Looking For Guidance

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:36 am

That suggests there is a perceived threat to / fear of losing, the “self”. That will be what is preventing seeing from happening, and where we need to work.

We will need to face this head-on. But there is nothing whatsoever to fear :)

After all, what is true, is already already true right? Regardless if an incorrect belief masks it. So we are not really changing anything, other than a belief (a thought).
I don’t really believe that all we’re trying to change is a belief. Feels like we’re trying to destroy something very real and meaningful, and I’m scared of that. I’m scared of what’s going to change. Feels like we’re eradicating ‘me’ and everything that belongs to ‘me’.

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:02 am

I don’t really believe that all we’re trying to change is a belief. Feels like we’re trying to destroy something very real and meaningful, and I’m scared of that. I’m scared of what’s going to change. Feels like we’re eradicating ‘me’ and everything that belongs to ‘me’.
Well, consider this first. Reality is reality - it is as it is. We cannot change actual reality. Surely, the only thing we CAN change is a belief/thought.

So either one of two things are true:
a) What I have said so far is true, and crucially must be ALREADY true -- that the "I" is only a thought/belief, and not a physical reality. In that case, if it is ALREADY true, would it not be delusional to continue believing in something that does not exist? So, we can either continue in delusion, or simply let go of the belief and see it for what it really is.

b) What I have said so far is NOT true -- the "I" IS a physical reality, and not merely a thought/belief. In that case, nothing we can do here will possibly change that, since it is already actual reality, and if I try to convince you otherwise it will ultimately have no real long-term effect anyway. So, there is no harm in trying and finding out for yourself that it did not work.

Would you agree that these are the only possibilities?
Or do you see any other possibilities here?
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 Jul 20, 2018 11:33 am

I’m ashamed to admit to this belief, but I’m afraid that we’re trying to tamper with the brain. What if I go crazy? People have gone crazy from “enlightenment” experiences or something like that, right?

Wow, didn’t expect to find this fear inside me, but I did. It was subconscious so we must be getting really deep now. 😄

So basically I’m questioning that we cannot change reality. What makes you say that?

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:40 pm

I had a dream where I was on an airplane. I was sitting in my seat and thinking about the no-self and stuff like that. And then suddenly 'I' (the little self, the separate self) just melted away and I was one with everything. My perspective shifted completely. It was so cool!

So just wanted to share that. :)

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:04 pm

Thanks for sharing! Well, your dream sounds very good indeed.
Let me share this quote with you:
HAHA! I dozed off, and dreamt I was in a room trapped in the leather chair of this huge humming spinning machine, knowing it was about to reprogram “me” in ways I would not like and would no longer be me.

I had in my hands this delicately hand-carved beautiful wooden globe of the world, which I somehow knew was my “self”. Fighting my way out, I managed to destroy the machine and escape the chair, and knew there were only minutes to escape the room before more evil came bursting in, but then realised in horror I had lost the globe “self” in the wreckage. Searching the smoking remains I eventually found it in a panic and went to grab it out, realising in shock at the last moment it had turned into a crystalline version of itself, “frozen”, never to be real again. And I woke up laughing out loud that the mind could come up with such a wry joke, without a conscious story creator!!!
That's from my own guiding conversation, right after seeing finally happened. Sounds a lot like yours!
I’m ashamed to admit to this belief, but I’m afraid that we’re trying to tamper with the brain. What if I go crazy? People have gone crazy from “enlightenment” experiences or something like that, right?
There is no shame here at all, it's a common fear.

Firstly, for any who apparently went 'crazy', we are talking about a VERY rare few, of an already very rare set of individuals throughout history who simply had the experience suddenly, spontaneously, unexpectedly - without any prior preparation, knowledge, or seeking. That can never be your experience, spontaneous like that. Because much seeking has already happened to reach this point.

In any case, I will be right here with you. There will be no craziness at all. Only lightness and relief.
So basically I’m questioning that we cannot change reality. What makes you say that?
Well, have you ever succeeded in making your thoughts stop permanently?
Have you ever succeeded in stopping the illusion of being a "self" appearing permanently?
No. Because nobody ever has! It is not possible.

So I say again, we are NOT erasing/deleting/destroying any of those things. We cannot, even if we wanted.

The only thing which will happen, is simply seeing that these two things are just empty, wispy thoughts, illusions of the mind, they come and go as they please - nothing can or need be done about it.

Simply seeing this, IS "enlightenment". Nothing more!
Wow, didn’t expect to find this fear inside me, but I did. It was subconscious so we must be getting really deep now. 😄
Yes, that is good. Especially that the fear is now out in the open.

Bring this fear up again now, and take a closer look. Fear itself cannot harm you, it is only an alarm system.
It has only one purpose, it is designed to protect a secret.
Take a good look at the fear, and marvel at this. How clever that it does its job so well!
Respect it. Bow to it.
Now, look behind it.
What is it protecting?
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 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:55 am

Thanks for sharing your dream, it’s awesome! 😊 And thanks for reminding me that there was a time when you still hadn’t “seen”. It keeps me hoping that I will “see” as well.

It’s so annoying. I can see that the truth is right there in front of me, but it still avoids me. It’s like I’m looking at myself in the mirror and the truth is behind the mirror, but everything is reflected back to me so I can’t get back there.
Firstly, for any who apparently went 'crazy', we are talking about a VERY rare few, of an already very rare set of individuals throughout history who simply had the experience suddenly, spontaneously, unexpectedly - without any prior preparation, knowledge, or seeking. That can never be your experience, spontaneous like that. Because much seeking has already happened to reach this point.
Ok, this makes perfect sense and I agree.
Well, have you ever succeeded in making your thoughts stop permanently?
Have you ever succeeded in stopping the illusion of being a "self" appearing permanently?
No. Because nobody ever has! It is not possible.
Well, I was thinking of what I heard about quantum physics. That observing the reality apparently affects the reality? So what if I observe that there’s no me and then I permanently disappear because of that?

Ok, haha! I just realised that this is pretty much what we’re after, right? 😄

But still, I imagine this new type of existence to feel like I’m an empty shell and there’s a void inside. I know that this is supposed to feel blissful and all that, but to me it sounds scary and depressing. How can there be joy if there’s no me? I’m afraid that the joy and love will disappear.

But if “I” am just an idea, it can’t affect the emotions. Problem is, I don’t think I believe that “I” is just an idea.

But even if I see through the “I”, you said that “I” is not going to go away. So everything will remain as it is, except that the illusion of the conceptual construct will be seen through.

I kind of see it, but then I still don’t. It’s so annoying!
Take a good look at the fear, and marvel at this. How clever that it does its job so well!
Respect it. Bow to it.
Now, look behind it.
What is it protecting?
I sat with the fear. I see that it’s just a sensation arising and the mind is assigning meaning to it. I see how it works. It’s protecting “me” from harm. It’s like it thinks that something might harm “me” (the idea) and change it somehow. And then the bodily sensations appear as a reaction, designed to protect “me” and keep it unchanged.

See? I kind of see it, but I still don’t!

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gondwana
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Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:20 am

Thanks for sharing your dream, it’s awesome! Image And thanks for reminding me that there was a time when you still hadn’t “seen”. It keeps me hoping that I will “see” as well.
Oh, absolutely :). That is the great thing about LU, we have all been through it exactly the same as you do now, and speak from direct experience. There are no ‘gurus’ here. Only others who trod the same path.

“You” will never see. But “you” will certainly get out of the way and allow seeing to happen!

We are almost there. Just one honest LOOK is all that is required. Bear this in mind while reading the rest of the message below please.
It’s like I’m looking at myself in the mirror and the truth is behind the mirror, but everything is reflected back to me so I can’t get back there.
What a fantastic metaphor!
So what if I observe that there’s no me and then I permanently disappear because of that?
Let us test your hypothesis for a moment:
Are you the body? If not, then the body is not “I” and so it would not disappear.
Are you your name? If not, then your name is not “I” and it would not disappear.
Are you just your thoughts? If not, then your thoughts are not “I” and will continue as before.
Are you just your story (which is simply thought)? If not, then your story is not “I” and so would not disappear.
Are you the thought “I”? If not, then the thought “I” is not actually “I” and so would not disappear.
So what is left as a potential “I” to disappear?
Nothing!
And that is the point. There is nothing TO disappear, because it NEVER existed in the first place.

The body remains.
The name remains.
Thought remains.
The story remains.
The thought “I” remains.
Nothing is lost! There is nothing TO be lost.
Ok, haha! I just realised that this is pretty much what we’re after, right? Image
We are not trying to make anything disappear.
Because it just does not exist in the first place.
But still, I imagine this new type of existence to feel like I’m an empty shell and there’s a void inside.
When has anything real turned out to be exactly how you imagined it? So this clearly can’t be correct.
I know that this is supposed to feel blissful and all that, but to me it sounds scary and depressing. How can there be joy if there’s no me? I’m afraid that the joy and love will disappear.
If “I” is just a thought, how can it possibly be responsible for generating emotions like joy and love?
They do NOT come from there!

This is just the story of the “self” saying it is required.
This is what it does.
It justifies its own existence.
This is the self-reinforcing illusion.

The solution is, simple surrender. Just let it drop.

Consider the possibility that, without all these “me me me” thoughts, there will actually be much more “space” for unlimited joy and love!
Is that a possible outcome?
Problem is, I don’t think I believe that “I” is just an idea.
We have already been through this, looking for it in every dark corner. Nothing was found in months of looking.

If “I” still exists, where is it right now in this moment?
LOOK!
Where is it? Point to it.
Does it have any shape, colour, texture, or smell?
But even if I see through the “I”, you said that “I” is not going to go away. So everything will remain as it is, except that the illusion of the conceptual construct will be seen through.
Well, “I” is just a thought. Nothing more. It was already seen that there is NO control over thought. They arise when they please, and leave as and when they please, apparently randomly.

Thus the “I” thought will still arise whenever it does, nothing can be done about it. But there will be knowing that it is ONLY a thought and not real.
I sat with the fear. I see that it’s just a sensation arising and the mind is assigning meaning to it. I see how it works. It’s protecting “me” from harm. It’s like it thinks that something might harm “me” (the idea) and change it somehow. And then the bodily sensations appear as a reaction, designed to protect “me” and keep it unchanged.
Yes, very good! The body sensations and assigned meaning are INDEED completely separate, this is the most valuable insight ever!

In fact this fact is true of EVERY emotion in EVERY situation, if you look. Any emotional situation can be defused in this way Image

But the last part of the question was missed.

Sit with the fear and just allow it to be, again, right now.
Then LOOK behind the fear.
LOOK at what it is protecting!
What secret is it protecting?
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 Jul 26, 2018 1:53 am

I just realized that what I'm looking for is very mundane, an everyday truth. I just realized that I'm not looking for something hidden away somewhere. I'm like a fish in the water, unaware of the water. Trying to see something in plain sight. It's here and now and it's true right now. All the time. And nothing will change with the seeing, because self never existed in the first place!

So the fear is kind of gone, but I sat with what I could anyway.
Sit with the fear and just allow it to be, again, right now.
Then LOOK behind the fear.
LOOK at what it is protecting!
What secret is it protecting?
It's not protecting anything, because there's nothing to protect. It's just sensation arising and mind labeling.

Another thing I noticed when I ask, "Where is the self?", there are sensations arising and mind labeling again.

Then as I was walking and sitting and washing my hands, I actually saw that it's all just happening by itself! And felt calm.
I know that this is supposed to feel blissful and all that, but to me it sounds scary and depressing. How can there be joy if there’s no me? I’m afraid that the joy and love will disappear.
If “I” is just a thought, how can it possibly be responsible for generating emotions like joy and love?
They do NOT come from there!

This is just the story of the “self” saying it is required.
This is what it does.
It justifies its own existence.
This is the self-reinforcing illusion.
'Self' is like a thin film on top of water. It's not creating any of the life that is the water. It's just obscuring its clarity. Of course the emotions don't come from it.
If “I” still exists, where is it right now in this moment?
LOOK!
Where is it? Point to it.
Does it have any shape, colour, texture, or smell?
Cannot point to it. The body has a shape, colour, texture and smell, but "I" is not the body. There's a habit of pointing at the body and some belief left that "I" lives inside the body.

I closed my eyes and asked myself, "what was it like before this belief in the 'self' became so dominating?". There was a sense of being light, fluid, almost transparent, like a hologram. Not super drastically (how it might be sounding), but still.

Almost there but something's sticking.

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PepperAlmond
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:44 am

I had a bad ego backlash after this morning. Didn’t feel good at all. :( Felt a lot of anger, shame, disappointment, frustration... all sorts of things coming up. Cleansing, I hope.

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gondwana
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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:01 pm

I had a bad ego backlash after this morning. Didn’t feel good at all. :( Felt a lot of anger, shame, disappointment, frustration... all sorts of things coming up. Cleansing, I hope.
Do not worry about that. Humans have a natural tendency to prefer things to remain just the way they are, even when that is bad for us - this is just a natural resistance to change, a kind of emotional inertia. Look now:

What entity is angry, exactly?
What entity is there to even BE ashamed of anything?
What entity is disappointed?
What entity is frustrated, exactly?
Or is this in fact only thought telling that these "feelings" came up?
To whom can they even apply if there is no "self"?
I just realized that what I'm looking for is very mundane, an everyday truth. I just realized that I'm not looking for something hidden away somewhere. I'm like a fish in the water, unaware of the water. Trying to see something in plain sight. It's here and now and it's true right now. All the time. And nothing will change with the seeing, because self never existed in the first place!
That is everything we are trying to see, right there, in a nutshell. It is a very mundane, everyday truth - but one which most people overlook!

The fish in water metaphor is a good one that is used often. We are indeed trying to see the water itself here. All that is required is to stop looking everywhere except right in front of you!
'Self' is like a thin film on top of water. It's not creating any of the life that is the water. It's just obscuring its clarity. Of course the emotions don't come from it.
This is also a great metaphor!
It's not protecting anything, because there's nothing to protect. It's just sensation arising and mind labeling.
Then as I was walking and sitting and washing my hands, I actually saw that it's all just happening by itself! And felt calm.
"what was it like before this belief in the 'self' became so dominating?". There was a sense of being light, fluid, almost transparent, like a hologram.
Beautiful :). This all seems to be seen clearly now.
Almost there but something's sticking.
Is something sticking, or is thought saying "something is sticking"?
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 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:15 am

As I've been doing everyday things, I've been having this kind of conversation with myself:
"Who's typing right now?"
"Well, I am!"
"What if there's typing but no one who's doing it? I'm not denying that there is typing. All the sensations and sounds that accompany the typing really exist. But what if that's all there is: just typing?"
"But who would be typing?"
"What if no one's typing? What if the typing is just happening by itself?"
"No one's typing?"
"No one's typing."
"Just typing?"
"Yes, just typing. No one 'behind the scenes'. Nothing there. Can you really find anyone there?"
"Well, no."
"So what if there's no one there?"
"That would be so weird!"

It's such a strange thing. That there are all these sensations being experienced, but no one experiencing them? But there's no one there, it seems. So strange!
What entity is angry, exactly?
What entity is there to even BE ashamed of anything?
What entity is disappointed?
What entity is frustrated, exactly?
Or is this in fact only thought telling that these "feelings" came up?
To whom can they even apply if there is no "self"?
I can hear stories in my mind. Or should I say, "there are stories in the mind"? Stories about this person, who has had all of these experiences in her life and learned to react a certain way. And now when sensations arise, they are accompanied with labels and stories that are very sticky. It's really difficult to unstick the sensation from the story, and maybe there's no need to do that. They're there for a reason and there is benefit in exploring them with self-help techniques, but that's a separate issue.

What if all these emotional reactions are preventing the seeing from happening, because there's a story about "I'm scared that if I see the no-self I will no longer pay attention to myself"? Could you offer some perspective on this issue? Even after seeing the no-self, can there still be care for the "I"? Self-love? Will there be meaning in taking care of the body, the mind and the soul? Okay, I just remembered that nothing will change because there was never a self there. So what is self-love then? Just love without the self?
Is something sticking, or is thought saying "something is sticking"?
There are still concerns like the one mentioned above. Mainly concerns about, "how will my life change"? The fact that there will be no change doesn't seem to be sinking in, feeling believable. The "I" is scared that something bad will happen. But even with the no-self, life will continue as it has been going, right? There will still be self-help? There will still be self-care? There will still be self-confidence? Or will there?

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gondwana
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Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:06 am

And now when sensations arise, they are accompanied with labels and stories that are very sticky. It's really difficult to unstick the sensation from the story, and maybe there's no need to do that.
No need. What was required has already been done! This is evident by the fact you could just describe that.

The task was simply to SEE that these arise separately. To increase the sensory clarity around this process, until it is possible to watch it in action. This has been done well now. Beautiful Image

This is a major source of freedom! Now, whenever sensations arise, with unpleasant labels and stores stuck on, you can simply look and see that the sensations are neutral (neither pleasant nor unpleasant) - it is only the labels & stories which SAY it is unpleasant. And you have already seen that thought (labels & stories) DO NOT have to be believed. Seeing this, is freedom from these apparent unpleasantnesses. Whenever they arise now, simply do not cling to the label & story, let them pass; like any other thought, it will simply evaporate if not clung to; then, the sensation will follow and also evaporate too. Like dust in the wind! Free.
The "I" is scared that something bad will happen. But even with the no-self, life will continue as it has been going, right? There will still be self-help? There will still be self-care? There will still be self-confidence? Or will there?
Well, we need to just slightly correct that:
There will be help.
There will be care.
There will be confidence.
(actually, much more than there is right now!)

So all these continue as before - they get better - just without, how shall we say, “selfishness”?

The body and mind will NOT stop taking care of itself. This is a biological imperative, you can’t possibly disable it! Nor would we want to. Fear not.
self-love?
Will there be meaning in taking care of the body, the mind and the soul?
So what is self-love then?
Oh yes there will be this. In limitless quantities, like never possible before!

Once it is seen that there is no “I” versus “them”, no separation between self and other, then we cannot strictly call it “SELF-love”; there is simply love. Love of all beingness.

Look, thought loves to categorise and label — it’s what it does.
Labelling leads to judgement, whether it’s 0.1% or 100% judgemental, there is always some degree of judging.
Whether it is judging self, or judging others, this is the primary source of suffering.
Once we take this away, we are left with simply understanding, compassion, love.
Buddhists will call it loving-kindness.
Christians will call it forgiveness.
You just called a part of it self-love.
It’s really all the same thing!
Fundamental, deep, penetrating, total forgiveness of all things, for “self” and “others” (which are really one and the same thing).
Does this sound even remotely like something to be feared at all?

All this time, you have been searching for HOW to self-love, yes? Perhaps trying to look in the mirror and convince yourself to like what you see, yes?
And wondering why you can’t figure it out?
But the big secret to self-love is, simply lose the self!
You don’t create or generate self-love.
You just remove self-judgement, and self-love arises spontaneously, as a natural consequence.
There IS no other possibility at that point, because all self-judgement is gone once the artificial self is gone.
It's such a strange thing. That there are all these sensations being experienced, but no one experiencing them? But there's no one there, it seems. So strange!
Haha, yes. But I leave you with this, which may illuminate:

The monk, Rinzai, went to his master and said,
“Give me freedom”

The master said,
“Bring yourself; if you are, I will make you free.
But if you are not, how can I make you free?
You are already free.
And freedom, is not YOUR freedom;
Really, freedom is freedom from YOU.”

So go and LOOK, look for where this “I” is, where “you” are.
If you find it, bring it here and we will examine it.
If you do not find it, then you are already free.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:42 am

I did this thing where I meditated and contemplated for two hours every day for a week. It was wonderful. I just really sat with the thoughts and the sensations, observed everything and there was so much calm all around. These concepts that we've been discussing are better illuminated when I slowed down and observed them for a longer period of time.

Also I was wondering... when I cry or am angry, I feel like I'm sort of looking at the scene from "outside". By "outside" I don't literally meand outside, I mean it's like there is a sense of consciousness expanding or something, like I'm watching something play out but it's not really "the whole me". I think that has happened to me before as well. I called these moments "glimpses of no-self" once. But when I'm not feeling a strong emotion, the sense of being "outside" disappears. I wonder what that is. Does it sound familiar to you?
This is a major source of freedom! Now, whenever sensations arise, with unpleasant labels and stores stuck on, you can simply look and see that the sensations are neutral (neither pleasant nor unpleasant) - it is only the labels & stories which SAY it is unpleasant. And you have already seen that thought (labels & stories) DO NOT have to be believed. Seeing this, is freedom from these apparent unpleasantnesses. Whenever they arise now, simply do not cling to the label & story, let them pass; like any other thought, it will simply evaporate if not clung to; then, the sensation will follow and also evaporate too. Like dust in the wind! Free.
It takes a little bit of practice. It doesn't happen automatically, but there is definitely more freedom around "choice" of "I will let this go, this is not necessarily true, it's just thought and sensation, just labels, not reality".
The body and mind will NOT stop taking care of itself. This is a biological imperative, you can’t possibly disable it! Nor would we want to. Fear not.
Thank you, the fear is gone now. :)
You just remove self-judgement, and self-love arises spontaneously, as a natural consequence.
Ah ha. So when thoughts are seen as just thoughts, sort of like empty meaningless wind blowing through the head, there is no attachment to them and no believing that they are true. And then there is freedom for the natural and organic love to express itself in its purest form. I experience this sometimes.
So go and LOOK, look for where this “I” is, where “you” are.
If you find it, bring it here and we will examine it.
If you do not find it, then you are already free.
This is still confusing.

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gondwana
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Looking For Guidance

Postby gondwana » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:19 am

So when thoughts are seen as just thoughts, sort of like empty meaningless wind blowing through the head, there is no attachment to them and no believing that they are true. And then there is freedom
Yes. Thoughts are like clouds in the bright blue sky. Even when they blow in, the sky never really changes at all. All we must do is wait and the clouds simply blow away again, revealing the perfect unchanged sky again, still there just as before. We can’t grasp a cloud. Equally we should not try to grasp onto a thought, just watch and let it blow away. Thoughts are like this.

Ok, the practice progress, and releases from that are all good :). This should make day to day stuff easier from here on out.

But now, we need to get very specific.
Laser-focused on the real issue...
If we are to ever push through to the other side!
So go and LOOK, look for where this “I” is, where “you” are.
If you find it, bring it here and we will examine it.
If you do not find it, then you are already free.
This is still confusing.
Ok, so where is the “self”? The “I”?
Can it be found?

LOOK right now, in the present moment for it yourself.
Can you find it?
Does it have any shape, colour, texture or taste?



I know that we have been slow to write each other for a while, but let’s try to write once every day for a while now.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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Re: Looking For Guidance

Postby PepperAlmond » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:33 am

Ok, so where is the “self”? The “I”?
Can it be found?
There are thoughts that claim to be “me”. There are also thought images about the body and the face in the mind, which I’ve only just now noticed, and they are very persistent. There are sensations that are also claiming to be “me”.

It’s like being surrounded by bees that are trying to get in my eyes. I keep waiving at them, trying to open my eyes to see where I’m going, but there are too many and they are too distracting.
LOOK right now, in the present moment for it yourself.
Can you find it?
Does it have any shape, colour, texture or taste?
I can’t find it. It doesn’t seem to have any shape, colour, texture or taste, but I haven’t found it, so I can’t be sure.

What do I do about all this distraction? It feels like it’s preventing me from seeing.


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