Tat Tvam Asi

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Frankos
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Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:12 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I am now 54 years old and from when I was a young boy in high school I’ve had a longing for that something special. I always felt there was something missing in my everyday experiences. While my classmates played sports, I’d be in the library reading books such as “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” which is a book about a seagull that goes off and practices flying by himself and progresses through to higher states of consciousness by self-enquiry. I also read self-improvement books such as “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
At age 25 I made my first trip to India on a spiritual pilgrimage where I saw people (guru’s) with a mystical awareness. After some seeking I narrowed down my search to Advaita Vedanta. I read many books by a Swami Chinmayanada and many others on Vedanta scriptures. I returned to India many times to visit holy places and to see enlightened masters.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
I understand that this consciousness is not real; that this feeling of I am me and I am doing these things is an illusion. After many years of study and visits to see amazing people, I have a thorough conviction that something isn’t quite right and letting go of this separate self is the only answer. I understand that things won’t change and that this present life story will continue on. But I need release from this inner head chaos mainly driven by the selfishness of the “I am” feeling and the fear of bad things happened to this thing I think is me me me.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
I have read books by and made visits to Ashrams of teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, and various other Swamis’s who teach the “Not Self”. I’ve practised meditation (on and off) for many years and have had the thought “Who am I” churning in my head for most of my life.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?
10

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DanielP
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:00 am

Hi Frankos,

My name is Daniel from Canada. Nice to meet you! :)

If you are ok with that, I'm offering to guide you in this process.

A few quick guidelines: try to post daily/regularly or post to say if a break is needed; also please set aside any other spiritual practices during our inquiry together.

Don't forget, our disclaimer.

http://liberationunleashed.com/register/disclaimer/

If you could confirm you have seen the above - then we shall begin.

All the best,
Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:17 am

Thank you Daniel for your response and for offering to help.
I have seen what you asked me to see and am ready to proceed.

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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:58 am

Hi Frankos,

Let me start by asking some clarifications about your expectations.
I understand that this consciousness is not real; that this feeling of I am me and I am doing these things is an illusion.
What do you mean by this consciousness is not real ?
After many years of study and visits to see amazing people, I have a thorough conviction that something isn’t quite right and letting go of this separate self is the only answer.
Could you expand on this conviction that something isn’t quite right ? I'm not sure that I understand.
I understand that things won’t change and that this present life story will continue on. But I need release from this inner head chaos mainly driven by the selfishness of the “I am” feeling and the fear of bad things happened to this thing I think is me me me.
This part is clear for me.

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:42 am

Sorry, that was incorrect wording. What I meant was that I am certain that these thoughts are not who I am.

What I meant was this mind awareness, these thoughts that say "I am Frankos" and "I can do these things" is just a story. I am sure that there is a witnessing consciousness but I know that often I am just caught up in the muddled mind. I am convinced by what I've read and what I've seen that these thoughts are not the final truth.

These thoughts are always changing, as a child they were about toys and playing. At different times in this life different thoughts floated though this mind like leaves flowing down a stream. I believe they cannot be the truth.

Intellectually the research has proven over and over that I am not these thoughts and there is nothing more important that letting them go.

I am convinced that this is true and don't know what muted to do?

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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:36 pm

Hi Frankos,

Thank you, your expectations are much clearer now. Next, let's clear up a few things about what brings you to LU and then we'll proceed to the major inquiry.
when I was a young boy in high school I’ve had a longing for that something special.
Are you still looking for something special? Besides this present experience, have you ever experience anything else? And is it special? Or is it everyday, ordinary experience?
Please note that here at LU we are not looking for an experience. Whatever it is you are experiencing right now is totally ok since there is no one in charge to make it any different anyway.
I always felt there was something missing in my everyday experiences.
Do you still feel somethings missing today?
Cause what we will not fix that. Have you ever really consider the possibility that your immediate experience is perfectly ok as it ?
While my classmates played sports, I’d be in the library reading books such as “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” which is a book about a seagull that goes off and practices flying by himself and progresses through to higher states of consciousness by self-enquiry. I also read self-improvement books such as “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
I've read Jonathan Livingston, great book.
At age 25 I made my first trip to India on a spiritual pilgrimage where I saw people (guru’s) with a mystical awareness.
What if ordinary awareness and mystical awareness are the same THING?
After some seeking I narrowed down my search to Advaita Vedanta. I read many books by a Swami Chinmayanada and many others on Vedanta scriptures.
Traditional Advaita. Great teaching. We are not teaching here, just pointing out a basic truth about selfhood...
I returned to India many times to visit holy places and to see enlightened masters.
What is the difference between an enlightened person and an unenlightened one?
I understand that this consciousness is not real; that this feeling of I am me and I am doing these things is an illusion. After many years of study and visits to see amazing people, I have a thorough conviction that something isn’t quite right and letting go of this separate self is the only answer. I understand that things won’t change and that this present life story will continue on. But I need release from this inner head chaos mainly driven by the selfishness of the “I am” feeling and the fear of bad things happened to this thing I think is me me me.
I'm ok with this part now.
What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
I have read books by and made visits to Ashrams of teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, and various other Swamis’s who teach the “Not Self”. I’ve practised meditation (on and off) for many years and have had the thought “Who am I” churning in my head for most of my life.
Nisargadatta, yes, Ramana, yes, meditation, yes, you've had a pretty standard seekers journey isn't it? Maybe nows a good time to drop the lot?

Take care

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:06 am

Are you still looking for something special?
I'm not looking something special like the best ride at the biggest showgrounds. What I meant was the ability to let these thought disturbances go and to see them as not me. I know that things will carry on as they do now. I do not know what it is like on the other side of the gate but I think maybe some sort of essence of peace and calmness? Maybe?
I'm definitely not looking for an experience, I guess my only "desire" is for this thing I call me to disappear.
somethings missing today?
I don't feel anything missing. Just that I kind of want out.
awareness and mystical awareness are the same THING?
I am pretty sure that they are indeed the same thing.
enlightened person and an unenlightened one?
I realize that there is no difference. I find this a difficult subject to discuss because I'm trying to talk about something that isn't really easy to put into words.
Maybe nows a good time to drop the lot?
That's what I want. I want to drop the lot. Absolutely everything.

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DanielP
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:19 am

Hi Francos,
I'm not looking something special like the best ride at the biggest showgrounds. What I meant was the ability to let these thought disturbances go and to see them as not me.
I know that things will carry on as they do now. I do not know what it is like on the other side of the gate but I think maybe some sort of essence of peace and calmness? Maybe?
I'm definitely not looking for an experience, I guess my only "desire" is for this thing I call me to disappear.
Great answers, the reasons behind my questions about experience was to make it very clear that life is life and it will still be life after the gate! But I can see that this is clear for you.
Is somethings missing today?
I don't feel anything missing. Just that I kind of want out.
Great.
awareness and mystical awareness are the same THING?
I am pretty sure that they are indeed the same thing.
enlightened person and an unenlightened one?
I realize that there is no difference. I find this a difficult subject to discuss because I'm trying to talk about something that isn't really easy to put into words.
The purpose of these two questions was to shed light on the fact that mystical awareness and enlightenment are only words, ideas. The bottom line is that if we are looking for something which we really don’t know what it is but we have an IDEA of what it is (which is your case I believe), then this IDEA might prevent us to see it.
As an example, if you’re looking for something and you think it is blueish, you won’t see it if it appears in any other color!
This is why there is this notion of being open, having a beginner’s mind, being like a child etc. in so many spiritual traditions. Basically, this whole process has more chances of success if you drop the IDEAS you have about yourself, the world, about everything in fact. Put them on the shelf for the time being you can always pick them up later :)
Maybe nows a good time to drop the lot?
That's what I want. I want to drop the lot. Absolutely everything.
Great, you are in a very good disposition to see Francos.

Before getting to the major inquiry, let point two other things:
First. This is utterly simple. I know that you might not feel this way right now having search for it for so long, but know that this is simple stuff. So simple in fact that it is overlooked by most people. So don’t search too hard. LOOK and try to see if you can FIND something and if not trust your findings.
Second. Even though this is not about manipulating, changing our experience or doing things to have another kind of experience, the fact is that when you see there is no one in charge of “OUR” life, then our relationship with experience changes. There will still be “good” days and “bad” days but it is not felt as a problem anymore. Just life happening. I wanted to let you know.

Ok now with the major inquiry, tell me what your talking about when your talking about a “you”.

What does the word 'I' refers to?
Does it refer to a separate person / self / being? (I am a person called Francos)
Do you believe that you, a body with a mind, is currently sitting down reading this text? (I am this body)
Do you (the body maybe) operate the senses? (I see the text - I hear the traffic outside - I feel the keys under my fingers)
Do you believe you have control of life to some extent? (I control my own destiny)
Do you control the limbs / parts of the body? (I control this body - I move my fingers when I type)
Do you control thoughts to some extent? (I think)
Are the thoughts 'yours'? (I have ideas - I have my own thoughts)
Do you have a choice in what you will reply to me? (I can choose)
Did you have a choice to begin this guidance? (I have free-will)

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:50 am

What does the word 'I' refers to?
I don’t know who I am. I am not this body, not these thoughts and not these emotions. I feel like there's an I when I relate with the world but I cannot identify who or what it is!
Does it refer to a separate person / self / being?
It feels like there is a separate person but I know that there isn't and I cannot identify what it is.
Do you believe that you, a body with a mind, is currently sitting down reading this text?
It feels like I am sitting here reading this text but after years and years of inquiry, I'm convinced that I'm not.
Do you (the body maybe) operate the senses?
I am certain that I don't operate any anything. Witnessing a life story is occurring.
Do you believe you have control of life to some extent?
I believe I have absolutely no control of anything. Things just happen.
Do you control the limbs / parts of the body?
I feel like I do but I know that I don’t. I am often aware that they do things without my control. I am not controlling.
Do you control thoughts to some extent?
Are the thoughts 'yours'?
Thoughts are absolutely not mine. They flow through the mind like leaves flowing in a stream. I am not able to create thoughts. I have no idea where they come from.
Do you have a choice in what you will reply to me?
No, it is just happening. I feel like I have chosen but I know that this thing that I think is me didn’t choose anything.
Did you have a choice to begin this guidance?
No choice at all.

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DanielP
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:25 pm

Hi Francos,

I'm not sure what to think of these answers. In a sense you are telling me that you saw through the illusion but somehow, I also get the feeling that somethings missing.
Am I right ?

From these answers,
I feel like there's an I when I relate with the world...
It feels like there is a separate person...
It feels like I am sitting here reading this text...
I feel like I do but I know that I don’t...
I feel like I have chosen but I...
This sense of l seems to be related to some kind of feeling.
Could you expand on this a bit and describe in your own words what this feeling is made of?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:50 pm

somethings missing.
Am I right ?
Yes, you are right. Most of the time I feel like I am pretty much letting things happen and am living without the sense of being in control. Maybe in some ways I am sort of through the gate. But I just feel that I'm not there yet.

Maybe the sense of I is there because of the predominant feeling of inadequacy. Even though I know this is an illusion, the feeling that life's problems are real constantly fools me. Though I'm not sure if I'm reading your question correctly?

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DanielP
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:00 pm

Hi Francos,
I'm not sure if I'm reading your question correctly?
Yes you are!

Reading your post, I see these feelings: feeling you’re not there yet, feeling a sense of inadequacy, feeling that life’s problem are real, as beliefs showing up as feelings.

Try to replace "I feel" with "I believe" and see if it changes in any way the meaning of your sentences: I believe I’m not there yet. I believe I’m inadequate. I believe that life’s problem are real.

So we’ll inquire into beliefs…

The problem is not beliefs in themselves, but thinking, feeling, believing they are absolutely true when they're not.

Does believing that Santa is real is an evidence that he is real?

Of course not, a belief is only a belief and not true or not the truth.

The same thing apply to the belief there is an I in charge, that you’re not there yet, you're inadequate, or that life’s problem are real.

Questions:
In this present experience, can you find any evidence that you’re not there yet? (Besides a thought, a feeling or a belief that says so)

In this immediate experience, can you find any evidence you're inadequate?

This last two questions were based on the presumption that there is an I that can be adequate or inadequate but in your experience, can you find anything that fits the bill? Look carefully.

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:03 am

In this present experience, can you find any evidence that you’re not there yet?
In this immediate experience, can you find any evidence you're inadequate?
can you find anything that fits the bill?
I am totally aware of this. I realize that it is only beliefs that keep me trapped.
There is no evidence that I am inadequate.
I have read so much material, visited many teachers and have proven it by inner inquiry.
I've even been with a guru that had amazing siddhi's. I saw him materialize objects in an open un-moving hand when I was sitting right at his feet. I know magicians can do this but I saw a spark of light and heard a sound each time it happened.

But maybe I still have some doubts?

Even though I'm convinced that this is an illusion, I don't know why deep down I have these beliefs that I'm not there yet and I am inadequate?

My biggest hope is that my discussions with you will be successful and I will see through the veil.
But I do see that there's a doubting Thomas popping up in my head and saying to me "This is probably not going to work"?

Kindest Regards
Francos

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DanielP
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby DanielP » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:58 pm

Hi Francos, thank you for your honesty. I can see that you have a very good intellectual understanding and that the only thing missing is to see for yourself how and why this is true.

The only way to see through the illusion of a separate self, is to drop theses beliefs. And the only way to drop these is to see them as untrue. Basically, it is the same process as seeing as untrue the belief that Santa is real. Simple isn't?

I say it is simple but there was so much effort invested in this search that you've acquired the almost absolute conviction that it is hard stuff. Please just try to stay open to the possibility that it is simple stuff. Approach this with an 'I don't know, we'll see' frame of mind.

If you are ok with that, from now on I will use a more step by step approach to have something to build on. I want to do it this way because I don't know where is the sticking point for you. Some of these questions might be redundant but please bare with me as it will pay off later on.

We'll start with the senses and the basic assumption, idea or belief that there is an I that does the action of seeing, hearing, tasting etc.

We will begin with 'seeing'. Remember, to answer from 'seeing' only in this moment and not from memory or knowledge. It is an inquiry based on the experience of seeing alone and nothing else.

Seeing experiment

Close your eyes, so that you now witness 'blackness' or maybe a red/orange glow if you are staring at the sun or a bright light.
Then 'go to' the experience that we call 'seeing' and answer these questions from what you can find.

1) Describe what can be seen in simple terms.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you described above)?
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function / action called 'seeing'?
4) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person be found doing the 'seeing'?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Frankos
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Re: Tat Tvam Asi

Postby Frankos » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:50 pm

Approach this with an 'I don't know, we'll see' frame of mind.
Thank you, this is the only approach I can take. I want this more than absolutely anything but the only approach can be "let's see what happens".
Close your eyes,
1) Describe what can be seen in simple terms.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you described above)?
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function / action called 'seeing'?
4) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person be found doing the 'seeing'?
When I close my eyes nothing can be seen. The only thing that's still happening is thoughts popping around in my head; some of them with images.
There is still an awareness. Awareness tells me the eyes are closed.
There is nothing that can be located that performs the function of seeing, just an awareness that the seeing occurs.
I cannot pinpoint an item doing the seeing, the seeing just happens.


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