Looking for real freedom

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jraybould
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Looking for real freedom

Postby jraybould » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:36 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Through the way that we (most of us) are brought up we are conditioned to believe that there is a me inside all of us that runs our lives. However upon closer inspection the 'me' can never be found and exists only as a collection of believed thoughts. Although the thoughts themselves are real, where they point or what they say are not real.

What are you looking for at LU?
After a lot of searching over the last 20 years and experimentation with drugs in my teens I know that it is possible to live life from a space of love and lightness. I am hoping Liberation Unleashed can help me to remember and embody that real freedom that I have tasted on many occasions.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I have been working with a LU guide (Stephen Blackheath) that I befriended through a non duality forum and have seen how the guiding works in the LU book through the transcripts. So I expect that a guide will give me pointers and exercises to do and I will carry this out and report back for as long as is necessary.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
After much suffering a decision happened in my late 20's that I would place becoming free as the most important thing in my life. In my ignorance the start of this search was about trying to improve the me as I thought this was who I was. Fortunately after much more suffering I came upon spirituality and found that I wasn't my thoughts. So for the last 9 years or so have been about finding out who I really am, and am not.
Lately I have had first hand experiences of real freedom and seen the workings of the ego at a deep level. So I feel like I understand the LU message and can see that it is the real deal.

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

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blackh
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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:45 am

Hi jraybould,

We've been talking privately and we can continue here. I'm really busy today but I'll reply soon!


Steve

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jraybould
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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby jraybould » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:50 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks for this. Look forward to hearing back from you later.

Thanks

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blackh
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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:46 am

Some of our private correspondence (with agreement to publish):

jraybould wrote:

Had a great session a few days ago with ****** and clearly saw why this false self got created when I was young and lacked a secure connection. And as life is safe, and I'm not a child anymore that it was no longer needed. And I feel different! Everything is more fun and lighthearted . And none of stuff passing through is mine. Hoping it lasts.... because it's awesome.

Thinking back about how I ranked myself better or worse with other people based on the thoughts in my head is so preposterous... ridiculous

It's all a bit of a joke, as well as being immensely precious.
Last edited by blackh on Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:48 am

blackh wrote:

That's great! It is so wonderful to hear it!
It's all a bit of a joke, as well as being immensely precious.
Excellent! It sounds like you have passed through the gateless gate.

Enjoy it! It is almost certain that, right now, feeling good will come and go. When it goes, it will seem like a setback. It will feel like what you "had" is only a memory. But, once you have seen it, despite appearances, you can't unsee it.

So keep looking - whenever you remember, look at experience as it is right now with a question or two in your mind to keep you focused - what
is actually there? - what does experience consist of? - Is there a "you" to be found in experience? - until your trust in it becomes solid.
Absorb what you see without thinking about it too much.

Please write to me again soon and let me know how you are going, no matter whether it's seen as going well or not going well.

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:51 am

jraybould wrote:

So a few days of real spaciousness and non separation. Feeling really at home and there being a lightness and a lack of fear. I enjoyed the drive up to ****** (the family and I are on holiday). It's fun with no contraction watching the driving do itself... it's way more enjoyable than when there's a me getting pissed off at triggers and tiredness, and an unfairness that it's me doing the driving etc etc

The following day was mostly similar just enjoying life... but at some point then a contraction came back. Suddenly there's a me inside a body. I feel my burning energy in the spleen area (Eckart Tolle would call this a pain body). Thoughts are then heavy. There is pain around food and I'm caught between probably eating too much (because of the feeling of separation) and then a me feeling guilty and thoughts of the pain of being overweight (this was a theme up until my mid 20's). The apparent me (or more realistically the contraction plus the heavy thoughts) are saying I should stop eating, I should exercise. The thoughts are also picking holes in my wife's behaviour. Watching all of the above happen and looking at the thoughts. Is there a me behind this? So what is really here -

a sense of contraction. And a dialogue that is saying that if I'm not here then things will go wrong. I will overeat and get fat. If I'm not correcting my wife's 'bad' behaviour then she will go out of control and blah blah blah. It's intentions are to keep me away from pain I have experienced in the past. Although consciously I know the feeling of separation is the cause of the overeating. It would be great for this to be seen at a deeper (sub conscious) level.

Next day. We travel to ****** and there's more separation and things are heavy/serious. Although I know this is not who I am. We have a fun day and mostly there's no me there. In the evening I'm sat in a cafe in ****** and feeling my 'pain body'. And I'm looking at people sat opposite me. Thoughts are saying that these people know that I have this inside me. I'm ashamed of it. My mind wants to remove me from the situation. The thoughts are all about changing the present moment and changing me. A thought comes in an says 'what if nothing here including me needs to change'. That I am perfect as I am. This brings me comfort.

So another wave of pain has rolled in. However I have experienced so much worse that it is not an issue. And I'm somewhat indifferent to it. Of course I would rather there not be a sense of separation as the few days prior are so much more enjoyable. But not the end of the world and as I sit here typing I feel for the most part not separate again. The pain body is now back to a 1.5 out of 10 and feeling peaceful.

Possibly the key noticing is the shift between no self/no contraction to a feeling/assumption of a self and a sense of a me inside a body, and it's painful thoughts and feelings of shame. I've been enjoying the LU book and the query where does me end and everyone else start seem to help to question the validity of this assumption of separation. Maybe more work on debunking this will help me.

About to head out into the ****** sun and do some fun stuff with the kids.

Thanks for you help and advice
Last edited by blackh on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:56 am

blackh wrote:

It's lovely to hear from you again, and wonderful to hear you are doing so well. You are doing all the right kind of observation, and your descriptions are great.

I must have a talk to ****** some time.

From your description, you've seen this at a visceral level. This is what we (LU guides) consider crossing the gate.

It'll take a little while to stabilize, usually 1-4 months. Remember not to lose heart if it seems like you have gone backwards. The only way you can go backwards now is if you are completely lazy and don't keep looking to continue that shift from approaching the world through thought to approaching it through looking.

Of you are interested and when you feel ready, I'd be happy to do the formal final questions process with you on LU. This will involve other guides. That will give you access to a Facebook group called LU Aftercare with other people in the same predicament, and will also mean it's straightforward to join the 10 Fetters group if you want to pursue that. (They require some form of evidence that you are through the gate and LU's process is one form they accept.)

If you want to do this, sign up on LU - in the sign-up form, ask for me with my forum name of 'blackh' and say I have been guiding you.
Although consciously I know the feeling of separation is the cause of the overeating.
Desire & I'll Will is an amazing technique that in the 10 Fetters group is considered the next step after the gate. It eliminates all compulsive behaviours including addiction and also emotional reactivity - especially the reactivity that contributes to arguments within family relationships. It's really good for addictive behaviours and several people have cured eating disorders.

One reason why I mention D&IW is so that you don't think you have failed if you emotionally react. At your stage this is not expected to be gone yet.

Keep writing to me!

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:00 am

jraybould wrote:

Yes, I recommend talking to ******. It's the strangest thing in our sessions. But the answers all come from me with some basic pointers from her. I think the magic is in the connection as when I'm in a really deep place she is in there with me and it seems to really do the trick. It's nice to have a connection and someone there when you are eye to eye with some of your deepest fears/darkest places. Although this is via Skype it's uncanny how the connection is there and makes me understand first hand how everything is connected.

As far as where I'm at and if I've passed the gate I'm not really sure. As on many occasions in the past I think I'm free and then a wave of pain comes in and it seems like I get lost in it a bit. If the question is whether I've seen real freedom and what is really going on then the answer is yes. I have been very deep and seen answers come to me explaining the contraction/false self, how it started, what it wants, that its not real, that the problem it's trying to fix doesn't exist. Do I feel like this all the time - no. I still feel my pain body burning and then I wake up again and notice I've been in the drama. Am I going to keep moving forward - of course, I have no say in the matter!

On the above basis I'm happy to answer the final questions if you think this is appropriate. In summary I believe I know what is real or unreal. But there still appears to be an in and out/contraction and release pattern going on.

I would definitely be keen to look at the advanced LU stuff and to be able to talk to other people in the same boat. I created an account on LU - jraybould although I think it may need to be validated/accepted. I did mention your name on the application on a couple of occasions but not sure if they will assign you to me. I'll see what they come back with once validated and let you know.

It would be great to break the cycle of my pain related to food. As someone who used to smoke it's way easier to break this habit as it's something you can stop and forget about. As you need to eat to survive it is harder to leave it behind. The freedom to eat what I want/when I want and for this to be in alignment with what's good for me would give me a way better quality of life and stop considerable suffering.

Thanks again and look forward to talking soon.

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:12 am

Hi jraybould,
As far as where I'm at and if I've passed the gate I'm not really sure. As on many occasions in the past I think I'm free and then a wave of pain comes in and it seems like I get lost in it a bit.
If there's been a clear seeing that self can't be found, and not just an intellectual understanding, then that's considered to be the crossing of the gate. Usually there will be a feeling of some sort of a shift, but there's a lot of variation. It's almost always quite a subtle thing.

While you have any doubts we should let things settle and hold off on the questions. There's no rush.
But there still appears to be an in and out/contraction and release pattern going on.
Almost everyone gets that.

Give me another update in a day or two and we'll go from there.


Steve

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby jraybould » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:08 am

So I experienced quite a lot of pain and heavy thoughts yesterday. I was reading the LU book and a section talking about deep looking. It mentions thanking what is there and asking the mind and heart what they want. Upon thanking my 'pain body' (the area in my spleen that seems to hold my trapped painful energy) I asked my mind if it was at peace to which it said no and gave the usual dialogue of "If I'm not here what will happen". I asked the heart if it was ok, and it was - peaceful and loving. But then it felt like the mind was really fighting after this and trying to assert itself. And there's been a lot of pain burning intensely, and some pretty intense and cynical thoughts "you should be more positive ", guiltful thoughts about my children and not being a good dad, guilt about being not being able to not be affected by these thoughts. Why am I affected and sucked I by this because I know what the thoughts are saying aren't true?

Things have settled down now. And I know (and knew throughout) that there was something that couldn't be affected by the bad weather that had rolled in. I know that it wasn't real, or a real threat. However there was resistance, and suffering, there was fear, and it was upsetting.

Ok so not what I was 'expecting' from my holiday. And I accept that this process doesn't always feel good. Just wondering if the situation could have been handled better. Did I have to have a day like that? Has the sitting through this storm moved me closer to peace? Could I have done something that could've shut this down before it fired up? Any thoughts/advice?

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi jraybould,

The way it works is this:

Events -> trigger -> sensation -> thoughts

Thoughts then feed back in as events, and this creates a loop. The trigger is based on a pattern matching and is performed by a part of the brain called the amygdala. For example, your partner may speak to you in a way one of your parents did, and past trauma has caused this to be programmed in as a trigger.

The response of thought to the sensation is the place where it can be broken and this is what Desire & Ill Will does.

Fundamentally it comes down to deep acceptance of present circumstances. This is why Deep Looking asks you to welcome your feelings.

So, first, accept the feelings and get a good look at them - especially the sensation part. Second, ask yourself whether thought content is ever real. Third, note that the story is about you. Can you find
  • ... the "you" that the story refers to? ("You" are not being a good dad.)
  • ... the "you" that is suffering?
A horror movie triggers the same response, but it isn't painful because it isn't about you. Find out what the difference is between the horror movie and your feelings. Exactly why are they about you?


Steve

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby jraybould » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:30 am

Hi Steve,

So it's been an interesting time since my last email. I have been following you advice below (and thanks for it by the way!) and it's been good. I returned from holiday and had a session with the lady I have mentioned before on Tuesday. It's interesting that what seems to happen is very much like the deep looking sessions that I have read about on LU.

So in a deep session I had a really good look at the energy/pain contraction in my body and saw some of the tricks of the mind - e.g. expectations that this should be gone by now and other resistance. And voices/thoughts came from who know's where and said to this separated part of me to come home. And it was really strange but a very feminine energy was inside me became a very proud/protective mother of this part, and the relationship of fear has mostly changed to a feeling of love and protectiveness.

There was also a voice that said for me not to try and resolve this part/problem. And rather to allow this to be left unresolved, and I suppose the energy contraction open.

Since then I have had a few hairy moments. Lots of energy rushing around me unbridled. And yesterday the feelings/fear of a full blown panic attack in a meeting. However I rode it out and spent the time looking for a me, what's behind this feeling. And there was peace there, and a feeling of - is this all real anyway... is this just a dream?

.. I think I'm doing what I need to do, and I feel that there is progress. But please give me pointers if you think there's anything I'm missing.

I am interested in looking at the desire and Ill will stuff. And also it feels for me that I have big breakthrough's when working with someone, and there's another person (or rather more presence) here rather than just via a dialogue, even if it's via skype. Do you know how deep looking sessions on LU works?

Thanks for all your help!

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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:27 am

Hi jraybould,

There are no formal Deep Looking sessions with LU, but some of the guides do it. You might be able to twist my arm. I've done it 7 times.
And voices/thoughts came from who know's where and said to this separated part of me to come home. And it was really strange but a very feminine energy was inside me became a very proud/protective mother of this part, and the relationship of fear has mostly changed to a feeling of love and protectiveness.
"Ask the mind if it knows that the heart is its home" as Ilona wrote in her book.
The thinks it can solve fear, but it can never do that. The only thing the mind can do is relinquish control.
There was also a voice that said for me not to try and resolve this part/problem.
Nice!

I do want to emphasize: Deep Looking and related practices are a role play involving the stories that constitute the operation of the emotional life. The mind has to function in a healthy way, and focusing on and engaging in the emotional life is an essential part of that. But, it's important to remember that no emotional or thought narrative is reality. ONLY what you experience directly is real.
But please give me pointers if you think there's anything I'm missing.
When anxiety comes up or it feels like "me" in any situation, look carefully at it as an experience. Just see what you can see. You will never catch everything that happens, but that doesn't matter.

You might see stuff like this:
  • knot in the stomach
  • cold feeling in the spine
  • a sense of dread
  • thought "this is too much, I can't deal with everything"
  • an concept of people seeing how inadequate I am
  • image: people looking at me
For each thing you catch, ask "What was the actual experience? Within that experience, can 'I' be found?" Then look carefully whether it was you, or whether it was just an experience arising then passing.

Where is the evidence of anything other than body sensations and thought stories? If you think it's there, then find it.

-------

Also: When you have a spare moment, look at experience as a whole: sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, all together. Tell me how that feels.


Steve

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jraybould
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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby jraybould » Mon May 01, 2017 3:04 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your email below.

So there has been a lot of looking here over the weekend and it's been very helpful. If there are uncomfortable feelings the question "who is feeling this" seems to come by itself. Of course there's no one there. And outside of these 'anxious' feelings there's a lot of joy. It just feels good to be alive, and it is realised that I live a very charmed life.

I spent a number of hours late on Saturday night reading the LU book and looking at accounts of people who have broken through. I was very still and deep and of course couldn't find anything. Had a very broken sleep that night with the mind seeming to be fighting for its life. The me is undoubtedly unravelling/softening,and I can see the progress and greater ease with life. However there is still a mild/faint/subtle feeling that this pain is personal. Is there concern here? No. But still feel as if there's another falling away that will make this beyond doubt.

Would be very keen to try the deep looking session if you have time as it seems to be how I get my big breakthroughs.

Many thanks!

John

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blackh
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Re: Looking for real freedom

Postby blackh » Tue May 02, 2017 12:48 am

Hi John,

Sounds like things are unfolding nicely!

Happy to do a DL session with you. Any evening this week is fine around 8:30 PM. Just contact me on Skype.


Steve


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