Seeking Guidance

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Sleepwalker
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Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:00 am

Hello Mike here,
The reason "I'm" posting at this time is there has been at least a significant opening and would like to request some dialog to further the understanding."I'll" drop the italics from now on.
My story is quite similar to many I've read here, with years of seeking. In the last six months I basically felt that if something was meant to happen it would and that nothing I was going to do would make it happen. Whatever it was or is . So decided to give it all a rest. But then seeking started creeping back in, in the form of what I would justify in thought as less than mindless entertainment. Because it had a spiritual bent to it. So I ran across Nobody’s Notes blog, which made mention of LU and came to this site out of curiosity. I read a few accounts then the Gateless Gatecrashers. Then probably a dozen or so accounts from the Archives. And watched the videos. All this over about a two month period. All along using many of the exercises recommended by the various guides. Little by little there has been a dropping away of more and more resistance with each reading. As well as a dropping away of more concerns in general. There have been days of extreme connectedness that waned as everyday life situations became more intense. But overall more calmness and acceptance in general, which had been happening for some time but seemed to have accelerated since being exposed to this site. For the last 3 or 4 days I’ve read and worked with the interchange between Chuang and Vivi and something just clicked. Actually kind of exploded. It’s 3:00 A.M and the body and mind are so energized I felt it was time. At the same time there are thoughts like maybe I should have waited until tomorrow but here I am typing so , I’m open to what comes. Thank you all in advance for your time and commitment.

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Vivien » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:35 am

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your introduction. I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self', though I can only point the way. You have to 'see' it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

You and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.
This process is essentially an extension of your own inquiry. It is 'guided' so that specific areas may be examined.
I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.
But before we start, let’s get through the formalities first:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
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.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the purple-orange coloured button 'Post Reply" at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
- Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.


What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?


Please answer these questions in great detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:46 am

Vivien:
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
Mike:Sorry wasn't able to figure out the quote function even though I've read the explanations many times.
I don't have any expectations at this time.I'm open. Previously I would have said that Seeing through the illusion of self would have some how insulated me from what I have aversions to, allowing me to be more accepting and somehow " a better person."

I don't expect life to change, I believe I've dropped that fantasy, but hopefully there will be a lasting sense of acceptance that I recently feel and if not acceptance of that. And more ability to actually surrender to the moment and enjoy the show so to speak. I hope that doesn't sound flip.

If I don't exist only the thought of I can change , as I write this there the sense that I honestly know this to be true but still a small nagging thought in the back of my mind that this may be wishful thinking.But it doesn't fell that way, It feels like a major shift of some is already under way. I don't think I'm being dishonest but I've been up all night and was already feeling somewhat disoriented even though the energy is still buzzing.

Probably the only difference will be one of perspective.It's not a big deal but I keep getting small waves of anxiety, answering these questions. I'm not prone to that , usually very calm.

I think I've answered the first questions?

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:49 am

I forgot to Thank you for agreeing to guide me. Thank you!!

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:09 am

Dear Mike,

Could you please confirm that you agree with the rules?
Sorry wasn't able to figure out the quote function even though I've read the explanations many times.
Here is a detailed description on how to use the quote function. It will be very useful, since I’ll ask a lot of questions.
  • 1. Post by pressing “Post Reply” (purple-orange button in the left corner of the bottom of the page). If you press “Quick Reply” it won’t work.

    2. Under the text box all the previous posts will appear. You can also “Expand view” of the previous posts if it’s needed. The ‘Expand View’ button hasn’t got a button shape, just black latter. This is above the box of all previous conversations. At the upper left side of the box is: “Topic view + the title of the thread” with white letters, and the right upper side is: ‘Expand View’ with black letters.

    3. Select/highlight the lines you’d like to quote.

    4. Press the quote button, (purple-orange button at the upper-right corner) above all the previous conversations. After pressing it, the text automatically being put into the text box.

    5. Go to the text box, and UNDER the quoted text, write your reply.

    6. You have to repeat the process with all the quotes.

    7. The next quote will be put into the textbox where the cursor is left. So be sure that after typing your answer press enter, so the new quoted text will be put into a new line.
Before you post, you experiment with the quote function. You can do this with pressing the “Preview” button frequently.
I don't have any expectations at this time. I'm open.
That’s a very good place to start this investigation.
Every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

I go through some of the things you’ve listed here. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?
Previously I would have said that Seeing through the illusion of self would have some how insulated me from what I have aversions to, allowing me to be more accepting and somehow " a better person."
Yes, seeing through the illusion of the self is not about self-improvement. The result won’t be a better version of ‘me’.
I don't expect life to change, I believe I've dropped that fantasy
Yes, good to see this. Life or outer circumstances won’t change with seeing through the self. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different.
but hopefully there will be a lasting sense of acceptance that I recently feel and if not acceptance of that. And more ability to actually surrender to the moment and enjoy the show so to speak.
Yes, this is not an unrealistic expectation, however it is important to note that non-acceptance is a result of a lifelong conditioning. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance, but without a centre, a ‘me’, there is nothing they could attach to or stick to, so gradually they fall away. This falling can last until the end of the organism. So expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.
If I don't exist only the thought of I can change ,
I’m not sure whether I understood here you correctly, but the I-thought won’t change, it cannot change. The I-thought is just a thought as any other thoughts. The only change is that the I-thought can be seen only as a thought and not believing that this thought is pointing to something ‘real’.

However, identification with the I-thought and self-referencing thoughts and stories still arise (thus non-acceptance) as a content of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
Probably the only difference will be one of perspective.
Exactly.
It's not a big deal but I keep getting small waves of anxiety, answering these questions. I'm not prone to that , usually very calm.
Thanks for your honesty. If this anxiety or resistance come up during our investigation, please let me know. Anxiety or resistance shows that there is a story about negative consequences about this investigation.

So, what I propose to do is to set you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

But before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?

I forgot to Thank you for agreeing to guide me. Thank you!!
You’re very welcome :)

I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:36 am

Thank you for the concise posting instructions, no problem now.
Could you please confirm that you agree with the rules?
Yes , I agree to the rules.
Is there any resistance to any of it?
No resistance. I assumed that if there was in reality no I that the only thing that could change was the thought, your explanation makes it very clear that that thought will not change which is very good to know because that was a definite expectation. I found thoughts of reminder all day attempting by rote so to speak asr if repeated enough times that it would have the desired affect.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:39 am

I forgot to mention I'm in US Eastern Time zone. 9:38 at time of this post.Assuming you are in the UK?

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:53 am

Dear Mike,
No resistance.
Good. If any resistance come up later, please let me know.
I forgot to mention I'm in US Eastern Time zone. 9:38 at time of this post.Assuming you are in the UK?
No, I’m in Australian Eastern Time Zone (UTC+10).

OK then, let’s start it.
The first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:58 am

Thanks for your honesty. If this anxiety or resistance come up during our investigation, please let me know. Anxiety or resistance shows that there is a story about negative consequences about this investigation.
I re read this and need to get this out in the open,because it has been an issue that has been around for 25+ years.And this is mental , not that it gets acted out.The story goes like ; If I don't exist , others don't exist either so I don't need to take myself , others or even life in general seriously. Then when I become aware of these kinds of thoughts, the story starts that I'm too dysfunctional to not somehow twist things around. Another story is that if there is no me , how will I experience any joy. The thought is that without a separate self life will be a barren wasteland. These are the kinds of thought that are behind the short bursts of anxiety.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:09 am

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes the above description is the current belief

What does the word 'I' point to?
I is the sum of habitual thoughts acquired over a lifetime or more of conditioning.

What makes this body ‘yours’?
The only thing that makes this body mine is my identifying with it.Kind of like how, many, identify themselves with the car they drive , or their job status.

What makes this body ‘you’?
MY choosing to believe that does.
.

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:23 am

Dear Mike,
I re read this and need to get this out in the open,because it has been an issue that has been around for 25+ years.And this is mental
I appreciate your honesty. Let’s deal with these first, then after we can go back to the investigation.
The story goes like ; If I don't exist , others don't exist either so I don't need to take myself , others or even life in general seriously.
Yes, but this is fantastic news! :) When I take myself, others or life seriously there is a lot of strain. I try to control something that cannot be controlled. So the result is suffering.

And ‘you’ are already just an illusion. So nothing will change. Only the strain could fade away. This is freedom… :)
Then when I become aware of these kinds of thoughts, the story starts that I'm too dysfunctional to not somehow twist things around.
OK, one story follows another story. It is important to notice that these are just stories, content of thoughts. Nothing serious :) just thoughts… But when these thoughts are believed and not seen only as arising thoughts, associated emotions can arise, like anxiety or fear.
Another story is that if there is no me , how will I experience any joy.
This story cannot be further from the truth. Let me tell you that experiencing joy while believing in the self is much-much harder than when the ‘I’ is seen only as an illusion. When there is a belief in ‘me’ there is also a lot of fear that how others might perceive me, how I should or shouldn’t behave to be accepted by others, etc. When these fears fall away, the joy naturally can flow without restriction.
The thought is that without a separate self life will be a barren wasteland.
Quite the contrary! Without the belief in the separate self there is freedom, there is ease.

Dear Mike, there is ALREADY no separate self. The self has NEVER been. So nothing will change.

Life cannot change with seeing through the illusion of the self. Life is already is as it is. It has nothing to do with the illusion. Only the perception changes. And as a result, life could seem much easier and enjoyable.
These are the kinds of thought that are behind the short bursts of anxiety.
I'd like to ask you to pay attention ONLY to the pure bodily sensations that are labelled as ‘anxiety’.

When all thoughts and stories are ignored, what is left?
Does the pure bodily sensation suggest in any way that this is ‘anxiety’ or only thoughts suggest this?


Note: please check your last post. I’d like to ask you to make separate quotes for each question, to make it more readable. You can check how it looks visually before submitting by pressing the ‘Preview’ button.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:53 am

When all thoughts and stories are ignored, what is left?
Does the pure bodily sensation suggest in any way that this is ‘anxiety’ or only thoughts suggest this?
No the pure bodily sensation is not anything but what is felt it is not even a pure bodily sensation because that is not what it points to, which is only the what is felt.
OK got the hang of the preview button going!

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:11 am

No the pure bodily sensation is not anything but what is felt it is not even a pure bodily sensation because that is not what it points to, which is only the what is felt.
Good observations. Later, when we examine thoughts we can come back to these stories. If the anxiety comes up, just go to the actual, immediate experience, what is felt in the body and ignore all the stories. Stay with the sensation only. Don’t try to push it away, just observe it.

Was there any ‘argument against’ my comments?

==

Now we try to find the ‘owner’ of the body.
We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.

But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.

The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:26 am

I will work with this and report back tomorrow. Thank you! Love, Mike

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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Sleepwalker » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:28 am

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.
No I could be found.There are bodily sensations, there are thoughts, there are thoughts regarding I that coexisit with sensations that appear to be triggered by the thought of I but perhaps just arise with thought.However observing thoughts, if certain thoughts come up and another thought thinks let's not get sucked into that thought train, the snowball effect can at times be cut short which gives the appearance of one thought controlling another thought. Thought , thought , thought ad nausea. Billy Preston's "We'll go round in Circles." Comes to mind. All this is happening in what we label as awareness. Which when I really drill down is nothing or stillness? Yes they just come to mind. Certainly not by anyone that I having taken myself to be. So a thought comes up as I take a nice soothing breath to pause before inhaling again. Also a nice sensation, so again there is the appearance that the thought has in some way influenced the body. But being as it is seen that there is no one thinking the thought then there is also no one to take ownership of the body. Maybe this is too cerebral. This is just one example. Anyway throughout the day I have been trying to find a tangible I without success.
Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.
Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
The actual experience is objects appearing and seen,drilling down there is a white background with black letters(all labels) which thought then re members. Actually this is not really true, I was going to say thought searches the memory banks for what the contrast means from what others have taught us ect. But in actual experience none of that is happening. So how the hell is the knowing of what the contrasts between black and white mean in label or thought forms.If it can't be experienced in DE how is this interpreting happening in the present moment? How can I even know that I was ever a child and taught all that my thoughts are saying about how all this works, Holy Shit! Not sure if I need to do more tail chasing on that line or just leave it there.


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