Please can I have a guide?

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nome
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Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:02 pm

I may be deluding myself (!) but I am excited about being free of the limitations of my experience of my 'self.' On an intellectual level I am in total accordance with the notion of no 'self;' emotionally I feel huge relief in anticipation of this experience; but in my actual experience I only have glimmers of this state or feeling. My everyday actions and experience are very far from someone who is 'liberated!' I would love to close this gap - and I believe that with an open mind this really may be possible.

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Carrie
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:01 pm

Hello Nome,

That's great that you already see the difference between knowing this intellectually and really seeing in direct experience... This is a good place to start from! I am happy to guide you if you would like. Please can you say a bit more about your journey so far and what's brought you to this forum.

Warmest, Carrie

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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:25 pm

Thank you Carrie for agreeing to be my guide.

To be honest I do not feel like I am on any particular spiritual journey at the moment. I have in the past, to varying degrees and intensities, practised mindfulness meditation and other body awareness practises and read a lot about Buddhism since the age of 12. I do not have any formal spiritual practise at the moment other than trying to be aware of, and observe with a degree of distance, what mischief my mind gets up to most of the time!

I do experience ‘moments’ of clarity now and then. They are fleeting and are often different from one another. These moments are what inspire me to find the truth. I guess Buddhism forms the background to my ‘journey’ – more as a reference point. But I am open to and realise that there is more. I am also a cognitive psychologist with a huge interest in the concept of ‘self’ and ‘mind’ – however, this journey needs to abandon all my existing notions. I feel ok about that – just not sure how to go about it – and how to recognise when I am interpreting my direct experience or my pre-formed thoughts.

I bumped into an old friend yesterday who mentioned this site to me as well as mutual acquaintances that have benefitted from it. I feel this long, wide, open white path ahead of me and I just want to take it, and I want to take it now, whatever it is. I thought this may be a good start.

I want to be honest with myself and I want to be challenged.

Many thanks again.

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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:59 pm

Hello nome,

Is 'nome' how you wish to be called or is there something you prefer?

Thanks for sharing some of your background. I can really sense the honesty and openness in your attitude to this inquiry... A really good basis. It's a pleasure to be starting this with you.

Ok... If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too. http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Also, there are a few ground rules.....

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"

2. In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.

3. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

4. 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.


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”

Please respond to confirm you have seen the video and read the disclaimer as well as agree to the ground rules....

Very best, Carrie

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:13 pm

Hi Carrie

Thanks again! "Nome" is good for now.
I confirm that I have seen the video, read the disclaimer and the ground rules; all of which I am happy with.

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Carrie
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:47 pm

Great.

Please can you say what you expect from our conversation? What do you expect liberation to do for you and what do you want from it? Please make a full list... It's important to expose expectations at the outset. Honesty is the key here.

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:18 pm

Thanks for your response Carrie, and again for being my guide. I have had a go at answering your questions:

"Please can you say what you expect from our conversation?"

I do not really know what to expect from our conversation and am intentionally trying not to have expectations. However, I still do have some whether I like it or not! I think my overall sense is that you will try to point me in the right direction towards liberation. I cannot possibly imagine how you will do this (!) – but I expect and want you, if you are able and willing, to see through my rubbish/delusion/ignorance; whether it be conscious or unconscious on my part, and point this out to me; and if possible point towards a new direction for me to look in. I guess I have to do the looking; but at the moment I do not know where to look. I welcome ‘slaps in the face!’

"What do you expect liberation to do for you and what do you want from it?"

If I am liberated I think it will change everything as well as nothing in my life. By that I mean, and also hope, (so an expectation) that my perception of everything will be so very different and what stems from that will be boundless on many levels. But also, my life with my children, with work, my hobbies, friends etc. will only be enhanced. I do not feel like I will ‘lose’ anything - it will be different, in a good way, just not sure how! I can only imagine it.

All I really want is clarity.

I do not have a list of what I want; I do not think about it like that. I just feel that this is an inevitable step I need to try. I know there is more to discover about reality.

Just to add that when I respond in these conversations I am just thinking and writing out loud. It is quite possible that if I write this response tomorrow the answer would be different! But I am trying to be as authentic and honest as possible so I think this is a good way, rather than to ‘think’ too much about the answers. If I am wrong please do tell me.

In the meantime thank you.

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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:36 am

Hello Nome,

What time zone are you in? I'm in the UK GMT.

Thank you for writing your expectations. It sounds like you are up for being challenged... That's great cause this process can be challenging. Also you are open to the unexpected... This is helpful cause it is unknown how it'll unfold.
But I am trying to be as authentic and honest as possible so I think this is a good way, rather than to ‘think’ too much about the answers. If I am wrong please do tell me
Being honest and not thinking too much are key in this process... And there's no 'wrong' or 'right'... So, wonderful! Let's begin.

Stick with this thought for a bit and write to me what sensations in the body, thoughts, feelings come up:

There is no separate self, no I, me in reality. None as in zero. No manager, controller, watcher, decider, driver, no entity that is in charge of this piece of life. Life is happening effortlessly, by itself, just happening.

Love, Carrie

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:27 pm

"There is no separate self, no I, me in reality. None as in zero. No manager, controller, watcher, decider, driver, no entity that is in charge of this piece of life. Life is happening effortlessly, by itself, just happening." (Can't seem to get this quote function - sorry, will persevere)

Right now, when I contemplate these notions mentioned above I feel light and it makes me smile; somewhat at the irony of it all.

I was thinking about it last night and exploring the notion of no observer, watcher etc. This is initially difficult because in the past I have tried to have the intention of observing my thoughts and actions and not necessarily attaching anything to them. So there does seem to be an observer. Then I thought, well this observer is just another ‘self.’ At which point I find this rather funny: just as I am trying to lose or abandon my sense of self I seem to have acquired another one; so rather than just have one, I seem to now have two! So I stay with this and almost delight in the amusement that it is causing. I then have the thought that this observing self, or even ‘better’ self is just a product of my thoughts, experiences etc. at the moment, as in right now. I could invent a self that is based on anything; whether it be a particular time, place, identity or whatever combination. I then think that I could have a million ‘self’s. So now I have gone from having just one self to a million, then I realise it is infinite! Blimey. Then I feel it is meaningless. All these ‘selfs’ are just a fabrication. An illusion. They are not based in anything real. They are transitory. There is no self.

How do I feel about this? I feel really ok. I feel relief and again it makes me smile. Because I feel ok and nicely calm I worry. I think I should be freaking out and feel huge despair at the notion of having no self, but I don’t. So I throw the ‘death test’ at myself. I always fear death – do I now? Yes and no. I won’t know that I am dead so maybe it’s ok. But I enjoy the experiences of life and do not want them to end. But there is no I. Hmmmm!

How am I not separate? I do feel separate in terms of occupying a certain physical space with a certain body and a certain mind. But these things are part of everything, part of reality, bound up in it and not separate. My mind creates the illusion that I am a fixed being – I am a being but I am not fixed. Am I a being?

In this moment I feel content and happy. But I know that this is due to a number of things in my life going on in my life right now. I think I realise that this feeling is also illusory. So this feeling great is also an illusion. Again, I feel ok with that. I can enjoy this feeling and also know that it is an illusion – I think that but is it really possible? Just as when suffering occurs I will feel differently but I hope I also see through the fact that it is an illusion. My mind has created it.

Now ‘mind’ and self’ – are they the same or different? I guess it is irrelevant because again they are both fabrications/illusions….

It is all just happening…. Initially I struggle with this as I have been conditioned to 'own' my thoughts, actions etc. and take responsibility and I also have the expectation that I would like others to as well! I am sure this is on a different level but if things just happen and there is no controller, that seems to conflict with being responsible. I then had a thought that countered this and it was ok; but I have forgotten what it was!! There’s so much to absorb, apologies, bear with me!

This is just a stream of consciousness. Welcome to my messed up head and yes I do want a frontal lobotomy if this doesn’t work out 

Carrie, thank you for your patience and clarity; warmest regards. Oh yes I am in the UK too, female, 41 years – you may need to know this or not.

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Carrie
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:58 am

Great. There's real energy and enthusiasm in your response.... And lots of questions! As best you can let your questions quieten down for now....

There will be questions in this enquiry, but as your guide I'll be doing the asking and you'll be LOOKing at what is happening here and now in direct experience and answering.... This means being in touch with experience as it is through the physical senses and observed thoughts as they arise in the present moment.....

Let's start with this...

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?

Love, Carrie

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:33 pm

Hi Carrie

Thank you for your helpful response. So here goes....

I have been thinking about ‘I’ on and off today; in brief moments and also with some more focused attention. My first initial feeling this morning when I said the word ‘I’ to myself was that I was suddenly aware of the outer boundary line all over my body and this ‘line’ felt stiff and almost like a metal zip. After a few seconds this disappeared and I didn’t feel anything. And then throughout the day nothing has changed. I don’t feel anything. I don’t even feel emptiness I just feel nothing. It is hard to describe as there just isn’t anything there to describe. My mind wants to focus on things and explore and see how I feel if I try to think about it differently but nothing happens. It is as if I am saying a foreign word that I don’t understand; or a word that doesn’t even have any associations or anything salient about it to trigger anything off in my imagination or experience. Just really nothing. I can’t say anymore as so far that is it….

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Carrie
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby Carrie » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:34 am

Hello Nome,
My first initial feeling this morning when I said the word ‘I’ to myself was that I was suddenly aware of the outer boundary line all over my body and this ‘line’ felt stiff and almost like a metal zip
Let's look a bit closer at the body....

If the “I” is linked to the body, how so? Which part of the body contains “I”? If the body loses both legs and both arms, would there be a loss of the “I”? With your eyes closed, can you find a line between the body and what is outside the body? Where is “I” located?

Please answer from direct experience.... Noticing what is happening here and now in response to the questions and reporting back.

Love, Carrie

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:02 pm

It only felt linked for a few seconds. It doesn't feel linked to the body now; it doesn't feel linked to anything.
I can't feel 'I' in my body anywhere; nothing is resonating.
There would be no loss of 'I' - 'I' doesn't feel any different.
I cannot find this line - the sound of the clock ticking feels 'closer' than say my knee or my hand. The awareness of my body does not feel contained in its physical boundary. Objects that I am aware of in my immediate environment around me do not feel physically further away than my body - they feel sort of merged and mixed up with my body. This is hard to put into words! I can't find 'I' anywhere.

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nome
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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:03 pm

Oh sorry blank quotes! Sorry Carrie - they are answered in the order that you gave!

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Re: Please can I have a guide?

Postby nome » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:53 pm

I feel a bit stuck now thinking about 'I'. I may be trying too hard but the same thoughts and experiences (as mentioned yesterday) keep occurring which makes me feel like I am going around in circles. I feel like I am trying to see what I feel when I contemplate what 'I' is etc. but 'I' just feels vacuous and innane and pointless. I am starting to feel frustrated. It all makes sense intellectually and I feel more that life is just unfolding and happening regardless of me; more than I usually do. I feel more calm and connected with everything but also distinctly aware of 'my being' as I trundle through the events of the day.


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