A guide for once and for all please

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Lauren
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A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:06 pm

Hello,

I am looking for a guide to hopefully help to see clearly what I am, once and for all. I have been “seeking” for over 20 years and have done it all in a way … formal practice, meditation, guru in India you name it I have tried it. Things seem to have really been whittled down to a very simple yet profound misidentification as to what I am, but to really really know that. Not to believe it to be so, but to have seen it clearly that there is no room for conjecture seems to have been missed thus far. I still identify with the story of me and seem to be pretty consistently obsessed with ME, and while I cannot really find an actual ME, every thought still seems to reference back to some grand idea of a me.

And I have looked for the “I” and cannot find any such entity, yet that seeing is a bit hollow and intellectual. I have read so many books and watched so many videos that the words and sayings feel a bit rote and my approach feels a bit false and not fresh. Yet, it is really the only thing that I am interested in. It could just be that I am lazy, which is a very strong possibility … but even that seems to be coming from a past condition that a lot of doing must be done …

When taking a look and the mind is on a jag, I can see that there is a space that is behind it all or in which it seems to be taking place … but can I say that definitely I am THAT … I can’t. And if I am most honest I realize that I don’t really know what I am with any surety.

So I seem to go around and around the mulberry bush …

Thank you for any direction!
~Lauren

p.s. I have read the rules and wholeheartedly agree.

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kvotski
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby kvotski » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:54 pm

Dear Lauren,

I would be happy to help, if you like.

I am in canada for time zone.

As you know, we must talk each day, you need to set aside other modalities for now and answer my questions in total honesty.

With love and best wishes.

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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:32 pm

Hi Sunil,

Thank you so much for your kind offer. I checked out your website and see you practice several modalities and forms of meditation. I hope this does not offend but I don't feel a lot of resonance with this and think perhaps we are not a great fit. Again, I appreciate you reaching out!

All the best to you!

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kvotski
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby kvotski » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:03 pm

No problem. Good luck.

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:19 am

Dear Lauren,

Referring back to your PM, 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.

We 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.

Since you’ve already agreed to the rules, I don’t post them here.

A few technical support:

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If you still happy to have me your guide, we can start.

What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
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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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:08 am

Hi Vivien,

Great and thank you, I look forward to the journey together! Here we go ...
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
To be utterly without doubt about what I am. There seems to be a nagging non-surety … a “yeah, but” kind of sense. I hope to not plot and plan for life to get to a certain point or to be a certain way, always leaning toward the future. I hope to not take the thoughts so seriously, many of them insecure, self-conscious, self-critical or how I perceive others to be perceiving me, wow what a knot that is! The core of all of those is the hope that thoughts are not at the forefront of things so much.

I will know what does not die and know that I am that.

How will Life change?
Without this notion of a self to protect and promote on a regular basis I hope this leads to the natural response of not taking myself too seriously. (See the joke in that statement ) There will be more ease and humor and less fear. With the letting go of the protection that is held to, there is a lightness to being and moving that is as it should be.
How will you change?
I will move with more naturalness and spontaneity as I am not looking for the reflection of myself in everyone’s eyes and trying to make sure that I am eliciting a positive response. There will be far less trying and striving in all facets of my life.
What will be different?
I won’t be seeking anymore

Love,
Lauren

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:45 am

Dear Lauren,

Thank you for your 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?
To be utterly without doubt about what I am
What if you are not? There is no ‘you’ that could be anything.
So I would rather say: to know what I am not…
I hope to not take the thoughts so seriously, many of them insecure, self-conscious, self-critical or how I perceive others to be perceiving me
Yes, not taking thoughts as seriously can definitely happen, but not as a constant state, since taking thoughts seriously is a habit that is the result of a life-long conditioning. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. 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’.
The core of all of those is the hope that thoughts are not at the forefront of things so much.
This can also happen, but not as a constant state. Being thoughts to be at the forefront is also a conditioned habit.
I will know what does not die and know that I am that.
Ohh yes, fear of death is a big thing for the illusion of me. But there is no you. There is no you that can be ‘that’, or be anything. That ‘that’ might be there, but it is not you, can never be you or be yours. It is not owned. It has nothing to do with ‘you’. ‘You’ are just an illusion, nothing more. So an illusion can never know that it does not die. An illusion can never die. An illusion cannot do anything. An illusion is just an illusion…
Without this notion of a self to protect and promote on a regular basis I hope this leads to the natural response of not taking myself too seriously.
Yes, it can happen too, although taking ourselves seriously is also a habit. So after seeing through the illusion it can go on for a while.
There will be more ease and humor and less fear. With the letting go of the protection that is held to, there is a lightness to being and moving that is as it should be
.
Yes, but see just as above.
I will move with more naturalness and spontaneity as I am not looking for the reflection of myself in everyone’s eyes and trying to make sure that I am eliciting a positive response. There will be far less trying and striving in all facets of my life.
This all can happen, but not once for all. All of these are the result of conditioning, and they don’t go away in an instant. However, they can GRADUALLY fall away. But there is a big emphasis on the word GRADUALLY that could last at the end of the organism.

I won’t be seeking anymore
Yes, in a sense it’s true, although seeking is also a conditioning, so it may surface for some time.

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?


--

So, 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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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:09 am

But before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
I did not notice any resistance but more of a feeling of a deep relax ... as if just reading your responses and the notion of conditioning being as it is, for as long as it just seemed to ease a holding on pattern. That in fact the point isn't really for anything to change per se and that simple fact gave a nice swoosh of ahhh followed by a slight head cocking "oh".

I just went back a re-read a bit ... the part about death and and illusion made my tum flip a bit ... it is pointed out so straightly and perfectly ... and my stomach goes wooooaaahhhh!

Ok, going back to the exercises now.
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?


Yes, that would be fair and the general assessment of what I see myself to be works. Even though I feel that I "should" see beyond this falling into the expectations category ... I really don't.
What does the word 'I' point to?
It is this thing that thinks and feels, is aware and is a lense for the world.
What makes this body ‘yours’?


This awareness that I believe myself to be seems to be attached to this body. It is through this particular group of senses and thoughts that makes me a me and you a you, so this is MY body. The experiences are unique to this body/mind, my body and mind.
What makes this body ‘you’?

Without the operation of this body in a conscious awake state there is no awareness of being a me. The "me-ness" seems to be inextricably bound to this body while awake. All the ways in which I seem to be here or interact with the world or even simply know that I am seem to be filtered through the body, in either sensations, an awareness of awareness or something. When I am in deep sleep there is not awareness of the body or of a me and I just don't know. While awake this body and I seem to go hand in hand ... I seem to be what makes this body an alive thing ...

So those are my answers at the moment, but I realize that trying to pin it down makes the solidity of it very shaky and full of an "I don't know" feeling.

Love,
Lauren

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:25 am

Dear Lauren,
I just went back a re-read a bit ... the part about death and and illusion made my tum flip a bit ... it is pointed out so straightly and perfectly ... and my stomach goes wooooaaahhhh!
If during our investigation any resistance or fear come up, please let me know so we can have a closer look on it then.
I seem to be what makes this body an alive thing ...
OK, now we try to find the ‘owner’ of the body.

We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.

But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.

The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?


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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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:21 pm

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
No, there is seeing, but nothing to be found that is seing ... there is awareness of seeing, but by no thing.
Do you see a seer?
No, it is totally impossible and ties the mind in a knot bringing it to a standstill, like turning completely inside out.
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?


No, there is the sens of being or awareness that sees but it cannot be located or tracked down in any way ... it just is.

Thank you for being a guide, this is really wonderful and direct!
Love,
Lauren

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:28 am

Dear Lauren,
Thank you for being a guide, this is really wonderful and direct!
You are more than welcome :)
there is the sens of being or awareness that sees but it cannot be located or tracked down in any way ... it just is.
We will come back to the topic of awareness later.
But first, let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

Where thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Take your time.

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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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Lauren » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:13 am

Hi Vivien,

I went over this and spent some time with this this morning. I am now coming back to it in front of a keyboard. I kind of like the first initial look and then looking again. Does this make any difference, would you prefer my first initial looks?

Where thoughts come from?
They don't seem to come from anywhere or go anywhere ... they just appear and dwindle back to nowhere ... the length seems to be depending on the amount of attention is paid, or resistance given.

[quote?]Where are they going?[/quote] They just seem to disappear

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
You can't really stop a thought, the effort of resistance actually makes it seem more solid but it can kind of fizzle before it really got any momentum to become fully formed or recognized.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No, not at all ... you never know what form of dynamism may take place to take the thoughts in a total random direction ... or they just pop up randomly all by themselves ... so, no.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, contrary to what all the love and lighters would like to believe ... I can't will away negative or painful thoughts and in fact the willing make them louder and more solid seeming too.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No, and when "I" try to look there is just nothing
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
This one really hit home, I have never looked or really questioned who/what thinks in a really looking way. There is no one thinking. I mean it still feels like a bit of an intellectual understanding in a way, like it hasn't gotten completely down to my toes ... but I really hadn't seen this before ... that it is all fluff because there is no one doing the thinking. It certainly starts to take the piss and vinegar out of the thoughts and loosens that whole ownership thing ...

What is the thinker of thoughts?
When looking there is not a thinker of thoughts.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
No and it is totally confounding to the mind. The thinker of thoughts could not appear as there is no thing, no source of it, the thinker or the thoughts.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, that is the only thing that can be pointed to is another thought ...
Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
I do think thoughts are just being thought ... hahaha ... good stuff. I feel like Sam I am from Green eggs and ham ... didn't see that thought coming!!
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
It does not seem to be the case in my experience ... especially the I thought!

Wow, this is really fantastic ... thank you!!
Love,
Lauren

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:47 am

Dear Lauren,
I went over this and spent some time with this this morning. I am now coming back to it in front of a keyboard. I kind of like the first initial look and then looking again. Does this make any difference, would you prefer my first initial looks?
Actually it’s better if you do several looks, or take a few hours with the questions. The first look is often prone to come from thinking. So it was perfect how you did it. And you did very good looking… :)
This one really hit home, I have never looked or really questioned who/what thinks in a really looking way. There is no one thinking. I mean it still feels like a bit of an intellectual understanding in a way, like it hasn't gotten completely down to my toes ... but I really hadn't seen this before ... that it is all fluff because there is no one doing the thinking. It certainly starts to take the piss and vinegar out of the thoughts and loosens that whole ownership thing ...
Yes! :)
Vivien: What is the thinker of thoughts?
Lauren: When looking there is not a thinker of thoughts.
And when not looking, is there any, or the thinker of thoughts is always just assumed?
The thinker of thoughts could not appear as there is no thing, no source of it, the thinker or the thoughts.
Exactly.
Wow, this is really fantastic ... thank you!!
Welcome :)

So let’s have an even deeper look on thoughts.

An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its content (what it’s about).

When there is a thought, it is obvious that it is there. (So the arising thought is ‘real’), but what it is ABOUT (its contents) are not. The content of thoughts is always imaginary. That there is a thought is clearly true; but their content is pure imagination.

There are two types of thoughts:
(1) Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
(2) Visual mental images of a ‘cup’

I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it? In Reality?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?

The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?


Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about) it is REALLY happening or the content it’s just pure imagination.

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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Lauren
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Re: A guide for once and for all please This morning

Postby Lauren » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:05 pm

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it? In Reality?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?

The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
No and a resounding yes to the latter statement!

This morning while in the shower with a combinate of laughing and crying the rope was seen to simply be a rope, or it translated here as all of us being pixels on the screen. Of course a projection can't do anything ... and what we are are has always been so, nothing has changed at all really ... and yet, who knows hahaha ... it is so simple that it is absurd, wow ... and thoughts keep coming and going, shocking ...

I would still like to continue with the inquiry if that is ok with you ... it is really beautiful and insightful and who knows what other insights may pop up ... or not, but beautiful nonetheless.

Wow, I can't thank you enough hahaha, even though the pixel you isn't driving anything either ... how delightful!

love love!
Lauren

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Vivien
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Re: A guide for once and for all please

Postby Vivien » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:16 am

Dear Lauren,
This morning while in the shower with a combinate of laughing and crying the rope was seen to simply be a rope, or it translated here as all of us being pixels on the screen. Of course a projection can't do anything ... and what we are are has always been so, nothing has changed at all really ... and yet, who knows hahaha ... it is so simple that it is absurd, wow ... and thoughts keep coming and going, shocking ...
I’m happy for you :)
I would still like to continue with the inquiry if that is ok with you ... it is really beautiful and insightful and who knows what other insights may pop up ... or not, but beautiful nonetheless.
Of course, we can continue as long as it is needed.

What about investigating the body…

With the eyes closed, sitting still, notice hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. With only the input from the senses, and without relying on thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does it have a weight or a volume of the body?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
Is there an inside or outside?
What is the body in the actual experience?


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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