Seeking Guidance

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Royce
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Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:01 pm

My name is Royce, and I am looking for a guide to help me 'walk through' the gateless gate.

I am 20 years old and have been interested in various spiritual teachings for many years, but only recently have I felt I was close to gaining insight into the experience of no-self. Although I sometimes feel it strongly within me, it is fleeting and I want to gain a greater understanding through direct experience. I hope that a guide will be able to push me to look within the process of my thoughts and gain that deeper understanding. Thank you in advance!

Royce

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:34 am

Welcome Royce!

You're in the right place then, books give you theory, here you get action :-)
So, where did those "spiritual teachings" head at one point, what is the core insight you had about all of this and what do you expect to see?

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:32 pm

So, where did those "spiritual teachings" head at one point
The spiritual teachings started with my interest in Buddhism, which lead me to explore meditation. Eventually I delved into the idea that all religions point to a single truth of life. Since then I read many books (Tolle, Krishnamurti, etc.) and other writing that explain the problem of the self and how it leads to identification which leads to attachment, which leads to suffering.
what is the core insight you had about all of this
The core insight is that there is no such thing as a 'self,' only experience and the thoughts that arise to label this experience.
what do you expect to see?
I expect that direct experience of this 'truth' will lead to a sense of calm and peace, that the events and troubles of my life will no longer cause me pain and suffering. I expect to see that the 'self' would eventually dissolve the more I applied myself to the idea that there is no self. I expect to see problems in my life resolve themselves. Finally, I expect to see a direct experience of 'no-self' that will be freeing and noticeable.

Thank you for the time and welcome!

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:07 am

The core insight is that there is no such thing as a 'self,'
Yes, what do you think that means? What should this "self" be then?

But if there is no such thing as it, the Self, what are we talking about?


I expect that direct experience of this 'truth' will lead to a sense of calm and peace, that the events and troubles of my life will no longer cause me pain and suffering.
Calm and Peace can be there only when everything is embraced. You see it is all One and you can be at peace with it only if you let is be and manifest as it is. It is a surrender. Afterall, you dont have much choise. You can't stop the flow, Life just goes the way it goes, any moment is given to us, we're not in control of any outcome. Embrace joy and pain, good and bad, light and darkness...
They re still One.
Always embrace your pain, and you will win this game.

Peace is a state nobody can describe.

You can have a glimpse into nothingness and its stillness, but reality keeps playing out and so it encompasses both sides of duality; if you wanna have one, you have its opposite too. Remember this.

I expect to see problems in my life resolve themselves.
Well, I cannot guarantee that, but you'll probably care much, much less. It is very hard to focus on problems because all probems are just in the mind. When you are here and now there is usally absolutely nothing wrong with this.

You resolve by accepting.

This whole thing is a journey in the Now, in the only real thing, the Essence. What that will bring to you is not predictable. Life will unfold by itself.

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:02 pm

Yes, what do you think that means? What should this "self" be then?

But if there is no such thing as it, the Self, what are we talking about?
This means that the self is simply a part of the experience of thought. Thoughts arise on their own accord, but the I comes attached to them or attaches itself after the thought manifests. The self shouldn't be anything in particular, in fact it cannot be anything because the I that is attached to thoughts, what is conventionally thought of as the self, is simply not pointing to anything.

When the self is talked about, it is always in reference to the 'I' that attaches itself to thoughts or feelings. But since that I can only ever be found in the thoughts, not in the feelings or sensations that arise, 'I' does not have any basis in reality or experience. It is hard to explain exactly but it feels like thoughts are starting to come into conflict with themselves to get rid of the 'I'.

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:41 pm

in fact it cannot be anything because the I that is attached to thoughts, what is conventionally thought of as the self, is simply not pointing to anything.
This is all you need to know. You said it right there, if you check the validity of this sentence and you recognize it with direct experience, you' re done.

The "I" is attached to thoughts...but it is also a thought itself.

There is no Self, but thoughts, ideas about the Self and what it should be. (Is the Self you, Royce?)

So the Self points at a thought, but what is a thought made of ? How does it manifest and who is thinking then?

it feels like thoughts are starting to come into conflict with themselves to get rid of the 'I'.
Yes, thoughts are fighting themselves over a few statements...but its all just thoughts arising, can you see that?
It doesn't matter what your conclusion are on this or what you belive to be the true or false, it is much much much more important that you become able to watch your thoughts and the way they act. Watch your mind, listen to the dialogue in your head.

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:20 pm

Royce wrote:in fact it cannot be anything because the I that is attached to thoughts, what is conventionally thought of as the self, is simply not pointing to anything.

This is all you need to know. You said it right there, if you check the validity of this sentence and you recognize it with direct experience, you' re done.

The "I" is attached to thoughts...but it is also a thought itself.

There is no Self, but thoughts, ideas about the Self and what it should be. (Is the Self you, Royce?)
No this self is not Royce. There is not a me, just thoughts that say there is a me. The self that thoughts point to, does not exist. At least it does not exist outside the thoughts. And since they are just thoughts, and only refer to themselves, it is a very odd kind of circular illusion.
So the Self points at a thought, but what is a thought made of ? How does it manifest and who is thinking then?
The self is a part of the thought, but thoughts really are not made of anything. There is no one creating them, they simply arise. However, because of the 'I' that is a inherent part of the thought, it is assumed that there is an I who is thinking. That 'I' is just another thought: 'I am thinking'. Can't explain how thoughts manifest really, but it is clear that there is no one thinking them.
Royce wrote: it feels like thoughts are starting to come into conflict with themselves to get rid of the 'I'.

Yes, thoughts are fighting themselves over a few statements...but its all just thoughts arising, can you see that?
It doesn't matter what your conclusion are on this or what you belive to be the true or false, it is much much much more important that you become able to watch your thoughts and the way they act. Watch your mind, listen to the dialogue in your head.
Yes it is clear that the thoughts are simply arising. The dialogue is saying: "Well there must be a me, I am doing this, I am doing that" but then another thought will come which says "But the I who is doing this, the I who is doing that, is simply another thought...like this one." So the thoughts cancel each other out. Basically even though the thoughts are trying to protect 'their identity' so to speak, this is just the way it is.

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:10 am

t is a very odd kind of circular illusion.
Yep, exactly. Just like that.
All the "I" dialogues in your head are all for the sake of themselves.

It is all descriptions, ideas...about a person who isn't there. That "someone" isn't there. That someone, that carachter, is no-one.
Can't explain how thoughts manifest really, but it is clear that there is no one thinking them.
I tell you how that happens: the brain is a machine, like a computer.
It has, within itself, an electric (mixed with chemical) activity that creates feelings, images, thoughts... basically concepts about pretty much everything.

That activity of the brain in your skull is called "Mind".

It thinks of...various "stuff", often stuff out of the present moment. It thinks of past and future, it thinks of your ex girlfriend even if she is not in your room now.
It contains memories. (Data, information stored in the brain that you can recall).
It also says "this body is so tired now!" when you feel you wanna go to sleep.

It is a fabricator of concepts.

It also speaks, as voice in your head. You can hear it and its dialogues.

Among other concepts it created that of a "me".

But when you can easily think the word "Apple" and then go and have one, when you think the word "I" or "me" that word refers to nobody, but itself. No real thing there.

Yes there is a body, Royce's body in this case, but it doesn't belong to anyone, it's just a body.
Basically even though the thoughts are trying to protect 'their identity' so to speak, this is just the way it is.
Ok. So where are you at? Questions?

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:16 pm

Life is being lived! It's quite great.
Questions do come up, but they are quickly answered.
What happens next? Life continues.
Where do 'I' go from here? There is no 'I' that can go anywhere.

It's funny to look back at old readings and teachings and see how they are helpful, but also detrimental. It was as easy to get caught in the illusion provided by the thought 'I don't exist' without seeing that there is no 'I' to exist in the first place. Now there is no seeking, no striving. There isn't even the urge to go and find out more about it because all the answers are arising on their own. That is the main difference, the feeling that the search is over, that there never was a search to begin with!

The conditioning is dropping away, but it seems like that will take time.

Speaking of time, how is time related to the idea of 'I'?
It seems that part of the thought of 'I' is that there is a past 'I' and a future 'I' but neither one exists, neither does time. So time is really just an extension of the illusion?

A lot of past beliefs have just evaporated.

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:23 pm

Good! At this point is there anything you wanna ask , stucked somewhere? Or you got it already?

What's the "I"?
Do "you" exist?

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:54 pm

Good! At this point is there anything you wanna ask , stucked somewhere? Or you got it already?

What's the "I"?
Do "you" exist?
The 'I' is just the label attached to thoughts/feelings/etc. Since the 'I' is only found in the thoughts, 'I' only refers to more thoughts, not to any true part of reality.

No there is not a 'me' that exists. There is a body, which has been called Royce, and there are thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations, life, but 'Royce' does not own them, they are not his. Royce is simply a thought, a label for the experience, and not a great one at that.

So simple, it is like a joke!

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:00 am

What is liberation?
How would you describe the experience of no-self?

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:08 am

What is liberation?
How would you describe the experience of no-self?
Liberation is the realization of that which has always been there. It is seeing through the illusion of the 'i' and then realizing that there never was such an entity.

The experience feels like freedom. Also everyone has this experience at the core so it has been interesting to talk to friends about it. It is like a very subtle shift at the deepest level of being, its very hard to describe because it seems so small yet so large at the same time. There has been a lot of laughter, simply because the idea of an 'i' seems so absurd now it's hard to see that it was such a strong belief. The story of Royce is still there, but its not a story that causes any stress anymore, as you said in the beginning, it is hard to focus on problems.

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Yari
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Yari » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:55 am

Awesome. That was quick! Wasn't that hard, right? :-)

Please now quote and answer to these 6 questions for confirmation:


1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

3) How does it feel to see this? describe in detail.

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it.

5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? was there a specific moment when seeing happened or was it gradual? what exactly happened?

6) When you say "I", what are you referring to?

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Royce
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Re: Seeking Guidance

Postby Royce » Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:15 pm

Awesome. That was quick! Wasn't that hard, right? :-)

Please now quote and answer to these 6 questions for confirmation:
So simple!

1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No there is not a 'me' in reality, in no way, shape, or form. There are thoughts in reality, and 'me' might be part of the thought, but there is no 'me' to have the thoughts.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
The illusion starts when, through conditioning, the 'i' comes along attached to thoughts. This becomes the assumption that the 'i' accurately describes reality, and the thought construction solidifies around the idea of 'i'. The 'i' regularly comes attached to thoughts, and in a kind of feedback loop, continues to refer to itself until the idea becomes ingrained in the thought pattern that there is such a thing as 'i'. So the illusion is ultimately the thought of 'self' that the 'i' implies.
3) How does it feel to see this? describe in detail.
At first it felt so simple, and easy to understand that there was doubt. But the more experience comes, the less doubt there is. It is a very subtle shift, not of perspective, but of energy dropping away that before shrouded experience. Thoughts with 'i' still come up, but there is no weight to them. It feels like this is the way its always been, and the 'story of Royce' was never really as dramatic as it seemed.

There has been the urge to spread the idea. And the conversations flow so smoothly that I laugh almost every time. It's like another mini-realization every time. Also it feels expressly different from the heaviness of thoughts and feelings before. They are much less solid now. It's crazy how the idea 'i do not have a self' is as sticky as 'i have a self'. Now it is clear that there is no 'i' to have or not have a self, there really is no self.
4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it.
"The most simple, but out there thought came the other day. "I is just an attachment added to a thought. So I is a circular definition. It's not real." And then there would be questions like:
Take this: 'I is a circular definition'. What's the first thought that comes up? Where is the 'i' in that thought? Is there an 'i' anywhere else except the thought? So does 'i' exist?
5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? was there a specific moment when seeing happened or was it gradual? what exactly happened?
Reading the book, there was some part that said: "Don't just take my word for it. LOOK." And then for the first time, there was real looking, not just reading the words and agreeing. And after looking, right before falling asleep, the thought came "I is just an attachment added to thoughts" along with the most wonderful feeling.
6) When you say "I", what are you referring to?
The thought of 'I'. But its not really there so 'I' so it's hard to describe things with a 'i' that feels genuine. At best it's: 'the thought with the i' or something like that.


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