I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

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sadhaka
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I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:33 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That there is no separate "I". The "I" that one experiences is an illusion.

What are you looking for at LU?
I understand the notion of no self theoretically but do not have practical experience of this. I am looking for this experience. I am looking for a community and a guide that can break through this frustrating veil for me.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
A focused conversation to nail down the fundamental illusion. I hope for the conversation to lead to a direct experience of the no-self -- self-contradictory as that idea seems. I would also love to have a conversation with a guide who has had that experience themselves. So far, it seems like most people talk in conundrums just to hide their own lack of first-hand experience.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been seeking for about 20 years but do not have any concrete "spiritual experience" to speak of. I have lots of concepts in my head but nothing that I have direct experience of.

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

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:12 pm

Hello Sadhaka,

I've read your and would love to work with you

Do read, if you haven't already, all the guidelines and disclaimers on the gate and check out the 'quote' method. Let me know if you have any problems.

I will ask questions and ask you to do various exercises and I hope you will answer from your direct and actual experience as honestly as you can. This is the key to it. From your introduction it is clear that you want to see and to 'know' so I trust you understand the importance of not digressing into abstractions and theory.

Please let me know if this is all ok with you.

Warmly,

Michael

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:17 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks a lot for offering to guide me. I really appreciate it and am very grateful. I am tired of fooling myself with abstractions and will answer from my direct experience as honestly as I can.

I read the FAQs. Are there any other guidelines? Also, I did not see the "quote" method anywhere. Do you mean the Quotes App?

Thanks once again,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:33 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

Great that you have read the FAO’s as it covers what Liberation Unleashed is not. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Just let me know that you have read the disclaimer and then we can start. Looking forward to getting underway.

Warmly,

MichaelD

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:59 am

Hi Michael,
Just let me know that you have read the disclaimer and then we can start. Looking forward to getting underway
I have read the disclaimer and am completely fine with it. I am looking forward to start!

Thanks,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:11 pm

Hi Sadhana,

You will remember that at the beginning of our conversation I stated that the key to this process was looking directly at your experience, noticing, (avoiding intellectualization) and reporting honestly.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
And
Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

The aim is so that you begin looking with a sense of open curiosity free from preconceptions of any kind.

Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days, out of consideration, let’s notify each other accordingly. That way we can create a continuity and momentum.

Enjoy the process.

Warmly.

Michael

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:43 am

Hi Michael,

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
I am writing a bit more than you asked in the interests of complete honesty. My expectations are at two levels:

1) At the shallow level I expect what is usually expected of enlightenment experiences -- something mind blowing :-) At least, something to make up for the years of searching :-) I do know intellectually that this is not necessary (or perhaps even desirable) but I do desire it at some level, so I wished to be honest.

2) At my core, however, I desire "clarity". I am not sure how else I can put it. I feel as if I am trying to understand some joke which I know is funny but I can't quite laugh spontaneously. So, I am seeking a spontaneous, palpably felt (rather than intellectually understood), clarity on the nature of who I am.

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.
This is a deep question. Thanks for raising it. There are two fears as far as I can see.

1. I have a guru/mentor whom I deeply admire. I feel that reaching an "enlightenment experience" independent of them would be betrayal to them. This is despite the fact that there is no formal guru/disciple relationship and the fact that they never asked me to stick to their teaching.

2. I have another fear of the current process which is somewhat on the flip side of my desire. I understand that the clarity I seek might not be accompanied by the bells and whistles that I sometimes want at a shallow level. However, I fear that absent of that, I will just get tired of the process and convince myself that I understand who I am, even though all I have gained is further intellectual understanding. In short, my fear is that I will fool myself that intellectual understanding is the clarity I seek.

Thanks,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:19 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

Thank you for writing such an honest and detailed answer.

To respond to your expectations it is natural for many people to want a mind blowing enlightenment experience. This expectation is partly rooted in exaggerated historical awakening accounts and perhaps within our own wishes, particularly if we have been seeking for a long time.

The reality is that seeing no ‘fixed’ separate self varies in its initial impact ranging from a subtle shift to stars and rainbows. We cannot predict what will occur but need to be mindful that it may be subtle. In whatever way it occurs the effects or consequences are still likely to be freeing and far–reaching.

Your desire for clarity though is exactly what is required :)

The cosmic joke of no-one passing through no-gate is one that hopefully you will get during the course of our conversation!

With regard to your relationship with your guru there are a couple of points I can make but I am sure you will already have considered them:

Firstly, there is no act of betrayal if there is no ‘formal’ relationship as you are not bound to follow their teachings only.
Secondly, LU is not offering teachings. My role as your guide is to simply give you pointers that help you explore your experience of (no)self. It would be unlikely that I will ask you to do anything that contradicts your Guru’s teaching but if I do we can consider that at the time.

Thirdly, perhaps you could check and ask for your Guru’s blessing?

Lastly, I cannot say whether you will tire of the process or not. Personally I found the entire exploration really fascinating and become more and more engrossed in it until the shift from intellectual understanding to experience was made. Hopefully you will too! 

Thanks again for applying yourself and giving great answers. Please consider my responses and get back to me with you you feel and we will take it from there.

Warm thoughts,

Michael

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:18 pm

Hi Michael,

We cannot predict what will occur but need to be mindful that it may be subtle. In whatever way it occurs the effects or consequences are still likely to be freeing and far–reaching.
This is good to know. This leads to a question, I did have a couple of shifts in the past while reading a couple of books and during reflection. Both these were freeing so how would I know if I am "there" yet or not?
Your desire for clarity though is exactly what is required :)

The cosmic joke of no-one passing through no-gate is one that hopefully you will get during the course of our conversation!
Thanks. I hope so too!
Firstly, there is no act of betrayal if there is no ‘formal’ relationship as you are not bound to follow their teachings only.
Secondly, LU is not offering teachings. My role as your guide is to simply give you pointers that help you explore your experience of (no)self. It would be unlikely that I will ask you to do anything that contradicts your Guru’s teaching but if I do we can consider that at the time.
I completely agree with what you have written here but there is some reticence which I am not able to place my finger on.
As far as asking the guru goes, they are not formally my guru, which is what makes the whole fear so silly :-) However, the good thing is, every since I got it off my chest, the fear has decreased significantly.
Lastly, I cannot say whether you will tire of the process or not. Personally I found the entire exploration really fascinating and become more and more engrossed in it until the shift from intellectual understanding to experience was made. Hopefully you will too! 
I am certain I will enjoy the process! Something occurred to me on reading what you wrote. Would it be better if I treated this as an exploration rather than as a final attempt to somehow reach "there"? It would certain be more fun if I just treated as an exploration.
Thanks again for applying yourself and giving great answers. Please consider my responses and get back to me with you you feel and we will take it from there.
Thanks for your generous gift of time and attention. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Thanks,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:27 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

Thanks for answering fully.

You will know if you have made the shift as knowing is what characterizes it. There is also a quality of being beyond doubt, combined with irreversibility.

Glad to hear that your concern in relation to betraying your Guru has eased.

I don't really want to try tell you how to approach this journey but if a sense of exploration resonates for you, and you feel that such an approach will be enjoyable, then lets go for a ride!

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth just mentioning what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Have fun.

Michael

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:13 pm

Hi Michael,

A minor crisis came up at work and I will not be able to write until Monday. I thought I would let you know. I will write on Monday after having finished the exercise.

Thanks again for you kindness,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:21 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

Good luck with work crisis. Thanks for letting me know. Respond when you can.

Warmly.

Michael

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:47 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

How are you? As long breaks do not serve our purpose I am wondering if anything has arisen that needs to be addressed? Please let me know how you are doing and if you wish to continue. Many thanks.

Warmly,

Kevin

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sadhaka
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby sadhaka » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:11 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

How are you? As long breaks do not serve our purpose I am wondering if anything has arisen that needs to be addressed? Please let me know how you are doing and if you wish to continue. Many thanks.

Warmly,

Kevin
Hello Michael,

My apologies. Life intervened.

I was about to login to let you know that I was unable to send in my response yesterday since my spouse has taken ill. This, combined with the work crisis (and kids!) ensured I could not even send the courtesy message. Please accept my apologies. I am really appreciative of your time and attention and will not be disrespectful of that. Should the life crisis (minor as it is) look like it will not let me give my attention to this conversation, I promise to step out. Please give me just one more day. I shall write back by then.

With apologies,
sadhaka

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MichaelD
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Re: I "get" no-self but have no experience of it

Postby MichaelD » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:02 pm

Hi Sadhaka,

I am glad you have responded. I am sorry to learn of your further difficulty but if it helps at all I can share with you that I also have a demanding job, as well as a very ill mother and two teenage children so I know that life can be quite challenging at times!

Please don't let this conversation add to any sense of pressure that you may feel so feel free to wait until the crisis is over and then try the exercise previously set. So if it is difficult to re find in our thread here it is again.

All I would like you to do is sit quietly for a few moments and then write to me describing your direct experience (rather than ideas about it) and we will take it from there.

I hope your spouse feels better soon.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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