I would like to be guided

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david05
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I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:21 am

Hello, my name is David. I've been interested in Zen, Buddhism, Christianity and other religions for a long time now and have recently discovered this website. I feel I am very close to something, but I'm being held back by clinging to certain negative things in my life. If there is someone out there willing to guide me I would appreciate it very much.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:10 am

Hi David,

I would be willing to help you, if you like.

You will need to read and agree to the following:

1. Please post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!" If you can't for some reason, just let me know.
2. I am not your teacher; all I can do is point. You look, until clear seeing happens.
3. In general, I will ask questions; you take time to look deeply and honestly, then respond with 100% honesty.
4. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
5. Responses are best from your direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Please avoid long-winded analytical and philosophical answers. Stream-of-consciousness answers are also best avoided and may even hinder progress.
6. Please put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
7. Please learn to use the quote function; this is invaluable in referring to things that have been written in previous posts. See these instructions:- viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660


If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too. Please take a look at that.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above, agree to them, and would still like me to be your guide - then we'll begin.

Also it would be handy to know which time zone you are in. I am in France: Central European Time (= GMT+1).

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:03 pm

Hey Mark! I have read and agree to the terms, and would like you to be my guide. Let's do this thing. My timezone is CST (-6:00), but I am usually up overnight.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:44 pm

Hi David (am I right to call you David?),

That's great. Welcome!

Please will you start by telling me what comes up when it is read that there is no “you” at all in reality, not in any shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be? There is only life moving freely, without any general manager called "you".

Then let me know what, if anything, you are are hoping will change, and any fears that may also be there, either obvious or in the background.

Spend time pondering each question carefully, always looking at the present immediate experience, before answering. When you answer, please deal with each element which I have posed and just answer in your own words, trying to leave aside any 'spiritual' terminology, simply being honest about what comes up for you.

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:19 pm

David is good.
Please will you start by telling me what comes up when it is read that there is no “you” at all in reality, not in any shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be? There is only life moving freely, without any general manager called "you".
When I read this, it is difficult to understand. There are moments where the body is moving or speaking and it seems automatic. Then, there are moments where a thought comes and says "Its so obvious that I am here, this is ridiculous to question". There seems to be two types of thoughts about "me". One seems to come along at random and inform me of my place in the story currently, and then another type that seems like I have more direct control over - like having a conversation with thought. The second type has a sort of obviousness that I am in control and present.
Then let me know what, if anything, you are are hoping will change, and any fears that may also be there, either obvious or in the background.
I'm hoping that this will bring some peace in my life, something to ease over difficult situations, to ease anxieties and fears over not being successful in life. I would also like to be more open with people, to get out of my own way when interacting with others. I am also hoping this will help me to put the past to rest, so that I can live more freely.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:41 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for that and for your openness: a good start.

"There are moments where the body is moving or speaking and it seems automatic. Then, there are moments where a thought comes and says "Its so obvious that I am here, this is ridiculous to question". There seems to be two types of thoughts about "me". One seems to come along at random and inform me of my place in the story currently, and then another type that seems like I have more direct control over - like having a conversation with thought. The second type has a sort of obviousness that I am in control and present.

We are going to look into this. But first to look at the question of expectations:-

"I'm hoping that this will bring some peace in my life, something to ease over difficult situations, to ease anxieties and fears over not being successful in life. I would also like to be more open with people... etc

Please have a look at the following list (from the LU homepage FAQ's) of what Liberation is not:-

"Throughout the years our many guides have discovered that one of the major obstacles to the direct, clear seeing of what is already magnificently the case is a thick layer of expectations and narrative about a self’s journey towards enlightenment, built up by years and years of seeking. Getting these expectations out in the open and out of the way is an important first step. Below is a list explaining what the LU process is not:

This is not a way to escape your daily life.
This is not about gaining something extra, becoming something special.
This is not about cultivating an altered state of consciousness.
This is not a trick of the mind, or twisting the mind into believing certain thoughts.
This is not about gaining a particular bit of knowledge.
This is not about having a certain thought or sequence of thoughts.
This is not about becoming a holy, good, moral or better person.
This is not a belief, religion, or a philosophy, it not magical or mystical.
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.
This is not about freedom from emotions and intense feelings.
This is not about getting rid of self, ego, I.
This is not a solution to problems in relationships.
This is not a way to get free of depression or other diseases.
This is not about stopping thoughts, changing thoughts, getting rid of thoughts.
This is not a way to make the story of you disappear.
This is not about convincing you of anything.
This is not something that will lead to accumulation of money or things.
This is not a self improvement program."

So please review carefully each of the 18 expectations on the list, see which match your own expectations (some clearly do, from what you have written) and give me your comments, telling me what comes up for you.

This is not about a better life for 'me'. It's about dropping the idea of a 'me' who could benefit, about seeing that there is no 'me' apart from What IS.

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:49 pm

This is not a way to escape your daily life.
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.
This is not a solution to problems in relationships.
This is not a way to get free of depression or other diseases.
This is not a way to make the story of you disappear.
This is not a self improvement program.
This is not about freedom from emotions and intense feelings

So please review carefully each of the 18 expectations on the list, see which match your own expectations (some clearly do, from what you have written) and give me your comments, telling me what comes up for you.

This is not about a better life for 'me'. It's about dropping the idea of a 'me' who could benefit, about seeing that there is no 'me' apart from What IS.
These hit pretty hard. When I first read them I felt fear and a knot in my chest. I had an expectation of a sort of change occuring that would allow me an escape from life and the rough parts of it. I see now as I type, that is just fantasy. Very humbling feeling to have, like hopelessness yet there is still curiosity. I think I was wasting alot of energy waiting for and fueling that fantasy of escape. I feel nervous and excited now. Very cool.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:22 am

Hi David,

Thanks for that response. Again very honest, which is what we want. The reactions you mention are totally normal, and often accompany the crumbling of illusions. Whenever that fear, that tightness, comes up just welcome it as though it were a little child, let it be there and let it pass, when it does. And the same whenever it recurs.

Could you get a notebook please. It will be useful to note down what comes up, and then report it back clearly.

OK so let's take a look at this whole 'I' thing.

1. Take some time to sit and fix your gaze on one 'item' in the room, leaving aside what it may or may not be called. Consider all its qualities, even allowing the other senses to take part if appropriate. Once you have done that, then consider its name. Does that name arise before, with or after the experience of the 'item'? Is that label, the name, actually the experience, or just a word which points to the experience?

2. Now sit and close your eyes. Taking your time, where does 'David' seem to reside, here and now? What size, location, shape and qualities does 'David' have? When you have considered all this carefully, make notes. Then let me know what comes up.

3. Eyes open now. Look out from those eyes at the computer screen, or at something else in the room. Where is 'you', where is the 'looking' and where is the 'thing looked at'? Where are the distinctions between these? Can you see dividing lines? Are they clear? Let me know what comes up.

Remember to keep your responses to each of those three questions in your first-hand experience in the present. If any received ideas come up (eg from other teachings, or mental concepts) just note those down too, as such, so that we can examine them, so that we can distinguish between theory and practical experience.

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:11 am

1. Take some time to sit and fix your gaze on one 'item' in the room, leaving aside what it may or may not be called. Consider all its qualities, even allowing the other senses to take part if appropriate. Once you have done that, then consider its name. Does that name arise before, with or after the experience of the 'item'? Is that label, the name, actually the experience, or just a word which points to the experience?
The name seems to be triggered by the experience of the item. The mind tries to label the experience, but it is clear that the name is not the experience it only refers to the experience.
2. Now sit and close your eyes. Taking your time, where does 'David' seem to reside, here and now? What size, location, shape and qualities does 'David' have? When you have considered all this carefully, make notes. Then let me know what comes up.
'David' seems to be located just below the sternum. Feels very heavy, very tight. Like small ball. Seems to tense the body up around itself. There is also a feeling of 'David' being a sensation in the face, neck, shoulders, eyes.
3. Eyes open now. Look out from those eyes at the computer screen, or at something else in the room. Where is 'you', where is the 'looking' and where is the 'thing looked at'? Where are the distinctions between these? Can you see dividing lines? Are they clear? Let me know what comes up.
When I look, I can say the 'thing looked at' is a part of the looking. I can point it out and say "pen" or "phone" but its still just a part of looking. The looking is everything that is seen, but "pen" is a a small part pointed out. There is no "Me" to be pointed out inside of looking, but it seems that "Me" is also the looking. AS for the dividing lines, I can refer to a part of the looking however there are is no divisions in looking itself.
Remember to keep your responses to each of those three questions in your first-hand experience in the present. If any received ideas come up (eg from other teachings, or mental concepts) just note those down too, as such, so that we can examine them, so that we can distinguish between theory and practical experience.
As I was answering the questions, I remember a zen case where a monk stays up all night trying to wrap his brain around what was going on. I kinda feel the same way, starting to wonder which way is up and which way is down. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:46 am

Hi David

Great. Thanks for those straightforward, honest observations.
As I was answering the questions, I remember a zen case where a monk stays up all night trying to wrap his brain around what was going on. I kinda feel the same way, starting to wonder which way is up and which way is down. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Poor zen monk: life was staring him in the face all the time and he was never going to get this by trying to wrap his head around it. He needed to go 'out of his mind' and to 'come to his senses' - literally! Yes, you are right: this can start to feel disorientating: little bit scary, little bit exciting.

With the second question:
'David' seems to be located just below the sternum. Feels very heavy, very tight. Like small ball. Seems to tense the body up around itself. There is also a feeling of 'David' being a sensation in the face, neck, shoulders, eyes.
So, like with the 'items', if you remove the label 'David' what is left? Any more than something like a sense of 'aliveness'? Is it even truly describable?

With the 'small ball' and the 'tensing up of the body around itself', is there any more than those sensations? By the way, are they still there? Watch them come, welcome them, watch them go just as they do.

With the third question, where is the actual experience of 'pen'? Where is the experience of 'phone'?
When you next prepare a hot drink, once you have it, close eyes, smell the aroma. David - aromaing - drink: where is the experience of the aroma? Now taste it. David - tasting - drink: where is the experience of the drink? Now open eyes. Put the cup down. Look at the drink: David - looking - drink. Where is the appearance of the drink? Is anything at all happening remotely?

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:14 am

So, like with the 'items', if you remove the label 'David' what is left? Any more than something like a sense of 'aliveness'? Is it even truly describable?
Just the feeling, just the sensations of something. It does not even seem describable anymore aside from the tensing that comes and goes, there is just the sensation. 'Aliveness' is a good way to put the sensations in the eyes/face and upper torso.
With the 'small ball' and the 'tensing up of the body around itself', is there any more than those sensations? By the way, are they still there? Watch them come, welcome them, watch them go just as they do.
There is nothing more than what is felt there. They're still there, pretty constant since last night. The body tightens up, my back and abs. If it keeps on I will check with a nurse I know. Seems a little odd.
With the third question, where is the actual experience of 'pen'? Where is the experience of 'phone'?
This one has me. I have the pen and phone on my desk. It seems like the experience of the pen is in looking. The phone too, they are both in looking. I just spent an hour staring at my pen trying to unlock its secrets haha.
'Pen' and 'phone' as labels are very clearly in thought, and not in looking but they do seem to blend together at times.
When you next prepare a hot drink, once you have it, close eyes, smell the aroma. David - aromaing - drink: where is the experience of the aroma?
The experience of the aroma is in the sense of smell completely.
Now taste it. David - tasting - drink: where is the experience of the drink?
The experience of the drink is in tasting, and the sensation of the drink in my mouth and throat.
Now open eyes. Put the cup down. Look at the drink: David - looking - drink. Where is the appearance of the drink? Is anything at all happening remotely?
The appearance of the drink is in looking. If by remotely you mean outside of looking, smelling, tasting, sensation - I would say no, nothing outside of these things.

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:36 am

Hi David,

Thanks again.

Just to push this a little further:-

You have mentioned various bodily sensations: sternum, back, 'the sensation of the drink in my mouth and throat'. The term 'the sense of smell' is also a little physical in feel. So, considering each of these terms, when you leave aside even these bodily labels, what is left in the now experience? Just report as best you can from the immediate experience.
If by remotely you mean outside of looking, smelling, tasting, sensation - I would say no, nothing outside of these things.
By remotely I mean 'away from "here"'. Does the sensation come up away from 'here', or does it come up 'here'?

Sure, if you need to go to the nurse, go to the nurse!

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:28 am

You have mentioned various bodily sensations: sternum, back, 'the sensation of the drink in my mouth and throat'. The term 'the sense of smell' is also a little physical in feel. So, considering each of these terms, when you leave aside even these bodily labels, what is left in the now experience? Just report as best you can from the immediate experience.
Without the labels there is just sensation of something happening. Something comes and it goes. I can't say what it is without the label. I had a thought earlier that I have never actually experienced anything I thought I did, just different sensations.
By remotely I mean 'away from "here"'. Does the sensation come up away from 'here', or does it come up 'here'?
I can say it comes up 'here' and then goes, and another thing comes and so on, always 'here' one following the other like a train going by. Is this what people mean by 'flow'?

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ElPortal
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby ElPortal » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:32 am

Hi David,

Great observations: thanks for that.

Let's do a couple more exercises. Let's have a look at this Director's Chair with the sign "David" on it, so to speak. Let's examine whether there is really any David there!

1. Get up and walk some steps slowly. Notice, who got up and walked the few steps. Is there a controller who controls the getting up and the walking? Or is there just the getting up and the walking? Consider this deeply. Let me know what comes up.

2. Choose a drink eg tea/coffee/another drink or between a couple of objects eg blue pen/black pen/pencil. Then sit and see if you can find 'the self' who made that choice? If so, where exactly did that choice happen? Can you find a choicepoint (ie the location of choosing)? Try to describe the process of 'choosing'. Let me know what you find.

Over and out for now,

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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david05
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Re: I would like to be guided

Postby david05 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:04 am

1. Get up and walk some steps slowly. Notice, who got up and walked the few steps. Is there a controller who controls the getting up and the walking? Or is there just the getting up and the walking? Consider this deeply. Let me know what comes up.
I can't find a controller. It seems that things happen when the conditions for them to happen are present. I read the words "Get up and walk" and it's done. I see that my coke can is empty, so its thrown in the trash. Or I could have a thought about a cigarette so I go and have one. I can't say there is a controller, I don't even know what it would control at this point.
2. Choose a drink eg tea/coffee/another drink or between a couple of objects eg blue pen/black pen/pencil. Then sit and see if you can find 'the self' who made that choice? If so, where exactly did that choice happen? Can you find a choicepoint (ie the location of choosing)? Try to describe the process of 'choosing'. Let me know what you find.
The self who made the choice seems to be in thought. The choice also was in thought. Seems like thoughts come and give information about either thing until its clear which one to pick (this was with pen/felt marker). For drinks I have coffee and green tea, but it didn't seem like a choice - there didn't seem to be a 'self' in it who had to choose because I have a preference for tea over coffee.

As for a choicepoint I am not sure, after repeating this a few times with different stuff around my room it seemed like once the mind was done debating and got out of the way the choice happened.


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