Point it out to me please!

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sencha71
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Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:40 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand this to mean that the me I feel myself to be is not real, rather just a thought. Or alternatively, that there's not a me, as an entity inhabiting this body, looking out through these eyes. Rather, just looking happening.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to go from an intellectual understanding of no-self to some sort of overwhelming experience / conclusion / verification that helps me get it "in my bones" and remove all doubt as to whether or not it is the truth.

I could probably give eloquent lectures on no-self and score 100% on the written exam (if there was one), but despite years of contemplation, reading, listening to teachers, etc., no-self continues to elude me on an experiential level

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I just expect the guide to try to point this truth out to me in their own words as best they can with the time they have. Honestly my expectations are low (for myself) as my suspicion has more and more become that when I'm ripe it will happen, and there's nothing I or anyone else can do to speed that process. (I really hope that isn't true though!)

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I'm 45 yrs old. Have been a seeker since I was 18. Buddhism was my bag for a long time. I attended various initiations, retreats, did correspondence courses. I even started learning Tibetan(!). At about age 36 I discovered Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti and immediately sensed that what they were talking about was the truth. I felt that if I just contemplated / read / meditated on non-duality a bit more, I would experience what they talked about as my own truth, not just intriguing theory. Not yet. The non-duality teacher I feel closest to is Jan Frazier, if that helps. I have attended retreats of hers and even had a skype session with her once.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:57 pm

Hi sencha71,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed and thanks for the introduction.
I can explore this with you, if you'd like.

Let me know when you're ready to take some steps.

Best wishes!
John, a guide here.

- oh, what's your first name? :)
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:55 pm

Hello John!

Thank you for being my guide! My first name is Brent and I am READY. :)

As you read, I believe my issue is having only an intellectual understanding of no-self instead of an unambiguous and direct realization on the experiential level.

I think I could briefly tell you what might be blocking me, if that's helpful. But I'm more than willing to put aside anything I think I might know and just start from a clean slate, following your lead if that's your preference.

Again, thank you!
Brent

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:30 pm

Hey Brent,

Great to meet you.
I think I could briefly tell you what might be blocking me, if that's helpful.

Please do - write away.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:55 pm

Please do - write away.
Nice to meet you as well. :)

To cut to the chase, if I put aside all concepts and just look for a self, I can’t find one. But that doesn’t lead to a conclusion that there isn’t one, because there are other phenomena (e.g. radio waves, oxygen, frequencies outside of human hearing range) that are really there, on some level, that also can’t be perceived by the senses.

If I put aside all I’ve learned and just look, the earth appears to be flat - not round.

A different view but similar conclusion: if I were a flashlight and was put in a dark room and told to look for myself, all I would be able to see is what I illuminate. But that doesn’t mean I, the flashlight, don't exist.

I’m open to the above sticking points being due to actually thinking instead of real looking! I must admit - looking is hard. Sort of like if you asked me what the color green sounded like. The mind goes blank - nothing happens.

John - I’m very grateful for your time.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:43 pm

To cut to the chase, if I put aside all concepts and just look for a self, I can’t find one. But that doesn’t lead to a conclusion that there isn’t one, because there are other phenomena (e.g. radio waves, oxygen, frequencies outside of human hearing range) that are really there, on some level, that also can’t be perceived by the senses.

Yep, exactly. Nothing here can be proven through observation. What a pisser. :)

If I put aside all I’ve learned and just look, the earth appears to be flat - not round.

Oh, we have lots of hills here. But, yeah, see the point.

A different view but similar conclusion: if I were a flashlight and was put in a dark room and told to look for myself, all I would be able to see is what I illuminate. But that doesn’t mean I, the flashlight, don't exist.

Love that metaphor - I may have to steal it. :D

I’m open to the above sticking points being due to actually thinking instead of real looking! I must admit - looking is hard. Sort of like if you asked me what the color green sounded like. The mind goes blank - nothing happens.

Yeah, know what you mean.

What will be helpful at the start is for us to find words that match your everyday experience of being you.
Such that you can say: oh that, yeah, I know what that is, that's the me I know.

You see, 'self' means a lot to some, but nothing to others.
Here's some words - see which if any hit home, or spark some sense of recognition.

me
I
persona
mask
social self
ego
you
character
pretence
thinker
looker
being

Many thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:29 am

Yep, exactly. Nothing here can be proven through observation. What a pisser. :)
Love your sense of humor. A pisser is fine - I'm just relieved this isn't a show-stopper.
You see, 'self' means a lot to some, but nothing to others.
Here's some words - see which if any hit home, or spark some sense of recognition.
An interesting list. The ones I feel closest to are: me, I, looker, being.

If it helps, it seems easy to see what I'm NOT (ego, social self, persona) as I can observe those from a prior reference point. But I can't get a handle on what this prior reference point really is.

If I could go outside the list, I would pick: "witness", "observer" but also add "decider".

I guess the typical person believes in free thought (they create their thoughts) and free will (they decide what they want to do, and do it). I can see that I don't make my thoughts (they happen TO me, this witness) but I can tell there is still a belief that decisions & impulses to act somehow come FROM me.

Maybe that's the key? As long as there is a belief in free will there will be a sense of being an entity in a body?

Thanks as always,
Brent

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:05 pm

If it helps, it seems easy to see what I'm NOT (ego, social self, persona) as I can observe those from a prior reference point.

Ok, lets spend some time with what I'm NOT as it can be observed.

What would be an example from everyday life of observing the persona/social self in action?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:01 pm

What would be an example from everyday life of observing the persona/social self in action?
I notice my car is very low on gas so I pull into a gas station in a sketchy part of town. There are some tough-looking locals loitering outside. I feel myself adopt a taller than normal posture, frosty demeanor, and pissed-off scowl on my face as I get outside the car to fill up. If I make eye contact with anyone I give a nod with my chin but do not smile or speak. The persona I'm projecting is, I've had a tough life, am having a bad day, and the last thing I'll tolerate is any B.S. from any of you.

Inside (my head) I'm wondering if anyone is actually being fooled by this. This about as 180 degrees as you can get from my default way of being in the world. The environment is just somehow bringing this out in me. It's amazing how easily I slip into it when feeling threatened, and then quickly shed it as I'm driving away.

Is that the kind of thing you're after?
-Brent

P.S. - I believe the FAQ said I should try to write at least once every 24 hrs. That may not be possible tomorrow but I will do my best.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi Brent,

How about when you are sat alone?

How does the persona/social self show up there?

many thanks,
John

p.s. as for posting frequency, that's more a guideline - we'll find what works for us. Not big on rules. :)
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:26 pm

How about when you are sat alone?
I'm not sure there is much of one when I'm alone. Any persona seems to be a reaction to a situation, with people. I don't think I adopt social personas nearly as often as I used to. It feels like I'm being fake when I do so it really has to be a situation where I feel like something is at risk if I don't. So when alone, there's really not a need.
we'll find what works for us. Not big on rules. :)
Great!

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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:37 pm

I'm not sure there is much of one when I'm alone. Any persona seems to be a reaction to a situation, with people. I don't think I adopt social personas nearly as often as I used to. It feels like I'm being fake when I do so it really has to be a situation where I feel like something is at risk if I don't. So when alone, there's really not a need.

Ok, that's social persona.

What of your self-image? The persona you present to yourself?

Tell me about that.

many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:19 pm

What of your self-image? The persona you present to yourself?
For self-image, on a personality level I guess I would pick curious, tightly-wound, energetic, detail-oriented, honest, introverted.

-Brent

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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:55 pm

What of your self-image? The persona you present to yourself?
For self-image, on a personality level I guess I would pick curious, tightly-wound, energetic, detail-oriented, honest, introverted.

That's describing attributes of a personality.

Take a little time with this.

What is the face you present to yourself as you?

Many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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sencha71
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Re: Point it out to me please!

Postby sencha71 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:02 pm

What is the face you present to yourself as you?
This is a real koan to me. Sort of like, "what suit do you put on to go to work on days when you don't have to go to work?"

I will continue to stew... :D

Thank you,
Brent


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