Guide requet for Ilona

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Aragon
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Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:50 am

Hi Ilona, as previously communicated, I would like you to be my guide, thank you, Sagara
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:24 am

Hi sagara,

Thank you for starting the thread.

Tell please what brings you here, what are you looking for and what do you expect to find?

Sending love
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http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:34 am

Hi Ilona,

Thank you for your reply. I will reply to you tonight - evenings, or more usually late evenings are when I get some free time!

Speak soon, Sagara
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:49 pm

Tell please what brings you here, what are you looking for and what do you expect to find?


What brings you here?

To be honest, I am becoming increasingly aware that I have no idea what brought me here, only the story I tell myself about it. That story, at least the short version of it, goes something like this:

In my twenties I was seeking something, firstly through drink and drugs, then New Age books, then dabbling in the occult - until a friend got hold of me and said he'd teach me meditation, which he did. It changed my life and gave it meaning.

Soon after we met some Buddhists, and they seemed to have 'it' all much better worked than we did, so we moved in them into a community and there I lived for many years, getting ordained in the last year of last century.

Since then I met a girl, had two beautiful daughters and in a way - though still meditating, practicing ethics and reflecting on my experience - I somewhat settled down.

As I look back now I realised I stopped seeking, stopped searching, just kind of forgot all that, at least for a while.

More recently I renewed my practice, flipping between breathing meditation and just sitting practice. I began to read again and the search came back.

I started listening to Alan Watts and exploring Advaita Vedanta - in particular the Raana Maharishi, whom I had come across all those years ago.

Though this all rang true to the wisdom aspect of Buddhism, which I felt I understood, I was not getting anywhere with it in terms of making the reflections real.

I realised that the way I have been practising was beneficial in leading my life day to day but I had given up any expectation of a breakthrough, or awakening, or liberation, in this lifetime.

That realisation, compounded perhaps by the news of imminent heart surgery, rocked my being somewhere and the search began again.

I had heard of your website before but a Buddhist friend mentioned you last week. I explored and I liked what I saw.

I watched some of an interview of you in Buddha at the Gas Pump and again, I liked what I saw.

Perhaps, a little like you, I am a fan of shortcuts.

But also, if you can help me overcome this erroneous view of self, I would be a fool not to take that opportunity.



What are you looking for?

Back in my twenties I thing I was searching for an escape from the world, or at least from suffering.

But I have come to a place where I rarely feel unhappy and rarely even think in those terms.

I still have the feeling of life being like (to use a Buddhist image) 'an ill fitting wheel'.

But perhaps more than that what I detest is that narrowness and pettiness and selfishness that I experience as my sense of self - and I want rid of that.

More positively, I am looking to wake up to the truth, to break the bonds that entangle me, to see through the delusion of the fixed and seperate self.



What do you expect to find?

Well I am not sure. But I feel the process, as you previously stated, has already started....

I have been looking for the self in direct experience and I have been feeling a mixture of an intense welling up of joy, mixed with, and flipping between fear and terror.

So I guess I expect more of the same!

But if I truly knew what was coming, I'd probably already be there, so I'm also expecting a surprise....
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:59 am

Excellent. Thank you for intro.
For the time of our conversation I'd advice to stop reading all books, watching videos on the subject and purely answer questions from your own experience.

Tell me what comes up when you let this thought in:
There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings cine up? If there fear, what feels threatened?
Looking forward to your reply.


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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:11 pm

Hello Ilona!

Thank you for reading my introduction and continuing to work with me. Here is my response to your questions:
Tell me what comes up when you let this thought in:
There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings cine up? If there fear, what feels threatened?
Looking forward to your reply.
When I let this thought in, there is both fear and joy.

The joy arises as a feeling of letting go, giving up the struggle, giving up the tightness and contractedness that I become aware I hold when I start this reflection. It feels like liberation.

I feel myself as a witness to experience. That I am happening, or something is happening, that I am running on automatic pilot, no longer controlling, just present with what is happening.

Sometimes it feels just right. Sometimes a little strange, like I am removed from myself. This makes me wonder if the way I am experiencing it is right.

I start to see beauty everywhere. The movement of the wind in the hedges. And in the trees. The air on my face. The flatness of a wall. The simplicity of a stone....

I feel I am available. I have infinite time. I have no agenda. If you need me I will respond. I am bigger than before. I have no boundaries. I can adapt. Like air. Like water. Like space.

But it does not last.

Fear kicks in.

It is frightening that I am not in control. Really frightening. It is like some sci-fi movie where my free-will has been taken from me. I feel I am part of a great organism - life, the universe, being.

It is like I am one tentacle of an octopus suddenly realising it is part of the whole octopus.

Can it really be like that? How could it be that everything I have thought for so long could be wrong? Could it be that there is no controller? Can I really give myself to that? What does it mean to give up that identity?

Thoughts arise, searching for answers, for a philosophy - I want the answers, so I can choose whether to trust, whether to proceed - I want to see the truth, but on my own terms. I want the new but to keep the old.

There are many fears. How about my family? How about my friends? How about the whole Buddhist thing? What am I getting myself into?

So I sit with the fear. I see it is testing me. Showing me everything I hold on to. All the things I define myself by. Everything that I do not want to let go.

And then sometimes again, I cannot even entertain the thought, the reflection....

I am too busy in life. I have lost the wave. I am working from the tightness, from the contraction. I am fighting to be me in my world. I am holding on and though I seem to want to let go, I don't know how.

I feel sadness at this. It seemed it might be easy but I am back at square one.

And I feel the failure that is so often sometimes me. The pain. The small me that worries. That feels insignificant. That feels it has messed up. That feels it will appropriate this opportunity and prevent it from working.

And so the cycle continues. There seem to be glimpses but they do not last.
...
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:26 pm

Wow.. now this is what I call looking. Thank you for such full description of experienced.

Let's start digging. You say that you are loosing control, as if free will has been taken from you. Have a closer look. How decisions happen? What makes you choose this way over that way? Try this, simply raise one of the arms above the head. Which one was raised, right or left? How did this happen? Do this a few times in a day, just watch how exactly choice happens? What is first, an impulse or thought?


Can you describe this small me, that you mentioned, what is it? Where is it? What does it do and when it comes up?
In which way it is experienced?

Write in full again.

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

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:17 am

Hi Ilona! Thank you again for your input. Here is an update for you though I suspect there may be more to come....
Try this, simply raise one of the arms above the head. Which one was raised, right or left? How did this happen? Do this a few times in a day, just watch how exactly choice happens? What is first, an impulse or thought?
I need to level with you about one thing first. I watched the clip on your website a few days ago (I have stopped all that reading and watching now) - Neuroscience and Free Will - so this thing has been rattling around over the last few days...That said, I'm trying to bring it back to experience, not theorising.


Attempt 1 Tuesday 8:17pm:
I raised my hand above my head. It was the right hand. I was sure a thought was going to instigate that motion, but I saw nothing. There was no thought, no choice - it just seemed to happen. An impulse maybe, I'll have to see....

Attempt 2 Wednesday 00:01am: I raised three times: left, left, right. There is no thought. The decision is not coming from my head. I struggle to see even the impulse if I am honest. It just happens. It feels like the left and right arms have a will to do it but where the decision is made I do not know. It is not as I thought it would be.

I am responding to your question now but I will keep pracising this exercise.
Can you describe this small me, that you mentioned, what is it? Where is it? What does it do and when it comes up?
In which way it is experienced?
The small me is the me that resents people taking my time. That weighs how much I do against how much another does. That crosses the road when I see someone with a charity box. That aches for the larger portion when meals are served. That doesn't want to share or lend my new possession. That takes criticism to heart and turns it into hatred. That tries to hide, afraid of people seeing it for what it is...

The me that measures. That calculates. That fears slights and fears loss. That protects. That sees only my gains and losses. That is insular. Small. And contracted.

That me has a furrowed brow. A contraction in the body. A tightening of muscles, like a snake coiled around the skeleton. A paralysis. It takes a hold of me and is hard to shake off.

It's core feels deep inside. In the heart and in the head and connected in between. It is frightened and hiding. It hates challenge. And it hates change.

This is how it is experienced.

...
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:31 am

post script.....

I notice if I am sitting then obviously at some point I am going to get up. So I can just sit there and wait for that 'getting up' to happen. I experience it as a momentum happening within me, like an energy that reaches a certain point and then the action happens.

There is not a thought there.

Equally I can think (have the thought) 'I am going to get up now' and nothing happens, because the momentum is not there. In other words the thought is just a thought - it does not seem to instigate the action.

I wonder if the thought that usually accompanies the momentum is just a label attached to that feeling/sensation which has already reached the momentum for action - but I need to investigate this further.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:59 am

Attempt 3 Wednesday 7:57am: No longer sure if there is a momentum, or if the action just happens, as it were, from nothingness. Unsure if the momentum I referred to is anticipation on some level.

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:51 am

Attempt 4 Wednesday 11:45: Right hand.

I inferred from your question that there should either be a thought or an impulse. There is no thought and I am yet to see an impulse in the way that I expected I would see an impulse.

There is something that initiates the movement, that takes me from movement into action, but it is not like an electrical charge as I expected. I just experience the movement starting.

It still feels like a will, a momentum, a force that acts through me, not of me.

It is quite difficult to explain.

I believe I can see my thoughts now commentating on what I am doing rather than initiating what I am doing. I have always taken this commentating to be initiating in the past.

It is difficult to see this in the business of life. I need to really look to see it.

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:36 pm

Apologies for posting so many times:

I think the small me is a position of blame or aversion arising from painful emotion I feel unable to deal with.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:22 pm

Please feel free to write as much as you like as often as you like. I will reply, when I can.

You are really looking and seeing how in experience thinking is not making action happen, it happens when it happens.

You say
That me has a furrowed brow. A contraction in the body. A tightening of muscles, like a snake coiled around the skeleton. A paralysis. It takes a hold of me and is hard to shake off.
Yes, there is a sensation in the body, felt as contraction. Is this sensation the little me? What is behind the sensation? Have a look, bring it up and take a peak form behind. Is there a feeler that this feeling is happening to? Is there a gap between me and sensation?

Find the small me and have a look, what is there. Write what you notice.

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

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:10 pm

Yes, there is a sensation in the body, felt as contraction. Is this sensation the little me? What is behind the sensation? Have a look, bring it up and take a peak form behind. Is there a feeler that this feeling is happening to? Is there a gap between me and sensation?

Find the small me and have a look, what is there. Write what you notice.
Hi Ilona,

Thank you again!

It appears to me that there is only feeling. Then thought commentates or describes or has a story about/related to those feelings. The thought content may differ but its momentum is the same with that feeling tone. The thought and feelings "appear" locked together, reinforcing each other.

It is the thought that creates the experiencer and the experienced. It is the thought that creates duality (probably sound like its from a book but its from my experience).

Without the thought, the small me does not arise.

Staying in the feeling, a whole host of experience arises.

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:08 pm

Very good! Yes, you are looking at the right direction. Me only appears as though. It may or may not trigger feeling.

There is an exercise in this post http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... s.html?m=1

Do it here or on paper, doesn't matter. Have a closer look how thought description affects what is happening. Write what you notice

Sending love


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