Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

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Subhadra
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Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:37 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The self tries to colonise experiences, thoughts, etc. Whereas everything's just happening by itself. E.g, I am digesting my lunch, where 'digesting' is a process out of one's control. The self pretends that it is in charge of decisions, whereas the brain is an automatic survival machine, constantly seeking survival and pleasure.

What are you looking for at LU?
I want to go deeper in undermining my sense of self, and trying to see through the illusion of control. Basically, there's no free will; what happens is we react to circumstances, then slap a label on that and call it 'my free choice'.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I hope to gain motivation to do the enquiry, because there's a live person waiting for my answer. I can't work from books, I just need a simple thing to work on, and getting some feedback on my efforts

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've been practising Buddhism (within Triratna Buddhist Community) for ages. I did LU a few years ago, and people at LU seemed happy with my answers. However, I have been advised to return to LU, due to falling back into selfing. I spent a lot of time with the Enlightening Quotes App. My mentor was Jnanavira / Mark McLelland.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
8

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:07 am

Hello there!

My name is Tom and I'd like to ask you some questions. :)

You have already been here but I will tell you once again what this forum is all about. It is not a normal dialogue but instead I will be asking questions and you will answer them from direkt experience (DE).

Basically there is the direct experience (sound, taste, touch, smell, seeing) and there are thoughts. These thoughts label the direct experience and create stories about it.
These stories do not interest us at all.

I guess you know how to use the quote function? Just copy and paste the text you want to quote into your answer, select it and press quote, that should do the trick.

I'd say we jump right in and start with an exercice if you don't mind.

Sit comfortably.
For 10 minutes write down whatever you experience right now.
(I feel the chair. I hear the children playing outside. I think about tomorrow. I feel a little bored. And so on...)

Then for the next 10 minutes do the same thing exept using the word "I". Just write down what is beeing experienced.
(The chair is felt. Thoughts about tomorrow appear. Children are heard. And so on...)


And now that you have finished this little exercice, tell me, which one felt 'more realistic'/more true?
What was different?
Is there really somebody sitting there, seeing the sun or is the seeing of the sun just happening?
And if there is somebody... where?
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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Subhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:33 pm

Hi Tom,
Thanks for offering to guide me
I thought I had gated 4 or 5 years ago. But I had some feedback from someone to the effect that I hadn't fully seen through the self . So I need to do more work on it I guess.
I just can't do daily emails, I tried with the other guide. Would replying twice a week be OK in your view? That's more do-able.
I'll get on to that exercise by tomorrow.
Best, Subhadra

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:21 pm

Thanks for offering to guide me
My pleasure. :)
I thought I had gated 4 or 5 years ago. But I had some feedback from someone to the effect that I hadn't fully seen through the self . So I need to do more work on it I guess. 
Nobody can tell you that you have seen through the illusiory self but yourself. If there is doubt, we will investigate that.
I just can't do daily emails, I tried with the other guide. Would replying twice a week be OK in your view? That's more do-able
Well usually we like to stay in the flow by replying every day but if that's not possible for you, I am okay with that.
It's your path and I am happy to explore it with you. :)

Also it would be best if you kept all other things concerning this topic aside so that the mind does not come up with new ideas that much because this can be quite the hindrance.

Now to the fun part:

When this illusory self is seen for what it really is - what will change?
What do you want to accomplish through this process?
What is there to find that isn't already here?
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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Subhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:15 pm

Hi,
The experiences of sound, light, tactile, etc, were maybe more realistic if I didn't involve the sense of self.

It felt different when the sense of a self was absent - the feeling was more spacious, and with less underlying anxiety.

The exercise reminded me that the body and mind are sort of automatic processes. The sense of self is an extra layer on top of what's happening. The sense of self doesn't actually do anything, because things go on unchanged whether it is in operation or not.

There's a lot that you could pick apart in the above, if you are minded to. A lot of my life strategy is avoiding criticism. I can't take a rough and tumble sort of scenario. I just thought I would mention that.

Good exercise, I enjoyed that.

Cheers, Subhadra

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:55 pm

Hello Subhadra,

sorry for the delay. I had some personal stuff to take care of but I am back now so let's go. :)
The experiences of sound, light, tactile, etc, were maybe more realistic if I didn't involve the sense of self.
What do you mean by 'more realistic'?

Let's look at this sense of self that you experience.
In your direct experience, where do you find this sense of self?
And if this sense of self seems to be you then what is it that percieves this sense of self?

The exercise reminded me that the body and mind are sort of automatic processes. The sense of self is an extra layer on top of what's happening.
Let us talk about thoughts for a while. Or thinking in general.

There are two types of thought:

1 - the thought is labelling the direct experience.

2 - the thought connects to another thought. That's a story being created.


Please place an object in front of you. An apple for example. Look at it for a while and then tell me:

What do you actually see?
What are the thoughts interpretations of this direct experience?
Do you really see an apple?


Now take it. Feel the texture. Smell it. Poke it and listen to the sound. And again:

What is the actual experience?
What are the interpretations?

There's a lot that you could pick apart in the above, if you are minded to. A lot of my life strategy is avoiding criticism. I can't take a rough and tumble sort of scenario. I just thought I would mention that.
That's okay, we will look into that. For now I will be as gentle as possible. ;)
But I will still ask questions, that's my job here. Do not hesitate to tell me if something feels wrong to you or if we are moving too fast.

Have fun,
Tom
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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Subhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:02 pm

Hi Tom,
When this illusory self is seen for what it really is - what will change?
I'll be dropping a story about my self, which may lead to less suffering, and maybe more energy generally.
One would come more into harmony with how things really are.
What do you want to accomplish through this process?
I want to reduce my suffering, by escaping from the ignorance of seeing myself as the centre of the universe.
What is there to find that isn't already here
?

There's nothing to find that isn't already here. There's nothing outside of What Is.
The experiences of sound, light, tactile, etc, were maybe more realistic if I didn't involve the sense of self.
What do you mean by 'more realistic'?
I meant that sensations may be more vivid and immediate.
In your direct experience, where do you find this sense of self?
I cant find it in direct experience, it's a thought only.
And if this sense of self seems to be you then what is it that percieves this sense of self?
I suppose that what perceives a self is a thought.

What do you actually see?
It's an orange. I see an orange coloured ball, and it's shiny with some marks on it.
What are the thoughts interpretations of this direct experience?
Thoughts about it are...where it was grown, will it taste sweet or tart, how much it cost.
Do you really see an apple?
An 'orange' is a label for something which is mysterious. A Label is a thought, so much of the time I relate to the orange via thought.
What is the actual experience?
There's pleasure in the feel and smell of the orange. If I ate it, there would be a powerful orange taste.
What are the interpretations?
I think of the orange's price, where it came from, and how I want to buy more.

Cheers,
Subhadra

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:31 pm

Hello there,

it's funny how nearly everybody I worked with chose the orange. Seems like a conspiracy.
I'll be dropping a story about my self, which may lead to less suffering, and maybe more energy generally.
One would come more into harmony with how things really are.
That seems pretty reasonable to me. But for now please put all your expectations in a bag and throw them out the window. We don't need them right now. :)
What are the interpretations?
I think of the orange's price, where it came from, and how I want to buy more.
And 'orange' is an interpretation too, like you said here:
An 'orange' is a label for something which is mysterious. A Label is a thought, so much of the time I relate to the orange via thought.
In your direct experience, where do you find this sense of self?
I cant find it in direct experience, it's a thought only.
Great! So tell me, what is the difference between naming this round thing an 'orange' and naming this feeling an 'I'?
Is it the same procedure?
If the I is just a label like 'orange', who's there to change this procedure?
Is somebody doing it or is it just happening?
Can somebody stop it?
Does it need to stop?


Enjoy :)
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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Subhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:31 pm

what is the difference between naming this round thing an 'orange' and naming this feeling an 'I'?
There's no difference. Naming the orange is a story. The 'I' is a story also.
Is it the same procedure?
Yes. In both cases, the story is a layer on top of what's there. It doesn't change what's there.
If the I is just a label like 'orange', who's there to change this procedure?
There doesn't need to be an I for things to happen. Maybe you could say the I never does anything. The I just colonises what's happened.
Is somebody doing it or is it just happening?
It's just happening.
Can somebody stop it?
Somebody can't stop it because it is just happening
Does it need to stop?
The labeling causes suffering, so it would be better if it stopped. However, on a utilitarian level, it doesn't need to stop.

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:18 pm

Hi,

great work. :)
The labeling causes suffering, so it would be better if it stopped.
How does labeling cause suffering?

If this round thing is named 'orange' - does that cause suffering?


When there's a moment of suffering, please look and try to pinpoint exactly where this suffering is coming from, where it is going, in how far it differs from other feelings like 'happiness' and what it has to do with 'labeling'.
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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Subhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby Subhadra » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:33 pm

Hi,
Thanks for your help with this, it's a good project for me to be examining these issues.

The question is, does the labelling (or selfing) need to stop. I said it causes suffering. By that I meant the belief in it causes suffering. That is an abstract, sort of metaphysical angle.

labeling doesn't need to stop because labeling is itself just a part of what's going on. If you think it needs to stop, that is like attempting to pick and choose which part of Reality you like or don't like. That's attempting to distort Reality (i.e., what's-going-on). Believing in the labeling, or selfing, or story, is the problem.
When there's a moment of suffering, please look and try to pinpoint exactly where this suffering is coming from, where it is going, in how far it differs from other feelings like 'happiness' and what it has to do with 'labeling'.
Sorry I haven't been able to get a handle on these questions so far.

Cheers, Subhadra

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:29 am

it causes suffering. By that I meant the belief in it causes suffering. That is an abstract, sort of metaphysical angle.
I get it, thanks.

So how does this belief in a label cause suffering?
How does 'belief' work?

How is decided whether to believe in a label or not?
Who does the deciding if there's no 'I' doing it?

labeling doesn't need to stop because labeling is itself just a part of what's going on. If you think it needs to stop, that is like attempting to pick and choose which part of Reality you like or don't like.
That's right.

And this 'picking and choosing which part you don't like', is this different from reality itself?
On the one side, there's reality and on the other side there's the picking and choosing?
Or is it all happening right now and there's nothing else going on anywhere because there's just what is here now?

Sorry I haven't been able to get a handle on these questions so far.
No problem, I'll wait. :)
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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dhsubhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby dhsubhadra » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:21 pm

Hi Tom,
I'm a bit late with this.
So how does this belief in a label cause suffering?
Belief in a label, means treating the label as a real thing, rather than as what it is, i.e., just a concept
How does 'belief' work?
The act of Belief is story telling. You are labeling What Is.
How is decided whether to believe in a label or not?
The mind seeks whatever will, it thinks, maximise security and pleasure. It's automatic.
Who does the deciding if there's no 'I' doing it?
There's no 'who' doing anything, it's the mind at work, and it's impersonal.
And this 'picking and choosing which part you don't like', is this different from reality itself?

Reality includes everything, there's nothing outside it. But within reality there's the illusion of free will. There seems to be picking and choosing by a self, but it's really the mind automatically at work.
On the one side, there's reality and on the other side there's the picking and choosing?
No, picking and choosing is included in reality.
Or is it all happening right now and there's nothing else going on anywhere because there's just what is here now?/quote]
That's right.

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nemesis
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby nemesis » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:04 pm

Hi,

I really like your answers.
It does not seem like there's something unclear.

What do you think?

How shall we continue?

Is there somethin you want to look at?
right now! ...that's all there is ;)

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dhsubhadra
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Re: Looking for a mentor (a man, preferably)

Postby dhsubhadra » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:15 pm

I really like your answers.
It does not seem like there's something unclear.
Thanks, that's good to know.
.
What happened was, I was working on Fetters 4 & 5, (Desire and Ill will), with a guide.
I don't know if you're familiar with the Buddhist 10 Fetters model.
After about a year of exchanges, he thought I may have weakened 4 & 5, which is a stage before breaking them, obviously.
Then he suggested I go back to Self View, the first fetter, because he thought I hadn't broken it entirely.
(There's a limit how far one can go forward if a previous fetter hasn't been broken.)
That's why I returned to LU, to sort this issue out.
Could I ask, do you think I have gone through the gate, in your opinion?

In the last few years, the world of Non Duality has opened up, and I listen to Jim Newman quite a bit.
When I'm listening to him, or Tony Parsons, etc, it all makes sense, but when I get into a panic or depression, I contract, and I lose sight of that angle. Then I think maybe it hasn't gone very deep.
I guess if you're happy with my answers, I could carry on with 4 & 5.

Cheers, Subhadra


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