Liberation

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Smarambas
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Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Wed May 10, 2017 12:52 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That we share the same essence, we are part of being in the same amount.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have a lot of confusion. I tried different disciplines, read a lot of books (Diamond sutra, Eckhart Tolle's, Antroposophy), I think I'm close. But I'm still missing something and I would like to know if what I'm doing is right.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I don't want to suffer anymore. I want to get liberation. See the truth how it really is. And hopefully, once I completely grasped that part, help others to free themselves. Also I think I'm quite lazy so forcing myself to do something day by day will help me get to my goal.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I don't know how to categorize them, but I did a lot of Theta healing, Reiki, meditation, got to day 300 of A course in miracles. At the moment I'm trying to focus in the moment using the exercises told by Eckhart Tolle.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Wed May 17, 2017 6:58 pm

I see that people that posted after me got lucky earlier and got picked for starting this journey, so just in case I'm bumping my thread a bit, because my motivation from 11 got to at least 20 now!

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 19, 2017 8:34 am

Hello Smarambas,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jon .

I see that you answered a thread by Xain on may 11th? Am I correct in thinking that you decided to wait for a guide to answer your thread here, on LU Forum, and that you still want one? But please let me know if you have an arrangement with Xain for him to guide you? Assuming that you do still need a guide, I would be very happy to help.

Please let me know if you would like to proceed?

Warm regards,

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Fri May 19, 2017 8:43 am

Hello Jon, nice to meet you,

No, I didn't have any previous arrangements, I was just asking for some clarifications! So I'm free and happy to start my journey with you. I'm ready.

Thanks,
F

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 19, 2017 9:53 am

Hi Smarambas,

Great! So let's begin.

By the way, would you like me to call you by this name or another one?

You may already know but what we do here is have a conversation, the purpose of which is for you to look and see that there is no self. As guide I will present pointers in the form of questions and it will be for you to look at your experience to find out what is true or not. It will be your realisation and your inquiry.

Please set aside all readings of spiritual, self-help or non-dual literature and videos or DVDs for the duration of our chat?
Afterwords you are welcome to do as you please but reference to different teachers or philosophical positions can create confusions whilst we attempt to work together here.

Please post at least once a day. This helps us to achieve the necessary rythm and focus. Please let me know if for some reason you can't manage this at some stage? I will do likewise.

Is that OK?
I don't want to suffer anymore.
This expectation may not be met by seeing that there is no self, though suffering can sometimes be reduced. It cannot be predicted how liberation will be experienced. I understand why anyone might wish not to suffer any more. All I can say is that we will be moving in the right direction. But please don't measure the 'success' or 'failure' of this conversation by its efficacy at removing suffering. Do you see why such an expectation could result in failing to notice something subtle, of great beauty, that may not appear to have anything at all to do with 'suffering' or 'not suffering'?

If your gaze is fixed on an 'end to suffering', or any other notion of how liberation must seem, that is likely to stand in the way.
And hopefully, once I completely grasped that part, help others to free themselves.
That's a lovely thought.
At the moment I'm trying to focus in the moment using the exercises told by Eckhart Tolle.
Please don't refer to any spiritual teachers at the moment. If you have a meditation pracice it is fine to continue with that.

Now, please consider this: What is your currently understanding of what 'you' are?

Warm regards,

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Fri May 19, 2017 10:08 am

Hi Jon,

It's okay to call me F or anything, is not that important. I suppose it's just customs :).
Thank you for your kind reply. I understand what you mean by expectations and at the time I couldn't explain myself better. What I meant was end the suffering from searching, not the physical pain or psychological pain. From what I understood liberation will help me see things for what they really are, not changing their existence. So pain will be pain, but it will be seen as it is really, am I right?

It's fine for me to interrupt anything related to spiritual readings and teaching. My reference to the spiritual teacher was just to explain what I've been doing so far. I will indeed post at least once a day.

My current understanding of what am I is confused. I have knowledge related to what I read and some experiences that I have.
If the only thing that count is experience, then lately I'm feeling like sometimes my body is moving by itself, like I'm just a passenger, but as soon as I think about it I lose that focus and get too excited. So I would say, I know the concept of not being the body but I don't understand it. I don't feel it completely.

If you think that sometimes I'm not clear in my explanation is because english is not my first language. I will do my best.

Thank you for your help and your kindness, it's more than I expected. I should really stop having expectations.
F

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 19, 2017 6:05 pm

Hi F,
Thank you for your kind reply. I understand what you mean by expectations and at the time I couldn't explain myself better. What I meant was end the suffering from searching, not the physical pain or psychological pain. From what I understood liberation will help me see things for what they really are, not changing their existence. So pain will be pain, but it will be seen as it is really, am I right?
Yes you are.
It's fine for me to interrupt anything related to spiritual readings and teaching. My reference to the spiritual teacher was just to explain what I've been doing so far. I will indeed post at least once a day.
Great. These things will help. Thank you.
My current understanding of what am I is confused. I have knowledge related to what I read and some experiences that I have.
If the only thing that count is experience, then lately I'm feeling like sometimes my body is moving by itself, like I'm just a passenger, but as soon as I think about it I lose that focus and get too excited. So I would say, I know the concept of not being the body but I don't understand it. I don't feel it completely.
That is a really helpful answer.

Yes, we are looking, throughout this inquiry at actual experience. Whatever may be found to be happening at the current moment, rather than thinking or speculating about what once happened, will happen or might happen.

Let's start by tackling the body thing directly. Take seeing. Conventionally it is said that 'I see', with the idea being that 'eyes' that are 'the body' are doing the seeing. So try the following exercise, in quite a relaxed way. It doesn't take much effort or focus. You can try it a few times to see what you find:

So, right here and now, the words on this screen are being seen. What are they being seen by? Is it 'eyes' that are 'the body' that is 'me' that is 'doing seeing'? What is the actual experience right in the moment? Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing'? Or is there just seeing happening?

Is there an experience of a self seeing? Is there an experience of body seeing? What is the actual experience really like?
If you think that sometimes I'm not clear in my explanation is because english is not my first language. I will do my best.

Thank you for your help and your kindness, it's more than I expected. I should really stop having expectations.
You are very welcome. Your English seems perfect.


Thank you,

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Fri May 19, 2017 6:44 pm

Hi Jon,

I tried it a bit. My current sensation would be that the seeing happens passively. Basically the eyes receive the images from the outside. I can't really decide to not see, unless I close my eyes. And even so technically the eyes are getting the image of the inside of the palpebra. Probably the only active part is turning the eyes to focus on something different.

At the question is there a self seeing I don't know how to answer... I would say that there is something inside the body that interprets what the body is seeing.

It's weird to put things like that, I never thought about it!
Thanks,
F

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Fri May 19, 2017 11:14 pm

Hi F,
I tried it a bit. My current sensation would be that the seeing happens passively.
Now, is that really the immediate sensation of seeing, or a kind of theory that attempts to explain how seeing happens? There is a difference.
Basically the eyes receive the images from the outside....And even so technically the eyes are getting the image of the inside of the palpebra.
Again, a theory about how seeing is supposed to happen. But is there any direct experience of the inside of the palpebra when seeing the words on this screen?

Is there a direct experience of 'eyes receiving images'?

Would you say that in seeing, without speculation as to how it happens, there is really only the experience of seeing? Take a look at the experience.

Don't be put off by my statements. It might take a few goes to notice what is going on.

By the way, do you know about the Quote function? There is a button at the top of the editing window marked 'Quote' and using it enables you to paste a section of copied text between [Quote} markers, as I have done. The text then shows an orange background.

best wishes,

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Sat May 20, 2017 12:18 am

Hi Jon,
By the way, do you know about the Quote function?
Found it!
Is there a direct experience of 'eyes receiving images'?

Would you say that in seeing, without speculation as to how it happens, there is really only the experience of seeing? Take a look at the experience.
I don't know if I understand what you mean by direct experience. Can I say for sure how the eyes work and how to see? No. I'm slightly confused for the second part, I don't know if there is really only the experience of seeing. Could you try to rephrase the concept please? Sorry, I'm trying my best.

I tried another experiment. I think I have issues with the concept of seeing for some reason, so I tried with touching. If I touch my couch, I can say that I'm experiencing something that is called touching, but I can't experience what is touching what. Is this what you meant? Following that logic, I can't say anything about my eyes, I can only say that seeing is happening.

Please be patient, it takes me some time to warm up.

F

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Sat May 20, 2017 9:19 am

Hello F,

Well done for finding 'Quote'.
I don't know if I understand what you mean by direct experience. Can I say for sure how the eyes work and how to see? No. I'm slightly confused for the second part, I don't know if there is really only the experience of seeing. Could you try to rephrase the concept please? Sorry, I'm trying my best.
That is OK. We have hardly started and I probably need to be a little more specific about what I'm asking you to try.

By direct experience, and this is rather important, I mean the actual sensation of, seeing, hearing, touch, smell or taste. If you touch your face with your hand right now there is a sensation experienced. It is important also to notice such sensations as they actually happen and not as they may be thought about later on.So Direct Experience is also Immediate experience. If I ask you to explore any sensation you should always look at the experience as it is happening right here and now. Does that clarify?

We will leave seeing to one side for the moment and return to it later.
I tried another experiment. I think I have issues with the concept of seeing for some reason, so I tried with touching. If I touch my couch, I can say that I'm experiencing something that is called touching, but I can't experience what is touching what. Is this what you meant? Following that logic, I can't say anything about my eyes, I can only say that seeing is happening.
Touch is a good one too and will work nicely. Become aware right now of the felt sensation, the immediate experience of body against chair. I'm guessing that you are sitting down? With eyes closed, notice the sensation, which may feel like pressure or perhaps warmth?

Now, looking directly at this experience and forgetting any learned explanations about what is supposed to be going on, is 'a body' found, 'experiencing sensation'?

Look closely now, at this, only at the actual experience. In this immediate sensation, is there anything that seems to be experiencing experience? Is there an experiencer or just the experience?


Thank you,

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Sat May 20, 2017 10:19 am

Hi Jon,
So Direct Experience is also Immediate experience. If I ask you to explore any sensation you should always look at the experience as it is happening right here and now. Does that clarify?
Absolutely! Much clearer now.
Now, looking directly at this experience and forgetting any learned explanations about what is supposed to be going on, is 'a body' found, 'experiencing sensation'?
No, if I close my eyes and focus on what I'm feeling I can only feel pressure, warmth, some muscolar ache... But I can't find a body, there is only the experience of what is happening. Only if I start thinking about it, so losing focus from the actual experience, my brain tells me that's your arm, that's your leg, etc. But I will say that when I start thinking I'm distracted by thinking and I'm not dealing with the experience anymore.
Look closely now, at this, only at the actual experience. In this immediate sensation, is there anything that seems to be experiencing experience? Is there an experiencer or just the experience?
I feel like I'm watching the experience happening from my head. It's a bit hard to explain. Now I have the sensation of my eyes closed focusing on experience, and I can feel that there is no body. But I feel like who is experiencing that is in my "head".

Thank you!
F

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Sat May 20, 2017 10:36 am

Right quick update: I was touching my teeth with my tongue without thinking, was almost a tic. For a millisecond, probably less, there was just the sensation, the experience. Immediately after the rush of thought telling me "that sensation is your tongue pushing on your front teeth". But in that millisecond there was no tongue or teeth, just the tactile sensation.

Thanks,
F

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JonathanR
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Re: Liberation

Postby JonathanR » Sat May 20, 2017 6:21 pm

Hi F,

Right, you have been doing well. This is what is wanted, looking at whatever the actual experience of sensation is at any given moment rather than what thoughts may 'say' about it.
Right quick update: I was touching my teeth with my tongue without thinking, was almost a tic. For a millisecond, probably less, there was just the sensation, the experience. Immediately after the rush of thought telling me "that sensation is your tongue pushing on your front teeth". But in that millisecond there was no tongue or teeth, just the tactile sensation
Very interesting. Good. It is this possibility of noticing actual sensations in the moment as distinct from what thoughts may 'say' about the experience that we want. Over the next 24 hours see if is possible to notice this felt presence of immediate experience via sensations. Also notice how thoughts also appear, as you mention, often quite quickly, to pass comments or narrate about the experience.

By all means, continue with the sense of touch, since it seems to be working. But another sense worth exploring is hearing. try the following:

Sit quietly where you will not be disturbed for a while. Best to do this with your eyes closed.
After a few moments, become aware of whatever is heard. This could be very quiet, breathing, the distant hum of the fridge, for example. It could be louder, voices in an adjacent room, traffic outside or birds tweeting. Whatever sounds are happening, allow them all to be noticed in the moment.

Now, is there the experience of 'ears hearing' or is it more that there is just whatever is heard? Is there an experience primarily of 'ears hearing' or 'me hearing', followed by the experience of what is heard, or is hearing happening directly?

let me know how it goes.

Thank you

Jon

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Smarambas
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Re: Liberation

Postby Smarambas » Sat May 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Hi Jon,
Also notice how thoughts also appear, as you mention, often quite quickly, to pass comments or narrate about the experience.
I was playing exactly in that direction. My current problem is trying to control the flux of thoughts. I can't stop them to explore the sensation better. It looks like my brain strives to find a justification for everything, like what is touching what, what type of sensation is that, I almost always start to see in my mind my hand touching something. It's okay for me to keep doing this for the next 24h, but should I block the thoughts or just passively try to notice what happens?
Now, is there the experience of 'ears hearing' or is it more that there is just whatever is heard? Is there an experience primarily of 'ears hearing' or 'me hearing', followed by the experience of what is heard, or is hearing happening directly?
I already tried this, being curios I tried every sense apart from seeing. First thing that happens is the sound, then my brain tries to find the origin of the sound and connect it to what could have caused that sound.

It's a bit like the brain couldn't bear to experience something without trying to modify or interpret it in its own way. That is a bit frustrating. Any advice on how to stop that?

Thanks,
F


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