Thread for Gerald.

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:05 pm

Hi Gerald, thank you for email.
Could you introduce yourself a little and tell me what are you looking for.
Where are you looking for that?
and how is your journey going so far.

Kind regards
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:01 am

Hello there, Ilona.

Thank you so much for agreeing to guide me. I feel genuinely honoured. Here’s a bit on my background:

I’m in my early 50s and I’ve been self-employed for 30 years. I’ve always been big on “self”-help and “self”-discipline. In the past, I would have said “self”-motivation is why I’ve been successful. Obviously, since I’m here in the Forum, I am now questioning the role of self and willpower in my life.

When I faced some career disappointments six or seven years ago, I realized I was addicted to ambition and my hopes for the future, and I was drawn to “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie. That led me to learn more directly about non-duality, exploring the work of many teachers, including Douglas Harding, Richard Adams, Joan Tollifson, Tony Parsons, Sailor Bob and John Wheeler. I also spent over a year “resting as awareness” with Balanced View. With all this, I realize I may have become addicted to seeking!

I’d stumbled upon the “Gateless Gatecrashers” book a few years ago. I read part of it, but couldn’t connect. I came back to it a few months ago and now it’s making sense. I’ve been reading the Forum regularly. I’ve listened repeatedly to the audios of “Enlightening Quotes” and, as mentioned, I’ve been especially enjoying the recordings of your meetings in Worthing.

I definitely get the overall message, and when “I” focus on direct experience, the nothingness/openness is evident. But there are some areas where “I” thoughts seem more persistent. For example, I can get stressed out about lists of things “I” need to do – but who is really doing them? And when I have periods of insomnia, I get into weird internal arguments, telling myself “I” shouldn’t be awake right now – which only serves to wake me up more!

So that’s where I’m at. I look forward to your guidance…

With many thanks,
Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:25 am

Thank you very much for intro, it gives me a feel of where you are at.
I definitely get the overall message, and when “I” focus on direct experience, the nothingness/openness is evident. But there are some areas where “I” thoughts seem more persistent. For example, I can get stressed out about lists of things “I” need to do – but who is really doing them? And when I have periods of insomnia, I get into weird internal arguments, telling myself “I” shouldn’t be awake right now – which only serves to wake me up more!
Do you expect, that once realisation happens, you never ever get frustrated again? No more heavy, unwanted feelings? No more stress?
Hmm, it's not like that. Life includes all. The freedom found here now is not freedom from sensations, but freedom to feel all openly, without resistance, even if the feeling is feeling of resistance. Does there need to be a self in order for sensations of frustration to appear?

Focus on sensation that is most evident now. Is there I right here right now to which sensation is happening? Is there I that is focusing on sensation? Is there a gap between sensation and watcher if it? Is there a separate being found that receives the sensation?

What do you find in experience?

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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:17 pm

Good day, Ilona!

I’m already feeling the impact of answering these questions for myself, rather than just reading other people’s answers. Maybe it will start to untangle some things!

(I'm testing out the quote function. We'll see how it looks...)
Do you expect, that once realisation happens, you never ever get frustrated again? No more heavy, unwanted feelings? No more stress?
Hmm, it's not like that. Life includes all. The freedom found here now is not freedom from sensations, but freedom to feel all openly, without resistance, even if the feeling is feeling of resistance. Does there need to be a self in order for sensations of frustration to appear?
Thank you for this reminder. I can see that frustration just appears as a reaction to certain events, based on the conditioning that is unique to "me" (or this body or entity or pattern or whatever). An immediate example: Feeling frustration working with the quote function.
Focus on sensation that is most evident now. Is there I right here right now to which sensation is happening? Is there I that is focusing on sensation? Is there a gap between sensation and watcher if it? Is there a separate being found that receives the sensation?

What do you find in experience?
It’s evident to me that sensation is just appearing in/as my awareness. It’s not personal to an “I”. It’s just what’s happening right here, right now.

As much as I grasp this, I will often make a leap in thinking, from “Anxiety is simply what is here right now” to “Well, if anxiety is what is here for me, it’s my job to take action and get rid of it as soon as possible.” This is a form of resistance, right? Can I possibly remind myself not to do this?!

Thank you so much for your assistance…

Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:35 pm

Yes, frustration arises as reaction, it's a sensation. Instead of trying to get rid of it, feel it out. Feel it fully without naming it anything. Just watch the raw energy, without calling it even that.

Anyway, this is not what seeing no self is about. All sensations are impermanent. Realisation, shift in perception is one way switch. Let's focus on the target.

Find the sense of separatedness.
Where is?
What is separate from what exactly?
Check with each sense perception Chanel- is there anything separate in seeing, hearing, touch sense, taste, smell?
Where is the line between here and there?
Where is the line between inside and outside? (Test with each sense again)
What separates me from not me?

Describe in detail please what you find.

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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:06 pm

Hello Ilona.

I've been pondering and investigating.
Where is the line between here and there?
When I first considered this question, I got sort of scared and dizzy. I can sense a “there” with all the stuff that’s out there in the world. But there isn’t a definite "here" I can locate. What’s here is that sense of being the emptiness/openness in which everything happens.
Check with each sense perception channel- is there anything separate in seeing, hearing, touch sense, taste, smell?
All of these perceptions just appear in the openness. There’s no “I” in the actual process. “I” steps in afterwards with a description or label.
Where is the line between inside and outside? (Test with each sense again)
The senses don’t capture the distinction between inside and outside. There are just sensations happening in the ephemeral “here”.
What separates me from not me?
I started thinking about this in traditional terms by pondering my foot being separate from my shoe. The shoe isn’t part of me, but the foot is. But with the sense of openness, the body doesn’t feel like “me” either. The body is a perception equal to the shoe. There’s no “me”, there’s just “this” – whatever it is right now.
Find the sense of separatedness.
Where is?
What is separate from what exactly?
I can get that everything appears within this openness, so in that way, there is no separateness. Everything is part of the openness. Is that it? Is that how there's no separateness? But in practical terms, the cup is still separate is from the table, right? Is there something I’m missing?

Warmest thanks to you...

Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:30 am

Yes yes yes, that's it. All is appearing in this wide open spacious awaring, no borders, no lines, no separation, only thought invents separatedness. In practical terms, conventionally, we can say that cup is separate from table, but in actuality, both cup and table are concepts, labels, overlayed over sense perceptions. Concepts are useful in communication, but labels are not things, words are not actual objects. We don't experience objects, just sensations, colour, sounds, feel.
There is just this, and this can not be put into any frames or be separated by any lines.
Here now, right this- IS
Anything and everything else - is not- it's in the story.

Now look at time. Is there past and future? How do you experience future? What is actually experienced when you think of tomorrow?
Is past driving the present?
Is future driving the present?

What do you find when you contemplate?
Here is a nice little video for you from Alan watts. http://youtu.be/fAsHGEB69P0


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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:19 pm

Good day, Ilona.

Thank you for pushing me to get my own clarity on these points. These discussions have often confused me when I’ve read them in non-duality books, and trying to figure them out often becomes a distracting puzzle that just generates more seeking. So I hope to sort them out and let them go!

“Is there past and future? How do you experience future? What is actually experienced when you think of tomorrow?”

I understand that the past and future are just concepts. The past is over. The future never comes. Everything appears right here in this present moment.

Thinking of tomorrow is just imagination, largely based on memories of the past. My imagination of the future might create certain sensations in the moment, such as excitement or dread. That’s what’s right now.

“Is past driving the present?”

I understand that the past is not here right now, except as memory. So in real terms, it can’t touch this moment. Alan Watts makes this point in the video. (Thanks for that.)

However, here is something I would love to clarify with you. Frequently it’s said that “I” am driven entirely by conditioning. Doesn’t conditioning imply that the past has an impact right now? To me, conditioning implies a universe totally ruled by cause and effect, and that’s why it’s said there is no free will. Am I misunderstanding something here?

In actual experience, I don’t know what is controlling my behaviour! To me, conditioning sounds like a theory or concept, beyond anything I can directly know. To me, it’s just as believable that it’s the “intelligence of the universe” that’s orchestrating every moment, totally beyond individual control. There are infinite influences beyond what I can understand. I’m recalling Byron Katie saying, “It’s none of my business.” I’d love to hear your thoughts on this point. I get stuck on it so frequently!

“Is future driving the present?”

At one point in my life, I definitely felt this way, since I was so focused on achieving my dreams. I felt I needed to take certain present actions to achieve certain future results. More cause and effect!

But right now, I see that it’s absurd in real terms. The future definitely doesn’t exist. It’s only a concept. This question just points to the equal absurdity of saying the past is driving the present. All there is is right here right now.

That’s probably enough for now!

With deepest gratitude…

Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:16 pm

Good stuff Gerald.
What is conditioning in actual experience? And more importantly, what is that gets conditioned?
If you have a pet or small baby around, watch how they act and react to environment. Is there an I in a dog, for example, that owns conditioning? How about your body, does it carry conditioning around with it?

All models that explain reality are just that- concepts. Useful sometimes, can be practical. But have a look, where is conditioning now? Is this moment something that arises because of conditioning or conditioning story arises together with thoughts about conditioning?

I love byron Katie as well. She is good. And her model how to question beliefs is great.

Anyway, back to you. What drives the body? :) what drives thinking? What drives sensations, sounds, sights?
Is there a need for a driver at all?


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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:06 pm

Hello again, Ilona.

I’m pursuing these questions about conditioning.

“What is conditioning in actual experience? And more importantly, what is that gets conditioned? How about your body, does it carry conditioning around with it?”

I suppose memory is part of conditioning and that must be carried around in the brain. Beyond that (which I really don’t understand), conditioning is just a concept to me. There are definitely habits and tendencies unique to “me”. There are lessons that are learned every day that affect my current responses. Sometimes I can guess the conditioned background behind actions, sometimes not.

I guess it’s the “I” that is conditioned, but clearly I’m not finding any “I”.

A great deal of my puzzlement here is that conditioning is talked about specifically in “Enlightening Quotes,” so I figured it was part of the official LU philosophy – implying predestined fate and determinism. But what we’re discussing here seems much more open-ended and indefinable. So you wouldn’t say conditioning is a definite fact?!

“But have a look, where is conditioning now? Is this moment something that arises because of conditioning or conditioning story arises together with thoughts about conditioning?”

This moment seems clean of conditioning. Experience is just happening. I can see that conditioning comes up as a story to describe past actions.

“What drives the body? :) What drives thinking? What drives sensations, sounds, sights? Is there a need for a driver at all?”

My most thoughtful answer seems to be “I don’t know!” Because I can’t know. I’m aware of inner and outer stimuli and there’s a constant responsiveness happening. Sometimes I do what my thoughts suggest, and sometimes I don’t. I don’t know what is driving it. (I presume it’s “the intelligence of the universe” – whether that’s called God or Source or whatever.) All I really know is the aliveness right here that’s open to everything.

One bit of wisdom I often recall is: “I can only ever do the next obvious thing to do.”

So to summarize, I guess I can stop worrying about conditioning?!

Many, many thanks for helping me with this…

Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:51 am

I guess it’s the “I” that is conditioned, but clearly I’m not finding any “I”.
Ha. No I to get conditioned. No I to try to get rid of it either. Yes, you can stop worrying about it!

Clear seeing is just that- seeing what is here, now without thoughts about it. No conditioning needed. It's simply noticing what is here already. Sounds, coulours, sensations.... Free flowing. Including thinking, when it comes up.

Here is something for you to play for a day or a few- it's called bahiya sutta. Look at all through this lens, see how it all fits and write to me what was noticed.

In the seen, there is only the seen,
in the heard, there is only the heard,
in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
Thus you should see that
indeed there is no thing here;
this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
Since, Bahiya, there is for you
in the seen, only the seen,
in the heard, only the heard,
in the sensed, only the sensed,
in the cognized, only the cognized,
and you see that there is no thing here,
you will therefore see that
indeed there is no thing there.
As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
betwixt the two.
This alone is the end of suffering.

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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:23 pm

Thank you for this sutra, Ilona. There are so many pointers here. I understand what it’s saying, and I’m trying not to intellectualize it, but to actually follow the pointing in practical terms.

It’s helpful to see that cognizing/thinking is considered equal to the seen and the heard. “I” tend to give thinking the highest priority, as it adds labels and critique to the other senses.

I’m trying to remind myself that “impatience with myself” is only “impatience with myself”. Just a sensation passing through the openness that’s right here. There is only direct experiencing, with no thing either here nor there.

In the text, the “no thing here” is pointing to no self. The “no thing there” is pointing to the conceptual labeling of whatever is there – not that there is literally nothing there. In the third section, it’s pointing to the openness and freedom that seem to be the nature of direct experience. Is that the right idea?

But once again, I realize that understanding this intellectually is not the point!

I’ll keep coming back to this sutra the rest of today and Sunday.

Warmest appreciation to you…

Gerald.

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:28 pm

Hi again, Ilona.

I want to clarify something else with you. In LU material, I've often come across the point that one only experiences one thought at a time. Would that also imply that one experiences only one sense perception at a time?

I was just lying down, noticing the flow of sensations that captured my attention, one by one: leg twitch, sound, thought, another sound, open eyes and see the room, arm moves, thought, etc.

Sometimes critical and judgmental thoughts pop up and then "I" start feeling that "I" am doing something wrong, and it spirals into a problem with lots of thinking required.

Is the idea to stay with the openness of letting everything flow by, one by one?

Please advise! Thank you...

Gerald.

User avatar
Ilona
Site Admin
Posts: 5835
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: Mexico
Contact:

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:51 am

How is it going? Did you work with the sutta a bit more?
It’s helpful to see that cognizing/thinking is considered equal to the seen and the heard. “I” tend to give thinking the highest priority, as it adds labels and critique to the other senses.
Exactly. Thoughts are taken for most important channel of perception. But there is so much more going on than thinking and to notice that there is no need for thinking.

It's like we go to explore underwater scenery, but instead of diving, we swim on the surface and philosophise, what is underneath it. So is thinking- it's jus thoughts about thoughts about thoughts... Need to dive in and check it, not think about it.

It's simple- take something that you like to eat.
Experience the smell, shape, texture of the item, then taste it and dive in to sensation of taste, enjoying every bit of it.
Then try to describe it in words. Do these words touch experience? Do they even come close to the experience of taste?

Same with every other sense. Description of perceived is just that, a wrapper. I wrote a bit about it in the article called thinking. http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... nking.html You may read this to get more pointers.


As for your second post, how is it for you? Can you divide experiences and perceive one experince or more than one at a time? It does not matter one bit, what material says, it only matters what you see in your exploration and what feels true to you.
With thoughts- are they coming in bunches or one after another?
With other sense perceptions, can you see colours and hear sounds together? :)

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

User avatar
GeraldF
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm

Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:40 am

Hi Ilona.

Yes, I’ve been continuing with the text. It’s really a great summary of wisdom.

As for your second post, how is it for you? Can you divide experiences and perceive one experience or more than one at a time? It does not matter one bit, what material says, it only matters what you see in your exploration and what feels true to you.
With thoughts- are they coming in bunches or one after another?
With other sense perceptions, can you see colours and hear sounds together? :)


Thoughts come one at a time – though sometimes they’re so fast, they might seem like bunches.

It certainly seems that visuals and sound and other sensory input are appearing at the same time. But my attention seems to focus on only one element at a time – even if just for a split second. And “I” don’t seem to have control over which is the focus. Attention seems to drive itself to whatever is most interesting to it.

“I” don’t even seem able to stay focused on this topic, or the ability to notice one thing at a time. Over the last few days, sometimes when I pondered it, I’ve been able to concentrate and get it, sometimes not.

I suppose this indicates that the journey to liberation is not something “I” am doing either. It’s just part of some pattern, and what “I” am learning from “you” could be building toward it – or not. Though “I” certainly hope it is!

Coming back to the topic of “one at a time”, when I’m getting this, the world feels a little slower and more manageable, less overwhelming.

Today I would like to dwell on your blog post about Thinking. Lots of wisdom there too. “Love the mind and be kind to it. Say yes to the voice in the head.”

Thank you so much...

Gerald.


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests