Breaking Free

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poppyseed
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Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Sun May 20, 2018 5:30 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
There is no separate "I" who is experiencing life. It is just an illusion and daydreaming/nightmare, a deeply engraved belief of being in charge, autonomous, and separate from everything else.

What are you looking for at LU?

I've been searching my whole life for a deeper meaning and an answer to the question "Who Am I" only to discover through self inquiry, meditation, contemplation and reading that there is no "I". I have had many insights and a lot seems to be clear now, but there seems to be some doubt that there is no "I" left, or a suspicion of a very skillful "I" in disguise pretending to be not there as there are often situations where old reactions and an upset/frustrated/generally unhappy "I" appears. I guess I'm looking for help in discovering places where the "I" might still linger so there is a certainty that nothing is left.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
To make sure there "my" view is right and there are no places where "I" haven't looked before. I suppose require a bit of help with a thorough examination in order to get a bit of reassurance that there is nothing left or help dissolving whatever is left.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Zen, Chan, Tibetan Buddhism (Kalachakra preliminaries), Dzogchen. I have received pointing out instructions.

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

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Artst
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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Wed May 23, 2018 9:30 am

Hi, Poppyseed,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed :). Glad you made it here. 

My name is Robyn, and I can be your guide if you like. 

Should I call you Poppyseed, or is there another name you would prefer?

Before we get started, here are some important preliminaries.

During our conversation I will ask you a series of questions. For each, you will look at your own direct experience and answer with 100% honesty.

I point. You look. You tell me what you see right there. Rinse & repeat. Simple :)

It is best to avoid analyzing, speculation and debate. The mind will try to create distraction.

It is vital that you really do each “experiment” I provide, and look at your direct experience — in the present moment — instead of relying on analytical thought or memory.

Please watch the below 30 second video to learn how to use the Quote function. This will assist us in having a clear dialogue around the questions and answers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

During our conversation, please avoid any other teachings, spiritual books, writings, YouTube videos or talks. If you have a meditation practice, feel free to continue with it as usual.

Please make an effort to write here every day. This works best if we keep a constant focus on looking. If you are unable to do this on occasion, just let me know. I'll do the same for you.

If you're okay with everything so far, we can start. 
Bring Art to Life

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poppyseed
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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Wed May 23, 2018 10:43 am

Hi Robyn

Thank you so much for taking the time! All guidance is really appreciated! You can call me Rey.
I have a daily meditation practice which usually takes as long as it has to, but normally between an hour and two hours first thing in the morning. This is insight time and I try to stick to it (no attachment to it :) ) but throughout the day there are constant efforts for observation.
I watched the video and read all your notes so I’m ready to look.

Hugs
Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Wed May 23, 2018 5:10 pm

Hi, Rey,

Thank you for taking this on! I'm pleased to be your guide.
I have a daily meditation practice which usually takes as long as it has to, but normally between an hour and two hours first thing in the morning.
This is great. If there are beliefs associated with your meditation practice about how things are (for instance, as might be the case for a guided meditation), please do your best to set them aside during this exploration.

The first thing is to get your expectations out on the table, so here are your first questions.

1) What do you expect to happen as a result of this?

2) What do you want not to happen?

3) What are you hoping for?

4) Rey, please make a list of all the things that should be different when you realize there’s no separate self.

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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poppyseed
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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Wed May 23, 2018 7:02 pm

Hi Robyn
Thank you so much for taking my guidance seriously and replying so quickly!
If there are beliefs associated with your meditation practice about how things are (for instance, as might be the case for a guided meditation), please do your best to set them aside during this exploration.
I practice Shamata meditation with no object so I don't think it's going to come in the way, it might even be helpful.

Now to your questions...
1) What do you expect to happen as a result of this?
I suppose I expect a bit of certainty that "I" am on the right track in dissolving any trace of "me" as slowly/quickly as it has to be, taking everything as it is
2) What do you want not to happen?
Not to lose touch with "reality" and embarrass the rest of the family as being the weirdo :)). Also not caring about anything and anybody.
3) What are you hoping for?
Less "me" thoughts,"like" and "dislike" thoughts, more compassion and unconditional love, "one taste" experiences
4) Rey, please make a list of all the things that should be different when you realize there’s no separate self.
I suppose all of the above mentioned in the "I am hoping for" section.

Looking forward to your new questions
Love
Reyxxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Wed May 23, 2018 11:25 pm

Hi, Rey,

Thanks for your message. Nicely done.

Bottom line about expectations is that it's good to acknowledge them in order to know what they are and then set them aside.

Specifically:
I suppose I expect a bit of certainty that "I" am on the right track in dissolving any trace of "me" as slowly/quickly as it has to be, taking everything as it is
You will discover that seeing through the illusion is similar to the realization that there is no actual Santa Claus in that there will still be men dressed up in red suits who are supposed to be Santa. Does this make sense?
Not to lose touch with "reality" and embarrass the rest of the family as being the weirdo :)). Also not caring about anything and anybody.
Not to worry. Normal to have this concern and it won't happen. Well, can't guarantee your family won't think you're weird, but it wont' be because you have lost touch with anything through this. ;-) There won't be anything lost.
Less "me" thoughts,"like" and "dislike" thoughts, more compassion and unconditional love, "one taste" experiences
Tends to happen, but no guarantee and not continually.

Any problem with letting go of these hopes and expectations? I'll assume it's fine and go on. Please let me know, though, if there are any you find impossible to set aside, ok?

If you look for the I, what is there? Can you describe what you find?

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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poppyseed
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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Thu May 24, 2018 7:48 am

Good morning Robyn,

Or whatever part of the day is where you are, let it be good :)
Bottom line about expectations is that it's good to acknowledge them in order to know what they are and then set them aside.
Any problem with letting go of these hopes and expectations? I'll assume it's fine and go on. Please let me know, though, if there are any you find impossible to set aside, ok?
Honestly, I thought I don't have any expectations left - it is good that they have come to the surface to be let go of :).
You will discover that seeing through the illusion is similar to the realization that there is no actual Santa Claus in that there will still be men dressed up in red suits who are supposed to be Santa. Does this make sense?
Yes, it does. My only problem with this analogy is how you saw through the illusion - did you believe it because they told you so or you literally went to check under the beards of all the fake Santa's :). Also, do you belief that there are fake Santa's, but somewhere there is a real one that can't be seen by everyone? You see that the presents every Christmas are from your parents and little by little you stop believing in him. I can see I went too deep into the analogy :))

Now for the big one...
If you look for the I, what is there? Can you describe what you find?
At first I thought "Here, it comes the first out of the set sequence of questions", but then I saw the magic of the process of looking with a target. Yes, it is an illusion but why. An illusion is something that you believed but you found out not to be true - a trickery, something that looks like "the real thing". So looking at the usual places and not finding anything true is the illusion. It's like pointing a giant torch and not seeing anything substantial. The "I" seems to be a collection of self-images (a bunch of colours that always go together and are recognized as the "I"), perceptions (the recognition of the colours "I" and labeling) and a whole lot of thoughts - beliefs, memories, auditory thoughts (that irritating narrator), image thoughts with a reference to the "I". All of that has been grouped somehow and seen as the idea of "I".

What the problem seems to be for "me" is who/what is pointing the torch and seeing that there is nothing there but the usual suspects, who/what is writing to you about what is not found. Is this something different altogether or just a "narcissistic I", "self-preserving I" or simply "the I in charge of the enlightenment project"? Is this just another story about "awakened Rey", or part of the process of dissolution?

I hope it makes sense. It is so difficult to express all of it.

Have a magic day!
Love, Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Thu May 24, 2018 9:25 am

HI, Rey,

Thank you for your reply. I get a sense of where you are.

It's currently 3:23am (Central Time) where I am. What's your time and zone?

In this message, the parts for you to answer are in blue font.
My only problem with this analogy is how you saw through the illusion - did you believe it because they told you so or you literally went to check under the beards of all the fake Santa's :). Also, do you belief that there are fake Santa's, but somewhere there is a real one that can't be seen by everyone? You see that the presents every Christmas are from your parents and little by little you stop believing in him.
The point is that there is still a man in a red suit despite the fact that "Santa Claus" is just a myth. Similar with the I. Do you get the point? We are not discussing the merits of the analogy or of anything else. In fact, intellectualizing is a distraction that will make it more difficult and slower to see through the illusion.
a whole lot of thoughts - beliefs, memories, auditory thoughts (that irritating narrator), image thoughts with a reference to the "I". All of that has been grouped somehow and seen as the idea of "I".
Ok. There is some accuracy here - that I is an idea. We'll get into this a lot more.
What the problem seems to be for "me" is who/what is pointing the torch and seeing that there is nothing there but the usual suspects, who/what is writing to you about what is not found.
Yeah, with there being no I, there is no controller/doer either. Again, more on this later.

The next thing for us to do is get you up to speed on how to get at 'direct experience.' This exploration is based on direct experience (DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

Direct Experience (DE) refers to your current experience ‘right now,’ without the labels and thought stories. So, direct experience (DE) is color, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple noticing of thought at face value. What thought says ie, the content of thought is NOT experience. This is evidenced by the fact that you cannot taste the word 'sweet'. When looking at direct experience (DE), you are looking at raw experience WITHOUT what thought says ABOUT the raw experience.
Thought layers concepts over direct experience. A thought (concept, idea, label) is never the actual. Some thoughts point to the actual, and some point to other thoughts, but the content of every single thought is just a story.

Here's an exercise for you to get super clear on what direct experience is. You can use this photo of an apple or if you have a real apple, you can use that for this exercise.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's color, a thought saying ‘apple,' and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is just more thought. Direct, actual experience is sound, thought, color(sight), smell, taste and sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT cannot be found in direct or actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in direct experience ‘. What you know for sure.

Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Color (visual information) labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is 'an apple' actually known? (Or is it a label?)


Enjoy!

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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poppyseed
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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Thu May 24, 2018 1:57 pm

HI Robyn

I can't believe you were up at that hour! My time zone is UTC +2 so 7 hours ahead of you :)
I'm sorry it took so much time to answer but today is the busiest day of the week. I'm ready to answer whatever you throw at me now :).
The point is that there is still a man in a red suit despite the fact that "Santa Claus" is just a myth. Similar with the I. Do you get the point? We are not discussing the merits of the analogy or of anything else. In fact, intellectualizing is a distraction that will make it more difficult and slower to see through the illusion.
I knew I got carried away and I apologize for it. Thank you very much for the Zen stick! Yes, I did get the point. I promise to be right to the point :)
The next thing for us to do is get you up to speed on how to get at 'direct experience.' This exploration is based on direct experience (DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

Direct Experience (DE) refers to your current experience ‘right now,’ without the labels and thought stories. So, direct experience (DE) is color, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple noticing of thought at face value. What thought says ie, the content of thought is NOT experience. This is evidenced by the fact that you cannot taste the word 'sweet'. When looking at direct experience (DE), you are looking at raw experience WITHOUT what thought says ABOUT the raw experience.
Thought layers concepts over direct experience. A thought (concept, idea, label) is never the actual. Some thoughts point to the actual, and some point to other thoughts, but the content of every single thought is just a story.
Got it. I've been practicing this for a while.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
"Apple" is not known and can't be found in actual experience, only colour labelled "apple" and thought about an"apple". "Apple" is a label.

Thanks so much for persevering with "me"!

Love, Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Fri May 25, 2018 3:36 am

Hi, Rey,

Thank you for your message. No need to apologize -- your timing is fine. If we can exchange messages once a day, we're doing great.
I knew I got carried away and I apologize for it. Thank you very much for the Zen stick! Yes, I did get the point. I promise to be right to the point :)
:-)
Got it. I've been practicing this for a while.
Good!
"Apple" is not known and can't be found in actual experience, only colour labelled "apple" and thought about an"apple". "Apple" is a label.
Great!

Ok, how about "I?" Do you find an "I" anywhere in direct experience?

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Fri May 25, 2018 8:11 am

Hi Robyn
It's a wonderful day here - sunny and warm. Plus I have a lot of free time today, so perfect time for self-inquiry :)
Ok, how about "I?" Do you find an "I" anywhere in direct experience?
"I" can't be find in DE, "I" is a label

Looking deeply during this morning meditation, what was seen with the reference to the "I" was:

Of course a ton of thoughts labeled "I" about ME being a mother etc.
BUT also thoughts labeled "I" ABOUT thoughts labeled "body" like "this is MY body", which came from DE labeled "body" like:
imagery labeled "body"
taste labeled "body"
sensations labeled "body", thoughts about heart beat, breathing, warmth
smell labeled "body", thoughts labeled "body" ABOUT sweat

This last group of thoughts is a bit trickier as it could be seen that their label is more like "body" and not exactly "I" thus slightly out of topic (stopping intellectualizing right now!)

A good exercise!

Have a wonderful day yourself!
Love, Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Fri May 25, 2018 9:01 am

Hi, Rey,

I'm glad it's a pretty day where you are.

In the previous message, you mentioned my late/early hours. I'm an extreme night owl artist. These hours are normal for me.
"I" can't be find in DE, "I" is a label
Yes, yes.
Of course a ton of thoughts labeled "I" about ME being a mother etc.
BUT also thoughts labeled "I" ABOUT thoughts labeled "body" like "this is MY body"
Right. Does this mean there is an I?
imagery labeled "body"
taste labeled "body"
sensations labeled "body", thoughts about heart beat, breathing, warmth
smell labeled "body", thoughts labeled "body" ABOUT sweat
These are contents of thoughts? It looks like I wasn't clear. Having thoughts is DE, but the contents are not DE. No need to look at or share the content of thoughts here. All we will deal with is DE.

So, it's clear for you that "i" is only a label, yes? Any doubt about this?

Yet, there's still some question about what's doing the doing or controlling the action, is that correct? If this is accurate, I'll send you an exercise to assist in seeing what's so about this.

Have a lovely day!

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Fri May 25, 2018 9:43 am

Hi Robyn

Thank you so much for your swift reply and taking the time with my guidance!
These are contents of thoughts? It looks like I wasn't clear. Having thoughts is DE, but the contents are not DE. No need to look at or share the content of thoughts here. All we will deal with is DE.
Understood. I just wanted to give an example, otherwise completely understand the difference.
So, it's clear for you that "i" is only a label, yes? Any doubt about this?
No doubt at all. I got now the fine detail/nuance with respect to "I" being a label instead of the content of thoughts.
Yet, there's still some question about what's doing the doing or controlling the action, is that correct? If this is accurate, I'll send you an exercise to assist in seeing what's so about this.
Yes, please! I don't want to leave any stone unturned.

Love, Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby poppyseed » Fri May 25, 2018 10:25 am

Hi Robyn

I just reread your message and I had kind of an insight
Yet, there's still some question about what's doing the doing or controlling the action, is that correct?
I've done the exercises about control before and and I experienced the "no control" in DE. I just somehow didn't connect it to my question. Now when I saw your "point"/ direction of inquiry, I saw clearly the answer to my question. Nobody is pointing the torch - it just happens, but thoughts come with it. So just stay out of the content and all is good :)

Please let me know if I am on the right track!

Love, Rey xxx

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Re: Breaking Free

Postby Artst » Sat May 26, 2018 3:46 am

Hi, Rey,

Guiding you is my pleasure completely! Thank you for the heart and effort you're putting into this. 

I got now the fine detail/nuance with respect to "I" being a label instead of the content of thoughts.
Actually, the 'label, I" is a way of referring to the content of thoughts, "I." The labeling happens as thought content. Haha. Funny to describe with words. At any rate, is this clear to you?

Nobody is pointing the torch - it just happens, but thoughts come with it.
Good! Have you noticed that thoughts are not really orderly or continuous? We have thoughts that say that thoughts are structured a particular way. If it's not clear for you that this isn't so, I suggest that for the next day, look at thoughts.

So just stay out of the content and all is good :)
Good.
What controls thought content?
Is thought content true?

Please let me know if I am on the right track!
Yes, totally on the right track, Rey.

Sending love,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life


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