Please confirm

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Freedomnow
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Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:42 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
Several women in my meditation group mentioned your website and thought I would be interested in participating. I'm a long time Vipassana meditator (20 years).

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
I viewed the website and decided to download the Gateless Gate book. Halfway through I got it! I think I had been standing at the gate for several years watching it swing back and forth in the breeze. But something finally clicked and I gaily waked through the gate!

I emailed my friend right away and she suggested I register and request a guide for confirmation and so I have access to the post gate materials and resources.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
Long time seeker. 20 plus years of meditation, silent retreats, mostly Vipassana. I listen to lots of Advaita talks on the Internet.

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). :
10

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:57 pm

Hello FreedomNow. My name is Chris and welcome to the LU forum.

All that I ask is that you're completely honest in your writing, that you do your best to write in our thread every day, and that during our time together, you set aside all other spiritually related books, videos and so forth so that you can completely focus on your own experience.

This is your process, I'm just here to help guide you along. Cool?

Glad to hear about your experiences thus far and that you’ve read some of Gateless Gatecrashers, so you have an idea as to how the process works. I see you feel you’ve already walked through the gate, which very well may be the case. I’d still like to walk through the process with you from the beginning to make sure we are thorough and that nothing has been potentially missed.

So, "there is no separate self at all in reality." Is this true? If so, how do you know?

Take your time and write any and everything that comes to mind.

Looking forward to diving into this with you.

p.s. Is there a name you’d like to be called, or is FreedomNow what we shall stick with?
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:29 pm

Hi Chris,
Very nice to meet you. Thank you in advance for working with me.
I ask that you be patient with me while I learn how to post and use the website. Any help is appreciated.

Yes, I'm happy to write everyday and will gladly set aside any reading material.

"there is no separate self at all in reality." Is this true? If so, how do you know?

Many times in meditation I have looked for a separate self, an "I", and have never found one. I can find hearing, seeing, feel sensations, but never an 'I'. When I felt an emotion like anger or fear, it felt like it was 'me' that was angry or afraid, but sitting with the feeling or emotion, I could see the thoughts and sensations arising (tensing, contracting) but could not see the "I".

Please call me Jean in our conversations. Thanks!

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:24 pm

Very nice to meet you as well Jean. It’s great that you’re committed to writing daily and focusing on your direct experience with this process. And no worries at all about learning the ropes of the website. It’s pretty easy to navigate. I think the most pertinent thing is if/when you quote anything I wrote in a response, you use the quote function. You do this by highlighting the selected text, and the clicking the “quote” button from the list of options above the text box. Doing that just makes it easier for both of us during our correspondence to know when we’re referencing something specific the other person wrote. You’ll se an example of me using this function below.

It’s obvious that you’re in a ripe place for this exploration Jean so let’s continue to dive right in.
When I felt an emotion like anger or fear, it felt like it was 'me' that was angry or afraid, but sitting with the feeling or emotion, I could see the thoughts and sensations arising (tensing, contracting) but could not see the "I".
There is no I, the feeler, thinker, manager. Is it true in experience? If it cannot be found, is it hiding somewhere or it simply is not here at all?

Please write whatever comes up for you in your experience.
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:08 pm

Very nice to meet you as well Jean. It’s great that you’re committed to writing daily and focusing on your direct experience with this process. And no worries at all about learning the ropes of the website. It’s pretty easy to navigate. I think the most pertinent thing is if/when you quote anything I wrote in a response, you use the quote function. You do this by highlighting the selected text, and the clicking the “quote” button from the list of options above the text box. Doing that just makes it easier for both of us during our correspondence to know when we’re referencing something specific the other person wrote. You’ll se an example of me using this function below.

It’s obvious that you’re in a ripe place for this exploration Jean so let’s continue to dive right in.

When I felt an emotion like anger or fear, it felt like it was 'me' that was angry or afraid, but sitting with the feeling or emotion, I could see the thoughts and sensations arising (tensing, contracting) but could not see the "I".
There is no I, the feeler, thinker, manager. Is it true in experience? If it cannot be found, is it hiding somewhere or it simply is not here at all?
Please write whatever comes up for you in your experience.

Sorry, still not getting the quote thing. There is no me, no feeler, thinker, manager. Just a flow of thoughts, feelings, emotions. There was never a "me". Just something we're taught to believe at a young age.

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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:20 pm

Hi Chris,
Sorry still not getting the quote thing and struggling a bit with my reply. But I'll get it!
There is no I, the feeler, thinker, manager. Is it true in experience? If it cannot be found, is it hiding somewhere or it simply is not here at all?
There is no feeler, thinker, manager. Just a flow of thoughts, feelings, sensations. There never was a me. We're taught that at a young age and we believe it.

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:13 pm

No worries about the quote thing Jean. You don’t always need to quote in your response. Only if there’s something specific you’d like me to know you’re responding to. With your previous response for example, it would have been fine if you didn’t quote as it was a short and specific answer. It’s not a big deal either way, so please don’t worry if you’re not able to figure it out.
There is no me, no feeler, thinker, manager. Just a flow of thoughts, feelings, emotions. There was never a "me". Just something we're taught to believe at a young age.
Yes, very well said. This response is typically one I’d receive later on in the process, when we’re nearing the end of our exploration together, so like you said in your initial introduction, perhaps the gateless gate has been crashed.

There are two questions I have from your introduction answers that will help becoming more clear on where you are.
I emailed my friend right away and she suggested I register and request a guide for confirmation
What is it that you’re looking for, really? Please look very deep at this. I know you also mentioned interest in after gate materials, which is great, but I just want to be sure we’re thorough in this process.
I think I had been standing at the gate for several years watching it swing back and forth in the breeze. But something finally clicked and I gaily waked through the gate!
Can you write more about this please?

Thanks Jean. Looking forward to your response.
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:51 pm

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your reply. I'm not really 'looking' for anything by asking for 'confirmation' on this website, other than access to the materials and I thought it would be fun to talk in depth with someone about the experience. My real confirmation is my experience. I've been feeling very light and cheerful since the time I 'got it'. I felt irritated soon afterwards by something my partner said to me, and I was going to explore it by asking - "Who or what is irritated here?" And before I could really inquire, the feeling of irritation had passed and was not there! It was like it didn't 'stick'! I'm so looking forward to her saying/doing something again that might irritate me so I can see if that happens again! :)

A year ago I realized that I wasn't my thoughts and I didn't have to believe them. I clearly saw that it's the mind's job to spew thoughts and they were just thoughts. That was really liberating. But it wasn't the whole thing. Something about when I saw that the self was just a concept - that's when I walked through the gate. It was like seeing that race is a concept - I never looked at race the same way. And I recently saw that when we see gender as a binary identity - that's a concept as well! That is not real, something we learned and were taught. It was like the light bulb went on! So I have some previous experiences where I've seen through beliefs and concepts - and how much liberation and freedom come from not believing them anymore. Well, now I've seen self as a concept and my whole view is different! But liberating in a much bigger way!

I wish I could think of the exact story in the Gateless Gatecrashers when I realized it but I can't! It was like reading the stories, it just sank in a deeper lever. Somehow it felt like it had seeped in my body knowledge - so embedded. And at some point I stopped reading and said, Wow, I'm not a seeker anymore. What will I do with my time? :). That's when I emailed my friend and she suggested I ask for a guide. My email to her started with "My oh my..." Nothing big, but very big!!!! No fireworks, just a wonderful knowing.

Please ask me other questions! I'm enjoying the process! And thank you for your time and commitment, Chris!

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:59 pm

Hello Jean,
Your gratitude is felt and appreciated. And your reply was beautifully written. It certainly sounds from my end that you are through the gate, but here’s some final questions just to be completely thorough. You can feel free to omit the second part of question 3 and question 4 altogether if you’d like as we’ve already discussed them, but if you’re inspired to respond, by all means, feel free to. Looking forward to your reply.

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?
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:01 am

Hi Chris,
Yes, I'm quite sure that by my felt experience, I've passed through the gate! And what a lovely, carefree, light experience I'm having as I go through my days. The feeling of life flowing inside me and outside - I'm noticing how it's flowing everywhere (even the traffic is flowing most days!).
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
I'm not finding a self, me, I at all, anywhere. In meditation tonight, watching the thoughts arise, not attaching to any of them. There has never been a self, a me, except when I believed there was and fabricated an identity of me.
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.

The illusion of a separate self is all of my memories, my conditioning, my habits, beliefs, my projections into the future - all together forming this imaginary self that thought that it was making decisions, directing my life, in control of who and what I said, thought, and did.
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.
It is an incredible relief to see through the illusionary self! I had known about the 'non-self' (anatta) as one of the Buddha's three characteristics, along with impermanence and dukkha. I had heard darma talks on this topic, but thought it was too complex to understand. Once I saw clearly that it was just a concept/belief, a feeling of freedom and joy arose. I had such a big smile on my face as I sat there and said 'YES!'
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I was curious about the website and forum that I heard about from some friends. I was reading the Gateless Gatecrashers just as I've read many books and articles over the past 20 years. I had no idea that I might 'get it' just from reading. Something about the confidence of the people in the stories must have made me realize at some point that I also had the capacity to make that paradigm shift. It was so subtle that I was totally surprised when it happened! I haven't gone back to see what the last story I read was, but I think it was more of a culmination of reading half of the stories in the book. It's funny, I have no interest now in going back and finishing the book! I am more interested in my direct experience and curious as to how experiences arise for me than reading or listening to what others might say about this topic!
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.
This is still new to me, but there is a 'knowing' that decisions will happen as they happen. Perhaps from my past conditioning, habits, karmic residue. There is no choice or control, just the noting of what's happening as life lives itself as me in this body.
My one experience so far of conflict has been that when a feeling of irritation arose, it passed away quickly. In the past, 'I' might have reacted in a protective and defensive way, but there was nothing there to react to. I could clearly see the feeling passed away. My responsibility now seems to be to note arising beliefs, feelings, emotions and inquire as to who or what is experiencing them. To notice when a sense of 'me' or mine arises and to question the story around it.
6) Anything to add?
Just a huge appreciation to this process. I'm definitely still at the beginning of exploring what this means in my life and I look forward to deepening into it. I hope this isn't the end of our dialogues, Chris, I have enjoyed our time together. Thank you so much!

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:55 pm

Lovely responses Jean.
I'm not finding a self, me, I at all, anywhere. In meditation tonight, watching the thoughts arise, not attaching to any of them. There has never been a self, a me, except when I believed there was and fabricated an identity of me.
What does word I refer to in this reply? Was there perhaps a sneaky believed identity of “me” experiencing this? Perhaps not but just want to be completely thorough here.
I'm definitely still at the beginning of exploring what this means in my life and I look forward to deepening into it.
Yes, this is a first step, a beginning rather than an ending. There has been an opening and an invisible line is crossed. Now the exploration really starts. Please be aware that there may be a honeymoon period, but life will still inevitably happen. Sometimes we can fall flat on the face and think that “we lost it”. If this happens, it happens—just part of the process. There is often a clean up period too, where old beliefs will come up, and along with them, all the drama connected. If/when this happens, simply notice it all and then release it. Saying “yes” and “thank you” to the difficult times that are still bound to arise, and exploring/appreciating what they are there to teach, is a great way of not getting caught in the resistance trap.

It has been a joy on my end as well Jean and look forward to continued dialogue.
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:29 am

Hi Chris,
Thanks for asking me to look closer and deeper.

I wrote: "There has never been a self, a me, except when I believed there was and fabricated an identity of me." Was there a 'me' there? No, of course not. But when believed, the 'me' identity solidifies and becomes the controller, director, choice maker of one's life. It can only exist if it is believed to be there. When it's seen as the concept that it is, life flows by itself without the added pressures that comes with the need to achieve, excel, and control outcomes. How much simpler and joyful life becomes!

I had an experience today that revealed a new way of being. My beloved teacher sent an email that she had gotten some news from her doctor and wants to share the results with our sangha in person. She's had a serious illness that was in remission. She did not share was results were. Reading her email, my heart started beating rapidly and my hands became clammy while typing back to her. I took a break and focused on my breathing for several minutes. I saw fear arise and pass. I started typing again and felt tears sting my eyes. I took another break and saw great sadness and let the tears flow. After a few minutes, only love and appreciation for my teacher remained.

I could see that my thoughts had gone to future projections and that I could watch them instead of believe them. This response was very different than it would have been last week. Today, my feelings and emotions were much more accessible and less frightening. They arose and passed away. It was beautiful. And what was left was love.

That's all for now. Thank you.
Jean

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:15 pm

Hello Jean,
Thank you for sharing about the experience with your teacher. I know you mentioned she didn’t share the results with you. I hope things are okay with her. And it’s great how you watched the experience of receiving her email unfold in the body. Just because the illusion of a separate self is seen through, it does not mean that pain, sadness, anxiety and so on will no longer arise within the body. It’s a body. It’s what they do. But seeing through the story we attach to the experiences is where things become significantly less sticky.

Last night, we had a very loud thunderstorm and I smiled as with each crackling of thunder my body jumped a bit. It’s all just part of the one flow.

In your response you wrote:
But when believed, the 'me' identity solidifies and becomes the controller, director, choice maker of one's life. It can only exist if it is believed to be there.
I think I see what you what you were trying to convey here, but just want to be clear that a “me” can never exist, period. Thoughts about a me? Yes. An actual me however? Nope. Just thoughts and thoughts, stories attached to sensations and feelings.

Take Santa for example. Does he exist just because a child believes in him? Well, it’s the same with a “me”. It’s an illusion.

Can you write what comes up fro you when reading this?
And what was left was love.
Yes. ☺
"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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Freedomnow
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Re: Please confirm

Postby Freedomnow » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:39 pm

Hi Chris,
Can you write what comes up fro you when reading this?
When I read what you wrote, my thought was Yes! It's like the Buddhist story about seeing a rope on the path and thinking it's a snake. Fear arises. But once you get close enough to see that it's a rope, no fear arises. And you can never look at the rope again and be afraid.

There is no self, never was, never will be. Just an illusion. What a gift to see through it! At last! Still brings a smile to my face! I started making a list this morning of all the things in life that I've thought were 'mine'.
My children - nope, just life longing for itself!
My partner - nope, just a dear friend accompanying me on this journey we call life!
My pain - nope, just sensations of heat, burning, aching, experienced in this body.
My personality - nope, just characteristics, habits, beliefs exhibited by this mind/body this time around!

I found myself at the blood donation center this morning giving blood. I tried to think back earlier in the week when I made the appointment. I looked for who or what made the decision to donate. It was just a response to an article in the paper saying there was a shortage of my blood type. "I" didn't make the decision, just a natural response of the heart to move toward a life-giving act. So simple!

I enjoyed your response to the thunder. Please share more!

Jean

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Please confirm

Postby BleedIntoOne » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:22 pm

Hello Jean,
Again, all beautifully written.
My children - nope, just life longing for itself!
This line particularly made the heart warm.

What I’d like to do is let you sit with this for the weekend and then reconnect on Monday. Give you a little more time with the settling process. There can be a bit of a honeymoon phase that occurs for some people followed by doubt that creeps in. Old habits and conditioning, you know? Of course, not for everyone though.

So let’s just give this a couple of days and again, reconnect on Monday. Sound good?

As for the thunder, it was just a curious thing to watch. Life reacting to life. The body jumping a bit at the loud noises in very much the same way tress sway back and forth in the wind. The dance of life.
"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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