Guidance requested

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Ybeen
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Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:24 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
here is no self separate from everything that is. There is only the experience of what is.

What are you looking for at LU?
Guidance with really seeing the absence of a self as reality. Conceptually, it makes sense. But it is come to through thinking. Assistance coming to it through looking properly and experiencing it as reality would be appreciated.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Help looking at what is experienced to come to an understanding of the reality of no self through direct experience. To be pointed at where to look in order to see what is and what is not there. Assistance identifying the resistance.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Read a bit of this and that. Always hit some kind of inconsistency, or requirement of blind faith. Closest feeling of rightness was a brief experience of flowing unity and "everything is", if that makes sense. Just for a moment, and then it slipped away. Plus actually reading this site as requested, a couple archived threads, a couple in progress threads, a few guidings in Gateless Gatecrashers, steps pasted at Marked, Eternal.

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

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Hello Ybeen,

I've read your preamble and would love to work with you.

Do read, if you haven't already, all the guidelines and disclaimers on the Gate and check out the 'quote' method. Let me know if you have any problems.

Typically I will ask a series of questions and or ask you to do various exercises and I hope you will answer from your direct and actual experience as honestly as you can.

From your introduction it is clear that you want to see and to 'know' so I needn't really mention not digressing into abstractions and theory.

Please let me know if this is all ok with you.

Click on the spanner/wrench symbol at the bottom and select subscribe in order to receive email notification of my posts.

Warmly,

Michael.

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:41 am

Hi Michael,

Thank you very much for wanting to work me.

Yes, this is all okay.

I appear to be subscribed to the thread. Looking forward to working with you.

Have a wonderful day/evening!

Been

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:29 pm

Hi Been,

Sorry for the delay but I didn't get notified that you ahd posted.

You will remember that at the beginning of our conversation I stated that the key to this process was looking directly at your experience, noticing, (avoiding intellectualization) and reporting honestly.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
And
Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

The aim is so that you begin looking with a sense of open curiosity free from preconceptions of any kind. Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days out of consideration let’s notify each other accordingly. That way we can create a continuity and momentum.

Enjoy the process.

Michael

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:45 pm

Hi Michael,

Thank you for taking the time to help me with this process.
Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
Oof. I do have expectations, don't I? To have a moment where it "clicks" and there's just seeing clearly, without blindly believing the thoughts that pop up and giving them imaginary substance. To relax and enjoy life for what it is. To cease worrying.
Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

If I see there is no self, will that affect my family and my ability to care for them. It shouldn't. There is a body here to do that, and the feeling of love. There's so much "I am" and "you are" wrapped up with adjectives, a lifetime of believing that and building on it. Can all that really just fall away? What is left when it does? That thought both scares me and gives a feeling of relief. There's a tightness in my throat.

Intellectualization is hard to get away from. I seem thought-based. If I think of expectations or fears, it's all thoughts, plus some body sensations. It's hard to different the sensations that arise as a result of these thoughts from the ones that are already there due to stress.

Thanks,

Been

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:08 pm

Hello Been,

That was quick!
To have a moment where it "clicks" and there's just seeing clearly, without blindly believing the thoughts that pop up and giving them imaginary substance. To relax and enjoy life for what it is. To cease worrying.
[/quote
]

They are reasonable expectations except that there may not be an exact moment when you "click" (although there could be) as for some folk the shift can be gradual, perhaps over a few days or so.
If I see there is no self, will that affect my family and my ability to care for them. It shouldn't. There is a body here to do that, and the feeling of love.
You are right, your feeling of love will continue and it will be natural for you to carry on caring for your family.
There's so much "I am" and "you are" wrapped up with adjectives, a lifetime of believing that and building on it. Can all that really just fall away? What is left when it does? That thought both scares me and gives a feeling of relief. There's a tightness in my throat.
It may not all fall away, selfing is likely to continue but you won't get lost in it. You won't just get gripped or lost in the storyline. It becomes quieter and more peaceful. Identidication with thought will weaken.

Let's begin then!.....

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth just mentioning what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Warmly,

Michael

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:52 am

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Sure. My right nostril seems almost completely plugged, but air flows in and out the left one. There's a constant quiet clearing of my throat to open up the airway. Above my belly button below my chest, there's a heavy sinking feeling. My chest feels tight and my throat feels like something is stuck in it, but I can breathe. There is a sharp twinge and then a dull ache in my left pinky finger, then it settles in. The fingers of my left hand clench into a fist and then flex and the pinky feels the same as the rest of the fingers again. My thumbs feel light warm pats on their pads typing on a tablet. Throat rumbles. The inside edge of my right ear itches, then is warm after being scratched. The front right of my head feels different then the rest of the head. Not necessarily painful, which I was going to say, just different. And now the left temple does too, and that feeling is getting more intense and then there's a sort of hollow echo feeling (not sound) in my left ear.

I'm not sure I've ever paid attention quite like that before. I wanted to call the head feeling a headache, but it wasn't really.

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:12 pm

Hello Been,
The front right of my head feels different then the rest of the head. Not necessarily painful, which I was going to say, just different. And now the left temple does too, and that feeling is getting more intense and then there's a sort of hollow echo feeling (not sound) in my left ear.
Well noticed!
I'm not sure I've ever paid attention quite like that before. I wanted to call the head feeling a headache, but it wasn't really.
Well done. This is very good looking indeed. There is sensation, and quite often a label like 'pain' or 'headache' will be added when in fact it is not accurate and the consequence is sufferring.

Continue to practice mindfulness in this way. Even very short periods such as at a coffee break, any time you are alone, or between tasks will be of value (to your life as a whole) and for the duration of this inquiry particularly.

Good. Let's move on, so now please try the following excercise:

Sitting quietly somewhere, become aware of the six senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and whatever else is occurring to the mind.

Focusing on sight say to yourself 'I am seeing -a table, wall, lamp' whatever it is
Then with sound 'I am hearing - traffic, the fridge' or whatever.
'I am touching - the floor, cushion, chair' as occurs.
Smell and taste are obviously subtler and we'll see how you get on with 'I am thinking...'

Then do just the same without the 'I'

'Seeing table' etc
'Hearing a dog..'

What comes up for you when you drop the notion of a separate self seeing and listening etc?

Warm regards,

Michael

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:10 am

Hello Michael,
What comes up for you when you drop the notion of a separate self seeing and listening etc?
When I drop the "I", it's like I lose a sense of the "object" being sensed. Rather, it's more about the sensation. Or even, as if the sensation and the object are the same thing.

For thinking, a "there is the thought", "thinking, 'there is the thought'", turned into "there is the thought, thinking" somewhere in the loop.

Warmly,

Been

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:02 pm

Hi Been,

Well done. You don't mention mindfulness practice in your initial preamble but you seem to be aware at a very subtle level. Let's jump right in!

Try this;

The usual western notion is that there is an object, a subject perceiving the object, and an act of perception.

Select an object such as a cup, or a piece of fruit, and look.

Where does the object end and the self begin?

Is anything carrying out an 'act of perception?

Looking at the object can any self be found at all, anywhere?

In fact is anything 'looking' at all or is looking just occurring?

Warm regards,

Michael

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:37 am

Hi Michael,
Where does the object end and the self begin?
There's no point at which it stops and I begin.
Is anything carrying out an 'act of perception?
At first, with various objects, there was the thought "it's over there, and I'm over here". But in looking at it, there's just looking.
Looking at the object can any self be found at all, anywhere?
There is the thought "I am looking from over here", but then it's not there, and there's just looking. And then the thought comes back, then goes away, and so on. And now it's stopped coming back. There's no perception of a self.
In fact is anything 'looking' at all or is looking just occurring?
How odd. There's nothing looking. There's the thought "there's nothing looking", then the thought "I'm looking" in response, but sort of feeble. Then back and forth they go. And really, nothing is looking. It's just happening. Everything is just happening.

Warmly,

Been

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:05 pm

Thank you for the guidance, Michael.

All the best,

Been

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MichaelD
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby MichaelD » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi Bean.

I have just seen your post and there has been a glitch!

I replied to your previous (wonderful) post - but it is nowhere to be seen! I was having internet connectivity problems but it seemed to post. I am so sorry!

How are you? Have you continued looking? Are you happy to continue?

Warmly,

Michael

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:29 am

Hi Michael,

I am happy to continue. Thanks for putting the time into the reply that didn't make it.

Life has been more enjoyable and less stressful the past few days. The moments of crankiness are pretty easily traced to a temporary belief in some random thought or other, in retrospect. It is what it is. Time also seems to be passing more slowly.

Warmly,

Been

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Ybeen
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Re: Guidance requested

Postby Ybeen » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:32 am

a temporary belief in some random thought or other
Oh. The thoughts are part of everything happening. There's nothing to believe them. It comes down to that. Ha! That's hilarious. It really is.

Thanks for everything :-)

Been


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