looking for clarity

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:48 am

Hi Ilona, I will trust the process and keep looking, and acknowledge that changes may be taking place unnoticed. I agree that OK-ness is already a difference from the past.

Am I safe now? Yes, the "danger" is always in the imagined future, it always requires thought to project the "danger".
These thoughts extrapolate from what is going on now or the past, and they give a very convincing sense of difficulties and pains that lie ahead. Of course once these difficulties are present here and now, they will be faced somehow, but the mind looking ahead worries about them, it wants smooth sailing in the future to be happy now. There is a reflex for the mind to launch into future thinking. This point you're making about being safe is important, and I'm letting it sink in, just so habitual to take future "problems" seriously. I will see if I can watch this problem-creating thinking.

Thanks

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Ilona
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby Ilona » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:57 pm

Spend a few days checking if it is safe here now. So that feeling safe is noticed over and over.
Check is it useful, practical or helpful to create and solve problems.

You can put some sticky notes around the house, your phone screen or other visible places with one question- do I need to think about this right now?

Report after a few days, with what you noticed.

Love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:41 pm

Understood. Will do.

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:27 pm

Hi Ilona, I returned from overseas. I have spent the last few days noticing that I am safe over and over. I have always been safe whenever I check. But the mind does bring up half-formed images of not being safe in the future. It says "yes you are safe right this instant, but looming in the future is this big problem". Now it may be that when that future time becomes the present that I again find that I am safe. All lack of safety is caught up in the future projections of the mind, ranging from the end of the world in a few decades to resistance to some minor task in a few hours. In each case, I have asked is it necessary for the mind to chew on these future problems, spoiling the enjoyment of the present moment in the process. It is a persistent habit of thought to spread this gloom. All I can do is what you have suggested, to keep seeing the habit in operation, and to keep checking that there is no problem right here and now.

Is it practical or useful to create and solve problems? I feel it is useful to see that there are future challenges coming up, and if possible to plan what to do. But if there is nothing that can be done yet, or one cannot figure out a specific course of action because the future challenge is too unclear, then the "problem" becomes a useless source of misery that one returns to again and again in thought. So I would say that there are some challenges that arise for which there is immediate sane planning or action, and this can be done fearlessly. "I am low on gas in my car, I will look for the nearest gas station to fill up the tank", is perfectly sane and there is no fear in it, and no desperate problem in it, just a noticing and a doing/planning. Desperate problems taste different, "this person's behavior is putting me in an impossible position, causing me to suffer, I cannot seem to make them change, let me try this approach, let me try that approach, ...". In this there is struggle, desperation and fear. There is a sense that if you just try hard enough from the right angle you will crack the problem, but it never seems to work out that way, and the repetitive worry robs enjoyment of the present. Even when one tries to let it go, the worry returns again and again to remind you of the "doom" that is waiting in the "future".

I would like to retain the intelligence to identify and act on the first kind of challenge, "need to fill up on gas", while dropping the second kind of problem, "someone else's behavior is hurting me, and I can't change them, but I will worry and struggle". When this second kind of thinking arises, I have been noticing it and asking if I really need to think about it, and letting it drop away. I can do this, but so far it keeps returning later.

Then there is the question, WHO is it that has these problems anyway? It is certainly not the universe as a whole. It can only be the separate self, "me", that perceives and fears and suffers from problems. If this separate self were clearly seen as illusory, these problems would lose their sting.

Help me see this illusion for what it is, with absolute clarity! All else is a byproduct.

Thanks

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:44 pm

Oh, I see.

There are many different words pointing to different approaches to the exactly the same wordless realization. I had thought that observing that it-is-always-safe-now was distinct from observing that there is no-separate-self, twice as much "homework" I needed to do. But really they point to the same thing. The knowing of safety-now is the same as being unseparated from the whole. The mind can approach this from different directions, but it is the same state.

I continue to check in with safety-now as often as I can.

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:06 am

Hi Ilona, I spent a lot of time this weekend, both checking in on being safe now, and also noting that any feelings of danger are always embedded in a thought-story about the future. I noted when there were unnecessary thoughts arising about future problems and uncertainties, and let these go. I looked as much as possible from a position of seeing all thoughts and emotions without identifying with them.

As before, the periods of looking were interspersed with other periods of mind-made distractions. There is still a persistent belief that I cannot stay in the looking state continuously without becoming too restless.

Thanks

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:49 pm

Hi Ilona, something I was relying on suddenly fell through this morning and I had to scramble to make alternate plans. I could see all the "suffering" thoughts trying to burst forth, desperation over the situation, upset over those who had "let me down". But then I could see that this was the perfect "practice problem" for me: I first checked I was completely safe NOW even though my thoughts were about troubles in the future. I saw that it was not like I didn't have to lift a finger to adapt to the new circumstances and that Life would magically do everything for me, I did have some thinking and planning and actions to perform. But I did not have to have the suffering "I'm drowning" feeling, I was safe, and there were some things to get done and I did them. I was even grateful that I was given such a practice to test my understanding.

In general, the repeated checking that I am safe now has been helping me. It brings me back to present-awareness over the course of the day in all sorts of situations, and it quite effectively shines a spotlight on the feelings/thoughts that give the sense of being unsafe so that these are seen for what they are, namely feelings/thoughts, while the truth of my safety NOW is also seen.

Will keep going...

Thanks!

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Ilona
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby Ilona » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:48 pm

Dear arus.
Sorry for my absence, I am in the middle of moving from one country to another. I will reply when I can, feel free to write as much as you like.

It’s great to hear that checking if you are safe right now is helping!
There are two questions
Am I safe? Do I feel safe? Continue playing with both of them.
And yes, you are seeing that life is not arranging everything magically, your participation in whatever is going on is needed.
You can feel rooted in safety and be flexible and adjust with whatever is happening.

You say that you can not stay in looking state permanently. That’s right, there is no permanent state. All states are changing. Is that ok?
There is no final feeling or final understanding. Its ok to be looking and it’s ok to dive into stories. Question is- is there I doing that or is that just happening?

There is being, knowing that you are, which is constant and here.

Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:14 pm

Hi Ilona, hope the move has gone well!

It is ok that the looking state is not permanent. It always feels available to go to.

I have been watching as much as possible. A few days ago I was seeing beautiful mountains on some islands several miles away, and it was breathtaking, but then I felt that my own feelings of fear are also extraordinary "sights" with their own intensity and beauty. That is, it occurred to me to look at my feelings the way I look at those mountains, that there was nothing "negative" about them, that they could be experienced as exhilarating rather than spiraling into a threatening thought-story. I play often with this.

I have also used the question "is it safe NOW?" as a pointer back to the present moment and away from buying into the thought-stories of future "doom". The thoughts/feelings associated to future troubles do keep returning, so this is a repeated exercise over each day.

There is still a feeling of struggling to be free, and thoughts that I am incapable of it. There is the feeling that the freedom has to be in whatever I have NOW, not in something that I have to get that I don't have. Just a change in perspective. There must be resistance in all this struggling or trying or impatience.

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Re: looking for clarity

Postby Ilona » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:58 am

I have been watching as much as possible. A few days ago I was seeing beautiful mountains on some islands several miles away, and it was breathtaking, but then I felt that my own feelings of fear are also extraordinary "sights" with their own intensity and beauty. That is, it occurred to me to look at my feelings the way I look at those mountains, that there was nothing "negative" about them, that they could be experienced as exhilarating rather than spiraling into a threatening thought-story. I play often with this.
Nice! Yes, all feelings are just like that, objects that are known.

What is in the way of freedom?


Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:58 pm

Hi Ilona, yes, nothing blocks freedom, in the sense that everything can be seen, even uncomfortable feelings and fears for the future.

My experience these days: I frequently adopt this perspective that everything can and is seen, that I don't have to believe thoughts that say "this is a disaster, only you are suffering like this, others are better off, there are hardships and frightening futures that might happen". But there are also many times in which this thinking sneaks in and is believed and I begin to suffer. But then after some time I notice that I am uncomfortable and look and see that there are some thoughts behind the emotions. So I let them in more fully and feel them raging, but am fully present watching them, and I don't have to believe them as other than a feeling in the body. Instead it is like watching a raging river, but it is not a problem.

I felt jealous at some point today. It had taken me over and I was unaware of it, except that I had the feeling that only I was suffering and others were better off. But then once noticed, I let the feeling of jealousy play out, and was even aware that this is a universal emotion, not mine, and that I was again getting to see a grand "mountain" that others see too. Once you don't call it "bad", then it has its own grandeur.

Thanks

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Ilona
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby Ilona » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:37 am

Wonderful, it’s all unfolding as it should.
Here is a little story for you, it may give you deeper understanding of what is happening. https://markedeternal.blogspot.com/2017/01/a-gift.html

All these old friends come to be allowed.

What else are you noticing? What is looking different than before?

Love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:05 pm

Hi Ilona, thanks for the story. I am just as afraid as this lady of letting in the scary strangers! For me, like this lady, I would happily dodge these strangers until I have seen (as I have) that they are not going away, and that if I reject them I will have to live miserably for the rest of my life with them banging at the door! The only option is to let them in and see what they have in store for me.

I spent yesterday traveling back home to the east coast. On the plane I spent the whole time watching my inner state, except for the periods where it put me to sleep. In general, I have been watching my inner state many times in the day, reminded to do so whenever there is a strong emotion or upset, or even just a beautiful sight. Compared to before, there is much more willingness to question the feeling of being upset or unhappy, to see what it is made of in terms of feelings in the body and thoughts, and there is much less running away in a thought-story which then accelerates the sense of suffering. There is much more willingness to just see "obstacles" to looking, as themselves just thoughts and feelings, and to let these "obstacles" in and feel them out just like everything else. There is much less belief in the thought-stories, even thought-stories about not "getting it". When there is a negative emotion I am looking to see, as best I can, who or what is upset. What is the raw data of this emotion? What makes it "negative"? These are significant changes from before. I am not just carried away by the vicious cycle of emotions and thoughts.

Having said that, there still are challenges ahead, uncertainties in the near future. These do trigger negative emotions and anxiety. An almost without particular causes, I am someone who has some level of anxiety and fear in the background all the time. So there are many opportunities in the day for looking at this. Many opportunities for checking whether I am at least safe NOW. Many opportunities for seeing that the future is not really my concern.

In terms of your story, I am at least warming to the visitors, but I have not yet received any gift from them beyond the knowledge that they won't kill me (which I am happy to know!).

I do see that there is a kind of shifting taking place to see that all is safe, and that even uncomfortable feelings are just sights to be seen. The more this is all seen, the less the sense of threat and discomfort, and in that there is some peace now.

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arus7
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby arus7 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:22 pm

Let me just be more precise on my last point: The more that I test the present moment and see that the physical pain and emotional pain can be allowed in and seen, and not registered as negative in any way, then the fear that the future will bring pain is robbed of its potency since when (if) it comes it will be faced in the same way. The more that I have absolute faith that the present moment can never hold anything negative, by living this, the more the future can hold no threat either. In this way the vicious cycle can become virtuous.

I feel I am somewhere along this path

Thanks

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Ilona
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Re: looking for clarity

Postby Ilona » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:34 pm

Thank you for sharing.
In terms of your story, I am at least warming to the visitors, but I have not yet received any gift from them beyond the knowledge that they won't kill me (which I am happy to know!).
It’s good to notice, that it’s ok to feel! It’s not harmful. There is no danger in feeling the whole spectrum of emotions.

Sounds like softening.

Is there a feeler of emotions? Are emotions happening to you? Is there a perceiver of what is happening?

Describe what feels true.

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book


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