Homesick

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BleedIntoOne
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Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:55 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
My story most likely echoes that of many who've found their way to this forum. Several years of seeking, looking to answer that nagging call within, the one that no matter how hard I've tried to ignore/drown it out (which includes many years of active drug and alcohol addiction) just won't go away.
I've read all of the texts a seeker is "supposed" to read from the great wisdom traditions, as well as the classics from teachers such as Ramana Maharishi, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shankara, Nagarjuna, Ram Dass and on and on and on, and while I'm grateful for the pointers, as well as plenty of minor "aha" and "awakening" moments, I still fall back into the illusion of "myself" and all of the hopes and fears and terrors and joys that come along with that.

I've found Adyashanti's work to be helpful, and through him I learned of Jed Mckenna. I just finished Jed's first book of his enlightenment trilogy and while looking on Amazon at his others, learned of Gateless Gatecrashers through someone in the comment section.

After checking out this website and watching the videos, I felt moved to sign up and give working with a guide a try, if you're willing to have me.

Either way, I thank you for your time and this service you're providing in the world.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
It would be nice to finally find the Truth that I've been seeking for, to dismantle this identification "I" have with "myself". And not in a way that's just trying to escape life's difficulties, but to honestly awaken to the Truth of this reality "I" am experiencing.
As for what I expect, I don't know. I think it would be unfair of me to project my expectations onto someone who kindly volunteers their time in a forum such as this and expect them to lead me to the Truth that I seek, yet at the same time, from everything I've read and watched on this page, I understand that prospect is not entirely unrealistic either.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?: Aside from what I've already mentioned in the "what bring you to" section, I've worked extensively (for roughly 13 years) with meditation, mantra, TM, centering prayer, self inquiry, and more, rooted in the various wisdom traditions including schools from Buddhism, Hinduism, Mystic Christianity, Taoism and more.

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
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Ilona
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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:33 pm

Hi BleedIntoOne,

Nice name ;)
Welcome to LU forum!

We can have a conversation. This is your process, I'm here only to hold a hand and ask some questions. Please answer from your experience alone, not from what you have learned from others. You only need to look at what feels honest and true to you.
It's good that you read Jed, looks that you are on the right track in your search for truth.
Jed is right, you have to look for truth for yourself, by yourself, for the love of it. Only thing he missed in his books is where to look precisely.

And here is where to look:
There is no self. Period.

Is it true?
How do you know?

Write what feels true.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:26 pm

Hello Ilona,
It's truly a pleasure to be in touch with you and I look forward to this exploration.

Agreed about Jed. I really love his material but yes, at the end, I found myself wondering where exactly to go from there. I understand that as you said, I must look for my truth myself, by myself, and for the love of it, however, I'm certainly the type of person who can use help and pointers along the way. I'm grateful to the teachers and traditions I already mentioned for getting me going, but have been feeling stuck for a while now and I no it is no accident that I've come across both Jed's work as well as LU.

Now, on to your question.

"There is no self. Period. Is it true? How do you know?"

A part of me instinctively wants to go to the teachings of no-self I've studied but I recognize that that's not what you're looking for, nor will it do me any good in this particular process. I will say that on an intellectual level, the idea or teachings of "no-self" make sense to me and resonate as true, and while I've had what I believe to be authentic glimpses of One Taste (or whatever name one chooses to call it), it's usually much sooner than later that I fall back in to the small, limited, separate self I believe to be "me".

Also, I'm realizing I'm writing right now about past tense and that that also is not what you asked for, so my apologies. Please let me note up front one of the big hindrances I've recognized in myself is that I get stuck in my head a lot and over analytical, so apologies in advance.

So, "There is no self. Period. Is it true?"

At present moment, I am still having the experience that "I" am answering this question. So I must ask myself, who am I? To which I would respond with the obvious description of I am a 38 year old male, heavily tattooed, likes punk rock/hardcore music, hip hop, horror movies, skateboarding, and other various sorts of countercultural type things. I've struggled with addiction for a large part of my life, found hope, cleaned up, wrote some books, help others whenever possible. I'm married with a stepdaughter. Have a loving family etc.

Yet, a part of "me" understands that those are just stories, qualities, interests, experiences, etc. that I'm writing about, not necessarily a specific person, but a part of "me" still feels so deeply entrenched in the idea that "I" do exist, so while I want to say that yes, absolutely, there is no-self, and even though something within me (beyond even just the intellectual understanding) knows this is true, I'd be lying if I agreed to this statement based on my current experience.

But I want to agree with it. I want to awaken to that experience. "I" feel pulled, compelled, towards that experience, hence the reason I am here. And I am willing to do whatever work is necessary to come to that realization.

So at this point, I believe responding to the "How do you know?" portion of your question is something I'm not quite ready to respond to based on all that I've said already. But again, I look forward to returning to, and answering that question from a place that truly knows.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:31 pm

Beautiful. Thank you for honesty. Let's start digging.

Here is a good example of what we are dealing here with. It's the old Santa story. Did you ever get tricked into believing that? If so, how was it for you to learn that it was a fantasy?
What happened to Santa then? Did he disapear, vanish or it was never there?
Same thing with realising no self, what was believed to be true, is seen as fantasy, mind created story. It's not no- self, it's no self at all, as I would, say no Santa at all. (Santa did not turn into no-Santa)

But what is this no self thingy?
It means that what you think you are does not exist. There is no separate agent inside the body suit driving the body, making decisions and generally managing the universe. The I that is assumed to be there is not. There is life, happening.. Nothing is excluded or separated. Word I is not a separate thing.

Here is another example, the word univercity- what is that precisely? A guiding, a class, a room full of students, computers, books, a pattern of behaviour? The word univercity is a conventional agreement, a useful word for communication, but as such, it's a concept, not a thing.

The word I a concept.
Whatever is happening in experience is here, surely, it is happening. But is there an I entity that experience is happening to? That's the question. Is life happening to you or as you? As the experience right here right now.
If you look at a tree, is life happening to a tree or as a tree? Is life happening to your right hand or as the right hand?

Write all that comes up.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:46 pm

Oh did I ever believe in Santa when I was younger, and remember the tears and heartbreak when I found out he didn't in fact exist.So yes, it's not that Santa disappeared but rather, was never actually there in the first place.

And on this cognitive level, again, I understand that "I", just like Santa, also never actually existed in the first place. However, as I truly explore this notion of no-self at all, or question who I am, I experience strong resistance. I also experience some anger & frustration, both at the fact that I'm even questioning "myself" in the first place, as well as the fact that I can't just see the fucking truth and be done with it already.

I read your previous message three times, slowly, and then went outside and sat on my balcony. I live on the 18th floor of a high-rise apt. building overlooking the Ottawa river. From here, I can see trees, people walking their dogs, cars driving, the rain falling, other apartment buildings, Quebec's beautiful Gatineau Park Mountains across the river, and as I sat there taking it all in I desperately wanted to see the flow of oneness in it all, myself included. But I couldn't. And then I recognized I was trying to force it to happen so I looked at the question, "Who is trying to force this to happen? And who is getting angry that you're not seeing what you want to see?" As I explored that, I recognized it was the experience of my thoughts and mind trying to hash all of this out and force it to happen, and thus, I was identifying myself as my thoughts and mind.

So I continued to look. I looked at the tree and explored your question, "Is life happening to a tree or as a tree?" And I saw obviously that life was happening as a tree, not to it. The same with my right hand. Yet, when I look at the question of is like happening to me, or as me, I continue to get stuck. I completely get it on the intellectual level, but as I said earlier, there is strong resistance to it, which leads to a sense of frustration, like, "I understand what Ilona's is pointing towards yet I'm not able to get there." But, where is "there" anyways? Here right? So why can't I get here? Why cant I le't go of all the bullshit and just see truth. Experience truth.

I'm just having such a hard time getting out of my head, which is to say my thoughts about all of this. I recognize I'm trying to think my way into the experience, trying to make sense of it all, rather than dive in and directly taste it.

I completely understand that "I" is a concept. But "I" am stuck on seeing through this "I". From detaching from it. Or, am I not supposed to detach from it but rather, learn to see it as part of the One movement... intertwined with the entire dance as it unfolds? But even if that is the case, and after sitting with it for a few minutes, "I" am still not aware of any shift in perception. Just more rationalizing, and trying to understand on a cognitive level rather than melting into the flow of like so to speak.

Your time with this hot mess is greatly appreciated Ilona. Thank you.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:43 am

Thank you very much for answer. ( I can almost imagine the view from 18th floor )

Yes, you are right saying that you can not think your way out of it. It's nothing to do with mind. It's about looking and noticing, seeing what is already here. It is effortless. And it's good that there is anger and frustration, that fire is helping on this journey.

Ok, basics: the difference between thinking and looking.
If I ask you what colour are your socks, you can answer from two places- thinking and looking. You can remember, what socks you put on, without looking at your socks and you can simply look, see and tell. Can you see the difference?

So if I ask you, where is the I right here right now? You can try to answer from what you think you know about it or you can look, simply, like if you would look for your keys.
Can you find the I in the view? What color is it?
Do you hear it?
Taste it, smell it?
Is there I in touch? Right now, if you are sitting on a chair, is there I sitting or there is sensation of sitting + words/ labels that describe the sensation?

Which sensation is the I?
Does it come and go or is it always here?
Is I more like a feeling or a thought?
Can you pin point that I thingy and tell me precisely what you find.

Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:41 pm

Your example of the socks and thinking Vs. looking is helping tremendously. I don't know why "I' need it broken down as if I were an elementary school student trying to learn something, but it's helping, and I thank you very much Ilona.

So, taking into consideration (and I mean TRULY taking into consideration) what you've said about the difference between thinking and looking, when it comes to finding the "I" that is right here, right now, there is no "I" as such. There is an awareness of a body that carries a name and a story with it. All sorts of experiences and hopes and fears and so on, but it's not a personal "me" like I've been led to believe since childhood.

There is still an awareness of a "me" wanting to creep in and refute all of this. There is also the experience of a voice saying, "You're just rehashing what you've read in The Gateless Gatecrashers" mimicking others experiences etc. and "I" am not sure if this is true or not (it honestly may be). But when "I" look, rather than think, about who is right here, right now, again, there is no "I" as such. It's a frustrating cycle because as soon as my awareness shifts to no personal "I", the experiencer I've believed to be a separate personal self quickly steps in, asserting itself as if to say, "bullshit, I'm here right now. How can you say I don't exist?" And then I go back to looking (rather than thinking) and the sense of "I" disappears again for a moment. Ugh. It's like this belief just won't let go. It feels so deeply ingrained, which I suppose is fair since it's what "I've" known for as long as I can remember.

I'm also aware of my mind getting hmmm, how can I say this, sort of fuzzy or static-y, at times when I try to look in and see if "I" am actually there. It's almost a feeling of mental overwhelm, perhaps some sort of defense mechanism created by this "I", or perhaps not. It's strange, like a mist or fog that sets in at times when I try to look.

To go back to your questions about this "I"...

I can find no color to ascribe to it. There is an awareness of thoughts happening, which "I" believe are "me" (how ridiculous, I know, but it's how it is in this moment). The same can be said for taste. I believe that since I'm aware of the aftertaste of coffee in my mouth, that that's a part of "me". There isn't any smells at the moment so there's no identification with that, but I'd guess that if there was the smell of say, flowers in the air, "I" would probably experience identification with that smell since it was part of "my" experience.

But that's just it, it is a part of the experience, but not "my" experience. It's all just unfolding moment by moment. "I" am aware of that. It's like an internal pull towards letting go and holding on, but WHO is even here to let go or hold on?! This experience is crazy!

"Which sensation is the I" you asked? and immediately I go back to THINKING I am my sensory experiences (thoughts, emotions, feelings, sounds, taste, touch) yet, all of those are fleeting. They come, stay a little while, and then go, so how could I be them?! Ridiculous. Behind that belief though "I" see that there is an awareness, a consciousness in which these experiences are happening, that "I" cannot deny. Apologies for referencing traditions here as I know this work is supposed to be based strictly on my immediate experience only, but the phrase "I Am" comes to mind. There is certainly an awareness in which all of this is unfolding, yet it still feels like a unique awareness housed strictly within my head, because that's where all of this shit is being processed.

When you wrote, "Right now, if you are sitting on a chair, is there I sitting or there is sensation of sitting + words/ labels that describe the sensation?" I found that very helpful, particularly the example of sensation + words + labels. But again, as I look at that and begin to experience the truth of it, the fog, the denial, it all starts rolling back in to protect the "me" that I believe that I am.

So it's a little battle going on inside Ilona. Not sure inside of what exactly, but that's the experience. There is such a strong hold on this sense, this belief of "me", of "I" that does not want to let go. And at the same time, "I" can see, or experience, ever so faintly the clearing in the fog... the experience rather than the experiencer, or, that they are actually one and the same.

Help me Obi Wan... help me ;)
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:31 pm

haha, Obi Wan is here to help...

good work. and yes, it is confusing. and yes, we are not trained to look and we employ thinking more that seeing. it's good that you noticed the difference!
But when "I" look, rather than think, about who is right here, right now, again, there is no "I" as such.
Yes! it is that simple.

ok, let's dig into language, because our language is designed so, that it in itself creates an illusion.

see how we have verbs for action and nouns for objects? we say- tree is growing, bird is flying, a woman is crossing the road. there is someone/thing that does action. this is what language says
I breathe, i sit, i walk, i sing, i feel, i think.. but where is the i, the doer?
is i the breather, the sitter, the walker, the singer, the feeler? or i is a concept, part of language?

here is an exercise for you to examine this for yourself

http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/labels.html

do it here, or on paper and have a look, is there i the doer?
is there i the witness?
is there i that is typing reply?
is there a WHO?

looking forwards to your answers.

sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:39 pm

Thank you for guiding us in the direction of language because yes, I'm seeing how it's affecting my experience with all of this. I completely follow your verb/action and noun/object examples with trees, birds, woman crossing the road and see how "I" is, as you said, "a concept, part of language". I also see how goddamn deeply ingrained it is. How could it not be since it's what we've all been fed since as far back as we can remember. I keep thinking of the original Matrix film and am seeing how the Wachowski's utterly nailed it with Neo's awakening. I mean, I felt like they nailed it in the past, but as our conversation deepens, it's pretty interesting to see it from a different perspective.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Thank you for the link to your blog and the exercise you offer there.

So in the blogpost you write:

"There is nothing here in direct experience that is separate from experienced. Just this. Always now. If you want to test this, simply do this little experiment that won't take much of your time. All you need is 20 minutes, a pen & paper. First write what you are experiencing right now using words I and me. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now. Like this—I am laying in bed. I am hearing the rain, I am typing these words. Do it for 10 minutes. Watch the body, are there any sensations of tightening or relaxing?

Then for next 10 minutes write without words I and me. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs:
Waiting for next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing the rain. Again watch what is happening in the body.

Now compare the two ways to label experience—is one truer than the other? If so, which one? What is here without labels? Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?"

Okay, so to address the first part of this exercise, the first ten minutes of "I" and "me" statements:

- I am sitting half lotus position on my couch (how spiritual of me, I know, but it really is just comfortable).

- I can hear cars driving outside my window on the parkway.

- I hear birds chirping.

- I feel my fingertips as they press on the keyboard of my laptop.

- I see an arrangement of pink and purple flowers with greenery in a vase on the coffee table in front of me.

- I see Cthuhlu and Godzilla Funko figures on top of an Orange Amplifier (caught myself about to say "my" Orange amplifier).

- I see a picture of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharajji), a print from Alex Grey called "Planetary Prayers," and a framed cover of Deadguy's "Fixation On A Coworker" all in close proximity to one another on the wall in front of me.

- I hear the wind, which is very heavy today, howling.

- I am not aware of any tensing or relaxing in my body (like you asked). I am aware of digestion happening in my stomach as I just ate lunch about 45 minutes ago. I'm aware of slight throbbing in my left shoulder. Actually, yes, I just became aware of some tension I was holding in my face (furrowed brow as I was scanning to see what was happening in "me").

Now onto the 2nd part of your exercise, the next 10 minutes of writing about my experience without "I" or "me" language.

- Body is breathing

- Eyes periodically blink

- Fingers typing

- Sound of cars on parkway outside

- Flowers and greenery in vase

- Empty Friday the 13th glass next to computer

- Slight tingling in hands and forearms

- Hiccup and burp (as body continues to digest food)

- Scratch leg

- Swallow

- Eyes looking

- Biting thumbnail

- Body slouched

- Deep breath

- Slight ringing from refrigerator

- Sense of aliveness within body- energy, vibration, organs, muscles...

And now, the final part of your exercise, comparing the two ways to label experience and seeing if one is truer the the other.

Initially, I wanted to say the non-labeling part was truer than the labeling, but I feel conflicted because even though there was labeling happening in the first part, it was still "true" as it was a part of the experience. However, in the second part, where there was no labeling, it cut out the middle-man so to speak and went right to the core of the experience without any interference. This is probably the mind over-analyzing things again. Not probably, it is. The non-labeling part of the exercise was truer as it was just the direct experience in the moment without the "I" and all of it's past stories and experiences acting as a filter through which the seeing was happening. When "I" drop "I" then it is just direct seeing, or looking, nothing else. No filters. No stories. Just seeing. Just flow. And that's great, but this "me" experience just does not want to relinquish itself. "I" am aware of the old spiritual programming coming up that says seeing in this sort of way (beyond just glimpses or minor experiences) takes a long time and a lot of hard work to accomplish, and yet, all that i've read from you Ilona, both in our direct communication, and your work with others, says otherwise, and I believe that. This ego certainly does not want to believe it however, and the experience of anxiety pops up as "I" begin to embrace that it might be possible for "me" to see the truth, right here, right now, and perhaps, experience that shift, or, cross the gate.

"I" see that labels in no way whatsoever affect the experience but rather, are just words and concepts that help us communicate things in life. The coffee table "I" am looking at for example is a concept. What it really is is a wooden top with four legs, some glue and nails and that's it. But the agreed upon label for it is "coffee table".

And finally, to address you last queries, "is there i the doer? is there i the witness? is there i that is typing reply? is there a WHO?"

There is only an experience of "I" the doer, an old instilled belief, but this belief feels powerful. The witness feels more accurate to describe this experience because isn't there a "witnessing awareness"? Consciousness? Not a personal me, but an impartial witnessing consciousness that's watching it all unfold?

There is a mental construct of an "I" that is typing these words, and something within this experience so desperately wants to hold onto this "I" but something else also desperately just wants to let it go and move beyond. How can two desires co-exist simultaneously with completely opposite "goals"? There is certainly the experience of thrashing about within the mind right now, that much "I" do know.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:52 pm

great work!
it's good to realize that language is a conceptual overlay. all words are concepts.
I" see that labels in no way whatsoever affect the experience but rather, are just words and concepts that help us communicate things in life. The coffee table "I" am looking at for example is a concept. What it really is is a wooden top with four legs, some glue and nails and that's it. But the agreed upon label for it is "coffee table".
It's deeper that that. wooden, top, four, legs, glue, nails, are all concepts too, a verbal expression of sensory experience. And when we are in the head, we think a lot, and all that is thoughts about thoughts about thoughts. one look away is experience happening. and we are either dived into it or thinking about something that is not happening (most often)

I'm a big matrix movie fan too! so you will love this next exercise.
there is no spoon ;)

you will need a spoon for this. if you do not have it handy, any other object will do.

firstly put the spoon away for a bit.
close eyes and imagine, you are holding it. imagine it as vividly as you can, size, texture, material, color, weight, add everything you can to it. hold the image. feel sensations.

after a while open eyes.
what happened to the spoon?
what about all the sensations that were here just now?

then take the real spoon in your hand and examine it.
what is the difference of sense experience?

then describe in words, what the first and second experience was like in as much detail. notice that describing experienced is too an experience.. but can a description can ever close to what was felt on sensory level?

can you see how sensations + labels are both part of wholeness of experience. but one is what is happening in actuality, the other is a story about what is happening.


and for the end of the exercise, can you see no spoon? literally.


sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:45 pm

Yes, yes, in regards to my table example and your reply about it being more than that, it’s so obvious I don’t know how I missed it. Again, I don’t mean to step away from my own experience with this, but I feel like this quote from A Course In Miracles is completely apropos, "words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." So it’s just like you said, everything, literally every-thing is a verbal expression of a sensory experience. It’s not that the wood or glue or nails don’t exist, it’s just that we, as a collective species, have agreed to call them by these names and thus, get lost in the verbal expression rather than the living reality of what they are beyond verbal expression. At least I think that’s it. Ah, but it’s in the thinking that the essence gets lost. Look. Look. Look. Don’t think about it, just LOOK. See what is beyond the agreed upon terminology and concepts about any and every thing. And if thinking arises in the seeing, recognize that as part of the flow of all that is as well. “My” mind feels like it’s twisting into a goddamn pretzel processing all of this.

Okay, on to the spoon experiment. I actually did this with flowers on my coffee table as honestly, I was just being lazy and didn’t feel like getting up to go to the kitchen (sorry Matrix). But holy shit Ilona. I saw it, or should I say, I saw through it. I closed my eyes and brought to mind all of the details about the flowers I could think of. The colors, the petals, the greens, the smell, the stems etc. and then I opened my eyes.

The difference in the experience between imagining and seeing was just that, one moment I was imaging the flowers, the next, I was seeing them. BUT, as I looked at the flowers, I saw past the concept of flowers altogether. I saw that there was no flower, and that they weren’t pink and that there was no stem, and that the stem that wasn’t there also wasn’t green, which sounds absolutely absurd, right? So yes, on the conventional, labeling level, there were “flowers” there, but looking deeper, hmm, how to put this into words… I saw through the concept or labeling of it all. Green was no longer green, stem was no longer stem, petal was no longer petal, pink was no longer pink… it all simply was as it was. Again, on the conventional level, yes, I still understand pink as a label to describe a color, and color is just another made up word to describe a particular shade, which is another made up word to describe… and on and on and on until, nothing. No more concepts. Just the experience of being. Not “me” being. Just being. Seer and seen as one.

At the end of the exercise, “I” quite literally could see no flower at all. I laughed as I thought, seriously? This is it? A goddamn cosmic joke indeed. Though I’m not sure that I’m all the way through. Looking forward to exploring whatever is next with you. Thank you Ilona.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 am

Brilliant! I can see that you are crashing the gate nicely!
Let's take another step and look deeper.
Here is bahyia sutra for you to play with. Perhaps you knew of this already, but this time, really look through this lense, see what it points to, see how everything looks through it.

In the seen, there is only the seen,
in the heard, there is only the heard,
in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
Thus you should see that
indeed there is no thing here;
this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
Since, Bahiya, there is for you
in the seen, only the seen,
in the heard, only the heard,
in the sensed, only the sensed,
in the cognized, only the cognized,
and you see that there is no thing here,
you will therefore see that
indeed there is no thing there.
As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
betwixt the two.
This alone is the end of suffering.

Take your time with it and write what you noticed, what looks different.
Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:19 pm

Thank you Ilona. Much of last night was spent in a mild bewilderment after my last message to you. Nothing special, just a deep curiosity I suppose. I sat back out on the balcony overlooking the river, and trees, and people, and so on, and it’s not that there was some divine unitive experience of bliss happening, but instead, it was quite literally as if I was seeing in high definition, like a slight film had fallen off of my eyes.

As I lay down later on, closing my eyes to go to sleep, I had some interesting experiences there as well. Have you ever had the experience (or at least heard of) waking up abruptly from sleep because you feel like you’re falling? Well, I periodically experienced something sort of similar to that but not exactly that. I hadn’t fallen asleep. I wasn’t even in a half sleep either. But as I lay there, the very real feeling of something falling away inside came and went periodically. It felt, hmm, I think “disorienting” is the closest word to describe it. Now, I don’t mean to make this anything that it’s not, or sound like I’m over-romanticizing the experience, because again, there were no flashes of light or any rapture of bliss. Just want to keep you apprised of what’s happening over here.

And all of that to say when I awoke this morning, I was back processing things through a lens of “me” again. “I have this to do today. Oh, can’t forget about that call later. Damn, my foot is hurting again.” And so on. But I’m reminding myself that the “I” thought will still be here, and that it’s just that, a thought. Using the practice you shared with me yesterday about dropping the “I” attached to the thinking and just labeling the experience as is, like, “foot hurts, call later” and so on. I recognize that even this labeling is still a step away from the direct experience itself, but it seems to be helping with not falling completely back into the “me” role.

So I’m actually not familiar with the Bahiya sutra and am grateful to you for sharing it with me.

I read through it slowly, line by line, several times, which brought me back to the experience I wrote about having last night on the balcony (seeing in high definition and a film being gone). “I” looked around the living room t all of the objects and noticed the minds conditioned tendency to want to label them, but rather than push it away, I just watched this pattern as it did it’s thing. I heard the sound of cars on the parkway outside and again, notice the mind jump in and label “cars driving, bus stopping” etc. But underneath all of this, there was/is an awareness of simplicity, of being, or, an awareness of awareness (if that makes sense).

I find this sutra to help reinforce what I’ve been recognizing since we began conversing, which is that it’s “my” belief in the labels and mental constructs of all things (including myself) which keeps “me” separating from the direct and immediate experience of the flow of life, which literally every thing is a part of. And while my recognition of this is deepening, I’m still aware of the minds tendency to want to filter this experience through “me” as a separate experiencer… so it’s strange. This is where I’m placing trust in the process. That the un-conditioning will unfold without “my” needing to force it. Yes, “I” have to be willing to continue to look, deeper and deeper, but beyond that, is there something else “I” should be doing? I certainly feel what I can only describe as a slight, subtle shift, one that is noticeable, but again, there’s still plenty of tendency towards “I” in this experience, so I’m pretty sure there’s still a ways to go.

I’m also aware of a fear arising that doesn’t want to lose these experiences of insights, or whatever progress has been made in this exploration. I have had tendencies in the past to not always finish what I’ve started and I do not want this to be one of those times. I am fully committed to continuing the exploration and believe that fear is just conditioned residue from previous actions in my life, but want to lay everything that’s going on for me in this process out there for you Ilona.

Thank you for your continued guidance. With love.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Ilona
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Re: Homesick

Postby Ilona » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:33 pm

Thank you for thoughtful and honest reply. Yes, I know what you mean by falling! It's like old is falling away while new is falling into place. There can be a sensation of vertigo too!
That's just natural, all is unfolding as it should, so to speak. There is a lot going on at the core belief system. Like a computer software is getting an update, hehe

Labelling is a habit. And it is here until it's not. You will notice time to time looking back, how something that used to be one way is now different. Don't expect that mind should stop labelling things, it keeps doing that, so what, it's a mental overlay, now you know that it's not the WHOLE show.

Looking forward to hear more from you day with bahyia sutra!

Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Homesick

Postby BleedIntoOne » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:55 pm

Yes, vertigo! That was the word I was trying to find but couldn’t earlier. So strange, but nice to know it’s representative of a shift, or unfolding happening.

I’ve read and re-read the Bahiya sutra more times than I can remember today, and each time there’s been a return to the falling away of a personal experiencer leaving only the seen, heard, experienced, and cognized.

I’ve been fortunate to have this bouquet of pink and purple Gerbera Daisies on the coffee table in front of me since we began our interaction and they’ve served as a point of reference for many of these looking exercises. Today, they began wilting, and while looking at the sagging petals, I experienced the dropping away of “things” here and there. Just like it’s written in the Bahiya sutra:

As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
betwixt the two.

I experienced what all of this pointing and looking is aiming at, the full, unitive, perfection of nothingness. The experience didn’t last too long, just a moment or so, but I’ve been continuing to have these little glimpses come, stay a short while, and then go as I slip back into the role of “me”. But it’s a much less pronounced version of “me”. I get caught up in the thinking mind, but it seems to be on a much smaller, or less personal scale.

I’ve also experienced little waves of excited anticipation (as well as some periods of significantly lacking patience) in regards to truly crashing the gate to the point where it is fully realized, but all in good time I suppose. All in good time.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson


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