Lost again, striving again

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Matthew
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Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Sun May 07, 2017 3:01 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand by this on a conceptual level already a lot. I studied madhyamaka- and dzogchen-view under the guidance of Alan Wallace and others, read numerous books, countless articles and recieved a lot of information through videos on the internet. I am deeply engaged in buddhism and the idea of no-self is in my mind since the start.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for a guide who can give me direct pointings dependend on the specific conditions and obscurations that are here to be found. That is what I am looking for at LU. The "General pointings" I will read in addition via your App.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect nothing! Really. But since this form requires at least 200 characters...
I expect at least to meet someone who had a genuine insight into the absence of a self. What I am not expecting is results, not even speaking of "quick results". I am willing to engage in a longer term conversation on the basis of patience.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I practice shamatha and vipassana both guided and in private since 2 years. The latest most important thing that I have learned is that all practice, all striving is pointless when it is carried out on the basis of an "I".
Last night I had an experience. It was like one of your guides said in a video "recognizing something completely obvious".
After this recognition the idea of an "I" seemed rediculous. Although already during that short period there was also a knowning that this is not certain to last. And so it was. Sadly, after getting up in the following morning, although an echo was still present, there was "me" again.
I know now what is true. For sure. But the experience is obscured again.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?: 8
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Thu May 18, 2017 2:16 pm

Hi Matthew,

I will be happy to guide you.
The main thing we do here is pointing to Direct Experience, so we are going to look at what IS.
The guiding will help you to see through the illusion of a separate self.
Actually that is pretty much it. Is that what you are seeking?

Here are some groundrules:
1. Write from experience, not speculation.
2. Be 100% honest. So a wrong honest answer is better than a good answer you lied about.
3. Post regularly.
4. Put aside all other teachings (satsangs!), philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
5. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main site ->http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
6. Could you learn the quote function? http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

If you confirm you have read the above we can start.

It is important to be aware of your expectations.
You write: "I expect nothing!"
But next paragraph you write: "Sadly, after getting up in the following morning, although an echo was still present, there was "me" again."
So you expected or at least hoped the "me" would have vanished, haha. Isnt that so?

Your willingness you give an 8.
What in your life you can give a 10?

Regards, Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Thu May 18, 2017 2:51 pm

Hello Petrus,

I am so happy, thank you for your reply!

The guiding will help you to see through the illusion of a separate self.
Actually that is pretty much it. Is that what you are seeking?
Yes, that is what I am seeking.
And yes I have read and understood the groundrules.


First of all. Since my initial post a lot of time has passed in respect of "development". There have been a lot of happenings especially by reading the book "Liberation Unleashed" and following the instructiongs carefully. I am about in the middle right now, reading at a slow pace since I take the inquiries that are presented there seriously.

So my question ist: Do you want me to first finish the book and afterwards give a sum up on what has hapened before we go "all in"?


Thank you for you kindness!
Yours deeply
Matthew, Matthias
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Thu May 18, 2017 4:20 pm

Hi Matthew,

I don't mind you reading the book. You can do anything you like haha.
This conversation is separate from that.

A good thing to do is reply all my questions, so every sentence with a questionmark behind it.
I say this because you already skipped a few, haha.

So, what about expectations, what are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the separate self?
One thing you expect is that "me" is going to vanish, isnt that so?

My other question was (in other words): Why 8 and not 10 (or 11 as some people answer) for your willingness in this inquiry?

Warm regards,
Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Thu May 18, 2017 8:52 pm

Hi Petrus,

okay then! I am not going to skip a question again.

So, what about expectations, what are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the separate self?
One thing you expect is that "me" is going to vanish, isnt that so?
That depends entirely on the "condition" that is been experienced in the moment. A few days ago there was for the first time an absolutely clear seing. And ever since then it is an "in-and-out" kind of thing.
And yes, during those times when the "old state" is back (like right now), there is a hope, a longing, an expectation that the absence, the vanishing of the "me" next time shall last and become stable.
I have the expectation that the "me" shall vanish for good!

My other question was (in other words): Why 8 and not 10 (or 11 as some people answer) for your willingness in this inquiry?
When I answered this initial question about more than a week ago there were great fears. That is why I gave here only a 8/10. However, since most of these fears are no longer and my willingness is no longer affected by them, today I can give it a clear 11/10. And I am serious about that.


Kind regards,
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Thu May 18, 2017 10:03 pm

Hi Andrew,
I have the expectation that the "me" shall vanish for good!
Have to disappoint you here.
The only thing that can happen is you won't mind anymore a "me"-thought passes by.
Can you live with that?
When I answered this initial question about more than a week ago there were great fears.
Thanks a lot for your honesty. Could you elaborate on this?
today I can give it a clear 11/10. And I am serious about that.
It is very much ok you said an 8. Because otherwise I didnt hear about the fears. Thanks again for that.
But the 11 is very ok... :)

Warm regards, Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Thu May 18, 2017 10:49 pm

Hello Petrus!
Have to disappoint you here.
The only thing that can happen is you won't mind anymore a "me"-thought passes by.
Can you live with that?
You are not disappointing me at all! Wish I could have expressed it that way in the first place :)
I can totally live with that.
Matthew: When I answered this initial question about more than a week ago there were great fears.
Petrus: Thanks a lot for your honesty. Could you elaborate on this?
Yes and I am happy to!
When this inquiry started there was a very significant knowing. A knowing that this process could have some deep impact, nothing there was ever felt before when engaging in any sort of practice or study.
And when for the first time the openness to actually BE without self occured, there was a great fear of the disappearing, the vanishing of life in its entirety. That fear was so strong that I could not stand it and at times lay anxiously on my bed. "ME" the strong guy. That was... something. This fear of annihilation was so powerful back then that I even considered writing a farewell letter to my parents and hiding it in my bed stand.
Can you believe that??
Reading many testimonies alleviated that fear to some extend and brought confidence to the inquiry.
However, what brought this fear into non-existence for good was "that moments". And that experience and life (all vital and social functions included) happen without someone beeing the perciever or doer just fine.

There were other, less significant fears, too, that were overcome by this way like the fear of becoming a weirdo or not beeing able to enjoy music anymore.

However, some fears are still present, sometimes in the backround, sometimes even seemingly attacking and shrinking me down.
The greatest fear at this very moment is the fear of getting stuck. I know it sounds childish, but there is a very subtle fear, that I am not and will not ever be able to finally and totally "get it" and that I will have to watch the others having a great party from afar...


All the best!
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Thu May 18, 2017 11:20 pm

Hi Matthew,

Thanks again for your honesty.
The vivid images about the fear you describe make me smile.
Your fear is ok!!
If you doubt that, read: http://markedeternal.blogspot.nl/2014/0 ... ation.html
and that I will have to watch the others having a great party from afar...
Are you a filmmaker? Suddenly I'm interested in your age and the place you're living (I'm Dutch and 60).
You're doing fine.

If the fear is bearable, I have a set of questions about thinking (if not leave them quetsions be for now).
Could you answer them?
Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can you choose what to think?
Can you choose what not to think?
Is it the brain that is thinking the thoughts?

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?


Warm regards, Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Thu May 18, 2017 11:41 pm

Hello Petrus!
The only thing that can happen is you won't mind anymore a "me"-thought passes by.
This sentence alone brought a good portion of clarity. Since there was the the trying of surpressing/wishing away the I-thought while dealing with all others in a neutral way. So from here on I will not make a difference anymore between I-thoughts and all the other ones.
Wow.. Thank you for that!
Are you a filmmaker? Suddenly I'm interested in your age and the place you're living
No, I am not a filmmaker. In terms of creativity I make classical music. I am 28 and from Munich.


And thanks for the link and the questions! I'll look at them closely and answer when ready.
Best regards,
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Fri May 19, 2017 12:00 am

Ok Matthew, I will wait for your answers.
Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Fri May 19, 2017 12:06 am

I wished, I could contemplate and answer them right now.
But if I fail to sleep another night, I'm done for :)

See you soon!
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Fri May 19, 2017 12:26 am

Relax, everything is out of control already.

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Sat May 20, 2017 11:26 am

Hello Petrus!
Relax, everything is out of control already.
Thanks a lot for this advice!
Where do thoughts come from?
Thoughts come from nowhere.
Where are they going?
They are going nowhere. They are not going anywhere.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
It seems that when attention is brought to a thought, its way of appearing is modified. But no. 'I' cannot stop a thought in the middle. Since 'I' is itself a thought and cannot do anything by itself.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No. There can no 'I' be found that generates thoughts. The 'I' is attached to thoughts and sometimes it still feels like the 'I' is primary, or prior to thoughts. But no, fundamentally there can no 'I' be found that generates them.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
The thinker of the thought appears in experience as a thought combined with a set of bodily sensation. There are coarse sensations appearing like a contraction, a burning in the heart region and also subtle sensations in the face, mostly around the mouth and the eyes. This is what can be found. But the thinker itself cannot be found.
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, by now this is 100% certain here. Although in experience it is only 70% clear.
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
No, there is no 'I' that controls thoughts. Some thoughts appear more, some less voluntarily. That 'I' cannot make quite sense of.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, 'I' cannot choose not to have painful or negative thoughts. They simply appear in the same way as joyful or positive thoughts.
Can you choose what to think?
Can you choose what not to think?
'I' definitely cannot choose what not to think. When 'I' choose to bring up a picture of a cat and try to look for that chooser, there is nothing to be found than more thoughts about a chooser that continue to go in circles.
Is it the brain that is thinking the thoughts?
The 'brain' is a word, a thought. A thought cannot think other thoughts. It can be attached to, or point to it. But no, the brain is not thinking the thoughts.
Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
I do not think my thoghts. Thoughts do not think me. Thoughts appear as 'me'.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No, it is not possible to prevent a thought from appearing.
Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?
By now it is certain that this is not possible.

Thank you for your guidance, your patience and your kindness!
Yours,
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.

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Petrus
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Petrus » Sun May 21, 2017 8:43 am

Hi Matthew,
It seems that when attention is brought to a thought
Is there someone controlling this attention?
The 'I' is attached to thoughts
Is the "I" something different than the others thought?
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, by now this is 100% certain here. Although in experience it is only 70% clear.
What is this difference of 30% with experience?
Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?
By now it is certain that this is not possible.
You write "by now". Did something change here?

Warm regards, Petrus

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Matthew
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Re: Lost again, striving again

Postby Matthew » Sun May 21, 2017 11:53 am

Hello Petrus!
It seems that when attention is brought to a thought
Is there someone controlling this attention?
This is the sticky one.
Although I know, that there is no one doing anything including controlling and directing attention, there is still a very subtle 'feeling' of that process being somewhat voluntary. This is the most intimate thing there is to life and the 'feeling' of "this is mine" still sticks somehow. A little.
I guess there is some more sinking in needed to happen.
The 'I' is attached to thoughts
Is the "I" something different than the others thought?
The "I" is only different to other thoughts in that regard, that it triggers very certain bodily tactile sensations and that there seems to be no other thought that can lead to (refers to) that many more thoughts.
In that regard, the I-thought is somewhat "special".
But in reality, the thought "I" by itself is no different to other thoughts.
Could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, by now this is 100% certain here. Although in experience it is only 70% clear.
What is this difference of 30% with experience?
That is a good one!
100% certainty means, that there is no one left to believe in the thoughts of doubt that are coming up regularly.
Before there was some belief in the doubts like "this is all superstition", "you're fooling yourself" and even fear that more doubts could come up, which is actually crazy. But now since thoughts of doubt are treated like any other thought, there is no danger anymore of falling from certainty.
70% clear.
There is nothing in me but emptiness, total blankness. When I look inside me, there is nothing, no thing left.
It is astonishing how quickly that happend, but has there even happend anything anyway? Was "this" ever not here?
The answer is No! I can recall any moment in my life and I see only emptiness and thoughts about a "me" that happend to be experienced. I can not express this discovery with any other word than amazing. And it is also good to be able to use the word "I" again without feeling awkward :)
However, this nothingness seems to have certain qualities to it. 70% of "this" are experienced as clarity, as spaciousness, as freedom. The other 30% of "this" are experienced as a kind of dull blankness.
Do you know, what I mean?
Is it possible to prevent the thought "I" from appearing?
By now it is certain that this is not possible.
You write "by now". Did something change here?
In the beginning my false assumption was that I could cause the thought "I" to be vanished from the page of time.
That I could just experience every thought without an I-thought attached to it.
What has changed here is the experience, that it is not possible to surpress / not to have ANY thought, so also the I-thought. I adapted your kind advice and am now fine with an I-thought coming up, just like any other.

I hope you're having a great day!
Sincerely yours,
Matthew
First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.


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