Time to see through the illusion

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:27 pm

I'll also add, I don't know if it's useful for this purpose, but I have a minor surgery coming up next week, and since it's my first ever surgery, and the first time that I'll be getting anesthesia, it's causing a lot of anxiety and self-protective feelings and contractions to come up.

I've tried to work with it in different ways, but so far nothing has been particularly successful. Didn't know if you'd have any suggestions for using it at this point.

Thanks again!

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:29 pm

Yes. It's in the same "family" of feelings.

Any lies count. We lie all day everyday, in addition to the belief in a "self."

For example, how are you? I'm fine. No, you're not, but you don't want to talk about the details with that particular person.

So every time you have those thoughts in your previous post that seemed to tell the story of a "self," you are lying to someone you love:

You! (so to speak)

Roll that around for a while. Check it out. Don't believe it just because I say so. Tell yourself a lie and see what it feels like. Tell someone else a lie and see what it feels like. Listen to the news and see what it feels like. Lies are everywhere!

I don't need descriptions of them. I just want you to check it out.

If I could teach one thing to every human being on the planet this would be it.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:29 am

So, Todd, about the surgery, try Ilona's Deep Looking at Fear:

https://youtu.be/jKX1llYtlKE

Also, once the anesthesia kicks in, you won't care. Right?

Are you a redhead? I was/am. We genetically have a lower tolerance for pain. Ask for extra anesthesia.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:31 am

Hi Stacy!
Roll that around for a while. Check it out. Don't believe it just because I say so. Tell yourself a lie and see what it feels like. Tell someone else a lie and see what it feels like. Listen to the news and see what it feels like. Lies are everywhere!
That's a really interesting way to look at it. I will do that from now on. Thanks! I was just thinking of major lies, not the little day-to-day half-truths.

I'll watch that video too, thanks!

I'm not a redhead, but I do have a low pain threshold for sure! That's interesting to hear. Without boring you with details, the irony is that the only part of the procedure that I'm really nervous about is the anesthesia! Because I can't have the epidural they would usually use, they've got to test a nerve-block to see if it'll numb the right part of the knee. If so, I get twilight anesthesia, and if not, then they have to intubate me and give me general anesthesia. But none of that will be known until that day. And again, I've never had any of this before, so it's all the unknowns that are causing the anxiety. I think I've been handling it fairly well, considering. But there's a constant hum of dread in the background all the time.

Thanks again for everything!
-Todd

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:49 am

Hi again, Stacy,
How are you doing?

I just wanted to let you know that I also tried the video. I've tried these before, but I never hear anything reliable when trying to dialogue with inner feelings. I either get silence, or nonsense syllables, or stuff that's obviously just content I've seen or thought about in the past hour.

Thanks very much, though!
-Todd

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:48 pm

Thanks, Todd.

Doing well. Just the usual.

So when is the surgery? Will you need a break here?

So, now that we've started to identify how lying causes contraction, tightness & heaviness in the body, go back & read what you wrote on the Sense of Self exercise. Even do it again now. LOOK, FEEL

By the way, telling a truth does exactly the opposite: Sensations of expansion, relaxation & lightness show up. And yes, spaciousness. Finally recognizing that there is no self can result in feeling very expansive & spacious.

Let me know what is found when you re-read & re-do this exercise.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:11 am

Hi Stacy,

My surgery is next Thursday (9/9), so I definitely will be out of touch that day. Depending on how I'm feeling, and how heavily medicated I am the following day or two, you may or may not hear from me. Hopefully I'll be functional by the next day, but there's a lot up in the air yet.

Okay, I read and redid the exercise.

Does the sense of self have a location?
It's definitely a heavy dense feeling in the chest, throat, and parts of the head that feel engaged when considering the self. But they are like a distant physical reaction. There seems to be a lighter, more open-feeling observer further back who seems to be noticing those dense feelings at a distance. But that feeling doesn't have the same heaviness that the other seems to. The more I investigate it, there doesn't seem to be anything particular there, but it's like a feeling of lightness that still is aware of the comparative lightness. Does that make sense?

Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
The heavy dense feeling is constrained to the center of the chest, neck and face. But the more spacious openness seems wider than the physical body.
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
Still nothing convincing or reliable.
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
The false self is all tension and weight and contraction. But the witnessing observer to that is light and free and open.
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?
The false self is all muscle contractions and self-referential thoughts, worries and projections about the future, and memories of the past.

The open seer who can witness the tension is somewhat undefinable. It's more defined as a lack of tension and contraction that is somehow still aware of the other sensations.
What is found?
When I contemplate or spark an idea of my personhood, there is that intense contraction like lying. Still not sure if that light observer is really "something" or just a vacant contrast to the false lying contraction usually understood as self.

Thanks very much again!
-Todd

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:37 am

Hi Todd,
Does the sense of self have a location?
It's definitely a heavy dense feeling in the chest, throat, and parts of the head that feel engaged when considering the self.
That heavy Sensation means "self" is a lie.
The more I investigate it, there doesn't seem to be anything particular there, but it's like a feeling of lightness that still is aware of the comparative lightness. Does that make sense?
Right, as you look & look, the recognition that there is nothing there is *true* That brings a sense of lightness, of truth.

Awareness is not a "self." Don't try to make awareness into a self.

You seem to have found the same thing in all of your replies so I'm not going to repeat it over and over.

Notice: can you have awareness without a story of a "self?"

We often say that it is simply life life-ing.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Fri Sep 03, 2021 4:02 am

Hi Stacy,
Thanks so much for the quick reply!
Notice: can you have awareness without a story of a "self?"
We often say that it is simply life life-ing.
Yes, I can, though it doesn't last very long before something steps in to point out the fact that it feels spacious and, ironically, that there's no thinking going on. Which is of course just another thought.

Those moments of awareness that my hands are "handing" and thoughts "thinking" and life "life-ing" are usually too fleeting. Like I've said before, either thinking, or talking, or something else interferes and breaks the spell. And though I believe that thinking and talking are all still automatic processes just as much "life-ing" as anything else, they lead to the contracted lying quality that's very sticky.

Though now that I've said it, the awareness of spaciousness, or of life life-ing still feels like a secondary function because life is life-ing whether "I'm" aware of it or not. So is the awareness of spaciousness or life-ing still just another aspect of thinking? Using spaciousness as a marker for truth, then it shouldn't be related to thought.

To go back to your question, it feels in the moment of looking like there can be awareness without a story of self. And there isn't necessarily self-referential thinking going on, but the awareness of spaciousness still seems to have a residue of "me-ness" about it because there's still a dualistic observation going on. It doesn't feel completely independent in a way where it's aware of everything happening without also being aware of its own existence. This is sounding more confusing than I mean for it to. Do you get what I'm asking? Essentially it still feels like there's a duality of an observer being aware of the fact that they feel spacious and that things are just happening without them actively willing them into being.

(Trying to stay away from philosophy, but I'm not sure how else to describe what I'm experiencing.)

Thanks for everything!
-Todd

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:46 am

Hi Todd,

You're welcome. I tend to post before & after my work day & sometimes at 2:30 am, like now. :)
Essentially it still feels like there's a duality of an observer being aware of the fact that they feel spacious and that things are just happening without them actively willing them into being.
That's okay. Keep LOOKING. It will help if you don't write 4 paragraphs of thought every day. Write only Direct Experience - the immediate Seeing, Hearing, Feeling (only body feelings), Tasting & Smelling. You may mention Thought Arising. but please remember we do not care what thoughts say. They lie.

Don't waste time trying to stop thoughts & stories. Just ignore them. Let them go on by.

Go re- read Colored Socks.

Read Gateless Gatecrashers (dl from Resources. Books here) and/ or Liberation Unleashed from Amazon.


You are very aware of your body Sensations & that's helping. Try this:

Palm Flipping Exercise

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.

2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts – examine your direct experience.

Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

How is the movement controlled?

Does a thought control it?

Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?

Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?


Keep your replies simple! Shorter! It will help. We can have long conversations some other time.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Fri Sep 03, 2021 11:55 pm

Hi Stacy!
Wow, thank you so much for responding even that late after work when you should probably be sleeping! Your commitment is greatly appreciated!
Go re- read Colored Socks.
Read Gateless Gatecrashers (dl from Resources. Books here) and/ or Liberation Unleashed from Amazon.
I re-read Colored Socks, and just finished Gateless Gatecrashers earlier this year. I haven't read the LU book yet, though.
How is the movement controlled?
I've done this many times throughout the day, and I have no idea. Something I'm unaware of seems to be making the decision and pulling the levers.
Does a thought control it?
Not consciously, no. Even if "I" make a conscious decision to start clenching my hand, I still have no idea how it happens when it eventually begins.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Not at all. There isn't really even a false sense of agency. It's just empty.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
I really can't find anything. Even when I consciously say in my head "I should flip the hand now", nothing happens until the hand, (or the arm which is controlling the flip) decides to and does it.

Okay, I just tried flipping my hand rhythmically and faster, like it was an exercise, and it starts and stops "on demand" though I'm still not really sure how. It feels like a little internal burst of initiative that moves the muscles. But I notice there's also a little tension in the neck and face, like that lying self contraction is happening, taking credit for it.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Sometimes it was a matter of convenience, like my phone was in one already. But if both were free, I get no sense of which is going to flip until I start feeling the muscles near my elbow moving to twist the hand.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
Nothing at all! I actually tried doing this while walking today, and did the same thing with my feet. And essentially my body felt like an automaton. I wasn't controlling anything. And even when I made the conscious decision to try speeding up, the muscles engaged, and the feet just did it. But I have no idea how.
Keep your replies simple! Shorter! It will help. We can have long conversations some other time.
I tried! And that sounds great. :-)

Thanks very much again, and have a great night!
-Todd

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:37 am

Good evening!

Maybe TMI, but I get leg cramps in the middle of the night & I might as well answer things while I wait for the ibuprofen to kick in or circulation to improve. Besides this is the most fun I have all day.
Something I'm unaware of seems to be making the decision and pulling the levers.
2 things:

First, does there have to be something making a decision or pulling a lever or anything? What if it is simply happening no need for anything doing it?

Second, please keep firmly in mind that we don't care about answers. It is looking that is important. All these explanations are always meaningless. Looking and not finding is the whole point. There's nothing to find! Seeing that will flip you into seeing no self. As someone said, "Enlightenment is an accident. Meditation (and these pointers are meditations!) makes you accident prone.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:15 am

Good evening again!

I'm sorry you get leg cramps like that! Occasionally I'll wake up and move my leg the wrong way and the muscle will lock up, and I know how agonizing that can be. Thankfully it releases after a few minutes. I can't imagine how bad it must be if you have to get up and take Ibuprofen for it! (Also, no worries on TMI, as you can tell, I'm an open book and have no problem with other people being the same way.) :-)
First, does there have to be something making a decision or pulling a lever or anything? What if it is simply happening no need for anything doing it?
I know what you're saying. And it seems perfectly reasonable that it's just a bunch of unconscious cause-and-effect-triggered brain processes running everything. When I said that it "seems" like something is making the decision, I was keeping the likely possibility open that it's just an illusion.
"Enlightenment is an accident. Meditation (and these pointers are meditations!) makes you accident prone."
I like that quote. I keep checking in, and I do get moments where it seems obvious. Like I've said, they just don't last long enough. But I'll keep looking until the flip happens!

Thanks again, and have a great night!
-Todd

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Anastacia42
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:25 am

Hi Todd.

You're still over- thinking all of this. Stop that!

LOOK AND FEEL. Stay with your Direct Experience of the 5 senses.

Go back to ButtChair or Headless Way.

Please LOOK for any place where your butt ends & the chair begins.

Is there any clear dividing line between them? Or only the Sensation with no clear division?


OR

Headless Way

Taken from The Headless Way

Have a look around you. You can see colours of the room, of your 'feet’, of your ‘knees’, of your ‘chest’ and perhaps of your 'hands'.

Now point a finger towards the place where others see your head and face.

What do you see? Do you see your face? Do you see your head? Do you see anything at all there - any colours, shapes, or any movement? Looking into the place where others see your face, do you see colours or shapes there? What do you find?


Don't rely on the content of thoughts. Report ONLY sensory experience of the moment.

Get out of your head & feel.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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vegansatori
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Re: Time to see through the illusion

Postby vegansatori » Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:04 am

Hi Stacy,
How are you doing?
Please LOOK for any place where your butt ends & the chair begins.
Is there any clear dividing line between them? Or only the Sensation with no clear division?
I don't know that I'm getting much out of this exercise. Maybe my chair is too hard? There are so many stark sensations there that it feels that I can feel a demarcation, though I know I'm not supposed to be able to.
What do you see? Do you see your face? Do you see your head? Do you see anything at all there - any colours, shapes, or any movement? Looking into the place where others see your face, do you see colours or shapes there? What do you find?
Visually, I see frames of glasses, and a small blob of nose floating in the middle. But turned inward, there's nothing there. I'm only aware of whatever is approximately 180 degrees in front of me, with a vague impression of weighty darkness behind.
Get out of your head & feel.
I'm trying, though it's a tough week filled with social obligations and pre-surgery chores. It feels like the "self-mode" is turned all the way on for dealing with the all these interactions and duties.

Thanks very much,
-Todd


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