Thread for Gerald.

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:35 pm

Hello there, Ilona.

As you can see, guilt and fear are trying to help. It's ok for them to do so. If that's what you need. If that's what works, right? Does it work? Is stress helpful? What do you find?

I can see that guilt and fear can be helpful for motivation. And stress can also be helpful, even though it doesn’t feel good. I guess I’ve been presuming that I shouldn’t have these emotions because they are uncomfortable.

Today I’ve been thanking these emotions and welcoming them. Sometimes they have relaxed and opened into a more spacious feeling. But I do remind myself that the point isn’t to get rid of them. Just let them be here and do their thing. They are just what’s happening right here, right now.

Thank you, Ilona.

Gerald.

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Ilona
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:22 am

Nice one Gerald! Yes! The emotions come to be felt, not to be pushed away. When felt they pass quickly and dissolve. When suppressed they keep building up and create tension, stress, more stress and more till all the ball of pressure explodes or collapses.
Saying yes to all that comes up can be challenging, but that's the way through. And when you nari no longer afraid to feel sensations, there is more space, more peace and acceptance.
What is here now is meant to be lived fully.

Can you find a doer, a thinker, a manager behind this experiencing of life?
Is there a separate entity that life is happening to?

Was there ever?

Sending love

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:53 pm

Good afternoon, Ilona.

Just sharing my thoughts of the day...

Can you find a doer, a thinker, a manager behind this experiencing of life?
Is there a separate entity that life is happening to? Was there ever?


When I had some waves of anxiety on waking at two a.m., I tried to relax into it – not very successfully. But the questions were coming: “Am ‘I’ the one creating this anxiety? Would ‘I’ do this to myself? Doesn’t that show that ‘I’ am not in control of it?”

Just having that objective analysis does make it seem that there is a separate entity observing the situation. However, it’s equally clear that “I” don’t have control of the observer or control of the situation.

I realize there is a presumption that feeling uncomfortable emotions must mean there is an “I” here to feel them. Thinking and judging implies there is a separate “I”. I’m not sure what to make of that today!

However, I do keep coming back to those key questions: “Can I find a doer? Can I find who is in control of this? Who is doing this?” And I can’t find the source.

So I'm a little frustrated. I guess it’s just persistent looking that will pay off. And persistence is part of what’s happening too.

Tremendous appreciation to you...

Gerald.

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Ilona
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:31 pm

Yes, keep looking. That's the key. Frustration is part of it. See if you can soften up, relax a bit. It's all natural.

When you ask question- is there a doer? / where is the doer?
What happens?
Look closely.

Write what was noticed.

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:59 pm

Dear Ilona,

My thoughts of the day…

See if you can soften up, relax a bit.

I’ve been paying attention to this suggestion to relax – thanking and welcoming emotions. I’ve been asking myself while doing various activities, “Does this take any effort?” It’s apparent that the answer is No.

When you ask question- is there a doer? / where is the doer?
What happens?
Look closely.

When I ask myself, “Where is the doer?” – the action dissolves into the sensations of direct experience. There’s just the movement of the moment, happening naturally and spontaneously. I really get that.

I notice that when I’m doing physical activities – walking, folding laundry, preparing food – it’s clearly happening automatically.

But the bulk of my life is spent in front of a computer, thinking and writing. I do see that thoughts flow in sequence or just appear automatically – that “I” don’t actively generate them. But there often can be a sense of tension during my working process. A knot in my stomach as I work. A fear/pressure that I need to figure this out. Stay focused. Make it good. Finish more quickly. Make sure I’m keeping my clients happy. There’s a definite inference of an “I” in the thought process, trying to stay in control. Not much relaxation there either!

Do you have any suggestions on how to relax around thinking?

Thank you, Ilona.

Gerald.

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:08 am

Is I required for the sensation of tension to arise? Or do you expect, that with seeing that I is imagined there will be no more sensations of tightness and frustration?
Is I in charge of what is happening ? Can it command and make clients happy at will? Or it's all more stories about the I?

Looking closely at actuality, right here right now, where this his I? Does it come and go? When is there I? What is here when I thought is not present?
What if it really does not exist? Would anything need to be different?

I hope you feel better soon. Sending healing wishes your way.

Kind regards

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:43 pm

Thank you for your questions, Ilona, and for pushing me to look.

I can see that I’ve had expectations about frustration and tension going away with this understanding. The response of stress just seems to be part of the current nature of this “me”. Maybe the programming will change. But that’s not directly related to discovering “no I”.

Today it feels as if I’m getting a fresh angle on things. I can see that, second by second, I don’t have personal control over my thoughts and actions. And if it’s true second by second, that must be how all of life unfolds. “I” am not in control. But believing that I have to make every choice has been causing so much stress and tension.

When I feel like I’m making a personal effort – and some activity feels hard and stressful – it’s really just the thinking process adding a story, saying “I” am responsible for all this. But it’s really all happening naturally and organically.

I can’t say I have relaxed fully into this knowledge yet, but the logic is so evident. I will keep looking.

With profound appreciation…

Gerald.

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Ilona
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:33 am

Yes, Gerald, all is unfolding moment by moment and in this moment there is no controller or manager, there is just what is happening.
Then mind creates stories about it. And that too is happening.
The frustration is there, because there are places that are waiting to be looked at. It's like this, if you take sunglasses off, the view changes, but nothin in the view is affected. You just see all without a darker shade.
But, when you see what is as it is, consciously, things can start relaxing, when emotions that were pushed away can be felt fully, they no longer create tension. So seeing, watching, observing what is here now frees whatever was left unfelt. This process does not end in a day or in a month. It carries on with looking.

Can you look back now and describe, what has hasn't changed and what looks different since we started this conversation. In normal everyday ordinary activities, is anything different?

Sending love.

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:20 pm

Hello Ilona.

Can you look back now and describe, what has hasn't changed and what looks different since we started this conversation. In normal everyday ordinary activities, is anything different?

One thing that’s different is that I’m focusing on these questions a lot!

I am much clearer intellectually that life just happens, flowing naturally without the need for “my” effort. For example, some stressful circumstances this morning led to some conversations to clear them up, and now the stress has passed. Sometimes this feels very reassuring and peaceful – even amidst thoughts of “What should I do? What should I do?”

At other times, there seems to be a much stronger, much more dramatic doubt going on – almost as if “I” is fighting for its life! I’m feeling fear/confusion/frustration that I’m not going to get this, and that I’m wasting your time. I’m trying to force myself to relax, which is obviously impossible.

This morning I also read your thread for “davepollard” and I appreciated his ideas for daily practices of relaxing and calming the mind. I think that might be the key for me too at this point. I get it intellectually, but I need to trust it and relax into it. Though it’s not something “I” can do!

With many thanks,
Gerald.

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:38 am

It appears that I is associated with unwanted feelings, intense sensations.
You say it seems that I is fighting for its life. Well, what I is there that wants to survive? An idea? A sensation? An entity? A thought about I? What is that is trying to survive?
What is here without that idea?
Frustration, intensity happens as a natural response to given situation. What has it got to do with I? Where is this I when all is sweet and peaceful?
Is I something that comes and goes?
What is true in your exp?

Sending Love.

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:15 pm

Thank you for continuing to push me with these powerful questions, Ilona. I think “I” am starting to crack…

I was working this morning, then started randomly looking on the Internet, and a critical thought came up, saying: “I shouldn’t be doing that.” I felt my body cringe a little, like it was being punished. Then the thought: “That was just a thought. That doesn’t mean there’s an ‘I’.” It felt like a big moment, getting this organically for myself – even though I’ve been hearing this idea repeatedly!

All day it’s been more obvious that negative, critical thoughts are just thoughts – not some separate identity that is trying to control “me”. They are just thoughts, providing input – equal to all the other sensory input.

I’ll keep looking…

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby Ilona » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:47 pm

oh great, an opening..
is the voice in the head = the I speaking?
what is that is listening to the thoughts?

keep looking. and face it. there is no self. none as in zero.



sending love

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GeraldF
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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:02 am

Hello Ilona. I’m checking in!

is the voice in the head = the I speaking?

In the past, I have definitely equated the voice in the head with “I”. But really, the voice in the head is just a stream of thoughts. And by believing the thoughts, I have been believing in an “I”.

what is it that is listening to the thoughts?

I don’t know what is generating the thoughts, and I don’t know what is listening to the thoughts either! The listening must be happening in this same openness that tastes and sees and smells. I recall one teacher calling it Presence Awareness. I can see why there’s a reluctance to put a label on whatever this is, because it could so easily become another version of “I”.

I have been continuing to look at direct experience today. My thoughts are so frequently self-critical, it is easy to get swallowed up by them – especially when I am working, which requires a lot of critiquing and assessing the project at hand. But I keep coming back to looking…

Thank you, Ilona.

Gerald.

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:48 am

Hello again, Ilona.

I just had a wave of anxiety, and I’d like to share my understanding with you, because dealing with these uncomfortable feelings seems to be a roadblock for me and I’d like to clear it up.

It’s clear that “I” didn’t cause the anxiety to arrive, and “I” can’t make it leave on command. It was just arriving because whatever conditions were in place for anxiety to appear. Fighting with it and saying it shouldn't be here definitely makes it worse. Instead I welcomed it, thanked it, felt it. After a few minutes, I got sort of bored by it and picked up a novel to read. A little anxiety still there. Stretched my legs. Started wondering about sharing this situation with you. And now the anxiety has pretty much gone.

So is this a realistic way to look at it? Just be patient and practical. Feel it. Know that whatever is here will go away once the conditions have changed again. This understanding makes it much easier to feel open and relaxed.

Sorry to trouble you with this topic again, but I would appreciate your insights.

Thank you…
Gerald.

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Re: Thread for Gerald.

Postby GeraldF » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:02 pm

After my second post yesterday, when I outlined my reactions to a period of anxiety, these uncomfortable feelings have felt more manageable – less like they can take over and dominate.

I was on a long bus ride earlier today. Looking out the window, my thoughts were neutral and it was clear no “I” was present or necessary. There was just openness. But as soon as a thought arose about what should be different about the situation – I should finish reading my book or I should check my email – there was the “I” again.

Of course “I” don’t generate these uncomfortable thoughts. They come on their own. There’s that initial instinct that “I” need to do something to get rid of them. But then the thought comes to try the deep looking process to welcome the thoughts and relax with them as part of reality. And eventually conditions change and the feelings change. (It’s equally possible that the thought would NOT come to do deep thinking, and there might be a longer period of dwelling on the uncomfortable thoughts. But even then, they would eventually move on.)

Anyway, it feels as if things are clicking into place in understanding. I’ve been listening to the Enlightening Quotes audios repeatedly and different pointers are making more sense.

That’s where I’m at today, Ilona. Thank you perpetually for your guidance on this.

Gerald.


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