Karenness , your thread is here.

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Elizabeth
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Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:23 pm

Hello Karen,
Thanks for your PM. We can get started by getting a little of your story, in particular how you arrived here, and what you expect from this process.
And, of course, how do you see your self?
There are no wrong answers, none of this is a test. It's looking at our experience and answering honestly from where we are. Then I ask a question about what is seen, and we look at experience again.
If you can post once a day, that seems to give the process enough momentum, and a person some time to really examine what is. I hope this is agreeable?
Love, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:19 am

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for getting me started here. I am confident that I can stay with the process and write daily. I also understand that it’s best to put other practices and tools aside while engaged in this looking with you.

We can get started by getting a little of your story, in particular how you arrived here, and what you expect from this process.

A little about my story … in late 40s, been seeking some answers, freedom, peace, not really sure what for over 23 years since discovering yoga and meditation. Left a corporate job to move into a yoga center and volunteer in a karma yoga/work program. Have done retreats with Adyashanti, his wife Mukti, sat retreats in the Vipassana tradition, attended Byron Katie’s School and spent 5 years doing weekly inquiry with a friend. And watched many videos of other non-dual teachers most recently Mooji. Fast forward to just this past year, life freed me from my job and I went on a long vacation in Europe. I then relocated to a new state and thought I was going to start an online business so I got the mentoring I needed to do that. I made some progress and then just last month something was moving that wanted to focus time and attention in a new direction. What felt more honest was that I wanted to know just who/what was this “I” that wanted to start a business and take on this new identity. The pull toward simplifying and
These past months have had me at my edge emotionally, questioning my next steps and my business ambitions. There was lots of time in spiritual practice and using Scott Kiloby’s inquiry tools to look for the different “selves” that seemed to be real. That has been powerful to see through some identification and free up suffering attached to an “unappreciated self”, for example. I am still not working outside the home and have been drawn to very simple / “seva”-like tasks like sweeping, doing laundry, washing dishes, folding clothes. My needs continue to be met as I am still alive and well and trusting what is unfolding.

I learned about LU from a friend that travels in some of the same spiritual circles.

My expectations for this process are that there will be an irrefutable knowing about what “I” really am and life will keep flowing from there. I look forward to the end of seeking and resting more in what is here. As for how this realization might change my life, I don’t know. I do look forward to clarity around my next career and work expression and hope that there will be the excitement to re-engage in more creative ways.

I am not looking for any big bliss, out-of-body experience as I have never even had one all these years and suspect that I’m just not wired that way. I imagine there will still be some reactions to life and others as the “me” reassembles and still that will be okay because I won’t get stuck there. I’m curious as to how it will impact my relationships and desire to be in social situations since I am already quite a lover-of-solitude. My wish is that I will also be more relaxed and living in-the-moment as I am not being run by beliefs.


And, of course, how do you see your self?

I see my self as something that changes. Sometimes I am the creator of what’s happening, making decisions, painting on canvas, typing on this keyboard. Then there are glimpses of being spacious, witnessing what is happening and having outburst of laughter as something seems to crack open or I just look at my feet walking and they seem silly. Mostly I get caught in identification with who I am and what I want and what will I do for work and how will things work out and will I go broke … so there can be a flurry of thoughts that hook me. These past couple of months some of the anxiety and fear has subsided as I have relaxed and trusted that I will be taken care of.

I also wanted to add that over the past month or so I have significantly pulled back from internet and have just lost interest in a lot of the words, ideas, and beliefs floating around about “how-to” business success and whatever else is on people’s minds. It isn’t what serves me right now as I have been wanting answers to some deeper questions. I also spend time sorting and purging lots of files and stuff that is just weighing me down so there is a cleansing going on at the physical level.

So that about covers it for now. Also I am 3 hours earlier than PDT.

Glad to be here, Elizabeth. Thank you.

Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:00 pm

Hello Karen:
Nice to hear a little of your story, it provides some context and a way to find the next question. Thank you.
While what happens next is not in the control of an I (or we would have gotten here years ago, :-) your expectations are not too far out of line with what happens to many. However, as you know, there are no guarantees. I hear that you have been willing to explore and follow intuition, so think of this as another great adventure, the end of which is the beginning of...another great adventure!

Much of this work is seeing how we get hooked by "our" thoughts. We will start to examine a few of these sharp, pointy, and sticky places immediately. You have probably read a few threads here, and have done inquiry, so will throw you in the deep end with an extended inquiry.
Just look in your direct experience and thought process for the answers, there are no wrong ones, only places where we can find another great question.

Very simply, how do we own things?

The computer in front of you, is it a 'your computer" or "a computer"?
Which seems more true? And why?

And how did an "I"' come to attach a computer to a self-concept?
What mechanism is at work here, and when did you start this strange practice of mentally applying objects and other things to an I?

Please list a few of the things that seem attached to what you think you are. And you can go beyond simple objects.

I am interested in this answer!
Love, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:43 am

Hi Elizabeth,

These were some great questions. Taking my time with the answers and here are a few that I let percolate today:

How do we own things?

By attaching “my” or “mine” to an object or idea, like my brilliance or that shoe is mine. It seems like a benign process yet it seems to create separate identities that then have to be protected and defended. There is a meaning and association attached to “my” stuff. The word itself carries a charge and can trigger great reactions.

This marriage of person to objects/ideas/emotions seems to be wired from an early age. As a child I am taught that “Karen” is “my” name and I have my face, my hands, my toys. But I don’t know if anyone explained what “my” actually meant. Not sure how that connection between the word “my” and identity creation came to exist.


Is it “a computer” or “my computer” Which seems more true? And why?

I experience this machine as “my computer”. I notice that there is this possessiveness attaching the computer to an idea of me. I first thought that it was mine because I paid “my” money for it. And then I realized that there are plenty more ways I create ownership without spending any money: my body, my income, my perspective, my needs, my peace of mind … starting to get a little weird here. ☺

I think it’s been there a long time and it is reinforced in society because we get supporting documents to prove such ownership – titles to vehicles, framed diplomas, deed to a house. I have my car that I like to be cared for in a certain way. The bank tells me that the balance in my account is “my” money. Even money in my wallet is attached to and if it were stolen or lost I would be in reaction feeling a sense of loss and possible even a victim. So many things I have difficulty getting rid of because they give me meaning. For example, a dress that makes “me” attractive or a book that I’m afraid I meet need and not be able to get back.


How did “I” come to attach a computer to a self-concept?

Wow! This one got my head spinning. I don’t know when all that started. It seems to be old conditioning that I haven’t bothered to question or investigate until now. Power is given to words/thoughts through belief and there is an immediate relationship formed that feels very strong and real. Consciousness identifies with the body as separate from birth that is reinforced again and again once given a name. Over time, stuff is accumulated and everything seems to be about "me" and whether I am okay, loved, approved.

I am still looking into two more questions and will post my answers on Friday.

Thank you.
Love, Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:45 pm

Hi Karen,
Good work, the more realms you find this particular thing working in, the better picture you get of how widespread it is in YOUR thinking, and how personal it all seems.
Is there anything in the world that does NOT attach to a self concept?
So, a little deeper. How big does this get?
Much love, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:54 am

Hi Elizabeth,

A little bit more from yesterday ...

What mechanism is at work here and when did you start this strange practice of mentally applying objects and other things to an I ?

The mechanism at work is this rather peculiar process of a solid “me-form” moving through life thinking she is deciding what she is /is not doing and that life is in her control. This funny image comes up of a person covered with sticky fly paper and all these ideas, beliefs, habits, things, stories, pictures that arise are getting stuck in layers and layers on this person. What a riot! It’s getting heavy to carry it all around!! And then I can declare what I am based on all this proof attached.

I think this happened at too young of an age from well-intentioned people and caregivers who were also brought up by well-meaning parents and families. It seems like that’s what has been taught and mirrored back through this journey in a body. Seems rather innocent because this is coming from simple confusion or misunderstanding of what is really true. This mind is so well trained at taking on thought as reality and then suffering so much because the self takes everything so personally, like an attack. I think the mind wants to come to rest too. Takes so much work to keep up the game.


Please list a few of the things that seem attached to what you think you are. Go beyond simple objects.

My shoe size
My ability to take risks
My vulnerability
Being unemployed
What other people think about me
That I’m well-organized
The idea that I am a good driver
Memories of my past
Pictures of me throughout my life
What others say about me
Thoughts about how wonderful or awful I am
My colorfully-decorated art studio
Beliefs that I have a wounded self
My reflection in the mirror
My relationship status
My net worth
Self-doubt
I’ve been on a path for 20 something years

And your questions from today ...

Is there anything in the world that does NOT attach to a self concept?

I’m free-flowing with this …
Open space, the sky, sunshine, the ocean, natural occurrences, the wind, rain, whatever intelligence keeps this heart beating, blinks these eyes, moves these fingers on this keyboard, sounds of the birds outside in the yard, the ground, the moon, the galaxy, natural impulses


So, a little deeper. How big does this get?

Very big, all-encompassing, yet soft and impersonal, it is simply here being and doing; seems close and far away; without boundaries or shape; no personal biography; goes on and on infinitely

Appreciate your ever-so-gentle guidance here. Thank you.

WIth love,
Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:43 am

Hi Karen, nice work, I saw the post-it notes also :-)
What are the notes attached TO?
Behind the thoughts ABOUT a self, that own and attach conceptual objects to a changing story of an I?
Love, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:18 am

Dear Elizabeth,

Been going through my day with these two questions ...

What are the “notes” attached to?

So here’s how this plays out when I stop and ask myself this question … That “me” identity definitely asserts itself saying they’re attached to me. I’ve got this body and shape and I move through life. Immediately there is an image of what this body looks like and I see the “notes” attached. There is a movement back and forth between identifying with the body as separate and solid and not getting caught there.

I see that the picture of “me” is not me. Hmmm, so without the picture of me taken to be real, then that starts to crumble.

Aargh!! This is definitely a place where I feel the mind messing with me big time. It points me to see that there is a form sitting with legs crossed with this computer in her lap while she is typing away. So, isn’t this form real? But I don’t walk around with stick notes all over this body so that can’t be what they’re attached to. See then it all has to be made up only in thoughts and images giving the appearance of an I stuck to an infinite number of concepts, ideas, and labels.

And because this “I” is continually changing it can’t be pinned down and defined in any reliable way.

What’s behind the thoughts ABOUT a self that own and attach conceptual objects to a changing story of an I?

Behind the thoughts ABOUT a self is a peace and aliveness that has no opinion or particular point of view. When I rest in THAT there is a knowing that all is well and there is only present happening, no past or future that is real. There is no understanding of the word lack because it is complete and whole by nature. This beingness accepts everything that arises and clings to nothing. Hearing and seeing and living from this feels so expansive and vibrant and the senses are definitely heightened.

This gives rise to all thoughts and it itself is not a thought … or is it?

I can feel some parts being shaken up!! :-)

Love,
Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:17 pm

Hi Karen,
The pieces are all there, just coming into a different alignment.
So we are looking at ownership as something sticky, an add-on. ABOUT an object, not the object.
This applies even to A body, with A computer.
You mentally represent the changing, complex world with a shifting mental representation of a You in the centre of of that world.
Useful survival tool. Mind is certainly a wonderful thing.

So, we may not own anything, except as a concept.
If that is true, what is directing/choosing and running YOUR show?
You earlier said that it was difficult to own nature, a cat, a a small baby, the wind, the trees, the clouds, that great moving beauty.
An I certainly does not control it, or choose how it moves.
Someone here calls it life-life-ing.
Now please look at how what appears to be YOUR system hooks up with this.

"What’s behind the thoughts ABOUT a self that own and attach conceptual objects to a changing story of an I?"
Karen:
"Behind the thoughts ABOUT a self is a peace and aliveness that has no opinion or particular point of view. When I rest in THAT there is a knowing that all is well and there is only present happening, no past or future that is real. There is no understanding of the word lack because it is complete and whole by nature. This beingness accepts everything that arises and clings to nothing. Hearing and seeing and living from this feels so expansive and vibrant and the senses are definitely heightened."

Please take your hand and move it to the left. Now to the right. If thoughts arise, please look at them and see if an I attaches, and where, in this process.
In your direct observation, does a self move the hand?

Please try this with many things as you move about your day. When walking, is it true a self is running, directing, and choosing these actions? Please check to see if a self is moving the body, and a self is responsible for the causes and conditions of apparent choice.

:-)
Love, Elizabeth.

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:04 am

Hi Elizabeth,

Enjoying this close-up investigation. I might be going in circles here but I wanted to be honest with what seems true.


So, we may not own anything, except as a concept.
If that is true, what is directing/choosing and running YOUR show?


I don’t really know what is directing this show. It appears that there is an intelligence that guides all that happens in this playground. Without this ownership of my being in control of my life and my decisions about what I want, then life does what it does and then the mind feels good when it sees what it thinks it has done! Because the actions seem intimate and related to my personal situation, it’s easy for the mind to want to take responsibility. If I know I need to move then I notice I am taking wise action and looking for available apartments online and calling friends that live in the area I want to relocate, then since these actions seem personal to me and my situation, it’s harder to think that life is simply taking action here. I have this idea that life would just be doing random, unrelated actions almost in a chaotic way so that the person looking for a job is off shopping for furniture and the person decorating their home is checking classifieds. So much for trust and letting go! ☺

Writing that seems so funny. It’s as if I think that life has no idea what it’s doing and that is why each person is really taking care of their own business. Yikes!


You earlier said that it was difficult to own nature, a cat, a small baby, the wind, the trees, the clouds, that great moving beauty. An I certainly does not control it, or choose how it moves. Someone here calls it life-life-ing.
Now please look at how what appears to be YOUR system hooks up with this.


I still notice a separation of events/happenings into ones that are clearly not being done by a me (breathing, rotating the earth, yawning) and others that seem more intimate to my personal circumstances (arriving at my art class on time, mailing a birthday package to my brother). With the latter group, I sense some ownership and a “me” asserting itself to pronounce “I did it!”


Please take your hand and move it to the left. Now to the right. If thoughts arise, please look at them and see if an I attaches, and where, in this process. In your direct observation, does a self move the hand?

No, a self does not move the hand. There is movement starting and stopping. Again and again. There is witnessing of the action and I don’t notice an I attaching to any thoughts with simple movements. I think when the task at hand seems more involved with more at-stake (to the me story) that is when the “I” needs to take credit or blame depending on how things worked out. Very interesting to look at all this activity under a microscope.

Please try this with many things as you move about your day. When walking, is it true a self is running, directing, and choosing these actions? Please check to see if a self is moving the body, and a self is responsible for the causes and conditions of apparent choice.

I notice there is scratching an itch, typing on the keyboard, folding the clothes, packing my bag, reaching for a glass of water, taking a sip … these all seem very impersonal and not anything the mind cares to own

AND while all these movements feel that they are operating free of my directing them, there is a body being moved to carry them out. I wonder about places where it seems (to the mind) there is an “overdue” action and it is simply not happening. For example, calling a friend where the thought to connect is noticed for several days and yet so far there is no hand dialing the number to call. So is there no responsibility for actions? Hmm, if there is no separate “person” then who would be responsible? If it’s not happening, I notice mind wants to determine what that means about me – I am being lazy, I am resisting having a conversation – for actions that seem closer to home and that involve someone else. And I notice that what needs to get done pretty much happens and it all seems to fit perfectly with the expression of life for "karen". Imagine that!

in joy!
Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Tue May 01, 2012 1:06 am

Hi Karen, great noticing there.
I like how the character still moves in and tries to make it all about a Karen, at least for personal projects :-)
You see clearly how nothing gets done one second before is gets done, and the rest is a lot of story ABOUT it. Timely, not timely, character defects, etc. Good.
Perhaps things could all get done with a minimum of story reflecting a self. A sense of self is useful, but is it an actual self?
Or just a self-referential, self-reflecting, self-centered, and probably self-ish mental habit we have gotten into, constantly supported by other apparent selves?

If you look behind the thoughts is there a real Karen in any form?
What would it mean if you found nothing?
Would anything change in reality?

Also in joy, dear friend, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Wed May 02, 2012 12:41 am

Hi Elizabeth,

Continuing to be with the questions.

If you look behind the thoughts is there a real Karen in any form?

Not a real Karen as in the identity of a Karen. Really, what is a “Karen” anyway? It can only be created through words and pictures that make it into something that then supposedly has a life of its own. There is a less energy around making myself into something and at the same time, I still see the old patterns where “I” get insecure or feel invisible. Is that still remnants of the “made-up” me and who it has taken itself to be?


What would it mean if you found nothing?

It would mean hat I could relax and life do what it does and it would probably be more fun and engaging if I’m not trying to involve myself and maintaining or creating a positive self-image. That energy that gets activated when the “me” wants to be seen and approved of a certain way.

Would anything change in reality?

No, nothing would change. Cleaning, spilling, eating, laughing, folding the clothes …. All would happen when they do. And as I write that, it seems like there’s no “juice” in it. Am I just a passive expression being moved through life without needing to figure out much. How to trust that the speaking, thinking, planning will arise when needed and make sense. Ah, still some story about what’s happening.

In the evening and when waking there is a stillness present and it feels like more of the focus and spinning around the “me” at the forefront has subsided and being is more present.

I still get stuck around some situations and how to be in relationship with them. For example, the other day I was driving with a friend who got a speeding ticket. So I wanted to examine it from the “no doer” perspective. I could find car whizzing down the highway, device monitoring car speed, speed registering greater than speed limit, police officer turns on blue light, police car drives up behind speeding car that is now pulled over, police officer walks up to driver side window ….. so there is accountability here on the driver so I think there must be a person there that was making the car go fast.

And is it true then that without getting wrapped up in blame, anger, self-judgment, right/wrong there is the movement of paying the ticket, disputing the ticket, ignoring the ticket – all possible actions that could arise. I guess I have a hard time with no doer here because clearly that incident was recorded and attached to a person wth a name and driver license #, etc. Oh, just more stuff about nothing, huh? ☺

Thank you, ELizabeth, for your patience and direction.
Love,
Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Wed May 02, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi Karen.
Seems like, as we are in form, that we can assume that form is real to us. And thoughts are real. Thoughts ABOUT are...thoughts ABOUT. :-)
Not the thing itself. So keep checking for a self/doer. Keep answering your questions with: is this just a thought ABOUT or does it exist in reality?
Look at the traffic incident. Where did it start? How far back would you have to go to mark it off as a separate incident, rather than a coming together of causes? None of which are under the control of a me? Who did that?
All the way down. Notice how the thoughts wish to appropriate, claim, justify, classify, category-sort, and manipulate. They are looking for a loophole where their story can be attached to and believed. If you never look at reality, they win and you get to keep identifying with them. If you see through them even once, for a short time, they begin to lose.
The battle is over, it's all rearguard action. Cleaning up the attachments and patterns in thoughts.
So, you are right there, Karen. I left a little time in replying so you could start to turn to your experience, rather than mine, as you are where we all are: looking right at it.
This is where you see how thoughts apply meaning to everything.
This is where you look beyond meaning. Behind the illusion of self, constructed in thoughts, is what?
What just IS, Karen?
Please go there, and see if you find a self there.

Much love, Elizabeth

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby karenness » Thu May 03, 2012 10:12 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for the great pointers and questions to be with. I am taking a little more time with them today and plan
to respond later in the day.

I've been looking at different situations and tracing them back to see if I can find the one who made it all happen and so far no luck!

More to come.

Blessings,
Karen

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Re: Karenness , your thread is here.

Postby Elizabeth » Fri May 04, 2012 12:29 am

I look forward to hearing how it's going, Karen, a pleasure.
Love, Elizabeth


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