Request for a guide - chris123

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chris123
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Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:36 pm

-What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?

I read the enlightment quotes and the gateless gatecrashers book, and after the initial “is it SO simple?” I feel the need to see through this with a guide. So, what I see clearly from direct experience, following the pointing and questions, is that thoughts happen exactly at the time that “I” know them. Thinking and knowing of thinking happen together, before the thought appears there is no knowledge of that thought. Thought is just happening out of nowhere. Control of thoughts is not possible as there is no previous knowledge of them. Also I cannot find someone or something that does the thinking. Only thoughts. There are thoughts that seem to “control” other thoughts or plan something or dictate a line of thinking, but they are also thoughts themselves, of the same nature, not an entity, not a self.

However, this “seeing” requires noticing of experience.

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

For about 12 years (I am 41 now) reading advaita (mainly ramana-influenced stuff), meditating (resting-just being), without a sangha and not consistently. Last year, the seeking got more intense and I came across the no-self Buddhist doctrine (for some reason bahiya sutra had a deep effect on me) and there was a period that I felt a change happening. Funny, at the peak of this experience, a whole bunch of personal stuff exploded, and I had to go through a lot of change, not having the time or energy for “spiritual seeking”. But, there is a feeling that this hit of impermanence and the pain and joy that came with it, have brought more clarity.

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

Upon reading the question, the image of Morpheus telling Neo “welcome to the dessert of the real” (or something like that) came to mind, lol.

Well, what is going to happen, is going to happen…

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Armstrong
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:22 pm

I would be happy to be your guide. Could you please take a look at some of my other threads and decide if you want me as opposed to a different guide?

Could you explain your expectations a bit more? If you've been doing 12 years of reading, I'd guess there's a lot of expectations or concepts on your mind. I also note you used a bunch of Buddhist terminology above - and there's a lot of conceptualizing in Buddhist books about mind, enlightenment, etc.

It is important to acknowledge that this won't be like reading a book, probably won't give you immediate peace of mind, etc.

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:03 am

thank you all for doing this, it is amazing
I would be happy to be your guide. Could you please take a look at some of my other threads and decide if you want me as opposed to a different guide?
i don't need to take a look at your old threads, i would be happy to have you guide me, if you feel like doing it
Could you explain your expectations a bit more? If you've been doing 12 years of reading, I'd guess there's a lot of expectations or concepts on your mind. I also note you used a bunch of Buddhist terminology above - and there's a lot of conceptualizing in Buddhist books about mind, enlightenment, etc.
we cannot communicate without terms and concepts, but i get what you say...
in fact, this is what i like with your approach in LU, no fancy crap, just recognizing what is there and what is not.
so, armstrong, i expect that you will help me clarify the matter, test my seeing, etc.
i will try to only refer to my experience. i am not here to debate.
It is important to acknowledge that this won't be like reading a book, probably won't give you immediate peace of mind, etc.
you are right, i agree.
english is not my first language (yeah its "desert" not "dessert"....whole different meaning, lol) so forgive my mistakes....

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:47 am

Nice.

My role here is to lead you through some direct pointing exercises. Hopefully all I'll do is ask questions. You'll see whatever you see. Some conditions:

1) please confirm that you've read the disclaimer located here http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/ .

2) say which of these doesn't work for you:

You agree to post at least once a day. If you are busy, just a "still here" let's us know you are still there. If you post more than once a day, I'll try to reply so that we can get this done more efficiently.

You'll answer questions honestly, based on your senses, not your thinking. Please avoid personal details in your responses. I won't ask personal questions.

Let's try to keep things short, eschewing long answers, analytical answers, wordy answers.

If things are ambiguous or I'm curious, I'll ask more questions.

You agree to put aside your nonduality teachings, meditation teaching and philosophies until we finish - eg videos, articles and books. If you have a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to keep doing that.

Please learn how to quote things; if you can't find it just ask..

3) if you have any requests, please let me know

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:40 pm

My role here is to lead you through some direct pointing exercises. Hopefully all I'll do is ask questions. You'll see whatever you see.
ok
1) please confirm that you've read the disclaimer located here http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/ .
i confirm
2) say which of these doesn't work for you:
ok with all of these
3) if you have any requests, please let me know
at the time, none. thanx again

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:04 pm

Could you please describe what your direct experience of your body is like?

Please don't say what you think your body is, but what is your experience of your body like from moment to moment as you do things like walk, pick things up, type, etc.

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:42 am

seeing the hands on the keyboard, feeling the contact with the keys, sensing the legs touching the sofa, sensing the air coming in through the nose, there is a sense of warmth in the face and the belly and legs, the heart beating , feeling pressure at the points of the body that contact the sofa, a feeling of dryness in the throat, pick up the cup of coffee, fingers holding it, taste of coffee in my mouth. There is a feeling of stiffness in the back. The sound of my voice vibrating in the neck and mouth.

That was going to be my answer initially. Then I read your question again
Please don't say what you think your body is, but what is your experience of your body
So I understood that my answer above is actually thinking the experience. “stiffness“ is a concept “the back” is a concept, “seeing” is a concept, “the hands” “the keyboard” are concepts. So I try to stay in direct experience without conceptualizing. I stay with the “stiffness in the back” with focused attention for quite sometime. Without reference to the thought that says “my back feels stiff”, I don’t know what this is. There is something but I cannot know where it is, if it belongs to my body, if it has qualities.
I try the same with “seeing the hands on the keyboard”. That is more difficult to strip of concepts. I stay with this image longer…just realized that even “image” is a concept.

I don’t know if there is a body in direct experience. Sights, sounds, sensations (even these are concepts) don’t contain a “body”. I have to return to “thinking the experience” to experience a body. That is my answer, sorry if it is long.

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:16 am

Nice response. That's very clear.

If you move your body, how are you (the thing that understands these words) connected to the body? How do you control the body? What makes the body "yours", in the everyday sense of the word? If you pause a while and then move, what is it that you do to move your body?

How about your gender? Does your body come with a gender (male/female)? Do you feel like you - the thing that understands this now - has a gender? Can you find it in direct experience? Eg you see these characters now and you Understand them as words. Where is the maleness or femaleness in that?

If I call you a sexist man (or a stupid gossipy woman), what reaction if any do you have, in terms of your direct experience?

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:13 pm

i am a bit confused here, so maybe, before proceeding with the answer, we have to define the term "direct experience". Every-thing is thought-made, concepts, running automatically, from solid rocks to the feeling of being, so what exactly do you mean by the term? how am i to approach this?

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:01 am

Please take a look at this and try http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

Thanks for your effort and precision. I feel confident and at ease when I see that; this is moving along uickly.

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:12 pm

Thanks for the article.
So I will write some stuff down, hope they make sense.
The article says
“Direct Experience is what is noticed, here and now”
And
“The illusion of separation is maintained by a stream of self referencing thoughts that are based on past conditioning”
I went for a walk and at some point noticed that I was thinking. On noticing the thinking, and while the thinking continued, it was clear that it was happening by itself. So actually the stream of self referencing thoughts cannot maintain the illusion, if it is noticed. So noticing makes the idea of a someone-something outside of what is noticed, irrelevant.
When there is no noticing of the experience, the assumption of a doer, controller, watcher, arises.
When there is noticing, the immediacy of experience leaves no room for assumption, it lifts the heaviness of doing.
But what is this “noticing” or “attention”?
Stopped walking, I sat in a place to eat something, and kept noticing, quite relaxed.
This came, when there is a move to drop the concept, like keep noticing without emphasis on what is noticed, there is a very vivid “sameness” (the best term I can find) in every experience.
For example, the taste of chocolate in mouth felt the same with the car that was passing by, with the sound of wind, etc.
And although trying what the article suggests, like noticing the thoughts, drops the sense of a thinker and brings a spontaneous and fresh quality to the experience of thinking, I sense that this “sameness” that seems inherent in “noticing” maybe a deeper “residence” of the illusion.
Thank you for doing this. really.

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:58 am

That all makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

Would you just like to answer the final 6 questions then? Or would you like to explore some common things that people typically invest a lot of time and feeling in? Eg the gender (see above question) or the I/me/mine experience?

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:25 am

hi, sorry for having delayed the answers.
here we go
If you move your body, how are you (the thing that understands these words) connected to the body?How do you control the body?
there is knowing of the move. when there are thoughts preceding the move that dictate the move, there is a feeling-thought that i control the move.Actually, in all cases, at some point i have to "tell myself" that i have moved. And this is the connection. This "telling myself" maybe subtle, not formed in words.
What makes the body "yours", in the everyday sense of the word?
it is the tactile sensation. i can see other bodies, i can see part of my body, but i cannot "feel" the other bodies.
If you pause a while and then move, what is it that you do to move your body?
in the everyday sense, i "intent" to move the body and that is what it takes.of course, the move that happens is not always exactly the one that was intented. in direct experience, intention happens, move happens.
How about your gender? Does your body come with a gender (male/female)? Do you feel like you - the thing that understands this now - has a gender? Can you find it in direct experience? Eg you see these characters now and you Understand them as words. Where is the maleness or femaleness in that?
the "thing that understands this', cannot be found. but the "understanding" or "knowing" does not have maleness or femaleness. the body, when labelled as "body", does have a gender. but not in direct experience. its good to avoid direct experience when having sex, and this is from direct experience.
If I call you a sexist man (or a stupid gossipy woman), what reaction if any do you have, in terms of your direct experience?
none, not because there is no identification to gender, but because there is no image of "me" being "sexist".

thank you

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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby Armstrong » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:09 am

That's fine. I am inclined to move on to the final questions unless you think there's somehing you'd like to explore (along the lines of gender or the body).

If there's anything in life that is leading to repeated sadness, anger or fear, now would be a good time to bring it up. Eg if you said you often feel like a woman in a man's body (that refers to the previous questions, of course).

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chris123
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Re: Request for a guide - chris123

Postby chris123 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:23 pm

That's fine. I am inclined to move on to the final questions unless you think there's somehing you'd like to explore (along the lines of gender or the body).
If there's anything in life that is leading to repeated sadness, anger or fear, now would be a good time to bring it up. Eg if you said you often feel like a woman in a man's body (that refers to the previous questions, of course)
nothing comes to mind right now


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