In need of a "rough" guide

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ElPortal
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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:33 am

HI Alex

Thanks for your detailed response. Good work.
Sit with your eyes closed and feel the 'aliveness' of just being Alex.

I didn't understand what you mean with this "aliveness".
Yes, it is something always there. There are no sensations involved, just a kind of "blankness". It is neutral, just watching, touching, seeing.
It seems that you did understand this: so it is the sense of watching, touching, seeing. It is something always there. Another way to find this sense is to ask: "what does it feel like, right now, to be 'me'". It is a case of getting still, and staying with the sense of actually being. Not thinking, but just being. Yes, there are the 5 senses, and there can be an intuitive sense below also, like a compass. But don't take my word for it: I would like you to discover these for yourself.

Please get still and sit again for 10 minutes, and note down all that comes up in the present moment, in the immediate. Then please let me have a list, even if the words are approximations.
Can you prove (in experience) that there is any 'me' there separate from the sensations?

This is impossible to prove.
Yes, this is impossible to prove. As you say, 'Alex' comes up only in thought. Tell me if it is any different.
This schizophrenia is surprising.
skhizein+phrenos = split+mind. But we are not splitting the mind. We are taking a sort of sharp sword and splitting between the busy, conceptualising mind, which has thought it was in charge of 'my' life, splitting between this and Life itself, felt in the immediate senses, which just IS with no apology. Yes, 'minding', 'Alex'ing would like to overlook and devalue the immediate Life experience, which is and has always been right under the nose. OF COURSE! Fear of losing the familiar controls. Fear of the unknown. Dealing with concepts rather than with Life directly.

But if LIFE is hunting down this illusion of 'me', what can be done!!? If LIFE is revealing the truth, what can be denied? If it was really always this way, how can the pretence of a mind driving the show, how can that be maintained (without laughing or some other response) once it is starting to be seen through?

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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nemecsek
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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:21 pm

Hi Mark.
Thank you.
I promised to write every day but I'm not doing it. I don't like to bother you just with a "watchdog post", to assure I'm going on with the exercises. I am. Any free moment is good to try and I do it.

The witness is there. That's for sure, but I don't have so much to add now.
Please give me time to repeat the exercise through the weekend and I will report at the latest on Monday if for you this is OK. If you prefer a daily report anyway just let me know. I'm afraid that if there is nothing new to report I would "invent" something just to please you...

Cheers
Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:49 am

Hi Alex,

This is your process, and whether you hold back or press on it is really between 'you' and 'you'.

So, I look forward to hearing from you on the exercises when you are ready.
The witness is there. That's for sure
You have mentioned many times this 'witness'. But what is there really? Is it really so sure? Is it a part of Alex? Are there two parts? Is it separate from the rest of Life? Is it anything more than a construct, an added 'layer', an idea, left over from a previous taught concept that there is some entity there which can maintain a certain detachment? Please have a good look and see if you can find anything there other than Life just happening? I am not looking for an intellectual answer here, but rather, as with the other questions, look what comes up in your experience.

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:40 pm

Mark, I had to change definition: a "witness" is more an act of experiencing more than a something that is experiencing. It is far more subtle than the "meditation observer". There is not a witness I can identify or place, it is like eyes are sensing the world and "something" is intercepting their view without trying to understand what they are looking at.

When I am in this "witness mode" vision is the operation of seeing without something watching (if something is watching is "observer mode"). Seeing is by far the sense I can experience better in this new way.
There is also a kind of "ants on skin" sensation all over my body, but it is more subtle.

This experience happens sometimes not only during exercises but when I am walking close to a big building, such as my company's store, like this closeness to something so huge is enough to switch. When it happens I don't spend any time analyzing the sensations. Doing it later to write them down is difficult.
But it feel... "natural", and the overall effect is of relax and acceptation.
There is some attachment here.

Have a nice weekend and thank you once more for your help.
Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:50 am

Hi Alex,

Something for you to consider over the weekend.....

As you have noted, although you agreed at the beginning to post daily (regular work), this is not happening (even during the week days). Much less since you were invited to do exercises in the present experience, leaving out the intellectual.

Please now look at your responses, and your resistance to responding. What is this resistance to clear seeing? What is this resistance to moving into the experiential?

Either you now face this head-on (directly) and work daily, or wait until another time. In the second case, you can put another thread in the guiding section at a later date, asking either for me or for another guide if you prefer, but I invite you first to consider carefully what is REALLY going on there.

Earnestness = Ripeness -> Clear seeing.

All the very best

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:29 pm

Hi Mark.
although you agreed at the beginning to post daily (regular work), this is not happening (even during the week days)
Yes, you are right. Even if I am exercising daily, I'm not writing so regularly. I'll find the way to do it from now on.

About the results, I'm SURE there is some deep resistance.
I know there is resistance because whenever I close my eyes to experience aliveness in my body I feel incredibly sleepy (and sometimes I fell asleep).
Another sign is the need to do so many things instead of closing my eyes (but I close them anyway, resisting the urge).

I feel like searching for something black in a dark room without knowing what it is. I read it is an elephant and I will know for sure when I touch it even without light, but at the moment there is some deep frustration for not moving on, for not experiencing with sensations something that I can understand intellectually so well.
What is this resistance to clear seeing? What is this resistance to moving into the experiential?
I don't know. Even if I knew what it is I wouldn't know how to overcome it.
I never trusted my sensations, and this could be the main reason.
To know that something doesn't want to lose control doesn't help me at all.

So, yes, I feel frustrated. Even more: I feel like I'm the only one that is not able to understand what to look at. Does this tell you something?
Either you now face this head-on (directly) and work daily, or wait until another time
There will never be a better period than this one. This is the moment.
I am here to find my elephant and I will do it as long as it takes.

Thank you Mark for being so blunt.
I ask you to be particularly attentive to my excuses. "I" can be pretty good with them.

Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:08 am

Good morning Mark.

I'm going to dedicate some formal time to this as I did for meditation.
Today I began with half an hour of observation but I was into sensations just for a few seconds all together. Many thoughts arose about the strangest things, completely unrelated to my life, just random chat.
I could only go back to aliveness observation (it has been more meditation than witnessing) but was brought away by other thoughts almost immediately.
While I'm writing I can clearly see my hands doing this without any conscious control, that's all I can do now. I feel a detachment full time, this is easy, but I forget about it almost always.
It looks like formal exercise with close eyes is far more difficult than picking aliveness moments during the day. I need watching to feel sensations.

I also found a resistance. In this period of my life (I mean into the dream world) I am jumping without a safe net. After 21 years of work in the same office I resigned and choose to begin something new on my own, even if there is a family to sustain and it is not clear what I will do in the future. I am afraid that if I will "succeed" I will not to be able to put some effort into this dream world again. I fear that later I will consider everything of no value. This subtle fear is there.

Frustration comes from the fact I cannot understand what I am searching for. I NEED to understand even if there is nothing to understand using the mind.

Nice day
Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:48 pm

Hi there Alex.

Thanks for that.

Sounds like Life is in and out of 'a sense of Alex' there. Thoughts and fears are nothing but a protection mechanism, a resistance to letting go of the illusion of someone somewhere being in some type of control there. Doesn't their very appearance show that it is known somewhere that NO-ONE there is in any control of anything.

When the fears come up, notice the label eg 'jumping without a safety net' and then allow the actual bodily sensation to be there, like a child wanting a hug. Until it moves on when Life decides. This is the present moment saying hello. This is Life. We can treasure these moments.

When thoughts arise, notice the thought as 'the thought that this', the thought that that etc', even write them down if you like. Continuous trains of thoughts are often a selfing mechanism trying to protect 'the self' from the ever-present and alive present moment of LIFE, happening just as it happens. Like a smoke screen. 'Thank you thoughts for trying to protect 'me' from the unknown'.

Now, could you please do the exercise I said (2nd April):

1. Please get still and sit again for 10 minutes, and write down all that comes up in the present moment, in the immediate. Then please let me have a list, even if the words are approximations.

then another similar one:-

2. Go through each sense in turn: touch, taste, smell, (ending with) hearing and seeing. Spend time allowing whatever is there with each sense to register. Eg n-o-t-i-c-e the touch: what labels, what sensations, when the usual labels are dropped, how would you try to describe it in words? Then onto the next sense. Then go around all 5 senses again seeing if anything new comes up. Then see if there is any general mood presenting and try to describe it (minus its thoughts or stories).

Now, after doing that second question I would like you to consider what comes up when you read the words: This IS IT! Let me know.

We are not doing special exercises to try to get somewhere, Alex: we are just examining what IS real, and has never ever been otherwise. Let's do this!

Cheers

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:24 am

Thank you Mark for your quick reply.
1. Please get still and sit again for 10 minutes, and write down all that comes up in the present moment, in the immediate. Then please let me have a list, even if the words are approximations.
I did it at 5am, a moment in my day when thoughts are less frequent and the best to meditate (even if I am not trying to meditate I sit crosslegged on the sofa). Today there is a problem: my daughter is sick and during the 10 minutes I had a ripetitive thought about calling the doctor later. As soon as I "thanked" the thought for telling me, it is gone. Completely. There was an acceptation of the fact she is sick (she has been hospitalized a couple of times for this, so potentially it is something serious) but also that it was not the moment to take care of it.
What comes up are mostly sensations without special considerations or thoughts attached: the heat of a blanket on my legs, the cold of the air on the arms, the noise of the fridge, the regular click of the wall clock, the far humm of a garbage truck moving around, the sight of bookshelves and living room, the weight of my body on the sofa, the light discomfort of crossed legs, the push of tongue inside the mouth. Smell and taste are too small to be recorded, mostly giving feedback of an unpleasant morning mouth.
Something to note: during meditation usually I needed to put active attention to single senses in turn to note them. Today I can note a number of them simultaneously, without moving around my attention focus. It is like to make a snapshot of a full body sensation. I can feel the morning swellness of my eyes and the touch of feet on the sofa fabric at the same time. The eyelashes being there and one of the kids moving in sleep.
And it is easy to note them together, far easier than during meditation when this was evidently an effort (and I didn't know it has been for years).
2. Go through each sense in turn: touch, taste, smell, (ending with) hearing and seeing.
Strange indeed. I couldn't pick what can be senses without a label attached.Then I tried not to classify and describe (there was a kind of non verbal description going on I didn't note before) and senses fused together. It was more a "partecipation" than sensing. It is like sensing is always there and I happened to note the action of sensing without trying to understanding what are the subjects. Difficult to explain. It is definitely a subtle full body experience. Being there more than feeling heat, weight, etc.
It looks like it doesn't leave deep impressions or memories.
Yes, I could can it "partecipation" (another word change after using "witness", but "partecipation" is more appropriate): like I'm are part of the story but no more the main caracter. A guest in my own body. I didn't acquire any super-sensibility: all was like before, it was just the meaning of what I experienced that changed.
I can perfectly accept that a cat (lucky him) is like this full time. Lucky because there is a peaceful state when nothing is asked to be considered and thoughts are light like a breeze. Wow, I'm becoming a poet :-)

Thank you once more.
Cheers
Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:35 am

Hi Alex,

Great, thanks for that.

And what about a response to my last question:
Now, after doing that second question I would like you to consider what comes up when you read the words: This IS IT! Let me know
Cheers

Mark
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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:30 pm

This IS IT!
When you asked me this, were you already sure I could spot the difference between exercises 1 and 2?

Reading "This is it!" there is an ambivalence.
I don't feel at home yet, so it doesn't hit me particularly.

If this was a glimpse of the elephant I've been looking for in the dark, I feel ok because this glimpse overcame the latest frustration.
I feel it is something special but not so overly special to make a toast with champagne.
It is like to be happy there is fresh air to breath. I'm positive because it can be experienced easily.
It is a peaceful place even if it looks there is nothing over there.

At the same time I don't feel arrived. I feel... disappointed.
Disappointed mostly because of the time I spent wandering around before coming here.

You know what? Neither this subtle happiness nor disappointment are important at the moment. I feel more like "it is what is". The "I", if I am not taken away by the daily chores, is just an experience. I feel like I'm an actor that gave so much importance to his role for nothing.

Can you tell me where I am now?
Is there a moment when you can say for sure: yes, I experienced it, there is no doubt this is what was told about?

Thank you
This stuff is getting interesting
Alex

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:40 pm

Hi Alex,

A.
When you asked me this, were you already sure I could spot the difference between exercises 1 and 2?
What?....Ah yes, the mind's insistence to strive to stay 'in control' (or what seems to be in control), to try to understand what is going on, to crack the secret code etc etc. It is not (to quote what you said a few days ago) that the bar is too HIGH; the bar is too LOW for the mind to pass beneath it. The reality is only always right under our nose, right in front of our eyes, it is tapping us on the shoulder whenever we are awake, then when we are asleep waiting for us to wake up again so that it can tap us again. This is something that probably every baby knows, but does not have the words for. The mind's job? To distract us into the allure of concepts, labels, ideas etc away from the reality itself, from Aliveness itself. Like setting a fish the task of finding water. Like a child running around the garden with a butterfly net trying to catch the elusive butterfly, not realising that someone has put a HUGE net over him, and he has himself been captured. Take time with each of these images, Alex: see if they resonate?

B. Your response to 'This IS IT!' feels like a mind response. When you have your quiet time, I invite you once more to sense each sense in turn. Then suggest 'could this be IT?' eg whilst feeling the texture of material under the hands, or the smell of drink in the nose (but notice the labels and then notice the experience behind the labels). Then as you ask that question ( - take time - ) see what comes up. Tell me what comes up. If it's a feeling of emptiness, notice where and what the sensations seem to be and tell me that. If it's a feeling of anxiety, tell me that. If it's a thought, notice it as 'the thought that....' and tell me that, also noticing what comes behind that thought, what sensations etc.

C. In answer to your question
Can you tell me where I am now?
...look at the first paragraph of my post of 7th April. Study it carefully. Please give me your response. Tell me what comes up. (I don't mean reason with me, I just mean your honest NOW response).
Is there a moment when you can say for sure: yes, I experienced it, there is no doubt this is what was told about?

This is not about an experience, and it's certainly not about an experience FOR anyone. It has always been there. Any realisation is only that this is already and has only ever been this way. 'How could 'I' have been so arrogant as to think that 'I' could do anything separate from it? How could I have spent all this time looking in the wrong direction?' (Your posts keep hinting at a recognition of this, Alex, when the mind is not rushing for the control panel!).

Become like a little child. Learn from your smallest child. It's not about getting a shift, it's about getting the shi(f)t out of the eyes!

D. When you take the labels, 'observer', 'witness' and any label that is presenting about the 'participation', when you take these words away, what is left of these experiences other than just life happening in all these apparent experiences and sensations? Please tell me honestly what comes up for you on this, Alex.

All the best

Mark
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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:39 am

Hi Mark.

Thank you for your long answer.

After a bad night I tried your questions in the early morning today but I need more time on them.
I will write you every day anyway, as agreed, while I go deeper searching not answers but sensations.

Today in the morning I spent the time fantasizing wildly about everything, unable to be IN even for a second).
I would like to write down some (mind-driven) considerations in the most honest way.
I hope to find something among my lines more than in your answers.
A. ... the mind's insistence to strive to stay 'in control' (or what seems to be in control), to try to understand what is going on
Yes, reading again my question I can see its absurdity.

The mind striving to find a secret meaning is definitely a resistance.
I understand how much my mind needs a secret meaning. Even the desire to communicate to some friends about my liberation feats.

As I wrote you I feel disappointed because I spent so much time following other roads instead of coming here earlier. My mind needs a secret meaning to justify why I didn't find earlier THIS. Using your words "How could I have spent all this time looking in the wrong direction?"
Again, I cannot accept that it is ONLY this. I know that I have some glimpses of aliveness. They are so easy to find and experience. I know I'm IN (a few seconds a day) and OUT (most of the time). But my mind needs to be sure and classify the experiences.

As soon as I relax a bit the mind comes up with questions:
when will this be permanent?
How can I be sure it is not just another thought-loop like the self itself?
Is it possible that this is not what other liberated were talking about?
What if the IN is just some autistic reaction of the mind who creates a non-identity after the identity crashed?
This damned need to explain is a huge resistance because THIS cannot be explained using rational thought.

The images you gave don't ring a bell only because they are obvious to me.
I would add the image of an iceberg: the tip is the mind which believes to choose the direction. I know they are true, I already feel they are true.
B. I invite you once more to sense each sense in turn. Then suggest 'could this be IT?'
As I told you I need some time here. I "exercise" during the day finding moments to stop, but I prefer to have a longer time to do it properly.
C. In answer to your question: Can you tell me where I am now? ...
I experience some IN moments, what I call "witness", "partecipation" or "being a guest in my own body". Very different from "observer" that looks to happen in OUT moments, what I've been doing for years.
Reading in LU I couldn't understand (rationally of course) how it is possible to be IN & OUT for a year or so before it stabilizes itself. Now I can. It couldn't be otherwise to be IN & OUT for some time after you recognize the non-existent gate.

In my fantasy I imagined the liberation as a crosslegged Buddha who sees his previous lives and then he is liberated forever. Perhaps not so hollywoodish as buddhism would tell it is, but as an EVENT happening to the Buddha, not a PROCESS. This is a mistake difficult to accept because it removes the miracle.
D. When you take the labels, 'observer', 'witness' and any label that is presenting about the 'participation',...
Too confused to give an answer now but I will examine it deeply.
Nice day
Alessandro

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby ElPortal » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:16 pm

Hi Alex,

Well done for responding, even with the '(mind-driven) considerations in the most honest way.'

For the most part, I will wait to receive the rest when you write later.

Just a couple of thoughts though: did you get the notebook? How about using that to note down your thoughts (as well as sensations, moods, emotions etc)? And then, as before, I recommend that you add to the thoughts the label: 'the thought that... this', 'the thought that... that'. This is acknowledging the thought, but without using thinking as the way to see what already is there, what is alive right now.

Thoughts are not unwelcome, but remember that the mind can only do mental processing, it is not a path to reality (which is only sensed in the present moment), just concepts about reality.

Sensations, sensations, observation, observation. Like a child.

Warm wishes,

Mark
"I": a simple case of mistaken identity.

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Re: In need of a "rough" guide

Postby nemecsek » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:14 pm

Hi Mark.
did you get the notebook? How about using that to note down your thoughts...
Absolutely no. I tried in the past to analyze my thoughts writing them on every possible support: paper notepad, post-it, diary, digital diary on the smartphone. I just get bored earlier than soon. I don't use it. I forget the support everywhere. I'm far from being regular after the first day or so.
At the moment when I am "exercising" I write my notes wherever possible, usually on scrap paper or on the PC.
I really hope it isn't something that I MUST do, otherwise it would be a big chore.

By the way, I never understood how you can write down your thoughts. I have (as everybody, I assume) dozens of them every minute. They are damned fast. There is just not time to write them down, leave alone to find regularities or meanings. It would be a 24/7 job...
I recommend that you add to the thoughts the label: 'the thought that... this', 'the thought that... that'
Sorry but I overlooked these words of yours and I didn't understand what you mean.
Can you make me an example of what you mean?

Something I noted since we began this post exchange: a lot of times I don't feel involved in what is happening around me. Even now, my daughter is seriously sick but there is this "acceptance", like everything is what it must be. I don't over-organize as I did, I don't plan so much in advance, I see the world as it is a movie.
This doesn't last long (I fall back to compulsive thinking after a few seconds) but it is definitely something I NEVER experienced before.
And there is a physical sensation of energy running inside the body, a slight electricity flow.
When it happens I cannot (like now, when I'm writing you) hear the voice inside the head.

Now, for example, I am watching the PC. My hands are writing. I feel body sensations all together. No voice inside.

In these days I'm also very reactive to other people's excuses. I cannot bear them. I overreact when I hear them. I'm rude. I say what I think like there are no brakes, the ones I had when I was a good guy.

Cheers
Alex


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