Request for a guide

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ambermarie24
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Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Wed May 06, 2015 4:18 pm

Hi, my name is Amber and I would like a guide. I've been searching for truth, the answer, enlightenment, liberation, whatever you want to call it, for about three years now. I am tired of searching, skipping around from one system of beliefs to another, reading countless books, starting and stopping meditation, all while feeling more and more confused. I know filling my head with information is not going to make me see any clearer. I just want to see, once and for all, through the illusion of self.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Wed May 06, 2015 9:32 pm

Hello Amber
Welcome to Liberation Unleashed.
. . . skipping around from one system of beliefs to another, reading countless books
Just out of interest, what beliefs? What books have you read?
Has anything you have read 'clicked' or 'seemed to point to something'?
I know filling my head with information is not going to make me see any clearer.
Very wise.
The difference here is not feeding you new ideas and beliefs - It is examining the ones you already have.
What we do here is just an extension of your own self-inquiry but 'guided' to look into important areas you may not have considered.
I just want to see, once and for all, through the illusion of self.
Sure. But could you elaborate a little?
What exactly is it that you want guidance with or for?
What do you expect to achieve? What will it mean (to you)? What are your expectations?
Do you have any concerns or worries.

I look forward to hearing from you
Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Thu May 07, 2015 5:33 am

Hey! Thank you for responding. So it all started by watching videos and reading books on quantum physics and realizing that there is something more to life than what we have taken for granted. I grew up with a mother that is highly christian and a father who was a Lutheran pastor, so i had a strong belief in God and christian morals until I was 20. It all changed when I read a book on quantum physics, and it shook my world. I became interested in new age stuff, the the law of attraction, then hinduism and buddhism, and finally, nonduality. I've read books by Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams, etc. I, eventually, came across the "Gateless Gatecrashers" book and I have felt that is had resonated with me so far.

I think I am expecting a lot out of this. Like a solution for my problems, a release from my suffering, and an effortless way of living. At the same time, I just want to stop caring about what happens, and just be willing to go through any tough times. I'm tired of living life caring about what other's think of this illusory, ephemeral me. I just want to be free.

Although, I'm scared of losing everyone I care about and letting go of the story of "me". I guess I just don't feel like I am not real. I think I am expecting some big bang, some huge revelation, of the truth of life.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Sat May 09, 2015 11:13 am

Hi again Amber
Sorry for the small delay - Should be back on track now.
So it all started by watching videos and reading books on quantum physics and realizing that there is something more to life than what we have taken for granted
Cool. Some quotes by Neils Bohr are amazing - It would appear to me that he had 'realised' what we are pointing to here in a very deep and profound way.

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."
I think I am expecting a lot out of this. Like a solution for my problems, a release from my suffering, and an effortless way of living. At the same time, I just want to stop caring about what happens, and just be willing to go through any tough times. I'm tired of living life caring about what other's think of this illusory, ephemeral me. I just want to be free.
Thanks for your honesty.
The issue with expectations is that they will all have an 'I' component to them. 'I will not suffer', 'I will live effortlessly', 'I will be free' - And yet this investigation is targetting this 'I'. What would all these expectations mean if it was realised that the 'I' is only an idea? Not some 'real person' that exists outside of thoughts and ideas?

My guidance would be to realise that 'I', this separate self that we believe we are . . . is nothing more than a self-referencing thought . . . that there is no 'seperate self' or person here right now . . . nor has there ever been or ever will be.
Having said this, peace may well be achieved as a by-product of this realisation, but not because of it (if that makes sense). Please put away all expectations for our investigation if possible.
I would also ask you to put away all non-dual ideas and 'things you have read' for this guidance and approach this very simply and freshly - concentrating on your own beliefs, rather than things you have been told.
Although, I'm scared of losing everyone I care about and letting go of the story of "me". I guess I just don't feel like I am not real. I think I am expecting some big bang, some huge revelation, of the truth of life.
The belief there is that there is a separate person/self here now that could lose people / things / a story.
This investigation is not about 'losing' or 'removing' anything. Simply seeing what is really happening - realising what is going on - and has been that way all along.

Not real? Well right now, there is a belief that 'you' are a real separate person / being / self. This will be investigated. We will also investigate this 'I' that feels or believes 'I is real' :-)

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Sat May 09, 2015 4:49 pm

No worries about the delay =]
The issue with expectations is that they will all have an 'I' component to them. 'I will not suffer', 'I will live effortlessly', 'I will be free' - And yet this investigation is targetting this 'I'. What would all these expectations mean if it was realised that the 'I' is only an idea? Not some 'real person' that exists outside of thoughts and ideas?
They wouldn't mean anything. They would just be more ideas, more thoughts, attached to the central idea of "I". By expecting something out of this causes suffering when those expectations are not met. But even this is an idea, more conceptualizing. Some days this feels more clear than others and sometimes I feel so immersed in whatever drama is going on that I lose sight of the fact that everything is a product of thought.

At times, it feels like I am at the threshold of realizing something, that I am not an individual, that "my" awareness does not belong to me, and that "I" never truly existed. But then there is fear of the unknown and I'm back to identifying with thoughts.

I won't read anything (Gateless Gatecrashers is still okay to read though right?) and I'll focus strictly on direct experience.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Sat May 09, 2015 5:28 pm

By expecting something out of this causes suffering when those expectations are not met. But even this is an idea, more conceptualizing.
Yes. Good that this is recognised.
But still . . . one expectation that can be fulfilled is the realisation that I have mentioned.
It's a rather major one :-)
And . . . at the same time . . . it is realised that no separate self, or 'person' realised it!
At times, it feels like I am at the threshold of realizing something, that I am not an individual, that "my" awareness does not belong to me, and that "I" never truly existed. But then there is fear of the unknown and I'm back to identifying with thoughts.
If there are any fears that come up, please mention them - We can look at them together.
Fears are perfectly natural. An automatic defence against things we assume may cause use pain.
Note that this guidance is not to 'kill' or 'remove' anything - It's simply to see 'what is right in front of us' but has been overlooked.
I won't read anything (Gateless Gatecrashers is still okay to read though right?) and I'll focus strictly on direct experience.
That's fine.
As for 'Direct Experience', I will merely ask you to examine 'seeing, hearing, smell, taste, touch etc' for the answers rather than thought. 'Direct Experience' is simply what can be found using the senses in the immediate moment. It's not a 'thing' as such, just like 'seeing' isn't a thing. It's a word that refers to a sense.

Have a look at these guidelines which will assist is both.

1. Please post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from direct personal experience only (we can go into this in more depth later if needed).
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main site -> http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Let me know any further questions or concerns you have, and we will get under-way :-)

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Sat May 09, 2015 11:41 pm

I've read the disclaimer and I agree to the guidelines. Thank you so much for being my guide! I am ready to begin the inquiry.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Sun May 10, 2015 2:30 pm

Great!

Ok, first of all - Let's examine / consider what you currently believe yourself to be.
In other words, what does the word 'I' or 'me' mean? What does it refer to?
(I will use the word 'you' of course).

No deep analysis needed here - Just honest basic beliefs.

Do you believe that you are a person - Maybe the body at the location there is you.
You are sat or laid down right now. Perhaps you can feel the bed or chair against your body.
You can see a screen - Maybe hear sounds in the room where you are, or outside.
You are reading - Making sense of the writing on the screen.
You decided to have a chat with me on this forum.
In a short while after reading this, you will think of a suitable response and type it in as a reply.
In essence, the body, the senses, choice, control, thinking.

That's just some basic (typical) ideas - Feel free to expand and give me your own thoughts.

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Sun May 10, 2015 10:52 pm

Hmm. I had to think about that for a while. When I refer to myself, I mean my point of view, that which is receiving sensations. Although I understand intellectually that I am not my body or my mind, I still find myself identifying with them. While I was at work, I was observing how I am not the one controlling my walking, talking, moving about. It all just happens without me knowing how it happens. However, I feel like I do make choices in speech and action, although it seems mostly reactive and automatic. At least it seems like I choose where to focus my attention, and wherever I focus, I have more control over how I am acting, if that makes sense.

Does that answer the question?

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Mon May 11, 2015 10:52 am

Hi Amber

Yes, that's fine.
Although I understand intellectually that I am not my body or my mind, I still find myself identifying with them
This is the big one (and indeed, the situation I was in before coming to LU).
Just notice that you mention 'my body' and 'my mind'. This itself is an identification.
I mean, the body and the mind have an owner - That owner is 'you'.
But what exactly is that? Does the body own the body? Does the mind own the mind?
Interesting food for thought.
In fact, these are all thoughts - Ideas about what is going on.
What we shall do is compare these ideas we have with what we can actually find using the senses in the immediate moment.
When I refer to myself, I mean my point of view, that which is receiving sensations
The idea that the body is responsible for the senses is quite a powerful one, and is the one most responsible for the belief that 'I am this body here'.

For the senses, let's begin with 'seeing'.
Right now, the screen in front of you is being seeing.
Also, words are being read off the screen and formed into intelligible speech / understandable language.

Now, in the immediate moment can you identify what exactly is doing the seeing?
Also, as these words are being read can you identify what is doing that? What is doing the reading?
Are there two separate things to be found in the experience of 'seeing' - The screen being seen, and the person 'I' doing it?
Or is there just 'seeing'?
Are there two separate things in 'reading' - The words on the screen being read, and the person 'I' doing the reading? Or is there just 'reading'?
In other words, if it is said 'I see' - What is the 'I' that does the seeing?
If it is said 'I read' - What is the 'I' that does the reading?

Keep it simple.
Can the seer or the reader be identified in the seeing and the reading itself?

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Mon May 11, 2015 9:15 pm

Ok, keeping it simple.

I cannot identify what is doing the seeing or reading. When I look, I don't find anyone or anything, except thoughts about what I think I should find. Seeing and reading just seem to happen. There is only the screen of the computer that is seen and words that are read and automatically understood. When I ask myself, "Who is seeing? Who is reading?" The thought "I am" pops right up, but it seems to be only a thought claiming to own an experience.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Mon May 11, 2015 10:36 pm

Ok, good.
Now check the other senses in the same way.
Examine 'hearing' - In the experience of hearing, is there a separate 'hearer'.
Are there two things in hearing - The sound, and the separate hearer? Or just 'hearing'?

Taste and smell are weaker senses, but you can examine them in the same way.

Touch can be a little more tricky as it is more 'close to home'.
Reach out and place a hand on a surface - Maybe closing your eyes may assist.
In the feeling of touch itself, are there two things there?
A surface being touched, and a hand/person/I doing the touching?
Or is there just a sensation?
Look even closer - Is there anything about the sensation itself that tells you what it is?
Does the sensation say 'hand' or 'table' or 'surface'? Or even 'I' am touching?

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Tue May 12, 2015 1:51 am

Huh... I never really realized that about all sensations. I mean I can understand it, but when I actually test it out, all that is there is whatever is being felt. Then comes the interpretation by the mind to make sense of it. It's sort of strange. Actually very strange. I claim this body as mine, but all it is is a compilation of sensations. The sense of identity with it is still there, however when I just focus on the feeling it feels... Empty somehow? I don't know how to explain it. It's just there. It just brings up so many questions of the why anything is happening at all and if there is no me then what is it that is witnessing everything? I guess there is no answer, at least none that the mind could possibly comprehend. Everything is just kind of weird now haha.

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Xain
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby Xain » Wed May 13, 2015 1:41 pm

. . . all that is there is whatever is being felt. Then comes the interpretation by the mind to make sense of it. It's sort of strange.
Yes - Interesting isn't it.
I can tell by your reply that you are really examining this - Great! But please, I need to know your answers to the questions so I know whereabouts you are in this guiding and what (if anything) is clear for you.
Can you have a look at the questions I mentioned, and give a reply as to what you find in each case.
I claim this body as mine, but all it is is a compilation of sensations
From what we have looked at in the last section, is the body really 'a compilation of sensations'?
Well there is 'sensations' and there is 'the body' - What links them together?
Are they linked?
It just brings up so many questions of the why anything is happening at all and if there is no me then what is it that is witnessing everything?
All we can look for is a separate 'thing', a person, an 'I'.
Your question makes an assumption that if it isn't one 'thing' then it must be another 'thing'.
Keep looking . . .
I guess there is no answer, at least none that the mind could possibly comprehend.
I believe you are right. The mind (thought) can only deal with separate 'things' . . . objects . . . labels . . . qualities . . . etc

Tell me what you understand in relation to the senses (and thoughts about those senses), and we'll move on.

Xain ♥

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ambermarie24
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Re: Request for a guide

Postby ambermarie24 » Wed May 13, 2015 4:49 pm

Okay I'll go one by one.
Examine 'hearing' - In the experience of hearing, is there a separate 'hearer'.
Are there two things in hearing - The sound, and the separate hearer? Or just 'hearing'?
There only seems to be sound, or hearing. The mind is struggling with this, but when I really examine it, that's all it is. I can't find a hearer, just hearing.

Same goes with taste and smell. There is only tasting and smelling, which both happen automatically and then are labelled by the mind.
Touch can be a little more tricky as it is more 'close to home'.
Reach out and place a hand on a surface - Maybe closing your eyes may assist.
In the feeling of touch itself, are there two things there?
A surface being touched, and a hand/person/I doing the touching?
Or is there just a sensation?
Look even closer - Is there anything about the sensation itself that tells you what it is?
Does the sensation say 'hand' or 'table' or 'surface'? Or even 'I' am touching?
No, there aren't two things. There is only the sensation of touching/feeling. It seems as though there is a hand or a me touching something else, but all I really feel is the sensation of it. Nothing about it tells me what it is, other than what the mind recognizes about it based on past experience. Closing my eyes definitely helps to not separate the experience in my mind.
From what we have looked at in the last section, is the body really 'a compilation of sensations'?
Well there is 'sensations' and there is 'the body' - What links them together?
Are they linked?
I cannot say for sure if that is what it truly is. At the time it seemed that way, but I am not sure. All I experience is whatever comes up presently, whether it is sound, taste, sight, etc. They all appear without "me" doing anything to make them appear. I don't know what links them or if they are linked. It seems like there needs to be a body in order to have sensations.


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