Arthrob

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Artst
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Arthrob

Postby Artst » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:10 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That LU provides guidance for recognizing that 'self' or 'I' is a made-up construct, a label.

What are you looking for at LU?
I think I have gone through the gateless gate through reading the Gateless Gatecrashers book. I want to make sure I really have and get guidance to get really solid on it and on moving forward. I have experienced a shift in my experience of living. (I'm using "I" here as a shorthand.)

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect a rigorous checking on where I really am and the possibility of further insight. Also, if and when the confirmation is made that I'm through the gateless gate, I expect to get connected with the LU Facebook group.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been a seeker from a young age. In the 1970's, I read Edgar Cayce books. Around 1975, I took Silva Mind Control. In 1981, I did the est Training. Since that time, I have done a great deal of reading and workshops. I have done some meditating and have taken 1 10-Day Vipassana Course. I must admit I have never loved meditating. The Vipassana course was one of the most difficult and unpleasant things I've ever done, not due to the silence but the long hours of meditation. When my friend told me about this a few days ago, I told him that I don't see myself as being a place of seeking but I was very drawn to what he said about it and the fact that I had just quit (that same day!) another avenue of spiritual development.

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

Postby WesleySPK » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:33 pm

Hi Artst,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed :). Thank you very much for writing and sharing where you are at and what you're looking for.

My name is Wesley, and I can be your guide if that's okay with you.
I think I have gone through the gateless gate through reading the Gateless Gatecrashers book. I want to make sure I really have and get guidance to get really solid on it and on moving forward. I have experienced a shift in my experience of living. (I'm using "I" here as a shorthand.)
Wonderful!
I expect a rigorous checking on where I really am and the possibility of further insight. Also, if and when the confirmation is made that I'm through the gateless gate, I expect to get connected with the LU Facebook group.
That sounds reasonable to me, I'll do my best. Ultimately, you will be the one who decides where you're at, I can certainly help you in clarifying this though. When the final questions are asked and confirmed, you will be added to the LU Aftercare groups where there are further avenues of exploration and a very supportive, friendly community in my experience.
I have been a seeker from a young age. In the 1970's, I read Edgar Cayce books. Around 1975, I took Silva Mind Control. In 1981, I did the est Training. Since that time, I have done a great deal of reading and workshops. I have done some meditating and have taken 1 10-Day Vipassana Course. I must admit I have never loved meditating. The Vipassana course was one of the most difficult and unpleasant things I've ever done, not due to the silence but the long hours of meditation. When my friend told me about this a few days ago, I told him that I don't see myself as being a place of seeking but I was very drawn to what he said about it and the fact that I had just quit (that same day!) another avenue of spiritual development.
I've heard others share some rather unpleasant experiences at those vipassana retreats too. Luckily that isn't necessary for this! It's perfectly natural for fear and unpleasant sensations to arise in this inquiry, if it does, we can take a gentle look at it and work through it. Here, your greatest ally will be to just notice what's happening in your direct experience and write openly and honestly, and let the process unfold naturally :).

A couple of things before proceeding:
-Here's a link that shows how to use the quote function: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660
-Please try to keep up posting every day if you can for the sake of momentum; However things come up of course and that's okay, just let me know when you're unable to respond and I will do the same for you.
-Think of this as writing in a journal, feel free to be 100% honest and just write what's true for you. It's generally helpful to put aside teachings, books, and videos for the time being so you can be more available to focus on your own experience. That's where we'll look.

If you're okay with everything so far, we can start.
I have experienced a shift in my experience of living. (I'm using "I" here as a shorthand.)
Could you elaborate a little more on this? What changed? Did a self that was there before disappear? What's your experience of living, and where does 'I' fit into that?

Looking forward to our chat

Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:21 am

HI, Wesley,
I can be your guide if that's okay with you.
Yes, it's very much okay with me for you to be my guide, Wesley. Thank you!
I've heard others share some rather unpleasant experiences at those vipassana retreats too. Luckily that isn't necessary for this! It's perfectly natural for fear and unpleasant sensations to arise in this inquiry, if it does, we can take a gentle look at it and work through it. Here, your greatest ally will be to just notice what's happening in your direct experience and write openly and honestly, and let the process unfold naturally :).
Thank you, Wesley. That is reassuring.
If you're okay with everything so far, we can start.

Please try to keep up posting every day if you can for the sake of momentum; However things come up of course and that's okay, just let me know when you're unable to respond and I will do the same for you.
I will do that. Wesley, for clarification, I'm in the Central Time Zone in Texas, USA. Also, just FYI, I'm a night owl. I usually turn off the lights around 3am and get up between 10 and 11 am. What time zone are you in?

Yes, Wesley, I'm okay with everything and am happy to start.

I wrote: I have experienced a shift in my experience of living. (I'm using "I" here as a shorthand.)
Could you elaborate a little more on this? What changed? Did a self that was there before disappear? What's your experience of living, and where does 'I' fit into that?
[/quote]

For a bit of backgoround, I was reading the dialogue in Gateless Gatecrashers entitled "Shane." When I read the part about "I" being a label, it clicked. It was suddenly very clearly that an identity is just a construct. At that time, which was just three days ago, the sense of there being an observer-self disappeared. The whole experience of life then seemed to soften and relax. But since then, that liberation seems to come and go. When I stop and look for a self --- no self. Thoughts occur just as thoughts with no controller. I notice that driving is different; no tension, no hurry, very little feeling of annoyance. Also, the experience has been of less attachment to how things go.

Yesterday, a man didn't like what I said to him on the phone and hung up on me. The pattern for this type of situation is that I would be upset for days and would call people to help me feel better; the automatic thoughts would have been that I had done something terribly wrong confirming that I'm a reprehensible human being. This time, the upset feelings and thoughts occurred and then within about a half hour, they had dissipated.

Another change is that it has long been a strategy to have stories such as audiobooks and movies going in order to replace the barrage of automatic thoughts running all the time. So, there was always a a book on CD playing in my car when I drove (except since the Trump election, when NPR has been on a lot of the time). I also put on a Netflix show or a play an audio book on at night to help me get to sleep. Now the thoughts seem less intrusive and I have found myself opting for music or silence more of the time.

Yet, it still seems like there's an "I' that makes decisions sometimes. Again, when I stop and look -- no "I."

Tonight, my husband and I threw a small dinner party. My "self" was very present in terms of, as my husband put it, my "being hard on myself" about all my cooking. In other words, I was stating what I found less than perfect about the food. Until writing this, an hour and a half after our guests left, there were still thoughts going on - both of assessing how "I" did at pleasing the guests and thoughts criticizing "myself" for having the assessing thoughts! Also feelings of embarrassment. They are gone now.

In summation, there remains a pull for it to seem as if "I" shows up sometimes and when that happens, I stop and take a look and experience that indeed, there is no self there.

Wesley, can the tendency for it to seem like there is a self go away completely?

Wesley, that's about it.

Thank you for your generosity for being my guide. It's a wonderful gift.
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Re: Arthrob

Postby WesleySPK » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:22 pm

Hi Artst,

Is it okay for me to call you Artst, or would you like me to call you something else?
Yes, it's very much okay with me for you to be my guide, Wesley. Thank you!
Wonderful! It's my pleasure.
I will do that. Wesley, for clarification, I'm in the Central Time Zone in Texas, USA. Also, just FYI, I'm a night owl. I usually turn off the lights around 3am and get up between 10 and 11 am. What time zone are you in?
Oh okay, I am in Seattle on Pacific Daylight Time, looks like you're 2 hours ahead of me, is that right? I usually get to responding at night around 9-11 PDT, but my schedule can be kind of scattered.

Thank you for filling me in more about the shift. A couple of things I would note: This can be a gradual process and it sounds to me like you have already seen what needs to be seen - I/me is a thought. Or as I like to put it, a thought + sensation (sensation behind the eyes or in the chest + thought "that is me/this is me"). Also, I wouldn't wait for reactions to go away as a result of seeing through the illusion of a self; they may even become more intense. What you could consider instead is: are they happening to someone? Is there a 'me' to be found that can be upset, criticize or be criticized? Or just thoughts of one? This doesn't mean those thoughts will go away, it just means they won't be believed and can be allowed to come and go.
In summation, there remains a pull for it to seem as if "I" shows up sometimes and when that happens, I stop and take a look and experience that indeed, there is no self there.
That's basically what I would recommend doing, so it's great you've already started on this. You could also try this: anytime it seems like an "I" shows up, just see if you can find anything other than a sensation or a thought.
Wesley, can the tendency for it to seem like there is a self go away completely?
Yes, but you may not even notice it, it's nothing special. Everything happens as it did before, but after having seen that the self was just a thought, it can seem as if it "went away".
Yet, it still seems like there's an "I' that makes decisions sometimes. Again, when I stop and look -- no "I."
Let's start here. Over the next day, take a close look at how decisions are made. When the alarm goes off, look closely at the 'decision point' where you get out of bed. When choosing what shirt to wear, pay close attention to the moment you decide to reach for one shirt and not the other. See if you can find something called an "I" doing any of that, and we will go from there!
Thank you for your generosity for being my guide. It's a wonderful gift.
It's mutually beneficial! It's my pleasure.

Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:18 am

Hey, Wesley, I"m delighted to hear back from you! I have plans for this evening and I look forward to writing back more fully late tonight. Thank you!
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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:53 am

Hi, Wesley,
Is it okay for me to call you Artst, or would you like me to call you something else?
Wesley, I'd prefer for you to call me Robyn.
Oh okay, I am in Seattle on Pacific Daylight Time, looks like you're 2 hours ahead of me, is that right? I usually get to responding at night around 9-11 PDT, but my schedule can be kind of scattered.
Thanks for the information. With the time difference, our schedules are not that different. Good to know.
Thank you for filling me in more about the shift. A couple of things I would note: This can be a gradual process and it sounds to me like you have already seen what needs to be seen - I/me is a thought. Or as I like to put it, a thought + sensation (sensation behind the eyes or in the chest + thought "that is me/this is me"). Also, I wouldn't wait for reactions to go away as a result of seeing through the illusion of a self; they may even become more intense. What you could consider instead is: are they happening to someone? Is there a 'me' to be found that can be upset, criticize or be criticized? Or just thoughts of one? This doesn't mean those thoughts will go away, it just means they won't be believed and can be allowed to come and go.
You're welcome. Thank YOU! It was valuable to articulate it in writing. You are providing exactly what I'd hoped for when I signed up for this, Wesley, which is, of course, guidance. Yes, I will take on considering if the reactions are happening to someone. Wow. Simple question yet so revealing. Regarding whether or not there's a 'me' that can be upset, the answer is no. It appears the fact that there's not a 'me' to be found that can be upset is exactly what allowed for the phone-hanging-up incident reaction to just dissipate. Delight comes up in seeing that there's no 'me' to criticize or be criticized; both of those were huge issues that 'I' was struggling with for years and years before getting there's no 'me.'


I get it about the thoughts not being believed and 'can be allowed to come and go.' Woo hoo! (By the way, I got it in the est Training and the Landmark Forum that I'm not my thoughts, feelings or body, but kept thinking that 'I' was generating some of them nonetheless. That there's no 'I' seems to have been what was missing.)
That's basically what I would recommend doing, so it's great you've already started on this. You could also try this: anytime it seems like an "I" shows up, just see if you can find anything other than a sensation or a thought.
Cool! That is a great suggestion and I will take you up on it. It's subtly different from what I was doing and even more experiential.
Yes, but you may not even notice it, it's nothing special. Everything happens as it did before, but after having seen that the self was just a thought, it can seem as if it "went away".
Thank you. I get it!
Let's start here. Over the next day, take a close look at how decisions are made. When the alarm goes off, look closely at the 'decision point' where you get out of bed. When choosing what shirt to wear, pay close attention to the moment you decide to reach for one shirt and not the other. See if you can find something called an "I" doing any of that, and we will go from there!
Ok, great. I'll do that starting now.
It's mutually beneficial! It's my pleasure.
That's lovely. Tears came to my eyes plus a fullness in my chest - also thoughts of gratitude, connection and love.

p.s. Now it's clear why all the seekers' dialogues I read in Gateless Gatecrashers were so expressive of gratitude.
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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:17 am

Wesley, my friend who told me about LU advised me that it's best I stop reading Gateless Gatecrashers and other writings on the UL website while I'm being guided. I understood that I was to forgo other input but wasn't aware it includes LU writings as well. I haven't read any more of it since he wrote that to me this morning. Do you advise I not read any other of the LU writings while you are guiding me?
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Re: Arthrob

Postby WesleySPK » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:13 am

Hi Robyn,
Wesley, my friend who told me about LU advised me that it's best I stop reading Gateless Gatecrashers and other writings on the UL website while I'm being guided. I understood that I was to forgo other input but wasn't aware it includes LU writings as well. I haven't read any more of it since he wrote that to me this morning. Do you advise I not read any other of the LU writings while you are guiding me?
I don't think it's a problem, rather it's just unnecessary for the moment in that it may take focus away from your own direct experience and that's what we're looking at. Now that's not to say that it isn't useful, you can learn quite a lot from reading through other's threads and probably the book too (I myself haven't read the book). But for now, yes my recommendation would be to focus on our conversation. After 'crossing the gate,' you have the option of becoming a guide yourself and that is when reading other people's threads will be very useful, but for now let's just look at your experience.
Regarding whether or not there's a 'me' that can be upset, the answer is no. It appears the fact that there's not a 'me' to be found that can be upset is exactly what allowed for the phone-hanging-up incident reaction to just dissipate. Delight comes up in seeing that there's no 'me' to criticize or be criticized
Wonderful :). It can feel very delightful and even freeing to see there isn't a "me" doing any of this, or that any of this is happening to.
I get it about the thoughts not being believed and 'can be allowed to come and go.' Woo hoo! (By the way, I got it in the est Training and the Landmark Forum that I'm not my thoughts, feelings or body, but kept thinking that 'I' was generating some of them nonetheless. That there's no 'I' seems to have been what was missing.)
Good to hear
That's lovely. Tears came to my eyes plus a fullness in my chest - also thoughts of gratitude, connection and love.

p.s. Now it's clear why all the seekers' dialogues I read in Gateless Gatecrashers were so expressive of gratitude.
:) This is nice to read. Yes, I felt and still feel inexpressible amounts of gratitude for those who guided and helped me through this.

I will wait to hear back from you about your findings with decisions and how they work.

Hugs
Wesley
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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:28 am

Dear Wesley,

I was just about to turn off the light to go to sleep and found your message. I will do as you said and report back tomorrow.
Good night and thank you!

Robyn
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Re: Arthrob

Postby WesleySPK » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:36 am

Hi Robyn,

Sounds great.

Wesley
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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:32 am

Hi, Wesley,
I don't think it's a problem, rather it's just unnecessary for the moment in that it may take focus away from your own direct experience and that's what we're looking at. Now that's not to say that it isn't useful, you can learn quite a lot from reading through other's threads and probably the book too (I myself haven't read the book). But for now, yes my recommendation would be to focus on our conversation. After 'crossing the gate,' you have the option of becoming a guide yourself and that is when reading other people's threads will be very useful, but for now let's just look at your experience.
I get that and will follow your recommendation. The idea of becoming a guide sounds enticing.
Wonderful :). It can feel very delightful and even freeing to see there isn't a "me" doing any of this, or that any of this is happening to.
Indeed freeing!
Let's start here. Over the next day, take a close look at how decisions are made. When the alarm goes off, look closely at the 'decision point' where you get out of bed. When choosing what shirt to wear, pay close attention to the moment you decide to reach for one shirt and not the other. See if you can find something called an "I" doing any of that, and we will go from there!
Okay! When looking at how decisions are made at the 'decision point,' there is no evidence of the existence of an "I." Just as with everywhere else, no "I."

Wesley, thank you again for your guidance. This is the best!

Hugs back!

Robyn
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Re: Arthrob

Postby WesleySPK » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:21 am

Hi Robyn,
Okay! When looking at how decisions are made at the 'decision point,' there is no evidence of the existence of an "I." Just as with everywhere else, no "I."
Great. If there isn't a controller or a decider, could you describe to me what actually happens? If there isn't someone controlling your hand, how does it move? Try with just lifting your hand up, waiting, and then bringing it down. What happens?

Please read the following and write down anything that comes up - thoughts, sensations, fear, elation, pleasant or unpleasant. Anything that comes up!

There is no I, there never was. There isn't a "me" inside thinking, controlling, doing, feeling. There is no I that could be liberated and there is no I that can see through the illusion. No one is controlling this piece of life.
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:55 am

Dear Wesley,

Thank you for your fast response and for the "assignments."
If there isn't a controller or a decider, could you describe to me what actually happens? If there isn't someone controlling your hand, how does it move? Try with just lifting your hand up, waiting, and then bringing it down. What happens?
Hmmm...I don't know how it moves! There are thoughts and my hand goes up. A couple of times, there was the thought to lift up the hand and the hand didn't lift. Some of the times, the thoughts weren't about the hand and the hand went up, paused, went down. I notice the thought, I will lift my hand, yet, again, when I actually look to see if there's a locatable "I," there isn't. When I stop and look to see if I find something other than the thought and the body movement, the only other thing is the sensation of the movement.

There's one thing yet that is confusing to me about this. How is it you can give me the instruction to lift my hand and I lift my hand? If it's simply life living itself, what accounts for the semblance of control? Does my body obey the thoughts? What does control the body? It does seem like something does, yet, upon investigation, there is no "I" to be found, just thoughts and the body moving and feeling.
Please read the following and write down anything that comes up - thoughts, sensations, fear, elation, pleasant or unpleasant. Anything that comes up!

There is no I, there never was. There isn't a "me" inside thinking, controlling, doing, feeling. There is no I that could be liberated and there is no I that can see through the illusion. No one is controlling this piece of life.
The thought came up, "What if this is a complete hoax and I'm being suckered into it?" That brought a little chuckle and a smile; there is literally no one telling me the reality, including no "me." There's a feeling of elation and a feeling of relaxing upon reading the first sentence, "There is no I, there never was." Especially "there never was" - relief -the thought that it makes sense of so much and so much sense. On reading the 2nd sentence repeatedly, the thought, "Oh, yes - no separate observing or controlling entity." Noticing breathing a little more deeply. Laughing out loud when reading, "There is no I that could be liberated and there is no I that can see through the illusion." The thought arose, "so much work for no reason." Now reading "No one is controlling this piece of life," the thought is "I get it" and the feeling is (aha!) disappointment! Now the thought, "the thoughts were on behalf of hanging onto the false notion of reality." There's an 'aaaaaah' kind of feeling now, as relaxing. Breathing is deep and slow.

Now there's a thought that I should delete what I wrote above about confusion because it's cleared up and that the questioning was a function of thoughts, conceptual - not looking.

Then a return to, "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!" A thought and a feeling of pressure right around 'my' breastbone. Now some sadness. A few tears. The thought "this is weird." Thoughts going scattered - thoughts go to other topics, things to remember to do tomorrow, then back. The thoughts arose "We're almost through and I'm afraid to lose you and your guidance. I don't want to be done. What if I can't really maintain this clarity without your guidance?" The thought, "I want to pick and choose which parts of this to 'believe.'" Phew! Thought: "Talking with people, seeing them and hearing how hard they are working to deal with life when they are unaware that there's no 'I' already brings up feelings of amusement and/or frustration. How do I learn to deal with this new awareness? I don't want to proselytize and I don't want to be inauthentic."

The thought, "This is radical stuff. People already think I'm weird. Now..." The thought, "Too late. No going back. Can't unknow this."

Feeling of solidness, resolve. Very quiet. Hearing 'my' body's breathing in my ears, similar to being underwater. Also feeling the heartbeat. Slight headache just popped up on the right temple.

The thought, "What would a society look like that didn't label and differentiate people into separate 'I's? How would that work?"

The thought, "I want to keep reading the statements you sent until 'I' feel the elation again."

The thoughts, "The reality of all the sentences you sent me to respond is clear to me - they are now self-evident and don't require stopping to look, except the last one, 'No one is controlling this piece of life.' For this one, to get it, re-looking is required. Upon looking, it becomes clear."

That's about it, Wesley.

Now, feeling tired. Some sadness, a bit of teariness. The thought "I'd like to cry for a bit." I start to cry but it's not happening. Just teariness. The thought, "I wonder what this sadness is about?" Then the thought, "Oh, yeah, it's simply sadness happening."

Now, feeling peaceful.

I just re-read (for the umpteenth time) the sentences you sent for me to respond to and there was the thought, "Ah, yes, I get it."

Good night and thank you, Wesley!

Robyn

p.s. I have shared about this with quite a few friends and have directed them to the LU site.
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Re: Arthrob

Postby Artst » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:44 pm

Wesley,

Good day!

When I woke up, there was a clarity that there is no "decider." There are thoughts, feelings and emotions. The thoughts that accompany (or precede or come after) actions are no more indicative of an "I" than any other thoughts. Phew!

Now, this is a conceptual insight, yet accompanied with the repeated "experiments" to look and see if there's a 'self' pulling the strings, there's a sense of peace and relaxation around the sentence, "No one is controlling this piece of life."
Thoughts still come up when I read it, but they have no credence.

Wishing you a lovely day, Wesley. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Hugs!

Robyn
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Re: Arthrob

Postby WesleySPK » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:25 am

Hi Robyn,

Wow, this was a wonderful post to read tonight! It sounds like a lot is happening. You're of course welcome for the fast responses and assignments! I can understand worry of ending the inquiry too soon, etc, but I want to assure you there is always support and this is by no means the end.
When I woke up, there was a clarity that there is no "decider." There are thoughts, feelings and emotions. The thoughts that accompany (or precede or come after) actions are no more indicative of an "I" than any other thoughts. Phew!
Seems like it's unfolding pretty naturally here :) and that you've gotten the hang of 'looking'. All sorts of questions come up when thinking, and that's okay of course, but when looking things tend to be clearer.
Now, feeling tired. Some sadness, a bit of teariness. The thought "I'd like to cry for a bit." I start to cry but it's not happening. Just teariness. The thought, "I wonder what this sadness is about?" Then the thought, "Oh, yeah, it's simply sadness happening."
Exactly, it's simply happening. There isn't a need to know why. Beautiful.

Could you please tell me about time, truth, and responsibility?
-Exactly how fast is the present moment actually moving?
-When does the future become the present? When does the present become past?
-What's the actual experience of 'time'?
-What's truth?
-What are you responsible for?

I wish you a lovely day as well, hugs

Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei


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