Was no self really seen?

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rrdnoself
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Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:48 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
A desire for clarity. After reading some descriptions of Stream Entry (Awakening?) experiences, I'm not sure how my own experiences map to these. I've been looking into information on the stages of enlightenment and this site looked like a goof resource. And then after reading about the direct pointing idea that seemed very attractive.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
Given my seeking/enquiry background as described below, I am simply attempting to better understand my experience, and my present state, and how this maps into whatever useful models/maps of enlightenment/liberation exist (such as the traditional Stream Enterer, Non-Returner, etc.). I've never had an experience of the world disappearing as some people apparently do, yet there does seem to have been a shift in the sense of "I" (Perhaps to what Ramana Maharshi calls "I,I", i.e The Self, or True Nature is another term I am familiar with). There was no dramatic experience of "Oh my God, there is no Me!", although there certainly seems to have been a gradual falling away of the sense of a personal self. So when I read these more dramatic accounts of the world briefly disappearing for some people, in this regard my experience has been very different, yet there are many other elements/qualities that otherwise seems to fit in the enlightenment story. So, I'm just curious and trying to understand. Ok upon reading a couple of the forum posts there was a big impact and there seems to have been a realization that there is no me!(T) So now the thought is that working with a guide can help identify any remaining assumptions or self-delusion, and perhaps deepen the seeing.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
June 2015 I started having spontaneous experiences of Presence (Deep Stillness/Peace, equanimity, love for all, bliss, Focused completely in the Now (i.e. not identified with thoughts, or simply no thoughts), world appearing extremely vibrant). I get the terms Presence & “the Now" from Eckhart Tolle. I would eventually spend most of the day in this state after spending a short time focusing attention on plants/trees/bodies-of-water. I started reading various texts to gain better understanding (re-read Power of Now, read most Adyashanti books, I AM THAT, a few Ramana Maharishi books). After a few months of these experiences I had an experience of universal consciousness ("I am nothing, I am everything”, the body/face in the mirror seemed no more or less “me” than everything else) for a few hours (Early September 2015). Then another one a few weeks later. Also other "Openings"/"Direct Experience" of different flavors, including e.g. no-thought/no-self-referencing, e.g. Great compassion/awe towards "others". Sometimes frequently, sometimes nothing notable for a couple of months. I engage in regular daily meditation 1-2 hours. Some weeks after that September opening I spent a few weeks focusing on "I Am" as mentioned by Nisargadatta Maharaj,and most recently an intense constant practice of inner enquiry into the source of the "I thought" as mentioned by Ramana Maharshi which after a couple of weeks apparently culminated in another opening, after this the sense of "I" no longer seemed to be centered in the head, rather now in the chest, right side. Feeling of mental/subjective space in the head seems now to be kind of hollowed out. Seems to be a growing/deepening persistent baseline of equanimity/stillness. Thoughts are seen as thoughts, not as me, although at times I can still get briefly hooked by a thought or train of thoughts.

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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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:11 am

Use of the term "universal consciousness" just seemed the most apt label, better might have been "so-called universal consciousness".

I confirm I have read the disclaimers, here: http://liberationunleashed.com/terms/ and here http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
I confirm I have read the article on direct experience, here: http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:19 am

Also, on some threads it was mentioned it is ok to continue a daily meditation practice. I meditate daily, simple formless meditation, no mantra or focus, just witnessing whatever arises (sensations/thoughts). Is this ok to continue?

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CharlesB
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby CharlesB » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:40 pm

Hello rrdnoself,

Welcome to LU. My name is Charlie. Would you like to be called rrdnoself, or any other name?
I've been looking into information on the stages of enlightenment and this site looked like a goof resource.
Yes, most here would agree this is a pretty "goof" resource. :)
And then after reading about the direct pointing idea that seemed very attractive.
Yep, direct pointing is what we do.

You and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realization, or the confirmation that there is no 'self'.

The realization that there is no ‘self’. That will be our focus.

I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.
There was no dramatic experience of "Oh my God, there is no Me!"
Yes, for many, if not most, it is a subtle, “of course” realization.
although there certainly seems to have been a gradual falling away of the sense of a personal self.
Yes, this is also common. I believe the following distinction is very important:

There is no “self”. Never has been and never will be.

However, there is, as you wrote, “a sense of a personal self”. This sense of a self is what fools us into believing there actually is a self.

When it is seen there is no self, a sense of a self can remain. And a gradual falling away is of that sense is common.

More to follow. Just wanted to get a response out to you!

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CharlesB
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby CharlesB » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:00 pm

So now the thought is that working with a guide can help identify any remaining assumptions or self-delusion, and perhaps deepen the seeing.
Yes, very good. Along these lines, let me ask:

What are your expectations for this process?

What changes do you hope to experience?

How do you hope to feel?

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:56 pm

Hi Charlie, thanks for your reply. You can call me Randy.
What are your expectations for this process?
There does not seem to be an actual expectation. There has been a general sense of excitement at the idea of engaging in this process. Various thoughts have arisen about this even before your reply/question, "Is my seeing real if the world did not fall away?", "I'd like to experience the world falling away, that would confirm the seeing (plus that would be cool!)". These and similar thoughts come and go. Today after some thoughts were briefly entertained and then "seen", they were followed by laughter. This thought just occurred: "I'm most interested in the process itself", and then "I'm open to whatever unfolds". Then "None of these thoughts are very sticky. It is difficult to take them seriously at all".
What changes do you hope to experience?
There was the initial thought "A sense of confidence that the seeing of no-self is real", and then looking at the content of that thought, a new thought arises "Actually there already seems to be the sense that the seeing of no-self is deepening or becoming trusted, I can't really say I hope for any changes".
How do you hope to feel?
--laughter--, I already feel wonderful/content. I don't hope for any particular feeling, those come and go and change. The thought at times has certainly arisen... "If I get enlightened or enlightened enough surely I'll be in a constant state of peace/contentment", hmm and that actually might be a sticky thought when I consider the content, sometimes this is strongly entertained. In this moment though, I can't really say I hope for any feeling, even the idea "I" seems funny/odd.

Please let me know if my mix of quoted thoughts and unquoted statements makes sense and if some other format would be better.

-Randy

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:07 pm

Regarding the expectations for the process, I realize I interpreted that in terms of the result it might produce. As far as the process itself, I expect you will ask questions that will point at certain assumptions I've apparently made , and/or they will invite me to look more closely at experience in a more direct way.

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:12 pm

"The habitual self-referencing in the use of language is insidious!!!"

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CharlesB
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby CharlesB » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:41 pm

Dear Randy,
There does not seem to be an actual expectation. There has been a general sense of excitement at the idea of engaging in this process.
Excellent. Excitement is good!
Various thoughts have arisen about this even before your reply/question, "Is my seeing real if the world did not fall away?", "I'd like to experience the world falling away, that would confirm the seeing (plus that would be cool!)". These and similar thoughts come and go.
Yes, good looking and seeing.
Today after some thoughts were briefly entertained and then "seen", they were followed by laughter. This thought just occurred: "I'm most interested in the process itself", and then "I'm open to whatever unfolds". Then "None of these thoughts are very sticky. It is difficult to take them seriously at all".
Ha ha. Sounds good!
There was the initial thought "A sense of confidence that the seeing of no-self is real", and then looking at the content of that thought, a new thought arises "Actually there already seems to be the sense that the seeing of no-self is deepening or becoming trusted, I can't really say I hope for any changes".
Alright. Good stuff!
--laughter--, I already feel wonderful/content. I don't hope for any particular feeling, those come and go and change. The thought at times has certainly arisen... "If I get enlightened or enlightened enough surely I'll be in a constant state of peace/contentment", hmm and that actually might be a sticky thought when I consider the content, sometimes this is strongly entertained. In this moment though, I can't really say I hope for any feeling, even the idea "I" seems funny/odd.
This is great! Wonderful!

Randy, there are a few more questions, just to make sure all bases have been touched.

Write this down:

There is no separate self at all in reality. No agent that is in charge, no manager, no watcher, no owner of life; all there is is life flowing freely as one movement.

Watch, wait, notice, and write down what comes up.

Is there fear? Is there doubt? Resistance? Frustration?

Or maybe there is feeling of wow, joy, relief?

Notice all that is going on inside and just put it down in writing.

All the Best!

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:34 am

Write this down:

There is no separate self at all in reality. No agent that is in charge, no manager, no watcher, no owner of life; all there is is life flowing freely as one movement.

Watch, wait, notice, and write down what comes up.

Is there fear? Is there doubt? Resistance? Frustration?

Or maybe there is feeling of wow, joy, relief?

Notice all that is going on inside and just put it down in writing.
There is a sense of calm and peace. Stillness. Gratitude for & enjoyment of this miracle of experiencing. Thought "can it really be this simple?", not like a doubt , more like a sense of wonder/awe.

Then there are thoughts "can this be lost?", "can egoic thought still tend to try to co-opt the realization or sneak in the back door?", "It seems like that might be less of an issue, since thoughts in general seem much less sticky. Seems like it might still require being really honest with... with... with who? (was going to be 'with oneself!'). Or maybe just drop that whole concern, just let the thoughts come and go and relax". There is curiosity about making decisions "How do I make decisions?", but then that just involves a habitual reflexive 'self-reference', ok so that is just a piece of foam on the top of a wave. Obviously decisions have been getting made just fine, or doing has been happening just fine and the idea of a decision is just another illusion.

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:40 am

ok, now laughter after reading and briefly contemplating all that!

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CharlesB
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby CharlesB » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:52 pm

Dear Randy,
There is a sense of calm and peace. Stillness. Gratitude for & enjoyment of this miracle of experiencing. Thought "can it really be this simple?", not like a doubt , more like a sense of wonder/awe.
Beautiful!
Then there are thoughts "can this be lost?", "can egoic thought still tend to try to co-opt the realization or sneak in the back door?", "It seems like that might be less of an issue, since thoughts in general seem much less sticky. Seems like it might still require being really honest with... with... with who? (was going to be 'with oneself!'). Or maybe just drop that whole concern, just let the thoughts come and go and relax".
Yes, there are many ways to put this, but one way is to say that for most there are layers to awakening, one more subtle then other. There are levels of sub-conscious conditioning which will continue to arise. This should not be surprising. This too is just life happening. They arise so that more and more freedom can be obtained. Liberation Unleashed has many sources of post-gate assistance.
There is curiosity about making decisions "How do I make decisions?", but then that just involves a habitual reflexive 'self-reference', ok so that is just a piece of foam on the top of a wave. Obviously decisions have been getting made just fine, or doing has been happening just fine and the idea of a decision is just another illusion.
Yes. This is exciting.
ok, now laughter after reading and briefly contemplating all that!
Happy Days!

Would you say without a doubt, that I, the separate self, is an illusion?
If so, are you ready for what we call the 'final questions'?

All the Best!

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:32 am

Hi Charlie,
Would you say without a doubt, that I, the separate self, is an illusion?
Yes.
If so, are you ready for what we call the 'final questions'?
Yes, I am ready.

Thanks!
-Randy

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rrdnoself
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby rrdnoself » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:43 am

OK, gak. I contemplated this multiple times, and there was some resistance to saying "yes" that came up (around "without a doubt"). Then there was an apparent choice to ignore all that. Then posting happened, then the thought "all that resistance was some kind of doubt". What seemed to come up was "If someone asked me how I know the separate self is an illusion, I could not explain it". As much as there is dis-satisfaction with not having a clear "Yes", calling out the doubt seems to feel appropriate, like leaving no stone unturned.

-Randy

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CharlesB
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Re: Was no self really seen?

Postby CharlesB » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:22 pm

Dear Randy,
OK, gak. I contemplated this multiple times, and there was some resistance to saying "yes" that came up (around "without a doubt"). Then there was an apparent choice to ignore all that. Then posting happened, then the thought "all that resistance was some kind of doubt". What seemed to come up was "If someone asked me how I know the separate self is an illusion, I could not explain it". As much as there is dis-satisfaction with not having a clear "Yes", calling out the doubt seems to feel appropriate, like leaving no stone unturned.
This is sooo common!

When I first found out about Liberation Unleashed I hung out in the background for a while. I read through several guiding sessions, articles, blogs, etc., when I suddenly saw there was no self. There was this table. There were thoughts about a self. And feelings about a self. And bodily sensations. But I couldn’t find a self.

I contacted LU and requested a guide. Like you, I wrote that I believed I had seen there was no self and I wanted it confirmed. The next morning I woke up and fear arose. Doubts arose. I said, “Oh no. A guide is going to be contacting me and I don’t feel clear anymore. This is embarrassing!”

After several minutes of this I remembered to simply stop and look for a self again. And again, the self wasn’t there. There were thoughts, feelings and senses, but no self.

Remember what I wrote the other day: “Yes, there are many ways to put this, but one way is to say that for most there are layers to awakening, one more subtle then other. There are levels of sub-conscious conditioning which will continue to arise. This should not be surprising. This too is just life happening. They arise so that more and more freedom can be obtained. Liberation Unleashed has many sources of post-gate assistance.”

For many, this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey of more and more freedom.

Here are the questions. There is no rush. Take your time and write what feels true. If I see anything that needs clarification, we can look at that.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

All the Best!
Charlie


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