First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take the s

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shibumi-mind
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First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take the s

Postby shibumi-mind » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:25 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I have a glimpse of awareness and have even been told by my teacher that I have experienced something called Nyam, however my teacher has become terminally ill and is unable to continue instructing me. I heard of this group from Jackson Peterson who said that you all could help me "cut through" the ties of consciousness viewing life through the ego.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
"cut through" the ties of the consciousness viewing life through the ego, and progress into a more fuller being.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
I started zen 12 years ago while studying karate and although it helped lay the foundations, there was not in-depth understanding of the nature. Last year I began meditating with Headspace and was able to meditate consistently for a year. I increased the span to 1hr and have a basic understanding of Rigpa

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). :
10

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:13 pm

Hi shibumi-mind - do you want to be called like this?
Sorry to hear about your teacher.
My name is Sandra and i can be your guide, if that is ok with you.
Thank you for your introduction.

I would like to know what is your idea of awareness. You say:
I have a glimpse of awareness and have even been told by my teacher that I have experienced something called Nyam
Does this mean awareness is something that is hidden or that you're trying to achieve?

What is your main goal, the reason why you're doing inquiry and those practices?

Looking forward to your reply!

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:57 pm

Sandra,

First off, thank you for taking the time to help others like this. My name is Rick. You can call me by either as you wish.
Does this mean awareness is something that is hidden or that you're trying to achieve?
I view this as something that exists and just needs to be discovered. I've made inroads here but the link between the ego and this awareness is still there.
What is your main goal, the reason why you're doing inquiry and those practices?
I feel that by not having this illusion "self" will help me be more compassionate to those around me. I'm the parent of two teenagers at the moment. :-o My current practice 20'/day plus daily reminders (alarms, post-it notes) to be present has allowed me to increase my patience and compassion to a great degree, but I feel that the ego is still getting in the way too many times.

Hope this makes sense. This is so new to me and I'm very clumsy with many terms.

Thanks Again Sandra.

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:04 pm

Hi Rick,

Me: Does this mean awareness is something that is hidden or that you're trying to achieve?
You: I view this as something that exists and just needs to be discovered. I've made inroads here but the link between the ego and this awareness is still there.

Your talking about awareness like if it's something, a place, a destination, a goal. You're saying that there is a link between the ego and awareness, like if they're separated. Or things. And you're hoping to break this link to be... what? More present? And you're expecting that awareness will be something permanent when the ego disappears. Am I understanding well what you're saying?
I feel that by not having this illusion "self" will help me be more compassionate to those around me. I'm the parent of two teenagers at the moment. :-o My current practice 20'/day plus daily reminders (alarms, post-it notes) to be present has allowed me to increase my patience and compassion to a great degree, but I feel that the ego is still getting in the way too many times.
Ahah, I'm also the parent of two teenagers. Can you explain me how the ego gets in the way of that practice you're describing? What do you think the ego is?
Hope this makes sense. This is so new to me and I'm very clumsy with many terms.
Don't worry. There are no right or wrong answers here. And it is very likely that I'm also clumsy. English isn't my mother tongue.

Looking forward to your reply!

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:59 pm

Hello Sandra,

Thank you for the questions, they were thought provoking. I parsed your post as best I could. Let me know if I missed anything.

You1:
Your talking about awareness like if it's something, a place, a destination, a goal.
You're saying that there is a link between the ego and awareness, like if they're separated.

Me1:
You are correct, and that would be my gaucheness being present. ;) There is something that experiences emotions, thoughts, and for me, a fuzzy version of the ego yet it is not changed by them. Like images on a mirror. This is awareness. I think some call this Rigpa but I'm not sure.


You2:
And you're hoping to break this link to be... what? More present?

Me2:
Yes I have heard that by cutting through this link of the "ego" being me, I would have a better gauge at discriminating where my energies should be focused.


You3:
you're expecting that awareness will be something permanent when the ego disappears.

Me3:
My teacher's main saying was "Everything is impermanent". Although the awareness has always been there, and always will be, I would assume that residing in that knowledge may not be permanent and must be cultivated.


You4:
Can you explain me how the ego gets in the way of that practice you're describing?

Me4:
Since I think it exists, and it "is" me, then when it is challenged by others it defends itself. I can catch this on rare occasions, but not at a level consistent with someone who knows it is not really there.


You5:
What do you think the ego is?

Me5:
I understand the ego to be a construct, an illusion of the self. Put in another way, when inspected, the ego is just as impermanent as any thought or emotion.
It is also a vast library of stories that have accumulated over the decades to form my identity and it's related habits.
In practice, I find it difficult to identify that self(ego). I am able to identify thoughts and emotions as they arise and fade easily.

I think I need a method to identify this "ego construct" as it is very well camouflaged. Once identified, only vaguely now, I could catalog it and KNOW that it is as impermanent as any other thought or emotion.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again Thank You for your assistance in this. The only other language I am able to converse in is Spanish. I wish it was as good as your English.

Best Regards

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:18 pm

Hi Rick,

Thank you for your answers.
Thank you for the questions, they were thought provoking.
Yes, I've been asking you what you think, to have an idea of where you are regarding the no self gate.
Now I'm going to ask you to do something different. I'm going to ask you to look at your experience.
Look to what surrounds you, here and now.

Check if this is true:
There isn't a you present in your experience.
Notice how a you can't be seen, sensed, heard, smelled, touched.
Do you see what I'm saying?
There is no you, only thoughts about one.

Have a look, and share what you find.

Hug!

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:15 am

THANK YOU Sandra! :)

This was a difficult yet fruitful exercise I think:
I am not present in my experience.
I am unable to sense a me, and the reason I was unable to to visualize the concept of me earlier is because I was attempting to see (visualize) something to dismiss. Instead I felt for the presence of me and was able to sense it a little, but it would always go away just like thoughts or emotions do. :) So i guess i have been resting in Rigpa already?

If I don't see the concept of "Self" (ego?) then what is it that has a need to defend itself and grasps for its own purpose although not as much as before?

If I don't see the concept of me, then is awareness just being overloaded by the ego at times?

Oh sooo many questions. Thank you again for taking the time to guide me through this.

<big-hug right back at-ya>

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:40 am

So i guess i have been resting in Rigpa already?
Where else could you be?! :)
I don't know what Rigpa is, I confess. Do you need to stick a label in what is present to see it as it is?
Does this moment, this aliveness, this experience need to be conceptualized to be how it is, to be experienced? Does thinking add something to this experience?
When you're thinking, aren't you mostly remembering the past and imagining the future? And when you're aware, looking, sensing, aren't you in the only resting place there is?
If I don't see the concept of me, then is awareness just being overloaded by the ego at times?
Aren't awareness and ego also concepts? If I was next to you, could you show me awareness and ego? What would you have to show me other than thoughts about these things?

You're doing great, Rick! Looking forward to your reply.

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:28 pm

Sandra,
Do you need to stick a label in what is present to see it as it is?
I thought Rigpa was resting in consciousness. No-self I understand. Labels help me at the start to identify a cloudy subject like the self, but I understand not having the need to label and dwell on these things. I agree completely.
Aren't awareness and ego also concepts? If I was next to you, could you show me awareness and ego?

Well I can't show you either awareness or ego as they are in my mind.
What would you have to show me other than thoughts about these things?
Most likely you would see me smile. If someone scratched my most favorite toy on purpose, you may hear me say some colorful metaphors in an angry tone though.
So is it the self taking on old bad habits when anger, greed, pride, etc. prevail? What does that say about one's understanding of there not being a "me"?

How can one be sure you understand what it means to see "I" as just an illusion? I may be overthinking this.

More and more I am able to rest in consciousness throughout the day, just like I do in my early morning meditation. More and more I am snapped away from the dream of being me during the day. Is it normal to have doubts that you are not seeing yourself as an illusion?

Thank You,

Rick

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:04 am

Hi Rick,
Well I can't show you either awareness or ego as they are in my mind.
Do you believe that there is a thing called mind that stores stuff? I would say this is an assumption, an idea.
Have a look to what you're calling mind. What do you see?
Is mind experienced in any way? Or is mind a concept, a label placed on the experience of thinking?
So is it the self taking on old bad habits when anger, greed, pride, etc. prevail? What does that say about one's understanding of there not being a "me"?
What do you mean with "one's understanding of there not being a "me"?
Can you share your own understanding?
How can one be sure you understand what it means to see "I" as just an illusion? I may be overthinking this.
When a child understands there is no Santa Claus, does it need to be sure it is understood there is no Santa Claus? Why should this seeing that there is no you need to be understood? Does a mirage, or the rainbow need to be understood once you realize they're an illusion?
More and more I am able to rest in consciousness throughout the day, just like I do in my early morning meditation. More and more I am snapped away from the dream of being me during the day. Is it normal to have doubts that you are not seeing yourself as an illusion?
How do you know there is an I that is resting in consciousness?
Or dreaming the dream of being me?
Or having doubts?
Have a look. If there is an I, it must be there. What can you sense that is this I?

Hug!

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:56 pm

Do you believe that there is a thing called mind that stores stuff? I would say this is an assumption, an idea.
I guess this is why we should label some things to ensure we are talking about the same thing. What is stored in the mind (brain?) Long term memory is stored in the hippo-campus (part of brain), while shorter memories are stored in the front & sides of the brain. I would have to open an old anatomy book to see where all the active thinking is done. The mind, or consciousness is not equal to the brain as I would think that when we say mind, we are talking about the software while the brain is the hardware. The mind is the active brain patterns that create and identify consciousness?

Have a look to what you're calling mind. What do you see?
I can invoke memories of the snow covered mountains, forests, jungles, oceans, and deserts I have visited. If I keep looking at those images in the mind, they fade away like anything that I inspect though. All impermanent.

Is mind experienced in any way?
To the beginner like me, Yes. I experience moments of mindfulness or consciousness. Especially when I meditate. If I understood you correctly.

Or is mind a concept, a label placed on the experience of thinking?
It could be. If you wanted to label it.

What do you mean with "one's understanding of there not being a "me"?
Can you share your own understanding?
The idea of ( "I", "Self", "Me") is said to be an illusion. Not real. When being still, and inspecting the "self" it is not there for me, otherwise I guess the "self" is there.

When a child understands there is no Santa Claus, does it need to be sure it is understood there is no Santa Claus?
Why should this seeing that there is no you need to be understood?
Does a mirage, or the rainbow need to be understood once you realize they're an illusion?
This is an unbelievably clear and excellent point!!!

How do you know there is an I that is resting in consciousness?
Or dreaming the dream of being me?
Or having doubts?
Have a look. If there is an I, it must be there. What can you sense that is this I?
I will look Sandra. Thank You.

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:34 pm

Okay, have a look and let me know what IS a self.

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:42 pm

Sandra,

One quick thing. Your example of a mirage and a rainbow is simple, clear, and to the point. The difficulty I am having is as follows. Perhaps you can shed additional light on the correct path to take.

When looking at a rainbow, one "always" can see the rainbow. One can say "that" is not really there, for the self, it is not so apparent.
For me however, it is not so clear. It's more like walking in the dark and seeing a length of rope and assuming it is a snake. Not until you look at it carefully, and in a different light does it turn into a rope. So this brings me back to my previous search for self. You said to see what the self IS. Under close inspection it goes away, but translating that into total understanding is turning out to be a road block. Perhaps you have more information now to go on. So I will keep looking.

Thank You

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Canfora
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby Canfora » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:57 pm

Hi Rick! Let me help you focus in the "rainbow", color by color!

Are you a body?

Is an I inside the body?

Have a look to hands, feet, body parts, body totality - scan the body "inside" and "outside", and let me know if you find a self there.

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shibumi-mind
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Re: First Step Taken, _check_, Need guide on where to take t

Postby shibumi-mind » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:34 pm

Thank You Sandra. Will do immediately.


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