Where am I?

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IndraBala
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Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:24 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Giving my current understanding, the self as I perceive it, is mostly a habitual mental construct and does not exist by itself. Through inquiry into for example the senses it can be experientially demonstrated that the "I" that I perceive is not in the senses and does not exist outside of thoughts.

What are you looking for at LU?
Through my past practices I had some insights into no-self and non-duality and gained some knowledge about those experiences. However, as far as I can tell I didn't have a clear shift into them yet. Through joining LU I hope to clarify where in my journey I actually am. And then through guided conversations can identify and work on the next steps toward a lasting shift in perception. Even though through inquiry I have demonstrated to myself that the I doesn't exist I still have a clear identification with it in day to day life and I still have a strong sense of it existing. I hope that this can my worked on in order to shift clearly.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I hope that through guided conversation some blind spots can be revealed that I am currently not seeing myself. Furthermore, in the past I used to take thoughts and imagined experiences for the experiences themself. Thinking that I reached some sort of awakening and yet not "getting the benefits" of it. I hope that through a guided conversation, such pitfalls can be avoided, or identified once I stepped into them.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
After doing martial arts for 10 years in my childhood I started digging into the more spiritual aspects of it and ended up finding a Daoist lineage that I was trying to follow for a while. However, their practices left me lost and confused more than giving me any insights. Through some coincidences I stumbled about a Vajrayana Buddhist tradition which I am part now for over 10 years. However, after about 6 or 7 years in, I started to get the sense that I am not getting something and that the practices of that tradition aren't getting me any closer anymore. So after some 2 or so years of researching anything from Kriya Yoga to Kala Chakra, I stumbled upon a book about Indian Tantra which lead me into Dzogchen teaching, which lead me through some more coincidences to the book "awake, its your turn" by Angelo Dilullo last March or so. Since then I am doing inquiry based practices.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 11

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 12:55 pm

My name is Stacy and I can be your guide, if you would like.

One thing to be clear as it is the expectation of permanent seeing or some kind of constant bliss.

Please watch these:

https://youtu.be/vJQcD588g2w

and

https://youtu.be/PUDzrCLlrj4


One thing I want to make very clear up front is that with me, you must post every day. If you know yourself and your schedule are such that you cannot do this, tell me, "no," and someone else can guide you, please.

Yes, if once in a while you must post later, please post a note telling me when you will return.

If you know yourself to be a skeptical person, prone to doubt, I may not be the best guide for you. I never had any doubt. I can connect you with one of our other guides who did & who can guide you better than I.

If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now and just confirm to me that you have read it. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Some housekeeping guidelines:

1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration. In your own words (not from actual experience, but just honest answers), could you please answer the 4 following questions:

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer all questions even if I miss using the blue text.

Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Below is a link to the video with instructions on using the Quote Function. Please watch it. Use the PREVIEW button to make sure your text looks right before you hit "SUBMIT."

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

What would you like for me to call you? What time zone are you in, please?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Sun Feb 05, 2023 6:59 pm

Hi Stacy,

thank you for replying to my thread and offering yourself as a guide. I accept your terms. As for the questions you asked I struggled somewhat answering them separately, since for me they partly overlap.
What would you like for me to call you?
You may call me Fabian.
What time zone are you in, please?
My time zone Europe/Berlin
How will life change?
To be honest, I don't expect life as it is to change much. It is more my reaction to life that I hope to remove resistance from.
How will you change?
I hope to become less reactive, less occupied with thoughts and beliefs. More conscious and present during day to day life.
What will be different?
I will have a clearer (less filtered) perception of what is. Less resistance to what is. be more happy and joyfull in general
What is missing?
I did emotional work in the past, so I don't have the biggest mood swings anymore. However, I came to expect that the base emotional state now would be slightly more joy and happiness most of the time. However, most of the time I feel nothing and if I sense in to it, it's more sadness or no emotion. So what I feel is missing is for one stabilisation in conscioussnes and some baseline of excitement, joy of life that currently I don't really feel much.

Cheers,
Fabian

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 7:34 pm

Hi Fabian,

Good. Your expectations are mostly reasonable.

Now what comes up when is read that the is no separate "self," never has been & never will be? That it is all a made up story?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Sun Feb 05, 2023 8:11 pm

Now what comes up when is read that the is no separate "self," never has been & never will be? That it is all a made up story?
I understand this mentally. I had glimpses where there seemed to be no me. But it's not clear. I am not even certain that it was an actual experience or an imagined one. Most of the time I seem to be either a me that is perceiving life from somewhere behind my eyes and between my ears, or being involved in the story, not even aware to the point where I am witnessing. (although the periods where I am aware of what's going on increase in frequency and duration, but it's by far not stable)

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 8:32 pm

Okay. Now . . .

This is how to LOOK for no self in the exercises - we call them "pointers' - that we will be doing here:

Colored Socks

There is a big difference between knowing that there is nothing to give up and seeing that there is nothing to give up.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference:

If I ask you what color socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can think about it, you can think back to this morning and try to remember putting your socks on, and you can probably tell me what color you think they are.

• Alternatively, you can take a quick look at your socks and tell me what color they actually are!

Hopefully you would agree that you can only be 100% certain by looking.

For the purpose of seeing this "no self" idea, it is very important that you are clear about this difference.

Knowing is about knowledge which is all in the mind and we are not interested in that

We are only interested in looking at and seeing what is actually going on in your present moment-to-moment experience. We are only interested in your Direct Experience in the moment..

Direct or Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, not emotion. Emotion is Sensation plus made-up thoughts & labels)
Tasting
Smelling
Thoughts Arising (but not their content)


Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Sun Feb 05, 2023 9:36 pm

Hi Stacy
Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.
That difference is experientially clear to me.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 9:57 pm

Good.

Direct Experience - Labeling Daily Activities

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply color/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/color
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back with lists exactly like the one above.

Post several of your own observations in a list *exactly* like the one above, please. Same word forms. Same order. EXACTLY.

Refer to the green list of Actual/Direct Experience in the prior post if that helps. Those are the only items any experience can be.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Mon Feb 06, 2023 7:16 pm

Hi Stacy,
Post several of your own observations in a list *exactly* like the one above, please. Same word forms. Same order. EXACTLY.
Here follow some activities I collected today, tried to match it as exact as possible to the given format.

Making Breakfast
- Seeing the toast on the cutting board, the knife in my hand, simply = image/colour
- Smelling the toasted toast, simply = smell
- Feeling the floor under my feet, the knife in my hand, simply = sensation
- Tasting the remnence of tea, simply = taste
- Hearing the fridge, the knife scratching over the toast, simply = sound
- Thoughts about what i should write down for this exercise, simply = thought

Writing a Work Email
- Seeing the computer screen, simply = image/color/shapes
- Smelling no particular smell
- Feeling the keys under my fingertips, the chair under my bottom, and the floor underneath my feet, simply = sensation
- Tasting nothing in particular
- Hearing the clickering of the keyboard, some faint car sounds, simply = sounds
- Thinking about the Mail at hand, some thoughts about food for lunch and the appointments up ahead, simply = thought

Processing bad news at work
- Seeing the computer screen, simply = image/colour/shapes
- Smelling no particular smell
- Feeling the chair under my bottom, and the floor underneath my feet, tension around abdomen and in the chest, simply = sensation
- Tasting nothing in particular
- Hearing some electrical sounds from the direction of laptop, simply = sounds
- Thinking about the news and their consequences, simply = thought

Cutting Veggies
- Seeing the veggies, simply = image/colour/shapes
- Smelling onions, simply = smell
- Feeling my feet on the ground, knife in hand, veggies under the other hand, tension around the abdominal area, simply = sensation
- Tasting nothing in particular
- Hearing the fridge, the impact of the knife on the cutting board, simply = sounds
- Thinking about the news from earlier, simply = thought

Cheers,
Fabian

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:42 am

Very good, Fabian. You've got it.

Here's the next step:

Mind Labeling Experience

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation i.e. is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.

For example:

I am sitting on a chair,
I am hearing a clock ticking,
I am looking at a computer screen,
I am feeling hungry.

Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs.

For example:

Sitting on a chair,
typing,
breathing,
blinking,
hearing the clock.

(Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labelled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?

2. What is here without labels?

3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

4. Did you notice any differences in the body?

Loving
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Tue Feb 07, 2023 5:09 pm

Hi Stacy,

I had some difficulty answering the questions. For one I am not sure I was answering the right thing, and to the other it was hard to put into words what i wanted to express. I will keep "testing" this during the evening, to clarify.

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?


I am not sure about truer, but the second part felt more... close? immidiate? not sure how to put it
2. What is here without labels?
I am not quite understanding the question. There was an awareness of events going on in the second block, less "personal"
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
When looking back at my notes, the second list was more... descriptive, less interpretative.

i.e. I feel bored vs. there is an urge to move

So I would say that the labels do interpret the experience
4. **Did you notice any differences in the body?**
The body felt less implicated in the second round but at the same time more uncomfortable.


I hope the answers are helpful

cheers
Fabian

PS: I wasn't suppose to post my notes I took, right?

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 5:37 pm

Okay, let me help a little and then I'll share some things about truth & lies that will help.
2. What is here without labels?
I am not quite understanding the question. There was an awareness of events going on in the second block, less "personal"
The best answer is that without labels, we have only Direct Experience. That can feel less personal or more personal, depending on your personal take on it. ;)
So I would say that the labels do interpret the experience
Sure, but does just putting a label on something *change* the Actual Experience? Or does it remain the same?

Image
I'm not sure I understand what "less implicated" means, but once I explain about the contractions of lies and the expansion of truth, this may be clearer to you.
PS: I wasn't suppose to post my notes I took, right?
Just replying to each question is enough, but it's up to you.

Here is how to distinguish truth from lies.


We often lie every day & don't realize it.

For example, the grocery clerk asks, "How are you?" You reply, "I'm fine." While, yes. there is a sense in which we are always fine, even in the middle of suffering, at that moment, you were grieving the death of your dog, you had a slight sore throat & you had a headache, but you didn't feel like sharing all of that with the grocery clerk, so you lied, "I'm fine."

Also, it matters none at all how "distant" the remembered lie is. Besides the fact that time itself is fictional, a kind if lie, as we recall the lie it becomes present in this moment, as if it were happening now. This brings the body Sensation that accompanies lying.

Lies can be intentional or unintentional, conscious or unconscious, even so automatic that we ourselves are fooled.

The story of a separate "self" is a lie.

This is the lie you came here to see through. Therefore, it is helpful to notice the body Sensation of lying as one of the tools for finding the truth of no self.

You want to be in touch with body Sensations & able to clearly express them in words. This will help.

Lies are usually felt in the heart or solar plexus as a contraction that we may label as tight, heavy or tense.

In contrast, truth is usually expansive. We may call it loose, light or relaxed.

First, can you remember a time when you lied to someone you loved?

Here we count anything, lies we think of as "big" or "small" that "matter" or don't "matter."

How are you? I'm fine. No, your knee hurts, but you don't feel like discussing it with the grocery clerk.

It's a lie. A seemingly "bigger" one will work better for this exercise.

Find the lie. I don't need the whole story, just a few key words to refer to it.

Then scan your body for any Sensation (DE or Direct Experience), particularly in the gut or maybe the heart. Check very closely.

What is found?

If you think the memory you used wasn't clear enough, find another one or lie to yourself right now, make something up.

1 + 1 = 14 is a lie.

I love eating worms is (probably) a lie.

Or call up a video of a lying politician & notice what Sensations arise as you listen.

I will give you a clue: it is not that peaceful Sensation you felt before when you omitted "I." (refers to an exercise I gave before this one)

Please report back with what body Sensations (not interpretations) you feel. Bodies can feel hot or cold, heavy or light, contraction or expansion, etc.

"Peaceful" is an interpretation of a body Sensation, not the Sensation itself, for example.

Do you see that? Is it all a bit clearer now

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:26 pm

Hi Stacy
Sure, but does just putting a label on something *change* the Actual Experience? Or does it remain the same?
The labels might change my reaction, but they don't change the Actual Experience, the experience remains the same.
What is found?
I used an experience when as a child a lied about having finished homework before meeting friends. For some reason that was one that worked reasonably well. After that I experimented with statements where I claimed to have a different job than I have or changes names on my parents.

This one was a little tricky, I actually felt two different sensations one in the chest that felt like a contraction and a second in the guts, which feels like... A tension, I suppose or disturbance (the second one I associated with guilt in the past, but I see that is a label. The experience is the disturbance or tension). And as you said the truth feels more like relaxing or expansion or opening
Do you see that? Is it all a bit clearer now
The difference between experience and the label seems clear. The difference in experience between truth and lie is subtle. I needed some concentrated observation until I perceived any difference in body sensation

Cheers,
Fabian

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Anastacia42
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Re: Where am I?

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Feb 08, 2023 12:31 am

Great.

Lie feelings & truth feelings definitely vary in intensity. Now that you know what they are, you can pay more attention to them. It's very helpful.

Okay, let's bring this together some more.


Actual/Direct Experience - Apple

Have a look at an apple (or any fruit you like.) If you have a ‘real’ apple, you can use it for this exercise. Google for a picture of an apple.

Image

When looking at an apple, there's color; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought.

Actual experience is sound, thought, color, smell, taste, sensation and the fact of thought arising, but not its content.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?

Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by "looking in actual experience." What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Taste labeled ‘apple’ is known
Color labeled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labeled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labeled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known

However, is an apple actually known?

Have fun and let me know what you find out.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Thought is a garbage can. If you look into the garbage can, all you will get is garbage."

~ Adyashanti

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IndraBala
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Re: Where am I?

Postby IndraBala » Wed Feb 08, 2023 9:20 pm

Hi Stacy,

here are my answers:
What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?


What I experience is just thought, no matter what the thought "says" or describes. I experience "there is thought". I can think "red", and I can visualise "red", but what I experience is thought.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
There is color and shape, with a 'real' apple also sensations when touching it, a taste when eating and maybe a sound when biting a piece off, and there is thoughts about "apple". But there is no 'apple'.
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
'apple' cannot be found in the actual experience.
However, is an apple actually known?
There is a part of me that wants to say yes, because if you never tought me the concept apple but I experienced one, I feel like I would be able to recognise it, if i have it a second time, so it feels like experiencing it would make it known.

But if I am honest I only directly experience the 5 senses and thoughts, and in non of those I can actually find "apple"
Have fun and let me know what you find out.
Observing that for a while I realise, there is a lot of labelling going on. If I take the apple, for example. At first glance I think I see 'apple', upon further inquiry I don't see apple I see roundish red something with oval green something attached. But looking into that, 'red', 'green', 'round', 'oval' these are all thoughts / label again. If I try to go deeper and not label it I see colors and shapes. I tried to go even deeper with finding label, so also 'shape' and 'color' is a label, what I actually see is 'differences' in color in my vision.

But I guess half of that is more of a "thought" experiment, I could realise I do the labelling, I wasn't able to "directly experience" without labelling.

I also now wonder, suppose I don't have sensory input and I would somehow be able to keep my mind empty, would I as consiousness be able to directly be aware of the ... thing ... that would produce the direct experiences that my mind would label
'apple' and know it.... but thats probably just my mind trying to 'solve' consciousness

I hope I didn't let my mind to go to wild with this.

Cheers
Fabian


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