In a rented house in Brook Street

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Hannapple
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In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:09 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I have heard about this process from many people who have participated. I'm part of the Triratna Buddhist movement and finished a retreat today where a good friend led a daily group for women and did many direct pointing excercises. I knew she had been through the gate and after I talked with her, she encouraged me to do the same. I feel like I heard about it again at a time when I feel able to fully engage and give myself wholeheartedly to the process.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
I'm looking for a dose of reality. I've felt stuck lately, angry and struggling emotionally and like i want and need a way to cut through- to see through- my stories, my attachments and my illusions. I expect to be led toward seeing what is. What really is.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I have been a practising Buddhist for 15 years. The past five as a single parent to triplets. I have found meditation hard in this last chapter of my life but previously worked on the retreat team as a manager for Buddhafield- part of Triratna- and had many years of meditation practice in positive conditions. I am in the process of Ordination within the Triratna movemment. I need/ want something now that supports me in my current life to access what I know is true- from my own experience- but that has somehow been 'covered over' in the intensity of my current life. Previous to this, I studied Philosophy/psychology and then art at college. I have engaged in various therapeutic practices- thought personal therapy, dance etc. I co led a photography retreat for a few years and tried to teach from deep seeing, to be with what is right there, in experience.

I know members of the Triratna movement are guides here so I was hoping that I could be matched with someone from there?

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).: 9

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:08 am

Hi Hannah,

I was on the same retreat - a very big welcome! I too have three children and can assure you that children do not get in the way of looking. I would happily guide you but I am not a Triratna Order Member. Would you like me to look for one?

Very best wishes

Nina
xxx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:13 pm

Hello Nina,

Thanks for your reply. I wasn't expecting someone as a guide who I have met. We don't know each other but do have mutual acquaintances. Does that matter? I've have an idea how the process works between us but not entirely. I guess I'm wondering how confidential it is? I dont particularly want what I'm doing discussed with the person I know that you know well. Sorry if that's convoluted, I just dont want some imagined barrier to stop me throwing myself into the process. It doesn't matter to me that you're not ordained at all. It was more someone from my context. I'm on holiday in West Wales until Saturday and can't access my normal hotmail address until then but I can look at this on my phone which isn't ideal. I'm very grateful that it got in touch so quickly. I'd appreciate your thoughts on what I've written. Thanks loads, Hannah

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:48 pm

Hi Hannah,

I don't discuss guiding with anyone (apart from other guides sometimes) but LU is a public forum so anyone could read the posts at any time. It is possible to be guided by email if you would rather it was more confidential. If you read some of the other threads you will notice that disclosing personal information is not at all necessary for this process ..... it is all about looking at experience here and now. However, I completely understand if you would rather be guided by someone else and by email ..... the choice is yours entirely!
As I say, I can try to find a Triratna person to be your guide. There may be a slight delay but it sounds like that wouldn't be a problem as you are on holiday! Just let me know what you would like to do.

Warm wishes
Nina
Xx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:10 pm

Hello Nina,

Thanks for your swift reply. I'm happy with what you've written and happy to go ahead with you if you'll have me! If you don't disclose to friends who you're working with, I dont need to be confidential in our communication and am happy to use the thread. I feel excited now! Shall we start 'proper' when I'm back home as I can do it from my computer, rather than this fiddly 'phone? Perhaps you get me started and give me a way in for now though?

With gratitude, Hannah

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:54 am

Hi Hannah,

It will be a great pleasure to guide you. Guiding is a joy, which is why we do it!

So a few thinks to look at in the next few days.

"Looking" is the key. It is very, very simple to look but it can take a little while to get the hang of it.

In actual experience there is:

taste
colour/image
smell
sound
sensation
thoughts

The things that get in the way of LOOKing are thoughts. We are very used to thoughts presenting a version of what is going on. This process is about seeing thoughts as thoughts and separate from taste, colour, smell. sound and sensation. So LOOKING is looking at what is actually there rather than what thoughts say are there.

For example, the possible actual experience of picking up and eating an orange is:

colour "orange" + possible thought labels "orange", "fruit", "round", "hungry".
sensation ( "smooth/waxy/heavy") + thought about peeling the orange and eating it.
smell ("sweetish/sourish")+ thought about the orange trees of Seville or making marmalade one day.
sound + thought about getting sticky hands
sensation + thought about needing to wash hands
colour "white" and "orange"
taste + thought about how this orange is not as nice as the one I had last week.

LOOKing is noticing all actual experience. Years of practicing meditation can sometimes lead to the belief that thoughts need to be stopped. Here it is about noticing thoughts as thoughts and sensation as sensation and really seeing that they are not as closely related as we tend to believe.

In the next few days label experience as it arises:

e.g. a car passes in the lane outside = actual experience of sound and red colour + thought "they are driving too fast".

cooking a meal = actual experience of sensation, smell, colour, taste and sound + thought labels "carrot", "garlic", "chopping" and thought stories "I am so bored of cooking. The children never eat it anyway".

listening to the news = sound, sensation + thought "feeling sad", "feeling shocked".


Once this process becomes familiar, reflect on this statement:

"All there is and all there has ever been is taste, colour, smell, sensation and sound overlayed with thoughts".

Do any thoughts/ fears/ sensations/ emotions arise is response to this statement?

Very best of luck!

Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Best wishes

Nina
xxx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:47 pm

Thank you Nina.

I'm just back and will have a good read of this tomorrow and start.

Love Hannah

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:45 am

Hi Hannah -

Look forward to your responses!

A couple of ground rules:

Please stop reading texts and watching films of a spiritual nature for the duration of our conversation. It will confuse the exercise of just LOOKing.

Please post everyday. Posts can be as brief as you like but focus is really important.

very Best wishes

Nina
Xxx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:43 pm

Hi,

When you say reading texts/watching films of a spiritual nature, what do you mean? I'm reading psychology books at the moment but they aren't specifically spiritual.

I understand the posting every day thing, however brief some of those may be. i'll be back in touch later today,

Thanks Hannah x

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:16 pm

Hi Hannah,

Psychology is probably ok! What you need to watch out for are Buddhist texts and anything else full of "ideas" about spirituality.

Nina
Xxx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:46 pm

That's alright! I'm not reading anything Buddhist- certainly no Sangharakshita right now........... Thanks for clarifying,

Hannah x

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:58 pm

Hi Nina,

I'm in the process of trying to look and notice my experience and when I remember, i stop even for a few seconds and try to be present in the sensation, noticing when thoughts come. Tonight I ate a Matso with cheese and brown sauce and I was tired and it somehow seemed easier- like my brain was too tired to think much anyone so I was able to sit there noticing crunchy, thin, soft, large, dry, hard, spice. Then my memories of eating them as a child after school came up with thoughts and memories of my Mum. I went there for a while before noticing but it was the longest I've had in the past two days of being with the experience.

When I read the statement "All there is.............thought"' I realise that I do feel a knot of fear- like my 'juicy' memories and stories will be wiped because actually, experience is much more simple than that and it feels drier or something. This is my 'gut' talking because on another level I feel relief that it is simple. I know when I've looked- particularly through photography that sense of experiencing what is there in direct experience. I taught at Danakosa on the photography course and worked hard to have people looking and not snatching pictures. i'd ban photography on the first day and do excursuses to deeply look and to get to the place of trying to really see. I feel out of touch with the depth I've felt before but the matso experience was the clearest.I need more time to do this, to make the habit stronger.

It's not much but it's a start.

with kindness, Hannah x

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Nina45
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Nina45 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:09 am

Hi Hannah
When I read the statement "All there is.............thought"' I realise that I do feel a knot of fear- like my 'juicy' memories and stories will be wiped because actually, experience is much more simple than that and it feels drier or something
.

There is no "you" and never has been. It is the belief in a "you" that will be seen through. Thoughts will be there but they will not be "your thoughts" or "Hannah's thoughts".

Try this exercise:

Sit for about 30 minutes (or two lots of 15 minutes if that 30 mins is not possible or just take one question at a time and look at that while you are doing other activities) and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear and notice what the thought actually is - words, images, bits of music - whatever appears.

Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying, and rather just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Where are they coming from?
Where are they going?

Can you predict your next thought?
Can you push away any thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
Can anything choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to control any thoughts?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence?

Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

Please look carefully when doing this exercise and answer all questions individually using the quote function.


Re: photography. It is very clear that a blurred photograph is just colour. With a relaxed gaze, is it also possible to see that there is just colour?

Best of luck!

Love

Nina
Xxx

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Hannapple
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Re: In a rented house in Brook Street

Postby Hannapple » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:51 pm

Hi Nina,

Thank you. This has been good. Below is the result of two 15 min sits directly after one another- I felt daunted doing 30 mins but after the first 15 mins, I answered the questions then did it again, and answered some more.

I'm not sure I quite understand the format for replying to you in terms of answering question. Below is your last email and under each question i have answered your question, putting my answer in quotation marks. Please let me know if i've got the wrong end of the stick....



Hi Hannah
When I read the statement "All there is.............thought"' I realise that I do feel a knot of fear- like my 'juicy' memories and stories will be wiped because actually, experience is much more simple than that and it feels drier or something
.

There is no "you" and never has been. It is the belief in a "you" that will be seen through. Thoughts will be there but they will not be "your thoughts" or "Hannah's thoughts".

Try this exercise:

Sit for about 30 minutes (or two lots of 15 minutes if that 30 mins is not possible or just take one question at a time and look at that while you are doing other activities) and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear and notice what the thought actually is - words, images, bits of music - whatever appears.

Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying, and rather just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

"No. I closed my eyes, I sat, I watched. I'd previously been thinking intensely about something and when i began this, those thoughts didn't dominate." For the second sit I did try to make a thought appear and thought of elephants but I couldn't think of what they looked like, just the word came up but I was struggling to 'create' and make the thought stay around....

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
"I don't think so. As I sat, I was surprised at how slowly thoughts seemed to be coming but also how I just sort of watched them appear and how I had no control over what came." The elephant example was me trying to prove i could 'conjure' up thoughts but I'm not convinced....

Where are they coming from?
"I've no idea! From a dark space of nothingness......Like clouds or waves they sort of appear and then dissipate."

Where are they going?
"Again, i've no idea. They sort of came, stayed a wee while and then drifted off or were nudged away by another thought or sensation."

Can you predict your next thought?
"Nope."

Can you push away any thought?
"Er, I guess i feel that I can but I'm not sure that's true. I might have a thought arise and feel a sense of dread or lack of desire to be with it so try to turn 'my' mind to something else but as I write that I am smiling because I can see that it's more a belief that I'm in control when my actual experience during this exercise tells me the thoughts come on their own terms and it's simply whether i choose to attach or reject them that makes me feel like i have the power to push the thought away."

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
"No. They just come. a mix of ones i want to be with and others more challenging. i don't have a 'bank' of pleasant thoughts though i feel like i can choose to 'conjure' up and stay with positive memories/thoughts if i want to.

Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
"Im not sure how i can tell when a thought is "in the middle' because how would I know what the end of it was going to be? I found myself getting attached to the content of a thought and I could catch myself to come back to try and watch what it was doing rather than getting caught in the story of the thought."

Can anything choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
"I don't think so. We could choose to not take seriously the content of a negative thought but not be able to stop one arising. I could create conditions as positive as possible but still negative and painful thoughts will come. I don't have control on what will happen in my life ultimately- death etc- so painful thoughts will keep coming."

Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?
"I don't think so but I feel like I can choose to think about something pleasant or enjoyable (like a good kiss or a happy time) at will but perhaps that isn't true. Again, I can choose whether to attach and whether to go along with the story but i don't think i can choose the thought before it arises.' That's a bit sticky for me....not sure."

Is it possible to control any thoughts?
"I don't think so. The control i think i can have comes later- whether i push it away or indulge it or believe or reject the content of it. The thought itself has a purity, an almost 'untouched' quality that enters and leaves without me doing anything."

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence?
"Definitely not!! I was a bit shocked in my second sit how my mind jumped around from topic to topic with seemingly little connection between then."

Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
"I think it is another thought that thinks there is sequence. We do have experience and memory though, I have experience and memory that this "Hannah" has been through and so my thoughts will surely be different from yours? Or is that not so? So surely thoughts do trigger other thoughts? Ummmm, something for me to feel into."

Please look carefully when doing this exercise and answer all questions individually using the quote function.


Re: photography. It is very clear that a blurred photograph is just colour. With a relaxed gaze, is it also possible to see that there is just colour?

Best of luck!

Love

Nina
Xxx

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Nina45
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:42 am

Postby Nina45 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:03 am

Hi Hannah!

I have problems with the quote function too, especially when doing quotes within quotes.

There are some guidelines here: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

But don't worry too much: communication still happens!!


Hannah - there was some really fantastic looking with that exercise! Well done.
For the second sit I did try to make a thought appear and thought of elephants but I couldn't think of what they looked like, just the word came up but I was struggling to 'create' and make the thought stay around....
What happens when you read this:

"Giraffe"?

Some people experience thought far more as words and language than as mental images. But this a probably habit as much as anything. For example, when seeing the word "elephant", is it possible to change the colour of the letters and make the word bigger and smaller? Have a play around and see what happens.

Try to have thoughts about as many animals as possible is a minute. Is it possible to predict what animals will come up in which order?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
"I don't think so. As I sat, I was surprised at how slowly thoughts seemed to be coming but also how I just sort of watched them appear and how I had no control over what came." The elephant example was me trying to prove i could 'conjure' up thoughts but I'm not convinced....
Great looking!
So it is not possible to find a "conjurer" of thought?
Where are they coming from?
"I've no idea! From a dark space of nothingness......Like clouds or waves they sort of appear and then dissipate."

Where are they going?
"Again, i've no idea. They sort of came, stayed a wee while and then drifted off or were nudged away by another thought or sensation."

Can you predict your next thought?
"Nope."
Really great looking.
So it is not possible to find a "predictor"?

[
quote]Can anything pick and choose any kind of thought?
"I don't think so but I feel like I can choose to think about something pleasant or enjoyable (like a good kiss or a happy time) at will but perhaps that isn't true. Again, I can choose whether to attach and whether to go along with the story but i don't think i can choose the thought before it arises.' That's a bit sticky for me....not sure."
[/quote]

Keep looking!
Could it be another thought that says it is possible to pick and choose thoughts?
It does seem that it is possible to interrupt thoughts .... but only with other thoughts.
What would be picking and choosing thoughts?
Is it possible to control any thoughts?
"I don't think so. The control i think i can have comes later- whether i push it away or indulge it or believe or reject the content of it. The thought itself has a purity, an almost 'untouched' quality that enters and leaves without me doing anything."
Beautiful.
So it is not possible to find a controller?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence?
"Definitely not!! I was a bit shocked in my second sit how my mind jumped around from topic to topic with seemingly little connection between then."

Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
"I think it is another thought that thinks there is sequence. We do have experience and memory though, I have experience and memory that this "Hannah" has been through and so my thoughts will surely be different from yours? Or is that not so? So surely thoughts do trigger other thoughts? Ummmm, something for me to feel into."
Fantastic Looking!

Pointers are there to point. They do not point to new beliefs, they are just intended to show that it is possible to see through the old beliefs.
So .... this exercise has perhaps shown that thought is not controlled is the way old belief would have it.
And maybe that "Hannah" has an experience of thought, but that experience is not the same as was believed?

(Even Sunyata is just a pointer. "Don't mistake the finger for the moon".)

How does it feel to have found no controller of thought?
What sensations are there?
What thoughts are there?

Much love

Nina
xxx


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