Seeking Liberation

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jmseveridt
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Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:42 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I have been reading about and seeking liberation for the past 5 years and have been come frustrated with the constant seeking. I read about this site and from what I read the pointers given here are direct and thus, I thought joining here would be useful.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
I want to experience directly what liberation is instead of the ideas of what I think it is that I have conjured up in my mind. I tend to be a little bit analytical and the seeking/inquiry that I have been practicing on my own seems to be taking me in circles.

What is your past experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I do not have any formal practice, but I have read about non-duality for the past 5 years and meditate and practice inquiry practices on my own regularly.

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

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:07 pm

Hi jmseveridt, and welcome to the LU Forum.
My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
Do you have a preferred name to go by in our conversation?
I have been reading about and seeking liberation for the past 5 years and have been come frustrated with the constant seeking.
What sort of background do you have? Have you followed any particular teachers or done any specific inquiry practice?
I want to experience directly what liberation is instead of the ideas of what I think it is that I have conjured up in my mind.
What is it that you are looking for guidance with, and what would it mean to you?
What expectations do you have?
Do you have any worries or concerns?

I look forward to your reply
Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:30 pm

Hi Xain,

Thank you for reaching out. You can call my Justin.

"What sort of background do you have? Have you followed any particular teachers or done any specific inquiry practice?"

I was introduced to non-duality by chance when I ordered a book by Scott Kiloby about 5 years ago. I was immediately fascinated by the idea/concepts and started vigorously researching the subject. During the next few years I read everything I could find on the subject, but never committed to any formal practice or inquiry.

"What is it that you are looking for guidance with, and what would it mean to you?"

I am looking for guidance with inquiring into discovering my true nature. As I mentioned, I have read a lot about the subject, but have never received any personal guidance on discovering it for myself.

"What expectations do you have?"

I would like to say I do not have any expectations, but in reality my expectation is that discovering my true nature would provide some sort of relief or freedom.

"Do you have any worries or concerns?"

That I continue in this cycle of seeking without any realization.

Again, thank you for your reply and I look forward to working with you.

Thanks,
Justin

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Ok, Justin - Thanks for your reply.
I was introduced to non-duality by chance when I ordered a book by Scott Kiloby about 5 years ago.
I know Scott very well. I am also familiar with his living inquiries / 'unfindable' inquiry, which is quite similar to what we do here at LU.
I am looking for guidance with inquiring into discovering my true nature.
Strangely, that's exactly the thing I said when I came originally to LU for guidance :-)
What you are asking is quite deep . . . even to suggest that whatever 'the true nature is' can be known.

What we can do here through the guidance, is for you to realise that the belief that you are a separate limited body and mind (an 'I', a self) is entirely based on self-referential thoughts and misperceptions. Essentially, it is an illusion.
You can realise that there is no inherent self - No 'real I'.
I would like to say I do not have any expectations, but in reality my expectation is that discovering my true nature would provide some sort of relief or freedom.
Well here we should be a little careful.
As a by-product of this realisation, there may be relief and freedom - It can be realised that life has been simply 'happening all by itself' and will continue to do so, which is contrary to the usual belief that there is a self with absolute choices and control.
It will be realised that no 'real' person ever made mistakes . . . or could do so in the future . . . that all the worries and stresses relating to a seperate person are all an illusion.

However, I will ask you to please put all 'BIG' expectations to one side (which, sadly, many hold because of what they've heard, read or been told). Many come here expecting 'I will live in permanent peace', 'I will become a special person', 'I will experience life in a new way' etc
Notice all these expectations have an 'I' component. We are here to show that there is no 'real I'.
What use are expectations to an illusion?
That I continue in this cycle of seeking without any realization.
Since you mention it, in my experience the best way of realizing what we are pointing to here is by doing the following:

> Being completely honest with me, and yourself.
> Most of the guidance I will ask you what you can FIND, not what you THINK might be going on.
If you find yourself analysing or thinking what the correct answer is, you are not answering from what you can find.
> The more determined you are to see this through, the more likely you are to achieve it.
> Put aside all fancy non-dual beliefs, spiritual, religious, scientific and medical knowledge. Approach this whole thing as simply as possible from basic principles.

Oh . . . in order to reply 'in quotes' like I have done, a guide for that process is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

What do you think to what I have put so far?

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:21 pm

Hi Xain,

Everything sounds great. I will set aside my expectations and trust the process. I am looking forward to working with you.

Thanks,
Justin

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:03 pm

Cool, Justin.
One more thing.

Try to write at least once a day - This sets up a 'momentum' in the guidance. If you can't write for a day or two just say. I'll try to do the same.
Is that OK?

Do you have any other questions before we begin?

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:26 pm

Yes, I can commit to posting once a day. I don't have any more questions right now and am ready to get started.

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:37 pm

Ok, Justin.

Let us begin simply by addressing 'I' or 'me'.
What do you believe that words points to.
Please answer in simple terms from what you honestly believe right now - This is nothing about non-dual, spiritual or religious teachings, terms or phrases. It's about putting such stuff to one-side and address what you REALLY believe.

For example, do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
As simple as that.

Perhaps 'I' refers to the body - The body is doing the seeing of the words, the body is hearing sounds around it and feeling the chair or seat.
Perhaps 'I' refers to the body that it has control of itself. 'I move my arms', 'I move my hands when typing'.
Perhaps 'I' chooses and decides - 'I' chose to begin guidance at LU', 'I will be deciding what to type in a reply to you'.
Perhaps 'I' thinks and experiences those thoughts - 'I am thinking what to say', 'I had an idea yesterday', 'Right now I am seeing an object in my imagination'.

Those are a few pointers which I believe most people would agree with. Maybe they ring true for you?
What do you think? Let me know your own thoughts and opinions of what 'I' means or refers to.

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:05 pm

Thanks, Xain. I will do my best to express what I truly believe and leave all that I have read about non-duality out.

I believe I am the one that is thinking about how to respond, typing these words and focusing my attention. I or me seems to be more associated with my head than any other part of my body, although, I would say that I am directing the movement of my body. I also believe myself to be the one that chooses what to do, has preferences and feels emotions.

In addition to the above I believe that I am the one that is experiencing this moment and my life in general.

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:07 am

Thanks for your reply, Justin.
. . . and focusing my attention.
Good point.
That's usually the belief held quite strongly by people who have a meditative background (i.e. I am the one focussing attention in my meditation practice). We can address that later.
I or me seems to be more associated with my head than any other part of my body
That is fairly standard.
We are told so often to 'use your head' when asked be more attentive, focussed or thoughtful.
Also, it is the general view that the brain is 'the main controller' and that the head region houses it. And, of course, the belief that some of the main senses are operated from the head area.

Ok, we'll go through a few things - First of all, I will address the senses and the belief that the body is the centre or 'doer' of experience (as in 'I see', 'I hear', 'I feel' etc). Then we will address choice and control. Then thinking and imagination. Then 'attention focussing'.

This first exercise is a very basic one that I start off with.
I do this to attempt to 'focus' you to answer from what can be FOUND rather than THINKING what the correct answer might be.

We will begin with 'seeing' - Just that one sense on it's own.

Close your eyes.
With eyes closed, you will now experience 'blackness'. There may be other things you can find going on, sure. If you are looking at a bright light, there may be a red glow. There may be sparkly bits or clouds going on - It really doesn't matter. Just to make things simple, whatever you can see with eyes closed, I'm going to refer to it as 'black' or 'blackness' just for simplicity.

1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
3) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Justin be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?

What do you find?

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:15 pm

Hi Xaim, thank you for your reply.
1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
No, I cannot confirm this without thinking about it and labeling it as such.
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
At first it feels like there is someone that is doing the seeing. Almost an assumption that is unnoticed, but as I sat longer I could see that the assumption was just a thought and not what was actually being experienced.
3) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
Again, it seemed like it could be found at first. It seemed like a subtle image along with sensations was there witnessing the blackness, but as I investigated that further I could not actually find a witness.
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Justin be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?
Not directly, but before contemplating this for awhile it felt very real that I was witnessing the blackness. I have to say though without thinking I cannot say that there was actually a witness.

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:30 pm

At first it feels like there is someone that is doing the seeing. Almost an assumption that is unnoticed, but as I sat longer I could see that the assumption was just a thought and not what was actually being experienced.
Excellent. Yes!
Not directly, but before contemplating this for awhile it felt very real that I was witnessing the blackness. I have to say though without thinking I cannot say that there was actually a witness.
Exactly what are you referring to when you say 'I was witnessing'? The body perhaps? The eyes?

Just as a pointer, do not expect anything to change during or after this guidance and realisation.
This would be another expectation for an 'I' that is believed in (i.e. My experience will change).

Let's move to opening the eyes now.
Again, address this very simply - The 'Seeing' sense only for the moment.

With eyes open, a world of objects appears . . . a room . . . a computer screen etc
What you can specifically see isn't of interest here, and whatever it is I am simply going to refer to it as 'what can be seen'.
This might be a little more tricky, but give it some consideration.

1) With eyes open, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'what can be seen' as I mentioned?
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'what can be seen'?
3) Can what is witnessing 'what can be seen' be found?
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Justin be found that is witnessing 'what can be seen'? Or is there just simply 'what can be seen' to be found?

Perhaps (since you mentioned it), you might also add what you consider to be assumptions from thought.
What do you find?

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:03 pm

Exactly what are you referring to when you say 'I was witnessing'? The body perhaps? The eyes?
It is more of a sense of me behind the eyes. A subtle image of my head and sensations that seem to be me. However, I cannot find anything when I do not rely on the assumption that there is a me that is witnessing.
1) With eyes open, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'what can be seen' as I mentioned?
Yes
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'what can be seen'?
No, just what can be seen.
3) Can what is witnessing 'what can be seen' be found?
No, there is a feeling or assumption that there is a witness to 'what can be seen' but upon further investigation no witness can be found.

4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Justin be found that is witnessing 'what can be seen'? Or is there just simply 'what can be seen' to be found?
Again, nothing can be found directly, there is just 'what can be seen'

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Xain
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby Xain » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:51 pm

It is more of a sense of me behind the eyes. A subtle image of my head and sensations that seem to be me.
This is very common. I mentioned the reasons the head area / behind the eyes area is so common in our beliefs of what is going on.
However, I cannot find anything when I do not rely on the assumption that there is a me that is witnessing.
Good.

Incidentally, there is distance in the senses - I mean, there is an apparent distance between the objects that appear in experience and a location where 'seeing' appears to be done from. This is something that can be examined later. Don't let it concern you right now.
What we are doing in this guidance is to try to establish what we believe is responsible for the senses (what is 'doing' the seeing).
Again, nothing can be found directly, there is just 'what can be seen'
Great.

Just to expand on this as before, if we suggest 'I am seeing' or 'Eyes are seeing' or even 'Brain is seeing' (which might be more medically or scientifically correct if we really consider it) - These things cannot be established when we examine our experience.
This is not to say medical science or these phrases are right or wrong.
It's just that they are assumptions we make. They are the result of THINKING. Does that make sense?

Xain ♥

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jmseveridt
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Re: Seeking Liberation

Postby jmseveridt » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:20 pm

Just to expand on this as before, if we suggest 'I am seeing' or 'Eyes are seeing' or even 'Brain is seeing' (which might be more medically or scientifically correct if we really consider it) - These things cannot be established when we examine our experience.
This is not to say medical science or these phrases are right or wrong.
It's just that they are assumptions we make. They are the result of THINKING. Does that make sense?
Yes, this does make sense and was clearly seen during the 'seeing' experiment.


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