I would love to work with Ilona!

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Kjersti
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I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:12 pm

Hi Ilone or whoever is answering me,

I have been reading some of the stories of the 21 awakenings available on this site and for the past few days I have been asking myself questions about the self - inspired by this reading. This has led to some fun, surprising and interesting answers and experiences! What I really like about the way you guide people is to ask to put away books and intellectual thinking and just go out and see for ourselves. I would love to get some support in this direct enquiry, because even though I can sense presence arising and old thought patterns loosening up while questioning the illusion of self - it only happens in glimpses and does not stay for long. I am thrilled to get on with this work and a little anxious, too!

Background information: I am 39 years old (woman) and work as a gestalt therapist and zencoach - so have experience with sensing into what is happening in the now. I am also familiar with meditation and I am very inspired by different non-dualistic teachings like The Diamond Approach and authors like Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle.

Kjersti

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Kjersti
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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:57 pm

Hi again,

Yesterday I posted my request for working with you, Ilona - and right away there was some thinking going on: Why do I prefer to work with Ilona? Ilona is probably one of the busiest guides, so why not just ask for a any guide and then receive what comes and get the process going!

Later that day I kept checking the site to see if you had answered me - even though I thought of it as most unlikely. And then suddenly this idea came up that made me smile: What if I just start the process of inquiring into the illusion of self here on the site and then when you have time and opportunity - you can join me in the process and support me? At once this sense of creativity and empowerment was there: Hey - I can start right away and surf on the wave of motivation! I don't have to hold my horses and wait! Life is going on and I can use any opportunity to look closely into how I am holding on to the notion of self! And it feels more supportive to do it here on the site, then doing it totally by myself without reporting it anywhere. And then came some worries: Am I going outside the rules of this site by starting my own inquiring etc? Anyway - the impulse to do it was stronger than the impulse to not do it - so here I go!

These are some questions that came up while writing the text above:
1. Who is preferring to work with Ilona?
2. Who is holding on to the notion of self?
3. Who is worrying?

1. Who is preferring to work with Ilona? What I see is this: I sense something in the stomach, some uneasiness when I think of working with just any guide - a movement going back and forth in my stomach. And there comes a thought of the softness and warmth and understanding I felt when I read some of your guidings of others. The "I" thinks: I need that softness and subtleness and delicacy that Ilona is representing to support me over the gateless gate. Or more correct: there are these thoughts around the way I prefer to be guided, that the "I" can stick to and identify with.

I can see how the "I"-feeling feeds on having preferences for and against. The feeling of I grows stronger, feels more real and substantial when there is preferring going on. But is there really a substantial self in the act of preferring? I really try to find it! Where is it? But what IS, is the preferring: the thought "I prefer Ilona to guide me" and there are some body sensations, an intensifying feeling of lack, of something missing that I need in order to become "enlightened".

That is the closest I get to finding a self right now: in other words when I look closer, I can only find the concrete components of thoughts, body sensations and feelings and that these three components seem to have an effect upon each other - an intensifying effect. Ah - and now I see that the "me" is a sort of "manager" that interprets and bind together these thoughts, body sensations and feelings - making it into a story to try to make sense of what is going on! There is something that thinks that I have to make sense of everything coming my way - or more precise - it does it on autopilot, by mere habit!

Okey - dont have more time now to explore the other questions I posed myself. But I'll be back soon continuing the exploration - I really find it interesting and clarifying :-)

Kjersti

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi kjersti,

Thank you for the call and the intro. :) I'm happy to work with you. You seem to have a drive to resolve this little matter of belief in I by yourself, for yourself, so keep on investigating. I'll be here and will jump in time to time to ask some questions that you may miss.

Lets start from expectations.
What do you expect this realisation is, what will it do for you? What do you want from seeing through illusion? What you do not want it to be and so on. All expectations need to be brought up to the light. Make a list.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:36 pm

Hi Ilona!

Thank you for your answer - and your quick response!

Okey - what do I expect this realization to be?
- I expect that much will be the same as now; thoughts, feelings and body sensations will arise - some of them pleasant and some of them unpleasant. And I will of course keep on being a mom (I have two beautiful little boys), being a wife, doing my job, meeting my friends, doing the dishes... But I expect the difference to be that I will respond differently to all these sensations/thoughts/impressions - that there will be no one owning them, no strong identification with things having to be a certain way, nothing to defend. I imagine that it will be more of a witnessing quality to life, a feeling of enjoying the ride, receiving what comes my way, a relaxed curiosity about what is coming next. I also expect more relaxation and fun in general - I mean, when there is not much to defend, there is not much fear or worrying - and I expect that there will be a huge amount of energy released that now is bound up in worrying and defending - energy that can be used in a creative and playful way. But if there is real danger involved, like something or someone threatening me, my kids etc - I still expect feelings of anger and fear to arise. What I think it will be less of, are feelings of shame, guilt, self hatred and so on. Oh, feel like I am contradicting myself a little in this paragraph - I guess, what is most clear for me at the moment, is that a lot of the same sensations and thoughts will arise after realization, but that there will be a witnessing of them, more than going into a reaction and identifying with them - and that way of being in the world will lead to more freedom, clarity and gratefulness for what is!

And I expect that seeing the illusion of self will be a starting point for a change that will evolve and expand over time - that there will be a lot of unwirering of old patterns to be done. I know I am in this unwirering process already, but I expect an intensifying of this process - that seeing through the illusion of self will be an immense support in this process! I am already less attached to my thoughts than I was some years ago - or more precise: there are more moments of less identification than before and there are still a lot of moments where I am totally identified and caught up in thoughts and ideas about myself and the world.

There are also some childish thoughts coming up around the concept of realization: after a dear friend of me told me about this site, I play around with the thought of having this realisation happening before I turn 40 years! My birthday is 27th of October - and I could not think of a better present than this realization happening to me... I get a little embarrassed sharing this and at the same time there is this warm feeling in the breast - like being a little girl waiting for Santa Clas. Thinking this, I see how the feeling of self often is attached to expecting something, the more I hope for things, the more expectation I have, the stronger the feeling of an I. And when I look for the "me" in it, I can't find it. Again, all I find are thoughts and feelings...

Going to bed now... Good night to you, Ilona!

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:42 pm

Here are some more answers to the questions you posed me, Ilona...

My expectations around realization:

If there is no sense of self, there will be nothing to defend, nothing to search for, nothing to strive for, nothing to wish for. In stead there will be an experience of what is actually there in the moment, whatever it is - "good", "bad" or neutral.

I expect the selfless state to be a place where labeling things good or evil, worthy or non worthy, does not make much sense at all - it is actually nonsense :-) Thinking of it as nonsense makes me smile - brings more space and air around the act of labeling things and experiences. Seeing it this way actually makes labeling look ridiculous! Labeling things is a way of taking a stance toward what is - but that becomes impossible if there is nobody there to take a stance! And what is left when there is nobody there to label, make judgements, resist or crave? Well, there is just less noise and less disturbance! And when there is less noise, there is more clarity. Well, somehow the noise might still be there, but it does not have the power to actually disturb no more...

My curiosity is now leading me to look deeper into the habitual hiding places of the "I" - here is a few:
- labeling things and experiences
- comparing myself to others
- being on the search for something better
- having expectations and hopes
- rejecting my own or somebody else's experiences
- running away from something
- postponing things that need to be done
- selfblaming

Okey, now the list became so long that I lost my initial curiosity and became very cerebral! Nice to notice and just let go of it! (Pause - walking around in the living room. A new impulse arises:) Actually I want to make a new list, now - a list of what makes it difficult for the "I" to hide :-)
- being present and aware of what is arising in the moment, here and now (sounds like a cliché, but is powerful stuff!)
- inquire, posing good questions - living in the questions, rather than in the conclusions

Could not think of any more to make the list longer, right now. Actually, there is not much going on in me, right now, just silence, sitting here, noticing, being here for the next impulse to arise. Right now there is no urge to do anything, and there is definitely no need in me to push me anywhere for the moment. Just sitting. Relaxing...

Gotta go,

Love Kjersti

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:47 pm

Hi Ilona!

Yesterday afternoon and evening I felt a little discouraged in the process - I checked the site to see if you had answered me. There were no answer there yet - which of course is totally okey! I am so grateful for this site to even exist and amazed that you and the others do this for free! But anyway - the fact that you had not answered me yet, brought me in contact with the longing for support.

So I decided to read another story in "Gateless Gatecrashers" to get me back on track! Before I started posting here, I read the first 8 stories. Then I got the strong urge to stop reading and investigating for myself and started posting. This time I read Tom's story - thank you, Tom, for sharing! (I know Tom is not reading this, but it feels good to express my gratitude, anyhow!) And thank you, Ilona, for your sharp questions!

What really caught my attention this time was your sentence: “I” is a thought. Thought cannot think. It’s just an expression of processes going on in the brain."

There were some other passages too in the story that made an impression. But even though it felt important, I could not really feel any shift, just more of an intellectual agreement and recognition. Then I went to bed and fell asleep. Three o'clock in the morning, I woke up because my 4-year old son woke up, calling out for mom and dad. The little one fell back to sleep, and I stayed awake in bed, investigating into the illusions of self. Here is what I found:

When I see that "I" is only a thought, I also see that "I" has no power do do anything! As you say: a thought cannot think, in other words: it is not the "I" that does the thinking! The thoughts are coming from someplace else! The same goes for creativity, power, love, will and so forth! "I" is just a label put on top of all these experiences, making it seem like THE central power station! Wow, what a convincing illusion!

This shift in perspective is as radical as the Copernican shift: As earth was the center of the universe for people living in The Middle Ages, the "I" is the center of most peoples lives (mine included!) Seeing that this is not so, after all, is quite mind boggling! Seeing that there is something else at the centre, that the "earth-I" is actually in the periphery, puts everything upside-down! And I love it!

Seeing this felt like a shift in perspective, it was really a clear insight, really making sense and feeling true! At the same time, it still feels very much like I keep experiencing from an "I" perspective! So in that way there is no big change in me so far... Well, I will keep on observing and enquire into this, and come back with more reports.

I am also curious about what you think of what I have shared - am I on the track, you think?

Love

Kjersti

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Hi kjersti.

Your process is your own which you do for yourself, by yourself. I'm only here to hold focus. In your case you are doing great and investigating deeply what is here. Good work.

Yes, I is not what thinks. Good observation. Now spend some time looking at thinking process, not content, but thinking itself.
Where di thoughts come from?
Are you in control of what to think, when to think, can you stop thinking for half an hour?
Do you know what the next thought will be before it comes?

If you look at breathing and thought I breathe, is it the I that does the breathing?
If you look at thinking and thought I think, is it I that does the thinking?
How about doing? Is the I the doer, or this is just the way to label action.


Does I exist?

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:19 pm

Hi again! And thank you so much for taking time to read my reports and answering me!

Yeah, you are absolutely right - it is my process which I do for myself, by myself! So what I am understanding from what you are saying, is that if I don't hear anything from you for a while, it is because I am doing alright by myself. And that you will pop in, when/if you see that I am getting off track... Hm, feeling kind of cool to take the process in my own hands - and gives me the opportunity to look into both pride (the "I" wanting to be clever and do it by myself - the tendency to give the "self" credit and thereby nourishing the illusion of self that I am here to dissolve!) and the need for approvement and reassurance (who is needing approvement and reassurance if there is no "I"?)

Okey - to your questions: Where do thoughts come from?
A lot of the time, it is totally clear to me that I have no idea where the thoughts come from - they seem to arise from nowhere and then vanish into nowhere. And there is no apparent reason for just these thoughts to arise in that particular moment.

At other times, it seems that the thoughts are arising from me, that "I" am the source of my thoughts: Like now, for example - when I am given the task of investigating into the thinking process itself - it seems like there is a me (Kjersti) who is using her will and focus to look into this particular matter. Hm - so there is a focusing, a looking for answers. Does this looking require a self? Well, even though it feels/seems like "I" am doing it, when I try to find me in it, all I find is looking and focusing. I dont actually find "what" or "who" is looking - no noun, just verbs... So what I notice right now is a discrepancy between the familiar sense/thought of there having to be someone doing something and the actual truth of there being nobody doing anything - just seeing the doing itself. And then just silence, my mind just kind of stopping...

Am I in control of what to think? My first impulse is to answer: No, not in total control. Hm, that is interesting. So there is something in me that thinks I have a certain control... Again I have the impulse to divide my thoughts into two categories: A lot of the time, I know that I don't have any control over what to think. Thoughts arises without me asking for it, wanting it etc - the thoughts just come and go. At other times, it seems like my thoughts are more deliberate and structured in a way... Like when writing an essay on a specific matter, then I seem to focus on a certain theme, inviting certain thoughts and leaving irrelevant thoughts out... Wait a minute, now I see that what happens is that there comes a lot of relevant thoughts, but also a lot of irrelevant thoughts that I choose to not pursue. In other words, thoughts come and go, and there is a choosing of relevance. So the question boils down to - does this choosing require a chooser? And there is also another question popping up: Where do the relevant thoughts come from, if they don't come from a "me"? If it is not me what sort of intelligence is there that enables this choosing of relevant thoughts for the essay to be written???

I can definitely not stop thinking for half an hour. That I know for sure is impossible!!! And I do not know what the next thought will be before it comes. That is also impossible! Up until now, I have had a notion that "I" could point my thinking faculties in a certain direction, but from then on not being able to know exactly which thought would pop up next... Now, that I am really starting to see that "I" is just a thought, and that a thought does not have the power to think, I also have to question the belief that I can point my thinking faculties in a certain direction...The "I" being a label, makes the concept "me" totally impotent! It can't do a damn thing, and it never has! Hm, right now I am kind of saying it as a mantra: "The I is a only a concept, and concepts do not have the power to think or create anything!" Right now this really resonates with me intellectually, but I am not in touch with it in the same deep way as I was this night, seeing it so clearly.

Lately I have seen a lot of woodpeckers (I stayed in the forest in the weekend). Actually, I have never seen so many woodpeckers at the same time ever. And they were really eager pecking there way through the wood. And this telling myself over and over again that the I is only a thought, makes me feel like a woodpecker. It seems like it is needed for me to be able to penetrate through the thick wooden layers of old belief patterns...

Getting late, getting tired - goodnight!

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:37 am

I see you are working your way out of illusion like a good woodpecker through the bark. Nice.
Yes, you are starting to see it and intelectual understanding is part of this process as it it the mind that is clearing itself up.

Thoughts can not do anything. They are labels that form descriptions. And all that label I can do is pop in and melt away back into nothingness. This illusion of misunderstood identity has a lot to do with language. It's verry simple when you see how labelling works. http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... s.html?m=1 there is an exert use there that will help you see that lab sling in action. Write to me what you learned.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:24 pm

Thank you for showing me the link :-)

I read it and did the exercise. Yes there was a difference using: "I am sitting in a chair, I am noticing that my back is hurting a bit, I am stretching my back, I am yawning, I am closing my eyes" compared to: "sitting, noticing back-hurt, stretching back, yawning, closing eyes". What I notice, is that putting in "I am" creates a distance to the experience (makes the experience more blurry and enhances the importance of the "doer"), while dropping the "I am" makes the experience more crisp, clear and immediate - enhancing what is happening, giving no attention to a doer. Brings in more aliveness...

After writing the above paragraph, I red through the text, and noticed that while reading the sentences with "I am doing this, and I am doing that" - I could feel irritation in my lower back - like somebody poking in a small wound. When reading the other sentences - the direct descriptions of experiences, there were no such irritation. Getting curious about this effect, I tried it once more, and felt the same - only stronger. To exaggerate a bit, it was like the "I am-part" suddenly was written in neon, blinking with fluorescent colors, trying to bring attention to itself! You know - like some people can be at a party - covering up there insecurity by making the most out of themselves, ending up irritating everybody around them... Hm, interesting effect, never thought about it that way before...

The "I" is something superfluous, trying to keep itself artificially alive through language - and through repeating "I am this or that" or "I am doing this or that" hundreds of times every day it sure manages to seem real enough to cover up the lie... Interesting...

Okey, I will sleep on this and keep on investigating. Fun being a detective :-) Good night, Ilona!

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Isn't it interesting to see this affect. Now look what is behind that 'I am', what do you see? When you look at what is looking, what do you see?

In your experience, are you the doer?

Sit still for 10 minutes. Notice the small movements of the body, are you doing them?
What is not on automatic? Where is the line when you become 'in charge'?

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Kjersti
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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:19 pm

Behind "I am" there is just isness - the table is, the floor is, the pillow is, the minds tendency to label is, the sound of the rain is, the voice of my husband is. The commenting on things and phenomena are still there, but there is no "I" identifying with this commenting/labelling. The commenting is just another phenomenon, not more important than any other phenomenon...

Going to investigate more into if I am a doer or not - and reporting more tomorrow...

Goodnight to you, Ilona and thank you for supporting me in holding focus :-)

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:30 am

Beautiful!
So do you exist?
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Kjersti » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:54 pm

There is a process in me these days of seeing more and more (bits and pieces) that confirms that the selfless state actually is an accurate description of reality. Also slowly confirming the "I" as an illusion. So there is definitely a disidentification process going on here! At the same time I find myself going back to default a lot of the time - identifying with being Kjersti, doing this or that - and where it does not seem like much has changed at all. But the new insights are never far away, they are lurking in the surface - sometimes getting clearer and sometimes going undercover...

This morning I woke up at 5 o'clock, laying in bed, thinking and investigating. I thought about nature - how nature just has a way of regulating itself, how everything is taken care of, no need for somebody in charge of it all. Well, the same goes for us humans - we are nature as much as anything. It is just that we have this mind, this thinking ability, which is a beautiful instrument, doing its thing perfectly well (labeling etc). Nothing wrong! And then there is this great misunderstanding - this mistaking the minds function for being more important than the other functions of our bodies.

Real intelligence and creativity has nothing to do with the thinking mind! Creativity is just there when needed! The same goes with love and compassion! So the answer to your question - do I exist? is no, nobody exists as a separate "I". It is just this mix between the way of our mind and conditioning that makes the illusion of self so convincing. Again, this is what I see when investigating. When I stop investigating and focusing, I easily slip into my same old story... Well, I guess there is nothing wrong with that either, it is just how I do it right now - I can just notice it, and get curious when I start making a fuss about it :-)

Love

Kjersti

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Re: I would love to work with Ilona!

Postby Ilona » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:04 am

Oh yes, you are looking at it! And yes, nature regulates itself. Nothing is predetermined, but all is arising interdependently simultaneously. You can not know what shape of tree will grow out of this seed, you can know it's an oak, lets say, but the size, the health of tree is all dependent on circumstances. And every moment is fresh, in the seed there is no info about a storm breaking off branches. Life happens as the tree, not to a tree. Can you see that about this body and this mind? Can you see that you are not separate from anything? Can it be seen, that what was believed to be a me, is nothing but a tag, a word, a pointer.

Lets dig deeper.
When you look at Kjersti as a character in the story, can you see how beautiful she is? Is it you that drives her, the story and the body? What drives it? What is a role of narrator, aka voice in the head?
Can you see that all story is fiction?

Write what you notice.
Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com


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