RiverRock

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Drumps
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RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:11 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I am aware of the fact that despite the sense that I have that "inside me" is a person who acts with volition and makes choices and decisions to do certain things, when in actual fact I look for that person, I can find nothing there. And when I act as no-self those actions are more natural and have flow. When as a character they are laboured.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have read many books by different writers and understand the basics of non duality. I have had experiences where I felt close to some kind of realisation but it never sticks. I have never had any discussions with other people about these issues. It is quite clear to me that in order for me to progress I have to be able to communicate and relate to other people who are interested in these issues. Because I feel passionate about them and think and read about them all the time every day but it has become my "secret" which I think could become unhealthy in some kind of way. I basically need someone I can talk to. Ideally someone who can guide me and answer some of the many questions I have. And yet my reading has drummed into me that you can't "think your way" out of this and that where we are trying to get to is the very spot you started out from. It just doesn't feel that way.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I hope clarity from someone who is viewing things from a different perspective to that which I have. One who has reached a stage where they know and trully feel the fact that there is no person instead of intellectualise it, which I can do myself.
On a basic level someone who can answer my questions. But also a forum where I can be totally honest, to "get things out" and not keep them bottled in. Like many people I have read so many different books and I often get caught in the trap of trying to keep all those pointers and messages in my head. That's just the way I am. I guess what I would like from a guided converstaion is to put all this stuff aside, lay it down, and just try and explore things, by myself through honest looking, and with someone to guide me whom I can trust.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I am actually uncomfortable with the term spiritual. I was brought up a Catholic and it was a difficult experience. What I am really looking for is truth, and truth does not respect terms such as spiritual or scientific. What is real and what is not - that's what drives me. And I do not therefore consider mine a spiritual journey but maybe that's because my younger experiences with religion were like that of a straight jacket - the opposite of what we all really want which is freedom (which I now believe to be freedom from a small/restricting self). My experiences of seeking is mainly through books and also through videos on Youtube. The people whose books I have read and who I feel close to include Eckhart Tolle (who was the first), Papaji, Tony Parsons, Richard Sylvester, Douglas Harding, Fred Davis, Nisargadatta, and Ilona.... and so on. All of whom seem to me to come from basically the same place and all of whom have been a great help to me. I also tried meditation for a while and enjoyed that but that seems to me to be an enjoyable and worthwhile exercise which calms the mind but which will not lead you (at least not on its own) to freedom. I have never attended any events such as Satsangs or other meetings in person, although have watched some on Youtube. Basically I would say my journey of self enquiry has been an enjoyable one but a fairly lonely one.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 9

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:25 am

Hi Drumps,

My name is Kay, and I am happy to assist you in exploring the idea of the separate self. At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

Disclaimer:-

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:-

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/


“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ&app=desktop

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:43 pm

Dear Kay,
Thank you for replying to my message and offering to be my guide.
My name is John.
Please note I am totally unaccustomed to any forms of social media and posting comments to things such as forums so if I screw up then do bear with me.
I see it is quite a bit of time since you posted your reply. Apologies for the slight delay, I have only just gotten off a long haul flight.
Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realization that there is no separate self and never has been.
You have asked me to make sure I can use the quote function so here's my first try. Interesting what you are saying about Looking rather than Thinking because what I keep trying to do is work everything out and, of course, it doesn't normally succeed.

I have read all the links you recommended. Including the Disclaimer so I am clear on things and how it works.
I am visiting my family for Christmas so it will be a hectic time but I promise to throw myself at any tasks you set me and will make sure to post as often as I can.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:02 am

Hey John,

Thank you for your post and for reading all the links. If you would prefer to start after Christmas, that is okay with me. This time of year is hectic with catching up with people and all the hoo har that Christmas brings. Just let me know what you prefer.
Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realization that there is no separate self and never has been.
You have asked me to make sure I can use the quote function so here's my first try. Interesting what you are saying about Looking rather than Thinking because what I keep trying to do is work everything out and, of course, it doesn't normally succeed.
Thank you for using the quote function! It keeps the thread easier to read.
Shifting from thinking to noticing what IS (ie actual experience) can be frustrating and require some practice. Thoughts are the "wrong tool" to do this inquiry with. This is about noticing what can be found in your immediate experience, noticing what's going on here now and describing what can be found. I will show you how to LOOK with pointers and exercises and it is the first thing we do.

As a continuation from my last post, I will post some housekeeping guidelines. I have 4 questions as well, however if you wish to wait until after Christmas to begin...then answer them when you are ready to proceed.

1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please. I will do the same.

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour 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.

4. Put aside everything you think you know including all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration. Be here with an open and curious mind.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses before you get to click on the 'submit' button. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word - it will save you time in the long run!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration ie what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc in your own words could you please answer the 4 following questions::

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:23 pm

Hi Kay,
Since getting your reply I have been grappling with whether to kick off with our inquiry now or take you up on the offer that we could delay until after Christmas. I am so keen to get moving on it and yet my circumstances are that I will be moving around with my family fairly constantly between now and New Year. Difficult to explain my exact circumstances but safe to say the next week would probably be the most challenging time in the whole year for me to start this.
So my conclusion is, if it's OK with you, that I will postpone our kick off for a week or so and then come back to you with answers to your questions on either the 1st or 2nd January. After that I can promise you that you will find me an enthusiastic collaborator and I will respond regularly.

This whole thing genuinely means a lot to me and when I start I want to give it my best shot.
Let me know if what I am suggesting is OK.

In the meantime let me just respond to the housekeeping guidelines:
1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.
You can take this as understood which is why I would prefer to delay our start for a bit. I live on a different continent to my family and rarely see them and do not want to spend this important period with them with my head in a computer, or for that matter me just off focused on other things. I know you understand. From 1st Jan I am free. After that, no problem as you will see. I am up for this. 100%
2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realize that there is no separate self.
I am clear on this. Like a lot of people who read a lot of non duality books I think I am fairly up on what all of the 'right' answers are meant to be. But equally clear that trotting those out would be a worthless exercise. I am committed that as we go along the only answers I will give will be based on my direct experience, assessed by me in my own way, without reference to things I have read. And I promise to be totally honest.
3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour 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.
I get you. This is about looking and recounting what you see. Not showing off or writing an essay on these things. I can understand that concise answers are often the best. I can go on a bit sometimes and if I do you will no doubt put me in my place.
4. Put aside everything you think you know including all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation.
During the time that we are communicating (and who knows maybe even after that?) I will refrain from reading any such books and will attempt, as much as I can, to put anything that I think I know about such matters aside and just focus totally on our discussions and any tasks you set me.

The other questions you have set me in blue I am going to be thinking about in the coming days but will only write to you with my answers when we start again on the 1st/2nd.

Let me know if that is OK and I very much look forward to continuing our discussion.

John

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:00 pm

Hey John,

Thank you for letting me know your preference and for your responses to the housekeeping guidelines. I think your decision is perfect for your circumstances and for you to be able to be present with your family as you don't get to see them very often. You just send your responses to those four questions when you are ready to proceed.

Have a peaceful and lovely Christmas with your family. Until I hear from you...

...take care
Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:30 pm

Thanks Kay.
I appreciate it.
Talk soon.
John

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:36 pm

Hi Kay,

Happy New Year to you.

Thanks for holding on for me. I really appreciate it and hope it hasn't messed with your time because I understand you give your time freely to this cause and when you commit to act as a guide for someone it isn't normally ideal to stop and start.

I'm good to go now and we will pick up from where we left off.
How will life change?

I do not expect life to change at all. In terms of what actually happens and how I react to events. The emotions that are felt, and so on. Life will just go on. There is a part of me that creeps up over my shoulder telling me that in actual fact things will be better and rosier and life will unfold in a smoother way but I am clear that this is just the false me trying to take hold of the process and dictate that me becoming a better me will result in more favorable outcomes. And I think in my more sensible moments I know that won't happen.
How will you change?

Trick question? I don't exist. There are times when this is clear to me, but most of the time it is not, and I am lost in the story of me. But when I look I know I'm not there so that's that. So how will I change? I will be seen as an inference rather than a real thing.
What will be different?
What will be different, I hope, is that I am not permanently caught up in the futile "meaning" of life, in all its aspects. For years now it has been apparent to me the meaning that the self spreads over even the tiniest aspects of life, and I mean everything. Every second of the day, in every single part of life, the self seems to want to know what it means for it. Lose my phone, clouds in the sky, the floor is dirty, the look my son gave me.... and on and on, building meaning after stupid meaning. And that is a really heavy burden to bear. To me freedom would seem to be the ability to live as life, with things exactly as they are, of themselves. And I guess somehow if I can live in oneness with (not separate from) everything, the need to give meaning, and to judge, would disappear. Because life is just happening as it does, must.
What is missing?
Nothing is missing. I know that this is about giving my opinion but in order to answer this question I think of something I read in Gateless Gatecrashers. And the person answering a different version of the same question said something like every answer I come up with to what is missing has me as the source of it. And that resonated with me a lot. It is only me who thinks that there is something missing in this moment, and me doesn't exist, therefore there is nothing missing in this moment. And I think that we all to a greater or lesser extent have the ability to sit quietly (even in noisy places) without self and see that nothing at all is missing. And that it is only when me shoulders in to the scene that it becomes dissatisfactory.
So maybe that question could be turned on its head and instead of saying what needs to be added to this moment, say what needs to be taken from this moment, and that would be the illusory self.

These are my answers for now.

Thanks,

John

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:50 pm

Hello John,

Happy New Year! :)
Thanks for holding on for me. I really appreciate it and hope it hasn't messed with your time because I understand you give your time freely to this cause and when you commit to act as a guide for someone it isn't normally ideal to stop and start.
You’re welcome…and yes, it is best, that once started to keep momentum going. That is why I ask you respond to respond as often as possible…unless life happens and then to just drop me a line saying you are busy or whatever.

The questions were a means to seeing what expectations you have about what this exploration will give you, and how life will look ‘after’. Expectations compare what is happening now to an imagined future happening, and if the current happening does not match the imagined, this is then labelled as ‘liberated’ or ‘not liberated and can blindside the fact that it is seen that there is an absence of a separate self. When desired expectations are not met, fear, anger, resistance, resentment, frustration can arise, so be aware of this also and let me know if and when this happens. There is nothing to be done with expectations other than to be aware of them and any others that appear as we move through this exploration.

Read through my responses and just notice what arises for you and just share this with me.
How will life change?
I do not expect life to change at all. In terms of what actually happens and how I react to events. The emotions that are felt, and so on. Life will just go on. There is a part of me that creeps up over my shoulder telling me that in actual fact things will be better and rosier and life will unfold in a smoother way but I am clear that this is just the false me trying to take hold of the process and dictate that me becoming a better me will result in more favorable outcomes. And I think in my more sensible moments I know that won't happen.
Hmmm…you don’t know if that will or won’t happen. The one constant in life is change! Have an open mind. Thinking you already know an outcome or know something is what causes suffering and it is these thoughts that need to be investigated.

There is no ‘false me’. There has never been a ‘me’…EVER. An illusion is just that…an illusion and doesn’t want or not want anything. Does a mirage in a desert know or want anything? It is only an appearing thought that postulates this.
How will you change?
Trick question? I don't exist. There are times when this is clear to me, but most of the time it is not, and I am lost in the story of me. But when I look I know I'm not there so that's that. So how will I change? I will be seen as an inference rather than a real thing.
There is a big difference between I DO not exist and I DOES not exist. You certainly exist…but not as you think you do. Seeing through the illusion of “I” doesn’t mean you will lose the “I” and with it your whole identity. The “I” doesn’t exist, not even now as you are reading these lines. Since the separate self is NOT, then what could possibly be getting “lost in the story of me”?
What will be different?
What will be different, I hope, is that I am not permanently caught up in the futile "meaning" of life, in all its aspects. For years now it has been apparent to me the meaning that the self spreads over even the tiniest aspects of life, and I mean everything. Every second of the day, in every single part of life, the self seems to want to know what it means for it. Lose my phone, clouds in the sky, the floor is dirty, the look my son gave me.... and on and on, building meaning after stupid meaning. And that is a really heavy burden to bear. To me freedom would seem to be the ability to live as life, with things exactly as they are, of themselves. And I guess somehow if I can live in oneness with (not separate from) everything, the need to give meaning, and to judge, would disappear. Because life is just happening as it does, must.
What changes is your perception. You perceive life as it actually IS as opposed to what thought says IS.

How would one live “in oneness”? What does that even mean? There has never been separation in any form…so how life is, is how life is. How would one live in oneness with a tree or a cow or a seeming other person?

Realising 'no self' happens, but there will also be periods of checking, and doubting, and rechecking, and that is all normal. This exploration is just a beginning and not an ending. There will still be beliefs and patterns that are rooted in the idea of being a separate self that will need clearing as not everything gets rewritten in one big hit...so yo-yoing happens. There is clear seeing that there is no self and in the next moment this clarity is muddied...all normal experiences. The core belief of being a separate self is seen through though; and like a rug that is beginning to unravel, there are still many knots that need undoing. But if you know that the ‘conditioning’ is not something that you own, then it is easier to clear. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key.
What is missing?
Nothing is missing. I know that this is about giving my opinion but in order to answer this question I think of something I read in Gateless Gatecrashers. And the person answering a different version of the same question said something like every answer I come up with to what is missing has me as the source of it. And that resonated with me a lot. It is only me who thinks that there is something missing in this moment, and me doesn't exist, therefore there is nothing missing in this moment. And I think that we all to a greater or lesser extent have the ability to sit quietly (even in noisy places) without self and see that nothing at all is missing. And that it is only when me shoulders in to the scene that it becomes dissatisfactory.
So maybe that question could be turned on its head and instead of saying what needs to be added to this moment, say what needs to be taken from this moment, and that would be the illusory self.
Most will say that peace, freedom and acceptance to the way life unfolds is missing. This exploration is about unlearning everything you think you know…hence the question on the registration form asking how willing are you to look at your beliefs. There has to be a willingness to do this and to have an open mind.

Kay
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:33 pm

Hi Kay,
Read through my responses and just notice what arises for you and just share this with me.
Interesting but the first feelings that I got when I read through your message was probably defensiveness. In that the things you were saying were not the things I expected you to say, somehow. In that you weren't telling me what I wanted to hear. And also mixed in with a bit of confusion in that there are some things you were saying that I don't understand, as we can explore below. Shit, I guess that means I'm not the enlightened guru I thought I was. ;)
When desired expectations are not met, fear, anger, resistance, resentment, frustration can arise, so be aware of this also and let me know if and when this happens.
Funnily enough I would say, compared to most people I know, I do not really live through expectation/fulfillment. By which I mean that I am not a planner who sets out the way I want things to be - some people tell me that's a weakness. But of course when I look closer the expectations are at work all the time. Not necessarily grand plans but more subtle stuff. Day to day stuff. And how do expectations compare with desires? I guess one is how you expect things to turn out and the other is how you want them to turn out. And both of them almost always have nothing to do with how they do turn out. I take your point about being aware of the expectations and will try to do that, both as we go along and in general.
Hmmm…you don’t know if that will or won’t happen. The one constant in life is change! Have an open mind. Thinking you already know an outcome or know something is what causes suffering and it is these thoughts that need to be investigated.
I feel as if you have cornered me a bit here. You asked how will life change and when I told you my expectation was that the way life unfolds will not change, you tell me that I don't know, which of course I don't, but I was just answering the question. Unless of course the best answer to most questions is I don't know(?) - which would cover my bets, and also be truer. Because I don't really know very much at all.
There is no ‘false me’. There has never been a ‘me’…EVER. An illusion is just that…an illusion and doesn’t want or not want anything. Does a mirage in a desert know or want anything? It is only an appearing thought that postulates this.
This is where it gets a bit tricky for me. Yes there is no false me but it sure as hell feels as if he is there. So what I guess I am trying to say is..when I try to see things as they are (what is), clearly, I can do it for so long and then an impulse comes over me like a wave and that wave is, or seems to be, self-centred and it tells me that it's me and is looking out for me and I must follow it and do what it says. I know there is no me at the centre of this. But I also know I have this impulse, this momentum, which I would call the false me. I guess this is semantics because, by definition the me in the illusion doesn't exist but the illusion (with attendant impulses) does.
Trick question? I don't exist. There are times when this is clear to me, but most of the time it is not, and I am lost in the story of me. But when I look I know I'm not there so that's that. So how will I change? I will be seen as an inference rather than a real thing.
There is a big difference between I DO not exist and I DOES not exist. You certainly exist…but not as you think you do. Seeing through the illusion of “I” doesn’t mean you will lose the “I” and with it your whole identity. The “I” doesn’t exist, not even now as you are reading these lines. Since the separate self is NOT, then what could possibly be getting “lost in the story of me”?
I am getting a bit confused. When I say I do not exist, what I mean is the thing that I have assumed myself to be, does not exist. By which I mean as a central, controlling entity that is in charge of my thoughts and actions. I know this sometimes and particularly when I look. This does not mean to say I am not aware of a body, and a conditioned mind - I just don't know how "I" relate to that. You are suggesting "I DO not exist" is false and "I DOES not exist" is true. Then what is the I in the first statement, to exist? A body/mind only? If so, I get you, if not, I'm lost. I think what I am really struggling with is when you say "Seeing through the illusion of “I” doesn’t mean you will lose the “I”". What I?
How would one live “in oneness”? What does that even mean? There has never been separation in any form…so how life is, is how life is. How would one live in oneness with a tree or a cow or a seeming other person?
What I mean by that is to live without the feeling of separateness from the rest of life. Which I believe to be one thing. So the feeling of separateness I feel most (although not all) of the time is a falsehood. You say.."There has never been separation in any form", but that is the way life feels to me. That I am a separate entity looking out at life from my own particular vantage point. But how I could live in oneness with a tree or a cow or a seeming other person is to live in the knowing that all things come from the same source. And while I can say, and agree, and truly believe in that, it is still coming from this little man who looks out of these 2 holes in my head. Which is a paradox, to put it mildly.
Realising 'no self' happens, but there will also be periods of checking, and doubting, and rechecking, and that is all normal. This exploration is just a beginning and not an ending. There will still be beliefs and patterns that are rooted in the idea of being a separate self that will need clearing as not everything gets rewritten in one big hit...so yo-yoing happens. There is clear seeing that there is no self and in the next moment this clarity is muddied...all normal experiences
Not sure if I have realised this or not, to be honest. Probably, on balance, not. Unless we say that 3% of the time is realising and the rest is doubting/checking and just generally pissing around. But I do understand from previous reading that it is not always a bam-wallop skies open, never to be doubted, job done, kind of thing. And I appreciate what you say about after it is clearly seen, things still needing to be worked out and old patterns shed. But as I understand it, if it is seen, then I will be sure. That, as you say.."The core belief of being a separate self is seen through though". For me the feeling is of that realisation being close but somehow round the corner and I can't see it clearly or touch it.
But if you know that the ‘conditioning’ is not something that you own, then it is easier to clear.
Got it. No problem with this. How could it be other? This has been clear to me from a very early age. That essentially what goes on here is the result of genetics allied to experiential conditioning, none of which "me" has ownership of. As a student, this led me to a strong belief in determinism and the fact that life is just unfolding in a way that no one has control of. But the difference with the LU teaching is that I guess in that thinking I still had a me inside, along for the ride.
Most will say that peace, freedom and acceptance to the way life unfolds is missing
Yes, I can agree to that too.

Sorry if some of my answers are falling into philosophical circular answers but I am doing the best I can and realise that the only way to answer these is with as much honestly as I have.

Thanks again for your help.

John

PS I notice each time I get your replies it's always early am in the morning. Not sure if we are on the same time zone. I, for now, am in the UK. Just so you know.

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:41 am

Hello John,

I am in Australia...on the other side of the pond! :)
Read through my responses and just notice what arises for you and just share this with me.
Interesting but the first feelings that I got when I read through your message was probably defensiveness. In that the things you were saying were not the things I expected you to say, somehow. In that you weren't telling me what I wanted to hear. And also mixed in with a bit of confusion in that there are some things you were saying that I don't understand, as we can explore below. Shit, I guess that means I'm not the enlightened guru I thought I was. ;)
Thank you for your honesty….it is important that you answer honestly, in other words, answer what's true for you right now, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Giving me answers you think I want to hear won’t work because I will see through it, but more importantly they will have no benefit for you at all and it will just keep you stuck in the idea of being a separate self.
Hmmm…you don’t know if that will or won’t happen. The one constant in life is change! Have an open mind. Thinking you already know an outcome or know something is what causes suffering and it is these thoughts that need to be investigated
.
I feel as if you have cornered me a bit here. You asked how will life change and when I told you my expectation was that the way life unfolds will not change, you tell me that I don't know, which of course I don't, but I was just answering the question. Unless of course the best answer to most questions is I don't know(?) - which would cover my bets, and also be truer. Because I don't really know very much at all.
Be aware of this feeling of “being cornered”, it will appear again. I won’t be giving you answers….my role is that of a guide who points via questions and exercises so that you look and realise the answers yourself. Seeing through the separate self is brought about through these realisations and if you aren’t quite getting at what I am pointing to…I will keep on pointing until you do. So it may seem that I am giving you trick questions…but I can assure you…they are not. They are questions to help you to look and see.

Thank you for your responses to the other things I posted. I won’t go into them as answers will appear as we explore.

Okay, now we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is.
The term ‘actual experience’ (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ and noticing the thought stories about them...so ‘looking’ is just plain looking at what is here right now ie image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value. The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no separate self.

First we are going to learn how to ‘look’.

I would like you to sit quietly and close your eyes and just listen to the sounds for a few minutes that can be heard both inside and outside of the room. Really hear them.

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).

Throughout our exploration, the questions that I have posed in blue text are the ones I would like you to answer please. I would like questions answered individually and the for the question being answered to be enclosed with the quote function.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Drumps
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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:51 am

Thanks Kay,

So I guess with you in Australia and me in UK this is not the ideal from us being able to relate on a direct one to one basis. Maybe there is a time which is convenient when we can interact a bit more(?). Up till now we are managing one post each a day which is the minimum which is being asked of me. But I am at your disposal and you I'm sure you have been through similar situations and are clear how best to guide me.
Throughout our exploration, the questions that I have posed in blue text are the ones I would like you to answer please.
I am taking what you are saying here that I should limit the answers I give to the ones you have highlighted in blue. In other words, to stay on message and not veer off and generally comment on the other points you make. Is that correct? In which case I will try and stick to that. Or is it OK for me to refer to something else you say if it is particularly interesting/confusing to me as long as don't go overboard and start responding to most points you make?

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).


Not the most auspicious of starts because I am sat in the living room of a quiet suburban house on the end of a cul de sac with not so much sound at all. No sounds in the house at all apart from my breathing. Outside I hear a low and constant mechanical hum but no idea what it is, in the distance. It's the only sound that is here all the time. The sporadic sounds that come and go are, in order of prevalence, bird sounds, passing cars, pedestrian footsteps. Not a lot to go on. You asked for one sound. If the low constant hum, then that would be OK. If it is a sound which comes and goes with (sometimes long) gaps between, then either bird noises or passing cars.

I'll leave it at that.

John

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Re: RiverRock

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:04 am

Hello John,
So I guess with you in Australia and me in UK this is not the ideal from us being able to relate on a direct one to one basis. Maybe there is a time which is convenient when we can interact a bit more(?). Up till now we are managing one post each a day which is the minimum which is being asked of me. But I am at your disposal and you I'm sure you have been through similar situations and are clear how best to guide me.
For now, this is the best way to be guided. It gives you time to look at what is being pointed at. This may seem to be slow and cumbersome…but it really isn’t.
Throughout our exploration, the questions that I have posed in blue text are the ones I would like you to answer please.
I am taking what you are saying here that I should limit the answers I give to the ones you have highlighted in blue. In other words, to stay on message and not veer off and generally comment on the other points you make. Is that correct? In which case I will try and stick to that. Or is it OK for me to refer to something else you say if it is particularly interesting/confusing to me as long as don't go overboard and start responding to most points you make?
Yes, I want you to stay on message and not veer off. You will have many questions along the way and they will be answered as we move through this exploration. We are deconstructing the idea of a separate self…so there is a structure to the guiding. If something I am pointing to is not clear, then by all means say so. If I have written something that is not clear…by all means ask for clarification.

I am gathering that you are someone who ‘lives in their head’ ie you are intellectually minded and always thinking. Shifting from thinking to looking can be frustrating and require some practice as thoughts are the "wrong tool" to do this inquiry. This is about noticing what can be found in your immediate experience (sound, colour, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought) and noticing what's going on here now and describing what can be found.

You do not need to keep the question I have asked in blue when you respond. Just make sure that the question has been highlighted by the quote function.
Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).
Not the most auspicious of starts because I am sat in the living room of a quiet suburban house on the end of a cul de sac with not so much sound at all. No sounds in the house at all apart from my breathing.
Okay…so we will go with the sound of ‘breathing’.

Please repeat the exercise and answer the following questions from actual experience (AE) rather than give an intellectual answer. Actual (direct) experience is simply sound, colour, smell, taste, sensation and the face value of thought.

Tell me,
- How is it known that the sound heard is ‘breathing’? In other words what is it that says the sound is ‘breathing’?
- What is the actual experience of ‘hearing breathing’?


Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Drumps
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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:16 am

Hi Kay,

Answer to your questions as follows:
- How is it known that the sound heard is ‘breathing’? In other words what is it that says the sound is ‘breathing’?
Breathing is obviously a bit different to other external sounds in that it is not just a stand alone sound. It is also allied to other physical sensations in the body. I hear the sound of breathing and what I sense is my brain is going to work trying to understand it and the way it will do that is through association with other similar sounds it has heard in the past. This is a process that I am not experiencing at all and am not "doing" myself but as I hear the sound I am aware of the word "breathing", as a label, being overlaid on the sound. It is language, in my head, that is telling me this is breathing and it feels an automatic process.
But also I am feeling my chest moving up and down and the feeling of air moving in and out of my nostrils. This creates an overall bodily set of sensations which support the understanding when I focus on the sound as breathing.
- What is the actual experience of ‘hearing breathing’?
The sound is not constant but changes all the time. Sometimes an air sound sometimes a light high pitches whistling sound.
Other sounds (such as cars and birds) occasionally come and break the clarity of breathing in silence. And it becomes a play of sounds rather than one.
Breathing sounds come from silence and fall back into silence.
After the out-breath I feel a slight tension and pressure in the knowing that I have to breathe again to make the sound I am to listen to. As such this is not natural breathing but a forced action and therefore not my normal breathing which happens without me thinking about it. Natural breathing also quieter because I am trying to make a sound I can hear properly.
As I sit with the breathing for longer the label of breathing (and my understanding of it) seems to fall away and it becomes just a sound, again, that I am listening to, without any particular meaning or definition. It is only when I ask myself about it again that this semi-transparent word "breathing" seems to lay across the sound.
There also seems to be something more complex going on under the surface as the sound changes from one tone to another. So breathing is not one sound but many and they each seem somehow to have a different effect on me and perhaps have different associations. The air sounds, more wind/sea? And the whistling or more guttural breathing sounds with different meanings/labels within the overall classification of breathing. But this is very subtle and not so much on the surface. It just seems to be not just one sound and label but many of them. For example, the guttural, more broken breathing elicits something of a negative response in me as compared with the free air sound.
But I can also free my head of such thoughts as I go along and it is just free sound again, reaching my ear, without any association. More like a kind of pure energy.

That's all I have.

John

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Re: RiverRock

Postby Drumps » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:49 pm

Kay,

I should probably say, I will be on 2 long haul flights tomorrow. I will try and respond to your reply when I get it if I can tomorrow but if, by any chance, I don't, that will be the reason and I will reply on Sunday 6th.

John


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