Looking for a guide

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chris lewis
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Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:11 am

I have been studying spiritual teachings for about 6.5 years. The essence of these spiritual teachings is that thought and its close relative suffering, are an illusion. I can quite easily see that thought is a machine that generates constant suffering, but have yet to actually see in any truly meaningful way, that all this is an illusion. There were a few brief fleeting satori moments that are an exception to the previous statement, but for the most part, it is the mind constantly running on and on, driving me quite literally to exhaustion.
I feel I am truly ready to see through this ego madness. I feel like a battered wife who has figured out her husband is an abuser, and knows she has to get away from him ASAP, but is afraid to leave, because he is a vicious psychopath who will try to hunt her down. Or so my mind likes to tell me at least.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:53 pm

Hello Chris my name is Mike, wonderful to have you here and it would be a pleasure to guide you. It sounds like you're ready and willing, you're in the right place to see for yourself how it really is :-)

A few ground rules -

1. 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 personal experience only.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

If you are happy to agree to the above, let me know and we can begin right away.

Mike :-)

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:31 pm

Testing

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:48 pm

Testing
OK first off I do not know if I am doing the quote thing properly.
But other than that I agree to the terms you have given me and am familiar with the site, and at least have a superficial understanding that my mind is trying to "get something" out of this process to serve its own needs, such as peace, bliss etc. even though it knows nothing about those things, so it's all just ideas and beliefs anyways.
I do feel, however faintly, that there truly is something, I don't know what, that wants better for me than to continue to abuse myself verbally all day long with mind programming. I am definitely afraid though, to leave the "safety" of my prison.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:00 pm

Hiya Chris and it looks like you've mastered the quote function - it does help keep things clear on here :-)

It's quite understandable for fear to come up during this investigation but we will hopefully find ways to see those fears for what they are, making it all much easier. You seem to have fairly reasonable expectations but let's put even those aside as we start on this process.

During the course of this dialogue, it would be good for you to avoid any books, teaching or study (just until this is completed), it's not problem to continue any meditation practice you currently have.

It may be very tempting to ask questions and look at this process from an intellectual perspective, whilst there will be opportunities for that, it's very helpful to the process of 'seeing' that we avoid discussion where possible, this process is to help you see for yourself that there is no 'self' and there never has been.

So with the formalities out of the way, let's jump straight in and begin :-)

Consider the following statement:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Take a little time to consider that statement throughout your daily life. Look and consider it in different situations, and see if you can actually find anything outside the present moment. (even if you've considered it many times - please consider it as though for the first time) -

Have fun with that one,

Mike.

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:32 pm

Hiya Chris and it looks like you've mastered the quote function - it does help keep things clear on here :-)

It's quite understandable for fear to come up during this investigation but we will hopefully find ways to see those fears for what they are, making it all much easier. You seem to have fairly reasonable expectations but let's put even those aside as we start on this process.

During the course of this dialogue, it would be good for you to avoid any books, teaching or study (just until this is completed), it's not problem to continue any meditation practice you currently have.

It may be very tempting to ask questions and look at this process from an intellectual perspective, whilst there will be opportunities for that, it's very helpful to the process of 'seeing' that we avoid discussion where possible, this process is to help you see for yourself that there is no 'self' and there never has been.

So with the formalities out of the way, let's jump straight in and begin :-)

Consider the following statement:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Take a little time to consider that statement throughout your daily life. Look and consider it in different situations, and see if you can actually find anoything outside the present moment. (even if you've considered it many times - please consider it as though for the first time) -

Have fun with that one,

Mike.
OK I will focus on this. I will get back to you in about 24 hrs because it will take some time to process this I'm sure. BTW thanks for being my guide

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:06 pm

No problem Chris - the trick here is to not let the mind make it more difficult than it actually is - the truth is always simple but the mind likes it to be complicated :-)

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:26 pm

No problem Chris - the trick here is to not let the mind make it more difficult than it actually is - the truth is always simple but the mind likes it to be complicated :-)
So I have considered this statement all day long. I would pay attention, for example, to the actual actions I was performing as I was doing them, such as starting a car, turning the steering wheel, etc. Also, sounds as they were happening. But mostly my mind kept pulling me out of truly seeing that the present moment is all there is.

Tonight, just before I was to go to sleep and was in bed, the question popped up "Is it possible to truly love yourself?"

This did not seen related to the idea of the present moment, but that thought kept nagging at me. I realized that I felt I was not good enough unless I was able to complete this shopping list of things that my mind says needs to be fixed, in the future. Or worry about future events as they pertain to mistakes made in the past. So somehow, that burden of past and future, trying to please my master, which is mind programming has to go.

It is clearly not enough to say I don't believe my thoughts, they are lying to me. I understand they are, not deeply though. I need to truly find that key that will actually turn off the lies, or at least disconnect them from the emotions.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your response it sounds like you considered this quite deeply since starting.
So I have considered this statement all day long. I would pay attention, for example, to the actual actions I was performing as I was doing them, such as starting a car, turning the steering wheel, etc. Also, sounds as they were happening. But mostly my mind kept pulling me out of truly seeing that the present moment is all there is.
A lifeline here is that this is not an exercise in mindfulness - it's simpler than that (though it's true to say that you may not have 'looked' at experience in quite the same way you're being pointed to do here before).

The process is for you to just look at what IS and is undeniable. The process will allow you to see clearly the difference between Reality and what is not real. So when you look - report back honestly as to what you find in this very moment. An example might be: If asked if there is an elephant on your lap - you look and through your senses you are able to say 'yes' or 'no'. There's no tricks involved in this at all. If there's an elephant on your lap you will know it and if it's not, then you know it.
Tonight, just before I was to go to sleep and was in bed, the question popped up "Is it possible to truly love yourself?"

This did not seen related to the idea of the present moment, but that thought kept nagging at me. I realized that I felt I was not good enough unless I was able to complete this shopping list of things that my mind says needs to be fixed, in the future. Or worry about future events as they pertain to mistakes made in the past. So somehow, that burden of past and future, trying to please my master, which is mind programming has to go.
Isn't it amazing how much suffering thoughts can create and yes, it does relate to the subject of past present and future.
It is clearly not enough to say I don't believe my thoughts, they are lying to me. I understand they are, not deeply though. I need to truly find that key that will actually turn off the lies, or at least disconnect them from the emotions.
Again yes it's true, understanding isn't enough - insight cannot be gained from reading 10,000 books about it, it cannot be taught, it can be gained though, and this has to be done by Chris. There would be no point in anyone telling you you had an elephant on your lap if you knew that there wasn't, someone might even convince you for a short while but you'd know it wasn't there, you'd just look and see no elephant. Just like Santa, believed as real until we know he's not.

Ok - so lets dig a little deeper to find out if past and future really exist - we talk about both, it's taken for granted that they are real - but this is a search for the truth - the undeniable truth.

Here's a task to try out (please always actually do these tasks rather than think them through - this is vital as you'll find out for yourself):

Think of a meal you had yesterday, imagine any smells, colour, touch, taste etc... imagine in as much detail as you can, imagine how the food feels in your mouth, it's texture etc...

Now think of a meal you will perhaps have tomorrow - again pay the same level of attention to the experience of eating it.

Please then when you next have a meal, report back on what was different about the memory of yesterday's meal, the imagining of tomorrows and the actual experience of eating for real.


Please report back on what you find

Mike :-)

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:20 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your response it sounds like you considered this quite deeply since starting.
So I have considered this statement all day long. I would pay attention, for example, to the actual actions I was performing as I was doing them, such as starting a car, turning the steering wheel, etc. Also, sounds as they were happening. But mostly my mind kept pulling me out of truly seeing that the present moment is all there is.
A lifeline here is that this is not an exercise in mindfulness - it's simpler than that (though it's true to say that you may not have 'looked' at experience in quite the same way you're being pointed to do here before).

The process is for you to just look at what IS and is undeniable. The process will allow you to see clearly the difference between Reality and what is not real. So when you look - report back honestly as to what you find in this very moment. An example might be: If asked if there is an elephant on your lap - you look and through your senses you are able to say 'yes' or 'no'. There's no tricks involved in this at all. If there's an elephant on your lap you will know it and if it's not, then you know it.
Tonight, just before I was to go to sleep and was in bed, the question popped up "Is it possible to truly love yourself?"

This did not seen related to the idea of the present moment, but that thought kept nagging at me. I realized that I felt I was not good enough unless I was able to complete this shopping list of things that my mind says needs to be fixed, in the future. Or worry about future events as they pertain to mistakes made in the past. So somehow, that burden of past and future, trying to please my master, which is mind programming has to go.
Isn't it amazing how much suffering thoughts can create and yes, it does relate to the subject of past present and future.
It is clearly not enough to say I don't believe my thoughts, they are lying to me. I understand they are, not deeply though. I need to truly find that key that will actually turn off the lies, or at least disconnect them from the emotions.
Again yes it's true, understanding isn't enough - insight cannot be gained from reading 10,000 books about it, it cannot be taught, it can be gained though, and this has to be done by Chris. There would be no point in anyone telling you you had an elephant on your lap if you knew that there wasn't, someone might even convince you for a short while but you'd know it wasn't there, you'd just look and see no elephant. Just like Santa, believed as real until we know he's not.


Ok - so lets dig a little deeper to find out if past and future really exist - we talk about both, it's taken for granted that they are real - but this is a search for the truth - the undeniable truth.

Here's a task to try out (please always actually do these tasks rather than think them through - this is vital as you'll find out for yourself):

Think of a meal you had yesterday, imagine any smells, colour, touch, taste etc... imagine in as much detail as you can, imagine how the food feels in your mouth, it's texture etc...

Now think of a meal you will perhaps have tomorrow - again pay the same level of attention to the experience of eating it.

Please then when you next have a meal, report back on what was different about the memory of yesterday's meal, the imagining of tomorrows and the actual experience of eating for real.


Please report back on what you find

Mike :-)
OK I will do that. I am already seeing that there are sure to be inaccuracies when imagining the future meal, just as I can see that the past meal no longer exists. No amount of mental imagery can bring back the meal and the experience of it. The images are sure to be highly inaccurate, and leaving out the bulk of the actual experience. And I'm sure the same applies to the future meal, although there may be differences in past or future images. I will try to sort that out and get back to you tomorrow.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:03 pm

That's cool Chris :-) How about another little exercise to try anytime you fancy it (doesn't require a meal time). If you imagine an object which is currently out of sight (eg: a mobile phone). Close your eyes imagine picking it up, it's weight, how it feels to the touch, the colours, logo's etc... Imagine it as well as you possibly can, then do it for real - same sort of thing really but one that's easy enough to try even while laying in bed before sleep etc... Remember, we're looking for Real simple truth here, nothing fancy or technical :-)

Mike

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:12 pm

That's cool Chris :-) How about another little exercise to try anytime you fancy it (doesn't require a meal time). If you imagine an object which is currently out of sight (eg: a mobile phone). Close your eyes imagine picking it up, it's weight, how it feels to the touch, the colours, logo's etc... Imagine it as well as you possibly can, then do it for real - same sort of thing really but one that's easy enough to try even while laying in bed before sleep etc... Remember, we're looking for Real simple truth here, nothing fancy or technical :-)

Mike
Hi Mike, I haven't gotten around to the meal exercise yet. I am staying over somewhere where I can't plan/pick my meals. Yesterday I was planning on going over to the nearest MC Donalds for a cheeseburger so I will do that today.

I was able to try it on my phone and this tablet computer I am typing on now. So I tried to imagine exactly what it would be like. Then I pick up the object, like just now the phone, and there are things that I couldn't possibly have pictured about it. Such as smudges on the screen, the location of various parts, such as speaker grille, shape of the phone, etc.

So I see that the picture my mind has, based on memory, bases on the past experience of the phone, is mostly false. The mental image can be helpful when, for example, trying to locate it when lost, but it is not the same as having it in your hand. It is a cheap imitation at best, and the image has none of the use value of the actual object. You cannot make phone calls or surf the web with the image of the phone. You actually have to have it in your hands.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:24 pm

Hiya Chris,
I was able to try it on my phone and this tablet computer I am typing on now. So I tried to imagine exactly what it would be like. Then I pick up the object, like just now the phone, and there are things that I couldn't possibly have pictured about it. Such as smudges on the screen, the location of various parts, such as speaker grille, shape of the phone, etc.

So I see that the picture my mind has, based on memory, bases on the past experience of the phone, is mostly false. The mental image can be helpful when, for example, trying to locate it when lost, but it is not the same as having it in your hand. It is a cheap imitation at best, and the image has none of the use value of the actual object. You cannot make phone calls or surf the web with the image of the phone. You actually have to have it in your hands.
Yes you've got it, don't worry about the meal task, you've nailed it in your response here. If it were a meal, you'd soon realise that you couldn't live for long on imagined food!

What's happening here (eg: with the phone), is you're seeing directly that memories of the past is accessing a thought which is at best, representative of something real! This is important. Any 'object' you imagine, is only a thought ABOUT something, it's not the real thing. Same with imagining something in the future, an event, something you might buy, catching up with a friend etc... Again, is there anything real about these things or can it only be said that they are thoughts about them? A good way to think about this is if you think of a map of a country. It's a map which represents the country but not the country itself. The two things are very different.

Can you think of anything at all from the past or future that you can directly know is real? Yes there will be thoughts 'about' things, but are they REAL or just imagined? Can you touch, smell, see, hear, taste them for real?

Test this out and rack your brains to see if the above is true - also, has there ever been a time when you've experienced anything other than right now?


Look forward to hearing what you find :-)

Mike

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chris lewis
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby chris lewis » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:08 pm

Hiya Chris,
I was able to try it on my phone and this tablet computer I am typing on now. So I tried to imagine exactly what it would be like. Then I pick up the object, like just now the phone, and there are things that I couldn't possibly have pictured about it. Such as smudges on the screen, the location of various parts, such as speaker grille, shape of the phone, etc.

So I see that the picture my mind has, based on memory, bases on the past experience of the phone, is mostly false. The mental image can be helpful when, for example, trying to locate it when lost, but it is not the same as having it in your hand. It is a cheap imitation at best, and the image has none of the use value of the actual object. You cannot make phone calls or surf the web with the image of the phone. You actually have to have it in your hands.
Yes you've got it, don't worry about the meal task, you've nailed it in your response here. If it were a meal, you'd soon realise that you couldn't live for long on imagined food!

What's happening here (eg: with the phone), is you're seeing directly that memories of the past is accessing a thought which is at best, representative of something real! This is important. Any 'object' you imagine, is only a thought ABOUT something, it's not the real thing. Same with imagining something in the future, an event, something you might buy, catching up with a friend etc... Again, is there anything real about these things or can it only be said that they are thoughts about them? A good way to think about this is if you think of a map of a country. It's a map which represents the country but not the country itself. The two things are very different.

Can you think of anything at all from the past or future that you can directly know is real? Yes there will be thoughts 'about' things, but are they REAL or just imagined? Can you touch, smell, see, hear, taste them for real?

Test this out and rack your brains to see if the above is true - also, has there ever been a time when you've experienced anything other than right now?


Look forward to hearing what you find :-)

Mike
No there doesn't seem to be. Even when i would like to recreate the event, such as my trip to the mountains in Western Canada. I took a bunch of pictures to remind me of what the experience was like, and even a few videos, to make it seem more "real" to the future "me". But obviously nothing like the experience. I can barely remember 99.999% of the actual experience, once you take everything into account.

Imagery of future experiences is even more unreliable, even immediate future. A dog just walked into the room. Now it's humping a blanket. That wasn't part of "my" future plans! It just happens, now, then it becomes past, and I can't even remember it properly, even if its a few seconds ago. What will you say in response? I don't know.

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eyeman
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby eyeman » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:44 pm

Hi Chris,

Lol at the dog with the blanket - have one here that's a bit like that :-)
No there doesn't seem to be. Even when i would like to recreate the event, such as my trip to the mountains in Western Canada. I took a bunch of pictures to remind me of what the experience was like, and even a few videos, to make it seem more "real" to the future "me". But obviously nothing like the experience. I can barely remember 99.999% of the actual experience, once you take everything into account.

Imagery of future experiences is even more unreliable, even immediate future. A dog just walked into the room. Now it's humping a blanket. That wasn't part of "my" future plans! It just happens, now, then it becomes past, and I can't even remember it properly, even if its a few seconds ago. What will you say in response? I don't know.
Yes the past is hard to re-live even when we want to, even when we look at a photo or video - it's either a screen made of pixels or piece of paper, the mind does a good job of filling in the gaps but it's never the real thing. Yes who knows what the future holds - the big question is: does it really exist in any way shape or form, same with the past.

Look now - is there anything REAL that you can access that is not directly in your experience right now? Compare things that are real with things that are imagined. This includes past and future 'ideas' and even things which your mind tells you are real such as a tree in a nearby garden or park, if you think of something like this tree, again imagine it exactly as it's real right now, all the details, colours, shapes, textures, perhaps a bird perched on a branch - then go to see it and compare the experience.

So the task now is to look at what is in your direct experience now and perceived through the senses and ask yourself if we can consider this to be real and true - undeniable in the way that if you were holding a real apple, you would simply KNOW you were holding a real apple (despite the mind perhaps considering quantum physics etc...)

Also do the same with any thing which is held in thought - imagine anything which is not experienced directly and like in the exercise above - ask ourselves if this thought content is REAL and undeniable or simply a thought ABOUT something which we consider to be real.

This is an important part of the investigation so please be as quick or take as long as you need to respond.

Also can you respond with your thoughts on the following statement eg: true or false:

Thoughts are real (they happen), but thought content is not.

Thanks

Mike


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