Looking for a guide

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pippo
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Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:59 am

Hello,

I am looking for a guide. I have been meditating for several years and have been following teachings from Echart Tolle and Adyashanti among others.

I am ready and willing to enter the gate, I want to end the illusion and awaken.

I trust the right guide will lead me through the gate.

Love and light,

Pippo

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:52 am

Hi Pippo and welcome,

My name's Pete and I live in Somerset in the UK.

There are a few things that we need to go over so that I know the best way for us to continue.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:25 pm

Hi Pete,

thank you for your reply. I live in Italy however I travel quite a lot. I'll be glad to describe what I'm looking for which, in simple words, is to awake.

I've been searching and trying different paths and I'm still following some of them: meditation and consciousness expansion. I've been following teachings from Echart Tolle and Adyashanti among others.
While I do have moments of quieteness, I still feel I'm trapped in attachments and some noise in the mind. Often I can't see through the illusion.
I'm always searching ways to expand my consciousness and it was through a friend of mine that I was directed to LU.

Please let me know if I can further clarify or describe further any details about my current situation.

Thanks,

Pippo

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:47 pm

Hi Pippo,

Thanks for all of that. I'd be very happy to guide you through so that you can clearly see for yourself that there is no separate self entity/no self.

There are a few things that we need to go over before the journey begins.

There are a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

And don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:08 pm

Hi Pete, I wrote long response yesterday and just realized that I didn't submit it.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:10 pm

I'm rewriting it and will send it shortly, it was quite frustrating losing the text after writing it well.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Pete,

Thanks for accepting being my guide. I agree to the ground rules and accept to write one message per day.

I wanted to mention that I do have at times glimples of no "I", no "story". If I concentrate I can temporarily enter in a state similar to the one described in the website or the book. I do have a good feeling of what it's like. However I can't seem to keep it all the time, as soon as I let my mind go, it falls naturally into the "I" and "story" mode. I'd like to clarify if what I'm feelind during these glimpses is the actual gate or just another illusion.

Here are my answers:

What are your expectations for this process?

-To be leat through the gate, where I can take the step forward

What is it that you are searching for?

-- Inner peace, stillness, truth, happiness

How will you know that you found it?

- it will feel right, selfless

How will this feel?

- Like a heavy load being taken off my shoulders

How will this change you?

- Less anxiety, less worry, more happiness and clarity

Thanks,

Filipppo

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:48 pm

Hi Filipppo,
I wrote long response yesterday and just realized that I didn't submit it.
I'm rewriting it and will send it shortly, it was quite frustrating losing the text after writing it well.
Yeah, that happens to most of us on LU, at least once. It's really annoying isn't it? As I warned you at the end of my previous post:

The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi Fillipo,

Thanks for accepting all the ground rules, disclaimer etc. and to post once a day.
1 )What are your expectations for this process? 2) What is it that you are searching for? 3) How will you know that you've found it? 4) How will this feel? 5) How will this change you?
1) To be leat through the gate, where I can take the step forward; 2) Inner peace, stillness, truth, happiness; 3) It will feel right, selfless; 4) Like a heavy load being taken off my shoulders; 5) Less anxiety, less worry, more happiness and clarity.
Thanks also for sharing your expectations, and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might be like. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.
I wanted to mention that I do have at times glimples of no "I", no "story". If I concentrate I can temporarily enter in a state similar to the one described in the website or the book. I do have a good feeling of what it's like. However I can't seem to keep it all the time, as soon as I let my mind go, it falls naturally into the "I" and "story" mode. I'd like to clarify if what I'm feelind during these glimpses is the actual gate or just another illusion.
Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't and never has been a 'you', a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist, and there's no Santa Claus. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

So, excellent, as I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would 'be like' or what life ought to 'look like' once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that 'getting it' is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, 'positive', 'negative'. However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I'll post once a day, perhaps occasionally more, and will tell you in advance if I know I won't be able to post. It would be good if you could do the same.

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings come up? If there is fear, what feels threatened?


Pete x

Ps.To make your replies as clear as possible and to help me guide you, please use the quote function. To do that, simply highlight the relevant sentence(s)/paragraph(s) that you're replying to in my previous post and press 'copy', then press the 'Quote ' button in the bar above the section you're typing in, then place the cursor in the centre of the two bracketed quote words and then press "paste". That should do it.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:31 am

Thanks Pete,

oh so Santa doesn't exist? This is getting interesting :)
Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
No I can't, however thoughts about the future or past do drain energy and give the illusion that existence in also in times outside the present moment.
There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings come up? If there is fear, what feels threatened?
The thoughts that come up are, where does intention, will, desire come from if there is no self? What would drive me to move off the road when a car is coming? Is there such thing as consciousness?

As I mentioned I can do the exercise of "just being", stay in a state of no self for a short bit and just experience the moment, but it seems like jumping to try to touch the ceiling, eventually I fall back, it takes effort.

One of the fears I recognized is self preservation. Another one is of not being bright enough, at times it really becomes evident and makes me heavy: not joyful to start a new day, lazy, and I realize that it's all because of this added weight. There are fears and I did accept the idea instead of trying to fight them. I understand that once I realize that there is no self their importance diminishes.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through.
Ok so how do I see throught that there is no self? Is there an exercise similar to the one I mentioned above, trying to look at direct experience for a while? What would be the best way to do that without engaging in thinking?

Thanks!

Pippo

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:17 pm

Hi Pippo,
oh so Santa doesn't exist? This is getting interesting :)
I know, what a shocker eh?
Nothing exists outside the present moment. Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
No I can't, however thoughts about the future or past do drain energy and give the illusion that existence in also in times outside the present moment.
It's good that you can see that it's just thoughts that seemingly take us away from the present. Although they don't really of course, as it's 'always' now, whatever we think.
The thoughts that come up are, where does intention, will, desire come from if there is no self? What would drive me to move off the road when a car is coming? Is there such thing as consciousness?
But, if there's no separate self, and there never has been, all these things, actions, decisions etc. happen, get done and always have, with no self-entity in control, so what's the problem?
As I mentioned I can do the exercise of "just being", stay in a state of no self for a short bit and just experience the moment, but it seems like jumping to try to touch the ceiling, eventually I fall back, it takes effort.
But who's doing this exercise? Who's making the effort? If there's no self-entity, what could be trying?
One of the fears I recognized is self preservation. Another one is of not being bright enough, at times it really becomes evident and makes me heavy: not joyful to start a new day, lazy, and I realize that it's all because of this added weight. There are fears and I did accept the idea instead of trying to fight them. I understand that once I realize that there is no self their importance diminishes.
Fighting or resisting fear, anxiety etc. only feeds the illusion that there's a 'you' there to resist in the first place, making the apparent problem worse. Just accept, allow and welcome whatever comes up. Don't 'get involved', just watch the emotion arise, abide awhile and subside. That way you give it no credibility or power.
Ok so how do I see throught that there is no self? Is there an exercise similar to the one I mentioned above, trying to look at direct experience for a while? What would be the best way to do that without engaging in thinking?
All the areas and aspects you mention will be covered as we move away from thought and speculation and enter into simply looking in direct experience. I like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process of looking, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within each and every area within experience where a separate self might be found. If, when you've looked in every possible area of direct experience, you've found no separate self, no 'you', you'll know that, like Santa, Batman or the unicorn, there just ain't no 'you', no self. That's it. No more, no less.

As I'm sure you'll have seen, the initial questions point you towards looking into 'your' direct experience, which is, as I say, where I'll be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Direct experience is the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

As I keep saying, the whole of this investigation centres around looking in direct experience to see if a self-entity can be found anywhere there. This is accompanied by seeing that it is in thoughts and only in thoughts that 'I' ever 'occurs' and that 'I' doesn't actually occur there either because thoughts, or at least their contents, are neither reliable nor real in any sense.

So anyway, let's start at last investigating in direct experience where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:26 pm

Hi Pippo,

How's it going?

Hope you had a good retreat at the weekend.

Looking forward to receiving your replies.

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:46 pm

Hi Pete,

The retreat went well thanks.

I took another look at the direct experience article as suggested and the concept of direct experience is clear. I could see no self and I do realize that the "I" appears only in thoughts.
When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?
Just seeing, no evidence of 'I'
Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
I did the same throughout the day with different sensations and I agree, no evidence of I. However I started the last sentence with 'I', so it seems that 'I' am guiding 'myself' to look or hear to realize that there is no 'I'. 'I' might need to ponder on this concept some more. For now, when 'I' do these exercises 'I' can't see an 'I'.

Please let me know how I shell continue.

Thanks,

Pippo

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:40 pm

Hi Pippo,
I took another look at the direct experience article as suggested and the concept of direct experience is clear. I could see no self and I do realize that the "I" appears only in thoughts.
Excellent. It's good that the concept of direct experience is clear to you. However, as I think you realise, without actually looking, looking, looking in direct experience for any evidence of a separate self, the concept on its own is useless, just another thought.
When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?
Just seeing, no evidence of 'I'.
I did the same throughout the day with different sensations and I agree, no evidence of I.
Amazing isn't it? When you look for the seer (hearer, taster, toucher, smeller) that you always assumed was there all the time, nothing is found.
However I started the last sentence with 'I', so it seems that 'I' am guiding 'myself' to look or hear to realize that there is no 'I'. 'I' might need to ponder on this concept some more. For now, when 'I' do these exercises 'I' can't see an 'I'.
Good, it's great that 'you' haven't been able to find an 'I'. Even when the illusion of a separate self is clearly seen for what it is, it's still necessary to communicate concepts by using everyday conventional language, as we are doing in this thread. I still speak and write using 'I', 'me', 'mine' etc. even though I know for certain that there's just no 'me' and never has been. It follows that, in absolute terms, such I/me words are meaningless. Anyway, your continued use of 'I' is fine.

Thoughts may well tell you that there's a self-entity, a 'you' doing stuff, but unlike direct experience, thoughts are unreliable and are apt to tell you all kinds of things, without truly referring to anything real.
Please let me know how I shell continue.
As I said in the previous post, I'll keep pointing you to look in various areas of experience for a separate self, until you've seen for yourself for certain that there's just no such entity, anywhere.

Continuing on with sense arisings, when you look at something, an orange, a tree or whatever, in direct experience can you find any separation or boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself, and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing,tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


And finally for today, please let me have your answers to these two questions shown in bold from my last post:

But, if there's no separate self, and there never has been, all these things, actions, decisions etc. happen, get done and always have, with no self-entity in control, so what's the problem?

But who's doing this exercise? Who's making the effort? If there's no self-entity, what could be trying?


I reckon it's going well so far Pippo

Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby pippo » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:32 pm

Hi Pete,
Continuing on with sense arisings, when you look at something, an orange, a tree or whatever, in direct experience can you find any separation or boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself, and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing,tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
No I can't find any separation or boundaries, just the experience of seeing, hearing, tasting etc. The seer and the process can come into play, or is fabricated, only in thoughts and not in direct experience.
But, if there's no separate self, and there never has been, all these things, actions, decisions etc. happen, get done and always have, with no self-entity in control, so what's the problem?
Oh, I thought this was an retoric question, there is no problem.
But who's doing this exercise? Who's making the effort? If there's no self-entity, what could be trying?
This is a good question, I'm tempted to say 'I am'. I can't see anything else, however I can't see the 'I' making the effort either. what's going on here?
I reckon it's going well so far Pippo
Fantastic. I'm quite excited about this process!

As always thank you for your guidance.,

Pippo


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