Knocking at the gate

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Delos333
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Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:22 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That we are not what we think we are, that the me is a mental construct and we are entranced by it.

What are you looking for at LU?
Looking for a guide who can direct me to finally discover what I am before/beyond this mental construct. Hoping to shift to directly experience that I am not that self I always believed and acted as if I was.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
That the guide may direct me where and how to look to see through the illusion of the separate sense of me-ness. To answer the questions as honestly and clearly as I am able to. To walk through the gate and get on with it.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
20 years ago read Ramana Maharshis books and resonated with the teaching. Started searching through more books teachers satsangs and a few retreats. Felt like I just couldn't get it though, i experienced some moments of beauty and peace but always ended up back at square 1 living life from the anxious uncomfortable sense of being a separate me, with all its stories and beliefs and fears etc. Years later went through the presence process many times and cleared away a lot of emotional baggage that I had been carrying around, experienced peace and no need to seek for escape routes anymore. These days I enjoy listening to Paul Heddermans talks online and there is still a yearning/knowing that there is something here I'm missing, something that's been overlooked but right here in plain sight.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?:
9

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:38 am

Delos, Welcome to the guiding process. What should I call you? is Delos ok?

I am happy to assist you in exploring the illusion of the ‘separate self’. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. Here is the link.

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

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

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

Some housekeeping guidelines:-
1. Post at least once a day or every second day. If you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. ANSWER ONLY FROM ACTUAL EXPERIENCE (AE - as abbreviated from here out) )(smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. The goal is not improvement.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that. In fact, if you do have a practice, this is a great place to start looking at AE as it is discussed here. Of course, you will find, the trick is, that it can be seen anywhere - and this is the point.

This exploration is based on questions and exercises. I will ask questions as a means of pointing, but the questions aren’t about finding something unknown. The questions refer to what is already actually known. And what is already known? Sound, smell, taste, thought, sensation and colour. So, questions are not answered through thinking/thoughts (theories) but by LOOKING. What is LOOKING?

‘LOOKING’ is just plain looking at what is here right now. It is moving from the conceptual to actual experience (AE). The term “Actual Experience” (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ without the thought stories. So, actual experience (AE) is image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought, at face value. What thought says ie, the content of thought is NOT experience. This is evidenced by the fact that you cannot taste the word 'sweet'. So, when looking at actual experience (AE), you are looking at raw experience WITHOUT what thought says ABOUT the raw experience.

To begin with, I would just like to know what your expectations are from having this exploration. So, in your own words could you please answer the 5 following questions:

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?
What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?

Please answer the questions highlighted in blue text individually, and remember to highlight the question being answered by using the quote function.

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:17 pm

Hello Abraxaz thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. You can call me delos. I have read through all the links you sent and I understand and am ready to go for it. Thank you for explaining about looking and actual experience and how to approach the questions.
To answer your first questions:
How will life change?

Things will become clear, clear seeing, instead of living through mental interpretation. There will be a sense of relief from trying to figure out and be in charge of Life. A sense of Peace through all the ups and downs of everyday Life.
How will you change?
I will smile and laugh more, not get so heavy, I will be Real, instead of a me that's just trying to figure out how to stay safe and protect itself.
What will be different?
Life won't be so complicated, a lot of energy will be freed up for playfulness and lightheartedness. I will be in the flow of Life.
What is missing?
A naturalness, as everything seems calculated and thought out most of the time.
What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?
Rest from the endless efforting to awaken from the mental me in the head.
Thank you again for your help. I really appreciate this.

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:41 am

This first set of questions was just to get a sense of expectation. These expectations can be a hinderance to seeing. Consider these responses to be thoughts about the future. Consider the possibility that it will not be like any of that. This will be a big first step in the right direction,

This is the second step. This is the first AE exercise I was given - work on it and see what you find. Let me know.


This first exercise is a very basic one that I start off with.
I do this to attempt to 'focus' you to answer from what can be FOUND (or possibly NOT found) rather than THINKING what the correct answer might be, or going to medical, scientific or spiritual beliefs.

We will begin with 'seeing' - Just that one sense on it's own.

Close your eyes.
With eyes closed, you will now experience 'blackness'. There may be other things you can find going on, sure. If you are looking at a bright light, there may be a red glow. There may be sparkly bits or cloudy flecks appearing and disappearing - It really doesn't matter about the specifics.
Just to make things simple, whatever you can see with eyes closed, I'm going to refer to it as 'black' or 'blackness' just for simplicity.

1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
3) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Person be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?

What do you find?

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Hi Abraxaz,
I am willing to set aside my ideas and expectations of what liberation is/will be like. When I look, they seem like a bunch of assumptions and hopes.
1) With eyes closed, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'blackness' as I mentioned?
Yes
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'blackness'?
No just blackness with occasional thoughts popping up.
3) Can what is witnessing the blackness be found?
No there is just seeing.
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Person be found that is witnessing the blackness? Or is there just 'blackness' to be found?
No it seems to be just blackness until thought kicks in attempting to find something, figure it out.

It felt calm, peaceful in the seeing,but when I thought it was me seeing things got tense and forced.

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:08 pm

I am willing to set aside my ideas and expectations of what liberation is/will be like. When I look, they seem like a bunch of assumptions and hopes.
Feel free to think about it however you would like - just keep the door open that it may not be what you think it is - so that when it happens you don't miss it by expecting it to be another way.
No it seems to be just blackness until thought kicks in attempting to find something, figure it out.

Lets keep with this seeing for the moment. Fist, you noticed a time when you were not thinking about seeing, but seeing was happening. Keep noticing these times - they will be helpful.

Let's move on to opening the eyes now.
Again, address this very simply - The 'Seeing' sense only for the moment.

With eyes open, a world of objects appears . . . a room . . . a computer screen etc
What you can specifically see isn't of interest here, and whatever it is I am simply going to refer to it as 'what can be seen'.
This might be a little more tricky, but give it some consideration.

1) With eyes open, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'what can be seen' as I mentioned?
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'what can be seen'?
3) Can what is witnessing 'what can be seen' be found?
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Delos be found that is witnessing 'what can be seen'? Or is there just simply 'what can be seen' to be found?

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:20 am

1) With eyes open, can you confirm that what is experienced is 'what can be seen' as I mentioned?
Yes
2) Is there anything else in 'seeing' other than 'what can be seen'?
No I can't find anything apart from all of what is seen.
3) Can what is witnessing 'what can be seen' be found?
I can't get beyond what is seen to find a witness.
4) Can a pair of eyes, an 'I' / 'me', a Delos be found that is witnessing 'what can be seen'? Or is there just simply 'what can be seen' to be found?
There are moments of seeing happening through the eyes rather than me seeing everything.

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:49 am

There are moments of seeing happening through the eyes rather than me seeing everything
Is this "what is seen" or a thought about seeing? Is this thought in any way different than the other thoughts you have when seeing? Or is it the same?

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:55 pm

Is this "what is seen" or a thought about seeing? Is this thought in any way different than the other thoughts you have when seeing? Or is it the same
It's all what is seen, the logical mind can't make sense of this and second guesses this and complicates everything. It's just another thought like all the others passing through.

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:19 am

just another thought like all the others passing through.
You will find that this is the key to seeing what is being pointed to.

You can repeat this exercise for each sense. Smell, taste, hearing and touch. Note how each sense is experienced. How it changes.

As you notice each one, start to see where each sense experience ends and begins (or if it has a start and a beginning at all). Most importantly notice how it changes.

Start to ask "what is tasting the tea? What is smelling the cooking? What is feeling cold? What is hearing the traffic outside?"

Let me know what you find.

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:51 pm

When I focus on the seeing hearing, touching etc., everything seems more alive,more relaxed. It was like having a break from the I's micromanaging which seems to suck the life out of experiences.
As you notice each one, start to see where each sense experience ends and begins (or if it has a start and a beginning at all)
.
Wasn't really sure about this question. The thought would come up "i'm" hearing, I'm seeing etc, then I would relax into just the hearing or seeing and everything felt lighter. Like there was no effort.
I have been asking "what is feeling the warm sun?", what is tasting etc, and there were moments of sinking into the experience rather than the commentary about it.
I'll keep experimenting with this and see what else happens.
When I asked if there was an I/me who is witnessing what is heard etc. I couldn't pinpoint it, there was a search for it, what was always just assumed to be there but I couldn't hold anything down to present as evidence. Not sure what to make of it, am I deluding myself? I'll keep looking.
Thank you

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:17 pm

. The thought would come up "i'm" hearing, I'm seeing etc, then I would relax into just the hearing or seeing and everything felt lighter. Like there was no effort.
I have been asking "what is feeling the warm sun?", what is tasting etc, and there were moments of sinking into the experience rather than the commentary about it.

The nice thing about AE is that it can be used to look at anything that happens in your experience. This includes thoughts.

Notice in the last thing you wrote how much of that revolved around thought. When you felt that you were relaxing without commentary, Who was relaxing? (just like who is tasting?) So this is a good time to look at thoughts and see them clearly.

It may seem obvious, but your thoughts are not reality. this is why, you can not eat thoughts about apples, or drink thoughts about water. This can be seen using AE.

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

- Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
- Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
- Where are they coming from and going to?
- Can you predict your next thought?
- Can you push away any thought?
- Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
- Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
- Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
- Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
- Is it possible to control any thoughts?
- Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?

- It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.


As an added bonus make a sheet and draw a line that divides that sheet in half. Label one half 'self' and the other side 'other' Sit down and start a timer for 5 minutes. every time you have a thought make a mark on the sheet. If that thought is about the self put a mark on the self side, if its about something else , mark the other side. If a thought about food occurs due to feeling hungry, mark that on the self side. Any thought that refers back to a self should go on the self side. (I'm bored, I'm tired, Is the door locked (my safety) that video was funny (i was amused) ) get it?

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:32 pm

- Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No, they seem to have a life of their own, just popping up randomly.
- Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No they just crop up and come unbidden.
- Where are they coming from and going to?
They seem to keep coming out of thin air then dissolving into nothing.
- Can you predict your next thought?
No
- Can you push away any thought?
No but I can put my attention on something else and abandon the thought.
- Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No but I can choose not to follow any negative thoughts.
- Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
No because once I see the thought it's already happened but I can choose not to follow it further.

-
Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No all types of thoughts roll through, good and bad.
- Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
I can choose to think about something beautiful, like a sunny beach, or I can think about what someone said the other day that made me mad. But mostly they are just arising and falling on their own.
- Is it possible to control any thoughts?
I can't control them but I can shift my attention away from them to something else.
- Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
If I stay in the present moment with what is happening I can feel what I am experiencing through this body rather than stuck in the head thinking. I can't prevent the I thought but if I stay with it the regular stream of thoughts seems to disperse.
look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence?
I always assumed one thought led to another but now it seems like a mish mash of randomness.

For the last exercise with the 2 columns, everything was about self. It's all about me and this brought up a lot of sadness.

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Abraxaz
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Abraxaz » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:52 pm

Take a look at the questions again. They are all about control of thoughts. In many ways, they are all the same questions. But sometimes you give answers that suggest control and other times your answers seem to indicate that there is no control. It probably can't be both ways. Look more closely and see which it is. The answer can be seen. And there is a correct answer.

For the last exercise with the 2 columns, everything was about self. It's all about me and this brought up a lot of sadness.
Look harder here. And every place that you feel bad or uncomfortable. Ask the same question. WHAT is feeling bad?

There is nothing wrong with seeing that there are thoughts about the self. This is to be expected. What else would you be thinking about?

Continue to look at the thoughts that are arising. We can refer to this as TA (thoughts arising) Write them down. Its been established that these thoughts will be about you so feel free to write it from the perspective. Fill a page. It won't be hard to do - as you may have already seen if you've been observing your thoughts.

After you are done go back and edit the writing so that the langue is different and removes the I from the action.

For example: I am hungry. becomes Hunger

Do this for the whole list. After you are done go back and see what has changed. Let me know what you see.

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Delos333
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Re: Knocking at the gate

Postby Delos333 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:40 am

s.
Look more closely and see which it is. The answer can be seen. And there is a correct answer.[/quote
I have no control over thoughts, they are constantly being generated regardless of what I do or don't do. I do have a question about picking and choosing thoughts, like if I'm planning a trip, I can think about how I'm going to get to my destination, what routes I will take, departure, arrival times etc., are these considered thoughts or is this just intelligence using the mind to navigate in the world?
There is nothing wrong with seeing that there are thoughts about the self. This is to be expected. What else would you be thinking about?
Yes it makes sense that a self would be "self-centered", so to speak. No need to label it as bad.

When I did the TA exercise, I saw that when I'm not claiming them as mine, I'm not making it personal and assigning meaning to everything. It just felt like an energy I was experiencing with no stories around it. And things didn't seem so heavy.

Just so you know I'll be away for a couple days and will be able to respond again by Thursday, thanks!


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