Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Fri May 29, 2020 8:34 pm

Hey Cal,

The ability to be awareness as opposed to getting caught up in thoughts has grown a lot over the last week, I find it's becoming a lot less effortful to just be. I find it's quite easy to fall back into awareness without any pointer, which is a recent development.

It's very clear that "Sean/I/Me" are concepts. Just a character constructed out of old thoughts and experiences and reinforced every moment for 33 years by my own mind and through interacting with the world. I do find that at times when I try to think about it deeply I hit a wall and my thinking becomes somewhat foggy and I'm left almost confused. It's like I can only go so far.

There's Sean the story, there's awareness that recognises Sean is a story because how could he be anything else? His whole identity is created through thought and thought is separate from awareness and I am that awareness, observing thoughts, so therefore observing "Sean". I get all that but thats when I don't know where to go. Do I just keep thinking about it till i breakthrough?

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Fri May 29, 2020 11:38 pm

Couple things might help. Also, I'm having a hard time understanding what you "think about knowing" and "have seen directly"...could just be the words. If I say the flower is red, I really have no idea what color that you see, but know that whatever it is you are using the word red. We want to be more certain than that.
It's very clear that "Sean/I/Me" are concepts.
1) OK, so what's there to "break through" to? Expectations and preconceptions are thoughts. Reality will not conform to that. Why is "right here now" not the final destination? Write your thoughts.

2) To be clear, there is not a "self as Sean" and a "self as awareness", nor a deeper self or a personal witness. Write your thoughts on this back to me.
I do find that at times when I try to think about it deeply I hit a wall and my thinking becomes somewhat foggy and I'm left almost confused. It's like I can only go so far.
3) Thinking deeply is the problem. "Seeing" happens before thought and without thought. Thought comes after to describe. You are adding more clouds to the sky and then saying you can't see the sky through the clouds. The clouds are thoughts, the sky is just there.

If you are a smart and clever guy, then you are used to putting words together and then saying "Look, I understand". This creates lengthy descriptions, perhaps belief systems, cause and effect, etc. 3) What happens when you stop doing this? Tell me why words are only symbols and not "the actual thing they describe?"

I can't tell if you have actually seen it yet, or if you "get it" because you "believe" it. Belief lives in thought, direct experience is different.

4) Imagine you are at the grocery store. You are there shopping, la la la, and all of a sudden you look up and there is your mom/dad/best friend. In a split second you have a jolt of recognition before the thoughts come in, like "Gee I didn't expect to see you here! What are you doing here?" That is direct experience of knowing. Remember your feet on the floor exercise? The point of that was that the knowing they were on the floor happens without thought. 4) Has your experience of no-self been like I'm describing?

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Sat May 30, 2020 9:34 am

1) OK, so what's there to "break through" to? Expectations and preconceptions are thoughts. Reality will not conform to that. Why is "right here now" not the final destination? Write your thoughts.
I suppose that’s an expectation then. “Right, here, now” does feel to be the final destination, but it doesn’t feel that that is experienced, apart from in small moments. I have to remind myself that “right, here, now” is all there is, instead of “knowing” it without a doubt. I’ve certainly had preconceptions about what “realising” certain things would be or feel like, but I’m really trying to have no expectations and not think about it and trust that once I experience whatever it is, then it will be clear and not something I have 'thought".
2) To be clear, there is not a "self as Sean" and a "self as awareness", nor a deeper self or a personal witness. Write your thoughts on this back to me.
Sure, I understand there is no “self as Sean” and a separate “self as awareness” or witness. It was just an attempt to describe with words what I was thinking. I know that there is only awareness and that the "self as Sean" and all that comes with it, is a thought that is appearing in awareness and ultimately has as much meaning as a thought about the Easter bunny. I do feel at times while I’m “in awareness” so to speak, that I am separate from the idea of “Sean” though, as in the idea is an object. Is this a sign of a something i’m not doing right? It feels dualistic in the sense that I’m being something (awareness) whilst not being something else (separate self). Does that make sense?
“If you are a smart and clever guy, then you are used to putting words together and then saying "Look, I understand". This creates lengthy descriptions, perhaps belief systems, cause and effect, etc. 3) What happens when you stop doing this? Tell me why words are only symbols and not "the actual thing they describe?”
Haha, yes I spent almost my entire life thinking that's what made you "intelligent" and mentally healthy. Not it just seems like it was making me stupider.

Words are only symbols because they are created from language, and language is an invention of the mind and the mind consists of thoughts, which don’t exist in reality. Therefore what the mind labels and describes are only based on interpretations of what it experiences. An object say, a “chair”, is a made up sound, with meaning attached to it, to help a person navigate the world and categorise their experience. The actual thing they describe is not actually any THING though, it is label-less. It is just an indescribable “thing” existing. Sorry if that’s a bit word salady, found it quite difficult to put into words, funnily enough.
4) Imagine you are at the grocery store. You are there shopping, la la la, and all of a sudden you look up and there is your mom/dad/best friend. In a split second you have a jolt of recognition before the thoughts come in, like "Gee I didn't expect to see you here! What are you doing here?" That is direct experience of knowing. Remember your feet on the floor exercise? The point of that was that the knowing they were on the floor happens without thought. 4) Has your experience of no-self been like I'm describing?
I’m not sure to be perfectly honest. I feel that I have had brief realisations like “oh yea! Sean is just a story”, as in, seeing it directly, but then I start to think about it and analysing what it means etc, like you said above. Trying to understand it, comparing it to what I think it should or must feel like. Which I know is not helping.

Thanks for taking the time to help by the way. I feel it’s been really helpful so far and it’s greatly appreciated!

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Sat May 30, 2020 5:07 pm

Hi Sean,

Happy to help.
I feel that I have had brief realisations like “oh yea! Sean is just a story”, as in, seeing it directly, but then I start to think about it and analysing what it means etc, like you said above.
1) Please explain the above BEFORE you get to the "but then".

I would like to hit you with something to get your attention, to focus on just one little thing at a time. This forum is about seeing no-self, you are bringing other attainments and full enlightenment and other teachings into this...more on that later.

.
I suppose that’s an expectation then. “Right, here, now” does feel to be the final destination, but it doesn’t feel that that is experienced, apart from in small moments.
If this is only experienced in small doses, that means that most of the time you are in the head/past/future, absorbed in thought. This has nothing to do with no-self, but no-self is a very solid step in where you are trying to go. Leave them seperate for now, edit your answer to question 1 again some more. That answer needs to be long, full, thorough.

,
I do feel at times while I’m “in awareness” so to speak, that I am separate from the idea of “Sean” though, as in the idea is an object. Is this a sign of a something i’m not doing right? It feels dualistic in the sense that I’m being something (awareness) whilst not being something else (separate self). Does that make sense?

Sweet mother of Satan. Here it is, your impediment, highlighted by me, in a state of quadism. Quadism is what happens when I am also not a seperate object, my self, awareness and cutting sense of humor are all seperate, making 4 seperate things. Many, many books have been written about Quadism, and many groovy masters blah blah blah blah


.Ok, so drop dualism for now, which is a separate "attainment". This is where the idea of separation between self - others collapses. Stare at the flame of the candle until you become the flame.

Obviously, you can "think" to yourself that you are being to DUALISTIC because you don't have the direct experience of this with every other object at all times....and then....hold on.....tell yourself that you are "not there".

You can see no-self, and then the old self program will be running, and your thoughts will again say to you "Look, idiot, you are obviously not there yet"

2) The difference we are looking for is Have You Seen No-Self or not.....and NOT what other thoughts come up after I ask this question. The seeing is very subtle for many, a whisper, a small gap, but it is obvious that there is not a "self" in there. Perception and subject/object and all the other things worrying you through THOUGHT comes afterwards.

You can use your own process of doubt and nuttiness to work with!

3) Who does all that thought arise to? Who is upset by those thoughts? Who is NOT THERE yet?

Work these questions as a part of your practice, get into the gap and the silence and the space. Notice that the problem of your non-enlightenment is in thoughts. The gap, the silence, the space.....IS ALREADY ENLIGHTENED. It has always been the case. The goal is not for thought to realize it, it's to turn off the thought altogether.

Work on the above, digest, report back thoughtfully.

I had an inkling that a tough teacher might help cut through today....know it is done in love.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Sun May 31, 2020 9:02 am

Cheers Cal, hear you loud and clear.

Might take a little more time to get back to you on this one, gonna really work and get clear on it.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Sun May 31, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi Cal,
1) Please explain the above BEFORE you get to the "but then".
I see that there is a creation that existed solely in my mind, a character named "Sean". Sean has a past made up of experiences built on previous experiences going back to the moment it took itself to be separate. I am the awareness the recognises that this story is just a collection of thoughts built on top of eachother and reinforcing eachother every moment I am identified with them. They make as much sense and are as valid as the story of humpty dunpty. They exist in and as the same form, a thought. No difference, except that i take ownership of the "Sean" story.
I see that there is a deeper reality (not separate) that just knows all experience, something difficult to describe using words. But it is always there, almost like a background hum, that from a certain perspective pre-dates the idea of "Sean". It is a clear space that has no attachment to passing thoughts, they just float around somewhere, they are not "me", I cant describe the thing that is "me". I have moments where i get caught up in a thought, but i recognise very quickly that that is not me, not by having a conversation in in my head as to why but just because i know its not because i feel and sense that i am something else, but also all there is. And if that is the case with a simple thought like "I have to got to the bank" then its also the case with all the thoughts the comprise "Sean". They are the same. there are just thoughts, there are no thoughts more real than other thoughts, all thoughts are thoughts that appear in awareness and the "Sean" story is no exception. It only appears to be real because it has been reinforced my entire life, so it has more power, which makes it harder to let go of. I have doubts that my direct experience is wrong or i am convincing myself of something, but i recognise that they are just more thoughts coming into awareness, from no one and nowhere. This awareness is what's real and it has no story. Where is 'Sean" though? where is it exactly? Where in my direct experience of reality? Only in my mind in the form of a belief that Sean is a real substantial entity. That is the only place, nothing else tells me Sean is real besides thought. If i then take the thoughts that make up Sean away, i'm left with just this, right now. I experience all that, it's not just what i've heard or read. I fully see that Sean Is an illusion, it just doesn't hold up , it is all a character.
2) The difference we are looking for is Have You Seen No-Self or not.....and NOT what other thoughts come up after I ask this question. The seeing is very subtle for many, a whisper, a small gap, but it is obvious that there is not a "self" in there. Perception and subject/object and all the other things worrying you through THOUGHT comes afterwards.
Yes I have. It is very obvious that there is no self in there, no Sean, no story or person that exists outside of the Sean that exists in my mind as an idea, as a thought. Which has been very clear to me at times.
3) Who does all that thought arise to? Who is upset by those thoughts? Who is NOT THERE yet?
All the thought arises to no one, it just arises and that is all. "Sean" claims it and gets caught up in it at times, but Sean is just another thought. Just a thought I identify with more than the other ones.
I had an inkling that a tough teacher might help cut through today....know it is done in love.
Absolutely, don't hold back. Let's do whatever it takes.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:03 am

Just another thing i realised which really demonstrates how transient and false "Sean" is. If I were able to magically erase "Sean" from existence, hit the reset button so to speak, would I disappear? Or would just "Sean" with his past and future thoughts and life story disappear? Only "Sean" of course. what would be left would be this awareness that is always here, that these thoughts appear in and disappear in. It's here with the "Sean story" and it would also be here without the Sean story. This awareness experiences each moment as it happens, just experiencing whatever shows up without judgement, be it sights, sounds, thoughts about past and future etc. Judgements may occur, but these judgements are more thought and don't need to be paid attention to, they arise and they leave, all on their own. No effort has to be made.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:21 am

Sorry about all the messages.

Just another thing. I think i have an expectation that when i see no self, in an instant, all irritation and frustration will evaporate, all effort will cease, my mind will instantly be thoughtless and at peace. All this will be coupled with a calm euphoria and in some sense an altered perception not that different from a psychedelics trip but without the weirdness and disorientation etc. A peak experience basically.I think this has been holing me back because it was unacknowledged. I'm waiting for something i've read about in books basically. And the thing is i actually really want that. I feel that that would be the sign that something happened, but maybe i'm missing out on something more subtle and ordinary and jut getting in my own way.

Then, as I write this all i can think is, but who feels this way? This writing is coming from Sean, but who the fuck is Sean? He's a thought and it doesnt even make any sense what i'm writing in a way.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:19 pm

Very good, I appreciate all the messages.
If i then take the thoughts that make up Sean away, i'm left with just this, right now. I experience all that, it's not just what i've heard or read.
Well, you have read and heard incorrect things, in terms of when, how and why people have their experiences then. If not necessarily incorrect, incomplete or without all necessary context.
A peak experience basically.I think this has been holing me back because it was unacknowledged. I'm waiting for something i've read about in books basically. And the thing is i actually really want that. I feel that that would be the sign that something happened, but maybe i'm missing out on something more subtle and ordinary and jut getting in my own way.
What I think you are doing is equating seeing no-self as full enlightenment. You want to experience the bliss and peace of the permanent thoughtless state. If this is the case, you will have to do the work to attain that. No-self is a great stronghold to begin from, keep in mind.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:50 pm

What I think you are doing is equating seeing no-self as full enlightenment. You want to experience the bliss and peace of the permanent thoughtless state. If this is the case, you will have to do the work to attain that. No-self is a great stronghold to begin from, keep in mind.
To be honest I've never considered enlightenment, what I was trying to say was that that is what I had previously expected would happen and when i say I want to experience it, I don't mean that I want enlightenment, but more that Ive been wanting and waiting for an experience like that for the certainty it would give me that something had "happened", an unmissable sign basically. My point now being that it was stupid and unrealistic.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:39 pm

There is not an "I" looking for a "not I".

The "self" that is looking, wanting verification, saying things like "how do you really, really, really, know ?" ...this is another thought coming along and asking you to prove something to thought itself. This cannot be done.

You can experience the thoughtless state, it is not difficult, in fact you are in it more than you realize. Thought comes along and makes you doubt.

It can be helpful to watch during the day, doing almost anything. Sean is washing the dishes. Oops, forgot to pay attention to your "self"...where did it go? Apparently it wasn't needed.

I personally love to do this while reading, watching a movie. 30 minutes goes by, there was no "self" watching "movie'....it was only experiencing. Where did Cal go? Appreantly he wasn't needed.

Brushing my teeth, autopilot, organism can do this without thought. Where did "I" go again? Apparently wasn't needed.

Take a walk. Oops, how many steps were taking without "I" being there? Most of them.

You will see the space, you may have a little "ooooh" recognization before thought comes along and craps on it. Let those little ones work their magic.

Another thing you can do is to "assume it's the case" that there is no-self, not assume it's whack and demand proof. Adopt the presupposition, it will make it easier to have an open mind.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:01 pm

Hey Cal,
The "self" that is looking, wanting verification, saying things like "how do you really, really, really, know ?" ...this is another thought coming along and asking you to prove something to thought itself. This cannot be done.
Yes, I see the futility in this. It makes no sense, they are both thoughts wrestling with each other, why would one have more authority than the other. The questioning just feels quite intense some times, I get it under control but it takes a while. My "Self" has always been a chronic over thinker/doubter and I think once I saw "no self", that that part of the ego would just die. I get that this is unrealistic, it was more an unacknowledged expectation with no basis in reality.
I personally love to do this while reading, watching a movie. 30 minutes goes by, there was no "self" watching "movie'....it was only experiencing. Where did Cal go? Appreantly he wasn't needed.

Brushing my teeth, autopilot, organism can do this without thought. Where did "I" go again? Apparently wasn't needed.

Take a walk. Oops, how many steps were taking without "I" being there? Most of them.

You will see the space, you may have a little "ooooh" recognization before thought comes along and craps on it. Let those little ones work their magic.

Another thing you can do is to "assume it's the case" that there is no-self, not assume it's whack and demand proof. Adopt the presupposition, it will make it easier to have an open mind.
Over the weekend I am going to put your suggestions into practise, drop all expectations and need for reassurance and trust my experience. I will report back in a few days.

Thanks mate.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:37 am

Hey Cal,

Hope you're keeping well.

Just wanted to report back that everything is good. Took my foot of the gas since we last spoke and just allowed things to be and it's been good. I relaxed and stopped doubting and questioning and feel much more grounded as a result. Thing's are sinking in and there have been knock on, subtle "realisations"as a result.

Thank you for all your help. It really helped me dispense with a lot of bullshit notions surrounding non duality and made me see how simple and everyday it is. Appreciated the tough love too, needed to hear certain things.

Sean

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:54 pm

Hi,

Glad things are settling in! Do you want to wait a bit or are you ready for the final questions? There are a few the forum asks as a way to gauge your progress.

Cal

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:52 pm

Yes, fire away!


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