I am ready for guidance

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memor26
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I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:33 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I think I've been going through a slow awakening for the last couple of years but I feel stuck. I keep making the same mistakes and letting fear and anxiety control my life. Well, now I'm ready to take the big leap into the unknown. I need all the help I can get.

What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?
I would like some guidance and support through this journey. I also hope to help others with my own experiences.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
I've meditated on and off for 9 years but I've never been consistent. I've listened to some Alan Watts lectures and read some Osho books and a few other gurus. I'm also familiar with the concept of mindfulness. I first learned about mindfulness through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a form of mindful-based therapy that I did when I was suffering from depression & anxiety a few years ago. The idea is to learn to diffuse from thoughts and feeling, allowing and accepting all thoughts, feelings and emotions as they come and giving them space; and commit to action no matter how you feel by living by your values. On an intellectual level, I understand all this but I feel like I'm not quite "here" yet. I need stop reading and actually do something.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:31 am

Hi memor26,

I´m Rafael and I´m happy to help you. It´s ok to call you memor26 or do you prefer to use your name?

I´ll ask a series of questions and you will reply with your best shot. There are no right or wrong answers, but please focus on your own experience.
It´s good to know that you´re ready to leave aside the books and second hand ideas.

Let´s start then.

When you say that you´re not quite here, what does that mean? What needs to be different?

Best wishes,
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:09 pm

Call me "V".
When you say that you´re not quite here, what does that mean? What needs to be different?
When I say that "I'm not quite here", I mean that I have some knowledge but it's not really sinking in. I'm in front of the gate and I can see it but I haven't walk through it yet. I get that "me" is a belief given by society but I get caught in that belief all the time. To be honest, I like the idea that "I" am this unique person separate from everyone else. I let my thoughts and feelings control me even though there's really no "me". The more I try to break away, the more fear, anxiety and thoughts show up and the harder I fall.

I also buy into the idea that enlightenment will be this amazing beautiful event where I will become a better person and all my problems will be solved.

Of course this is all complete bull.

I need to stop trying to intellectualize and psychoanalyze myself. I need stop trying to be perfect. I need to stop running towards enlightenment. I need to let go of fear and just stay in the present. It's difficult thought.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:11 pm

I'm trying to control everything and failing miserable at it.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:43 pm

Hi V,

Thanks for your honest reply.

I know what you mean. It´s difficult, particularly if we want to escape from what is present because is not pleasant, and because there are promises of a better future.
By now just give some space and kindness to all those feelings and emotions. Even to the feelings that you´re failing because you cannot give them space. Just let them dance.

Now please tell me, when you say ¨I¨, what are you refering to? where is that ¨I¨?
Remember, it´s not an intelectual process. Forget what you read before, no previous knowledge is needed. Let´s start from zero. Close your eyes and try to find the ¨I¨. What do you see?

Best wishes.
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:55 pm

I don't see anything. All I see is darkness. All I have are my thoughts that randomly pop up and my feelings about doing this activity. But, I have the urge to control what I'm thinking, to stifle all the bad thoughts. If it's not the "I", then what is trying to control the thoughts?

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:58 pm

Let´s look deeper, V.

You said
I have the urge to control what I'm thinking
Please focus on that feeling of urgency to control.
Where can you feel it? Is in the stomach? is in the head? It has some shape/colour/form?
Explore with all the senses.

Best regards
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:08 pm

It's in my forehead. I feel tension in muscles in my forehead and around my eye brows. It's like a gray blob, shapeless form, moving and stretching from my forehead to the top of my head. There is pressure around my eye and on the top of my head and now I can feel it pulsing on the top of my head.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:02 pm

I also feel impatient

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:05 pm

Hi V,

Let's look at this.
I feel tension in muscles in my forehead and around my eye brows.
this are physical sensations
It's like a gray blob, shapeless form,
this are thoughts and images on the mind
moving and stretching from my forehead to the top of my head. There is pressure around my eye and on the top of my head and now I can feel it pulsing on the top of my head.
this are more physical sensations,
I also feel impatient
and more physical sensations.

There are physical sensations that can be clearly feel and described. Can you feel the "I" in the same way that you're feeling these physical sensations? where is it? it has any shape/form/color?

Explore fully with all the senses.

R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
Posts: 17
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:18 pm

I’m looking really hard inside my body and mind but I just keep running into thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Where is this “I”? Where is “me”?

I don’t know. I have this belief of who I am. A woman of color in a society that has a lot of stereotypes and negativity against me because of how I look.

But I can’t feel the “I” like the way I feel my physical sensations. I can’t see the “I” like I see the color of my skin. I can’t describe the “I” like I can describe my thoughts. The deeper I go, the more beliefs I find. It’s all smokes and mirrors. It’s almost like I’m sticking my hand in a bottomless box trying to find a marble but I keep pulling out scarves. I’m grasping for something that isn’t there.

I asked myself, “If the ‘I’ exist where would it be?” A long time ago I really did believe that “I” was my thoughts. I was whatever my thoughts said I was. This was the root of my depression and anxiety. I believed the story that I was a pathetic stupid insignificant human being that failed at life.

But I’ve suffered enough times, been through years of therapy and actually tested my thoughts in real life to know that they are not always true and I don’t have to be attached to them. And it’s pointless to try to control them. Avoiding, suppressing and struggling with thoughts causes more pain and suffering. But still, I find myself falling back into the trap. At least I’m better at recognizing the trap now.


After contemplating for an hour, I realize that the “I” is like a house of cards. The cards are beliefs, thoughts and feelings. When you take out the card at the bottom, the “I” falls apart and then you realize nothing was there to beginning with, just a bunch of beliefs.

But then, if there’s no “I”, then what is the point of doing anything?
Life moves on regardless if we do something or not. Why be motivated to do anything? What about values? Can we still live life through our values if there’s no “I”? How does God fall into this? Does this mean that since we’re all part of this collective and there’s no controller, we’re all God? If’ I’m not this separate entity, does it mean that I was always connect to everyone and everything and I just didn’t know it?

Without having the “I”, I feel like the ground has been pulled under me and I’m falling and I have no idea where I’m going. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared.

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:14 am

Hello V,
I don’t know. I have this belief of who I am. A woman of color in a society that has a lot of stereotypes and negativity against me because of how I look.
Thank you for your honesty, I can feel your sincerity in here. I´m glad that you´re noticing that this is a belief, just that. And maybe is not useful anymore.
After contemplating for an hour, I realize that the “I” is like a house of cards. The cards are beliefs, thoughts and feelings. When you take out the card at the bottom, the “I” falls apart and then you realize nothing was there to beginning with, just a bunch of beliefs.
This is a very good analogy! Yes, the ¨I¨ is actually fundamented in a bunch of beliefs associated with thoughts and feelings.
But then, if there’s no “I”, then what is the point of doing anything? ...Why be motivated to do anything? What about values?
This are very interesting questions and be sure that we will have the time and space to explore them later on, but by now lets check this out,
Without having the “I”, I feel like the ground has been pulled under me and I’m falling and I have no idea where I’m going. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared.
It´s perfectly normal to feel scared. Let´s give some space to that. Actually the fear can be used as an ally because it´s showing us that there is something to be noticed.

Focus on the sensation of what we call ¨fear¨ - don´t pay attention to the thoughts - and look it as a new born baby. Notice and acknowledge this fully alive sensation. It's ever changing? it's painful? Go directly to the sensation and see under the label ¨fear¨ and the story associated. ‘I feel like the ground has been pulled under me ’ – that’s a thought. ‘I’m falling and I have no idea where I’m going ’ -thats another thought. Can you detect interpretation of the sensation? What happend if this sensation is contemplated in an a loving and accepting way? What happens?

Please report back.

Sending love.
R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:12 pm

Fear is very painful for me and it is forever changing. Sometimes it starts out as pressure in my head but most of the times it starts off as pressure surrounding my heart. I have this feeling like my heart is sinking into itself and the sinking feeling is pulsing at beat of my increasing fast heart rate. Then everything slows down. The sinking sensation starts to spread around my chest. It feels like something heavy is sitting on my chest. I feel tense.

My heart continues to beat really fast. I can’t feel the air moving in my lungs, throat and mouth because I’m holding my breath. The air is stale and thick. I feel like I’m suffocating. I can’t hold my breathe any longer so then I start breathing quickly but sporadically…fear’s best friend, anxiety shows up. Sometimes anxiety brings more friends like guilty, sadness, anger, regret, frustration etc. but this time anxiety comes alone.

The fear moves all over my body never staying in one place. It moves up to my neck and then my jaw. My jaw tenses up and I clench my teeth. For some reason, fear always returns to my heart, its starting place.

I feel like I’m sinking in quicksand. I’m stiff, I’m paralyze. The feeling of impending doom is all around me, like a dark thick constricting cloud. But then sensation of anxiety puts everything overdrive; my heart is beating extremely fast, hyperventilating, sweating, pulsing headache, nausea, queasy stomach; I feel the adrenaline and cortisol rushing through my blood everywhere. I feel like running away somewhere. I want to jump out of my skin but also have the sensation of wanting to curling up into the fetal position. Anxiety and fear are oscillating between each other but fear wins this time.


I don’t want to fight with fear anymore. I’m physically & emotionally tired. I want fear to be my ally. So I’m putting out an olive branch to fear, anxiety and all the other feelings and sensations. Fear for me now is like vulnerable kid trapped in a scary fire-breathing monster’s body. All we see is the monster and we’re scared of it. So like a brave knight we push it way, we try to fight it. But the kid inside has something very important to say, however, it doesn’t know how to express itself or get anyone to listen unless we become mindful, accept it and give it space. Then we can see what is behind monster (fear). The innocent child could be there or nothing at all.
What happens if this sensation is contemplated in an a loving and accepting way? What happens?
When I contemplate the sensations in a loving and accepting way, the sensations are still very strong in my body but I stop concentrating on fear itself. I can let it do it thing and not get caught up in it. Thus, I defuse from it. By allowing fear to roam free while observing it like a baby, awareness and freedom shows up too. So now fear doesn’t look like a villain anymore, it looks like friend who speaks different language and I don’t understand him yet. I just want to go and hug him anyway lol.

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memor26
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby memor26 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:19 pm

I keep coming up with flowery analogies in my mind about fear...haha! I have one more: fear is like feral child that's trying to protect me from the bad things in the forest. He can't communicate the dangers so he burns down the whole forest so now we're trapped in a forest fire lol in my mind he looks like that kid from the Jungle Book lol

okay, okay. I'm done haha!

I'm have this really cheesy smile on my face.

Who would have know fear could elicit happiness once I see it for what it is. This is awesome!

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Quetzal
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Re: I am ready for guidance

Postby Quetzal » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:54 pm

Good V, very good!
By allowing fear to roam free while observing it like a baby, awareness and freedom shows up too. So now fear doesn’t look like a villain anymore, it looks like friend who speaks different language and I don’t understand him yet. I just want to go and hug him anyway lol.
Excellent. Yes, fear is like a new friend, who also wants to be accepted and deserves to be hug and loved as any other sensation.
Who would have know fear could elicit happiness once I see it for what it is. This is awesome!
It certainly is! And normally because we want to get rid of it, we just reinforce it. The next time that fear (or any other sensation appears), you can follow the recipe: "Don't try to change it, just notice it. Rinse and repeat".

Now let´s take it a bit further. Let's focus on this.
When you say in this lovely analogy
fear is like feral child that's trying to protect me from the bad things in the forest

What is exactly that "me" that needs to be protected? can that "me" be found? Or is it just a story ABOUT me?
what is behind the sensations - fear, resistance, contraction?
is there a feeler?

Very good job, V. Keep looking!

R.
No snowflake
ever falls
in the wrong place.


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