Guide Request

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bfltsns15
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Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:03 pm

Hi, My name is Jerry.

First. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and to consider guiding me in this process. I can appreciate the commitment of time and energy to do this.

Here's some background intended to help potential guides decide if we are a good fit for this process.

First. I've been working with this for quite some time without even realizing it until recently being reminded probably for the thousandth time. And I think I am seeing this clearly - the no-self - not just as an idea or new belief, and I would not even call it an experience - more like: hey this is just how it is man. I can say that when this recently occurred to me, it was quite shocking - even the audacity of the idea was shocking. I felt like I was just flabbergasted, astonished. Well, anyway, given that I've experienced life through a kind of imaginative illusion for 50 yrs, there is some tentativeness around fully trusting this. Maybe fear of yet a different kind of illusion. So there are three reasons for requesting a guide and participating: one is for me to see this clearly with absolute clarity if possible all the time rather than just some of the time, to help clarify my understanding and make sure I'm not deluding myself in belief rather than direct knowing, and to possibly help others see this too.

Anyway, I live in the U.S. in the central time zone.

Spiritual background includes like many seekers, a kind of gradual deepening. I started with yoga and reading spiritual books twenty years ago. As that intensified I went to a lot of satsangs and retreats with many teachers such as Gangaji, Mooji, Genpo Roshi, Sally Kempton. I did some Goenka Vipassana retreats. I did a Mahamudra meditation retreat with Dan Brown called, "Pointing out the great way." And then I did a 9 month course with Peter Fenner called Radiant Mind. Peter Fenner's non-dual teaching style is very, very gentle, subtle, and powerful(long term approach). I've worked with his teaching materials and meditation techniques for the past 7 years. I've also used holosync meditation program for the past 8 or 9 years. So, lots of stuff. Some nuts are harder to crack. The first thing which I learned from Peter and was a huge relief was that it was ok to just be me - the self I imagined myself to be - no need to battle with ego. No effort required. The more recent realization is that self is not what I 've always thought it was - but this is just beginning to really sink in and take hold. I'd say that with Peter Fenner's approach, the intensity of the "Great Spiritual Search" really dropped off, and I've taken a much more laid-back approach without the intensity of seeking. The practice of no practice sort of.
I'd say that Peter's approach and yours are pointing out the same insight of no-self while his seems like a gentle compassion, the LU approach looks more like a sword of compassion, which is fine with me.

So, I'm ready and willing to go through this process and see it through to its mutually agreed upon completion.

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:56 pm

Hi Jerry

Welcome to LU!

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

There are a few standard ground rules to agree on before we start:

1. Please agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same.
2. I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.
3. In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.
4. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
5. Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and 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://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/
for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

6. 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, that you agree to the disclaimer and then we'll begin.

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.

Look forward to working with you.

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

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bfltsns15
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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:14 pm

Bonjour Fred!

Thank you!

Yes, I've reviewed all the material and agree to the stated terms.

Ready to go.

p.s. Love Alan Watts writings.

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:25 pm

Hi Jerry,

Great. Let’s get this show on the road!
And I think I am seeing this clearly - the no-self - not just as an idea or new belief, and I would not even call it an experience - more like: hey this is just how it is man
Tell me more about this realisation. What do you mean when you say you are seeing ‘the no-self’. Can you explain what that is? How does the illusion work, as you see it now?
I can say that when this recently occurred to me, it was quite shocking - even the audacity of the idea was shocking. I felt like I was just flabbergasted, astonished.
Given what you are seeing, can you tell me what you are referring to when you use the words ‘I’, ‘me’ etc? What do these words point to?
The more recent realization is that self is not what I 've always thought it was
So what is the self? What did you think it was and what do you see now?

Take your time with the questions. Don’t shoot from the hip. Quick answers are often mind answers. Instead, let them infuse, percolate. Stay with them. Contemplate them. Don’t scan your thoughts for the answers. Look at what is true, alive, here and now, in your direct experience.

Thanks!

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

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bfltsns15
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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:50 pm

Hi Fred,

Good questions. I am surprised by how difficult it is to answer them with conventional subject/object language.

I am earnestly contemplating them. Or I could say, earnest contemplation is happening. Right now it seems like the knowing is easier than the explaining.

The first take at describing the self I thought I was for 50yrs is quite lengthy. The goal here is to answer succinctly with clarity assuming that if you want more elaboration, you will request it. So, I'll probably give you a more brief description with the goal of capturing just the key components of that illusion that were not questioned or seen through.

Not sure if I will provide a response to your questions today. I want to spend as much time as needed to feel complete with the responses.

J

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:05 pm

Hi Jerry

Don’t worry too much about the subject-object language thing. We’re all fumbling for words here, trying to describe something that is ultimately not describable.
If it helps, place some words (‘I’, ‘they’ etc) between quotation marks or something like that. Let’s not fall into the trap of the Lucknow disease, where all pronouns are to be avoided like the plague. You can write « I am earnestly contemplating them », I am happy with that :-)
The first take at describing the self I thought I was for 50yrs is quite lengthy.
You’re right, I’m not after lengthy stories. Just a few words to describe what the self was thought to be.

Don’t worry about getting it right. There are no right or wrong answers. The point is to get this exchange going so we can get to any issue that may not have been seen through.

Thanks!

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

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bfltsns15
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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:41 am

Hi Fred,
Tell me more about this realisation. What do you mean when you say you are seeing ‘the no-self’. Can you explain what that is? How does the illusion work, as you see it now?
I don't seem to have the hang of this quote function. I read the suggested article, but seem to be doing something wrong. Any suggestions?

I see that there is no self, no I. These words point to thoughts about a me believed to be true by the me the thoughts implied or inferred. These thoughts were assumed to be true because they had never been adequately and thoroughly observed as hypothesis, never observed with any doubt of their truth. I was simply trained to believe it was real. It was a simple mistake to believe that the I was real rather than imaginary. There is no entity that can be found by simple direct looking. There is just looking happening or just sights happening, not someone looking or seeing the sights. This inferred entity is unfindable in direct looking. There is just a knowing that it is not there except as thoughts. There is no entity there. No digester, no breather, no controller, no thinker, no feeler, no experiencer, no owner - no autonomous entity separate from the experience. Nothing is mine cause there is no me. There is no need to identify with experience. The experience just is what it is. Nothing there that needs - not even to be free.

This paragraph answers the other two questions too, so I'll stop there for now.

thanks,
J

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:00 am

Hi Jerry

Thanks for your answers. You seem to be doing just fine with the quote function. To make it easier, I have numbered the questions this time, so you can just answer referring to the numbers.

1)
These words point to thoughts about a me believed to be true by the me the thoughts implied or inferred.
« believed by the me ». Can you clarify this? What ‘me’ is believing the thoughts about a ‘me’? Are there two selves, one real and the other one unreal?

2)
There is no entity that can be found by simple direct looking. There is just looking happening
How did ‘you’ come to this realisation? Did you follow some exercise? What was the trigger that made you look, in direct experience?

And to come back to your first post:
3)
So there are three reasons for requesting a guide and participating: one is for me to see this clearly with absolute clarity if possible all the time rather than just some of the time.
Can you name one single fact of which you are aware 100% of the time? For example, I assume that you know that Santa does not exist. Are you aware of this 24/7? Or do you need to reassure yourself and check it.
When you use words like ‘all the time’ and ‘some of the time’, we are in the realm of thought, we are not in what is happening right in this moment. Look around you, notice what is seen/heard/touched etc. Where is ‘all the time’? Can it be touched, experienced? Or is it only a thought? If so is it real or unreal?
The only question is always: In this moment, the only one we can test, can an ‘I’ be found in experience or not?

4)
to help clarify my understanding and make sure I'm not deluding myself in belief rather than direct knowing, and to possibly help others see this too.
Who or what is there to delude itself in belief? Is there an ‘I’ that can delude itself?

Thanks!

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

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bfltsns15
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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:42 pm

« believed by the me ». Can you clarify this? What ‘me’ is believing the thoughts about a ‘me’? Are there two selves, one real and the other one unreal?
Yes. It was a somewhat ambiguous reference to how the illusion was constructed and maintained in the past. There is no self at all. It does not exist.
How did ‘you’ come to this realisation? Did you follow some exercise? What was the trigger that made you look, in direct experience?
Prior to coming to LU, 'I' was doing contentless unconditioned awareness meditations from Peter Fenner. It is a contemplation on the experience of "everything happening and simultaneously nothing happening" with no one in between - the inability to find one self. "I can think me, but there's no one thinking it, there's no me, no you, etc." 'I' had also been watching some non-dual videos and reading from various teachers like Joey Lott and Joan Tollifson who were clearly pointing.

The trigger was a thought that felt like a sudden realization. Sitting quietly, this thought arose, "I'm nothing more than an idea. I don't exist. All this time I never thought I was very imaginative. I guess I was more imaginative than I thought."

Well that was the shocker. That was a few weeks ago. Until that point, even though I had heard this and meditated on it for years, it just had not really been fully received and understood as truth.

Since that time it has become more and more clear with direct experiencing.
Can you name one single fact of which you are aware 100% of the time? For example, I assume that you know that Santa does not exist. Are you aware of this 24/7? Or do you need to reassure yourself and check it.
When you use words like ‘all the time’ and ‘some of the time’, we are in the realm of thought, we are not in what is happening right in this moment. Look around you, notice what is seen/heard/touched etc. Where is ‘all the time’? Can it be touched, experienced? Or is it only a thought? If so is it real or unreal?
The only question is always: In this moment, the only one we can test, can an ‘I’ be found in experience or not?


Yes. There is only now, this moment. It is all there is. All else is imagined. There is only this constant ever present ephemeral moment. The constantly present and changing moment. Yes, there is no need to look for what is known to not exist. In this moment, there is no I to be found in experience, and it is the only place to look.
Who or what is there to delude itself in belief? Is there an ‘I’ that can delude itself?
There was no I before, just the unquestioned belief in I that created the delusion. Thoughts about self are still arising, but now they are questioned or not taken seriously. The I thoughts are not received as truth. It seems possible to still have feelings of uncertainty as well as certainty arise about this truth of no self dependent upon the intensity of the present moment experience and the degree of attachment in the conditioning. So, in thought it is possible to imagine a future present moment where the I story is at least temporarily believed. Also there is a belief that delusions can be present with and without the 'I delusion.' i.e. other misalignments to reality.

thanks Fred,

J

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:36 pm

Hi Jerry
The trigger was a thought that felt like a sudden realization. Sitting quietly, this thought arose, "I'm nothing more than an idea. I don't exist.
Interesting! Did that realisation change your life? Tell me what is felt in your everyday life now that you see this.
All this time I never thought I was very imaginative. I guess I was more imaginative than I thought.
Not sure I get this. What is this ‘I’ that is claiming to be « more imaginative than I thought »?
There was no I before, just the unquestioned belief in I that created the delusion.
Tell me more about this ‘I’ that created the delusion. What is it? What is it that was believed in? Is it just an idea? If so, can a thought create a delusion?
Describe it as plainly as you can. Stay away from the spiritual jargon and the ready-made teachings. In your own words and your own time.
And again, don’t scan your thoughts for the answers, just what is alive, here and now.

Thanks!

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

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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:10 pm

Hi Fred,
Interesting! Did that realisation change your life? Tell me what is felt in your everyday life now that you see this.
Yes and no. It used to be my life when I believed it was. Now it is just life or life experiencing life. The only significance or relevance the I illusion has seems to be believing it to be true. It's like attending a funeral with no one in the coffin. Yes 'you' know someone died, but the someone was never born anyway. It's like an end, but also a very real feeling of a new beginning. There have been tears and laughter, unstable energy sensations, instability, lightness, anxiety, less sleep. It's like having a different point of view with no one having that different point of view. Before the I was real, it was that feeling of the body sensations, the awareness of being here alive now. Those feelings are still here just not labelled as me. 'My life' was very good, mostly sweet, peaceful, low-stress, low-pressure before, and it's pretty much the same now. Participating in this forum and discussing this with some friends has been the most stressful experience so far since seeing this. It feels like being here and not being here at the same time. It feels like being here in life, in the body and at the same time not being able to find 'myself' in any experience including the body - just experience.
Not sure I get this. What is this ‘I’ that is claiming to be « more imaginative than I thought »?
OK. Probably doesn't matter whether you get this. At the time 'I' was laughing and thinking just how funny and sad the joke was. The joke was to 'myself' about 'myself' created and maintained by belief and imagination.
Tell me more about this ‘I’ that created the delusion. What is it? What is it that was believed in? Is it just an idea? If so, can a thought create a delusion?
OK. Before, I seemed very real. I existed. I was everything that mattered to me. Now, I don't exist, and it does not matter. There is just experiencing. Everything that was real before is still here.

The imaginary I was believed in. I seemed very real. I existed. Now I don't. It was unquestioned that Jerry was there. It had been questioned many times in the past, but before there remained an 'I' either as the bodymind, as everything, as awareness, as a being-ness, as an unknown non-thing that I had not yet been able to experience. It was believed that something was there that was me. The idea of complete non-existence as me had not been fully questioned or tested by the evidence of experience.

It seems like more that just an idea. Delusion is an imagined idea delivered by thought with contents believed to be true and unquestioned. 'I' had already learned to see thought as just thought, and 'I' already understood that the contents of thought were mostly untrustworthy and problematic, it had just not yet occurred to 'me' to question THAT thought - the thought of not existing as me, as Jerry, as anything at all.
And again, don’t scan your thoughts for the answers, just what is alive, here and now.
'I' don't know what else would be here that is not alive, here and now, except what is imagined to be here. If 'you' think the answers are coming from thought or are too conceptual, can 'you' make a specific recommendation as to what 'I' can do to, "go out of my mind" - to take this deeper?

thanks,
J

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:31 pm

Hi Jerry,
If 'you' think the answers are coming from thought or are too conceptual, can 'you' make a specific recommendation as to what 'I' can do to, "go out of my mind" - to take this deeper?
You’re doing just fine, Jerry. When I say « Again, … » it is just a reminder to stick to your first-hand experience, as you are doing, it is not a reflection on your answers.
It had been questioned many times in the past, but before there remained an 'I' either as the bodymind, as everything, as awareness, as a being-ness, as an unknown non-thing that I had not yet been able to experience. It was believed that something was there that was me.
Yes, the ‘I’ can hide in some identification to a bigger self, like awareness, Life, God, etc. A bit like a character painting the floor in a room and painting itself into a corner, without leaving. Then even the « painter » leaves…

1) How would you describe how this illusion of the separate self works, to someone who has never heard about it but is very interested. Imagine you’re explaining it to a child of 5, or someone that has just landed from Mars.

2) I would like us to investigate the question of free will. Here are a couple exercices for this. Always look at what is actually given in your most immediate experience.

- On a count of three, raise the left hand or the right hand and observe what happens. 1-2-3. Take a good look. Do you see an entity doing the choosing? Is there a ‘you’ that selects one hand or the other, in your bare experience? Or is there just raising of a hand?
- Can you choose the moment when ‘you’ fall asleep or ‘you’ wake up? A thought comes up and claims ‘Jerry is getting up’, but what happens, in actuality?
- Choose a drink, for example tea/coffee/another drink or between a couple of objects (blue pen/black pen/pencil). Really do this, don't imagine you're doing it, that would be just thought stuff. Then sit and see if you can find the ‘self' who made that choice? If so, where exactly did that choice happen? Why was one option selected over another? Can you find a choice point (a location of choosing)? Try to describe the process of 'choosing'. Let me know what you find.

Thanks!

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

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bfltsns15
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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:30 pm

Hi Fred,

Still contemplating with direct experience. Good questions.

with gratitude,

J

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Freddi
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Freddi » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:02 pm

Thanks for letting me know, Jerry, I look forward to your answers.

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

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Re: Guide Request

Postby bfltsns15 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:06 pm

1) How would you describe how this illusion of the separate self works, to someone who has never heard about it but is very interested. Imagine you’re explaining it to a child of 5, or someone that has just landed from Mars.
This is a wonderful question. Ironically, 'I' had already been trying to answer the question that way. 'I' have three wonderful grandsons, ages 6, 3, and 6 weeks. 'We' live together on the farm, and they are quite delightful - well, most of the time. Any way, although 'I' am confident in at least the conceptual understanding, 'I' have not been able to accomplish the task. There are many, many pages of thought and pretending experiments that might be tested. It's beginning to look like an Alan Watts book. It started sounding like his book called, "The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are." 'I' have not read the book for ages, but it reminded me of some of his explanations. So there has been an almost all consuming preoccupation with this task - an amazing amount of thought, which is something 'I' was out of the habit of doing. 'I' have found from experience that whenever 'I' have a project that thinking really ramps up. It seems very contradictory to experiencing without a 'me'.

Sorry, don't want to ramble here. My status is a feeling of stuckness and confusion. There are thoughts and feelings of really questioning whether 'I' know what the hell 'I'm' talking about. Whether 'I' am just fooling myself. There are strong identifications arising. It feels like there is a 'something' that really wants to be this bodymind that can do all these amazing things, that sees itself as this bodymind, even if it is an autonomous bodymind that can do all these amazing functions by itself, like thinking and seeing and hearing and tasting and feeling. There is a strong feeling of identification with this bodymind organism and all that it conceptually 'does'. 'I' did some fairly intense yoga practices for about 10yrs, and although that stopped about 10yrs ago, there is a very strong connection with the body sensations throughout the body. Last night, there was a very strong identification with this body or the bodymind organism as a whole. The thought was, "I am this body/mind organism." 'I' just sat with it and all the strong feelings arising in the body, and tried to see underneath it all. It felt so true, so what 'I' am-this unique bodymind. It seems as if the intensity of some of the feelings is interpreted to verify the truth of the assertion.

This is not the first time, the approach of assuming 'I' already know this has been questioned. There are times when I wonder if 'I' should just take the perspective of someone knows absolutely nothing about this no-self business, like 'I' am the 5yr old. Easier said than done...

This question has really been challenging. There are feelings of stress and fatigue as the attempt to answer this question and others has been a preoccupation.

'I' will continue to work with this...
2) I would like us to investigate the question of free will. Here are a couple exercices for this. Always look at what is actually given in your most immediate experience.
Did this a few times, but have been mostly preoccupied with the previous question, so not ready to respond here either...

with gratitude,
J


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