Request a guide to step through the Gate

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patioliving
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Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:08 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I read the Kindle version of the Gateless Gatecrashers book. I always like to know more about the people and organizations behind spiritual literature, so I browsed the website. The amazing efforts by the volunteer guides and the no-cost approach to helping others on a spiritual path resonated well with my ideals.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
A long and winding road! My childhood and most of adult life was spent as a “faithful” Christian. At age 38, I set out to prove to myself that Christianity was the “true” spiritual path, instead of simply believing it. Many hours of research and a library of books later, I proved to myself that it was *not*. At the time, I felt drawn to Judaism, with its emphasis on elevating all of life’s daily activities to a spiritual level, with no need to save anyone or to be saved. However, due to a move because of my life circumstances at that time, I was unable to complete the conversion I started, and spent the next six years with no clear spiritual path.

When that phase of my life finished, and the urge to seek came back, I had no idea which way to look or what I believed. Somehow, I discovered Kabbalah on the internet (the truly spiritual version, not the magical teachings). The core ideas—the Creator and the Created are actually the same; the goal of emptying the ego (desire) so as to be able to receive the light of the Creator, the goal of uniting one’s soul with the Creator, attaining life in the spiritual “worlds” while still living here, etc.—struck something in me that resonated with truth. I studied for a year, and while it did satisfy my spiritual hunger, it seemed SO complicated. The simplest truths were dressed in layers and layers of obscuration. I felt like I was trying to swim with blocks tied to my feet.

Enter Buddhism. As soon as I started reading Buddhist texts, I immediately recognized the same basic tenets of Kabbalah, but without the baggage. Simple guidelines for living a happy life—now, that made sense! Everything was fine with using the principles for having a better life here, but the problem was with the idea of enlightenment. That, apparently, took advanced meditation techniques, a teacher and decades of practice. So, discouraged, I started looking again.

I read many spiritual books, following different ideas like a trail of breadcrumbs, and eventually found the works of Ramana Maharshi. Self-inquiry seemed like the answer—simple and direct. In practice, however, I found it to be confusing. I read and re-read the books, but the idea just seemed too vague for me to get anything out of it.

Enter Nisargadatta. Self-inquiry turned around. No meditating on “Who am I?”; just simple and direct statements of Truth. Reading “I Am That” (about ten times so far), the words are like music to my ears. For the last year, I have tried to extract and practice his “instructions.” From this, I have already looked into and know from experience/observation and contemplation the truth of the causeless nature of happenings, the inability to control anything, the peace of acceptance of all that “is” as neither good nor bad, etc. All of this has brought me a great deal of inner peace and happiness.

What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?
To enter the Gateless Gate…to know experientially the truth of no-self. Upon finding this website, I read through the archives and I did the exercises on the “Start Here” page of the blog and did have some small insights that weren’t there before. However, it seems that the guides are so good at pinpointing individual weaknesses and directing people that it would be much more advantageous to have a guide than to continue to try to find my way alone, as I have for all these years..

From “I Am That,” Nisargadatta says,

“Don't call it a way; it is more a kind of skill…What you seek is so near you, that there is no place for a way. “

It seems to me that this is exactly what is being shown through this website, and I would like help to know it for myself. I am ready to end the search and just be as I am...

Thanks very much.

Maria

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Sarah7
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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:21 pm

Hey Maria
Im Sarah and Id be happy to speak with you.
Have you read the disclaimer and had a good look round the site?
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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patioliving
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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:33 pm

Hi, Sarah,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I have read quite a bit on the site, as well as the book and the disclaimer.

Best,
Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:22 pm

Hi Maria!
House keeping first:
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.)

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

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? Ok.

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?
Looking forward to working with you!
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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patioliving
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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:07 am

Wow, what a tough first day! I’ve seen these questions in other threads, and thought I knew what my experience was, at least in general. However, having to write it down, and then asking, “Is that really my experience?” made it quite different! I revised my answers, based on present experience, until I felt that it was the closest expression of my truth that I could give. I found it really revealing how often my answers seemed to contradict themselves. Anyway, here it is, and hope you can make something of it…
How do you think, feel or experience the 'self', 'I' or ‘me’'?
I read your post just before lunch, so took some time to observe. It seems that “I” made the decision to have a salad for lunch, but everything that followed—getting up, walking to the cafeteria, choosing each item, walking back, bringing the fork to my mouth, reaching for water, etc.—was simply the body operating. When I noticed this, I started thinking about whether it would make sense to substitute “the body” for everything that “I” do. It made perfect sense in terms of every physical act, as in “the body” walked, dressed, drove. It made even more sense than “I” when it came to automatic processes, like “the body” digested food, healed a cut, etc. Whatever “I” is, it doesn’t feel right to say that “I” have any kind of power to control healing, heartbeat, etc.!

I then considered conceptual things where there seems to be a self in charge. My example was, “I changed jobs.” This seemed more true at first than “The body changed jobs.” But when I broke it down, I could see that changing jobs was really just a moderately complex sequence of physical acts—looking at ads, typing a resume, making phone calls, driving to interviews, etc. The only place the “I” would seem to appear might be in making the initial decision to take that course of action.

When driving home from work, it felt very clear that the body was doing the driving, while “I” was left free to do things like plan what to cook for dinner. Anytime traffic got tricky, though, “I” came into the picture to make sure that the body did the right thing.

From these observations, I would say that my experience of “I” is probably most closely related to thinking. Some tasks seem to be performed quite well without “my” involvement, and others seem to need “me” to help. So, on analyzing this a little further, I guess I would have to say that “I” is just really concentrated thought. It appears the strongest in stressful situations—confrontations, physical danger, etc. As long as everything is going along smoothly, “it” just seems to follow along and not interfere. And now I see from that sentence that I’m assuming it is there, even when there is no experience of it…hmm.
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?
This was really interesting to me. I always thought of experiencing as taking place in the brain, as a kind of “central command and control.” However, when separately focusing on tasting, feeling, smelling and hearing, it seemed that the experience is actually external. For example, if I hear a sound to my left, my experience is that I am where the sound is, rather than the sound being experienced in my body or head, like I expected. Taste is experienced with the tongue, feeling on the skin. I thought for sure (having experimented with it before) that my experience of sight is that it is inside the head, behind the eyes. However, today, sight was like the other senses, the experience was *where* the object was, not in my head.

It does not feel solid or thick—more like a cobweb, although that might not make sense.

It feels permanent, as in I can’t remember being without it, but yet it is changeable and not always detectable, as I stated earlier.

I can’t say that it feels uniquely different and separate; I would say that at different times, it feels more or less like it is either part of my current experience, like when I’m relaxing outside, or more strongly associated with my body, like when there is stress or danger.

No colour, shape or texture. No specific size. It doesn’t really seem to “own” the body/thoughts/feelings, but rather is like a partner to them, like whatever the body is involved with, “I” am also there, maybe just watching, maybe analyzing or offering suggestions on what to do.
Now have a really good look and tell me where does the 'self' that you conceive yourself to be reside?
I don’t feel like it is in any particular part of my body. The best way I can describe it is that it is like something that is just outside of my body—like an outline several inches away from my body. So, it is always “with” my body, but at the same time, there is a realization that the body is something different. Maybe the best analogy is that it is like a mother hen, always hovering around the chick (the body), and ready to swoop in for protection when needed.
Can anything exist outside the present moment? Can you find anything that does?
No, without a doubt, nothing exists outside of the present moment.
In your direct experience, is there anything permanent right now?
This seems a little tricky, but maybe I’m overthinking it. “Permanent” would seem to mean that something exists for every present moment possible, but “right now” seems to mean only this present moment. Above, I said that nothing exists outside of the present moment, so no, nothing is permanent. Everything is a different experience in each moment. And, now I see what you did there—I said earlier that the self feels permanent, but now I said that nothing is permanent.

I think I covered everything, but if I left out anything important, please point it out.

Thank you so much for your time and effort in this process!

Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:45 am

Good Mornin Maria and WOW – what a start!
Wow, what a tough first day!

Sorry! :)
I then considered conceptual things where there seems to be a self in charge. My example was, “I changed jobs.” This seemed more true at first than “The body changed jobs.” But when I broke it down, I could see that changing jobs was really just a moderately complex sequence of physical acts—looking at ads, typing a resume, making phone calls, driving to interviews, etc. The only place the “I” would seem to appear might be in making the initial decision to take that course of action.
Now I want you to look during your day keep noticing ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc See if you can see what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership?

Does the word label water actually explain, describe what water actually is? Is the experience of water is totally different than the label?
When driving home from work, it felt very clear that the body was doing the driving, while “I” was left free to do things like plan what to cook for dinner. Anytime traffic got tricky, though, “I” came into the picture to make sure that the body did the right thing.
So you have noticed when driving that it was as if the body was just doing its thing, driving just happened. Was it is afterwards that the mind grabs hold of the experience and states 'I was 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 autopilot? Just give me a rough percentage.
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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patioliving
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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:19 am

Well, it seems like today was either a very good day for this exercise, or a very bad day…
Now I want you to look during your day keep noticing ‘I’, ‘I’m’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘I’ve’, etc See if you can see what you apply it too. Is it applied to doing, thinking etc? Is it all the time, most of the time? Is it like a commentary or like an ownership?
I read your post just after showering this morning, so I’ve kept it in mind all day. I had a busy day, working by computer from home. Several frustrating problems arose, but overall, it was not bad. After I finished, I did some yard work that I’d been putting off. There was none of the usual, “I should do that, but I really don’t want to” thoughts. I just did it because it needed to be done and the weather was a littler cooler than usual. I cooked dinner, walked the dogs, swept…all very ordinary stuff, and everything was just done when it needed to be. The choices, like what clothes to wear, what to eat for breakfast, etc., just happened with only a thought or two—“Oatmeal or eggs? No, I’ll have a bagel.” In none of this do I ever remember having any distinct thoughts or feelings that were like a true “self.” Even when my thoughts used one of the pronouns you mentioned, as in “Where did I put my glass?” it wasn’t a closed-down, possessive type of thought of a “self” that “owned” a glass, but just a casual, ”Where is the glass that has the water that I’ve been drinking from, because I feel thirsty?” if you can see what I’m saying.

So, for today at least, I have to say that it occurred very rarely, and there wasn’t really any commentary or ownership involved.
Does the word label water actually explain, describe what water actually is? Is the experience of water is totally different than the label?
Right, I see what you mean. Sometimes I do think more *about* what is happening than experiencing it. Today just wasn’t one of those days.
Was it is afterwards that the mind grabs hold of the experience and states 'I was driving the car'?
I wouldn’t say it was really like that. It was more like the “I” feeling is something that steps in to “help” the body when it seems like the situation is too much for “just” the body to handle. So, the “I”—whatever that is; it seems to be, like I said yesterday, just a very focused thought process—takes control while it’s needed, e.g., traffic at an intersection is really crazy, and “ I” need to be involved in the driving to make sure there’s no accident…
How much of your day is autopilot? Just give me a rough percentage.
Today, I would have to say nearly all of it, maybe even 95%. I even feel like that’s low, because I can’t think of anything that didn’t really just flow along without any feeling of needing to be “present” to make a decision, protect the body, etc. On an average day, it is probably less, but still I would say most of the time I do not feel like “I” have gotten swept up in stories or a need to control a situation—maybe 75%...

That’s all for now. Many thanks for your efforts here!

Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:56 am

Good morning Maria
So, for today at least, I have to say that it occurred very rarely, and there wasn’t really any commentary or ownership involved.
OK – so if you have a ‘bad day’ and this exercise is remembered – try it again.
Today, I would have to say nearly all of it, maybe even 95%. I even feel like that’s low, because I can’t think of anything that didn’t really just flow along without any feeling of needing to be “present” to make a decision, protect the body, etc. On an average day, it is probably less, but still I would say most of the time I do not feel like “I” have gotten swept up in stories or a need to control a situation—maybe 75%...
So can I clarify here – when thought steps in to take control – that’s not autopilot?
When you are day dreaming or thought is swept up in stories - that is autopilot?

OK – so lets have a little look at thoughts.
Do you bring thoughts? If so from where and how? Do you send them away?
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
Try to suppress your next thought before it arises. Does it work?
Is there is a thought that you can control?
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
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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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:27 am

So can I clarify here – when thought steps in to take control – that’s not autopilot?
When you are day dreaming or thought is swept up in stories - that is autopilot?
Thanks for that clarification; that helped a lot. I can see now that my ideas from some teachings made me think that any time my mind is not focused on present circumstances “I” should try to bring it back, which implies some kind of control. Now, I can see how confusing that was, to have “me” bring “myself” back to the event (that is taking place regardless…) so that I can eventually “lose” the thought of “me.” LOL.

Of course, now I can see that thoughts stepping in is also autopilot, along with day dreaming and everything else that happens—it can’t be any other way! So for today—and every other day—I would say that 100% of my life is on autopilot.
Do you bring thoughts? If so from where and how? Do you send them away?
Definitely not. Thoughts are just like any other event—they just happen; there is clearly no cause that can be found for thought. Sometimes the random ones that pop up just make me laugh and wonder “Where did that come from?” And, no, they can’t be sent away. If they could, I would never have a song “stuck in my head.”
Do you know what you're going to think before you think it? Sit quietly for a moment and try to predict your next thought. Does it work?
Nope, can’t predict anything. Sometimes thought seems influenced by sensory input, e.g., I hear a noise and the thought, “The dog wants to go out,” arises. Other times, I hear the same noise, but no such thought appears, because attention is focused on other things. However, my body still gets up and opens the door for the dog without the thought being there.
Do you plan what you are going to think before you think it?
No. This would be like a cat chasing its tail. If I think, “I’m going to plan my thinking about my trip next week,” then in the planning, I’m already doing the thinking about the trip. Besides that, there would be the question of how the idea of planning my thinking about the trip even came up in the first place…
Try to suppress your next thought before it arises. Does it work?
This was fun to try, but a losing battle.
Is there is a thought that you can control?
No. I’m assuming that control means that I can select an exact moment for the thought to appear and to disappear. But, if I could do that, it would also mean that I am able to plan/predict the next thought, and to bring a thought into consciousness and to send it away again. None of these things can be done.
What can a thought do – what power does it have?
Absolutely none. That is very clear to me. I can have lots of “good intention” thoughts, like “I should mow the yard,” or “I should stop reading and go to sleep,” but none of those thoughts can make my body take action. However, at the right time, the body just does those things, often without the associated thought, even.
You experience thoughts, but do you experience the content? Is the content real?
No, the content is not real. The thought of something is just a representation or model of something, just like a toy car represents a real car, but you cannot sit in it and drive it. Some thoughts represent real things, like when I think about a bag of cookies in the pantry, and some represent un-real things, like a minotaur. Either way, I can’t eat the thought about cookies, and I’m not scared of the thought of meeting a minotaur.

Glad you’re here to guide me. Thanks!

Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:12 am

Hey Maria
What wonderful noticing’s here!
Of course, now I can see that thoughts stepping in is also autopilot, along with day dreaming and everything else that happens—it can’t be any other way! So for today—and every other day—I would say that 100% of my life is on autopilot.
Wow! OK – I want you to let this statement really settle in! Each time ‘you’ feel ‘you’ have done something, thought something etc. check – look – notice - where is the doer, where is the thinker, where is this person living my life? Where is the control and over what! OK.
Nope, can’t predict anything.
OK – think of a radio. The radio doesn’t have any idea what song is going to come out of it. No song is permanent and songs are constantly changing. Or a mirror – doesn’t have any choice on what reflection crosses it. Now – does the mirror or the radio have a preference of what song is playing or what reflection crosses it?

OK – so now look at what is experienced – each experience is a song or a reflection. What is noticed?
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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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:47 am

Hi, Sarah,
Each time ‘you’ feel ‘you’ have done something, thought something etc. check – look – notice - where is the doer, where is the thinker, where is this person living my life?
OK, worked with this today. Your last post about even controlling thoughts happening on autopilot really seemed to have broken down some kind of resistance. When I would think about the “doing” of things today, it always seemed to come back to the same thing—there is simply a job to be done, and this body/mind is the one that is doing it. Not doing it in the sense that “I” decided, but more like a wave going on the beach “does” things, like knocking down sand castles and getting towels wet. Not by deciding to, but just by being a wave. That may not be the best analogy, but what I’m trying to say is that it seems that situations arise and I respond. Period.
Now – does the mirror or the radio have a preference of what song is playing or what reflection crosses it?
No, it doesn’t.
OK – so now look at what is experienced – each experience is a song or a reflection. What is noticed?
What I noticed is that I am not as impartial as the radio and the mirror. Even knowing and believing intellectually that everything is the way it is supposed to be at all times, there are some experiences that I resist reflecting and some songs that I don’t want to play. The times that I do let everything be as it is, I feel very relaxed and happy, so I think that I need to learn to do this more. This seems right to say, but at the same time, I think, “Since I’m not in control, the resisting is just part of the experience that I’m having, right? So, why worry about it?”

Thanks for another day of guidance!
Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:53 am

Good morning Maria!
Not by deciding to, but just by being a wave. That may not be the best analogy, but what I’m trying to say is that it seems that situations arise and I respond.

It’s a beautiful analogy!
What I noticed is that I am not as impartial as the radio and the mirror. Even knowing and believing intellectually that everything is the way it is supposed to be at all times, there are some experiences that I resist reflecting and some songs that I don’t want to play. The times that I do let everything be as it is, I feel very relaxed and happy, so I think that I need to learn to do this more. This seems right to say, but at the same time, I think, “Since I’m not in control, the resisting is just part of the experience that I’m having, right? So, why worry about it?”
Wow Maria!
Is there a ‘you’ remembering to let everything be? Where is the ‘you’ that needs to learn to do this more?
Do you resist on purpose? Or does it just happen?
Is there a ‘you’ deciding to do the worrying or to ‘let be’? Or does it simply happen?
How can you actually change what is?
Notice what songs are played through you. That’s all that’s needed.
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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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:46 am

Aaagh! Why does something so simple seem so hard. It’s like every day you say, “There’s a log there.” And I say, “Yes, I see it.” And then I trip over it. Then you say, “There’s a log there.” And I say, “Yes, I really see it now.” And then I trip over it again. 

OK,
Is there a ‘you’ remembering to let everything be? Where is the ‘you’ that needs to learn to do this more?
Put that way, it seems absolutely ridiculous, like if I *didn’t* let everything be, then it wouldn’t?!? That’s a good one! What else could it be…LOL.
Do you resist on purpose? Or does it just happen?
Of course, I don’t resist on purpose; that would be self-defeating. I wouldn’t *want* to create pain for myself. I can also see that neither resistance nor acceptance is related to what happens in the end. For example, I may feel total acceptance of something I think should be done, yet never move a muscle to fulfill it. Likewise, I may feel every fiber of my being resist a thought of action, yet I find myself doing that very thing.

Resistance, like acceptance, just happens. It is just part of the song, not part of a listener to the song.
Is there a ‘you’ deciding to do the worrying or to ‘let be’? Or does it simply happen?
It happens.
How can you actually change what is?
Can’t. The key point here is that “what is” also includes the feelings of acceptance or rejection. There was this idea (that I didn’t even realize was there) that “I” needed to create a feeling of acceptance of everything “else” that is. Never even saw that this spiritual practice was actually a stumbling block.

Maybe the log moved a little bit. My shins are starting to hurt…

With much gratitude,
Maria

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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby Sarah7 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:52 am

Aaagh! Why does something so simple seem so hard. It’s like every day you say, “There’s a log there.” And I say, “Yes, I see it.” And then I trip over it. Then you say, “There’s a log there.” And I say, “Yes, I really see it now.” And then I trip over it again.
Good morning Maria and thanks for the laugher this morning! You are such a lovely writer!
Can’t. The key point here is that “what is” also includes the feelings of acceptance or rejection. There was this idea (that I didn’t even realize was there) that “I” needed to create a feeling of acceptance of everything “else” that is. Never even saw that this spiritual practice was actually a stumbling block.
OK – so keep watching one song follow another. Look at its patterns, its movements. Get curious about it! Have fun with it:)
Maybe the log moved a little bit. My shins are starting to hurt…
Yes its funny where we find expectations! Lurking in all the nooks and crannies. Onion peeling Maria! Layer by layer.

OK – so lets have a little look at sensory experience and we are going to start with seeing.

Describe the experience of seeing step-by-step. In seeing, what is being experienced? What is happening when "seeing" is happening? What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Go into detail. Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing.
Gaze at an object. Turn up that inner magnifying glass to observe what's happening in direct experience. Do you first perceive the object using some other sense, and then see it later? Can you find a dividing line between the object and the seeing of it? Or are the object and the seeing of it inseparable? Is there an entity called "you" experiencing the seeing? Can you find a dividing line between "you" and seeing? Is it an accurate description of direct experience? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and seer and an object? Or is there only seeing? What do you see about the thought, "I'm seeing that object"?

Try it with various sights e.g. out of the window at a distant view. See if you can find a way to separate the object from the seeing and the seeing from the seer. Where does one start and the other end? How many senses are there here - 1 or more?
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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patioliving
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Re: Request a guide to step through the Gate

Postby patioliving » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:48 am

This was VERY hard. I have considered most of these issues prior to today and got nowhere. I tried to let go of the previous experiences and start fresh. I gave it every spare moment today; still just as hard. I will give my best answers and trust that you will redirect where needed.

So, here we go: (I’ve re-ordered the questions when the answers seemed related.)
In seeing, what is being experienced?
I would say that objects are being experienced, because non-objects can’t be seen.
What is happening when "seeing" is happening?
An experience of the separateness of objects, e.g., seeing lets us know that the chair is different from the table is different from the bed, etc.
What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Go into detail.
Tried to think about this scientifically to see if it helped. I know the eyes take in the light, which is converted to an electrical signal that the brain interprets (and also simulates) in terms of color, distance, motion and perspective. Experientially, I have to say I’m kind of at a loss on these questions, except to say that seeing just happens. I get even more confused when I start thinking about the kind of seeing that happens in dreams—clearly the eyes and process just described aren’t even relevant in that case.
Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing.
Do you first perceive the object using some other sense, and then see it later?
How many senses are there here - 1 or more?
I do not detect that there is more than one sense, nor does there seem to be a multi-step process of perceiving, then seeing.

What I experience is that there first seems to be overall awareness of everything as one visual field. Then, the awareness focuses on a place in the field. There is no control over where the awareness will go, and it is generally shifting fairly quickly. For example, when sitting here, awareness has shifted from the screen to the keyboard, to the wall, to the floor, to the next room—all within a minute. After the focus, there may be a thought about the space/object of concentration, or there may not. However, the first seeing, along with the focus, are both just seeing. And the thought that may follow is NOT seeing, therefore, it seems like seeing is just one sense/one step.
Or are the object and the seeing of it inseparable?
Yes, definitely seem to be inseparable.
Is there an entity called "you" experiencing the seeing?
I seems like the body is experiencing seeing.
Can you find a dividing line between "you" and seeing?
I get tangled up here, because it feels like the body is the dividing line, because I can see things in front of me, but I can’t see anything behind me. But if I consider only what’s being seen at the moment, which is what I think you’re asking, then it seems like space is the dividing line.
Is it an accurate description of direct experience? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and seer and an object?
I would say there seems to be a seer and an object.
Or is there only seeing? What do you see about the thought, "I'm seeing that object"?
I know there is supposed to be only seeing, but I don’t experience it that way right now, so I have to say that “I’m seeing that object” is accurate at the moment. I hope you can provide some guidance to help me “see.” 

Just read back over my answers and see I said the object and seeing of it are inseparable; so if that’s inseparable, maybe you’re going to say, “How can there be a dividing line…”? My brain hurts!

Looking forward to clarification…your dedication to the task is greatly appreciated!

Maria


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