Looking for a guide

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Tessa
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Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:48 am

Hi,

After browsing these pages for a few days, reading ”Gateless Gatecrashers” and listening to the enlightening quotes, I would appreciate if there is somebody willing to guide me. Considering the years of “seeking” I find it interesting to note the trepidation that is felt just now, while writing this…
Years of seeking led to non-duality, and in recent years teachers like Adyashanti, Tony Parsons, Mooji, Darryl Bailey among others, have been important. I recently read Jed McKenna’s book “The damnedest thing”.
There seems to be a “watering out” of the self / person. The tendency to take things/life personally appears to have decreased. But, there definitely seems to be a feeling of a self still, and that things are happening to a me and actions being instigated by me (but, this is not constant).
There seems to be a clarity that thoughts just happen without any controlling “self” (if “I” had control, “I” would certainly make some changes…..:). Also that much of my daily activity "just happens" - without a controller.
I would very much appreciate guidance.
(I’m on European time – if that matters)
Tove

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sarah7 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:52 pm

Hi Tove
My name is Sarah and I would be happy to guide you.
I see you have looked around the site. So you now what we do here?

Can you tell me what you expect from this process, what you think the gate is and what you expect you will be like after?
Look forward to working with you. Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:11 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for responding to my request for a guide. I very much appreciate that.
I see you have looked around the site. So you now what we do here?
Yes, I think I have a fair overview of what you do here, and your terms.
Can you tell me what you expect from this process, what you think the gate is and what you expect you will be like after?
I expect (and hope) that this process will help me look more directly at my own experience.

I think the gate is a clear seeing that there is no personal self. Presently it is an intellectual understanding (it makes sense...) and also a sort of "indirect" knowing / seeing, because when I look for the "self" what I see is a character /personality, thought patterns, emotional patterns, activity patterns and often predictable reactions to various stimuli. All these elements make up "Tove", but the "self" is elusive. I guess I think the gate is a more direct seeing that the self is an illusion. However, while writing this now I thought about the metaphors being used in Gateless Gaterashers, Father Christmas / Santa and Batman, and when seen as illusory, they are not actually seen ....because they are illusory. So how can I see an apparently illusory self directly? If you see what I mean :)

As for my expectations about after the gate, I guess I imagine that there will be less "stickiness" and less getting caught up in identifications of self built up over decades. I also expect there will be a process of disidentification with various "labels" both internally and externally, when seen as just accumulated unnecessary baggage / interpretations of self and others / filters that stop me seeing what is real.

Sincerely, Tove xx

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:38 am

Hi Tove
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.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

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. And if you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's fine to continue that.

About posting in this forum.

1. When clicking 'Quote' (in a post) or 'Post Reply' at the bottom of the page you get the editor where you can type an answer. You can also preview the answer before it is posted. Experiment as much as needed. Nothing gets posted unless the 'Submit' button is clicked.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

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.)

3. Please learn to use the 'Quote' facility, it's a very useful tool.

4. Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in.

We can get started as soon as you confirm that you've seen all the above and agree to it.
Much Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:02 am

Hi Sarah,

I have read the Disclaimer and watched the video, and I agree to the standard ground rules you listed.

And I look forward to get started!
Love Tove

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:24 am

Hi Tove
Where in the world are you? – Im in England. Please if English is not your first language ask if there is anything not understood or clear and I will do the same.

You may know we use Direct Experience here – it is what is noticed, here and now:
- Thought.
- Sensations – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling (tactile and kinaesthetic).
- An unmistakable sense of aliveness (presence, being, Me-ness).
Please use this to answer questions.

Can anything exist outside the present moment? Can you find anything that does?
when I look for the "self" what I see is a character /personality, thought patterns, emotional patterns, activity patterns and often predictable reactions to various stimuli. All these elements make up "Tove", but the "self" is elusive.

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ me' that you hold 'yourself' to be? From the above – is there anything else included?
Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?

There is absolutely no "you" in any way, shape, or form. No "you" thinking your thoughts. No "you" living your life. There never has been a "you" nor will there ever be. Take those statements deep inside. Really let them sink in. What physical sensations do you notice? What thoughts do you notice? What feelings do you notice?

In your direct experience, is there anything permanent right now? What makes the "I" so permanent in our eyes?
Much Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:58 am

Hi Sarah,

I'm in Norway, and Norwegian is my first language. Please just ask if anything is unclear. I'll do the same :).

I have read your mail and will come back to you later today with my responses to your questions.
With love, Tove

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:10 pm

Hi Sarah,
Can anything exist outside the present moment? Can you find anything that does?
Immediately thoughts about events that happened earlier today come up. The thoughts (about this) exist in the present moment, but not the events I think about. My hands on the keyboard appear to be the same hands that were on the keyboard yesterday, but now my hands exist only in the present moment. There is an assumption (thought) that people I know who are not here now (like my son who left the house 30 minutes ago) exist in the present moment, but in this moment he exists only in thought (for me). I cannot find anything that exists outside the present moment, except thoughts about it.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ me' that you hold 'yourself' to be? From the above – is there anything else included?
The body and bodily sensations and feeling also contribute to how I conceive the “self” or “I”.
When I wrote (above) about my son only existing in (my) thoughts in the present moment, there were physical sensations accompanying the thoughts. A tightness in the chest, a contraction in the stomach. A new thought interpreting the physical sensations as “fear” and linking it up to being a mother, and a feeling of guilt because “I”, as a mother, thought about my son as nonexistent….. The guilt was another thought, but was credited to an “I” as a mother feeling guilty. While, I guess, it was just a thought about what mothers shouldn’t think….. I guess this is an example of how present thoughts can “band up” with old ideas and beliefs about roles, and together with physical sensations create the feeling of an “I”. In this case, a “Mother-I”.
Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?
In the previous example the “self” I conceived seemed to reside both in my head, my chest and my stomach. Most of the time, however, it seems to reside in my head. The ”thing” that looks out of my eyes…… I just closed my eyes now, and immediately there seemed to be less of a “centre”. There was sound from the heater, the feeling of sitting, the feeling of a chair (thought) and a couple of thoughts passing through. The thoughts didn’t register. Looking for the self I find presence / awareness of sensations and thoughts. And a tendency to create a “me” often consisting mainly of thoughts and vision. That’s what is seen now.
What physical sensations do you notice? What thoughts do you notice? What feelings do you notice?
I notice a mild sensation in the chest (flutter), more shallow breaths. A restlessness. Got up from the chair and moved about a bit. Not much thinking. Kind of a blank. No noticeable feelings. Only a sort of alertness. Poised. Focused.
In your direct experience, is there anything permanent right now? What makes the "I" so permanent in our eyes?
Right now there is little permanence. More an alert awareness of the elements of the present moment. My fingers typing. The buzz of the fridge. The sound of the heater. A slight “ringing” in my ears. A sensation in the stomach. Awareness shifting from one thing to another. A thought came that I can resurrect “I” very quickly. And another thought: “How is that done?”. By elaborating on thoughts, following them and having internal conversations and “stories”. I think that is what gives the “I” a feeling of permanence.

This is what came up now in response to your questions, Sarah.

Love from Tove

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:07 pm

Hi
Some lovely looking here Tove.
I guess this is an example of how present thoughts can “band up” with old ideas and beliefs about roles, and together with physical sensations create the feeling of an “I”. In this case, a “Mother-I”.
We call this story.

OK we are going to look at labeling. Id like you to just sit for 10 minutes with a paper and pen and I want you to record everything you notice from your ‘I’ list. I want you too look at what experiences come up, what actions you notice, what labels you see and WHERE they are applied, what feelings and emotions come up, and what sensations arise.
Don’t add to what shows itself, don’t analyse, just plain description. Watch the body for any sensations like relaxing or tightening. Just write me a list like - I am lying in bed, I am hearing the rain, I am writing this list, I can feel a sensation of relaxing etc….

Id like you then to repeat the exercise doing exactly the same as you did above, but this time I don’t want you to use the word ‘I’ or ‘me’ when you write the list of what you notice. Again don’t add to what shows itself, don’t analyse, just plain description. Watch the body for any sensations like relaxing or tightening. Just write me a list like - waiting for the next thought, writing, breathing, listening, relaxing sensation etc…

What do you notice from doing the two looking exercises? Which feels truer?
Much Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:14 pm

Hi Sarah,

Thank you. I will get up early tomorrow before work and do these excercises!
Have a good evening.
Love Tove

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:12 pm

Hi Sarah!

Here are my notes from the 2 x 10 minutes:

First 10 minutes Second 10 minutes
I am breathing clearing throat
I am sitting in bed hearing sound of car
I feel the smooth surface of my notebook body settling into the bed
I am writing hearing noises from outside
I am pursing my lips mouth twitches
I am crossing my legs watching hands
I can hear a car in the distance holding pen
I feel my shoulders relaxing writing happening
I hear a door slamming feeling of softness and warmth of duvet
I see myself in the mirror on the opposite wall hearing a voice
I take a deep breath scratching ear
I hold my breath one deep breath
I feel the pen in my hand feeling tension in abdomen
I am quiet face relaxing
I feel sleepy
I feel impatient body sliding down in bed
(there was more…..but I thought these lists are long enough?  )

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:13 pm

Sorry, this was posted before it was done, and came out a bit chaotic as I copied it from a word document. I will try again, so please just ignore the previous mail :)

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi again, Sarah!

Here are my notes from the 2 x 10 minutes:

First 10 minutes
I am breathing
I am sitting in bed
I feel the smooth surface of my notebook
I am writing
I am pursing my lips
I am crossing my legs
I can hear a car in the distance
I feel my shoulders relaxing
I hear a door slamming
I see myself in the mirror on the opposite wall
I take a deep breath
I hold my breath
I feel the pen in my hand
I am quiet
I feel sleepy
I feel impatient

Second 10 minutes
Clearing throat
Hearing sound of car
Body settling in the bed
Hearing noises from outside
Mouth twitches
Watching hands
Holding pen
Writing happening
Feeling of softness and warmth of duvet
Hearing a voice
Scratching ear
One deep breath
Feeling tension in abdomen
Face relaxing
Body sliding down in bed

(there was more…..but I thought these lists are long enough? :)
What do you notice from doing the two looking exercises? Which feels truer?
I noticed that the “I” is superfluous, and it was a relief not to include it in the second round. There appeared to be more relaxation in the second round , less happening and less responsibility for what was happening. In both rounds I was aware of labeling – especially in regard to hearing noises from outside the house. Example: Sound – “it is a voice” – “it is a child’s voice”. I wrote “feeling of softness and warmth of duvet” , but the sensation in itself was really just softness and warmth. . Labeling seems to occur without an “I” involved.
There was more of an immediacy / directness of the experiences without the I. Hearing, seeing happen without an “I”, and it was actually a bit annoying to have to include the “I” in the notes I took during the first 10 minutes.

Love, Tove

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sarah7 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:29 pm

Hi Tove
Some lovely looking again but you don’t need to post twice – just get back to me when you answer, unless you cant. OK :)
I noticed that the “I” is superfluous, and it was a relief not to include it in the second round. There appeared to be more relaxation in the second round , less happening and less responsibility for what was happening.

Interesting word – responsibility. It implies ownership.
In both rounds I was aware of labeling – especially in regard to hearing noises from outside the house. Example: Sound – “it is a voice” – “it is a child’s voice”. I wrote “feeling of softness and warmth of duvet” , but the sensation in itself was really just softness and warmth. . Labeling seems to occur without an “I” involved.
Is the labeling of ‘I’ any different than the labeling of an object?
There was more of an immediacy / directness of the experiences without the I. Hearing, seeing happen without an “I”, and it was actually a bit annoying to have to include the “I” in the notes I took during the first 10 minutes.
What would be annoyed? Thoughts? Look.

Now I want you to look during your day at how labelling happens. See if you can catch ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc See if you can see what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership?

You may know this and see this now, the mind is a labelling machine. Have you ever noticed sometimes that you arrive at a destination and don't really recall actually making the journey? It was as if the body was just doing its thing, driving just happened. It was as if the body was just doing its thing, driving just happened. It is only afterwards that the mind grabs hold of the experience and states 'I was driving the car' or, if questioned whilst driving (a present continuous activity), it would say 'I am driving the car'.
Whether your mind is totally concentrating on each gear shift that 'I' make, each look in the rear view mirror that 'I' makes, each twist of the steering wheel . . . or the entire journey is done automatically, the same result is achieved. Similarly when doing household tasks. Whether mind is involved or not, the task still gets accomplished.

Is the label 'water' water? If you say ‘my money’ and compare it to ‘money’, ‘my relationship’ compared to ‘relationship’ or ‘my time’ compared to ‘time’ – does it feel different? Does one feel heavier than the other?

Can you look without labelling?
Much Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Tessa
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Tessa » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:41 pm

Hi Sarah,
Interesting word – responsibility. It implies ownership.
I think the first part of the excercise I did yesterday forced me to take ownership of every movement (thoughts, sounds, sensations), and that was a bit frustrating. Might be a good sign.....:)
Is the labeling of ‘I’ any different than the labeling of an object?
I*ve been observing this today, and it seems that: I don't often seem to "catch myself" labeling objects in words / thoughts, but there obviously is a recognition of objects. There has been a lot of looking at objects today, because I was shown around a beautiful old house where there is a lot of arts and crafts work going on, and there seemed to be mostly a taking in / perceiving of shapes, colours, textures. When labeling of "I" has been noticed, it has been in a couple of situations where I have been a bit peeved.... Example: I was driving to a meeting and a colleague had taken the car I had booked. There was definitely a "Who has taken MY car". A feeling of contraction, which adds to the objective fact that the car I needed was gone. So as far as I can see, labeling of "I" is more uncomfortable than labeling of objects. The labeling of objects seems more "fleeting", and I don't notice it that much.
What would be annoyed? Thoughts? Look.
There seemed to be the thought "I'm fed up with this", combined with a physical restlessness. I think the physical restlessness came first, then the thought "I am fed up / annoyed doing all this "I"-stuff" :)
Now I want you to look during your day at how labelling happens. See if you can catch ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc See if you can see what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership?
It is definitely not all the time or most of the time. There seems to be long periods during the day when there is just activity / talking / working without a discernible feeling of "I". But there is a perception of being "inside a body" and a sense of the character "Tove" doing "her thing". Talking the way Tove talks, doing things the way "Tove" does. And your example of driving a car is very applicable. The driving just seems to be done without any intervention or "I". The "I"-contraction can come up if there is an encounter with a dangerous and careless other driver, like "How dare you put ME in danger" :) As for household tasks I am often watching with a sort of fascination how "I" do things without any thought or seeming intention. Especially in the mornings, when I am a bit tired and observe the smoothness and ease with which coffee is made, the cat is fed, dressing, showering etc. And then the car drives me to my workplace :))
Is the label 'water' water? If you say ‘my money’ and compare it to ‘money’, ‘my relationship’ compared to ‘relationship’ or ‘my time’ compared to ‘time’ – does it feel different? Does one feel heavier than the other?
No, the label "water" is not water. Saying "money" is definitely lighter than "my money". The latter immediately brings up "story". I.e. "my stories" about money which also brings up feelings connected to money. Pleasure, worry etc. The same with the word relationship. "My" immediately triggers thoughts and feelings and story.

I think that was it for this mail. This is surprisingly "hard work" (to put a label on it :), and I enjoy it.

Thank you for guiding me, Sarah. I do appreciate it.

Love, Tove


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