Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

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NoMeHere
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Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:19 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The self is a label that appears in thoughts. It points to a story and concepts, but not to anything that exists in reality.

What are you looking for at LU?
I read the gatecrasher book, and I really liked the direct, no-nonsense approach. I'm not sure whether I've crossed through the gate already, therefore I would like to have some guidance and evaluation.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Clarity! Yes, I'm pretty sure I "understand" that there is no self, but I'm not so sure if I've really seen it clearly enough. Ever since I started with self-inquiry, clarity has improved steadily, with lots of "aha" effects along the way, but I still feel that I'm missing something important, and that I might be very close to the gate and need one final last push to get through.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I started meditation about 2 years ago, for stress management, dealing better with depression, anger issues, etc. I initially followed "The Mind Illuminated", which was great and helped me a lot, but eventually the progress stalled. I then did the Finder's Course, which helped me to "deepen", and also caused some major "purifications". I'm not really sure which location I was in when I finished, probably location 1. My favorite methods were headless way and self-inquiry. After the course I mostly did self-inquiry and do-nothing meditation, along with some occasional Anapanasati.

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: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:04 pm

Hi NoMeHere,

Is that what you'd like me to call you or is there a name you'd like to use?

Your subject line is amusing and yes, you may have seen. We can find out and we can go "deeper" (whatever that means), probably.

My name is Stacy and I can be your guide, if you would like. If so, please read the following housekeeping & guidelines and let me know if you have any questions.

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


Warmly,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:10 pm

Hello Stacy,

Thank you for guiding me and helping me see!
Is that what you'd like me to call you or is there a name you'd like to use?
Please call me Michael.
If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now and just confirm to me that you have read it.
Yes, I have read all the documents you linked to.
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.
For the last month or so, my practice, or "meditation", is to pay close attention to thoughts, and to ask questions such as "who is seeing" or "is there a self".
How will life change?
My hope was that seeing that there is no self would make my life better. But I'm not so sure anymore.
How will you change?
I always thought that "awakening" or "realization" would make me a happier person. But again, I'm not sure anymore whether that's truly the case. It rather seems that this whole awakening stuff is totally overhyped, and not much will change really.
What will be different?
Other than the obvious, which is understanding that there is no such thing as a self, I'm not sure. Perhaps seeking will change or even disappear.
What is missing?
Like most, I've started with meditation to improve my wellbeing. It worked to some degree, but not what you would expect from reading books or watching videos from all these super-happy, super-calm, super-spiritual teachers. My hope was that realizing that there is no self would bring with it a much more dramatic shift towards increased wellbeing, but I'm really starting to doubt this. So at this point, I just want to see the "truth", and with that I mean not so much whether there is no self (I'm pretty certain there is none), but the truth about all this spiritual stuff out there. Is there really something to it, or is it mostly empty promises?

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:30 pm

Good morning, Michael,

Welcome & you are welcome.

There's a reason for my signature quote and I'll offer you this one, as well...

"An accurate ad for enlightenment would make the toughest marine blanche. There is no higher stakes game in this world or any other, in this dimension or any other.The price of truth is everything, but no one knows what everything means until they're paying it."

~ Jed McKenna

His book is on the reading list here at LU, but if you're going to read or watch things, the Gateless Gatectashers book and videos on this site are probably preferable, mostly just because they use the same languaging and model.
at this point, I just want to see the "truth", and with that I mean not so much whether there is no self (I'm pretty certain there is none), but the truth about all this spiritual stuff out there
We use language, because it's what we've got. You already know that it's not exactly accurate. For example, some people take exception to the word truth, whereas I find it useful.
For the last month or so, my practice, or "meditation", is to pay close attention to thoughts, and to ask questions such as "who is seeing" or "is there a self".
Your practice is fine and won't conflict with what we're doing. In fact, most of the exercises will just give you some additional pointers on how to do what you're already doing.
Like most, I've started with meditation to improve my wellbeing. It worked to some degree, but not what you would expect from reading books or watching videos from all these super-happy, super-calm, super-spiritual teachers. My hope was that realizing that there is no self would bring with it a much more dramatic shift towards increased wellbeing, but I'm really starting to doubt this.
I find it useful to think of it this way: this is not about feeling better. This is about feeling more. Our attachments to good and bad do loosen up. It is a process.
Is there really something to it, or is it mostly empty promises?
I have to say again that it is kind of both. Yes, there is really something to it and yet you will not be running around like a bliss bunny all the time, so save your money on that costume. However, there can be a deep abiding peace, there can be times of bliss. Every possibility on the spectrum is open including finding lies and illusions that we can no longer believe that throw us into some despair at times, even.

That is why we have (optional) Aftercare groups and places to discuss this on Facebook. When we're done you'll receive a private message that will point you to those places.

Seeing no self is a beginning, not an end, and you may already have noticed that.

For now, let's just get started, okay? Ask questions anytime.

So my next question is what comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been, and never will be.? It is all a story, something we made up. Fantasy, fiction.


Warmly,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:01 pm

Hi Stacy,
There's a reason for my signature quote and I'll offer you this one, as well...

"An accurate ad for enlightenment would make the toughest marine blanche. There is no higher stakes game in this world or any other, in this dimension or any other.The price of truth is everything, but no one knows what everything means until they're paying it."

~ Jed McKenna
That's a great quote. I didn't read Jed McKenna yet, perhaps I should!
Like most, I've started with meditation to improve my wellbeing. It worked to some degree, but not what you would expect from reading books or watching videos from all these super-happy, super-calm, super-spiritual teachers. My hope was that realizing that there is no self would bring with it a much more dramatic shift towards increased wellbeing, but I'm really starting to doubt this.
I find it useful to think of it this way: this is not about feeling better. This is about feeling more. Our attachments to good and bad do loosen up. It is a process.
That's a good way to approach this. Again, it's not that meditation was useless for me. It did make my life better! It's just disappointing (to whom?) that "stream entry", "realization", or whatever you want to call it didn't somehow transform me to a much larger degree. (Provided, of course, that I'm really "there", which we are trying to find out with this discussion.)
Is there really something to it, or is it mostly empty promises?
I have to say again that it is kind of both. Yes, there is really something to it and yet you will not be running around like a bliss bunny all the time, so save your money on that costume. However, there can be a deep abiding peace, there can be times of bliss. Every possibility on the spectrum is open including finding lies and illusions that we can no longer believe that throw us into some despair at times, even.
I can totally understand that this can throw many into great despair, especially those who are seeking for a very long time!
Seeing no self is a beginning, not an end, and you may already have noticed that.
Yes. I just wrote several paragraphs of ramblings about what a big cosmic joke all of this is, only to realize that this is not very useful, so I deleted them. Let's just see how everything unfolds!
So my next question is what comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been, and never will be.? It is all a story, something we made up. Fantasy, fiction.
At present there is a lot of anger coming up. Anger towards whom? Spiritual teachings and teachers. Who is angry? Nobody, just angry thoughts. Thoughts like "if I see another one of these stupid satsangs with these super-spiritual guys calmly taking answers from their devoted disciples, I have to throw up."

I'm not proud of these thoughts (which is another thought), but it is what it is. Having such thoughts is not what I would usually admit to, but in the spirit of this investigation, I will answer 100% truthfully.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:45 pm

Hi Michael,

That is all great. Particularly the deleting of paragraphs. From here on out, it will be mostly exercises and responding to exercises, rather than a lot of conversation about Theory and what it's going to be like and what it won't be like. That's all pretty meaningless.
Anger
Anger is the intent to do something contaminated by the illusion that we are presently helpless. The definition tells you what to do.

That is not LU. That came from Phil Laut.

LU is simply for seeing no self.

For that come up after that, you can use the L U pointing, as well as many other things.

First exercise, which is also how to approach all exercises

Coloured 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 colour socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can have a 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 colour you think they are.

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

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

For the purpose of our dialogue together, it is going to be 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.

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

Warmly,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:53 pm

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

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:04 pm

Great, thank one of the other guides for that. I like it, too

Okay...

Direct Experience - Labelling 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

Do it exactly like that in a list and label each one with one of those six things: image /color, sound. sensation, smell, taste, or thought (but not the content of thought).

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back how it goes.


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:12 pm

Thanks. Should I exactly use these labels, or can I also use the labels that I used during the finders course? I used seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, tasting, and several other ....ing labels.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:55 pm

Hi, well, we only use the five senses and thought.

What were the other ones you used in the finders course? I don't know how you could find others unless they are synonyms for those six.

Let me know.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:10 am

Hi Stacy,

The finder's course covered various methods. I'm not sure if I should go into the details here, since it might be taken out of context.

In any case, it all comes back to the five senses + thought of course, it's just a matter of whether or not its broken down into further detail. For example "pressure", "heat", "itch", etc. instead of just "sensation". Shinzen Young goes into the opposite direction, and uses only "see", "hear", "feel" (and "gone" as another twist). Also, in some forms of noting you use labels for the activity ("sensing"), while in others you use a label for what arises ("sensation").

Lots of details, and I'm sure the meditation gurus have endless disagreements about what the best form is! I have no opinion, it's just that new labels take longer to adopt to. Noting didn't really do much for me during the finder's course, but perhaps it will be different this time.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:44 am

Hi, okay.

Yes, we all do our best with what we have used in order to see that there is no self.

Here, we only use six. Seeing, hearing, touching or sensation, tasting, smelling, and the fact of thought a rising, but not the content of that thought. The content of thought is an interpretation.

"
pressure", "heat", "itch", etc
Your examples would be considered interpretation here and not seen as Direct / Actual Experience.

Hopefully, it will be simple to keep it just to those six. The tricky part is usually thought.

Thought arises, but the content of that thought is made up just as we made up to self. So in learning that the content of thought is made up, it supports learning that the self is made up.

So yes, please use only the six labels used at Liberation Unleashed. I'm sure there's value to what you've already learned, but I'm not familiar with it and this is a different method.

Okay?

Thanks!
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:51 am

Okay! I will report back to you in a day or two.

Have a great weekend.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby NoMeHere » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:13 pm

Hi Stacy,

I hope you had a great weekend.

Here is my report for the last two days:

The noting with labeling doesn't really resonate with me. If I do it very fast, it leaves me dizzy, exhausted, lots of resistance coming up. If I do it slowly, then it becomes basically an open awareness or basic mindfulness exercise, with some labels added.

Labeling didn't really work well for me in the past either. I tried it a couple of times, but I always felt that label-less noting is more natural and engaging.

I did notice that my perception changed over the last two days.

One aspect of this was that I felt "more" empty, and I mean this as literal as any of these terms can be applied to abstract concepts such as perception. In essence, there was a big empty space inside "me", and images, sounds, thoughts, etc. just briefly showed up in this emptiness, with no observer. This is not new, I have this feeling for some time now, but it became stronger and there is more clarity, that's why I use the term "deepening".

Another aspect is that I continue to disassociate from my thoughts. They feel less and less "me" and I take them less and less seriously.

When I ask whether my self exists in any shape or form, the mind goes into search mode, and comes back with no answer. Again, nothing really new, since I'm doing such self-inquiry for some time now, but clarity has increased, and there is less doubt.

Also, there is less anger now. I was surprised by how much anger came up last week. If I would self-diagnose using the Progress of Insight map, I would say that this was "Knowledge of Disgust". Note that so far my progress didn't really follow the stages of this map in any linear way, so I'm only including this here to better explain how I felt last week.

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Re: Pointers, pointers, at the wall, who is the most direct of them all?

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:22 pm

Good morning,

I'm afraid I have to say that it was not asked whether labeling worked for you or not. Anything you are labeling "resistance" is simply thought arising.

"Resistance" is a label that you have given to the content of that thought. The same is true of the label, "anger." Sensations and thoughts just are. We add these labels. It is extremely important to learn to distinguish between the two and that is a first step in SEEing.

Thought arising is Direct Experience. The label "resistance" is not.

This piece, distinguishing labels from Direct Experience, is not optional.

So, please do the exercise or let me know if you would rather not continue.


Direct Experience - Labelling 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

Do it exactly like that in a list and label each one with one of those six things: image /color, sound. sensation, smell, taste, or thought (but not the content of thought).

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience).

Reply with at least two or three lists of those labels for two or three different times that you did the exercise.

If you get dizzy, stop, breathe, lie down - whatever you need to do until you can go back to finishing your exercise.

I did notice that my perception changed over the last two days.
just briefly showed up in this emptiness, with no observer. This is not new, I have this feeling for some time now, but it became stronger and there is more clarity, that's why I use the term "deepening".
These responses are indications that whether or not you like the exercise, it is helping you to see.

In addition, please read this article. It will help you to understand that I'm not here to have a conversation with you, but rather to do exercises. Our focus will be on the exercise that has been assigned, rather than on past exercises, please.


http://www.liberationunleashed.com/reso ... r-seeker/

Thank you,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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