open to being guided

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:09 am

Hi Annie,

Thoughts arise from a conditioned mind. And yes….this can seem extremely complicated… like a labyrinth.
We each have many emotional needs which drive our behavior
It would be truer to say, the mind produces thought-desires which results in actions.
although I wonder if you would say that they are all generated by our belief in the self, and thus will disappear once the fictional nature of the self is seen?
In my experience thoughts still arise…only now they are seen for what they are….thoughts and not reality.
Yes, a thought did arise soon after waking of "What's to be done today?" So the thought arises, but there's no I to whom it arises? Still feels like there is, being the whatever it is that is aware of the thought.
Is this a feeling or is it just a thought? Just look and see if there truely is anyone that is aware.
I regularly spend time in nature, daily, my mind is still there and it's more noticeable that there is just observation happening, walking happening etc. I lose that when I get back with people, it's like going back into the drama again, playing a role.
Nature is an amazing teacher because it shows us reality. It is hard to project a mother or a partner onto a tree. The mind is quickly triggered by people and goes back to ‘Alert, Alert’ mode.
I can see breathing is happening, digestion's happening etc, in humans - but the play of human relationships seems far more complex and complicated
I would say that how the complex human body functions in none less than a miracle. The play of human relationships might seem complicated, but in most relationships it all bundles down to…. “I need this….I want that…”
Are you saying that everyone's simply behaving in an automatic, preconditioned way like a load of robots?
Yes….most people believe all their thoughts and react on them.
In my experience, thoughts arise and these thoughts have their roots in what this mind has learned and what it has experienced. BUT, there is an understanding that these thoughts are NOT reality. No need to act on them. This leaves an opening for spontaneous living.
What of the concept (ha - so it's just an idea, yeah?) of the higher self, the Soul, the caring human being?
A concept is just that….a concept, a thought, a label. When the concept/thought arises… ‘the higher self’ the mind goes immediately in the story…. ‘I’m not there yet…..I need to be in touch with my higher self!’. This is the job of the mind….it thinks it needs to be in touch with the higher self….and once again there is separation from reality, there is a separate ‘I’ that need to be in touch with something else. It is only a thought.

Today observe all your actions, physical and mental, and see if there is an ‘I’ who created them.

Warm greetings,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:58 pm

Hi Swallow,
Thanks for your guidance and understanding!
Just look and see if there truely is anyone that is aware.
There is not an 'anyone' there that is aware, but an empty space in which perception happens, thoughts happen and so on. There seems to be continuity, but I guess that's just memory, a recognition of having seen similar hands, a similar room, before?

It appears that there is the apparent physical reality of the world which this body interacts with - and I realised that the body and the external environment are not separate from each other, they are intimately connected.

So there is the perception of the apparent world, the feel and sound and smell of it. Then there are the thoughts that happen - these can be in the form of comments and labels about what is seen etc, or questions, or judgments, or new ideas, desires, wonderings, memories, imaginings. And these thoughts about the physical reality create the quality of the experience the character thinks they're having. Just thoughts.

Thus 'I' is just a thought of there being an 'I' there. 'I' am a thought that thinks it is in this body experiencing a world outside of 'me'.

'I' realised this for a while, and then it slipped away.
Today observe all your actions, physical and mental, and see if there is an ‘I’ who created them.
No, there isn't an 'I' that created them. They all just happened, and thoughts and feelings arose.

A realisation arose yesterday evening about the way in which 'I' habitually behave, based on childhood experiences, and today what happened was that I researched it on the internet, asked for support from a friend, and took the first actions to reverse this self-sabotaging behaviour. This all just happened, it wasn't preceded with thoughts about 'I must develop myself'. It was an effortless flow of actions.

However I noticed that there is a strong belief in an 'I' that needs to feel good about itself. For example, I had bought some surprise gifts to take home to my family, and on the way home the thought arose "I've brought you a present!" - and I noticed that thought, and thought I could have just said "Here's a present for you", but the need was to bolster my self-esteem, to puff up the image of myself. There's also a need that arises to tell my story - just thoughts again I guess, but based on the belief in the individual self.

So there's a strong belief in a self that can't be located, and logically is just a belief. Doors of the cage are cracking open....

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:43 am

Dear Annie,

Wow ! Your message was full of clarity ! The mind has been working hard! Bravo!
There is not an 'anyone' there that is aware, but an empty space in which perception happens, thoughts happen and so on.
Great observation!
So there is the perception of the apparent world, the feel and sound and smell of it. Then there are the thoughts that happen - these can be in the form of comments and labels about what is seen etc, or questions, or judgments, or new ideas, desires, wonderings, memories, imaginings. And these thoughts about the physical reality create the quality of the experience the character thinks they're having. Just thoughts.
Yes Annie. This perception is just thoughts….sometimes there are thoughts that create emotions, sometimes not.
Thus 'I' is just a thought of there being an 'I' there. 'I' am a thought that thinks it is in this body experiencing a world outside of 'me'.
BINGO!! It was always just a thought and it will always be just a thought.
'I' realised this for a while, and then it slipped away.
The mind has its habits and it will continue to say there is an ‘I’, but once the truth is seen, the stories/films that play in the mind are seen for what they are. Just like Santa….we might get caught up in the whole story, but the knowledge is there that he just doesn’t exist.
A realisation arose yesterday evening about the way in which 'I' habitually behave, based on childhood experiences, and today what happened was that I researched it on the internet, asked for support from a friend, and took the first actions to reverse this self-sabotaging behaviour. This all just happened, it wasn't preceded with thoughts about 'I must develop myself'. It was an effortless flow of actions
Great. Seeing that there is no ‘I’ does not mean that the mind will not continue to develop and to deprogram itself. It is beautiful to see how that ‘just happens’….that is the natural development of things….no one doing it.
However I noticed that there is a strong belief in an 'I' that needs to feel good about itself.
“Strong belief” is just another thought….just thoughts.
I had bought some surprise gifts to take home to my family, and on the way home the thought arose "I've brought you a present!" - and I noticed that thought, and thought I could have just said "Here's a present for you", but the need was to bolster my self-esteem, to puff up the image of myself
Could you rewrite this scenario without the “I”? The “I” came into the story when there was a belief/thought that said there is an “I” that could have thought something different, that the "I"needs to ‘bolster it’s self-esteem, to puff up the image of itself’. Wasn’t that just another thought?
So there's a strong belief in a self that can't be located, and logically is just a belief.
Yes. It would be truer to say....There is a thought about a 'self' which doesn't exist.

I have another exercise for you to do when you get the chance.
Go out into nature and find a tree. Explain to the tree why humans think they have a separate ‘self’ and what you have seen as ‘truth’. When you are finished, just sit and meditate. Maybe some words of wisdom will come from the tree (existence) in the form of insights.

Great work done Annie!!

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:19 pm

Hi Swallow
Thanks for your presence and guidance, most appreciated.

Just an update, feels helpful to 'report in' on what's happening.

To use the metaphor I've seen on this forum, imagine 'Annie' as being like the kid who yesterday realised that Santa Claus may not be real, as her friends have told her - and she can't find any evidence of him when she looks - but her mind is carrying on believing he'll be coming down that chimney again soon. Maybe she just needs to look for him every day until her mind accepts he's really not there?

However, a major dramatic event happened today, which last week would have sent 'Annie' into a whirlwind of angst and panic. But having realised that she has no control over what happens, and that thoughts have no substance, she went about her day calmly and contentedly. Great gratitude here for that!

Will do the tree exercise over the weekend.
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:40 am

Hi Annie,

It sounds like everything is falling into place.
To use the metaphor I've seen on this forum, imagine 'Annie' as being like the kid who yesterday realised that Santa Claus may not be real, as her friends have told her - and she can't find any evidence of him when she looks - but her mind is carrying on believing he'll be coming down that chimney again soon. Maybe she just needs to look for him every day until her mind accepts he's really not there?
Great Annie...just keep investigating, keep observing and keep looking! Reality, the moment, will show you the truth.
However, a major dramatic event happened today, which last week would have sent 'Annie' into a whirlwind of angst and panic. But having realised that she has no control over what happens, and that thoughts have no substance, she went about her day calmly and contentedly. Great gratitude here for that!
Fantastic Annie! The mind has got it!!!

I am looking forward to hearing how things went with the tree.

Have a great weekend!

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:31 am

Hi Swallow

You're right, this belief in the self does need investigating over and over, otherwise 'service as usual' starts again. Walked for 4 hours yesterday, just walking, looking, hearing etc happening. Got home, thinking and analysing started up, and 'I' spent the evening starring as the lead character in Annie's drama, concerned about 'how will I cope?', 'how dare they do that to me' - so much time and energy spent on defending an imaginary self!

A question about decision making - I saw that there is only thoughts and action (or inaction) happening, no 'decider' deciding. Presumably as the belief in the self fades, the quality of the decisions becomes better, in that there will be more rationality and less self-serving? More care for 'the other' and less self-sabotage?

Raining here, so will do the tree exercise with a house plant - lol!

Thanks for the accountability, it's a wonderful support in this process.

Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:06 pm

Hi Annie,

It is increadible to see how quickly the mind starts to bring up a story. Just keep seeing it for what it is….a story, even when the feelings and emotions are triggered.
A question about decision making - I saw that there is only thoughts and action (or inaction) happening, no 'decider' deciding. Presumably as the belief in the self fades, the quality of the decisions becomes better, in that there will be more rationality and less self-serving? More care for 'the other' and less self-sabotage?
When one speaks of the ‘Quality’ of a decision, one usually is speaking of better or worse…quality is also just a thought, as is ‘rational’. But putting this all aside, in my experience, there is a relaxation that occurs when the mind sees that it is creating a story, a false story about a person who does not exist. The mind does not have to work so hard and can focus on the reality of the moment, the gift of life.

I hope your talk with the house plant went well.

warm greetings,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:23 am

Hi Swallow

Re talking to the plant exercise - I THINK that, because there are nerve endings at the edge of the body that tell the mind where the body is in space, that what I am is confined in that body (remembered that there's a fascinating talk on TED by a neuroscientist about the scientific truth of oneness). I THINK that the thoughts that arise are real and to be believed and acted on. Swallow, what's just been said is just more thinking. There is a stunned numbness in the mind now, no thoughts arising.

During the day a whole series of activities happened, without a sense of an 'I' attaching to them. Although the image of what's seen is always through the same lens, the same viewpoint.

In the current dramatic events of Annie's life story, conducted largely through a whirlwind of emails, this body just sat at the desk for ages, fingers waiting to type, and no words arose - a numbness of mind. As if in beginning to see through the pretence of the character of Annie, the mind doesn't know what to do any more. Some questions arose in the mind about 'what are my options?', and were listed, and nothing more happened. The body just stayed sitting, fingers poised. Thoughts aren't arising so emotions aren't arising. Just a seeing that what is real are the fingers and the keyboard, and the story isn't real.

There's a memory of having experienced this before for a few weeks, maybe a year or so back - but it was maybe more as 'trying out' of something I'd read than being true. But saying to someone who is absent that they only exist in my world as squiggles on a computer screen wasn't well accepted! But there is now the same absence/non-existence - as if everyone not in view is only a story, a memory. Disconcerting, sick edgy feeling in the stomach now. Is this usual or my mind playing tricks?

Thanks again
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:55 am

Dear Annie,

Wonderful insights and experiences Annie! The mind is understanding, letting go.
As if in beginning to see through the pretence of the character of Annie, the mind doesn't know what to do any more
The mind is not bringing up its habitual stories because there is an understanding that it is just a story. There was just BEING and there is peace in this being.
Some questions arose in the mind about 'what are my options?', and were listed, and nothing more happened.
The mind will continue to do its job….a thought will arise, a question….and it is great that nothing happened….there was no trigger.
Disconcerting, sick edgy feeling in the stomach now. Is this usual or my mind playing tricks?
It is probably fear. The mind usually fears that it will cease to exist once the story is given up. Just feel it, see it for what it is, welcome it!!! You are at the Gate Annie.

Close your eyes. Look…..is there an ‘Annie’? Open your eyes…..look, feel, is there an 'Annie'?

Warm greetings,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:51 pm

Dear Swallow
Close your eyes. Look…..is there an ‘Annie’? Open your eyes…..look, feel, is there an 'Annie'?
Is there an Annie?
Deep racking sobs arose from nowhere for a short while.
Eyes closed - present was sound, sensations in the body, thought reporting on what was present. But can't find an Annie.
Opened eyes - as for eyes closed, plus visual input. Still no Annie - although there is a memory of these being Annie's hands.
Closed eyes - seeing of patterns of blackness and red light, blackness extending, sensation of falling away, solar plexus relaxing, A thought - I don't like this feeling. Eyes opened. Vision blurred for while.

Later, the thought: "I have to be someone, otherwise I'll be no-one."
Body immobile, no more thoughts, void opening in solar plexus.

Moved through the middle part of the day in a thoughtless daze.
One thought arose: "I have to tell my story otherwise I won't exist."

Questioned those beliefs with Byron Katie's 'Is it true?' They both predicate on a belief in an I, so logically it was seen that they are not true and that in the I not existing lies great freedom from all the role playing and suffering. But there's a feeling of resistance, as if the mind is a teenager saying "So? Who cares? Sure, you can prove that a=b and so b=a, but I don't have to believe you." Rest of the day the usual sense of 'I' was back again.

Body and eyes very tired tonight, exhausted. Swallow, you say I was at the Gate, but it feels as if mind looked over it for a while, and then said "No thanks, I'm heading back where I came from." Yeah, you said that, you said: "The mind usually fears that it will cease to exist once the story is given up."

So grateful to you and for this forum.
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Tue May 01, 2012 9:25 am

Dear Annie,

There was no Annie to be found!!! Wow!!!! Then the thoughts came up….and you questioned those thoughts. That is truth!!! Truth is always here, always present….we just have to look!
But there's a feeling of resistance, as if the mind is a teenager saying "So? Who cares? Sure, you can prove that a=b and so b=a, but I don't have to believe you."
The mind has its conditioning and it will continue to bring up doubts and to tell its story. But is it true? That is where freedom comes in. The story is also….. “I want the mind to stop bringing up the Annie story”
Just let it be. Smile….see it for what it is….just a thought, just a label, just a conditioning. Not the truth.
Rest of the day the usual sense of 'I' was back again.
Was it a sense, or were there only thoughts that arose accompanied by feelings?
Swallow, you say I was at the Gate, but it feels as if mind looked over it for a while, and then said "No thanks, I'm heading back where I came from." Yeah, you said that, you said: "The mind usually fears that it will cease to exist once the story is given up."
It has been experienced that there is no Annie. That knowledge cannot disappear, as the conditioned mind cannot disappear. Thought come up…… “No thanks, I’m heading back where I came from.” Thoughts…no one creating them…they just come up. It’s all ok.

Ignore everything you have every read about awareness, no-self, the gateless gate, what it should look like, how it should feel.....everything!! Just stay with this and trust what is seen and experienced. Just stay with this Annie. Investigate the fear and expose it to reality. Truth is only to be found right here, right now.

love,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Tue May 01, 2012 10:22 pm

Hi Swallow
Did more 'looking for Annie' - found blackness, a few body sensations, occasional thought arising. No Annie.

Twice there was a strong sick feeling in stomach, focused on it (the technique in Big Mind, Big Heart by Genpo Roshi is useful for hearing the feeling's message), the fears were heard, tears released.

The body got back under the duvet - immobile, only awareness of breathing happening, blackness. A thought arose - I've laid down to die. More blackness, breathing.

3 hours later the body got up and moved through the rest of the day. Was there an 'I' still present? It's still the same body that moves around, there's less sensitivity to being hurt by what others say or do, more a sense of 'gliding' through the scenes of life. But 100% clarity that there is not an 'I' present - not yet, Swallow, not quite yet.

Thanks again!
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Wed May 02, 2012 5:41 pm

Dear Annie,
But 100% clarity that there is not an 'I' present - not yet, Swallow, not quite yet.
When you look, you see that there is no Annie, but the ‘I’ thought still arises.
What is 100% Clarity? Are we 100% sure that the sun will rise tomorrow? Are we 100% sure that we will wake up in the morning? We can only look in moment, we can only know in the moment. Is there an Annie NOW? If there is no Annie now…..then there IS no Annie because only this moment exits.
Is there an Annie right now?

in peace,

Swallow

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odemira
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Re: open to being guided

Postby odemira » Wed May 02, 2012 6:08 pm

Dear Swallow,

No, when looked for there is no Annie here.

There was a realisation that this mind has a tendency for rigid thinking - 'Annie was here for all those years, she must still be here somewhere, even tho she's not here when we look' - so guess I'm going to have to repeat the looking for Annie until the mind finally accepts. I remember on being told that a friend had died saying that she couldn't be dead because I'd only seen her last week!

Thank you for all your support.
Shall I let you know what happens or have we reached the end of your guidance now?
Annie

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Swallow
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Re: open to being guided

Postby Swallow » Wed May 02, 2012 10:23 pm

Hi Annie,

Just keep looking and questioning. Let me know what comes up and we can look at it.
I can support you in your search as long as you would like....even after passing through the gate.
Keep up the good work!!

love,

Swallow


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