important point in the earlier post. Let's jump in.
I just notice these thoughts and move on.
Excellent strategy! And yet some of them seem a lot "stickier" than others, don't they? That's a big part of what we're going to be examining here.
...trying to talk myself out of really believing that thought...

Thoughts came and went without belief in them.
All right. What's the difference? How do you distinguish between a thought you really believe and one that comes and goes without belief? Look, and report very exactly and in detail, how do you distinguish? What does a thought you really believe look like? Another way of asking is: How can you deconstruct the idea "I really believe such-and-such"?

Here's what I mean by some of this terminology. When I say "look" or "really look," I mean simply looking directly, just as you might look in your pocket to see whether or not your keys are there. It requires no thought or effort. It's just looking. And the kind of report I'm expecting in response is also very simple and direct. For example, "Yes, the keys are in my pocket" or "What I found in my pocket were a house key, an office key, and a bicycle key." Nothing esoteric or spooky. No stories. Very simple.

When I say "deconstruct" I mean dissect into smaller units. This is a way to penetrate a thought story by simplifying it and breaking it into easily seen parts. For example, take the idea "I'm typing on this keyboard and watching the words appear on the monitor screen." Here's a sample deconstruction:

(1) Noticing a feeling sensation.
(2) Noticing thought that it's fingers striking the keyboard.
(3) Noticing shapes/colors appearing.
(4) Noticing thought labeling "monitor screen."
(5) Noticing thought interpreting shapes as letters and words.
(6) Noticing thought "These words express something I'm communicating."

Not especially penetrating, but you get the idea. :)

So. Refer back to the questions. What's the exact difference between a thought you believe in and one that you don't? Look!

With Love,
Steve

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:58 am

I have a tendency to believe thoughts that say I'm in danger. Like I'm losing something important- I believe thoughts that say that someone has wronged me… especially when I think s/he did it on purpose. When it doesn’t fit with the image I want for myself i.e., disrespectful, condescending tone, apathetic, unapologetic --like they know I'm a fraud - I become a victim to these thoughts

Tightness in chest, lumpy throat, burning throat
Thought: that something is wrong
Thought: Someone is trying to hurt me
Thought: this is not right
Thought: I’m going to be effected in a negative way
Thought: I must fix it
Thought: I must act and expose the problem
I feel helpless

Thoughts that are NOT sticky are stories where I'm not in (perceived) immediate danger… usually I don’t get hooked with thoughts about the future and can catch myself with making meaning about the past

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:11 pm

AFter sitting with this I realized I believe a lot of thoughts...especially that I didn't do the above correctly.. I'm having trouble understanding because when one is typing, they are acting. When I believe a thought -- I'm not acting (always), I'm listening about what "should" be- Yesterday someone threw away everyones' (MY) food that was in the fridge at work and I believed the "bitch did it on purpose". I acted with this thought...I went to find her and she was not sorry and I ruminated about it for a while. The me needed protection - This is a practiced reaction- I've had a danger alert in my

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:43 pm

whoops, I didn't mean to send-- This is a practiced reaction- I have a DANGER ALERT going off in my mind. This goes back to being victimized and believing what people should and should not do to ME!... Self- Righteous anger is the ME's favorite.

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Steve
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Steve » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:54 pm

Hi, Nancy. Thanks for the detailed report and the follow-ups.
AFter sitting with this I realized I believe a lot of thoughts...especially that I didn't do the above correctly.
It's not really possible to be incorrect here, as long as you're open and honest. And I sense that you are open and honest. So there's no need to worry.

But I am here to guide, so let's see if we can redirect your inquiry a bit, as you answered a different question than the one I was trying to ask. What you've written are the characteristic contents of some kinds of thoughts you have a tendency to believe, followed by a nice deconstruction of your experience when you hold onto that kind of thought. That second part is a good bit of observation.

What I'm getting at is different. I'm asking you to look for what distinguishes a thought you believe from one you don't believe. Not the characteristic contents, the actual mechanism that makes for the distinction.

It will be easier to work with a more neutral example. Consider these two statements:

(1) Phoenix is in Arizona.
(2) Santa Claus lives at the North Pole.

What does it mean when you say you believe (1) and you don't believe (2)? What makes them different? Notice what happens when you imagine someone agreeing with each of the statements, and notice what happens when you imagine someone disagreeing with each of the statements. Notice what happens when you imagine yourself agreeing and disagreeing with each one.

Look. What's the underlying mechanism? What does it really mean when you say you believe (1) and you don't believe (2)?

We're not after the thought stories -- not all the reasons you think Phoenix is really in Arizona or all the reasons you think Santa is imaginary. Those would be stories of the history surrounding these particular beliefs.

What we're looking for are direct, observable experiences, which means they must be thoughts, feelings, and sensations. So when I say "look for the mechanism" I mean to look for a pattern of observable experiences that equates to "I believe this" and that applies to any belief regardless of its content.

With Love,
Steve

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:48 am

I understand. I was at work and now I'm home... I'll report back soon.

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journeygirl
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby journeygirl » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:04 am

Hi Steve,

I spent much of the evening with this inquiry and sometimes I would have noticeable experiences and others times not so much.

What I did notice was a choppy quality of energy in my hands and upper body when I believe thoughts aren’t true. The body feels like it’s caught off guard and confusion arises… discomfort. My chest feels tight and my breathing feels slightly restricted. My throat burns and feels lumpy. I feel compelled to stop it… fix it…to figure it out.

I noticed ringing in my ears…the tone becomes lower with the true statements. The energy seemed to smooth out.

I notice my ears ringing…sometimes it feels like really loud silence in my head… does make sense?

I'm so grateful for your guidance.

Thank you!

Nancy


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