Looking to connect with a guide

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Desert Dog
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Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:30 pm

Hi,

I heard about LU via friends in the Triratna Buddhist Community who have been exploring this approach and having great success. About 3 weeks ago I downloaded and started reading the Gateless Gatecrasher’s book and also watched some of the LU YouTube videos both of which I found very inspiring.

Pretty quickly it seemed to have an effect and I was able to see the ‘ME’ in experience as this heavy weight of tension / confusion / old habits and memories / sets of rules to be followed / guilt / vanity / self consciousness etc etc and that it was a big thing that had been created over the years and that had to keep being fed.

When I saw this and reflected that it was actually just that, something constructed, and not real, I first laughed and then experienced waves of relief and amazement that I’d managed to keep this whole thing going for so long without seeing it, despite years of meditation and Buddhist study!

For the next few days I seemed to be in a space of simple awareness where most of the time I could follow thoughts as they arose and remain present to what was happening. This was particularly good for then bringing my attention to look for ‘ME’ in my experience - like where is the ‘ME’ in this feeling of sadness, or anxiety, or restlessness etc.

Since those initial few days things have changed a bit in that I find I have periods where ghosts/patterns of ’ME’ come back and I find myself lost in them for a while before then noticing and turning my attention to them and looking for the ‘ME’ in them which seems to work. Because of this the past 2 weeks there has been a background doubt of whether it really will work which has led to some sadness and anxiety, but then last night in bed I suddenly realised the ‘ME’ can’t come back and take over as it doesn’t exist! More laughter, luckily no neighbours nearby!

Overall I feel like this approach has had a big effect but I would now like to request to work with a guide if any are free to take things further, connect with the LU community, and to find out if I'm through the (non-existent) gate, partially through or whether I'm simply in some very clever fantasy/delusion created by 'ME'!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Vali (aka Samudradaka)

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:02 am

Hi Desert Dog,

I will be happy to be your guide.

Here are some groundrules:
1. Write from experience, not speculation.
2. Be 100% honest. So a wrong honest answer is better than a good answer you lied about.
3. Post regularly !
4. Put aside all other teachings (satsangs!), philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
5. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main site -> http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
6. Could you learn the quote function? http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

If you confirm you have read the above we can start.

I am Dutch but live in the Western Indonesian Timezone (GMT+8), what is yours?

What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the separate self?
How will it feel?
How you will change?

Warm regards, Petrus

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:46 am

Hi Petrus,

Many thanks for offering to guide me, I happily accept :)
Here are some groundrules:
1. Write from experience, not speculation.
2. Be 100% honest. So a wrong honest answer is better than a good answer you lied about.
3. Post regularly !
4. Put aside all other teachings (satsangs!), philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
5. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main site -> http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
6. Could you learn the quote function? viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
Yes, I confirm I have read the above and agree to all of these groundrules.
I am Dutch but live in the Western Indonesian Timezone (GMT+8), what is yours?
I am in the UK so you're 8 hours ahead of me, but happy work with that.
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the separate self?
I expect that the burden and confusion of carrying around this separate self will be lifted
How will it feel?
A relief, free, open, joyful and allow interactions with people and the world to be unhindered by the limitations of the seperate self.
How you will change?
So far 'my' experience has been that life has suddenly got simpler, less of a need to fill my time/space/thoughts/body with input so I imagine this will continue.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Vali

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:46 am

Hi Vali ,
I expect that the burden and confusion of carrying around this separate self will be lifted
A relief, free, open, joyful and allow interactions with people and the world to be unhindered by the limitations of the seperate self.
What you expect could happen, but then again it is possible nothing will change.
But you will know that this seperate self is not existing and already that is a relief indeed as you wrote.
I also read you already did have 2 big laughs about your discoveries concerning this not seperate self. And when people start laughing about themselves they are on the right way...
Since those initial few days things have changed a bit in that I find I have periods where ghosts/patterns of ’ME’ come back
Ofcourse they come back. They served you for years. These patterns have to fade away. If you really see there is no "I", these patterns dont get fuel anymore.
But in the worst case (if the patterns do stay) there will be no "I" to mind that. Isnt that true?

So what is the status now over there?
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
And was there ever?
Just write down in detail what your answer is right now.
After that I will look if can shoot and hit something.

Warm regards, Petrus

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:22 pm

Hi Petrus,
But in the worst case (if the patterns do stay) there will be no "I" to mind that. Isnt that true?
Yes, I agree with this. with no "I" to claim these thoughts and patterns then they can be seen for what they are, just thoughts and patterns and they won't have the hold and power they used to have.
So what is the status now over there?
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
And was there ever?
Essentially there is no entity 'self' here and I can see that there never was. I can see what I used to relate to as 'my self' a bit like a cloud hanging there but I can also see round the edges and all the space around it. This is giving 'me' a sense of freedom and lightness and occasional laughter :)

As mentioned earlier I am experiencing what seems to be ghosts of 'self' coming back into experience, like a habit, and so I find I am effected by these (like a sunny day getting clouded over for a while) but then 'I' quickly see it for what it is, just thoughts or stories or habits, and then they loosen their grip and the illusion goes away again.

For example I get anxious about things that might happen in the future or get concerned what people think about 'me' (usually a story that i've done something wrong), and when these habitual thoughts/emotions come into experience, I then pause and try to look for the 'self' in them - after a while I find no self there and they start to loosen.

Vali

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:11 am

I am effected by these
How an "I" that isnt there can be effected?
There is a feeling. And probably a thought like: "I dont want this".
No "I" involved. A feeling and a thought. No problem. Can you see?
I get anxious about things
Same
after a while I find no self there
How can you find something that isnt there, haha?

The seperate self is a fabrication created from thought. The 'I' is just an idea and not a 'real separate self'. You have to be looking very closely for sometime. It is just a habit to expect this so-called "I" is still there. When you wont find it every time, the habit will faint.

Ok, lets focus on the body for a moment:
With the eyes closed, sitting still, notice the other sensations: hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. With only the input from those four senses, and without relying on thoughts or mental images:
Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or a volume?
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
Is there an inside or outside?
What is the body in this actual experience?

Regards, Petrus

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:17 pm

Hi Petrus,

Thanks for the useful pointers on looking closely at the "I" habit.

Here's answers to the 'body' focusing exercise:
Can it be known how tall the body is?
No. There are sensations in different places but it's not possible to measure height.
Does the body have a weight or a volume?
No. There is a sensation of heaviness, like a feeling of being pushed down upon but there's no thing that is a body there in experience that can be measured.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
No, just sensations of the clothing like prickliness, tightness, pressing etc.
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
No, again just sensations.
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
No, again just sensations in different places but no single entity there that can be defined as a body to then experience a shape of form of.
Is there an inside or outside?
None to be found. No body there, no in or out!
What is the body in this actual experience?
A collection of sensations in different places, fading in and out of experience.

Vali

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Hi Vali,

Just checking some more:
In direct experience, how 'others' are experienced?
Do 'others' exist independently from 'my' interpretation?
Is there any chooser or decider of any kind?
Is there an 'I' that could be responsible for anything at all?
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Is there anything left you would like to address yourself?

Regards, Peter

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:34 am

Hi Petrus,

Thanks for these questions, they have been very stimulating. Here are answers but 'I' will continue to explore them as are very interesting to reflect on and notice in experience.
In direct experience, how 'others' are experienced?
'I' can notice the habit in 'myself' to automatically label 'others' in a fixed way based on assumptions like there's John, he is always grumpy, there is Mary, she's annoyed with me etc. But with sufficient reflection then 'I' can see these as habitual labels that don't actually exist leading to a more real and immediate experience.
Do 'others' exist independently from 'my' interpretation?
No, in the same way that the separate self of Vali doesn't exists, neither do others exist in the sense of other separate selves. However, there is phenomena that does exist, for example if I reach out and shake hands with another person then the sensation of touch and solidity is there, however it is not a separate self.
Is there any chooser or decider of any kind?
No chooser or decider to be found. Would be interesting to hear from you how decisions do get made though.
Is there an 'I' that could be responsible for anything at all?
There is no 'I' there to be responsible for anything. Again though would be interesting to hear your thoughts on how responsibilities are carried out, say in a job for example, as they clearly do get carried out somehow...!
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
No, there's no 'I', so no 'I' to control thoughts. Thoughts come and go and can't be controlled.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, as there is no 'you' to choose them!

Best wishes to you,

Vali

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:21 am

Ok Vali,
Would be interesting to hear from you how decisions do get made though.
...
Again though would be interesting to hear your thoughts on how responsibilities are carried out, say in a job for example, as they clearly do get carried out somehow...!
Oops, now I have to answer...haha.
The best thing to say here will be: it is a bloody mystery.
With choices I could say: if you sum up all that happens in the past, you get the outcome what will be chosen.
With responsibilities I could say: if the ability to respond (respons-abilty) is there, there will be a respons, just like that.
But I prefer the mystery answer: I just dont know!

I would like to continue now with the 6 questions we ask at the end, when everything seems clear.
The Gate is not the end, but a start. After the Gate you can explore further.

If you have answered the questions, I will show them to the other guides to see if they have any additional questions. If they have, I will give them to you to answer.
After that you will be invited to our 'post-gate' Facebook groups, where you could explore and discuss more if you like.


1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

Warm regards, Petrus

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:22 am

Hi Petrus,

Thanks for this. I want to take a bit of time to give a full and considered reply here, and today's looking busy, so just letting you know I probably won't get time before your sleep time.

More soon,

Vali

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:25 am

I'll see it in the morning...

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Desert Dog
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Desert Dog » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:32 pm

Hi Petrus,

Ok, busy day over :)

Here’s answers to the 6 questions you asked:
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No, there is no separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I' and there never has been.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The separate self is a label, a thought and a story applied to a collection of thoughts, emotions, body sensations and perceptions that is used to create a sense of self, an identity. This separate self is perceived quite tangibly and solidly and becomes something to protect and to improve, to compete with other ’separate selves’ about. This can lead to much pain, frustration and anxiety due to the fear of losing this is self and also the fear that this self is not good enough in comparison to others.

I don’t know when it starts but I would guess it is learnt when we are very young from parents and others that are present and slowly learnt over time. I would also guess that if the influential people in a child’s life have a very strong and fixed identity / separate self then this will mean the child has more chance of also ending up with a strong fixed identity / separate self and vice versa if a child’s parents and close friends/family have a much looser and freer sense of self.

‘My’ own experience of a separate self has often based around fear and anxiety, fear of things that might happen in the future, worry about how ‘others’ perceive ‘me’, and a need for either creating or following a set of rules that ‘i’ must follow to reach some sort of goal where ‘I’ll’ be better, calmer, liked more etc. On the flip side there has been an arrogance and sense of superiority in relation to ‘others’ - ‘I’m’ more spiritual (and a better Buddhist), clever, better looking etc than ‘them’. These two strands have then often flipped from one to the other, up and down, feeding off each other.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
To see all this feels very good. There’s a big sense of relief at how much simpler things feel and have become, ‘I’ feel ‘I’ need much less - even though ‘I’ thought ‘I’ lived a relatively simple life and can see now how much ‘I’ would fill every minute of the day with something - work, reading, films, internet, iPad games - not that any of theses are inherently bad, but ‘I’ was using them to stay in a constant state of distraction and to constantly reinforce a sense of self.

There’s also much less thought going on, like there’s a lot of space around thought, and that thoughts that arise can be seen more easily for what they are. Also the quality of thought that does arise is better - much less anxious thoughts and thoughts about the future etc. At the same time it feels very ordinary too, which is a surprise but actually great that ‘I’ don’t have to somehow disappear now into some kind of spiritual realm. So it’s like everything has changed and yet nothing has changed!

A lot had already happened before starting the dialogue having read the Gateless Gatecrashers book and reading some of the forum posts. The dialogue has really helped to have confidence that this wasn’t some kind of grandiose fantasy the self had created to show how spiritual ‘I’ am and has also been very interesting expanding the reflections on the separate self outwards to include ‘others’ and is something I will continue to do more of.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
What pushed ‘me’ over was reading the Gateless Gatecrashers book and suddenly seeing very tangibly the ‘separate self’ there sort of hanging in space in ‘my’ thoughts and being able to see it for what it is, a fantasy, and a sort of shadowy figure, and around it lot of space. When I saw this I laughed out loud and felt a big sense of freedom and relief. The quality of mind after this was like I once experienced on a long retreat where for one day this sense of separate self dropped away and ‘I’ was able to remain aware the whole day. The difference is that this quality of mind has simply continued whereas on that retreat the next day ‘I’ crashed down again back into ‘separate selfhood’ - so on the retreat it was more of a state ‘I’ got into and then came out of.

After a few days thoughts related to the ‘separate self’ started returning again like ghosts and led to doubt arising as to whether this had worked until after a few days of this ‘I’ was lying in bed suddenly realised the ‘ME’ can’t come back and take over again as it doesn’t exist! I had a similar out bust of laughter, much greater this time, and since then the grip these ‘ghosts’ have is much less as can quickly see them for what they are - ghosts.

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
This was another interesting area explored during the dialogue. After looking closely ‘I’ had to conclude that there is no decision, intention, free will, choice and control in relation to a separate self as there is no separate self. This is not to say that decisions etc don’t happen, it’s just that they are not made by a ’separate self’.

The sense of self is not responsible for anything as there is no separate self, but responsibility does happen. Thinking further today ‘I’ would say that as the separate self diminishes and is seen though as a fantasy then the responsibility that does happen is better for the world, as in a given situation the response is not based on trying to secure the ‘separate self’ but based on what is needed in the given situation - for example to see that someone is in need of help and be able to naturally respond to that.

In ‘my’ own experience, ‘my’ sense is that responsibility starts with desire and then thought comes afterwards. And the thoughts either simply about facilitating this desire, or related to a sense of the ‘separate self’.

So for example as ‘I’m’ writing this there is a desire to make and have a coffee and there is also a desire to finish writing this post. If ‘I’ stayed simply at this level without thought arising then either one of these desires may get acted on. However there’s then thought arising saying oh yes coffee, will have that but finish this post first. ‘I’ can also see another thought saying ‘But coffee isn’t good for you’ and ‘Oh but I usually have coffee at 11am and it’s only 10.30am’, and ‘I should finish this post so Petrus doesn’t get annoyed with me for not replying soon enough’. These last 3 I can see are coming from the ‘separate self’ (1. fear of ill health, 2. need to follow rules, 3, fear of losing approval) and that they too in their own way are desires, but they aren’t really having an effect as I can see them for the illusion they are right now. So there lots of desires that could lead to an action and ‘I’ guess that one that is strongest or with more power is the one that will happen. Time for coffee ;-)
6) Anything to add?
Lots of gratitude for the LU folk who are offering this amazing approach for free. These past 4 weeks have been life changing!

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:36 pm

Thanks Vali, I will show your answers to the other guides in the morning.

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Petrus
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Re: Looking to connect with a guide

Postby Petrus » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:28 am

Hi Vali,

One of the guides askes these questions:
"The quality of mind after this was like" and
"The difference is that this quality of mind has simply continued"
What is the mind in the actual experience?
as the separate self diminishes and is seen though as a fantasy then the responsibility that does happen is better for the world
What responsibilities are you referring to?
Do you have responsibilities?
Do others have responsibilities?
‘I’ can also see another thought saying ‘But coffee isn’t good for you’ and ‘Oh but I usually have coffee at 11am and it’s only 10.30am’, and ‘I should finish this post so Petrus doesn’t get annoyed with me for not replying soon enough’. These last 3 I can see are coming from the ‘separate self’
Do thoughts can come from the 'separate self'?
Or there are only arising thoughts with another thought label attached to them "These are coming from the 'separate self'"?

...
Ok. These questions for now.
Take your time. Petrus won’t get annoyed with you.

Warm regards, Petrus


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