Beginnings

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Sophia
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Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
We are human beings and the self relates to the very human aspect of the oneness that it is to be humanbeings. This self on a great day allows healthy and beneficial personal functioning in the world. On a bad day - and there are many, and many such moments - the self drives around the Begin aspect into dead end streets and it is exhausting.

What are you looking for at LU?
Ways of working with resistance and fear to what is moment to moment and Love would seems to play a part here so to experience and know what Love is from an embodied heart perspective not a theoretical heady one. To know from direct experience not from theory or what others say.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Support and guidance to shift from being identified with self, lost in the constant ramblings of the mind that drives the show... to being able to peacefully be with what is... even when peace is elusive and what is present is resistance... and to laugh about it all and to be beside others as they explore the freedom that is inseparable from life.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Grew up Catholic and at 20 was interesting in deeper aspects of what one would now call non-dual or Christ consciousness that was available in any Catholic parish. Turned to Buddhism and had 10 years with Dzochen meditation, then Centering Prayer... all very helpful and at times I know there has been some spiritual bypassing so am interested in Inquiry which isn't prevalent in either Buddhism (in Zen koans perhaps) or Catholicism...

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

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Luisa
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:03 am

Hello Sophia,

A warm welcome to the forum.
This is about to see that the self is an illusion, I will be guiding you with that porpouse but you are the one to see it by yourself. Are you confortable with that?
It is essential that you have a honest look to the questions and that your answers may come from actual experience, letting aside belives, thoughts about what may be, philosophical statements and so forth. Are you ready to have a sincer look to what is?

I'm glad you made it here, Let's start when you feel ready.

Love
Luisa

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi Luisa... welcome to you too...

Thank you for responding, yes I am ready to begin and equally I'm ready to end, that is bring to an end the power and control thoughts have when I get lost in them rather than seeing them for the 'clouds in front of the sun' that they are.

Yes, I will try as honestly as I can to respond in the moment, and when I'm struggling to be honest or accurate I'll say so... which may mean I need to ask a question for clarity. I will not seek out wise responses to your questions as it is here, in my being, this being, that I'd like to understand... (I am preparing for a retreat that I'm offering with another person on the 13/14th October, so some reading/preparation in that regard may need to take place, however I will not be reading to try and respond more intelligently to your questions... to be honest - I'm done with reading!!!)

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Luisa
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:21 am

Hi Sophia,

Thank you for your honesty. It is ok that you prepare your work when you see is not going to interfer in your invetigation. As you seem to have read the house keeping rules already, let's start.
This self on a great day allows healthy and beneficial personal functioning in the world. On a bad day - and there are many, and many such moments - the self drives around the Begin aspect into dead end streets and it is exhausting.
LU is here to guide you to see by yourself that the believe of a separate self is an illusion, this is the main and only porpouse of this guidance. Does this fit with your expectations?
Thank you for responding, yes I am ready to begin and equally I'm ready to end, that is bring to an end the power and control thoughts have when I get lost in them rather than seeing them for the 'clouds in front of the sun' that they are.
What do you suspect is needed for you not to get lost in thoughts? What prevents you from seeing them as clouds?

Love
Luisa

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:56 pm

Hi Lucia..

"LU is here to guide you to see by yourself that the belief of a separate self is an illusion, this is the main and only purpose of this guidance. Does this fit with your expectations?"

Yes it does - thank you.

"What do you suspect is needed for you not to get lost in thoughts? What prevents you from seeing them as clouds?"

The first thing needed relates to your first question: to know for myself that a belief in a separate self is an illusion - 'know' in this sense won't mean 'a comforting thought that says it knows', but to have seen through the illusion of a separate self. There are moments when a clarity comes and the 'sky isn't moved by the clouds' and then it is like the clouds call my attention to come sit with them and there I am again back lost in the clouds/lost in story. So the second thing needed (and I'm smiling a bit as I can begin to see through this next thought already) is a bell to remind me I'm getting lost in story about, rather than being present to what is actually happening.

Thank you for your questions,

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Luisa
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:27 am

Hey Sophia,

Your interest in the investigation is highly motivating, thank you.
Let's now to have a deep look to the way of expressing thoughts.
to know for myself that a belief in a separate self is an illusion
If the separate self is an illusion what is supposedly to be there to know that?
So the second thing needed (and I'm smiling a bit as I can begin to see through this next thought already) is a bell to remind me I'm getting lost in story about, rather than being present to what is actually happening.
Who is going to be there to be remainded if, again, the separate self is an illusion?
Is not "getting lost in story" what is actually happening? How can you know that what is actually happening is different from "getting lost in stoy"? What is telling you about that?


To answer the next questions I ask you to not rely on insights you may had by means of meditation. I want you to take a fresh look! Look at what presents itself right here and right now while working with these questions!


Where are thoughts coming from? Where are they going?
Can you stop a thought in the middle?
Can something be found that generates thoughts? Can the source of thoughts be found?
Does the thinker of thoughts appear in direct experience? If so, how exactly?
Do you think thoughts, or do thoughts think you, or do thoughts appear as you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

Love
Luisa

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi Luisa (I'm sorry I spelt your name wrong yesterday)

"If the separate self is an illusion what is supposedly to be there to know that?"

Right... is it a both/and situation... I won't be there to know it/own it!!! and yet life will continue as life animates what was taken as me... but life won't be owning any of it. Where i live the indigenous people have a concept of guardianship... life may be like a guardian in some way... am getting into knots so will finish here..


"Who is going to be there to be reminded if, again, the separate self is an illusion?"

Good question - my immediate experience is no one... no one needs to be reminded, because in that moment the separate self isn't present...

"Is not "getting lost in story" what is actually happening? How can you know that what is actually happening is different from "getting lost in story"? What is telling you about that?"

There is this 'commentator' present within my thought patterns that must have worked at a raceway of some kind, because they have a loud voice (perhaps strong dominate voice is a better description) and they love to tell me what has just happened, or what is happening.... babble babble on, and then they like to comment on their commentary... and then another thought (voice) comes along and says enough already so it quietens down for a few minutes and then can begin again...


"To answer the next questions I ask you to not rely on insights you may had by means of meditation. I want you to take a fresh look! Look at what presents itself right here and right now while working with these questions!"


"Where are thoughts coming from? Where are they going?"

They seem to bubble up out of nowhere, mostly without any effort of mine and they then dissipate like vapor as the next one bubbles up. If I need to plan something, like what to eat, then it feels more like there is some intention of mine that causes a a stream of thoughts about the plan of what to have for dinner - as if these thoughts hook into memories of preparing to eat. There is a sense that thoughts are in the middle of my head/brain.


"Can you stop a thought in the middle?"

It does feel that if I set this up as an 'exercise' I can, say after three or five words... I'm asking myself now what is a thought. Is it a sentence, a word, a stream of words that makes sense? The energy in my body has got excited at the prospect, and already that energy is dissipating... What also happens is after a few words - what seems like a different thought comes through and after a few words a different thought... thoughts are flowing fast now... or it feels that way.


"Can something be found that generates thoughts? Can the source of thoughts be found?"

Immediately I thought no. And then I thought, but that's just a thought. My thinking can't find a source... now if I settle a little and just sit with your question, I can't find a source of thoughts.

"Does the thinker of thoughts appear in direct experience? If so, how exactly?"

If I have my attention in my head say looking at thoughts - I get caught up in them immediately - and they just follow each other in a stream... and the thinker and thoughts feel the same thing. If I allow my attention to drop into my belly (like I do in meditation) the 'my' seems to fall out and there is breathing, or sound but not thoughts or a story... then thoughts bubble up again and grab 'my' attention which seems to go back to thoughts in my head area again... and then down to belly etc...


"Do you think thoughts, or do thoughts think you, or do thoughts appear as you?"

No I don't think thoughts - it feels as if thoughts think me. It doesn't feel as if thoughts appear as me, as I seem to identify more with a body than with thoughts. When I think of me I don't think of me thinking, but I do think of me being a body, with a mind and a heart who does things...


"Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?"

My response feels yes and no. Yes, I can still myself and sometimes thoughts seem to slow down (so if 10 were going to come in that minute, only five appear to) or I can detach from them more quickly.... but my response also feels like No in that they just bubble away. I don't want to use the energy of resistance to thoughts... which I have at times, but is resistance just a thought? It does feel like an energy too that opposes... I avoid opposition!!!

Oh enough already... thank you for these questions Luisa, be well

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:24 pm

I am just back from a walk up quite a steep hill, so I'm putting this down to oxygen deprivation!!!

While walking it was as if a window opened and what was experienced was a sense that all thoughts that I've ever had have been entirely about supporting the holding up of an egoic sense of self in the world... that in fact all thoughts: good, bad and indifferent had/have been there to support this life come into being... Have been a very loyal and compassionate supporter and that when the sense of self can stand alone - in fact is willing to let go of standing - then thoughts cease to be needed for that purpose - although helping get dinner may be helpful etc.

When this window seemingly closed... what knew it was open didn't have an owner, didn't attach anything to the window being open or closed... didn't didn't...

Then because my dog who was with me who has short legs, I helped it up to a seat with me... and it felt as if this helping the dog was just like thoughts/and all appearances that have helped me all along and I didn't know it...

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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:34 am

Hi Sophia,

So nice to hear from you. You have done a great investigation so far.
There is this 'commentator' present within my thought patterns that must have worked at a raceway of some kind
,
Have a deeper look in the way you put concepts. What is this commentator in actual experience? Is it separate from thoughts? Is it an entity or is just thoughts?
and they love to tell me what has just happened, or what is happening.... babble babble on, and then they like to comment on their commentary... and then another thought (voice) comes along and says enough already so it quietens down for a few minutes and then can begin again...
As you already saw, thoughts come out of nowhere and go to nowhere, it is clear that they do have a content, is this content just content or is it true?
You also saw by yourself that thoughts support the illusion of an existing self, if this is so, how can thoughts tell something sometimes helpful sometimes deceiving.

Is there any difference between a thought about chocolate, a thought about Santa Claus or a thought about me? Look directly. Is any thought more relevant than another one? Or are all just thoughts?

It seems that we are in very different places in the planet as when you write I'm already sleeping. I am in Spain.

Love
Luisa

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:53 pm

Hi Luisa,

"Have a deeper look in the way you put concepts. What is this commentator in actual experience? Is it separate from thoughts? Is it an entity or is just thoughts?"

The commentator is just thoughts... chatter, chatter, chatter... no substance or form... but it doesn't feel true to say that only form is real either. As all thoughts seem to arise and pass away so does all form, my body will pass away too or transform into something else, ash in the first instance and then that will be added to the soil...

"As you already saw, thoughts come out of nowhere and go to nowhere, it is clear that they do have a content, is this content just content or is it true?

What is true? I guess I began to ask this in the previous response. I am sitting here typing - this is temporarily true, and then I'll move on to the next thing. It is helpful for me to concentrate when I type, to also in some way gather my thoughts, or wait for inspiration to arise in the form of a thought so I can respond to your questions. But once expressed it no longer feels real... what feels the most real right now, is that I am sitting here right now...

"You also saw by yourself that thoughts support the illusion of an existing self, if this is so, how can thoughts tell something sometimes helpful sometimes deceiving. Is there any difference between a thought about chocolate, a thought about Santa Claus or a thought about me? Look directly."

All these thoughts seem to feel the same as they come through the mind... they also all seem to generate secondary thoughts/stories as emotions are stirred as the thoughts play on e.g. chocolate - yum yum, Santa Clause - a belief for kids etc.

"Is any thought more relevant than another one? Or are all just thoughts?"

No and Yes... They do all feel the same except how they set emotions going, for example, some thoughts will excite me and some cause fear or whatever... Then a thought might pop along that is very helpful, for example when we've misplaced something and a thought comes along and say 'look under the bed' and there we find what we were looking for, so some thoughts do seem more relevant, or perhaps more helpful... and then at another level, all thoughts are helpful, because they help me to go and find things, or to... Thoughts seem like messengers, like an email. Is an email helpful - well sometimes, are all emails the same, well they're type on a screen... are some more relevant than others, yes - there is a spam file!!!! Are they real? Yes and no... I think I've come full circle. Do emails have a self? Are emails a self, is my computer a self? NO...... (I'm saying no softly) - and its clear that they don't... so do I?

"It seems that we are in very different places in the planet as when you write I'm already sleeping. I am in Spain".

Yes, I am in the Southern Hemisphere so we're welcoming spring... and on the opposite side of the world from you so I'm waking up to Friday when you're going to bed on Thursday... Isn't the internet fantastic - is it real?!!!!!

Much love to you to and so many thanks, Sophia...

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Luisa
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:22 pm

Hi Sophia,

Thank you for your responses.
"Is any thought more relevant than another one? Or are all just thoughts?"
No and Yes... They do all feel the same except how they set emotions going


Bring to your mind a delicious food that you love or enjoy very much, let's say cheese cake. What happens inmediatly after the "cheesecake" thought? Maybe an emotion as desire comes up, what does that emotion relate to? is the cheesecake thought what sets the emotion or is the believe in a self that loves cheesecake what sets it?
for example, some thoughts will excite me and some cause fear or whatever...
You can have a look on this to see by yourself if what you are saying is exactly what really happens. Bring different thougts to your mind, some pleasant and some unpleasant, feel confortably let the mind settle down and bring any thought. See the difference when you get identified with them and when you don't. Would you say then that are thoughts or their content the reponsible for setting emotions or are all just thougts and is your identification with the content what sets the emotions.
Then a thought might pop along that is very helpful, for example when we've misplaced something and a thought comes along and say 'look under the bed' and there we find what we were looking for, so some thoughts do seem more relevant, or perhaps more helpful... and then at another level, all thoughts are helpful, because they help me to go and find things, or to...
Thoughts seem like messengers, like an email. Is an email helpful - well sometimes, are all emails the same, well they're type on a screen... are some more relevant than others, yes - there is a spam file!!!! Are they real? Yes and no... I think I've come full circle. Do emails have a self? Are emails a self, is my computer a self? NO...... (I'm saying no softly) - and its clear that they don't... so do I?
Good example thank you!
An email, as you wrote, is just letters on a screen, the email, whatever the content is, is not urging or leading to anything, it will depend on the interpretation of it, on the identification of the self with it. What is an "email" really? Is the email, or the thought creating the self or is the self creating the thought? Or is the thought just a thought without any power to create anything?


I would like you to investigate the body. Please take your time and look directly, explane what you see in actual experience, not what you think it is but what you actualy see.

Can it be known how tall the body is?

Does the body have a weight or volume?

Does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label "body" ACTUALLY refer to?

Is there a meaning to sensation without reliance upon thought?

All this investigation is to able you to look at what is, in my experience a high dose of humility is needed to open up to our wrong or deceiving views, this humility brings the oportunity to see, and the result is not other than freedom. The only thing is required is to stop answering what we think but put words to what is really happening.

Love
Luisa

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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:06 pm

Hi Luisa... (I'm sorry I don't seem to know how to do the cut and paste so what has been previously written shows up differently. Is there a place to find out how to do that?)

"Bring to your mind a delicious food that you love or enjoy very much, let's say cheese cake. What happens intermediately after the "cheesecake" thought? Maybe an emotion as desire comes up, what does that emotion relate to? is it the cheesecake thought that sets the emotion up or is it the belief in a self that loves cheesecake that sets it?"

A belief in a self that loves cheesecake. As soon as I brought the first thought to mind... then next thought was: "oh I love cheesecake".


Sophia: for example, some thoughts will excite me and some cause fear or whatever...

Luisa: "You can have a look at this to see by yourself if what you are saying is exactly what really happens. Bring different thoughts to your mind, some pleasant and some unpleasant. Feel comfortably let the mind settle down and bring any thought to mind. See if there is a difference when you get identified with them and when you don't"

Sophia: Yes there is. When I am identified the thoughts feel personal and an emotional attaches itself too. When I don't identify, the thoughts feel impersonal without such emotion attached. I see from this how much I have invested in thinking it was 'correct' to feel things personally, to take things personally as I am me so I need to know what I think and what I feel!

Luisa: Would you say then that thoughts or their content are responsible for setting emotions or are all just thoughts and it is your identification with the content that sets the emotions?

Sophia: My identification with the content that sets up the emotions...

Luisa: This was a good example from you yesterday: "Thoughts seem like messengers, like an email. Is an email helpful - well sometimes, are all emails the same, well they're type on a screen... are some more relevant than others, yes - there is a spam file!!!! Are they real? Yes and no... I think I've come full circle. Do emails have a self? Are emails a self, is my computer a self? NO...... (I'm saying no softly) - and its clear that they don't... so do I?"

"An email, as you wrote, is just letters on a screen, the email, whatever the content is, is not urging or leading to anything, it will depend on the interpretation of it, on the identification of the self with it. What is an "email" really? Is the email, or the thought creating the self or is the self creating the thought? Or is the thought just a thought without any power to create anything?"

Sophia: The thought seems to create a self... I'll move on... my thoughts are spinning....


I would like you to investigate the body. Please take your time and look directly, explane what you see in actual experience, not what you think it is but what you actualy see.

Can it be known how tall the body is? Sophia: No. I There is no sense of how tall I am.

Does the body have a weight or volume? Sophia: There are sensations that I have associated with weight and volume, but are they really weight and volume? Who knows?

Does the body have a shape or a form? Sophia: When I look with my eyes I can see shape and form, but I can't feel shape and form. If I close my eyes my body doesn't have shape and form.

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing? Sophia: No, not when I experience this without thoughts.

Is there a boundary between the body and the chair? Sophia: There are sensations in the top of my legs as they are touching the chair, but if I'm not imagining or thinking about it there isn't.

Is there an inside or an outside? Sophia: No. This feels less sure as thoughts are coming in that define sensations as inside my body... but when these thoughts drop away, so when without thoughts, there isn't an inside or an outside.

If there is an inside - inside of what exactly? Sophia: Great question - I feel caught out in some way!!! or the sense of self feels caught out, I'm not identified with it at the moment. I've sat with this longer, and there only seems to be an inside when I'm identified with thoughts, when I'm not - there isn't an inside.

If there is an outside - outside of what exactly? Sophia: Again like the response above... there only appears to be an outside when I'm identified with thoughts, when I'm not, there isn't an outside.

What does the word/label "body" ACTUALLY refer to? Sophia: I've just held my dog on my lap. She appears to have a defined form and shape that is different to mine as she can jump off my lap and I don't fall down. If I look at my body there is a shape, I can see shape to my hands as they type... If I close my eyes I can't see shape or form. So this is like thoughts right now. If they're active then there is a sense of self, if they're not active there doesn't appear to be a self.

Is there a meaning to sensation without reliance upon thought? Sophia: No, not generally and right now I am well with no pain, so sensations don't have much or anything to say. I live up steep steps so it is important I feel the sensation of the step when I'm walking down or otherwise I might fall. Again, if I was feeling the sensation of pain (that I have learnt is a sense of something not being right), it would be helpful to pay attention to it.

Luisa... in my day outside of responding to these questions, (which I am finding very helpful) there is quite some spaciousness... I'm not there yet... and the door feels like it is getting wider... Thank you indeed. Sophia

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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Wonderful! You are doing a great job Sophia!

Here you can learn to use the quote function to highlight questions being answered:
http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660
If I close my eyes I can't see shape or form. So this is like thoughts right now. If they're active then there is a sense of self, if they're not active there doesn't appear to be a self.
Is there such a thing as active and non active thoughts? [flash=]Have a close look to them and report what you see in actual expererience.[/flash]

Here is an even deeper investigation of the body. Please follow each step, don't leave out any. Take your time. Don't move to the next step until the previous one is clearly seen. Repeat the exercise several times.


Stand in front of a bigger mirror.

(1) First, close the eyes and feel the sensations labelled ‘body’.
(2) Then open the eyes and look into the mirror while still paying attention to the sensations.

[flash=]Is there any connection between the felt sensations and the image in the mirror?
Or just thoughts (and/or mental images) suggest that there is?[/flash]


(3) While still paying attention to the sensations move one hand and observe the movement from the mirror.
[flash=]Is there any real connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and image of movement in the mirror?[/flash]



(4) Now do the same movement with the hand, but this time look at the hand directly, not from the mirror.

[flash=]Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and the image ‘of movement’?
Or only thoughts suggest it?[/flash]


(5) Now, pay attention only to the image in the mirror.

[flash=]Does the image by itself suggest in any way that is ‘you’ or ‘your body’?
Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?
Or is there only colour?[/flash]


(6) Start to walk slowly.

[flash=]Is there a ‘body walking’, or is there only sensation?
Is there actual experience of ‘walking’ at all?
Or just thoughts about ‘walking’?
Can such a thing as ‘body’ be found or just thoughts about a ‘body’?
Can such a thing as ‘walking’ be found?[/flash]


(7) [flash=]Are the sensations localized in space, like ‘going through the room’, or is there only an image that is labelled ‘room’ and appearing sensation without any location?[/flash]


(8) Do you have a head?

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Luisa
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Luisa » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:42 pm

Hi Sophia,

I hope everything is fine there.
Of course you can take your time freely, I know you are preparing the retreat.

If at any moment you need to express something out of the line of questions, please feel free to do so.

Warm regards and Love,
Luisa

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Sophia
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Re: Beginnings

Postby Sophia » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:46 pm

LUISA... I've now posted two reply's to your last questions and neither of them have seen once I have submitted them... so I'm trying again and see if even this message goes...


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