Looking from multiple perspectives

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joe01
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Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:11 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
There is no self. "I" am able to observe "my" thoughts without engaging in them. Thoughts disperse when "my" attention hits them. The mind hates a vacuum and tries to assume ownership and control of the story. After gradual study of multiple online resources over 10 years, "I've" been self aware & not identified with ego for about 2 years.

What are you looking for at LU?
I want to learn your method, so I can help others. I also want to keep expanding my insights. I just finished my first reading of Gateless Gatecrashers by listening to it on my phone with an ebook reader. I'm on my second reading and I'm taking notes. Your method is self evident in the book and I am going to study it. I am bilingual with my mother tongue being Spanish, but I don't have proper education in written Spanish. I am sincerely interested and I think I can be an asset for helping other seekers.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I want confirmation that I have realized the absence of a separate self. I also want guidance in the methods used to help others and the criteria used to know when a person has reached self liberation.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Most of my learning came in audio and video form and a few books. Alan Watts audio recordings were my introduction to the Tau Te Ching, Buddhism and other Indian teachings. I listened to some Eckhart Tolle at double speed. Much later I found the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery podcast by Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Amaro which I listened to over and over. I read some Jack Kornfield and studied various mindful meditation videos online. Then I watched a few Adyashanti YouTube videos before discovering the clear teachings of Rupert Spira and later Francis Lucille. Rupert Spira's teachings provided my greatest insights, but Alan Watts enable me to observe my thoughts from the very beginning. Spira taught me that resting in the awareness of awareness, and developing insights into its nature brings an end to seeking.
I have never tried sitting meditation, although I did practice a little mindful breathing.

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

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Ilona
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:16 am

Hi Joe01. Welcome to The forum. Great to meet you and thanks for willingness to guide yourself.
Let’s see, where you are :)

You say that mind haptes vacuum and tries to take control of the story.
Interesting.
Can you expand on that? What mind really wants?
How is a story made?
Is there a narrator of the story?
Or is it something that is happening naturally all by itself?
In other words, is there a thinker?

Explore this and write to me, what feels honestly true.

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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joe01
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:35 am

Hello Ilona. It is wonderful to meet you.
You say that mind hates vacuum and tries to take control of the story.
Interesting.
Can you expand on that? What mind really wants?
When using experience to notice thoughts and sensations, there is a temporary emptiness that is void of thinking. The mind does not like this emptiness, and it jumps in trying to take over the focus of awareness. “I” am able to direct my attention on these intruding thoughts and they quickly dissipate; however, if these thoughts are laden with emotion, it may take me a little bit longer to get rid of them. The mind wants to continue the illusion of the story of “my” life. But “I” am able to notice “my” thoughts without engaging in them.
How is a story made?
Is there a narrator of the story?
Or is it something that is happening naturally all by itself?
In other words, is there a thinker?
I have noticed that the story is triggered by memory connections as a response to environmental stimuli, hormonal influences, or other body needs. The story has no narrator. I observe my mental commentary, rumination, anxious thoughts, emotions, etc. I can now disengage from the mental commentary when needed. When I notice that the mental commentary is negative or unproductive, I bring my attention to these thoughts until they dissipate. The thoughts quickly return, and I zap them away again. Then I go on living.

There is no thinker; there is no self. Thoughts appear. I am not my thoughts of the past nor of the future. I am not my emotions. There is just the experience or perception of thinking and sensing. Being in the here and now without being encumbered by thoughts and emotions is real living.

I’m really glad to have found you. And thank you for what you are doing. There has been nobody to talk to about this. Everyone that I’ve tried discuss this with is lost in the thinking world and cannot comprehend.

Love Joe

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Ilona
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:49 pm

Thank you for reply.
In one sentence you say that there is no thinker, but in another that you are zapping thoughts to go away. Which is it?
Do you know what thought shows up before it arrives?
Are you making thoughts go or are they showing up and leaving by themselves?
What is the i that can disengage from thinking?
Is I in charge of making thoughts go?

Explore this closer
Find out what is true in experience.

LOVE
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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joe01
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:07 pm

Hello. Glad to get to work.
In one sentence you say that there is no thinker, but in another that you are zapping thoughts to go away. Which is it?
In the beginning, I used quotes to show that I can distinguish between self and no self. In the later paragraphs I omitted the quotes for simplicity.
It is awareness that notices mental discord or tension in the body. This brings attention to the troublesome thoughts without engaging in them until there is silence and life goes on.
Do you know what thought shows up before it arrives?
Are you making thoughts go or are they showing up and leaving by themselves?
I have no way of knowing what thoughts show up. I cannot plan my thinking. I can only work in the present moment. I think thoughts are triggered by memories or sensations.
What is the i that can disengage from thinking?
Awareness.
Is I in charge of making thoughts go?
I, or self, is just an idea, an illusion. I cannot be in charge of anything. Life is just happening. Awareness notices thoughts and this focus recognizes the thoughts as just thinking. Awareness does not get hung up on thinking. It resets to the present, here and now.

Thanks again for your time and attention.
Love Joe.

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Thank you for answers. Good stuff.

Is there a gap between awareness and object of awareness?
Look at a wall in your room, see colour. For the sake of exercise I assume it is white. And examine how different words point to the same experience.

White, awareness of white, seeing, colour, seeing colour, being aware of white colour, I see colour, I see white, I know of seeing white, I am aware of seeing colour white....

No matter what words, the experienced is the same.

Try this exercise with sound. How many ways words can point to the same experience of *!!!!*

What is happening in actuality and description of that arise simultaneously. Can you see that awareness is not noticing thoughts. There is no gap. There is noticing thoughts and different ways to say that thinking is happening.

Now here is a question- in experience, what moves attention? Are you doing it, or is it happening freely?

Write what you notice.
Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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joe01
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:38 pm

Hello Ilona. Here are my responses.
Is there a gap between awareness and object of awareness?
Look at a wall in your room, see colour. For the sake of exercise I assume it is white. And examine how different words point to the same experience.

White, awareness of white, seeing, colour, seeing colour, being aware of white colour, I see colour, I see white, I know of seeing white, I am aware of seeing colour white....
When I do this exercise, see color, I don’t think; there are no words, there is silence in the mind (temporarily). All there is is seeing; there is no gap. The mind does not interrupt to label the characteristics of the wall; it interrupts the focus with unrelated thoughts.
If I do this exercise with the mind participating, then there are many words or labels as to the color, texture, material, size, etc. If I do this exercise with the focus on the experience of seeing color, then the mind claims it is doing the seeing of color, texture, material, etc. The mind identifies itself as the seer of color. In this way, there is a mind-made gap between the seer (self) and the object (color). But awareness recognizes it is just thinking and seeing. The experience is the same and there remains no gap between awareness and the objects of awareness. It is all awareness or knowing or being.
Try this exercise with sound. How many ways words can point to the same experience of *!!!!*
This exercise with sound works the same. The mind describes the different sounds and labels them. The mind creates a mental gap between the seer and the sound. But awareness recognizes this as just thinking and hearing.
Can you see that awareness is not noticing thoughts. There is no gap.
Yes.
Now here is a question- in experience, what moves attention? Are you doing it, or is it happening freely?

Write what you notice.
It happens freely. In my mind, I have identified myself with the ability to re-direct attention away from unproductive thoughts or perspectives. However, there is no self. I am not doing it. I am just identifying myself as the doer. I am nobody. There is no thinker. There is only awareness. (This is not saying that both are true. The self is not real. The illusory self remains abundantly present as thinking nevertheless.)

In experience, I notice that attention moves when thinking is distracted enough to allow the present moment to be noticed again. There are some triggers that can do this for me. Initially, it was strong emotions that started triggering this. Emotions that tense my body or become physically noticeable can distract my thought process. These emotions awaken me from the perspective of thinking and move the attention to the perspective of pure awareness. Then life continues to unfold and thinking focuses on something different.

Distracting thoughts or negative thinking can trigger this too. Today, I noticed distracting thoughts while focused on an hour-long task that I wanted to finish. Awareness noticed and recognized this thinking as such. I refocused on my task repeatedly and eventually finished. Similarly, a couple of days ago I noticed myself making a negative mental judgement of somebody else. This triggered awareness of the present moment and of this thinking. My mind labeled this thinking as negative and unnecessary, and I refocused.

Basically, it is anything that gets me out of my thoughts. Such as being outdoors, playing with our dogs, being physically active, or noticing something beautiful. Not that thinking is bad. Thinking serves a practical purpose in the story of life that we tell ourselves, but thinking likes to grab most of the attention.

Love Joe

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Ilona
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:26 pm

Thank you for reply. It’s good to notice, that there is awareness of thoughts and feelings, without a gap.
Now let’s look closer at the labelling mechanism. Here is an exercise. Do it here or on paper. http://markedeternal.blogspot.com/2012/05/labels.html

See is I word more than a label.

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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joe01
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:16 pm

Hi Ilona. Glad to get back to working with you.
I’m replying to you from my job at a fire station. So, the responses below reflects our fire department radio repeatedly being heard during the exercise.
Here is an exercise. Do it here or on paper. http://markedeternal.blogspot.com/2012/05/labels.html
10 minutes of writing the experience of here and now using I and me:
My upper back feels a little tight or sore. I feel comfortable leaning back on this chair at work. The portable radio it too loud. I feel a little soreness to my left shoulder. My feet feel warm. My arms feel cool. I am typing on a computer keyboard. I am tensing my abs for stability. Now I relaxed my abs and relaxed. I can hear the fan to my left. I feel rested. I feel comfortable but I feel like I need to adjust my position soon. I hear the work crews chatting in the other room. I am breathing in a slow, relaxed manner. I feel energetic but I am starting to feel hungry.

10 minutes of writing the experience of here and now using verbs:
Feeling. Hearing. Typing. Feeling. Hearing. Sensing. Breathing. Breathing. Typing. Hearing. Feeling. Hearing. Hearing. Backspacing. Breathing. Sighing. Hearing. Feeling. Reading. Feeling. Hearing. Feeling. Adjusting. Hearing. Waiting. Breathing. Noticing. Hearing. Feeling. Thinking. Breathing. Deep breathing. Noticing. Adjusting. Breathing. Hearing. Stretching. Seeing. Feeling. Breathing. Typing. Feeling. Waiting. Noticing. Feeling. Wondering. Adjusting. Stretching. Feeling. Hearing. Feeling. Feeling. Breathing. Relaxing. Feeling. Seeing. Observing. Looking. Hearing. Looking.

Now compare the two ways to label experience-
Is one truer than the other? Yes.
If so, which one? Using verbs is truer because thinking only labels the activity and there is less thinking and more experiencing.
What is here without labels? Here without labels is a silent mind perceiving sensations.
Do labels affect the experience or just describe it? Labels detract attention from the experience by adding thoughts to describe what is already being experienced. It’s like going on vacation and taking a lot of pictures and video, and forgetting to enjoy the experience of the vacation.
See is I word more than a label.
The “I” word is just a label in language. It is an idea or thought. It is made up by thinking.

Love Joe

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:28 pm

Hi Ilona. This post is a report of a new insight that developed during my time with you and Liberation Unleashed.

While waiting for a response to my registration with Liberation Unleashed, I started reading the Gateless Gatecrashers e-book with an iPhone app that reads e-books out loud. I listen to e-books because I can read them faster this way, and I can pause and highlight important passages.

While listening to one of the conversations, the seeker was asked about who was making the decisions. I had not come across this topic before. I don’t remember what was answered, but my answer was different. I answered to myself, “I’m the decider.” I was still identifying with self, and I still believed I was deciding things. I started to worry. I worried about what will happen if I am asked this question by a guide.

To be clear, I already clearly understood that the self does not exist, that I am not my ego, and that I am awareness. Even though I do not meditate, I am able to clear my thoughts and step into a silent presence without too much effort. However, I had never considered this question.

Then on June 22nd, you asked an equivalent question: “What moves attention? Are you doing it, or is it happening freely?”

As I started considering this question, the answer quickly came to me. I put one and one together, and the right answer became clear. Of course “I” am not the decider, “I” do not exist. I realized that I had been identifying myself as the decider until I was forced to consider it directly.

I thank you for this insight.
Love Joe

P.S.: I'm currently reading your book, Liberation Unleashed on the Kindle. I'm a very slow reader, I wish I could listen to it instead.

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:47 pm

Very nice! This is good to notice.
And let’s take a look at this “I am awareness”
What do you do as awareness?

What is the i that is finding and needing something to identify with?
Where is that hook on which identity sticks on?

In experience, find the sense of being, that knowing that you are. In that space, where is identity? Do you need to be someone or something in order to be?



I do not exist or I does not exist?

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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joe01
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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:04 am

Appreciating your time and attention. These are my responses.
And let’s take a look at this “I am awareness”
What do you do as awareness?
As awareness, there is no “I.” As awareness, there is only noticing, being, or knowing. “I” is an idea, a concept, a thought, an illusory entity. Instead of writing “I am awareness” in my prior answer, I should have written “there is only awareness.”
What is the i that is finding and needing something to identify with?
Where is that hook on which identity sticks on?
The “I” that is finding and needing something to identify with is the “I” that thinks, the self-identity, or the ego. The self-identity does not go away. Self-identity sticks to the hook of conditioned thought patterns. However, once thought patterns are exposed for what they are, just thinking, theses thought patterns lose their power.

For example, I had never considered whether thinking was involved in the control of changes in the focus of attention. Since this usually happens without thought, I believed it was me, identified as awareness, that was doing it. I had never closely looked at this area of experience. Once I considered this closely, it became obvious that the self had nothing to do with changes in the focus of attention. This idea has lost its influence in reality.
In experience, find the sense of being, that knowing that you are. In that space, where is identity?
In the sense of being or knowing, identity exist as an idea or thought pattern. Identity only comes in when thinking takes over attention and the self-identity assumes that it is real. But this is role playing. The self only exists as an idea. It is illusory. The self-identity cannot be found in reality. In the sense of being, the self-identity is recognized as thinking.
Do you need to be someone or something in order to be?
No. In the sense of being, there is only being. It is non-dual. It is just experiencing the flow of life through the senses in the present moment right here.

In the sense of being, there is silence; there is no self identifying with the act of sensing; there is no self identifying with any thoughts that are noticed. There is just being, knowing, or awareness.
I do not exist or I does not exist?
I does not exist.

Love Joe

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:14 pm

Beautiful, Thank you. Is there any doubt?

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby joe01 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:37 am

Hello Ilona.
Is there any doubt?
When looking from outside of the thinking mind, there is only a clear silent knowing of life unfolding here and now. In this sense of being, the focus of attention sees through doubts, and they fade away. Doubts are a product of thinking, and they have no influence on reality.

But doubts do have an influence over the practical life of the conditioned mind. How should the questioning mind be consolidated with the clarity of awareness? In other words, how should thinking be treated? Should I be resting in awareness most of the time? Should I just recognize beliefs for what they are? Or, should life simply unfold on its own, because the self is truly incapable of affecting reality?

Love Joe

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Re: Looking from multiple perspectives

Postby Ilona » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:19 am

When looking from outside of the thinking mind, there is only a clear silent knowing of life unfolding here and now. In this sense of being, the focus of attention sees through doubts, and they fade away. Doubts are a product of thinking, and they have no influence on reality.
Very nice
Shoulds and shouldn’ts show up too. Just like doubts. And actions show up too.
The freedom is to live the moment as it comes up, whatever shows up. Freedom is in being open and allowing all to express and be met. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go. But they come to be met and seen by the clear silent knowing.

How does that feel? Is everything allowed?

Love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book


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