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Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:52 am
by dsm2015
Hi my name is Doug. The reason that I am requesting Delma is that I recognize her from some face book groups and appreciate her wisdom. I am looking for more than a mere intellectual understanding of no self. I want to experience a profound shift in thinking and perception. Thanks!

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:28 pm
by Delma
Hi Doug.

I'd be happy to try to be of help, and thank you for starting this thread.

Can you tell me a bit about where you are with regard to seeking, and to seeing no separate self? I'd like to know a bit about what has brought you here.

Thanks, Doug. Let's get started!

Delma

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:00 am
by dsm2015
Thanks for agreeing to work with me Delma! I am somewhat familiar with awareness teachings as well as emptiness teachings. I have studied Greg Goode's books, "The Direct Path" and "Emptiness and Joyful Freedom". The main areas where selfing occurs is in comparing myself to others, and taking things personally. Sometimes I can see when thoughts construct the sense of a self, but most of the time not. I am seeking a qualitative shift from the suffering that believing in a me brings. Forgive the brevity of this message, but not sure how much to say and about what. Please feel free to ask more pointed questions.

Warm regards,
Doug

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:47 am
by Delma
Thank you!

Let's just dive right in, because you've said something important here. It's a common stumbling block but the simplicity of it is elegant and kind of startling.

"The main areas where selfing occurs is in comparing myself to others"

What we need to do here is step back. Because though this looks problematic, it's not. It's natural and ok to be there, and may continue even when the illusion of a separate self is seen through. See, it's not about making the selfing thoughts go away. That wouldn't work for two reasons, one of which is that there isn't a separate you to stop the thoughts! So what do we do?

Step back.

Thoughts construct a sense of self. The inquiry is to find the owner of those thoughts. No matter what the content of a thought... "I", "me", "comparing", etc., it's the entity to whom those thoughts occur to that we're looking for.

Can you tell me what you find when doing that inquiry?

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:43 am
by dsm2015
Wow it's kind of unsettling to think that the negative feelings that occur when I compare myself to others is not the real issue, but rather the imagined me that is experienced to own those thoughts! So, suffering is resistance to what is appearing and feeling responsible for the action of comparing! Despite my negative body image and intelligence image, it is rather me feeling that I should be able to control those thoughts. I know through inquiry and meditation that thought is spontaneous and fleeting. I am really not responsible for the content of thought nor its very appearance. As I reread these sentences just written, it is obvious that there is a sense of I...authorship, ownership, executive-ship. Yet I know from previous inquiry, if I attempt to turn around and look at the subject, nothing is there...yet a persistent feeling of being a subject remains. To whom does this persistent feeling occur? From an awareness teachings perspective there is only knowing that is occurring, no knower, no known. Intellectually, yes this is true. Experientially, as I inquire now in this moment...inquiring is just happening...no I doing inquiry. This realization has been seen before, but is soon forgotten outside of inquiry. Hmm, the force of habit!

So there is an I thought. To whom does that thought occur? (Long pause in thought...) Can't find an owner! Owner is just another thought. I started to write, "now to bring that realization into moment to moment living", but who would bring that realization forward? Ha! There it is again. Just another thought! No one producing that thought! This is catching! :)

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:05 pm
by Delma
Because you mention a "force of habit", it seems you may be looking for a persistent 'no self' state. Rather, this inquiry is about finding out the truth of reality, because if it's THE TRUTH, then selfing thoughts can occur with the knowledge (known by no one except thought) that they are false.

Are you looking for a persistent state of 'no self'?

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:00 am
by dsm2015
I guess I am looking for a persistent state of no self as that is the impression that I got from some spiritual teachings. As I think about it, self is not a persistent state at all anyway. So why would no self be a persistent state? EVERYTHING is impermanent and empty. Wow, thanks for pointing that out.

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:10 am
by Delma
Probably one of the most important things I took away from this process 3 years ago when I went through it was to not rely on the spiritual teachings at all.

Ironically, you have to rely on only your own findings. The reason that statement is ironic is while there is no separate self, there is only life.. god.. tao... whatever we choose to call it. And THAT is what must be trusted to find the truth of reality. So, no teachings can help. As a matter of fact, they can hinder because we keep looking for experience to match a description.

What is the truth of reality? In your seeking, has a separate self been identified? Can you give an example of the separate self in operation? Let's address that.

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:15 am
by dsm2015
I feel like a secretive person who is afraid to tell his coworkers that I am gay and am living with HIV for 23 years. I'm afraid of their reactions. I have told a couple of people at work who I asked not to tell anyone else. I'm afraid of them gossiping. But they needed to know why the frequent doctor appointments that take me away from my job. I feel intellectually inferior to many folk in the face book groups that I belong to and hence am afraid to post much for fear of criticism. I am embarrassed about the way I look physically...the way AIDS has changed my body, especially my face. I identify with these things.

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:30 pm
by Delma
Thank you for being truthful and letting me know exactly what is happening. I'm glad you did.

Can we take a look?

I would ask you to inquire into where more of the symptoms of HIV and AIDS are happening right now. Not in the future, but now. What is the percentage of symptoms are currently happening to the mind and then to the body? Can you say whether one of those two is affected more than the other in this moment, or are they the same?

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:30 pm
by Delma
Love to you. :)

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:21 am
by dsm2015
Thanks for love and support! "I would ask you to inquire into where more of the symptoms of HIV and AIDS are happening right now. Not in the future, but now. What is the percentage of symptoms are currently happening to the mind and then to the body? Can you say whether one of those two is affected more than the other in this moment, or are they the same?" I don't follow...sorry. Could you rephrase please.

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:03 am
by Delma
Ok, let me try.

There are physical things happening due to HIV and AIDS, and then there are "mind or thought-based" happenings. So, for instance, if there is pain or some sort of discomfort right now, then that would be physical. And if there are thoughts about "what could happen", that would be mind or thought based.

Right now, are there physical symptoms occurring? Are there thought based symptoms (worry, anxiety, etc)? Which of those two are stronger right now, in this very moment as you read this?

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:39 am
by dsm2015
Thanks for clarifying. There is the physical symptom of fatigue. There is the thought based worry over the possibility of being judged, discriminated against, made fun of.

Re: Requesting Delma as guide.

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:39 am
by Delma
What about the second part of the question? Which of those two are stronger in the moment you read this? Which is more bothersome?