Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

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alorac
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Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:48 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that the notion of a separate self is illusory. I am not my body; I am not my mind; I am not my perceptions, memories, beliefs, history. The problem is that I cannot translate that intellectual understanding into living truth. I still feel that I am the doer and the chooser.

What are you looking for at LU?
I seek an experienced guide who can lead me from an intellectual understanding of the notion of no-self to a living experience. Although I am happy with the external circumstances of my life, I want direct knowledge of the truth. I am willing to do whatever it takes. Awakening is my lifetime goal.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect the guide to encourage me to look deeply and truthfully in order to discover the truth of who I am; more generally, to do whatever is necessary to guide me through the Gateless Gate. I seek the direct knowing, beyond an intellectual understanding, of the truth of who I am.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I meditate regularly. I've watched numerous videos on youtube of Rupert Spira, Mooji, Adyashanti, Robert Adams, and others. I’ve read about 20 books on non-duality. I’ve done most of the inquiry exercise in Goode’s “The Direct Path, A User’s Guide.” I’ve read and done the noticing practices in Dziuban’s “Simply Notice.” I’m now reading “Liberation Unleashed.”

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

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:05 am

Hi Alorac, and welcome to LU

My name is Xain, and I am a guide here.
I understand that the notion of a separate self is illusory. I am not my body; I am not my mind; I am not my perceptions, memories, beliefs, history. The problem is that I cannot translate that intellectual understanding into living truth.
It's good that you've done some examination into this already - Great!
Well purely from a conventional point-of-view (through thinking and language) 'you' are a body.
There is nothing wrong with this belief, and it's necessary for everyday living.

However, is this belief . . . anything MORE than that. Is it absolutely TRUE . . . or is it nothing more than a belief - An idea - A story. This is what the guidance is for at LU.

The guidance is for you to realise that there is no inherent self - No 'real' I. There never was. There never will be.
Right now, there isn't one. It is all the result of unexamined circular thoughts and misperceptions.
I still feel that I am the doer and the chooser.
I understand. It will be realised that the idea that there is a person here choosing, controlling and doing things . . is just that . . . nothing more than a belief - An idea - As true as thinking Santa Claus is a real person who does things.
I expect the guide to encourage me to look deeply and truthfully in order to discover the truth of who I am; more generally, to do whatever is necessary to guide me through the Gateless Gate. I seek the direct knowing, beyond an intellectual understanding, of the truth of who I am.
Yes, this is what we (I) will aim to do here.
However, we don't go on to address 'what you are' as such . . . we don't feed you new beliefs to replace old ones.
We simply examine the ones you currently have so you can see that the only thing holding the beliefs in place . . . is the very beliefs themselves. And even to show that there is no self, no I that is 'believing'!
I’ve done most of the inquiry exercise in Goode’s “The Direct Path, A User’s Guide.”
Excellent. I know Greg very well, and have read and done the inquires myself.
The guidance here is very similar, but taken to a much simpler level. Also, we do not take the stance of 'Awareness' that that particular path does (not that there is anything wrong with that at all - It's just different).

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:35 am

Hi Xain,

Thank you so much for responding to my request for a guide.

I have always seen myself as a problem-solver who is proud of all that I have supposedly accomplished in life. Thus, there may be some resistance to realizing that
the idea that there is a person here choosing, controlling and doing things...is... an idea as true as thinking Santa Claus is a real person who does things.
Also, I would love to come to the realization that
there is no inherent self - No 'real' I. There never was. There never will be.
I look forward to your help and guidance. How do we begin the journey through the gateless gate?

--Alorac

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:29 pm

Thanks for the reply, Alorac.
I have always seen myself as a problem-solver who is proud of all that I have supposedly accomplished in life. Thus, there may be some resistance to realizing that
Thanks for the honesty.
The guidance isn't anything at all to do with 'mentally working something out' - In fact, the mental activity of 'trying to work this out' is entirely counter-productive to the process. All that's needed is to look (examine your experience) and say what you can either find, or you cannot find / what appears clear to you.
How do we begin the journey through the gateless gate?
We can begin shortly.

Just a few questions:
Do you have any expectations as to what gaining the realisation will mean, or what will happen or change?
Do you have any concerns or fears?

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:59 pm

Thanks for your rapid reply, Xain.

I expect a change in perspective. My current viewpoint entails a wall of separation between (1) myself and (2) the world of objects and other people. I see myself as a generally happy person because I have supposedly successfully manipulated and controlled these two elements: element (1) to a large extent, and element (2) to a very limited extent. I expect my new perspective to generate a more harmonious experience of life.

I do not expect a better sex life, a victorious soccer team, or saner politicians.

I cannot identify any particular fears associated with passing through the gateless gate, although I feel there may be some lurking in the background. My only concern is that if I fail, I will blame myself and see it as more evidence of my separation.

--Alorac

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:14 pm

Hi again Alorac (Am I Ok to call you that from now on, or would prefer a different name?)

Let's address a few things which you mentioned.
I expect a change in perspective. My current viewpoint entails a wall of separation between (1) myself and (2) the world of objects and other people. I see myself as a generally happy person because I have supposedly successfully manipulated and controlled these two elements: element (1) to a large extent, and element (2) to a very limited extent. I expect my new perspective to generate a more harmonious experience of life.
Well that is certainly possible to an extent. However, if what you are subtly describing is a change in experience or to enter a new state or way of being, that won't happen.

Although it is not believed right now, there has never been an inherent self - a 'real I' - There wasn't one yesterday - There won't be one tomorrow - Even RIGHT NOW there isn't one. The only thing to be done is to realise this, and realise it has always been this way and always will.
My only concern is that if I fail, I will blame myself and see it as more evidence of my separation.
I know what you mean, but believe me - You really can't go wrong.
If you have specific feelings like this coming up, then mention them and we can look at things to try to steady the ship and steer it back on course.

Some pointers before we begin:

> Be completely honest with me, and yourself.
> Most of the guidance I will ask you what you can FIND, not what you THINK might be going on.
If you find yourself analysing or thinking what the correct answer is (or what you think I want to hear), you are not answering from what you can find.
> The more determined you are to see this through, the more likely you are to achieve it.
> Put aside all non-dual beliefs, spiritual, religious, scientific and medical knowledge. Approach this whole thing as simply as possible from basic principles. This is essential.
> Please try to reply at least once per day - This maintains a momentum in the guiding which is important. If you know you won't be able to reply for a few days, just let me know beforehand - It's ok.

Oh . . . in order to reply 'in quotes' like I have done, a guide for that process is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

Do you have any further questions - Mention them now.
Or are you ready to give things a go?

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:28 pm

Or are you ready to give things a go?
I am absolutely ready to give things a go.

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Ok, let us being by addressing 'I' or 'me' - The word that represents what we believe we are.
What does that point to for you? What does the word reference?

As mentioned in the last reply (and I won't harp on about this) but the guidance isn't about fancy non-dual beliefs or spiritual stuff - This is very much 'grass roots' level - A really simple basic level of who or what you believe you are.

For example, do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
As simple as that. No fancy stuff - Just simple.

Perhaps 'I' refers to the body - The body is doing the seeing . . . the body is reading of the words, the body is hearing sounds around it and feeling the chair or seat.
Perhaps 'I' refers to the body that it has control of itself. 'I move my arms', 'I move my hands when typing'.
Perhaps 'I' chooses and decides - 'I' chose to begin guidance at LU', 'I will be deciding what to type in a reply to you'.
Perhaps 'I' thinks and experiences those thoughts - 'I am thinking what to say', 'I had an idea yesterday', 'Right now I am seeing an object in my imagination'.

Those are a few pointers which I believe most people would agree with. Maybe they ring true for you?
What do you think? Let me know your own thoughts and opinions of what 'I' means or refers to.

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:37 am

Hi Xain,

Thank you for your rapid reply. You asked for my thoughts and opinions. Here they are.
Ok, let us being by addressing 'I' or 'me' - The word that represents what we believe we are.
What does that point to for you? What does the word reference?
I have a sense that I am a unique human being with a body, a name, an address, an occupation, a history, etc. The words 'I' and 'me' refer to that person—that conglomerate of characteristics. That person would still be me if any one of these defining qualities changed; e.g. if my name or address changed, or my leg were amputated.
do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
Yes. 'I' directed my attention toward the screen and 'I' can choose to look away.

I don’t believe that 'I' refers solely to the body, although I believe that I have a body. The words 'I' and 'me' do not refer to a physical entity; i.e. an entity with mass, extent, and location. I might say, “I am here in this room,” but I don’t really believe that there is a physical 'I' somewhere in this room.

I do not believe that 'I' is a body that has control of itself, but I do believe that 'I' is the decider and controller as in “I move my arms” or “I decided to register on this website," or “I am pondering the answers to these questions."
Perhaps 'I' thinks and experiences those thoughts - 'I am thinking what to say', 'I had an idea yesterday', 'Right now I am seeing an object in my imagination'.
Yes. I believe that my thoughts occur to 'me' and that 'I' am the recipient of my experiences. The exercises in many non-duality books have challenged me to find the 'I' who sees my visions or feels my pain, and I have been unable to do so. But my inability to find the 'I' does not convince me of its nonexistence.

--Alorac

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:53 am

if my name or address changed, or my leg were amputated.
Just out of interest, if a leg was amputated would it still be 'you' or 'yours'?
What about an arm?
What about an ear?
What about the head?
I might say, “I am here in this room,” but I don’t really believe that there is a physical 'I' somewhere in this room.
So it's possible to say 'I am here in this room' but have the physical body located elsewhere?
I do not believe that 'I' is a body that has control of itself
So what controls it?
But my inability to find the 'I' does not convince me of its nonexistence.
Have you looked for the 'I' that needs to be convinced?

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:42 pm

Hi Xain,
Just out of interest, if a leg was amputated would it still be 'you' or 'yours'? What about an arm? What about an ear? What about the head?
I do not believe that I am my body, nor do I believe that an 'I' exists anywhere in my body. On the other hand, I refer to this body as "my body" meaning that if it were struck, I would experience the pain. I would have no such experience if another body were struck. Also, the location of my body determines what I can sense: If my body is in this room, I can see what's in this room, smell and hear what's nearby, etc.
After an arm or ear were amputated, I would no longer consider it mine. If it were possible to keep me alive after severing my head, I would still consider it mine for the reasons stated above.
So it's possible to say 'I am here in this room' but have the physical body located elsewhere
?
No. Saying "I am here in this room" means that this physical body, which I refer to as "my body," is in this room. It does not mean that if you searched the room, you would find a mysterious 'I' hiding someplace.
So what controls it?
I control it. I have a real sense that I am an "I" who can, by will alone, raise my arm. I just did an experiment and verified that I can do it. On the other hand, my will is limited: I cannot raise my entire body in the air.
Have you looked for the 'I' that needs to be convinced?
This is a great question. How do I look? I cannot find this 'I' by any of the five senses. I do not believe this 'I' to be a tangible, corporeal, physical object like a book or a chair, but I have a strong sense of its presence.

As I said before, I would love to come to the realization that
there is no inherent self - No 'real' I. There never was. There never will be.
--Alorac

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:18 pm

I do not believe that I am my body
Yet you call it 'my body' - Who or what is it owned by?
If it were possible to keep me alive after severing my head, I would still consider it mine for the reasons stated above.
What is the 'me' being kept alive?
I find this area fascinating - How we have a subtle belief that the head is more 'us' than the leg is.
If the leg goes, 'I' won't go - But if the head goes 'I' will go.
So what controls it?
I control it.
Sure, but what is the 'I' you are referring to (the crux of the current question). What is the 'I' that controls it?
The body itself?
This is a great question. How do I look? I cannot find this 'I' by any of the five senses
This is interesting also.
The word 'look' can mean the visual sense, but here it is more being used as 'find', 'seek out', 'discover'.
We have the five senses in order to find something - Ok.
What else?
On the other hand, my will is limited: I cannot raise my entire body in the air.
Can you control the breathing?
Can you control the digestion?
What about controlling the thinking process?
What about the heart-beating?

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:00 pm

Yet you call it 'my body' - Who or what is it owned by?
There is no ownership. I call it “my body” only for convenience of communication the same way as I say “my country” or “my bank.” “My body” is the body which contains the sense organs through which I experience the world; “my country” is the country to which my taxes are paid; “my bank” is the bank in which my salary is deposited.
What is the 'me' being kept alive?
I know that I exist. The ‘me’ that is kept alive is the knower of my existence. It is the sense of a unique human being with a body, a name, an address, an occupation, a history, etc. The 'me' refers to that person—that conglomerate of characteristics.
Can you control the breathing?
Can you control the digestion?
What about controlling the thinking process?
What about the heart-beating?
My control is obviously limited. I can only control breathing by holding the breath for a few seconds. I cannot control digestion or heart-beating or cell-regeneration or hundreds of other biological processes.

In my opinion, the important question is the extent to which I can control my thoughts. Perhaps I can decide to think about zebras or the square-root of 2. Otherwise, I have no control over my thoughts. When I sit silently in meditation, my thoughts do their own thing, totally out of my control. A few minutes ago, the thought arose suggesting that I reply to your posting; I did not choose or control or cause that thought.

--Alorac

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Xain
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby Xain » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:27 pm

Thanks for your reply - I now have a good understanding of your beliefs of what 'I' refers to.
I know that I exist. The ‘me’ that is kept alive is the knower of my existence. It is the sense of a unique human being with a body, a name, an address, an occupation, a history, etc. The 'me' refers to that person—that conglomerate of characteristics.
Follow the guidance - You might be in for a surprise!
My control is obviously limited. I can only control breathing by holding the breath for a few seconds. I cannot control digestion or heart-beating or cell-regeneration or hundreds of other biological processes.
Ok.
Again, I find this area interesting. There are certain bodily functions that we believe we have control of, and other bodily functions that we have less (or no) control over. We never question any of this thinking.
In my opinion, the important question is the extent to which I can control my thoughts.
Perhaps.
For this guidance, the important question will be is there an 'I' (a real self) having thoughts.
Is there a real self controlling thoughts AT ALL.

This guidance is for you to realise that there is no inherent self - No real I. There never was - There never will be.
Even now, there isn't a real self. Hence, it will be realised that there is no 'I' thinking.
When I sit silently in meditation, my thoughts do their own thing, totally out of my control.
Yes. Good.
Your belief is that there is an 'I' that has control over them when not in meditation (to some degree).
I did not choose or control or cause that thought.
Perhaps no thoughts were chosen or controlled!

I'll let you mull over those few points, and then we can begin the guidance 'proper'.

Xain ♥

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alorac
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Re: Seeking guidance through the gateless gate

Postby alorac » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:03 am

Follow the guidance - You might be in for a surprise!
O.K. I'm ready for a surprise. That's why I'm here.
I'll let you mull over those few points, and then we can begin the guidance 'proper'.
These points have been mulled over. Let's begin the guidance 'proper'.

--Alorac


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