kristawalter

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kristawalter
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kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:26 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I have been seeking for a long time. Intellectually I understand (and I feel acceptance for the understanding) that there is no self, but when I "look inside" nothing happens. All looking feels like ego. Even now it is ego writing and seeking, awkwardly, perhaps falsely, its own demise.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this:
I only want to fully wake up from the dream state. I want nothing more and I honestly cannot expect anything. I'm tired.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I have been working with Zen and Adyashanti.

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:59 am

Hi kristawalter,

My name is Andrei and I will be happy to assist you if you are OK with it. How should I call you in our conversation?

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:59 am

Thank you Andrei. Call me Krista

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:57 pm

Krista, what a lovely name!

Ok, let's begin. This is going to be a practical exercise. No more theories and teachings, just doing and reporting of what you observe in the direct experience.

First, we need to do a sort of calibration, to learn how to distinguish actual experiences from thoughts.

1. Close your eyes and imagine your hand in as much detail as you can. Shape, color, texture when you touch it and so on. Notice everything and the quality of this experience.

Now, open the eyes and look at the actual hand. See it, touch it and observe.

Contrast and compare the quality of these two experiences, imaginary and actual. Compare your feelings as you did them.

2. Do the same exercise with an apple or some other food you have. Add sense of taste to your observation.

3. Do similar exercise with your favorite perfume. Add sense of smell.

4. Do similar exercise with a song or music. Imagine it playing, then actually put it on and listen to it.

Please contrast, compare and report on what you find.

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:00 pm

Thank you Andrei

With my hand, I noticed the experience of imagining it to be very sketchy and a fast flashing of images. I also noticed I was easily distracted by other thought sensations and could not focus for long on the image of hand. With the actual hand, it seemed to be a different object altogether, familiar though. The sensation of touch could not be fully imagined. The reality of the hand is somehow endlessly changing and fluid.

For taste and smell, I used a cup pf coffee. There was just no possibility of really imagining the taste or the smell of it, even though I have this same coffee habitually everyday. My senses of taste and smell seem a bit muted, too. But the taste and smell of the real thing were subtle and unexpected, yet familiar. Words don't help to describe it.

I picked a rose bud. I could not truly imagine what it would smell like and I noticed I was trying hard in my mind to find a "rose" scent. The actual scent was subtle and inside of me, as I breathed it in. I noticed two different interiors. The interior of the mind and that of the body.

For some years now I have songs in my head constantly. Some lyric will catch and the song will seemingly play over and over. Currently I hear David Bowie's Quicksand..." Don't believe in yourself. Don't deceive with belief..." When I played it just now, I was overcome with tears. No thoughts but emotion, and no name for the emotion.

So, there is the tendency to overthink everything, but I notice that thought is flat and sketchy and dull and bombarded by distraction. Direct experience is sort of surprising compared to thought, and though senses feel muted, something fresh and unknowable comes through the body that the mind only gets secondhand.

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:04 pm

Great! You are on the right track. To what you've described, I want to add one more observation and ask you to test if it feels true: the imaginary experience feels made-up, artificial, and at the same time there is some doubt whether you "got it right". The actual experience is effortless, it is just given to you and there is no doubt whether you got it right. It is what it is. Does this feel true?

I want you to practice the skill recognition imaginary and direct experiences a bit more. Learn how to recognize when your attention is in the world of thoughts. Ask yourself where your eyes are focused on, where your ears are focused on, etc. But notice that attention can move between thoughts and real world very quickly, so quickly catch the attention where it was just a moment ago.

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:31 pm

Yes, Andrei. The imaginary experience, thinking, feels artificial and made up. Like a thousand different tv shows running nonstop. It doesn't feel true or untrue. It feels relentless and deeply deeply ingrained and as if there is no gap at all between thought and experience, or that the habit of thought has attached itself to sensory experience, and everything sensed is instantly identified and registered in the mind as something else. I will practice more now. Thank you.

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:14 pm

Krista,

Yes, please do some more practice and focus on recognizing the experiences and thoughts. Don't worry about how many of each you get. It is always a mix. Thinking that one is more important than the other is also just another thought.

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:39 pm

I find it pretty easy to recognize thoughts. It is not so easy to notice when thought is not there. In meditation, direct experience is intangible and empty, and thought wants to colonize this space.

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:03 pm

Right, normally the attention always has to be on something.

So this is now your personal Manjusri's sword with which you can swiftly recognize and discard thoughts :)

Let's have some fun now. Try using the same method on your "I" (and "ego", if you see any difference between them):

1) Imagine your "I" in every possible detail.
2) Now move the attention from the imagined "I" to the real one.

Can you do it? What do you feel when trying? Can you spot any difference? Describe anything that you could find as a real "I", only from the Direct Experience.

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:31 pm

If there are words, there is thought.
The word "real" is therefore pretty confusing. But if "real" means what exists in some tangible way, materially, then there is no real "I" in my experience. "I" is a thought/word. But it dominates! Ego is the enforcer who feels and wants. When I focus on I am, there is just the living organism, the breathing thing here, and the mind just feels utterly flummoxed, and the pull of habit overwhelms. Cut my head off, please.

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:56 pm

Let's not dwell in thoughts. I am using words only for a practical purpose, so that you know what to try next. Beyond this specific purpose their meaning is irrelevant.

1) Imagine your "I" in every possible detail.
2) Now move the attention from the imagined "I" to the directly experienced one. For which you had no problem doing with your hand.

This is literally all you need to do, there is no trick. Either you can do #2 or you cannot. What comes up?

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apolsk
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Re: kristawalter

Postby apolsk » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:57 pm

BTW, please don't get too frustrated. We all wished our heads were cut off when we were going through the gate. This is a good sign ;)

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:18 pm

No, I can't do it. I do not directly experience a real "I". What comes up is anxiety. I have the spiritual assumption that I should experience directly something good, and I don't.

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kristawalter
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Re: kristawalter

Postby kristawalter » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:21 pm

p.s you are really kind and patient to do this work


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