Looking for guidance

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:48 am

Hello, my name is William and I'm 26 years old.

I come here to ask if there is anyone who is willing to give some guidance.
So I'll give it a go..

My 'spiritual journey' began by having heard of Zen buddhism a about 4 years ago. I did a small course, but not having the slightest idea what it was all about back then. My main reason was to find relaxation and to try and give my mind some time off for a little while every day. My mind never seemed to take that invitation by the way, haha.

After having meditated daily for about a year I started to get more busy with my job and I decided to make 'better' use of those 20 minutes a day than to just sit there wasting my time and put everything in to work I could.
Without noticing I was starting to get stressed and getting moody and after about half a year I suddenly found myself not even enjoying what used to be the job of my life, my big passion. That's when I got a present from my girlfriend, a canvas with the words: "Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success". That knocked me out of the vicious circle of the dog chasing it's own tail. I started reading again (Eckhart Tolle books) but this time with a deeper interest. Soon I stumbled upon Non Duality while surfing the web and that rocked my world. I knew that I had found 'the truth' and the only thing still remaining was to make it my own.
I went through a big pile of books, some presenting hardcore advaita and some which take the individual by the hand to show him the way.

A couple of months ago I had an experience. I was watching tv and I had this clear feeling that I was aware of me sitting there on the couch watching tv, all the time. It was like I was unable to get 'sucked' in the movie, there was a space in between me and the person watching tv.
When the movie ended I went to meditate a bit before going to bed and during meditation it was very quite in the mind. When I stood up to go to bed I suddenly froze and there was just silence. I stood there for a few minutes completely empty, but in a way it felt very intense. I walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water but when I got there I felt like I had to sit down so I sat on the kitchen table and looked into the living room and everything was glowing red all the furniture, everything I looked at was connected and alive, glowing and moving subtly.
This took a few days to sink in but afterwards came a sort of a hangover from it because thoughts were coming back. It felt like i was 'losing my enlightenment' haha. But soon I could laugh about that again, it was an experience and I left it for what it was.

From then on my motivation shifted a little from a feeling of 'needing' to a deep curiosity for the truth.
I started having moments where I would just stop and look around and sincerely wonder: What the hell am I doing here, what is all this? It seems like an obvious question but whenever I deeply ask myself I feel a spark of unexplainable happiness going through my being. Looking upon the world in a completely abstract way, I just can't believe I completely took all this for granted all these years.

Throughout this process if have kept on meditating but I have begun to use those 25 minutes more to inquire my direct experience and questioning assumptions. This is also what I do throughout the day in whatever situation.
Questions I ask myself are for example (with eyes closed): Does what I am have a form, is it limited, is it touchable, are the sounds I hear playing at a distance or are they experienced immediately and in the same space as my bodily sensations. I investigate thoughts, not on the level of content, but more their substance, how it feels to have a thought, where it seems to arise.
With eyes closed everything feels more intimate. It I can't come to another conclusion than everything being equally close to my experience. But there are still questions arising that contradict this. For example, if I am not an individual then why am I just experiencing the sensations, thoughts, feelings of this particular body and not anyone else's?

Anyway, I guess this is starting to get a long story. Let's try this. I understand that thoughts come automatically like the beating of your heart and mostly it's thoughts on which you act upon so free will really is an illusion, there's nothing spiritual needed for that. But there is this deep rooted feeling of 'me'. The me that types this, moves the body, the me that tries to temper the mind etc.

What do 'I' do? I feel like being pulled apart. On one side there is the 'there's nothing to do, seeking is futile' team and on the other hand pulling there is the 'It takes a thorn to remove a thorn' team.

I hope there's someone who can make up something from this. If not, feel free to ask any question.

User avatar
odemira
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby odemira » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:47 pm

Hi William

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed forum, I am happy to guide you.

There are a few 'rules' here which help the process of seeing through the illusion of the self work better and faster:

1. Post here at least once per day, that keeps the momentum going.
2. I'll ask you questions that point you where to look, please look at each in depth and then answer each one.
3. Be 100% honest in your replies. I want you every time to tell me what you directly experience and not what you know.
4. While we're working together, can you stop watching satsangs, reading etc? It will be a hindrance rather than a help. More knowledge is not going to help here, come with a 'beginner's mind', ok?

Are you ok with these? If so, let's get started:
I understand that thoughts come automatically like the beating of your heart and mostly it's thoughts on which you act upon so free will really is an illusion, there's nothing spiritual needed for that.
Yes.
But there is this deep rooted feeling of 'me'. The me that types this, moves the body, the me that tries to temper the mind etc.
That's what we'll examine here, ok?
Because the truth is you do not exist as a separate self, you NEVER HAVE existed as a separate self'.

What do you notice happens in your body and mind as you hear that?

I want you to conduct some experiments, focused on each of your senses in turn. Spend some time noticing in great detail what happens, and post it here. You're looking to notice the sequence of what's happening in your brain - do you see something and then a thought arises? Or is the other way around? Or is something else happening? By looking, I mean observe as if you were conducting a scientific experiment on the subject of the body/mind of the man known as William. Watch what happens, notice how 'you' operate. OK?

Happy looking!
with love
Odemira

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:07 pm

Dear Odemira,

Thank you so much for answering. I'm excited to get started with you and I promise to stick to the rules.
I'm going to take on this experiment today and I will come back with the results later on.

You have my dedication.

Speak very soon! Love, W

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:33 pm

That's what we'll examine here, ok?
Because the truth is you do not exist as a separate self, you NEVER HAVE existed as a separate self'.

What do you notice happens in your body and mind as you hear that?
First thing what happened when I repeated this phrase a few times while walking around the house was a feeling of being stuck with an impossible equation and I just started giggling because I was trying to imagine this idea of having never existed and had no clue how to begin to imagine that.

As for how it feels in the body, it feels like their is a hole somewhere. The mind falls silent by reading that phrase.
It feel spacious.
Only after that, when thought comes back, there seems to be a reference point of there being someone.
There is a strong feeling though that there is a missing clue like a scientist working on a new theory and missing the final piece.


A question comes up then.
If I am not seperate, then why is my experience of life limited to this single organism, the bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings of that? Of course I am equally perceiving the world, through seeing and hearing and touching, but there seem to be other bodies walking around experiencing thoughts and feelings that I am unable to perceive and seeing the world from a different angle.


Here is what happens in the experiment:

I just went for a walk and most of the times action seemed to occur before I became aware of it and thought process started. Looking aside, grabbing my phone etc.
It seemed that while I was doing the experiment that every time I was a second too late with realizing that I was actually doing this experiment which again brought me to the conclusion that thought followed up on what I was doing.

What is also noticed is that the mind seems to stay very quiet as long as this inquiry is taking place. It's like thought overtakes for a moment and as soon as I remember I was doing an experiment, thought comes to a hold.

This feels like a game of hide and seek. Every time I look back it stays quiet.

I can't really conclude that thought could ever come before seeing though because there has never been no seeing in my remembrance and thoughts happen occasionally. This is not the case with taking action though. A lot of times thought takes place before taking action and this makes me feel like I'm in control because it seems as though I can consider things I'm about to do and then do this or that.

As for the senses. I don't really know why I would say that I am the one seeing and hearing because I wouldn't even know how to do that, it just happens. Pretty insightful for me while writing that last phrase down by the way.

With touching it feels different because for some reason I feel like there is someone who get's to choose what to touch and where to move the body, how hard to grab hold of something to feel it more intensely etc.

Also with emotions, it seems like a chain of actions which makes an emotion feel like it's mine. I feel responsible for this or that feeling because it is the consequence of this action I took.

I hope this gives you some info to go with. I have read so much but never got the chance to really express my personal experience so I might have to get used a little to find the words. Don't hesitate to be direct with me if I'm not doing what you're asking or if I'm straying from the subject.

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:45 am

In addition..

After typing this story the line that I wrote about seeing by absolutely effortless kept me busy..
I started to wonder, then what is it that makes me think there is a do-er?

Moving this body through the world does seem to take effort. Thinking does seem to take effort, it makes the body/mind tired. Working doesn't seem to go effortless. These actions feel like there is 'someone' needed to do it, or else this body would just be sitting here stationary. Being involved in taking action makes it feel so personal, makes 'me' feel responsible.

I keep catching myself chasing my own tail in our scientific experiment. I act, then remember that I was inquiring, then wonder if there was a thought before acting of after. But most of the times I'm not sure if there was a thought before the action.

Seeing, hearing, feeling.. Is forever, effortlessly.

User avatar
odemira
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby odemira » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:20 pm

Hi Wwilliam,
As for how it feels in the body, it feels like their is a hole somewhere. The mind falls silent by reading that phrase.It feel spacious.Only after that, when thought comes back, there seems to be a reference point of there being someone.
Great observations! Yes, 'you' only have ever existed as a 'reference point' in a thought. Let's examine how that works further.
action seemed to occur before I became aware of it and thought process started. ...brought me to the conclusion that thought followed up on what I was doing.
Yes you're right. Can you notice this in more detail? The aim of the experiment is not to quieten thought, but to notice the sequence of the process that is happening. What are the thoughts that arise? Let me know.
A lot of times thought takes place before taking action and this makes me feel like I'm in control because it seems as though I can consider things I'm about to do and then do this or that.
Is thinking also just another form of body action, a mental activity?
As for the senses. I don't really know why I would say that I am the one seeing and hearing because I wouldn't even know how to do that, it just happens. Pretty insightful for me while writing that last phrase down by the way.
Insightful indeed! So check out smelling and tasting too. Do they 'just happen'? What else in the body 'just happens'?
With touching it feels different because for some reason I feel like there is someone who get's to choose what to touch and where to move the body, how hard to grab hold of something to feel it more intensely etc.
So is there the activity of thinking happening before the activity of touching?
Are you the thoughts?
Also with emotions, it seems like a chain of actions which makes an emotion feel like it's mine. I feel responsible for this or that feeling because it is the consequence of this action I took.
This will become clear once these other points are clear to you.
I have read so much but never got the chance to really express my personal experience so I might have to get used a little to find the words. Don't hesitate to be direct with me if I'm not doing what you're asking or if I'm straying from the subject.
You're doing just fine, William. The more you can observe how 'you' operate, what is being directly experienced, the simpler this will all be.

Happy looking!
with love
Odemira

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:14 pm

Yes you're right. Can you notice this in more detail? The aim of the experiment is not to quieten thought, but to notice the sequence of the process that is happening. What are the thoughts that arise? Let me know.
A thought comes up and then is claimed to be 'my' thought. this triggers and emotion which then also is claimed to be 'mine'.

here's a short story with a lot of I involved, I feel like I have to share this
I'm a musician and one of my pitfalls is that my moods depend a lot on how inspired I am in the studio.
When nothing comes out I get anxious and afraid that I have lost it. Then I start trying to avoid getting back to making music to not having to confront myself with this anxiety. It feels so weird to write this down by the way. It's like I'm listening to somebody else's story. I guess I have been trying to hide this from myself.

This morning I promised myself to make long haul at the studio writing music but nothing came out. I felt all the energy draining out of my body and I felt like a failure.

I grabbed my bike and on the way home I started examining what was going on.

There was no physical pain, just a lack of energy, heavy body.
There were all kinds of stories going on in the mind, especially about the future and about something being wrong with me and a feeling of guilt.

Although as soon as the examining began, this all started to feel less personal and less intense.

To get back to your question:

First a thought comes up and then it's bought. A reaction in the body follows and strengthens and confirms the thought.

Thoughts seem to be a sort of veil hanging between the seeing and the world. Sometimes there's a breeze and the veil disappears out of sight for a moment.
It's a subtle energy that draws a lot of attention. It's automatic. Thoughts are mostly stories so I guess a lot of thoughts consist of words?

Is thinking also just another form of body action, a mental activity?
Yes, absolutely. But still, it feels like there is something that is pulling the strings. The one that examines processes going on in the body, that can grab hold of thoughts or let them flow.

Insightful indeed! So check out smelling and tasting too. Do they 'just happen'? What else in the body 'just happens'?
Thoughts just happen, emotions happen, bodily sensations happen. But still moving seems to take an effort from someone who is willing to move this body or not. It also feels this way with contemplating. Choosing. There are for example 2 thoughts. Go left or go right. It feels like the same one that examines these thoughts and does the experiments, is making a choice between these 2 thoughts.

S
o is there the activity of thinking happening before the activity of touching?
Are you the thoughts?
No, touching comes first and then a very subtle thought that says that I touch.
And no I am not the thoughts, the thoughts are appearing in me but there is the idea of someone sitting behind, choosing how to act upon those thoughts.

User avatar
odemira
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby odemira » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi William,

Great observing! You've clearly noticed the automatic "thinking > emotion > thinking > emotion etc etc" continual process that is just what happens.
There were all kinds of stories going on in the mind, especially about the future and about something being wrong with me and a feeling of guilt.
Although as soon as the examining began, this all started to feel less personal and less intense.
Yes, you've noticed how that process creates the 'story of William'.
A thought comes up and then is claimed to be 'my' thought. this triggers and emotion which then also is claimed to be 'mine'.
Yes, this is what happens, but can 'you' own a thought?
First a thought comes up and then it's bought. A reaction in the body follows and strengthens and confirms the thought.
Yes, this is what happens, but can 'you' buy a thought?

This will become clear as you investigate further. You're doing just great so far.
But still moving seems to take an effort from someone who is willing to move this body or not. It also feels this way with contemplating. Choosing. There are for example 2 thoughts. Go left or go right. It feels like the same one that examines these thoughts and does the experiments, is making a choice between these 2 thoughts.
There's one common process going on in each of these examples, which once you've seen it, will make this all clear.
What I want you to do is this observation:

Close your eyes, then after a few moments, open them and look around wherever you are. You've already noticed that seeing and thinking are happening automatically. Notice what thoughts come up as you look at the objects around you. What is your mind doing after seeing happens? Repeat this experiment until you are clear on what the mind does.

Happy looking!
with love
Odemira

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Yes, this is what happens, but can 'you' own a thought?
Well actually ownership seems nothing more than a thought too, because the thought comes and leaves when it wants to and I find no vault here with a collection of gathered thoughts.

I don't really know how to own anything. Owning is a thought. I don't know what it would look like to own. Or how to do it.
And if the thought is not owned, and not what i am, I can only come to the conclusion that there is attention, drawn to it.

Gosh this is really getting interesting. In some way this conversation seems to work more with my personal experience than the books I read. It's clear now that I was trying to mimic the writer's experience instead of being honest with my current experience.
Yes, this is what happens, but can 'you' buy a thought?
The 'I' part in the thought is a part of the sentence the thought is telling. So thoughts are selling themselves as 'I thoughts' and they seem draw a lot of attention.


This is so weird it's dead ends everywhere, but let's just keep looking deeper and deeper.

Please be direct with me if you think I'm not being completely open or honest about anything.

Going to take on your observation exercise some more and will be back with the results.

Thank you Odemira

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Close your eyes, then after a few moments, open them and look around wherever you are. You've already noticed that seeing and thinking are happening automatically. Notice what thoughts come up as you look at the objects around you. What is your mind doing after seeing happens? Repeat this experiment until you are clear on what the mind does.
As soon as the eyes are opened it looks for a reference point. Seeing is attracted to certain objects in the room while looking around.
My mind has a name for every object. It starts wondering what this room would look like if it couldn't define those objects. Would it still look like everything is divided? It also says that everything in this room is mine, therefor it feels like a trusty environment.

Once it has put everything in to place my mind is ready to wonder off again.

There is a clear contradiction going on between the process going on in my mind throughout the day and the conclusions I come to when I stop for a moment and look more accurate.
I it's an old computer that needs to be reprogrammed. Still a lot of errors.

It's so... I can't figure out who's this one conducting the experiment. It's like there should be a word for this wordless feeling of being in control. Everything points to the fact that there is no one pulling the strings but something in me is still convinced that there is a responsible one. Is it just a belief? Or is it a also a sensation?

The one that feels the emotions of this body and not Odemira's. It makes it so personal.

User avatar
odemira
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby odemira » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:56 pm

Hi William

Glad you're finding this interesting. Yes, your direct experiencing will give you clarity.
Well actually ownership seems nothing more than a thought too, because the thought comes and leaves when it wants to and I find no vault here with a collection of gathered thoughts.
I don't really know how to own anything. Owning is a thought. I don't know what it would look like to own. Or how to do it.
Yes, exactly. 'You' can't own a thought.
So can you own the body?
If you look at a cup on the desk, do you 'own' that cup?
The 'I' part in the thought is a part of the sentence the thought is telling.
Yes, it is a word in a sentence, but can you actually find the 'I' that the thought is telling about?

As soon as the eyes are opened it looks for a reference point. Seeing is attracted to certain objects in the room while looking around.
My mind has a name for every object. It starts wondering what this room would look like if it couldn't define those objects. Would it still look like everything is divided? It also says that everything in this room is mine, therefor it feels like a trusty environment. Once it has put everything in to place my mind is ready to wonder off again.
Great observation, William. The mind is designed to work out what objects are and to give them a label, a name. If they already have been identified, then there's no need for any thought of a name to be given. And when they're not recognised, the questions and thoughts automatically begin.

Recognising this process of "sensory input > thought (labelling)" is key, so please repeat the experiment with your hearing. Repeat it lots of times throughout the day. Notice what happens, and write it down step by step, ok?
I can't figure out who's this one conducting the experiment. It's like there should be a word for this wordless feeling of being in control. Everything points to the fact that there is no one pulling the strings but something in me is still convinced that there is a responsible one. Is it just a belief? Or is it a also a sensation?
If you repeat the experiments, you'll gain the clarity to answer these questions. Keep looking!

with love
Odemira

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:29 pm

Glad you're finding this interesting. Yes, your direct experiencing will give you clarity.
Well interesting is kind of an understatement, just to make that clear. It is everything. All I can wish for, for the truth to reveal itself.
I'm willing to engage as intense and deep as needed for that. So, Odemira, put your money on my and take my hand. :)

Yes, exactly. 'You' can't own a thought.
So can you own the body?
If you look at a cup on the desk, do you 'own' that cup?
The cup or any other object could never be owned. Owning doesn't exist. It is something made up by the mind. Something the mind identifies with. This is very clear to me.

Then the body, I wouldn't say I own this body. Once again I don't know how to own. What might be a better description is that I feel 'trapped' in this body. I don't know how on earth this body was created or what it really is and I must say that idea makes me feel more humble towards it, as to this cup, and the rest of the world.

It's a big mystery and pretending to know/own something might be a way for the mind to feel more comfortable by pretending it understands. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Yes, it is a word in a sentence, but can you actually find the 'I' that the thought is telling about?
No, I can't find it. I think the fact that I exclusively experience the thoughts, bodily sensations and feelings of this body, makes me feel responsible for it and makes me feel separate.
I don't know who is the I that is experiencing this, but I can state that I am aware of this happening as the subject.
Recognising this process of "sensory input > thought (labelling)" is key, so please repeat the experiment with your hearing. Repeat it lots of times throughout the day. Notice what happens, and write it down step by step, ok?
I definitely feel like I can get more out of this experiment so I will continue doing it and hope to get back more results, tomorrow.

Thanks so much Odemira, speak tomorrow!

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:09 am

Something funny happened yesterday night when I was lying in bed.
My mind suddenly saw a complete logic in the person 'William' being a story, a brain construct built of memories and it all of a sudden it seemed funny to think that there would be anything other than that living in this body.
I'm going to go through this day and see how everything goes and keep you posted. I'll also take on your hearing experiment.

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:52 am

Eyes closed.
All background sounds are perfectly woven into each other. The mind distinguishes them. It picks one, imagines the distance, direction and labels it. Then goes on to something else. This happens in a split second, just like with seeing.
Hearing seems more transparent and is therefor easier to recognize as just being split up by the mind, but in fact being a single event, constantly presenting itself in many different ways.

Sound of a car.. The mind has calculated it's distance, but I can't find the distance between me and the hearing of this sound.

to be continued..

User avatar
Spacefrog
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby Spacefrog » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:43 am

Little update.

It all feels like a big joke at the moment. There is nothing the mind is goin to find except itself making up a story. What can I even say right now. It's just the mind talking aswell, another funny story.
Let's clean out the whole closet it says. Let's confirm again and again that there is no William hiding there.

It feels like a burdain falling off my shoulders, but I must admit that there is a slight fear that William could come back in and pull me in the closet.


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests