Requesting a guide please

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jima54
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Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Hello,

My search has been a compulsion since my teens (now 60). I have never completely immersed myself in any system due to an inherent distrust of group agendas in general, a feeling of not being met where I am and, pursuit of a career in executive manufacturing management. I read "Gateless Gate Crashers" and saw people being met where they are and an effective method for bringing them to clarity quickly on self. I would very much like to connect with a guide to do the same.

Not sure which side of understanding I am on today. I see the unreality of my thought content/beliefs and have experienced some release as a result. Also have been able to see the me thoughts that, combined with awareness, create my sense of self. There is still a compulsion to "remember" to observe my thoughts and reinstate the sense of release. There has been some shifting lately although nothing profound, it is subtle. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,
Jim

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Freddi
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:10 pm

Hello Jim

My name is Fred and I would be happy to guide you in this exploration.

A few bits of housekeeping before we get started.
Please take a look at the intro page of LU, it contains our disclaimer and a short video too.
Watch it if you have a few minutes. It describes what we call 'looking' which is key.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Some guidelines that I would like your agreement on:

1) Agree to post daily or near daily, email if you are not able.

2) Please set aside any other spiritual practices during this inquiry. Instead commit at this time, like you would for a meditation practice, to begin looking for this separate self, this "I"

3) I will ask questions and you answer.... listen very closely to the answers that arise in you.
Answer to the very best of your ability at that time.

4) If you do agree to the above....please share all of what your expectations are to see through the illusion of the separate self, and if there are any concerns/fears about that?

Warm wishes,

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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jima54
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:36 pm

Hi Fred,

Thank you very much for taking you time to help me.
Please take a look at the intro page of LU, it contains our disclaimer and a short video too.
Watch it if you have a few minutes. It describes what we call 'looking' which is key.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
I had been to the website previously and just revisited to refresh my memory of the first video on looking.
1) Agree to post daily or near daily, email if you are not able.]
Agreed.
2) Please set aside any other spiritual practices during this inquiry. Instead commit at this time, like you would for a meditation practice, to begin looking for this separate self, this "I"
Not a problem, the reading has declined a lot in the last month anyway.
3) I will ask questions and you answer.... listen very closely to the answers that arise in you.
Answer to the very best of your ability at that time. ]
OK.
4) If you do agree to the above....please share all of what your expectations are to see through the illusion of the separate self, and if there are any concerns/fears about that? ]
What I want is to live in the stream of life without so much worry and effort. Maybe that is happiness for me. I think I have begun the process of seeing through my false self with some mild aha's but do not think it will stick. I have has some sense on "no me" in the last couple of weeks after applying myself to some of the questions from "Gateless Gate Crashers". I do think I need facilitation and some accountability in order to deepen the inquiry and harden the knowledge gained.

In the past my fear has had to do with a couple of things. Loosing myself in an erroneous process and finding myself damaged as a result. The other has to do with worry about being able to maintain current responsibilities while committing time, attention, and focus to a practice and then no longer care to, or be able to, make the money I need to support my family. Both fears, especially the second, are not as acute as they once were. I am seeing more that life isn't going to suddenly change channels on me as a result of a good process.

Thanks again and hope you are having a great weekend.

Jim

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Freddi
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:38 am

Hi Jim
What I want is to live in the stream of life without so much worry and effort. Maybe that is happiness for me. I think I have begun the process of seeing through my false self with some mild aha's but do not think it will stick. I have has some sense on "no me" in the last couple of weeks after applying myself to some of the questions from "Gateless Gate Crashers". I do think I need facilitation and some accountability in order to deepen the inquiry and harden the knowledge gained.
Thanks!
Tell me, what is this ‘I’, this ‘me’ that is claiming all these things? When you say ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’ etc, what are you pointing to? Don’t look in your thoughts for the answer, look in your most intimate and immediate experience, what is alive, right here and now. There are no wrong answer here, the more honest and earnest you are the better.

By the way, where are you? It would be good to know roughly when to expect a post from you. I am in France.

Warm wishes,

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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jima54
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:17 pm

Hi Fred,

I am in Florida, -5 hrs, posts may tend to be written at night or very early morning to you.

When I was writing the last post I was very aware of the use of "I" and "me" in the text but went ahead anyway as that seemed the most honest approach at the time. There's more than that, I'll inquire today and write again this evening.

Thanks,
Jim

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Freddi
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:40 pm

Hi Jim
When I was writing the last post I was very aware of the use of "I" and "me" in the text but went ahead anyway as that seemed the most honest approach at the time.
There is no problem with the use of the words ‘I’, ‘me’ etc. We all do it constantly and it helps us navigate through Life …
I was inviting you to tell me, when looking into your direct experience, what you are, in fact, pointing to when you use these words.
For example, if I ask you to point to different ‘objects’ in the room where you are, you will point to a ‘table’, a ‘chair’, a ‘computer’, a ‘hand’. All these labels/words will be designating some aspect of reality.
Now if I ask you to point to a ‘self’, what will you point to? Is there any tangible reality behind that label? Check it for yourself and let me know what comes up.

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:11 pm

Hi Fred,

I asked myself what is here; is there a me here right now. The first answer is yes, of course, I am right here. Then I feel that I am right here right now and it is a constant sense of being here. Then I notice that when I call to myself to try and elicit this identity to come forward I see two things.

The first is a sense of me-ness. It is at first a sensation that then may in a split second become an image. But first it is a sensation, a sensation of the familiar me. It can turn into a stern me (like my father, I can almost feel his presence) or a playful me (like my mother) or a timid me (like when I was a child).

The second is a feeling of presence. The two are mixed together and the total seems to create the legitimate sensation of "Jim" being present. I think there is a perpetual confusion where the initial sense of presence is missed but, presence plus the me thought combined results in a firm resolution that I am here. That seems to be my experience. They are mixed together and not obviously separate at first glance, which is what I am usually doing, just glancing at the experience of myself.

After recalling "me" a few times (do this by actually mentally calling my own name and then looking) I start notice that there may be a constancy in the "me" thought as well, or am I confusing that with presence? Then there is a subtle but fleeting sense that presence is vacant of me or anything really, but it is definitely existing.

So I see the sense of me as at first a sensation that then transforms if I pay it any attention. It morphs according to who know what, some complicated cause and effect I guess. Like you mentioned in your last post I also tried to compare this me thought stuff to tangible objects around me. An interesting exercise. It seems I get intellectually what the I is but it isn't felt in my experience except as something I need to remember is true. The veil is there in some form preventing a true experience of the truth.

Thanks again for your time Fred. Hopefully with your help the veil will be pierced!

Jim

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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:14 am

Hi Jim
I asked myself what is here; is there a me here right now. The first answer is yes, of course, I am right here. Then I feel that I am right here right now and it is a constant sense of being here. Then I notice that when I call to myself to try and elicit this identity to come forward I see two things.
The first is a sense of me-ness. It is at first a sensation that then may in a split second become an image. But first it is a sensation, a sensation of the familiar me. It can turn into a stern me (like my father, I can almost feel his presence) or a playful me (like my mother) or a timid me (like when I was a child).
.
When I ask you what is alive, right here and now, I am not asking what is in your thoughts. If you ask the questions and let thoughts answer, a lot of mental fluff will come up, like a ‘you’ that is like your father or like your mother. That is all story, all content of thought, not direct experience.
After recalling "me" a few times (do this by actually mentally calling my own name and then looking)
This ‘looking’ that we do here has nothing to do with 'mentally calling'. It really is a lot simpler than that, Jim. In fact, so simple that the mind overlooks it and won’t help. Mr Thinky can stay out of this exploration ;-)

In the exercise I gave you I was not asking to ‘compare this me thought stuff to tangible objects’. I was asking you to point, with your finger, to ‘me’, and tell me what you were pointing to.
So I would like you to go back to this exercise.It really is worth doing, to check for yourself.
For a moment, leave the mind stream alone, and come back to your breathing, notice the seeing, the hearing, the smelling, the touching. Now point, with your finger, to various 'objects' in the room, notice their labels and what is really there, the colours and shapes behind the labels. Now point to 'me' and tell me what you see, not in your thoughts, but with your senses. What is the part of reality that this 'I' points to? Does it have a size, a colour, a shape?

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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jima54
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:49 pm

Hi Fred,

I did the exercise and when turning attention to point to me things stopped and there was emptiness and quiet. I did this this morning and then again early this evening with the same result. When pointing back to me I can't say that sensing was in the forefront, like bodily sensations, but stillness came to the front. Then gradually body sensing would come forward with some quiet still there, then back to the thinking condition to analyze what happened. I like it for sure, how do I deepen this?

Thanks!
Jim

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Freddi
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi Jim,
I did the exercise and when turning attention to point to me things stopped and there was emptiness and quiet. I did this this morning and then again early this evening with the same result.
OK so when you look away from the thought narrative and point to what you think is ‘me’, you find emptiness, space, silence. And you also noticed how quickly thinking tries to get in on the act, and own the experience. Good to notice!

Let’s move on to another pointing exercise, and see if this ‘I’ is the ‘observer’.

I would like you to go out into nature, maybe your garden, maybe a park, wherever. Pick an object, say a tree.

Again, don’t look into your thoughts for the answers, take a good look at what is happening right now, in your most immediate experience. Stay with each question, let it work its way through, really scan your direct experience. No rush. A quick reply would almost certainly be a mind reply.

Observe the tree. Can you draw distinct lines between the observed (the tree), observing and the observer (Jim)? What would you say about the space between the tree and Jim, is that observed or observer? What about your feet? Observer? Observed? Your hands? The end of your nose? Is that ‘observer’ or ‘observed’?
Where is this ‘observer’? Can it be found, in direct experience?

So while language and thought say ‘Jim is observing the tree’, what is actually happening in reality? Stay as simple as you can, in your own words and your own time, and let me know what you find for each question.

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:07 am

Fred,

I'm having trouble with this one and will need to come back to it tomorrow.

I came into the exercise with the same spaciousness I have been experiencing since reading Gateless Gatecrashers and reinforced by the last exercise. The me sensation/thought has greatly diminished and nearly disappeared, it is evident in a very busy occupation as coo of a group of manufacturing businesses. The change is clear and constant despite checking validity frequently. It is also a clearly a different place/state/whatever to be than where I was.

Looking at a plant, first the sense of constant live spaciousness is there. There is no sense of a me looking at an object, there is just an object and it is there, that is all. The observer is not there, no doing of observing, it just happens. There is an effort occurring to answer the questions but no answers form in any clear way. There is an effort to sense unity between observer and observed but no realization of this. There is a recognition that there is effort and the simplicity that observing is just happening is elusive.This is where I am now and a jumpy mind was not helping the inquiry so I carried the exercise into motion. The spaciousness come along, still no sense of me observing objects as they pass by, observing is just happening. I haven't settled into the questions about the difference between observer/observed/observing and the space between so I'll go again tomorrow afternoon when I have some space.

Many thanks, the pointers are appreciated.

Jim

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Freddi
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:05 am

Hi Jim,
There is an effort occurring to answer the questions but no answers form in any clear way. There is an effort to sense unity between observer and observed but no realization of this
You are trying too hard. It really is a lot simpler than that. More like the opposite of effort. Let what is happening come to you naturally, without any effort.
Looking into direct experience is looking as if you were a little child, with no idea about what everything is, no label applied. Just for a moment, come back to your breath, look around you, without labels and thinking, what’s left? Colours, shapes, movement, the buzz and tingle of the happening of this moment. Without the label ‘plant’, what is there? Something green wiggling and dancing, different shapes and shades.
If you are aiming to sense unity between things, you are using thought, because reality is not divided into things, it is one. Thought is divisive. There is no ‘thing’ to be united with any other ‘thing’.
The spaciousness come along, still no sense of me observing objects as they pass by, observing is just happening.
Rather than a ‘sense of me’, look for a tangible entity you would call ‘me’. A ‘sense’ of me could still be a thought. Yes, observing is happening, but can you see, smell, hear, touch an observer? Or is there just observing?

Do go back to the questions in the exercise and look at the plant as if you had just landed from Mars and had no idea what it is, then let me know what you see and find.

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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jima54
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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:49 pm

Good morning,

Still there is no sense of there being an observer, it is just happening, there is space in which everything is including the body, the thoughts, everything. Prior to a couple of weeks ago this was not my experience. It was the regular condition of a "me" thought in place and entangled with labeling my observations and comparing to "me". Not so much anymore but I do still get overcome and sucked back into it.

Because of work related stresses that seem to have ganged up on me this week I look forward to this weekend to settle the mind down some. Also taking a short vacation next week Wed - Saturday in Maine. This mind has been churning out structure and anxiety for many years and it is still a strong player. It feels like I need to create some space in which to calm down and see more clearly. I sense where you are pointing but I'm dense right now I guess. Please don't give up on me.

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby Freddi » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:28 pm

Hi Jim
Please don't give up on me.
No one is giving up on anybody here, relax ;-)
Still there is no sense of there being an observer, it is just happening, there is space in which everything is including the body, the thoughts, everything
Great, thanks!
This mind has been churning out structure and anxiety for many years and it is still a strong player.
1) Scan your direct experience, notice the breathing, the seeing, the touching, the hearing, the smelling. What is the ‘mind’? Can you describe what ‘mind’ is, in direct experience? Is it a thought? Is it an entity? Is it a concept? Does it have any reality behind the sound/word ‘mind’?

2) Is there a problem with this ‘mind churning out structure and anxiety’? Life will sometimes express itself as a quiet mind, and at other times as a churning out mind. Is there some resistance to that expression of WHAT IS?
It feels like I need to create some space in which to calm down and see more clearly
3) Do I sense a belief that a calm mind leads to clear seeing? Where is that belief coming from?

Thanks!

Fred

PS I have numbered the questions, to make sure you don't forget any ;-)
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Re: Requesting a guide please

Postby jima54 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:42 pm

Good morning Fred,

Heading into a hot Florida day with no AC which stopped working last night.
1) Scan your direct experience, notice the breathing, the seeing, the touching, the hearing, the smelling. What is the ‘mind’? Can you describe what ‘mind’ is, in direct experience? Is it a thought? Is it an entity? Is it a concept? Does it have any reality behind the sound/word ‘mind’?
The mind is just a label for what seems to be at first a physical sensation that becomes interpreted as a mental image. This is nearly instantaneous. After this the thinking really begins with further internal contraction and image making to explain or support the original sensation, so a loop begins. There really isn't a mind that I can find, only this aggregate of sensation and images. The thought images feel to be replays of memories triggered by sensation, that is all. Thought images trigger more sensations. Cause and effect, nobody really driving here. The thinking process really happens, it is physical, but the content of thoughts are images or symbols, not substantive. Realizing this makes my head feel empty at times. At those times I am liberated and ok with whatever happens. There is a steadiness in the space and I almost feel held.
2) Is there a problem with this ‘mind churning out structure and anxiety’? Life will sometimes express itself as a quiet mind, and at other times as a churning out mind. Is there some resistance to that expression of WHAT IS?
I get intellectually that stuff still happens once the truth is realized but, yes, there is still a resistance to WHAT IS. The resistance is from still taking the pill of thought and falling asleep to what really is. I see that, yet it still occurs although not all the time. There are periods where stuff arises and falls away within the space and it is seen for what it is and the emptiness/space is constant. Somewhere the mental process hasn't resolved itself on this completely, only partially it seems. What is the trick for finally letting go of primacy of mental process and for the space to remain in the forefront? Keep looking and inquiring? That's a mental process. I have a belief that somehow the mind needs to resolve itself and give itself up to direct experience. My mental processes are still too prevailing thus the resistance. I know it, I see it, yet... what is missing?

I watch and then Think that the watcher is the place to be. Then it occurs to me that watching also just happens and that there is no place to Be at all, yet this space within which everything happens exists and is alive. The being thing, or is it a verb, is everywhere. There isn't anyplace to go internally or externally in order to be.
3) Do I sense a belief that a calm mind leads to clear seeing? Where is that belief coming from?
This comes from another belief that I am on the wrong side of the gate and that this side is the domain of the mind. The belief I have is that the mind has to walk to the gate using it's own processes and then resulting circumstances of the journey will allow mind to resolve and fall back. The belief is that this is a lot less likely to happen if the mind is very jumpy and distracted from the inquiry.

The belief is a symbol, a concept and a temporary vaporous part of What Is. It is simply an extension of all the thinking, conditioning, and DNA that has come before. This is my 1/2 intellectual understanding and 1/2 felt understanding.


Thanks Fred.


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