Hello and thank you

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Yeshe
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Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:51 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
it seems real.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
True freedom.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I've been seeking, reading and meditating for the last 25-30 years. Nondual, self enquiry and Buddhist. Several retreats. Have felt stuck for a long time. Understanding of no self for many years and experience of the state of no self sporadically, more so in the last few months. Things are shifting. It's time.

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). : 11

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby BleedIntoOne » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:12 am

Hello Yeshe. My name is Chris and welcome to the LU forum.

I know what you mean when you say "it's time" and I'm happy to help guide you through this process. All that I ask is that you're completely honest in your writing, that you do your best to write in our thread every day, and that during our time together, you set aside all other spiritually related books, videos and so forth so that you can completely focus on your own experience.

This is your process, I'm just here to help guide you along. Cool?

It's great that you have experience with Buddhism and other non-dual teachers, but from your own perspective I'm curious, how do you response to the statement, "there is no separate self at all in reality." Is this true, and if so, how do you know?

Take your time and write any and everything that comes to mind.

Looking forward to diving into this with you.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:31 am

Thanks Chris. Agree, personal experience and complete honesty.

Intellectually the statement that there is no separate self at all in reality has made sense for a long time. Experientially more recently.

The feeling that comes up on reading it is of relaxed relief.

There has been a shift in the last few weeks to an awareness of things happening without a doer. Watching them happen. Walking. Making tea. Hearing.

The sense of I arises in the mind primarily with mental activity. I have two young children, a busy job, so the mind is engaged all day every day literally apart from being in the bathroom. And that's not guaranteed! But it has become a feeling of I rather than an identification as I.

When the mind is engaged it uses I, me, my statements. It refers to memories and references familiar things. The sense of I arises until there is awareness of it then, on reflection it's easy to see that it is a thought process and labelling, that the sense of I had arisen as a result of this from the mental activity itself. But with non stop daily mental activity the sense of I can predominate all day!

Emotional activity also produces a stronger feeling of I, but on reflection it is easy to see the feelings as feelings labelled as me.

The sense of separateness also seems stronger when aware of other - in conversation with someone else, hearing a passing car or bird, anything which relates to something separate from this personal experience. On reflection it's possible to be aware of these things arising within the experience, but there is a sense of them being separate from "my" experience (the bird sees different things, the person I am taking with thinks and sees and hears different things, I am not in that passing car...) which can then lead to a sense of me-ness as not them.

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:28 am

Question: can I delete my account or this thread if I want to? Thanks.

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby BleedIntoOne » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:55 pm

Hello Yeshe. I did forget to ask in my original post, if you'd like to continue in this exploration, is there another name you'd like to be called, or shall we stick with Yeshe?

Regarding deleting your account/this thread, yes, absolutely. You can do that at anytime. As I said in the beginning, this is your process, I'm just here to help guide you.

You provided some wonderful feedback and insights in your initial reply to my queries, which I'd like to explore further with you, but figured before doing so I'd see if you're still interested in moving forward at this point, or if you wanted to go ahead and delete your account and this thread.

I'm happy to continue working with you on this if you'd like, but there's absolutely no problem at all if you're no longer interested.

Hoping this finds you well,
Chris
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:55 pm

Hi Chris. Thanks. If things could be deleted later lets press on. Yeshe is fine!

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby BleedIntoOne » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:29 pm

Sounds good to me Yeshe. Thank you for agreeing/committing to personal experience and complete honesty as we move forward. And please know that I won’t ask you to believe anything, but instead, to simply look and see for yourself.
The sense of I arises in the mind primarily with mental activity. I have two young children, a busy job, so the mind is engaged all day every day literally apart from being in the bathroom. And that's not guaranteed! But it has become a feeling of I rather than an identification as I.
I can certainly relate to your busy schedule and the stolen moments of serenity in the bathroom... all too well.

So let's look at this “feeling of I rather than identification with it”. Who is feeling the I? It is true that whatever is happening in experience is here, but is there an I entity that the experience is happening to? That's the question.
The sense of separateness also seems stronger when aware of other - in conversation with someone else, hearing a passing car or bird, anything which relates to something separate from this personal experience. On reflection it's possible to be aware of these things arising within the experience, but there is a sense of them being separate from "my" experience (the bird sees different things, the person I am taking with thinks and sees and hears different things, I am not in that passing car...) which can then lead to a sense of me-ness as not them.
What you think you are does not exist. There is no separate self inside the body/mind that is doing the driving, making decisions, or managing the universe. The I that is assumed to be there is not. There is life happening in which nothing is excluded or separated—conversing with someone, hearing a passing car or bird, rain falling, sun shining, child laughing—it is all life happening.

Birds, cars, rain, sun, child are all concepts and labels that cloud the direct experience of life as it unfolds.

So, is life happening to the bird, or as a bird? Is life happening to the rain and sun, or as the rain and sun?

Is life happening to you or as you. As the experience right here, right now, simply as it is.

Please take your time and write whatever comes up.
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:11 am

So let's look at this “feeling of I rather than identification with it”. Who is feeling the I? It is true that whatever is happening in experience is here, but is there an I entity that the experience is happening to? That's the question.
This is good. On further reflection there can be no feeling of I. If there is no I, how can I know what one feels like? The "feeling of I" is just another label by the mind trying to make sense of the experience in the vocabulary it has learned.

So, thoughts arise. Lots of them. All the time. And awareness of thoughts arising usually happens afterwards when there can be a recognition "just thoughts arising". However in the experience of thoughts arising awareness is consumed so it is tangled up with the thought process. The thought process seems to hijack awareness. And with its familiar narrator, memories, characters, likes and dislikes a sense of separate identity seems to arise. But writing that I'm not sure what exactly I mean. Just they when there are lots of thoughts there is little awareness of anything else and this seems to create a feeling of separateness or at least immersion in the personal experience to the exclusion of most other things. Hmm.

Will get back to your other point shortly.

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:38 am

And since I is a complete fiction, any notion of an I, feeling of, or sense of an I must be pure fiction too. There is nothing for the feeling for sense or idea to be based on or relate to. Pure imagination. It cannot mean anything. It can only be a label by the mind, an incorrect one, on an experience "oh this must be an I feeling, this must be what I feels like, let's call it that". Which means that whatever experiences are arising they have nothing whatsoever to do with an I or sense of one. Busy mind, still mind, nothing to do with an I. Which means I is a complete red herring. All of our experiences, all experience, must be accounted for without any reference to an I.

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:17 am

Another thought. In a room with the telly on it is difficult to have a conversation or read or do many things. The telly absorbs everyone's attention, even when nobody wants to watch anything.

Similarly with the mind. Whether there are external demands on it (children, work, etc) or not (and it just chatters away in its own reliving the past or projecting into the future), it is the single most distracting entity for awareness or being, viewed simply as another experience in amongst all the experiences arising at any given moment. Far more than birdsong or the wind in the trees unless awareness is consciously drawn away from its endless movie or soap opera or the mind stilled.

This is where I have felt an imagined sense of self most strongly - being lost in the continual background soap opera of memories, characters, narration that are so familiar . A radio that is never off except in meditation or still moments.

This experience of distraction can have nothing to do with an I or feeling or sense of I yet it distracts from the ongoing experience of life happening as life.

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:24 am

Thoughts arising as thoughts. No thinker, no me. But familiar characters and content. So memory. Continuity. But ultimately thoughts arising just as birdsong or the sound of cars arise.

But so much more distracting even without a label "my" thoughts or "me", so dominating awareness. Or hijacking it like the telly. And internal so feeling separate to the birdsong out there.

Can't find a way to edit posts hence multiple posts.

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:31 am

What you think you are does not exist. There is no separate self inside the body/mind that is doing the driving, making decisions, or managing the universe. The I that is assumed to be there is not. There is life happening in which nothing is excluded or separated—conversing with someone, hearing a passing car or bird, rain falling, sun shining, child laughing—it is all life happening.

Birds, cars, rain, sun, child are all concepts and labels that cloud the direct experience of life as it unfolds.

So, is life happening to the bird, or as a bird? Is life happening to the rain and sun, or as the rain and sun?

Is life happening to you or as you. As the experience right here, right now, simply as it is.
This is the golden question isn't it!

Taking the feeling or idea of I out of things the sense is of a personal experience dominating, ie experience through this body, these eyes, this mind which makes it different from experience through your body and mind right now. Or the birds. This overrides the experience of life happening as life, as me, as birds, etc. which does arise in meditation and spontaneously from time to time. Connected to the distraction of mental activity?

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:09 pm

With awareness there is the awareness of things happening without a doer, just making tea, walking, seeing. No self.

When awareness is distracted by mental activity this sense is lost. There is just absorption in the non stop thoughts and narration and analysis.

This may be what is being incorrectly labelled as an experience of self when in fact it is just an experience of mental activity, a stream of thoughts to the exclusion of most other awareness except in interruptions and fleeting moments.

This would imply that quieting the mind through meditation is key, but this is not the case. Direct seeing shatters this from what I can tell. Right?

As a reference there was quite a grounded confidence in no self before we started chatting, now everything is blown apart and feels quite shaky!

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Yeshe
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby Yeshe » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:22 pm

I've posted a stream of thoughts as they've hit me today which was useful for me but may be a bit to wade through. To sum up where I am right now
  • There is no separate self nor ever has been. There is no experience of one nor ever has been.
    There can be no sense of, or feeling of, a separate self even. Whatever feelings or thoughts are attributed to a sense of I are mistaken and must be something else.
    Releness mental activity, despite experiencing the above directly, make experiencing being as life itself living shadowed by a personal experience and the power of the soap opera.

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BleedIntoOne
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Re: Hello and thank you

Postby BleedIntoOne » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:28 pm

Hello Yeshe. Thank your for being so transparent in your writing. You’re opening up quite nicely already in this process. And just to quickly address the multiple posts, it's fine with me if that is what works easiest for you. No problem at all here. I know some people will write their response in a word document (or other type of writing program) and then cut/paste it here into the box. But please feel free to do what works best for you. Now, on to the good stuff :)
As a reference there was quite a grounded confidence in no self before we started chatting, now everything is blown apart and feels quite shaky!
This is a very good thing. Very good. You’re here to look deeper and question everything, right? Well, this is a wonderful sign that it’s already working. :)

I'd like to invite you to further explore this sentence you wrote:
And since I is a complete fiction, any notion of an I, feeling of, or sense of an I must be pure fiction too.
Can you find the sense, feeling of I?

Work with that for as long as feels right and then see if you can find the sense of being, aliveness, presence, and see if that is the same sense. Please do your best to look directly without conceptualizing and see if that sense is I, or, if I is a label that comes with thinking.

Look behind the sensations and see if there is a feeler there that is separate from the feeling.

And once you've taken your time with that, there's one last thing for now that I'd also like you to look deeper at, which is your statement:
There can be no sense of, or feeling of, a separate self even. Whatever feelings or thoughts are attributed to a sense of I are mistaken and must be something else.
We’re not here to bash logic or think because they are of course both very useful in the world, however, the focus of this exploration is not to think deeper, but to look deeper. Can you look at what is actually true in your experience, right here, right now?

Here’s a quick example of the difference between thinking and looking that may help:

If I ask you what color are your socks, you can respond to this from two different perspectives—thinking and looking. So you can answer this question by either 1) thinking about what socks you put on this morning and answering from a place of remembrance, or, you can simply look at your socks, see them directly and then reply. Can you see the difference?

You’re doing an incredible job Yeshe. Let’s keep this fire burning!
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." — Hunter S. Thompson


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