Just another seeker looking to find the truth

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Carter
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Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:21 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I have tried to see this for some time. This year I wanted to strip away the stress and the nonsense in life. I was aware of wanting and needing as being kind of illusory forms of suffering and wanted to get past them. I started meditating (again) to loosen the hold of thinking. I then found myself reading nonduality books. I got closer...

What are you looking for at LU?
I am hoping to complete the journey and find my way home. I feel I am getting nearer. I've had enough of the rat race - the psychological one. And from the few insights I've had - been reading liberation unleashed on kindle - I am really excited to cross that gate!

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I've read some of the conversations in that book and thought they would've useful. I am up for being challenged /questioned and I am very willing to work with that. I would be very grateful for any help offered here. Thank you.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have read a bit of byron Katie, tried a it of Rupert Spira, read some three principles stuff and tried some of the LU questions on myself and got closer. I am an enthusiastic novice.

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

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 am

I received an email saying Forgetmenot had replied - thank you - but I couldn't locate the reply itself. I am still interested in crossing the gate. Thanks to whoever replies :)

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:39 pm

Hello Carter

Let's try again! :)

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

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: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:08 pm

Hi Kay

Thanks for getting back to me.

I confirm that I've read the disclaimer, looked at the FAQs and watched the quote video.

I've also been through the enlightening quotes app and am going to look at the 7 steps tonight.

Carter:)

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:13 am

Hi Carter,

Thank you for reading the links, including the disclaimer and learning how to use the quote function.
I've also been through the enlightening quotes app and am going to look at the 7 steps tonight.
I would like you to put aside all reading while we explore the idea of the separate self together. The reason being is that reading about others experiences or what so called enlightenment may look like, feel like etc all create expectations. And expectations can hinder this process.

Some 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.

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 be100% 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 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. 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 like; what life will feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc. Could you please answer the 4 following questions in your own words:-

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: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi Kay,

Thanks for that.

I will now stop the reading during this process.
How will life change?
I understand life won't change too much. But what I hope for is more ease. To help answer this, I have to go back to why I started looking. Earlier this year I had been watching 'Ben Fogle's new lives in the wild,' reading books about walking in the wilderness, running in the wilderness, that kind of thing. I knew I was looking for 'an out' by this kind of reading. It made me want to 'get out there' to solve my dissatisfaction with life. But the dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety are the issues I guess I want to get away from. I expect my troubles in this area will diminish because they are probably bound up in my sense of 'me.' In short, there should be less self-created suffering.
How will you change?
I hope to be more loving, more gracious, more in tune with nature/reality/the way things are. I hope to be calmer. Less anxious. Less stressed. I am aware that I shouldn't expect anything, but these are my underlying hopes. I want to enjoy life more, because I will 'create' less stress.
What will be different?
I have glimpses of the real world. After reading the kindle book 'Liberation Unleashed' and doing the app, I was washing up and experienced no-me for a few moments. I enjoyed the sense of washing up happening without a me. I also got an insight into the truth that there is no self, no me, no mine, no I. And - please excuse my swearing - I said out loud, laughing, 'that's a fucking relief! and I meant it. I would like to go from these momentary insights to living this. However, that works in practice.
What is missing?
Nothing is missing. I feel I am relatively close, but I also feel I need to check I am on the right track, and look to see how to get nearer. I feel like I need to recalibrate or reorient a bit to this. In short, I am close, but there is a gap. Not that there is something missing, but that there may be something 'of me' still in the way. I am still working/striving/asking/pointing myself the way so I can 'get it.' I feel that I am working on it when I shouldn't have to be working on it if I had 'got it.'
On the positive, I have stopped all other seeking outside of this LU(just prior to our chat) because I feel I am getting closer than ever with what I've learned already from LU.

Thanks for your questions Kay and for your time. I hope that wasn't too much information!

All the best
Carter

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:40 pm

Hey Carter,

As you know these questions were about becoming aware of expectations. Other expectations will come to light as we explore further. When you read my responses just be aware of what arises for you ie fear, anger, resistance, resentment etc and just share that with me please.
How will life change?
But the dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety are the issues I guess I want to get away from. I expect my troubles in this area will diminish because they are probably bound up in my sense of 'me.' In short, there should be less self-created suffering.
There is no separate self “I” that creates or doesn’t create suffering. An illusion is an illusion! The idea of suffering appears…however the key is to look to see if you can find anyone/anything that is actually suffering.

Life continues to life as it always has. There has never been an "I" that is living life or that is controlling life. What changes is the perceptions about life and what it is.
How will you change?
I hope to be more loving, more gracious, more in tune with nature/reality/the way things are. I hope to be calmer. Less anxious. Less stressed. I am aware that I shouldn't expect anything, but these are my underlying hopes. I want to enjoy life more, because I will 'create' less stress.
There is only ever what IS…the rest is simply a thought story. There are thoughts appearing about anxiety, love, graciousness, stress etc…but all are concepts and what actually IS…is not a concept.
What will be different?
I have glimpses of the real world. After reading the kindle book 'Liberation Unleashed' and doing the app, I was washing up and experienced no-me for a few moments. I enjoyed the sense of washing up happening without a me. I also got an insight into the truth that there is no self, no me, no mine, no I. And - please excuse my swearing - I said out loud, laughing, 'that's a fucking relief! and I meant it. I would like to go from these momentary insights to living this. However, that works in practice.
Hmmm…the real world? What does that look like exactly?

There has never been an “I” so how would an illusion go about living without an illusion? 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.
What is missing?
Nothing is missing.
Exactly. There is nothing missing. Experience is whole, complete and seamless and there is never anything missing.

Okay, now we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is.
‘Looking’ is just plain looking at actual/direct experience (AE), which is simply colour (image), sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value that is appearing right now in the moment. You are looking at the raw experience of AE and noticing the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience. 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 and that there has never been a separate self.

So first we become aware of what AE is and how it is used 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).

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

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:38 pm

Hi Kay,

Hope you're doing well today.
Thanks for your reply. I am someone who has lived in their head - in their thoughts - a lot over the years.
Hmmm…the real world? What does that look like exactly?
I guess what I meant was raw experience - the stuff under all the layers of thought and distraction. Meditation has helped me see that to some degree, but I appreciate the fact that I still am not awake on a day-to-day basis and get caught up in thought-stories.

Anyway - to answer your question.
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).
I can hear traffic and birdsong. Let's go with the birdsong. It's nicer!

Thanks,

Carter

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:52 pm

Hi Carter,
Hmmm…the real world? What does that look like exactly?
I guess what I meant was raw experience - the stuff under all the layers of thought and distraction. Meditation has helped me see that to some degree, but I appreciate the fact that I still am not awake on a day-to-day basis and get caught up in thought-stories.
Are you not simply aware of colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation and thought when they appear? Does it take a special state of mind or skill to be aware of 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).
I can hear traffic and birdsong. Let's go with the birdsong. It's nicer!
Great! Now can you repeat the exercise and tell me:-

How is it known that the sound heard was birdsong?
In other words, what is it that says it was birdsong?

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘birdsong’? ‘


Please do the exercise by looking at the actual raw experience (AE), rather than giving an intellectual answer. Actual experience (AE) is what is actually appearing ie sound, thought, smell, taste, sensation, colour, as opposed to what thoughts say are appearing.

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

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:15 am

Hi Kay,
Are you not simply aware of colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation and thought when they appear? Does it take a special state of mind or skill to be aware of them?
Interesting because you've highlighted a discrepancy! I thought my baseline (the stuff underneath thinking) was 'real' but it may be I had a fixed view of that too. Perhaps I had conceptualised experiencing without noticing! I suppose I've been trying to tame the mind. This morning I was aware of colour, breathing, legs moving. It required no skill at all. Before I think I had still been doing some very subtle labelling/separation even when I assumed I was raw-experiencing.

To your question.
How is it known that the sound heard was birdsong?
In other words, what is it that says it was birdsong?

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘birdsong’? ‘
The sound is known by thought as birdsong. Labels are given. Even guesses at types of birds assigned. Big birds, smaller birds, near and distant.

The actual experience of birdsong is sound followed by silence. Different levels of sound too. The experience felt intimate and peaceful. The chirping cut through me - inside - drawing a sensory reaction from the body - also within.

Thank you.

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:26 pm

Hi Carter,

Can you please highlight each question individually with the quote function and place your answers underneath. It helps when reading the post and some posts can get long. :)
Are you not simply aware of colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation and thought when they appear? Does it take a special state of mind or skill to be aware of them?
Interesting because you've highlighted a discrepancy! I thought my baseline (the stuff underneath thinking) was 'real' but it may be I had a fixed view of that too. Perhaps I had conceptualised experiencing without noticing! I suppose I've been trying to tame the mind. This morning I was aware of colour, breathing, legs moving. It required no skill at all. Before I think I had still been doing some very subtle labelling/separation even when I assumed I was raw-experiencing.
The next couple of exercises will help clear this up.
How is it known that the sound heard was birdsong?
In other words, what is it that says it was birdsong?
The sound is known by thought as birdsong. Labels are given. Even guesses at types of birds assigned. Big birds, smaller birds, near and distant.
Yes…it is simply thought that labels the sound as ‘birdsong’. The thoughts about what type of bird it is etc…are thoughts ABOUT the sound (ie content of the label/thought ‘birdsong’). Without thought how could this possibly be known?

However, thought knows absolutely nothing. Label seemingly appears alongside the object, however that doesn’t mean that thought is an entity that knows something. This will become clearer as we move through our exploration.
What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘birdsong’? ‘
The actual experience of birdsong is sound followed by silence. Different levels of sound too. The experience felt intimate and peaceful. The chirping cut through me - inside - drawing a sensory reaction from the body - also within.


Yes…what is actually appearing (raw experience) is simply sound which thought then overlays with a story about what the sound is.

“followed by silence. Different levels of sound too. The experience felt intimate and peaceful. The chirping cut through me - inside - drawing a sensory reaction from the body - also within” is all story and does not point to anything other than AE of thought.

The interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, the interpretation will always be appear…but it is possible to focus on actual experience only.

The following exercise points to what I mean.

For this exercise you will need an apple or any other piece of fruit will do.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour 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 only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

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


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour 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?

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

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:54 am

Hi Kay,

Okay. I'll keep things more succinct.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
There is colour. Mind says apple and about the quality of the apple, but I only see colour.
However, is an apple actually known?
An apple is not known. The colour is seen and the smell smelt and the taste tasted. The apple is experienced, not known. Thought says it knows the apple but seeing only sees colour, etc.

Carter :)

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:27 am

Hey Carter,
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
There is colour. Mind says apple and about the quality of the apple, but I only see colour.
Can a ‘mind’ be found in AE? What does the label ‘mind’ point to? Does it point to colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
Mind says apple and about the quality of the apple,
That is the content of the label/thought ‘apple’ and are thoughts about thought and points to AE of thought only. Thought appears inferring many things, however thought, in and of itself does not contain any experience. If it did you would be able to taste the label/word ‘sweet’.
However, is an apple actually known?
An apple is not known. The colour is seen and the smell smelt and the taste tasted. The apple is experienced, not known. Thought says it knows the apple but seeing only sees colour, etc.
Yes…nice :)

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities, objects and emotions simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell,
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation.
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought.

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.

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

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby Carter » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:53 am

Hi Kay,
Can a ‘mind’ be found in AE? What does the label ‘mind’ point to? Does it point to colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
The mind label points to nothing! No, it doesn't point to any of those things. The mind doesn't house thought, since no house can be found. This feels true.
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Traffic sound = hearing
Birds = hearing
smell of farmyard = smell
breathing = sensation
clouds/sky/landscape = seeing
muesli/milk = tasting, sensation
running - feet sensation, leg movement sensation, physical sensations
views on run - seeing
fingers on keyboard - sensation
screen - seeing
Thoughts? Sorry. I can't remember most. Fleeting. Mostly about work tasks and the need for quality work tasks and desire to do well and on time. Rinse and repeat! These come back often :)

The sense-feeling that came with this experience was a pleasant nothingness.

Thanks.

Carter

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Re: Just another seeker looking to find the truth

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:49 am

Hello Carter,
Can a ‘mind’ be found in AE? What does the label ‘mind’ point to? Does it point to colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
The mind label points to nothing! No, it doesn't point to any of those things. The mind doesn't house thought, since no house can be found. This feels true.
The LABEL ‘mind’ points to AE of thought only, and nothing more.
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Traffic sound = hearing
Birds = hearing
smell of farmyard = smell
breathing = sensation
clouds/sky/landscape = seeing
muesli/milk = tasting, sensation
running - feet sensation, leg movement sensation, physical sensations
views on run - seeing
fingers on keyboard - sensation
screen – seeing

Thoughts? Sorry. I can't remember most. Fleeting. Mostly about work tasks and the need for quality work tasks and desire to do well and on time. Rinse and repeat! These come back often :)
Well thoughts would also be, traffic sound, birds, smell of farmyard, breathing, clouds/sky/landscape, and so on :)

Okay, here is an exercise which points out the difference between actual experience and content of thought. Thoughts either point to AE or they point to thoughts about thought. Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience, otherwise you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’ and feel the word ‘hot’ and hear thunder when the word ‘thunder’ appeared!

There are two types of thoughts:
#1 Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
#2 Visual mental images of a ‘cup’

So I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just a mental image of a cup?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?


Now let’s look at the word thought “here is a cup”….

Can a 'real' cup be found in the thought itself?

"Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound? Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?

So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?

Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about, what it is pointing to) is REALLY happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.


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


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