Seeking a Guide

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AndrewGBL
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Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:53 pm

Hello LU Forum,

I am new here, but a long-time student of Buddhism & the Advaita-Vedanta teachings. None of this means a thing, nor does the fact that I've experienced no-self/anatta for extended periods, thinking each was the final state. The big E. But those periods came and went despite the stunning nature of seeing the insubstantial self vanish. In short, I bring no qualifications or worthwhile history. None of what I've done or claimed gives me status.

I would love someone to work through the process with.

Blessings,

Andy

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:47 pm

Hey Andy,
My name is Tyler and I'm happy to guide you. To begin, tell me a little about what brings you to Liberation Unleashed and what you are hoping to gain from the experience. What are your expectations for liberation?

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:02 pm

Hi Tyler,

It's hard to say what brought me here exactly other than a link in an email from a friend. No long story necessary.

I read Gateless Gatecrashers some time ago, so I've been aware of LU since then. However, since taking up practices outlined by The Buddha, or found in the Bhagavad Gita, or emphatically repeated by Nisargadatta, I continue moving closer to the idea that liberation is not necessarily a solitary activity. I've read too much and gone alone a long time. I've done this, done that, all while realizing the "doer" has the wheel.

You may know this story all too well. So after years of ransacking one approach after another, I'm taking time out to just talk with someone who's been through the gate. I can say I've been through a few times and thought the work was done each time. Not so. I probably possess more head knowledge about emptiness/anatta than is helpful. I continue to find Rodney Smith's book Stepping Out of Self Deception immensely clear and helpful, but again, there's something communal about this business I suspect is necessary. I get that there's no I, but no amount of Reading the Heart Sutra or meditation has rooted this "getting" into something more than head knowledge, if that makes sense.

In short, I'm tired.

Andy

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:17 pm

Hi Tyler,

I don't think I answered your initial question in my last post. While yes, I'm tired of the seeking--I'd prefer seeing.

Andy

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:11 am

Hey Andy,
While yes, I'm tired of the seeking--I'd prefer seeing.
I could not agree more. I give you permission to stop seeking as we work together. All that is required is seeing. Stop trying to make anything happen. Instead, just look at what is already happening. Looking is the only thing that is needed because liberation is already happening—it's all that is ever happening. In particular, you can start by looking for you that is being affected by tiredness.

If you're like most, your mind is looking at past moments that felt liberating and trying to recreate those past moments in the present moment. Chances are those moments, in addition to all the enlightenment stories that you have read about, have created your own story about enlightenment (the big E as you call it). Does that sound right? It would be helpful to know a little more about your expectations for liberation. How will this feel? How will this change you? What is missing right now? Also, what kind of illusions are you expecting to drop? And what would change after they are seen as illusory?

Before we really get started, we need to take care of some formalities. Please take a look at the LU disclaimer page. Here's the link: http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
Also, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyNwhK2Ur1c

Also, here are a few guidelines to guide this dialogue:
1. You agree to post at least once a day.
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to.
3. Responses require your utmost honesty.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long- winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function. The instructions are located in this link: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

If you could please confirm you have read all the above and are in agreement, (you can do this by simply typing, “I confirm that I have read and agree with the disclaimer and guidelines) we can really get going.

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:03 pm

I'm not sure if you've ran into any problems, but the Liberation Unleashed website is having some technical difficulties. I would advise you to write your responses in word or notepad (some kind of word processor) and then paste it into the reply box, instead of writing directly into the reply box on this page. I would hate for you to write a long response and have it lost when you hit send. Take care.

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:39 am

Hi Tyler,

I've gone over everything and I confirm that I have read and agree with the disclaimer and guidelines.

Let's get going.

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:42 am

Awesome. Go ahead and tell me a little more about your expectations for liberation. How will this feel? How will this change you? What is missing right now? Also, what kind of illusions are you expecting to drop? And what would change after they are seen as illusory?

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:50 am

1. Expectations (honest ones): The cessation of the sufferer. Liberation, meaning, the direct, living understanding of no-self.

2. I don't know how this will feel. I know what I'd like it feel like: release from this tyrannical self. The end of seeking. Of self-absorption.

3. Illusions I'd like to drop: A guy that needs to drop illusions. The persistent story of "I'm not there yet, more work, more meditation, more more more...never there."

4. After seeing past the illusions the change I can only imagine, emphasis on imagine, would be the world as it is. Reality as it is. No more refraction, mirrors, dark.

I still need to learn the quote function. I'll look now.

Blessings,

Andy

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:35 am

I love how you said you want to drop the illusion of a guy who needs to drop illusions. That made me chuckle. Sounds good to me.

None of your expectations seem outrageous. That's helpful. I do want to ask something, though. You said:
After seeing past the illusions the change I can only imagine, emphasis on imagine, would be the world as it is. Reality as it is.
What makes you think the illusion-of-the-guy-who-needs-to-drop-illusions is outside of reality? If it's happening, it can be seen and explored in direct experience. This illusory self is precisely what you need to be looking at. What is the you that wants to drop the illusion of you? It appears there is an I that is resisting and wanting to get rid of the I. How often and intensely does this resistance occur. And how often and intensely does resistance to the resistance occur? With so much resistance, it's no wonder you're tired. When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Does it have a shape? A size? A quality? Where is it felt the strongest? Please take your time. Don't rush to answer these questions with brutal honesty. Just look at what is going on in your direct experience and write in detail what you see.

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:38 am

Oops. I meant to say don't rush to answer. And answer with brutal honesty. Take your time and tell it as it is.

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:49 am

Hi Tyler,

Thanks for your advice on taking my time. Clearly I need it. I'm struggling a bit with answering these basics and that's not like me. I keep going back and forth between what I think the "right" answer is and what rings true. I've never done this before and there's a bit of mental mud. I'm seeing a struggle here already in what I say I want and what I demonstrate wanting. In short, you've pointed to some closets I haven't considered looking in. If I can't resolve all of your points, I intend to just say that soon. Until I have more clarity, know I'm investigating.

Andy

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AndrewGBL
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby AndrewGBL » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:52 pm

Hi Tyler,

To your questions:
What makes you think the illusion-of-the-guy-who-needs-to-drop-illusions is outside of reality? If it's happening, it can be seen and explored in direct experience.


I believe at some core level that the "I' sense is the grand illusion, hence the recursive "self-dropper" (impossibly complicated when you get down to it) is the anomaly within reality.
What is the you that wants to drop the illusion of you?


The chronically dissatisfied self. It wants to device its own end, but clearly we have a problem here too.
How often and intensely does this resistance occur. And how often and intensely does resistance to the resistance occur?


Very often. It feels like a straight jacket that tightens with my every effort, save meditation, which seems to loosen the experience of wanting away from this self--that which is even typing on its plight right now.
When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Does it have a shape? A size? A quality? Where is it felt the strongest?


It's a bundle of thought,mostly. Heavy. Dull. Yet, I'm never around until "I" think myself here. At the core of this I have carried a belief in the brilliant, luminous, free from pain enlightenment stories. That's not in my experience, so there's a belief that I'm simply not there. I know intellectually how silly that last statement is, because I know the "I" NOT being there is what's illusory. The "I" never gets there...it gets dropped, right? There's a translation from head to heart experience. But I don't even want to over think that. I'm going to end this one here.

Looking forward to your response.

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:16 pm

I came really close to sending you a kick-in-the-butt response! You said:
In short, you've pointed to some closets I haven't considered looking in. If I can't resolve all of your points, I intend to just say that soon. Until I have more clarity, know I'm investigating.

I seemed like you were slipping back into the very thing you said you were tired of: going at it alone. I still get a sense that that is true. Notice how the mind attempts to draw you back to its old habits. Through this inquiry, let's make the mind work in new ways and see what new insights arise. It's great news that you are struggling. That means things are being looked at in new ways. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to write me everyday (within 24 hours). You can take your time, but not too much. Too much time leads to too much thinking about what is seen. You will not figure this out by thinking about it. Just look and write what you see, as honestly as possible. I don't need, or want, to hear what you think is the "right" answer (thanks so much for being honest about that desire). I'm a pretty good judge of what a bullshit answer looks like, and if I read one from you, I'll call you out! So honesty is best. A good way to look at it would be you have to tell the truth to see the truth.

This is a good pointer to how the seeking mind works. It attaches to an idea and says, "I need to figure this out so I can be enlightened in a future moment." Or “I need to figure this out so I can write a better answer about enlightenment in a future moment.” The questions I pose will not be answered better in a future moment. All you need to do is read the questions and start writing what comes to mind even if it's stuff you don't want to admit, or if you don’t have an answer. The mind seeks for a better answer in a future moment. Stop seeking and simply look at what the questions reveal in your direct experience. I’m here to help so take advantage of it!
I believe at some core level that the "I' sense is the grand illusion, hence the recursive "self-dropper" (impossibly complicated when you get down to it) is the anomaly within reality.

The self isn’t complicated. It doesn’t exist. What is complicated is your thinking about the self that says it’s complicated (even writing that was complicated!) Figuring it out is complicated. So stop trying to figure it out. Stop trying to analyze it. Stop trying to complicate it. Just look for it—that’s easy.
The chronically dissatisfied self. It wants to device its own end, but clearly we have a problem here too.
Explain how this is possible. Is there an actual entity called you and wants to destroy yourself? Can you find anything that can be destroyed or is capable of destroying? Word of caution: avoid writing about what you think about the question. Write what you notice when you read the question.
Very often. It feels like a straight jacket that tightens with my every effort, save meditation, which seems to loosen the experience of wanting away from this self--that which is even typing on its plight right now.
Maybe you should consider not meditating for a few days so that the sense of self can be more easily noticed. It’s just an idea and totally your call. Why run from the thing that is being looked for?
It's a bundle of thought,mostly.
It is thought, but can you find the bundle? Look for it.
At the core of this I have carried a belief in the brilliant, luminous, free from pain enlightenment stories. That's not in my experience, so there's a belief that I'm simply not there.
This isn’t silly. It’s a statement dripping with honesty. All of these ideas you wrote about are not liberation. They are thoughts about liberation. They are useless to what we are doing. What if you see through the illusion of self and nothing changes?
The "I" never gets there...it gets dropped, right?
Yeah but you don’t drop it. There is no you to drop itself. So stop trying to. Just look.

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Tyler
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Tyler » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:55 am

How's it going?


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