Hello! Request a guide please.

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be_free
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Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:59 pm

Hello!

I have been an on and off seeker for the past 12 years. It started with turning to Eckhart Tolle as a way of helping me with suffering. From there Byron Katie. The suffering stopped but the seeking started. I read “I am that” and was floored. (Among other numerous books). I’m fascinated with those who have had extreme awakenings, Susan Segal, Byron Katie and have recently discovered Lisa Cairnes.

I have had spiritual experiences and later realized they are just that, experiences. Several years ago I wanted to die, but realized there was no “I”. I feel that was the beginning of my seeking. Wanting to die turned into wanting nothing more than to have a radical awakening. Anything to get me out of my pain/identification.

I’ve sensed realized that there is no one to be enlightened. And no one that can “do” anything. These are not so much realizations but what I’ve been listening to, reading.

A big change in my life has caused me to get into the seeking mode again… and at the same time, trying to not seek. I just attended a 7 day silent retreat and found a deep peace within myself.

A couple days before the retreat I had experiences with an extreme sensitivity to sounds.

This is hard to explain, but during the silent retreat I noticed that the background hum came to the foreground often and brought my attention to the present moment, as that is where all the attention is going to. It also seems to make sounds louder as if there isn’t a barrier.

Another thing I’d like to mention, is I’ve had dreams within dreams. Which makes me see no difference between the dreaming and waking worlds. This is one way I’ve used as a “cloaking” device. When I’m stressed out, I put myself into this state and an immediately very peaceful.

I also see that all the above are just experiences, that’s all. But yet they still seem like they are happening to me.

I am here based on a referral from a friend and would like to explore a bit!

Thank you, Michelle

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Alexw
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:02 am

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for your interesting post.
My name is Alex, and I am happy to discuss this with you.
I also see that all the above are just experiences, that’s all. But yet they still seem like they are happening to me.
Can you please describe this "me" that seems to be experiencing.
Can it be found as an independent entity that is separate from the experience? Can you find any borders between the "object/phenomenon" that is experienced and the "me" that is experiencing?

Please also let me know how you see yourself.
The standard view is that "I" refers to a person. An existing thing - a body/mind.
The body is "me". The thoughts are "mine".
The body is controlled by me and choices can be made by me.
What is your view? Write what comes up.

Regards,
Alex

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:14 am

Hello Alex, thank you for responding!
Can you please describe this "me" that seems to be experiencing.
Can it be found as an independent entity that is separate from the experience? Can you find any borders between the "object/phenomenon" that is experienced and the "me" that is experiencing?
Wow, no, I can't find a "me" that is experiencing, only a thought. There is a watching or attention of the experience. It appears to be happening from inside this body so there's an assumption that "I" watched it or experienced it. I cannot find any borders.
Please also let me know how you see yourself.
The standard view is that "I" refers to a person. An existing thing - a body/mind.
The body is "me". The thoughts are "mine".
The body is controlled by me and choices can be made by me.
What is your view? Write what comes up.
When I do inquiry, I cannot locate an "I". I have no control over when this body gets sick, breaths, grows, sleeps, gets hungry, thinks and functions, so it's not mine. I have no control over thoughts. They come and go on their own so they aren't mine. But they seem personal because not everyone is getting the same thoughts as I am.

When I meditate, it's easy to watch the thoughts. And I also find that when there are thoughts to do something, I wonder what action the body will take. For instance there's a thought to go to the store, I wonder if the body will follow the thought. There's no seriousness to them.

However when I'm around people and talking, the sense of I is strong. Trying to say the right thing, look right, act right. I feel very much like an "I". I feel very separate and closed off. Introverted.

Lately when I'm at home alone, and the body moves, the body at times doesn't seem like mine. I watch in interst as I see a hand cut vegetables or I'll catch a glimpse of the hand. But what's really hard to describe is lately there seems to be a delay in what is thought and what the body does. I don't even think I can describe it.

But at the end of the day even all of this seems like a doing. When I sleep, it all disappears. No one is inquiring, looking at experiences. When I wake up the next morning, it feels heavy and "I'm" still here. Afraid to give up the seeking even though I know I'm not in control of any of it.

Thanks,
Michelle

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Alexw
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:12 am

I can't find a "me" that is experiencing, only a thought. There is a watching or attention of the experience. It appears to be happening from inside this body so there's an assumption that "I" watched it or experienced it. I cannot find any borders.
Ok, great. No "me" experiencing, only a thought stating that there is a "me" doing the experiencing...

Is the attention (or maybe better: awareness) of the experience separate from it? If you can't find any borders between the awareness of experience and the experience itself... could it be that awareness = experience?

Don't answer this based on logic - sit down, close your eyes and simply listen. Is there an entity "sounder" and a separate entity "hearer"? Or is there only sound?
Do the same with sight. Put a cup or another simple object on the desk in front of you - look at it. What is the direct experience of "looking at cup"? What makes it a "cup"? Does "seeing" by itself contain the information that this is a cup? What does?

What is "inside of this body"? Isn't this only a thought saying that something is "inside" or "outside"? Does the experience itself contain the information of location? Can you find "body" in this experience or is this only a certain extract/part of this experience that thought labels as "my/this body"?

There are also a few formalities we have to agree on before we go into more detail:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info, the disclaimer and a short video too at:
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

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 only from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and
essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. 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.

Thats it, simple :-)

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:24 pm

I have read the disclaimer, short video and intro info.
I have read the ground rules.
I'm good with all of them!
Don't answer this based on logic - sit down, close your eyes and simply listen. Is there an entity "sounder" and a separate entity "hearer"? Or is there only sound?
There seems to be entity “sounders.” Sitting here listening to birds, crickets, the thought says it’s coming from cars going by, birds in trees, bugs..but I don’t physically see what is making the sound. Only thoughts that label them. I can’t locate an “I” that is a hearer, there is only sound.
Do the same with sight. Put a cup or another simple object on the desk in front of you - look at it. What is the direct experience of "looking at cup"? What makes it a "cup"? Does "seeing" by itself contain the information that this is a cup? What does?
In looking at a cup, a thought labels it a cup. The label immediately separates it from me. But how can a thought make it a cup? Without thought, it is an object/shape. Just the seeing doesn’t give me any information. It seems like there is someone seeing. (Oh, that's a thought also.)
What is "inside of this body"? Isn't this only a thought saying that something is "inside" or "outside"? Does the experience itself contain the information of location? Can you find "body" in this experience or is this only a certain extract/part of this experience that thought labels as "my/this body"?
Yes! It is just a thought that says there is someone seeing and being, experiencing. The experience is just what is.

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Alexw
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:55 am

There seems to be entity “sounders.” Sitting here listening to birds, crickets, the thought says it’s coming from cars going by, birds in trees, bugs..but I don’t physically see what is making the sound. Only thoughts that label them. I can’t locate an “I” that is a hearer, there is only sound.
There SEEM to be "sounders", yes... what makes it seem so? Anything else but thought stating that this is a bird or a car?
Otherwise, yes, there is ONLY sound! Well seen!
In looking at a cup, a thought labels it a cup. The label immediately separates it from me. But how can a thought make it a cup? Without thought, it is an object/shape. Just the seeing doesn’t give me any information. It seems like there is someone seeing. (Oh, that's a thought also.)
Yes, thought labels it cup. Something that has been learned and is now a conditioned/engrained structure. This is a good thing, otherwise you would find it very hard to navigate daily life, wouldn't you?
BUT: This does not mean that this is how seeing works! Thought says that there is an "I" - a subject - seeing a separate object "cup". But is this also what direct experience of seeing reveals?
What is "seeing a cup" without thought stating the above? Is there an "I" seeing in "pure seeing"? Is there a separate "object" being observed? Or is there only "seeing"? What do you think about this formula: Seeing = Color ?
It is just a thought that says there is someone seeing and being, experiencing. The experience is just what is.
Yes, well seen! It is as it is and only thought takes sides, identifies and conceptualises. Again, this is a good thing as long as it is seen for what it is...

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:34 pm

What is "seeing a cup" without thought stating the above? Is there an "I" seeing in "pure seeing"? Is there a separate "object" being observed? Or is there only "seeing"?
I had an experience before when I have become my cat and a tree. lol All thought/labels dropped away. I didn't see this until thought came back and made it an experience.
What do you think about this formula: Seeing = Color ?
I don't understand what you mean by this.

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:57 am

Do you mean seeing is just color without labels?

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Alexw
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:51 am

Yes, seeing simply equals color in certain shapes, hearing is simply sound etc etc... all labels and concepts are thought based - as is the subject that seems to do the seeing and the object that seems to be seen...
Have another go at the looking at cup on table exercise. You said that "labelling immediately separates it from me"... What is the "me" that labelling separates the object from? Isn't "me" also just a label? Can a thought (label) separate anything or is this again just a thought stating "This is a cup - it is separate from my body, from me"?
I had an experience before when I have become my cat and a tree. lol All thought/labels dropped away.
Interesting experience... can you find any of these entities - me, cat, tree - outside of the labelling mind? How could "you" become a cat or a tree? When all labels drop away, what is left? Only THIS experience, no cat, no tree, no you... Maybe thought stated after this experience "I became a cat or a tree" - it sounds very mystical - but was that really what has happened?
But at the end of the day even all of this seems like a doing. When I sleep, it all disappears. No one is inquiring, looking at experiences.
Do you sometimes dream? I guess you do... when you dream, there is this dream-character that is "you"... It can see, hear, feel, think... just like in the waking state,right? Do you think this dream-character is aware of anything? Are any of the characters in a dream aware of anything? Or is there rather awareness OF the dream characters? Does this awareness belong to any of the separate characters? Do the characters all have separate dreams or is there ONE dream in which characters arise?

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:48 pm

Have another go at the looking at cup on table exercise. You said that "labelling immediately separates it from me"... What is the "me" that labelling separates the object from? Isn't "me" also just a label? Can a thought (label) separate anything or is this again just a thought stating "This is a cup - it is separate from my body, from me"?
There is just a looking at a cup, a thought says cup and that’s all. True, how can a thought separate. How can a thought do anything?
Interesting experience... can you find any of these entities - me, cat, tree - outside of the labelling mind? How could "you" become a cat or a tree? When all labels drop away, what is left? Only THIS experience, no cat, no tree, no you... Maybe thought stated after this experience "I became a cat or a tree" - it sounds very mystical - but was that really what has happened?
It does sound quite mystical. Lol This happened a few years ago so I can only go by memory. I don’t mean that I literally became the cat or tree, but there was no me. There was only experience. I honestly don’t remember if there was a labeling of cat or tree, seems like those labels came after…when thoughts named it a cool experience of what just happened.
Do you sometimes dream? I guess you do... when you dream, there is this dream-character that is "you"... It can see, hear, feel, think... just like in the waking state,right? Do you think this dream-character is aware of anything? Are any of the characters in a dream aware of anything? Or is there rather awareness OF the dream characters? Does this awareness belong to any of the separate characters? Do the characters all have separate dreams or is there ONE dream in which characters arise?
When I dream, it seems real. There are thoughts, color, characters. Sometimes things are said, sometimes there is just a knowing. Things that would appear abnormal in the waking state, seem normal in the dream state. Sometimes I play a different character. Sometimes I’m just the watcher of it all. But none of this is realized until I wake up. When I wake up I see I was everything in the dream.

When I had a dream within a dream, the dream was about my car getting hit in a parking lot. I thought how my husband was going to kill me, and it would be so cool if this was a dream. I drove out of the parking lot. The next scene was I was at work, telling co-workers of what happened. That I had dreamed of wrecking my car in a parking lot and how I had wished it was a dream… and it was! And we all laughed. Then I woke up from that.

This has led me to question was is dream and what is reality. Everything in the dream appeared to be real. Time was real. Thoughts were real. There were thoughts of a past which seemed real but didn’t exist.
How do I know what is real here in the waking state? Is this a waking state? Thoughts that seem like it’s part of a past are happening now… but did it really happen? Is that thought just part of the dream? Is this a dream now?

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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:49 am

True, how can a thought separate. How can a thought do anything?
Exactly right, how could a thought ever do anything?
I don’t mean that I literally became the cat or tree, but there was no me. There was only experience. I honestly don’t remember if there was a labeling of cat or tree, seems like those labels came after…
Yes, it is interesting what happens once there is no labelling happening... I/me is gone... Makes it pretty obvious that "I/me" is only a label/concept for selective parts of this experience, doesn't it?
How do I know what is real here in the waking state? Is this a waking state? Thoughts that seem like it’s part of a past are happening now… but did it really happen? Is that thought just part of the dream? Is this a dream now?
Isn't "dream" just as much a concept as "reality"? What is "real" anyway? Is something real only when we can see and touch it and if we can't it is not real? What if "dream" as well as "reality" are neither real or not real - they simply are.
One state has the benefit of specific parts of experience being classified as "I/me" whereas the other state has less of this labelling happening. If your dreams would be in sequence (like your "real life") and you would continue dreaming your dream life every night - would you know which is your real life - the one where you are awake or the other one where you are dreaming?

But the question is not so much about what is real, but who is there dreaming/living a life?
If there is no separate entity I/me then who is awake and who is dreaming? Is there a "dreamer" (or a person that is awake) or is there only the dream (life)?

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:45 pm

But the question is not so much about what is real, but who is there dreaming/living a life?
If there is no separate entity I/me then who is awake and who is dreaming? Is there a "dreamer" (or a person that is awake) or is there only the dream (life)?
I see that real is just another concept/thought. Who is dreaming/living seems to be something that is always there in the background. Sorry to sound like everyone else but it’s something that has been with me since birth. There’s only just the dream.

Since I am not the thoughts, who is watching the thoughts? It feels like there are thoughts and a watcher. When a thought says it feels like there are two, that is also a thought and I can't go anywhere with this.

Do things just happen regardless if there is thought? Meaning if there is a thought to go exercise, would there be exercise even if that thought didn’t appear? Would there just be movement to exercise and exercising would happen? And who is questioning? Thoughts that are a question seem to be needed to know…but who would know?

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Alexw
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby Alexw » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:31 am

Since I am not the thoughts, who is watching the thoughts? It feels like there are thoughts and a watcher. When a thought says it feels like there are two, that is also a thought and I can't go anywhere with this.
Doesn't "I am not X" indicate that there has to be a "I am Y" - only I just don't know what "Y" is yet, so I continue searching...
Now, there can be a new identification with "I am the watcher" or "I am awareness", but isn't this just replacing one identification with another one? What if "you" can't know - on a thought based level - what you are, but only BE what you are?
Do things just happen regardless if there is thought? Meaning if there is a thought to go exercise, would there be exercise even if that thought didn’t appear? Would there just be movement to exercise and exercising would happen?
Have a closer look at how thought works... "I’ll go and exercise" might SEEM like thought makes the decision and the body is following up, but then again... thought simply arises, right... it is not generated by a controlling entity... is it? Maybe something happened and it triggered the thought "I’ll go and exercise"... maybe an ad on TV, something you read in the paper or having a big meal the day before... and even the thought arises, does this mean it will always be followed by action? Have a look at how many decisions are made on a constant basis that thought does never comment on, but things still happen. You get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, drive a car, walk, eat...

Try this exercise:
Do this a few times first: Simply think of a number between 1 and 10. How does this work? Is there an entity there to decide which number comes up or is it simply appearing? Do this about 10 times and note what happens.
Now do the same, but after the number appears move the same number of fingers. Again, do this about 10 times. Can you find an entity that controls the movement of the fingers? What is the connection between the number thought and the movement of the fingers? Is there any besides another thought stating "I decided to choose the number 5 so I moved 5 fingers"? Where is the "thinker"? Where is the "mover"? Do any of these entities exist outside of thought?

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:54 pm

Try this exercise:
Do this a few times first: Simply think of a number between 1 and 10. How does this work? Is there an entity there to decide which number comes up or is it simply appearing? Do this about 10 times and note what happens.
Now do the same, but after the number appears move the same number of fingers. Again, do this about 10 times. Can you find an entity that controls the movement of the fingers? What is the connection between the number thought and the movement of the fingers? Is there any besides another thought stating "I decided to choose the number 5 so I moved 5 fingers"? Where is the "thinker"? Where is the "mover"? Do any of these entities exist outside of thought?
This was hard not to identify with but you're right, an answer did just appear. There was a thought that I was doing it and choosing to move fingers but it was that, just a thought. I couldn't locate a mover or a thinker.

I've also noticed that thoughts and the body don't always agree. A thought says to go exercise and the body doesn't. It does something else.

This morning there is a strong identification with feelings and thoughts. Feelings of rejection, unfairness, unworthiness, irritation, frustration, anger, wanting to be special, wanting to really believe I'm not this body/mind, to know it. Wanting to watch a nonduality video, read a book, go to a retreat. I did inquiry and couldn't find a "me" who is any of those things but they all seem so personal.

Someone said they no longer wanted to communicate with me. At first there wasn't any reaction. I knew that this person doesn't even know what will happen just as much as I don't. But a few days later there's this feeling of rejection and sadness, etc. It's hard not to take something like that personal when it's directed to this body.

What I'm noticing now is all of the above feelings are no longer here. Right at this moment. There seems to be a want to believe all those things to feel sorry for myself. There's a calmness. But who allowed? Every single thing is a thought. Believing is a thought, not believing is a thought. Who is doing inquiry? Who is allowing? Very interesting.

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be_free
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Re: Hello! Request a guide please.

Postby be_free » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:31 pm

I see there's no control over when there's identification and no identification. No control over when there's an allowing or not allowing. I didn't do any of it. It just happened.


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