Seeking a guide

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Mariquita
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Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:02 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I heard about LU around 3 years ago, when a friend of mine went through the process. I noticed a significant shift in him. We were practising Buddhism as part of the same group at the time but following LU (and possibly due to other factorss, I'm not sure), he stopped practising Buddhism. However, the indescribable and intangible shift I saw in him stuck with me.

I have recently connected with someone else who has been through LU, which put it at the forefront of my mind. I have looked at what motivates me in any kind of spiritual practice and it is really to see or experience truth directly. I see LU as an opportunity to explore this in a supported way. A lot has changed in my life over the last 18 months or so and I'm no longer interested in self-improvement or developing certain states. I have had glimpses and experience that showed me that to step back, out of the way, allows things to be seen, rather than a cultivation of anything. I see LU as an opportunity to explore that aspect. I have had pressing dreams recently that have suggested this is the right time for me to connect with LU.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
I'm looking for an opportunity to be guided by someone who has seen through self and is able to support me in that same exploration. I'm looking for someone who can steer me clear of pitfalls or question any premature 'seeing' I may have. I'm curious about how life might be different and more fully experienced; I have gotten in touch with the amount of energy that I expel on maintaining my sense of self and I wonder what life would be like if this fell away. I'm looking to know, on a deeper level, things that I feel are already true; that life is just happening, that I'm a process.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I've been meditating since 2009 and was motivated at that point by suffering and by feeling I was living in a Matrix-style world; that I was detached or asleep to what was fully happening or real. Before then, since I was a young child, I had always asked 'the big questions', much to my mom's frustration! I have practised the metta bhavana and mindfulness of breathing as main practices but have also done a 10 day Vipassana retreat. In the last year, my meditation practice was really challenged; the only thing that felt appropriate or right was a just sitting practice. This is what I've been doing over the past few months. I was also directed to Adyashanti's work by a friend, and much of what he writes resonated deeply and profoundly.
I have been practising Buddhism with the Triratna community since 2010/11.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 9

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:51 am

Hi Mariquita,
I would be happy to work with you, if you're willing.
I have already guided several people on LU, some are involved in varying degrees with Triratna.
A caveat: I will be on retreat for the first 2 weeks of April. If the dialogue is still going on by then, I will make sure you have work to do while I am away. :-) Are you OK with that?
Best,
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:22 pm

Hello Dridhamati,

Thank you for responding to me so quickly!
Yes, I'm fine with being left with work while you're on retreat in April.
Warm wishes,
M

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:27 pm

Hi Mariquita,

Is it OK to call you Mariquita or would you prefer something else?

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed (LU) and thank you accepting to work together.

Before we get started, a few points…

… about the process itself:
1. Could you please confirm that you agree with the Disclaimer on the home page of the LU site?
2. Let's aim to write as often as possible, even if it's short. It is a good way to keep up the momentum. I'm based in New Zealand but I've guided people in Europe and on the West Coast of Canada so I'm used to time lag.
3. Responses require utmost honesty.
4. Responses are best formulated from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). If you are unfamiliar with Direct Experience please let me know.
5. You are ready and willing to look at and challenge any fixed view, any taboo that's currently held. That's any, no exceptions. (This is important, hence the repeat.)

… about posting:
1. You might want to familiarise yourself with the useful 'Quote' function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ote#p12593.
2. Another trick is to write your post in your favourite word processor, then copy & paste it into the editor on the LU forum, then format it as you wish. That way you won't lose your work half-way through (which can happen if there is a hiccup with the Internet connection...)
3. Please click the 'subscribe topic' link at the very bottom of the page to ensure you get an email whenever a reply comes in, which you seem to have done already. :-)

Assuming there's agreement with the formalities above, let's start shall we.

Thank you for your first post. Now rather than talk from this end, how about an exercise?
Please:
- clear a table top from all objects.
- place a mug/cup in the middle.
- now sit comfortably by the table and look at the mug/cup.
In direct experience, what do you see?

Looking forward to working with you!

Cheers
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:14 pm

Hello Dridhamati,

Thank you for the welcome :)

Calling me Mariquita is fine by me. Is your preference to be called Dridhamati?

1. Yes, I agree with the Disclaimer on the Homepage.
2. Yes, I'm happy to try to write as often as possible. For me at the moment, I anticipate once a day (possibly more if/when appropriate) being completely doable. I'm on UK time, but am also fine with the time difference we would have.
3. I am fully prepared to be as honesty as possible.
4. I have some experience of relating and relaying things from Direct Experience
5. Yes, I'm ready and willing to look at and challenge fixed views and/or taboos. I have no conscious exceptions and it's one of the main reasons that brings me here.

Thank you for the tips regarding posting.

I will now try your suggested exercise and write back following this.

Thanks again and I look forward to working with you too :)
Mariquita

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:00 pm

Hello Dridhamati,
Please:
- clear a table top from all objects.
- place a mug/cup in the middle.
- now sit comfortably by the table and look at the mug/cup.
In direct experience, what do you see?
I wrote the following down from the above exercise you gave me:
I see the patterns/pictures of the hearts and Russian dolls on the mug. The curve of the mug. The shine of the light falling on top and its shadow. I see the different colours and an image poking out of the rim from inside the mug. I see the table through the handle of the mug.


Mariquita
Last edited by Damon Kamda on Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:09 pm

Hi Mariquita,
Is your preference to be called Dridhamati?
That's fine. The 'civilian' name is Pierrick, equally as awkward for English speakers I understand. :-)
In direct experience, what do you see?
I wrote the following down from the above exercise you gave me:
I see the patterns/pictures of the hearts and Russian dolls on the mug. The curve of the mug. The shine of the light falling on top and its shadow. I see the different colours and an image poking out of the rim from inside the mug. I see the table through the handle of the mug.
OK, good start.
Remembering what direct experience points to: what is direct(ly) experience(d); is there any way to 'simplify' even more what you reported?
Please try and convey what is actually experienced via the sense of sight in as basic a way as communication with words will allow.

Cheers
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:01 pm

Hello Dridhamati,

Thanks for your reply.
I can be a bit 'wordy', so I'll try and simplify, though I admit was a bit stumped as to how to simplify. Stumbling at the first hurdle!
But I sat with a mug again and tried a different approach. Without planning on describing it, or having thoughts of its function, I simply looked. I saw an image. Not really an object, because there was nothing directly seen to tell me it was 3D.
Thanks,
Mariquita

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:08 pm

Hi Mariquita,
I can be a bit 'wordy', so I'll try and simplify, though I admit was a bit stumped as to how to simplify. Stumbling at the first hurdle!
Understandable: it isn't as easy as it seems. Else well we'd have all seen through ages ago! ;-)
But I sat with a mug again and tried a different approach. Without planning on describing it, or having thoughts of its function, I simply looked.
That's great. We'll come back to this.
I saw an image. Not really an object, because there was nothing directly seen to tell me it was 3D.
That's a pretty good way of describing the experience. Thanks for that.
A suggestion: any time that feels OK, pick an 'object' in the field of vision and look at 'it'. Try and stay with the visual perception. What happens to the 'object'? That's for the ongoing practice. :-)

And now for another exercise:
- Put a favourite piece of music on the stereo.
- Sit comfortably and close the eyes.
In direct experience, what do you hear?

Cheers
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:40 am

Hello Dridhamati,
A suggestion: any time that feels OK, pick an 'object' in the field of vision and look at 'it'. Try and stay with the visual perception. What happens to the 'object'?


I chose an ornament. I noticed that it felt as though my eyes were trying to readjust the seeing of the object; it seemed that something was trying to make sense of it. This readjusting was more apparent if thoughts about the object (e.g. its function) came in. I have had this experience before in daily life; seeing people or objects as images and then perception seems to readjust to what is expected to be seen/the expected interpretation. When looking at something and coming from direct experience, I have to be wary not to 'space out' if that makes sense?
And now for another exercise:
- Put a favourite piece of music on the stereo.
- Sit comfortably and close the eyes.
In direct experience, what do you hear?
With the above, in direct experience I heard sound. At points during the song, my attention would go to the content of the lyrics, or a memory relating to the song would surface, but when I returned to direct experience, it was a collection of sounds. There were gaps between the hearing of sound and any interpretation; when the vocals were just another sound, for example.

In the vain of being open and honest with you in this process, I thought it helpful to tell you that I'm a bit fearful about this! I'm experiencing a lot of physiological fear; I'm finding it harder to sit for meditation (my sits are getting shorter and shorter) and I have a general feeling of restlessness, as though something's not right. The word 'unbearable' is coming up from time to time, though nothing feels desperate. I think this started before I approached LU and although I have a lot of changes in life at present, I think it is more an underlying fear- a knowing- that I'm not in control and that something like LU is likely to guide me to how deep that lack of control goes. There's fear of the unknown, I suppose. And then the probably standard stuff of wanting to 'get this right', not wanting to unravel. Basically wanting to see through illusion without losing all the froth and cosy stuff about who I am and why I am! This is why I put 9/10 for how ready I am to question, no matter what. The missing 1 is fear-based.

Thank you for your encouragement and support with this!
Mariquita

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:16 am

Hi Mariquita,
In the vain of being open and honest with you in this process, ...
Fear often arises in the course of these dialogues. In a way it means that 'something' is moving. :-)
A suggestion is to look at this fear in very much same way as observing that mug on the table, or the music being played. See what happens to that fear in direct experience.
Understanding also that the suggestion isn't an easy one to keep to, if the fear becomes a bit too much, please feel free to ask for a pause, or for whatever you feel is needed then.
Thank you for your encouragement and support with this!
You're welcome.
I chose an ornament... I have had this experience before in daily life; seeing people or objects as images and then perception seems to readjust to what is expected to be seen/the expected interpretation.
This is a very good observation. Please keep looking at random objects, and observe how sooner rather than later an interpretation arises.
When looking at something and coming from direct experience, I have to be wary not to 'space out' if that makes sense?
Could you please explain more?
With the above [listening to music], in direct experience I heard sound...
Very well observed, thanks.
Now can you see a common process happening when looking at an object, or listening to music? Note that this process would likely be happening with touch, taste and smell, more subtly at first perhaps but do try it.
Basically what happens after a while?

Cheers
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:49 pm

Hello Dridhamati,

Apologies for the delay in reply, the server was down over the weekend so I waited to post.
See what happens to that fear in direct experience.
In Direct Experience, the fear dissipates. There's nothing that it holds onto. Thoughts arise in relation to the fear that are related to 'I might lose this', 'my x, y, z might be most' but it doesn't feel substantial. When I look, it doesn't really have anywhere to go.
Note that this process would likely be happening with touch, taste and smell, more subtly at first perhaps but do try it.
During a sit, I experienced an itch. The first thing was the sensation/touch. Then a gap. Then 'itch' as a thought, with the urge to scratch it quickly following the 'itch' thought. Instead. something deviated and I sat with the itch to explore what it was, what happened. Previously,this would've been 'I must not scratch the itch, let it pass, let it pass'. But this time, it felt much more spontaneous and spacious; an amusement at the sensation, an interest in it. And as a sensation, it ebbed and flowed.

At the gym, I closed my eyes on the cross trainer (carefully!) and explored Direct Experience. The sound of the music, the machine, breathing. Sensation of the body moving. Temperature. Darkness on the eyes. At some point, thoughts came in that seemed to solidify; this feels like running, I'm breathing heavily, how much longer til the session is over?, I know the lyrics to this song' etc. But each time awareness went back to the whole experience. it was a myriad of information just interrelating with each other.

Regarding the 'spacing out'
Could you please explain more?
I reflected on the 'spacing out' and what I mean by that is that sometimes it feels like just seen, just heard, just felt but after a short while, it's as though a watcher is there. Something like 'Oh! Look at these objects I'm just watching'. And to be honest, the watcher has a slight smug quality! But it feels like a detachment from the Direct Experience when that comes in, hence the use of 'spacing out'. It's like the quality of the experience changes when that occurs. This has been my previous experience of vipassana meditation. Watching, labelling, getting detached but solidified at the same time.

Thanks,
M

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:44 am

Hi Mariquita,
Apologies for the delay in reply, the server was down over the weekend so I waited to post.
No problems, better wait in these cases: posts can easily get lost.
In Direct Experience, the fear dissipates. There's nothing that it holds onto...
Very well observed, thanks.
Now, observing after the fear dissipates. What has disappeared, that the fear can't hold onto? Basically, what makes up the fear? What is fear made of?
During a sit, I experienced an itch...
At the gym, I closed my eyes on the cross trainer (carefully!) ...
This is really good stuff Mariquita. I like the way you've taken the exercises into the daily life, and this is very good reporting.
So now let's look deeper into these sensations. This observing is probably easier with the 'physical' senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. So pick something to look at, or listen to, or taste, etc. and please observe the sensations in direct experience.
Can an 'I, me, mine' be found anywhere in these sensations?
I reflected on the 'spacing out' and...
Haha! OK, well one simple question: when that 'watcher' shows up, look her in the face (so to speak). That is, observe that watcher in direct experience, what happens then?
Like fear, what is this watcher made of?

Cheers
Dridhamati

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Mariquita
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby Mariquita » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:27 pm

Hello Dridhamati,
Now, observing after the fear dissipates. What has disappeared, that the fear can't hold onto? Basically, what makes up the fear? What is fear made of?
In Direct Experience, the fear was made up of sensations and thoughts. Thoughts such as 'when will this end?', 'what is wrong?', 'I'm doing this wrong'. The sensations of heart palpitations, restlessness etc. But looking for more than that, there wasn't anything.
Can an 'I, me, mine' be found anywhere in these sensations?
In short, no! But the searching for one is very much there. I did a stream of consciousness exercise a while ago where I wrote what could be heard, first using 'I can hear', then again without 'I, me, mine'. The 'I, me, mine' crept back in in the stream of consciousness when I felt critical/had some aversion to something I was experiencing. The 'I' crept in, the experience became more solidified. Sometimes it's as though something forgets that 'I, me, mine' hasn't been referenced for a little while and then it comes back in, reasserting. Or it's been referencing a lot, something becomes aware of this and the blocks fall like a Jenga tower, to then begin rebuilding with 'me' references again. Does that description make sense?

I drove a car for the first time in quite a while the other day. I'd been concerned that I would've forgotten how to/forgotten key aspects. Then the car was just driving! Having conversation, music was playing, gears were changing, mirrors were being checked. There was no 'i' driving that car. Thoughts of 'i' relating to 'what if I can't parallel par in the city?' but in Direct Experience, no 'I' was driving.
Like fear, what is this watcher made of?
Ah, the good ol' watcher! This came up during a sit this morning. Thoughts are happening. Then something changes and a thought is given more weight than the others. This thought is of the watcher, so is 'I, me, mine' based. It is as though most thoughts are seen as as just that, but one will come in that is more convincing/something to hook on to, and attention turns to this and a story is made out of it. It seems like attention turns more to particular thoughts than others and makes them King. The thoughts that are made King seem to fit a familiar pattern or reinforce a familiar way of being. There's a lot of habit in them. So reference then goes to past or future. The watcher (the thought that's been given the position of King- or Queen-) reinforces the content of the thought by forming the story (more thoughts) with memories of past of imaginings of future. An example of The Watcher becoming Queen may be 'oh look, here are familiar thoughts about dieting. This always interrupts my meditation sooner or later. Maybe one day they'll be gone but now they're still here, after all this time'. Or it may have a positive angle 'Oh look! I'm concentrated! It doesn't take as long as it used to. Maybe when I've seen through I won't get any thoughts in meditation'. Ha ha! So ego-based and time-referential and self-affirming. Yuk!

Thank you for your suggestions of where and how to look.
M

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dridhamati
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Re: Seeking a guide

Postby dridhamati » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:53 am

Hi Mariquita,
In Direct Experience, the fear was made up of sensations and thoughts...
OK, physical sensations and thoughts.
And looking at the sensations, looking at the thoughts, in direct experience, can 'fear' be found in any one of them? Does one particular sensation, or thought, stand out as 'being' fear, or 'causing' fear?
In short, no!
Oh, is there a long answer where an 'I, me , mine' can be found in experience? ;-)
But the searching for one is very much there...
Just to understand what you mean.
Is this referencing [to 'I, me, mine'] connected to conventions, usage of speech, that sort of thing? Example: 'I' am eating an apple.
Or is this referencing [to 'I, me, mine'] a view that is still firmly established, that there exists a separate, fixed 'I, me, mine' lurking somewhere, only to reappear at times? Example: this is 'MY' apple that 'I' am eating.
I drove a car for the first time in quite a while the other day.
OK. And is there one single activity performed through the day where an 'I, me, mine' can be found?
Ah, the good ol' watcher! This came up during a sit this morning...
Thanks for this report.
So now, please tell me what this report referred to?
Hint: you nailed it in the 3rd sentence!

We're getting close to the time I will be off on retreat (1st April NZ time). I've asked a few questions above. Let's see where that leads first. Then there will be some exercises.

Cheers
Dridhamati


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