Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:00 pm

Hi Sandra,
the intention behind the name 'Liberation Unleashed' could be implying the liberty to feel it all, the good and the bad also, knowing that this is it, simply because it is what is here, happening now. A gradual saying yes to life as it is happening at the moment, instead of trying to escape what is going on by seeking something else.

It's a liberation from the belief that you are a self separate from life, a seeing that you are not what you though you were, that can open the space for further exploration and living life in a lighter way, and a progressive dropping of other beliefs.
Yes this is my understanding of it too. This is what I hope to feel after seeing through the absence of a self - it is not to chase after good feelings, but to be able to be with all feelings and experiences, all the good and bad. It is my hope that after the inquiry, whenever uncomfortable feeling arises I can just be with them and not try to run away like I used to do.
Before realizing a self is an illusion, getting stuck in stories about a self would happen all the time, why should this be different after?
Well the difference is I didn't do the inquiry before. Now that I've done the inquiry and am supposedly able to see the absence of a self, I would not get stuck in self-stories anymore. But I'm still stuck so I haven't quite seen it 100% yet.

The area that is most sticky for me would probably be around what other people think of 'me', and that it almost feels like 'my' survival is hinged on it.
What happens when you remember to look? Can you see a real self isn't here? Is looking to what is here and noticing what is here and what isn't here something difficult to do, when you remember to do it? When you see that a self isn't here, do you realize this seeing is a fact? Or do you still believe a you must exist somewhere?
I almost always forgot to look whenever I'm at work and these uncomfortable feeling arise. When I'm writing to you like this, or when I'm alone, I'm more quiet and reflective, it's easier to see the absence of a self. But when many other people are around, things happen so fast, in a flurry, it's almost too quick and too overwhelming, and the feeling/thought automatically kicks in, I fall straight into the illusion again. Then I forget to look, or even when I look, the illusion still feels very persistent.

There's so much going on in the brain tonight!

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:10 pm

Hi Emily!

What i get by reading your post (thank you for your honesty!) is this:

- a expectation to "to be able to be with all feelings and experiences, all the good and bad"
- a expectation to "whenever uncomfortable feeling arises I can just be with them and not try to run away like I used to do"
- a expectation to "not get stuck in self-stories anymore"
- a expectation to be able to be in a permanent state of looking, even when "uncomfortable feeling arise"
- a expectation to not get caught in the illusion ever again

Can you notice these expectations also?

It seems to me that you are putting the cart before the horse. Imagine a little kid that has just realized Santa Claus isn't real but, because Christmas doesn't stop happening, keeps thinking Santa has to be real. It still thinks that as long as there is Christmas there must be a Santa and that's the only possible explanation why there are gifts under the tree, and movies about Santa and all the Christmas apparatus on the streets, at tv and in the stores. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you? Crossing the gate is a beginning, not a means to reach an end. You may still have to deal with what makes you uncomfortable even when you know a separate self is an illusion.

Consider the possibility that all that you are expecting to change is happening because there isn't a self that can control what is going on and go against what is already the case. Instead of expecting results, notice instead - looking to what is HERE NOW - if a real self can be found. Uncomfortable feelings happen, feeling like a self happens, self-stories happen. Are these symptoms of the illusion or are they proofs that there is a self they are happening to? This is what you need to find out for yourself. And you are doing great, Emily! So, keep digging. Here are some questions you may try answering while exploring what is going on:

Are the thoughts and expectations and resistance and sensations, that seem to imply the existence of a you, more than a habitual way of relating with what seems to be an outside reality? Do they have the power to make a you real? If you think they do, is this thought real or part of the illusion also? What is believing all these thoughts? Can a thought proof the reality of another thought? Is the thought I pointing to something real? Or, like the thought unicorn, it points to something that isn't here?

If you compare the thoughts about a uncomfortable you with what can be perceived, does perception match thinking? Is it possible to find a me, using the senses? Can you see, touch, smell, hear, taste a you? Unconformable or not?

Have a look. Can you see a you?

Take care,
S

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:37 am

Hi Sandra,

There was a lot of reflection in the last couple of days. Here are some realizations:

- All thoughts are neutral. There is no one thought that is more true than the other.
e.g. The thought 'I should check email now' is not any truer or less true than the thought 'I should go to bed now.'
or the thought 'I'm not messed up' is not any truer or less true than the thought 'I'm messed up.'

It suddenly occurs that all thoughts are neutral and cannot be used to validate or point to a truth.

If we want to find out the truth, we cannot use thoughts, or the intellect, or analysis which is based on concepts and thoughts. One thought does not prove the existence of another thought. Just because there is a thought about something (e.g. pink elephant) does not mean that thing is real or that it exists.

So the thought 'There is no I' cannot be proven to be truer or less true than the thought 'There is an I' using intellectual analysis. To find out, we have to use other methods.

Hence, now I understand why we've been using the 'direct looking' method, looking to what's here, what can be observed in direct experience, versus guessing, conceptualizing, hypothesizing.

- However, I am unsure if 'direct looking' alone is sufficient to prove the absence of a self. Just because something cannot be observed, does it mean it does not exist?

I understand this in the case of the equator and of Santa Claus. We look everywhere, but we cannot find the equator line, or a real Santa. So they don't exist.

But what about this... 'Thoughts happen in plants.' Do plants think? Do thoughts happen in a plant body the way thoughts happen in a human body? Who knows? This is not something that can be observed, tasted, smelled, seen, heard... Who can tell whether there is a presence or absence of thoughts in plants? Just because we can't see it, does it mean it doesn't exist?

Now to answer your questions:
What i get by reading your post (thank you for your honesty!) is this:

- a expectation to "to be able to be with all feelings and experiences, all the good and bad"
- a expectation to "whenever uncomfortable feeling arises I can just be with them and not try to run away like I used to do"
- a expectation to "not get stuck in self-stories anymore"
- a expectation to be able to be in a permanent state of looking, even when "uncomfortable feeling arise"
- a expectation to not get caught in the illusion ever again

Can you notice these expectations also?
Yes, these are expectations. Spot on.
It seems to me that you are putting the cart before the horse. Imagine a little kid that has just realized Santa Claus isn't real but, because Christmas doesn't stop happening, keeps thinking Santa has to be real. It still thinks that as long as there is Christmas there must be a Santa and that's the only possible explanation why there are gifts under the tree, and movies about Santa and all the Christmas apparatus on the streets, at tv and in the stores. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?
No, I'm not sure if I totally understand what you're trying to say with this analogy...Perhaps you're saying that, even though something is already known to be an illusion (e.g. Santa), the world's still going around functioning as if that thing is real (gifts under the tree, movies, street decorations, etc.). So it can be misleading?

But I don't understand what you mean by putting the cart before the horse. What is the cart and what is the horse, in this case?

-
Consider the possibility that all that you are expecting to change is happening because there isn't a self that can control what is going on and go against what is already the case.
Yeah this really hits home! Yes, all that's happening is happening because what's going on cannot be controlled and gone against. Yes this totally resonates with me.
BUT this doesn't prove the absence of a self.
There might still be a 'self' that has no control. A 'self' that has no influence or control over what's already happening.

I'd really like to hear your explanation on this... because half of it totally resonates, just the other half still doesn't gel.

-
Uncomfortable feelings happen, feeling like a self happens, self-stories happen. Are these symptoms of the illusion or are they proofs that there is a self they are happening to?
Feelings like there is a self and self-stories are symptoms of the thought that there is a self. They are not proofs that there is a self.
Are the thoughts and expectations and resistance and sensations, that seem to imply the existence of a you, more than a habitual way of relating with what seems to be an outside reality? Do they have the power to make a you real? If you think they do, is this thought real or part of the illusion also? What is believing all these thoughts? Can a thought proof the reality of another thought? Is the thought I pointing to something real? Or, like the thought unicorn, it points to something that isn't here?
Thoughts, feelings, sensations, resistance, expectations, etc. they are all just what's happening. They don't imply the existence of an I. They don't necessarily happen to anyone. They just happen. A thought about an "I" doesn't make an "I" real.

As mentioned above, a thought cannot prove the reality of another thought, it cannot validate the existence of anything.
If you compare the thoughts about a uncomfortable you with what can be perceived, does perception match thinking? Is it possible to find a me, using the senses? Can you see, touch, smell, hear, taste a you?
Thought: "I feel so uncomfortable."
What can be observed using the senses: feelings of discomfort happen in the body, heart beating faster, stomach contracts, tension in the upper chest.

Will report more later... thanks Sandra.

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:41 pm

Hi Emily,
But I don't understand what you mean by putting the cart before the horse. What is the cart and what is the horse, in this case?
I was trying to say that relying on something that you think should happen, but isn't happening, to arrive to the reasoning that you aren't already seeing things as they are, is putting the cart before the horse.
BUT this doesn't prove the absence of a self.
There might still be a 'self' that has no control. A 'self' that has no influence or control over what's already happening.
Look to something that happens in your day that makes you think there is a self that has influence or control

or

look to something that happens in your day that makes you think there isn't a self that has influence or control

and give me the reasons why you think a real self is a part of that experience.

Take care,
S

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi Sandra!

I was away for an overseas trip for a few days. Back now!
Look to something that happens in your day that makes you think there is a self that has influence or control

or

look to something that happens in your day that makes you think there isn't a self that has influence or control

and give me the reasons why you think a real self is a part of that experience.
I'm not entirely sure what a 'real self' is, exactly. It wasn't very helpful for the inquiry. So, instead, I went about looking for a separate entity. Through observation, there is no separate entity. Things/objects/beings/bodies/plants/animals etc. they look distinct but they are always somehow connected. There is no entity that is completely separate or independent, stand-alone, cut-off from another.

At this point, the inquiry looks pretty clear: There is no separate entity.

And I feel complete, I don't find that anything is missing or there's anything I'm not seeing. It looks pretty simple.

Thanks Sandra!

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:03 pm

Welcome back! Language can have a huge role in this exploration. It's wonderful Emily the way you found what seemed to be keeping you stuck and dealt with it.
And I feel complete, I don't find that anything is missing or there's anything I'm not seeing. It looks pretty simple.
Yes, it is simple. I'm so happy for you.

Here are LU standard final questions. Have a go with them, so that we can see if there is still something that needs to be looked at. You don't need to answer them all in one post, its okay if you do one or two at a time.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was crucial in making you look and really see ?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:27 pm

Hi Sandra!

What a joy and pleasure to be able to reflect on these final questions...
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There is no separate entity - self, me, I - at all, anywhere, in any way, shape, or form. There has never been and will never be.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
From my own experience: The illusion of a separate self is the illusion that there is someone inside the body, totally separate from everything outside, who is experiencing life, who has thoughts and feelings, who makes decisions, who is the subject of experiences and sensations.

It probably started sometime soon after birth through language and through conditioning from parents/teachers. 'Wear your shoes.' 'Put on your clothes.' 'Don't take your friend's toys!' --> these instructions give rise to a false concept that the shoes or clothes or toys belong to a separate someone.

How I see it now: Sensations happen. Thoughts and feelings happen. Awareness arises, moment by moment by moment. These phenomena happen spontaneously, seamlessly, without the presence of someone actively making them happen. Thoughts arise and instantaneously there is awareness of thoughts. There is no one, nothing, no 'self' or 'entity' who is the subject of that experience.

"I" is the content of thought. This thought doesn't point to something real, just like the though of a pink elephant. Just because "I" exists as the content of thought, that doesn't mean it really exists.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It doesn't feel any particularly different. It's not like a moment of white light and angels appearing from the heavens singing =) Life goes on as usual, but life feels more real. I cannot quite remember what life looked like before I started this dialogue, but what life looks like right now is that this is what's happening: people moving about, bodies moving around, movements, thoughts, feelings, sensations happen, Life is happening as a whole, Life/reality seems like one whole big organism moving all at once. Reality is seen for what it is. There is no subject observing/witnessing/watching this reality. The observing/watching/witnessing is happening as part of Life/this reality. It's all one whole 'thing'. Reality is the WHOLE thing happening.
4) What was crucial in making you look and really see ?
Observing nature was crucial in looking and seeing what's here. Observation: there is a flock of geese flying across the sky. There is a herd of bison moving across the plains. A wolf is chasing a deer. A squirrel eats a nut and runs away from a snake. Leaves flutter on tree branches. There seem to be many distinct organisms and creatures, but there is an absence of a separate entity in the whole scene. There is no 'one' or no 'thing' or 'entity' that is a cut off, separate, stand-alone entity existing in this.
Enters the human body/bodies. Again, this makes no difference. The human body is also part of this one big, whole 'reality'.

The illusion of a separate self seems to persist when one sits in a room alone and takes the content of thoughts at face value. Content of thoughts seem to indicate that there is a separate I. In fact, it reasserts itself at almost every other sentence. It claims to be the subject of all experiences e.g. I am hungry. I need to pee. I feel afraid... when in fact there is only a sensation of in the stomach, the bladder, the belly or the chest.

Being in nature, watching life and watching reality really help seeing things for what it is.

Thanks Sandra... I will write more for the other questions tomorrow.

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:43 pm

Ah, thank you... Looking forward to your other answers!

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:36 pm

Hi Sandra!

Continuing with the answers...
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Nothing/no one makes things happen. Things just happen.
There is no "I" to be responsible for anything.

Decision: decisions are in fact just thoughts. There is no "I" to make a decision. e.g. Thought: "I don't know where to go for lunch." Thought: "Sushi? Vietnamese food? Vegan food? or rice box?" Thought: "I need to decide soon." Thought: "Maybe not Vietnamese food today, omg, look at that, so expensive, okay, pass." Thought: "Ah, vegan buffet, okay I think that's a good idea."
So the thoughts may seem to show that there is an "I" in there making the decision, weighing up options, deliberating... However, in actual fact, there are just thoughts after thoughts after thoughts... "I" is just content of another thought.

Intention: Intentions are also thoughts... thoughts that arise. There is no "I" that intend. e.g. Thought: "I will go to bed early tonight." Thought: "I've been going to bed late many nights in a row, it's good to go to bed early for once. I can wake up fresh tomorrow." What happens is... maybe going to bed happens early... maybe going to bed happens late. Intentions do not guarantee that things happen according to that intention.

Free will: There is no individual free will (as there's no separate individual!), other than what's actually happening. e.g. Thought arises, "I choose to feel happy now. I choose to feel happy now." However, in actual fact, the feeling of happiness may arise or not. It does not follow the previous thought.

Choice: choice is an illusion. There is no "I" to make the choice, no "I" with a free 'personal' will to choose. e.g. Given a choice of eating at home or eating out. The choice of eating out arises as a thought "Okay let's eat out tonight" but that thought arises spontaneously. Another example... given a choice of vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream. 'Personal' preference is vanilla ice cream. So, thought arises, 'Vanilla!' But, in actual fact, who/what gives rise to that 'personal' preference to begin with? It just exists... somehow, spontaneously. There was no 'one' in there deciding to prefer vanilla over chocolate.

Control: It looks like there is no separate entity in life, all is connected and inter-related. Therefore, there is no clear boundary between one thing and other things, so they can influence one another. e.g. directions of the wind blowing influence where the leaves fall. The weather influences what people order for dinner. A suggestion may kickstart a project in the company. However, there is no total control. Total control does not exist. Life is just happening as a whole. Thoughts and feelings pop up, no one/nothing can control the form of them.

There is nothing to be responsible for. Nothing can be controlled. No decision to be made. Life just happens.
6) Anything to add?
Previously, it seems like there's an "I" in here - a separate entity - feeling and perceiving a reality out there.

e.g. the rain outside makes 'me' feel cold. "I" am in here feeling the cold 'out there.'

After this inquiry, it looks like the feeling of cold is part of life too. It is not something being experienced by a separate subject. The feeling/sensing/perceiving is happening as part of Life. Life/Reality is this one big whole 'thing' happening right now, the feeling/sensing/perceiving is part of it. There is no inside/outside. e.g. feeling cold is happening, and feeling cold is part of life. Feeling cold is life happening.

There is no 'one' that Life is happening to. Life is just happening.

The past few days - life remains the same. But once in a while, in the midst of all the commotion, suddenly there is realization: ah, this is all ONE thing happening all at once... all bodies moving, thoughts arising, feelings occurring... all as one collective. No separate entity, no inside or outside. There is a feeling of lightness and relief... nothing to do, to resist, to guard or protect against. Less controlling!

Thank you Sandra! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:32 pm

Hi Emily,

After reading your great answers I don't feel the pull to ask you any more questions. Yay! :) I've asked the other guides to read this conversation and will post here if there is something they would like to ask you or when I'm sure they are also happy with the clarity of your replies.

Take care,
S

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:19 am

Hi Emily,

The other guides did not feel it was necessary to ask more questions, so welcome to the other side of the gateless gate!
One of the administrators is going to send you a welcome message and some useful information and, if you want to, you can join the LU Facebook groups.

It was a pleasure being your guide!

Take care,
S

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:54 pm

Hi Sandra!

Thank you for your guidance. I haven't received anything from the admin yet, I'll look out for it. Where is the LU FB group? There's one on FB that I've found but it says the group is closing and moving to the forum.

Thank you again!

Emily

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Canfora
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby Canfora » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:16 pm

Hi Emily,

I suppose that you are going to receive something from adm. today or tomorrow. The FB groups are secret. One of the adm. will ask you what is your FB profile and add you to LU Aftercare. I'll say hi when I see you there.

Hug,
S

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emilyn
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Re: Requesting guidance to break through separation anxiety and overworking tendency

Postby emilyn » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi Sandra!

I've just joined the LU Aftercare FB group. My name there is Emily Nature's.

Hope to see you there too!

Love,
Emily


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