Give me the final push, please!

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white66cloud
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Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:22 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I was actually watching a video about Dzogchen by Jackson Peterson and he mentioned Liberation Unleashed. I took notes and afterwards checked it out. I was hesitant at first, thinking; "Why would people want to help with this for free and who are they?" I only got through half of Gateless Gatecrashers when I felt that I should register too. "Maybe, just maybe this will give me the final push", I thought.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
I want to wake up from this illusion of a separate self, finally. I can feel it's so close, true nature, closer than every breath I take...but still...'I' tend to get in the way of it over and over again. I final there is a need for a final push.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
I don't even know where to start. I have been on this quest for 30 years now. I have a background in Buddhism; Zen, Theravada, Dzogchen and also Advaita. I have been a 'serious seeker' and all of my adult life has been devoted to this search for awakening, still it eludes me! I have been on endless retreats, read hundreds and hundreds of books, sat for years in meditations, from the jungles of South America, through the ashrams of India, Zen temples of Japan and to the Wats in Thailand, I searched for a master that could set me free. In the end I realized that it could not be given to me, it was nothing that could be obtained. Still, I ordained as a novice monk in a Thai Theravada tradition, gave up my life and everything I owned and became a homeless ascetic.
Life as a monk was both wonderful and tough. Wonderful because it had a freedom and a beauty that I had always longed for, tough in terms of not getting enough sleep or nourishment to keep the body healthy. I was a good meditator. I could easily slip into samadhi and stay there for hours. I could even attain the lower Jhanas, something that made more senior monks envious of me. But after a few years I lost this ability to have the desired states of meditative bliss. It was devastating. I had built my identity around being a good novice monk and an outstanding meditator. I remember breaking down and crying in the middle of a muddy English field (I had moved to a monastery in England by then). I was at a dead end. My body was worn down from the rough life, my peace of mind gone and I was no closer to getting 'it'. I also realized that the senior monks, or even the abbot, also didn't have 'it'. They didn't get it! Suddenly it hit me. I had been doing all this striving for nothing. There was really no doer, no meditator and nothing to seek. I had a short glimpse of just spacious being. And then it was gone. It was enough for me to decide to leave life as a monk and try to solve it outside of a tradition. So with just one week before my higher ordination, after I could not leave for at least five years, I decided to disrobe. It was a great scandal. The abbot cried when I chanted the lay precepts and took my robes off. I have also cried. Cried and cursed myself for leaving even. It was four years ago and I still haven't solved it. It's so close and it's so frustrating! I don't know what to do.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?
11

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:49 am

Hello WhiteCloud,

Thank you for your beautiful and honest introduction. Welcome to LU!
My name is Alex and I am happy to accompany you on this part of your journey.

When you refer to this I that as you mentioned "tends to get in the way of waking up from this illusion of a separate self", then what exactly are you referring to? Can you please describe this I, this self, that gets in the way? Are you this I that gets in the way?
If not, then what is this "I"? And... what are you?
Please write in all honesty, it is really important not to repeat what you might have learned from others, from reading books or what you have been taught in the past. Report only your current conviction/belief of what you are... Are you this body/mind..? Are you awareness?
It's so close and it's so frustrating! I don't know what to do.
Yes, it can get very frustrating... but maybe "you" don't really have to do anything to see through this illusion...
Lets see :-)

Kind regards
Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:44 am

Hi Alex,

First of all - thank you for being my guide. I am grateful that you are taking the time to help me see through this.

I realize that I might be heavily conditioned due to my background. Mind filled with ideas and expectations about what liberation should or should not be. I have been trying to stay clear of all traditions since I disrobed as a Buddhist monk in order to simply explore this in a more open and natural manner. I have read som advaita teachings now and then, more to check where I am and what's going on, kind of like a road map. But this can get confusing enough. So I will refrain from this while we work on this.
When you refer to this I that as you mentioned "tends to get in the way of waking up from this illusion of a separate self", then what exactly are you referring to? Can you please describe this I, this self, that gets in the way? Are you this I that gets in the way?
If not, then what is this "I"? And... what are you?
I don't know what gets in the way to be honest. But something is. I look for this 'I', this person, but there's only thoughts there. 'I' is only a thought and when 'I' tries to grasp this, it evaporates...sort of. There is no substance to this feeling of 'I'. During observation this is seen and there is peace and resting in something else - awareness. But then it sort of contracts around 'me' and 'mine' (does this make sense?) and there is the feeling of 'I' or self again. Even though this is seen, it's not thoroughly let go of. Am I just seeing this intellectually? Why doesn't it stay a permanent state?
Are you this body/mind..? Are you awareness?
Am I the body? No. The body is just there, doing its thing. I look in the mirror and there is a face, but it's not what I am. Am I the mind? The mind is just thoughts, mental states...they come and go, beyond control. Shouldn't be much left then, but still there is something there. Is it fear? Grasping? Why can't I just 'feel' this beyond any doubts? It's like I don't trust this to be true. That 'I' can be that. Tears welling up as I write this...so maybe there is something there to look into a bit deeper. A sore spot for sure; not being able to trust this to be true. Feels more like that than belief in a person actually existing.
Yes, it can get very frustrating... but maybe "you" don't really have to do anything to see through this illusion...
I realize it's less about doing something; but 'doing' and 'becoming' is so heavily ingrained in everything. 'Doing' meditation, 'becoming' liberated... instead of just being with what already is. Maybe I have been trying too hard all these years, making too much effort. I don't see the obvious.

wow! So much sorrow coming up just from this first attempt to see what gets in the way. Didn't expect that. Need to look into this more. Any pointers?

Peace

/seth

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:19 am

Hi Seth,

It is a pleasure to hear from you and thank you for accepting me as your guide.
I look for this 'I', this person, but there's only thoughts there. 'I' is only a thought
Yes, very well seen. The I is not an entity existing outside or independently of these thought stories, but it is a very well connected story and it does like to show up wherever it can. Would you agree that it would be more precise to describe this I as a process (a verb) and not as a self, a subject or object (and thus a noun)? Would it be more accurate to say that some process we could call "selfing" happens instead of there being a self, an I, that does stuff, controls things and thinks thoughts?
Am I just seeing this intellectually? Why doesn't it stay a permanent state?
I can't tell you yet if this is only an intellectual understanding... so, please tell me more about the realisation that lead to the understanding that this I, this separate self, is not an inherently existing entity, that it is purely thought made. How did this realisation happen?

Why doesn't it stay a permanent state? Have you ever experienced a permanent state? The only permanent thing in experience is change. There are really no states at all, just change happening. Don't expect a permanent state - your true nature is not a state. It is beyond states and this is why you cannot find it as an object. Only thought-made objects are in thought-made states...
But then it sort of contracts around 'me' and 'mine' (does this make sense?) and there is the feeling of 'I' or self again.
Can you please describe when this contractions happen. What triggers them? Do certain desires or aversions lead to a state of contraction? When someone upsets you, does this lead to a contraction and then aversion, anger or fear shows up?

It is not a bad thing when these contractions (felt as physical sensations) happen - they are a great sign that you should look - look at why it happens. Is the contraction - the physical sensation - really responsible for this "me" or "mine" - thought to appear? If the sensation would be felt and no after-thought would appear would this still result in a selfing activity?
Try to find a statement that leads to this kind of contraction - something like "I don't like it when X says Y." or whatever triggers an aversion... Let me know if you can find such a statement that has provoked aversion in the recent past.
Am I the body? No.
Good :-)
Am I the mind? The mind is just thoughts, mental states...they come and go, beyond control.
Even better :-)
Why can't I just 'feel' this beyond any doubts? It's like I don't trust this to be true. That 'I' can be that.
What exactly would need to happen to make it feel true?
When you refer to That - what exactly do you mean?
It's like I don't trust this to be true
A certain trust is not a bad thing, but the problem is that it comes hand in hand with doubt. Where there is trust there will be doubt. Stop trusting (as this is a thought based exercise), stop hoping and simply looks whats left.
I realize it's less about doing something; but 'doing' and 'becoming' is so heavily ingrained in everything. 'Doing' meditation, 'becoming' liberated... instead of just being with what already is. Maybe I have been trying too hard all these years, making too much effort. I don't see the obvious.
Yes, doing and becoming is a thought game - it is the ego prolonging its existence.
What can you do? The best thing to do is nothing. Doing nothing is not an inactive state, it is full of activity, but without the idea of a me doing anything. The best way to do nothing is observing - observe, be attentive, but don't have intentions - experience but don't push and pull at experience.

Sit down and relax, simply look, listen, feel, think... Is there any way to change this experience as it is right now? When you think about it, hasn't it already happened?
Thought might state "Yes, I can get up and walk out. This will change my experience." While this is true for experience to come it is not for the current experience - is it? The current experience - and there is never any other experience than this one right now - will always already be fully present, fully accepted, fully perceived, no matter if thought states it should be different, better or greener... Look at this moment and tell me: What would you change? Can you (=thought) change anything? Or is thought simply also being experienced, and thus it has no power of influencing this experience at all... Look what you find...

Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:54 pm

Hi Alex,
Would it be more accurate to say that some process we could call "selfing" happens instead of there being a self, an I, that does stuff, controls things and thinks thoughts?
Yes, it might be more accurate. Since self has no substance and can't really be found when searched for, it could be seen as a process, with no doer there. I haven't thought about it quite that way. It happens so automatically. Habitual in a way; like we've been taught to stick a label of 'I', 'Me' or 'Mine' on everything.
so, please tell me more about the realisation that lead to the understanding that this I, this separate self, is not an inherently existing entity, that it is purely thought made. How did this realisation happen?
It happens in looking; just sitting and trying to catch hold of this elusive 'I'. It is seen as no more real than any other thought appearing. After some time there is just this spacious awareness with occasional thoughts passing through, but somehow this space feels more real than the thought of 'I', more 'solid' (if you can use that word)...at least as long as it's seen. It is realized that there are moments when this 'I'-thought is not there and things just flow very well without it. Even better maybe. This can happen even in daily, seemingly mundane activities. In fact, there is often the feeling that this is where everything arise from, the sort of underlying foundation or ground. I'm not sure this is 'feeling it' or simply 'understanding it'. Maybe it's just the mind tricking itself into believing it really sees? Or is not trusting in this feeling a trick of the ego to maintain its dominance? There is some confusion about this.
Don't expect a permanent state - your true nature is not a state. It is beyond states and this is why you cannot find it as an object. Only thought-made objects are in thought-made states...
Oh, yes. I thought about this early this morning: how 'I' want to claim this state, make it 'mine' and make it lasting. 'I' want to be liberated, but how can 'I' ever be liberated if 'I' doesn't even have any substance? It's kind of absurd!
Can you please describe when this contractions happen. What triggers them? Do certain desires or aversions lead to a state of contraction? When someone upsets you, does this lead to a contraction and then aversion, anger or fear shows up
Yes it's definitely triggered by desire and aversion. Like an incident last week when I lost my temper and got angry with my partner for something she said. I just exploded in anger. Looking back there was only anger, 'I' came in afterwards: feeling bad about myself, feeling guilty for having lost my temper and my calm, feeling very 'nonspiritual', because we shouldn't have anger etc etc... But it was just a state arising. It blew over and twenty minutes later it was gone, the thought about 'I' having lost my temper lingers on however. It's a memory now and memories are just thoughts. That's one example of moments when I can feel it contracting like a solid core of self hood. Can there be mental states without the self coming in and claiming ownership or thinking itself to be the on experiencing? Is there really a person there experiencing any state? But why was that state of anger triggered in the first place? Is it important to examine this in detail or is it just a detour?
What exactly would need to happen to make it feel true?
When you refer to That - what exactly do you mean?
When I refer to 'that' I mean that spacious awareness - without the thought of 'I'. But when that is, 'I' am not, so 'I' can't ever be that. It just IS. What would need to happen to make it feel true? It IS true, it's just that it gets clouded over by this tangle of thoughts and that 'I'-thought identifying with them. Who is identifying with thoughts if 'I' is just another thought?
Look at this moment and tell me: What would you change? Can you (=thought) change anything? Or is thought simply also being experienced, and thus it has no power of influencing this experience at all... Look what you find...
Luckily I've had all day alone to just look, listen and feel. As for experience, the 'I' has endless ideas and desires of what and how things should be changed, but if each present experience is simply...experienced...without the 'I' claiming it, everything is ok and nothing need to be changed. Yes, I (=thought) is also experienced. 'I' is just a thought, so how could it ever have any power to change anything, right? Get it, but have to let that one sink in for a while since it was not seen before.

Today, after yesterdays sadness, there was this slightly exhilarating feeling, like a slight tingling sensation in the body. Everything is very vivid; the birds, chirping in the trees outside, are just doing their thing. Children playing. There are sounds but no-one or no-thing hearing them - simply hearing. Putting on shoes and walking to the store was interesting. Just walking and that spaciousness at the same time. Thoughts come but not sticking to anything. Things feel new but still the same as before. Perhaps it's just temporary...

/seth

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:59 pm

Hi Seth,
It happens in looking; just sitting and trying to catch hold of this elusive 'I'. It is seen as no more real than any other thought appearing. After some time there is just this spacious awareness with occasional thoughts passing through, but somehow this space feels more real than the thought of 'I', more 'solid' (if you can use that word)...at least as long as it's seen. It is realized that there are moments when this 'I'-thought is not there and things just flow very well without it.
Yes, great! Well seen! This I is no more real than any other thought appearing and everything flows very well without it!
Sounds like clear seeing to me. So don't worry - I am sure you have seen through the illusory nature of this separate self - the issue is not in this seeing.
Yes it's definitely triggered by desire and aversion. Like an incident last week when I lost my temper and got angry with my partner for something she said. I just exploded in anger.
Yes, this is where doubt comes in... I thought I have seen, but why this anger, why this selfing if the I has been seen through???
Have I really seen? I don't know anymore? How will I ever see clearly and drop all selfing processes?
Look at it from a different angle:
These aversions (and the opposite: desires) are just another, more subtle, flavour of the selfing mechanism. They might be a bit more tricky to see through than the belief in a separate self, but it can still be done and the result will be that you don't "just explode in anger" anymore.
So, yes, it happens for most people that even after one has seen through the illusion of a separate self, that desire and aversion still arise even there is no belief in an I that could have these aversions... Strange, isn't it?
Naturally this will lead to doubts about the initial seeing, about the realisation of the emptiness of the self. Why do I still desire, why do I still get annoyed and react with anger if I have seen through this separate self? Maybe I have not seen at all? These sort of thoughts will come up simply because daily life - including all these judgements about good and bad experiences - still happen as they always did. So what to do? Look! Look at these processes. When aversion or desire happens, look at what it is made of. Initially there will be a certain physical sensation. It is labeled as uncomfortable and thus you want to get rid of it. A reaction happens - you yell or you perform some other violent act. It can be quite difficult to look into this process when it is happening "for real" as everything moves very fast. Someone says something, you get angry and you react... Too late for inquiry.
The solution is to create something like lab-conditions. You will have to artificially create these conditions, even it might be uncomfortable. Once this has been established you can explore this process in detail and see through it. A bit similar to how you investigate the nature of the separate self, just a little bit more intricate.
The first step would be to find a statement that normally triggers anger or aversion. It should be a statement that is not just a general statement but something that really happened (and preferable not just once).
So please try to find such a statement like "My partner said that I am egotistic." This obviously triggers anger as I am so spiritual and I shouldn't be egotistical - I don't even have an ego anymore, so she is definitely wrong!
Please let me know this statement that you have found and then we can work on the next steps.
But why was that state of anger triggered in the first place? Is it important to examine this in detail or is it just a detour?
Yes, it is very important as otherwise they will never leave you. It has to be seen clearly that anger, just like the self, is also just an illusion. It has no substance. It is a process, another selfing process, that can be seen through and thus the process will first weaken and then resolve.
It is important to note that this weakening and then dissolving is not done by a you. It is not achieved by anyone. It is a natural reaction when the light of awareness shines on this process that it can not continue. When something dissolves it is never "you" dissolving it, it is always the effect of clear seeing that does this dissolving automatically. It is life doing what it does, not a you changing anything.
When I refer to 'that' I mean that spacious awareness - without the thought of 'I'. But when that is, 'I' am not, so 'I' can't ever be that. It just IS.
Yes, ok, agree. Just this "spacious awareness". But what happens to this "spacious awareness" when an I thought appears? Is it in any way damaged? Does it leave? Where would it go? Maybe there can still be "spacious awareness" even when I-thoughts happen...
Luckily I've had all day alone to just look, listen and feel. As for experience, the 'I' has endless ideas and desires of what and how things should be changed, but if each present experience is simply...experienced...without the 'I' claiming it, everything is ok and nothing need to be changed.
Yes, nothing needs to be changed - these are just thought made ideas.
Just to be precise: You say that "the 'I' has endless ideas and desires of what and how things should be changed"... Look again at this direct experience, is this statement really true? Does the I have ideas and desires at all? What is really happening?
Today, after yesterdays sadness, there was this slightly exhilarating feeling, like a slight tingling sensation in the body. Everything is very vivid; the birds, chirping in the trees outside, are just doing their thing. Children playing. There are sounds but no-one or no-thing hearing them - simply hearing. Putting on shoes and walking to the store was interesting. Just walking and that spaciousness at the same time. Thoughts come but not sticking to anything. Things feel new but still the same as before. Perhaps it's just temporary...
That sounds nice, but don't worry about states. Sometimes you will be wide open and vividly aware and sometimes there will be contractions. You can not know one without the other. So don't worry about this being temporary and don't doubt your findings once the openness changes to a state of contraction. It is just an experience - and they come and go.

Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:06 pm

Hi Alex,

Thank you for the pointers. It's really precious and I am so grateful for the help.
Less time and more work the coming days so, if it's ok with you, I will take a day or two before I reply again. I feel you pointed out some really important stuff that I need to look into more deeply before I can move on.

Peace

/seth

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:26 pm

Yes, sure, take your time.
Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:23 am

Hi again Alex,
So please try to find such a statement like "My partner said that I am egotistic." This obviously triggers anger as I am so spiritual and I shouldn't be egotistical - I don't even have an ego anymore, so she is definitely wrong!
Please let me know this statement that you have found and then we can work on the next steps.
First of all I should say that I don't get angry very often. But since it happened recently and since it's something that leads to doubt about seeing, it's important to look into it. What I can see when I observe is that there's a gradual build-up before it 'ignites' so to speak. What leads up to anger is always a chain of various thoughts and resentments. It's like a thunder storm brewing on a hot summers day; you can see the build up of thunder heads, feel how the air changes into being almost electric, and then - kaboom! - the discharge of energy.
The statement that often act as a trigger is when my partner tell me that I'm "bad at communicating when we need to work out our differences". This is true. When I get grumpy or angry I just want to retreat into my shell and be left alone. I dislike conflicts and prefer to just avoid them and wait for the storm to blow over. The 'I' feels threatened and wants to maintain itself.
When I look at anger and what leads up to it, all I find is thoughts. Seeing how thoughts build up and how the 'I', who is just another thought that identifies with this, makes resentment subside; who is there to be angry? No-one. It all comes back to that - there is no substance to the 'I' thought.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to observe this: I was tired after along day at work and my partner noticed this immediately, picking up on it. She kept prodding me with questions about what was wrong and why I was being grumpy. I felt the irritation brewing and the thoughts coming; "why won't she just leave me alone?", "I have a right to be tired and grumpy." Seeing the thoughts and how they were just thoughts, and that there was in fact no person there being tired and grumpy - simply an experience of tiredness - made the irritation abate and it never turned into anger. It was a relief. But it still feels like anger is a thing that might be around for a while and that it will take more time to resolve completely. Sticky tricky stuff.
But what happens to this "spacious awareness" when an I thought appears? Is it in any way damaged? Does it leave? Where would it go? Maybe there can still be "spacious awareness" even when I-thoughts happen...
Yes! This was understood suddenly a few days ago. THAT can never not be! It's always there and is not touched by anything. The proof? This is the proof. Because of THAT all this is. All this would not be possible without it since it's THAT which is aware of this. There is no person here that is aware, there is only awareness. Even when the I-thought happens THAT is present.
It can never be lost since it was never 'owned' by any person. States come and go, and as you pointed out, THAT is not a state - it is the ground or foundation of everything. All things, and states, arise in THAT and is seen in the light of THAT.
"Does the I have ideas and desires at all? What is really happening?"
The 'I' can't have any ideas and desires since it's just a thought, a label pointing to empty space. Ideas are thoughts arising and desires are simply...well, when I try to look deeply into desire it's evasive; all I can find are thoughts about the desired and how they are somehow wedded to that fictitious 'I'. It dissolves when deeply observed.

/seth

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:52 am

Hi Seth,
There is no person here that is aware, there is only awareness. Even when the I-thought happens THAT is present.
Yes, very well seen!
But it still feels like anger is a thing that might be around for a while and that it will take more time to resolve completely. Sticky tricky stuff.
If you agree I think we should be looking into that a bit deeper.

First, lets find a statement that describes what you don't want to happen in a situation when anger arises because your partner does not leave you alone - when you think you should have the right to be left in peace...
Something like "I don't want my partner to force me to discuss our differences when I don't feel like it". Please find a statement that works for you, one that when you intone it a few times, makes you feel uncomfortable. A statement that generates certain physical sensations that are also present when the real situation happens - maybe a contraction in the abdomen, faster breathing, tingling in the head...
See if you can find a statement that works for you and let me know. It should be phrased in the negative like "I don't want/like ...".

When you have found this statement then sit down and relax - intone the statement a few times and feel how the physical sensations arise. Look at them for a little while.
Now be also aware of the reactions that are waiting in the wings, reactions like negative thoughts, the need to move and vent your lungs or to say something to your partner to shut down the situation.
Remain in this gap, in this space of tension. Be aware of the physical sensations and also try to see how "at the far end of the gap" reactions are manifesting - but don't react, simply watch!

While in the gap, look if you can find this anger, this program, this mechanism that seems to be responsible for bridging this gap - that leads from the initial sensations to your reacting "in anger"...
Can you find this anger? Can you find an I that is angry? Is there something present that deserves the name anger, fear or resentment..? What is in this gap? Look with all your alertness and see what you find?

Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:45 am

Hi Alex,
While in the gap, look if you can find this anger, this program, this mechanism that seems to be responsible for bridging this gap - that leads from the initial sensations to your reacting "in anger"...
Can you find this anger? Can you find an I that is angry? Is there something present that deserves the name anger, fear or resentment..? What is in this gap? Look with all your alertness and see what you find?
The statement that always does it for me is:

"Don't walk away when we are talking!"

If held there is a sense of energy contracting. In the chest area physically. It's felt like a dense core of 'I'. When held, this space of tension, or gap, is simply energy. There is no person there, just energy. It is mistaken for an 'I' when the label 'me' is attributed to it. At the far end there is a habitual pattern of response to the energy, and the label 'anger' is attached to that. So... energy + I-thought + habitual pattern of response = 'anger'. Behind there is nothing. Just boundless space.

/seth

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:36 am

If held there is a sense of energy contracting. In the chest area physically. It's felt like a dense core of 'I'. When held, this space of tension, or gap, is simply energy. There is no person there, just energy.
Yes, well seen - there is only the contraction (the energy), but no entity that owns this contraction.
At the far end there is a habitual pattern of response to the energy, and the label 'anger' is attached to that.
OK, there is a reaction waiting in the wings...
Wouldn't it be more precise to say, that there is a certain situation at hand arising from the statement "Don't walk away when we are talking!", which somehow leads to certain physical sensations arising and then, very fast, anger arises - this anger leads to a reaction. It seems that this anger is responsible for the angry reaction, isn't it?
Does this sound about right? Is this how being angry and then reacting in anger seems to work?

While I am sure we all have experienced reactions that are labelled as anger, they are not really the anger itself, are they? They are reactions happening due to anger, but not anger itself...
Wouldn't it be more logical to say that anger causes angry reactions instead of saying that a reaction is "anger"?

Now, this would imply that this anger, this initiator of angry reactions, should be found in this gap. It has to be somewhere between the physical sensations and the far end of the gap where the reaction happens.

Its a bit like that: You stick your feet into cold water - there is a physical sensation described as cold and wet. At the far end of the gap - when you exit the water - you have wet feet. They are not caused by the sensation of "cold and wet", but by the water, right? So logic tells you "water causes wet feet" - I want you to find the water. The anger itself.

Please look with all your focussed attention and find this "anger", this thing or program that leads from sensation to reaction.

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Please look with all your focussed attention and find this "anger", this thing or program that leads from sensation to reaction.
I guess I'm stuck then. I can't see anything but a chain of thoughts leading from sensation to reaction. The thoughts belong to no-one. There is really no anger and no person being angry. It's all without substance.

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Alexw
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby Alexw » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:21 pm

There is really no anger and no person being angry. It's all without substance.
Yes! Very well seen!
Don't worry, I only wanted you to really look - you have to look and not find - this is the only way that your "true self" will understand and things will automatically fall into place :-)
This falling into place might take a little while and you might still experience anger or aversion - but simply be alert and whenever the urge for a reaction arises then simply ask yourself "Why?" - Why is this reaction necessary?
At first you might still react, but ask yourself anyway until it is clearly seen that the reaction does not really make any sense - there is no anger, so why react in anger?

When you look for the "self" then this is exactly the same process - something happens, some thoughts and/or sensations happen and there is a reaction. We believe the "self", I, is deciding and then performing the reaction...

What we are aiming at is a gradual move from reacting to responding. See if you can spot the difference.

Alex

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white66cloud
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Re: Give me the final push, please!

Postby white66cloud » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:49 am

Don't worry, I only wanted you to really look - you have to look and not find - this is the only way that your "true self" will understand and things will automatically fall into place :-)
Dude, you got me so frustrated there...looking and looking for something that I just couldn't find. Even made me a bit angry :-)
But I find that when anger arises, it's very much about the idea of a separate self and also a strategy to maintain that idea. This character has a certain pattern of reacting to anger that is triggered; it's very much connected to the individual and also linked to feelings in a past, way back.

Instead of just reacting I find it useful to just pause, be in the 'gap', and try to find the 'I' that is angry. It's not found of course. How can there then be a feeling of anger present without any owner of that feeling? It can't! There is still the feeling in the body though, that contraction, lingering. No wonder we connect the physical body to the idea of an 'I' if each contraction leaves an imprint. And that contraction in the physical body is taken as a proof that the separate self is 'real', physical - I must exist because I can feel it in the body. But it's just a contraction.
This looking and trying to find the 'I' that is angry probably has to be repeated to begin with before things fall into place. I see why this is so important now.

Moving away from simply reacting the way you are used to, as if on autopilot (I see why you called it a program or mechanism before), and into responding, I picture that as a state of more openness. Instead of a tightening up around a separate self and a physical body that need to be protected and maintained at any cost, there must be a release of that contraction or tension and through that a dropping of the idea of an 'I' and an openness to what is.

/seth


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