Guide Requested!

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waveoflove
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Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:39 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I have read Gateless Gatecrashers at a friends request. I was intrigued, but it took me awhile to actually get up the nerve to want to have someone point for me.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this: I've been a seeker . . . and frankly I'm exhausted. While I don't want to stop learning and growing, I want move on from the idea that I'm missing something which has fueled my seeking and been a large source of fear and anxiety. I feel my obsession with seeking has removed me further from life, while getting me nowhere. I'd like a foundation . . . to get to a place where I feel my feet are under me and I can go from there.

I have a lot of intellectual knowledge, but not much experience. I don't want to BELIEVE there is no such thing as a separate self, I want to KNOW.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I grew up Christian. About 2 years ago, I felt I had a major realization that my whole problem was my ego. I easily saw that it was the source of all my issues and so I set about trying everything . . . "Killing" it, dissolving it, transcending it . . . even seeing that it doesn't exist. I've read and listened to TONS of ideas . . . Eckhart Tolle, A Course In Miracles, David Hawkins, Hindu and Buddhist ideas . . .
I feel that I "Get" this idea of no separate self . . . but I don't know it from experience.

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:33 am

HI there.

Welcome to LU, and thanks for the information provided.
I don't want to BELIEVE there is no such thing as a separate self, I want to KNOW.
I feel that I "Get" this idea of no separate self . . . but I don't know it from experience.
When we look - in first-hand direct experience - we find that it's exactly the opposite way around. That a(n apparent) separate self is only found in thought and belief, that no such thing can ever be found in experience.

What comes up when you read that? (sensations, feelings, rather than reasoning).

If you would like to explore this together with me, this is what we will test out in practical ways.

CHeers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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waveoflove
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:10 am

Thank you Mark!

What you wrote makes me feel insecure, frustrated and a feeling of slight claustrophobia . . . like the "I" thought is an obsessive thinking pattern that has confined me and I can't escape from.

This is where I feel I "Get" it intellectually . . . I know that the only place it can be found is in thought and belief. Yet I still have a strong sense of a self, doer, thinker. I know Santa Claus doesn't exist as more than a thought/belief . . . but I don't find myself continually forgetting and believing Santa Claus is real . . . the belief and seeming reality of Santa both are gone. However, with self, I'd say the belief is gone, but I still experience it as a reality.

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:57 am

Hi There, and thanks for your response. This immediacy and honesty is just what is needed, and we we look further into these feelings, as this is not primarily an intellectual discovery, but an experiential one, involving emotions and sensations as well as understanding.

Before going any further, though, please watch the introductory videos, read the disclaimer on the home page (f you haven't already) and agree to some standard ground rules:

1. Post at least once every second day, even if only to say, "still here!" If you can't for some reason, just let me know.
2. There is no teacher here; all I do is point. You look, until seeing is clear.
3. Look deeply and sincerely, then respond with 100% honesty. There are no wrong or right answers.
4. Respond simply and directly from immediate personal experience only (felt senses and observed thoughts). Avoid long-winded analytical and philosophical and stream-of-consciousness answers which may even hinder progress.
5. Please put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation, even leaving aside other people's LU threads. Really put all your attention into looking for yourself into this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above, agree to them, and would still like to be guided - then we'll begin.

Some practical tips about posting in this forum.

1. When clicking 'Post Reply' at the bottom of the page you get the editor where you can type an answer. You can also preview the answer before it is posted. Experiment as much as needed. Nothing gets posted unless the 'Submit' button is clicked.
2. The forum can log you out without warning. If you're typing a post directly in the edit box here, and you get logged out before you click Submit, your words can get lost. There are two ways to avoid this. One, use the Preview button frequently. That will keep you logged in. Or two, type your responses in a separate program like Notepad first, then copy and paste them into the forum. (But that way you don't get to use the quote function and have to use BBCode to highlight quotes.)
3. The 'Quote' facility, is a very useful tool when replying (there is a post about this at the top of the 'Gate' forum), so worthwhile getting familiar with how to use that.
4. To ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in, click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page.
5. It could be handy to know which time zone you are in. I am in France: Central European Time (= GMT+1).

Cheers

Mark

PS what would you like me to call you?
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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waveoflove
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:25 am

Sounds Good! It's all done.

I'm in the Pacific Time Zone.

You can call me Tyler.

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:04 pm

That's great Tyler,

As I'm sure you know, fears and resistances can be either a) (when run away from) what keeps us boxed into the status quo, or b) (when embraced and looked at) what liberates us into this experience of WHAT IS! So, a little bit scary, a little bit exciting.
What you wrote makes me feel insecure, frustrated and a feeling of slight claustrophobia . . . like the "I" thought is an obsessive thinking pattern that has confined me and I can't escape from.
So here's a procedure for Looking Into Resistances, which can be used at any time: maybe you'd like to try it with these sensations, if they are still there:
1. Notice the resistance, along with any story/narrative which seems to accompany it, like the one mentioned in your quote above: "The I thought has confined me and I can't escape from it".
2. Now focus on the feeling itself, noticing all the bodily sensations, their location, qualities, apparent shape, even colour, movement etc. Give this time. No need to fight them.
3. Notice how the sensations are ALREADY noticed bodily, and so, in a certain sense are already accepted.
4. Ask them if they have come to show you something and then leave a space for any images or other explanations to arise. If not, that's fine; if so, thank them, and notice any further sensations which arise from these.
5. Just notice the sensations staying as long as they want to, and subside or leave whenever they want to.

Make notes and then let me know what comes up with this.

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:08 pm

PS... oh, and keep breathing gently and deeply as you do the exercise.

M
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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waveoflove
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:53 pm

Before you sent these last couple points, my mind was busy reframing the narrative in a more "accurate" way as to what I feel. The narrative that gives me a claustrophobic feeling is the sense that I am seeing all life through the lens of "I", whereas reality is what is when this lens is removed. Ok, now on to the other points . . .

2. When I focus on the feeling of the narrative, I feel a sadness that seems to well up right behind my eyes. I clearly feel victimized by this "Lens". Like, I was born with this lens, didn't ask for the lens and now being told that reality is nothing like I see behind this lens . . . yet I can't seem to remove it. I feel a victim to my my perception in this. I also feel guilty.

3. I'm not totally sure I understand point three. Sometimes this sensation of "Sadness" is there, but not always. Are you saying that my "Sadness" I feel through sensation is a confirmation of the narrative I already believe?

4. When I ask if they've come to show me anything, I feel the sadness intensify to the point of tears at which point my mind seems to go cloudy and out of focus as if it's intentionally trying to keep any "Answer" coming through in the form of any image or explanation.

5. The sensations don't seem to stay or go when they want to. They seem to be inflamed when I followed the above steps and go when I move on and go about my day. Maybe I misunderstood something?

Thanks!

T

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:19 am

Hi Tyler,

Thanks for that: a good start to this exercise. Just relax with it all.

In our looking we are going to distinguish between two aspects of experience: 1. is all thought-matter, the logical assumptions, interpretations, mental commentary, memories, imaginations, labels and descriptions applied to experiences. These we will label (T) for thought. And 2. is the raw sensations felt via the senses: eg a fizzing sound, a chair-under-legs-and-bottom sensation, contracted feeling in the stomach, These are what we call the 'direct experience', which we'll label (E). what is left when all labels and descriptions are removed (except that we'll have to use at least some labels in order to communicate them!)

This whole Looking into Resistance can be a positive exercise.

So, in 2:-
When I focus on the feeling of the narrative, I feel a sadness that seems to well up right behind my eyes. I clearly feel victimized by this "Lens". Like, I was born with this lens, didn't ask for the lens and now being told that reality is nothing like I see behind this lens . . . yet I can't seem to remove it. I feel a victim to my my perception in this. I also feel guilty.
The (E) sensations are what are arising behind the eyes (with a label of 'sadness' and 'eyes', right? This is what can be noticed, observed with curiosity. The rest, including the mention of victim and guilt, is the labelling and narrative (T) accompanying the sensations themselves (E). That's not to diminish the (T) part, just to notice that it is mind-narrative commenting on what is actually being experienced (that 'behind-the eyes' sensation). ok? We first look at the narratives, and then we look at the actual raw 'physical experience' behind them.

And your question about 3: -
I'm not totally sure I understand point three. Sometimes this sensation of "Sadness" is there, but not always. Are you saying that my "Sadness" I feel through sensation is a confirmation of the narrative I already believe?
In this element we are just noticing that the sensations are here, and as such, at some level, the body is already noticing them, in a sense already welcoming them (even if the mind it fighting with them). ok?

4. What is 'the mind' trying to protect when it becomes cloudy? Could we thank it for trying to protect something which it thinks it needs to protect? Can we notice all the sensations (E) with this? Let them be there, welcome them like a little child come for some attention? See if they have something to show us?

5:-
The sensations don't seem to stay or go when they want to. They seem to be inflamed when I followed the above steps and go when I move on and go about my day. Maybe I misunderstood something?
Yes that's the whole point of the exercise. Whether to resist the sensations, or to welcome them. They can be welcomed, and in a sense are already welcomed by the body, in that they are already present. So can we have the courage to 'look into their eyes', rather than shrinking away? To allow them to be there, to intensify if they want, to go when they are ready?

Have another look, and let me know what comes up.

Question to consider after you've done the exercise: If there's no real 'I', what is there to protect?

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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waveoflove
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:48 am


4. What is 'the mind' trying to protect when it becomes cloudy? Could we thank it for trying to protect something which it thinks it needs to protect? Can we notice all the sensations (E) with this? Let them be there, welcome them like a little child come for some attention? See if they have something to show us?
When I first tried to thank and welcome it, I found my face constrict as if it was pained at the thought (But i didn't feel the emotion). I was then able to do it and feel like I meant it, but didn't really get any answers to why my mind becomes cloudy or if they have something to show us. This might still be narrative, but I felt that what I started off calling claustrophobia/sadness is more appropriately described as fear.

Also, felt like I realized that the sensation itself isn't inherently painful/uncomfortable, but only seems experienced that way when I add the fear based narratives.
Yes that's the whole point of the exercise. Whether to resist the sensations, or to welcome them. They can be welcomed, and in a sense are already welcomed by the body, in that they are already present. So can we have the courage to 'look into their eyes', rather than shrinking away? To allow them to be there, to intensify if they want, to go when they are ready?

Have another look, and let me know what comes up.
I feel like I can allow the sensation to come and go and intensify, it's only when I attach a narrative to the sensation that It starts making it an experience I feel trapped in. This is where I feel trapped, where I can't help but seem to attach a narrative.

Question to consider after you've done the exercise: If there's no real 'I', what is there to protect?
I feel a strong sense of "I" as my consciousness. I feel I need to protect it from the mind that creates the thoughts and narratives that run through my head. "I" as my consciousness get duped by them all the time, and because I seem to recognize that I can't control the thoughts coming into my mind, I constantly feel attacked and invaded by them.

T

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:33 am

Some great looking and noticing there, Tyler.
Also, felt like I realized that the sensation itself isn't inherently painful/uncomfortable, but only seems experienced that way when I add the fear based narratives.
Looks as though some difference is being seen between raw sensations (E) which are alive and 'just there' so allowed, and narratives/commentary (T) which seem to generate all the sense of suffering. Is that right?

As we continue to investigate, I am going to invite you to keep noticing the difference between (E) raw first-hand experience and (T) thoughts and beliefs, and to watch that noticing getting sharper and sharper. Let's do a brief exercise to notice the difference:-

Just sit for about two minutes, and notice all that is experienced. Make a list.
After the two minutes are up, go through the list and after each item add the label of (T) if it is a thinking activity, eg thought narrative, interpretation, speculation, theory, belief etc, or (E) if it's a raw first-hand now sensation. Then let me have your list.

Then with your last answer from the last post:-
I feel a strong sense of "I" as my consciousness. I feel I need to protect it from the mind that creates the thoughts and narratives that run through my head. "I" as my consciousness get duped by them all the time, and because I seem to recognize that I can't control the thoughts coming into my mind, I constantly feel attacked and invaded by them.
Does this ""I" consciousness" constitute a real individual, or is it too a thought or a concept(T)?
And when "I feel I need to protect it from the mind etc" what is it that feels it needs to protect anything?
When you read through your whole paragraph quoted above, please consider which parts are (T) concepts, conditioned thinking patterns, beliefs, interpretations, and whether any of it at all is actually first-hand experience (E) WITHOUT interpretations?
Let's have a look and see what this "I" is made up of. Can we find anything there other than thoughts and beliefs? Any actual experience of "I"?

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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waveoflove
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:56 pm

Looks as though some difference is being seen between raw sensations (E) which are alive and 'just there' so allowed, and narratives/commentary (T) which seem to generate all the sense of suffering. Is that right?
Yes, but I would say that most of the time the Narrative/commentary (T) comes first and THEN the raw sensations (E) . . . but I've never really thought about it . . . I'll have to pay attention more.
Just sit for about two minutes, and notice all that is experienced. Make a list.
After the two minutes are up, go through the list and after each item add the label of (T) if it is a thinking activity, eg thought narrative, interpretation, speculation, theory, belief etc, or (E) if it's a raw first-hand now sensation. Then let me have your list.
-I hear a ringing (E)
-I hear a plane (E)
-I feel hungry (E) and think about lunch (T)
-I wonder if I’m doing this exercise right (T)
-I am now feel worried that this whole thing won't work (T)
-I’m aware my throat hurts (E) (I've had a cold) (T)
-I realized I farted and that it smells (E), but then thought about how theres no way I’m adding that experience to my list which then made me laugh at the idea of trying to hide that. (T)
-Now I’m wondering who/what is insecure about the “Farting Situation”. (T)
-Now I’m laughing (E) that while trying to get liberated, I’m distracted about the idea of a fart. (T)
-I feel like a little kid . . . (T?)
-I feel anxious (E) and attribute it to the coffee I just had (T)
Does this ""I" consciousness" constitute a real individual, or is it too a thought or a concept(T)?
And when "I feel I need to protect it from the mind etc" what is it that feels it needs to protect anything?
I can see how in communicating it, it's just a concept, but I still have the sense that it points to a real "I". What/whoever is aware of these thoughts feels it needs to protect itself from "Bad" thoughts and therefore "Bad" sensations which feels like they attack it (me).
Let's have a look and see what this "I" is made up of. Can we find anything there other than thoughts and beliefs? Any actual experience of "I"?
I can recognize that the "I" is nothing more than a thought/belief . . . and i know that statement is just a thought as well. In trying to experience "I", I only ever have thought. Now, I'm feeling that same claustrophobia/fear as I try to experience the "I" . . . it seems I can never escape thought . . . and thought about thought and that there is some world beyond thought that is veiled by all this thought! All that is thought as well! Argh!

-T

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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:44 am

After posting this morning, I felt frustrated about what I had written. When I reflected on it, I felt like I had a realization that I hope isn’t just thought and meanderings . . .

When you say “Look”, that immediately appealed to this idea of me as a “doer”, which said, “Yeah, I can do that” and then the doer transitioned to a “Thinker”, which then “Looked” by focusing on thoughts that arose around the idea of looking.

So I realize that what I’ve been doing is NOT looking, but have allowed my thought to give me the idea that I’m a doer/thinking who is looking. But really it’s all thought . . . trying to undo itself by using the same method its trying to undo! Can’t be done!?

Yet still, I know no other way. When you say “look”, I only have experienced thought taking that personal. Who should look? What does looking mean apart from thought? I feel hung up there.

Ok, so I’m unsure this added anything . . . :-)

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ElPortal
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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby ElPortal » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:18 am

Hi Tyler

Thanks for all that, both posts. A lovely sense of earnestness there, even if it shows up as jousting with thinking sometimes. A big hug to you.

A. Shall we let thoughts off the hook now? Are they really inherently so bad? They are only trying to protect, aren't they? (Isn't that kinda cute).. and they don't have to be taken as gospel, do they? So, what's wrong with just letting thoughts go by like clouds in the sky, continually changing shape and moving on? Whadyasay?

B. Loved the exercise about sitting for two minutes: great noticing there!
-I hear a ringing (E)
-I hear a plane (E)
-I feel hungry (E) and think about lunch (T)
-I wonder if I’m doing this exercise right (T)
-I am now feel worried that this whole thing won't work (T)
-I’m aware my throat hurts (E) (I've had a cold) (T)
-I realized I farted and that it smells (E), but then thought about how theres no way I’m adding that experience to my list which then made me laugh at the idea of trying to hide that. (T)
-Now I’m wondering who/what is insecure about the “Farting Situation”. (T)
-Now I’m laughing (E) that while trying to get liberated, I’m distracted about the idea of a fart. (T)
-I feel like a little kid . . . (T?)
-I feel anxious (E) and attribute it to the coffee I just had (T)
Just one other thing on this for now: now go through and spend a little time with each (E) on the list. Look at the words on the list used to describe each sensation, and notice how even the label (eg ringing) is interpretation/commentary (T). Is even the 'hear' anymore than a label? Is even 'I' a label? When the labels are dropped, for a moment or two notice the raw, unlabelled, actual experience (E). Can you notice any attributes of it? Then go on down the list, doing the same with each (E), each time giving a few moments to notice. Let me know how this feels.

C. After that, a question: so when you say talk of 'I' who 'hears a plane', 'farts', 'claims to be the feeler of the anxious feeling', what is that referring to in Experience? Which feels truer: 1. There is the belief that this experience originates from 'me', or 2. There is the experience of these sensations originating from me. Which? If 2, then describe how this 'me' is experienced, rather than interpreted to be 'me'.

D.
Now, I'm feeling that same claustrophobia/fear as I try to experience the "I"
Here's an invitation: every time this feeling comes up, or another 'fear/anxiety' feeling, or any other sort of constricting feeling, to Look into that Resistance, noticing for a while it's attributes (like in our exercise before, but can be a simpler version). Just notice it coming through like a rain storm, and feel out all the physical attributes, rather than trying to think it away. This can be part of the investigation, ok?

Cheers

Mark

PS When points are lettered or numbered, it's just to make sure that none are missed out.
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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Re: Guide Requested!

Postby waveoflove » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:29 am

A. Shall we let thoughts off the hook now? Are they really inherently so bad? They are only trying to protect, aren't they? (Isn't that kinda cute).. and they don't have to be taken as gospel, do they? So, what's wrong with just letting thoughts go by like clouds in the sky, continually changing shape and moving on? Whadyasay?
Sounds good to me! I realize, at least for awhile now, I've considered them almost inherently bad. I'm ready to give them a break. :-)
B. When the labels are dropped, for a moment or two notice the raw, unlabelled, actual experience (E). Can you notice any attributes of it? Then go on down the list, doing the same with each (E), each time giving a few moments to notice. Let me know how this feels.
The (E) from that list are not current sensations, so I thought I would take a couple of current (E) and practice. I hope this ok . . . unless its best I revisit those specific things on the list in memory?

1. I hear a fan is blowing . . . when I drop those labels, I find myself unsure of what is really going on. Certainly I can explain the fan and sound waves and it's function . . . but the experience seems to transcend the labels. The hearing sensation is just happening without my labels.

2. I focused my attention on my hand which was resting on my stomach. When I dropped all these labels it seemed to become a bit surreal and strange. I was just aware of sensations. When the labels were gone, the experience seemed to come more alive. It seemed strange because it seemed more intense than when I just narrated what was going on.
C. After that, a question: so when you say talk of 'I' who 'hears a plane', 'farts', 'claims to be the feeler of the anxious feeling', what is that referring to in Experience?
The experience is the awareness of the sensations those words point to.
Which feels truer: 1. There is the belief that this experience originates from 'me', or 2. There is the experience of these sensations originating from me. Which? If 2, then describe how this 'me' is experienced, rather than interpreted to be 'me'.
I'm having a hard time answering, I'm having trouble comprehending the phrasing, so I hesitate to answer. I think I would say that "There is the belief that this experience is being experienced by me"
D. Here's an invitation: every time this feeling comes up, or another 'fear/anxiety' feeling, or any other sort of constricting feeling, to Look into that Resistance, noticing for a while it's attributes (like in our exercise before, but can be a simpler version). Just notice it coming through like a rain storm, and feel out all the physical attributes, rather than trying to think it away. This can be part of the investigation, ok?
So just feel? No thinking it away and also no analyzing it for sources/story making? I will indeed investigate. :-)

-T


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