Ready for guidance

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Belinda
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Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:10 am

Hello,
I'd like to begin the process. Thank you!
Belinda

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moondog
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby moondog » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi Belinda and welcome,

My name's Pete and my role is to guide you through your own unique process.

There are a few things that we need to make clear before the journey begins.

Tell me a bit about yourself, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for. Also, what time zone are you're in? I'm in Somerset in the UK.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read this article: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lots of love,

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:59 pm

Hi Pete,
Thank you! I would like you to be my guide. I agree to your terms, and those of the forum.
I'm sorry for my delay in posting.
I've come to LU after hearing about it from a couple of close friends, one of whom is an awakened teacher. He isn't connected to LU yet, but that's in the works.
my next post will address your questions, and I'll say more about me.
Belinda

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moondog
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby moondog » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:58 pm

Hi Belinda,

Great, thanks for that.

Looking forward to hearing more from you soon.

P xJ
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:38 am

Hi Pete,
This is just to be in touch today. I got a little confused by what you wrote in your private message to me yesterday, when I hadn't yet replied on the public forum. (You wrote that perhaps I'd "decided not to bother.") I got thrown into an emotional thing about it. I'm realizing that's part of the process!
More soon,
Belinda

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moondog
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby moondog » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:53 am

Hi Belinda,

Thanks. Looking forward to receiving your answers to my questions about your expectations so that we can get this process started for you at last.

P x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:13 am

Hi Pete,
I'm going to be pretty slow starting out, as I get accustomed to this forum.
Expectations:
That this will shake things up. (But my life has already been shaken up the last two years or so. )
That it may very well bring me to the calm.
I used to have no idea that this was real. Then I began to see and was astounded - and then bit by bit came to understand it more.
Like, I used to think it was something that happened. And then I got that its more about what stops happening.

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moondog
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby moondog » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Hi Belinda,

Thanks for accepting me as your guide, for letting me know a bit about yourself and for accepting all the various conditions etc. It feels good to be finally starting on this investigation with you!

Thanks also for sharing your expectations and understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might be like. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's best to put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't and never has been a "you", a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist, and there's no Santa Claus. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

So, excellent, as I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would 'be like' or what life ought to 'look like' once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that 'getting it' is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, 'positive', 'negative'. However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I'll post once a day, perhaps occasionally more, and will tell you in advance if I know I won't be able to post. It would be good if you could do the same, as already agreed.

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this.

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:24 pm

Hello Pete,
It does feel good to be starting.
As you said - that for some people its a sudden pop, and for others it is a gradual creeping realization - yes, I feel that some of this has been creeping up on me gradually.
Of course my mind makes all kinds of stories all the time, but feeling is always here.

An unfortunate technical fact is that I'm writing on my phone, so that means I will post in short segments.

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:32 pm

You wrote:
"Nothing exists outside the present moment."

Mind thinks, yes I've heard this is true.
Also, hoping to be helpful, mind says but objects are physical etc. - they are real and they last... and what about time.
That's all Head. Head thinks it knows, because this is what it thinks it experiences.
The only way my mind "knows" that things exist is through my senses, my body.
This is getting confusing, wordy.
I think what I mean is that the only thing I can experience is the present moment. That's all a body can do! The rest is memory.
That's still really just a lot of thoughts, though.
What I feel when I read that statement is, well its like there are two things I can feel.
One is like a cliff falling away on every side - if its only the present moment then that means smallness.
The other feeling is like, whoopie, freedom, that means I don't have to care about anything else really! - and in that case the present moment is huge, enormous, wonderful.

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:53 pm

Oh! And now I read it again and its meaning is totally different!! Nothing exists OUTSIDE the present moment.
Reading your question - "can you find anything that does?"- makes that obvious.
No, I can find nothing outside the present moment. Here's me, the apartment, the traffic. Everything I see and hear and think and feel is right now.

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:58 pm

There is no proof that anything exists outside of right now.
Even any so-called eternal thing - is never not here in the present moment.
I had a thought: well, some people might think that God exists outisde of the present moment.
But that's a belief. (Also in the present moment, in someone's brain.) And even they wouldn't say that God isn't in the present moment, too.
Too much thinking about this? Philosophizing?

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:05 pm

It keeps popping into my head that beliefs and thoughts and other mind-stuff really seem like they are outside of the present moment. But that's only until they are noticed.
They are happening right now, too! Brain activity.

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moondog
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby moondog » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:53 pm

Hi Belinda,
Of course my mind makes all kinds of stories all the time, but feeling is always here.
You're right, our minds continually make up stories, and the problem arises when we believe them. But can you say more about what you mean by but feeling is always here What is the feeling?
the only thing I can experience is the present moment. The rest is memory.
Absolutely true. We'll look very thoroughly at the 'I' that appears to be experiencing.
No, I can find nothing outside the present moment. Here's me, the apartment, the traffic. Everything I see and hear and think and feel is right now.
Good. Yes.
It keeps popping into my head that beliefs and thoughts and other mind-stuff really seem like they are outside of the present moment. But that's only until they are noticed.
But don't they seem like they're outside the present moment only because you're thinking they're outside the present moment, right now, in the present moment? In fact, can there be a thought that's not right now in this moment? If so, what would that be, and how could you be aware of it?

Thoughts appear in direct experience but the contents of those thoughts are only symbols of what is seen, purely conceptual, shadows of reality, removed. In amongst this seemingly endless succession of thoughts of plans, memories, opinions etc are 'I thoughts', thoughts about 'me' and what' I' want, hate etc. and these appear to predominate and give a strong sense of self.

Looking into 'your' direct experience is where I will be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Direct experience is the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the comprehensive article on direct experience in the introductory post. If you want to refresh your memory, it's at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html

Ok, so moving on, you haven't yet answered the other two questions from my previous post, so here they are again:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Belinda
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Re: Ready for guidance

Postby Belinda » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:23 am

But can you say more about what you mean by but feeling is always here What is the feeling?
I meant feeling in a general way - but it does have a quality. The feeling is calm, alive in my body.

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
Well, it is totally thoughts. Thoughts that use the idea of a self, that say "me, I" etc.
And these thoughts also say, well I have a body, too. And that is REALLY me.
Except if I cut off part of it, my sense of"I" wouldn't be diminished, just because I didn't have a limb. (Unless I cut into the brain!) And when someone dies, we know that "they" are not in that body anymore - it isn't them.
Okay, these are all thoughts. Because my mind is taking this as a philosophical puzzle.
I know that my body is me, only because I think so.
Even if my brain was damaged, and so much of "Belinda" was gone, there would still be a body doing its thing.
There's something about my body, that I'm really into a kind of fierce "no, this is me!" thought.
I suppose my body and thoughts do an interplay - sensations "translate" into thoughts, and thoughts contribute to sensations. (Anxiety, happiness, etc.)
Its all thoughts - thoughts about my sensations. "My body feels this way." They translate experience.

But then your next point is the flow of experiencing.
Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?
I can't find any static Self. Except thoughts - which I have carried (whether I like them or not) from year to year throughout my life. Thought after thought after thought - seemingly solidified and tangled together as beliefs about "me" and the world and everything else.

And I'm feeling pretty stuck in thoughts here... but I know there is more going on.


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