Looking to crash that gate!

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Iggy
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Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:59 pm

Hi,

For the past 6 months or so I've been interested in non-duality and more recently taken up meditation. Searching for direct 'how to' guidebooks led me to GG and this site. I hope it'll save years of dead-ending!

I suspect I have some trouble differentiating between 'looking/noticing' and 'theorising' that could be holding me back and would very much appreciate guidance.

In case it helps, I'm 41 and based in the UK.

Many thanks

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:03 pm

Hi Iggy,
Hi,

For the past 6 months or so I've been interested in non-duality and more recently taken up meditation. Searching for direct 'how to' guidebooks led me to GG and this site. I hope it'll save years of dead-ending!

I suspect I have some trouble differentiating between 'looking/noticing' and 'theorising' that could be holding me back and would very much appreciate guidance.

In case it helps, I'm 41 and based in the UK.

Many thanks
This is John from the UK. Very nice to meet you.

A few quick guidelines: look to post daily/regularly or post to say if a break is needed; and set aside any other spiritual practices during our inquiry together.

Also, our disclaimer.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

If you could confirm you have seen the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Iggy
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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:36 pm

Hi John,

Very happy to take up your offer to help.

Also confirm I'm fine with the guidelines and have read the disclaimer.

Regards,

I

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:37 am

Hi Iggy,
Hi John,

Very happy to take up your offer to help.

Also confirm I'm fine with the guidelines and have read the disclaimer.

Regards,

I
Ok, cool. Let's make a start.

"I suspect I have some trouble differentiating between 'looking/noticing' and 'theorising' that could be holding me back and would very much appreciate guidance.'

Grab the arm. Hold it for a minute.
Grab the idea of "arm". Hold it for a minute.

What's the difference in the experience?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Iggy
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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:03 pm

Hi Iggy,
Hi John,

Very happy to take up your offer to help.

Also confirm I'm fine with the guidelines and have read the disclaimer.

Regards,

I
Ok, cool. Let's make a start.

"I suspect I have some trouble differentiating between 'looking/noticing' and 'theorising' that could be holding me back and would very much appreciate guidance.'

Grab the arm. Hold it for a minute.
Grab the idea of "arm". Hold it for a minute.

What's the difference in the experience?

Thank you,
John
Thanks, John.
Grab the arm. Hold it for a minute.
There are sensations of something physical/substantial being held - different textures: softer parts, harder parts.

Also the sensations of the arm being grabbed - strips and points of pressure.

The sensations effortlessly continue until I release.

On a "non sensation only level", my mind can (involuntarily) visualise the hand wrapped around the arm, assign "flesh" or "bone" to the different textures.
Grab the idea of "arm". Hold it for a minute.
I feel like I can't "grab" the idea of the arm as such; I can just attempt to deliberately focus my attention the idea. This kind of "grabbing" feels non-physical/non-substantial.

I visualise an arm and attempt to recall memories of the sensations of my hand grabbing the arm. The recalled sensations aren't as strong/substantial.

Occasionally, images of different types of "arm", e.g. a crane, flicker up mentally. I can hear myself saying the word "arm" even though I'm not saying it out loud.

I'm more aware of background sounds now than when I was actually grabbing my arm. I also feel other physical sensations (e.g. hands resting on keyboard, back on cushion).

I feel it's more of an effort to hold/focus on the idea of an arm than it was to notice the real sensations of actually grabbing my arm.

Hope this is useful!

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:42 am

Hi Iggy,

Thank you for the response.

"The sensations effortlessly continue until I release."

Curl the right hand into a fist and watch as it curls.

Who did that?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:19 am

Some feelings of confusion/surprise...

I believe "I" issued the instruction for the curling to happen, but the movements themselves feel removed/separate from the mind.

Certainly doesn't t feel like the mind isn't controlling the precise way each digit is moving - that happens without "brain-effort".

A hand moving, feelings of tension and contact when fingertips touch palm.

*Feels* like no one's actually doing the curling, it's just happening... although some *thoughts* that the body's following my mind's instruction.

Cheers

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:17 pm

Hi Iggy,

Good stuff - thank you.
Some feelings of confusion/surprise...

I believe "I" issued the instruction for the curling to happen, but the movements themselves feel removed/separate from the mind.

Certainly doesn't t feel like the mind isn't controlling the precise way each digit is moving - that happens without "brain-effort".

A hand moving, feelings of tension and contact when fingertips touch palm.

*Feels* like no one's actually doing the curling, it's just happening... although some *thoughts* that the body's following my mind's instruction.

Cheers
When it comes down to it, looking at what happens, there are feelings about it and there are thoughts/beliefs about it.

Do the hand curling again, and this time notice the feelings and thoughts about the initiator showing up to be noticed.

ASK:

Is a feeling, me?

Is a thought/belief, me?

If the hand is curling without a "me" curling it, is there a possibility that wondering about it is happening without a "me" wondering?


Have a good look...and share what shows up.

Note - we are absolutely NOT interested in believing this or that to be the case - but only to look and see what's happening as best we can.

WIth kind thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:27 pm

ALSO...

With the hand curled in to a "fist", it is still and there will - soon - be an unfurling of the hand.

Notice that happening without ANY initiating. In fact, try to see any initiating of ANY form.

Pretend to initiate, say "UNFURL!" and see if the hand cares to follow "your" command. :)

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Iggy
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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:19 pm

Do the hand curling again, and this time notice the feelings and thoughts about the initiator showing up to be noticed.
ASK:

Is a feeling, me?
The feelings are merely sensations in the hand - tensing then touching.
I don't identify "me" as being these feelings - they're sensations/events that are being experienced.

There are also feelings resulting from the thoughts - bit of confusion, bit of excitement (see below), but I also don't identify "me" as being these feelings either.
Is a thought/belief, me?
The thought/belief itself isn't me; however, I *think* that I am the originator/generator of the thought.
....Looking closer... That thought that "I am the originator/generator of the thought" is just a thought too!
However, it does feel like a "strong", persistent, dominating thought that I "ought" to believe... but this is new to me - realising that what's behind this notion of "me" could just be a thought about a thought (and so on and on and on...)!
A bit of an excited tingle in my head...
If the hand is curling without a "me" curling it, is there a possibility that wondering about it is happening without a "me" wondering?
Good question... yes, that's possible (but still results in some doubt thoughts).
The wondering could be the automatic/natural result of seeing the curling without a deliberate decision by a "me"being made to initiate a wondering.

(Promised myself I'd avoid rambling in these discussions, but this thought came up: "The trigger pulling itself"... not sure if's a fully correct analogy, but felt right at the time!)

I can also see that a thought that a "me" made the decision to wonder would also automatically arise, a result of habit. However, that's still a belief at the moment, rather than something I'm seeing for certain.
With the hand curled in to a "fist", it is still and there will - soon - be an unfurling of the hand.

Notice that happening without ANY initiating. In fact, try to see any initiating of ANY form.
Finding this hard... fist remains unfurled, resting on table whilst I try not to think about it... minutes pass...
Then... stopped thinking about it, let my arm swing down off table... noticed at some point fist had unfurled without "me" deciding to do it!
...A thought: "that was just a reflex action" - another thought "yes, but that's just a belief"...
Pretend to initiate, say "UNFURL!" and see if the hand cares to follow "your" command. :)
It doesn't... but still a belief that "I" can actually make the fist unfurl by sending a message via the nervous system or whatever... however, I realise that's just a belief...

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:13 pm

Hi Iggy,

Smashing work. Good stuff. :)
Do the hand curling again, and this time notice the feelings and thoughts about the initiator showing up to be noticed.
ASK:

Is a feeling, me?
The feelings are merely sensations in the hand - tensing then touching.
I don't identify "me" as being these feelings - they're sensations/events that are being experienced.

There are also feelings resulting from the thoughts - bit of confusion, bit of excitement (see below), but I also don't identify "me" as being these feelings either.
Good.
Is a thought/belief, me?
The thought/belief itself isn't me; however, I *think* that I am the originator/generator of the thought.
....Looking closer... That thought that "I am the originator/generator of the thought" is just a thought too!
However, it does feel like a "strong", persistent, dominating thought that I "ought" to believe... but this is new to me - realising that what's behind this notion of "me" could just be a thought about a thought (and so on and on and on...)!
A bit of an excited tingle in my head...
We might call this thought of a you as the originator of thought an underlying assumption that had remained un-challenged. Moving closer to this assumption and seeing its nature as thought, could well lead to head tingling. :)

What other grounds does this assumption have other than the habit of believing it? When it is seen for what it is, and the agreement to believe in it is withdrawn, it drops away. Work a little with this.
If the hand is curling without a "me" curling it, is there a possibility that wondering about it is happening without a "me" wondering?
Good question... yes, that's possible (but still results in some doubt thoughts).
The wondering could be the automatic/natural result of seeing the curling without a deliberate decision by a "me"being made to initiate a wondering.

(Promised myself I'd avoid rambling in these discussions, but this thought came up: "The trigger pulling itself"... not sure if's a fully correct analogy, but felt right at the time!)

I can also see that a thought that a "me" made the decision to wonder would also automatically arise, a result of habit. However, that's still a belief at the moment, rather than something I'm seeing for certain.
Home in on the familiar feeling and sensation of me. See that it feels true and real. See the evidence/nature of this me - feelings, sensations and the thought/belief/idea that "this me is who I am."

Get the strongest sense of me and the assumption of me, before taking steps in withdrawing agreement to believe in it. See what happens. Take it inch by inch.
With the hand curled in to a "fist", it is still and there will - soon - be an unfurling of the hand.

Notice that happening without ANY initiating. In fact, try to see any initiating of ANY form.
Finding this hard... fist remains unfurled, resting on table whilst I try not to think about it... minutes pass...
Then... stopped thinking about it, let my arm swing down off table... noticed at some point fist had unfurled without "me" deciding to do it!
...A thought: "that was just a reflex action" - another thought "yes, but that's just a belief"...
:) Yeah, stuff happens and then description kicks in after the fact. It is what it is. :D
Pretend to initiate, say "UNFURL!" and see if the hand cares to follow "your" command. :)
It doesn't... but still a belief that "I" can actually make the fist unfurl by sending a message via the nervous system or whatever... however, I realise that's just a belief...
Look at such a belief - does it include the believer? Would such a belief make sense, have any power, with no reference to a believer? Imagine a belief with no believer.

Explore and share what shows up. Good work Iggy!

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Iggy
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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:01 pm

Hi John,
What other grounds does this assumption have other than the habit of believing it? When it is seen for what it is, and the agreement to believe in it is withdrawn, it drops away. Work a little with this.
There are no other grounds; it's just a mass assumption I've grown up with that was never questioned.

I think much of the mental resistance I encounter is due to thinking that intellectual/scientific theories have authority. However, I realise that the belief in the "I" thought isn't part of those scientific theories and doesn't necessarily contradict them. I'm no expert, but I suspect that even the experts in neuroscience can't agree on how consciousness works anyway. This helped - realising that disbelieving in the "I" thought isn't necessarily anti-science or wishful thinking.

"The agreement to believe in it is withdrawn" - could you clarify this a bit please?

One way I can do this is to "reason with myself" at an Intellectual level (as per paragraph above) to help convince myself that the belief isn't necessarily correct. I think this is helpful in a way because I don't think I had a full intellectual understanding before I started this process - probably confused by trying to change from "identifying with my thoughts" to "identifying with (universal) awareness" from non-duality books I used to read, rather than "I am not the 'I' thought, so there is no 'me'" which is my one-liner understanding at the moment.

On another sub/non-intellectual level, I can also try to try to withdraw my agreement to believe by not resisting, or overcoming, the uncomfortable sensations (mainly tension in head) that arise when confronting the belief. Just relaxing and letting the sensations pass, which helps me note that they're just passing thoughts rather than anything more solid, which might train my brain/thinking in some way.

Did you mean either/both of these, or something else? Thanks
Home in on the familiar feeling and sensation of me. See that it feels true and real. See the evidence/nature of this me - feelings, sensations and the thought/belief/idea that "this me is who I am."

Get the strongest sense of me and the assumption of me, before taking steps in withdrawing agreement to believe in it. See what happens. Take it inch by inch.
Eyes closed, focus on that sensation in head/brain where I believe I create thoughts...

Tell myself that the belief is just a thought, a thought pattern that was useful once, but which has become "overgrown" and now tends to do more harm than good and so can stop, should stop, just go away...

Feel some tension in head... Some mental resistance and "performance anxiety"!

Then... Relaxed feeling in body, tingles down shoulders and arms... A bit like feelings when I meditated or before falling asleep... Mind goes quiet, fewer thoughts... Tension in head reduces...

Some doubt thoughts pop up.... Other thoughts saying this is OK, just natural reaction to this process, just automatic events... The brain being exposed to certain conditions to change it into a different state... Just natural cause and effect, no need for an "I" to intervene, all just happening by itself...

Still nagging doubt thoughts that "I" am generating counter thoughts ... But, then, those are just thoughts arising too, just as the doubts are... More descriptions kicking in after the fact...
Look at such a belief - does it include the believer? Would such a belief make sense, have any power, with no reference to a believer? Imagine a belief with no believer.

Explore and share what shows up.
A belief is just a thought and can't exist without a brain. If it's written down then it's just words.

Is the believer the same as the brain? It's just a thought passing through the brain, a happening. The "believer" could be considered to be that temporary brain-state. Not permanent. Just a thought.

"Not permanent" - that caused a tingle... reduced the "authority" of the belief...

Difficult to imagine a belief without a believer - there needs to be a brain to generate/sustain it? Just words floating around with no one thinking/experiencing them - just an image... doesn't make sense...

=-=-=-=
I went through this in the morning and wrote most of the notes above then. I've had a slightly "lighter" feeling in my head all day, fewer thoughts, and thoughts sounding "quieter" in my head. I wouldn't way I've had a shift, but perhaps the process is starting to have an effect? "Light" feeling subsiding this evening, though...

As ever, John, many thanks for your encouragement and guidance.

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:39 pm

Hi Iggy,

Often, when it seems complex, it generally means there's a little bit too much thinking, and we loop back to experience.
"I am not the 'I' thought, so there is no 'me'"
This is good to clarify, there are three points to this:

1. The familiar feeling/sensations of being "me" - FEELINGS
2. The assumption/belief/presupposition that these familiar feeling/sensations ARE "me" - LABEL
3. The assumption/belief/presupposition that I am "me" - IDENTIFICATION

FEELINGS and the LABEL can, and generally do, carry on regardless for a while. It is the deep notion that THIS IS ME. That is what we're looking at. We're not disregarding or pushing away anything at all. But looking, quite honestly, at the fact of the belief/assumption that THIS IS ME.

In fact, have a good look at this, spend some time with it. You may find that this assumption sits in the category called TRUE :) rather than the category called MADE-UP.

Contrast the two categories. Sit with the regular sense that THIS IS ME is TRUE.

Then, sit with the notion that THIS IS ME is utterly MADE-UP.

This is NOT about believing one or the other, but loosening the grip of such notions on perception.
As the grip loosens, we're better able to see what is there, rather than conditioned seeing.

Have a go, and share what comes up.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Iggy
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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby Iggy » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:34 am

Hi John,
Sit with the regular sense that THIS IS ME is TRUE.
Feels comfortable, familiar.

Quiet "presence" sensation in my head, ocassional involuntary thoughts pops up, but quickly go.

Then... Some sense of disappointment. Thoughts: "so what?", " this is it?", "is this what people mean by Emptiness?". Quiet feeling turns to slight tension then returns...
Then, sit with the notion that THIS IS ME is utterly MADE-UP.
Disquiet head tension. Confusion. Don't know where to even begin. Images of my name in official records or letters pop up, but recognise they're just references.
Focus moves to "bubble" around and outside of my head. But basic "presence" sensation feels the same there too. Inescapable.
Disappointment feeling comes again then goes.

Both notions, even though opposite, had similairities...


Cheers

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Re: Looking to crash that gate!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:58 pm

Hi Iggy,

"realising that what's behind this notion of "me" could just be a thought about a thought (and so on and on and on...)! "

Curl and unfurl the hand several times. Close the eyes and do this. With the eyes closed, hold the possibility, the notion, that no "self" is doing this. Feel deep into this notion as the hand opens and closes.

At some point, open the eyes, and see the hand curl and unfurl several times, again holding the possibility, the notion, that there is no "self" doing this, nor a "self" seeing this.

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U


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