To see and live free

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Norinke
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To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:12 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand the no self in theory. That there is only consciousness experiencing. I read your book and Jed McKenna´s books and have no problem believing this. I followed the stories in your book and felt that some progress was happening but couldn´t get rid of self, it is still attached.

What are you looking for at LU?
Looking for help to finally see that "I am" and "self" is actual illusion. Not just understand it in theory and analytically in my head but really see it and feel it so that there is no turning back. To live free in the flow of life.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I hope that the guide can see where I am stuck and guide me to see through the illusion. I have a restless mind and I need some one to point out when I am drifting away from the questions. I am not afraid of honest and straightforward conversation and I want to be told if I drift to analytical thinking or avoid something.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Three years ago I heard first time of ego, read many spiritual books after that and did a lot of recognizing of the egoistic mind. I started to follow so called spiritual teacher who manipulated to deeper illusion and suffering. During 2 years time I meditated twice a day. Your book is the first one that I have seen that actually gives concrete advice to people.

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

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:55 am

Hello Norinke

How are you?

My name is Ben and I'd like to be your guide. Are you happy if I call you Norinke or is there another name you prefer?

This wont be a standard conversation, I'll be asking you questions and setting exercises that will assist you in seeing through the illusion of separation.

It's best if you can try to set aside everything you've learned for now, just during our conversation. Try to only communicate and look at what's HERE & NOW, verified in your own experience. I'm not trying to get you to submit to my way of thinking or anything like that, everything I say must be verified in your own direct experience. Any theories or thoughts about this subject will only get in the way of you LOOKING at how things really are.

I can usually reply once per day on weekdays and sometimes more on weekends. Try your best to message me at least once per day, just to maintain focus.

So let me know if you're happy with this and we can start with an exercise.

Talk soon,

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:51 pm

Hi Ben,

Thank you for your fast reply, I`m glad that you can be my guide. Feeling excited and slightly nervous to be honest.

I am happy with this set up and try my best to stay only in my own experience.

Thank you
Best
Nora (I prefer this but Norinke is fine too)

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Hi Nora

Great to meet you!

Excitement and nerves are perfect. Use these to motivate and push you to LOOK and see how things really are.

Let's get straight into it.

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 stories and memories of 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.

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.

This is essential to your entire journey, so try make this a habit as much as you can.

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.

Talk soon

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:09 am

Hi Ben

Great to meet you too!

When I first looked at the tree, thoughts that came up first was a tree, green, leafs, earth, life. Then came a memory of me looking at trees and how they bend in the wind and now when I write this I can almost hear again the sound of the wind and leafs.

Then I read the second part that its only a color and I was a bit shocked that I have never understood to look this way. So simple? Just green. Always when I have looked a tree I have tried to cut it even to smaller pieces of everything to be able to see it "properly" so to speak. There are millions of labels to everything in my mind! I can see that mind starts to create these stories around all things and objects.
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?
This is actually a new thing for me to understand, that thoughts are real. During my seeking I learned to ignore all thoughts so that they are all illusion, just trying to stop thinking especially so called negative ones, so how I see this now is that I have done a huge disservice to myself running away from them when not actually drowning to the thoughts and stories.

But I can see this, thoughts are real, they appear. Then comes the stories. I can see that these stories are not real, but it is easier to notice that when I am not attached to the story. When the story is about me, it can come very real and I start believing in it. Question that rose and would like to make sure I understand correctly: "what is the difference between a real thought and imaginary stories?" It is this actual raw experience? If I start adding anything more to the thought than the raw experience of color, smell, sensation, sound, taste then I am already creating imaginary stories? If this is so, comes questions like who is creating this imaginary stories and where does thoughts come from. Not sure if these are valid questions at all but these appeared.

I will practice this raw experience more today, I am so thankful you showed this to me and take the time to answer me.

Best Nora

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:35 pm

Hi Nora

This all sounds excellent!

Everything you've said is spot on. In terms of your questions, a lot of questions may start coming up, as we progress all answers will be revealed to you when you see them for yourself, so don't worry for now.

Remember, even a question is a story. Keep with the raw experience as best you can for now.

So try this. Bring up the "I" label. Having a look at only the sensations in the body, where do you FEEL the "I" label the most?

Or in other words, where in the body is the "I" thought labelling?

Some people report a heaviness somewhere, tension, maybe sharpness.

Have a slow and careful look, and let me know what comes up for you.

I look forward to hearing about it.

Good luck

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:19 pm

Hi Ben,

Ok just to check I understood clearly: All these questions I have asked myself millions of times such as "what should I do", "what do I want"," who am I" etc. are actually just stories?? This is pretty mind blowing! Thank you for pointing this out. Interesting to notice that even when you said that focus only to the raw experience I automatically excluded the questions out of it.

It seems that the "I" gets stuck in the throat and then moves to the heart. It also floats on the back of my head. It´s kind of a heavy feeling, pressure like. It does not stick to one place only, more like a flowing shadow I can´t really grasp?

Nora

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:46 am

That's exactly right. You can verify it for yourself even: the content of thought is imaginary, however thought itself exists. All that actually exists is the raw data: colour, sensation, thought, taste, smell. Can you find anything else that ACUALLY exists in your own experience?

Great looking Nora. So you've seen the "I" label is labelling some sensations in the body.

Try this for an experiment. Imagine someone standing in front of you and pointing at you, perhaps forcefully, even angrily. When they point and say the word "you", where does this point to exactly? Just focus on the sensations in the body for now. Try describe the sensation or sensations in as much detail as possible.

Let me know what comes up :)


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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:56 pm

What about movement? If a bird (label) is flying (label) is there still movement going on or is it just color showing in different spot? Otherwise I can not find anything other that you mentioned that would exists in the raw data.

When I is angrily pointed then the sensation happens in the upper stomach. It´s a heavy pressuring feeling, like there is a heavy rock, or as a sensation it feels like a beating pulse that is speeding up and gets heavier and tighter and its more difficult to breathe. At the same time this beating pulse is throbbing in the back of my head like a little hammer knocking. I am not sure if these descriptions make any sense? :)

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:37 pm

Hello Nora

Apologies for the late reply.

Regarding your question about movement, youll be able to answer questions like these yourself soon, just keep looking in the way I describe and it will all be revealed.

Okay great, that's excellent looking.

So let's break it down.

There are two aspects to the exerience of the "I", the thought of "I", and the sensations which you stated was a heavy feeling around the throught and back of the head, and sometimes im the stomach.

So in other words, the "self" is made up of a thought label and a sensation.

Check this in your own direct experience and let me know if I've missed anything.

Talk soon

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:21 pm

Hi Ben

No problem at all :)
So in other words, the "self" is made up of a thought label and a sensation.

Check this in your own direct experience and let me know if I've missed anythin
g.

Yes, I agree, the self is made up of a though of the "I" and sensations that follows the thoughts. Sensation seems to make the self more real since it does not stay only in thought but is strengthened by the bodily sensations?

Nora

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:29 am

That's excellent Nora, well seen.

So there's only two parts to the "self, the thought of "I, me or mine" and the sensations you located in the body.

So the combination of these two factors are required for you to experience what you experience as the "self".

Is this all clear?

Let's break each of these parts down individually.

Bring up the "I" thought. Just look at the thought like it's a painting on the wall. Try to remove and ignore all sensations that seem to appear with the thought, and look at the thought on its own. Thoughtlessly hold this thought in awareness and ask it some questions.

What's the thought made out of?
Where does it come from?
Can the thought of "I" alone actually do anything?
Can any thought do anything at all?

I look forward to hearing your findings!

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:41 pm

Hi Ben,
So there's only two parts to the "self, the thought of "I, me or mine" and the sensations you located in the body.
So the combination of these two factors are required for you to experience what you experience as the "self".
Yes I agree, these brings the experience of self. Then it feels like seeing the body is also what bring the experience of self.

What's the thought made out of?
When I thought "I" as a painting, I see an image of a body and face, a photo-shopped picture of how I look or how "I" want´s to see itself. Then there comes memories of me or thoughts of how I should be if I let the thoughts roll. Seems like the I is quite judgmental of itself. And this brings embarrassment of how attached I is to the body.

Where does it come from?
Most of the time thoughts just appear from nowhere or/and from a memory which I did not really choose. The memory just popped up also from nowhere. But then I feel like I can sometimes choose thoughts like I chose to think about I as a painting.

Can the thought of "I" alone actually do anything?
When I looked, I can not see that a plain thought of "I" could do anything. My mind first tried to tell me that sure it can, but I really can´t find anything it could do.

Can any thought do anything at all?
Plain thought can not do anything. It needs attachment to the thought, stories, memories that brings the suffering.

Nora

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Ben2
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Ben2 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:09 am

Hi Nora

Thanks for your honesty.

It's important we don't listen to stories as much as possible and just keep things very simple. You've mentioned a few stories in your last post, things like memories, judgement, embarrassment, control. Try your best to only deal with the Actual Experience as per the first exercise you did, the colour, sensation, taste, sound, and thought that you discovered was your raw experience of reality.
We can deal with the thought stories you mentioned a bit later. But for now, simplicity is vital.

So you've stated that the thought of "I" cannot do anything. A thought alone has no power, it's just a thought. That's right, well seen.

So let's looks at the other aspect of the self we mentioned before, the sensations.

Bring up the "I" thought and allow the sensations to arise as well.

Now try to ignore any thoughts that come up and focus on the specific sensations alone, you mentioned a heaviness in the chest and other sensations around that area and in the neck.

So looking at these sensations on their own, ask them a question.

Can a sensation actually do anything at all? Is it anything more than just a sensation?

Let me know how you go.

Talk soon

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

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Norinke
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Re: To see and live free

Postby Norinke » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:39 pm

Hi Ben,

Thank you for pointing out. Ok, keeping to the actual experience, when I look the sensations that I brings up, they are only sensations in body and these sensations by themselves can not do anything.

Nora


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