Understanding but no perception shift

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ElderPrice
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Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:19 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
My understanding is that the Self is primarily a social construct, a collection of thoughts and perceptions that have become an illusory identity story that is believed over time. By whom, I don't know. This story is perceived to be a real identity that controls and is central to life.

What are you looking for at LU?
I think I get it intellectually but I have not had a perception shift. There appears to be an "identity lens" that I look through when I function in the world. It feels like I can't see reality because of the concepts about reality, and I feel this separation.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I am hoping that I can have a perceptual shift that helps me to see reality as it really is. I like concepts and ideas so this are hard to give up and I need support to see my blind spots and keep me honest, I think?
open, honest, clear communication helping me look is all I expect.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
A couple of years after I left high school I had a conversion experience and became a Christian. Christianity was really the only expression of spirituality that I had access to at the time. I went to theological college and became a youth pastor. After several years working as a pastor, I began to see that Christianity certainly was not the truth I was searching for. For many years since then, I have explored a variety of eastern traditions looking to find elements of truth in all of them to create my own understanding. Eckhart Tolle helped me understand time. I have done vipassana meditation for several years. I began to read Greg Goode, Tim Freke and Adyashanti. I have listened to hundreds of hours of Rupert Spira who helped dismantle my understanding of "I". All of these have led me to LIberation Unleashed. I have also read LIberation Unleashed and the Gateless Gatecrashers which were excellent.

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

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:07 pm

Hi ElderPrice,

welcome to Liberation Unleashed. Glad you made it here.
I'm Verananda and I can be your guide if that's okay with you.
Should I call you ElderPrice or is there another name you would prefer?

Looking forward to our talk,
Verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:03 am

Hello Verananda!
Firstly, yes I would very much like you to be my guide and I thank you for offering your time to to do so. I greatly appreciate it.

I have never used a platform like this to communicate before. So when I looked at the site it seemed that everyone had a pseudonym so I chose Elder Price because I had been listening to the Book of Mormon musical. He was the main character who lost his faith in religion. So to answer your question please just call me Barry.

I look forward to your guidance.

Thanks again

Barry

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:53 am

Hi Barry,

thats woderful!
I have never used a platform like this to communicate before.

no problem. we check it out step by step. first I want to ask you to check out the Quote-Function as I did here.
Please watch the below 30 second video to learn how to use the Quote function. This will assist us in having a clear dialogue around the questions and answers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ
Just try it out and if it works we will go through the other preliminaries ....
So when I looked at the site it seemed that everyone had a pseudonym so I chose Elder Price because I had been listening to the Book of Mormon musical. He was the main character who lost his faith in religion. So to answer your question please just call me Barry.
Some prefere to work with a pseudonym, others want to be addressed with their right name. It is fine as it ist.

Warmly, Verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:22 am

Just try it out and if it works we will go through the other preliminaries ....
Some prefer to work with a pseudonym, others want to be addressed with their right name.
I might stay as Elder Price or EP to help me deidentify with my "Barryness" :)

Good, I think I have the quoting thing.

kind regards
barry

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:22 am

Hi Barry,

thats fine. So here are some more preliminaries, that are very helpful for our process. You wrote in your introduction that you read Liberation Unleashed and the Gateless Gatecrashers, so you might be familiar with this. But I like to ask you, to read it again and confirm it regarding our work together here and now.

During our conversation I will ask you a series of questions. For each, you will look at your own direct experience and answer with 100% honesty.

I point. You look. You tell me what you see right there.

It is vital that you really do each “experiment” I provide, answer each question and look at your direct experience — in the present moment — instead of relying on analytical thought or memory.

During this guiding, please avoid any other teachings, spiritual books, writings, YouTube videos or talks. If you have a meditation practice, feel free to continue with it as usual.

Please make an effort to write here every day or at least every second. This works best if we keep a constant focus on looking. If you are unable to do this on occasion, or you need more time for looking just let me know. I'll do the same for you.

Do you agree with this?

It is best to avoid analyzing, speculation and debate. The mind will try to create distraction.
You said
It feels like I can't see reality because of the concepts about reality.
Concepts are not a problem if they are seen as what they are.

So here is our first look:
Can you find these concepts right now in direct experience ?
If so, what are they in direct expirience?
If not, what do you find in direct experience right now?



sending love
verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:14 pm

Hello Verananda
Can you find these concepts right now in direct experience. If so, what are they in direct expirience?
If not, what do you find in direct experience right now? ?
Interesting. As I went searching for the concepts they seem to dissipate. First, they became just pure labelling such as a table, chair, cute dog, laptop etc. Then on further investigation, I realised that it was just a bundle of sensations and colours that I label. I must admit I was surprised at how quickly the concepts fell away.

So to answer your question. No, I cannot find the concepts right now in my direct experience when I pay close attention to my experience. These concepts are just thoughts that I make up to describe the sensations. I think the purpose of this is to give my world a sense of coherence that matches other people. I guess, labels are useful functional social tools, i.e. could you please pass me the salt?

This understanding does make sense to me but in the rough and tumble of life, I easily forget this. I find it particularly difficult when talking with others. kind of like watching an interesting movie, sometimes you feel like you are actually there and not watching a black square screen. I often fall into the "movie of life"

hope this makes sense
many thanks
barry

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:13 pm

Hi Barry,
hope this makes sense
shure, it makes sense ... lets have a closer look at it:
This understanding does make sense to me but in the rough and tumble of life, I easily forget this. I find it particularly difficult when talking with others.
You are right, it is really difficult! Do you have any control over thoughts coming up?
It's the same here:
These concepts are just thoughts that I make up to describe the sensations.
Exactly. The concepts are just thoughts. There are sensations and thoughts about sensations. But who or what makes them up?

To investigate this, please take some time for an exercice:
Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.
Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are
saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.
Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

kind of like watching an interesting movie, sometimes you feel like you are actually there and not watching a black square screen. I often fall into the "movie of life"
Well, there's nothing wrong with the "movie of life". Why do you want to stay outside?
The movie is running. Life is living itself. It's all real.
Ecxept of one small detail: This "I" that seems to fall into the movie (or wants to stay outside). Does this "I" realy exist?

So look at this I, don't analyse, don't use your knowlege, don't belief anything.
Look in direct experience and report what you find out!
Can you find this "I" and if so, what is it made of (in DE)?


Its a lot of stuff here, so take the time you need!

with love
verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:45 am

Hello again :)
Thankyou for your questions.
Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
I do not know where thoughts come from or go to. They appear and then they are gone without any control from me. I cannot choose to have only pleasant thoughts for a sustained period of time. I cannot prevent a thought from appearing.

I am a therapist. I plan individual or group sessions. When I do this I do actually have specific questions in mind to ask at certain times during a session in order to achieve a therapeutic outcome. So in some circumstances, I do know what thought I will have in the future because I have planned to do so.

I am also aware that I have thought carefully based upon evidence experience what questions to ask. It does appear that the types of thoughts that I have are within a specific set of experiential parameters. For example, due to my role, my thoughts will usually be informed by and restricted to a mental health paradigm. I don't start thinking about design ideas when talking to a person with bipolar disorder.
Well, there's nothing wrong with the "movie of life". Why do you want to stay outside?
The movie is running. Life is living itself. It's all real.
Ecxept of one small detail: This "I" that seems to fall into the movie (or wants to stay outside). Does this "I" realy exist?
mmmm I think this is a sticking point for me. This was a difficult question for me. Why stay outside of life? and who is "staying outside of life?" I think my "i" has been hiding :) It is really there but pretending not to be. I had not noticed that there was an "I" wanting to stay outside the movie.

I am going to explore this more today. I will write again soon.

many thanks again
b

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:14 am

Hello V
I think my struggle is that in the movie I am the main character. However, "I" am not in control of this character I understand that. I think I believe that other characters in the movie are in control of their lives.
Feeling pretty stuck actually. Not sure where to look or what to look at. a bit confused.Sorry.
but to answer your last question
Does this "I" really exist?
no this I does not exist
thanks
B

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:12 pm

Hi Barry,
Feeling pretty stuck actually. Not sure where to look or what to look at. a bit confused.Sorry.
no problem. confusion is wonderful, it means old beliefs are stirred up and a fresh look can happen!
It's no reason to say sorry! :-)
we go on step by step.
I point you "where to look". There is only one importend thing for you to do: Realy look in direct experience, don't analyse, don't use all the old stuff you know.
I often fall into the "movie of life"
Does this "I" really exist?
no this I does not exist
ok, no "I" -> no "fall" -> just movie ?
Is it that?
I think my struggle is that in the movie I am the main character. However, "I" am not in control of this character I understand that.
Who or what else could be?
I do not know where thoughts come from or go to. They appear and then they are gone without any control from me. I cannot choose to have only pleasant thoughts for a sustained period of time. I cannot prevent a thought from appearing.
exactly, thats it. It is good to observe these things further in daily live and work.

It seems paradox. I also work as therapist and coach, and I know this: You find out that there is no control of thought and next day you go to work and tell your clients: "Take care of your thoughts! If you produce too much negative thoughts you get stuck in your depression". Don't care about this paradox. It will be clearer later on.

We will come back to the other points you brought up later on. If you find out anything new, you can report it here any time.


Now I want you to do another experiment. Here is the preperation for it:

When looking at the entire spectrum of present experience it can be described with the terms
the seen
the heard
the (bodily) sensed
the smelled
the tasted
and (observed) thought
Can you find something else, more or beyond those terms?
Wouldn't anything "else" be just a thought about such a thing?
If there is anything more, please describe what it is and how it is experienced!


love
verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:41 am

Hello Verananda :)

Firstly, thank you for your patience. I greatly appreciate your time and wisdom given to me so generously.
ok, no "I" -> no "fall" -> just movie ?
Is it that?
Yes, that is it. Nothing else but thoughts, no falling, no "I" Just thoughts .......
I think my struggle is that in the movie I am the main character. However, "I" am not in control of this character I understand that.
Who or what else could be?
Life is just living. No controller, life just doing what life will do.
Don't care about this paradox. It will be clearer later on.
I look forward to clarity around this.
Can you find something else, more or beyond those terms?
Wouldn't anything "else" be just a thought about such a thing?
If there is anything more, please describe what it is and how it is experienced!
I explored this several times throughout the day..
In my experience, there is nothing outside the hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing the seeing and observation of thoughts.

There does seem to be an observer or something that is aware of all of this. I am trying to avoid non-duality language but I do seem to sense an observer/awareness of all of the sensations. mmm even the word "observer" smells like an "I" in there somewhere. I sat and looked again and it does seem like there is something paying attention to the separate sensations. This thing (awareness)??? can choose to pay attention to a sound/ sight/ sensation or not.

When focussed upon a sensation it appears as one. For example sound - listening is one hearing. But sometimes it feels like a choice can be made to one of the sensations which amplifies the sensation. For example, sitting typing there is a sensation of "chair" which is present or not depending if "i " focus on this particular sensation... the sensation of "chair" comes and goes out of my awareness depending on where attention is.......I hope that makes sense

with much gratitude
B

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:31 pm

Hi Barry
Yes, that is it. Nothing else but thoughts, no falling, no "I" Just thoughts .......
Life is just living. No controller, life just doing what life will do.
good work :-)
Don't care about this paradox. It will be clearer later on.
I look forward to clarity around this.
If its not clear later on, bring it up again! We don*t quit this threat as long as there are open questions from your side! :-)
In my experience, there is nothing outside the hearing, smelling, tasting, sensing the seeing and observation of thoughts.
thats good. so this is the basis of our looking in direct experience.
If you will find anything else we have a closer look at it. Like this:
There does seem to be an observer or something that is aware of all of this. I am trying to avoid non-duality language but I do seem to sense an observer/awareness of all of the sensations. mmm even the word "observer" smells like an "I" in there somewhere. I sat and looked again and it does seem like there is something paying attention to the separate sensations. This thing (awareness)??? can choose to pay attention to a sound/ sight/ sensation or not.
Take a closer look to this something! Where can you find it? Where is it located? How do you sense it?
Can you sense and/or locate it in your body?
Does perception / awareness of sound/ sight/ sensations needs an observer, a something that pays attention?
Or is there just perception / awareness of ... ?
Tell me everything you can find out about it in direct experience!

When attention moves, what is it in direct experience?
Who or what chooses where attention is payed to (next)?
Observe this process of choosing in direct experience and tell me what you find out!

Sitting typing with this sensations of "chair" is a good place for exploration!

I'm curious about what you'll find out :-)
Love
Verananda

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ElderPrice
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby ElderPrice » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:54 am

Hello V😊
.If its not clear later on, bring it up again! We don*t quit this threat as long as there are open questions from your side! :-)
Thank YOU!
.When attention moves, what is it in direct experience?

Observe this process of choosing in direct experience and tell me what you find out!
Attention moving is like turning up the volume of a sensation. The sensations are all there but paying attention to a specific sensation enhances the experience by expanding it more than others in awareness.
.Who or what chooses where attention is payed to (next)?
To be honest,in my experience this seems like an involuntary experience AND a voluntary one. It seems like an "I" is making a choice to scan the body and can choose when and where to focus.
Mmm, did " I" choose or is awareness noticing?

When meditating and I do a body scan it feels like l have pre chosen what is scanned, start at head and work my way down the body. But it's this actually a choice?? Or conditioned response.? I hope this is not too much thinking rather than looking.
.Take a closer look to this something! Where can you find it? Where is it located? How do you sense it?
Can you sense and/or locate it in your body?
Does perception / awareness of sound/ sight/ sensations needs an observer, a something that pays attention?
Or is there just perception / awareness of ... ?
I honestly cannot find the "something"
It feels like it's located in my head but I cannot find the observer. I don't think the sensations needed an observer... Maybe there is just a perception? I sound like I'm thinking a lot about this but I am truly trying to just look without analysis. I am not very clear.
.Take a closer look to this something! Where can you find it? Where is it located? How do you sense it?
How do I sense it? Wow, tough question.... it feels like a knowing before thoughts and concepts.

Tough questions today!! Again really appreciative of your time and PATIENCE 😊
Deep thanks
B

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Verananda
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Re: Understanding but no perception shift

Postby Verananda » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:08 pm

Hi Barry,

you're pretty good with this tough questions!

Today I have another exercise for you. Please take some time for it and report what you find out.
After that we come back to the answeres and open questions of your last post!

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.
Watch like a hawk.
Don't go to thoughts – examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like,
and each time inquire:-
How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought
MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or
down?

love
verananda


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