Guide please

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ebw
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Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:53 am

Hello. You can call me Estella.

I had a very profound and sudden awakening experience in June. Felt like waking up from a dream, had no thoughts at all or they were very slow, felt a peaceful sense of abiding non-duality for some time. I recognized no-self and non-separation. Shortly after I became involved with a narcissist/sociopath, which I did not realize until months later. I had several awakening experiences after.

Somewhere during that time I found a non-duality blog and connected with the dude who writes it, who has said he is enlightened. He made a post a little while ago about premature enlightenment, just around the time when I was experiencing times of spiraling thought and seeing the world through the filter of the mind again, and suffering from it. I realized that I had fallen back asleep a few times (during my dalliance with that sketchy dude post awakening) and did not do the work of deconstructing the ego and letting go of core beliefs that supposedly needs to be done after awakening to stabilize the awakening into abiding non-dual awareness. The ego has momentum, as has been said by many teachers and as is my experience. Having seen through the ego, it still lingers, though it is falling away quickly.

I recognize that there is nowhere to go and nothing to do, yet I can't deny the matter of my experiencing stickiness of thought. I have been using neti, neti and witnessing, and meditating, and have noticed a diminishing in thought stickiness. When I stop using neti, neti, the thought stickiness increases and suffering is experienced.

A question posted on another blog I follow sums up my situation:
How would you suggest facing your fears? Anytime I try and look at or do anything in the name of waking up I hit a brick wall bc it's still ego trying to kill itself and attain enlightenment at the same time. People have told me there's really nothing you can do to wake up but it's just so frustrating! So then I try to just let everything be but then that too is still ego trying to let everything be so it can wake up. And I can't find an "I" here but there still seems to be someone suffering...

Thank you.

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ebw
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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:32 am

This describes really well what I have gone through recently. So essentially I would love the help of a guide to nurture me toward enlightenment/help me stop denying it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgud3nkQ4r0

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Vivien
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Re: Guide please

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:47 am

Hi Estella,

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 a guided inquiry where specific areas can 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.

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.
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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 self and for this dialog?
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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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:16 am

What are your expectations for seeing through the self and for this dialog?
I went through my expectations earlier today when I was reading through the quotes app and came up with more than I expected.

Contentment, peace, happiness, getting to relax, becoming perfect, becoming like teachers I've been exposed to, ceasing to exist, for nothing to change, going insane, not having problems anymore, everything being easy, not having any faults anymore, being accepting of myself as I am, being accepting of reality as it is, no longer seeing reality through the distorted filter of thought, not having thought anymore, not experiencing anxiety anymore, not experiencing depression anymore, the end of seeking, the end of sensing that there is a "me", no more suffering, no more resisting.

Those are the ones that came up for me now - they are not all positive, some fears are enmeshed in there. I let go of many of these earlier and am letting go of the ones I write down now. I recognize them as egoic expectations, as all expectations are.
How will Life change?
It won't. Well, that's my expectation. I can't say for sure what it will do, but it's likely that everything will go on just as it was before.
How will you change?
"I" will be nonexistent, as it always has been, the only change being that this will become apparent.
What will be different?
This is a tricky one because I don't know what will happen in the future. Although writing that I realize that I am seeing through the perception of expecting this change to happen in the future.

Nothing will be different. Only a shift in perception.

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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:32 am

Add to expectations - becoming ascended.

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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:56 am

And as well - suddenly having my experience align with all the sayings about enlightenment.

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Re: Guide please

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:56 am

Dear Estella,

Could you please confirm that you’ve read and accepted the rules?
I went through my expectations earlier today when I was reading through the quotes app and came up with more than I expected….. I recognize them as egoic expectations, as all expectations are
.
Thank you for your honesty and the detailed list about the expectations.
This list is important, because 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 all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?
Contentment, peace, happiness, getting to relax, becoming perfect, becoming like teachers I've been exposed to, ceasing to exist, for nothing to change, going insane, not having problems anymore, everything being easy, not having any faults anymore, being accepting of myself as I am, being accepting of reality as it is, no longer seeing reality through the distorted filter of thought, not having thought anymore, not experiencing anxiety anymore, not experiencing depression anymore, the end of seeking, the end of sensing that there is a "me", no more suffering, no more resisting.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but, these are HUGE and UNREALISTIC expectations. So you want to stop being human! It won’t happen. Liberation is not about denying humanness, it is quite contrary, accepting ALL aspects of humanness, accepting all emotions.

Everything you’ve listed above are the result of a lifetime of conditioning. Seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. However, 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 they GRADUALLY 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.

Identification with the I-thought and self-referencing thoughts and stories still arise 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’.

Happiness or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Liberation is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about encompassing all emotions, accepting whatever is arising in this moment.

Many seekers believe that liberation is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case.
Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity ‘self’ is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual.

For example, did you ever once believe that Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy was real? If you did at one point, and don't now, does the experience of discovery last? Or is it that the knowledge that there is no such thing as Santa or Tooth Fairy is just another ‘fact’?

Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
becoming perfect
There is no ‘you’, there is nothing that could become perfect. Liberation is not about self-improvement, quite the contrary, seeing that there has never been a self that could be perfect or non-perfect.

Furthermore, upon close investigation, it can be seen that ‘perfectness’ or ‘non-perfectness’ is nothing more than a mental label attached to the current experiencing.
ceasing to exist
You cannot cease to exist, because you ALREADY don’t exist. Nothing cannot cease to be.

But this doesn’t mean that the illusion of the self stop appearing. The illusion won’t go away, just because it is seen as an illusion. Like a mirage in the desert won’t disappear just because it is seen as an illusion, but it is no longer believed to be as reality.
not having problems anymore
It is not about not having problems any more, rather it is seeing that problem simply doesn’t exist. That problem is nothing more than a mental label attached to other thoughts. There are already no problems at all.
not having thought anymore
This is simply impossible. Liberation is not about not having thoughts, rather about seeing thoughts for what they are and not mistaken thoughts with reality.
not experiencing anxiety anymore, not experiencing depression anymore.. no more suffering, no more resisting.
Anxiety, depression, suffering, resistance to what is, are the result of X years of conditionings. And just because seeing through the self has happened, it doesn’t mean that they go away in an instant. However, every time when they are seen for what they are, they lessen a bit, and they GRADUALLY fall away.


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?


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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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:33 am

You're welcome.
Is there any resistance to any of it?
There is resistance to the "so you want to stop being human". A tightness in the stomach and an intake of breath. I actually remember listening to Adyashanti say something like an enlightened being is not really human anymore. Not "an enlightened being", I don't remember what he said, but the latter stuck in my mind.

There is also the expectation that there won't be stickiness of thought and falling into states where thoughts rush at me, many all at once, and I am confused and suffer because their gravitational pull draws me in and they serve as my filter. Partly this comes from the dude who runs the non-duality blog, who has mentioned that after enlightenment, thoughts are very slow and he doesn't get pulled in anymore.

I suppose on some level I do want to stop being human. The story of Estella involved much time feeling like an alien. Sometimes the striving I experience feels more like a death wish than anything, too. Although I recognize these for the distortions that they are.

Intakes of breath at becoming perfect, going insane. Sad feeling - a heaviness in the chest - at not having faults anymore, being accepting of myself as I am. A rush at being accepting of reality as it is, feeling sort of like a hopefulness or desperation. The remainder of these read with feelings of chest rushiness and heaviness, a drooping of shoulders...feelings of terror, fear, suicidal impulse, anger, hate, sadness, hope.
Happiness or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Liberation is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about encompassing all emotions, accepting whatever is arising in this moment.
Ok, if liberation is about accepting whatever is arising in this moment, then I suppose that is why I am still finding myself in patterns of seeking rather than resting, and resisting rather than accepting. Although to be honest now that I think about it my response to unpleasant situations or sensations more and more has been to stay with them and work through them, whereas before seeing no-self I would try like hell to escape from them, only creating more unpleasantness. But what I find distinct from my experience and that of those claiming abiding non-dual awareness is that I experience emotional reactivity, and an undercurrent of anxiety.

I see that identification arises as the content of thought. Yet there is also the matter that I find myself telling stories and listening to them and believing them, if I am not diligent with neti, neti. There has been mention of this from things I've heard - how after awakening the ego still has momentum, like a fire that goes out but there is still smoke. On some level I realize that this is all a story that I am telling myself. But I can't seem to stop telling myself some kind of story and believing it, rather than abandoning concept altogether.

Just now I was reading Gateless Gatecrashers, and at one point I saw no-self directly and felt both elated and dumbfounded. Right after however there was the chatter of thought saying that this isn't it, that I am not there yet. And somehow I am believing them still, even though I know they are not true. I am still experiencing suffering because of having those thoughts.
For example, did you ever once believe that Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy was real? If you did at one point, and don't now, does the experience of discovery last? Or is it that the knowledge that there is no such thing as Santa or Tooth Fairy is just another ‘fact’?
I did believe this, and no, the experience of the discovery does not last. The knowledge is just another 'fact'.
Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
Then could you tell me what abiding non-dual awareness even is?

I have gotten the impression that after awakening there is more to do. I've been told by myself and by others that my work isn't done. I experienced a time of 'enlightened ego'. After I realized and came down off that horse I got this feeling that I am back at square one, even though deep within I feel that I am not, these two war within me and I feel great pain from them. I also feel a sense of anger at the person who led to my having the idea of my work not being done, that I still have underlying beliefs that are clouding reality for me, even though I see that there was no one who did anything. I see clearly...right now. And then my mind swoops in and says no, you're not good enough, and the thoughts stick onto my perception of reality rather than my seeing them for what they are.
There is no ‘you’, there is nothing that could become perfect. Liberation is not about self-improvement, quite the contrary, seeing that there has never been a self that could be perfect or non-perfect.

Furthermore, upon close investigation, it can be seen that ‘perfectness’ or ‘non-perfectness’ is nothing more than a mental label attached to the current experiencing.
I recognize this. The belief in this mental concept has been dissolved.
But this doesn’t mean that the illusion of the self stop appearing. The illusion won’t go away, just because it is seen as an illusion. Like a mirage in the desert won’t disappear just because it is seen as an illusion, but it is no longer believed to be as reality.
I understand this. And...it doesn't feel like I'm "there" because it is believed to be as reality through my experience. I feel as though I have one foot in enlightenment and one foot in samsara. Even throughout the day I oscillate between feeling content and seeing reality for what it is, and then feeling frightened and having rushes of thoughts. It's like only half of me knows no-self.
It is not about not having problems any more, rather it is seeing that problem simply doesn’t exist. That problem is nothing more than a mental label attached to other thoughts. There are already no problems at all.
Chest tightness and stopped breathing for a moment. I recognize that there are no problems. As I go about my days when I experience what seems like an issue for me and see my own resistance I try to accept it, and usually it works, or if not I accept my resistance.
This is simply impossible. Liberation is not about not having thoughts, rather about seeing thoughts for what they are and not mistaken thoughts with reality.
A lot of energy rushing in the chest. This is a hard one for me because I've heard several people who say they are enlightened also say that they don't have thoughts anymore. Also because when I experienced my periods of just-hatched post-awakening bliss there was no thought there at all. Even throughout my day I experience periods of no thought. Before, I would have no thought and then thoughts would set in and at the same time there would be this feeling of dread and horror and I would be seeing through the filter again. I would have panic attacks, forget how to breathe/to breathe, have an ego death. Same goes for now, except I use neti, neti. But anyway, you say existing without thought is impossible, but others' stories and my own experience has shown me otherwise.
Anxiety, depression, suffering, resistance to what is, are the result of X years of conditionings. And just because seeing through the self has happened, it doesn’t mean that they go away in an instant. However, every time when they are seen for what they are, they lessen a bit, and they GRADUALLY fall away.
At first I experienced some resistance to this, and then I noticed it and it fell away. I see what you're saying.

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Re: Guide please

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:55 am

Dear Estella,

Before we go further, could you please confirm that you’ve read and accepted the rules?

OK, I’m going to be honest with you. It seems that you have a lot of intellectual second-hand knowledge about the so called ‘enlightenment’. These are nothing more than beliefs, but you cannot see them only as beliefs because you cannot see that the content of thoughts is not real. (This is what would address deeply in our conversation).

Liberation is not about believing what other so called enlightened gurus says. It doesn’t matter what they say. It is just their stories and interpretation about their experiences. It also doesn’t matter what I say to you.

The only thing that matters, is to see ‘reality’ for ‘yourself’ without any beliefs. To facilitate this, I can give you exercises to LOOK for ‘yourself’.

You cannot go anywhere with believing and constantly comparing yourself with others. This is totally futile. This happens only the level of intellect.

For the time of our conversation, I’d like to ask you not to read or to watch any teachers, not to read any spiritual books or articles except what is here on our website. This is because it is easy to become confused when different sources are telling you different things.

My questions are:

Are you willing to stop reading and listening any teachers for the time of our conversation?
Are you ready to put aside all gained intellectual knowledge and do the exercises I give you?

Are you ready for questioning your beliefs about liberation?
Are you ready for the possibility that your beliefs about liberation might be wrong?
Are you ready to put aside ALL expectations?


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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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:15 am

OK, I’m going to be honest with you. It seems that you have a lot of intellectual second-hand knowledge about the so called ‘enlightenment’. These are nothing more than beliefs, but you cannot see them only as beliefs because you cannot see that the content of thoughts is not real. (This is what would address deeply in our conversation).
I can see this too. One part of me knows I'm already here and this is it and this is a glorious thing to experience, and the other part is telling me no, it's not it, it has to be some other way, or the way it was before, and that's really painful. I have moments more and more where I feel like I'm done and I am just ready to stop believing I'm not enlightened, but that doesn't seem to be enough to stop this pattern of functioning.
My questions are:

Are you willing to stop reading and listening any teachers for the time of our conversation?
Are you ready to put aside all gained intellectual knowledge and do the exercises I give you?

Are you ready for questioning your beliefs about liberation?
Are you ready for the possibility that your beliefs about liberation might be wrong?
Are you ready to put aside ALL expectations?
Yes, I agree to all of these.

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ebw
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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:30 am

I felt really deep in delusion so I was reading the Gateless Gatecrashers ebook to sort of prepare, I guess? I don't know what the idea was behind it. Anyway, I experienced some real breakthroughs while reading it and now there seems to be sort of chasm within this body where I used to think there was an "I". Even so, there is doubt. It occurs to me that maybe it's because I was reading about others' experiences...but I don't know why that would be either. Yes, the ideas that occur seem to have a lot less pull and substance, they don't really make much sense nor do I feel the pull to complete them and make them make sense to perpetuate the idea of me. However, there is still a feeling of inner tension...I feel like I've bumped up against a glass wall. Please guide me!

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Re: Guide please

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:35 am

Before we go further, could you please confirm that you’ve read and accepted the rules?

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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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:14 pm

Yes I have read and accepted the rules.

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Re: Guide please

Postby Vivien » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:53 pm

Dear Estella,

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’?


From now on, 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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Re: Guide please

Postby ebw » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:42 pm

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?
Partly yes. I see how I can't shake the belief that I am a human being. I also find sticky beliefs that I am a soul, sitting in this human being and running the show. I've also noticed one about there being a mechanical man robot creature inside me running the show and that I am him.

I have seen no self and know it to be the truth in theory, but this does not stick for me. There is so much dissonance.
What does the word 'I' point to?
The word "I" points to the character I am acting out in this dream.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
I reside in it and operate it.
Also, nothing.
What makes this body ‘you’?
In my past memories and present experience there has never been seeing from the vantage point of any other body. Hence this body must be me.

Even as I write these I see how they are all lies. It's like the truth is screaming inside of me wanting to get out but it's blocked by thick styrofoam walls of illusion. So I wrote the thoughts that came up for me in response to your questions, not what I have experienced before or know in theory about no self. I very much agree about no self but it's like my being rejects the knowledge and I am back at square one every time I have a realization. I feel like I'm in limbo. I have been where I am seeking to be before and it's like there's only a thin tissue paper layer left but I can barely find it to to break it.


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