Seeing What is True

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Lightwins
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Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Sat May 06, 2017 12:33 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that LU is a process of direct inquiry into the belief in a separate self. This inquiry involves direct looking, and is not intellectual or conceptual.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for more clear seeing that there is no real, inherent self. Whenever I look for a self I only find aware space. Yet, I seem to still operate as though I am a separate self. Therefore I am looking for a deeper, and final realization of no self.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect direct, honest pointing and feedback that will facilitate my looking and seeing what is true for myself. I expect that the guide will not "coddle" my ego and be direct, yet understanding. I expect to enter into a committed relationship with a guide and take it very seriously.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have 45 years of spiritual seeking and practices that began with mystical Christianity, then expanded to Eastern philosophy and practices such as yoga and meditation with an Indian guru (about 12 years), then to Tibetan Buddhism (Dzogchen) and nondual spiritual teachings with Adyashanti being the root teacher. For 20 years, my practices have been to meditate by "resting as awareness" and self-inquiry. I have also done the Dzogchen practice of Thogal and Trekchod as well as shamatha for mind training. And I have been practicing yoga for about 40 years.

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

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b0dhi
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Tue May 16, 2017 9:33 am

Hey Lightwins

I'm Bodhi, a guide here and happy to have a conversation with you.

Sorry about the long wait it's been a little backed up here. We can move forward as soon as you are ready.

BTW - what name would you like me to refer to you by?

Welcome and I look forward to hearing from you.
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Lightwins
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Tue May 16, 2017 8:11 pm

HI Bodhi,
Thank you for your response. I am ready and willing to get started! I am already doing a lot of inquiry on my own. You can call me Lynn.

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Wed May 17, 2017 4:57 am

Hi Lynn

It's nice to meet you :)

Let's start by you telling me about your inquiry so far. What are you doing and how is it going? All smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Also fill me in on anything about your spiritual search you feel is relevant.

Thanks and warm regards
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Lightwins
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Wed May 17, 2017 6:09 am

Hi Bodhi,
I have been inquiring into the felt sense of a "me." I see that there is no separate self, yet it seems to keep re-creating itself through identification with thoughts/feelings/sensations, even though there is no one to do that. When I look, there is no me. There is only what I call awareness. Thoughts/feelings/sensations and a felt sense of them belonging to a me is all just happening and there is no self doing any of it. I am the awareness of it all, which is not a me or a self. I started inquiring intensely while I was waiting for a guide and already see more clearly than I did before that there is no separate self. I am intensely interested in seeing what is actually true. Not what I think it true, or believe is true, but what I know through direct experience alone.

I have been looking into what the voice in my head is. I am seeing more clearly than ever that it is not me, yet it appears to be because the thoughts seem very personal to this life experience and conditioning. It also appears as though it has a kind of intelligence. Yet when looking at it directly, I can't find a self. Very strange! I have been curious about what that voice is and where it comes from. It's not me, but what is it?

I think it is relevant for you to know that I have been at the spiritual search for decades and at this point there is a strong and stable experience of what I will call true nature. I know what I am, yet I keep re-identifying as a separate self. It is an incredibly strong habit! I would like to see through it clearly once and for all.
Warm regards,
Lynn

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Wed May 17, 2017 1:18 pm

Hey Lynn

Great work with your inquiry - seems like you have dug pretty deep into no-self.
I know what I am, yet I keep re-identifying as a separate self. It is an incredibly strong habit!
The self itself is simply a habit - a fiction, an assumption that there is something there. When you look for it, as you have, it's simply not there. Not present at all.

So what is looking for this self? What is it that is finding that the self is not there?
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Wed May 17, 2017 3:17 pm

So what is looking for this self? What is it that is finding that the self is not there?
That which is doing the looking is consciousness, or awareness, itself, not a me. And awareness itself is what is seeing what is true. I will spend more time with this today. I know it is true, but sometimes I catch myself feelings as though "I" am doing it.

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Wed May 17, 2017 4:11 pm

Hi Lynn
I will spend more time with this today
Great - looking forward to your response :)

Happy exploring
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Lightwins
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Thu May 18, 2017 6:01 am

So what is looking for this self? What is it that is finding that the self is not there?
I spent time looking at this today. What is looking for the self is awareness, not a me. What is finding that the self is not there is awareness, not a me. Looking and finding are happening without a self. It can feel like, "I am looking," but upon direct examination, no "I" is found, only awareness.

What was more challenging today was inquiring into a thought storm that occurred as a result of someone very important to me saying something that stirred up many thoughts, feelings of disappointment, anger and confusion and corresponding sensations in the body. Since it was highly charged, all of that together appeared to be created by and happening to a separate self. There would be absorption in the thoughts, which created a felt sense of "me thinking about me and the other," then that would be noticed (just happened, no one did the noticing), and as soon as the thoughts were seen (by awareness, not by a self), then they dissolved and there was looking and seeing that no self was there, only thoughts. Then there would be resting as awareness for awhile in quiet stillness and bliss would emerge. So I inquired into bliss. I could not find a self there either. Then the thought story would return and the whole process was repeated, again and again.

I am interested in the LU process because even though I see there is no separate self, I still fall for it all the time! It is seen through, then gets created and identified with again. It is seen through again, then gets created and identified with again...and so on. In the book Gateless Gatecrashers, it was mentioned that it is possible to see there is no separate self once and for all in a way that can never be unseen. Is that right?

Thank you for helping me with this!

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Thu May 18, 2017 3:34 pm

Good going Lynn :)
I am interested in the LU process because even though I see there is no separate self, I still fall for it all the time! It is seen through, then gets created and identified with again. It is seen through again, then gets created and identified with again...and so on. In the book Gateless Gatecrashers, it was mentioned that it is possible to see there is no separate self once and for all in a way that can never be unseen. Is that right?
Let's look at this expectation a little bit. Most seekers who come to LU have, to a greater or lesser extent, a belief that they are a separate, autonomous self. The LU process of guidance takes them through an examination of this belief so that they get to see clearly and firsthand, that they are not who they thought they were. They are not the separate self that they have spent their lives identifying with and believing in.

For most seekers who come here, this is a revelation. Once they have seen the truth - that there is no separate autonomous self - then they have crossed a threshold (which was borrowed from the Zen "Gateless Gate") and thereafter there is no way to go back to a permanent, lasting belief in a separate self.

Now in your case, you have already come here knowing that you cannot find a separate self. Yet there is this moment by moment identification with "self" and then remembering that "of course there is no self" and looking again just to make sure a self hasn't conjured itself up :)

This is generally where most people are post the Gate - there's a brief temporary identification, then remembering, then re-identification...and so on. The "Self" is in effect created and dropped on a moment by moment basis.

So if I were to test you on this - could you ever be convinced that there exists a separate, autonomous self? If we were to reverse this conversation and my role were to convince you of the existence of this self, do you think I would be successful?

Can you remember a time, before your deep inquiry began, where you identified completely as a separate self? A time when "Lynn" was a real object?

Can you now go back to that belief?

I look forward to hearing from you Lynn :)
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Fri May 19, 2017 6:11 am

So if I were to test you on this - could you ever be convinced that there exists a separate, autonomous self? If we were to reverse this conversation and my role were to convince you of the existence of this self, do you think I would be successful?
No, at this point I don't believe I could be convinced that there is a separate, autonomous self. I have too much experience with true nature and I have too much experience with letting go into that and experiencing the sense of a separate self dissolve. However, there "appears" to be a self, but it is more of a function or a process than a self that seems to be needed for the functioning of human beings.
Can you remember a time, before your deep inquiry began, where you identified completely as a separate self? A time when "Lynn" was a real object? Can you now go back to that belief?
Yes, I remember that. However, most of my life I've had a sense that there was something more to me, and for many years I have experienced my deeper nature. At first, there was the deeper nature and a self experiencing that. Then I gradually began to get a sense that the nature, or awareness, was what I am. I was the awareness witnessing a self rather than a self witnessing awareness. But I still felt like a "me" most of the time.

My identity hasn't fully shifted out of a sense of self. It is also not fully in a sense of self. Bodhi, I'm having a hard time communicating my experience because it is paradoxical. I both get it and don't get it.

I know the vast emptiness of Being, but what I don't know as clearly is the nature of phenomena. My inquiry for many years was, "Who am I?" and that has now moved to what is this sense of a self that appears to be here? What is the voice in my head that I thought was me all my life? What are all these objects that appear to be separate? What are all these people that seem to be other and separate? And so on. My attention and inquiry has moved from focusing only on deeper Being to all of its phenomenal expressions. I don't yet see clearly that it is all the same One. To me, realization is knowing the fundamental nature of all things and seeing it is one seamless Whole.

When I am merged with thoughts and identifying with and believing them, I am experiencing myself to be a separate self. And that happens all the time. So I don't have to go back far to a time when Lynn seemed like a real object. That happens every day! I can sit in meditation and rest in deep silence with no sense of self and then get up and go out into the world feeling like a real object that I perceive to be separate from other objects. I'm sorry if this is confusing. It has been helpful to really take a look at my experience and try to articulate it. Let me know if I can make it more clear.

Thank you Bodhi! What part of the world are you in? I am in California USA.

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Fri May 19, 2017 5:38 pm

No, at this point I don't believe I could be convinced that there is a separate, autonomous self.
I didn’t think so either :)
However, there "appears" to be a self, but it is more of a function or a process than a self that seems to be needed for the functioning of human beings.
Great description – we think we are a person, but when we look what we see is a process.

Where are the limits of this process? Where does it begin and where does it end?
My identity hasn't fully shifted out of a sense of self. It is also not fully in a sense of self. Bodhi, I'm having a hard time communicating my experience because it is paradoxical. I both get it and don't get it.
Don’t worry, I get what you are communicating perfectly.

Sure, there’s a sort of paradox here – however is there a problem with this paradox existing?

If you didn’t have this “sense of self” could you function as this human process? Like when the human needs to “do” something?

Then when you slip into what you are referring to as the “space of awareness”, are you at that time able to function as a human process? Let’s say you were sitting as awareness – fully engrossed in it – could you solve a crossword puzzle?
I know the vast emptiness of Being, but what I don't know as clearly is the nature of phenomena. My inquiry for many years was, "Who am I?" and that has now moved to what is this sense of a self that appears to be here? What is the voice in my head that I thought was me all my life? What are all these objects that appear to be separate? What are all these people that seem to be other and separate? And so on. My attention and inquiry has moved from focusing only on deeper Being to all of its phenomenal expressions.
Great practices all of these. I remember many hours sitting with these as well. It get’s pretty tiresome doesn’t it?
I don't yet see clearly that it is all the same One
If it is all One, then there is no separation. Would you agree?
To me, realization is knowing the fundamental nature of all things and seeing it is one seamless Whole.
When you can see that there is no separation, then there can only be one seamless whole – even if the whole has the appearance of many.

How does this ring for you?
Thank you Bodhi! What part of the world are you in? I am in California USA.
Most welcome!!

I currently live in Kenya (East Africa) however I will be moving to Australia at the end of this month. I’ll keep you updated on my travel so that it doesn’t get in the way of your most interesting inquiry :)

Looking forward to your response!
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Lightwins
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Sat May 20, 2017 5:13 am

Where are the limits of this process? Where does it begin and where does it end?
I don't know where it begins and it does not seem to have an end. It goes on all the time and sometimes it is identified with and sometimes not. When it is allowed without attaching identity to it, it will quiet down.
Sure, there’s a sort of paradox here – however is there a problem with this paradox existing?
If you didn’t have this “sense of self” could you function as this human process? Like when the human needs to “do” something?
Yes, I think we need to have a sense of self in order to function as a human being. It only becomes a problem when it is identified with as being a separate self.
Then when you slip into what you are referring to as the “space of awareness”, are you at that time able to function as a human process? Let’s say you were sitting as awareness – fully engrossed in it – could you solve a crossword puzzle?
Yes, of course, I am able to function as a human process when resting as awareness. I can do anything, and do it better, while resting as awareness. It is not a "state." If I am in a deep meditative state, then maybe I can't do a cross word puzzle, but that's not a problem.
Great practices all of these. I remember many hours sitting with these as well. It get’s pretty tiresome doesn’t it?
Actually, I am not tired of these practices yet, I am just starting to focus on them. If you are clear on the "answers" to these questions, then I would appreciate your help with it. What is this sense of a self that appears to be here? What is the voice in my head that I thought was me all my life? What are all these objects that appear to be separate? What are all these people that seem to be other and separate?"
If it is all One, then there is no separation. Would you agree?
I agree, but my understanding is still too much conceptual and not fully realized through experience.
When you can see that there is no separation, then there can only be one seamless whole – even if the whole has the appearance of many.
How does this ring for you?
This rings true. And, I would like to realize this more fully.

Thank you! Bless you,
Lynn

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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby b0dhi » Sat May 20, 2017 8:47 pm

Hi Lynn
Yes, I think we need to have a sense of self in order to function as a human being. It only becomes a problem when it is identified with as being a separate self.
Great observation! For the sake of my clarity, could you explain what separation means to you? Also what would your definition be of a "separate self" and what would be it's opposite?
Actually, I am not tired of these practices yet, I am just starting to focus on them. If you are clear on the "answers" to these questions, then I would appreciate your help with it. What is this sense of a self that appears to be here? What is the voice in my head that I thought was me all my life? What are all these objects that appear to be separate? What are all these people that seem to be other and separate?"
This made me smile :)

If there were transferrable answers to these questions, then the questions would now be moot wouldn't they? The deep inquiry that these questions lead to show us the limits of that thing we call the mind, the limitation of thought. When I sat with the inquiry I first went from interest and amusement to frustration and malcontent and finally despair and desperation.

The use of the inquiry for me was that the questions could not be answered by the tool I relied upon the most - the thinking mind. Rather, the inquiry resolved experientially through being in my true nature and the realisation of what was false.

Your inquiry will lead to your answers for you, as these can only be found firsthand. Truth is what it is, we just veil it with our own delusions :)
What is this sense of a self that appears to be here?
Great starting point for us to begin some digging. Tell me in your words what you see as this sense of self. What is it?
Bodhi

Nothingness dances to an unhearable song

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Lightwins
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Re: Seeing What is True

Postby Lightwins » Sun May 21, 2017 3:45 pm

For the sake of my clarity, could you explain what separation means to you? Also what would your definition be of a "separate self" and what would be it's opposite?
To me, separation means perceiving myself, other people, and all objects as separate, autonomous and distinct from each other. My definition of a separate self is perceiving and experiencing myself as an entity that is separate from all other separate selves and objects. The opposite of that would be experiencing myself as the same, in essence, as all people and all things—and knowing that we are all different and unique in appearance, but in essence the same one interconnected, interrelated Being.
Tell me in your words what you see as this sense of self. What is it?
The sense of self is made up of thoughts, sensations, feelings, perceptions, hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling. All of that is going on all of the time and together form a sense of self. The main way I sense a self is through the voice in my head and the senses. I understand that thought cannot figure out what all this is. Only Awareness can do true inquiry. If I rest as the Awareness doing the looking, it sees that all this phenomena is occurring in Awareness and is pervaded by Awareness, none of it is separate from that. There is just thinking/sensing happening in the field of Awareness, and with looking I can't find a "thing" or a "self" it refers to. Yet, the overwhelming habit is to go through life feeling as though it refers to a separate self. For example, if something is said or done that makes the separate self look bad, there is a feeling reaction such as anger, embarrassment, shame, as though it is referring to some one.

Due to the inquiry, I now have a little more distance between the appearance of the separate self and the automatic labeling and felt sense of a self. It can be witnessed and allowed in the field of Awareness more. As it is allowed without being attached to or believed in, then it dissolves back into Awareness. But it gets re-created again and again and has not been seen through all the way. I have an expectation that if I see through it all the way, I will no longer listen to and believe the voice in my head, unless needed, and it will therefore stop going on incessantly and I can rest in peace. I also have an expectation that through inquiry and abiding in true self, consciousness will eventually separate itself completely from identification as a self—and that is true liberation.

I will be hiking in nature all day today and will just LOOK and WATCH at all the passing phenomena I take to be a self.


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