a step into the unknown

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Trev
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a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:13 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:

Liberation Unleashed was recommended by an old friend, who had used it and found it very helpful. I have meditated and studied/practised Buddhism over 20 years, and saw saw moving beyong a limiting sense of self as being a distant goal. I read Jed McKenna's first book (recommended by the friend) and thought maybe it is not so distant, which prompted the question, do I really want it. I have come to the conclusion that I do (in as much as I can know whether I do or not), so am now requesting a guide.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:

I am hoping to see that there is a sense of self in my experience which is illusory. I am hoping that seeing that will enable me to let go a lot of striving and a need for control that uses up a lot of my time and energy. I am hoping to have more space for peace and feeling.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:

As I said, I have meditated for 20 years. I have also completed a psychotherapy training. I suppose through all of that, I have not been driven to aquire lots of knowledge, but to keep it simple. I remember a Buddhist quote that a "handful" was all the knowledge needed. Still I have not had much sense of making progress. More of going round in fairly pleasant and interesting circles. The idea that this website and process may help me make some significant progress I find quite exciting and a bit scary.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 8

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:14 am

Hi Trev,

Welcome to LU! This is Fred, from France. Very nice to meet you.

A few quick guidelines: look to post daily/regularly or post to say if a break is needed; and set aside any other spiritual practices during our inquiry together.

If you could confirm that you have read our disclaimer, here: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
and the article on direct experience, here: http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/
and that you would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin!

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi Fred,

Thanks and nice to meet you too.

I have read the disclaimer and the article on direct experience. I am happy for you to me my guide and to post daily/regularly.

I normally do about 15 minutes of yoga and 1/2 hour sitting meditation each morning - is it OK to continue that?

I am ready to get started when you are.

Graeme

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:32 am

Thanks Graeme
I normally do about 15 minutes of yoga and 1/2 hour sitting meditation each morning - is it OK to continue that?
Yes, it may even help to leave the mental noise and come back to THIS … so do continue!

Can I ask you first why you answered 8 to the question ‘How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?’
What is holding you back? What is it that you are NOT ready to question yet?

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:55 pm

Hi Fred,

I feel some nervousness of what it will be like to not relate to the world as a self. I think the main source of that is that I might not be motivated to care about my children the way I do now. Although maybe it is just a more general fear of the unknown. Like when you are about to jump off a high rock into the water - excitement and enthusiasm, but still nervous. Maybe there is something else around "Who will I be?" - if I do not identify as the person I have believed myself to be up to now.

What fuels the urge to do this is mostly a hope for some peace from the continual effort to a) be or become something special and b) to somehow make this secure, keep them under control - even though I can sort of see that this is impossible.

Does that answer the question?

Trev

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:15 pm

Hi Graeme (or is it Trev?),
Does that answer the question?
It answers the question perfectly, thank you.
I feel some nervousness of what it will be like to not relate to the world as a self.
What if there had never been a ‘you’ that could ’relate to the world as a self’, what if that was and always had been just an idea? How would that feel? Let me know what comes up.
I think the main source of that is that I might not be motivated to care about my children the way I do now.
What if caring for your children continued just the way it always has, without any belief in this character in charge of caring for them, how would that feel?
Although maybe it is just a more general fear of the unknown. Like when you are about to jump off a high rock into the water - excitement and enthusiasm, but still nervous. Maybe there is something else around "Who will I be?" if I do not identify as the person I have believed myself to be up to now
Thank you for your honesty. I have to tell you it’s worse than you think … there is no ‘you’ to identify with anything, no 'you' to believe 'himself' to be a person ;-)

There is no ‘you’, no Trev/Graeme in charge of ‘his’ life, there is only Life flowing freely, on automatic, and it has always been that way.
What comes up when you read these words? Is the fear present?
What I would like you to do is go and sit quietly somewhere, contemplate these words and go into the fear, explore it. Turn resistance into curiosity, welcome the fear like an old friend, give it all your attention, all your care, hold it.
Allow yourself to be in that fear for a while. Let it speak to you.
What is it protecting? Do you see anything behind, as it were?
Let me know all that comes up, in your own words and your own time.

Thank you.

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi Fred,

Thanks for your post.

Your comment
I have to tell you it’s worse than you think … there is no ‘you’ to identify with anything, no 'you' to believe 'himself' to be a person ;-)
made me laugh out loud. Its not just that there is no "I" to believe in - there is not even an "I" to believe in an "I" - am I paraphrasing correctly? Not sure why I laughed, but when I did there was a sense of lightness and relief. However, much as I believe you when you say there is no I and feel some lightness at the thought, I still find that I can't see it for myself.

I tried reflecting on your comment, but I did not find much fear coming up when I did that. Perhaps I was reassured by your question/comment that whatever has been caring for my children up to now may well carry on doing that, with or without the belief in an "I". What I mostly felt was a tense head. Like I am pushing to see the "I" more clearly, but can't manage it. When I watch my thoughts, they still seems to be structured around the idea of it being all about this separate individual that is central to the experiences that happen to this body. I don't think I can say much more about this without just going round in circles.

A few weeks ago I did an exercise that I read on another thread. To sit with my hands on my legs and at some point lift one of them or don't lift one. I was aware of thoughts playing in my head "I will lift the left, no I won't, I will lift the right", just sort of playing with these thoughts, and then it seemed that one of the hands just lifted up. As if something within my unconscious mind/body, but outside of my conscious mind just said, let's get on with it and lifted the hand, without any involvement of my thoughts. I did give me a sense that my thoughts have less to do with my actions and choices than I am used to thinking, however my sense of the world stills seems attached to the idea of that it is all about the "I".

Not sure how clear that is. Hopefully it gives you some idea of where I am at with understanding my mind/world at the moment.

Regarding names. Trev is what I have set up as the LU username, so I will stick with that.

Thanks.
Graeme

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:00 pm

Hi Fred,

I seem to be contradicting myself.

I will stick with Trev.

Thanks,
Trev.

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:09 am

Hi Trev,
However, much as I believe you when you say there is no I and feel some lightness at the thought, I still find that I can't see it for myself … What I mostly felt was a tense head. Like I am pushing to see the "I" more clearly, but can't manage it.
Consider for a moment that non-duality is actually your experience of every moment, that ‘I’ has never been experienced, just a thought about it … ;-)
What do you expect ‘seeing the ‘I’’ would look like? Any idea?
When I watch my thoughts, they still seems to be structured around the idea of it being all about this separate individual that is central to the experiences that happen to this body
For a moment, watch your thoughts fly by, in direct experience.
Notice how they come and go. Don’t get involved in their content, like sitting on the platform without boarding the train.
Now tell me, do you see thoughts and a thinker, a Trev, to whom they are happening? Or do you see thoughts containing the idea of a Trev, a thinker?
Can 'you' stop a thought? Can 'you' plan the next one?
What happens when the body goes to sleep? Where does Trev go?
Is Trev the same throughout the day? Is he different with each moment, circumstance? Make notes of the different Trevs noticed over a few hours.
Does he depend on the current thought to exist?

Take your time with these questions, make sure you answer all of them, let me know what comes up, in your own words.

Thanks!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:14 am

Hi Fred,

Before I respond to your new post, I have something to say about the previous one.

When I was sitting this morning, I tried to move my awareness from my tight head to my chest, where I sensed the fear, and sat with the point that there is no self, there never has been. There was fear there and it became a bit clearer, after a few minutes i had a sense of feeling quite young, and then an idea/feeling/image that the fear was about being recognised or seen. Also, perhaps about hiding the bits that are embarrassing. It felt a bit like I was a 3 year old wanting to be seen/recognised by my mother.

I sat with it for a while and then stopped.

Thanks for the other questions, I will reflect on them today and see what I notice.

Bye for now.
Trev.

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:14 pm

Thanks for this Trev, I'll wait for your answer to the other questions before coming back ...
Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:07 am

Hi Fred,

Thanks for the questions, that has given me a bit to reflect on.
What do you expect ‘seeing the ‘I’’ would look like? Any idea?
Perhaps it would be a bit like when I had a sense that the thoughts in my head did not actually decide when my hand lifted up (in previous post). So I might see that my life goes on living itself and the clunky thoughts in my head, which sort of tell the story of "who Trev is" are not actually in control of the activities of this mind/body. So at the moment I sort of believe in that as an idea, but I don't really see it to be true.
Now tell me, do you see thoughts and a thinker, a Trev, to whom they are happening? Or do you see thoughts containing the idea of a Trev, a thinker?
I can't see a Trev. The strongest sense of Trev seems to come when I speak the thoughts in my head and there seems to be an "author" or a source of the thoughts. I do also notice thoughts when my mind has "wandered off" that can be about Trev interacting or doing something or thinking about something. For example, do I need a new saddle for my bicycle can lead to a whole fantasy narrative of what sort of saddle, looking at them in the bike shop, even a discussion with the bike shop assistant. I only really become aware of them at the end, and being aware again brings them to an end, they don't carry on when awareness is present. So, I would say these type of thoughts carry the idea of a Trev.
Can 'you' stop a thought? Can 'you' plan the next one?
I can start and stop the clunky talking thoughts in my head, just as I can start and stop speech - although it could be that this control is illusory, a bit like the lifting hand. The mind wandering thoughts roll on when I am not "aware" of the present moment, so I can stop them by being aware. The other type of thought I notice is around awareness and observations. Noticing sensations. Often without any words being generated at all. Just noticing and a sense of being drawn towards pleasant sensations, like warmth in a muscle, and pushing away from unpleasant sensations, like tension or pain. I don't have any sense of being able to "plan" any of these thoughts.
What happens when the body goes to sleep? Where does Trev go?
My first thought is - absolutely no idea. I guess the mind continues to wander without much input from the senses. There is clearly no sense of control, except for the rare occasions of "lucid dreams" where there again seems to be a Trev present. When I remember dream it is a bit like Trev was a character in the story, although sometimes the character who seems to be me is not like the usual Trev, may be a woman, for example.
Is Trev the same throughout the day? Is he different with each moment, circumstance? Make notes of the different Trevs noticed over a few hours.
Trev can feel very different depending on mood and circumstances. Their can be very little sense of Trev at times. The stronger sense of Trev seems to rise up when there is some threat or challenge, even a mild one like bumping into someone I don't know well and wondering how to make conversation. At these times there seems to be a strong sense of what is mine/not mine, who is my friend of not friend - and sort of pushing and pulling at these identifications to build up the sort of Trev that I want to see - this is generally quite an uncomfortable process and one of the things that leads me to feel that I would be better off if I could see the "I" as fictitious.
Does he depend on the current thought to exist?
The mind/body carries on without much effect from the current thought. Sometimes feelings in the body are affected by the current thoughts, and these feelings do seem to be affected by the sense of being and maintaining an identity as Trev. Often the thoughts are nothing to do with Trev, so I guess the sense of Trev comes and goes. I suppose a bit like Father Christmas. If you believe in him, you still come back to believing in him and assuming he was always there even if you don't think about him for a while.

That seems like a lot of words, hope there is something useful amongst it.

Thanks for the questions, it is prompting a lot of reflection for me.

Bye for now.
Trev

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:35 am

Hello Trev,

Yes, there is plenty of useful stuff in your answers. Thank you for your openness in this, and your willingness to LOOK for yourself, I really appreciate that :-)
There was fear there and it became a bit clearer, after a few minutes i had a sense of feeling quite young, and then an idea/feeling/image that the fear was about being recognised or seen. Also, perhaps about hiding the bits that are embarrassing. It felt a bit like I was a 3 year old wanting to be seen/recognised by my mother.
Lovely exploration into the experience of fear of ‘being recognised’, ‘even the embarrassing bits’. If you look again, it would be good to look and see if there’s anything that can be recognised?
Fred: What happens when the body goes to sleep? Where does Trev go?
Trev: My first thought is - absolutely no idea. I guess the mind continues to wander without much input from the senses.
OK, and what about in deep sleep, in the absence of dreams. Is there any ‘you’ to experience that?
Is the ‘you-experiencer' of dreams taking leave? What is the ‘you-experiencer" made of?
When you say « So I might see that my life goes on living itself », is that ‘I’ that sees and owns ‘his’ life permanent, real? Can you see, touch, hear, feel him?
I would be better off if I could see the "I" as fictitious.
Now you tell me why this is a funny line … :-) the words ‘serpent’ and ‘tail’ come to mind …

Thank you!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts

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Trev
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Trev » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi Fred

Thanks for your reply.
If you look again, it would be good to look and see if there’s anything that can be recognised?
I think in this memory, it was a bit like I wanted to be recognised. Maybe there is some sense of wanting to show the bits that will appeal and hide the bits that don’t. That way be more appealing to my parents. What can be recognised is certain qualities of the person – could be that they are friendly, kind, attractive, whatever – even if the self is fictitious, perhaps these qualities can still be attached to the fictitious self and recognised by other fictitious selves.

So at the moment I experience the world as though there really is a person called Trev in it, who has a range of attributes that he thinks are good, and he tries to get other people to see these attributes and reassure him that these attributes exist. When I look at my experience I can see certain behaviours that seem to be sort of characteristic of things that I do. Like being generally thoughtful of other people’s needs and able to listen. Perhaps the self is about believing I can somehow carry these attributes with me all the time, rather than seeing them disappear into the past, and being left with nothing but a memory.

I think I am getting a theoretical mode here, and that may not be the path to seeing the lack of self. It sort of relates to your point on what can be recognised, but I may be missing your intention. What can be recognised in experience is some characteristic ways of being, but that could well be occurring without a self being present. What can also be seen in experience is a body whose sensations are experienced more directly than those that happen to other bodies. I can experience thoughts that arise in my mind, which I cannot experience in the minds of others.
OK, and what about in deep sleep, in the absence of dreams. Is there any ‘you’ to experience that?


I am not aware of anything happening when I am in deep sleep. There is no experience, so I guess there is no experiencer present.
Is the ‘you-experiencer' of dreams taking leave? What is the ‘you-experiencer" made of?
There is no conscious awareness present. I presume the you experiencer is made out of conscious awareness. Thoughts seem to be something that arises in conscious awareness, a rather clunky form or aspect of it.
When you say « So I might see that my life goes on living itself », is that ‘I’ that sees and owns ‘his’ life permanent, real? Can you see, touch, hear, feel him?
I cannot touch, hear or feel this I. It just seems to be a sort of free floating presence in my imagination. Something I believe in, though there is no evidence for it in my experience.
I would be better off if I could see the "I" as fictitious…Now you tell me why this is a funny line … :-) the words ‘serpent’ and ‘tail’ come to mind …

I guess something is seen to be fictitious, seems that a subject is sort of implied. If awareness arises connected to this mind/body, and in that awareness there is seen to be no “I”, who/what sees that to be the case?

Bye for now.

Trev

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Freddi
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Re: a step into the unknown

Postby Freddi » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:23 am

Hi Trev,
What can be recognised is certain qualities of the person – could be that they are friendly, kind, attractive, whatever – even if the self is fictitious, perhaps these qualities can still be attached to the fictitious self and recognised by other fictitious selves.
Ok STOP. Take a deep breath. For a moment, leave the thought stream for a moment. Bring the attention back to this, what is. Notice what is seen, what is heard, what is touched, how it all moves. Notice also that whereby all this moves, is touched, heard, seen. Now point to an object and say its name out loud. ’T-A-B-L-E’, see the label and the reality behind it. Move on to another ‘thing’, move to the body, ‘F-O-O-T’, ‘H-A-N-D’, etc. Keep going with as many things as you like.
Do these labels faithfully represent the reality behind them?
Are these 'portions' of reality pointed to the same as the sounds ‘table’, ‘foot’, ‘hand’, etc?
Now say the label ’S-E-L-F’ and point towards it. What is the finger pointing to?
Say the sound 'P-E-R-S-O-N'. Where is this, in the room?

Thank you!

Fred
"To come to your senses you have to go out of your mind" - Alan Watts


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