FreeWill444 let's do it.

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Ilona
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FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:22 pm

Thank you for the message.

Could you introduse yourself a little and tell me about your journey so far. What brought you here and what do you expect from this conversation.

Where on the map are you? Just so I have an idea about the time zone. I'm in uk.
Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thank you for taking me on :-) My real name is Genevieve. I'll apologise in advance for the long post, but I wasn't sure how much detail you wanted, so I took a guess and put lots.

I'm going to be 100% honest through this conversation (which isn't easy for me, I'm usually the one pretending I'm always fine) so I'll tell you I feel pretty out of my depth here. Everyone here seems to have about 30 years meditation experience, while my journey here is a lot less impressive. I came across the idea of enlightenment in reading 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior' when I was 11, I was pretty fascinated by the idea and began reading tons of books on zen, awakening, and metaphysics in general. I meditated on and off, but I could never stick with one practice for long, and I never had that intensity for it. I just assumed that, being young, I had plenty of time to become 'enlightened'. So I kept reading books on the subject meditating here and there and thinking to myself that 'someday' I'd get properly serious about it all. Imagine my, surprise when suddenly I'm 20 years old and realising that, apart from an experience or two of momentary peace, and an occasional feeling of existing just in the present (which was wonderful, but didn't last long), I haven't really got anything to show for my efforts.

Well, that's not entirely true. I have contemplated this enough to feel like everyone (including me), is living a sort of lie. Its enough that I can't go back to believing completely in my ego. So I thought, well, now I'm going to get serious about this awakening thing, because I feel like I'm going a bit mad and I have no one to talk to about this. I figured that if I couldn't go back, then I'd just have to plough forward. So I began meditating a few times a day, constantly repeating my mantra and had some good experiences. Then I was on the Eckhart Tolle board one day, (I hadn't gone on for months), and the one thread I clicked on had the link to this site. I've being devouring the various conversations for about two weeks now.

I was really excited to see what you were doing here, and I thought, well, if I can cut out an entire lifetime of searching and then probably dying without ever awakening, that would be amazing! And then the fear came up. I hadn't done enough preparation, didn't I have to meditate for about forty years beforehand? The main fear is just my mind telling me I'm not ready, because if I awaken, 'I'll' die, and am I ready for that? Then I thought, well screw it, I'm pretty damn sure I am, so I messaged you, and here I am.

My expectation for this conversation is that I will awaken from this illusion of self that I identify with, and that operates from fear. To this end I guess my expectation of awakening has changed since reading the conversations on this forum. I get that awakening isn't going to be the magic problem solver of everything in my life and that everything will be perect. Or even that I will constantly exist in a state of bliss. I guess I imagine awakening to be more of a losing my idea of there being a 'me' controlling everything, and that this will mean I stop taking life so seriously, that I feel more free, and that there will be a reduction of fear of negative situations and emotions. I guess I just want freedom from the grasping and the fear that the mind generates.

Sorry again about the long message. Also I am in Australia. A little off topic but the UK is pretty much top of places I would love to visit. It looks beautiful over there, not sure if I'd cope well with the cold though :-)

Once again, many thanks to you for taking me on.

Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:46 pm

By the way, I should have added: one major expectation I have of liberation is that it will free me from my fear of death, and that I will see that there is something that is eternal that continues on after the death of the body. A sort of 'beingness' or 'awareness'. But this is just an expectation, I don't know if it will actually be the case.

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Dear genevieve, thank you for your full and honest answer.
You do not have to have a spiritual baggage or certain amount of hours of meditation to see the truth. It has nothing to do with enhanced states, nor any prior knowledge needed. All you need is desire to see it no matter what and engage with this inquiry fully. Honesty is the best friend. I'll be guiding you by pointing where to look and you just answer simple questions from your own experience.

It's great that you have been around here and read a few threads. So you know how it works.

Let's start.

If I tell you this:
There is no self at all in reality, none as in zero. No I to control, manage, observe, experience, witness, no I that is a separate entity driving the body.

Can you write precisely what feeling comes up, as it comes up. Describe it the best you can.

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

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:09 am

Hi Ilona,
I'm at uni at the moment so I will consider this through the day and write back tonight.
Peace,
Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:30 am

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for your previous reply. That's a relief to know there aren't any 'meditation criteria' I need to fit. I do really want to see this through to the end however, so I will do my best and answer honestly any questions you ask me.

I know the theory, and the 'correct' answers to your questions, but I'm not living them yet, so I'll approach this without regurgitating 'theories' as much as I can :-)

Okay so, in answer to your question:
If I tell you this: There is no self at all in reality, none as in zero. No I to control, manage, observe, experience, witness, no I that is a separate entity driving the body.Can you write precisely what feeling comes up, as it comes up. Describe it the best you can.
When I thought about this, firstly there was a feeling of expansiveness, of space, but this lasted for just a moment. Right after that came anxiety and thoughts like, 'Well if I don't exist, then who is controlling the body etc?' and, 'How am I thinking these thoughts?' Then there was a shying away from the question, it sort of brought up vague feelings of unease.

Later on in my lecture I was just watching my lecturer talk and thinking about this idea, and for a while there was a pleasant feeling of just watching and listening without 'me' controlling it. Then I thought about th idea there was no self controlling the watching and for just a moment it felt like there was no centre to 'me', it was kind of dizzying but exiciting. Then there was a feeling of 'Oh shit, this is wierd' (excuse the swearing) and I was back to normal identification with self.

Peace,
Genevieve :-)

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:45 pm

Great thank you.
Now let's look at the thoughts themselves. Regardless of content, where do thoughts come from?
Can thoughts be controlled in any way?
How can you control them?
Can you stop thought in the middle?
Can you know what next thought will be?
Is there a thinker anywhere?


Take a good look and answer from your own seeing.

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

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:28 am

Hi Ilona,

These seem like quite important questions, so I might post a few times throughout the day with what I come up with.
Now let's look at the thoughts themselves. Regardless of content, where do thoughts come from?
My first reaction to this question was that thoughts arose from whatever I wanted to think about. Then I watched and started seeing that it wasn't like that at all, because it seems like I haven't got any control over thoughts. The best way to desctibe it at the moment is that they just seem to arise from, well, nowhere. I have tried following thoughts back to wherever they seem to spring from and, as of yet I haven't found anything. I will continue to investigate this.
Can thoughts be controlled in any way? How can you control them? 
Thoughts can't seem to be controlled in any way. I have tried to control the direction of thoughts before but seem to have limited success. In fact, the only small control I seem to be able to exert over thoughts is by placing myself in a certain situatiob, and then thoughts will arise about that particular situation. The thing is though, I can't control what I will think about that situation. Its a very subtle thing though, most of the time I am in the illusion that 'I' am in control of my thnking.
Can you stop thought in the middle? Can you know what next thought will be? 
No, a thought can't be stopped in the middle. Just yesterday someone told me something I found disgusting and I was desperately trying not to think about it, but there it was, and once I'd thought it, I couldn't divert it. Its like when someone tells you not to think of a red fire truck, its automatic, and once you have, you can't cut it off.

I also don't seem to be able to know what my next thought will be. Its like, you can't anticipate a thought, because the you're already thinking that thought. Again, I don't know where thoughts are arising from, but I don't know what a thought will be until it has arisen.
Is there a thinker anywhere?
The first thought that comes up in response to this is, 'Yes, there is. I am the thinker.' But I know that can't be right. If I don't know what thoughts are going to arise then how could I be thinking them. I will investigate this more because I feel like I haven't looked deply enough yet. At the moment however, it feels like the thought arises, and then almost at the same time an 'I' is attached. I know intellectually this can't be right, but right now the 'I' seems like a solid, unshakeable concept. I will keep questioning throughout the day and write more later.

Peace,
Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:39 am

Nice. Good work genevieve. It's surprising what you find, isn't it, once you start looking at thought mechanism itself.
Ok, let's take another step.

Look at mind as a labelling device.
It labels everything that is experience through senses. Sound is heard- thoughts about it come up, eyes stop on an object, the object gets labelled. Play with it.

Wherever you are, focus on what is going on around and notice how mind names everything and tells stories about it.

Once again, check, ate you in control of this process or is is spontaneous, effortless action?
Have fun with that and report when ready.

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

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi Ilona,

Playing with this idea as you suggested. It seems a lot easier to see how thoughts are mere labels, and I was able to disengage with them to a degree. Its always a slight feeling of surprise when I realise, 'Hang on, I'm just labelling this unconsciously. When the mind labels, its like I don't even look at the object, or person or whatever else it might be. When I stop labelling for a moment, its like I'm seeing things properly for the first time. They are just ordinary objects, but kind of fascinating in a way. Its like, 'Oh I see, I call it a fridge, but it actually isn't that at all. Its just there, just being.'

I'm definitely not controlling this process, but the feeling that there is an 'I' doing so remains quite strong. I'm just watching it and questioning it as much as I can though.

I promised 100% honesty so I'll tell you its not all smooth sailing here. I don't know what happened, but just before these waves of sadness came out of nowhere. I guess the emotion must have being triggered by a thought, but I was trying to watch it while it happened and it was a vicious cycle. There were fearful thoughts, and this lead to fearful emotions, sadness and anxiety, which led to more of these thoughts, which led to more emotions and so it continued. I did my best to watch as it happened and for just one brief moment in the midst of this overwhelming fear, I had that sensation (if that's the right word for it) of there just being the emotion of sadness, but no one to actually feel the sadness. It was quite funny and I almost started laughing, but then more fear came in, and so did identification with it.

With the benefit of hindsight, I can see that I had no control over the process. I didn't choose the fearful thoughts, they came about because of a reactions to something I'd seen or thought. I certainly didn't choose the massive bout of fear and anxiety that came after it, and well, it sounds wierd, but I feel like I can't even choose when I became aware that there was only sadness, but no one actually feeling it. Its like it just popped up and then was gone. How can I be aware of no self if I have absolutely no control and things just happen by themselves? When I look back at that sentence it looks stupid, but I am genuinely frustrated and confused about this.

One thing I've noticed is that a label I've always attached to myself is that I'm pretty easy going, and that I wasn't overly attached to much, but one thing that's come up with all this inquiry is that this 'I' that I identify with is a really sticky concept. I heard someone else here describe it as that at once and its a spot on description. Its also really slippery! I'm trying to look at the 'I' that I attach to everything, and I can't. I guess the 'I' doesn't want to be seen, or it will be seen as just another label.

Sorry about leaving another massive post, there's just so much going round and round in my brain, its good to lay it all out and look at it properly. I will continue doing what you suggested and focus on the mind's function as a labelling device. I'll check back in tommorow. Have a good morning or afternoon or night Ilona :-)

Peace and thanks,
Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:40 am

Please don't apologise for anything. No point. It's all good- long post, short post, as long as its honest.

Next time fear arises, welcome it.
What I ask you to do is bring that fear closer for examination. Look at the mechanics of it, observe and study how it works. What do you notice?

Fearfull thought comes up, it triggers a feeling, sensation in the body, watch where exactly the contraction is happening, how does the body react to that thought?

Ask the fear to reveal its wisdom. Ask it, literaly, what is it protecting. Thank it for doing its job so perfectly. Now to it. Honour it.

Then look, what is behind the fear?

Write what comes up.

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

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:44 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thank you for your guidance. Next time fear arises, which I'm reasonably sure will be soon, I will do as you say and examine it.

I was at my part-time job tonight and find it is a great place to watch the way the body works automatically. I could see the way the body was just responding to orders automatically, there was no need for an 'I' to control the body. Thoughts were just going full pelt in the background, but I think more and more there is a seeing through them. For a couple of precious moments tonight, I was asking myself, 'If a thought can't think, or be aware, then what is?' And just for a moment I got that feeling of there being just nothing, but it was a sort of alive nothingness. :-) It passed quickly but I was thinking later how most of my fear revolves around the feeling that if I lose this I-concept, it will be like going mad, that the world will be a sort of cold, harsh, lonely place. Sort of like drowning. I don't know why. I guess its as you say, fear is just doing its job. What I got from this feeling of no-self, however, was that instead of drowning, it was like I was floating or being supported, not physically, but a general feeling of lightness.

The mind is labelling machine! I started off mentally labelling objects as I saw them, but as I kept going it was the same thing as before, the realisation that the label obscured the object just being what it is. I will try applying this more to situations and people.

I am also still looking to see if there is a thinker. I find that asking repeatedly, 'Can a thought think?' is a powerful practice. Every time I ask this the answer comes up that thought arises spontaneously and therefore can't be controlled. A thought is unconscious so its impossible for it to think. So if thought isn't aware, then what is? The best I've come up with is 'nothing'.

Just as an aside Ilona, I never got it when people said that everyday life can be a genuine form of practice. I'm getting it now. When I'm asking myself these questions, its like everyday life becomes an important opportunity to question and to see. :-)

Peace and thanks,
Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:36 pm

I see you are right at it, digging it, questioning, taking a good look.

Great! Can you notice, that language that we use for comunication is partly responsible for the illusion.
Notice how labels for objects are nouns and labels for actions include an action and a doer.
I type, you read, I smile, you think, I walk, you talk, we sit, etc.
Examine the labels for actions. See if there is really I that does breathing, walking, thinking...etc.

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

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby FreeWill444 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:42 pm

Hi ilona,

So this is what I've found when I did as you suggested.

<quote> Examine the labels for actions. See if there is really I that does breathing, walking, thinking...etc. </quote>

Okay, so I've been looking at my actions throughout the day, and asking if there is anyone actually doing the action. As far as I can tell, there isn't. Things seems to just get done. Maybe there is a thought that something needs doing, for instance, 'I should go study now', then studying will happen (or maybe it wont), it doesn't require a doer. Just before I was washing my hair and it struck me halfway through how there wasn't some phantom 'I' required to wash my hair, the body was washing hair perfectly well without some invisible driving force. Later on, frustration arose as a reaction to something being said. If there was an 'I' then surely it would have known frustration would arise, the 'I' would have chosen for frustration to arise. In reality though, frustration just arose by itself, no I was needed for it to happen.

I see this also when I watch other people. Our bodies and minds seem to react unconsciously to situations, there is no need for a directive 'I', things just happen of their own accord. I'm seeing this more and more, but it's not a natural thing yet. That is, I am still getting caught up in my mind, and identifying with thoughts as being 'me'. However, the dense feeling of 'I' that I fully identified with is definitely getting looser :-)

Hope I'm on the right track here Ilona, I definitely feel like I am.

Peace and thanks,
Genevieve

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Re: FreeWill444 let's do it.

Postby Ilona » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:37 pm

Oh yes, you are deffinitely on the right track :)

Let's go back to the thoughts for a bit- lets examine the story.
Notice, that there is a constant narration going on. There is a story about genevieve. She is the main character and the story is all about her.

Tell me, is there a real story?
How does story change ifs expending on mood?
How does story about genevieve change when looked at through the eys of your parents,your friend, an aquintance, neighbour, somebody passing by on the street?

Is there a real story that is solid and unchanging?

Remember something from childhood, is it the same story as you remembered it 5 years ago?
Take a good look and describe your findings.

Keep digging, you are getting close :)
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com


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