Guide requet for Ilona

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Ilona
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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:28 am

How is it going? What did you find out about problems?
:)
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Aragon
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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:24 am

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for your question. Sorry, I had sleepless night, the night before last, with the children and lost the thread a little. Actually my relationship to sleep has changed a lot, as I realise a lot of my tiredness is in part, just a story I tell myself.

To be honest I don't really think in terms of problems. Problems are just stories again - thought taken to be real. If everything is just unfolding, happening, in spite of me, what problems could there possibly be?

But, to talk about that. I still haven't taken that on board 100%. I can see it in most things as I look out into the universe or at direct experience, but it still feels like I make decisions - like to write here every day, and then follow those decisions.

A lot of my previous Buddhist 'practice' has been about aligning thought with action - what you say you are going to do and what you do.

So when, for example, I say I am going to write here everyday, that seems to be a decision.

But, of course, that leads to the question, who is making the decision? - and when I look, there is no-one making the decision. It is just a thought, perhaps tied in with emotion.

But speaking on the level of making the decision to write here (not on the level of no-self), it does seem like a decision is being made - it doesn't seem like abstract thought.

So I guess I am experiencing some difficulty in really seeing this. When I used the captain of the spaceship analogy, it all seemed very clear, but I am still responding, in everyday life, from the basis of self and have to remind myself of the reflections to 'bring myself back'.

I have been trying to figure out what I actually think is me. We talk about me as a fixed separate self but I've never really put that under analysis.

Last night I was asking this question - What do I think me is? - as well as -Where is that me located? - and I just can't find it. But I think I need to do more reflection on these lines, and the lines I have been doing with you, to really see it.

I am not really sure what I am looking for. Is that sense of self 'supposed to' totally recede. It has already loosened for sure, but it is still there...

Is thought supposed to recede. If I see through self, will I stop getting caught up in these thought patterns that take up so much energy?

I have noticed a distinct difference in the way I am responding to those around me. It is quite pronounced. It is like what people say and do that used to bother me have lost their weight. There can be pain or irritation but there is no response - mostly anyway.

And there is a relaxation to life. Like I am not trying to control it so much, letting it happen.

But I still feel there is much work to do in terms of looking at my direct experience and taking it on board. I almost feel like working through all these things we have done again....

I'd be interested in your response.

Hoping you are well,

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 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:11 am

Hi Ilona,

Here's a little update.... its more me talking to myself, trying to figure out something that is coming in and out of focus at the moment....

Well I've been observing myself today. There's all this stuff going on in us - heartbeats, breathing, blood moving etc. - which just happens.

And the rest of the universe seems to be like that, just growing and decay, moving from this to that - life just happening.

Most of the actions I've done today haven't been decisions, they've just been done.

Sometimes, when I observe like this, I feel myself as a small compartment in the head (sense of self) watching this organism going to and fro doing all these things on automatic pilot - perhaps in response to stimuli, in response to stuff happening around of it, or motivated by objects of mind.

And then there are thoughts and sensations and feelings and stuff which also just seem to happen.

So its kind of crazy but I do see it. It is there to look at. That the actions are just happening,

But then I think I can make a decision. I can just decide to pick this mug up, that is sitting on the desk in front of me.

But when I do that, I do have the sense I am commentating on a decision that has already been made.

A bit like when I watched that Horizon video, which seemed to suggest decisions were made before we made them.

I think I'm trying to get my head around it. To understand it. Is it possible to do that? To understand it with the thinking mind which seems to be the creator of the delusion anyway?

Something just came back to me. Do you know you wrote this:
Good to notice the mechanisms how mind works when buttons are pressed. Keep observing how reactions happen, what triggers them and most important, what is behind the reactions? What are they happening to? Is there a centre that issues commands on how to react/respond?
And I just skimmed over and ignored it - the first time I have ever done that in this dialogue with you.

So I am now going to give this my full attention...

.
... 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 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:25 pm

Good stuff.
Find the sense of separateness. What is separate from what? Where in the body does it come up? Is that sensation something that life is happening to or life is happening as?

Write what you find.
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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:04 pm

Find the sense of separateness. What is separate from what? Where in the body does it come up? Is that sensation something that life is happening to or life is happening as?
What is separate from what?
When I think about this stuff, there is me thinking about this stuff. There is me thinking about my experience. There is separation.

Sometimes when I 'just sit' it is like there is me, in a kind of central control, watching what is happening around the body, the sensations and feelings and thoughts that arise. There is separation between me and my experience.

Where in the body does it come up?
The 'me' arises in the head area, or around there - where I think, where I see, where I communicate verbally. In non-negative times it feels quite amorphous, like a cloud hanging there. It can move and change shape. In emotional times it moves more towards the heart. In times of strong reaction, it becomes more concrete, a fusion of thought, emotion and a contraction in the body, mainly around the head, heart and shoulder area.

Sometimes when I am not thinking, the awareness seems to travel around the body. From this sensation to that. Constantly moving. To whatever is predominant in awareness at the time. Here, I think the separation has gone.
Is that sensation something that life is happening to or life is happening as?
I am not sure. It feels like life is happening to. It feels at odds with life. It feels like something manufactured and stuck on top. It doesn't feel like flow.

.
... 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 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:49 am

Good to notice the mechanisms how mind works when buttons are pressed. Keep observing how reactions happen, what triggers them and most important, what is behind the reactions? What are they happening to? Is there a centre that issues commands on how to react/respond?
what triggers them?
All my action, of body speech and mind, seems to be triggered by conditions. I spent all day just doing stuff, thinking stuff, feeling stuff - that all seems to have arisen based on what happened around me. I would say reactions arise in dependence on conditions. Conditions give rise to sensations, to thoughts, and to feelings. Objects of mind such as memories form part of those conditions.
and most important, what is behind the reactions?
Some responses to conditions seem to be of greater emotional weight, with corresponding intensity of thought. Why are they more intense? I have no-idea. Is the sense of self being challenged in some way?

Today I got irritated when with someone's perceived laziness in getting something done. Why should that bother me? Because the outcome does affect me? Because I can be like that? I am not sure!
What are they happening to?
They aren't happening to anything. On analysis they are just thought and emotion and awareness. But there remains a sense they are happening to me. That sense is perhaps just another combination of feeling and thought and awareness in response to those conditions?
Is there a centre that issues commands on how to react/respond?
No, but there is a sense of wanting to escape the intensity and feeling tone of the experience. If you stay with the feeling tone it goes but if you avoid it, it stays or get worse. i.e. If you maintain the separation it stays or gets worse.

But how can I maintain the separation if I'm not there? How can I have any effect if decisions are already made. How can I maintain the separation if life is just unfolding? So is that maintaining the separation just part of the unfolding of life? And if that is so, do I just need to let it happen. But who is letting it happen?

I feel something is being added. A veneer. And awareness is caught up in that. but I'm just hypothesising!

.
... 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 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:55 am

They aren't happening to anything. On analysis they are just thought and emotion and awareness. But there remains a sense they are happening to me. That sense is perhaps just another combination of feeling and thought and awareness in response to those conditions?

That sensation, that it's happening to me, is that "me"? Is life happening to sensation? What is behind that sensations? Is there someone there feeling it?
Are thoughts and emotions that arise separate from awareness? Look in experience now, what is emotion at present, is awareness of it and emotion something different? Is there a gap?

Keep digging, go deeper. What is behind awareness? What is awareness happening to? What owns this awaring?


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

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:05 am

That sensation, that it's happening to me, is that "me"? Is life happening to sensation? What is behind that sensations? Is there someone there feeling it?
Are thoughts and emotions that arise separate from awareness? Look in experience now, what is emotion at present, is awareness of it and emotion something different? Is there a gap?
Keep digging, go deeper. What is behind awareness? What is awareness happening to? What owns this awaring
I feel I am going around in circles a bit.

That said, the trees looked so incredibly beautiful today, almost brought me to tears.

And I felt ethics as an affinity with all of life rather than some abstract idea

I wonder if that's related to what I'm doing here?

So let's have another go at this.....


There is sensation. (Sorry I am using sensation rather than feeling but its more obvious - I could swap sensation for feeling and it would be the same)

Awareness and sensation occur together. Without awareness, sensation would not be experienced. Without sensation, there would be no sensation - they are one and the same.

Awareness in experience moves around....

When there is a sensation in the foot, that's all there is. It's kind of like the mind's in the foot. When there is a sensation in the foot, that is life happening. That's all there is, a sensation in the foot. That's what I am at that moment, a sensation in the foot. There is no gap.

But then its recognised, or labelled. It's labelled as 'sensation in the foot', or 'painful sensation in the foot'. It's labelled as 'my foot', and so on....

I am not sure but I think this labelling is thought. Or some kind of faculty whose job is to do that. Is that life happening to. Maybe in the sense that there seems to be something that just does it.

Then further layers are added as stories - 'I may need to go to hospital', and so on. They definitely seem to be thought backed by emotion.

The awareness moves around, but the recognition and adding of stories seem to take place in the head area. Probably because they are done by the brain which resides there? These processes largely go unnoticed but when we look in direct experience we can see them.

The stories seem to take us out of the present. It seems to be possible to be present, with experience, with life as it is happening, or to be life as it is happening.... - or to be lost in thought, in stories, which does not seem to be life as it is happening, does not seem to be direct experience, does not seem to be present moment.

It feels like when I'm lost in stories, that quality of awareness is not present.

.
... 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 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:17 am

Actually, I think that awareness of the foot I talked about is life as it is happening. When there is sensation/awareness, feeling/awareness, thought/awareness. Everything else seems like an addition.

in the seen, only the seen....

.
... 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 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:25 pm

Being lost in stories, seems like it can be an avoidance of emotion...

May be 'avoidance' is inferred.

When the contraction is strong, intense thought arises, and that seems like all there is, without the quality of awareness.

Once the awareness returns, its like a battle, between getting lost again and being in the emotion..

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... 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 21, 2014 4:03 pm

What is awareness? Does it come and go? Is there content without awareness, perceiving without knowing of it?
Can you look and tell, what is behind awareness, what is aware? Does awareness move?

What is that contraction is happening to? And what is that is getting lost?

Here are some questions for you to play with. (:
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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:06 am

What is awareness? Does it come and go? Is there content without awareness, perceiving without knowing of it?
Can you look and tell, what is behind awareness, what is aware? Does awareness move?

What is that contraction is happening to? And what is that is getting lost?

Here are some questions for you to play with. (:

Hi Ilona, thanks for your questions... here is something different...
What is awareness?
Awareness is noticing, being conscious.

There is sense perception awareness. Touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing. I think of this a bit like a spark - i'm not sure if this is what you mean by awareness.

Where does this occur? Bodily sensation takes place in the body. The rest seem to be in the mind - perhaps with the exception of taste which occurs in the mouth.

What do I mean by mind? In my experience its like a room in my head, often empty, sometimes filled with thoughts and thinking. Behind my eyes and nose. Between my ears. I've been avoiding referring to this as I thought it was just sensation, but now I think it is awareness and I am going to call it mind.

There is also awareness of mind objects - the Buddhist thing of mind being a sense - so I can be aware of feelings and thoughts, memories, mental formations. Feelings seem to be in the heart area, thoughts & co in the little room in my head!

These kinds of awareness just seem to be like a registering of the sense object prior to labeling, like a spark, an electrical connection. Just a recognition of the contact.

There is another kind of awareness. That awareness is aware of being aware.....

When my finger touches something, there is awareness of sensation, but I can also be aware that I am aware of the sensation....

Like with thoughts, sometimes I am thinking but I'm not aware I'm thinking - then I become aware of the thinking. This awareness happens in that room in my head.
Does it come and go?
Sense perception awareness is happening all the time.The mind appears to be at the point of contact, especially with body sensation.

I think I'm only partially aware of all the infinite sensations which must be going on - aware of what is prominent at the time. These sensations do come and go but there are always some sensations present.

The awareness of being aware comes and goes. Sometimes it doesn't seem to be there at all, like being lost in thought.
Is there content without awareness, perceiving without knowing of it?
I would say there is no content without sense impression awareness but there is content without the other kind of awareness.

That is how subliminal messaging works, but it is difficult to see that in direct experience because if I'm not aware, how would I know? But I do seem to manoeuvre the world without being fully aware of what I'm doing, so things must be going in.
Can you look and tell, what is behind awareness, what is aware?
I am not sure what you are getting at here. I can't seem to see beyond awareness. Is there anything beyond? Nothing is aware. Awareness is aware.
Does awareness move?
Yes, it can move. It can travel around the body. Possibly beyond. It seems to be predominant in my head though, presumably because its surrounded by my sense organs.
What is that contraction is happening to?
The contraction is happening to the body. This is just a type of sensation giving rise to an emotional tone. It is labelled by the mind as negative.
And what is that is getting lost?
Nothing is getting lost. The awareness of being aware is no longer being aware.

....
... 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 22, 2014 7:28 am

Think you for sharing. This is a whole lot of assumptions built on another assumptions... I am asking you to look and describe what you see, rather then think and answer from what you read and know already. There is a big difference.

Is it body that experiences sensations? Or body is experienced?
With eyes closed, is there a body or there are sensations +labels like arm, foot, head?
Observe these bodily sensations and tell me, where are they appearing, in actuality, not from memory.
Where does sound happen? Listen to distant sounds, are they happening in the body?
Open eyes, is seeing happening inside the head? Is there a head in seeing? Is there inside and outside in the view?

You got to loosen up on all the things you know already. Nothing that you know is going to help here. Look with fresh eyes, as if you have never experienced before, describe what is seen. In other words, empty your cup, it's full of knowing. Dive into actual experiencing and explore for yourself.

What is that word body refers to? Are you in the body? Do you own he body? What is the I that says "my body"? Is awareness inside the head? Is awareness limited by skull or by skin on it?

Dig deeper, my friend.
Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:17 am

Well I would probably have to say fair cop! And thanks for bringing me back! I think I'm a little frustrated I can't see. I'll come back to you on this soon!

.
... 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 22, 2014 10:26 am

You already see, but thinking that this should be something else then it is, is in the way of recognition. Don't try to see, notice what is already happening instead.
It does not require mental gymnastics. ;)

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