Guide requet for Ilona

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Aragon
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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thanks again for your reply, It will be tonight before I have a chance to do the exercise undisturbed, so I will reply then!

Once again, thank you
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:10 pm

Hi Ilona!

I hope that you are well.

The exercise was not how I expected. I am not going to write my lists, just my reflections on them:

The first exercise seemed like a list of sensations or noticings. Often more was going on than I could write. Often what was going on finished just as I, or even before I started writing it down. My body felt pretty much as normal. I noticed more sensations and some heaviness in the shoulders. What really struck me about the exercise was that it felt like I was writing down a list of stills that could be woven together to form a movie - that I was breaking down life into sections and those sections were essentially just me noticing things that I had not willed to happen but were just arising despite 'me'.

The second exercise initially made me feel lighter and more expansive. But I found it really hard to write 'hearing a vehicle passing', 'feeling a tingling in the leg' etc. - it just felt wrong. It kept changing to... 'vehicle passing', 'leg tingling'. My basic feeling of this exercise was of not having as much to write and feeling myself disappearing almost completely.
Now compare the two ways to label experience- is one truer than the other? If so, which one? What is here without labels? Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
The second method is truer. Both have labels. Leg is a label. Vehicle is a label. But the first method is self referential - its about me. The second just describes what is, and because I am not, in this exercise, commentating on it, it doesn't seem to be about me at all, which means I relax - well, not just relax, but almost disappear.

Labels just help to communicate. I found myself changing 'vehicle passing' to 'sound arising and falling' - because, even though sound is a label, it was closer to my experience than 'vehicle passing' which was rather abstract.
.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:14 pm

I am kind of curious to know how to approach this process. I feel I am learning a lot, but its almost like it wont go in. I'm kind of getting it in bits and at times it feels real and at times I can't access it at all, if you get what I mean? I feel I need to keep reminding myself of the insights I've already learned in case they fade into oblivion before I fully absorb them. I am wondering if I should be doing that or just relax and go with the current exercise. Can you tell me: How do people generally approach that here?
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:06 am

The only approach is by LOOKING. this is not about gaining insights and remembering them, it's about seeing, what is actually happening, how it is happening and observing mechanisms in actual every day experience. You are looking already, so all good. With each question answered, more and more is revealed, so keep going. Even if it does not look like a progress, trust the process. Don't wait for shiny new insights, it's more about dropping of old beliefs. Can be very subtle.

Good work on the exercise. Now look, is I label pointing to something findable? Can this I be experienced through sense perception or just thought? Is I the doer of what is happening?
Is there I that needs to awaken?
What is not awake right now?


Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:20 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for clearing that up. I think my thoughts are trying to hijack the process at times! Something certainly seems to be happening....
Now look, is I label pointing to something findable? Can this I be experienced through sense perception or just thought? Is I the doer of what is happening?
Is there I that needs to awaken?
What is not awake right now?
I know the answer to this intellectually. But that is not what you are asking. I want to explain how I approached this today, but it means I first need to briefly describe my day in a non direct experience kind of way.

I didn't sleep much. Last night my wife was at work and I was with the kids. I go them ready for bed and stayed with them until they slept. Through the night they both awoke too and I settled them. I got up early this morning with them after maybe 4 hours sleep. I felt really really tired and I hate feeling tired.

So I have been looking for the 'I' today. Feeling tired helped because I really have a sense of 'I'. The kind of 'poor me' syndrome, 'I need to sleep', like someone (often the wife) needs to make it up to me because I'm so damn tired!

So I started looking for the me that was tired. Or I started looking for tiredness.

But strangely, when I looked for tiredness, it wasn't really there. Yes there were a few signs - sensations in the eyes, maybe a heaviness in the body - but when I looked the whole 'I'm really tired" thing just wasn't there. It didn't exist. It was just a story I had made up. It didn't even seem to have a basis in sensation, or very partially.

I got irritated with my wife later because she'd got up, was making her breakfast and I was still looking after the kids. But again this was just a response of irritation based on a story of my invention - that I had got up early, that I had not slept much, that I had done more than her.

So I have been looking for 'me' today and all I have found is sensation / feeling and stories - lots and lots of stories.

Some of these stories are quite subtle. I am not sure they even translate into thought. They are more like views which may be thought on a very subtle level.

But they are all self referential. I understand my wife, for example, will have had a totally different set of stories for the day, most likely based around herself (I went to work, I... etc).

The thing is, I feel I can see this quite clearly. It is like a film is happening and my mind is commentating (I probably picked up that image somewhere). But I am stuck in the commentary.

In fact sometimes it feels like there's a vortex spinning round in my head. I just find myself locked into these stories, even though I can now see very clearly that they are stories. It almost gives me a headache.

So to answer your question, 'I' cannot be experienced through sense perception. It is just thought, albeit seemingly often very subtle thought? I is not the doer of what is happening?

So the awakening is not to be caught up in this commentary. It is just to be with what is happening.

But what is caught up in the commentary? That is confusing me. I think it is thought thinking it is caught up in the commentary. Because in my experience, when I think I am caught up, I am only thinking - if that makes sense?

Or in other words, being caught up, is just another story.

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:51 am

Yes, very good work! Now look, what is this narrator? Is this commentator talking to you or about you? What is that listens to it? What is that believes, that commentary is true? What is behind the commentary, is there I that is talking?

Explore this and write what you notice.

Sending love.

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:25 am

Now look, what is this narrator? Is this commentator talking to you or about you? What is that listens to it? What is that believes, that commentary is true? What is behind the commentary, is there I that is talking?

Explore this and write what you notice.
Hi Ilona! Well I have to tell you found this quite difficult and I had thought it would be relatively easy given my background! I am not entirely on solid ground as I write this so please bear with me!

First of all, I cannot turn the thinking mind onto the thinking mind. As soon as I notice the thinking and try to think about it, a new thought process has started and the other one vanishes and I cannot access it - I even struggle to access a memory of it. So I can only appear to hold one thought process at any given time.

However, I can become aware of the thought process without thinking about it, through awareness. And though this awareness seems to dissolve the thinking, I can at least catch the end of the chain of thoughts. Here's what I noticed:

The thoughts are generally descriptive. Similar to the way I write these posts. They describe what I am thinking, what I am going to say to someone, what I am going to do, how someone is etc.

Usually I am talking to someone, or to myself - at least it has that feeling that I'm expressing my opinion or justifying myself or some other self-referential position.... putting across opinions, my point of view etc.

There is no cohesion to them. They arise based on things I experience through sense perception (a person I know, a familiar song etc) or through the mind (Memories, fantasies, etc) and proceed on an associative thinking basis.

They take the form of a monologue and they are pretty much pure fantasy - without any substance. Just imaginings of the future or past. They never come to fruition in life.

Thus, the 'commentator' is perhaps a bad term to use. Perhaps 'fabricator' is better!

So whereas before I said its like a film with the commentator commentating, its more like a film where this thinking is just part of the film.
Is this commentator talking to you or about you?
It is talking about me and about anything. It is just talking - but it is self-referential and so it appears to be talking to someone, whether that be me or someone else - but it is just talking, that's what it does
What is that listens to it?
Nothing listens to it, though in a way you could say it listens to itself. As in the next thought proceeds from it. Feelings can arise in dependence upon it.
What is that believes, that commentary is true?
The thinking mind. It reinforces itself. Fueled by feelings. So I think someone has harmed me. Strong feelings arise. The thought is reinforced.
What is behind the commentary, is there I that is talking?
No. It is just thought. Incessant useless thoughts that just keep arising and perpetuating themselves.

However................ and I think I'm about to impute a self here....

There is a gap between the thought processes where I find myself in awareness. It's very still and very quiet, and spacious and can be aesthetically beautiful. But there are no thoughts, no strong feelings. Sense perception and sensations are still there but they seem to be held by something bigger which I can only describe as awareness. I suppose like the awareness that becomes aware of the thinking mind.

That awareness seems to be there when the self slips away, but I wonder if I am just imputing a new self where the old one was?

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:47 am

It's a bit like there's a play going on - thoughts, feelings, sensations - despite me - just playing itself out. I take this to be real like I am somehow doing it, but its just playing itself out, in the context of this container, awareness, which seems to become over-focused on the play. But I still think I'm imputing a self with this 'awareness'.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:30 pm

I spent some time just sitting today and I would say that what happens in direct experience is just thoughts, feelings, body sensations, sense perceptions and an awareness which appears to hold them. Though if you were to remove them all excluding awareness, I am not sure whether that awareness would remain because I am unable to test it - because some combination of the others is always present.

And in direct experience there is just sound, contact, remembering, and so on. But I add to it straight away....

So if I here my daughter moves in her cot, I think 'my daughter is moving' rather than something like 'sound' or 'sense impression' - so the story is there almost immediately, though I am starting to see how this works.

Sitting in this way, with the impressions rather than the story, the self does not appear to be there. I cannot find it. But I have still not seen through it...

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:34 pm

I do feel a loosening to the stories that I weave today. It feels like I am inhabiting my direct experience more. I think I am seeing that I usually 'practice' by using the mind to understand mind, which now seems somewhat flawed!
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:48 pm

good work :)
I spent some time just sitting today and I would say that what happens in direct experience is just thoughts, feelings, body sensations, sense perceptions and an awareness which appears to hold them.
now look is there a gap between awareness and that which is being awared of? is there a gap between experiencer, experienced and experiencing? is awareness some kind of entity that sees what is being perceived?

to make all this sweeter, look through the lens of bahiya sutta.

In the seen, there is only the seen,
in the heard, there is only the heard,
in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
Thus you should see that
indeed there is no thing here;
this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
Since, Bahiya, there is for you
in the seen, only the seen,
in the heard, only the heard,
in the sensed, only the sensed,
in the cognized, only the cognized,
and you see that there is no thing here,
you will therefore see that
indeed there is no thing there.
As you see that there is no thing there,
you will see that
you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that,
nor in any place
betwixt the two.
This alone is the end of suffering.


write what you notice.

sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:14 am

Ilona, thanks again for your input. I just sat with myself for half an hour or so, just looking to see what this is pointing at. It was incredibly blissful. I am really enjoying this journey and am feeling much gratitude to you.
now look is there a gap between awareness and that which is being awared of? is there a gap between experiencer, experienced and experiencing? is awareness some kind of entity that sees what is being perceived?
Here is what I noticed:

The awareness is awareness of something. It does not exist as a subject without an object, independently (although it can feel like it does). So it is awareness of thoughts, feelings, etc.

After the awareness there is a subtle level of thought. So if, say, I become aware of a sensation - or awareness of a sensation takes place (to be more accurate) - thought then says 'I am becoming aware of a sensation', thereby recreating the self.

I think I have taken this subtle level of thought to be practice, to be the awareness, but actually it is the mind recreating the delusion of self.

If I can remove this thinking - and to do that seems to take a level of relaxation, a level of trust and a level of stepping into the unknown, I seem to be left in a world which I can only describe as being like a world of electrical impulses. In this world there is no subject or object, just experiencing these charges, movements impulses.

I had a sense of it being a bit like Captain Kirk in the Starship Enterprise (I have no idea where this came from!), sitting in the main seat, running the show, as it were,... but actually, no-one is listening to him. He's not doing anything really, he just thinks he is. Everyone and everything is happening anyway, despite his instructions, orders, anxieties and moods.

I seem to be seeing through it to some extent but maintaining the delusion at the same time. I feel I am very close but just can't quite get it.

I will probably regret saying I'm very close!

Hoping you are well.....

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:38 pm

Ilona,

I had these three experiences today which may or may not be relevant but I thought I'd note them anyway. They involve three reactions to my wife (poor thing) which would normally be of irritation.

The first time she said something to which I'd normally react, but I just heard it as sound and there was no issue, no narrative, no stories, though I was aware there normally would be.

The second time, I felt the feelings rise but stayed with them. When I say I stayed with the feeling, it was more like the feeling was just there, rather than I was experiencing it. The stories I weave flashed through my mind - irritation, retaliation, revenge - but I stayed with the feeling and they were gone.

The third time I reacted, albeit momentarily, then went back to the feeling which was very strong and unpleasant. The mind tried to weave but by staying with the feelings it all subsided.

I realise this is me doing something (perhaps with the exception of the first experience which seemed to happen quite naturally) whereas we seem to be looking for a realisation to see through all this...But nevertheless it felt like progress of some sort.

I should add, my wife is not the problem here, it's me!
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala

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Re: Guide requet for Ilona

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:33 am

I had a sense of it being a bit like Captain Kirk in the Starship Enterprise (I have no idea where this came from!), sitting in the main seat, running the show, as it were,... but actually, no-one is listening to him. He's not doing anything really, he just thinks he is. Everyone and everything is happening anyway, despite his instructions, orders, anxieties and moods.
Nicely put. :)

Good to notice the mechanisms how mind works when buttons are pressed. Keep observing how reactions happen, what triggers them and most important, what is behind the reactions? What are they happening to? Is there a centre that issues commands on how to react/respond?

Yes, awareness is awareness of something, it's not separate from experienced. Language gives as nouns as doers, but when looked at what is happening, all can be nicely described through verbs. There is no such thing as awareness. There is what is happening and knowing of it.



I am a problem, really? What makes something into a problem? I can smell an owner here, hehe.
Can you look and tell me, what is a problem?

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Guide request for Ilona

Postby Aragon » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:57 am

Ilona,

Thanks!
I am a problem, really? What makes something into a problem? I can smell an owner here, hehe.
Can you look and tell me, what is a problem?
That was meant a bit tongue in cheek. As in, its not my wife that is irritating me but me that is becoming irritated. Or the stories woven in response to the feelings of contraction that arise based on certain words uttered, lead to the friction experienced..... I'm still not quite there with explaining it in words!

Having said that, I am going to look into this 'problem' thing anyway. I will come back to you soon with what is a problem!

.
... dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions.... - Nirmala


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