My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

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My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:53 am

Hi,
I have been doing Holosync meditation for many years now and my mental heath has improved. Depression is a thing of the past now and anxiety is much reduced however not eliminated. Although I am coping with stress better than in the past, it still triggers me into feelings of "I'm not enjoying this feeling and it surely means I'm a good way off liberation." I feel I know a lot on a theoretical level about liberation through the Centerpointe courses, but I can see that getting to mastery is a process. I do feel at times of low stress that I'm getting to see a bit more about reality (the one process of the universe) but if I'm slipping back to my old way of thinking about things in times of stress, then there is more to be done. I have been using the witness approach with some success in having thoughts and actions that do not serve me drop away. Do I just keep going with this process? With thanks Alan

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:45 am

Hi Alan,

Welcome to the Gate!

I'd gladly work with you here.

Before we start, I'd like you to agree to some basic *rules*:

- in order to create the right momentum, we'll try to post at least once a day (exceptions are always possible of course);
- we'll approach this not as a theoretical excercise, but as a living examination of your actual experience of life as it is right now.

That's it. If you agree, let's dive right into it, ok?
I feel I know a lot on a theoretical level about liberation
Ok, sure. As you write, you see that this is not the point. You can read as much books as you want, think about this as much as you want, yet there is no subsitute for the actual, radical, clear seeing of what is real and what isn't. Which is exactly what this forum was built for and exactly what we'll be working towards.

So, let's start by simply getting out into the open some of the expectations you may have about this. What is liberation, according to you? What do you suppose will happen?
I have been using the witness approach with some success in having thoughts and actions that do not serve me drop away. Do I just keep going with this process?
Although I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "the witness approach",fFor the sake of this investigation, please drop this approach for now. You can always pick it up later, if there's a witness left, that is...

But let's begin humbly at the beginning- your expectations...

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:42 pm

Hi Damon,
thanks for your time and willingness to help. I'll do my best to stick to the rules.
What is liberation, according to you? What do you suppose will happen?
I am hoping I will bring an end to feelings of anxiety. Today I have felt a bit anxious all day, resulting in reduced achievement and a lack of joy. Yesterday was fine, enjoyed the day, every thing went well. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm a little bipolar.
Another thing that comes to mind is my sensitivity to other peoples responses to me, negative judgement of me. I would expect liberation would result in the elimination of these difficult feelings. In general, if I was able to let what ever happens be ok, I guess that would be liberation for me.

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks for your honest reply.
I am hoping I will bring an end to feelings of anxiety. Today I have felt a bit anxious all day, resulting in reduced achievement and a lack of joy. Yesterday was fine, enjoyed the day, every thing went well. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm a little bipolar.
Another thing that comes to mind is my sensitivity to other peoples responses to me, negative judgement of me. I would expect liberation would result in the elimination of these difficult feelings. In general, if I was able to let what ever happens be ok, I guess that would be liberation for me.
Ok, it's great to have these expectations on the table right at the beginning, so we can deal with them straight away.

I'm going to be blunt here: what we refer to as *liberation* has literally NOTHING to do with the elimination of difficult feelings. Nothing at all.

That's not to say that something like that might not happen as a result of awakening from the illusion of separation, but in itself it has nothing to do with it.

What we refer to as liberation on this forum is simply the direct, deep and clear seeing of the non-dual nature of experience, which is the case regardless of the types of feelings or thoughts that are present.

The way in which we're going to approach this is actually quite simple.

Because it is so simple, it's incredibly difficult for some people.

The method simply is: I'm going to ask you various questions and you're invited to check in your direct experience right now for the answer.

The answers are not important, at all.

What's important is the checking in your direct experience part. The looking at reality.

This is all that matters.

Ok?

First question/excercise:

In your experience right now, as you sit (presumably) behind a computer screen, reading these words, where and how are YOU?

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:27 am

In your experience right now, as you sit (presumably) behind a computer screen, reading these words, where and how are YOU?
I am in my office feeling fine.

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:45 am

I am in my office feeling fine.
;-)

That's conventionally true, of course, yet I'd like to invite you to look deeper.

I'd like you to look at the totality of your experience right now.

Do you understand what I mean with that?

Where, in this totality of experience are YOU?

With "how are you" I wasn't inquiring into your sense of well-being, although it's great to hear you're feeling fine, I meant to ask "HOW are you"? In what sense ARE you?

So, to recap:

Where, how, in what way is there a YOU present in experience right now?

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:31 am

I'd like you to look at the totality of your experience right now.

Do you understand what I mean with that?

Where, in this totality of experience are YOU?
I have been spending a lot of time looking into these questions. I have awareness and this tends to confirm the existence of me. I have legal documents that confirm my existence however when I really want to put my finger on me, I'm not convinced of any answer I can give you that cannot have holes poked in it. I think about when I have been unconscious. I ask my self if that means that I no longer exist at that time. So I am now aware that what society regards as Alan is not the same Alan that is associated with my awareness. Then I look at the my in the last sentence. If I cannot you tell precisely where and who Alan is, then how can I claim the awareness referred to in the last sentence is mine? So you can see I am struggling to give you an answer that I can argue a case for. I have to also say that the process of looking at the question has at times involved confusion, frustration, and now that I write about it, a feeling of acceptance. I have spent some time thinking about personal accountability. It appears to confirm my existence, but now I am not so sure. If a group of people agree about something, that doesn't make it so. So this process has given me a bit of a headache, but it often happens when I'm learning, so I will just assume something is going on and trust your questions will continue to be difficult for me. I am a slow typist so my answers may be a bit cryptic. This is enough for now. Your time and effort is appreciated. Alan

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:45 am

I have been spending a lot of time looking into these questions.
I can tell by you answers below, which tell me you're doing exactly the correct type of examination! Awesome.

This type of questioning your own assumptions, not taking any thought or theory that pops up at face value, but looking deeper, further at everything is EXACTLY what these one-on-one conversations are designed to do. Just keep doing this. I'll poke you a bit every now and then to steer you in the right direction.
So this process has given me a bit of a headache, but it often happens when I'm learning, so I will just assume something is going on and trust your questions will continue to be difficult for me. I am a slow typist so my answers may be a bit cryptic.
Yes, I know from experience that this can be a bit frustrating, to the point of physical discomfort. That's all part of the process. Funny as this may sound, this is a good sign. It means you're on the right track. Don't worry about being slow, take all the time you need.

Let's take a look at some of your thoughts:

I have awareness and this tends to confirm the existence of me.
Wait! Stop.

Do you have awareness?

It may sound like a ridiculous question to ask, but really, stop for a moment and look at what's actually going on- what can actually be seen to be the case right now.

What is the YOU that HAS this awareness?

How does it actually work? Can you simply observe the way it is.

Describe awareness to me and how it confirms the existence of a me...
I have legal documents that confirm my existence however when I really want to put my finger on me, I'm not convinced of any answer I can give you that cannot have holes poked in it.


Haha. Well, that's my job- poking holes in conceptual bubbles.
I think about when I have been unconscious. I ask my self if that means that I no longer exist at that time. So I am now aware that what society regards as Alan is not the same Alan that is associated with my awareness. Then I look at the my in the last sentence. If I cannot you tell precisely where and who Alan is, then how can I claim the awareness referred to in the last sentence is mine? So you can see I am struggling to give you an answer that I can argue a case for. I have to also say that the process of looking at the question has at times involved confusion, frustration, and now that I write about it, a feeling of acceptance. I have spent some time thinking about personal accountability. It appears to confirm my existence, but now I am not so sure. If a group of people agree about something, that doesn't make it so.
Can you allow yourself not be so sure? Embrace that. That's an excellent starting point for genuine inquiry, and genuine discovery.

Now... what if I simply told you that there is no such thing as YOU? That there is no self, there never was a self? None as in zero, empty, absent?

What comes up when you consider that?

(Quick note: I'll be away from technology for most of Saturday and Sunday, just so you'll know...)

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:56 am

What is the YOU that HAS this awareness?

How does it actually work? Can you simply observe the way it is.

Describe awareness to me and how it confirms the existence of a me...
When I am conscious I have awareness and sometimes I have awareness while I am asleep. However since I am having trouble finding a solid definition of I, I now have to look at this awareness as having no owner. As fish live in water, perhaps humans live in awareness, type of logic.
I can see how it works to some extent. I have thoughts that often lead to feelings and actions. These thoughts feelings and actions need awareness to exist I would say. But sometimes I feel I am just aware for some time without a thought. This can happen in meditation or in normal operating mode. I am using the word I a lot because language requires it if I am to have you understand me. At the same time this "I" is becoming increasingly hard to put a finger on. However there is a strong convention in me to regard the awareness as mine. I am now (for the first time) looking at awareness as being a background, like the water to the fish.
I have been experimenting with the idea of "taking a ride through life in the driver-less car". For me it embodies the idea that everything will be fine with out me managing my life. So far it has been fun, I have had a lot of laughs at myself since it is just a whole lot easier to relax and let stuff happen rather than plan, effort and struggle my way through life. At the moment I don't really care how things turn out. I am just trusting it will be ok. It is the other side of the anxiety coin and a much preferred way to live! If there was a drug that could create this feeling, it would out sell all other drugs, and I'm not expecting a hangover! Regret about the past that has often been painful to look at has suddenly become an amusement. Even seeking, which has driven a lot of my choices in the past, now does not seem so important.
Now... what if I simply told you that there is no such thing as YOU? That there is no self, there never was a self? None as in zero, empty, absent?

What comes up when you consider that?

I have to say I am relieved at that idea. My life with me at the controls has been hard work, painful and scary at times. So if I am able to just sit back and watch rather than try to micro manage my life, I suspect it may work a lot better. Then there is the thought that I must hang onto this attitude... we don't want to slip back... but I can already see that is me try to manage again!
Time will only tell if the changes I have seen over the last few days last for more than a day or two. I have had times of euphoria before so will be watching the next days and weeks to see if this shift is lasting. It does feel different. Discovering a mistaken belief in the existence of Alan is a major shift. Looking for proof of the existence myself has been a very worth while exercise, and not that difficult to do. The process does create a different result compared with just being told you don't exist.
So I am looking forward to your next comments. I have a feeling I am done but if there is more, bring it on... I'm on a roll!
As always thanks for your efforts so far. It has been a blast!!!! Alan

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:41 pm

Hi Alan,

Thanks for that wonderful post. It's a pleasure to read it.
So I am looking forward to your next comments. I have a feeling I am done but if there is more, bring it on... I'm on a roll!
Yes, there is more. From what I can tell by reading your words, you're standing right at the threshold, so to speak. You've clearly seen the illusion of me-as-manager-of-life. There's one more step to take, yet there's no one to take it.

I'll point you to it. Just look. It's quite obvious, yet easy to miss.
These thoughts feelings and actions need awareness to exist I would say.
Can you spot the difference between awareness and thoughts, feelings and actions? Where is the dividing line, the separation? It may seem as if awareness is the space *in which* everything appears, but is this really true? Is there a separation between "awareness" and experience?
However there is a strong convention in me to regard the awareness as mine. I am now (for the first time) looking at awareness as being a background, like the water to the fish.
Sure there is, that's what we've been taught.
What if ALL identity is an assumption, a convention?

Right now, in the simple and direct experience of what is- is there a background and a foreground to experience?
Then there is the thought that I must hang onto this attitude... we don't want to slip back... but I can already see that is me try to manage again!
Is it even possible to manage anything?
Is there any actual managing happening other than the appearance of the thought "I'm trying to manage again"?

Has there EVER been anyone to manage life at all?

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:48 am

Can you spot the difference between awareness and thoughts, feelings and actions? Where is the dividing line, the separation? It may seem as if awareness is the space *in which* everything appears, but is this really true? Is there a separation between "awareness" and experience?
After some contemplation on this question I have to concede that my attempt to describe what is happening pulls me back into ownership of awareness, thoughts and actions. It highlights the unsuitability of the English language to assist in the process of seeing reality. So I can now see the unreality in trying to separate the awareness from the thoughts feelings and actions. I can see it is all the one process as is everything that comes into my awareness. It looks like taking ownership and trying to manage will be reoccurring intrusions from my thoughts.
Right now, in the simple and direct experience of what is- is there a background and a foreground to experience?
So there is a foreground and a background that I could describe to you, but what is the point? Our language operates by dividing every thing up into separate things. It can be useful sometimes to do this, but in this case the foreground and the background are parts of direct experience. I cannot now after looking again, see the need or the usefulness of trying to separate them. It looks like I will be living in one mythological world of separate things while all the time having to remind myself of its untruth. I think I can do it.
Is it even possible to manage anything?
Is there any actual managing happening other than the appearance of the thought "I'm trying to manage again"?

Has there EVER been anyone to manage life at all?
These are deep fundamental questions. While I know the "correct" answer, the honest looking has provided the value for me so far. I think I am at the point where I am willing to do my best to "get out of the way of life" and just let it happen. My interactions with the people around me may tempt me back into management, I suspect, but I will be watching with a bit more discernment....a question like "do I what to play this game" seems a good one to ask myself when I get back in the drivers seat.
Once again your questions have left me with a feeling like I have a G-clamp tightening on my head. I think it means new pathways in the brain, so I am fine with it. My euphoria from yesterday has come down to earth but I am smiling like a Cheshire cat inside, very happy with this process. Thanks again. Alan

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:19 am

After some contemplation on this question I have to concede that my attempt to describe what is happening pulls me back into ownership of awareness, thoughts and actions.
Really? How?
What is ownership of awareness, thoughts and actions?
How does it show up in your experience?
So there is a foreground and a background that I could describe to you, but what is the point? Our language operates by dividing every thing up into separate things.
Yes, our language is inherenty dualistic.
Experience, however, is not. Never.
but in this case the foreground and the background are parts of direct experience
Look closer.
Where is the foreground- where is the background? How and where are they separated?
It looks like I will be living in one mythological world of separate things while all the time having to remind myself of its untruth.
No, no- that's not it. That would simply mean constantly having to convince yourself of some non-dual theory.
Instead, look at what's actually the case right now!

Make it practical, down-to-earth: is it possible to experience the experiencer? In hearing sounds, is there a hearer? In smelling smells, is there a smeller? In tasting food, is there a taster? Etc. Test this out, exhaustively. What's the deal here?
My interactions with the people around me may tempt me back into management, I suspect, but I will be watching with a bit more discernment....a question like "do I what to play this game" seems a good one to ask myself when I get back in the drivers seat.
No, no!
First look at the fundamental assumption that there has ever been anyone in that drivers seat in the first place...

Examine, in memory, or in actual practice, should the opportunity arise, what actually happens in interactions with people. Describe the process of managing experience to me, the experience of being in the drivers seat.
Once again your questions have left me with a feeling like I have a G-clamp tightening on my head. I think it means new pathways in the brain, so I am fine with it. My euphoria from yesterday has come down to earth but I am smiling like a Cheshire cat inside, very happy with this process. Thanks again. Alan
You're welcome, Alan. Let's keep going. There's further to go...

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:06 am

What is ownership of awareness, thoughts and actions?
How does it show up in your experience?
Ownership is were I have described awareness, thoughts and actions as mine. But now as I consider I don't exist as a separate entity, I am looking at awareness, thoughts and actions, as just being experienced without an experiencer. Just happening.
Look closer.
Where is the foreground- where is the background? How and where are they separated?
Awareness appears to be the background that allows for experience, thoughts, actions. However there may be awareness without experience, thoughts and actions.
Make it practical, down-to-earth: is it possible to experience the experiencer? In hearing sounds, is there a hearer? In smelling smells, is there a smeller? In tasting food, is there a taster? Etc. Test this out, exhaustively. What's the deal here?
So it follows that there can be experiencing, smelling, tasting, etc without an experiencer, smeller, or taster. These things are just happening and do not need an experiencer.
First look at the fundamental assumption that there has ever been anyone in that drivers seat in the first place...
Once the unreality of me has been discovered, then this fundamental assumption is a natural consequence. Life is happening but no one is making it happen.
Examine, in memory, or in actual practice, should the opportunity arise, what actually happens in interactions with people. Describe the process of managing experience to me, the experience of being in the drivers seat.
In an interaction with other people, if an invitation is given, it appears that there is a decision to be made. It is the question of free will. If there is no me to receive the invitation, then there is no me to make a decision, even though a decision maybe made. It is the decision of the whole, not the separate mythological individual.
As always looking forward to your feedback. Many thanks Alan

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:35 am

Ownership is were I have described awareness, thoughts and actions as mine. But now as I consider I don't exist as a separate entity, I am looking at awareness, thoughts and actions, as just being experienced without an experiencer. Just happening.
So it follows that there can be experiencing, smelling, tasting, etc without an experiencer, smeller, or taster. These things are just happening and do not need an experiencer.
Is this actually seen to be the case, or is it deduction? Give me the honest answer...

The "So it follows..." suggests to me that at this point, it's just an idea.
Awareness appears to be the background that allows for experience, thoughts, actions. However there may be awareness without experience, thoughts and actions.
What is awareness? Where is it? Right now?

"Awareness without experience"

What do you mean? How do you know?
Can you elaborate?
Once the unreality of me has been discovered, then this fundamental assumption is a natural consequence. Life is happening but no one is making it happen.
If there is no me to receive the invitation, then there is no me to make a decision, even though a decision maybe made. It is the decision of the whole, not the separate mythological individual.
Yes, but IS IT ACTUALLY TRUE?
Is this seen to be the case?

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Re: My pattrens are irresistable. Please help

Postby alanrb1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:04 am

So it follows that there can be experiencing, smelling, tasting, etc without an experiencer, smeller, or taster. These things are just happening and do not need an experiencer.



Is this actually seen to be the case, or is it deduction? Give me the honest answer...

The "So it follows..." suggests to me that at this point, it's just an idea.
Yes Damon, I can not suggest that the "me" has suddenly disappeared. However I have my guard up now especially when there is any are apparent unpleasant issues like difficult feelings. However I just have not been able to get my teeth into any fears and have not been able to resist any outcomes I consider undesirable, for any length of time. So I'm just watching life unfold even though there is no one to watch. Paradoxical as it seems in language. Since this process began with you, I have noticed many subtle changes. I cannot be bothered pushing myself to do things I don't want to do. But everything is still happening; work, play, house hold chores (chopping wood, carrying water) Sorry, I could not resist.
What is awareness? Where is it? Right now?

"Awareness without experience"

What do you mean? How do you know?
Can you elaborate?

Awareness is a window into the goings on of it all. At presence as I write, awareness is on my computer screen and surroundings. "Awareness without experience" is seems to happen during meditation but maybe at other times too, when there is awareness but not of anything in particular, nothing or is it everything?
If there is no me to receive the invitation, then there is no me to make a decision, even though a decision maybe made. It is the decision of the whole, not the separate mythological individual.



Yes, but IS IT ACTUALLY TRUE?
Is this seen to be the case?
I don't think I am trying to mislead you, but then do I have doubts about where I am in regard to seeing the folly of "me". I do believe the attempt to define myself, in the initial exchanges, has created a shift. I do feel that I have slipped into river and are enjoying the ride down stream. However I have not been through the process before so cannot be absolutely sure I am not deluding myself just yet. However I suspect you are not about to give up on me, and will have another question or two. I much appreciate your time and commitment. Thanks again Alan


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