Looking for a guide

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Yordan
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Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:10 am

-What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?

I follow a facebook group called Dzogchen and there, a member called Jackson Peterson, posted a link to your archives. I was very impressed, read posted thread, download and almost read the book "Gateless Gatecrashers". I think I got id. I see clearly that there is no such thing as 'I'. That this is only a thought. That I have no control over thoughts. They are coming and going. That every experience is all inclusive. Its impossible to separate some 'I' from it. But whole my live I was thinking that if I work hard, I can achieve everything and now there is some resistance. I have a problem whit the idea of being not in charge and I want to go through the process. I will highly appreciate any help.

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

For more then 6 years I'm practicing Tibetan Buddhism, currently Dzogchen. I worked really hard on this, spending several hours every day in sitting practices and Yantra Yoga. Some others in reading, fallowing webcast, online teachings and so on. And I still do this.

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

To see through the illusion of 'I' and to let go of all additional false believes.

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:59 am

From more then a week, I try really hard to go through this. Yesterday I was very exhausted. Some days ago I was almost sure that I got it. But yesterday, I can't see it. I was very deep in the thoughts and miss it. Finally I decide to write in the forum. After I go home, I continue to investigate. I put the question "Who am I" with strong intention to see whats behind this. A lot of distracting thoughts come in my head. It was painful. I became very nervous. There was a strong resistance. But finally I start to explain to my self, who am I. Like I introduce my self, to someone. I start almost from the beginning of my live, till the current moment. Everything was just labels. Some ideas, some statements with a lot of proves for everything. This 'I' is nothing but a bunch of thoughts ! A bunch of labels, ideas, of 'won a be'-s, a lot of weight that have nothing to do with reality. I directly sow it. Nothing real. All my live I was adding new ornaments to this 'I'. Making it bigger and bigger. But to be 'real', I needed some proves. This 'I' have to be so big, that everyone can see it. I search a lot of proves from the outer world. I pushed my self very hard. To swim was not enough, I have to be a Swimmer ! I have to go to some competitions. It's doesn't matter that I didn't win. It was enough for me, to know, that 'I' was better then the most of the people. Then bodybuilding, same thing. Kick-boxing, again. Boxing, guitar playing. Around all this things school, university ... Again and again. Adding new labels, creating bigger and bigger 'I'. At some point it was impossible to me, to carry this load. I was on the edge of some collapse. Then come the Buddhism. I finally found a way to be in peace. To quiet the mind. To see what a madness I have created and to see that there is a path to liberation. But then the same model come in place. It wasn't enough to read a books. I have to connect with the teacher. To take a refuge. Only then I can call my self a Buddhist. Wow, fantastic, another one. I have now very exotic label. I'm a Buddhist. But I'm a real one ! I'm humble ! I'll post some buddhist news on my facebook page. But only this ! I'm humble, you know. Labels and labels, and labels. Dzogchen, ha ha really serious stuff man. 'I' am very big ! Humble, you know. I'll never talk about this. But it can be seen. O man ...
Cosmic joke, a ? Ha ha ha. I really don't know how I survived this joke.
Great relief ! I'm now like a steam locomotive. Sighs of relief. Sorry for my English. I hope it's understandable.
I spend all my live in creating bigger and bigger 'I'. Every thought was focused on this. To create and protect ! Each quarrel with my wife, everything ! O man ...
Just an idea. Empty idea, pointing nowhere. Never asked. The most precious thing, ha ha ha. Like Sméagol - "My precious!" Wow
In front of may face. So close and never seen.
Now is very quiet. I feel light as a feather. Everything around me is the same, but I feel very different. Maybe in peace. I don't know yet. There are some unanswered questions, but maybe some time will be needed.
Here I am, at this moment. If some guide is sensing that something is wrong with the thing that I wrote, please write me !
Best wishes !

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:49 am

Hi Yordan and welcome to the LU forum. My name is Sandra and I'm in Portugal. I can guide you if you want to. What you're saying makes perfect sense, well done! I think some focus, a structured conversation about this "no self" subject may be of help.

If that is ok with you, let's start from the basic. At the moment, if you look at your experience (instead of your thoughts) what can you experience that is a separate I?

Is the I in the body?
Is the I the thoughts about the I?
Is the I the cause and experiencer of sensations?

What can you see if you look for an I? Share what you find.

Looking forward to our conversation!

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:38 pm

Hi Sandra, thank you very much for your replay. I really want to go through such structured conversation and to clear every doubt, misunderstanding or false believes that i still carry with me. I'm from Bulgaria. My brother lives in Portugal from 12 years. Interesting coincidence :).
If that is ok with you, let's start from the basic. At the moment, if you look at your experience (instead of your thoughts) what can you experience that is a separate I?
Nothing. This is only an idea, thought. If I look at every experience, there is no such ting, as 'I'. 'I'-story, comes after the experience. If I fell off the bike, at first, there is only the experience. Then comes the thought - 'I fell off the bike'. There is some very strong habit, to take the ownership on every experience. But it's nothing but the thought. It's a little bit harder for me yet, when its about something like taking some decision. For external world, it's much easer for me, at that moment. I clearly see, that everything is happening by itself and no one is in control. But wen I look at something like a taking decision, what is happening ? The thoughts are coming. There is a constant flow of thoughts on which I have no control. And somehow one of this thoughts is more reasonable then the others and the decision is taken. Obviously by itself.
Is the I in the body?
No, there is no I in the body. If I observe my body, I not only do not control it, but I have no idea of the most processes that occur in it.
Is the I the thoughts about the I?
Yes, it can be. The idea of I appears, when I start thinking about I, some kind of circling here :) But also, when I thing of some past experience, this idea of I appears as an owner. Or for some future things, it appears as a doer.
Is the I the cause and experiencer of sensations?
No sensations are just happening. Right now, my colleague coughed. And there was just hearing that appear. There is the habit to label it, as 'I hear him', but actually I didn't do anything. Actually, there is no 'I' at all. There was some event and the sensation just appear. But it's impossible to divide some I, from that experience. Nor some event, that caused it. It's all in one.
What can you see if you look for an I? Share what you find.
When I look for an 'I', I see a story. From some past events, some reactions, some experiences, there is created a story. Nothing really existing. And this story is not very correct. The story is told stressing the positive aspects of the character. Told in celebration of one very special 'I' with some extraordinary qualities :) .

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:30 pm

Those are nice answers, thank you for the bike example, Yordan!

Reading what you say in your first posts, I get the impression that you have some expectations about how this different perspective will change your experience? Is that the case? Do you expect, for example, to be in a permanent state of clarity, in which everything will be known? Or to reach a permanent state of peace and bliss?

What are you expecting to change?

*************************
And somehow one of this thoughts is more reasonable then the others and the decision is taken.
Can you give me an example, from your immediate experience, of how a decision takes place? Something simple. Going left or right. To write with a black or a blue pen. Eating a yogurt or a fruit. Lifting an arm.

Do one of these experiences, observe how deciding something happens. Did a separate self caused the decision? Let me know what you see going on.

And I would also like you to observe if a thought has the power to cause a decision or if you can be thinking that you should or shouldn't do something and something happens, that doesn't match the thinking at all. Hope this last one doesn't sound confusing! Let me know if it does. Other way of asking the same: what can a thought do?

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:35 am

What are you expecting to change?
I expect that this realization of absence of 'I', will make the experiences less tense. That I'll be less attached to thoughts and will be more in the present moment. I'll be very happy, if permanent clarity, peace and bliss appears, but it's not some kind of goal. I'm excited and there is a feeling that something really big is happening, but I can't find concrete expectations about this. Whats next ? I don't know. I fill all this as the beginning of a journey. All old ideas are falling apart. I see, that they are taken from somewhere. They are not based on direct experience. There is, for the first time, experience of direct seeing. I realized it, when I read the book "Gateless Gatecrashers":
Remember the Matrix movie, when Neo gets out and he looks around and says “why do my eyes hurt”, and the answer comes, “you’ve never used them before”...
There is excitement about whats there to be seen. Yes, there is also some worry. There was a lots of ideas about the world and the meaning in everything, about the nature of reality. I fill comfortable with this ideas, but now everything have to be checked. Maybe some sort of fear of unknown.
Can you give me an example, from your immediate experience, of how a decision takes place? Something simple. Going left or right. To write with a black or a blue pen. Eating a yogurt or a fruit. Lifting an arm.

Do one of these experiences, observe how deciding something happens. Did a separate self caused the decision? Let me know what you see going on.
Big surprise here. It's looks like this 'decision making' story is another illusion. I lay down on my bed last night and try 'Lifting an arm' exercise. Thoughts was focused in this direction. At some moment appear a thought 'I will lift my arm', and nothing else happened. Through direct experience, I can state that thoughts can't do anything. Making a decision is also thought by it's self and nothing more then this. When I look in the current moment, I have no idea, when my arm will be lifted. Actually, when I'm waiting for this and when it happens, there was a sense of surprise. I have no idea, what will be written in the next second. There is an awareness only of what is happening in the current moment. It becomes more and more obvious, that at least, at the current level of existence, everything is happening by it self. There is still some idea of something bigger behind the scene.

And I would also like you to observe if a thought has the power to cause a decision or if you can be thinking that you should or shouldn't do something and something happens, that doesn't match the thinking at all. Hope this last one doesn't sound confusing! Let me know if it does. Other way of asking the same: what can a thought do?
The thought can't do anything. I have some ideas of wishful thinking, but it's impossible to prove it through direct experience. The only existing thing is current moment. Nothing outside of this does not exist. There is no future, as something concrete. There is no past, as something concrete. 'This is direct result of my thoughts from yesterday' is only just another thought. Some big mystery is unfolding in front of me :)

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:43 pm

Thank you for sharing your expectations and for looking at your experience to find the answers to my questions.

I can see that your expectations aren't in the way of looking, so I don't see a need to address them at the time being. And yes, it can be very exciting to look at reality with fresh, clean eyes :)

You're doing great and it seems that the way to assist you in this exploration is by asking more questions, so here it goes. Have fun looking for the answers :)

Regarding thoughts:

- where are thoughts coming from, where are they going to?

- is it possible to think more than a thought at the same time?

- can you find "mind" or "memory" in your experience? A container of all the past thoughts?

- can you find what is thinking? A separate entity that thinks?

- does a thought think?

- is it possible to know a thought before it happens? (I think you answered this one already, but have a go with it again)

- right now, is it possible to think about this moment while it is happening or is thinking a "story" about what just happened?

- how do you know that a thought, a label, points to something that is real?

- what does the thought "I" point to? If you look around right now, is it possible to find an "I" that isn't just a thought?

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:33 pm

Thank you Sandra for your help ! I highly appreciates all your efforts !
- where are thoughts coming from, where are they going to?
They just appear from nowhere. From the emptiness. There is a constant flow of thoughts. Sometimes it's very intense, sometimes not. The process of thinking looks like radio receiver. There are a lot of radio stations and in some moment, obviously by it self this receiver is tuned on some station and the whole flow of thoughts follows a certain theme. If something happens around the physical body, this station can be changed, or turned off for some time, if there is some intense experience and nothing exist outside of it. Then another radio station or the same ... Maybe this is it - physical brain is receiver and every event, inner or outer, can change the frequency. Or in greater scale, everyone is some unique perspective of All That Is / Live, and have some unique frequency. There is nothing static. Everything is in constant movement and this frequency of every unique perspective is also in constant change. Everything is receiver and transmitter at the same time and there is constant interaction. There is some influence. And the thought theme depends on this influences. It depends of what is around and which is the strongest. But nothing separate at all. This is live interacting with itself.
Sorry, this wasn't from direct experience.
- is it possible to think more than a thought at the same time?
I can't do this. The thoughts are coming one by one.
- can you find "mind" or "memory" in your experience? A container of all the past thoughts?
Nothing at all. "Mind" is a label for the doer of the process of observing the thoughts, but I can't find some separate observer. It's also a thought. "Memory" or container of all the past thoughts is also a label/thought.
- can you find what is thinking? A separate entity that thinks?
Thinking is a label for the process of observing the thoughts. No one is thinking or observing the thoughts. There is observation by it self. Some awareness of the thoughts. No separate doer. Experience is All That Is and nothing can exist outside of it.
- does a thought think?
No, they are empty.
- is it possible to know a thought before it happens? (I think you answered this one already, but have a go with it again)
No, the thought does not exist before it happens. Nothing exist before it happens. It's not observable, it's not knowable.
- right now, is it possible to think about this moment while it is happening or is thinking a "story" about what just happened?
Thoughts are coming after the experience. The process of observing the thoughts is experience by itself. Experiences are experienced one by one. The strongest win. If there is observing the thoughts and I'm deep in it, I can miss many things that are happening around me. But if something more intense happened I will be in it and the thoughts will disappear.
- how do you know that a thought, a label, points to something that is real?
The thoughts are pointing nowhere. They are empty. There can be thoughts for something that is observable at that moment, but I don't thing that the thought by it self is pointing to it. There is a yellow tea cup in front of me. At first there is seeing of it, then come the thought 'This is yellow tea cup', but this thought does not point anywhere.
- what does the thought "I" point to? If you look around right now, is it possible to find an "I" that isn't just a thought?
Thought 'I' also does not point anywhere and there is no 'I', that is not only a thought.

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:36 pm

Thank you Sandra for your help ! I highly appreciates all your efforts !
It's my pleasure!
- where are thoughts coming from, where are they going to?

They just appear from nowhere. From the emptiness. There is a constant flow of thoughts. Sometimes it's very intense, sometimes not. The process of thinking looks like radio receiver. There are a lot of radio stations and in some moment, obviously by it self this receiver is tuned on some station and the whole flow of thoughts follows a certain theme. If something happens around the physical body, this station can be changed, or turned off for some time, if there is some intense experience and nothing exist outside of it. Then another radio station or the same ... Maybe this is it - physical brain is receiver and every event, inner or outer, can change the frequency. Or in greater scale, everyone is some unique perspective of All That Is / Live, and have some unique frequency. There is nothing static. Everything is in constant movement and this frequency of every unique perspective is also in constant change. Everything is receiver and transmitter at the same time and there is constant interaction. There is some influence. And the thought theme depends on this influences. It depends of what is around and which is the strongest. But nothing separate at all. This is live interacting with itself.
Sorry, this wasn't from direct experience.
I appreciate the way you noticed that you were telling a story :)
It is curious, when I was guided I also saw things as appearing and disappearing in the emptiness. After two years, I think that "emptiness" is also an empty label. But I understand what you're saying.
Thoughts are coming after the experience. The process of observing the thoughts is experience by itself. Experiences are experienced one by one. The strongest win. If there is observing the thoughts and I'm deep in it, I can miss many things that are happening around me. But if something more intense happened I will be in it and the thoughts will disappear.
Our perception is conditioned by habits, it seems and can be very limited. Usually we do things the way we do because we did them before and we say things because we said them before. When I take a bath it always amazes me how I do the same gestures that I did in the last bath. Sometimes I think my life is a little like the movie "Groundhog Day", where the main character lives the same day over and over again.

Some questions about the body! Most people believe that what they are is identical to the body, controlling the body or/and in the body.

If you look to the experience of what we call body, what do you see? What can you know about the body?

Are you the body?
Are you controlling the body?
Are you inside the body?
Is the body yours?

If it seems difficult to answer these questions let me know. We can do some exercises.

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:44 am

If you look to the experience of what we call body, what do you see? What can you know about the body?
There is very little awareness of the body. It consists of billions of cells. They have their own lives. There's no awareness of all this stuff. There are organs, made by cells. They have their functions. Every one does his job and till this is so, body functions normally. There's no awareness of all this. There are some sensations, but there's no way to be sure that they are directly connected to the body. If there is a sensation of pain in the stomach, it can be localized there. But that's all. There is no awareness of what's happening inside. In the dream, can also appear sensation of pain, and then it's not connected to the body at all. In dream there is seeing without eyes, hearing without ears. There can appear all physical sensations and they are not connected to the body. The idea of I is concentrated around it because it's observable, there is some awareness of it's outer boundaries, it's position, physical sensations are somehow connected to it.
Are you the body?
No, there is no me at first. Also body is not a mandatory part of all experiences.
Are you controlling the body?
If here appears a thought to move my arm, nothing happens. The movement is happening by it self. It's the same with the whole body.
Are you inside the body?
There is some feeling like, everything is perceived from inside the body, but it's so, because of the physical properties of this exploration tool 'the body'. There is no such thing as perceiver and it can not be anywhere.
Is the body yours?
It can be part of some experience, but the experience itself is all inclusive. It's impossible to separate some part from it and another one to own it. 'My body' is just a thought.

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:31 pm

Nice answers!

Some checkup questions, to see where we can look next:

What lives?

What experiences?

What thinks?

What does?

What controls?

What is aware?

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:56 pm

What lives?
Live looks like some aware existence in constant flow of experiences. I can't see something that is outside of current experience. It's looks like there is no existence outside of the experience. So, what lives? It's looks like there is nothing else then the live itself. As various manifestations interacting with one another. Live is All That Is and there is nothing outside of it. Someone call it God, Enlightened Energy ... There is nothing else to live.
What experiences?
The same thing - live experiences itself.
What thinks?
Thinking is observation of the flow of thoughts. Thoughts are maybe some side effect of this constant movement (not directly seen). They just appear. So what observes - live itself.
What does?
The same here
What is aware?
... and here
What controls?
... and here. Actually I'm not sure that such thing as control even exist. There is some perfect balance and interdependence and I can't see need of controlling.

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:23 pm

Your answers are very clear. How does it feel to see this?

Can you give me a description of this moment? Without the stories, what do you see going on? What feels real?

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Yordan
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Yordan » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:54 pm

Can you give me a description of this moment?
There is excitement and happiness. Clarity and peace. I'm smiling :)
Somehow all things felled into place.
what do you see going on?
Maybe some smooth movement through experiences. Some noise here, some movement there, but everything is very smooth. Somehow quiet. Everything is going on as usual, but there is some peace, harmony and joy. At first I would say 'smooth movement through time', but then I realize that time does not exist. There is only constant movement through experiences. Exciting !
What feels real?
I feel everything real. And there is nothing behind it. It points nowhere. It's just it. All here and now and nothing outside of this here and this now. Nothing outside of current experience.

My vocabulary is very poor to express my gratitude Sandra. Thank you very much. From whole my heart.

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:58 pm

My vocabulary is very poor to express my gratitude Sandra. Thank you very much. From whole my heart.
Deep gratitude here, too :)
Thank you!

Do you have any doubts or can you say with a big yes that there isn't a separate self in reality?
Are you ready for LU final standard questions?


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