open to being guided

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odemira
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open to being guided

Postby odemira » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:18 am

Wow - what a joke Life is! I feel quite angry about that right now - which is probably not the best position from which to introduce myself and ask for a guide, but it is what's arising right now.

I've read Gatecrashers and am amazed at the speed with which those people saw through the illusion, with the help of their remarkably skilled guides. For 15 years now I've been on the path of self-development, counselling, coaching, spirituality, Buddhism, Tolle, Katie, Advaita, even law of attraction in my earlier days (had a book published on it, I was so the expert!), ACIM, CWG, to name but a few. I'm immersed in the search every moment. Even my lover is an Indian spiritual guru/empath/visionary who wants me to be "Beyond Self" which seems to mean accepting any crap that's thrown at you whilst smiling gratefully.

And the self has held firm throughout, caught in its stories. Except for one brief afternoon over a year ago, when all became completely clear that there was truly nobody home, thoughts are like tickertape across a TV screen, and there is no separation at all - like viewing a photo, thousands of coloured dots printed on paper, and being sure we can see people and places and not noticing the dots. Self loved that experience, of course, bit of one upmanship in the love tussle with the guru!

So, here I am, open to being guided - although Self says Ha, it won't be easy.

yours truly, conflicted as ever.
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:20 pm

Dear Annie,

If you would like to fly with Swallow, I would like to be your guide.
Could you start by telling me where you are right now and what you expect from this work.

Thanks,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:04 pm

Thank you, Swallow
flying sounds wonderful, up, up and away.
just wanted to acknowledge your offer, it is appreciated.
will answer your questions in an hour or so.

Thanks
Annie

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:48 pm

Dear Swallow,

Prepare for a Long winded reply! My mind more often than not sits as a still pool, so I have to go fishing in it to find any clarity.

What do I expect from this work? No expectations. Hopes maybe? To end it all. That wrote itself, by the way. Between 1980 and 1994 I was really interested in plants and designing gardens, and then I wasn't interested at all. Between 1992 and 2012 I've been really interested and driven to understand why I'm here, who am I, how do I live, how do I stop suffering, how do I get off this merry-go-round, and all those other questions you've probably been asked a thousand times. A year ago there was a brief patch of clarity before Self commandeered it as its prize, and the interest waned for a while - too much conflict going on in the love triangle at the same time, so that kept Self nicely occupied. Packed away the Advaita books and read trashy novels, although allowed myself a daily dose of Byron Katie's A Thousand Words for Joy as a vitamin supplement. (Allowed myself? Really? Annie tells a good tale, yeah?). But the interest has revived itself recently, and fell upon this site by accident - was searching for something to help understand my 'guru' chap and ended up here, so here is where I'm meant to be. Let's see what will unfold, yeah?

I am not currently suicidal but have no desires left in living. I know on some level that I am not in charge of my life. But as you will have smartly seen, I am very much still here. There are various experiences of seeing life as a movie without 'me' being there and many occasions of the body moving first, and the mind commenting some seconds later - "ooh look, we've got up!" Feels like a merger of R2D2 and C3P0 from Star Wars - the body being the former, and good 'ol Self being the latter. It's him that does the worrying and fretting.

As you can hear, I have a loose connection with reality, I am really not sure what is what anymore. Confusion is a well known state. But there is a knowing/sensing at times of an invisible presence, unaffected by the dramas. Or is that just more imagination, Self's comfort blanket?

Conceptually I can accept that 'I' is a collection of memories, beliefs etc. Self does not agree. She's only here cos it gives her an opportunity to show off her writing skills to a live audience. That wrote itself! The temptation is to delete that sentence, but these fingers are typing to let it stay.

So Swallow I hope you can stay for longer than just one summer, you're needed here!

with thanks
Annie

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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:27 am

Dear Annie,

Let’s have fun!!!

It sounds to me as though you have had some deep insights and are far down the rabbit hole. So let’s take a fly up through those clouds and see what is still there…if anything.
In this work we ask you to be 100% honest and to speak from your own experience…so leave all the books and past experiences behind and start from the only place that exists…this moment.
What do I expect from this work? No expectations. Hopes maybe? To end it all
‘No expectations’ is a great place to be! I highly doubt that all will end when you go through the gateless gate. In my experience this is not the case, although some things do fall away. Clouds still float through the sky, but I just fly up there and see that they are just transparent….even when they are dark and feel menacing.
I am not currently suicidal but have no desires left in living.
Could you tell me about this?
I know on some level that I am not in charge of my life
On what level are you in charge of your own life?

As you can hear, I have a loose connection with reality, I am really not sure what is what anymore. Confusion is a well known state.
Explain the confusion and the loose connections.
She's only here cos it gives her an opportunity to show off her writing skills to a live audience
I can’t wait!!!!

All the best,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:01 pm

Dear Swallow,

Thank you! Keen to explore your questions.

One thought bubbled up - "Annie's very attached to the role she's playing". Meaning, I'm living in a particular set of circumstances, and my responses to those circumstances and the actions that are taken are based on the beliefs and identity of the character that's being played, like in a soap opera. An unconscious response based on conditioning and the inherent desire to protect the Self. If 'I' stop and step back and investigate the role and ask what other ways could these scenes be played out, then the character may well choose different responses. A conscious response based on logic and common sense and the desire to not hurt others. And Annie's story will unfold differently dependent on which course of action is acted out.

One concern I have about being freed of the illusion of a Self is that I have seen 'liberated' people acting like complete jerks to others, with the excuse that it's fine to do this because there is nobody there who is doing it! I am hopeful that what will be seen here is the non-separation of others from this body and thus an even greater need to act responsibly.
I am not currently suicidal but have no desires left in living.

I know you asked me not to talk of the past, but a short excursion may be required to explain my statement. Let's see.

Well, simple truth, today I am not feeling so despairing that the only escape is to kill this body.
In this moment,there is calmness, enjoyment in exploring the inner landscape and delight in watching words emerge. If you told me today is my last day of living, then that would be fine too, although responsiblity for my loved ones would ask you to delay it for their sake.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a published author - done that. I wanted to be a company director - done that. Wanted to work in exciting foreign places - done that. Wanted to see the world with my soulmate - done that. I no longer believe that I need things to bring happiness, so I buy very little. I have just one desire left, which will remain a secret on these public pages, and is close to fruition. Happiness is wanting what you have, not the other way around.
I know on some level that I am not in charge of my life
Ah, into the clouds of confusion we fly, dear Swallow!

'I' have no control of what will happen in this life that I think of as mine. I am old enough to know the truth of the old joke of "How to make God laugh - tell him your plans!"

I have no clue as to when the phone will ring, work will appear, my house will sell. Have given up wasting energy on thinking about any of those uncontrollable things, they'll happen exactly when they happen.

As I said above, when I'm in the role of subconscious Annie, then I have no control of what she'll do or say. Interesting use of multiple voices here, by the way. Who are they all?

This body does its own thing a lot of the time, with C3PO commenting afterwards.

Life seems to be a series of 'tension & relief' situations - even being on this forum is an example of that. The tension of not knowing the answer, the relief of finding the solution.

The cloud of confusion is aka decision making. As an example, I currently live in 2 different places 300 miles apart (long story, a whole episode's worth for the soap opera). Both have advantages and disadvantages to being there. Sometimes circumstances make it very clear where I am to be. This week and for the next few weeks, the circumstances are such either is fine or either is lousy, depending on my viewpoint. So who's in charge of making that decision? I guess as there's no desire arising to drive the 300 miles, and no responsiblities calling me, then inertia will keep me where I am. But when people set goals for themselves (yawn - inspiration's fine, but getting motivated to reach a goal means doing what you don't really want to do!), who is setting them? All just part of their story? Are inspiration and motivation both just part of the character's story?

As you can no doubt hear, I can think myself into knots! More tension and relief, question and answer. Just what this mind does, more interesting than cooking dinner.
Explain the confusion and the loose connections.
You may well have spotted examples of confusion already, they are legion!

This mind has been fascinated by questions about what is life all about, what is reality, from an early age. Like Einstein's fruitless quest for the Unified Theory, Annie's followed a fruitless quest for the Unified Theory of Life. I just like knowing what the rules of the game are! I have experimented with many different approaches, trying them on like a new coat - worn for a while, then discarded when life still sucks.

Unfair,unfair! Living has become much simpler and easier through clearing away many limiting beliefs, learning to let go some of the need to control outcomes, living in acceptance, living in the present moment. I know where the sticky attachments are, I can see what the projections are showing me. I have the tools for ungluing them - although Annie seems bent on playing out the screaming harpie role rather than relaxing into the 'wise woman' role.

But I have tried on so many coats, I'm not entirely sure which is real. I've travelled through the long dark tunnel into the blissful light - and damn, they made me come back here again. I've seen the apparent world view merge into a single non-separated movie screen and felt the energy whoosh up out of this limited body - the world appears IN what I am, not me in the world. So sitting here watching fingers typing, which is what is present right now, is visible right now but doesn't ring entirely true.

Dear Swallow, and dear forum, thank you for the space and time, it is deeply appreciated.
with love
Annie

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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:32 am

Dear Annie,

Thanks for your message. In answering the questions it is good to speak from direct experience, what you see/experience now, but it is absolutely no problem to talk about the past. There is clarity in your words, so let’s go further and see what comes up!

Your description of how the mind a ‘role/carachter’ plays based on beliefs is very clear.
One thought bubbled up - "Annie's very attached to the role she's playing”
So who is this ‘Annie’that is attached to the role?
If 'I' stop and step back and investigate the role and ask what other ways could these scenes be played out, then the character may well choose different responses
And who is the ‘I’ that takes a step back?
I have no clue as to when the phone will ring, work will appear, my house will sell. Have given up wasting energy on thinking about any of those uncontrollable things, they'll happen exactly when they happen.
So is there anything 'Annie' has control of?
The cloud of confusion is aka decision making
Observe the process of making a decision the next time a decision needs to be made. When does it start, what comes up, what are the physical reactions if any, etc… and see if there is an ‘Annie’ doing this, guiding this.
I've travelled through the long dark tunnel into the blissful light - and damn, they made me come back here again
Can you explain this in more detail.

It is a pleasure to work with you Annie,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:07 am

Dear Swallow,
One sharing before I focus on your questions. The first thought that arose today, attached to a tug of fear, (thought first, contraction in the solar plexus a microsecond later) was What Am I To Do?

"I" recognised that this thought was the voice of the Controller. This is the voice of the belief that Annie is lazy and idle and if left to her own devices will sit and write on forums, and read books and gaze at the sky, and will fail to work to earn a living. Hah, what a stupid phrase, never spotted that before - earn a living! Nonetheless the Controller is not amused by the thought of 'I' disappearing, becoming more the Strict Headmistress by the moment.

So it seems that 'I' am nothing but this cast of many voices? An assembly of beliefs? Stunned silence from all.

Will focus on your email soon.
Thank you
Annie

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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:14 am

I AM, therefore I think, therefore 'I' am?
Or more accurately -
I AM, therefore thoughts arise, therefore "I" am?

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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:33 am

I AM, therefore thoughts arise.
Huge void opening up in solar plexus, pressing, hanging - "I" feel it as uncomfortable, also discomfort with the immobility of mind and body, numb, void. Temptation to run away. Commentator has appeared, watching what's going on, analysing it - phew, safely back again. Nasty moment there.

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:59 am

Decision:
Urge to run away from this forum, find some activity to do. Feeling - discomfort, tension, fear?
Knowing (felt in chest, rather than as series of words that run across the screen about level with my head) - stay, this is important.
Commentator (thought in head) - oh, what should I do? You should be working, This is self-indulgent.
Fingers click on Quick reply and start typing.
Tension fades.
Observer/Analyser starts asking questions - What is the name of this feeling? How do you know it was a knowing, and how is that different to a normal thought? What happened next?

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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi dear Swallow,
Answers to your questions:
So who is this ‘Annie’that is attached to the role?
And who is the ‘I’ that takes a step back?
Each is a .... a what? ................................................................. a subset of an identity formed around a collection of entrenched views? Without the thoughts, the points of view, what would be present? Just the apparent physical reality. This is unsettling, consider my cage as definitely rattled!

Ok, if we subtract the thoughts, which eradicates most of the emotional feeling sensations, as they seem to be physical mirrors of the thoughts, what's left? What's left is a subtle sense of 'something/nothing' that is experiencing the input from the physical senses, dependent on where attention is focused. But where is that something/nothing, what is it? It has no form, can't be labelled. Recently an image came into my mind of looking back at my own face and there was nothing there but a video-recorder, and then there was complete blackness and the sensation of tumbling away into a void for a few seconds. Usual transmission quickly restarted, thankfully.

How is the something/nothing sensed, as what? I can only give a metaphor, of relaxing back into an infinitely deep peaceful pool of bliss - is that imagination, another mind generated phenomenon, I wonder? And that is only when there appears to be a momentary switching off of the physical inputs, like turning the TV off. When the TV's running, the something/nothing is still invisibly present/absent. Or maybe I'm just insane?

So is there anything 'Annie' has control of?
Interesting question to a character one time known as the Attraction Queen. Many believe that our thoughts create our reality. It seems to be true that our thoughts about reality create our experience of that reality. But does our focused visualisation of a future reality bring it to pass? We do a rain dance, it rains, so we think our dance summoned the clouds? Yet every man-made creation sprouted from the germ of an idea.

Aha, this is all spurious. Yes indeed. The thoughts just arise, unbidden, be they doubts, certainties or full 3D emo-visualisations. I have no control on whether what is thought is an idea of sparkling genius or the dampest of 'it'll never work' blankets.

So what about responsibility? Making the choice to question the beliefs that block creativity and joyful expression? Again, presumably those questions themselves just arise? 'Annie' would enjoy the opportunity of denying responsiblity by claiming that it's not her fault that the rent didn't get paid as the thought did not arise and there was no-one there to pay it. No-one would be out on the streets pretty quickly!

Note to Swallow: there seems to be a lot of low grade fear around here about failing to take responsibility and thus crashing and burning - what's the approach to take to this?

I've travelled through the long dark tunnel into the blissful light - and damn, they made me come back here again
Not sure this is relevant, it's just a past experience. Please skip to the end if you're not interested in stories.....

My guru chappy has amazing abilities - can focus on any person and feel their feelings, feel what it's like living inside their body, feel their minds. He can see the whole unfolding of any one's life. He has also healed many people through them listening to a recording of him talking to them, a Beyond Self session, about 10 mins long. My mother died peacefully of pancreatic and liver cancer without any pain whatsoever because she listened twice a day to a recording he made for her - the hospice doctors kept saying she should be on morphine, but she refused to the end as she was feeling no pain. I am still so grateful for that!!!!!

He gave me a Beyond Self session soon after we met - initially there was a feeling of resting in peaceful infinite darkness, similar to the feeling of a deep meditative state, and then the darkness shrunk into a tunnel, sense of moving down the tunnel, tumbling, faster, faster and then all was bright golden light and such bliss, there are no words. There was no sense of time, or of a self, or a body, just light and love (Oh god, it sounds so corny now to these cynical British ears!!) I have no way of knowing how long later it was, it could have been eternity, but was only about 15 minutes, there was the sound of his voice from afar saying Come Back, come back .... and a strong thought arose Noooooo, let me stay. But he kept calling and calling and gradually I came back.

So you can tell me that what I can see and touch is is the only reality, and it does appear to be so. Appears to be. But that's not the focus here, is it? It's the question of "To whom does it appear to be real?"


Looking forward to your next questions, the cage is rattled but not yet open.
with thanks
Annie

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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:24 pm

Dear Annie,

This might be old news for you, but I like to share it with people with whom I work. We often forget that the function of the mind is to help us....we often see it as our big enemy! But when we look at the history of the mind...it has served us well and continues to do so. Here is something I wrote for my first LU friend...Redlotus.
Hope you like it. I have more questions for you tomorrow, now time to relax. : )

Unlike other animals who can move, walk or even run within hours or days, humans are born completely helpless and we stay that way for the first years of our lives. Although we weren’t given the ability to take care of ourselves at an early stage, humans are given this amazing tool called the mind. They are born with this mind and it helps them to adapt to all kinds of situations, dangers, helps us to learn languages, drive, tie our shoes etc.
Even with this advanced mind we are still 100% dependent on a caregiver to take care of us. Infants are not only extremely intelligent and open, they are also aware of the fact that they are helpless. So from day one they are feeling out how the world functions around them. When I cry, does my caregiver come? or does she/he put me in a room and close the door? If I laugh/smile does my caregiver pick me up, hold me? Am I given love if I fall down and hurt myself? Etc.. etc.. So slowly we build up a ‘way of being’ in order to get the caregiver to give us the things we need in order to survive. We also copy ways of being to fit in with our caregivers. These strategies/ conditioning go on our whole lifetime, but it is said that our basis strategies are formed in the first four years of our lives.
We could say that our mind is like a computer. The hard drive was programmed in the first four years of our lives when we were dependent on others. The hard drive of our computer tells us how we should act in situations, and this is done in a subconscious way. In one situation three people might act completely different, one might freeze, one might fight and one might flee. This all has to do with what their ‘computer program’ or learned strategy is. Now, Adults are no longer dependent on others for their survival, BUT the computer is still running the old programs. “I need S. to love me. I need to make a good living. X needs to respect me. I need to change my job.” The mind continually creates thoughts....and all of these thoughts are based on our original fear of survival. Just listen to most of the pop songs..... “I can’t live without you...” “I need your love”....or listen to people around you...there is usually something people feel they need or something that is missing. It is all the mantra of the mind....I am helpless, I need someone to love and take care of me. Even the pursuit of fame and fortune is rooted in this fear. All of this searching, needing, wanting....the mantra of the mind. And this illusion can be seen when we ask one simple question....Is It True?
What IS the reality of this moment? I would say 100% without a problem (unless the roof is falling down). We are completely supported by existence. Breathing is done, the heart beats, this complex body functions, if we are cold we pull on a sweater, if we are hungry we go to the fridge, and for most of us reading this...we live in abundance....but we overlook this.
What is true.... the Mantra of the Mind or the Reality of this moment???

Sweet dreams,

Swallow

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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:29 am

Dear Annie,

Thanks for your last message.
You are clear on a lot of things, and you have had some deep insights. There seems to be a fear that comes up when the mind thinks of no ‘self’. I was planning on mentioning fear, but you took the words right out of my computer.
Note to Swallow: there seems to be a lot of low grade fear around here about failing to take responsibility and thus crashing and burning - what's the approach to take to this?
You mentioned Tolle and Byron Katie. Both of whom had mind altering awakenings…..their whole identity was shot in one moment. Many people focus on their awakening and think….when is the big one going to hit me? In my experience it is gradual and gentle, and not life altering.
A thought comes up…. ‘If there is no 'self'…..who is going to take care of me?’ The mind might think that you are going to sit on a park bench for two years like Tolle. Might happen…probably not. What if nothing changes? Like when you were a child and you discovered that Santa Claus did not exist. For most children it made sense. They might have kept on wanting to believe in Santa and played the game, but their world did not fall apart, only a belief fell away.
The thought comes up…. “I won’t be able to take responsibility for myself.” Is that true?
If there is no ‘self’, then there never was a ‘self’, and ‘Annie’ has lived until now and and has done fine.
If the thought comes up….see it. If it triggers a reaction in your body…. feel it…..invite it in. What is the worse that can happen?.... you loose a label.

Does a tree need an ‘I’ to grow? Does a bird need an ‘I’ to survive? Does a flower need an ‘I’ to blossom?
I have an exercise for you to do today. Go out somewhere in nature and observe how everything survives…..thrives without an ‘I’. Just take the time to contemplate this and ask yourself….how does this mirror the reality of human life?

Warm greetings,

Swallow

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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi Swallow,
Thanks for the email about where our conditioning comes from, I am aware of that. I think it's also more complex, as putting on a jumper and going to the fridge only meets our basic needs, but that is the bottom layer only as illustrated in Mazlow's hierarchy of needs. We each have many emotional needs which drive our behaviour - although I wonder if you would say that they are all generated by our belief in the self, and thus will disappear once the fictional nature of the self is seen?
The thought comes up…. “I won’t be able to take responsibility for myself.” Is that true?

Yes, a thought did arise soon after waking of "What's to be done today?" So the thought arises, but there's no I to whom it arises? Still feels like there is, being the whatever it is that is aware of the thought.
Go out somewhere in nature and observe how everything survives. How does this mirror the reality of human life?
I regularly spend time in nature, daily, my mind is still there and it's more noticeable that there is just observation happening, walking happening etc. I lose that when I get back with people, it's like going back into the drama again, playing a role.

Trees just grow, yes. We just grow, yes. But trees don't have to cope with arguments with other trees. Flowers aren't into control dramas with each other to get their own way. I can see breathing is happening, digestion's happening etc, in humans - but the play of human relationships seems far more complex and complicated. Are you saying that everyone's simply behaving in an automatic, preconditioned way like a load of robots? What of the concept (ha - so it's just an idea, yeah?) of the higher self, the Soul, the caring human being?

Self very much here today, heavily involved in the drama. Would welcome this being less 'sticky'.

Thanks
Annie


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