I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head!!

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Tanya-D
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I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head!!

Postby Tanya-D » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:24 am

Hi,

Well, I guess it's true what they say - when the student is ready the teacher appears. I only came across Liberation Unlimited a couple of days ago, after silently pleading for something, someone, anything, to help me get out of this space I feel so stuck in.

My mind has usurped this whole journey of seeking. The more I disengage and look from a detached perspective, the more it seems to get wild with repetitive thoughts and rubbish that has no bloody use, nor can I remember ever having the experience of. Also, it seems to have cottoned on to the 'there is no me' thing and blocks progress.

I don't know what I am meant to do anymore. I'm tired of seeking, tired of searching and tired of chasing my own tail down imaginary rabbit holes full of pain and/or crap.

I have a burning need to be free - free from this bloody mind which thinks its my judge and jailor, and has persecuted me with ideas about who I am supposed to be, that have been unkind for quite some time. I want to be free, and at peace.

I hope someone can help me break free of this so I can get through to the freedom and peace I know exists for me.

Thank you.

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:14 am

Hi TanUK,

There are no teachers here, but if you feel you are ready to look at this I/me that is chasing its own tail I am happy to discuss that with you.

If you would like to get into this then please let me know how you experience this I/me. How do you define yourself?
What is this I that is seeking? What do you expect to change once you find what you are looking for?

Kind regards
Alex

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:43 am

Hi Alex,

I'm Tanya :)

Thank you so much for getting back to me and offering your help to discuss this with me. I would like to accept :)

I really do want to get into this, and only wish I had known how, sooner. Work might pull me away from my laptop for a while, but I'll always get back to you. I find it hard to spiritually inquire, but last night realised it was because I was trying to ''see' all of this from, and through, my mind. My mind is the obstacle and I don't know how or why I trust this, but know its the wrong apparatus for the job of living from the perspective of awareness.

How do I experience myself - is through the mind though, and sensationally through the body. it feels as though awareness is locked inside this small energy field that the ego governs. My focus gets carried away by thoughts, which are filled with stories that impact my mood. However, I am able to just witness all that happening more and more, and not 'buy' into it. More like an observer than a participant, but that perspective doesn't last - or perhaps it isn't believed to be the real deal.

How do I define myself? My beliefs define me, presently, But I'm starting to realise they are merely thoughts and have no power to define me. Intellectually, I know I'm not my mind, and I know I'm not my body; that I'm the space and emptiness beyond all that, but it isn't a real 'knowing'. It isn't being lived. It is just more thoughts.

The I that is seeking isn't there, but my mind is answering that. It isn't coming from any place of truth. but the barrier between the I and truth feels paper thin. The only way to describe it is, the ego (mind,thought, beliefs) is the one wanting the seeking - and the one wanting the liberation. Ha! That's funny.

What do I expect once I find what I am looking for. Freedom from the dictation of thoughts, and beliefs. Relief from the responsibility of trying to work all this out. I guess I think happiness, freedom and peace is beyond the Gate.

The above is filled with a lot of I'ness, isn't it? :)

Thank you, Alex

Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:07 am

Hi Tanya,

OK, great!

Before we go into further detail: If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info, the disclaimer and a short video too at: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
Please confirm that you have seen it and agree with it.

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.

Please also have a look at how to use the quote function - it makes threads a lot easier to read:
http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

OK, so lets get started :-)
Intellectually, I know I'm not my mind, and I know I'm not my body; that I'm the space and emptiness beyond all that, but it isn't a real 'knowing'. It isn't being lived. It is just more thoughts.
Lets have a closer look at this body and mind. What exactly is "body"? Isn't "body" simply a label, a thought concept?
How do you know/experience this body? Only through your sense perceptions, right? So, do you know the "body" OR do you know only the perception/experience of it?

A great tool to explore the body and basically all other "objects" or "phenomena" is direct experience (DE). DE is the only way you know the body and the world. You know it with your 5 senses PLUS thought. Let me know if you think there is something else. If so, lets have a closer look at it.

If you agree with "5 senses PLUS thought" then lets have a look at a very simple exercise...
Put your hand on the desk in front of you. Look at it and try to focus on your visual perception only. Not what you might feel or think about this hand on the desk.
What makes it "YOUR" hand? Does seeing alone contain the information that this is YOUR hand? If not, what contains this information? Lets go a step further:
What makes it "A" hand? Does seeing alone contain the information that this is A hand? If not, what contains this information? What information does seeing alone, without conceptual thought, provide about "hand on desk"?

Now close your eyes - leave your hand on the desk.
Feel it and try to only focus on your perception of touch. Again:
What makes it "YOUR" hand? Does perception of touch alone contain the information that this is YOUR hand? If not, what contains this information? Lets go a step further:
What makes it "A" hand? Does the perception of touch alone contain the information that this is A hand? If not, what contains this information? What information does the perception of touch, without conceptual thought, provide about "hand on desk"?

You can do this exercise for as many parts of your body as you like and finally do it for the whole body. What do you find?
The above is filled with a lot of I'ness, isn't it? :)
Yes, but this is how we communicate. Don't be afraid to use "I/me". If you start avoiding using "I/me" then you might as well stop using all concepts... what would be left? Anything?
It is not important to get rid of all concepts, but only to SEE that they ARE CONCEPTS.

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:32 am

Hi Alex,
Thank you for getting back to me. Very happy to have you guide me. I accept the ground rules and have watched the video, too. So I'm good to go...
Lets have a closer look at this body and mind. What exactly is "body"? Isn't "body" simply a label, a thought concept?
How do you know/experience this body? Only through your sense perceptions, right? So, do you know the "body" OR do you know only the perception/experience of it?
Absolutely know it through perception, and agree it is through the 5 senses and thought. But there is another quality which I cannot describe that inserts a...ummm...thought?...of this supposed ownership of the body. A doubt perhaps that feels like it is saying, 'Yes, but there must be something else that you're not seeing,' Wow! Really beginning to see how much I doubt myself! :) I can say yes, that is correct, it is perception only, but then I immediately question my answer with doubt, lack of trust, and the usual question of, 'have I got that right?' 'I don't believe it.' etc. I'm not sure what to expect so assume I have got it wrong and there must be something, just that I don't/can't see it. But then I've had many 'Aha' moments and felt those shifts, so understand how breakthroughs happen. More mind stuff...

I had an epiphany - the thing that is in the way is doubt from the mind. How can I look for something that isn't there? How can I understand something that isn't real? My mind is like a sniffer dog trying to search for the answers and coming up with nothing, but is adamant it is only because 'I' haven't found it yet. Hope that makes sense, Alex? I understand all this is more mind traps and the illusion weaves itself into knots! Grrr...The mind is also doing everything to distract the focus needed to investigate what you are asking me.

Ok, so if it is doubt (another thought!) that makes me believe the body is something more than a thought concept, then I can see that it is just another mere thought that thinks it must be more, and is another illusion. An illusion within an illusion.
If you agree with "5 senses PLUS thought" then lets have a look at a very simple exercise...
Put your hand on the desk in front of you. Look at it and try to focus on your visual perception only. Not what you might feel or think about this hand on the desk.
What makes it "YOUR" hand? Does seeing alone contain the information that this is YOUR hand? If not, what contains this information?
I have no idea why I think it's my hand. I am assuming it's because it's a part of my body and I have been told/taught from childhood it is my hand and that is the information that says it is mine.
That doesn't make it mine, or real, that is just a belief it is mine. Ok, so straight off the bat; the hand is just something I see. It isn't me. It just is. I see it and feel it with senses, but have no direct knowing of it. I am not it. Then that makes me think - exactly what do I have direct experience or knowing of?? Nothing! What is direct experience or knowing??? Oooo....Just going to sit down and ponder that...

Wow! Can really see how much I have used the mind to reference my version of Life/reality/experience. It all seems to come through mind at the moment. Ok, so then it feels right to say that all that is just interpretation, a concept, a symbol, a thought; a representation of the object! A representation is not a reality, is it? Kind of like looking at a photograph of my hand...Ok, I've lost myself :(
Lets go a step further:
What makes it "A" hand? Does seeing alone contain the information that this is A hand? If not, what contains this information? What information does seeing alone, without conceptual thought, provide about "hand on desk"?
Memory contains the information that this is a hand, but even that is just conceptual thought, isn't it? A reference - another representation. An image I believe because I've never questioned it. No information comes up when I inquire without memory. It's all just assumption on my part.
Now close your eyes - leave your hand on the desk.
Feel it and try to only focus on your perception of touch. Again:
What makes it "YOUR" hand? Does perception of touch alone contain the information that this is YOUR hand? If not, what contains this information?
Nothing makes this MY hand except a memory (thought), a sensation (more thought), but I still doubt. Just because I cannot find an answer, does not mean there isn't one to be found. This is where I get stuck. And frustrated with myself!
Don't be afraid to use "I/me". If you start avoiding using "I/me" then you might as well stop using all concepts... what would be left? Anything? It is not important to get rid of all concepts, but only to SEE that they ARE CONCEPTS.
Good to know, thank you. Oh, by the way, Alex - I was planning on going to Worthing to meet Ilona during her meeting this weekend. Would that be considered teaching and break rule 4?

I hope to hear from you soon. Enjoy your day, Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:58 pm

More feedback, Alex - Doubt is merely a thought. Thoughts upon thoughts, about thoughts. Thoughts about self image, thoughts about 'me', 'I' - all references to point to an object/label. The 'I' is an object/label, along with the hand and body. Just as I can see a dog or cat as an object/label. It feels like the mind holds these concepts of self referencing labels to make sense of experience, but that is all they are - just labels. Having a label of an expensive suit does not mean you have direct experience of the suit. Kind of like that t-shirt with a picture of a pipe, and the caption underneath says, 'This is not a pipe,' implying it is only a picture, a representation of a pipe. So what I think is me, is merely a thought of me, a representation. Still using thinking here, aren't I?! I might waffle for a while until my perception shifts . . .

I ask the question what is the body? Can it only be known through perception and immediately the answer is yes. Nothing can be known directly. Not sure how I know this, but today it feels like my truth. All of it, everything, is just references to labels, representations and perceptions of thoughts. Then my mind jumps in with 'WTF?!' Hang on a minute? That doesn't make sense! So, it is like experience can't simply Be unless my mind has understood it. Nothing can be accepted unless the mind has understood it.

The pressure and contraction that thoughts cause is really obvious today.

I am trying the exercise again, where I only feel my hand, with my eyes closed. I immediately feel sensations, then my mind jumps in to fill in the 'detail' and meaning of what I feel. Beyond the labelling, there is only darkness, stillness, and a kind of silence.

Incredible frustration and discomfort is coming up today.

Am I meant to be posting observations at any time, such as the above? Or would you rather I wait for your feedback to the original post in future?

Thank you, Tanya.

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:19 pm

I am still working on the exercise, Alex and this is where I've ended up. I notice rule 1 that says post at least once a day, so I've relaxed in giving too much for you to have to read.

The mind just labels experience - it is NOT real. Thoughts are no more 'being experienced' than a photograph is. Thought comes after the experience to label, define, understand, capture, and then contains and stuffs it in a pigeon hole for reference.

Seeing is simple, it is the thinking that complicates things. Right now I seem to believe that the sunlight is the sun; that the after-effect of thought is reality, and not the stuff beyond.

3rd time lucky - Focusing on the hand with eyes shut again. It is just a sensation of energy, or an aliveness. No images, or thoughts, just a space where energy is. To be honest it could just as well have been a foot for the lack of labelling I've just achieved! :)

What is Doing all this? Me, I'm doing it...so what is Me? A name that labels the self. What is self? Another label? What is a label? A representation of an experience that the mind uses to reference that experience. So then self is simply an experience BEFORE the mind starts to label? Yes. An afterthought! Self is an afterthought of experience. A shadow of experience, an effect. A shadow is not real, and cannot exist in and of itself without the presence of a body. nor can the self exist without experience - so it has no control, it is just a reaction.

When I look for Myself, there is nothing there. No image - if I look in the mirror, I only see reflection, not myself directly. My own eyeball cannot see itself! Nor is there sensation, just a thought that labels - which I am beginning to understand is not real. So now I'm at a point where I can hod my own hand, and its a solid thing and that is where I seem to be stuck...Can't miove past that 'proof' for now.

I'm not sure if this is just rubbish and a conscious stream of drivel, or what is useful to get me to see. I just seem to be stuck in my bloody head! But feel more clarity is happening too.

Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:10 am

I was planning on going to Worthing to meet Ilona during her meeting this weekend. Would that be considered teaching and break rule 4?
No problem, go and attend the meeting if you feel like it :-)

You are doing very well! It is perfectly fine to note everything you feel and see when exploring. Keep at it!
The mind just labels experience - it is NOT real
How would you define "real"? Based on what property is something "real" or "unreal"?
Is a dream real or unreal? Is reality real or unreal?
Many would say that if one can see and touch it then it is real... so what is a dream "made of"? Is it made of something else than reality? Is reality made of solid blocks and a dream just of spherical clouds?
Or are both simply "made of perceiving"?

So... coming back to the mind or lets maybe rather say thought... why is thought not real? It is experienced, just like seeing or hearing, isn't it? The only difference being that thought contains references to conceptual entities like "I/me" or "others", it refers to past events or projects into the future... Isn't the only problem the identification with some specific content of thought? Otherwise, is there a difference between a thought and a sound arising? Are any of the two belonging to a person?

When you listen to sound, do you find an entity listener or is there only the sound? When you think, is there an entity thinker or is there only the thought (and maybe another thought that says "I was thinking" - "This was my thought")?
So now I'm at a point where I can hold my own hand, and its a solid thing and that is where I seem to be stuck...Can't move past that 'proof' for now.
What does something feeling solid proof? If anything at all then maybe that there is experiencing happening...
When you dream - do things feel solid when you touch them? Are they solid? Are they real? It seems this depends on how your concepts for solid and real work, right? Still, what is there, no matter if you are awake or if you are dreaming is THIS experience, isn't it? The question is only if there is an "I/me" experiencing or if there is ONLY the experience...

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:23 am

I just again read the first sentence after the second quote... Should rather read: Does "something feels solid" proof that this is so or is "this is solid" only a descriptive thought adding a property to the basic sensation of touch?


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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:13 am

Good morning, Alex

Thank you for your next pointers. I will be away from my laptop all day at the meeting then, but will give your questions serious thought later this evening. If I don't post something tonight it will definitely be tomorrow!

Oddly enough, I went to sleep with the question about what makes a dream different from being awake. Will ponder.

I know it is your choice to be a guide, but I just want to say how much I appreciate you being my guide, right now. Thank you. :)

Have a lovely day....or evening come to think of it. I've assumed you are in the UK. Opps!

Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:32 am

Hi Tanya,
OK, no problem - enjoy the meeting!
Say hello to Ilona from me - I have never met her as I now live in Australia...
Alex

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:44 pm

Hi Alex,

The meeting was fantastic! Lovely people there, and Ilona is quite simply amazing! Her observations are like lightning bolts that kept cutting through my dithering - until my head exploded!

I told her you were doing a great job as my guide and she said she knew who you were. :) Feel so grateful to you both.

So shall we continue . . . :)
How would you define "real"? Based on what property is something "real" or "unreal"?
'Real' is direct experience, expressed without labels. To feel something alive, with sensation. Is a thought real, Alex? I think it is, but the content is not. Is that right?
Is a dream real or unreal? Is reality real or unreal?
Oh wow - yeah! What does make a dream a dream? Something definitely does, or some of us would be arrested for major stalking, believing we were married to Hollywood actors! :)
Many would say that if one can see and touch it then it is real... so what is a dream "made of"? Is it made of something else than reality? Is reality made of solid blocks and a dream just of spherical clouds? Or are both simply "made of perceiving"?
Hmmmm....is a dream just an idea? A thought? Argh! Head has exploded. Real and dream are definitely both perceived, but one feels different to the other, but I can't say how. But then both are states of being'ness. Both are awareness. Perhaps a dream is just wrapped in a thought-story, filled with concepts of feelings, meaning and ideas? And reality is directly experienced. Oooo, then perhaps when we are not through the gate, we are all dreaming! Because awareness that is 'asleep' live via stories, labels and concepts, in a kind of dreamstate, but awareness awake is different because of a constant presence and state of allowing all to be as it is.

Being awake is being alive, present, in the moment, directly touching, sensing, smelling, tasting, feeling, hearing it all. All is alive in the moment, without a Doer doing. Meaning like an ear hearing, or a mouth speaking. There is just hearing and speaking.

So then, am I right to assume that the big illusion is that I/Me/Self is not here, just the happenings of hearing, tasting, touching etc? Is the world here??? Think I've lost myself.... :( Aha! That's because I'm not here, there, or wherever - just a thought that I am. I am is a thought! Woo! Err, have we already covered this? I'm a little spaced with all this, but loving it! Reality is awareness, presence, consciousness. I am a thought that places 'me' in that consciousness.
So... coming back to the mind or lets maybe rather say thought... why is thought not real? It is experienced, just like seeing or hearing, isn't it? The only difference being that thought contains references to conceptual entities like "I/me" or "others", it refers to past events or projects into the future... Isn't the only problem the identification with some specific content of thought? Otherwise, is there a difference between a thought and a sound arising? Are any of the two belonging to a person?
Yes, I now think thoughts are real, but the labels and their content is not real.
I wouldn't say there was a difference between a thought and a sound arising. Both are just happening without anyone there doing it.
When you listen to sound, do you find an entity listener or is there only the sound? When you think, is there an entity thinker or is there only the thought (and maybe another thought that says "I was thinking" - "This was my thought")?
No-one there! :) No one doing nuffin - just stuff happening. The idea of me thinks its me doing stuff, (aha, now I get why it is called ego. It thinks it responsible for everything!) but the idea of Me isn't real. Argh, there is something just beyond my fingertips here! And I can't get to it!!
What does something feeling solid proof? If anything at all then maybe that there is experiencing happening...
When you dream - do things feel solid when you touch them? Are they solid? Are they real? It seems this depends on how your concepts for solid and real work, right? Still, what is there, no matter if you are awake or if you are dreaming is THIS experience, isn't it? The question is only if there is an "I/me" experiencing or if there is ONLY the experience...
Yes, dreams feel solid or give sensations, just like reality does.
But . . but . . . :) . . . I/Me is in a dream too, but it isn't real! I wake up from that experience into another experience. Definitely lost now.

Think its my bedtime - hope you're enjoying your day. I will look forward to your reply, Alex. Bye for now :)

Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Alexw » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:47 am

Great! Would have loved to be there too...
Is a thought real, Alex? I think it is, but the content is not. Is that right?
If you define "real" as something simply being/existing then yes, sure, its real, isn't it? But, yes, you are completely right, the content of thought always is only a concept, a story that is based on certain input - this experience or more often just other thoughts. It is shaped by years of conditioning, societal rules and values etc etc.
So then, am I right to assume that the big illusion is that I/Me/Self is not here, just the happenings of hearing, tasting, touching etc? Is the world here??? Think I've lost myself.... :( Aha! That's because I'm not here, there, or wherever - just a thought that I am. I am is a thought! Woo!
Yes, "I/me" is always, ever a thought! Can you find an "I/me" anywhere outside of thought? Does it exist in the information coming from any of the five senses?
Reality is awareness, presence, consciousness. I am a thought that places 'me' in that consciousness.
Are "you" a thought? Or is there only a thought saying that there is a "you"?
Can a thought place you into consciousness? Or rather: Can a thought do anything? Doesn't it simply arise and vanish - just like a sound arises and vanishes...
No-one there! :) No one doing nuffin - just stuff happening. The idea of me thinks its me doing stuff, (aha, now I get why it is called ego. It thinks it responsible for everything!) but the idea of Me isn't real. Argh, there is something just beyond my fingertips here! And I can't get to it!!
Yes, good! No one there doing anything - just stuff happening. Can an "idea of me" think anything? Or is this just another thought saying that this would be possible - a story...
The "idea of me" is as real as a thought - it exists - BUT: It only exists as a thought story! Do you SEE that?

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Hi Alex :)

Starting to 'fine-tune' this process I think - *she says with a grin* . . . Let's see . . .

One thing I have noticed since starting this process with you is the sensation of fear is accepted more and more, because it is understood for what it is now - a feeling! It is not being analysed to death which is what I was taught to do. I'm not being swept up in the stories too much. Actually, I would go so far as to say that I am welcoming doubts, fears, anxieties so I can release them. If I only get that far, then the time with you has been amazing!

Right, so - I/Me/self is nowhere to be found. Not in the body, not inside a thought, not inside the mind, or under the bed where I left my book last night! It is nowhere, except in the names, and labels that are merely thoughts about thoughts abut thoughts - smoke and mirrors. When I ask the question 'Where is Me/I?' There is nothing. I recognise Me/I is a label to reference a concept; a thought-reference to I/Me. I really LOOK and then a feeling comes into my chest and gives my heart a squeeze. Feeling/Sensation tries to get my attention to believe the feeling is me, the sensation of blood rushing through my fingers is me, the images that come from deep inside my skull is me. But, it is just aliveness, movement, energy, and is not I/Me/self - just representations of experience.

However, this is still a struggle between 'Real-knowing' and the 'mind-knowing' right now, Alex.

I/Me/Self is just an expression of reality - an impression, and in impermanent one. Source/Consciousness/Reality is in a moving expression - flowing, being, present, always. Yes, yes, we know this already! I'm looking, seeing and trying to experience this but 'I am' is getting in the way with thoughts of . . . well, anything really .

Mind creates labels and names out of experience too, but I don't know why - then realise that is a mind-need to know.

Today I am jumping between deep sadness and excitement! I feel as though I peel one layer back, to find another one filled with confusion and 'not-knowing'.

There still feels like something is in charge here. What exercise is good to move further?

Excited to receive your reply :)

Bye for now, Tanya

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Re: I would appreciate a helping hand or a smack in the head

Postby Tanya-D » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:18 pm

Ooooo, just had a subtle jolt of truth, I think -

I just realised that it is ALl a projection of Being. And I/Me/self is just a projection onto the screen from Being to the Screen so to speak. Something just shifted . . . I'll let is percolate :)

Tanya


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