Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

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IainB
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Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:53 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
At the end of my teens an unfulfilling childhood led me to travel and take steps to explore life. I lived in Buddhist communities for a number of years and despite only having the most casual interest initially I became increasingly involved and surprised at my ability to meditate within a Tibetan inspired tradition. Twenty years later my life is quite conventional and lacking formal spiritual practice but I remain deeply respectful and inspired by the potential to move beyond the illusion of our myopic self existence arising from mistaken perceptions, fear, confusion, conditioned by society and our experiences. Lets support each other to meet who we really are, without the need to embed ourselves in systems clad in religious practice that can easily be subsumed into our immature needs. Also, my friend has undergone a life changing experience through Liberation Unleashed and recommended I do likewise!

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
Support to achieve that which I know already is possible: the self transformation of realising that the feature most present in our lives, the self, is simply an illusion which leads to many disadvantages. Support to actualise this within my life with methods that allow a swift turning around of old poor quality behaviour patterns. I expect Liberation Unleashed to allow this to happen to me, despite a lifetime of trying in different ways to resolve this problem of self through conservative spiritual practice, relationships, sex, drugs, counselling, bio-medicine, work addictions, hiding from fears and so forth.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
Lived and practiced within the conservative fundamentalist Mahayana Buddhist New Kadampa Tradition for a number of years, including highly influential experiences in my early 20s. I still love and hold this tradition dear. Tibetan tradition meditation for a number of years with associated transformational experiences but with no formal practice now.

Recreational drug misuse for a number of years in my 20s with associated psychedelic experiences and imbededness within a community of peers mainly intent on pursuing fun as opposed to transformational experience.

Five years experience of radical peer counseling with the Re-evaluation Co-counseling movement.

General pursuit of low level transformational experiences through group singing, yoga and music.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? 11

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:51 pm

Hey Iain,

Thank you for the great introduction - and a warm welcome to Liberation Unleashed.

I'm a guide here, and happy to walk along with you, to see what's what. :)

Mind you, with your experience, probably best to guide yourself, and I'll shout in from the sidelines. :D

If you ok to make a start, let me know.

With kind thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:51 pm

Hi John,

Thank you so much for reaching out to me here.

I'm very much ready to start. I've just spent a wonderful morning with another Unleashed individual who encouraged myself and a friend to be active here.

I come from a place where I may have had fun with a spiritual tradition that focuses on emptiness and ideas of selflessness, but talking the talk and walking the walk are very different things...I have much (everything really) to learn, or perhaps unlearn.

Iain

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:27 pm

Hi Iain,

Cool. Yeah, I'd pencil in everything as possible-unlearn - sets a healthy approach.

Well, the core of this inquiry is: me, myself, I.

We could spend hours seeing if a self can be found, but as there isn't one, that's a bit pointless; and anyway, even if there were, we have no idea what a self even could look like, so how would we ever find it. :D

But what we do know, in some measure, is the familiar experience of life, that we refer to as: me. So, let's begin and bring to the table those sensed experiences that have the regular stamp of 'me' on them. And note/share, where in the body these sensed experiences seem to really show up.

For example, sitting here there is a familiar sensation in my chest. It comes and goes, but its got 'me' all over it :) As contrasted with the sensation at the tip of either elbow, or a little toe.

After that, we'll explore the names and assumptions assigned to such ephemeral experiences.

So, give that a go and write as much as you wish.

With best wishes!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:00 pm

Hi John,

What a quandary to be in. It certainly changes, but at all times there seems to be a strong sense of I linking the physical experiences with cognitive experiences. "This is me." How wonderful it would be to be free of such a prison, and yet it is powerfully familiar.

I told my teacher today of my hesitation, suggesting maybe fear was involved, although perhaps this was an excuse for laziness or something else. He advised me the fear was not necessary, nothing is lost and to move towards knowing that the 'I' was never there.

We had fun with the analogy of the fixed Father Christmas or Tooth Fairy evaporating. I wish that my mind can be like a young child's, with the dynamism and flexibility to accept and embrace change, and move on building upon a realisation.

So...there seems to be a sense of me pervading my body, ready to respond to events outside or motivations I have. There are memories that are imbued with 'me' and my plans for the future anticipate being stamped with 'me'. If I don't find something I believe holds merit to do, then I worry that the quality of this 'me' will deteriorate. 'Me' needs attention and to be validated. If you challenge 'me' then I will either avoid you or challenge you to strengthen 'me'. I need to increase my assets and status, as this is integral to 'me'. Others may have different lifestyles, but my experiences and choices are the 'right ones for 'me', or at least the best I can sort for now :-)

So, there may be no me in my leg, and even with all my limbs gathered of course that is simply a collection of non 'me's'. My memories are old postcards, they're not the 'me' of now. My raw consciousness isn't me, but there is a continuity of experience bound to the physical body that would seem to be 'me'. My particular flavour of psycho social experience that has been going on for a while, evolved and will eventually cease.

So..there's a lot of me going on here John :-) Please help!!!

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:41 pm

Hey Iain,

I thought maybe you'd been abducted. :D

Thank you for what you've shared.
So, there may be no me in my leg, and even with all my limbs gathered of course that is simply a collection of non 'me's'. My memories are old postcards, they're not the 'me' of now. My raw consciousness isn't me, but there is a continuity of experience bound to the physical body that would seem to be 'me'. My particular flavour of psycho social experience that has been going on for a while, evolved and will eventually cease.

So..there's a lot of me going on here John :-)
No more going on than anyone else. :) Excluding my cat probably, who has a very complicated life. LOL

You hit the nail on the head with: a continuity of experience bound to the physical body that would seem to be 'me'.

That is all this is about.

It is a scary idea to accept the possibility that the one you have grown up for decades believing yourself to be, is made up. Literally, a fiction, and let's be honest, an impressive one.

Thankfully, we don't need to convince ourselves that this is the case, we can look see.

Given the lack of 'me'-like sensations in the little toe :) where would you say in the body, are the significant physical sensations that seem to be evidence of me, as if 'me' were written thru them like a stick of rock?

With kind thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:47 am

Hi John,

There's not a lot of me in that little toe, as you say. Unless it's trod on that is, then suddenly there's lots of 'me 'going on.
But then that 'me' isn't down there in the little toe. The me seems to pervade parts of my upper body, and the little toe is almost external.

So...'as if 'me' were written thru...like a stick of rock'... We'll there's a general sense of me pervading my body, but particularly higher up where more things are happening, somewhere between the fingers typing, the eyes seeing, the ears listening and the head and torso moving there's a 'me'.

There must be a 'me', as I've always sensed it. Otherwise what would there be?

Well, come to think of it, that's rather vague. These are just all fleshy bits after all. But when you touch part of my body, I feel it...you've touched 'me'. They may just be fleshy bits, but they're my fleshy bits.

Thanks!

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:07 pm

Hi Iain,
There's not a lot of me in that little toe, as you say. Unless it's trod on that is, then suddenly there's lots of 'me 'going on.
But then that 'me' isn't down there in the little toe. The me seems to pervade parts of my upper body, and the little toe is almost external.

So...'as if 'me' were written thru...like a stick of rock'... We'll there's a general sense of me pervading my body, but particularly higher up where more things are happening, somewhere between the fingers typing, the eyes seeing, the ears listening and the head and torso moving there's a 'me'.
Excellent sharing Iain. Shall we look at a little piece of this continuity, say, the "general sense of me pervading my body". Now, this is quite a broad statement, but I'm guessing that it points to something, so what I'd ask you to do is attend to this general sense of me. And in particular, focus only on the physical expression of it.

Please describe as best you can, this feeling, and where in the body it shows up, and for how long (-ish).

With kind thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:12 am

Hi Guide John,

Apologies for my slowness in replying. I keep in touch with those near to me to explore my reluctance to proceed and the fears and patterns that underlie this.

So...Me, Iain, self, in the physical body. My limbs shine with a familiarity of Me, but this is stronger when i can see or consider them together. Like with the toe, when considered remotely there is much less Me. The general sense is interrupted somewhat.

There is a sense of Me that radiates from my abdomen and perhaps my head also, where some of these key body bits are located. This is strengthened when the limbs are up to stuff too. There can be lots of me thereabouts when I think of it. When other thoughts arise, there is a lot less focus on this physical Me.

So the physical body, or at least the more important bits, can give off a lot of Me, especially when focused upon or when something important is happening involving them. At other times I can almost forget this physical Me...but it soon comes back.

After all the physical is Me. I take it with me wherever I go. That's what makes the difference between what is 'out there' and what is in 'here' amongst the bits of the body...Me.

Thanks!

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:38 am

Hey Iain,
Apologies for my slowness in replying. I keep in touch with those near to me to explore my reluctance to proceed and the fears and patterns that underlie this.
Let's explore this. Fear is absolutely understandable, and often part of the inquiry. It tends to raise its head at some point, and when it does, it deserves an attentive audience. :)

What are the concerns?

Many thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:12 pm

Hi John,

One of my fears is...I've tried before to develop insight and not got that far, and got caught up in a highly structured spiritual path with demanding routines to follow ostensibly to support wisdom development. It was easier to step outside that and let that house of cards collapse and instead try to be content with ordinariness and mundaneness.

So part of me associates liberation from Me with a demanding structure which can ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration.

Part of me has become a cynical enquirer. I think of my youthful self exploring emptiness and thinking wisdom was a linear path to follow with increasing insight. I think of my older self now and the rigid limits which seemed to arise on my ability to develop wisdom and how I've come to accept [cynically and unhelpfully] that only limited change is possible to my personality, patterns and outlook.

That's just the fears linked to my previous experiences.

There's also a more fundamental fear: "What will life be like without Me?" I know it will be wonderful, however there is also a nagging voice that says "life isn't so bad now, why would you want to dissolve the self and risk the [admittedly rather poor quality] life you have built for yourself slip from between your fingers"..."you've suffered so much, why not accept what you have now". That's a strong fear based pattern I hold.

Thanks so much for reading my ramblings.

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:14 pm

"It was easier to step outside that and let that house of cards collapse and instead try to be content with ordinariness and mundaneness" needs to be accompanied by a sense of my subconscious being fearful of failure and having already previously absorbed a sense of having failed at wisdom development.

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:45 pm

Hi Iain,
One of my fears is...I've tried before to develop insight and not got that far, and got caught up in a highly structured spiritual path with demanding routines to follow ostensibly to support wisdom development. It was easier to step outside that and let that house of cards collapse and instead try to be content with ordinariness and mundaneness.


Let's meet this fear straight on: you will fail to develop insight here. No question.


So part of me associates liberation from Me with a demanding structure which can ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration.


Disappointment and frustration are guaranteed.


Part of me has become a cynical enquirer. I think of my youthful self exploring emptiness and thinking wisdom was a linear path to follow with increasing insight. I think of my older self now and the rigid limits which seemed to arise on my ability to develop wisdom and how I've come to accept [cynically and unhelpfully] that only limited change is possible to my personality, patterns and outlook.


Only limited change is possible now you're older and more cynical, for sure.


That's just the fears linked to my previous experiences.

There's also a more fundamental fear: "What will life be like without Me?" I know it will be wonderful, however there is also a nagging voice that says "life isn't so bad now, why would you want to dissolve the self and risk the [admittedly rather poor quality] life you have built for yourself slip from between your fingers"..."you've suffered so much, why not accept what you have now". That's a strong fear based pattern I hold.


It's definitely not wonderful. Ok, better than it was. :)

Here's the thing Iain, and I absolutely include myself in this: we can only think about so-called awakening purely in terms of what we already know - which is officially bonkers. We cannot even approach this with the idea that we can know what it will be like, because we don't. To use the old adage, its would be like driving using the rear view mirror.

All we can possibly do is hopelessly throw our hands in the air, give up, and see that we have no clue, and its probably best to just have a good look.

Have a ponder on whether to continue. I hope you do. It could be fun, and definitely not enlightening. :D


Thanks so much for reading my ramblings.


It's been a pleasure. Thank you for reading my ramblings too, :)

With much love,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

IainB
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby IainB » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:19 am

Hello John, Happy New Year to you sir!

It's been a few weeks, I'm keen to crack to with your guidance. Thanks for your points and delightful challenges in November.
Let's meet this fear straight on: you will fail to develop insight here. No question.
My fear has a habit of narrowing my perceptions of what I can achieve and try, it has contributed to my life choices and values. As you say, best to be met head on! I want to embrace the fears that will arise when searching out my self, and the associated disappointments and frustrations. As you directed, the fear that wants to send me to sleep, numb me to the chance to wake up, is subtle and slippery. I'm on guard for it.
Only limited change is possible now you're older and more cynical, for sure.
I love the challenge here. Before I can begin to give up the self, I can at least do myself the favour of loosening my grip on my rather [very] limiting view of what I can achieve. A lot of the content of my mind is less than helpful. I don't need to be constrained by it.
We can only think about so-called awakening purely in terms of what we already know...we cannot even approach this with the idea that we can know what it will be like, because we don't...hands in the air, give up...no clue, and...just have a good look
I love these directions. It's time for me to relax and allow my preconceptions to simply fall away and be ready for anything. I am reliant upon my current responses, ways of understanding and decision making as this is all I have to work with, but I mustn't allow these to ultimately hold me back as I work towards something outwith my existing experiences. No expectations / preconceptions allowed!

Love, Iain

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves. - Tsongkhapa.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:46 pm

Hey Iain,
Hello John, Happy New Year to you sir!
And you too!

It's been a few weeks, I'm keen to crack to with your guidance. Thanks for your points and delightful challenges in November.
Cool. :)
My fear has a habit of narrowing my perceptions of what I can achieve and try, it has contributed to my life choices and values. As you say, best to be met head on! I want to embrace the fears that will arise when searching out my self, and the associated disappointments and frustrations. As you directed, the fear that wants to send me to sleep, numb me to the chance to wake up, is subtle and slippery. I'm on guard for it.
Don't know if you read much but there a lovely book called The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin. It a kind of fable disguised as a children's book. Anyhow, should you comes across it, have a read.
Only limited change is possible now you're older and more cynical, for sure.
I love the challenge here. Before I can begin to give up the self, I can at least do myself the favour of loosening my grip on my rather [very] limiting view of what I can achieve. A lot of the content of my mind is less than helpful. I don't need to be constrained by it.
Well said. Yeah, relaxing around what we had thought/believed/deemed to be true is probably going to be a theme here. :)
We can only think about so-called awakening purely in terms of what we already know...we cannot even approach this with the idea that we can know what it will be like, because we don't...hands in the air, give up...no clue, and...just have a good look
I love these directions. It's time for me to relax and allow my preconceptions to simply fall away and be ready for anything. I am reliant upon my current responses, ways of understanding and decision making as this is all I have to work with, but I mustn't allow these to ultimately hold me back as I work towards something outwith my existing experiences. No expectations / preconceptions allowed!
From a different tradition, their refer to our regular current views/perceptions etc as SHIELDS. Say we have a belief that we'll never do X. That very belief will SHIELD you from the possibility of ever doing X. Its a system of protection. And then you ask, hmmmm, protected from what? And there will be some belief about how bad it will be, and you won't be able to cope, and everyone will laugh at you. LOL :)

Let's start our inquiry with an idea.

The reason we feel constrained by our limiting views is very simple, we deem them true.
Read that again. :)

So, we have taken for granted that our views contain the property of 'truth'.
This little piece of magic turns a perception/view into reality.
So all this time, you've been quite the magician!

Have a ponder on that.

And as something to work with, take a view which feels solidly true for you, and set aside the property of 'true' - and in so doing, let it stand as a DESCRIPTION-ONLY, one of infinite descriptions. You will know this is done when the description has no need of being true or false. It is merely a description that is MORE OR LESS USEFUL.

Share what you discover.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/


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