Looking for a guide.

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Padraic
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Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:04 pm

Hi,

I would be interested in receiving guidance.

Thanks, Padraic.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:45 am

Hello. Welcome to the forum. My name is Tyler and I’m happy to guide you. To begin, tell me a little about what brings you to Liberation Unleashed and what you are hoping to gain from the experience.

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Tyler,
I had an interest in meditation for some years and then got into Advaita along the more modern lines over the last 10 years or so. I have had many interesting experiences of 'non-dual' perception but still feel that the penny hasn't quite fully dropped. I have had a look at the site quite a few times but not made contact until now. I'm not really expecting to gain anything from this, perhaps more to lose some illusions.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:08 pm

I like how you said you expect to lose illusions rather than gain something! Too often people get stuck trying to assume a new identity through this work. It sounds like you have a good attitude going into this.

Before we really get started, we need to take care of some formalities. Please take a look at the LU disclaimer page. Here's the link: http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
Also, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyNwhK2Ur1c

Also, here are a few guidelines to guide this dialogue:
1. You agree to post at least once a day.
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to.
3. Responses require your utmost honesty.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long- winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. 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.
6. Please learn to use the quote function. The instructions are located in this link: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

If you could please confirm you have read all the above and are in agreement, (you can do this by simply typing, “I confirm that I have read and agree with the disclaimer and guidelines) we can really get started. Thanks so much!

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:48 am

Thanks Tyler

Happy to go ahead. I have read and agree with the disclaimer and guidelines.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:15 pm

Wonderful. Let's begin!
I'm not really expecting to gain anything from this, perhaps more to lose some illusions.
As you know, I like this statement. But I can't help but think you came here to LU because some expectation hasn't been met. It would be helpful to know a little more about your expectations for liberation. How will this feel? How will this change you? What is missing right now? Also, what kind of illusions are you expecting to drop? And what would change after they are seen as illusory?

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:16 pm

Hi Tyler,

Yes, you are right. There is an expectation and I think it has to do with a feeling. The feeling is one of mild unrest, that something is missing or not quite right. The illusion I would hope to drop is mainly the illusion of me. This is what seems to cause the feeling I mentioned or perhaps it is the other way round. Despite having an intellectual understanding of non-duality and intermittent perceptual shifts, there does seem to be a sense of agency here. This doesn't really make sense to me because I thought I saw clearly that there is no doer but it often feels like there is one, but there can't be one sometimes and not at other times. So it must surely be be illusory. I would like to explore and resolve this particular 'illusion.' I feel that this would lead to an end to the unrest I talked about and a reduction in personal self-reflective overthinking.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:51 pm

Thanks for the honest answers! Very good.
The feeling is one of mild unrest, that something is missing or not quite right.
What would you say is missing? What are you seeking? Take a stab at it.
The illusion I would hope to drop is mainly the illusion of me. This is what seems to cause the feeling I mentioned or perhaps it is the other way round.
This would be something good to sit with in direct experience. Does the illusion cause the feeling or does the feeling cause the illusion? Notice how the illusion and the feeling interact and influence each other. What is noticed?
This doesn't really make sense to me because I thought I saw clearly that there is no doer but it often feels like there is one, but there can't be one sometimes and not at other times.
Excellent observation. Does the feeling of agency mean there is a self? When you feel a sense of self, can you find a self? Likewise, when you don't feel a sense of self, can you find one? Look at the feeling, or lack there of, in direct experience and tell me what you notice.

It sounds like you have a solid intellectual understanding of no self. This can help the process but it can also hinder it. You know what you are looking for, so now you just need to look. Intellectual understanding will keep you seeking and looking for answers in thought. So now just look directly. Look at the feeling of agency. Don't think about it. Just notice how thoughts of self are attaching to a feeling of aliveness and saying it is a separate entity called you.

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:42 am

Hi Tyler,

What seems to be missing is a feeling or sense of completeness. That's probably the best way I can put it.

I find it difficult to put my finger on whether it is the illusion creating the feeling of incompleteness or the other way round. I would tend towards the feeling. The feeling tends to be there a lot of the time and then feeds into or seems to cause a lot of thinking and ruminating. What should I do? What do they think of me..etc? I suppose it's about trying to work out what to do in the world so that the feeling can come to rest. The thinking it leads to seems to be pretty much self protective. During the times when there has been a sense of absence of self that feeling hasn't been present and there was less protective thinking or at least it wasn't taken seriously. It was just another thing arising, like sounds or an object appearing.

In order to look for a self I suppose I need to decide what that means. I'm not sure. Perhaps it means an entity capable of independent volitional actions/decisions. When I look there certainly isn't anything solid, just sensations thoughts and mental images that are constantly changing. I guess I am habitually putting those together and interpreting them to mean that there is an entity. It feels pretty convincing though, as if they are inside me and everything else is outside.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:52 pm

I suppose it's about trying to work out what to do in the world so that the feeling can come to rest.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you explain a bit further? Trying implies that there is a trier—an entity separate from the world that can work out what happens in the world.
During the times when there has been a sense of absence of self that feeling hasn't been present and there was less protective thinking or at least it wasn't taken seriously.
Does it seem there is there a you noticing the feeling or is the you the sensation itself?
I have to point out that you answered me intellectually. You are telling me about past experiences. Past experiences are experienced in the mind and that makes them all but useless in this type of inquiry. This work requires looking in the direct experience of the present moment. Look, don't think.
In order to look for a self I suppose I need to decide what that means.
No you don't. Again, this is an intellectual pursuit. This is the mind distracting you from looking at what is true right now. Who care's about deciding what the self means? Why give meaning to a meaningless something that doesn't exist? Do you need to know the meaning of Santa in order to drop the belief? Looking for meaning will only strengthen the belief. Can you see how the mind is pulling strings to keep you looking in the wrong place? You don't need to know the self in order to look for it. You just look.
When I look there certainly isn't anything solid, just sensations thoughts and mental images that are constantly changing. I guess I am habitually putting those together and interpreting them to mean that there is an entity.
Yes. That is it exactly. Keep looking at this until the belief is dropped. You can only look around the North Pole for so long until the belief in Santa is released.
It feels pretty convincing though, as if they are inside me and everything else is outside.
You state something pretty neat here. You say there are feelings and thoughts of self inside you and everything else is outside. It appears there is an imaginary boundary called "you"—thoughts and feelings on one side, and everything else on the other. Spend sometime in direct experience looking for this boundary. Notice thoughts and feelings and look for the point in which they transition to everything else. Where is the you-point-of-separation? Tell me what you see from looking for it directly.

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:10 am

'I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you explain a bit further? Trying implies that there is a trier—an entity separate from the world that can work out what happens in the world. '

What I mean is that, viewed from an assumed sperate self, the apparent individual is attempting to do things or fix things so that it can feel better and relax. An endless task that never works long term because there are always new things to fix.


'Does it seem there is there a you noticing the feeling or is the you the sensation itself?'

I haven't had this kind of experiencing for a long time, but, when that was the case there was no sense of someone noticing, it was as if everything was experienced directly and unmediated. Kind of experienced in a nothing which was silent and at rest. i know I am talking about past experience here but I had to in order to answer your question. It is difficult to describe precisely.

'No you don't. Again, this is an intellectual pursuit. This is the mind distracting you from looking at what is true right now. Who care's about deciding what the self means? Why give meaning to a meaningless something that doesn't exist?'

Point taken but don't forget you are speaking from a point of view that sees no self. I don't yet know for sure that it is a meaningless something that doesn't exist. If I asked you to go and look for a snetzkatz you couldn't know whether there was one or not unless you knew what a snetzkatz was. Having said that though I certainly can't find anything solid or persistent, just thoughts, sensory impressions and physical sensations.

'You state something pretty neat here. You say there are feelings and thoughts of self inside you and everything else is outside. It appears there is an imaginary boundary called "you"—thoughts and feelings on one side, and everything else on the other.'

This is key for me. Although I can't find a self there is this sense persisting of being inside the body. This must be an assumption because, if there is no self what can be inside the body? I need to look into this more deeply experientially.

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:30 pm

Hi Tyler

A couple of things have come up. I was out walking the dog and it dawned on me that I have been doing the looking
with thought. I hadn't realised that I was intellectualising although you said it. Following this it feels as if something has relaxed in me and on some level I know that there is nothing to work out intellectually. There is some sense of greater peace and stillness. I also have an inkling that I was, perhaps subtly (perhaps not!) seeing thought as something separate from everything else. Interesting.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:20 am

What I mean is that, viewed from an assumed sperate self, the apparent individual is attempting to do things or fix things so that it can feel better and relax. An endless task that never works long term because there are always new things to fix.
Yes. The mind is always seeking and that leads to an endless desire to fix things. This is exactly why people seek awakening—the belief that seeking will bring liberation and rest in the future.
A couple of things have come up. I was out walking the dog and it dawned on me that I have been doing the looking with thought. I hadn't realised that I was intellectualising although you said it. Following this it feels as if something has relaxed in me and on some level I know that there is nothing to work out intellectually. There is some sense of greater peace and stillness. I also have an inkling that I was, perhaps subtly (perhaps not!) seeing thought as something separate from everything else. Interesting.
I'm so glad you wrote this. I thought I was going to have to get on to you again about answering me intellectually. But, Bam!, real looking occurred! When you see what is real rather than what the mind says is real, illusion can be seen for what is it—illusory. This is how you need to look from now on—pure perception before thought arises to label, judge, and analyze. This is looking in direct experience.

Try this exercise. Look around the room you are in and see yourself sitting (assuming you are sitting) exactly as you are. Then close your eyes and imagine yourself in the room exactly as you saw with your eyes. Then open your eyes. Was the mental image of the room exactly like it is in reality? Tell me everything that comes up in regard to this exercise. What is to be learned from this?

Also, now that you have seen how to look, I advise you look again at the exercises from my last post. Especially this one: It appears there is an imaginary boundary called "you"—thoughts and feelings on one side, and everything else on the other. Spend sometime in direct experience looking for this boundary. Notice thoughts and feelings and look for the point in which they transition to everything else. Where is the you-point-of-separation? Tell me what you see from looking for it directly.

P.S. It's kinda hard to distinguish what you are writing new and what is a quote. Here is a link that explains how to use the quote function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

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Padraic
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Padraic » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:54 pm

Try this exercise. Look around the room you are in and see yourself sitting (assuming you are sitting) exactly as you are. Then close your eyes and imagine yourself in the room exactly as you saw with your eyes. Then open your eyes. Was the mental image of the room exactly like it is in reality? Tell me everything that comes up in regard to this exercise. What is to be learned from this?

When I close my eyes I get a sort of hazy intermittent approximation of the room. It's not the same as the room. What can I learn from this? Well the hazy approximation is a thought representation of the room. It's not accurate or real in the same way. Thoughts in general are like that.

Also, now that you have seen how to look, I advise you look again at the exercises from my last post. Especially this one: It appears there is an imaginary boundary called "you"—thoughts and feelings on one side, and everything else on the other. Spend sometime in direct experience looking for this boundary. Notice thoughts and feelings and look for the point in which they transition to everything else. Where is the you-point-of-separation? Tell me what you see from looking for it directly.

There is no actual real boundary however thoughts, body sensations and emotions are assumed to be in the body whereas sounds sights etc are interpreted as outside and separate. It's interesting because I've just noticed that sounds and sights are also 'here.' Also I haven't found anyone in the body so how can I be in it and separate? I seem to be giving preferential attention to inner dialogue and emotional sensations over other things which seems to feed the sense of being inside and seperate. That is what I have been assuming to be me. Am 'I' doing that or is it just happening I wonder?

Still trying to get a handle on the quote function but meanwhile have tried using bold for quoting you.

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Tyler
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Tyler » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:32 am

Well the hazy approximation is a thought representation of the room. It's not accurate or real in the same way. Thoughts in general are like that.
Great! You said this a couple days ago:
I was out walking the dog and it dawned on me that I have been doing the looking
with thought.
Now that you see that you were looking through thought, can you see that what you have been seeing has been incorrect. You've been seeing the mind's description of what has been happening rather than the reality of it. So can a mental image ever be exactly like reality? If so, can a self-image ever be found true in reality?
Also I haven't found anyone in the body so how can I be in it and separate?
This brings up a good point to explore further. Are you in the body or are you the body? Does the body experience sensations or can you find a self, an experiencer, within the body that feels sensation? Also, does the body experience thought or is it just another thought label for sensations? One more question, do any particular body parts seem to house the self more so than others?

Like always, take a good, focused look at there questions in direct experience.

Would you mind if I sent you a private message about the quote function?


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