Open the Gate and Step In

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Matt
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Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:52 pm

For this dialogue, 100% honesty and 100% commitment are required. On the other hand, you're actually already aware of the non-existence of a separate self, so it will be easy. Write back every day, or at the most, two days.
Thanks,
Matt

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:16 pm

Hi Matt,

I am ready to look with complete honesty and commitment. I will write daily, as often as I can. How do we get started?

Thanks,
Jeff

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:21 pm

Thanks, Jeff,
Before we begin, would you mind telling me briefly about your background, what brings you here, and what are your expectations?
Matt

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:43 pm

Yes. I'm from Los Angeles, one of 4 boys in my family. I spent most of my life lost, trying to find where I fit into Life, society, the world. This led me to a wide diversity of experiences, both personal and professional. Have been practicing Yoga for just over a decade, 9 years of which were focused on pranayama and mantra meditation.

What brings me here is that I want to be free. I've had glimpses of no-self and dis-identification with the body and mind, but I haven't realized this permanently. I find that I still identify with thoughts, desires, sensations, fear, pain, and can still be drawn into life's dramas. I wish to be free.

I expect to see who and what I really am. I expect to permanently realize that I am not the body, thoughts, emotions, sensations. I expect freedom.

Thank you for your guidance.

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Matt
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Postby Matt » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:52 pm

Thanks!
What brings me here is that I want to be free.
Excellent! Question 1: Would you say that you want freedom deeply enough that you would be willing to try putting aside all and any ideas you have about freedom, the benefits, and what it should look like?
I've had glimpses of no-self and dis-identification with the body and mind, but I haven't realized this permanently.
I ask the above question because we've heard from many people what "freedom" means, and purchased these points of view. We hear that we are identified with with body and mind. Then we are given (or sold) practices and techniques that allow us to feel that we've had glimpses of no-self and dis-identification--but we're not there yet, and then it always seems out of reach, because it appears that we have to make extraordinary efforts and make something go permanent. All this is contrivance. All this is manipulating points of view to contrive a state of dis-identification. It's based on an idea that there's someone to be identified. And it's based on an idea of causality. Like "Meditate for 20 years and as a result, you'll dis-identify and reach enlightenment." And if you're not one of the rare ones who makes it, "Well then, meditate harder for another 10 years, and do selfless saintly deeds, and get the blessings of the greatest living guru in the universe, and become an expert in holy texts, and show everyone that you're always kind, and wise, and glowing, and zapping people with shakti, etc. etc.

These might not be your exact points of view, but I think you see what I'm talking about regarding adopting and engaging causal, spiritual points of view. It's very unlikely that you'll achieve "no-self" through causality. Why? It's already so, and there's already full awareness of the fact. As soon as you reach for this through causality, you're turning away from the evidence. Question 2: Are you willing to put aside any hope in causality, for now?
I expect to see who and what I really am. I expect to permanently realize that I am not the body, thoughts, emotions, sensations. I expect freedom.
You may have heard this, since you're in CA. But please hear this deeply: you already realize that you are not the body, thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
• Look at the body now, the sensations coming and going. Is that a you?
Take a few minutes to look and sense....Question 3 is: is that a 'you'?
• Look at thoughts now, thinking happening, cognitions coming and going. Is that a you? Question 4: Can you be found in thoughts that come and go?

What if there's no you to be found in any physical, energetic, or mental field?
I find that I still identify with thoughts, desires, sensations, fear, pain, and can still be drawn into life's dramas. I wish to be free.
Question 5: Look very deeply at what you call you. Take as long as you need to really focus on exactly what you mean by "I". Tell me about it. What do you honestly find?

All my best,
Matt

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:56 pm

Let me know if anything is not clear--the quoting thing got a little messy.
Thanks

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:09 pm

By the way, there's no rejection of spiritual practice implied. Just an invitation to look beyond the assumed causality & self-agency.
Best,
M

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:00 am

Hi Matt, thanks for spending this time with me. I am beginning to see something.
Question 1: Would you say that you want freedom deeply enough that you would be willing to try putting aside all and any ideas you have about freedom, the benefits, and what it should look like?
Yes, I want freedom that deeply. I will set aside all ideas about freedom and be open to experiencing it as it is.
Question 2: Are you willing to put aside any hope in causality, for now?
Yes, I am willing to put causality aside. I laughed at your description of what enlightenment might mean to me... I would never have admitted this, but yes, that's what I thought enlightenment was. Endless ecstasy and zapping people with shakti :)

I realize that I've adopted many spiritual myths based on faith alone.
You may have heard this, since you're in CA. But please hear this deeply: you already realize that you are not the body, thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
Yes, I do realize that. Now I'm seeing that there's an idea that realizing this should feel a certain way, and I don't feel that way.
Look at the body now, the sensations coming and going. Is that a you?
Hahaha. No, it's not. I know the body is not me, but your wording ("a you") points to the fact that body and sensations have no self. I didn't see it this way, but now I do.
Take a few minutes to look and sense....Question 3 is: is that a 'you'?
No. I see these are not.
Look at thoughts now, thinking happening, cognitions coming and going. Is that a you?
No, it's not.
Question 4: Can you be found in thoughts that come and go?
No, I can't. Something that doesn't move is seeing the coming and going of thoughts.
Question 5: Look very deeply at what you call you. Take as long as you need to really focus on exactly what you mean by "I". Tell me about it. What do you honestly find?
I don't find anything tangible. What I mean by "I" depends on context. When speaking to others, "I" means the collection of body, personality, thoughts, emotions, awareness, the whole human package. The fleeting as well as the non-fleeting.

When I look within, "I" means awareness. Awareness is as deep as I see. It seems to be the most permanent aspect of me. Is there something deeper?

I greatly appreciate this conversation, Matt.

Thanks,
Jeff

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:49 am

By the way, there's no rejection of spiritual practice implied. Just an invitation to look beyond the assumed causality & self-agency.
Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. For this investigation, I am definitely willing to suspend my belief in causality.

BTW, I work Monday - Friday, so I might not respond as frequently during the week as I can today. Just know that I'm in this conversation until the end, whatever that may be.

Thanks for your efforts!

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:59 am

BTW, I work Monday - Friday, so I might not respond as frequently during the week as I can today. Just know that I'm in this conversation until the end, whatever that may be.
Now I'm seeing that there's an idea that realizing this should feel a certain way, and I don't feel that way.
Again, sensations, and expectations or thoughts about sensations, no? Interesting that humans rely so heavily on thought and sensation, imagination, storytelling, to try and know the truth of existence.
Q1: What's the difference between imagination and truth?
I don't find anything tangible. What I mean by "I" depends on context. When speaking to others, "I" means the collection of body, personality, thoughts, emotions, awareness, the whole human package. The fleeting as well as the non-fleeting.
This is very well put. The word "I" is completely contextual, and thus cannot point to anything tangible. It really just indicates a context.
Q2: Keep pressing in the direction of that intangibility for the feeling of a 'you'. Try to catch it and stare at it. What's going on there?
When I look within, "I" means awareness. Awareness is as deep as I see. It seems to be the most permanent aspect of me. Is there something deeper?
Of course it probably depends on what you mean by awareness.
Q3: Is awareness "an aspect of" a you? How do you know this? (Can you prove it to me?)
Q4: When you say you see awareness, what is it? Is there an "it" there? If so, describe it.
Q5: If "you" are something looking at awareness, can that awareness be a "you"?
Q6: We saw that thought can't be a real you, and we saw that the body can't be a real you. Where else do we need to look, if we're going to find a real "you"?

Thanks!
M

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:04 am

BTW, I work Monday - Friday, so I might not respond as frequently during the week as I can today.
Same here! Thank you for telling me. Feel free also to respond to just one Q, or respond briefly and spontaneously without editing. If we can touch-in each day even briefly, it may give us some continuity. If you have any moments during your day when you can stop and look into these matters, it may give us some depth.
Have a great week,
Matt

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:08 am

Feel free also to respond to just one Q, or respond briefly and spontaneously without editing. If we can touch-in each day even briefly, it may give us some continuity. If you have any moments during your day when you can stop and look into these matters, it may give us some depth.
Good call, Matt. I'll take each question within, whether I respond directly to them all or not. Depth and spontaneity are good.
The word "I" is completely contextual, and thus cannot point to anything tangible. It really just indicates a context. Q2: Keep pressing in the direction of that intangibility for the feeling of a 'you'. Try to catch it and stare at it. What's going on there?
Haha. I went for a drive after reading this, and a light went on. If "I" is merely a pointer, then that means it's a thought. A thought that points to other thoughts! What I've thought of as "I" is simply an idea. I don't know what "I" truly means or points to now. I can't locate an "I", so it feels like a fiction.

I'll take your other questions within and write more tomorrow. Thanks for everything.

You have a great week too!

J

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Matt
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby Matt » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:30 pm

Great! Did an "I" read or inquire in such a way that a light was produced? (Multiple choice for a busy man: Y or N)

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:47 pm

Great! Did an "I" read or inquire in such a way that a light was produced? (Multiple choice for a busy man: Y or N)
No. There was no "I".
Q4: When you say you see awareness, what is it? Is there an "it" there? If so, describe it.
I can't describe it. It isn't an "it". It has no substance. Its quality is somewhat like a sense, but it's more of a "knowing".
Q5: If "you" are something looking at awareness, can that awareness be a "you"?
No, it can't be. I've tried looking at the "me" that sees awareness, but I don't find it.

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shiva84
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Re: Open the Gate and Step In

Postby shiva84 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:38 pm

Q6: We saw that thought can't be a real you, and we saw that the body can't be a real you. Where else do we need to look, if we're going to find a real "you"?
I don't know where else I CAN look. Even awareness is seen as not "a me". Where else can I look?

Perhaps my response is premature, as I am still looking, continuing to look within throughout the day.

Hope you're enjoying your day.


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