Hi Smudge

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Hermione
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Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:10 pm

Hi Smudge,
Looking forward to working with you,
Hermione

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:06 pm

Hi Hermione,

Just a few formalities before we start, please read thoroughly and let me know if you agree..

LU says: Enter into this process if you are ready and willing to question all your beliefs and assumptions about awakening, if you are ready to face your fears, and if you prefer truth to comfortable lies. Do not enter if your goal is to fix the parts of your life that you think are broken, to embark on a self-improvement project, or to gain some kind of spiritual certification. On this basis are you ready?

can we both agree to post at least once a day, unless we let each other know otherwise?

I will ask you questions and you will respond with upmost honesty. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. OK with that?

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. That OK with you?

Also to quote, just highlight what you want to quote and the click "Quote" above, when it posts it will have quoted, its a helpful way to communicate easily. Also its a good idea to tick the box below saying notify me when a reply is posted and tapatalk is a good ap for phones.

So after agreeing to the above...please begin by listing all of your hopes and expectations of what will come out of this process? lets hear it all, expectations can be a big block later so lets expose them all now..

Great to be doing this with you,

Smudge x
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:44 am

Hi Smudge
Thanks for your email. I am ready to enter the process and am OK with the agreement to post at least once a day, to be honest and talk from direct experience and just stick with this for the duration.
So my hopes and expectations. On the surface I don’t think I have huge ones, I have been reading the ‘Gateless Gate’ book over a number of months and doing some of the work solo – and thought the time was ripe to do the process with a guide to help the seeing be more established in me. Reading a number of dialogues, it seems the ‘seeing’ can be dramatic or more everyday. I have had some aha moments in the work so far and now feel like it needs more of a subtle shift of perspective somehow, rather than a road to Damascus type moment. But that’s a hope right there I suppose!
But also digging a bit I sense that I do have some more buried expectations, ones I bring to spiritual life more generally: that it will lead to a better improved version of me, that I will become imperturbable in some way and that other people will be able to see it in me. So something tangible I suppose deep down. I can talk myself out of them but I think they are there.
And I suppose a big hope is that it will be part of the path of opening my heart. With less ‘me’ there might be room for more world!
Thanks
Hermione

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:18 am

Great, nice open start..

So 2 parts to this one today:

Because all answers need to come from Direct experience (DE) only, to ensure it's clear what this is, please do this:
Take a sultana (or small piece of food) and look at it, now close your eyes and think about it, think how it will taste. Now put it in your mouth and directly experience it. Whats that like? What is the difference between thinking about, and actually experiencing from this exercise? please answer fully.

Then....
I sense that I do have some more buried expectations, ones I bring to spiritual life..path of opening my heart. With less ‘me’
So what in Direct Experience is this I that is spoken of here? what is this I that can have buried expectations...what is this I that owns a heart..less me...what me is there now then...please describe (as you would eating a sultana in the here and now) what is found purely from DE.

Look forward to hearing back,
Smudge
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:38 pm

Hi Smudge,
First exercise

When looking at the food (bit of pear) there is a thought of cold and hard, thought of not very attractive to look at. When I close my eyes and think about how it would taste there are more thoughts of what it will be like: crunchy and sweet and cool to the tongue - and my mouth waters. When I taste it there are sensations: to start it is cool to my mouth, hard to the bite, wet from the juice, then rough from the grain of the fruit. There are things to do: licking to stop it running down my chin, then chewing, swallowing, more chewing, then final swallow. This is automatic but when looking are quite distinct actions. There is a variety in my thought swhile eating: thoughts of lovely cold and juicy, then thoughts of is being not so enjoyable, thinking it is losing flavour, only skin left in my mouth.
The difference between thinking about it and experiencing: it seems experiencing is much more about sensation and a feelings in response to them, there are thoughts but only as part of the experience. Thinking about it was mostly thoughts! Though there was a physical sensation in response the thoughts – mouth watering. The experience of eating it overall was more textured, richer, surprisingly complex!

2nd Exercise

So what in Direct Experience is this I that is spoken of here? what is this I that can have buried expectations...what is this I that owns a heart..less me...what me is there now then...please describe (as you would eating a sultana in the here and now) what is found purely from DE.

I thought I’d quickly write this one up as it has just happened at work soon after I read your email, and I thought that was a direct experience of it.
You ask
“what is this I that has a heart?... less me” . This is what happened in my direct experience just now that led to that same sort of phrase “want to open my heart”
There was a trigger – reading something, followed by a memory of something else that reinforced the reading. Then there was tension in my body, hands clenched, jaw tighter, chest area feeling constricted. The there was a thought or two, not very coherent, just angry blaming tone. And an overall sense of restriction, constriction, like a bit harder to breathe. Then there was a few moments later more specific thoughts that ’explained’ the incident: “my heart is too closed; I need to talk it through; relax”.
So there was various things that felt like passive reactions, then thoughts that seemed more active, explaining, suggesting action. These just arose too, but one thought sparked a memory of another possible ‘solution’ based on previous experience.
Interesting to break it down. I’ll look at ‘the I that has buried expectations’ over the day.

Back to this now. I am a bit stuck on this. When I look it’s a though there is nothing there. Thoughts skitter away, , I just am left with an experience of breathing, almost as though time stops, till I type this and then I get thoughts of arranging hands on the keyboard, words pop into the head and come onto the keyboard. I look again with the question: still quiet, still. Ordinary. Breathing no strong sensations.
I think I’ll post this as is for now and keep returning at odd times.
Thanks
Hermione

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:18 pm

The experience of eating it overall was more textured, richer, surprisingly complex!
Yes, thats sounds like DE.

So your response to my request that the 'ME' is described from DE was:
When I look it’s a though there is nothing there.
Nice! Keep looking, is it 'as though' nothing is there where a me is supposed to be? or is it literally nothing there...describe nothing from DE! &..what looks?

& Yes, there is as you say thoughts & sensations dancing about but that isn't a me...its thoughts and sensations..

There is no real existing self. There never has been a 'me' and there never will be! NONE as in Zero...What comes up when this is read?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:00 pm

is it 'as though' nothing is there where a me is supposed to be? or is it literally nothing there...describe nothing from DE! &..what looks?
Nothing from DE - noting is not nothing at all... when I look and there are few thoughts or images popping up or emotional responses, then there is a heightened experience of other things: a cold hand, an itchy nose, breathing, sight of a blue sky; so senses are there in the 'nothing'. Right now fingers on the keyboard, the sound of the keys, movement of the arms and hands, noticed a split second after they move, the black text appearing on the screen. A thought about there not being many thoughts! A humorous response to that thought.

And when I look at what comes up when reading your comment:
here is no real existing self. There never has been a 'me' and there never will be! NONE as in Zero
it doesn't change. Only a thought of 'huh, it - my experience - doesn't change, nothing drastic happens - or non drastic'. Just now a thought of "well that makes sense, I haven't gotten rid of anything so if it's not now a self, then it never was, and how could it then be in the future?'
But no strong body sensations or emotional response. Not exactly flat, but quiet, yes quiet.
Hermione

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Sounds like you've got it! So, is there any doubt that I is just an illusion? If so what.


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"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:45 pm

Well my first response came in a thought - "yes! There is doubt... is that it?"
but then the thought was gone. And was more reinforcement that there isn't any self. I didn't choose the thought, it didn't stay... other thoughts come - "oh well, good...lunch...", they come and go. Some I give more weight to that's all.
No strong emotional reaction with the thought, a small jolt of surprise.
The key seems to be to look. When you look - nothing to be found but the components of experience, which may be gentle or strong. The strong seem to demand more response, lead to more experiences closely on their heels. But if looked at again, are thoughts, emotions and sensations. That's what I find.

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:57 pm

So it's sounds like doubt was seen to be just a thought. Nice. I want to give you some clarification questions. But first: same question: can you say a clear YES that self is no more than an illusion? Yes or no


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"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:05 pm

Yes.

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:01 pm

Cool!

So take your time to answer these questions full....I look forward to hearing x

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you seeit now.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How
does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience. 6) Anything to add?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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Hermione
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby Hermione » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:30 pm

Ok, phew…
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No, nothing there, nothing behind it all, managing it or making it happen.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
It’s a challenge to try and put it into words… words seem part of the tools that the illusion of I uses, they lend a solidity to things that isn’t there.
It seems as though the illusion of separate self is kind of like a woven fabric as I look: made up of thoughts in the main – certain thoughts in particular, thoughts that come up in response to certain situations. So on the bus, a dislike of something, is then stitched to a thought of ‘I’ remembering something similar, or projecting a future similar event ‘I’ don’t like, then a thought of ‘I’m an impatient kind of person’, ‘I never like…’. Trying to weave something solid, unchanging and static – which when looked at is actually constantly changing, consisting of transient sensations, feelings and thoughts and images that I don’t control. They don’t now stand up to being looked at for very long; the weave loosens and unravels. When there is no I to be impatient, just a sense of tension and a thought of impatience, huh…

When does it start? in a lifetime I couldn’t say, but in a moment it seems to get activated when there is a stronger sensation or feeling involved, something I like or dislike.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It feels at the moment that experience has two parts: the experience as it is, the illusion of self popping up, then a looking and unravelling that puts it into a different perspective. Lighter. More fluid. There is something in that, fluid, responsive perhaps that feels like the difference. I can get stuck – migraine yesterday evening, leads to thoughts of poor me - but not so much the story of my migraines and why I suffer them etc. There’s more awareness of life being in constant motion if that makes sense, and of moving with it, rather than trying to fight it.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I have been doing some work on this from the Gateless Gate book for some time and had had some experiences of seeing that changed things for me, perhaps more dramatically than what I am describing here. But there was also frustration, particularly at the narration type thoughts – narrating life all the time! It seemed somehow they put up a smoke screen… there was one dialogue I found very helpful with this, kind of saw the wizard behind the screen (wizard of Oz – the mighty Oz!) as just another thought stream, but it made me think it may be time to get a guide and see it through.

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

OK hard questions. Fundamentally – I don’t know. They happen: choices, decisions, things get done. Life happens is the phrase I liked.

I have to go back a bit in my seeing… Choice was the first thing that got me interested in DE. Choosing without a chooser, what’s this? I was on a walk, a crossroads to see which way to turn and carry on the walk. OK, lets look for myself. I’ll wait and see what happens in the choosing. Waiting, waiting… then suddenly I find I am walking one way! Who? How? What?! Choosing happens! This was so funny to me. But it started to change things, things I thought I had to think about and prepare for – now, I would have a thought oh, it’ll just happen when the time comes. And it does…no going over things at 2 in the morning, it’ll just happen!
Decisions a bit different but similar. Still lots of thoughts of possibilities – seems enjoyable! But a knowledge from seeing that the decision won’t come from the planning, it will just be made. OK, looks like we’re holidaying in Herefordshire…
Intention: A thought and an emotion and sometimes something happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
Intention: …. I feel creaky- feeling, I need to exercise more – thought.
I will exercise more – another thought. Result? Nothing. So what is that? A feeling and two thoughts. Thought – I’ve been eating too much sugar. Thought – I’ll stop eating it for a month. Result: stopped for a month.
If there was more than an illusion to I, I could form intentions and always keep them. Not my experience; the thought that includes an intention isn’t the one I wake up with often.
Control – well, no. Not over sleep, health, thoughts, responses…
Free will – Not thought about that. What is it? Looked it up, do I have some control over my actions?
I sit here thinking what to write, thinking is it already decided what I’ll write? If I change it, was that decided? That feels like speculation not DE. Mmm. Does this link to ‘what am I responsible for?’
I don’t know how to DE this? Help?
Hermione

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:38 pm

Great, Theres clearly been some serious looking already, I will see if the other guides have any questions. x
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa

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smudge
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Re: Hi Smudge

Postby smudge » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:37 pm

You said
"Free will – Not thought about that. What is it? Looked it up, do I have some control over my actions? I sit here thinking what to write, thinking is it already decided what I’ll write? If I change it, was that decided?

That feels like speculation not DE.
Mmm. Does this link to ‘what am I responsible for?’ I don’t know how to DE this? Help?"
Do you need help looking to free will, control, responsibility? Or there are no doubts around these subjects?
"The bad news is you're falling, the good news is theres no ground" Trungpa


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