Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:10 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
Recommendation

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
For the last 2 years I have become increasingly convinced that a sense of self is nothing more than an illusion. This is a concept I have realised intellectually and have sought to deepen this awareness so that it is accepted at an emotional and physical level as well as a mental one. Having read around the subject and discussed it extensively I still feel that I have not reached an abiding state. It would be great if someone was willing to sit along side and guide me in this journey.

What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?:
A deeper awareness of the untrueness of self

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:08 pm

Hello abidingnda,

I am following up from the other string.

To begin, I will share some guidelines to make the process clearer for you. Please read them and respond back to confirm you are comfortable with them.

1. This is your journey. I am a Guide. I am not a teacher, guru or therapist. We walk together and I keep pointing the way. You make the journey. My pointing mostly will take the form of questions that I will ask and you will answer.
2. I am in the Mountain Time Zone in the USA. I will read your posts in the afternoon my time, consider them, then pose the questions and make comments once per day. I would like to do this in a way you will have time to consider the questions before you respond. Please confirm back your timezone so we can coordinate this well.
3. Confirm you will be able to post once per day. When posting, you are committed to responding from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). You understand that long winded analytical or philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
4. You commit to responding to questions with utmost honesty.
5. You are comfortable setting aside all other teachings, philosophies and “isms” for the remainder of this investigation. This means you will put all your effort and attention into seeing reality as it is here in this investigation. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please read our disclaimer and have a look at the introductory materials: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

The quote function helps smooth the communication process. Instructions are here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660” Try it by “quoting” the items 1 through 6 back to me and confirming you are comfortable with the guidelines.

As a small administrative tip, on the bottom of the page in the blue navigation bar you will see a link that says “Subscribe Topic” just to the right of where it says “Board Index.” If you click that you will get an email when I post a response for you. I enable it and find it helpful.

I look forward to working with you.

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:29 pm

Hi QuantSelfLaFont,

many thanks for your reply. I have read the guidelines and am 100% comfortable with them.
1. This is your journey. I am a Guide. I am not a teacher, guru or therapist. We walk together and I keep pointing the way. You make the journey. My pointing mostly will take the form of questions that I will ask and you will answer.
Understood
2
. I am in the Mountain Time Zone in the USA. I will read your posts in the afternoon my time, consider them, then pose the questions and make comments once per day. I would like to do this in a way you will have time to consider the questions before you respond. Please confirm back your timezone so we can coordinate this well.
GMT - I am in the south west of England
3. Confirm you will be able to post once per day. When posting, you are committed to responding from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). You understand that long winded analytical or philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
I will be glad to do this
4. You commit to responding to questions with utmost honesty.
100%
5. You are comfortable setting aside all other teachings, philosophies and “isms” for the remainder of this investigation. This means you will put all your effort and attention into seeing reality as it is here in this investigation. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
Very comfortable to do this
6. Please read our disclaimer and have a look at the introductory materials: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
Read and Understood.

For out correspondence please call me Jonathan. Look forward to hearing from you.

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:03 am

You can call me Paul.

In your first post you said:
I have not reached an abiding state.
Question: What do you think will happen once you reach an abiding state? How will you change?

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:50 am

What do you think will happen once you reach an abiding state? How will you change?
My idea of the abiding state is that I will utterly and completely appreciate that my previous belief that I existed was wholly illusory. This being the case there should be no reason to seek reassurance about self worth. What value has an illusion got? Why would an imaginary entity need reassurance - it would be like writing to Captain America to tell him what a great guy he is, or giving sacrifices to god. That is just stupid.

I gave thought to this lying awake early this morning after you sent the question. The earliest I could remember really suffering from having my sense of self challenged was when, at the age of 8, the girl I usually walked home from school with decided she would much prefer the company of another boy from my class. I was utterly devastated. Cried inconsolably. That sense of utter loss and anguish was simply due to a sense of worthlessness - a desperate fear of not really being who I hoped I was, and perhaps knowing that the truth lay deeper - that “I” am truly worthless to the point of genuinely being nothing. But even just lying there and remembering I felt that fear and sense of loss aching in my chest. I know it is not real but the emotions still persist. Sitting alongside that feeling and just noticing it felt like the right thing to do. Maybe this how it works,the visceral reaction did fade after some time.

I know I don’t exist but I still need to feel liked and loved, how does that work??

The other things I feel will happen are a) an end to pandering to my egoic state - which to some extent I have looked at above, and b) surrendering completely to “now” by accepting that everything at any given moment is exactly as it should be. I certainly didn’t feel very accepting when I was stuck behind a refuse truck this morning on a narrow lane! c) having a sense of being at one with everything.

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:46 pm

A healthy list of expectations. Thanks for taking the time to compile it. Reflecting it back:
I will utterly and completely appreciate that my previous belief that I existed was wholly illusory.
<relief from> need to feel liked and loved
an end to pandering to my egoic state
surrendering completely to “now”
having a sense of being at one with everything
Some of these things may occur. Or they may not.

Focussing on one, the being in the "now" - we're going to work with Direct Experience. I will describe my Direct Experience right now:

Seat pushing against backside, keys on Mac clicking against finger tips as typing, wife's voice to right front, father-in-law to right rear, microwave beeping, warmth in belly, slight niggle in neck.

Exercise: When behind the refuse truck on the narrow lane, tell me what you remember was happening in Direct Experience. Describe the experience.

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Exercise: When behind the refuse truck...

Postby abidingnda » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:08 pm

Exercise: When behind the refuse truck on the narrow lane, tell me what you remember was happening in Direct Experience. Describe the experience.
A refuse truck pulls out in front of my small electric car, my stomach tightens and feels nauseous at the wave of putrid stench, my chest tightens at the thought that the refuse tip is 4 miles down the Road. I grin, laughing at these thoughts. My hands relax on the steering wheel, I hope that he will be taking another direction. I slow the car a little and watch as the truck lurches further away. I imagine honking my horn, getting the truck to stop and confronting the driver about pulling out (even though it was his right of way). An imaginary conversation reals off in my head, which ends with me angrily scolding him for being so inconsiderate. My heartbeat accelerates and again I laugh at the absurdity of remonstrating with an imaginary tormentor. HE probably doesn’t even know I am behind him. The truck turns right, down my favourite cut through to work. My internal dialogue chastises him for being such an idiot. “Doesn’t he realise that his vehicle is too wide for that lane? At this time in the morning he is bound to hold up oncoming traffic and even worse - slow me down even more! Doesn’t he realise people might be late for work?!”. Again my chest tightens and my feet twitch on the brake and accelerator. He slows down ahead of me and begins an awkward negotiation with an oncoming car. My head shakes in disgusted resignation and as my lips tighten in grimace. I imagine how uneducated and selfish the driver is. Squeezing wheels across the shrubbery that borders the road a flustered old man emerges in a honda from the side of the truck. We exchange glances and my hand is raised in sympathy as he passes me. I haul in a deep breath and a sigh escapes my lungs. The air is cold and I notice my breath is misting up the inside of the window. My fingers click on the screen demister. The electric motor that drives the car whirs.
The rays of the morning sun play on the dashboard and I squint during the short descent towards the main Road. The truck ahead pulls out quickly and I relax as I near the junction, again smiling at my previous irritation, thinking of being in the moment. I suddenly notice that a huge double decker bus is bearing down towards me from the right. The front of my car is slightly protruding into the road and my eyes widen as the monster rumbles past, barely missing me. I breath deeply and notice my foot rammed firm to the brake pedal and my hands tinged white at the knuckle, clasping the wheel. My heart beats fast. My head turns right and left as cars zip past from the left and right. When the road falls momentarily silent my foot releases the brake and transfers to the accelerator. The road winds clear ahead and I relax feeling the warm plastic surface of the seat and the electric whine increases in pitch and the wind whistles faster. My guts leap briefly as I mount the top of the hill and drop down towards the village ahead. The refuse truck has gone.

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:57 am

Ok, reread your very full story, and look at what I have pulled out as Direct Experience. Here is Direct Experience:
stomach tightens and feels nauseous
chest tightens
heartbeat accelerates
chest tightens and my feet twitch on the brake and accelerator.
head shakes
rays of the .. sun play on the dashboard---squint
double decker bus is bearing down towards me from the right.
heart beats fast.
warm plastic surface of the seat
EVERYTHING else is a mind creating a clever story.

Exercise: Reread your response and compare it to what I have consolidated above. Think about that comparison.

Question: When you say that your "internal dialogue chastises him for being such an idiot" ... who is having the internal dialogue?

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:39 am

Exercise: Reread your response and compare it to what I have consolidated above. Think about that comparison.
Hi Paul, I understand what you mean. Most of what was written was indirect, subjective interpretation. What you have identified has nothing to do with “me” or with the refuse truck. It is simply what was actually perceived in the moment. If it is OK I will give that another try…

Stomach tightens, feels nauseous, chest tightens. Hands relax, foot lifts. Heartbeat accelerates. Laughing muscles contract, heartbeat slows. Chest tightens and feet twitch. Lungs inhale cold air. Fingers twist control. Motor whirs. Sunshine on dashboard - squint. Shoulders relax.Double decker bus bears down towards me. Hands grip, foot pushes down, heart beats fast. Foot relaxes and changes position. Warm plastic of seat. Whine and whistling of wind.Guts move.
Question: When you say that your "internal dialogue chastises him for being such an idiot" ... who is having the internal dialogue?
There is no one having an internal dialogue - it is just thoughts, arising, disappearing, forgotten. this is what is so baffling - there is no one speaking and none to listen. I know this, and yet the thoughts arose. Maybe it just doesn’t matter - perhaps they are a relic of an old habit. Perhaps it is just a question of allowing these old patterns to pass through and fizzle out. The trick is to remember to be aware. As you have subtly pointed out, in direct experience there are no words :)

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:59 pm

Most of what was written was indirect, subjective interpretation.
Yes. You got it.
Stomach tightens, feels nauseous, chest tightens. Hands relax, foot lifts. Heartbeat accelerates. Laughing muscles contract, heartbeat slows. Chest tightens and feet twitch. Lungs inhale cold air. Fingers twist control. Motor whirs. Sunshine on dashboard - squint. Shoulders relax.Double decker bus bears down towards me. Hands grip, foot pushes down, heart beats fast. Foot relaxes and changes position. Warm plastic of seat. Whine and whistling of wind.Guts move.
Direct Experience. Nicely done.
There is no one having an internal dialogue - it is just thoughts, arising, disappearing, forgotten. this is what is so baffling - there is no one speaking and none to listen. I know this, and yet the thoughts arose.
Thoughts arise.
Perhaps it is just a question of allowing these old patterns to pass through and fizzle out. The trick is to remember to be aware.
Question: What improvement is expected when patterns fizzle and you remember?

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:43 pm

Question: What improvement is expected when patterns fizzle and you remember?
Patterns was probably the wrong word to use. Looking at it now these are just thoughts that by their nature arise and... "fizzle". So, in direct experience it is enough simply to directly experience thought, notice them arise, notice them pass without expectation. If I expect something it is just another thought doing the expecting. This makes me feel a bit dizzy... THERE IS NOTHING TO EXPECT. Stomach feels nauseous, fingers and toes tingle. Mouth grins. Gratefulness :)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:45 pm

Patterns was probably the wrong word to use. Looking at it now these are just thoughts that by their nature arise and... "fizzle". So, in direct experience it is enough simply to directly experience thought, notice them arise, notice them pass without expectation. If I expect something it is just another thought doing the expecting.... THERE IS NOTHING TO EXPECT
Great insight. Good.

Question: What does the word "I" point to, here and now?

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:02 am

Question: What does the word "I" point to, here and now?
This is getting to the essence of what is gong on. There is no "I", and yet the thought of it not being there is profoundly disturbing. Here and now, just thinking about 'no I' stirs my stomach. It is almost as if that fear of being nothing is the 'I'. It is only a thought, without substance. I observe it the nausea. I can hear 'Junior Bakeoff' in the background, I take a break to give my daughter the headphones, return to the 'no I' thought - this isn't comfortable. The discomfort moves to my chest. Questioning thoughts arise - "Why is this illusion so persistent?", "Does it have a purpose?", "Is it just part of what it is to be human?","Why is it fighting for it's life?", "Is there any point to life without it?". The answers are easy - This is THE THOUGHT - THE IDEA THAT HAS INFORMED MY EXISTENCE ALL MY LIFE, an entrenched habit hanging around like a bad smell. It fights for it's life because that is it's reason for being. The "I" is a self feeding parasite. That is what this feeling is like, it is how I would feel if I had a huge parasitic worm in my stomach. It stirs because it has been noticed, it writhes because it is in danger. The illusion is starting to unravel. Just noticing it is doing the trick. There is no point in life without it - life has no point. It is this idea of "I" that feeds all life purposes. It is the engine that drives imagined goals, imagined success, vanity, despair and disappointment."Can I live without it?" - no! I must die with it. It now feels like a thousand dark shadows hammering on the inner walls of my chest. It is a dark and lonely place that is left. Sadness. There to be observed. Breathing deeply. WIll leave off writing... need to sit with this and let this take it's course.

User avatar
QuantSelfLaFont
Posts: 765
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:23 pm
Location: Denver, CO USA

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby QuantSelfLaFont » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:01 pm

Superb noticing here. Let's walk through it.
There is no "I", and yet the thought of it not being there is profoundly disturbing. Here and now, just thinking about 'no I' stirs my stomach. It is almost as if that fear of being nothing is the 'I'.
This reaction occurs often in others who have walked this path. We use an analogy to point to what happens to "I" when you See and you can explore it with this next question.

Question1: When a child who believes in Santa Clause finds out Santa is not real, how does that child's relationship to Santa change?
I can hear 'Junior Bakeoff' in the background, I take a break to give my daughter the headphones, return to the 'no I' thought - this isn't comfortable. The discomfort moves to my chest.
This is good habit, when emotions in this process arise move to Direct Experience and describe that.
The "I" is a self feeding parasite. That is what this feeling is like, it is how I would feel if I had a huge parasitic worm in my stomach. It stirs because it has been noticed, it writhes because it is in danger.
Exercise: Parse this description into the poetic story elements and Direct Experience. What is the sensation based Direct Experience in a moment of awareness like this?

Good work here, thanks for the effort and digging in.

User avatar
abidingnda
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Re: Seeking an abiding awareness of no self

Postby abidingnda » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:43 am

Question1: When a child who believes in Santa Clause finds out Santa is not real, how does that child's relationship to Santa change?


From being a real and tangible figure, someone who you might someday see or meet, Santa becomes a fictional character like any other concocted entity in a play or a book. He is demoted from what is seen as real - someone who the child has a relationship with and holds accountable for their expectations - to a source of curiosity and amusement. The child then sees others, who still believe in Santa, as silly and naive. THAT IS ME - I AM SANTA! (mouth laughs) I remember being pretty angry with my brother for pointing out that santa didn’t exist - and he had to provide some very strong evidence (ie witnessing my dad delivering the gifts). It was very disappointing and distressing. But I wasn’t disappointed with Santa - he just disappeared.
Again I feel saddened by this, the idea that ‘I’ am nothing more that a child’s fairy tail that only a child could believe in. I am noticing a heavy feeling in my chest, chest heaves and I hear a sigh. There is a sense of quietness in my body. Heartbeat and breathing slow.Hands are warm and tingly.
The "I" is a self feeding parasite. That is what this feeling is like, it is how I would feel if I had a huge parasitic worm in my stomach. It stirs because it has been noticed, it writhes because it is in danger.


Exercise: Parse this description into the poetic story elements and Direct Experience. What is the sensation based Direct Experience in a moment of awareness like this?
Sensation based on direct awareness:
Stomach stirs with a writhing sensation
Poetic mumbo jumbo:
The "I" is a self feeding parasite. That is what this feeling is like, it is how I would feel if I had a huge parasitic worm in my stomach. It stirs because it has been noticed, it writhes because it is in danger.
Thankyou for gently pointing out the vanity of the poetry.


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests