Requesting a Guide

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kanesdilemma
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Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:29 am

Hi,

You can call me Till.

I think I have come to a stage in my life where seeing no(t)-self is the next step. I am seeking a guide to help me achieve this. I'm thankful to anyone who would be willing to me on.

Background:

I have been meditating for about a year now. My practice has been mostly inspired by Theravadin Buddhism. My meditation practice was initally geared towards experiencing tranquility and absorption but I suspect I might have inadvertently practiced insight meditation as well, and soon I became a spiritual seeker.

Once every few months , some stressful life event occurs, and instead of just feeling stressed out as I used to, I experience a full blown spiritual crisis - where my job/life becomes a meaningless narrative, and I feel like I'm falling apart.

This goes away in a few days and I return to normal and I become fully immeresed in my job/life. However, this keeps hapening again and again.

I am hoping someone here can guide me towards seeing the illusion of self and I am hoping that it will finally end this loop that I seem to be stuck in.

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:22 am

Hi Till,

I would be delighted to guide you. I also have a history in Buddhism.

Make sure you take a read/look at the disclaimer and video on this page: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Before we begin can we agree:
We both agree to post at least once a day, unless we let each other know otherwise.
I will ask you questions and you will respond with upmost honesty. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
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.
Lastly, Please learn to use the quote function; instructions are located in the link below this line: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

Warm wishes
Smudge
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi Smudge,

Thank you for your offer of guidance!

I have read the disclaimer and watched the video.

I agree to answer from direct experience, and post atleast once a day (this will most likely be in the evening - Eastern Time)

I agree to put away all other teachings for the duration of this interaction, but will continue my daily meditation practice.

I'm ready to begin!

-Till

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:33 pm

Hi Till,

Great, so lets start by listing ALL of your expectations from doing this process, you mention stress, meaninglessness and falling apart in your first message, what do you expect will happen instead when the self is SEEN to be an illusion?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:54 pm

My only expectation is that I will find a sense of stability. If I really do see the self as an illusion, I hope it will put an end to the thoughts in my head that tell me that I need to protect myself from being hurt or falling apart.

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:21 am

Well there already is no self and the thoughts happen, maybe it is more realistic to say that identification with them will drop. If there are other expectations they will emerge as we go, it helps to name them as they can cloud what is really going on.

There is no self, no you in there, there never has been and never will be, no self as in ZERO! What comes up as this thought goes in?

Im in the UK so our timing will find its rhythm.
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:54 pm

There is no self, no you in there, there never has been and never will be, no self as in ZERO! What comes up as this thought goes in?
First, there is a tension (anxious feeling) that builds up in the stomach/chest area. Then I experience the thought(s): "I am anxious' , 'I am scared"

Then there are more thoughts:
"That's crazy, of course I exist, I always have"
"Whether it's true or not, it's this belief in a self that makes me function, without it I cannot be a functioning human being"

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:18 pm

Thank you Till, you're honesty will really help this process.
Also It is great you can see the difference between thoughts and feelings, this is also really going to help.

Next lets be really crystal clear about the difference between Direct experience and thoughts/feelings/imaginings about it:
Do this: Please actually DO this exercise, simple as it may seem, take time: Take a sultana (or small piece of food) and look at it, now close your eyes and think about it, how 'did' it look? what do you 'think' it will taste like? How do you feel about the prospect of eating it or even about doing this exercise? Now put it in your mouth and directly experience it. Whats that like? What is the difference between thinking about, feeling and actually experiencing from this exercise? Give a detailed answer please.

Having done this....
there is a tension (anxious feeling) that builds up in the stomach/chest area
So now really look (DE), what is the fear protecting? What is found?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:44 am

Take a sultana (or small piece of food) and look at it, now close your eyes and think about it, how 'did' it look? what do you 'think' it will taste like? How do you feel about the prospect of eating it or even about doing this exercise?
I used a cashew nut. When I close my eyes and think about eating the cashew, a fuzzy image of it comes up in my mind. When I think of what it's going to taste like a faint 'taste' comes up in my mind. When I think about eating it, I feel a sense of aversion and displeasure.
Now put it in your mouth and directly experience it. Whats that like? What is the difference between thinking about, feeling and actually experiencing from this exercise?
The experience of eating the cashew experienced through the senses is very vivid and dynamic (changing from moment to moment). Many feelings come up while eating it. Some of these feelings include pleasantness and craving for more.

The thinking/feeling experience is nothing like the actual experince. The thinking experience is like a fuzzy snapshot taken of a process that is dyamic and changing rapidly - so it is not comparable to the actual experience.

So now really look (DE), what is the fear protecting? What is found?
I look for the DE of the fear, just as I experienced eating the cashew - *there is nothing underneath*

I look again and again, and each time, there is nothing underneath. The fear is there, the thoughts are there but there seems to be nothing underneath them. They just seem to exist on their own.

I think about other thoughts that usually make me feel anxious with the same results - there are feelings and there are thoughts, but nothing underneath them.

Just a while later, I happen to be walking by the park, and I see the sunset. All of a sudden, I am overcome with feelings of joy and relief - there are tears rolling down my cheeks. I look underneath the joy and the relief - there is nothing.

I go to the park, and I walk among the trees - more tears and more sobbing. When I look underneath, there is still nothing.

WOW!

that was an amazing cashew! :)

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:29 pm

The thinking experience is like a fuzzy snapshot taken of a process that is dyamic and changing rapidly - so it is not comparable to the actual experience.
Beautiful!
there are feelings and there are thoughts, but nothing underneath them.
Thats right :-)

Wonderful to hear the emotion and relief! xx
I walk among the trees ....I look underneath
We tend to use pronouns when we speak but may I ask what 'you' actually are meaning when you use the word I? What does I point to in your DE (Direct experience)?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:06 am

We tend to use pronouns when we speak but may I ask what 'you' actually are meaning when you use the word I? What does I point to in your DE (Direct experience)?
I hadn't thought about it when I wrote that down. If I look now, the 'I' refers to:
the physical body, thoughts and sensations

When I use the word 'I' or 'me' casually, it seems to point to a felt sense that inhabits the chest/stomach area. This felt sense is what gets strongly associated with the word 'I' or 'me'.

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:44 am

'I' refers to:the physical body, thoughts and sensations
So using DE, Lets look at each of these to see if there is an 'I' in them.

We already looked at how thoughts about something is different from the thing itself (sultana) so where is the I in thoughts? or is I just another thought? A story with the main character as I?

Body: Again using DE, can you find an 'I' anywhere in the body? If there were one it should be possible to find it, what shape, colour, texture is it? Or is there just body?

The same with the 5 senses: Is there an I seeing, an I feeling, an I smelling, an I hearing, an I tasting? or is there just seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing, tasting?? Use DE to really investigate these questions:

This will help too:
Write what you are experiencing right now using the words I and me. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now. Like this: I am lying in bed. I am hearing rain. I am typing these words. Do this for 10 minutes. Watch the body; what physical sensations are happening?
Then for the next 10 minutes write what you are experiencing without the words I and me. Just describe the experience as it is happening in the moment, using verbs: Waiting for next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain. Again watch what is happening in the body. Now compare these two ways to label experience. What do you notice?

You are doing great Till, Look forward to hearing back
S
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:36 am

Body: Again using DE, can you find an 'I' anywhere in the body? If there were one it should be possible to find it, what shape, colour, texture is it? Or is there just body?
No, there is no 'I' to be found in the body

(Today was a busy day - so I'll continue with the rest of the post tomorrow)

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smudge
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby smudge » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:35 am

Ok. I look forward to hearing back. X


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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kanesdilemma
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Re: Requesting a Guide

Postby kanesdilemma » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:33 pm

The same with the 5 senses: Is there an I seeing, an I feeling, an I smelling, an I hearing, an I tasting? or is there just seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing, tasting?? Use DE to really investigate these questions
It seems that at first, there are sensations (seeing, feeling etc. - no sign of an 'I' here). Almost immidiately afterwards, thoughts and feelings and more sensations arise.

Most of the time, the thoughts have 'I' as the subject. These 'I' thoughts are usually accompanied by a felt-sense in the body - mostly felt in the chest/stomach area.

It seems like the 'I' is created after the fact. Also, it seems like the 'I', rather than beeing the 'doer' or a 'seer' is just a set of thoughts and sensations.

But this is madness! This is so funny it's scary.

It can't be this simple!


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