Looking for a guide

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Paulette
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Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:07 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I have been a seeker for many years. I don't know ho I found this particular forum, but I was impressed with the generosity of the idea and the volunteer guides. I have had a number of experiences in my life that have felt like a peeling away of all the made up stuff, but the feeling is fleeting. It's like LOL one second, and business as usual the next. I can't even be sure it is what you are pointing to here, but the experience feels like a momentary understanding of truth, and I don't doubt it ( ok well some of my more vicious sub personalities think it's a psychotic break, and some of my more scientific ones some odd little neurological spasm)

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this:
I'm not really sure. But I guess some understanding of what I described above. I can't say these moments have had no impact on my business as usual life, but I feel so free in those moments, and that freedom is only a memory when the moment passes, I guess I hope to feel that freedom more often. I cringe to write anything here, ' cause I read enough to know I have to say goodbye to the expectations.. Maybe I'm not really sure because there are so damn many of them, I won't catalog them all here, just the catch all "freedom from suffering" (in my experience of it, not some wave a magic wand and stop the world for me kind of way) Do I expect that? Well it would be nice but I am open to the exploration regardless of the outcome.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?: I am familiar with non-duality teachings. I am by no means a scholar, I find most spiritual writings to difficult to plow through. I have had a regular meditation practice in the past but my meditation is irregular and mostly contemplative currently.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:37 pm

Hello Pauline , '
My name is Michael and I would be happy to act as your guide. I ask that we are 100% honest with each other and that you make every attempt to post once a day,understanding that things do come up. Setting aside any other forms of inquiry for the duration of this process, and suspending as much as possible your beliefs and expectations.Let me know if you would like to continue. If so I will post the formalities and we can then get started. Thank you.

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:45 pm

I agree to the requests and would like to continue. Thank for agreeing to guide me.
Paulette

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:29 pm

Pauline her are the housekeeping basics:
Please acknowledge that you have read and understand the L/U disclaimer.
Responses require only simple, basic looking. No theories or what you think the “Right” answers might be. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best kept to direct experience, or some say actual experience, that is, what is present to direct perception ( sight , sound, touch , smell and taste, prior to the interpretation of them. If one term DE or AE resonates better with you let me know. 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 spontaneously, without analysis. You can read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... experience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience if there is any confusion.

Please learn to use the quote function. Here is how I do it and it works well. After the dialog box is open Hit the Quote box at the top. Two sets of brackets with the words quote and /quote will then appear in the dialog box. After you have highlighted and copied the text you want to show up as a quote, for instance my question, then move your cursor in between the two brackets and LEFT click and select paste from the drop down menu. All the selected text will now be in between the two brackets
highlighted text
this will make it in the form of a quote.
Here is an example of what a quote looks like
. Using the quote function makes the thread easier for all to follow.

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?
Enough formalities.
Why don't we start by having you describe your present sense of self. Please don't give an answer based on what you're read, rather, how you actually experience it. What is this I we speak of?

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:33 pm

Pauline, To be able to use the quote function you need hit the Post Reply button , not quick reply.

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:01 am

Please acknowledge that you have read and understand the L/U disclaimer.
Yes
Responses are best kept to direct experience, or some say actual experience, that is, what is present to direct perception ( sight , sound, touch , smell and taste, prior to the interpretation of them. If one term DE or AE resonates better with you let me know. 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 spontaneously, without analysis. You can read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... experience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience if there is any confusion.
I will try my best, might need some help staying on track. DE resonates with me.
Why don't we start by having you describe your present sense of self. Please don't give an answer based on what you're read, rather, how you actually experience it. What is this I we speak of?
I am getting to the point were "who am I? seems like a silly question. I just see a lot beliefs based on others' beliefs and distorted memories. When I really look, I can't find any me in there. "I" is convenient languaging. However this is not my dominant experience, I only experience this during moments of clarity, most of the time I am pretty caught up in what l am doing, what I am feeling and how other "I"s are reacting to me. So obviously, an identifiable self seems very real to me much of the time. One of the ways I have moments of clarity is when a particularly silly or vicious thought pops up and I'll laugh and know that is not me, accompanying this is an understanding that it's not just that thought that is not me, none of the thoughts are me or mine.

I am still open to the possibility "What am I? Might not be a silly question, but I have no experience there and I have no idea what the answer might be.

Btw Sleepwalker, this particular I-unit's name is Paulette not Pauline.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:22 am

Sorry for misreading your name Paulette. BWT mine is Michael , but you can call me Mike or Sleepwalker if that feels better, or no need to reference a name at all.
I am getting to the point were "who am I? seems like a silly question.
It may be! Perhaps the real question is not WHO am I, rather is there an I at all, in any Directly Experienced way.That's what we are here to look into.
I just see a lot beliefs based on others' beliefs and distorted memories. When I really look, I can't find any me in there.

Good Looking!What are beliefs? What are memories?
I" is convenient languaging.
Agreed!
One of the ways I have moments of clarity is when a particularly silly or vicious thought pops up and I'll laugh and know that is not me, accompanying this is an understanding that it's not just that thought that is not me, none of the thoughts are me or mine.

Is the understanding any more than another thought that arises.

It seems as though you have a good start on looking into thought.I'd like to ask you to spend 10 or 15 undisturbed minutes quietly observing thought. Watch like a hawk. Not a bad idea to do this as often during the day as possible.Then please answer the following questions.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Where are they coming from?
Where are they going?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you push away any thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
Can anything choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to control any thoughts?
I am still open to the possibility "What am I? Might not be a silly question, but I have no experience there and I have no idea what the answer might be.
Again we are here to simply see if there even is an I. Because once that is answered you can either go on to investigate further or realize there is no need to.

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:56 pm

Thanks for your help Michael, here are the results of my investigation:
Is the understanding any more than another thought that arises.
Oh yes, it's feeling, if I was give the feeling a description, it's like I've been let in on some kind of cosmic joke, I feel very light (unburdened), and happy, thoughts still pop in, from within "the understanding." Sometimes the feeling might begin as the thought "that's not me," but I cease to experience it as thought and other times the feeling just seems to dawn on me.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No, but some of the thoughts seem to be in response to sensations and experience.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No
Where are they coming from?
I don't know, maybe some of them spring from experiences and sensations, but even that doesn't follow. So if my legs feel cold, I have no idea if the thought that follows will be, "I should get a blanket." Or "maybe I'll turn up the heat." Or even, I'll be fine, I'm too tired to go get a blanket."
Where are they going?
No idea.
Can you predict your next thought?
No. Lol
Can you push away any thought?
I can seem to replace it with a different thought. But I can't think "ok no more thinking about monkeys." Wait, maybe I am understanding this question wrong, I can't push any thought away, cause I can't predict I am going to have the thought before I actually experience it.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No, they show up unannounced.
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
I don't know how to identify the middle of a thought. So, no.
Can anything choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
I can't choose any thought, cause I can't predict I am going to have the thought before I actually experience it.
Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?
No
Is it possible to control any thoughts?
No
Again we are here to simply see if there even is an I. Because once that is answered you can either go on to investigate further or realize there is no need to.
Agreed.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:10 pm

Thanks for your help Michael
My pleasure Paulette
Oh yes, it's feeling, if I was give the feeling a description, it's like I've been let in on some kind of cosmic joke, I feel very light (unburdened), and happy, thoughts still pop in, from within "the understanding." Sometimes the feeling might begin as the thought "that's not me," but I cease to experience it as thought and other times the feeling just seems to dawn on me.
Yes, seeing there is no thinking, merely thoughts arising can be a hilarious realization.
but I cease to experience it as thought
Might that be the fact that the thought merely dis-appeared, as they always do? Is there any I necessary for thoughts to appear and be experienced? Or are thoughts the experience then more thoughts appear that claim ownership of the experience?
other times the feeling just seems to dawn on me.
Is this ever NOT the case. Don't thoughts , sensations, and feelings just arise( dawn) without an I doing anything? Observe how things happen and please answer from that observation not from interpretive thought.
No, but some of the thoughts seem to be in response to sensations and experience.
Yes! Thoughts are constantly arising. The inner commentator. It's like a sports commentator. The really good ones can make it feel as if you are right there watching the action as it happens, but in fact they are reporting what has already taken place. Close attention is necessary for the latency of thought to be seen.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No
Good Looking!
Where are they coming from?
I don't know, maybe some of them spring from experiences and sensations, but even that doesn't follow. So if my legs feel cold, I have no idea if the thought that follows will be, "I should get a blanket." Or "maybe I'll turn up the heat." Or even, I'll be fine, I'm too tired to go get a blanket."
Again close observation is needed.
Where are they going?
No idea.
Me either!HA!
Can you predict your next thought?
No. Lol
Good!
Can you push away any thought?
I can seem to replace it with a different thought. But I can't think "ok no more thinking about monkeys." Wait, maybe I am understanding this question wrong, I can't push any thought away, cause I can't predict I am going to have the thought before I actually experience it.
Good Looking!
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No, they show up unannounced.
Yes!
Can anything choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
I can't choose any thought, cause I can't predict I am going to have the thought before I actually experience it.
Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?
No
Is it possible to control any thoughts?
No
Good Looking!

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:53 pm

Might that be the fact that the thought merely dis-appeared, as they always do?
Yes, I can see that.
Is there any I necessary for thoughts to appear and be experienced?
To appear, no. To be experienced? I try to understand this and can not, what is experiencing it, if not an experiencer? A sticky spot, for me.
Or are thoughts the experience then more thoughts appear that claim ownership of the experience?
Maybe, but I am not even sure I understand this question. Thoughts claiming ownership of the experience I described, or thoughts (without a thinker) claiming ownership of all experience? If you you are asking the latter question. I need more time with it, or different questions because I just feel tangled up by it. If it is the first question, then I call it a feeling experience because I experience thoughts simultaneously (while within the feeling). My DE of thoughts is that they are more linear in nature, one replaces another but they don't stack or occur simultaneously.

Is this ever NOT the case. Don't thoughts , sensations, and feelings just arise( dawn) without an I doing anything?
I can't see an identifiable I doing anything my experience is that this I is all a made up story, but strangely it doesn't follow that there is no doer, I act as if there is an I there doing all kinds of things. I see causal relationships. I don't experience these thoughts, sensations, and feelings, as completely acausal or spontaneous. This definitely causes me act like a doer, to attract certain experiences (and thoughts, sensations, and feelings), and potentially avoid other experiences.
Observe how things happen and please answer from that observation not from interpretive thought.
I hope that is what I have been doing, it is certainly my intention. Please trust that I am being as honest as I am able to be.
Yes! Thoughts are constantly arising. The inner commentator. It's like a sports commentator. The really good ones can make it feel as if you are right there watching the action as it happens, but in fact they are reporting what has already taken place. Close attention is necessary for the latency of thought to be seen.
Cool, I'll try to notice this.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:25 am

To appear, no. To be experienced? I try to understand this and can not, what is experiencing it, if not an experiencer? A sticky spot, for me.
This was a sticking point for me and many others as well.For me it came at first as a little glimpses. A good exercise at this time may be for you to spend 20 minutes and during the first 10 write as you normally would what's going on. For instance:
I'm sitting at my computer
I'm typing a response to an email
I hear the sound of a truck out front
I pick up my tea cup
I take a drink of tea
Then for the last 10 minutes continue writing but drop all reference to I me or my.
Do you notice a difference?
Maybe, but I am not even sure I understand this question. Thoughts claiming ownership of the experience I described, or thoughts (without a thinker) claiming ownership of all experience? If you you are asking the latter question. I need more time with it, or different questions because I just feel tangled up by it. If it is the first question, then I call it a feeling experience because I experience thoughts simultaneously (while within the feeling). My DE of thoughts is that they are more linear in nature, one replaces another but they don't stack or occur simultaneously.
All experience.There is a whole lifetime of conditioning around this so we'll take all the time you need.Perhaps the above exercise might be of help.
Your description of how thoughts arise is accurate in my experience.
I can't see an identifiable I doing anything my experience is that this I is all a made up story, but strangely it doesn't follow that there is no doer, I act as if there is an I there doing all kinds of things. I see causal relationships. I don't experience these thoughts, sensations, and feelings, as completely acausal or spontaneous. This definitely causes me act like a doer, to attract certain experiences (and thoughts, sensations, and feelings), and potentially avoid other experiences.

If we are the doers attracting certain thoughts, sensations, experiences then why would our lives not be exactly as we wish. Why do thoughts, sensations ,experiences we wish to avoid still arise?
I hope that is what I have been doing, it is certainly my intention. Please trust that I am being as honest as I am able to be.
You are doing great Paulette. I appreciate your responding honestly.

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:34 am

Hi Michael,
Gonna need another day to report back, exhausted a little run down after a long work day.

Thanks.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:26 am

Thanks for checking in Paulette.

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Paulette
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulette » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:51 am

Do you notice a difference?
Ok, after I got over the awkwardness, it felt like a relief not to be interjected so constantly into the narrative. Interestingly, I lost the possessive feeling I have toward my body, "feet wiggling" seemed much like "sunlight filtering through the curtains" and "sleeping puppy stretching back leg" just all part of the field of experience. I also noticed that most actions that I believe are voluntary are actually involuntary. I have no clue when I'm going to scratch an itch for example, I might have felt the itch for some time, but I don't know when I am going to scratch, even if I plan an action, the thought before it was involuntary as I have already discovered. Kind of a big blow to my ideas about free will and agency. But I can't make the leap, still convinced something must be doing all this thinking and acting, I guess ridiculous as that seems.
If we are the doers attracting certain thoughts, sensations, experiences then why would our lives not be exactly as we wish. Why do thoughts, sensations ,experiences we wish to avoid still arise?
I don't feel the conflict here between causality and uncertainty of outcome. I guess I always thought of it as a probability game, of course nearly anything is possible but some outcomes are more likely. So, if I fail to pay my water bill, it is much more likely my water will be turned off than if I pay my bill when it is due.

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Sleepwalker
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Sleepwalker » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:07 am

Ok, after I got over the awkwardness, it felt like a relief not to be interjected so constantly into the narrative. Interestingly, I lost the possessive feeling I have toward my body, "feet wiggling" seemed much like "sunlight filtering through the curtains" and "sleeping puppy stretching back leg" just all part of the field of experience. I also noticed that most actions that I believe are voluntary are actually involuntary. I have no clue when I'm going to scratch an itch for example, I might have felt the itch for some time, but I don't know when I am going to scratch, even if I plan an action, the thought before it was involuntary as I have already discovered. Kind of a big blow to my ideas about free will and agency. But I can't make the leap, still convinced something must be doing all this thinking and acting, I guess ridiculous as that seems.
Nice Looking! It doesn't sound ridiculous at all, challenging that belief can be difficult. We are not here to convince you of anything, we merely point and ask you to look.Let's start with the question; is there a YOU( that which you take yourself to be, separate from the rest of experience) doing the thinking and acting? It appears as though you've looked and not found one.So perhaps another question might be, is there any THING that is doing? Some static , self contained , independent of the rest of Life, individual entity.Or is it possible that all this is simply Life as verb not as noun.
If we are the doers attracting certain thoughts, sensations, experiences then why would our lives not be exactly as we wish. Why do thoughts, sensations ,experiences we wish to avoid still arise?
I don't feel the conflict here between causality and uncertainty of outcome. I guess I always thought of it as a probability game, of course nearly anything is possible but some outcomes are more likely.So, if I fail to pay my water bill, it is much more likely my water will be turned off than if I pay my bill when it is due.
The question was aimed at what YOU are doing.All of Life is presenting as it is presenting and water bills are a part of that. The question is again, are YOU(what you take yourself to be) doing anything to make any of this happen. What is the probability of billions of cells coming together to form perfect organs that perform different functions,combining with tissue , bone , cartilage,all working in perfect synchronicity interacting with every other thing within the universe we call our bodies,let alone interacting with everything in the bodies immediate and distant environment. We first look into the question of a separate personal I, if none can be found, from there it may be reasonable to assume that there is no I elsewhere. When the water bill is paid or not paid is that not the same as "feet wiggling",is not water being shut off the same as "sunlight filtering through curtains"," all just a part of the field of experience" as you beautifully expressed?
Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can remember without being obsessive HAHA, Label each experience simply , sight, sound , smell, taste, feeling or thought. So as you become aware of seeing the dog , simply= sight, smelling the toast burning = smell,feel the wind on your face=feeling. thought about work= thought. Thought can be in the form of words or images, sounds, smells, ect ( imaginary) all= thought. Obviously you'll still respond appropriately as necessary. Please just break it down into these categories and report back how this goes. Enjoy!


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