Looking for a guide - Summit83

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Summit83
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Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:34 pm

-What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?

I discovered LU through a link on Awakened Dreamers blog, referred to me by my uncle. I am very excited about the idea of an online community helping each other around the question and experience of self / no-self. Have read several of the conversations in Gateless Gatecrashers. Reading these conversations has caused me to really examine "where is the I?". I understand the concept of self and no self. Have been able to look at day to day life through this lens after having looked for the I. Subsequently, walking is happening, emotions are happening, etc. and feelings arise and go easier and with less attachment to them. However, the view still feels like a "technique" sometimes. Furthermore, amidst stress, work, arguments, traffic, etc. self seems to re-emerge. To remember no-self and pull away the veil often seems to take a conscious effort.

-What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?

I've been interested in and a practitioner of martial arts (aikido, tae kwon doe, systema), meditation (casually) and religious and spiritual inquiry (lots of books) since my late teens. I am now 31.

-What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?

I view these conversations as an opportunity to "awaken" consistently and in a sustainable way, i.e. in every moment and over time amidst day to day responsibilities, stresses, etc.

Thank you for your time.

Dave

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Sarah7
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:15 am

Hi Dave
Im Sarah and Id be happy to talk with you.
I see you have looked at some of the conversations on Gateless Gatecrashers, have you looked around the site though? Do you know what we do here?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:13 am

Sarah, Thank you for responding. Yes, I have looked around the site - it is wonderful, different, direct and to the point. My understanding is that through "direct pointing" and questioning LU aims to guide seekers to the realization of no-self or non-duality. Would love to share and discuss this experience that is unfolding. Looking forward.

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:05 am

Hi Dave
So lets begin then!
How do you think, feel or experience the 'self', 'I' or ‘me’'?

For instance does it feel like its in the centre or middle of experience, is it solid or thick, does it feel fixed or permanent, is it inside the body or part of the body, does it change, does it feel uniquely different and separate, does it become more or less solid or obvious depending on experience, does it have colour or shape or texture, is it small or large, does this self own the body or the thoughts and feelings it experiences?

Is it made up of thoughts and feelings, sensations, emotions, likes and dislikes, opinions, memories and experiences, perceptions, character and personality, does this self decide, chose, act, do and control? Anything else? Is there a time when the self is not experienced?

Now have a really good look and tell me where does the 'self' that you conceive yourself to be reside? Is it in the body as a whole, part of the body or somewhere else? Can you pinpoint an exact reference point? Can it be found, at all?

Can anything exist outside the present moment? Can you find anything that does?

In your direct experience, is there anything permanent right now? What makes the "I" so permanent in our eyes?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:54 am

Thanks for the quick reply Sarah.
How do you think, feel or experience the 'self', 'I' or ‘me’'?
Since reading some of the conversations in Gateless Gatecrashers, experience of the "I" has been different - much more distant - almost like background noise. Specifically, Ilona's comment, "see that presence is impersonal but thought makes it appear otherwise" was IMPACTFUL. I is experienced as a thought. "I" am finding a seat on a train; "I" accomplished a lot at work; etc.
For instance does it feel like its in the centre or middle of experience, is it solid or thick, does it feel fixed or permanent, is it inside the body or part of the body, does it change, does it feel uniquely different and separate, does it become more or less solid or obvious depending on experience,
I recognize that there exists a body - mind, brain, eyes, ears, etc. This just is.
does this self own the body
Seeing is happening through my body's eyes. But do I own the seeing? I is still just a thought that arises. Seems a bit paradoxical but not feeling particularly conflicted about it...
or the thoughts and feelings it experiences?
No, thoughts simply arise. I see a cloud in an airplane and "I" think of a pineapple or a baseball mound. Thoughts just flow based on surrounding experience. It does appear that "I" can shift focus or direction to specific topics and maintain attention to achieve outcomes. But once outcome is achieved, a closer look begs the question of who achieved it?
Now have a really good look and tell me where does the 'self' that you conceive yourself to be reside? Is it in the body as a whole, part of the body or somewhere else? Can you pinpoint an exact reference point? Can it be found, at all?
I cannot pinpoint an exact reference point. The self is most felt when someone is short or curt towards me and I am taken aback; or when impatience arises, the feeling courses through my body. These feeling and sensations are real, though they pass if I watch them arise, recognize them, and let them move.
Can anything exist outside the present moment? Can you find anything that does?
I cannot find anything that "exists" outside the present moment. Memories, aspirations, goals, experiences, feelings - all exist in the present moment. Ideas, thoughts, sensations, and feelings about these concepts are held in the present moment, then are gone as present becomes past and these pass. As others arise (sometimes repeating thoughts) these too are in the present.
In your direct experience, is there anything permanent right now?
Wow. This is a difficult question. In my direct experience, no. People, pets, structures, things, all impermanent. However, I don't know.

Very much appreciate this dialogue.

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:50 am

Dave
I do apologise! I forgot to put the housekeeping bit in which I need you to confirm before we start. I will then pick up and respond to your post.

Please agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read the article at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration 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's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer and then we'll begin.

Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:
1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:26 am

Sarah, No worries. I confirm that I have seen the below and agree to the disclaimer. Will certainly look into the links you have provided. Thank you.

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:18 pm

Thanks for that Dave
Some lovely noticings!
No, thoughts simply arise. I see a cloud in an airplane and "I" think of a pineapple or a baseball mound. Thoughts just flow based on surrounding experience. It does appear that "I" can shift focus or direction to specific topics and maintain attention to achieve outcomes. But once outcome is achieved, a closer look begs the question of who achieved it?
OK so lets test this.
Have you ever noticed sometimes that you arrive at a destination and don't really recall actually making the journey? It was as if the body was just doing its thing, driving just happened. It is only afterwards that the mind grabs hold of the experience and states 'I was driving the car' or, if questioned whilst driving (a present continuous activity), it would say 'I am driving the car'.
Whether your mind is totally concentrating on each gear shift that 'I' make, each look in the rear view mirror that 'I' makes, each twist of the steering wheel . . . or the entire journey is done automatically, the same result is achieved. Similarly when doing household tasks. Whether mind is involved or not, the task still gets accomplished. We call this autopilot. How much of your day is on autopilot?

Next – when involved in a task demanding attention – watch like a cat watches a mouse hole. Do ‘you’ bring attention OR does it simply happen? What do you notice? No worries if forgetting happens, just pick up when remembering happens! OK.
I cannot pinpoint an exact reference point. The self is most felt when someone is short or curt towards me and I am taken aback; or when impatience arises, the feeling courses through my body. These feeling and sensations are real, though they pass if I watch them arise, recognize them, and let them move.

You can allow emotions to move? Do you bring emotions? If so make yourself happy NOW! No thinking just do it! Is there a you doing the allowing OR does allowing just happen or not?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:51 pm

Have you ever noticed sometimes that you arrive at a destination and don't really recall actually making the journey? It was as if the body was just doing its thing, driving just happened. It is only afterwards that the mind grabs hold of the experience and states 'I was driving the car' or, if questioned whilst driving (a present continuous activity), it would say 'I am driving the car'.
Whether your mind is totally concentrating on each gear shift that 'I' make, each look in the rear view mirror that 'I' makes, each twist of the steering wheel . . . or the entire journey is done automatically, the same result is achieved. Similarly when doing household tasks. Whether mind is involved or not, the task still gets accomplished. We call this autopilot. How much of your day is on autopilot?
Yes- looked into this today. Walking to my car having just left the comic shop. Thoughts unrelated to the walking arose. It was only upon arrival at the car that I recognized this lack of mind involvement in the walking and what you refer to as "autopilot". Walking happening on the way to the shop. Walking happened upon return to the car.
Next – when involved in a task demanding attention – watch like a cat watches a mouse hole. Do ‘you’ bring attention OR does it simply happen? What do you notice? No worries if forgetting happens, just pick up when remembering happens! OK.
This took me by surprise when first reading this. I had always taken the fact of "my" directing attention for granted. Took a bit of time to look. "I" focused my attention on the task of generating a list of items to do for Monday. Of note is that "I" chose this task to perform as an example though looking more closely, the act of "choosing" this task did emerge spontaneously through "my" search for a task that would meet the criteria of requiring adequate attention.

What proceeded was a train of thought focused on how the process of attention unfolds. Specifically one thought leading to another: e.g. I should reference this document, I should see another email for more information or to jog my memory, etc. All emerging from that initial intent. These tasks then fell into natural structures or groups as I wrote them down.

The question that then arose is whether "I" developed that structure or whether that structure naturally surfaced and evolved based on previous experiences.

Will look into your last question around "my" allowing emotions to move next. More to come.

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:52 pm

Hi Dave - will wait till you have finished then! :)
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:01 am

You can allow emotions to pass? Do you bring emotions? If so make yourself happy NOW! No thinking just do it! Is there a you doing the allowing OR does allowing just happen or not?
Thanks for your comments and questions Sarah! Some additional noticings: Emotions arise. Similar to thoughts. Also based on external circumstances / stimulus / experiences. Frustration and irritation arise as my son runs by a flight of stairs and comes close to the edge. Replaced promptly by appreciation / humor moments later as he tries on a pair of slippers a few sizes too big.

So no, I don't bring emotions and they do appear to move on their own accord.

Can I make myself happy NOW? Well, I can smile - that is immediate. Though does the emotion of happiness immediately follow - not necessarily, though smiling doesn't hurt :)

Greatly appreciating this conversation,

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:17 pm

Hi Dave
Yes- looked into this today. Walking to my car having just left the comic shop. Thoughts unrelated to the walking arose. It was only upon arrival at the car that I recognized this lack of mind involvement in the walking and what you refer to as "autopilot". Walking happening on the way to the shop. Walking happened upon return to the car.
Fantastic! Now how much of the day runs on autopilot? Have a look and give a rough percentage.
This took me by surprise when first reading this.

Some lovely noticings here!
The question that then arose is whether "I" developed that structure or whether that structure naturally surfaced and evolved based on previous experiences.
And…….? Look and let me know what you actually experience.
Emotions arise. Similar to thoughts. Also based on external circumstances / stimulus / experiences. Frustration and irritation arise as my son runs by a flight of stairs and comes close to the edge. Replaced promptly by appreciation / humor moments later as he tries on a pair of slippers a few sizes too big. So no, I don't bring emotions and they do appear to move on their own accord.
Wonderful. Anything permanent in terms of emotions? Or do all fluctuate, come and go?
Anything permanent in terms of thoughts? Or again do all fluctuate, come and go?
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:10 am

Thanks for all your help thus far Sarah. To answer your questions:
Fantastic! Now how much of the day runs on autopilot? Have a look and give a rough percentage.
A lot. Harder to identify a specific moment that does NOT run on autopilot. Everything seems to follow as a result of that which precedes it. Found work to be a lot less trying looking through this lens. Thoughts emerged, ideas emerged. Actions were taken. Laughter happens as one colleague commented that 'that is a great idea!' Who's idea?
And…….? Look and let me know what you actually experience.
Structures naturally surface - same as thoughts, ideas, and emotions. More specifically everything follows that which precedes it. Like a thought-train.
Wonderful. Anything permanent in terms of emotions? Or do all fluctuate, come and go?
Anything permanent in terms of thoughts? Or again do all fluctuate, come and go?
No permanence in emotions. They come and go. No apparent permanence in thoughts, though when examined, some appear more deeply ingrained, and repeat more than others.

Feeling greatly appreciative,

Dave

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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Sarah7 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:14 am

Hi Dave
A lot. Harder to identify a specific moment that does NOT run on autopilot. Everything seems to follow as a result of that which precedes it. Found work to be a lot less trying looking through this lens. Thoughts emerged, ideas emerged. Actions were taken. Laughter happens as one colleague commented that 'that is a great idea!' Who's idea?
Lovely! And do you see the label of ‘me’, ‘I’, ‘I’m, etc. trying to attach a story to all of this? An ownership?
No permanence in emotions. They come and go. No apparent permanence in thoughts, though when examined, some appear more deeply ingrained, and repeat more than others.

OK so look carefully at these repeated thoughts, or maybe pick one. How often does it come up? Is there a story attached (a whole load of thoughts about). Is there feeling attached? Emotion?
And who or what is bothered by these repeated thoughts? What power do thoughts have? What exactly can a thought do?
Your welcome:)
Hugs Sarah xxx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Summit83
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Re: Looking for a guide - Summit83

Postby Summit83 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:17 am

Sarah, really enjoying this investigation and the looking that accompanies it.
Lovely! And do you see the label of ‘me’, ‘I’, ‘I’m, etc. trying to attach a story to all of this? An ownership?
Noticing I tries to claim ownership in a whole range of situations such as when certain feelings arise, e.g. irritation (I am busy or I am doing bigger and better things), superiority (I know better), pride (I solved a complex problem or I communicated clearly), anger (you are making unreasonable demands of me), frustration (I don't have time for this), nervousness (I need to write faster, get to bed, get enough sleep).
OK so look carefully at these repeated thoughts, or maybe pick one. How often does it come up? Is there a story attached (a whole load of thoughts about). Is there feeling attached? Emotion? And who or what is bothered by these repeated thoughts? What power do thoughts have?
Less bothered by thoughts (repeated or otherwise) now than a week or so ago when this dialogue began. The power of thoughts seems to be in the story(ies) that can accompany them. Like an email with a giant file attachment that fills up your inbox. Without the story, the thought is just a thought.
What exactly can a thought do?
Not sure I understand the question.

Thanks for everything thus far,

Dave


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