Guide Request

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Bloss123
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Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:39 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
Doubt has crept in whispering “you need a teacher – someone who can guide you, you can’t do this yourself – why do you think you can?” I didn’t know where to look and wasn’t sure this was true. Felt I need to make more effort and a few months ago the calm and deepening ‘presence’ I was experiencing appeared to become more fragile in response to all this “effort” and I would like some guidance as there’s sometimes a feeling of experiencing the illusion of a separate self . Is there? Or is it my imagination? What do I know! I have heard about this through my partner and have read Gateless Gatecrashers. Joyful emotions bubble up when reading the questions being asked and a feeling of ‘freefall’ begins. I would welcome guidance please

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
Meditating and exploring dharma for over 20 years, the last ten years of which I withdrew from a group I had practiced with initially and tried other traditions. There was the feeling that “the truth” wasn’t this complicated and didn’t need the organised structures and rituals and this continual searching as if something was wrong with all of us. About four years ago I was sitting with a group and couldn’t listen to all the stories and psychological discussion anymore and didn’t go back. Felt the relief of being honest with myself, for if I couldn’t be honest with this what was the use. Didn’t join anything, and just continued trying to be with my experience and watch the stories that came up in meditation and in my daily life. Someone pointed me in the direction of Catherine Ingram’s book ‘Passionate Presence’. Her experiences resonated with me.

What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?
The direct and open communication I’ve read in "Gateless Gatecrashers". To have an opportunity to do this is amazing and I would love to have this opportunity.

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:14 pm

Hi Bloss,

I'm Neroli and I'd be happy to be your guide :) There are a few things that we need to go over to begin the guiding process but rather than inundate you with a wad of words straight up, I'll just say hello to get connected and we'll go from there.

Thanks for sharing the information about what brings you here. If you're happy to go on to the next step, let me know and we'll begin.

Cheers,
Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:00 pm

Hi Neroli

Thank you for replying to my request so quickly and offering to be my guide. I am very happy to go on to the next step

best wishes
Bloss

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:10 am

Hi Bloss,

Great, to have you here, we're on a roll! You might have responded right after I sent my first message but I've only just come back to the forum now. Just to let you know, I'll check in once to twice a day, generally when I start my day on the laptop in the morning and then in the evening. I'll definitely be here on a daily basis.

Before we begin, here are the few house-keeping rules that need to be gone through...

You and I simply have a chat, the aim of which will be for you to make the 'realisation' and shift in perspective that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong. :)

This process is a guided inquiry where specific areas of experience can be examined. I am not your teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

• You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!" 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, you look, until clear seeing happens.
• In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
• Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong answers.
• Responses are best from Direct Experience (D.E.); the felt senses such as seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching/feeling and observed thoughts - as opposed to memory-thoughts, beliefs, ideas. (Read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)
• Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and streams of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
• Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder 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 is fine to continue that.
• Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?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 you have seen, and agree to the above, and are happy to begin the process with me as your guide - then we shall 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 a reply, here.

2) The site has a 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 (word document), then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

And that will be the last long post between us!

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find. I know you've already answered some of these. Please forgive any overlap, it is to help you begin to really LOOK, SEE, and UNDERSTAND.

So tell me, what's your gut response when you read this:

There is no self whatsoever, in any shape or form. There never has been, and there never will be.

And please answer theses questions from DIRECT EXPERIENCE only.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?

Chat soon,

Cheers,
Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:20 pm

Hi Neroli
Yes, I have seen the house-keeping rules, agree with them and am happy to begin!

OK - my expectations - at the moment there are somersaults in my stomach just thinking about the process - expecting the process to be one of release

I am searching for release from the stories that bind me into the protective self

How will I know that I've found it? I don't know!

How will this feel? I don't know!

How will this change me? I don't know!

best wishes

Bloss

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:38 pm

Thanks for giving the all clear for the house keeping rules Bloss.

As far as expectations go, it doesn't sound like you have a lot of them given the "not knowing" responses to how it will feel, how you will know you've found it and how it will make a difference...

Having an expectation of release is nothing unusual. There's no saying or knowing how seeing that there is no separate self will look or feel, it's different for everyone.

All we'll do here throughout the whole process is look to see clearly that there is no "you".

The discovery that there is no separate self and never was could be likened to finding out there is no Easter Bunny. It doesn't essentially cause us to experience life all that differently...it's just seeing clearly that the Easter Bunny or separate self isn't real and never was and life keeps happening.

So, let's move on.

Please read the following statements, reflect on them and respond to them from your direct experience.

1: Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And 2:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


cheers :) Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:34 pm

Hi Neroli

1. Nothing exists outside the present moment. Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?

I can say that nothing exists outside the present moment and thoughts, imagination, stories, planning arise in the moment. I see that the present moment is constantly changing as well.

2. How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Using my direct experience now I find a sense of ‘self’ in the middle of my body – around my solar plexus and heart. But then it shifts to my head as thoughts come in. This morning I noticed a more ‘solid’ sense of self in situations which were more awkward – like a protection coming up as a heaviness and a closing down of spaciousness and reaching for something else.

Look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?

I’m trying to identify ‘self’ in the flow; can’t grasp anything specific – there are experiences of thoughts, emotions, actions all arising. I am looking for someone experiencing all this. Feel “I” am experiencing it because I’m responding to thoughts, emotions and acting in certain ways. Yet, there doesn’t seem any solid self I could describe from which all these thoughts, emotions and actions are arising to begin with. In fact I’m experiencing them arising from somewhere else? Feel a bit spaced out - but OK!

best wishes
Bloss

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi Bloss,

Thanks for your responses. Great work, you're doing really well :) Let's have a look at some stuff...

You've actually answered the questions I have to ask about your first response in your second response....but just to ensure you really see (from your second response it sounds like you already do) I'm going to ask you to look once more and respond to this...
Using my direct experience now I find a sense of ‘self’ in the middle of my body – around my solar plexus and heart. But then it shifts to my head as thoughts come in.
1. When you're finding a "self" in the middle of your body, then this same "self" moves to your head as thoughts come in...can you tell me if this "self" is in your body? Does a separate entity of "self" exist within your physical body?

2. Or does this "self" exist in thought because it moved to your head when thoughts came in?
I’m trying to identify ‘self’ in the flow; can’t grasp anything specific – there are experiences of thoughts, emotions, actions all arising. I am looking for someone experiencing all this. Feel “I” am experiencing it because I’m responding to thoughts, emotions and acting in certain ways. Yet, there doesn’t seem any solid self I could describe from which all these thoughts, emotions and actions are arising to begin with. In fact I’m experiencing them arising from somewhere else?
Reading this sounds like you've actually answered the questions already, looking for someone experiencing and not finding any solid self you can describe...I'd love it if you can confirm from a second good look if this is the case...

3. Are the thoughts, emotions. actions arising from a separate self or from somewhere else?

4.If the thoughts, emotions and actions are arising from somewhere else, can you say where they're coming from?

Have fun looking Bloss, it's a great game :)

Chat soon,

Cheers,
Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:42 pm

Hi Neroli

Thank you for your reply and ongoing support - this is amazing! Here are my replies...

1. When you're finding a "self" in the middle of your body, then this same "self" moves to your head as thoughts come in...can you tell me if this "self" is in your body? Does a separate entity of "self" exist within your physical body?

2. Or does this "self" exist in thought because it moved to your head when thoughts came in?

Sitting with this now, I am now feeling that “self” doesn’t move to my head or body, but awareness does. The more I look and sit with this I can’t find any separate entity of “self” in my physical body. Sensations and thoughts arise – seemingly out of nowhere!

Ah, just been pondering this as I was going to say awareness “finds” the thoughts and sensations but the more I look, it seems that they are arising out of awareness. I’m not sure “awareness” is the word. It seems to bring in another entity and the feeling isn’t separate like that. It feels large and more spacious with just a sense of being alive!


3. Are the thoughts, emotions. actions arising from a separate self or from somewhere else?

4.If the thoughts, emotions and actions are arising from somewhere else, can you say where they're coming from?

There’s a sense that the thoughts, emotions and actions are just beaming in, or arising.
Where they come from I don’t know, they just seem to arise. At first it felt that they arose when “I” gave “them” “my” attention – but now, looking more, the experience is that I don’t know when they are going to arise! Thoughts, emotions and even actions are arising and fading away in their own time. There’s observing/watching going on but they have arisen before being observed. There’s a sense that there’s this aliveness, that’s the best I can explain it at the moment.

best wishes
Bloss

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:34 pm

Hi again Bloss :)

You're doing wonderfully with the looking and seeing, by the end of each message, you're seeing very clearly that there is no entity or self directing the experience...this has showed in the last 2 responses...
there are experiences of thoughts, emotions, actions all arising. I am looking for someone experiencing all this. Feel “I” am experiencing it because I’m responding to thoughts, emotions and acting in certain ways. Yet, there doesn’t seem any solid self I could describe from which all these thoughts, emotions and actions are arising to begin with. In fact I’m experiencing them arising from somewhere else?
There’s a sense that the thoughts, emotions and actions are just beaming in, or arising.
Where they come from I don’t know, they just seem to arise. At first it felt that they arose when “I” gave “them” “my” attention – but now, looking more, the experience is that I don’t know when they are going to arise! Thoughts, emotions and even actions are arising and fading away in their own time. There’s observing/watching going on but they have arisen before being observed. There’s a sense that there’s this aliveness, that’s the best I can explain it at the moment.
So when you look, these thoughts, emotions and actions appear to be just happening, without a self or entity controlling them. Even when looking, you notice they are happening regardless of whether you are looking or not...the activity of looking is not making any of this happen.

I feel like you've got this pretty clearly Bloss...I'm going to move on to another few questions...just keep playing the game as you are, just looking at what's really there and seeing, that's all there is to it :)

When you're looking and seeing there is just aliveness happening, we're going to see if there is any separation between you and the things you are experiencing...this is a process of going through each of the senses...

Sight, sounds, taste, touch and smell.

When you look at something, is there any separation between seeing and what is seen?

When you listen to sounds, is there any separation between hearing and the sound?

When you taste something, is there any separation between the experience of tasting and tasting happening?

When you smell something, is there any separation between the smell and smelling?

Great work Bloss,

Chat soon,

Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:11 pm

Hi Neroli

OK .....

Sight: when I look at something there's no separation between seeing and what is seen. That is my direct experience. Thoughts can arise bringing labels and names, but these labels aren't what is seen - they are just labels and at the moment I can clearly see them as such and these labels arise and fade - of no consequence to seeing.

Sounds: when I listen to sounds there is just the sound. Again thoughts bring stories about the sound, but these aren't what I am experiencing now, at this moment. There is just sound with no separation. The labels and stories bring about the separation.

Tasting: Closed my eyes for this one and found that when I taste something there is just taste. The sensation of the taste can be different tastes, but there are just different taste" happenings". No separation between the experience of tasting and taste happening.

Smelling: Smell and smelling are not separate. This is really interesting. As if smell is smelling is smell!

It's difficult to express some of these experiences! But wow!

best wishes

Bloss

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:24 pm

Nice work Bloss, you know, you're seeing clearly everywhere that there is no separate self...it's just not showing up...so there's some more questions to ask, but it seems very clear from your responses so far that no separate self is showing up when you look.

You're seeing that thought labels things as they arise, and sensations arise from nowhere you're able to pin down and they all pass on and all of this keeps happening all the time.

Just to look under and in all the hiding places, we'll look at a few more things.

It's clear that when we breathe, blink, digest food etc. there's no 'I' involved, but how is it for you when you do other physical actions or activities?

How is it when doing various everyday things like brushing your teeth, reading, typing, walking or driving? As you go through some everyday actions and activities, look closely and let me know if you can find any "you" controlling those actions? Is there a "self" involved in doing these actions/activities at all? From deciding to do the action/activity through to carrying it out - can you find a self deciding or directing or controlling the action?

Have fun and chat soon :)

Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:12 pm

Hi Neroli

OK. Can I leave my reply to this one until tomorrow (Saturday) evening please - so that I have time to investigate this? !!

best wishes
Sue

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Anna77
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Anna77 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:51 am

Sure Bloss,

No worries. Just remember you don't think about it, just do it in a relaxed way, like a fun investigation...no need "try" with this stuff :)

Cheers,
Neroli

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Bloss123
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Bloss123 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:24 pm

Hi Neroli

No. I can't find any "me" controlling or a 'self' deciding or directing the actions. This was my initial experience and made me laugh out loud, but wanted to really know that it was true - it was so amazing. Aliveness, life is unfolding with the sense that all is just as it needs to be. Life just unfolding, there's a sense of living with unbound potential! I feel that choices arise and intuitively there's knowing of what feels right. I hope that makes sense! I feel I am in a flow of life and also part of that flow.

best wishes

Sue


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