Wishing to see through the illusions

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:21 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I've been interested in insight, and especially direct pointing, for a while. Several of my friends have been recommending LU, so that's the reason for me being here.

I think the generosity in making this teaching available is fantastic, and one reason for me being here is to support this initiative by being a part of this!

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
My wish is to see through the illusions that creates the idea of dualism/separation, and ultimately suffering. I've found inquiry particularly useful in this "quest", and my expectation is to get guidance in seeing through even more.

I do believe I've seen through the illusion of the self, which I partly wish to have confirmed (even though I believe it's difficult to misinterpret this - once you've realized Santa doesn't exist, you can't really believe in him anymore, right?) Also, as I understand it, LU could lead you to other groups/contexts where you could explore the illusions of the 4th and 5th fetter, desire and ill-will. I'm interested in getting in contact with other people with this striving (this isn't necessarily the case within my buddhist community).

What is your past experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I'm a practicing buddhist, and have a daily meditation practice since a couple of years. The last two years, I've been attending mediation retreats where direct pointing has been a common method (with Tejananda, within the Triratna Community). Since then, I'm very inspired by working with the ten fetters.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?: 11

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:06 pm

Hi Nora

Welcome to LU - My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
Several of my friends have been recommending LU, so that's the reason for me being here.
Good to see you - Several of my friends are Triratna members, and although I am not a Buddhist, I am familiar with Buddhist terminology and the fetters.
I do believe I've seen through the illusion of the self, which I partly wish to have confirmed
Great - Perhaps you could explain your insight.
How is it known that you've seen through the illusion?
As you probably know, this would make breaking the first of the ten fetters (and the next two fall with the first, doubt about the dharma, and attachment to rites and rituals), and be classified as 'stream entry'.
The last two years, I've been attending mediation retreats where direct pointing has been a common method (with Tejananda, within the Triratna Community). Since then, I'm very inspired by working with the ten fetters.
As fate would have it, I'll be attended a retreat with John next month myself (Vajraloka).

Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:42 am

Welcome to LU - My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
Hi Xain! Thank you so much for offering guidance :) Before we start, I would just like to add that English isn't my first language. So if there's anything odd about my writing, it could be a language barrier. Please ask, so we can sort it out!
Perhaps you could explain your insight.
How is it known that you've seen through the illusion?
Ok, I'll do my very best to put it into words. I guess one step was to stop identifying with the thoughts. Through meditation practice, I began to "separate" what I then called "myself" (awareness) from the thoughts. It became possible to view the thoughts from "outside", and after a while it became obvious that they were independent from "me". They just appeared, due to conditionality I guess. However, I still believed "I" was thinking the thoughts, even though I wasn't in control of them (yes, that's a bit contradictory, I can see that now).

On a retreat with Tejananda, he guided us into similar insights regarding the other senses as well. Suddenly, it became clear that there was no constant flow of sense experiences! Rather, experiences appeared and disappeared, and then the mind "filled in the gap" to make it LOOK LIKE that there was a constant flow of experience.

During a direct pointing exercise, I realized that was the case for the thoughts as well. They appeared, with gaps in between them, and then the mind filled in the gaps, and also creating the illusion of a constant and existing "entity" having those thoughts. It became so clear to me where this idea of an ego appeared. There was nothing there, just the mind trying to make sense of it all, and then creating the idea of an I!

I'm still experiencing this "egoing". The mind still has tendencies to fixate things, by defining them. I was just about to write "because the mind wants to make sense of everything", but that would actually be just another example of this defining tendency..! However, I see it for what it is, and are more witnessing it, rather than believing in it. It's simply not possible to believe in it anymore.

This is the short version of the insight. There was a lot of other things pointing at it as well, such as experiences of the body sensations, reflecting upon the six elements, etc. I guess the meditation practice prepared me to see through, and then someone just pointed at the insight, and there it was.

Please fell free to ask for any kind of clarification.
As fate would have it, I'll be attended a retreat with John next month myself (Vajraloka).
Lovely! I'm wishing you a wonderful retreat there!

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:23 pm

Hi again Nora

Thank you for your reply.
Good. Yes. From your post, it does seem like you've realised.
They just appeared, due to conditionality I guess. However, I still believed "I" was thinking the thoughts, even though I wasn't in control of them (yes, that's a bit contradictory, I can see that now).
It does, but your explanation is clear.
Rather, experiences appeared and disappeared, and then the mind "filled in the gap" to make it LOOK LIKE that there was a constant flow of experience.
Yes, excellent.
They appeared, with gaps in between them, and then the mind filled in the gaps, and also creating the illusion of a constant and existing "entity" having those thoughts. It became so clear to me where this idea of an ego appeared. There was nothing there, just the mind trying to make sense of it all, and then creating the idea of an I!
Yes. Very clear.
There was a lot of other things pointing at it as well, such as experiences of the body sensations, reflecting upon the six elements, etc.
Good. I understand.

Could you please expand on your insight relating to the senses and / or the body - Please be honest.
You mention 'body sensations'.
Are the senses 'tied' or 'being operated' by anything separate?
Is there an 'I' that is 'seeing'?
Is the body doing 'seeing' or 'feeling' etc?

How about choice and control?
Is there a 'you' choosing or controlling? Was there ever?
Is there a 'you' that chose to begin this conversation here with me, for example?
Is there a 'you' that is going to choose what to reply to this message?
Will there be a 'you' controlling the movement of the hands when typing?

Please write and explain what is clear to you from your insights.
You could also mention 'what the mind says' about these things.

Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:48 pm

Thank you Xain for your quick reply! I'll try to answer your questions as clear and honest as possible.
Could you please expand on your insight relating to the senses and / or the body - Please be honest.
You mention 'body sensations'.
Are the senses 'tied' or 'being operated' by anything separate?
Is there an 'I' that is 'seeing'?
Is the body doing 'seeing' or 'feeling' etc?
These are so good questions! Before, I had the "feeling" (or rather "interpretation") that since there were sensations, there was also someone having them. But, when I looked at the actual experience, there was just experience happening. No one was having the experience, that was just an interpretation added onto the experience. This goes for body sensations, but also for hearing and seeing. Yes, and even thinking.

You ask if the body is doing "seeing"... I guess you mean if the eyes are "seeing"? I think no. There is no one "seeing", not an "I", not even the eye (which I guess could be a sneaky version of the "I", like "I'm not seeing, but my eyes are", something like that). There is just seeing.
How about choice and control?
Is there a 'you' choosing or controlling? Was there ever?
Is there a 'you' that chose to begin this conversation here with me, for example?
Is there a 'you' that is going to choose what to reply to this message?
Will there be a 'you' controlling the movement of the hands when typing?
There's certainly no "me" choosing, or controlling, even though my experience is that the mind wants to believe it's in control (of the universe!) The hands are moving, typing an answer on the keyboard. "I" am not writing, and I know this (ha ha, it's a bit odd to refer to an "I" when the hands just typed that there was no such entity!) because when searching for the "writer", or for the "controller" of the hands, there is nothing there. The mind, however, did for a long time explain this by the idea of an "I". Like "there MUST be an I, even though there are no proofs of it, just assumptions".
Please write and explain what is clear to you from your insights.
You could also mention 'what the mind says' about these things.
What is clear to me, is that when you look at the actual experience, I mean really really look at it, there's quite apparent that there is no "I". As I wrote earlier, I think I (uncounsiously) prepared for the insight during meditation. I un-hooked from the thoughts, and had direct experiences of pure awareness, or at least glimpses, but I didn't understand the meaning of it. The mind had the idea that this illusion is really difficult to see through, and that it was far far away, like "only advanced practitioners can see through it".

Now, it's so obvious that the mind was the biggest hindrance. It just didn't allow me to see. When I met the technique Direct Pointing, I realized what I actually was witnessing: The emptiness of the self. That is what is clear to me from the insights. That if we actually look at our experience, and dare to see, it can be quite evident that there is no "me" there.

There was also fear involved. The mind was freaking out sometimes, during meditations, because what will happen if I don't exist!? There is still fear involved, to look even deeper, to see through even more. But that's just another thought; another sensation. Isn't it!? ;)

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:03 pm

There was also fear involved. The mind was freaking out sometimes, during meditations, because what will happen if I don't exist!?
Yes :-)
But of course as I am sure you know, it isn't a question of having something disappear - It's more of a question of realising it has been an illusion all along - There never was a 'real' inherently self to begin with :-)
You are right, though - The mind can't deal with such things.
There is still fear involved, to look even deeper, to see through even more. But that's just another thought; another sensation. Isn't it!? ;)
In a way, but nothing needs to be rejected or dismissed.
It is good to realise the emptiness of the self, rather than landing on a new position of belief.
The thought 'I' is fine. It doesn't need to be dismissed. Just seen for what it is.
No change of language is needed - I can still say that I am having a chat with you. It's just we know that these words don't point to inherently existing 'things'.

It is clear to me you have seen from your replies.
There are a standard 6 questions I can ask as part of the LU confirmation process.

Here are the first three of them:

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 and understanding. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference (if anything) from before you realised 'no self'?

Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:29 pm

of course as I am sure you know, it isn't a question of having something disappear - It's more of a question of realising it has been an illusion all along - There never was a 'real' inherently self to begin with :-)
You are right, though - The mind can't deal with such things.
Yes, and I believe that's a key: We are already doing pretty well without the "I" since it never was there, just the illusion of it :)
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No. It never was. It was just an interpretation by the mind. An illusion.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience and understanding. Describe it fully as you see it now.
My experience is that the illusion of the separate self is an interpretation, added onto the experiences and created by the mind. The mind tries to make sense of all this, and assumes that since there is experience, there must be someone having them - an "I". The illusion is enhanced by the mind filling in the gaps of the experiences, so we believe there is a constant flow of experience, when it's actually not. This increases the idea of something solid: There is a solid "me", a subject, having a constant flow of experience. What I, the subject, experiences is objects. Hence the notion of the self being separate: It is "inside", and everything else is "outside".
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference (if anything) from before you realised 'no self'?
It feels liberating. And so obvious! The difference from before realizing that there is no "I", is that I simply can't believe the mind anymore - I'm not identifying with it. Every time the mind tries to fixate or define or control something, or whatever it does, it's possible just to witness it. However, there are still deep habits going on, in the mind as well as in my acting. Before, I could project them onto the self. Now I can't.

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks, Nora
However, there are still deep habits going on, in the mind as well as in my acting. Before, I could project them onto the self. Now I can't.
Yes. The conditioning still remains (if we can refer to it as that).
Habits can be examined in further inquiry - Especially those that may cause suffering.

Here are the final three questions:

4) Was there something specific you looked into or something that was mentioned that made you fully realise? - Was there a specific moment where you 'tipped over' into realising 'no self'?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control as you understand it now. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Please give examples from experience if you can, and explain what you have realised.

6) Do you have anything further you would like to add?

Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:59 am

4) Was there something specific you looked into or something that was mentioned that made you fully realise? - Was there a specific moment where you 'tipped over' into realising 'no self'?
There was indeed a specific moment when I "tipped over". It was on a retreat, during meditation. Earlier that morning, we had been reflecting upon how the mind fills in the gaps of sensations, making experience look like a constant flow. Now we did the same thing with the mind, and there it was! Suddenly I saw what the mind was doing: It filled in the gaps between the thoughts, creating a story of a solid entity, and "I". But there was actually nothing there! It felt a bit simple, to be honest. I had had the idea/view that this would be a dramatic insight, but it wasn't. Rather, it was so simple that I had missed it for a long long time.
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control as you understand it now. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Please give examples from experience if you can, and explain what you have realised.
I guess one part of holding up the illusion of the self, is the idea that there has to be a "decision-maker". If not, who's making all these things that the mind define as choices!? I think this is just another way of adding a story onto the actual experience: If there are sensations, someone must be having them. If there are actions, someone must be doing them, someone must decide what to do. Something like that. But when I seek for the decision-maker, I find the same insight as when I seek for the perceiver: I find nothing. The question about what I'm responsible for implies that there is "someone", an "I", which could be responsible. But, again, when I seek for that someone, I cannot find her.

This doesn't mean that actions aren't important, or something like that. They still have consequences, of course.

To use Buddhist terminology, I guess "conditionality" is my best response to what makes things happen. When "trapped" by the mind, i.e., where there is identification with the thoughts, feelings, stories, etc., the actions seem to be more reactive, most often creating more ideas of separation and suffering. When relaxing into direct experience, it is possible to stop identifying with all these stories, and the actions can be more loving and compassionate, according to my experience. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are still deep habits, resulting in actions that leads to suffering, meaning that what I still refer to as "me" is not a fully ethical person just because I've seen through the illusion of the self.

One simple and yet quite illustrative example is when I go running. Then I just run. There's certainly not a "me" deciding where to go, when to slow down, and when to push a bit. Running just happens. Earlier, I found it meditative. I still do, but know I also see the experience more clearly: actually, it is one of many many examples of the insight that there is no "me" making decisions.
6) Do you have anything further you would like to add?
Yes! I found your guiding very clear, Xain! I'm grateful for you guiding me, and I think the whole procedure was very serious and spot on. I feel inspired and happy! And I feel a deep motivation to continue this process of looking, to see through even more..!

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:57 pm

Thank you for your answers, Nora.

Another further question - What is the nature of the mind which fills in the gap?
Who / what is doing this?

Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:20 am

What is the nature of the mind which fills in the gap?
Who / what is doing this?
I guess "habit".

(Of course, there is nothing in the gap, that is just an illusion. An interpretation of the actual experience.)

User avatar
Xain
Posts: 3509
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby Xain » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:57 pm

Hi once again Nora

The other guides are happy that you've 'seen' and so am I.
This marks the end of the guidance . . . not that I did any with you . . . you didn't need any! :-)

If you are on Facebook and would like to be added to the LU groups for new arrivals and further looking etc, then please send me your name or facebook page link in a private email message (Click the red name 'Xain' and choose 'Send Private Message' if you wish this).
Also, there are further groups on both this forum and Facebook that you may be interested regarding examining the further fetters (the next two for you being 4 - 'Desire' and 5 - 'Aversion' - The constant push and pull of life which creates suffering).

Alternatively, you may send me a private message at any time if you have any further questions or anything else that I can assist you with.

Very best wishes, and thank you for a brief but extremely pleasant conversation
Xain ♥

User avatar
nora
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Wishing to see through the illusions

Postby nora » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:24 am

Very best wishes, and thank you for a brief but extremely pleasant conversation
Xain ♥
Very best wishes to you, Xain, and thank you! It was pleasant indeed :) I'll send you a private message.
xx


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests