Request for Moondog as guide please

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Darkstar1
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Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby Darkstar1 » Tue May 20, 2014 9:38 pm

5o year old decorator/ musician. Resigned member of the Western Buddhist Order- or whaterver it's called now.
A couple of years training in Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy.

Tired of being dissipated by anger/resentment and fear. And approaching the Gate with ambivalence, but also with truthfulness. I would prefer a guide around my age, if available. Thanks.
John

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moondog
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby moondog » Tue May 20, 2014 10:23 pm

Hi and welcome,

My name's Pete and I live in Somerset.

There are a few things that we need to go over so that I know the best way for us to continue.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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moondog
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby moondog » Wed May 21, 2014 10:48 am

Hi John,

I forgot to mention, I'm 62 and also an ex-Order member, although I no longer have any connection or involvement with Triratna.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Darkstar1
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby Darkstar1 » Wed May 21, 2014 3:28 pm

Hi Pete.
Thanks for replying.
About me, I'm from the States and came across the FWBO via Aryaloka in New Hampshire in '89.
Went to Windhorse in '95, was ordained in '99. Left Windhorse in 2000, became a self employed painter and decorator and did about 2 1/2 years psychosynthesis training. Now I'm just decorating and occasionaly gigging in a band. I share a house with one other bloke who's in the band.
In my younger days I was into The Grateful Dead and LSD and have had some opening experiences that don't last.
In my teens I was inspired by 'The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda- don't know if you've come across it. The reason I mention it is because in that context the peaceful warrior is 'imperturbable'.
I would like to be imperturbable. Two predominant experiences for me are rage/ resentment and fear.
I've always been vaguely dissatisfied on a level and vague about how I addressed it.
I keep trying though. 50 this year - a milestone. It brings mortality and old age a bit more into focus.
I'm still in touch with OM's in Cambridge and also with a couple people you've guided so LU is in the air and gets very good press. That's it for now. One thing, however, my surname is in my user name which I didn't really mean to do. I'd like to get started , but may re register with a different user name later .
Cheers,
John

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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby moondog » Wed May 21, 2014 5:15 pm

Hi John,

Ok, that's great I'd be very happy to guide you through so that you can clearly see for yourself that there is no separate self.

As I've already said, I live in Somerset, but the time difference with you in the States should be no problem at all. I usually post during the afternoon, sometimes late morning here in the UK. Are you now east, west or somewhere in the middle?

Thanks for letting me know a bit about yourself and your background. I did quite a bit of acid, and was well into the Dead back in the day. I saw them live in Newcastle in 1972. Funny that.

So anyway John, there are a few things that we need to go over before the journey begins.

There are a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

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

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided 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. (Read the article at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration 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's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

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

Please confirm that you have seen these, and that you agree to the disclaimer.

So, let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

And don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Pete

Ps Be sure to let me know when you want to alter your username and to what andI I'll ask the LU admin folks how best to go about doing that.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Darkstar1
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby Darkstar1 » Wed May 21, 2014 7:57 pm

Hi Peter,
I may not have been clear. I left the States for Cambridge, Uk in '95 to work for Windhorse Trading... I've been here ever since! Seen the Dead dozens of times!

What are your expectations for this process?

I expect to be frustrated, fearful, bemused, exhilarated and don't know whether I'll be able to stick it.

What is it that you are searching for?

I would like to enjoy being in the world more rather than experiencing it as conflict.

How will you know that you found it?
I will genuinely not be so concerned about myself and my welfare
'in the future'
. Less bad tempered and paranoid.

How will this feel?
A relief, lighter.

How will this change you?
It would free me up to be more creative, not artistically, as such, but in how I deal with life's vicissitudes.

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moondog
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby moondog » Thu May 22, 2014 2:46 pm

Hi John,
I may not have been clear. I left the States for Cambridge, Uk in '95 to work for Windhorse Trading... I've been here ever since!
Ok, thanks for clarifying that. No problems with time differences at all then.

Can you just confirm that you agree to all the conditions etc. that I listed, including the disclaimer.

Thanks for letting me know your expectations are, and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might be like. I appreciate your honesty, and the fact that you've not been too specific or unrealistic. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't and never has been a 'you', a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist, and there's no Santa Claus. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

So, as I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would 'be like' or what life ought to 'look like' once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that 'getting it' is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, 'positive', 'negative'. However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this.

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

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?


Pete

Ps.To make your replies as clear as possible and to help me guide you, please use the quote function. To do that, simply highlight the relevant sentence(s)/paragraph(s) that you're replying to in my previous post and press 'copy', then press the 'Quote ' button in the bar above the section you're typing in, then place the cursor in the centre of the two bracketed quote words and then press "paste". That should do it.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Darkstar1
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby Darkstar1 » Thu May 22, 2014 2:59 pm

Hi Pete.
Yes, I've read the disclaimer and watched the video and agree to the terms.
I'll get back later tonight or tomorrow when I have a chance for some reflection.
John

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Darkstar1
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby Darkstar1 » Thu May 22, 2014 3:00 pm

One thing,
I think I selected the option to be made aware of messages, but that hasn't happened, and is there a way to get to the most recent post without scrolling through them all?

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moondog
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Re: Dust, blinfold, sunglasses and facing wrong way!

Postby moondog » Thu May 22, 2014 3:25 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for the confirmation. Looking forward to hearing from you either later today or tomorrow.

You should get email notifications if you tick the Notify me when a reply is posted box at the bottom of the draft page that I'm typing on right now. I suspect you probably have done that and, like sometimes happens to me, it still hasn't worked. When that happens I just uncheck and recheck the box. It's worked for me.

The only way I know of to get straight to your latest post is to click on the link in the email that you (should) receive telling you that a new post has been received. However, you need to be logged in here for that to work. Probably not much quicker than just arbitrarily checking for new posts and scrolling. I tend to do a bit of both as the mood takes me. Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Darkstar
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Request for Moondog as guide please

Postby Darkstar » Fri May 23, 2014 6:48 pm

Hi Pete,
I've begun the reflections- in my way- mulling things over.
I don't think I'm going to waffle too much, and you may find you want me to write more, we'll see.




]
Nothing exists outside the present moment.[/quote/

Firstly, I find these statements hard to think about, hard to stay with. When thinking about the first one- nothing exists outside the present moment-
my response is that I believe it and find it a relief. It brings me back to the present and gets me away, to some degree, from the incessant narrative
of my mind.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
No, but not not 'experientially', not yet.

And next:
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
.
At times I've found the 'self' to be very much wrapped up with the body and the senses, in a way always being vigilant and interpreting, ad nauseum,
experiences. Being self conscious, but not necessarily self aware. What I mean is the self is wrapped up in the story.
There's also something about continuity. the same person who went to sleep last night woke up this morning and the narrative of 'who I am' has unfolded over 50 years
and a lot of what I do is predictable, I very much experience myself as a separate entity.

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?
No, I can't locate it, but from where I am now it's not enough to discredit it or to make me see through it.

John

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Re: Request for Moondog as guide please

Postby moondog » Sat May 24, 2014 2:42 pm

Hi John,

Ok, you've been reborn as Darkstar. Let's resume.
Firstly, I find these statements hard to think about, hard to stay with. When thinking about the first one- nothing exists outside the present moment- my response is that I believe it and find it a relief. It brings me back to the present and gets me away, to some degree, from the incessant narrative.
That's ok. These first questions are really just so that, as guide, I can find out a bit more about where you're at with this stuff; and maybe clarify it for you too. From what you say, you clearly can't envisage anything outside of right now.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
At times I've found the 'self' to be very much wrapped up with the body and the senses, in a way always being vigilant and interpreting, ad nauseum, experiences. Being self conscious, but not necessarily self aware. What I mean is the self is wrapped up in the story. There's also something about continuity. the same person who went to sleep last night woke up this morning and the narrative of 'who I am' has unfolded over 50 years and a lot of what I do is predictable, I very much experience myself as a separate entity.
Thanks, that's comprehensive. All the areas you mention will be covered as we move through this process of looking in direct experience. I like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within each and every area within experience where a separate self might be found.

As I'm sure you'll have seen, the initial questions point you towards looking into 'your' direct experience, which is, as I say, where I'll be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Direct experience is the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

As I keep saying, the whole of this investigation centres around looking in direct experience to see if a self-entity can be found anywhere there. This is accompanied by seeing that it is in thoughts and only in thoughts that 'I' ever 'occurs' and that 'I' doesn't actually occur there either because thoughts, or at least their contents, are neither reliable nor real in any sense.

So anyway, let's start at last investigating in direct experience where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


Pete

Ps. You've just about got the quote function right. Just make sure that, each time you use it, you have only the bit from my post that you want to highlight between the two, opening and closing, quote markers. Sometimes, I just type them in as it can be quicker. If it just won't work, no big deal. It's just clearer is all.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Request for Moondog as guide please

Postby Darkstar » Sun May 25, 2014 1:17 pm

Hi Pete,
Just saying I'm here as you seem to check posts in the afternoon. I hope to write in more tonight or tomorrow.
John

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moondog
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Re: Request for Moondog as guide please

Postby moondog » Sun May 25, 2014 3:07 pm

Hi John,

Yeah, that's fine, no problem. Momentum's a vital ingredient in all of this, hence the original agreement each to post every day. As you've noticed, I usually check posts and reply every afternoon so, if yours is in by then, that should do it. Of course, if either of us can't manage it, it's not a problem, we just let the other know, as you've done.

Looking forward to hearing from you anon.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Request for Moondog as guide please

Postby Darkstar » Mon May 26, 2014 8:11 am

Hi Pete,
I'm feeling a little bit frustrated and 'thick'!
I feel like I could stay with any of theses excercises for a year and never 'get it'.
I also know, but don't 'feel', that's not a problem. My conditioning is to want to get things right (and failing!).
When attending to any of the senses, it feels like there's a 'self' that decides to initiate the paying attention ( looking at a book, or tree), but very soon attention slips and goes to other sense impingements- just like meditation and coming back to the breath. Thoughts are a particular persistent distraction.
While attending to my dog's snoring, I really noticed how immediately my attention went to another sound- laptop fan- my 'self', though I think it's there, isn't always effective or reliable.
I notice that when I try to find where the self resides, I don't come up with anything much more convincing than feeling my form in a chair. While attending to taste( coffee), I realized the cup was to my mouth for another swig automatically, the self didn't seem to will it.
Trying to describe the boundaries between object, seer, and the seeing process would make for a dull read and probably wouldn't be from experience, so I'll spare you that.
It's a relief just to get a message off to fulfill my commitment. It causes me a little anxiety- and excitement- to commit to daily dialogue. I don't 'think' I'm going to like it!!!


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