I am ready for guidance

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:09 am

What is exactly that "me" that needs to be protected?
I have this belief about myself that I am a victim of society, a fragile vessel, that the world is big bad scary place full of pain and suffering and forces in the universe are intentionally trying to hurt me. The “me” is the story in which I need to be protected from big bad world.
fear is like feral child that's trying to protect me from the bad things in the forest.
So in this context fear is personified as my protector because I believe in the story that I need protecting.

The more I write, the more the “me” is starting to sound like a character from a novel or a fairy tale. It’s like watching a movie where you know it’s not real but the plot is so good that you get caught up in it and secretly wish it was real. You begin to identify with the protagonist and actually feel real emotions about them. At the end of the day, the character isn’t not real but your feelings about them are.......Maybe that’s why acting is so fun!
what is behind the sensations - fear, resistance, contraction?
is there a feeler?
So, what is behind the sensations-fear, resistance, contraction…believing in the I-am-a-victim-and-I-need-protecting story, the I-am-inadequate story, the pain-and-suffering-is-bad-so-I-must-hide-from-it-at-all-cost story, the world-is-a-big-bad-scary-place story, the I-am-a-slave-to-fear-and-anxiety story, the I-need-to-reach-my-truest-potential/higher self/enlighten story, the Let-me-keep-making-same-mistakes-and-expect-different-outcomes story, the I-need-a-do-over story, the I’ll-do-it-tomorrow story, the my-life-sucks-story, the everyone-will-see-what-a-fraud-I-am story, the I-am-poor story, the I-am-ugly story, the everyone-is-better-than-me-story, the I-am-stupid-story, the I-will-never-be-in-love story, the I-am-unlovable story,

And finally, the There-is-a-me story

But then if these are all stories, what’s left? Just blank pages in a book?

I’m genuinely starting to understand that there is no “me”, no “feeler. I'm not stuck in these "roles" that my beliefs have laid out for me. But it’s still difficult to let go of the concept of “me” as a separate entity.

I can’t find a “feeler” or a “me” but then what is life now?

Do I just exist? Like an amoeba? Or tardigrade?

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:20 pm

Hi V,
I’m genuinely starting to understand that there is no “me”, no “feeler. I'm not stuck in these "roles" that my beliefs have laid out for me. But it’s still difficult to let go of the concept of “me” as a separate entity.
Ok. Let´s go a bit deeper here. You already saw that all the stories behind the "me" and "I", are just that, stories.Chains of thoughts that creates stories.
Now tell me, does a story or a thought needs to be kept? it needs to be protected? what happens if they are not kept and protected? what happens if they go?
But then if these are all stories, what’s left? Just blank pages in a book?
I’m genuinely starting to understand that there is no “me”, no “feeler. I'm not stuck in these "roles" that my beliefs have laid out for me. But it’s still difficult to let go of the concept of “me” as a separate entity.
I can’t find a “feeler” or a “me” but then what is life now?
Do I just exist? Like an amoeba? Or tardigrade?
Let's explore this other bit with an excercise.
1. Take a sit and write down all your expectations of how life should be - in contrast of how it is right now. Write down even the most hidden and silly expectations. Bring them all with you.
2. Read what you wrote and let them sink in. Let it all be OK. Acknowledge that these expectations are running in the system.
3. See where they come from- your parents, your mum, your family, partner, teachers, kids, boss, community etc.
3. See if you need all those expectations or if its OK to let them all go. Take a closer look, if expectations are useful. See if anything would be lost if those expectations would drop. Write all that comes up. When you write, mind focuses and is forced to look closer.
3. Take a look in your experience right now, is anything really missing?
4. Realise that nothing is ever happening the way you imagine it would, that life goes on regardless of how you expect it to go. Check if you have control over what is happening and when.

Please report back.

Keeo going, V. You're doing great!

Best wishes.
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:43 pm

Hi V,

Is everything ok?

Xx.
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:11 pm

I’m soooo sorry for not getting back right away. I wasn't home for few days and I didn’t have good access to the internet. I really really appreciate your concern. Thank you for caring ☺

I had a lot of time to think about what you wrote. So here we go:
Now tell me, does a story or a thought needs to be kept? it needs to be protected? what happens if they are not kept and protected? what happens if they go?
A story or thought doesn’t need to kept or protected.

I wasted a lot of energy trying to hold on to thoughts and stories that frankly weren’t beneficial to my life and caused unnecessary pain and struggle.

There were a few thoughts I was able to completely let go in the past. One thought was “my hair is ugly.” I hated my hair when I was a kid. The people around me and media didn’t help either because they reinforced the belief that my hair texture was ugly. But after I let go of that thought at the age of 10, I saw my hair in different perspective. I learned to love my hair. Now, every wave, curl and kink is amazing genetic work of art to me. If someone came up to me said my hair was ugly, I wouldn’t care. It wouldn’t bother me at all. Not even a random thought could convince me that my hair is ugly.

My hair is probably the only thing I can actually have completely awareness without effort lol I get totally lost in it. When I do my hair I am aware of the texture of the strands as it slide through my fingers. I notice things like different shades of black and dark brown colors. Even when my hair is tangled and I start to get frustrated, I can step back, notice frustration arising and continue detangling gently instead of ripping the comb through and loosing a lot hair.

When a thought is not kept, not only does awareness arises but I learn to appreciate many things I took for granted. It’s also easier to have more joy and happiness because I notice the beautiful things that were here this whole time. I can put more energy into living life and trying new activities even when it seems difficult or challenging. I’m not even trying to be successful at everything I do now, I’m just doing things for the experience .

So I guess, if I drop the thought that there is a “me” , my life wouldn’t be meaningless. It would actually be more meaningful. I would not feel shackled to anxiety, fear or continue to engage in self-destructive behaviors that have hurt my relationships and prevented me from doing things that I love . I won’t feel the need to follow societal expectations because I don’t buy into their stories. I would retain my child-like curiosity and see the world for what it is.
Let's explore this other bit with an excercise.
1. Take a sit and write down all your expectations of how life should be - in contrast of how it is right now. Write down even the most hidden and silly expectations. Bring them all with you.
2. Read what you wrote and let them sink in. Let it all be OK. Acknowledge that these expectations are running in the system.
3. See where they come from- your parents, your mum, your family, partner, teachers, kids, boss, community etc.
3. See if you need all those expectations or if its OK to let them all go. Take a closer look, if expectations are useful. See if anything would be lost if those expectations would drop. Write all that comes up. When you write, mind focuses and is forced to look closer.
3. Take a look in your experience right now, is anything really missing?
4. Realise that nothing is ever happening the way you imagine it would, that life goes on regardless of how you expect it to go. Check if you have control over what is happening and when.
Some of my life expectations

1. I should find happiness
2. If I work hard enough, I’ll get what I want
3. If I eat healthy and exercise I won’t get sick
4. I should have my own house, car and family (the American Dream)
5. I should have a wonderful boyfriend/husband
6. I should have money
7. Life gets easier once I am enlighten
8. If meditate enough, my anxiety will go away
9. I should always get “good grades”. If I don’t I’m a failure
10. My career is the reflection of who I am/My worth as a human being is based on my accomplishment
11. I should be good in all that I do, I just have to try harder

Some of my expectations comes from my mother (i.e. “I should find happiness, have children, etc."), others come from society (The American Dream) and communities (i.e. "no achievements=not worthy" is from going to a very competitive school) and others are from my own misinterpretation of reality. I don’t need any of these expectations. I know that money and materialistic things doesn’t make one happy in the long-term. Being in pursuit of happiness will also end in misery because my happiness would be determine on external factors and it would never be good enough. I’m not always going to get what I want. I can still die even if I eat healthy and exercise.

I want to let go of all these expectations. Most of them are not helpful to me because I end up with a very narrow perspective that has led to disappointment in myself and in life in general. Life is much more complex and incredible than my mind can ever conceive, so why even try to anticipate and imagine how things should be? I don't know all the possibilities.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:51 pm

I’m soooo sorry for not getting back right away. I wasn't home for few days and I didn’t have good access to the internet. I really really appreciate your concern. Thank you for caring ☺
No problem V :)
So I guess, if I drop the thought that there is a “me” , my life wouldn’t be meaningless. It would actually be more meaningful. I would not feel shackled to anxiety, fear or continue to engage in self-destructive behaviors that have hurt my relationships and prevented me from doing things that I love . I won’t feel the need to follow societal expectations because I don’t buy into their stories. I would retain my child-like curiosity and see the world for what it is.
Excellent, V!
Now, let´s see this a bit more closely,
In your sentence, what is that ¨I¨ word pointing at? Is ¨me¨something more than a thought/story? Is there any ¨me¨ in any shape or form that needs to be protected?
I want to let go of all these expectations. Most of them are not helpful to me because I end up with a very narrow perspective that has led to disappointment in myself and in life in general.
Very good.
Now let´s see what happens when you let go all the expectations, how does it feel in the body? Please describe the physical sensations of this ¨letting go¨.
Life is much more complex and incredible than my mind can ever conceive, so why even try to anticipate and imagine how things should be? I don't know all the possibilities.
That´s it!
Now please tell me. Is there anything else than Life going on by itself? does Life needs a doer, manager, observer, chooser, witness that is somehow outside of what is happening, in order to go on?

Much love, V. You´re doing great!

R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:21 pm

So I guess, if I drop the thought that there is a “me” , my life wouldn’t be meaningless. It would actually be more meaningful. I would not feel shackled to anxiety, fear or continue to engage in self-destructive behaviors that have hurt my relationships and prevented me from doing things that I love . I won’t feel the need to follow societal expectations because I don’t buy into their stories. I would retain my child-like curiosity and see the world for what it is.
Now, let´s see this a bit more closely,
In your sentence, what is that ¨I¨ word pointing at? Is ¨me¨something more than a thought/story? Is there any ¨me¨ in any shape or form that needs to be protected?
The “I” is not pointing to anything. The “me” is not more than a thought or story and there is no “me” that needs to be protected. There is no “me” to shackled to emotions like anxiety or fear. There’s no “I” that buys into the societal expectations, just the idea of “I”. A child-like curiosity is not attached to an “I” or “me”. However, I feel the English language is very limiting. I don’t want to use the word “I” or “me” but it’s hard to articulate what I want to say without using “I” or “me” even though I know that there’s no “I” or “me”.
Very good.
Now let´s see what happens when you let go all the expectations, how does it feel in the body? Please describe the physical sensations of this ¨letting go¨.
I looked at each expectation and allowed the feelings of anxiety and physical sensations to present itself. When I tried to let go of all of my expectations there was tension all over muscles on my forehead and my scalp. It was like the tension was enveloped around my brain. I could feel my pulse beating in the arteries in my head. My jaw was tight. The muscles around my eye lids and my cheeks were also tense. I could feel exactly where the tension was in my right upper eyelid. It was right in middle. I felt heavy, like there was weights on my head. My throat and bronchial tubes were tight and when I took a breathe it hard to breathe. I followed the flow of air going in and out of my lungs. It felt like air coming out of my lungs was thick as honey. I think my body was resisting letting go.

I decided to close my eyes and feel everything. I started feeling like I’m spinning even though I was not moving at all. My muscles slowly started to relax but I still felt tension in the middle of my forehead and a stabbing pain in the upper left corner of the back of my head. I could feel my heart beating very hard but at a steady and slower pace. I could feel the blood running through my body via the constant pulsing of the arteries. I kept repeating “I’m letting go of my all expectations” over and over in my mind. At first it felt like nothing was happening except for the presence of physical sensations that I felt before. I noticed that I expect something to happen, so I dropped that expectation. I kept repeating “I’m letting go of all my expectations”. Eventually I completely detached from the meaning of the words while still continuing to be aware of the physical sensations in my body. All of a sudden, my face started to feel “open”, it felt like my sinuses were open and clear. My muscles got relaxed. The whole time, I didn’t try control what’s going or make assumptions. I was just observing. I continued to observe. My head felt light. I didn’t feel like I had a heavy weight on me anymore.
That´s it!
Now please tell me. Is there anything else than Life going on by itself? does Life needs a doer, manager, observer, chooser, witness that is somehow outside of what is happening, in order to go on?
Life doesn’t need a doer, manager, observer, chooser, witness that is somehow outside of what is happening, in order to go on. For example, a forest fire happens and everything burns down, it’s not like the world cease to exist. Life continues. Animals eventually returns, different plants start to grow, microbes and fungi return. The water continues to flow in the rivers. No one prompts this. It just happens. Even if the human race was close to extinction, life would still go on, with or without us. I understand this very well now. But, there's still something that I just realize I haven't let go of. I still I’m conflicted by the traditional belief of God, the idea that God is the doer, manager, observer and chooser.

If there is a God, he definitely can’t be like the God of Christianity, Judaism or Islam, a God who is constantly watching, judging and punishing humans and controlling everything. There can't be a God or Jesus Christ who "saves" us from damnation for following some rules a book. God can’t be “outside of what is happening,” in order for life to go on, right? He can't be this one entity sitting on some throne somewhere looking down at his pitiful creations.

I already had stopped believing in God in the traditional Baptist Christian way. I've been on the fence about Jesus Christ as a savior. I guess I forgot about my expectations of a God and his son who are kind and nice and who will "protect me" from the "devil".

There's no "me" to protect.

As I'm typing this, I'm noticing how dropping my expectation of God and Jesus Christ is manifesting physically in my body. My head is starting to tense up again. I'm getting a headache. But I'm noticing it and it's okay.

I grew up being drilled about how God and Jesus Christ are supposed to be and how we as humans are "sinners". These beliefs for me had started to fall apart a long time ago. Now I think it's about to shatter to pieces.

I don't think it really matters if there is a God or Jesus anymore, the traditional sense. Maybe it's all just awareness. Maybe God is awareness. Maybe God is us and we are God. Maybe we are the devil and the devil is us too.

All I know is that at the end of the day we're all connected.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:28 pm

Hello lovely V,
Thanks a lot for your answers.
I decided to close my eyes and feel everything. I started feeling like I’m spinning even though I was not moving at all. My muscles slowly started to relax but I still felt tension in the middle of my forehead and a stabbing pain in the upper left corner of the back of my head. I could feel my heart beating very hard but at a steady and slower pace. I could feel the blood running through my body via the constant pulsing of the arteries. I kept repeating “I’m letting go of my all expectations” over and over in my mind. At first it felt like nothing was happening except for the presence of physical sensations that I felt before. I noticed that I expect something to happen, so I dropped that expectation. I kept repeating “I’m letting go of all my expectations”. Eventually I completely detached from the meaning of the words while still continuing to be aware of the physical sensations in my body. All of a sudden, my face started to feel “open”, it felt like my sinuses were open and clear. My muscles got relaxed. The whole time, I didn’t try control what’s going or make assumptions. I was just observing. I continued to observe. My head felt light. I didn’t feel like I had a heavy weight on me anymore.
Beautiful!
I feel the English language is very limiting. I don’t want to use the word “I” or “me” but it’s hard to articulate what I want to say without using “I” or “me” even though I know that there’s no “I” or “me”.
No problem, we can still using pronouns in order to communicate with each other :)
Life doesn’t need a doer, manager, observer, chooser, witness that is somehow outside of what is happening, in order to go on. For example, a forest fire happens and everything burns down, it’s not like the world cease to exist. Life continues. Animals eventually returns, different plants start to grow, microbes and fungi return. The water continues to flow in the rivers. No one prompts this. It just happens. Even if the human race was close to extinction, life would still go on, with or without us. I understand this very well now. But, there's still something that I just realize I haven't let go of. I still I’m conflicted by the traditional belief of God, the idea that God is the doer, manager, observer and chooser.
I saw what you wrote in the end of this paragraph. I would like to explore this next bit together, just in case that there still a tiny hidden doubt.

If you have the chance, go outside into nature, maybe a park. Just sit down and watch all around, trees, animals, babies, other people. See how everything moves, wiggles, trees, grass, animals, birds, humans, thoughts, feelings, the body that is here now. Notice that thoughts are arising dependent of what is being noticed, what is being experienced.
Notice life, aliveness and how everything is happening effortlessly. Turn the focus outside. Notice how everything simply is. perceiving is happening. It's here, now, alive. See how seeing just happens. There is no one behind the eyes, no watcher, no observer, only watching, observing happening in the present moment.
Is necessary any agent, in any shape or form (God, Self) in order to let all this unfold?

Great job, V!

Sending love,
Xx
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:37 pm

Hey Rafael!

Sorry for the late response. I was really busy and I wanted to take some time to observe nature and people and reflect on it.
f you have the chance, go outside into nature, maybe a park. Just sit down and watch all around, trees, animals, babies, other people. See how everything moves, wiggles, trees, grass, animals, birds, humans, thoughts, feelings, the body that is here now. Notice that thoughts are arising dependent of what is being noticed, what is being experienced.
Notice life, aliveness and how everything is happening effortlessly. Turn the focus outside. Notice how everything simply is. perceiving is happening. It's here, now, alive. See how seeing just happens. There is no one behind the eyes, no watcher, no observer, only watching, observing happening in the present moment.
Is necessary any agent, in any shape or form (God, Self) in order to let all this unfold?
Last week, I spent a minute staring at this beautiful black, white and yellow butterfly outside my veranda. It pollinating a bush that had purple flowers. It carefully went from one flower to the next flower. Then a fly flew next to the butterfly and followed it. On a normal day, I wouldn’t have noticed this interaction at all. The insects were in here and now. They were just living. I felt very calm and relaxed.

Then this past weekend, I went to the beach and observed the waves washing up on the shore. I felt very peaceful just observing nature unfold and watching people enjoying the beach. Everything was just happening and I felt so alive. I could smell the salty sea water; I could feel the sun burning my skin, feel the hot sand underneath my feet, feel the ocean breeze brushing against my skin and flowing through my hair, and I could hear people chattering and waves washing up ashore. And now I understand. There is no agent to let all this unfold. The present moment is all that matters.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:35 am

Dear V,

Thanks for your answer, and sorry for my late reply.

It´s lovely to read what you wrote, I totally relate to that.
Can you say with a big YES that the self is an ilussion? If not, is there any doubt?

As a part of this process, we offer to you five final questions that can help you to make even clear what you saw. Are you ready for them?

Sending love,
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:10 pm

Can you say with a big YES that the self is an ilussion?
Yes! The self is an illusion.

I'm ready for the final questions.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:16 pm

Excellent, V! Here they are:

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

Xx.
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:01 am

Hi V,
Is everything ok there?

Sending love
R.


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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:16 pm

Hi,
So sorry about being M.I.A. I’m still alive lol So many things has happened since my last post. My life got really crazy. I had a very emotional few weeks: a short but intense romantic relationship, issues with anxiety and the death of the person that I cared about the most in world. I felt lost. I still feel lost. But maybe within all this chaos, the universe is trying to tell me something.

I view death differently now. It's more real. Losing my mother-figure made me realize how important it is to stay in the present and how important it is to be connected with others. Death has also made me realize that I should face my challenges instead of running away from them because I'll never know when I will take my last breathe. So, I want to continue with this, if it's okay with you.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There is no separate entity ‘self’, ‘me’ ‘I’. There never was. All there was was the collection of thoughts, beliefs, and ideas associated to a physical body.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of separate self is the belief that people are autonomous individuals living independently from everyone and everything else. People believe that there is a self, an “I”, a “me”. This self is attached to a personal identity and the separate self is attached to narratives, thoughts and feelings. There is a belief that there is a "me" and that that "me" has free will. There is is a belief that there is a thinker and experiencer.

The illusion of separate self starts when we are children. As babies, we live in the present but as we get older our family, friends and society tells us that we are individuals. We start to look for differences amongst ourselves. We start to categorize people. We are taught stereotypes and how we are “supposed” to be.

I believed these labels too: poor, black, female, stupid, inadequate. It cause a lot of unnecessary suffering. I quit and failed at a lot things because I thought that I wasn’t good enough. I believed that label.

Now I know the truth. The self doesn’t exist. Our reality is an illusion. We are all connected, all one consciousness. We are all together.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
I feel more free. I am everything and everyone. I am the universe. My body is made up of the same stuff as the stars. I see the illusion for what it is now.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
There was also something that I briefly mention in one of my post that I think really pushed me and made me look. It’s something that I had been thinking about long before I was aware that I was on a spiritual journey. A few years ago I took a sociology class and learned that race is a social construct, meaning that race is not actual real but the belief in it causes serious implications and long-term consequences. Because people believe in race, institutions discriminate against people because of how they look. Generational poverty, wars, genocides, death and suffering stem from believing that some races are better than others.

Race such an illusion but because many people can’t see past that, so many people live in pain, sadness, hurt, and disconnect from the collective consciousness. In that class I was able to look at the bigger picture. It was my start to seeing that the separate self, which include things like race is an illusion. I went from feeling like I was stuck in a box to being able roam free outside that societal box.

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
I feel like I need more help with breaking down this question. I know that free will is an illusion but I don't think I can actually explain why. I still have some work to do :-)

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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri May 27, 2016 5:49 am

Hello V!

I´m so sorry to hear about your lost. I totally relate to what you say about death and the need to face challenges, be present and connect with others.
I´m happy that you´re back though and happy to read your replies. Of course we can continue.

Let´s start with the question about choice:
I feel like I need more help with breaking down this question. I know that free will is an illusion but I don't think I can actually explain why. I still have some work to do :-)
We can do it together, with simple exercises.
Please observe the thoughts that appear on mind and see if you can you choose the content of the next thought. Are you able to choose it? can you find the exact point where you willingly chose a thought?
Now observe the phisycal sensations in the body and please tell me, can you choose the quality of the current physical sensation? and what about the next sensation? can you control the appearance and quality of any physical sensation?
Now we can see the emotions, can you choose the next emotion that will arise? Is there any point in which the emotion is chosen?
Please watch what focus does, focus on focussing, attention itself. Do you move it? Or it moves by itself?

About this statement:
I feel more free. I am everything and everyone. I am the universe. My body is made up of the same stuff as the stars. I see the illusion for what it is now.
I would like to ask you something, Is there any need to idetify with the Universe or with something else? Can life still happening without any idetification whatsoever?

Looking forward to hear back from you!

Much love, V.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Mon May 30, 2016 4:37 pm

Hi Rafael,

Thank you for replying back. Okay, lets continue :-)

Please observe the thoughts that appear on mind and see if you can you choose the content of the next thought. Are you able to choose it? can you find the exact point where you willingly chose a thought?
Sometimes I do this thing where I plan out future conversations in my mind. At times it does feel like I'm choosing the content of the next thought, until some random thought pops up that I have no control over. I like to think that I can choose my thoughts but the truth is that I can't. The minute I try to control it, other thoughts show up more aggressively. It's like if someone said, "Don't think about a pink elephant". Me trying to not think about a pink elephant will cause me to think about a pink elephant.

I just now observed the thoughts in my mind and I couldn't choose the content or the find a point where I willingly chose a thought. They just showed up and I had an urge to change them or edit them. But me trying to change them occurred after they show up, not before. I don't know what thoughts will come next.
Now observe the physical sensations in the body and please tell me, can you choose the quality of the current physical sensation? and what about the next sensation? can you control the appearance and quality of any physical sensation?
I can't control the quality of my current physical sensation or the next sensation or the appearance and quality of any sensation (well, without drugs anyway). I was very sick last week, and I was in such extreme pain and with a high fever. I was so sick I had to be admitted in a hospital. I noticed when I tried to push the pain away it felt worse. I didn't want to feel pain; I wanted to run from it. I didn't get pain medication through my IV right away so I decided that since I'm suffering anyway, might as well try to use this opportunity to attempt to be mindful of my pain. I knew that paying attention to the pain wouldn't make it go away but I needed to do something while I waited for the medication to kick in. So, I tried not to control the pain and just let be. I allowed myself to experience it to the fullest capacity. I couldn't do this for long but for those few seconds that I was mindful, I got to experience pain in a very different way. I didn't try to control anything, I just let it be. It was weird observing the painful sensation but in strange way a calming. I felt like a scientist observing an animal in the wild or looking at bacteria under microscope.
Now we can see the emotions, can you choose the next emotion that will arise? Is there any point in which the emotion is chosen?
Please watch what focus does, focus on focussing, attention itself. Do you move it? Or it moves by itself?
Oh, emotions. This is my downfall. Even more than thoughts and sensations. I know I can't choose my emotions. If I could, my default would be to be happy. Unfortunately, I'm blessed with mostly anxiety. But I always try to control my anxiety with procrastination and avoidance of thing that makes me anxious and it always leads to more suffering and inactivity.

When I put focus on the emotion instead of avoiding it, I noticed that it continues to expand on it own but eventually, it can go away or reduce in intensity. This doesn't happen all the time but most of the time. So, yeah my emotions moves by itself. The only thing I can control is my reaction to my emotions.
About this statement:
I feel more free. I am everything and everyone. I am the universe. My body is made up of the same stuff as the stars. I see the illusion for what it is now.

I would like to ask you something, Is there any need to identify with the Universe or with something else? Can life still happening without any identification whatsoever?
I guess there isn't a need to identify with the Universe or something else. It's more to make me feel significant---ego talking here. There's something nice about feeling like you're part of something bigger than you. It's comforting. That's why a lot of people believe in God or participate in religion; they want to feel like someone/something is out there "protecting" them from the big bad world ....I know that life can still happen without any identification. I think the Universe would still continue even if there were no humans, honestly. Is it bad to want to feel that you're part something bigger or want to feel comfort with the idea of a protective God?


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