Free From What?

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C$$
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Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:18 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:

I don't know what brings me to Liberation Unleashed. One thought is that I am on a journey to discover my true self and so I am here to further that search. Another thought tells me that there is no journey and nothing brought me here. I feel stuck searching for not searching. I understand intellectually what I'm not. I understand that there is no time. Yet I still find myself searching as an apparent person in apparent time. I feel isolated from the people around me since nobody has the same burning desire.

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

To go through the gateless gate. Maybe someone who has been where I am, can help from their greater perspective.
I have no expectations.

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

I have been casually "seeking" for many years, but over the past year it has become an obsession. It's like a fire. I've tried extinguishing it with books, satsangs, mediations, and yoga; but it seems to grow stronger everyday. This "reality" feels more and more like a dream. I no longer see life or "myself" the same way. I feel like I'm close to the end, but then a thought arises, who feels close to the end and what is this end? I don't know.

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). : 11

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:29 pm

Hi,

My name is Nina, and I am happy to assist in exploring the illusion of the separate self. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers.

I will ask questions and set you some exercises for you to make the realisation that there is no separate self. This will be the focus. There are no right or wrong answers and no one will be judging!

Are you happy to continue? What shall I call you?

Best wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:47 pm

Thank you Nina! You can call me Chris.
I'm very happy to continue.

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:53 pm

Hi Chris!

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed!

Before we start, let’s get through the formalities first:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

SOME GROUND RULES:-
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.

2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. ANSWER ONLY FROM ACTUAL EXPERIENCE (smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts).

Read this article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is actual/direct experience.)

Longwinded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.

5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT
- You can reply to this thread by pushing the purple-orange coloured button 'Post Reply" at the left bottom of this page.

- PLEASE LEARN to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below :
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

- The site has a 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 (word document), then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

If you are happy to agree to all this, we can get started!

Very best Wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:27 am

Hey Nina,

Sounds good. Let's begin. :)

Thank you,
Chris

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:23 am

Hi again Chris,

Great. Let's get going!

From the first post, it looks like some intense seeking has been happening. To start with, it is important to look at the expecations around all this seeking as these could get in the way of seeing.

These 5 questions may help to pin point expectations. Have a look at them and write down anything that comes up. This may include thoughts, feelings, resistance ... whatever is there.

By going through the gateless gate:

1)How will Life change?

2)How will you change?

3)What will be different?

4)What is missing at the moment?

5)What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?

When you are ready, please answer the questions one at a time. Highlight each of the questions using the QUOTE FUNCTION and write your answer under each of the questions.

Please remember that there are no right or wrong answers! These questions are to help me to guide you.

I look forward to your reply.

Best wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:04 pm

Hey Nina,

Thank you. I will be as honest as possible when answering these questions.
1)How will Life change?
A lot of unnecessary suffering will cease which was created from an identity as a separate self. I will see the simplicity and perfection of everyday life.
2)How will you change?
I will be able to let things flow, both “the good” and “the bad”. I will connect better with people and appreciate the life around me. Thoughts will not have power over me since they will be seen as impersonal things.
3)What will be different?
Everything will be the same but my perspective to this ‘everything’ will shift. Greater compassion and appreciation. I do not expect the world to change, only the lens through which I see it.
4)What is missing at the moment?
A feeling of peace and freedom that I believe is possible.
5)What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?
To see the truth of who I am. To let go of false concepts that seem to hold me back from life. To wake up to reality.

Thank you,
Chris

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:38 am

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the answers. And thanks for getting to grips with the quote function - it makes things much easier!

Please read the following responses to your post and, most importantly, see what arises .....
Is there fear or resistance?
Disappointment, anger, or any other feeling?
Irritation?
Is there disagreement with anything?

1)How will Life change?
A lot of unnecessary suffering will cease which was created from an identity as a separate self. I will see the simplicity and perfection of everyday life.
There never was and there never has been a seperate self.
It is not possible for something that never existed to create suffering.

"Simplicity" and "perfection" are the actual experience of thought and do not exist other than in thought. The content of thought is not real.

All there is and has ever been is raw experience of sound, smell, taste, sensation and image/colour overlayed with thought (concepts).

2)How will you change?
I will be able to let things flow, both “the good” and “the bad”. I will connect better with people and appreciate the life around me. Thoughts will not have power over me since they will be seen as impersonal things.
There is no you and there never has been.
There is no you to "let things flow".

"Good" and "bad" are the actual experience of thought and not the actual experience of good and bad. The contect of thought is not real.

There is no you to "connect better with people".

"Connection with people" is the actual experince of thought and not the actual experience of connection. The contect of thought is not real.

"Life around me" is also the actual experience of thought. There is no "me" in the first place.

Thoughts have no power. They are not able to do anything.

3)What will be different?
Everything will be the same but my perspective to this ‘everything’ will shift. Greater compassion and appreciation. I do not expect the world to change, only the lens through which I see it.
You do not have a perspective because you do not exist. "You" have never existed.
There is no "I' to expect and no "I" see.
It is very simple.

Compassion and appreciation and the actual experiecne of thought and not the actual experience of compassion and appreciation.

4)What is missing at the moment?
A feeling of peace and freedom that I believe is possible.
There is no "I" to believe in anything and there never has been. There is also no "I" to believe in.

"Peace" and "Freedom" are also the actual experience of thought and not the experience of peace and freedom.

All there is and has ever been is raw experience of sound, smell, taste, sensation and image/colour overlayed with thought (concepts).

5)What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?
To see the truth of who I am. To let go of false concepts that seem to hold me back from life. To wake up to reality.
There is no "I" and there never has been.
It is not possible to see "who I am".
It is not possible for "I" to wake up.
There is no "I" to let go.
"I" is the illusion os the seperate self. "I" is an illusion and is not able to do anything.


Ok. Those are the responses.
Looking forward to a new set of responses to the responses! ;)

Very best wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:33 pm

Hey Nina,

Thank you for these responses! They were very sharp and clear. There were not any feelings of fear, anger, etc… but at times it did feel like getting a school test back with all the wrong answers. Maybe those are feelings for shame/embarrassment, but there wasn’t an identification with them.
It is not possible for something that never existed to create suffering.
Does this mean that suffering is only a thought that there is suffering? A thought that there is an I who is suffering?

I really took my time with your responses to let them settle in. I don’t have any disagreements.

For this context, how should “I” be writing to “you”? I’ve been using subject-object for it’s simplicity and not trying to over think my wording, but would it be more helpful for this process for the writing to be more subjective; no “I”, “me”, “my”?.

Should I stop all reading, watching, and listening of non-duality teachings while we are having this investigation? What about from the liberation unleashed website?

Thanks again! This has been extremely helpful.

-Chris

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:44 am

Hi Chris,

Great to hear that you are getting something from this conversation already!
at times it did feel like getting a school test back with all the wrong answers.
Ha Ha! It may be unavoidable to feel a little like this! But remember that it isn't possible to get anything wrong. This is actually like a game of ping-pong ...... the guide's role being to respond in a way that points to the actual experience of the ball and the bat and the table and the net and the floor and the hand holding the bat and the "body" attached to the hand etc etc. Actual experience is the key to seeing.
It is not possible for something that never existed to create suffering.
Does this mean that suffering is only a thought that there is suffering? A thought that there is an I who is suffering?
This is not about denying suffering. But it is about looking into the illusion of the seperate individual who suffers. And yes absolutely .... looking at the thought that there is an I who is suffering.

Let's LOOK at the actual experience of suffering "pain" or "sadness" or 'discomfort".

Looking isn’t difficult. It doesn’t require any special skills!
‘Looking” is just actually looking to what is here. When you loose your car keys you have to look everywhere for them! That is looking.
Looking is noticing sound, taste, smell, sensation and colours (images) to see what is readily available.
Looking is noticing thought/s - but it NOT thinking.
Thoughts tend to pull you away from looking directly BECAUSE, by directly looking into what you experience, you will inevitably unveil the trick THOUGHTS play in creating the illusion of an "I".

Remember that Actual Experience is sound, smell, taste, sensation and image/colour and thought.

What is the actual experience of falling off a bike into a ditch full of nettles?
Is there sensation?
Is there thought?
Is there image/colour?
Sound or smell or taste?

What is the actual experience of hearing a tragic news story?
Is there sensation?
Does the sensation have a location?
Is there thought?
Is there image/colour?
Sound or smell or taste?
For this context, how should “I” be writing to “you”? I’ve been using subject-object for it’s simplicity and not trying to over think my wording, but would it be more helpful for this process for the writing to be more subjective; no “I”, “me”, “my”?.
It seems to be the case that language use changes during these conversations! It is part of the process, but please don't think there are any rules. The more honest the answers and the greater freedom with which they are answered, the better!

Try describing all actions through the day.

"I am having breakfast"
"I am lying on the bed"
"I am walking to the bus stop"
"I am cooking the dinner"

then drop the "I"

"having breakfast"
"lying on the bed"
"Walking"
"Cooking dinner"

Is there a difference?
Should I stop all reading, watching, and listening of non-duality teachings while we are having this investigation? What about from the liberation unleashed website?
It is best if Actual Experience is the only source of information at the moment! LOOKING and LOOKING and LOOKING.

Thanks Chris!

Good luck with the exercises.

Best wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:39 am

Hey Nina,

Thanks again for your responses. I spent the day practicing the exercise of removing the “I am” from whatever was happening. It was very peaceful and made things feel more impersonal. I also felt deeply into the idea that there is no seer and seen, only seeing. It’s a very intimate experience.

I’m having trouble weening myself off the non duality books/videos, since it’s become almost a lifestyle now, but I’m doing my best to remain in the Actual Experience.

Looking forward to your next message.

Thanks,
Chris

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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:04 am

Hi Chris,
I spent the day practicing the exercise of removing the “I am” from whatever was happening.


Great. Pleased to hear it was a "peaceful" experience. How is it going ?

Is the "I am" necessary?
Does the "I am" get in the way of the experience?

(please could you answer all the questions asked please becasue they are there to help LOOKing and SEEING. Quote each question using the quote function and write an answer underneath each).

I also felt deeply into the idea that there is no seer and seen, only seeing.
Let's LOOK at this. Here is a reminder about what LOOKING is:

‘Looking” is just actually looking to what is here.
Looking is noticing sound, taste, smell, sensation and colours (images) to see what is readily available.
Looking is noticing thought/s - but it is NOT thinking.
Thoughts tend to pull you away from looking directly BECAUSE, by directly looking into what you experience, you will inevitably unveil the trick THOUGHTS play in creating the illusion of an "I".

What is the Actual Experience of "feeling deeply into the idea"?
Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "feeling deeply"?
Does "feeling deeply" have a shape or colour or sound or taste?
Does "feeling deeply" have a location?
Where is the "idea" located?
Is "idea" a thought label?

(Please answer each of these questions individually)
It’s a very intimate experience.
Let's look at the actual experience of "a very intimate experience"
Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "a very intimate experience"?
Does "a very intimate experience" have a shape or colour or sound or taste?
Does "a very intimate experience" have a location?
Is "a very intimate experience" a thought that seems to be attached to a sensation?

(Please answer each of these questions individually).

Can we also LOOK again at yesterday's questions about the Actual Experience of suffering? The first question is answered from Actual Experience as an example,
What is the actual experience of falling off a bike into a ditch full of nettles?
Is there sensation?
Is there thought?
Is there image/colour?
Sound or smell or taste?
There would probably be quite a lot of sensation! And thought labels "stinging" and "pain" and "ouch".
Actual experience of colours and maybe the thought label "green" of the nettles and maybe thought label "red" of the skin.
Actual experience of sound. And thought labels "crash" and "crunch".
Other thought labels maybe "bike", "ditch", "nettles", "skin"and then perhaps a thought story about "I was going too fast" or "how do I get out of here?"

So the actual experience of sensation is sensation.
The actual experience of colour is colour.
The actual experience of sound is sound.
The actual experience of taste is taste.
The actual experience of smell is smell.
The actual experience of thought it thought.
There is only ever raw experience of sensation, colour/image, sound, taste, smell overlayed with thought.


Now try this one from actual experience:

What is the actual experience of hearing a tragic news story?
Is there sensation?
Does the sensation have a location?
Is there thought?
Is there image/colour?
Sound or smell or taste?

Please answer all the questions seperately using the quote function.
I’m having trouble weening myself off the non duality books/videos, since it’s become almost a lifestyle now, but I’m doing my best to remain in the Actual Experience.

Hopefully the above exercises will be a distraction!!

Good luck with LOOKING!

Best wishes

Nina

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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:33 pm

Hey Nina,

It’s going well. Sorry, it was not clear to answer all the questions.
Is the "I am" necessary?
The “I am” is not necessary in any action.
Does the "I am" get in the way of the experience?
The “I am” does seem to get in the way of experience and make things seem personal. Concepts of good and bad tend to come up.
What is the Actual Experience of "feeling deeply into the idea"?
Thoughts arising and a relaxed sensation.
Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "feeling deeply"?
Yes, there is a feeling of relaxation.
Does "feeling deeply" have a shape or colour or sound or taste?
Nope
Does "feeling deeply" have a location?
The initial thought is that it is located in the body, but this is just a concept. Feeling just happens. Seemly to a body but that can’t be known.
Where is the "idea" located?
The idea is in thought without a real location, although thoughts seem to arise in the head. This is also a concept.
Is "idea" a thought label?
“Idea” is a thought label.
Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "a very intimate experience"?
A feeling of relaxation.
Does "a very intimate experience" have a shape or colour or sound or taste?
No.
Does "a very intimate experience" have a location?
No.
Is "a very intimate experience" a thought that seems to be attached to a sensation?
Yes, it’s a thought attached with a relaxed sensation.

What is the actual experience of hearing a tragic news story?
Hearing, thinking, and maybe seeing.
Is there sensation?
The could be a sensation of tension.
Does the sensation have a location?
Appears to happen in the body, but that’s only what has been taught. Upon further investigation it does not seem to have a location.
Is there thought?
Yes, most likely thought.
Is there image/colour?
If it’s a tv news program, there would be image/color.
Sound or smell or taste?
If it’s from a radio/tv, there would be sound, but no smell or taste.

Thanks again! Looking forward to a response.

-Chris

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Nina45
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Re: Free From What?

Postby Nina45 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:28 am

Hi Chris!

Great LOOKing!
The “I am” is not necessary in any action.
A simple but important discovery.
The “I am” does seem to get in the way of experience and make things seem personal. Concepts of good and bad tend to come up.
That is really insteresting. Is it true that "I am" seems to create a story about experience being "good" or "bad"?
Have a LOOK when "I" is used throughout the day.
Does "I" always start a story?
What is the Actual Experience of "feeling deeply into the idea"?
Thoughts arising and a relaxed sensation.
So the Actual Experience is sensation + thought label "relaxed"
Is this clear?
Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "feeling deeply"?
Yes, there is a feeling of relaxation.
LOOK again.
Does the sensation know anything about the thought story about "relaxation"?
Does "feeling deeply" have a location?
The initial thought is that it is located in the body, but this is just a concept. Feeling just happens. Seemly to a body but that can’t be known.
Great. :)
We will look at the seeming body later in the conversation.

Is it true to say that there is a thought about sensation being "located in the body"?
Where is the "idea" located?
The idea is in thought without a real location, although thoughts seem to arise in the head. This is also a concept.
Great :)
Is it true to say that there is another thought about "thought being in the head"?
“Idea” is a thought label.
Yes, it is a thought label.
Is it possible for a thought label to know anything about a sensation?

In Actual Experience, what is "feeling deeply into the idea"?

Is there a felt sensation that seems to be associated with "a very intimate experience"?
A feeling of relaxation.
Sensation + thought label "relaxation"
Is this clear?

(Sensation is the word used here because "feeling" can also mean "emotion")

Is "a very intimate experience" a thought that seems to be attached to a sensation?
Yes, it’s a thought attached with a relaxed sensation.
What is "relaxed" is actual experience?

Does sensation know anything about "being relaxed"?

What is the actual experience of hearing a tragic news story?

Is there sensation?
There could be a sensation of tension.
Sensation + thought label "tension"
Does sensation know anything about a thought?
Does a thought label know anything about sensation?
Does the sensation have a location?

Appears to happen in the body, but that’s only what has been taught. Upon further investigation it does not seem to have a location.
Really great LOOKing Chris! :)
Is it another thought that says sensation "happens in the body"?
Is is another thought that says sensation "has a location"?

Now ... to get back to the original question about suffering.....What is "suffering" in Actual Experience?


This is an exercise to help with really focusing on Actual Expereince (AE):

Label each experience simply image/colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought.

So as you become aware of:
Seeing a tree,simply = image/colour
Smelling the coffee = smell,
Feel the wind on your face = sensation.
Tasting the toothpaste on your toothbrush = taste
Hearing a car drive by = sound
Thought about work = thought. (Thoughts can be words and mental images)

Just break down all experiences into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go.

Have fun with the exercise Chris!

Very best wishes

Nina

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C$$
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Re: Free From What?

Postby C$$ » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:36 am

Hey Nina,

These responses were very helpful. It is now seen that feelings are really sensations + thought label.
That is really insteresting. Is it true that "I am" seems to create a story about experience being "good" or "bad"?
This is also a thought, so it’s not true.
Does "I" always start a story?
All thoughts are in a story, and “I” can only be in thought. So yes.
So the Actual Experience is sensation + thought label "relaxed"
Is this clear?
Yes, very clear now.
Does the sensation know anything about the thought story about "relaxation"?
No, the sensations does not. “Relaxation” is only a thought label.
Is it true to say that there is a thought about sensation being "located in the body"?
The thought existed, but the content is not real. That thought only exists as another thought now.
Is it true to say that there is another thought about "thought being in the head"?
Yes, a thought about a thought.
Is it possible for a thought label to know anything about a sensation?
Never. Thought cannot know anything.
In Actual Experience, what is "feeling deeply into the idea"?
A sensation and a thought label.
Sensation + thought label "relaxation"
Is this clear?
Yes
What is "relaxed" is actual experience?
Sensation and a thought label “relaxed”
Does sensation know anything about "being relaxed"?
No.
Does sensation know anything about a thought?
Nope.
Does a thought label know anything about sensation?
No.
Is it another thought that says sensation "happens in the body"?
Yes, just a thought.
Is is another thought that says sensation "has a location"?
Yes.
What is "suffering" in Actual Experience?
A thought and a sensation.

The exercise was fun. It really strips away the thought stories that cover the actual experience. It’s still a story, just a shorter one.

Thanks again!
Chris


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