Need help, please!

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Sprl
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Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:53 pm

Hello,

I am new here and need help for seeing through the illusion of "I" and for handling the huge anger and frustration I have been feeling so intensively for a while now. I would really appreciate if someone could guide me through this.

Here is some brief background about my seeking history:

After some sincere spiritual practices for a couple of years, I came to feel that something was not right with the idea of purifying self or becoming a better and more spiritual person or something like that. Then one day in last Summer, when I read some Advaita books, I suddenly realized that "I" actually didn´t exist and that "I" was nothing but a gathering of images, memories and concepts.

When I realized that, I began both crying and laughing, as it was such a huge liberation. I realized also that there was no one to get enlightened and had to laugh how hard I had tried to get something that was an illusion. It was a big shift in perception, but strangely, at the same time, it felt as if I had always known and lived with it - just unnoticed as it was too close to notice. That was what I felt.

After that, I began sharing that realization with some people who were interested around me.

However, gradually, the insight/realization came to weaken more and more as time passed and I came to feel that I lost it, even though I knew somewhere deep inside that it was not something that could be lost or hidden or fade away.

I feel more and more "stuck" with this "I" and "Me-ness" again these days and it feels that it´s worse than ever. I know that the true self is Awareness (this existing sensation), but at the same time, it feels as if I cling now on to this Awareness as my new identity. So, it´s like I am this Awareness being here that is looking others out there.

I can´t believe myself how I could see through the illusion of "I" and "Me-ness" in last Summer, which seemed so obvious and crystal clear, but I can´t see it at all now.

On the other hand, when and after I realized that "I" didn´t exist last Summer, I still had a dualistic view (i.e. perceiver and perceived) and couldn´t understand or feel as many says like "there is only seeING, hearING, happenING", so what I realized was maybe only an initial point and that I didn´t see it through completely.

Recently, I began reading the book "Gateless Gatecrasher", but feel more and more frustrated, because I feel that I am left behind when I can´t resonate with the people in the book (while they seem to "get" it pretty fast, I can´t get it or see through it so easily).

In sum, what I would like to get help for are:

1) To see through the illusion of "I" and "Me-ness" completely

2) To handle with the huge anger and frustration related to a problem which I have been having with our neighbor for a while now

(My neighbor has been very noisy all days long and because they don´t want to calm down, both I and my husband have been trying to solve the problem and our frustration by our own, i.e. by "observing" our emotion/mind, but not succeeded so much. So we feel as if we are in burning fire and much agony)


If there is someone who can help me, I am deeply, deeply grateful!!

(PS: Excuse me for any strange expressions or grammatical errors, as English is not my mother tongue.)

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itstopshere
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:33 pm

Dear Persika,

If that would be ok with you, I would gladly be your guide.

Here are a few ground rules.
  1. You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"
    I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
  2. In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
  3. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
  4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
  5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
  6. Please learn to use the quote function; See these instructions

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too.

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

What are your expectations for this process?
How will it change you?
How will this feel?

You can press 'subscribe to this topic in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive an email every time I post here.
Where is my mind?

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:59 am

Dear itstopshere,

Oh, thank you very much for offering being my guide, I am really happy to see your response!

I have read the guidelines, disclaimer and other related info, and agree to all of these. Finding truth is the most important thing in my life and I really am committed to this, so I will keep posting honestly and sincerely at least once a day until it is complete!

By the way, I live in Japan, so there may be quite a big time difference, but I will keep replying regularly.

itstopshere, thank you very much for your help, I really really appreciate it!

Now, here are my first answers to your questions:
What are your expectations for this process?
- To be able to see reality as it is, not through assumptions and concepts as I have always been doing.

- To be able to see that there is no self and that there is no self controlling everything in life

- To be able to appreciate life as it is

- To be able to feel more alive, not being cut off or far away from life itself as I have been feeling for a long time

How will it change you?
- Way of perceiving things. Instead of relating everything to me and isolating/separating myself from the world and life, I will be able to see the wholeness and life flowing as it is without boundaries

How will this feel?
- Liberating, relaxing and relief

- No more feeling of constant struggling energy in the stomach area


Those are my honest expectations at this moment.


I look forward to your response!


PS: By the way, I use Quote function as it is guidelined, but it is shown as "Persika wrote" as a quote, even though it was not me who wrote it. Is it OK? A bit confusing, but as long as it is marked as a quote, maybe it´s all right?

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itstopshere
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:08 am

Dear Persika,

That's weird with the quoting - but it's ok. As long as I understand.

Thank you for your answers. That gives me some insight into where you are at and where you are coming from.

Now to start us off I would like you to answer the following questions. Answer honestly and take your time to reflect, not intellectually, but on a feeling basis. Let the answers come up. Also try to be concise, those answers are usually the best.

1. You have some intuition that possibly there is no "I", but you also still believe there is, otherwise you would not be here. So my question to you is, where or how do you believe this "I" exists? What is "I" to you?
2. If your experience would not change (I'm not saying it won't, it's just a question), what would that mean for you? What if life remained just as it is?
Where is my mind?

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:39 pm

Dear itstopshere,

Thank you for your reply!
Answer honestly and take your time to reflect, not intellectually, but on a feeling basis. Let the answers come up.
OK! To be honest, I am a bit afraid that some of my answers may sound very childish or stupid if I express them according to what I feel truly, but I promise to answer honestly; not intellectually or analytically.
1. You have some intuition that possibly there is no "I", but you also still believe there is, otherwise you would not be here. So my question to you is, where or how do you believe this "I" exists? What is "I" to you?
I feel that this "I" exists right here where there is a sense of seeing outward. To me, this "I" is this feeling and sensing of existence. To be honest, I don´t know exactly what it is that is looking from the two eye holes here, but this sense of looking/seeing and existing feels as "I", something personal.
2. If your experience would not change (I'm not saying it won't, it's just a question), what would that mean for you? What if life remained just as it is?
Oh, devastating! It feels as if it would be the end of the world and that I would not be able to endure living anymore. A kind of desperation...

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:28 am

Dear itstopshere,

While I was reading the book "Gateless Gatecrasher" yesterday night, a kind of small shift, aha-moment, happened. It still is not a total breakthrough, but I feel that something important began resolving.

I report the insight to you here, so that you can see which part I came to be able to see through and where I am still "stuck".

Usually, when I read questions like "Is there a thinker?" or "Is there a feeler?", I can't help but feeling "Yes, there is a thinker/feeler here", even though I know and see that I can´t choose or control what a next thought or feeling will be, and that they just pop up from nowhere and disappear to nowhere after a while.

However, when I read the question "Is there a digester? Or is digestion happening?" yesterday, something hit me. No, there surely is no digester, there is only digestion happening.

Then wait...! Maybe it´s the same with other phenomena too?

- Hair-growing is happening, but no hair-grower.
- Blood circulation is happening, but no bood circulator.
- Shedding tears is happening, but no manager for this.

I began seeing that this kind of physical reactions are just happening with no manager.

Once I saw this, then I could feel more and more that there even was no thinker or feeler but that there was only thinking and feeling happening. I saw them as a kind of physical (or neurological) reactions.

Oh yes, there is NO thinker or feeler indeed, only thinking or feeling is happening in the air!


But I still have it difficult to get when it comes to questions like:

- Is there a breather?
- Is there a walker or is walking happening?
- A thinker?
- A witness?
- A drinker?
- An eater?

I still feel that it is "I" who is doing these things volitionally more or less.

But on the other hand, the phrases that

- "I" is only a label and can't do anything on its own
- "I" points to a thought "I" only, not something really existing

they cause me a kind of up-and-down feeling, it feels that I almost get it, but not fully yet....!

But on investigating, I am seeing more and more that "walking" or "drinking" is happening on its own whether there is the label "I" stick to them or not. I feel I am almost there, but not completely... how frustrating!


By seeing and investigating like this for a while now, I noticed that there is a resistance regarding volition - free will.

I feel that "I" have always done tons and tons of efforts in my entire life and that I can´t allow or admit that it is not "I" who have been managing this life.

I am scared that the life would be scattered and break apart if I let go of "my" volition. There is even a kind of anger toward the idea of no volition, no free will.


I am sorry for this long report, but do you have any advice here?

Thank you for your help always!

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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:47 pm

Think about this: if there never was an "I", there never was anyone exercising any volition. So what looked like volition wasn't. And that will continue to be true after 'seeing.' Things have an apparent and a true nature. That also means that if before seeing "you" were "doing" things and "achieving" things, that will continue to be the case. However, there will be a recognition that this is merely a description, a way of speaking.
- Is there a breather?
- Is there a walker or is walking happening?
- A thinker?
- A witness?
- A drinker?
- An eater?
Let's look at them.

Breathe deeply in and out a couple of times.
Surely feels like "you" do that, does it not? But that is just a conditioned interpretation of a sensation.
Really look. Can you find the point where you decide to breathe in? And where is the point that you decide to decide, and so on, ad infinitum?

We can do the same with the other points. What would a thinker be? A thinker would be some kind of little man in your head choosing thoughts, one over the other, and telling your brain to think those thoughts now -- or something like that. What is the experience of thinking? Where do the thoughts come from? We don't look here at how "it seems" or how "it feels" or how "I've been taught things are." What is actually going on?
Where is my mind?

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:19 am

Dear itstopshere,
Think about this: if there never was an "I", there never was anyone exercising any volition. So what looked like volition wasn't.
Oh, it sounds true. If there was no "I", it couldn´t be anyone controlling and exercising any volition...!!

Breathe deeply in and out a couple of times.
Surely feels like "you" do that, does it not?
Yes, it feels like so.

But that is just a conditioned interpretation of a sensation.
Aha, yes, I get it!

Can you find the point where you decide to breathe in?
It feels like "a moment ago", just before I began breathing...

And where is the point that you decide to decide, and so on, ad infinitum?
I can´t find those points. Oh, I see now that "I will now breath" is only a thought that comes right before breathing, and that there actually is no connection between this thought and the actual breathing happening right after the thought! As they follow right after (first the thought of decision and then breathing, which matches with the content of the prior thought), I automatically and falsely concluded that there was a connection (cause and effect) and therefore even volition!


[quote="itstopshere""]What would a thinker be? A thinker would be some kind of little man in your head choosing thoughts, one over the other, and telling your brain to think those thoughts now -- or something like that. [/quote]

I see now that there is no such man!

Thoughts arise just from nowhere spontaneously.


Yesterday, when I was walking outside, suddenly I began wondering what "walking" actually was. Then I realized that there actually was nothing concrete that was "walking", but "walking" or "to walk" is only a concept for a serie of phenomena consisting of body/legs moving and body goes forward. Then, it hit me that even other verbs are the same; just describing some series of phenomena as a one thing, as if such a thing exists.

Oh yes, it´s the same with the verb "think", too! The verb "think" sounds so active that the doer (in this case, thinker) seems like included automatically in the process of what this verb describe, but there is no doer or thinker in fact! Thought arises only and there is no one thinking or doing!!!

Oh, I began getting this...!

But strangely, I feel both relief and some kind of sadness, too... sadness that it was not I who had been thinking.

And I see that this is another feeling that has arisen, without any feeler...

I just thought of the verb "think" in my mother tongue now and see how delusive the word is...!!! Who has invented this word, this word sounds like a lie!

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itstopshere
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:13 am

Dear Persika,

That is some good looking :)
I'd like to ask you something. If this body-mind does not truly choose anything, do you think it would be reasonable to liken the experience of 'the person' to a flowing river? The river does not choose. It flows downstream, left to right, around a rock, hitting a fallen tree, it flows on. Does that sound like an accurate description for a person too? Flowing from left to right through life, getting into a fight with someone, losing loved ones, experiencing great joy and marvelling at the experience of life?

And how about "other people"? How must it be for them?
And what does that mean for the person who came up with words like "doing" ? ;-)

By the way: since you are starting to see that there is no do-er, and experience sadness from that, maybe you can try to empathise with this structure that used to believe for so long it did and chose and got the rug pulled out from underneath it. Be understanding towards it like to a child. :)
Where is my mind?

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:05 am

Dear itstopshere,
If this body-mind does not truly choose anything, do you think it would be reasonable to liken the experience of 'the person' to a flowing river? The river does not choose. It flows downstream, left to right, around a rock, hitting a fallen tree, it flows on. Does that sound like an accurate description for a person too?
It sounds reasonable indeed, but to be honest, I still can´t feel it like an accurate description for a person. I noticed now that there is a sense of resistance when I read this. A kind of fear that "I" will not be able to control the flow of life and that unpleasant things may happen in the future.

Oh, I see now that I began seeing that each action itself is not a result of any volition (as I wrote in my previous post), but there is a kind of fear to admit and apply this to a "bigger" perspective, i.e. to a life flow. Each action is not caused volitionally, just happning, but on the other hand, it feels scary if the life flow too is non-volitional and anything can happen in life (I know it´s contradictory, but this is how I feel right now, to be honest).

And how about "other people"? How must it be for them?
Haha, it´s stupid, but when it comes to "other people", it still feels like as if they have free will and can exercise volition, even though "I myself" don´t have any. Do you have any hint for seeing truly if they have any volition at all?

And what does that mean for the person who came up with words like "doing" ? ;-)
Oh, it doesn´t feel that the person came up with the words volitionally. It feels like a natural flow, something that just happned to occur to the person according to some combinations of sensations, feelings and circumstances.

By the way: since you are starting to see that there is no do-er, and experience sadness from that, maybe you can try to empathise with this structure that used to believe for so long it did and chose and got the rug pulled out from underneath it. Be understanding towards it like to a child. :)
What a beautiful suggestion, I got tears when I read this. Yes, empathising with this structure feel really needed at this moment. It feels like "Oh, finally, I am heard, I am admitted, I am understood. I had done some much efforts and now I can finally let it go...". It feels like "I" wanted to be admitted by myself.

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:03 am

Dear itstopshere,

Yesterday night before going to bed, there happened some kinds of shift, so here is the "report"! It may be a bit long, sorry...!

I was thinking what the "I" was. I knew that I was not body and not thought, but couldn´t specify why I felt that there was the "I" here. After a while, I came to notice that the "I" pointed to the sensation felt in the upper chest area (a kind of contraction felt). Then I was thinking "Yeah, this sensation is a proof that there is the true Self here. Maybe a soul". But then, I noticed that it was only an assumption, something that I had read or heard from other books or so called teachers.

Then, what you wrote popped up: "What would a thinker be? A thinker would be some kind of little man in your head choosing thoughts...". It must be the same thing with the "I". If there really was the "I" in the upper chest area, there must be some kind of little man sitting there. So I took a very close look at the chest area. Just looked and observed without any "spiritual" knowledge or hearsay. Then, I saw clearly that there was no such little man there!!! It was only a kind of contraction, a kind of sensation felt there. It made me realize and laugh that I had believed that this sensation was "I" and that it was a proof that some hidden true ME was located there without any closer investigation for my entire life!

And when I realized this, very strangely, the contraction sensation in the upper chest area began resolving and finally fade away! A huge, huge relaxation... I was just so happy without reason. It felt so light... And while I was in bed ready to fall asleep, I noticed gentle but huge kind of "melting" sensation in entire stomach, especially the lower area. I have had bowel-related symptoms over many many years, but I realized that all those were caused by so much tension in the body (I really didn´t know that there was so much tension there!). Relaxation ("melting away") process continued during the whole night, it felt like.


When I say "I" now, it doesn´t feel as if there is someone here inside the body as I used to, but instead, I see and feel clearly that "I" refer to this body-mind-complex. Like verbs point to a series of phenomena, it´s the same with nouns too. The word "I" points to a series of phenomena consisting of physical sensation, thoughts, images etc, there is no one separate and independent existence called "I"!

Likewise, actually, there is no "apple". The word "apple" points to experience/phenomena consisting of a visual image (round, red) in front of you and physical sensation when you touch it (hard, or any other sensation you feel). So, there is no separate and independent apple in front of you other than your own fabrication that a thing called apple is there, depending on your vision and sensation.

If I were born and then grown up totally alone in a desert island, I would not have developed the sense of "I", since I see now that this sense of "I" was developed through social interactions with others. Oh, this "I" was only a fabrication and I had believed it for such a long time!!

Before, when I read in the "Gateless Gatecrasher" something about "animals´ way of being", it was very hard to even imagine it. I knew that they didn´t have a sense of "I", but they surely could feel hunger, pain, joy, anger, fear and other kinds of sensations or impulse. What I really couldn´t understand was how they could feel those sensations and live a life without having a sense of "I". I assumed so firmly and took it for granted that the sense of "I" was something necessary for a human being or animal could live.

But now, oh, I see that it was not right! This body-mind complex can very well live without the sense of "I". Rather, it feels more natural to be and live without the false sense of this separate "I". This is how an infant or very small child is, I really see and feel it. Oh, so great...!!!


So this is what has happened since last night.

However, there are other points remaining I would like to investigate further, so I continue with the inquires from the previous post.

Here are some points I would like to look closer:

1. About the life flow
Now, it feels more free, and the resistance toward the idea that a life flow is like a river flow has become much weaker compared to yesterday, but to be honest, there still is a kind of resistance. A kind of fear.

2. About "other people"
I began seeing little by little that "other people" don´t choose their thoughts or feelings, the same as I don´t, but it feels a kind of resistance toward the idea that they don´t have any volition and that they are not responsible for their actions. I notice now that I am a bit afraid of a risk of getting hurt or attacked by "other people", if they are not responsible for their actions. (I know that it´s illogical to feel this way when I´ve now realized that there is no "I" here, but to be honest, there is a bit fear when I think about "other people").

Do you have any suggestions for how to tackle these points?

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itstopshere
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:08 am

Hello Persika!

This was really good to read :) I can see that you are really doing some looking and not taking thoughts for granted. And, seemingly, reward was reaped ;) I will get back to you later today (my day, that is :) ) with a reply on how we can proceed! Enjoy this a little bit!
Where is my mind?

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:19 am

Dear itstopshere,

Oh, thank you very much for your warm comments, it's very encouraging!!!

I look forward to your advice and meanwhile, I continue looking at my fear part :)

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Sprl
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby Sprl » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:33 pm

Hello again itstopshere,

There is one thing resolved today, so I post again :)

I looked into the fear of getting hurt by "other people" today. At first, the fear seemed quite overwhelming, but I then wondered "what would happen if I would get hurt?", then I looked very carefully. Then, I realized that there might arise a hurt feeling, but, only that!

Then I realized that what I actually was afraid of was only the image associated with the notion of getting hurt, which had been created through past experiences. But now I see that this fear was not based on actual reality but was a fabrication made from certain image of the experience of getting hurt. And in fact, even if something "negative" would happen, what would actually happen then would be only some kinds of feeling (hurt feeling, sadness etc) arising, but only that!

There is no one to get hurt and it is nothing fearful with that, it feels that that kind of feeling or sensation only arises and resolves into air without affecting no one!

I will look further with other issues too :)

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itstopshere
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Re: Need help, please!

Postby itstopshere » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:45 pm

Dear Persika,

I'm truly amazed by your looking. Very good.

It is exactly as you said: experiences, negative and positive, will keep showing up. In that sense, life is like a wave (like a sound wave). You cannot have highs without lows. Life would get bored with itself ;) But they are only experiences! Is all of that happening to a person who could influence this process in ANY way?
Is life in any way different from a mountain stream?
What looks like "other people" is really just the process of life itself, only apparently manifesting as 'people,' but also as animals, plants, trees, water, air, sun, planets.

We like to imagine how things in life might had gone differently. Not just for the person, but even on larger scales. Let's take the scale of the universe. Can you find an actual possibility for things to turn out differently than they did at any point after the universe came about? As soon as I throw a tomato at a wall, is there any way for that tomato to not get smashed? Is there even any way for that tomato to have several different possible "splash patterns"?
This is important! We'll get to why later :)
Where is my mind?


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