Still seeking

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noPurpose
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Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:57 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That what I identify as, the "me" is not real, but a collection of memories and thoughts and sensations.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for an end to seeking. I have been trying to "fix" myself since I was a child, since I felt that there must be something very wrong with me(according to parents, teachers, etc). Moving into adulthood, just more of the same. Other people seem happy, why am I not?

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Assistance from someone that understands where I am, and can possibly assist me in seeing the errors of my beliefs and thoughts. I have done a lot of self-help type things, and have had moments, even days or weeks of what I would call happiness. But of course feelings do not last.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
welp. this is long. raised Lutheran, became agnostic in my teens. Looked for meaning in life through Martial arts for awhile. After marriage and children, headed back to religion, but this time I was serious. Read the Bible daily for years. Finally frustrated to failure point, I sought out a quick fix with Holosync meditation. After 3 years and some severe depression, found a few other things that worked a bit bettor for me. Sedona method, The Work, brainwave entrainment, etc. Read countless books on non-duality, paid for many online workshops and attended a few live. Self inquiry and releasing seem to help calm me, but after all these years, I am still looking for answers.

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

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:29 pm

noPurpose,

Hello, how are you? Is it ok for me to call you noPurpose or do you prefer another name?

My name is Ben and I'd like to be your guide.

This won't be a standard dialogue as such, it'll be me asking questions and giving you exercises for you to look at your experience in a certain way so you can see through the illusion of separation.

I relate to your story about your sense of always wanting to fix yourself. I went on a desperate search my entire life through self-help and spirituality, motivated by this same sense of being "broken", until I found the book Gateless Gatecrashers written by the creators of this site, and then I saw through the initial illusion and was able to eventually let go of the seeking.

This isn't like any other self help you may have done, we're not trying to understand thoughts or beliefs and we're not trying to change or interpret anything. In fact, the more you can let go of any pre-held beliefs about what this is or about life the smoother this will be, as they can hold you back. Basically my job is to constantly remind you to ignore the CONTENT of thoughts and simply LOOK at your present experience. But we'll get into that more as we progress.

I can usually reply once per day during weekdays and sometimes more on the weekends.

So if you're happy with this and would like to continue let me know and we can get started.

Talk soon

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:48 pm

Thanks Ben,
My name is Mark. Or, that is the name people claiming to be my parents called me. I think they really were my parents, but I have no memory of begin born, so..leap of faith.

Just got the Gateless GateCrashers book, and have read a couple chapters. Things are making sense, but no real shift or anything. I have read plenty of books, and am looking for the experiential knowing, I guess. if that is a thing.

Thanks for your offer to assist, Ben. I truly appreciate it.

Mark

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:17 am

Hi Mark

Hahaha...

Nice to meet you!

I sense the urgency coming from you, I think you'll be fine. Urgency and intensity is what pushed me over in the end. I'll stick with you until you get it anyway.

And don't worry, it's experiential and unmistakable when it happens.

Also befor we start, one last point: I'm not here to convince you of anything, everything I point to must be confirmed and checked in your own direct, present experience.

Let's start with an exercise.

Have a look at this image of a tree below. Notice what types of thoughts come up about the image: "I can see a tree", or "I'm looking at a tree", maybe simply just "Tree", or maybe memories of experiences you've had with trees.

Image

Now look again at the image and relax all labels and stories about the image. What are you actually experiencing once all labels and stories are gone? It's simply just colour.

Actual Experience is the raw sensory data of experience that exists when all thought labels are removed. Actual Experience comes in the form of colour, sensation, sound, smell, taste and thought.

Looking at the world without any labels and all you see is colours. The labels create separation and boundaries. It's the same with all your senses.

Thought itself is an actual experience because, of course, thought actually exists. However the labels and stories that make up the content of thought do not exist, they are imaginary. Can you see this?

Now, try this following exercise as many times as you can throughout the day. Label each experience as colour, sensation, sound, smell, taste or thought.

So as you become aware of:
Seeing a tree = colour
Feeling the wind on your face = sensation
Drinking coffee = taste
Hearing a barking dog = sound
The smell of food cooking = smell
Thinking about work = thought

Just break down all experience into these categories and let me know how you go and if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:21 am

ok,
Been doing this several times throughout the day.
I think a lot. that is what i notice first of all. I never stop thinking. Or, thoughts never stop.
labels for everything, but there is still an "I" that decides to get coffee, or mow the lawn, or write code, or whatever is happening. At least, I think I am doing it. is that just a thought?
i am getting that everything is sensations or thoughts, but I still feel I am doing it. if there is no doer, i am not sensing that.

Typing this, I hear the clicking of the keys and feel the sense of touch of fingers on keyboard, and seeing is happening so I can see what is typed (colour). But I still feel there is an I deciding to do this,.

Sorry for needing more clarification.
Mark

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:16 pm

Hi Mark

Thank you for being honest.

We're not examining thoughts, control or the "I" label at this point, we're just trying to see the raw sensory data of experience.

I wouldn't worry if thoughts keep coming up. Just keep relaxing as much as possible and removing all labels.

So when looking around the room right now, relaxing all labels and stories that the mind come up with in response to objects, can you see that the raw sensory data of your visual experience is simply "colour"?

There's no "tree", "lamp" or "chair", these are thought labels. It's just a flow of "colour".

Try your best with this and let me know how you go.

Talk soon

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:40 pm

Hey Ben,
Thanks.
I keep trying to make something happen now, since I wanna be done with the drama of seeking.

I am trying to stay on target, and stay with your current question. I am afraid I am a bit ADD and OCD about this and life in general.

Looking around the room, i see things that I have names and labels for. Without the names and labels, yes, i can see that there seems to be just colors. How do I know when one thing ends and another begins without the use of labels? just because something seems to be a different color does not automatically mean it is a different thing. so, yes. I can see color. I am having a hard time not sticking with the labels that pop up instantly. In other words, relaxing all labels and stories seems to be very difficult for me.

closing my eyes for a bit, and listening to what is heard, and feeling the different sensations, seems to help. But still, labels and thoughts pop up instantly.

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:00 am

Excellent Mark.

ADD and OCD are perfect gifts for this job, they will motivate and push you to SEE what we're pointing at. I was crazy with intent at the last moment before the seeing happened. Welcome these things!

You've seen this perfectly. Separation doesn't exist in reality, it's only thoughts that create labels, an ILLUSION that separation exists.

Don't worry about stopping thoughts, you've LOOKED and SEEN this for yourself. This is key here.

Okay try this.

Being up the "I" label. Or the thought of "me, my or mine". Whatever feels the best for you.

Now when the "I" label comes up, have a look at the sensations in the body.

Where is the "I" label FELT the most in the body?

There may be a heaviness, a warmth, a tingling, it could be anything. But most people generally have a place in the body where they FEEL the self most intensely.

Have a look and let me know what you find in your direct experience.

Good luck!

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:25 pm

Good Morning Ben,

I thought about this, eyes open and closed. The "me" or "I" sensation is strongest in the center of my upper chest area.
Very consistent with that. I basically did an internal body scan with my eyes closed, several times, and that area kept coming up.

Mark

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:27 pm

Perfect. Excellent looking Mark!

Now try to describe this "centre of the upper chest" sensation in as much detail as possible.

For example, use adjectives like heavy, soft, sharp, black, white, circular and anything else you can think of.

Also, try to pinpoint its location precisely, maybe even try pointing at it.

The more detail the better, just go for it!

Talk soon

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:38 pm

Hi Ben,
I am on the "struggle bus" with this one.
As soon as I think or feel that I have a handle on it( the "where is 'ME'" question), I cannot get a feeling for it.
I close my eyes, and feel that "I" exist, somewhere around the center of my upper chest area.
When I focus on that area, it's like the "me" moves just out of reach or out of focus.
Like a mirage, or maybe just in the peripheral vision, and I am not able to lock in on it.

I am at work now, so I will try this again later today. Last night I was feeling a bit frustrated, like a child that cannot reach a cookie on the counter-top.

Mark

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:21 am

Mark,

Your struggle and frustrations are excellent signs, keep going. Use them to push you. You are doing an excellent job, don't worry.

Keep looking. Clearly, thoughtlessly, with strong intent, and try to find the "I" sensation.

Maybe try this exercise:

Imagine someone is angry at you and pointing at you. Where do you FEEL them pointing to you the most? Or in other words, where do you feel the YOU they are pointing to the most in the body?

Try to describe to me the sensation or sensations in as much detail as you can.

Go for it!

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:19 pm

Hi Ben,
Today was good for this. Work was rough, so I actually got yelled at.
Great! I can look at the "me" that is being yelled at.

On top of the sensation in my upper chest, I did have a feeling of quite a lot of contraction behind my sinuses.
Maybe just stress, since once the drama had subsided, i checked again. Still feel that the "I" is in the upper-center of the chest. But it does not feel solid at the moment. It does feel more solid when the I is getting blamed for something or is feeling bad. Felt roundish, pliable yet solid. Now that I am an hour removed from work, it is harder to notice. There is still an "I" that i am identifying with, but I have trouble nailing down a location that I can point to or touch.

Mark

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Ben2
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Re: Still seeking

Postby Ben2 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:27 am

This excellent Mark, great looking.

So can you see there's two parts to this "I" feeling, there's the sensation and the thought.

So the thought of "I" labels the sensation in your upper chest as "I".

Have a look in your own experience and tell me if this is true for you. If you don't, be honest, it's important you're honest so I can see where you're at.

I look forward to hearing what you find.

Ben
"Truth is infinitely simple, delusion is infinitely complex."

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noPurpose
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Re: Still seeking

Postby noPurpose » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi Ben,
So can you see there's two parts to this "I" feeling, there's the sensation and the thought.
Yeah, I see this, then suddenly wonder, who the hell is looking/seeking for this?
kind of a "what the hell" moment. still trying to grasp that, and again. who is there to grasp anything?
if "I" am just a thought and sensation, that comes and goes, and is not real.. can a thought find anything? It just thinks.

There is still a strong sense of "Me", but when I look for it, it is not here. just a thought.
again, What the Hell?

sitting with this a lot today.
After yesterday, decided to take a Mental Health day, and relax.

Thanks

Mark


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