May I have a guide?

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DancingCat
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May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Tue May 12, 2015 8:51 am

Hello and it looks like a wonderful opportunity to live life with more freedom and clarity! Is there a guide out there who might help me? Thank you- I see so many new requests, it is heartening to see so many people who would like to 'see through'.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue May 12, 2015 9:36 am

Hello and welcome to LU!

I'd gladly work with you here. How would you like to be adressed?

Could you introduce yourself a bit- what's your background and what brings you here? What do you expect of a guide and the exchange here on this forum?

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DancingCat
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Tue May 12, 2015 10:12 am

Hello and thank you!

My name is Giulietta- feel free to address me as such, thanks.

I am not sure if I have seen through the illusion of self or not. :). I have done a lot of dancing, and it brings me into an interconnected and beautiful place, in which 'self ing' has gotten in the way for me. I think slowly I have 'distanced' or pushed self aside- but maybe that's not the same as seeing it as an illusion.

I meditate regularly, and am currently studying Buddhism with Triratna but I find I am moving away from input right now. I am in a period of more reflection and space. I also write.

I have been working in science as a teaching/communication person for about ten years- I am leaving my current job and taking the summer off! More time for space, reflection.

Thanks for your questions. I would like to know if I have seen through, and/if there is more to see!

I am happy to post daily.

G

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Damon Kamda
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue May 12, 2015 10:36 am

Hello Giulietta,

Thanks for the intro!

Before we get started, there's two basic guidelines I'd like you to take a look at, and hopefully agree to stick to:

One: consult your actual experience as it is right now and avoid theorizing and speculation.
Two: work on this daily. You don't need to post here every day, but it's important to make this your top priority for a bit.

If you agree to try and stick to these, we're good to go...!
I meditate regularly, and am currently studying Buddhism with Triratna but I find I am moving away from input right now. I am in a period of more reflection and space.
Sounds like a perfect period to fully engage with the inquiry we do here. Wonderful!

As suggested by the first guideline above, this isn't about theory or doctrine, so it is certainly useful to drop the Buddhist context for a moment. What you find, or do not find, here may or may not line up with those teachings, but the primary focus here is always on your actual experience of what is going on right now.
I think slowly I have 'distanced' or pushed self aside- but maybe that's not the same as seeing it as an illusion.
Well, that depends on what you mean with that.
Can you describe how that distancing came about and what that experience is like?

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Tue May 12, 2015 9:37 pm

I agree to the guidelines.
I can try to explain the experience with an example. Sometimes when I dance I suddenly feel self-conscious. Thinking 'what does the teacher think'? 'Am I any good'. I feel embarrassed. I recognize this as a old teenage habit and say to myself 'those are just memories, habits'. I drop the dialogue and look under it. I see the dance, the body moving, expressing, I let it express what it wants and suddenly it's easy, it's about the music and movement- there is nothing else standing in the way.
I can try to explain with another example if it helps?

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue May 12, 2015 10:04 pm

I can try to explain with another example if it helps?
That not necessary- your example is perfectly clear, thank you. This is indeed a big part of seeing through the illusion- recognizing the many deep-rooted habitual, automatic responses to certain situations and looking beneath that.

And there are many other aspects/facets to the self-illusion that are worth exploring, and we offer a space for that right here...

People often come to this forum with all sorts of stories and expectations about this process, sometimes after years and years of intense seeking. You write about freedom and clarity- can you share a bit more about what it is that brings you here, what it is you are looking for and what you hope you will get out of this (if anything)? The reason I ask is because expectations, in all its subtle forms, can make honest and deep investigation quite difficult sometimes, so it can be really helpful to get them out in the open as early as possible...

Logging off for the day, back tomorrow...

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Wed May 13, 2015 7:13 am

Thanks for your reply. I hope you had a good sleep.

I am not sure I have expectations. I might see something -see through an illusion- and previous illusions I have seen through have given me more freedom to feel life, to see things more clearly. So if I do see through an illusion I expect I would have more freedom. But nothing may happen. That's possible and fine.

My attitude is really of curiosity and I am open to exploring- I may not find anything. Or I may!

What brings me here is partly a friend, Bigred Lalita, who thinks I may have seen through some illusions. He thinks this forum would clarify some things for me. I also went to Ilona's LU gathering in West Worthing, UK. I got a sense of wisdom from her, and strong compassion. I thought, if there is something known or seen here, maybe I too can see it. But maybe not!

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed May 13, 2015 8:34 am

Thanks for your reply. I hope you had a good sleep.
Very good, thank you!

So, thanks for taking a look at my question about expectations. It really seems like you are approaching this with an open and curious attitude, so that's great.
I might see something -see through an illusion- and previous illusions I have seen through have given me more freedom to feel life, to see things more clearly. So if I do see through an illusion I expect I would have more freedom. But nothing may happen. That's possible and fine.
The investigation(s) we do here concern one specific and very fundamental illusion or misunderstanding- in a way the mother of all misunderstandings- the illusion of separation or duality. One possible gate, or entry point to seeing through that illusion is examining what is commonly considered as "self".

So let's dive straight into the heart of the matter, shall we? Like your friend suggested to you, it is very much possible that you've already seen what it is we are pointing to here, so there's only one way to find out.
So if I do see through an illusion I expect I would have more freedom.
What is the I that is being deceived by an illusion?
What is the I that is able to see through an illusion?
What is the actual difference between seeing through and not seeing through an illusion?

What is the I that would have more freedom?
In what way does that I have or not have freedom? What makes it your freedom?

As you are no doubt aware (but it never hurts to mention this, again and again), the primary point of these types of questions is not to generate answers, but to facilitate looking at actual experience and answering from that space, as it were...

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Wed May 13, 2015 10:26 am

'What makes it your freedom' resonates with me. There IS freedom. It isn't owned.
Watching a squirrel out the window- he is doing his squirrel thing, gathering nuts. I feel there is some sort of freedom in that. Watching him, it's a bit like gathering nuts and living in the tree.
But sometimes I do things I'm expected to (by myself)- I see certain friends, work at a computer all day, these feel like habits and there is a big Why forming for me.
I feel free, actually, when I look at my experience. And I feel joyful. Yet I am sitting and typing at work- perhaps I do choose to be here- a question appears though, am I doing this as habit?

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed May 13, 2015 10:43 am

I feel free, actually, when I look at my experience. And I feel joyful. Yet I am sitting and typing at work- perhaps I do choose to be here- a question appears though, am I doing this as habit?
Yet the questions I suggested are an invitation to look even closer at what's going on.
I feel free, actually, when I look at my experience
What's actually being experienced though? When looking at this experience, do you experience an I feeling free, feeling joyful?
perhaps I do choose to be here- a question appears though, am I doing this as habit?
That is a question,surely, but not the question.
The question here is: what is the actual difference between habit and choice?

Can you look closely at the phenomenon (the experience) of choices being made?

When a choice or decision appears to be made, what is going on?
Can you describe the exact moment of the choice being made?
Can you describe what it is that is making the choices or decisions?

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Wed May 13, 2015 10:56 am

What's actually being experienced though? When looking at this experience, do you experience an I feeling free, feeling joyful?
Good point! No, there is freedom, and expanse, a boundlessness. An open relaxed joy.
The question here is: what is the actual difference between habit and choice?
Wow ...
Can you look closely at the phenomenon (the experience) of choices being made?
When a choice or decision appears to be made, what is going on?
I'll use the example of choosing to answer this question. I 'just want to'. There is a pull to answer, a moving towards.
Can you describe the exact moment of the choice being made?
A pull, a 'yes', excitement
Can you describe what it is that is making the choices or decisions?
This body makes the choice to start typing ... this body acts

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Damon Kamda
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed May 13, 2015 11:26 am

I 'just want to'. There is a pull to answer, a moving towards.
(...)
A pull, a 'yes', excitement
And that pull, that impulse- where does that come from? Is there a choice or decision as to what choices and decisions arise?
This body makes the choice to start typing ... this body acts
What part of this body is it that makes that choice?
How does the choice get made? What is the mechanism, the process?

And more general- how exactly does "this body" show up in experience? As what? In what form?

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DancingCat
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Wed May 13, 2015 12:01 pm

And that pull, that impulse- where does that come from?
The pull comes from the gut, in part, and the overall yes ... I'm not sure where that comes from. It feels expansive, bigger than my body.
Is there a choice or decision as to what choices and decisions arise?
It doesn't feel like it, no. 'I' could ignore the choice/decision however. Sometimes the choice/decision (impulse?) dissolves and at other times it keeps coming back and I feel it is 'important to do'.
What part of this body is it that makes that choice?
Gut, in part, and also I have thoughts 'yes, do it' so maybe brain too ...
How does the choice get made? What is the mechanism, the process?
Maybe as follows ...

-feeling (yes)
-brain (okay do it)
or
-feeling (yes)
-brain (don't do it yet)
-feeling comes back
-brain (okay do it)
-body acts

And more general- how exactly does "this body" show up in experience? As what? In what form?
The body here is showing up like a feeling, an inspiration, a 'yes' that is 'heard' or 'felt' but it does feel bigger than the body. An expansive feeling is the yes, a contracted feeling is the 'no'.

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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed May 13, 2015 12:15 pm

Ok, good- we're looking! Now I'd like to ask you to be even more precise in describing what's being experienced, allright?

In what sense can the gut and/or be seen to make choices or decisions? When you say that the gut and the brain make choices, how is that experienced?

Do you experience a gut doing things?
Do you experience a brain doing things?
Do you experience a body doing things?

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DancingCat
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Re: May I have a guide?

Postby DancingCat » Wed May 13, 2015 4:05 pm

These were difficult questions for me, and I've been keeping an 'eye' out all afternoon to try to answer them.

Okay I can't find anything that makes a choice/decision.

Sometimes I feel more conscious of 'making a decision' than other times, but I can't find anything behind it.

Decision can happen on a body level (i.e. the body moves to a meeting or grabs a banana) or a thought can say 'take a banana' and the body does it. If the thought is there, that's what I mean about 'feeling more conscious' about the decision. But the thought doesn't 'make the decision'. I can't get behind the thought/action to identify where it comes from.


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