Going back and forth

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etape33
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Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:08 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That consciousness is observing the world. My body, mind, emotions, and actions are happening and there is no real me that is attached to the thoughts and activities.

What are you looking for at LU?
I seem to go back and forth with this. I have moments of seeing. It may be off topic, but I haven't experienced that all is one. Well in a way I have, but I've never experienced it in everyday life, if that makes any sense.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To finally experience a lasting freedom. Confirmation that I am experiencing the selfless state and that it can last without slipping back into identification with thoughts. I thought I was there but then thoughts came up that sucked me back in :-(

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Meditation for about 20 years. I watch a lot of YouTube videos such as Adyashanti, Mooji, Abraham Hicks, Eckhart, and so on. I always feel a sense of peace when reading or watching them, but I still get wrapped up in my thoughts sometimes.

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

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:19 am

Hi Etape,

I'm happy to guide you if you are happy to have me as your guide. If you are interested post back and we can begin our conversation.

Best wishes

Amrita

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:25 am

Hi Amitra,

Thank you and yes I'm very happy to hear from you :-)

I'm ready when you are.

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:09 pm

Ok this is kind of funny. When I posted the above reply, I was wondering if I should use my real name or not and then of course the inner dialog of the name is just a label at which point I later realized that I misspelled your name.

Anyway sorry Amrita.

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:28 pm

No worries, I'm not attached to the name you want to call me. It is just a word label after all! Saying that what would you like me to call you in this inquiry? Etape or something else?

I am very happy to have a dialogue with you to help you explore the nature of experience. As has been said many times before the essence of this inquiry is experiential. It's not intellectual or interested in various models of non-duality. The inquiry is about "looking" or exploring one's actual experience of the here and now in order to see there is no self or I at the centre of experience.

It would be good if we can make a commitment to each other to try and post at least once a day to keep the conversation alive as it were. The "looking" takes a certain amout of energy and focus which is best sustained through our dialouge so its good to report back as often as you can. I'm sure you know the inquiry takes the form of the guide asking questions or suggesting exercises and you reporting back on how you you got on with them. Does that make sense?

It would be great if you can learn to use the quote function as it makes reading replies so much easier
Hi Amitra,

Thank you and yes I'm very happy to hear from you :-)

I'm ready when you are.
If you are happy with this post back and we can begin,

warmest wishes

Amrita

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:47 pm

Hi Amrita,
what would you like me to call you in this inquiry? Etape or something else?
Call me Etienne :-)
It would be good if we can make a commitment to each other to try and post at least once a day to keep the conversation alive as it were. The "looking" takes a certain amout of energy and focus which is best sustained through our dialouge so its good to report back as often as you can. I'm sure you know the inquiry takes the form of the guide asking questions or suggesting exercises and you reporting back on how you you got on with them. Does that make sense?
Yes and I can commit to that.
It would be great if you can learn to use the quote function as it makes reading replies so much easier
Hopefully what I've done in this post will work...
If you are happy with this post back and we can begin,
Let's go!

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:06 pm

Hi Etienne,

That is a beautiful name whether it belongs to you or not :)

Lets jump right in and examine your expectations or preconceptions about this process

What do you imagine life would be like without a self or I at the centre of it?

What would you gain by seeing through the illusion of self?

What do you imagine you might lose?

Best wishes

amrita

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:58 am

What do you imagine life would be like without a self or I at the centre of it?
Expansive, simple, easy, joyful, flowing.
What would you gain by seeing through the illusion of self?
I would gain being free from suffering, from being sucked into my mind's activities, and being motivated by fear.
What do you imagine you might lose?
Being in control of my life. That being said, when I've been in a space of no mind, or really complete observation of mind, that thought about control didn't even occur to me.

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:43 pm

Hi Etienne,

Nice answers! It's great that you have a sense of what this inquiry will bring you but I think its important to approach this as open mindedly as possible. Sometimes our expecations can actually get in the way of what we are looking at. Lets see how you get on...

Before we start, can you say a little bit more about what you mean when you say this please,
when I've been in a space of no mind, or really complete observation of mind, that thought about control didn't even occur to me.
Love

amrita

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:03 pm

Hi Amrita,
can you say a little bit more about what you mean when you say this please,
when I've been in a space of no mind, or really complete observation of mind, that thought about control didn't even occur to me.
Well I've had experiences where I'm in a very different space - one where things are just happening perfectly and there doesn't seem to be any thoughts per se as I remember. Everything feels very expansive and flowing. Actually once it was if I were much larger than my mind and could completely observe it - as if I took a step back from it. So there wasn't a need to control or resist anything because everything was just happening perfectly.

As I write this I'm aware that my experience is not the same as the one I described above, but I'm still aware of my thoughts along with a faint idea that i should do this or that, but at the same time observing that and still (for the most part) letting things happen. That being said, I have been experiencing tensions in my body and fears are coming up that something is wrong, and that I should do something about it, even though I know that nothing is wrong.

I didn't expect to write all that :-)

Thanks for talking the time to help me.

Love,
Etienne

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:06 pm

Hi Etienne,

This sounds very positive :)
I've had experiences where I'm in a very different space - one where things are just happening perfectly and there doesn't seem to be any thoughts per se as I remember. Everything feels very expansive and flowing. Actually once it was if I were much larger than my mind and could completely observe it - as if I took a step back from it. So there wasn't a need to control or resist anything because everything was just happening perfectly.
In this inquiry we are guided to seeing through the I-story which results, certainly in my experience, into a spacious expansive awareness where experience /Life is just happening. There is no I at the centre of experience attempting to control or regulate life. There is no I to hold onto anything. There is just the vast awareness of life/universe/presence. No self necessary to hold it all together.

Let's try a simple exercise into looking. When I say looking I mean applying the mind to focus on various aspects of experience such as sensations, thoughts, images, sounds rather than simply the physical act of seeing with the eyes. Its good if you can cultivate a loving kindness towards whatever is experienced so not judging or resisting aspects of exprience, just accepting whatever is going on particularly uncomfortable sensations within the body. Does that many any sense to you?


Try this exercise to start with and when you feel ready post back with your findings.

If you close your eyes and look at the sensations in your body can you find any self or I within any of those sensations? Do these sensations belong to you or are there just sensations?

With your eyes closed touch something. Can you describe what the sensations are like? If you push against something with your hand can you experience your hand separately from the thing you are pushing against or are there just sensations? Is there a self or I anywhere to be found in the sensations? When you push against something can you find a line where "you" stop and the thing you pushing against begins?

As you go about your daily life, try closing your eyes at different times of day whilst engaging in different activities and pay attention to the sensations. Can you find a separate self anywhere within the experience of physical sensations?

Lots of love

amrita

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:58 pm

Hi Amrita,
Its good if you can cultivate a loving kindness towards whatever is experienced so not judging or resisting aspects of exprience, just accepting whatever is going on particularly uncomfortable sensations within the body. Does that many any sense to you?
Yes, I try to do that when it occurs to me, which is more and more often. :-)
If you close your eyes and look at the sensations in your body can you find any self or I within any of those sensations?
Do these sensations belong to you or are there just sensations?
Today when I have been looking, I cannot find a me - just the awareness that these sensations are happening in my space.
With your eyes closed touch something. Can you describe what the sensations are like?
At first I am aware of the delineation between my hand and the object. Then if I relax the focus a bit, I am left with only the sensations. I don't know how to describe the sensations except to say that it is like a something in the space,
If you push against something with your hand can you experience your hand separately from the thing you are pushing against or are there just sensations?
I can experience my hand separately as well as just sensations depending on what my intention is, if that makes any sense. It's like if I choose to create a separation there is - if I choose to open up the focus, there is not.
Is there a self or I anywhere to be found in the sensations?
This is interesting because at first it's like "here I am sitting on the couch, holding a mug with my eyes closed". Then after a few moments something relaxes and opens up and then it's just sensations floating in space.
When you push against something can you find a line where "you" stop and the thing you pushing against begins?
At first yes, but I realized that I was still visualizing my hand and the object. When I let go, then I no longer feel a line. The sensations are just part of my experience.
As you go about your daily life, try closing your eyes at different times of day whilst engaging in different activities and pay attention to the sensations. Can you find a separate self anywhere within the experience of physical sensations?
With the physical sensations no - there is no separate self. I can be aware of my body in relation to other objects (the floor, the couch, a mug), but when I just become aware of the sensations, they are just sensations, being experienced here and now.

Sending love,
Etienne

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:35 pm

This all sounds really great Etienne,

Let's try another sense based exercise,

With your eyes closed become aware of any sound in your environment.

Can you find a self that is listening to the sound or is there just sound?

Is there a self that is hearing or is there just sound simply arising?

Can you say whether these sounds are inside you or outside you?

Isn't it the case there are just sounds arising within the field of experience?

When listening to any sound can you find an awareness seperate from the sound itself?

Try this exercise at different times of the day. Its useful to close your eyes (as it takes the sense of seeing out which makes it easier to focus on hearing). You can do this in bed late at night or early in the morning and listen to sounds far away from you. Again, can you say whether these sounds are inside you or outide of you? Isnt there just sounds arising and passing?

Love

amrita x

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etape33
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby etape33 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:32 pm

Hi Amrita,
With your eyes closed become aware of any sound in your environment. Can you find a self that is listening to the sound or is there just sound?
There is just awareness of the sound along with thoughts sometimes that comment on the sound.
Is there a self that is hearing or is there just sound simply arising?
The sounds are just there in the space.
Can you say whether these sounds are inside you or outside you?
I can perceive the sounds as being outside of me if there is a thought or image attached to the sound. When I just perceive the sound, it is happening in my space.
Isn't it the case there are just sounds arising within the field of experience?
Yes.
When listening to any sound can you find an awareness seperate from the sound itself?
I'm not sure I understand this one. I do perceive that the sound is separate from my awareness of it. The sounds come and go but the awareness is constant. Is that what you were asking?
Try this exercise at different times of the day. Its useful to close your eyes (as it takes the sense of seeing out which makes it easier to focus on hearing). Again, can you say whether these sounds are inside you or outide of you? Isnt there just sounds arising and passing?
Yes when I have my eyes open I am more likely to initially perceive that the sound is outside of me. When I relax my focus I then experience the sounds inside just coming and going.

Sending love,
Etienne

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amrita
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Re: Going back and forth

Postby amrita » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:18 pm

HI Etienne,

Again some nice answers. I like your phrase of sounds just occuring in space :)

When I asked this,
When listening to any sound can you find an awareness seperate from the sound itself?
I'm not sure I understand this one. I do perceive that the sound is separate from my awareness of it. The sounds come and go but the awareness is constant. Is that what you were asking?
I meant can you find an awareness seperate from the obect of awareness? In regards to sound is there awareness that is outside of the sound that is heard? Is awareness ever seperate from the object of awareness of ie sensations, thoughts, sounds, images? In other words, can we have awareness without an object? It doesnt matter too much that you get this at this point but I thought I would ask.

Let's look at the sense of seeing now. Look at any object in your room or environment. Can you find a self or I that is doing the looking? Can you find a seperate sense of self that is distinct from the object you are looking at? Isnt it the case that there are just images (colours and shapes) appearing within awareness? Spend some time exploring looking at objects in front of you. Can you find a self that is looking or seeing or is there simply images arising? Is there a self "inside" looking at world of objects out "there"?

Isnt it the case that seeing just happens without a self needed to look or see?

love

amrita


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