requesting a guide

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kathanna
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requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:24 am

I just read that giving some information about myself might be useful. I'm not sure what is relevant except that I found your website while looking up Bernadette Roberts to review her description of her path to no-self. I have been practicing meditation, reading spiritual literature, studying with teachers for years beginning with Transcendental Meditation in 1967. Actually the real beginning was before that when I was reading a book about Yoga and tried meditation and had a glimpse of possibilities. I also felt a strong compassion arise at that time and became a lifelong vegetarian/vegan. Or maybe my mini awakening and seeking began with other childhood experiences of wonder and questioning. I was raised as a Presbyterian more or less but couldn't buy the Christian ego-centric attitude. I converted to Judaism before marrying my first husband and living in Israel for a year. At any rate, I attended teacher training with Maharishi for two summers (6 months in Switzerland and the Italian Alps) and taught for a while then went on retreat in Quebec for a month or so during which I lost my marriage and custody of my son. I continued to meditate and also began to explore pop enlightenment things --EST, John Rogers' Insight, Rebirthing, Bio-energetics,etc. I became a student of Da Free John (whose name kept changing) and then finally serendipitously found myself at Macrobiotic summer camp reading Crazy Wisdom Magazine when a natural food distributor started asking me questions, told me I was a Buddhist and gave me a phone number for Karme Choling, a retreat center in Vermont, and told me I should go to a month long silent retreat that would start within a few days. I went and stayed on afterward to work in the kitchen for a few months and met the person I married and had two children with. I took refuge with Chogyam Trungpa in 1982 and went to Seminary in Colorado in 1988. Vajrayana Buddhism, family life and working as a child welfare worker and as a therapist (with some recent delving into Reiki-Tummo and Open Heart Meditation) have been the structure within which I have lived my life for the last 30 plus years. I have lived longer than I have years left to live. Much of the time I love life…I love watching animals be themselves, being outside feeling the air, looking at the sky or the ocean or walking in the woods, I love making real connections with people, I love reading, studying, writing, making and eating vegan food, watching a good movie, laughing…..but I'm also sad a lot about the suffering in the world and frustrated about my own ineffectiveness, and easily irritated by other people who won't behave the way I wish they would. I want to live beyond these boundaries. I read about the experience of no-self and can almost feel it and the desire for it is almost too much and I know it is the only thing worth having and it is intangible and I don't know how to do it. So I need a guide.. and yet I don't really believe whoever I am will actually be able to make the necessary shift in consciousness. I do hope, however.

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:23 am

Hi Kathanna (is that your name?),
I can be your guide.
To start with I can reassure you: an I cant make a shift, so relax...
Regards, Petrus

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:36 pm

Hello Petrus,
Yes, Kathanna is my name and I am also called Kathy.
I accept your guidance. Thank you.
"Relax" makes sense as an instruction as it is my understanding that I can't cause a shift to happen either, but that it happens to one in spite of either resistance or trying.
So, I'm ready to start. One question. It has been suggested to me that I should look for a psychotherapist…or maybe more like a life coach in order to clarify and take action on some semi-retirement/stage of life/ what to do next decisions. I read in the LU instructions that it is best to suspend any practices except meditation. Would it be better not to begin something new like that at this time and just participate in LU dialogue? I wonder if it would actually be useless at this point, because this process might make some change in how I would view those things.

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:24 am

Hi Kathanna,
Yes, Kathanna is my name and I am also called Kathy.
So I will name you Kathanna.
One question. It has been suggested to me that I should look for a psychotherapist…or maybe more like a life coach in order to clarify and take action on some semi-retirement/stage of life/ what to do next decisions.
For me it is ok if you do that as long as it doesnt interfere here.
To do a spiritual practise mostly does interfere. But a lifecoach seems ok to me.

You have done a lot in your life already in the spiritual realm. What did it bring you?
And what are you still practising now?

The main thing we do here is pointing to Direct Experience, so we are going to look at what IS.
The guiding will help you to see through the illusion of a separate self.
Acually that is pretty much it. Is that what you are seeking?

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 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 life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
Please answer these questions in detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

Warm regards Petrus

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:35 am

I want to add: maybe after all it is better not to start with a Lifecoach now. If it is your own choice, wait the outcome of this investigation.
But if you really feel the urge to start that now too, go ahead.

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:45 pm

Hello Petrus,

I was logged out again, but this time I had copied everything to another location. So this will be without the quote function.

Hi Petrus,
I just wrote for a long time and got kicked out of the website and lost it all. Thinking about what is true and writing it in an way that seemed to make sense was a real process. I don't know if the second attempt will be the same.

First, I have read the disclaimer, read introductory material and watched some videos and I agree to the ground rules.

I don't know if I am using the quote function correctly. I followed the directions but can't see any text quoted.

I am in Maryland, USA --Timezone (EST)
Long Transcendental Meditation retreats brought experiences of eyes closed bliss while there and separation and distance from everyday life when I returned home. Other dualistic practices were similar--blissed out or trying to be and pushing away anything that didn't seem to fit. I think I learned something about devotion and that love grows from giving.

Erhard Seminar Training (EST) was a lesson in how the world works and had some shock value and some truths but lacked heart.

Buddhism made sense to me. I was attracted by its logic and clarity and balance. The merging of Wisdom and Compassion. The Four Noble Truths of Suffering, Cause of Suffering , Cessation of Suffering (Liberation) and the Path.
No separate self. No God. Cause and effect. We are responsible for our own liberation. Non-killing and compassion for all sentient beings. All of this seemed agreed with what I already believed to be true. After going to Seminary and completing Ngondro (four consecutive practices involving hours a day and accumulating 100,000 mantras in 3 practices and a million in a fourth) I have not taken the next step. I am not connected with any teacher or sanga.

The only practices I sometimes do are mindfulness meditation (following the breath, noticing thought and letting them go) or maitri or tonglen (wishing for the freedom from suffering for all beings)
Seeing through the illusion of a separate self is exactly what I am seeking. It is the only thing I have any real desire to pursue at this point. I am attracted to the LU direct approach without anything added. It seems that seeing clearly the truth of existence is an end and a beginning. ---the end of seeking and the beginning of actually being able to function as a person who is awake.

I really have no idea what to expect. I will take it, whatever it is, because living in a state in which one experiences reality has to be better than living in delusion. I expect that it will be a change in perception that is so clear that there will be no question that a shift has occurred. I hope that if this happens it will be permanent. I would expect that there could be some disorientation at first and maybe even fear. I also think that it would create a feeling of relief that at last the world makes sense and there is no need to keep striving toward some intangible goal. It might be possible to "Be" without an agenda, without so much mental chatter, without looking at oneself.

Life might be just the same but be experienced differently or it is possible that life would change drastically when some of the concepts are dropped that kept an undesirable lifestyle in place. There would be a sense of everything being as it should be whatever was happening. Compassion would be stronger but be experienced differently because of lack of separate self. I would live more in the present. Little things would not be so irritating. Certainty about the nature of reality would make it easier to let go of the body.


I would like to be able to act with more confidence and certainty that I am not doing any harm or that I am actually able to be helpful. I would like to be able to see the truth of situations and people more clearly and inspire others to be their best selves. As a therapist, I'm supposed to be doing this, but I know that I'm floundering around in the dark. I would live more in the present. Little things would not be so irritating. I would deal with situations as always but with less worry. I think I would be happy and satisfied in a very basic way.

Nothing will be different except my perception.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:54 am

Hi Kathanna,
I just wrote for a long time and got kicked out of the website and lost it all.

That maybe is to get used to losing it all haha. More true in fact: there is not much we got.
I don't know if I am using the quote function correctly. I followed the directions but can't see any text quoted.

If in the editor you select a text (make it blue) and then click on the quote button the text will be quoted. In the editor it will look like this: [ quote ]text [/quote ]. As I see now used 2 times the quote but without text indeed.
Long Transcendental Meditation retreats brought experiences of eyes closed bliss while there and separation and distance from everyday life when I returned home.
Yes, I recognize that. Returning home very open and have no way to go with that.
I really have no idea what to expect.
We ask about expectations, because many people have unreal expectations like that all problems will fade, constantly bliss, etc. If so, that has to be adressed.
The only change there will be, you will see there is no separate self. And that will be permanent.
For everybody this has a different effect. From almost no effect to much effect. So better dont expect too much, but focus on the process.
I would like to be able to act with more confidence and certainty that I am not doing any harm or that I am actually able to be helpful. I would like to be able to see the truth of situations and people more clearly and inspire others to be their best selves.

Also these expectations might happen, but maybe not.
...

Ok lets start. I would like to ask a couple of questions about the body:
Do you have control over your body?
Does the body see, hear, feel etc?
Are you a body with a mind? A mind in a body?
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?

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?

Warm regards, Petrus

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:16 am

Hello Petrus,

We started Daylight Savings Time today. Clocks are one hour earlier now than Eastern Standard Time.

I have not been successful with the quote function. I highlight the text in blue and hit the quote button and there is no text copied.

Also the system seems to automatically log me out and delete everything I have written when I try to submit.

Answers to questions:

The body has many automatic functions over which I have no direct control. I may try to maximize functioning by diet, exercise, proper rest, etc., but it more or less takes care of itself. Lately, I have even less control than I may have previously thought I had because of rotator cuff damage requiring surgery and now being unable to use my right arm or hand as before and requiring up to a year to fully recover. Maybe even too many yoga push ups or other exercise that I did to try to influence the body's condition contributed to the injury.. so the body is not controllable.

Seeing feeling and hearing, etc. happen and the body is the instrument.

I usually think of the body and mind as a single unit although they are often in opposition. Sometimes I think the mind is in charge and can make the body do things even when it resists.. is too tired or hungry and is pushed anyway. Sometimes the mind cannot prevail , for example when there is pain and the mind cannot make it stop or can't force a body part to move beyond it's capacity.

Yes, I experience myself as a person sitting in front of a computer reading and typing.


Next set of questions--first 6--my answer to all is "no"

What is the body in this actual experience? There was an experience of breath and energy but that was physical "feeling" not technically "touching." Otherwise there was just emptiness or a consciousness through which thoughts passed but no real physical proof of a body using only those senses.

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:21 am

Hi Kathanna,
I have not been successful with the quote function. I highlight the text in blue and hit the quote button and there is no text copied.
You have to highlight text that is in the editor already. But if it doesnt work we do without it...
...no real physical proof of a body using only those senses.
If you add the seeing will that change anything? Will seeing give proof of a body?
The body has many automatic functions over which I have no direct control.
Are there functions you have control over?
Seeing feeling and hearing, etc. happen and the body is the instrument.
As you look closely, as in Direct Experience do you see an instrument?
If there is hearing, the body is doing that?
Or is that a thought after the hearing?
I usually think of the body and mind as a single unit although they are often in opposition.

Is mind a real thing you can sense?
Yes, I experience myself as a person sitting in front of a computer reading and typing.
After answering the previous questions, is your answer changed?
So, look in Direct Experience. Do you sense a person there? Is there a body there?

Regards, Petrus

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:34 pm

If you add the seeing will that change anything? Will seeing give proof of a body?
The experience of the body is more solid with seeing. With eyes closed the physical line between me and not me is more blurred and I feel more the energetic presence of the body, but the mind is still there telling me that there is a body. I think my mind is so full of things I have read and heard and states of mind experienced or imagined that I am not certain what direct experience is. Because I believe that the way I experience this body and mind and the world is not reality and that there is another way of experiencing existence, I don't even know how to experience the illusion.
Are there functions you have control over?
It seems so. I can move the parts of my body. I took supplements and exercised and increased my bone density. I can slow by breath or otherwise alter my breathing which might also affect my mental state, but breathing and heartbeat and cellular processes and digestion, etc. go on without my doing anything---although I believe that I influence those things by how I treat the body and maybe even by thoughts and emotions.
As you look closely, as in Direct Experience do you see an instrument?
If there is hearing, the body is doing that?
Or is that a thought after the hearing?


Sound is often going on and I don't notice until the mind attaches to the sound. I just assume that the noise has passed through the mechanism in the ears and the brain because that is what I have been taught. Mind chooses what to hear and interprets it.
s mind a real thing you can sense?
No, it is not tangible. It is an annoying voice, judging, interpreting,thinking about past and future, daydreaming, planning,worrying, arguing, putting itself in the way of direct experience. Sometimes the thoughts just pass through without effect, but they are there.
So, look in Direct Experience. Do you sense a person there? Is there a body there?
There is still something that I call me that is separate from the computer and the room.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:56 am

Hi Kathanna,
I think my mind is so full of things I have read and heard and states of mind experienced or imagined that I am not certain what direct experience is.
Haha, I noticed that. Direct Experience is noticing what you experience.
So in this exercise when looking at the body it probably will be noticing a sense touch. Where you sit, where the feet touch the ground, etc. In doing so, you also can experience thoughts. Thoughts think a lot about the body, but nothing of it is real. It are images only. This exercise is about how you make the image of your body.
So maybe try once again? When you notice thoughts, you can write them as well, but with the remark: (thought).
Examine the body and tell me what the body is in Direct Experience.
Are there functions you have control over?
It seems so.
If I read "it seems so", I immedeately recognize thinking!
I can move the parts of my body.
Is that so? Can YOU move parts?
An exercise:
Choose one of your arms - It doesn't matter which one.
Now, when you feel you'd like to, raise that arm up very slowly into the air.
Do this as many times as you want, and in each case examine the experience.
Can you determine the moment it will be raised?
Sound is often going on and I don't notice until the mind attaches to the sound.
You experience sound when you experience it. That the sound already is there before you hear it is: (thought).
I just assume that the noise has passed through the mechanism in the ears and the brain because that is what I have been taught. Mind chooses what to hear and interprets it.
Assuming is (thought). The question is if you can notice an instrument with your senses that is doing the hearing.
No, it is not tangible. It is an annoying voice, judging, interpreting,thinking about past and future, daydreaming, planning,worrying, arguing, putting itself in the way of direct experience.

Haha, it is clear how you think about the mind!
As you say it, the mind is not tangible, but what the mind consists of?
There is still something that I call me that is separate from the computer and the room.
And what is that something? Can you describe it?

Warm regards, Petrus

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:36 am

Hi Petrus,
Are there functions you have control over?
No. There is no "I" controlling or moving the body.
The question is if you can notice an instrument with your senses that is doing the hearing.
I

I can't locate a place where sounds in the environment are heard. Sound is vibration. If I make a sound with my voice, I can feel it in my throat, ears and head.

As you say it, the mind is not tangible, but what the mind consists of?
.

It can't be found with the senses. It consists of thoughts and images. "It" doesn't exist. (thought)
There is still something that I call me that is separate from the computer and the room.

And what is that something?
I don't know. Counsciousness? (thought) Sensations and interpretations? (thought)

I feel a bit confused and frustrated... and tired in my imaginary body and mind!

Goodnight. I'll keep trying tomorrow.
Kathanna

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:58 pm

Hi Kathanna.
No. There is no "I" controlling or moving the body.
Nice...
I can't locate a place where sounds in the environment are heard.
Very good..
Sound is vibration.
(thought)
If I make a sound with my voice, I can feel it in my throat, ears and head.
Good...
As you say it, the mind is not tangible, but what the mind consists of?
.
It can't be found with the senses. It consists of thoughts and images. "It" doesn't exist. (thought)
Very good...
There is still something that I call me that is separate from the computer and the room.
And what is that something?
I don't know. Counsciousness? (thought) Sensations and interpretations? (thought)
I feel a bit confused and frustrated... and tired in my imaginary body and mind!
Haha, you want out of body and mind? We are coming to that...

You are doing very good... You understand Direct Experience now!
Did you see this article already? http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

Lets have a closer look at thoughts now in Direct Experience:
Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can you choose what to think?

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Same about the thought 'I'?

Warm regards, Peter

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Petrus
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby Petrus » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:59 pm

Hi Kathanna.
No. There is no "I" controlling or moving the body.
Nice...
I can't locate a place where sounds in the environment are heard.
Very good..
Sound is vibration.
(thought)
If I make a sound with my voice, I can feel it in my throat, ears and head.
Good...
As you say it, the mind is not tangible, but what the mind consists of?
.
It can't be found with the senses. It consists of thoughts and images. "It" doesn't exist. (thought)
Very good...
There is still something that I call me that is separate from the computer and the room.
And what is that something?
I don't know. Counsciousness? (thought) Sensations and interpretations? (thought)
I feel a bit confused and frustrated... and tired in my imaginary body and mind!
Haha, you want out of body and mind? We are coming to that...

You are doing very good... You understand Direct Experience now!
Did you see this article already? http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

Lets have a closer look at thoughts now in Direct Experience:
Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can you choose what to think?

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Same about the thought 'I'?

Warm regards, Peter

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kathanna
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby kathanna » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:12 am

Hello,
I just read it.
Where do thoughts come from? They are just experiences that appear.
Where are they going? They stay as long as they do and then recede.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle? No
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts? No
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found? No
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Possibly. (thought) Probably. (thought) I "believe" that 'I' is just a thought based on study of Buddhist teaching of the 5 skandhas ( form, feeling, perception, concept, consciousness) and how they work together to create and perpetuate the false idea of a separate self (ego). (thought)
s there an 'I' that controls thoughts? No
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts? No.
Can you choose what to think? No
Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you? I think that thoughts think me. (thought) Haha
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? I don't have that much control of thoughts that appear, but ...(thought coming!) Negative thoughts for example might cease in some states of consciousness. And there is a Mahamudra meditation technique that cuts off a thought at its root. (thought)
Same about the thought 'I'? Yes, the thought 'I' would not be present in a liberated state when the nonexistence of a separate self was realized. (thought)
Thank you for continuing to question my stubborn mind!
Kathanna


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