Desperate to see! Can you help me?

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:21 pm

For this next day, explore this activity.

There is you, and there is the pretence/persona of you. At times, you act AS this persona. This is the identification we are loosening. So, here and now, and through the day, treat any thoughts as the thoughts of a STRANGER. Treat actions resulting from such thoughts as the acts of a stranger. Watch the thoughts and actions of a stranger unfold. You have the best seat in the house.

As this goes on, notice the space between you and the stranger persona.

Continue watching the thoughts and actions of a stranger with increasing objectivity. Do you see that they have NOTHING to do with you.

Share as and when.

/John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:31 am

Hi John,

Thank you for the exercise. I'm very familiar with the impersonal witness.

I have a daily formal sitting practice of 1-4 hours and hatha/pranayama practice of 2-3 hours. On top of this I try to keep an observational technique going 24/7. Recently I've been receiving a lot of encouragement to teach meditation. I'm at home in the impersonal experience of just witnessing body sensations, internal talking, internal images, external talking, external images, "myself" in daily life, etc.. Yet even when witnessing like this there is someone or something identifying. At these times there is identification with the witness. If I turn the witness on itself, and begin peeling back witnesses (by witnessing each witness as it arises) the witnesses get subtler and subtler and more difficult to detect. Eventually I get to an experience that is indescribable and unintelligible. There is phenomenon arising out of nothing (or arising out of a something which cannot be perceived or has no perceiver). But I am not seeing the "absence of identity" in a way that has stopped identification from arising again with stickiness in the future. I do recognize that my sessions of observing like this offer profound experiences of peace and aliveness, as do other forms of meditation, contemplation, and service to others.

I have been looking for the "I" for a few weeks--every since I came across this website. And I have been practicing other forms of self-inquiry for years. I cannot find an "I" and I would say I'm 99% sure one doesn't exist outside of thoughts ABOUT it. However I haven't actually SEEN its absence in a way that has permanently shifted my perspective. Or if I did see it, the shift in perception occurred so many years ago that I forgot about that transformation. Perhaps the shift already occurred and is what launched me on my contemplative path 30 years ago?

I was very moved by Michael's story in "Gateless Gatecrashers," and because of it I thought there must be something more here for me to learn. I worked with the material on this site on my own and although I had many wonderful insights there was no life changing epiphany. Instead I found myself wrapped up in what appeared to be an exercise in chasing the impossible. I wasn't getting anywhere. Perhaps that is the point? There is nowhere to get? But just to be sure I wasn't missing something I decided to throw caution to the wind and I pulled back on my practices and signed up for guidance.

Working with you has been amazing! And taking a break from my practices has also been amazing. I began this journey feeling very vulnerable and you held my hand beautifully. Allowing myself to get caught up in whatever arises enables things to arise that don't get to arise when one is so busy looking. When we stop looking whatever is buried bubbles to the surface. And then when we look those bubbles pop and disappear--funny how that is--right? Thank you for helping me through my catharsis over seeing myself as a fraud. That one really needed to arise and be explored. Along with its exodus I also got to see more deeply into some emotions I haven't consciously felt for awhile. I'm not going to tell you I no longer have any hang-ups or emotional baggage. But I do feel ready to see. Can you point me in the right direction?

My deepest gratitude to you dear friend for all the wonderful help you have already shared!

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:14 am

Your perception, here and now, includes - within it - a palpable perception of you.
We tend to barely notice it, for it feels so familiar. the assumption: this-is-me.
This is the persona of you. It may feel like it runs within you like an authentic matrix of identity.
But it is a sham.
It has no existence worth mentioning.
It can't think, speak, or fart.

When I say - there is no you - I mean this one you had seemed to be, isn't - has no existence, zero, zip.
See it for the sham attempt it is.

You made this you. You had been a slave to your own creation. To feel it is to unhook it, to let it fall.
There is nothing to be done. Nowhere to go. You will not be free. Freedom will take you.
Give up the sham play, and it waits.

Energetically, you feel it. This costume of a you. Let your intent be known, stay ready, ripe to let it drop - and it will be taken from you.

You may be fearful - and wonder what will happen after this you has left the building. But trust in your heart of hearts - and step towards a place of willingness, to give the whole thing up.

When the willingness is ripe, it will fall of its own accord.

Its job done, skin shed, a new birth.

/John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:08 am

Good morning John. I'm assuming it is morning for you?

Thank you for the explanation. I think I understand most of what you wrote.
Your perception, here and now, includes - within it - a palpable perception of you.
Yes! I experience this palpable perception acutely. Yet I can't place where or how it arises.
It may feel like it runs within you like an authentic matrix of identity.
Actually nothing about it feels authentic.
It can't think, speak, or fart.
I understand this completely. I recognize that the energy of the universe, flowing through a particular environment (created by itself), commands thought and action.
See it for the sham attempt it is.
This assumes there is an identity to see it--which confuses me. I understand consciousness seeing itself. Is that what you are saying? It sees itself and there is no identity present in that. This is how I would describe the experience of turning the witness back on itself. Do I have this correct? Or am I missing something?
You made this you. You had been a slave to your own creation.
Okay, I think the trouble here might be semantics, but I want to be sure I'm not missing something. I understand that the energy of the universe flowing through a particular environment at a particular moment creates whatever identity is arising in the moment. And that identity is constantly changing--right? It is given a history and future that are tied together (making identity appear continuous) only when examination of the arising and passing of phenomena hasn't yet occurred. Do I have this correct? Or are you saying something else?
To feel it is to unhook it, to let it fall.
Well put! Yes, to feel anything completely is to let that thing move to where it needs to go. If it is unhelpful if will fall. If it is helpful it will stick around.
There is nothing to be done. Nowhere to go. You will not be free. Freedom will take you.
Give up the sham play, and it waits.
I hear you. I'm listening. I'm letting it work on me. Please continue....

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:33 am

I was just re-reading our thread. Wow! I see places where I bolted. Sorry.

Thank you for hanging in there with me, and being so generous and loving with your attention and energy.

I have a suspicion I responded defensively to your "stranger exercise?" I think I did so because I was having a hard time focusing today. Yes, I see it, identity wrapped up in being able to focus. Anyway I hope my post in response to your "stranger exercise" won't discourage you from giving me more exercises? I neglected to mention that I did find the exercise helpful. Even though it was nothing new for me and didn't provide new insights perse, it did help me to stay involved so I could continue building momentum on this journey. What is more, I appreciate how it was beautifully thought out and articulated. So please pile on the exercises. I like them a lot.

Looking back I want to point out a specific passage you wrote me:
The pretence, the fraud, is all seen clearly and felt. Now, what we then tend to do is judge and punish. Hate ourselves. So, this is key. Because when that happens, when we take on these PERCEPTIONS as real and true, of course we judge and punish. Then we try and escape these perceptions by - as you say - taking refuge. But really, we are running away from home.

This is the pivot on which opening the heart turns.

We open the heart wide and love ourselves WHATEVER we see. We love ourselves in the FACE of all these perceptions because we HAVE TO LOVE, there is no choice. Otherwise, we are slaves to such conditioned perceptions, and there is no freedom there.
This was a truly eloquent passage. It played over and over in my head during an exceptionally uncomfortable moment. There was no specific story attached to the discomfort that I could recount for you, but I was watching how fear, anger, and love (as patterns of body sensations) contract and expand energy in my chest. Your words helped me to expand to embrace everything I was feeling in that moment and beyond.

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:22 am

You made this you. You had been a slave to your own creation.
Okay, I think the trouble here might be semantics, but I want to be sure I'm not missing something. I understand that the energy of the universe flowing through a particular environment at a particular moment creates whatever identity is arising in the moment. And that identity is constantly changing--right? It is given a history and future that are tied together (making identity appear continuous) only when examination of the arising and passing of phenomena hasn't yet occurred. Do I have this correct? Or are you saying something else?
I'm not fond of explanations :) or concepts claiming to be true. So, when I say you, i'm talking to the indefinable, unfindable you, that is knowing - and you know instinctively at heart.

This-you you made up.

So we keep it direct, and not seek to placate mind with so-called answers.

Where is the river? In the mountains where the rains gather? in the streams that flow down? In the valley where it meanders through? The splash of a stone thrown? Where is the river?

For river, see you.

/John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Reading your post, thoughts flow forth:

"John doesn't like me anymore." "I can't get this." "I'm somehow incapable of seeing." "I'm too much in my head." "I'll never get it right." etc.

When the thoughts hit there is a trembling in the stomach. This mean "I'm" believing them--right? It feels like something is being threatened. It's not the body, so it must by the sense of "me" that "you" are pointing at......the "I" concludes.

"I'm lost"--another thought. When it is believed there are sensations of sadness in the body. When it is not believed the body doesn't have those sensations. There is a feeling of spaciousness in place of those sensations..

"I understand this much."--another thought. When it is believed there are sensations of growing bigger in the body. When it is not believed those sensations are not there. There is a feeling of spaciousness in place of those sensations.

"Thoughts flow, none of them are personal. Yes, the "I" I have created is good at escaping into the impersonal." This thought comes after the last one. It creates a wave of sensations in the body. Defensiveness is recognized. "I'm good at what I do. A good meditator." This thought makes me laugh now.

There are tracks of identity in the sensations of the body. Studying how sensations respond to thoughts is how I recognize what is being believed.

My expectation is that once the "I" is seen as not existing, then the believing mechanism will go away? But this is not my experience. My experience is that when I study the flow of thoughts and how body sensations react to thoughts I can see what I am believing and thus the beliefs fall away.

"I exist" This is the thought currently being studied.

.....The stranger thinks.
Where is the river? In the mountains where the rains gather? in the streams that flow down? In the valley where it meanders through? The splash of a stone thrown? Where is the river?

For river, see you.
Yes, the river is everywhere. I am everywhere. This is felt at times. But only at the times when thoughts aren't being believed. I totally get it in an experiential way along with my intellectual understanding of it. But awareness of the experience isn't yet constant. It comes and goes.

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:30 pm

I see now I had an expectation that I would learn some new trick to make this experience of flowing constant. Perhaps there is no such trick? At times it is very easy to remain in a state of grace. At other times I have to study everything, and be vigilant with my practices to work my way back to it over and over again. Whether I get to just hang out in it and enjoy it or whether I have to keep putting forth effort to awaken to it depends on what life presents.

I'm beginning to think no great epiphany is going to come here.

Liberation Unleashed ignited the seeking in me. It brought more layers to the surface to be burned off in the light of awareness. I am deeply grateful to you for helping me with this. But I think I'm seeing that it is a process, like my other practices of self inquiry and meditation. We have to keep at it and keep working it to keep the process alive in us.....

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:39 pm

John!

I'm surrendering more deeply now. After sending that last post great discomfort arose. I see how I have constructed a whole identity around myself as a meditater. As if being a witness would somehow save me from the tidal waves of existence. But I'm not immune to any of it, no matter what I construct, or how much I invest in the beliefs of my separate self as a raft.

FEAR!

Please continue...

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:16 pm

John!

I'm surrendering more deeply now. After sending that last post great discomfort arose. I see how I have constructed a whole identity around myself as a meditater. As if being a witness would somehow save me from the tidal waves of existence. But I'm not immune to any of it, no matter what I construct, or how much I invest in the beliefs of my separate self as a raft.

FEAR!

Please continue...
It's ok - we go towards surrender, we run away, we rationalise running away, we see through it, we go back. :)

Yes, this whole identity, a felt intimate identity. Not pushing anything away, or getting rid, but ready to move on from it, it served its purpose, now its time. Ripening. Opening to surrender, to say farewell to the old.

Good spot on the witness front. Another escapism.

Fear - the dear Guardian of the Gateless Gate. :)
Good to feel that. Now you know what's at stake. Stay with the old, stay safe and secure in the known. Or leap into the new and take your chances? No guarantees.

There really is no choice.

/John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:35 pm

Thank you for being so understanding and so eloquent. Please continue....

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:00 pm

Good spot on the witness front.
Witnessing--
it's the last act of desperation,
the last hand held up
against the flooding in
of light.

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:38 pm

Good spot on the witness front.
Witnessing--
it's the last act of desperation,
the last hand held up
against the flooding in
of light.
Yes, any sense of a subjective stance, whether that be a persona 'me' or a witness or an observer or some other proxy 'me' is all seen and set aside to open more space for what is, to be - and the seeing needs no 'seer'.

None. zip. zero.

There is nothing to be done by a 'doer'.
Nothing to achieve by an 'achiever'.
No 'meditator' ever meditates.

Was there ever a 'meditator that was me'?
If that were to drop, would it make much noise?

/John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:54 am

After I wrote last there was a lot of sobbing, and then a sense of peace followed by strange body convulsions.

The internal images, sounds, body sensations grew so loud they were off the charts. Inside the head were voices saying don't resist, relax. Lots of body contractions, fits, nightmares. HELL!

Then a black out.

Now complete confusion. Now the body is hungry, now it's not--can't tell. Is there fatigue? The need to move?

What to do?

Seeking, to know what to do, ""as if I could direct that?"....POOF!

Every act is now a surprise--now peeing, now eating, now typing at the keyboard. What will the body do next?

TERROR! NO ONE IS IN CONTROL!.....then "who/what feels terror?"......POOF!

Gone! Gone! Gone! One moment after the next.....one thought after the next.

Seeking, seeking, seeking some place to hang on. Desperation! Something clawing inside the chest. Something trying to get out.....nothing intelligible now. No sense to anything....confusion

No way to answer your question. No reference point to speak from. No mind. "Need to answer your question?".....POOF!

Every act of seeking causes great discomfort......need to stop seeking!...."need to stop seeking!"....POOF!

Wave after wave of eruptions. Sit still, mind spinning. Get up, move, sudden fascination with the body, movement, activity.

Old paradigm not working....nothing getting done...."things need to get done?".....POOF!
Was there ever a 'meditator that was me'?
If that were to drop, would it make much noise?
......with tears still in my eyes I'll tell you.....No. No noise at all.

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Re: Desperate to see! Can you help me?

Postby Jillian1 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:32 am

Okay the "I" is back in full swing!

Your last question really stung. Not only do I get to disappear--but without even a sound, with no trace at all. I never existed. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

I'm now sitting with the resistance and pain your question struck.

Please keep your questions coming. I welcome the feel of the sword. The whole thing is turning inside out.


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