Looking For Guidance

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:00 pm

How did it go with this?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:35 am

Hi, Tim,

Sorry I didn't answer before. I just returned back to Finland from my 15 month trip and straight away there was a funeral with all the arrangements and then I started a business course. As this all is happening I'm temporarily staying with my mom, so I have been super overwhelmed with life.

Anyway, thanks for being here for me.
Can it be seen how resistance to life, comes from ideas about WHAT SHOULD BE.
Can it be seen that these WHAT SHOULD BE ideas are just thoughts?
Yes! This resonates a lot! Actually, I have let go of so many "should be" thoughts, or seen through them, I don't know. There used to be more stuckness in "should be", but now there's more freedom of "let's see". There's fear too, though.
Does thought know what should be?
No, it definitely doesn't. Thought is just an echo of what was and what is, and it's very subjective so to speak. And there are many perspectives in the mind, thinking contradictory thoughts and such. It's really fascinating.
Once these beliefs begin to drop, what is left, is simply WHAT IS - naked and unobstructed, as it is.
With no belief obstructing, there is simply flow - WHAT IS happens effortlessly, and is always ok just as it is.
But even in the flow, the mind is still labeling things. There are still thoughts coming and going. There's just less stuckness or something. It's like the flow is able to move more separately from the thoughts.
When you said, "You saw it", my mind went into resistance. "No I didn't. This can't be it. Where's my deep life transforming experience?" Et cetera. Disappointment.
Is this all just more thought?
Haha, yes it is!
Still think no progress has been made?
No, I see major progress. It's just that I can't really tell what I think about the self/no-self now. Can "I" even think about this or is that futile?

I still think that there is a self. It's just that my view of what the self is has changed. Now I see the self as being created from moment to moment rather than being something fixed that lives inside the body. There's more freedom this way, cause the self can always change to encompass new things. But change still hurts.

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:18 pm

Sounds like you've been busy! That's ok! :)
No, I see major progress. It's just that I can't really tell what I think about the self/no-self now. Can "I" even think about this or is that futile?
Well that's the thing. "You" (regardless what that actually is) CANNOT think your way out of this. More on that below...
I still think that there is a self. It's just that my view of what the self is has changed. Now I see the self as being created from moment to moment rather than being something fixed that lives inside the body.
The very thing we are trying to see through, the "self", is merely an IDEA, that lives only in thought. A story. Yes it's fair to say that it changes from moment to moment, that's true. And it is still only a thought. A collection of thoughts. Can you see it the collection of stories labelled "I" when looking in experience right now?

So we can't use a thought to catch a thought. Could you use a thief to catch a thief?

When you look in your experience, right now, can you observe thought as it is arising?
If that is the case, then "you" cannot BE thought.
How could it possibly observe itself, hmm?
If you can pull back and observe it, you are not it. Correct?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:17 pm

"You" (regardless what that actually is) CANNOT think your way out of this.
Interesting. I think I just "got" this. I can't think my way out of it. No thoughts can help me figure this out. This cannot be figured out. Ok, I'm seeing this. It's interesting.
The very thing we are trying to see through, the "self", is merely an IDEA, that lives only in thought. A story. Yes it's fair to say that it changes from moment to moment, that's true. And it is still only a thought. A collection of thoughts. Can you see it the collection of stories labelled "I" when looking in experience right now?
Well, yes and no. I see that the self is a collection of thoughts, but when you say "a collection of thoughts" it sounds very fleeting and uncomplicated. Because I see thoughts as something fleeting and not permanent, like a whisp of air. But that's not really true in my experience. When I really examine thoughts, they are not fleeting and impermanent. I feel like all there is is thought sometimes. There are so many thoughts. All the time. Everywhere. And these thought stories seem very permanent, very solid, like they're actually true, even though they're not. So, yes, the self is a collection of thoughts, but it doesn't make it easy to let go of. It's a very heavy "thing", whatever it is. It weighs my whole life down sometimes.
So we can't use a thought to catch a thought. Could you use a thief to catch a thief?
No, yes, I see it.
When you look in your experience, right now, can you observe thought as it is arising?
If that is the case, then "you" cannot BE thought.
How could it possibly observe itself, hmm?
If you can pull back and observe it, you are not it. Correct?
Yes, that is absolutely correct, but there's something missing. It the moment I feel like maybe it's the body that is doing the observing. But not really, because the body is also being observed. Everything's just here, the body and the thoughts and it's all just happening. No one's observing anything.

Is the suffering supposed to stop after we see through the illusion of the self? Because I still suffer. Even if I see that it's not as serious as I used to think, because it's just a bunch of thoughts and sensations creating unpleasant experience. But it's still unpleasant experience. I'm not so spiritual that I could just enjoy pain! See that my mind labels it and detach from it. Nor do I think that it's healthy if you want to live a normal life. You need to recognize pain in order to move away from harm, I think.

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gondwana
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Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:19 am

I see that the self is a collection of thoughts, but when you say "a collection of thoughts" it sounds very fleeting and uncomplicated.
Because it is ;)
When I really examine thoughts, they are not fleeting and impermanent. I feel like all there is is thought sometimes. There are so many thoughts. All the time. Everywhere.
Thoughts (plural) as a continuous experience does appear as persistent and pervasive, yes. We need to zoom in closer to see this.
When we do, a thought (singular, individual) is fleeting and impermanent. ALL thoughts are fleeting and impermanent, when you look at them individually.

We did this exercise, but you need to see it again:
Sit quietly and observe thought.
Watch an individual thought as it arises.
Do you decide what the next thought is?
If so, how?
Can you ‘pause’ a thought in the middle?
Can you hold onto it?
Can you keep it around, even if you wanted to?

The time is now when you must LOOK deeply. No more intellectualising and theorising. LOOK at direct experience! What is the true nature of an individual thought?
And these thought stories seem very permanent, very solid, like they're actually true, even though they're not.
Were you able to hold onto a thought when trying?
If not, how could a single thought possibly ever be permanent and solid?
Isn’t it actually the case that a “thought story” is actually a running continuous collection of thoughts (plural) constantly being added to, spooled?
LOOK!
So, yes, the self is a collection of thoughts, but it doesn't make it easy to let go of. It's a very heavy "thing", whatever it is. It weighs my whole life down sometimes.
Because you are zoomed out looking at the mass. Zoom in and LOOK closer!

Remember those flick-book animations we had as a kid? You flip the pages fast, and a collection of single images appear to blend into a seamless moving animation. But in reality we know there is no movement. It’s just an illusion!

The “self” is like this. In reality, there are a fast stream of single individual thoughts, each one relating to an IDEA of a self (“idea” is key because it is only an assumption, a fiction). When these individual thoughts fly past quickly, it appears to be centred on and refer to a solid object. But LOOK closer. Is the stream not in fact made up of individual singular thoughts? Each one fleeting and impermanent? You must LOOK zoomed in to see this.

If made of fleeting impermanent individual thoughts, how can it have any permanent substance? That would be like trying to build a house out of a sequence of rapidly projected images. It never gets any more real.

LOOK at your moment to moment experience:
A sound over there -> thought labels the sound as “there” heard by “me” “over here”.
A sight over here -> thought labels the sight as “close by” to a “me” “in here”.
A smell wafts over -> thought labels the smell as “unpleasant” according to “my” preferences.

These happen rapidly, creating an illusion. But isn’t each one fleeting and impermanent once you look at it in isolation?

Once we look at it all being made up of ephemeral, fleeting, impermanent individual thoughts, where do we find a solid self?
Can it be found?
Where is it????
It the moment I feel like maybe it's the body that is doing the observing. But not really, because the body is also being observed. Everything's just here, the body and the thoughts and it's all just happening. No one's observing anything.
It has already been seen. Right there!

There is an unwillingness to let go of prior illusion, or some future expectation. Look deeply for that.

What is being held on to here?
Is the suffering supposed to stop after we see through the illusion of the self?
That is an expectation being held onto. The reality is different, every time, for every being.
Even if I see that it's not as serious as I used to think, because it's just a bunch of thoughts and sensations creating unpleasant experience
Yes, it is already being experienced that suffering IS beginning to reduce, anyway.

How much further it will reduce, or whether it may one day cease altogether, will never be known unless there is a surrender of held illusions and expectations to just let go into the unknown and FIND OUT! :D
But it's still unpleasant experience. I'm not so spiritual that I could just enjoy pain! See that my mind labels it and detach from it. Nor do I think that it's healthy if you want to live a normal life. You need to recognize pain in order to move away from harm, I think.
There is some confusion here.
PAIN and SUFFERING are not the same thing!

Suffering is always all in the mind (we could call it mental suffering). Pain sometimes leads to suffering (but not always, and the amounts can differ).

The majority of humans, for example, upon a physical injury, their experience actually is composed of typically 10% physical pain, and 90% suffering (your mileage may vary). There is the physical pain signal (which you are correct, is a signal to move away! Run! Stop doing that!). Then there is suffering (which is ALL thought).
“It hurts”
“I don’t like this”
“I don’t want this”
“Why me?”
“It’s not fair!”
“I should have been more careful!”
“I almost died!”
“I’m afraid”
“I regret this happening”
Etc....it is almost never ending. Isn’t it?

We only need the physical pain signal. We don’t NEED the suffering. What purpose does it serve other than to make it few worse than the original pain? And to prolong the unpleasant nature of the experience, dragging it into the future and dragging it deeper?

Notice how all the suffering thoughts relate to an “I”? Once the “I” is seen to be an illusion, these thoughts can either be easily released in another moment of looking, reduce, or disappear altogether. These changes deepen over years, after the initial seeing has happened. Don’t expect to reap all the rewards on day one. For that is only yet another expectation.

Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:05 pm

The time is now when you must LOOK deeply. No more intellectualising and theorising. LOOK at direct experience! What is the true nature of an individual thought?
You are right. I have been theorising and not enough direct looking. It's just that I feel like I'm getting nowhere with this! It's so frustrating. But I'll keep trying.
We did this exercise, but you need to see it again:
Sit quietly and observe thought.
Ok, did this for a few days and still doing it. Observing thought.
Watch an individual thought as it arises.
Do you decide what the next thought is?
If so, how?
No. I have seen this over and over again. It is especially clear when I do a concentration exercise. I will concentrate on the sensation of my thumb and forefinger pressed together and I can clearly see a thought popping into existence and it's always something really random.
Can you ‘pause’ a thought in the middle?
No.
Can you hold on to it?
Can you keep it around, even if you wanted to?
This feels like a yes. I can't choose what the next thought is going to be, but once a thought has appeared, I feel like I can grab it and hang on to it for a long time. Or choose to let it go.

But if I look more closely, it seems like I can't decide what thoughts stick around and what don't. Some thoughts just stick around for a few years even and it feels like it's my fault. At least other people are blaming me for it.

Ok, I looked again. I tried to hold on to a thought. I concentrated on a thought of a cat. I was successful for a while, but eventually it was interrupted by other thoughts. It became really hard to hold on to.

But I don't understand. If I can't hold on to a thought, then how come some thoughts persistently harrass me for years? So it's out of my control?
Were you able to hold onto a thought when trying?
If not, how could a single thought possibly ever be permanent and solid?
Isn’t it actually the case that a “thought story” is actually a running continuous collection of thoughts (plural) constantly being added to, spooled?
LOOK!

Remember those flick-book animations we had as a kid? You flip the pages fast, and a collection of single images appear to blend into a seamless moving animation. But in reality we know there is no movement. It’s just an illusion!
Yes! True! The flick-book metaphor helped. I can actually observe thought by thought (well, not really but close enough) and as I look closer like that I don't see the story anymore. There's just individual moments one after another.
Because you are zoomed out looking at the mass. Zoom in and LOOK closer!
You're right! I was zoomed out looking at the mass. And I understood what you mean with looking closer. The closer I look the clearer I see how individual thoughts arise throughout the day. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction with this.
The “self” is like this. In reality, there are a fast stream of single individual thoughts, each one relating to an IDEA of a self (“idea” is key because it is only an assumption, a fiction). When these individual thoughts fly past quickly, it appears to be centred on and refer to a solid object. But LOOK closer. Is the stream not in fact made up of individual singular thoughts? Each one fleeting and impermanent? You must LOOK zoomed in to see this.
I understand intellectually what you are pointing to. But my "self" thoughts seem to be either really quick or really numerous or both. I can't really see them or pinpoint them. It's like the "self" is baked into every thought, no matter what the thought concerns. And on top of that, every time I see a part of my body or feel a sensation, my mind silently says "me" or "mine". It's so quick that I can't catch it.
LOOK at your moment to moment experience:
A sound over there -> thought labels the sound as “there” heard by “me” “over here”.
A sight over here -> thought labels the sight as “close by” to a “me” “in here”.
A smell wafts over -> thought labels the smell as “unpleasant” according to “my” preferences.
For example, I see a sight, but I can't catch the "seen by me" part. I ask, who is doing the seeing, and feel a solidness that the mind labels to be inside the body.
PAIN and SUFFERING are not the same thing!
Yes, I see it. Pain is momentary. It's like a signal. An unpleasant sensation. And suffering is when I come up with stories about what the unpleasant sensation meant.
There is an unwillingness to let go of prior illusion, or some future expectation. Look deeply for that.

What is being held on to here?
I became conscious of a fear that has been present for a while. A couple months ago I became convinced that seeing would be bypassing my real problems. I started thinking, Am I only using this as an escape? To make my life easier instead of actually working through my problems? I became scared that seeing would somehow damage me, make me unable to be compassionate to other people. Will it make me into a zombie? Will it make me mean?

I know that you've said that seeing doesn't change anything, but I'm still scared of this.

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:09 am

Hi Vera,

How is your current experience right now? Any shifts to report since we last spoke?

Kind regards.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:22 am

Hello!

I'm doing good. Getting a handle on my life. :) Hope you are well.

My experience hasn't really changed. I haven't paid much attention to it. I lost interest in looking. I decided I wanted to focus on living instead. This is working out great for me.

Thank you for all your help, Tim! I wish you all the best!

Vera

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:31 am

That is all good :) Glad things are working out.

If you ever decide to take interest in looking again, you can always return to LU and request a different guide. Sometimes a different perspective from a new person can yield a new shift.

I wish you all the best.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:09 am

Thank you :)


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