Michelle Fajkus, hi. Welcome to LU. Tell us what brought you here. Thanks you.
Like · · Unfollow Post · April 23 at 5:50am
Michelle Margaret Hello, Elena. Thank you! I'm happy to be here. I recently came across "The Awakened Dreamer" (Lori Ann Lothian's blog) via Elephant Journal, an online magazine that I also write for. Her story peaked my interest in the possibility of illumination to the illusion of self sooner than later. I linked from her blog to LU and am currently reading the ebook version of Gateless Gatecrashers. I've been practicing hatha yoga since I was a young teenager (almost 20 years) and teaching yoga and mindfulness for the past several years. I've had a glimpses of the selfless state, but they are few and far between. I'm excited to pierce the illusion, drop delusions and live presently... something I feel I've been doing more and more, especially over the past 3 years of living abroad (in Guatemala) and integrating my spiritual practice more into daily life. I just need a push. Thanks so much for all that you do. I wanna be a bodhisattva like you guys!
April 23 at 8:17am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Welcome, Michelle Fajkus, great to hear your story! Simple question for you here: what is "I" for you. WHat is that you call self? Describe.
April 23 at 9:32am · Like
Michelle Margaret "I" is my ego, my identity in society. "I" am a teacher, a yogini, a friend, a daughter, etc. Self is that entity known as Michelle Fajkus who appears to be functioning in society and daily life... waking up, working, breathing, writing. But it's an illusion covering the truth of interconnectedness.
April 23 at 6:09pm · Like
Elena Nezhinsky do you exist?
April 24 at 1:31am · Like
Michelle Margaret "I" do not exist. "I" am no more real than my facebook profile... just a collection of colors and concepts that cluster together to create the illusion of Michelle. I get this intellectually but the gut-level understanding comes and goes. It feels like I am pulling away subtle layers of delusion... but I'm still somewhat involved in the storyline of "me." In looking around with this new perspective, I see how pervasive the concept of "I" is in pop spirituality... It feels liberating to even begin to lift this veil!
April 24 at 8:38am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky who wants to be a bodhisattva?
April 24 at 11:19am · Like
Michelle Margaret No One! Without the veil of the ego self, bodhisattva status is automatic.
April 24 at 5:34pm via mobile · Like
Elena Nezhinsky not everyone feel the volition of service, bodhisattva is the property that is not present in all embodiments. But tell me more how you see, if its present, how its automatic?
April 25 at 1:11am · Like
Michelle Margaret The character of Michelle feels the volition of service due to innate traits and various experiences that have led her/me to prioritize karma yoga (selfless service) ... Life is expressing itself as each individual human, whether we realize it or not. ... But once the illusion of self and the truth of the oneness of life are realized, Life spreads this truth naturally, not via evangelism or hypnosis, but rather simply through the model of each human who is living truly, presently and compassionately... thereby helping others to see and become liberated.
April 25 at 8:06am · Like
Richard Bagnall thats a whole load of beliefs you got there
April 25 at 10:05am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky " I get this intellectually but the gut-level understanding comes and goes'Realizing the truth is not a feeling in a gut or in a head, it's life lived out of the understanding that Life is all there is, no separate I, just an illusion,and in whatever form it may be. SO when you say "gut understanding comes and goes" - that is how life is unfolding itself. So nothing needs to be improved in the understanding. The only what is needed - is clear seeing of what is. So if you look right now, can you tell me what is missing?
April 25 at 10:10am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Richard Bagnall, just to remind - its one on one here.
April 25 at 10:31am · Like
Richard Bagnall ah oops, my bad sorry
April 25 at 11:04am · Unlike · 1
Michelle Margaret Thanks, Elena. The only thing that is missing for me now is the acceptance of zero control. This quote from the poet Wendall Berry came to my inbox this morning: "You can't know where life will take you, but you can commit to a direction." ... The first part is fine ("You can't know where life will take you") RIGHT, because there is NO YOU to know. The second part is problematic ("but you can commit to a direction.") I still feel this to be true, and I am clinging to the desire for it to be true, that my "character" can commit to a direction in "her" life... Even though it cannot be if there is no self to commit to a direction.
April 25 at 11:24am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky so how you experience "issue of control". how does it feel in the body? what are sensations? Thoughts?
April 25 at 11:34am · Like
Michelle Margaret It feels like clutching to something I've been told/learned -- that I am an American and I am responsible for taking action and making good decisions that direct and "manifest" my life as desired. Tense neck and shoulders. Thoughts are of anger, irritation, impatience. A few times over the past few days there has been clarity and tears of gladness at the truth of the illusion of self.
April 26 at 4:52pm · Like
Elena Nezhinsky When that tense neck, shoulders and anger and impatience comes up - look right there - into the physical tension and the strong emotion. There are corresponding thoughts there that evoke the body go into contraction. let's do this. Invite all the tension and feeling closer, even more closer. When you feel like it's all over you, peak behind the anger, look behind all the tension. I want to hear what is there, honey. If you can't look behind, call it to come closer, no worries, nothing will happen, but we used to stop feeling just at a safe distance, therefore we are like a witness constantly. Let it engulf, let it ripple in the body so you lost, you confused, you are one raw gobble of feeling. Then you quietly as the feeling, the tension what it here to protect. Then listen. Breath steady and be quite. Listen what will surface in the mind. Let me know what came up for you.
April 27 at 1:38am · Like · 1
Michelle Margaret Okay, I will. I am traveling today, so will get back to you tomorrow. Thank you!
April 27 at 11:53am · Unlike · 1
Michelle Margaret On Friday morning, I lost my temper with one of my students. The anger came because I felt disrespected. My ego was attacked, and my image as a calm, collected teacher was ruined. It took me a whole day to let go of the irritation and subsequent neck tension, even though when I looked behind the anger and the superficial offense, there was absolutely nothing. As I traveled through various airports later that day, looked at strangers and saw us all as expressions of universal energy. Now I'm in my hometown for the weekend, because a friend died recently. My best girl friend was very close to the deceased, and she is sooo identified with her "self" and suffering so much as she clings to every memory and possession of her dead friend. I've been talking to her about no-self and universal energy. Noticing direct experience and not taking things personally. There is no desire to drink or smoke, which is unusual, especially under the current circumstances (grieving, being around my Catholic mother, being with friends who are using). There is only the flow of moments and the diverse surprises each one brings.
April 29 at 10:10am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Hi, Michelle. So what is still missing? Be very honest. Describe in detail, if needed.
April 29 at 11:17am · Like
Michelle Margaret Hello, Elena. Apologies for the delay. My life has changed in a more dramatic way than ever, as I found out (on April 29) that I am pregnant. Or, I should say - pregnancy is happening. This morning I finished reading Gateless Gatecrashers. I feel that much of the time I am able to see through the illusion of self... though there are still moments when my ego lashes out. Overall though, this experiencing of each present moment without the addition of a self needing to do anything is super helpful right now, as a flood of overwhelming emotions and sensations overtake this physical body.
May 10 at 10:08am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky "though there are still moments when my ego lashes out." - tell me what do you feel about this
May 10 at 10:10am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Michelle, its great news, sorry i was traveling and couldn't really write much about your last post. But this is so awesome to conceive a life inside a life! So let's chat more and see if anywhere you get stuck - this is what i am trying to catch with my intuition and based on your replies. We do not want you to be stuck at the gate. We want you through and serve others. As you expressed to have this volition. I will give you some questions, you ponder, look and reply as detailed as possible, ok? So here they are:
1. You said :"though there are still moments when my ego lashes out." What does it really mean? Do you feel not awakened at those moments? Please elaborate on this.2. Describe in a simple words to somebody who is searching what is awakening is.
May 12 at 6:04pm · Like
Elena Nezhinsky 3. Do you feel liberated? Tell in details4. What comes up if I tell you "You do not exist" - Read it, feel it, look at this phrase, look and tell me.
May 12 at 6:07pm · Like
Michelle Margaret Thank you so much, Elena. Here are my answers. 1. The moments when my ego lashes out, I do not feel so awakened. It's like my mind is clinging to an old storyline and fears letting go completely of my identity. Behind the fear is emptiness but nevertheless it happens (for example, when I am in traffic and get 'road rage') but it is seeming to happen less and less frequently. 2. Awakening is plainly and simply seeing through the illusion of having a separate self. It is experiencing the flow of life from moment to moment without attaching to our judgments, stories, fantasies or any of our fleeting thoughts or emotions. Liberation is available to every one, because it is just a matter of being what we already are. 3. And yet... I do not feel liberated. I think I am stuk at the gate. I accept and am grateful for the truth of no-self, but I am still living 50% of the time from my limited egoic view and I don't know how to get unstuck. 4. When you tell me I do not exist, there is pure relaxation, gratitude, joy and utter trust in the flow of Life. Resistance melts away.
May 16 at 8:09am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky you are talking a lot about ego, "egoic self". At the same time you are talking about flow of Life is all there is and seeing that is an awakening. Is there ego and egoic self outside of flow of Life?
May 16 at 10:34am · Like
Michelle Margaret No.
May 16 at 11:37am · Like
Elena Nezhinsky so when the ego arises, what happening to Life? Life disappear, Life become's less, Life become more? What is happening?
May 16 at 12:00pm · Like
Michelle Margaret It feels like life constricts... gets narrower... less spacious and not enjoyable.
May 16 at 10:34pm · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Life not enjoyable for whom? Is there anybody outside of Life?
May 16 at 11:50pm · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Michelle Margaret
May 19 at 12:36am · Like
Michelle Margaret Oooh, good question. Life is not enjoyable for ME -- the fiction of me -- only when I believe that fiction to be fact. There is no one and nothing outside of Life! No self, no suffering.
May 19 at 6:48am · Like · 1
Elena Nezhinsky what is egoic self you mentioned? do you suffer from it?
May 19 at 9:56am · Like · 1
Michelle Margaret The egoic self is the separate, individual identity... Which is an illusion. I can't compose this sentence without the word I, but I think I made it through...!
May 19 at 3:13pm via mobile · Like
Elena Nezhinsky Are you liberated, Michelle ? Go ahead and write more
May 19 at 4:05pm · Like
Michelle Margaret I'm away for the weekend... Will write more tomorrow. Thanks!
May 19 at 7:17pm via mobile · Unlike · 1
Elena Nezhinsky ...
Yesterday at 12:23am · Like
Michelle Margaret It's so subtle, but I think so. Liberation is here. Your last question... "life not enjoyable for whom?" helped push me through. As well as the experience of getting pregnant (which was unplanned and unintended) and now being pregnant... it makes "me" see in a deeper way than ever before that there is nothing to hold on to, that my "self" is a process and not a fixed entity, that i am not in control of anything, and that Life is just Life, always moving and changing and unfolding each moment as it comes. I still have strong emotions, and I have been crying often, but not identifying with the thoughts or emotions anymore. Much love and gratitude to you!!!
10 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Elena Nezhinsky I am glad to read that, Michelle. I appreciate you took the time with me here. Much love to you too, and best wishes! Motherhood is one of a hell of experience :) ! What an amazing journey to motherhood with clear seeing! ♥
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