Request for Guide

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kenbok
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Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:00 pm

Hello, I'd like to request for a guide. I posted an intro in 'home' and already have had some realisations but very happy (and wanting) to be questioned about things. Ken

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:24 pm

Hello Ken,

My name is Brigitte and my role is to guide you through this process. Here are a few things that we need to make clear before the journey begins. It’s a bit long but helpful nonetheless.

Which time zone are you in? - I’m in England.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require a simple, uncontrived, honest looking approach. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read this article: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. It's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.

Please familiarise yourself with the topics in the announcements section at the top of the Guiding Area, especially in relation to the quote function.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

What are your expectations for this process?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this change you?

Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Brigitte x

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:00 pm

Hi Bridgette,

Glad to meet you and thanks for agreeing to guide me through this. I am in the uk too.

I am on my iPad so apologies for the terse reply :) i will post everyday.

I have seen that "I" is not real - once four years ago very clearly at a zen meditation retreat and again a couple of days ago when reading the Gateless Gate. So i have seen through the lie but am also aware that the mind can come back to the extent of forgetting the seeing.

Yes i have read and agree to the disclaimer.

Expectations
My expectations are to be more clear and grounded on no self. To examine those areas in my life which still have an overhang of self and need clearing. To have fun and be frustrated.

Change
I guess the keyword is freedom. Freedom from repetitive thoughts and patterns which dont serve an experience of life's flow. More authenticity and honesty with myself, my inner world and outer dealings.

Found it
Like is written in the book, what is seen cannot be unseen, so in that sense, I have found it. But whenever i refind it, there is a strangeness mixed with joy of finding what is true. Almost like a detective or a journalist chasing a case or a story, it doesnt matter what the outcome is, but there is an intuitive sense when truth is found.

Warm regards
Ken

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:21 pm

Thanks Ken.

I like your reply re your expectation: ‘to have fun and be frustrated’. You have come to the right place.

OK – let’s begin.

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there now or will there ever be? Describe any sensations and thoughts.

Warm wishes
Brigitte

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:32 pm

I looked at this question last night and definitely had some resistance there to the 'absoluteness' of this statement. I thought about my life story, childhood, teenage years, etc - how could that all happen without a central figure of me? I felt no resistance to it to my experience now , or when I try to locate my self now, but somehow when I think about the past (or my past) it seems preposterous that I was never there.

As I read this now I am still feeling resistance in my chest. Like I want to argue with you. Something is getting angry and knotty in the chest.

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:35 pm

Hello Ken,
I looked at this question last night and definitely had some resistance there to the 'absoluteness' of this statement. I thought about my life story, childhood, teenage years, etc - how could that all happen without a central figure of me? I felt no resistance to it to my experience now , or when I try to locate myself now, but somehow when I think about the past (or my past) it seems preposterous that I was never there.

As I read this now I am still feeling resistance in my chest. Like I want to argue with you. Something is getting angry and knotty in the chest.
For this investigation, we can only look at what is right here, right now, as that is all that really exists in DE. Your life story exists as thought content only, as a memory. It is only a thought that appears to say ‘you’ need to be a central figure in any experience.

Do you feel there is a self that is doing, feeling, thinking? The illusion is the belief in a “you” actually doing, feeling, or thinking anything.

Let’s take a look at thinking.

Are you the thinker of thoughts? Where do thoughts come from? Are you in control of them?

Can you stop a thought from coming? Do you know what the next thought will be? Can you choose to only have pleasant thoughts?

Can a thought think?

As an exercise, sit quietly for 5 mins with as fewer distractions as possible. Just notice passing thoughts and how they arise. Are thoughts related or totally random?

Let me know your answers and any comments.

Brigitte

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Do you feel there is a self that is doing, feeling, thinking? The illusion is the belief in a “you” actually doing, feeling, or thinking anything.

Let’s take a look at thinking.

Are you the thinker of thoughts? Where do thoughts come from? Are you in control of them?
Here, I'm pretty sure that "I" am not the center of all this thought action. The word "thinker" feels even less real than thoughts - which at least can be observed. It feels more true to say that thoughts happen, and I, as god-knows-what, witness them as they appear and disappear. I have no clue where they come from. I am not in control.
Can you stop a thought from coming? Do you know what the next thought will be? Can you choose to only have pleasant thoughts?
No. No. No.
Can a thought think?
Ah.... Good question. My mind goes blank with this.
As an exercise, sit quietly for 5 mins with as fewer distractions as possible. Just notice passing thoughts and how they arise. Are thoughts related or totally random?
They seem related at first but I'm not so sure anymore. They seem sometimes random and sometimes related. They especially seem related when the sense of "I" is engaged. Ie. worrying about something, planning, strategy etc.


Some observations from my life in the past 2 days:

I have been feeling a tremendous sense of freedom because of a lack of center. I was applying for a student visa to the US and how I would spend my next 2 years would hinge on this application, which had some potential issues. As much as I felt the anxiety, I definitely didn't go into any kind of critical anxiousness. If I didn't go, it was ok. If I went, it would be ok too. But the visa went through ok.

I am responding to people in a way which I wouldn't have before. Whereas previously I wouldn't say anything out of the ordinary to cashiers, waiters, bus drivers, etc - these days I feel like I am playing with another aspect of myself. There's definitely less social anxiety. Responses which are natural and fun and interesting emerge from my center and engage them in an authentic way. I just asked some guy if he could help me jump start my car whose battery is flat, and he gave a look which the old "I" would be annoyed at, but I didn't have any reaction this time - who was there to get annoyed?

Other observations which are 'out-of-the-ordinary'. I was in the bath and thought to myself - wouldn't it be funny if we had signs that said "Stop thinking." in public? I started laughing. And then I found it funny that I was laughing to myself in the bath, alone. I had already forgotten what I was laughing about in the first place. I found that even funnier. And then I thought to myself, "Ken, you've *really* lost it (my mind) this time." But I was so happy that I had lost it! Everything was so funny.

:)

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:13 pm

Hi, Ken

Good start! When you notice thoughts, notice also that there is no observer, only observing. Unless, of course, you can find an observer? Can you find one?
Can a thought think?
Ah.... Good question. My mind goes blank with this.
Look at this again. Is a thought just another word for an idea, a mental abstraction? Is that capable of thinking?
I have been feeling a tremendous sense of freedom because of a lack of center. I was applying for a student visa to the US and how I would spend my next 2 years would hinge on this application, which had some potential issues. As much as I felt the anxiety, I definitely didn't go into any kind of critical anxiousness. If I didn't go, it was ok. If I went, it would be ok too. But the visa went through ok.
Glad you are experiencing a current sense of freedom. Nice while it lasts (not wishing to sound negative here) but, unfortunately, feelings come and go like thoughts – just observe and accept them.
Other observations which are 'out-of-the-ordinary'. I was in the bath and thought to myself - wouldn't it be funny if we had signs that said "Stop thinking." in public? I started laughing. And then I found it funny that I was laughing to myself in the bath, alone. I had already forgotten what I was laughing about in the first place. I found that even funnier. And then I thought to myself, "Ken, you've *really* lost it (my mind) this time." But I was so happy that I had lost it! Everything was so funny.


Yes, a ‘Stop Thinking’ sign would be funny! ‘Thinking could damage your health’ might be good too. Ken, there is nothing wrong with thinking btw and you cannot stop thoughts as you discovered. Thinking is necessary for planning trips to US and lots of other activities, but no-one is doing it, it just happens. Thinking will not however help you to see there is no ‘separate self’ anywhere, only looking will do that.

So here’s another exercise. For the next 5 or 10 minutes observe everything happening. Make a list i.e. I hear a car drive past, I go and make a cup of tea, I watch tv etc. Once the list is finished, re-do the list without referring to a ‘me’, ‘I’ or ‘self’ i.e. hearing a car, going to make a cup of tea etc. Tell me what difference you see between the two lists.

Warm wishes
Brigitte

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:58 pm

Good start! When you notice thoughts, notice also that there is no observer, only observing. Unless, of course, you can find an observer? Can you find one?
Aha. Somehow I disconnect "I" and the observer. Yes, there is no observer. (This is a very hard one for me after years and years of being the observer-witness.) Will this habit persist because of my past? (Oops - going into the past again..) I've always assumed there was one, but looking now, I find no observer.

Hmm. Really struggling with this. Isn't the observer the one who watches thoughts, sensations, etc, but is not part of them? When you say 'find' what exactly do you mean? Because of course the observer will have no physical characteristics, it can only really be found by itself, no?

It's very interesting though, because the observer-function is linked to a feeling of being in the head. So it's probably another thought, one that has accumulated credence by years of conditioning. Walls of thought gathering around an empty core.
Can a thought think?
Ah.... Good question. My mind goes blank with this.

Look at this again. Is a thought just another word for an idea, a mental abstraction? Is that capable of thinking?
Just going with my intuition here and what comes...
No, thoughts cannot think. Thoughts come from the same source, or emerge from the same medium. What it is I cannot say.
Glad you are experiencing a current sense of freedom. Nice while it lasts (not wishing to sound negative here) but, unfortunately, feelings come and go like thoughts – just observe and accept them.
Thanks for busting my bubble. :) I get stuck in this freedom one too. I cling to my states.
For the next 5 or 10 minutes observe everything happening. Make a list i.e. I hear a car drive past, I go and make a cup of tea, I watch tv etc. Once the list is finished, re-do the list without referring to a ‘me’, ‘I’ or ‘self’ i.e. hearing a car, going to make a cup of tea etc. Tell me what difference you see between the two lists.
I am writing this because Brigitte told me to do this exercise. My hand is moving as I write on the paper. I looked at the time-clock to see what time it was. I am experiencing thought, sensations, touch, smell. I feel full after having had dinner. I'm feeling a bit tired. I'm sitting on a chair, not really doing much other than writing and noticing.

Screen brightness and sharp text. Movement of air from breath of the body. Mouse is black. Sitting on a chair is happening. Feeling of weight on bum. Wondering if going outside for a walk might be a good idea.

The second list was hard. I didn't know what to write so I just presented what was appearing without 'me' terms.

Difference is that the first list has a center. Second doesn't. Second is like being immersed in a full-sensation-visual-thought movie or something.

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:09 am

Hello Ken,

Good work.
Yes, there is no observer. (This is a very hard one for me after years and years of being the observer-witness.) Will this habit persist because of my past? (Oops - going into the past again..) I've always assumed there was one, but looking now, I find no observer.
Habits can take a while to lose their grip, after all, years of conditioning are not going to disappear that quickly. What matters is that once the illusion of ‘I’ is clearly seen, it won’t be unknown.
Hmm. Really struggling with this. Isn't the observer the one who watches thoughts, sensations, etc, but is not part of them? When you say 'find' what exactly do you mean? Because of course the observer will have no physical characteristics, it can only really be found by itself, no?
When I say ‘find’ I mean through direct experience of the senses. If it is a physical object you are looking for, it can be touched and seen. As in, find the front door to the house. There is no doubt where you would look to find this and be able to touch it. If it is a sound, it can be heard. An odour can be smelled, etc. Now see if you can find an observer without any physical characteristics?
It's very interesting though, because the observer-function is linked to a feeling of being in the head. So it's probably another thought, one that has accumulated credence by years of conditioning. Walls of thought gathering around an empty core.
Yes, ‘the observer-function is linked to a feeling of being in the head’ is pure thought content. It’s not real. Can you see that?

You are doing well, Ken, but cut back on the thinking – remember DE is what you need.
No, thoughts cannot think. Thoughts come from the same source, or emerge from the same medium. What it is I cannot say.
Yes, good answer.

Regarding the exercise - do you see that life happens without anyone or any ‘I’ doing any of it? Observing, feeling, wondering is what is experienced, as was noticed. It’s only thought content that would suggest an ‘I’ was doing any of it.

As your next exercise, I want you to think of something you own, maybe something unusual. I want you to describe it to me in plenty of detail without naming the object. Tell me about its shape, texture, colour, size, age, history, function etc. and we will see if I can guess what it is. Have fun.

Speak soon,
Brigitte

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:50 pm

Now see if you can find an observer without any physical characteristics?
No. I can't.
Regarding the exercise - do you see that life happens without anyone or any ‘I’ doing any of it? Observing, feeling, wondering is what is experienced, as was noticed. It’s only thought content that would suggest an ‘I’ was doing any of it.
Yes. I see that "I" is a belief. But what if no-"I" is also a belief? Just because something doesn't have physical characteristics doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Eg. I know that there are electromagnetic waves passing through me via my wifi router even though I cannot perceive it through my 5 senses. So how can we truly know or not if "I" exists? What is the criteria for saying something as abstract as "I" exists or not?

Exercise:

It's made of wood and the diameter of my forearm. Shiny in the middle, it bursts out in rays. It is a 20 year old passing off as an 80 year old. Gold, Circles, Rectangles, Flames, Dots. Sculpture and function meeting.

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:21 am

Good morning, Ken
Now see if you can find an observer without any physical characteristics?
No. I can't.
Regarding the exercise - do you see that life happens without anyone or any ‘I’ doing any of it? Observing, feeling, wondering is what is experienced, as was noticed. It’s only thought content that would suggest an ‘I’ was doing any of it.
Yes. I see that "I" is a belief. But what if no-"I" is also a belief? Just because something doesn't have physical characteristics doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Eg. I know that there are electromagnetic waves passing through me via my wifi router even though I cannot perceive it through my 5 senses. So how can we truly know or not if "I" exists? What is the criteria for saying something as abstract as "I" exists or not?
A no-‘I’ may well be a belief (as is the tooth fairy or Santa Claus) but that is of no concern to this investigation. This is not about what exists or not – it is about whether a ‘separate I’ exists in your direct experience. Remember this is our ‘goal’ here. Your senses are the criteria used because that is the only means to verify what exists in your experience. What else is there here?

You say ‘there are electromagnetic waves passing through me’ – where/what is this me and how do you know this Ken? If you state ‘I’ is a belief, isn’t ‘me’ also a belief? Can electromagnetic waves pass through a belief?
Exercise: It's made of wood and the diameter of my forearm. Shiny in the middle, it bursts out in rays. It is a 20 year old passing off as an 80 year old. Gold, Circles, Rectangles, Flames, Dots. Sculpture and function meeting.
I have no idea what this is, Ken, so tell, me what is it?
Are you in control of your day-to-day activities? In the morning do you get up, have a shower, get dressed, make breakfast and go to work? Or do these things just happen. Notice how these activities get done. Talk me through them and tell me how it is for you.

Best wishes
Brigitte

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:21 pm

A no-‘I’ may well be a belief (as is the tooth fairy or Santa Claus) but that is of no concern to this investigation. This is not about what exists or not – it is about whether a ‘separate I’ exists in your direct experience. Remember this is our ‘goal’ here. Your senses are the criteria used because that is the only means to verify what exists in your experience. What else is there here?

You say ‘there are electromagnetic waves passing through me’ – where/what is this me and how do you know this Ken? If you state ‘I’ is a belief, isn’t ‘me’ also a belief? Can electromagnetic waves pass through a belief?
Yes. That's true.. If there is no perception then I cannot say it exists, it is logical and is a good basis for truth. I have never seen an "I" just like I have never seen the tooth fairy..

Ah - actually I kinda meant 'me' as in this physical body. And no, of course EM waves can't pass through a belief.

The object was a replica Art Deco mirror, a bit like this one:
http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLINECA ... B/0992.jpg

Will describe my activities in a bit. Thanks for all the help so far!

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kenbok
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby kenbok » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:45 pm

Are you in control of your day-to-day activities? In the morning do you get up, have a shower, get dressed, make breakfast and go to work? Or do these things just happen. Notice how these activities get done. Talk me through them and tell me how it is for you.
Well. I guess I used to think it was 'me' being the manager of day-to-day operations in the life of Ken, but now I'm definitely not so sure.. Today I had to get my car from the repair shop as it had a new battery put in. It seemed like a natural thing to do after yesterday - a direct consequence of the things that happened prior to it - ie. the car got in cold weather, etc. It's a small example but I am much more aware of causality and how "I" really don't have much choice in how everything turns out.

Things do just seem to flow these days. There's less resistance when "I" do things which I don't really enjoy - mundane things like selling my stuff, moving boxes, etc, it feels like the resistance is there but there's no longer resistance on top of the original resistance if that makes sense.

Peace
Ken

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aubergine99
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Re: Request for Guide

Postby aubergine99 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:08 am

Hi Ken,

I seem to have overlooked your last reply - really sorry. Will reply asap.

Brigitte


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