New contact introduction

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lizinprocess
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New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:09 pm

Hi - my name is Liz and I am a new contact. I am very interested in Direct Pointing as a means of releasing or loosening my belief in the self as a fixed entity. This causes me suffering and I see myself as separate from others - a delusion I know intellectually from my Dharma study, and from occasional glimpses during meditation. I am a practicing Buddhist of over 30 years.

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi Liz,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed, My name is Jonathan.. I may be willing to assist you in 'loosening your belief in the self'.

Could you let me know what you expect from this process? What do you hope to achieve? Have you prior experience of Direct Pointing? What bought here, to LU, in particular?


Warm regards,

Jonathan.

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:11 pm

Hi Jonathan,
Thank you for responding so quickly.
I came across LU whilst on a retreat - hearing about the Direct Pointing method. I was having a particularly difficult time on retreat - struggling with 'should's and 'oughts' and very aware of what was happening and the part my sense of self and relation with others was playing in the experience. I am aware sometimes, of how I reconstruct a fixed belief in a self, and I hope, through the experience of Direct Pointing, to become more fully aware of what I do and the repeated patterns of thinking. I read alot of Dharma, attend retreats, meditate but have reached a point of wanting some direct guidance on this particular area.

Best wishes, Liz

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:39 pm

Hi Jonathan - just wanted to add to my previous email - curiosity and a desire to be open to new experience, a desire to be challenged! I have a real sense of restriction - of missing something that is beyond beliefs and that is just is. Having a guide is a wonderful opportunity and I am open to discovering what may happen.

Best wishes, Liz

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:49 pm

Hi Liz,

Thanks for replying with some extra details.

I have a real sense of restriction - of missing something that is beyond beliefs and that is just is. Having a guide is a wonderful opportunity and I am open to discovering what may happen.
From what you say I can tell that you are serious and sincere. I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self', though I can only point the way. You have to 'see' it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

You and I will simply have a conversation, a chat if you like, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and ask you to answer but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

Before we proceed, could you please read and agree to the following conditions and disclaimer?

1. Please post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from direct personal experience only. Answer from what you believe is true, rather than replying with what you have been told by non-duality teachers or what you have studied. We are here to address your beliefs, not ideas that may have been instilled by others - Not that there is anything at all wrong with that - I just want to be clear what we are looking at here. You have mentioned that you have done a lot of reading and study over the years. For the time being, please put any reading of dharma books or other teachings (etc) to one side.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
(Scroll down the page)

If you need to you can use the QUOTE function as I will tend to do - It may make it easier to read through the dialogue.
A guide for this function can be found here: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

When writing a long post in the text editor, it might be a good idea to periodically copy and paste your text into notepad or another text editor on your computer, as it is not uncommon to be logged off automatically and lose all your text.

As soon as I hear from you we can get started!

For now, please let me know what comes up when I say there never was, is not, nor ever will be a self that is 'you'? Please tell me what you think 'you' are?


Warm regards,

Jonathan.

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:34 pm

Hi Jonathan
I have read and agree to the dislaimer.
Thank you for agreeing to be my guide - I am so ready for this having a strong longing to break free - though of what I am not sure. I can quote the dharma at length about the conditioned nature of phenomena and try and see this in my practices, but truthfully I don't see it.

[quote]please let me know what comes up when I say there never was, is not, nor ever will be a self that is 'you'? Please tell me what you think 'you' are?

I think of myself as the sum of my experiences todate. Fluid at times, changing, but repeating too old patterns, stories, fixing myself - constantly, constantly. Struggling to free myself - feeling sensations of struggle, a belief that if I 'really' try I can free myself at the same time opening out to something connected. Sometimes feeling I am bigger, open, just observing. Then closing down again. My labels for myself are someone who has had a spiritual longing all my life, someone who tried to pierce the 'veil' who is kind, dedicated and teaches meditation to others who are suffering. Who is learning to be patient and non-judgemental with myself and others. There is alot of 'trying' there and this feels not right.... I also have a sense of having to justify my existence, be the best I can, aspire to the highest aspirations - if I don't then I will crumble, collapse become nothing - nihilism. This is my honesty - no point in not being honest here!

Umm - lots of 'stuff' there isn't there.... looking forward to your guidance!
Best wishes,
Liz

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:30 pm

Hi Liz,

Gosh, we better get started right away then! :-)

The 'answer' is tremendously simple. So simple that you will, laugh out loud.. You have given a very true and honest account of 'where you're at' and that hekps enormously.

It is important to be very open. What we are embarking upon may be viewed as 'subtle' and can be missed or dismissed by those who arrive with fixed expectations. But you do not have to be clever or intellectual (thankfully), since this is not about using the head or brain to crack open 'spiritual' concepts. It is about a willingness to LOOK at your experience directly, right here, right now. I'm going to start with some direct questions.
I think of myself as the sum of my experiences todate.
By what means can you know this?

Struggling to free myself - feeling sensations of struggle, a belief that if I 'really' try I can free myself at the same time opening out to something connected.
Free yourself from what? Or whom?

Would 'opening out to something connected' necessitate 'really trying'?

Is there 'disconnection' right now?
also have a sense of having to justify my existence, be the best I can, aspire to the highest aspirations - if I don't then I will crumble, collapse become nothing - nihilism.

Is there a 'Liz' in this experience? An 'I' that can be found?

Right here and now, is there an 'I' that could crumble? Or is the thought of crumbling just a thought, one of 'crumbling'?

Do not be afraid, that what we are doing here is nihilistic. This is one of the many things that non- duality is not about. Whilst it is to do with seeing through an imaginary 'self' there is nothing whatsoever to fear.



Warm regards,

Jonathan.

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:20 pm

Hi Jonathan
Thank you for your perceptive comments. I am giving this my full attention - not reading whilst doing this - and opening out to the process you are offering, realising that without me trusting in this relationship - even though I don't know you, I will not get anywhere. I am grateful for the opportunity.

So.... you ask by what means I know I am the 'sum of my experiences'. I suppose by my attention going to old 'stories' recognising responses to past events - seeing my patterns of behaviour influenced by past history. I also feel when I have old patterns triggered, - trapped, stuck, sad, anxious. Probing further I see old beliefs are there about myself, judgements about myself and what I have done/not done. I can see here I am looking for some kind of validation of self. (Fear of being nothing??)

Free yourself from what? Or whom?
Good question - there is a sense of limitation/constraint, and then that there is something bigger, an expansiveness, and that my patterns limit/trap me. Probing further I am aware of a sense of rejection of myself/aversion - a wanting to get rid of Liz. This feels unkind and not helpful - but it is there. If I am a process rather than a fixed entity then what is there to get rid of? - this is an intellectual understanding but it doesn't chime with my feelings.

When I open out and feel connected effort drops away and there is stillness. So 'trying' isn't getting me anywhere - but it puts me into more 'helpful' conditions. (Dharma speak!!) Probing deeper - I don't trust letting go - there is fear of depression and nothingness without effort. The Liz is the effort, the trying.
Aware I am using my head here - lots of thinking - so dropping into the body I am aware of some anxiety to 'get this right' .

Oh dear!....this sounds mixed up. I can't write any more as am feeling confused - and I am 'trying' not to intellectualise this process.
Best wishes, Liz

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:50 pm

Hi Liz,

Did I mention that you need to be careful not to loose your work when using this text editor on LU. After a while the system automatically logs you out and you may have no idea that has happened until you try to submit your reply. I just fell foul of it myself. It's a good idea to use 'Word' or to at least copy your reply into memory before braving the 'submit' button.


Thank you very much again for your latest reply and the observations and details you have written down.
Probing deeper - I don't trust letting go - there is fear of depression and nothingness without effort. The Liz is the effort, the trying.
I understand. The fear is doing a very good and noble job of trying to protect 'you' from some perceived 'harm'. But it may be possible to relax. Thank the fear and tell it that it has done a great job. Allow any fear to flow through and do not resist it.
If I am a process rather than a fixed entity then what is there to get rid of? - this is an intellectual understanding but it doesn't chime with my feelings
Because it is an intellectual understanding or because you feel that there really is an existent 'I' to 'get rid of'?

Can you see that as long as there is the belief that 'I' must get rid of 'something' then that something will seem to be 'real' or 'exist'? Does it need effort to see through the illusion of 'self'? We will find out.

How does 'trying' put you into more 'helpful' conditions? Can you explain?


Now I'd like you to do some investigations. We will start with the senses. Often there is the misconception that 'self' is 'in the body'. So we will start here.

Sit in a chair. Get comfortable. Become aware of the pure sensation of sitting. Now, in this moment, right here, what sensations do you experience? Look at these sensations, not intellectually but just by looking. Is there a 'self' anywhere to be found within the experience?

Reading these words on the screen. How are these words seen?

What is 'doing' the 'seeing'.

Is there one who is separate from the experience who 'sees words', who experiences the experience?



Warm regards,


Jonathan

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:46 am

Thank you Jonathan - your reply gives lots to reflect on. I will send a longer reply later today, just to say this struck me:

Is there one who is separate from the experience who 'sees words', who experiences the experience?

I/someone does select what I see - I don't see everything, but look for the familiar/select what confirms or contradicts my views. There is some kind of reaffirming selection going on when I communicate and observe the world. I don't embrace everything. When I am in a meditative/aware state I am more open though, seeing things I may miss at other times.

I will practice the sitting observing exercise and report back.
Thank you again, Liz

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:00 pm

Hi Jonathan
I have been reflecting on non-self through out today - when I haven't been swept up by doing stuff. Walking, bending, picking up as I garden, sitting observing clouds, birds flying, wind against my cheek, breath coming in and out of the body, thoughts arising and falling. All is in motion, flowing I see that.
And then there is the judgements I make - liking something, not liking other things, values about what is good and what destructive, making decisions - creative responses. These are individual aren't they? What is the difference between a sense of a self and creativity?

As I am reflecting on this I am aware of a struggle of what to 'get rid of' what isn't real, and what is. I really want to know...

Quote: How does 'trying' put you into more 'helpful' conditions? Can you explain?

If we are made up of conditions - both past and present then making wise choices about the sort of conditions which are conducive to spiritual life and what are not will help. Examples for me is to limit my exposure to noise, choosing periods in the day in which to meditate, limiting the driving I do, honestly admitting unskilful behaviour.

As I write this I am aware of how these choices reflect some vulnerability - maybe a sense of self becoming tainted with certain conditions. This is still seeing the self as a 'thing' isn't it? Certain conditions are certainly conducive to peacefulness but your question has led me to reflect on what is being protected.I have a sense of something here - not sure, it is intangible - I have an urge to just stop.

With gratitude, Liz

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:48 pm

Hello Liz,

Thanks for your replies.

I was very struck by your last remark.
I have an urge to just stop
That is interesting, given your intense speculations and conceptualising in the run-up to making that statement. I would trust the instinct to stop. Stop and put down the clutter of ideas and notions in order to appreciate something beyond concepts. And that appreciation does require you to stop thinking too hard, stop trying to work things out and allow something else to happen.

So how do you 'do' this? Well, in fact 'you' don't 'do' it. You can't 'do it'. It's a sort of free gift. But you need to LOOK.
As I am reflecting on this I am aware of a struggle of what to 'get rid of' what isn't real, and what is. I really want to know...
Very good question Liz. This is where direct experience is so useful. Sometimes thinking just goes in circles, or appears to be a forest, so it is very lucky that it's possible to resort to effective methods that don't require much thought at all. Or much 'doing'.

Did you try the sitting in a chair experiment? If not, could I ask you to re-read what I suggested and report back about your actual sensory experience? It isn't complicated.

Do another investigation. This time, become aware of hearing. Here and now. There may be sounds outside, or of the fridge humming. Rest in the experience of just hearing.

Do you observe an entity 'listening'? Is there an 'I' that 'does hearing'?

Maybe there is a sound at some distance? In that experience, can you find an 'I', either near, or further away, anywhere in the sensation, that is making the hearing happen? or is there just the raw sensation, without labels?


Warm regards,


Jonathan.

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:58 pm

Thanks Jonathan
I have written down by hand, your questions to keep reading them as I am aware of possible misreading/misunderstanding what you are pointing to. I am over thinking I can see - but feel also not sure how to do this.....so am letting go and will just sit. I have a sense I am missing something simple.
Will report back tomorrow.
Best wishes, Liz

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lizinprocess
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby lizinprocess » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:15 am

Hi Jonathan
I did do the sitting exercise - just wasn't clear in my feedback.
Aware of the sensations of wind against cheek, the eyes absorbing clouds moving across the sky, sensations of breath coming in and out of the body, thoughts passing through the mind. Then how judgements/memories/doubt trap and halt awareness. Kept returning to sensations and sounds.
I am doing this exercise as part of morning meditation practice and trying also to return to this when I can remember during the day. It is very like 'Just sitting' meditation but also looking for a self which isn't there.

I read in the Gateless gate book a comment by Elana asking a meditator not to go into Equanimity. I can go into this state during meditation, the self does 'drop away' - any comments?

Quote: Do you observe an entity 'listening'? Is there an 'I' that 'does hearing'?

No I didn't find a self doing hearing - hearing was sound impacting on the ears, flowing through the body, registered/recognised by the mind. I didn't find anything that grasped and 'made' sound happen. There is a constant rise and fall of sensations - aural, visual, physical, thoughts too passing through. I 'see' that. At them moment 'shoulds' and 'oughts' are rising and falling (a pattern I recognise). Sometimes I am susceptible to these sometimes I can just let them go.
I a aware too that there is a checking it out place - 'self?"

Don't know what else to say here Jonathan. I am just putting this into practice and trying to stay open.

Best wishes,
Liz

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JonathanR
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Re: New contact introduction

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:02 pm

Hello Liz and thanks for your reply. You are doing just fine.

You sound like a serious seeker, used to doing a lot of practice. Your meditation routine is fine but please treat these Direct Experience investigations and our conversation here as something discreet from that. That may sound odd or artificial to you but it is best for now not to blur 'practice' with what we are doing here. I know there seems to be a correlation with Just Sitting but forget it just now. Maybe find different moments and opportunities to investigate these direct sense experiences.

About your question on Equanimity. Again, nice to know that you can do it but don't mix it up with this, at the moment.
'
Good to return to the sensations for now. We will come to thoughts soon enough but this simple, quiet looking into sensation is the focus now.
hearing was sound impacting on the ears, flowing through the body, registered/recognised by the mind
Are 'you' this 'mind that recognises sound'? Look again. What is 'found'?

Is there just the living experience, moment to moment?

If so, then is 'mind recognising sound' not simply a thought? Something added on? Extra conceptualisation?
No I didn't find a self doing hearing - hearing was sound impacting on the ears, flowing through the body, registered/recognised by the mind. I didn't find anything that grasped and 'made' sound happen.
Good.

But does 'sound impact on the ears and flow through the body and get registered by mind'? If so, how is this known?



Best wishes,

Jonathan.


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