I Need an Experienced Guide

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NoOneHome
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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:58 am

Hi Ilona,
Apparently I still have an expectation that there should not be any sense of control.
What is this sense of control?
It is just believing a thought such as “I did that” or “I can make that happen”. But dropping the assumption that a thought’s contents are true gives me the ability to see through the illusion of control.
If a thought says "I am in control of this" is this thought telling truth?
No. But that is only clear when I look very closely to see the detailed process of how actions are performed. If I’m not looking closely, the illusion reasserts itself.
How about thought "I am not in control of this" or "there is no control over this"?
Those are true.
There are many ways to describe what is appearing. Naming sensations creates a story, but is the story truth about what is?
No, the story is poor representation of what actually happens.
Can story replace experience?
It can replace certain aspects of experience, but it is a very poor replacement overall.

I will try the fruit exercise tomorrow.

Brent

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Ilona
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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:09 am

Yes, there is assumption that thoughts are telling truth. :) good to notice that.
You say, that if you are not looking closely, the illusion reasserts itself. Yes, that's how it is illusion. It seems like something is there, when in reality, there isn't. Thoughts tell a story, but story is just that- blah blah. Can be entertaining and fun. On looking closely it's clear, it's an illusion. Does it change when not looking closely? Does it become solid reality?

Looking forward to hear how the fruit exercise goes.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:58 pm

Hi Ilona,
On looking closely it's clear, it's an illusion. Does it change when not looking closely?
The illusion doesn’t change when looking closely. It is the belief in the illusion that stops. The question is how to stop the belief from reasserting itself when not looking closely. It seems that there must be some hidden beliefs that I have yet to expose.
Does it become solid reality?
No, the illusion does not become reality.

Now onto the fruit exercise. It is funny, because when I was driving in the car yesterday, I thought about what it would be like to do the exercise later when I had time. First I imagined what it would be like to imagine eating the fruit. Then my mind said “ok, now what it will be like to really eat the fruit?” As if my mind could simulate the difference between the imagining of the eating and the actual eating!

Ok, now I will do it for real:
Try this simple exercise. Get some fruit. Have it in front of you.
I have a green apple in front of me.
Close your eyes and imagine that you take the fruit in your hands, feel it. Texture, weight, shape, colour. Imagine that you are smelling it. Take a bite. Feel the sensation of taste. Hold the image for a couple of minutes.
Ok, I did that.
Then for 2 minutes describe what was experienced, to the smallest detail.
I imagined holding the apple. It was smooth and cool to the touch. The stem felt firm and flexible. The bottom of the core was rough. It didn’t have much of a smell. I bit into it. It was crisp. Some juice leaked out of my mouth. It tasted somewhat sour and sweet at the same time. Hopefully it wasn’t brown under the skin at all. The skin was firm. The meat of the apple was more of a grainy texture. I kept taking bites. Each bite seemed similar to the last It had a stronger smell once it was bitten. My mind started getting bored with the exercise. It thought “how is this going to help me see that there is no self?”. Went back to imagining biting the apple.
Now take the free it in your hands, examine it, bite it, smell and taste it. Explore the actual experience of it.
Done.
Then again, for 2 minutes describe the experienced.
I held the apple. Examined the skin. There was a piece of dirt stuck to it. I cleaned it off. I noticed that there was some brown mottling on the skin. The skin had lots of subtle variation in the greenness. The stem was firm and flexible. There was no smell. I bit the apple. Some juice leaked out of my mouth as expected. The taste was much more sour that I expected. It made my tongue hurt because it was so sour. Each bite was a different experience from the previous because I had to manipulate the fruit in my mouth to get it into the correct position to chew. It was tricky to avoid making a mess with the juice. Once my tongue made the adjustment to the actual taste, it no longer hurt. The apple seemed quite heavy in my hand. The whole eating process was very loud.
What is the difference between experience of real fruit versus imagined?
The taste was much stronger for real. There were many color variations that were not imagined. Many aspects of my prediction were accurate, but I have eaten several apples in the last couple of weeks, so that is not surprising. But there were many important details that the mind did not predict, such as the loudness of the experience, the manipulation with the mouth, and the dirt on the apple. (I did wash it before eating, so I'm not sure what happened there.)
What is the difference between experience and description?
The description is very incomplete. It is hard to put together an estimate of the actual experience based on the description. For the description, the mind focused on random things, but failed to capture the overall nature of the experience. How it really felt to actually eat the apple was totally left out of the description.
Does description of experience change experienced?
No. It has no effect on it.
Can you see how labelling happens where focus goes?
Yes, the mind labels whatever its attention is upon.
What else did you notice?
The experience was a lot richer than the imagined event. The mind quickly got bored of the story and wanted to start making a new story. But the actual event was a lot more interesting than the story.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:21 pm

The illusion doesn’t change when looking closely. It is the belief in the illusion that stops. The question is how to stop the belief from reasserting itself when not looking closely. It seems that there must be some hidden beliefs that I have yet to expose.
Precisely! There is a belief that is yet to be exposed. But it's not even hidden. Here it is: it is better/ desirable/ preferred, that belief would not reassert itself when not looking closely. Yeah.

When you watch a movie, some bits are so interesting, intense, mesmerising, that you get sucked in the story an everything else disappears, you are in the story. Then suddenly you no longer in and see that it's a movie on the screen, sitting on the sofa.. Getting lost in the film and getting lost in the story is same. At any time it can be noticed, it's is a story, it's about what is not happening, and it's no longer sticky. Getting lost, not getting lost, is there a you to do that? And should this no longer be happening? It can be quite juicy and fun, if it's no longer taken to be reality.

Next time you watch some good action on the screen, see how it's happening, this zoom in zoom out thing. Are you doing it?



The apple exercise, good stuff. You see how experience is happening underneath the labelling process and it is loud and clear, it's happening without words, there are no words to describe it.

Now look at word I. What does it describe? Is there a loud sensual experience of it? Touch it. Where does the finger land? What is there?.

You don't need to describe it, just look, what is here now? What is that knows of this?


Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:39 pm

Hi Ilona,
The illusion doesn’t change when looking closely. It is the belief in the illusion that stops. The question is how to stop the belief from reasserting itself when not looking closely. It seems that there must be some hidden beliefs that I have yet to expose.
Precisely! There is a belief that is yet to be exposed. But it's not even hidden. Here it is: it is better/ desirable/ preferred, that belief would not reassert itself when not looking closely. Yeah.
I suppose that is possible.
When you watch a movie, some bits are so interesting, intense, mesmerising, that you get sucked in the story an everything else disappears, you are in the story. Then suddenly you no longer in and see that it's a movie on the screen, sitting on the sofa.. Getting lost in the film and getting lost in the story is same. At any time it can be noticed, it's is a story, it's about what is not happening, and it's no longer sticky.
I understand what you are saying. But when watching a movie, even while I am sucked in, I don’t really believe that the events are happening. Things are not taken as seriously as they would be if I witnessed them happening in front of me in real life. There is still some separation maintained between the events and me, leading to some sense of objectivity. Can that objectivity be maintained in real life too, while I am sucked into “my” story, or will the immersion in the story be total until I “zoom out” and reestablish the understanding that there is no me?
Getting lost, not getting lost, is there a you to do that?
No, there is no me to do that. It just happens.
And should this no longer be happening? It can be quite juicy and fun, if it's no longer taken to be reality.
It is ok for it to happen, although if it is truly taken to be reality while it is happening, then it may not be fun for the duration of the event. And if it is a long duration and a painful event, then it may be very much not fun.
Next time you watch some good action on the screen, see how it's happening, this zoom in zoom out thing. Are you doing it?
I will check it out.
Now look at word I. What does it describe?
“I” is a label that can be attached to several different things: the character “Brent” who stars in this story, a thought that appears, the group of sensations described as “Brent’s body”, etc.
Is there a loud sensual experience of it?
The sensual experience is usually regarding the case where “I” is attached to the body sensations.
Touch it. Where does the finger land? What is there?.
The finger lands on the head because I most closely associate my brain with myself.
I have been thinking about this a lot, trying to decide if the question of whether there is a self hinges on whether or not there is a brain that creates thoughts and controls the body. I know there is no evidence in direct experience for the brain or that it creates thoughts or controls the body, but I just don’t find that completely convincing.

So suppose there is a brain that creates thoughts, controls the body, and is what makes the decisions (e.g., do I lift my hand or not). The brain is still just a biological machine that responds to input and produces output. It is not the whole brain that I take to be the self, because most of what the brain does feels automatic and impersonal. When I look closely at decisions, it doesn’t feel like “I” am making them; they are just happening. When I look closely at thoughts, it doesn’t feel like “I” am creating the thoughts; they just appear. When I look closely at what is controlling the body’s movements, it doesn’t feel like “I” am controlling them; they just happen automatically. So even if the brain is controlling these things, it doesn’t feel like the whole brain is “me”. The only place the “me” actually appears is in the thoughts about “me”. So even if the brain exists and functions as described above, “I” am just an output of the brain, a thought. And we have seen how a thought is not meaningful unless its content is verified by direct experience. And I have not been able to find anything in direct experience to verify that the “I” thought is more than just a thought. It does not appear to be a meaningful thought. This is becoming more and more clear. It is starting to make me feel nauseated.
You don't need to describe it, just look, what is here now? What is that knows of this?
All that is here now is a bunch of sensations and thoughts. I don’t know that there is anything that knows of this.

There is a thought “Oh, come on! You are just working yourself up into a state. This is a bunch of crap! Of course the brain is you!”

I need to let this settle…

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:53 am

Ilona,

I don't have a lot to report today. Going back to work after the weekend always seems to pull me back into the story of "Brent".

One interesting thing that I've started noticing lately is that sometimes when negative feelings arise now, I sort of just see them there, don't get wrapped up in them, and even enjoy them a little. This doesn't seem to happen as much with fear or worry, which still are giving me trouble, but more with other feelings such as anger or boredom. I take it as a possible sign that the realization that emotions are not "mine" is starting to sink-in in actual experience.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:54 am

You are doing great, Brent, I can see the crocs are opening. :)


Yes, you can see now that I is an empty thought, not the entity, not the actor thya plays the role of Brent. And so emotions become less sticky.

Can you talk about free will and choice? How decisions happen? Are you making anything happen and if so, what and how? What thoughts have to do with choices?

Before you answer, watch this video, if you haven't seen it. http://youtu.be/N6S9OidmNZM


Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:21 am

Hi Ilona,

I should mention that I posted twice between your last posts in case you missed the March 16 one.

Regarding free will, I've seen the video, and I don't think my view on the matter has changed significantly since I addressed the issue in my March 11 post to you. The only thing I will say is that as the sense of self weakens, the question of free will becomes less relevant, i.e. it is only an issue if there is a self to have or not have free will. But I'm not yet at the point of feeling like there is no self with 100% certainty.

I don't know that thoughts have anything to do with choices. They seem to inform them, but then when looking closely, it appears that the choices are actually spontaneous and not based on the thoughts. Then any thoughts that come after the choice just narrate the result.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:36 am

But I'm not yet at the point of feeling like there is no self with 100% certainty.
Is there 100% certainty that there is a self? That you are a separate entity in charge of what is happening in life?
What is true in experience? Is there a self here now, right this moment?
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:45 am

Ilona,
Is there 100% certainty that there is a self? That you are a separate entity in charge of what is happening in life?
No. Much of the time I am convinced that there is no self, but I still feel like "I" am suffering. It is something of a paradox.
What is true in experience? Is there a self here now, right this moment?
I don't know. If there is, I can't find it.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:11 am

Here is something for you to read http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... ferer.html

Is I the sufferer?
The paradox really is that you expect seeing no self to give you happy forever after. It's just an expectation. Life goes on, as it does. Freedom is not from suffering. Freedom is to feel freely whatever comes up without judgement, without naming it right or wrong, wanted or unwanted. If it's here, it's already here. So saying yes to this is the first step in dissolving tension. Have a try.
This journey is about surrender to what is. All that you think and believe that should be different is unacceptance and it hurts.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:47 am

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for the article. It was an interesting read. I have been viewing surrender as a different approach to enlightenment from the effort to see that there is no self. I'll have to reconsider how surrender fits into this investigation.

I’m going to be taking a few days off. I probably won’t post again until Monday.

Thanks for your help.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:12 am

Glad it was helpful.
Good idea to take a break.
How surrender fits in investigation? When resistance melts, all there is left is surrender. This is path of least resistance. Awakening journey is about acceptance. Saying yes to what is. Loving what is.

Speak to you soon
Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:33 am

Hi Ilona,

I am back from my break.

I decided yesterday that since the illusion of self is maintained by the beliefs that "I" am doing things and things are happening to "me", I need to focus my attention on the antidote: seeing and accepting that things are just happening. There is no doer. There is no one to whom things are happening. It has been going pretty well so far. We'll see if it continues to go well.

Also, I have been thinking a lot about what you said about surrender. It is a lot easier to surrender if what happens is seen as inevitable. For example, it is easier to surrender to driving up to a red light (which you know is going to happen quite often), and harder to surrender to someone cutting you off (because it feels unnecessary). But if you see everything that happens as necessary, then surrender is almost automatic. If someone cuts you off, but you see it as something that just happened, and had to happen (because there was no doer making it happen), then it is not a problem that requires surrender.

But beyond that, if there is no self, then there is no one to surrender, and resistance and surrender become irrelevant.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:56 am

Hi Brent,

I see that you are doing great, you are looking at the right direction!
At this time a journey into nature would be very helpful. Just spend some time in a park or whatever you find and see how everything moves and wiggles. Watch this movement of totality and notice, how everything is included in this- wind, clouds, trees, flowers, animals, birds, this body, breathing, sensing, thinking, feeling.... It's all one movement of what IS. Isness, being, is it separate from the whole? Can you find a line where me is here and world is there? Is there a boundary in experience?

Watch how spring is happening. Circumstances, situation is right, so all this is manifesting. If it's happening now, it's inevitable. Otherwise it would not be happening. It rains when conditions are met. So does the guy that cuts you off in traffic, has no choice, it's happening, that's it.

Have a good look in nature, where is this doer? Is there an orchestrator, a puppet master that moves it all?
Is there a driver of life? Or it's all nice stories? Are stories driving life or it's what the movement manifests as?

Write a full report from your nature trip. If no park around, having a look through an open window will do. Feel the wind and have fun :)

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book


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