Ready to SEE?

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Anki
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Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:37 pm

Hi... If you are ready to be deeply honest, ready to look, look, look, then jump on in!
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:34 am

I'm ready.
Feeling a bit nervous like it's the first day of school all over again.
So, let it begin...

Jeff

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:14 pm

Hi Jeff. Welcome!

I was nervous, too, when I first posted here. Don't worry... it's not like school in the slightest... :) You don't have to perform, show how much you know, or pass any kind of testings. It's all about simple looking.

The core of what we'll do is I will point, you will look. I will ask questions about what you find. Pretty simple.

Can you make the commitment to answer with as big an honesty as you have? Will you also commit to posting at least once a day? If the answer here is double yes, then please tell me a bit about yourself, and your path thus far.

I look forward to working with you Jeff. This is high adventure, deep reward at its finest.

Lisa
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:48 am

Can you make the commitment to answer with as big an honesty as you have?
Absolutely
Will you also commit to posting at least once a day?
Whenever possible, yes. I occasionally spend weekends at a location without internet, otherwise I should be able to post daily.
tell me a bit about yourself, and your path thus far.
I suppose I could give a basic 'spiritual' evolution. There's not really a good place to start... I guess I'll begin in college. I went to the library to check out books on golf, and came across a book about the mind game aspect. In that book were mentions of self hypnosis. Looking into that led me eventually to come across 'Autobiography of a Yogi', by Yogananda, which totally captivated me. From there, I gained an interest in the new age movement, which was just in its infancy. Eventually lost interest in that and moved on to eastern religions, Buddhism in particular. I have spent an enormous amount of time reading books on these subjects, but could never get into any sort of practice. It just felt like a waste of time for some reason.

After leaving college, I decided that my life would be dedicated to my own spiritual growth. I spent every second of every day closely watching my mind and my body. Each time a 'negative' thought would arise, I would address it with love, thank it, and tell it that it wasn't need anymore and it could leave now. Each time a hint of bodily tension would arise, I would soften it with love. After a mere 2 weeks of this, my mind and body were immaculate. I experienced extreme clarity, accompanied by seemingly endless love and compassion. Everything in the world was suddenly ALIVE! and I loved every aspect of it. I saw that everything is literally perfect. Despite my aversion to any sort of 'practice', I found myself sometimes sitting motionless in silence for hours, just basking in the immense 'buzz of life'. Sometimes I would stare at a leaf for a little bit of timelessness, and be in complete awe. This state persisted for a few months, and I was convinced that it was permanent. Ha!

Eventually, 'real life' came calling. Get a job. Get a house. These things did not affect me in the least. However, when I was threatened with the loss of the job if I didn't pick up the pace (it's hard to move fast when everything is so captivating), the clarity of mind began to fade as I worried about how I would pay my bills, and paid more attention to doing my job than to attending to my body and mind.

Jumping forward about a decade, I met a lady that totally knocked my socks off...real life love at first sight...craziness...literally felt like something exploded inside of me, leaving me dazed. That whole deal, along with another crazy love thing with a different lady, really woke me up like a bucket of ice cold water on the head. And tore me down, too. Major dose of 'So you think you're in control of your life, huh?, LOL!'

Current state... Resigned to the fact that I have no control over life. BIG feeling of acceptance towards whatever life brings. Much patience. Totally lost interest in pop culture...no TV, no radio, no newspaper.
I have no doubt that I am not my mind. A drastic shift in thought patterns and personality over the years is enough to tell me that. Used to have a mind like a steel trap...never forgot anything. Now I'm very absent minded. No interest in remembering anything (I often carry around pen and paper to write things down so I don't need to remember them).
Anyways, that should be enough of the story telling.

It seems that something has not yet 'clicked'.
Let's see if it's time for the click to happen...

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:04 pm

What seems to be happening right now is that there is an understanding that the only thing preventing the experience of the perfection of life is thought/belief.
Despite this understanding, thought is here, and seems to be an obstacle in the way of the experience of the perfection of life.

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:51 pm

Thanks, Jeff... very clear and detailed! I have a good sense of where you are and that is helpful.

What are your expectations here? What is it that you imagine can or might happen in this process of looking, and in your life when you see there is no personal self? Again, fill me me fully... :)

Lisa
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:52 am

I was going to say that I don't have any expectations, only hopes, but I guess there's not really much difference. So...
Absence of expectations/hopes.
Absence of the desire to be 'better'.
Absence of judgment and of the fear of judgment.
A spacious mind.
A sense of ease.

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:47 pm

I'm a bit confused about your answer. Are you saying that these specific things are not present? but that they were?

Without making too much of it I'd like to know what your actual expectations are/have been. It's a good thing to get them out into the light for you to see clearly. With that in mind perhaps take another look.

Thanks!
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:38 pm

Sorry there was some confusion.
That was a list of things I imagine may happen if there is a realization that there is no personal self.
I expect there to be an absence of expectations, an absence of the desire to be 'better', and an absence of judgment and of the fear of judgment. I also expect a spacious mind and a sense of ease to be present.

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:52 pm

Ahh, OK... got it.
I expect there to be an absence of expectations, an absence of the desire to be 'better', and an absence of judgment and of the fear of judgment. I also expect a spacious mind and a sense of ease to be present.
These are to be set aside, Jeff. As well as any other expectations that might come up while we work together. There is literally no way to correctly anticipate what will or will not be present with the seeing of no self. And it is these very anticipation that can easily get in the way of the seeing. It's to your benefit to simply to be open... what will happen will happen. Agreed?

My first question is what is the 'I', the 'self', in your own experiencing?

Lisa
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:57 pm

Also... while we are working together it's best to simply focus on this process. To that end, books, videos, articles, etc. about spirituality, no-self, non-duality, etc, are better left alone. It's too easy to get confused here when information/guidance is also coming from other sources.

Agreed?
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:22 am

It's to your benefit to simply to be open... what will happen will happen. Agreed?
Also... while we are working together it's best to simply focus on this process. To that end, books, videos, articles, etc. about spirituality, no-self, non-duality, etc, are better left alone. It's too easy to get confused here when information/guidance is also coming from other sources.
Agreed?
Certainly.
what is the 'I', the 'self', in your own experiencing?
As I mentioned earlier, the idea that I am my personality is obviously inaccurate. The very word personality suggests a mask (persona). Even in my very early years it was recognized that I am not my personality. At a young age, there was a bit of confusion at the fact that most everyone seemed to believe they were their personality, and a bit of confusion about why people even had personalities.

I am not the body. Take away a leg, and I will still be here. There is the sense that even when the heart and the brain are gone, that I will remain. There is no fear of death, as it is sensed that death is only for the body.
There is, though, a definite attachment to the body. When the body hurts, it is processed as ‘I’ hurt. When the body is hungry, ‘I’ am hungry. So, there is identification with the body, for sure.

Though there is no doubt that I am not my emotions (actually, as I am in the middle of typing this, I am unsure of this statement.), there is a belief that I change according to which emotion is being experienced. When there is anger, ‘I’ am angry.
There seems to be a belief that I have a particular emotional disposition. I am patient, happy, easy going, and never angry. And there are certainly times when I ‘act’ this way even as feelings of sadness, hurt, or anger are being experienced.
I guess I can say that there is a belief that I am not my emotions. However, the fact that it is a ‘belief’ signifies that it is not known as a fact.

The mind seems to be the stickiest of them all.
When the body is in pain, the mind says ‘it’s okay, I am not my body’. When strong emotions are felt, the mind says ‘it’s okay, I am not my emotions’.
The mind seems to believe that it can control the body and the emotions, at least to some degree.
I seem to identify very strongly with the mind. I can pick out particular thoughts and recognize that I am not that thought. Somehow, there is still a belief that the combinations of thoughts in my head are me. There is an intellectual understanding that this is not the case, yet there is still identification with the mind. As I type this, I am thinking that I should be able to see through this nonsense, and I am also noticing that this is a thought, and laughing at the idea of thought seeing through itself. Still, there is confusion.

I can easily pick apart a lot of what is written above intellectually, but it accurately reflects my experience.

In conclusion, I know I am not the personality or the body, I believe I am not emotions or the mind, and I don’t seem able to in any way pinpoint what I actually am.

Jeff

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:57 am

Nice detailed answer. Good.

OK... you have thoughts and experiences that the self, the I, might be some things, and not others. Confusion is present. Good... confusion shows that you are not so deeply entrenched that you are not open to seeing.

Set aside all these ideas about what self is or isn't. Just take away your attention, leave them be. Through seeing what you think/feel about this we now know where you currently 'are' in regards to your ideas about the self. Great! Set them aside, as they are only 'ideas about', and let's continue.
I seem to identify very strongly with the mind. I can pick out particular thoughts and recognize that I am not that thought. Somehow, there is still a belief that the combinations of thoughts in my head are me.
This is a good place to explore. Thoughts are 'things', Jeff. They are like boxes that contain something... ideas, beliefs. All thoughts are equal, i.e., all of the boxes that hold ideas and beliefs are the same 'thing'... containers. Each holds a different content, that's all. So, thoughts themselves are all the same... content, different. This is key.

Time to look at something: Where do thoughts come from? Take a look, use your direct experiencing... put attention and look: thoughts arise, stay for a length of time, then dissipate. From where, exactly, do they come? Where do they go? How does this happen?

Just sit quietly for this exercise, Jeff. Watch them. Look closely. Take your time and then report back with your findings.
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.

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JeffJ
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby JeffJ » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:21 am

Thoughts seem to have a few causes.
Eternal stimuli experienced through the 5 senses seem to cause thought. A plane flies over my house and there is the thought "that plane sounds like it's flying awfully low". A bird chirps and thought stops for an instant. Then back to "that plane is still pretty loud." In this case, it seems that sound occurs first, and that thought follows it.
Sensations inside the body also seem to have a relationship with thought. There is tension in the neck. Thought says "I need to stop thinking about this stuff and just relax. I should take a hot shower to release the tension" It's difficult to pinpoint whether the feeling of tension causes the thoughts, or whether thought caused the feeling of tension. They both seem to appear in awareness simultaneously.

Some thoughts pass by almost unnoticed. Others seem to have a pull to them. The thought that "the breeze from the fan feels nice" almost slips by unnoticed. The thought that "I should stop eating so much" has a denser quality to it...it has pull. The lighter thoughts come and go very quickly. The heavier thoughts are almost magnetic, and seem to attract other thoughts. While the thought about the breeze from the fan is gone almost before it's noticed, the thought that I should stop eating so much seems to lead to other heavy thoughts. "I need to exercise more." "I don't really feel like it." "I don't know why I'm so lazy sometimes."

Memory also seems to be an element that impacts thought. As I was doing this exercise, the occasional thought would come up about times when I had done something similar in the past. Also, your instructions were fresh in my mind, so the thought kept arising that I shouldn't get pulled into the thinking, I should just watch the thinking process.

And now I suppose I should actually answer your question. Ha!
All thoughts seem to simply appear out of nowhere. There is no location from which they come. There is also no location to which they go. A thought is 'not here', then it is 'here', then it is 'not here'. There is no 'how'. It just happens...not here, here, not here. The same sequence repeats endlessly with different thoughts.

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Anki
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Re: Ready to SEE?

Postby Anki » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:42 am

Great. Yes, they come out of nowhere, disappear into nothing. Get solid in this by continuing to see it over and over again.

You list some 'causes' of thought. It often appears that a plane overhead would 'cause' a thought about that plane... but how often does one go overhead and you do not think of a plane? A car speeds by you on the highway... maybe a thought pops up and maybe it doesn't... if it does, why not every single time a car goes by? Take a close look here, Jeff... thoughts are not 'caused'... if that were true, they'd always be caused by the same stimulators. And obviously that doesn't happen.

Can you control thoughts?

Can a thought control anything?

Can a thought even do anything other than come in and go out?

What is a thought?

Keep watching them, look for answers to these questions about them, and get back to me.
Unleash yourself. Look, and look again. No self to unleash.


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