Looking forward to this!

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Thu May 25, 2017 1:00 am

Hello Maitrivajra!

Lovely to read your post! :-)
Thanks - I enjoyed writing it!
It seems that this staying with the breath / body is working for you. Keep on with this, but with the extra LU questioning: as thought arises, of noticing if narratives are arising, of noticing the illusory “me” that can so easily seem to tell them.

This really resonated with me. Your words above triggered that for me again. I heard them as you saying that "the shift and smile that happens when you look into the mirror is a recognition of IT".
Ha ha! Yes exactly!

As Rupert said in that video: "this is as good as it gets - awareness being aware of itself". Thank you for that!
Perhaps one could say ‘THIS is as good as it gets!’ ha ha! And you are very welcome. :-)

Let me know what happens today / tomorrow with this.
Yesterday felt like a real opening - it was kind of exciting. But then (of course) the discounting thought train began: "That wasn't really an opening. You've just been feeling very depressed/contracted lately, and the "opening" was simply a passing of that mood". Today was very hectic/stressful and I was very preoccupied at work, so not much self-inquiry.

Its funny, when openings happen, they're not necessarily experienced in terms of self/no-self. More like a letting go and a relaxing into experience accompanied by bound-up energy being released and becoming available. I have a feeling these are all descriptions of the same process though.

I just did the body/breath exercise you suggested along with LU inquiry. Thoughts were experienced as simply appearing, with no thought of someone thinking them. This was pretty clear and didn't seem like a dilemma to be figured out.
I'll let the unwinding continue and see what arises!

Have a good day!
Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Thu May 25, 2017 7:49 am

Hello Bob!
Its funny, when openings happen, they're not necessarily experienced in terms of self/no-self. More like a letting go and a relaxing into experience accompanied by bound-up energy being released and becoming available. I have a feeling these are all descriptions of the same process though.
Yes, that’s right! In the language of 'process' it is the same process. The energy release that you speak of is quite common. It can take a huge amount of energy to construct a “me” and relaxing into experience is often quite naturally accompanied by the release of ‘bound-up’ energy (good words!) – bound up in propping up all that illusion.
Thoughts were experienced as simply appearing, with no thought of someone thinking them. This was pretty clear and didn't seem like a dilemma to be figured out.
Lovely! When thoughts are experienced, they are just experienced. The whole business of working out whether there is a self or not can just subside. If we go back to the monster under the bed metaphor – when it is seen that there is no monster under the bed, you don’t go to bed each day actively referencing the fact that there is no monster under the bed. It is simply known. If someone, years down the line, says ‘Didn’t you believe that there was a monster under the bed?’ you might say, ‘Gosh, yes, I did, didn’t I! I haven’t thought about that for years.’ LU pointing is so that you can drop the illusion, the propping up of the false sense of self. When this is seen the inquiry becomes unnecessary. Thoughts just happen without a thinker and without the need to notice that there isn’t a thinker. When this is seen, there is no longer any dilemma and nothing to be figured out. Inquiry (on that level at least) just drops away.
But then (of course) the discounting thought train began: "That wasn't really an opening. You've just been feeling very depressed/contracted lately, and the "opening" was simply a passing of that mood".
Remember how helpful it was before to be able to say ‘This too will pass’ of any experience? There is this habit, isn’t there, for “Bob” – like a pendulum swinging – where, after a relaxation and opening it seems almost inevitable that there will be an experience of ‘doubt’. All experience is transitory. What we are pointing at here is that which is beyond experience, beyond time and space. The unchanging silent awareness into which all experience arises and subsides, not as separate objects in awareness, but as awareness. How mysterious! What is it that has doubt? Or is it more like a discharging battery? There is a habit of these thoughts arising and each time they are experienced as thoughts arising without a thinker, some of the charge is dissipated (of course, each time they are believed, the habit is strengthened/ perpetuated). It’s a flow that can be observed – by no one. You don’t need to do anything about it. You can just observe it arising and passing for as long as it arises and passes. What is there that could do otherwise?

You seem to have an effective body / breath / inquiry exercise going on here.

Keep on and report back!
Maitrivajra
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Thu May 25, 2017 11:09 pm

Hello!

I read all of your post (I usually read them at least twice so they'll sink in), but will comment on this part:
But then (of course) the discounting thought train began: "That wasn't really an opening. You've just been feeling very depressed/contracted lately, and the "opening" was simply a passing of that mood".
Remember how helpful it was before to be able to say ‘This too will pass’ of any experience? There is this habit, isn’t there, for “Bob” – like a pendulum swinging – where, after a relaxation and opening it seems almost inevitable that there will be an experience of ‘doubt’. All experience is transitory. What we are pointing at here is that which is beyond experience, beyond time and space. The unchanging silent awareness into which all experience arises and subsides, not as separate objects in awareness, but as awareness. How mysterious! What is it that has doubt?
Or is it more like a discharging battery? There is a habit of these thoughts arising and each time they are experienced as thoughts arising without a thinker, some of the charge is dissipated (of course, each time they are believed, the habit is strengthened/ perpetuated). It’s a flow that can be observed – by no one. You don’t need to do anything about it. You can just observe it arising and passing for as long as it arises and passes. What is there that could do otherwise?
The discharging battery metaphor is reassuring. The hope here is that each time the self illusion arises here (and I question it), it dissipates a bit. The fear is that it isn't disappearing at all. But as I'm sure you would say, "these hopes and fears are arising to no one!"
You seem to have an effective body / breath / inquiry exercise going on here.
Will do and have a good day!

Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Fri May 26, 2017 6:58 am

Hello Bob!

The battery metaphor works well for me, too. The thing you have to be careful of is that it is a metaphor of time and process. This is how it can work for many - but big shifts can happen, too, quite suddenly. One never knows! :-)

M
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Fri May 26, 2017 8:52 pm

Hello!
The battery metaphor works well for me, too. The thing you have to be careful of is that it is a metaphor of time and process. This is how it can work for many - but big shifts can happen, too, quite suddenly. One never knows! :-)
I'll be on the lookout and inquiry is continuing!

Have a great weekend,
Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Sat May 27, 2017 11:38 am

Hello Bob!

Carry on! When you are ready, report back as explicitly as possible about what is happening with this inquiry.

M
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Sat May 27, 2017 11:24 pm

Hi Maitrivajra!

A little preoccupied today - will respond tomorrow when there's some time to settle down.

Best wishes,
Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Sun May 28, 2017 12:11 am

OK!
M :-)
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Sun May 28, 2017 10:55 pm

Hi Maitrivajra,

Had an upsetting argument with my wife and have been preoccupied with it over the last few days. Its actually part of what we in the States call the "Trump Effect"!. She's become extremely politically active and wants to give large sums of money away to charity. We managed to reach a compromise a few hours ago, so things are better.

In any case, during these days I was very upset and the desire to do LU inquiry only arose very intermittently. When crises come up, the LU inquiry somehow seems less important.

Meanwhile, I'm starting up again - I opened the LU book and picked up with the exercises where I left off. There's still a feeling of stuckness around the existence/nonexistence of self, but the usual intellectual "objections" to there being no self aren't arising as strongly as they were a few months ago. Many of those thoughts have run their course.

I will carry on and continue to keep you posted! Tomorrow is Memorial Day here so a 3 day weekend - my wife just told me that you have a holiday as well.

Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Mon May 29, 2017 10:29 am

Hello Bob!

Thank you for this. It is indeed a holiday here today in the UK. I have been invited out for the day at short notice and so will respond to this later - sorry for the short notice. Not an easy few days for you!

M
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Mon May 29, 2017 11:02 pm

Hello Bob,
Had an upsetting argument with my wife and have been preoccupied with it over the last few days.
This experience sounds very upsetting and there is a strong feeling of compassion here for the suffering that has arisen.
In any case, during these days I was very upset and the desire to do LU inquiry only arose very intermittently. When crises come up, the LU inquiry somehow seems less important.
Is there any kind of insight (with a small ‘I’) around authorship and ownership here? Or did it seem like “you” reverted in some way and the whole experience of being upset seemed to be unfolding as it always would have? 'Difficult' times can be a real opportunity to look at this - without judgement, perhaps - though noticing judgement arising (without judgement!) can be really fruitful, too.
There's still a feeling of stuckness around the existence/nonexistence of self, but the usual intellectual "objections" to there being no self aren't arising as strongly as they were a few months ago. Many of those thoughts have run their course.
It’s great that intellectual objections aren’t arising as strongly.

Can you give me an example of the sort of thoughts that have run their course?

All the best
Maitrivajra
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Tue May 30, 2017 2:01 am

Hello Maitrivajra
Had an upsetting argument with my wife and have been preoccupied with it over the last few days.

This experience sounds very upsetting and there is a strong feeling of compassion here for the suffering that has arisen.
Thanks - I appreciate it.
In any case, during these days I was very upset and the desire to do LU inquiry only arose very intermittently. When crises come up, the LU inquiry somehow seems less important.
Is there any kind of insight (with a small ‘I’) around authorship and ownership here? Or did it seem like “you” reverted in some way and the whole experience of being upset seemed to be unfolding as it always would have? 'Difficult' times can be a real opportunity to look at this - without judgement, perhaps - though noticing judgement arising (without judgement!) can be really fruitful, too.
Unfortunately, it did seem that "I" reverted. There was preoccupation with what was unfolding and very little insight.
There's still a feeling of stuckness around the existence/nonexistence of self, but the usual intellectual "objections" to there being no self aren't arising as strongly as they were a few months ago. Many of those thoughts have run their course.
It’s great that intellectual objections aren’t arising as strongly.

Can you give me an example of the sort of thoughts that have run their course?
Yes. There used to be fixation with the idea that "I" can control my thoughts. You might remember that "I" used to come up with examples about how "I" could mentally picture, for example, a blue circle whenever I chose to. That way of thinking has died down significantly and less intellectual chatter arises about it.

Going back to the thing with my wife - as I mentioned earlier, when "important" situations arise that are extremely upsetting, I sometimes revert to "non-spiritual" patterns of functioning. Once the situation dies down, the self-inquiry surfaces again. Today for example, my wife and I were at a pool (the weather was beautiful here) and "openings" kept occurring where it felt like there was seeing of the world in a very direct way, with nothing getting in the way. Its a confusing time at the moment. There appears to be more anxiety/tension that usual, with interspersed moments of clarity.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend/holiday!

Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Tue May 30, 2017 8:11 am

Hello Bob!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend/holiday!

I have been looking after a very sick friend, which was beautiful and sad, and I also managed to get out to walk on the hills which are lovely at this time of year. :-)

Unfortunately, it did seem that "I" reverted. There was preoccupation with what was unfolding and very little insight.


Note your use of the word 'seem' - exactly!

This is all OK, it’s what is happening. What is it that can choose otherwise? This reverting is a force of habit. Becoming preoccupied is a force of habit. The purpose of our inquiry is to challenge this on a daily basis, to examine habits as they arise and to ask ‘What is it that is reacting?’

I want you to think back and re-evoke (if possible) some of these reactive thoughts, to the anger and upset that was arising and ask, ‘What here needs protecting?’ This is not an exercise of working with memory – it is an exercise in the present with the current feelings that arise when you remember what happened. Does it feel that there is a “me” here? What is this “me” made of? Is there a “me” that wishes things were different? More in line with what “I” wants?
That way of thinking has died down significantly and less intellectual chatter arises about it.
So, something is shifting… :-)
Going back to the thing with my wife - as I mentioned earlier, when "important" situations arise that are extremely upsetting, I sometimes revert to "non-spiritual" patterns of functioning.
What is it that finds these situations ‘important’? Could it be that there is a contracting into and a relaxation out of a sense of “me”? Anger, if identified with as “mine”, can be very contracting. Don’t take my word for it. Try evoking some of the anger and upset of the last few days. Does it tend to contract you into a sense of “me” being angry?
Today for example, my wife and I were at a pool (the weather was beautiful here) and "openings" kept occurring where it felt like there was seeing of the world in a very direct way, with nothing getting in the way. Its a confusing time at the moment. There appears to be more anxiety/tension that usual, with interspersed moments of clarity.
So, looking at it from the point of view of contracting and relaxing, does it feel that this describes what was happening here with these ‘openings’?

I’m sending lots of kind thoughts, Bob - this isn’t easy. But strong emotion is such an opportunity for inquiry…

All the very best
Maitrivajra
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.

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Bobf
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Bobf » Wed May 31, 2017 12:29 am

Hi Maitrivajra,

Just to let you know that I received your last post - will respond tomorrow. Very sorry to hear about your sick friend!

Best wishes
Bob

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Maitrivajra
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Re: Looking forward to this!

Postby Maitrivajra » Wed May 31, 2017 7:43 am

OK!
M
When I ask if you exist, I am not asking the thinking mind. I am asking the part of you that already knows.


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