Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

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anonseeker
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Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:19 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That I'm a system of sensations and processes that can't be cemented together to build a permanent 'me.' I have a name that people call me, but it's not me, because it's a symbol that points to something real. But there's something that likes to believe I am very individual. It convinces me most of the time, but it's another element of me.

What are you looking for at LU?
A few things.. Where are the places I am in the dark, what barriers lie toward liberation? I am also seeking some dialogue about my spiritual understanding. I do admit, I want hand-holding (sorry) in general, because I sometimes feel insecure about my path ("Path"?? What is path… what happened to the old life I used to live). But a part of me wants to talk to someone about where I am in the understanding of no-self, because I'm either unable to verbalize this, or I don't have people I can talk to about this kind of stuff. Perhaps dialogue with LU might help?

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I know there will be questions and answers, but more so, I'd like a "new pair of eyes" on me. With a guided conversation with an LU Guide, I will be led to consider new things by way of questions and pointing out. When I sit with the questions from a Guide, maybe they will manifest into realizations about the nature of reality.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have meditated for ~6 years (mostly on, some off) in Samatha/Vipassana style of meditation, and some Somatic practices. I have attended a few 10-day silent retreats, done some sutra study, and did weekend classes or workshops. Seeking has been there since an early age through interest in philosophy, and later, conversion into Christianity, which did not last. I've been practicing Byron Katie's The Work for ~1 year.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?: 9

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Andrei
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby Andrei » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:09 am

Hi there,

Welcome to LU. I would be happy to help you with your inquiry.

Let's go straight to business.
What is the "self"? (And I would like you to go into details, not just something generic. Is it a thought? Is it something that feels personal? Is it a story?)
How was the "self" born?
Where is it located?
What does it want?

Break it piece by piece until there is nothing left.



Andrei

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anonseeker
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:50 am

Hi there,

Welcome to LU. I would be happy to help you with your inquiry.
Hi Andrei, pleasure to meet you. Thanks for taking this on.
What is the "self"? (And I would like you to go into details, not just something generic. Is it a thought? Is it something that feels personal? Is it a story?)
The "self" seems to me a belief. It's not a thought, because if a thought disappears, "I" don't disappear. It's not a personal feeling, because that, too, is transitory and too mutable. I paused when you asked "is it a story" but when I search my mind, and I get images of the past in my head, none of that is here right now. The self is quite rigid when I get caught up in a strong undesired feeling. However, that seem like a trick, because for each moment of that undesired feeling, if I had a chance to break it down, I could locate and name the sensate elements of that experience. So, to get back to the first statement, whenever I think, "I am this," it's as though I put faith in the "I" to be there. I often have feelings in the upper part of my body, like the chest, neck and head, as opposed to my toes or my legs... I don't seem to get caught often in having an identity of my feet, for instance.
How was the "self" born?
I can't remember. I know the experience of losing it, though, so it couldn't be a solid thing, if it has the ability to break. The "self" got accelerated boosts during times like in grade school, getting laughed at, or some other traumatizing thing. It doesn't seem to fragment like that during feelings of love and joy (like, "I am happy, and you're not." It's more flowy). Currently, I can roll through a lot of "selves" in my mind: professional, gender-wise, national, species-wise, status-wise, and I can see how they were constructed -- the times in my life when those labels formed.
Where is it located?
The sense of self? When I sit with the question I just feel some pressure on the left side of my brain. I don't know if that's related to this question or if I just need some Advil. I can 'hear' mental chatter saying, "I am right here! Heloo!" but my stomach is doing something completely different (feeling the sleeping mat), my legs (I guess they're my legs, I can't see them) are doing something else... so I don't know where it's located. Maybe just in my mind.
What does it want?
It really wants to hold on to a story (I AM [a sister], I DESERVE [fair treatment], I NEED [future security]) so that I feel safe because it feels scary to not have those identifiers. Instead of feeling the stomach jitters I noticed how my mind would rather occupy itself with those stories.

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anonseeker
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:52 am

Woops, forgot to sign off with my name...

Sage

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Andrei
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby Andrei » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:22 am

Hi Sage,

Nice to meet you too.

Very good answers all around. I read that and I was "Wow what is she still doing here!?" hehe

The self is quite rigid when I get caught up in a strong undesired feeling.
There are two sides to this. First of all, the "self", the belief (like you very well noticed) that things should be different, that maybe you deserve better, etc. And second, the habitual action, which grew in time became pretty ingrained. If you pay attention when an unpleasant situation appears and you feel your blood boiling, you don't even have to say "This affects ME PERSONALLY" in order to react and even lash out. So the belief helped or gave birth to a (defensive/aggressive) mechanism. This resistance can be tended to. It's a habit, but ofc, like every habit, it can be replaced with another, more "pleasant" one, or just no habit at all.

Is this something you would like to look into? I ask because this is not directly connected to the belief in a "self".

Are those emotions strong enough to be a nuisance?

I often have feelings in the upper part of my body, like the chest, neck and head, as opposed to my toes or my legs
Those sensations: Is there anything personal there?

When I sit with the question I just feel some pressure on the left side of my brain.
Might be just where the focus is happening.

What about awareness? Does that have anything to do with a "self"?

-----

And because you seem to be very clear about things - Yeah, you're not giving me much to work with LOL - I was wondering whether your realization is more intellectual and less sensed? Is it like a conclusion you reached or it is something you see, something you're aware of. The first, the intellectual conclusion, should feel empty and like a matter of fact.The second should feel releasing, like a weight off your shoulders. Shit happens and it's not my shit.

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anonseeker
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:02 am

Very good answers all around. I read that and I was "Wow what is she still doing here!?" hehe
Haha! :D Welp, you might have confirmed some things for me, then. Shinzen Young sometimes talks about the gradual and unbeknownst awakening he sees many meditators go through. Prob my case. I don't really know many Buddhist terms officially (Stream Entry, Jhana, etc) so when I locate my level of understanding (against a map, other people, etc), I often feel in the middle of a fog without much reference. But… I can try to see if we should go on, by addressing your questions below...
The self is quite rigid when I get caught up in a strong undesired feeling.
There are two sides to this. First of all, the "self", the belief (like you very well noticed) that things should be different,
This is a huge eye opener for me, the phrasing you used since I often live in "should be different". I pick an example. Lately, the summer sunsets have been so gorgeous. I see tree silhouettes and bursting skies, feel the cooling breeze, how marvelous. Then I get this thought a lot: I should be surfing in Malibu (and I get an image of a specific day from the past) instead of being here. Here sucks. And I get really bothered about it, like I'm wasting my life by being here. So, is the belief "I should be in Malibu" the "self"? [warning: tangent ahead] It's been crazy getting used to the fact that all of my "should bes" and "should not bes" are insubstantial. That means all my idealistic principles mean really nothing. It's such an ego blow thinking "children should not be sold for sex slavery," yet they are; "that person deserves better chances," but the reality is, they are under shitty circumstances. It scares me sooo much, what could happen next. It's almost paralyzing if I let it be.
it can be replaced with another, more "pleasant" one, or just no habit at all.
Is this something you would like to look into? I ask because this is not directly connected to the belief in a "self".
I've been working on building equanimity for awhile (lifelong practice, right? :)). The method I use is to do/attempt to break down the charged event to smaller parts, like sight, sound, feel, etc. If you have other methods, yes, please say? Especially about replacing with pleasant habits. I feel like I mostly try to stay with, until they dissolve. It is extremely wearing after awhile, though.
I often have feelings in the upper part of my body, like the chest, neck and head, as opposed to my toes or my legs
Those sensations: Is there anything personal there?
As I mentioned, when unpleasant strong sensations go on for a long time (I deal with chronic pain), I start to dread it or just get impatient after awhile. But I don't think that's what you mean by "personal," is it?
What about awareness? Does that have anything to do with a "self"?
This is the area I'm unclear on. I sometimes experience that there's no see-er, there is seeing, etc. I have it during some meditation sessions, or when I'm talking to certain people in particular (usually they're long-time meditators or have had some sort of spiritual awakening). But most of the time it's strongly identified that it's ME who's seeing. If we use that example of "Don't think of a pink elephant" and a pink elephant appears in the mind, what if I wanted to conjure up the pink elephant image? I would tell myself, "think of a pink elephant" and a pink elephant image appears. So didn't I make that thought happen?

Things happen in every moment as a product of all of the manifestations that came before it; it's like everything's a soup puree and I can't say, "well, I'm still an onion slice" because I got blended in with other ingredients a long time ago. But couldn't I still skew the results depending on what actions I carry out? Like with the elephant example, for instance. I realize this falls in the realm of free will vs pre-determination, so if it's beyond the scope of this forum, I appreciate that and we don't have to discuss it. It does feel like there's a link missing in between things automatically happening, and my being able to influence a moment.
And because you seem to be very clear about things - Yeah, you're not giving me much to work with LOL
You mean I pass?! :D Wait, so if someone realizes no-self, is it enlightenment (a level of)?
I was wondering whether your realization is more intellectual and less sensed?
I don't think so. Buddhist text is dry as hell! I would not be interested in learning this stuff for fun! If you like, I'd be interested in your sense as a guide, whether you think our exchange is genuine or not. Usually one can tell if it's a head trip for someone, after talking to them for a bit.
Is it like a conclusion you reached or it is something you see, something you're aware of. The first, the intellectual conclusion, should feel empty and like a matter of fact.The second should feel releasing, like a weight off your shoulders. Shit happens and it's not my shit.
I'd say it's an amalgamation of small and not small experiences I've had over the years. My viewpoint is drastically different than prior to meditation practice, but it's been so gradual as to almost not notice. In the initial post, I wrote "'Path'?? What is path… what happened to the old life I used to live'" Stark difference; don't know how I got here.

Shit happens, but it's not my shit only when I'm aware. At this point, it seems like a mixture of 'a weight off,' aggravation when I take shit personally (the suffering + the knowledge of suffering), and two tons of curiosity about what's deeper down the rabbit hole.

Phew. I hope my response wasn't too long, Andrei. Thank you so much for reading & taking part in this!!

Sage

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Andrei
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby Andrei » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:45 am

Shinzen Young sometimes talks about the gradual and unbeknownst awakening he sees many meditators go through.
I don't know this Shih Tzu, but it must be a very smart dog :D because he's right. The "gate" is just a metaphor. It's neither the beginning of the journey nor the end. I think it's more akin to a shift in consciousness, one strong enough to make a change. It's clear you had some yourself.

In the Buddhist tradition there are 10 fetters (aka illusion) one needs to see through in order to reach "awakening". Seeing through the "self" is the first one. "Should be different" and "I get caught up in a strong undesired feeling" sound like the 4th and 5th, desire and ill will. (If the topic interests you, you will have to have a read online. I was never too curious about them as to actually find better sources than Wikipedia lol). The work we do here, teaching people the "direct experience" can take you through the first 3 fetters, at least. Actually DE, practised regularly can take you through all of them. In the end you just have to stay with the senses and sensations and let life unfold, let hidden beliefs show their "ugly" head and disappear after acknowledgement, and let resistances and "unwanted" emotions to tell their tale and dissipate into nothingness. (I put some words in quotes to show they are just labels, interpretations done by the mind). From what I read from others who have done all the 10, there might be no shifts happening afterwards. I can't vouch for that as I still encounter small pockets of resistances every now and then, and frankly the idea of contentment ever after sounds a bit boring hehe.

Then I get this thought a lot: I should be surfing in Malibu (and I get an image of a specific day from the past) instead of being here. Here sucks.
Yep, this is a very good example of a resistance. If you like I can give you a taste of what working with desires and ill will is like. For instance, try to bring this scenario back in your mind and see if you can find the gap between SENSATION and THOUGHT, because that's how reactions are born. First you sense something unpleasant, next you have a thought saying something like "I hate this shit" and there you go, a full fledged reaction is born. If you're accustomed with Tole's "pain body" concept you know how far can such reactions go.
By staying with the sensation, there will be no reaction going on. It sounds like the "direct experience" we do here doesn't it? In a way, being in the now, is the only technique one needs in order to break through all these petty things.
You can go even further than that. As soon as the initial sensation is born (an highly "unpleasant" one for example) you can immediately know that's a resistance and it points to a hidden belief, a belief that "things should be different". That's a red flag that you discovered an area you need to work on! You don;t even have to go as far as having a reaction.
Does all this makes sense? :)

So, is the belief "I should be in Malibu" the "self"?
No and Yes. I think most will tell you No, because the "self" is really just the belief in a separate entity that does stuff and has free will and can make it's own decisions. Everything else: desires, ill will, the belief in the forms, formless , perception, etc. are usually being assigned to other beliefs in the other fetters.
Yes, at least to me, because I consider the "self" as one big ass RESISTANCE-enabler.
So it's more like a question of perspective I guess and in the end it doesn't really matter. All resistances need to be attended to.

It's such an ego blow thinking "children should not be sold for sex slavery," yet they are
That is a very good pointer there. Things "should" be one way yet they aren't. In that case, what reliability does "my" "should" have?

The method I use is to do/attempt to break down the charged event to smaller parts, like sight, sound, feel, etc. If you have other methods, yes, please say? Especially about replacing with pleasant habits. I feel like I mostly try to stay with, until they dissolve. It is extremely wearing after awhile, though.
Maybe the difference can be made by a change of perspective. Keep breaking them in little pieces and be aware of the "unpleasant"/"pleasant" sensations but with the added knowledge of something fleeting, a hidden belief making itself know in order to be tended to.
If you look at them as to an immutable block in the road, then you're building a story around them and yourself that you're not strong enough to succeed. A bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy isn't it?
If, on the other hand, you look at them as sensations/resistances who just want to make themselves heard in order to help you on your track, basically your ALLIES on the road, and you let them IN your life with love and compassion, you might achieve a different result ;)

As I mentioned, when unpleasant strong sensations go on for a long time (I deal with chronic pain), I start to dread it or just get impatient after awhile. But I don't think that's what you mean by "personal," is it?
Indeed, they just are. A bummer they are and too bad you have to go through this but it's good you have the "personal" thing worked out.

This is the area I'm unclear on. I sometimes experience that there's no see-er, there is seeing, etc. I have it during some meditation sessions, or when I'm talking to certain people in particular (usually they're long-time meditators or have had some sort of spiritual awakening). But most of the time it's strongly identified that it's ME who's seeing. If we use that example of "Don't think of a pink elephant" and a pink elephant appears in the mind, what if I wanted to conjure up the pink elephant image? I would tell myself, "think of a pink elephant" and a pink elephant image appears. So didn't I make that thought happen?
Finally! Something to work on! Gee, thanks :))
Ok,let me open my guiding book :))

You say "you tell yourself". You sure you do that and "telling yourself" doesn't just happen? Just like with every other thought?

And what is it that makes awareness "yours"? Where is "that" thing located?

Are there any other areas you are "unclear" on? Because that's a good pointer of where you have some work to do.

so if someone realizes no-self, is it enlightenment (a level of)?
It's a level of... something, I guess :P

I'd be interested in your sense as a guide, whether you think our exchange is genuine or not. Usually one can tell if it's a head trip for someone, after talking to them for a bit.
Yes, usually we can tell. I think you have a very good grasp of the work we do here. You might even see through the illusion of the self and be a tad bit more advanced. I think what you need is a bit of a structure.
But lastly, the only genuine "confirmation" can only come from you.

Phew. I hope my response wasn't too long, Andrei. Thank you so much for reading & taking part in this!!
It's actually a very exciting conversation so no worries. I'm learning too, you know? The journey doesn't end :)

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anonseeker
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:02 am

but it must be a very smart dog :D because he's right.
You should see him, he's got a very big head ;)
you just have to stay with the senses and sensations and let life unfold, let hidden beliefs show their "ugly" head and disappear after acknowledgement, and let resistances and "unwanted" emotions to tell their tale and dissipate into nothingness.
Ugh, okay. I have this concept in my head right now so clear: Nothing in my life is going to change (as a result of spiritual practice) but the way I experience it will/has/is change. I'm not going to transcend past bullshit because I'm so much wiser, but difficult experiences gradually lose their tightness. I shed resistance. In the here-and-now, though, I am SO angry/dreading/OVER IT. I just have to keep welcoming and working with unwanted experiences until they lose their strength. I really want to scream I'm not OKAY WITH THIS!

Lately I just feel like everything's a conduit for some weird ass force that's out of everyone's control and sometimes you have the intelligence of a tree so you sit there like a tree for a thousand years, never get to taste ice cream, etc. Or sometimes you're a human being and have to sit here with painful feelings. What in the absolute fuck. Is this the consciousness you're talking about?!
I still encounter small pockets of resistances every now and then, and frankly the idea of contentment ever after sounds a bit boring hehe.
Please, mister… how you get here… Please D;
bring this scenario back in your mind and see if you can find the gap between SENSATION and THOUGHT, because that's how reactions are born. First you sense something unpleasant, next you have a thought saying something like "I hate this shit" and there you go, a full fledged reaction is born.
I had this today, where I stayed with hard feelings instead of react. Had I reacted typically, I would have gotten the same dumb results. Being steady actually gave me some insight after the ordeal was over. This was a big help, thank you.
If you're accustomed with Tole's "pain body" concept you know how far can such reactions go.
What do you mean? I know about his pain body concept, are you saying that [let's say my pain body as an example] I would be so accustomed to ignoring the gap between sensation and thought, so my reaction is habitual and identified? Lmao I feel like I just answered my own question. I know he says 'the pain body gets triggered' a lot, so maybe it's even buried in the sub/un-conscious mind.
You can go even further than that. As soon as the initial sensation is born (an highly "unpleasant" one for example) you can immediately know that's a resistance and it points to a hidden belief, a belief that "things should be different". That's a red flag that you discovered an area you need to work on! You don;t even have to go as far as having a reaction.
There's a difference between pain and the highly unpleasant sensation we're talking about now, right? Like, pain can exist without a hidden belief, but the unpleasant sensation means we're ultimately generating it somehow as a result of our hidden beliefs and resistance.

The implication is wild. I can't imagine being a father and having someone come to my doorstep and go, "I'm sorry, but your son was killed in an accident," or falling down the stairs from a heart attack, and having no resistance to the present moment. How could you accept that moment without going into some sort of shock..
It's such an ego blow thinking "children should not be sold for sex slavery," yet they are
That is a very good pointer there. Things "should" be one way yet they aren't. In that case, what reliability does "my" "should" have?
Not much. 99% of the world population could argue against sexual abuse by Zen priests, but that alone won't stop it from happening.
The method I use is to do/attempt to break down the charged event to smaller parts, like sight, sound, feel, etc. If you have other methods, yes, please say? Especially about replacing with pleasant habits. I feel like I mostly try to stay with, until they dissolve. It is extremely wearing after awhile, though.
Maybe the difference can be made by a change of perspective. Keep breaking them in little pieces and be aware of the "unpleasant"/"pleasant" sensations but with the added knowledge of something fleeting
Like having faith that it only wants to stay for a little while?
If you look at them as to an immutable block in the road, then you're building a story around them and yourself that you're not strong enough to succeed. A bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy isn't it?
But with some feelings, they did seem immutable, so I expect that, even to my detriment, obviously.
If, on the other hand, you look at them as sensations/resistances who just want to make themselves heard in order to help you on your track, basically your ALLIES on the road, and you let them IN your life with love and compassion, you might achieve a different result ;)
I love this! I now understand what Byron Katie means when she says, "I look forward to [experiencing the unwanted state again]." Because it's a chance to work through illusion. (And in case you're not familiar with her, no, she's not a dog ;)
You say "you tell yourself". You sure you do that and "telling yourself" doesn't just happen? Just like with every other thought?
Reading what I wrote, the sentence doesn't appear to make sense, but there's a step missing somewhere. "I tell myself abc and xyz happens. Didn't I make xyz happen?" The first "I," I don't know where or what that is. An electrical brain activity, plus all of the conditions before it that made that possible? Same for the "myself," I can't locate that, either. With Shinzen (the smart dog), we did this spontaneous walking exercise. The feet and legs just move on their own and there's no "I" to orchestrate each bend and flail of the anatomy (that's what I got from it, anyway). So maybe it's the same thing with telling myself to think abc.

Maybe I'm just under the illusion that I make something happen, when it happens as a result of all the conditions that came before it, and I take the credit. I get a similar impression when someone takes credit for something they did, and wears it like an identity. Like if someone builds a successful company and wonders why bums don't work hard to be successful like them. Bums probably weren't given the same chances to open a business like theirs.
And what is it that makes awareness "yours"? Where is "that" thing located?
That thing feels exactly like the pressure in the head -- THINKING -- and has an image and internal sound, but it's so convincing. If I wanted to walk from here to there, wouldn't I tell myself, take one step forward, and then I go? That's one step closer to being "there." But then… if I were a baby, and I wanted to go "there" (maybe mom is there), I wouldn't be telling myself to crawl one step forward. It just happens. They go because they follow an impulse.

After we talked about this, I did consider that we are on this earth talking, and there are lots of trees and zooming out, we are in the middle of space, and even farther, there are other galaxies. I'm not one person going "Oh look! I'm taking one step!" Observed from the ether, there's just Earth activity going on.
Yet somehow I'm still flummoxed. I'm so convinced!
Are there any other areas you are "unclear" on? Because that's a good pointer of where you have some work to do.
Raise my hand if I'm not here? haha. I don't know what I don't know. I'll ping you if it comes to me.
I think what you need is a bit of a structure.
Would you explain this?
But lastly, the only genuine "confirmation" can only come from you.
I know. I wanted you to be comfortable :)

Allll the best to you Andrei :)

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Andrei
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby Andrei » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:55 am

I have this concept in my head right now so clear: Nothing in my life is going to change (as a result of spiritual practice) but the way I experience it will/has/is change.
That's how it is really. Unfortunately. I mean I'm a super duper spiritual master, I should have my own private island in Greece by now. I'm still waiting...

I shed resistance. In the here-and-now, though, I am SO angry/dreading/OVER IT. I just have to keep welcoming and working with unwanted experiences until they lose their strength. I really want to scream I'm not OKAY WITH THIS!
As hard as it seems, that is the way to go. You can't push them aside because they will come back later,and maybe stronger.
Also, anger is a sign your organism is working through all the BS it gathered through the years. I was angry too after "gating". My pet peeve was all the so-called spiritual masters and gurus who wrote books pretending they have the answers and they actually didn't and all the years I spent reading their well packaged books promising happiness ever after but having no working method or anything. And then finding this very easy and rather placid method on this forum that did the trick in 2 weeks.

So embrace that anger because it's your best teacher. Where I am right now I actually miss all the shifts I've been through. They all had a very fresh smell about them like laundry hanged to dry.

Anyway, can you give me an example of such resistance? You seem to have a hard time with some of them and maybe I can help.

you have the intelligence of a tree so you sit there like a tree for a thousand years, never get to taste ice cream, etc. Or sometimes you're a human being and have to sit here with painful feelings. What in the absolute fuck. Is this the consciousness you're talking about?!
What I'm talking about is more like a thousand years tree who can still go to town every now and then and have an ice-cream while still watching his silhouette. A tree needs to maintain his 6-pack abs too you know?

Being steady actually gave me some insight after the ordeal was over. This was a big help, thank you.
Use this technique as often as possible and you will see resistances starting to subdue. This is going to take a while though. It's not like applying Direct Experience to see through the illusion of the self which can succeed even in a matter of days. These resistances are old and sturdy and they don't appear all at once. Some might appear years later. But keep at it and eventually you will get there. It's not like there's another way anyway right?

I know about his pain body concept, are you saying that [let's say my pain body as an example] I would be so accustomed to ignoring the gap between sensation and thought, so my reaction is habitual and identified? Lmao I feel like I just answered my own question. I know he says 'the pain body gets triggered' a lot, so maybe it's even buried in the sub/un-conscious mind.
The resistances are buried somewhere all right. Like I said, they are like a bad habit it's hard to get rid of.
I'll give you an example. A couple days ago I was walking to a course and this tall girl in front of me was like walking in zig-zag slowly and I could't get in front (See the shit I have to put up with? Why is life so hard man? :D ) and I immediately had an unpleasant sensation and a thought "People should pay attention when walking and be considerate to others". That's a resistance that points to a hidden belief I have that people are rude or stupid or wasting my time. I get triggered when I think people waste my time. So there's a belief in me that what I do is important, maybe more important than what everybody else is doing, which ofc is false. This is what I need to work on. So staying with the initial sensation will slowly dissipate them and maybe even show you where the catch is, what the belief is.

There's a difference between pain and the highly unpleasant sensation we're talking about now, right? Like, pain can exist without a hidden belief, but the unpleasant sensation means we're ultimately generating it somehow as a result of our hidden beliefs and resistance.
No difference. Both "pain" and "unpleasant" are labels. That's why I usually put "unpleasant" in quotes in order not to give false information. What IS is the sensation. The mind labels it one way or another.

Maybe the difference can be made by a change of perspective. Keep breaking them in little pieces and be aware of the "unpleasant"/"pleasant" sensations but with the added knowledge of something fleeting
Like having faith that it only wants to stay for a little while?
It seemed like you were talking like you already have an ingrained belief that getting rid of pain is hard or impossible and in a way that turns it into actual reality.
Forget what I said about "something fleeting" because that was a poor choice of words.
But also forget about "pain" or any other label. Just stay with the sensation prior to labelling.
(Of course if you suffer from chronic pain do take drugs. We're not a cult advocating staying with the pain till fainting lol)

I love this! I now understand what Byron Katie means when she says, "I look forward to [experiencing the unwanted state again]." Because it's a chance to work through illusion. (And in case you're not familiar with her, no, she's not a dog ;)
Sounds like a dog name to me. Two dogs actually. Byron, a big Saint Bernard, and Katie, a small Chihuahua, and both of them highly intelligent because they're right.

Maybe I'm just under the illusion that I make something happen, when it happens as a result of all the conditions that came before it, and I take the credit.
Can you give me an example of something "you" made?

And what is it that makes awareness "yours"? Where is "that" thing located?
That thing feels exactly like the pressure in the head -- THINKING -- and has an image and internal sound, but it's so convincing.
So it might as well be a bodily function? Just like focusing on something? where is awareness when you're lost in thoughts or watching a movie anyway?

I think what you need is a bit of a structure.
Would you explain this?
I think you have not seen through the illusion of the self yet. You're there hanging on the cliff but you haven't let go yet. You're dealing with a lot of things and working on them and that is great. You have a very curious and inquisitive mind and what I like to call "hunger" for change and that's why you will make it.
Why I think you need some structure is because that will help you clear the blockage much faster.

Here's an example of structure. The "self" is the belief/illusion in the existence of an "I" independent of everybody else's and the world around. The "self" can be found in one, several or all of somebodies conviction that he is: the thoughts, the sensations, the body, the awareness, one's choices, one's responsibilities, one's will, etc. So what we do here is take each guidee and walk him through all those things making sure there are no blockages in order to free the flow.
So far you seem to be stuck at the awareness level. Maybe something about choices too? You don't seem to cling to thoughts, sensations, or actions for instance.
No worries, I'll take you through all the steps making sure there's nothing left.
This is just an example of why structured inquiry can be of help. Otherwise, the mind can be very tricky, making you think you're getting somewhere when you're actually running in circles ;)

I know. I wanted you to be comfortable :)
Thank you wise Sage :P

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anonseeker
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby anonseeker » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:44 am

Anyway, can you give me an example of such resistance? You seem to have a hard time with some of them and maybe I can help.

It's a bit personal, I'd rather not get into it on a public board. Is there a way to message you directly? It is Path-related and not one most people would get (as they wouldn't get 'Path').

The resistances are buried somewhere all right. Like I said, they are like a bad habit it's hard to get rid of.
I understand they are embedded in the body.

A couple days ago I was walking to a course and this tall girl in front of me was like walking in zig-zag slowly and I could't get in front (See the shit I have to put up with? Why is life so hard man? :D )

:) I get the same reaction with escalators. It's rough out there ;)

No difference. Both "pain" and "unpleasant" are labels. That's why I usually put "unpleasant" in quotes in order not to give false information. What IS is the sensation. The mind labels it one way or another.

Not a subject we need to delve too deeply into, but I do want to clear up a misunderstanding. I think what I was trying to get at was that not all "uncomfortable" feelings are due to a hidden flaw that needs to be worked through. I think what you're saying is that all sensations are experiences, and any languaging comes after the pure experience (I want to make sure you're not saying all "uncomfortable" experiences need to be fixed).

Can you give me an example of something "you" made?

Right. Feeling into the hands, typing, I'm aware of its animal quality. The flesh, nails, pads of the fingers groping around the keys. I understand that when I say "I am typing," that it's a shortcut that my mind makes to wrap up the whole experience of typing. If I did not have that thought, the animal fingers would still be hitting the keys.

So it might as well be a bodily function? Just like focusing on something? where is awareness when you're lost in thoughts or watching a movie anyway?

If I were to be lost in thought, my awareness would be in the thoughts, experiencing the thoughts. If I were engrossed in a movie, there is no me, there is just intake of the movie: The seeing, the hearing, the feeling in response to the narrative.

The "self" can be found in one, several or all of somebodies conviction that he is: the thoughts, the sensations, the body, the awareness, one's choices, one's responsibilities, one's will, etc.

I understand now. This means that someone identifies with 'thoughts, the sensations, the body, the awareness, one's choices, one's responsibilities, one's will, etc.'

So far you seem to be stuck at the awareness level.

Right. When I wrote "I tell myself to think of elephant. So elephant thought appears. Didn't I make that happen?" I was imagining (thinking) that scenario as an isolated event, quarantined from the rest of the world/life/everything. T'hat scenario is an abstract situation. It's a thought.

In reality, what would it take to animate this scenario? I would be sitting/breathing/whatever. Then a thought would have to appear, "I want to think of an elephant." I can't make myself think of a thought, because there's no I. Then another thought would spring from the first thought. I see there's no maker of the thought. Hmm.

Maybe something about choices too?

Thinking out loud--

If I had the choice to keep typing this answer, or hit the power button on the laptop…

I can't go much further with that example, because that's a thought scenario as well. I'm touching the keys now, formulating an answer, and it's just happening because of momentum (our conversation so far, my interest in this forum, I'm already sitting here, I intended to earlier).

I will have to sit with this one.

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Andrei
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Re: Hello! Opportunity to meet a Guide

Postby Andrei » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:46 am

Is there a way to message you directly? It is Path-related and not one most people would get (as they wouldn't get 'Path').
You can send me a PM in here or we can talk by email.
I guess I'm most people (finally! always thought I was a bit of a freak) as I don't know what "Path" is.

The resistances are buried somewhere all right. Like I said, they are like a bad habit it's hard to get rid of.
I understand they are embedded in the body.
Where in the body? How do you know they're in the body? How do you know there is a body?
Question everything.

(Don't take my words literally. In general. Sometimes I'm serious. Other times I'm trying to trick you. The point of all these pointers is that in the end there is no point. There is nothing and there is everything and they are both true.)

I think what I was trying to get at was that not all "uncomfortable" feelings are due to a hidden flaw that needs to be worked through.
Maybe. Maybe not. If you're in the forest and see a bear and you start have sensations (I prefer the term sensations because they point towards something real. The terms feeling/emotion can be loaded with all sorts of things) of fear, I'd say they might be natural, but I can't test it because, well, I would be afraid. That doesn't mean however that fear is natural. If a baby crow will meet a baby fox they will play together because they don't know yet that one of them likes the taste of the other's meat.
Or is there something else you meant?

I think what you're saying is that all sensations are experiences, and any languaging comes after the pure experience
That's precisely what I'm saying. That's pure DE :)

I understand that when I say "I am typing," that it's a shortcut that my mind makes to wrap up the whole experience of typing.
What would be more accurate, to say you type or that typing happens?

If I were to be lost in thought, my awareness would be in the thoughts, experiencing the thoughts. If I were engrossed in a movie, there is no me, there is just intake of the movie: The seeing, the hearing, the feeling in response to the narrative.
If you were to be "lost" in anything (thoughts, movie), there would be no awareness.
When I say awareness I mean that presence that is just there. The "watcher" or the "watching". Awareness resembles direct experience.
In awareness you can watch for thoughts. You can notice you're having thoughts. If the thoughts start building a story around themselves, then you might "wake up" minutes later and realize you left awareness.

Now, from this perspective. Is there anything "personal" in awareness?

I understand now. This means that someone identifies with 'thoughts, the sensations, the body, the awareness, one's choices, one's responsibilities, one's will, etc.'
Or maybe something else. Everybody is different. The belief in a self can hide in a lot of places.

If I had the choice to keep typing this answer, or hit the power button on the laptop…
--->
I'm touching the keys now, formulating an answer, and it's just happening because of momentum.
You just answered yourself.
Unless, "you" made an effort to choose typing, the choosing simply happened independently :)

my interest in this forum, I'm already sitting here, I intended to earlier
Look again. How did "you"create the interest and how did "you" intended to be here at that moment?


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