Requesting assistance

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:22 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand this intellectually as the self, or sense of "me", being something that's not a thing but instead is comprised of thoughts, sensations, etc. These are taken to be a thing here that has agency and needs and wants, a story, traumas, habitual patterns, etc.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for trustworthy assistance in seeing clearly through the misunderstanding that there's a separate self here, and into what's really true. Hopefully in such a way that makes it an accessible ongoing experiential knowing, rather than simply a transient one. Ultimately I hope for some experience of the point or essence of spiritual practice. There's a lot of curiosity, with a lot of caution about having expectations at all.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
From reading the resources on the site and the conversations that take place there, I am expecting probing questions that lead one through the obstacles to clear seeing. I expect a kind, but sharp, approach of "calling me out" on places where I am stuck or dug in to a sense of self. I would say that I don't expect any particular outcome of the process, yet I do hope that there's some impact from surrendering to the process followed here.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've enjoyed and benefitted from reading about different spiritual traditions, mostly the range of buddhist traditions, and have been doing various meditation practices for about 15 years. Recently there's a loss of interest in reading more, and meditation seems to be without a discernible impact.

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

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:09 am

Hi,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

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.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
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

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. 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 and such 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 and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

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, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.
To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the 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.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:07 am

Hello Vivien,

Thank you for being willing to be a guide for me in this process.

Yes, I have read and accept/agree with the Disclaimer, Terms & Conditions and FAQ’s about what this is not.

Here are answers to your questions. Please note I tend to be more on the pithy side rather than long-winded, so if you’d like more elaboration just let me know.
How will Life change?
My most honest answer is I don’t know how Life will change, or if it will. I’m going to hold off on writing a long speculation here.
How will you change?
I really don’t know how I will change. I’m not even sure what I am. In terms of expectations, I am very cautious to have any. I don’t trust any claims. I trust the curiosity that’s arising, and the desire to know or see clearly.
What will be different?
If I pretend to know, I would say this: If the self is seen and understood to not exist, doesn’t the suffering that’s based on that self tend to decrease?
What is missing?
Contentment. Peace.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:41 am

Hi BrandonA,

What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?
In terms of expectations, I am very cautious to have any. I don’t trust any claims. I trust the curiosity that’s arising, and the desire to know or see clearly.
That’s very good. Watch out for any expectation that might come up during the exploration, since every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations result in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I go through your replies and introductory post. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I really don’t know how I will change. I’m not even sure what I am.
What if there is nothing that can be said that ‘this is what I am’?
What if there is no ‘I’ at all?


There is no YOU whatsoever.
When the self has seen through, there will be NOTHING left to identify with and say: “this is what I really am”.
If I pretend to know, I would say this: If the self is seen and understood to not exist, doesn’t the suffering that’s based on that self tend to decrease?
Suffering won’t stop just because the self is seen through. It might lessen a bit, but not necessary. However, it can be seen that suffering doesn’t belong to anything. It’s just free-floating without an owner.

Suffering doesn’t just simply based on the notion of the self. There are lots of other beliefs and psychological issues and traumas that need to be seen through later in order to suffering gradually lessen.

Seeing through the self is just the first step, just the BEGINNING and not the end.

Perception changes and with that some reactions may change. The core belief of being a separate self is seen through which also includes others beliefs that support this idea. However, like a rug that is beginning to unravel, there are still many knots (beliefs, patterns) that need undoing. Falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key.

Also, physiological problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
Contentment. Peace.
Contentment or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace, contentment or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
Hopefully in such a way that makes it an accessible ongoing experiential knowing, rather than simply a transient one.
This is a BIG expectation. You have to watch out for this during our investigation. If you use this as a measuring stick, you will be disappointed.

Seeing through the self doesn’t mean that there will be a different state/experience, where there is a constant unbreakable continuous knowing of the self an illusion. However, upon each looking it can be seen that there is nothing there.

Seeing through the self is not a difference experience or state that you are having now.
It’s rather a RECOGNITION that the self is not there. And this recognition becomes factual. But the illusion will still arise and it will be taken as real from time to time. (actually more often than one might expect).

Just because the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion will be seen through 24/7. Not even close. Many people have the belief that seeing through the self means that the illusion will be seen as an illusion all the time, or at least most of the time. But this is not how it is.

No, and it won’t for a while. Realising that there is no inherent self is just a beginning and not an ending. There are still many beliefs, patterns and emotions that will need clearing as not everything is rewritten in one fowl swoop. So please put aside all expectations that by the end of this exploration you should be seeing/feeling this 24/7. There has never been a separate self….ever…so things aren’t going to change. The only thing that changes is how life and the idea of a separate self are perceived.

For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?


Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:43 pm

Hello Vivien,
What would you like me to call you? What name would you prefer?
Let's use the name Brett.

Thank you Vivien for these replies. I am going to take a bit of time to sit with these statements and write back either later tonight or tomorrow.

Brett

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:19 pm

Hello Vivien,
What if there is nothing that can be said that ‘this is what I am’? What if there is no ‘I’ at all?
There’s no resistance to this. Reading the statement sort of stops the mind/thinking/organizing of reality. Implicitly the question arises, “then, what is this? What is thinking, hearing, deciding, feeling, tasting?
Suffering doesn’t just simply based on the notion of the self. There are lots of other beliefs and psychological issues and traumas that need to be seen through later in order to suffering gradually lessen.

Seeing through the self is just the first step, just the BEGINNING and not the end.

Perception changes and with that some reactions may change. The core belief of being a separate self is seen through which also includes others beliefs that support this idea. However, like a rug that is beginning to unravel, there are still many knots (beliefs, patterns) that need undoing. Falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key.

Also, physiological problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
This is very helpful, thank you. I'm dropping the expectation that suffering ends with seeing the self is non existent.
Contentment or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace, contentment or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I've underlined the parts that really stood out upon reading. "Emotions don't belong to anything. They are free floating...", this is another line that causes the mind to stop. What is the implication of this?

Also, the notion of "separation" I don't really understand what that means in this context. What is (is not) separate from what?
This is a BIG expectation. You have to watch out for this during our investigation. If you use this as a measuring stick, you will be disappointed.

Seeing through the self doesn’t mean that there will be a different state/experience, where there is a constant unbreakable continuous knowing of the self an illusion. However, upon each looking it can be seen that there is nothing there.

Seeing through the self is not a difference experience or state that you are having now.
It’s rather a RECOGNITION that the self is not there. And this recognition becomes factual. But the illusion will still arise and it will be taken as real from time to time. (actually more often than one might expect).

Just because the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion will be seen through 24/7. Not even close. Many people have the belief that seeing through the self means that the illusion will be seen as an illusion all the time, or at least most of the time. But this is not how it is.

No, and it won’t for a while. Realising that there is no inherent self is just a beginning and not an ending. There are still many beliefs, patterns and emotions that will need clearing as not everything is rewritten in one fowl swoop. So please put aside all expectations that by the end of this exploration you should be seeing/feeling this 24/7. There has never been a separate self….ever…so things aren’t going to change. The only thing that changes is how life and the idea of a separate self are perceived.
Ok, Vivien, thanks for speaking so directly to this one. I will really watch this expectation.
For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?
Yes, agreed.
Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations. Is there any resistance to any of it?
Overall there's zero resistance to what you said. My comments above are what arose with certain parts or pointers. It's more of an open space that doesn't know how to compute, rather than any resistance.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
Yes, I am ready to start the investigation!

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:52 am

Hi Brett,
I've underlined the parts that really stood out upon reading. "Emotions don't belong to anything. They are free floating...", this is another line that causes the mind to stop. What is the implication of this?
Also, the notion of "separation" I don't really understand what that means in this context. What is (is not) separate from what?
You don’t have to figure this out intellectually.

This investigation will be very simple. You won’t need your intellectual mind to figure out anything.

We are only ever looking for facts of reality, but not knowledge about reality.

We are going to strip away as much intellectualization as possible. We are going down to bare bones. To the simplest simplicity.

Intellectual understanding is what moves the needle the wrong way on the dial. We're going to move it back to the simplest position possible.

You have to look at each questions with the eyes of a little child, who has no intellectual knowledge about how things work.

I will at times ask things repeatedly, or in very simple language. If that happens, trust the process as it's meant to stop the intellectualizing an allow exploration of the experiential.
There’s no resistance to this. Reading the statement sort of stops the mind/thinking/organizing of reality. Implicitly the question arises, “then, what is this? What is thinking, hearing, deciding, feeling, tasting?
This is a very good question. So let's start here.

Please sit on a chair doing nothing for a few minutes. Watch the thoughts coming and going.

Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?


Please repeat this exercise several times before replying.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:15 pm

Hello Vivien,

I've followed your instructions. Replies are below.
Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
No. Thoughts just seem to arise, but I can't tell where they are coming from.
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
No, I wasn't able to follow a thought to any destination. They just stopped on their own into silence, or rolled into another thought.
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?
No, I couldn't identify a place where thoughts come from. Or where they go to. Unless "silence" or "blankness" is a place.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:23 am

Hi BrandonA,

You did a nice looking.

Try an experiment. Try to create a thought. Any thought, from scratch. What do you find?

Do you notice how thoughts seem to appear, hang around for a while and somehow pass, and then the next thought come? What is making thoughts to appear?

Now try preventing a thought from appearing. Is it possible?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:44 pm

Try an experiment. Try to create a thought. Any thought, from scratch. What do you find?
Okay, here's what can be said: It is possible to create a word thought like "car". However it is more difficult, or not possible, to create an image thought that doesn't immediately change or disappear.
Do you notice how thoughts seem to appear, hang around for a while and somehow pass, and then the next thought comes?
Yes, definitely
What is making thoughts to appear?
I don't know. In the case of the first part of this experiment, what is deciding to make the thought "car" appear? In the case of making no effort to create a thought, thoughts just appear but I can't say what causes them. I sure would like to know, though!
Now try preventing a thought from appearing. Is it possible?
No. I am unable to prevent thoughts from appearing.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:46 am

Hi BrandonA,
Okay, here's what can be said: It is possible to create a word thought like "car". However it is more difficult, or not possible, to create an image thought that doesn't immediately change or disappear.
Try to create a thought from scratch.

How do you do it?
Do you use words to make up the thoughts?
Where do you get those words from? Is there a storage place where you go in and grab the word you need?
Do you use grammar? How do you apply grammar on those words?
And what does the thought look like when it is half formed, before you have finished creating it?
Or is there an infinite number of words somewhere stored hidden from sight, and you go there and pick and choose the words and the grammar structures to create a thought?
Or do you create the words themselves, letter by letter?
Where do you get the letters from?


I don't know. In the case of the first part of this experiment, what is deciding to make the thought "car" appear?
Look for the decider.

Try to decide the next thought you are going to think.

How do you make this decision?

Can you know what will be the chosen thought before this thought appears?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:35 am

Hi Vivien,

This round is needing some more time to be sure of thoroughness. I will post my reply tomorrow.

Best,
B

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 4745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:38 am

Yes, be thorough :) Thank you for letting me know.

Have a nice day,
Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:28 pm

Hello Vivien,
Try to create a thought from scratch.
How do you do it?
Do you use words to make up the thoughts?
Where do you get those words from? Is there a storage place where you go in and grab the word you need?
Do you use grammar? How do you apply grammar on those words?
And what does the thought look like when it is half formed, before you have finished creating it?
Or is there an infinite number of words somewhere stored hidden from sight, and you go there and pick and choose the words and the grammar structures to create a thought?
Or do you create the words themselves, letter by letter?
Where do you get the letters from?
Okay it's now clear that I am unable to make a thought from scratch. I can't create a thought, actually. Thoughts just occur based on some prior cause, like an association or memory that spontaneously arises. "I" am not creating thoughts. They are happening by their own momentum. Even when it seems like "I" am creating them, when really looking at it, it's just a series of unfolding thoughts based on various conditions.
I asked: "what is deciding to make the thought "car" appear?"
Look for the decider.
I can't find a decider when I look. In this case, car is what arose to do the exercise but it came from a prior memory or just a random occurrence, or who knows where from. It was definitely not "chosen" as though from some list of possibilities. And, I notice that when not looking, there's a presumption operating that there is a decider or thinker. It feels like "I" am looking, "I" am writing this. A bit of confusion here. Now every time I write "I", I momentarily wonder what I'm referring to.
Try to decide the next thought you are going to think. How do you make this decision?
Again it just seems like thoughts happen based on associations or stimulation from something else - an occurrence around me (what is me?), a memory, or sometimes just a random unfolding. If I decide that I'm going to think about X topic, as in a basic work situation, it seems like there's a decider there, deciding that. However the specific thought that happens next is not chosen by anyone or anything. It just seems to occur based on some unknown variables.
Can you know what will be the chosen thought before this thought appears?
No, it isn't possible to know what thought will be chosen - until it appears and almost seems to be accepted as the chosen thought. So odd. It seems so random. So, thoughts are just happening randomly all the time? What is this sense of there being a thinker and decider? This feels ripe for more exploration but also confusing at the same time.

Overall some confusion here, but seems in a good way. I will pause and await your feedback as to how best to proceed.

User avatar
BrandonA
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Requesting assistance

Postby BrandonA » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:23 pm

Hi Vivien,

I've been marinating in this today a bit and want to report some additional seeing to check it with you.

Mostly I've been wondering who or what this I is that thinks it is doing or deciding. When I (?) just take the question "who or what is deciding", it seems like there is no decider except that decisions are getting made based on some combination of the following: a) hoping for some gain or pleasure, b) avoiding some discomfort like loss, pain, guilt, etc. c) training or conditioning including experiences from early in life. These factors seem to be operating mostly out of "my" awareness.

Now, each time I type "I" or "my" the question is coming up who/what is that referring to? What's noticing all of this? Still some confusion here.

Thanks,
Brett


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests