Not Two

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Aravanei
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Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:03 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The self is a narrative. The I in our stories cannot exist apart from the stories themselves.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have had glimpses of reality in the silence between thoughts. My Identification to the dream remains strong even as I have a visceral sense that I am dreaming. I would like to join a community of people who are becoming more lucid in the dream

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Recognition of what at some level I know is truth. As we use language to describe the unknowable unravels. I’ve found conversations about non duality to be the most fruitful way to find my “self” disappearing. In the articulation of this hard to articulate topic. I find my inability to take credit for the words and thoughts I express to be an exquisite demonstration that I am not there. There is no doer

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I’ve been a seeker since my earliest memories. An avid reader of anything that allowed me to inquire deeply and question my limited perception. It all seemed like so much work and then in the last year I realized that there is something already there, that there is nothing I need to do, but something I need to remember. That has changed my trajectory of seeking

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

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:40 pm

Good morning,
It all seemed like so much work and then in the last year I realized that there is something already there, that there is nothing I need to do, but something I need to remember. That has changed my trajectory of seeking.
Beautiful, yes.

My name is Stacy and I can be your guide, if you would like.

One thing I want to make very clear up front is that with me, you must post every day. If you know yourself and your schedule are such that you cannot do this, tell me, "no," and someone else can guide you, please.

Yes, if once in a while you must post later, please post a note telling me when you will return.

If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now and just confirm to me that you have read it. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Some housekeeping guidelines:

1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration.

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!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration. In your own words (not from actual experience, but just honest answers), could you please answer the 4 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 all questions even if I miss using the blue text.

Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Below is a link to the video with instructions on using the Quote Function. Please watch it. Use the PREVIEW button to make sure your text looks right before you hit "SUBMIT."

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

What would you like for me to call you?

What time zone are you in, please?


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:40 pm

What would you like for me to call you?
You can call me Ace
What time zone are you in, please?
US Eastern Time Zone

How will life change?
That's a great question. I used to want equanimity but I no longer have that goal in mind. I don't know how life will be different. In a way I feel like it won't. If I have any expectations is more like when you "get" a joke. You laugh and move on. When you remember what you came into the room to get, and you get it and leave the room. Does that make sense?
How will you change?
This is a loaded one for me. I've spent decades designing an image of what a perfect me is and how a perfect me shows up. I've "tolerated' myself as I am for a long time and it takes so much work to live with yourself always believing that there is a better version of you just out of reach. One more method, one more accomplishment, one more insight and poof: nothing left to do but bask in that glory.

This is what comes up for me right now: I want to get out of the way. I am tired of this narrative happening to me and being the victor or the victim of every story. I want to be in the flow of life as it happens to my full capacity of feeling and experiencing. Not squeezed through grinder of all my stories.
What will be different?
The seeking will stop. The compulsion to read and ask and question and consume other's perspectives and ideas on what, who and why we are. I am weary from seeking.

What is missing?
I don't get a sense that there is anything missing. I get a sense that there is too much extra. Too many expectations, hopes, wants, disappointments, guilt, regrets, etc. If I sit in any mundane moment and ask myself that question I just hear noise. So maybe if there is anything missing at all it is silence?

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:12 pm

Thank you, Ace.

Your expectations are relatively reasonable. Being weary of seeking is a good thing. It will help you to be so tired of it that you finally just give up, relax and let go. Remember this.

You're right. In some ways, nothing will change. In other ways, everything . . . well, seems to change. What really changes is our awareness of what is true and what isn't. That's one way of putting it.

Yes, much like moving on once you get the joke. And this IS one big joke. Very close to put it that way.

Yes, seeking will stop. You will recognize that you are already the "perfect" you. It is our definition that needs to change.

I want to caution that seeing no self is only the first step. There will be a honeymoon period. Then you'll believe or notice that you believe some other untrue thought story and you will have a sense of "lost it." But all you will need to do is to recognize and question this new lie. Sounds simple. It is, but we sure cling to those stories sometimes.

Now what comes up when is read there is no self, never has been and never will be? That it is all made up, just like Santa Claus?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:17 am

Now what comes up when is read there is no self, never has been and never will be? That it is all made up, just like Santa Claus?
A few weeks ago I read the University metaphor. Books, buildings and people making up the concept of an university. That loosened the hold of the self for me. I SAW for a few hours how the I is a concept. How the concept of me is really an institution in a way. An arbitrary grouping of behaviors and patterns.

That being said I saw how the concept of me is made up from an external perspective. “I” am the roles and expectations assigned or self assigned. Essentially an agreement.

But as I reflected on this question, there is still an internal sense of I. I see how the me that shows up in the world is defined and doesn’t really exist but the sensation of being an observer, of life happening and there being a me watching it is very embodied. I’ve spent decades honing in on the vantage point of the observer.

I type this, I feel the weight of the phone in my hands. Like my eyes are a window and there is this sense of a person perched there watching it all. My thoughts float by and I see them, I grasp them. Inside my body I feel a strong sense of being a singularity.

It’s MY stomach that grumbles, MY brain considers it’s hunger, there is so much ownership. While I’ve deeply realized that I am not controlling what arises, I still feel that these things arise for someone.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:30 pm

Okay, Ace, thank you.

There IS Awareness. That won't ho away. But don't insist on making Awareness into a "self." It is not.

The pointers will help you to SEE this again.

The main thing is to learn the difference between content of thought, which is what all of your "I, me, mine" is - made up stories - and the 5 senses plus the fact that a thought arose. It did. It's just that it lies & cannot be believed.

This is how to LOOK for no self in the exercises - we call them "pointers' - that we will be doing here:

Colored Socks

There is a big difference between knowing that there is nothing to give up and seeing that there is nothing to give up.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference:

If I ask you what color socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can think about it, you can think back to this morning and try to remember putting your socks on, and you can probably tell me what color you think they are.

• Alternatively, you can take a quick look at your socks and tell me what color they actually are!

Hopefully you would agree that you can only be 100% certain by looking.

For the purpose of seeing this "no self" idea, it is very important that you are clear about this difference.

Knowing is about knowledge which is all in the mind and we are not interested in that

We are only interested in looking at and seeing what is actually going on in your present moment-to-moment experience. We are only interested in your Direct Experience in the moment..

Direct or Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, not emotion. Emotion is Sensation plus made-up thoughts & labels)
Tasting
Smelling
Thoughts Arising (but not their content)



Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:29 pm

Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.
This is clear. Thank you.

A huge relief was felt when I read that there IS awareness. I guess at some level I thought that awareness could be part of the delusion. Awareness is the only thing that feels real. There is aliveness and continuity that is deeply felt and seen through my senses. Thank you for that clarification as well. I didn’t realize clarification was needed on that point.

When I pay attention to my senses I feel as if I am distracted from that sense experience by thoughts. Are you saying that thoughts can be considered as another sense? When I eat I taste, smell and see and I don’t consider the interaction of senses disruptive, they are complementary. Don’t know if this is a tangent but it came to me reading the way you listed the SEEING vs knowing.

Thank you.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:52 am

Thoughts do arise. That happens.

But their stories aren't believable.

Try this. And where it says EXACTLY, it means same phrasing, in the same order EXACTLY. This is important because you first notice what's arising & *then* name the Direct Experience that's happening.

EXACTLY OK?

Direct Experience - Labeling Daily Activities

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

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

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

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back with lists exactly like the one above.

Post several of your own observations in a list *exactly* like the one above, please.

Refer to the green list of Actual/Direct Experience in the prior post if that helps. Those are the only items any experience can be.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:33 am

Thank you. I will follow these prompts and report back tomorrow night.

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:30 pm

Post several of your own observations in a list *exactly* like the one above, please.
I am submitting a couple of observations below since I don’t know if I am doing it right…

Sight is powerful but thought is even more so. I feel the magnetic pull of thought above my physical senses. Like when I close my eyes to focus on sound, I feel like I have to “quiet” my mind to be able to sense what is here. Anything my senses capture almost immediately there’s a narrative that pops up.

Especially when it came to capturing my thoughts I don’t know how to capture and describe my thoughts without mentioning content.

———————-

Seeing a cup, simply= Clear, plastic, rigid

Smelling coffee, simply = strong, sharp

Feeling the cold of the coffee cup, simply = cold, wet, slippery

Tasting the coffee, simply = bitter, cold

Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = the ice cubes collide and it sounds rhythmic, drums, chains

Thought about drinking the coffee, simply =

WOW so many thoughts. I don’t know how to capture them without content. This is what came up for me:

- the cup is wet and I drank half of it
- I want more
- The taste is coating my tongue
- The sound of the ice cubes reminds me of a train on tracks

————

Seeing nature, simply= Green palm leaf, movement

Smelling mature, simply = no scent but warm sensation in my nostrils

Feeling the warmth of the sun,  simply = very light warm sensation as the sun rays hit my skin

Tasting the aftertaste of coffee, simply = light bitterness

Hearing nature, simply = birds, a plane overhead, my child’s voice, the trees rustling

Thoughts about nature, simply = thought

- So many sounds colliding
- I can tell the distance of the sounds when I close my eyes
- Staying with the specific sense is hard!

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:35 pm

Okay, no.

Look at the instructions.

The exercise is for you to say which DIRECT OR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE the thing you notice is.

Only this one is correct:
Thoughts about nature, simply = thought
Please re-read the examples & try again.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:33 pm

ok wow that is a huge difference:

When I focus on the action of experiencing vs the labels it feels more immersive.

When I taste the coffee and focus on the tasting experience it is more fluid. There was already tasting before i drank the coffee and then in a fluid flowing way, there was a difference experience noted.

Without labels when I focus on a specific sense it is noted that the senses were already ON, I didn’t have to do anything.
———————-

Seeing a cup, simply= Seeing shape/color

Smelling coffee, simply = scents

Feeling the cold of the coffee cup, simply = sensation

Tasting the coffee, simply = taste

Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sounds

Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = Thought

————

Seeing nature, simply= Image/colors

Smelling mature, simply = scents

Feeling my body seating on the couch, simply = sensations

Tasting the aftertaste of coffee, simply = tasting

Hearing nature, simply = sounds

Thoughts about nature, simply = thought

I will be honest, there is maybe a second or two of being in the sense experience before a bunch of labeling pops up.

That being said there is an overwhelming sense of relief in that brief period.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Not Two

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:10 pm

EXACTLY

Makes a HUGE difference.

How about you experiment going through the day like this and relaxing into that sense of relief before thought shows up & tenses everything all up?

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion."

~ Rumi

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:33 pm

Perfect. Looking forward to it. Will report tomorrow

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Aravanei
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Re: Not Two

Postby Aravanei » Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:50 pm

How about you experiment going through the day like this and relaxing into that sense of relief before thought shows up & tenses everything all up?
I spent the day focusing on that sense of space between sensing and all the content added. The major thing I noticed is that while it feels as though these processes happen simultaneously, there is a split second before content kicks in. For example: I heard a really loud birdcall, I could not see the bird, and I had no idea what kind of bird it was. All I had was sound and a loose image (thought) that it came from a bird and my mind went blank. Since it could not find a direct connection to a label and image it just went silent for a few seconds before searching again.

I've assumed that the reason why we automatically label is to diminish discomfort of uncertainty...but in the last 24 hours I found the opposite. Leaving space for not knowing diminished tension. When the labeler and the seeker are activated they are insatiable in a way. When "I allow" not knowing to not know the experience changes.

I found not knowing and not having to know energizing in a way.

One question did arise: this ability to focus awareness is very easy for me to claim. Reading your prompts and then directing attention to those prompts has my mind feeling very proud of itself. I am finding it challenging to drop the observer story. I can intellectually see how the observer is a story but in practicality it's still very embodied. Can you help me understand and unravel this a bit?

Thank you


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