I need help

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Nessie
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I need help

Postby Nessie » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:52 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the I that I think I am is an illusion. I do exist, but not as an I. I’m the entire universe and at the same time nothing at all.

What are you looking for at LU?
I would like to experience an aha moment, and epiphany. I’m looking for someone, ideally no one, who is willing and able to pointing out to me what I have been unable of seeing for myself up until this point in time. I’m hoping that non person would show me how to look, where to look, and to point out what I’m not seeing.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Not quite sure what to say here; whatever gets me to that point of seeing, or through that gateless gate, is what I’m expecting. I have absolutely no expectations other than that. I’m willing to following the pointing.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Many years on and off meditation (not so seriously), and lately more seriously self enquiry (awareness watching awareness, is this the right way?)

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

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:21 am

Hello Nellie,

Yes, I will be happy to assist you in exploring the illusion of the ‘separate self’. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. 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

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Just let me know that you have read the disclaimer, the FAQ's and we can then start the exploration.

Yours,

Michael

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:21 pm

Hello Michael,

Thank you for your willingness to assist me by sacrificing your time and effort, it’s appreciated.

I’ve read the disclaimer and the FAQ, and I learned how to use the quote function.

Yours,

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:31 pm

Hi Nessie,

The key to this process is looking directly at your experience, noticing, (avoiding intellectualization) and reporting honestly.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.

And

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

The aim is so that you begin looking with a sense of open curiosity free from preconceptions of any kind. To this end it is also recommended to not read Dharma / spiritual books or watch 'spiritual' videos while engaged in this enquiry so outside ideas do not colour your direct experience.

Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days out of consideration let’s notify each other accordingly. That way we can create a continuity and momentum.

Enjoy the process,

Michael

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:04 pm

Hi Michael,

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
I’m not quite sure what you mean by expectations, whether you mean expectations of how this will work or expectations of the outcome of the process, so I’ll try and answer both.

Expectations of how this will work: No expectations or idea of how this will unfold. If anything I’d like to be surprised at what you’ll point at.

Expectations of the outcome of the process: At the moment there is a very strong identification with both thought and this body. Based on my understanding, I expect this identification to disappear and to be replaced by an identification with awareness or consciousness itself.

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.
I don’t have any reservations.

My only fear at this point is that I won’t be able to follow your pointings and see what must be seen. That I’ll miss it and I’ll just never be able to see it. Fear of failure.

As for obstacles, my identification with thought and this body, I’m not aware of anything else.

To this end it is also recommended to not read Dharma / spiritual books or watch 'spiritual' videos while engaged in this enquiry so outside ideas do not colour your direct experience.
Understood, and agreed.

Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days out of consideration let’s notify each other accordingly.
Understood, and agreed.

Thanks,

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:43 pm

Hi Nessie,

That was quick! Cool.
At the moment there is a very strong identification with both thought and this body. Based on my understanding, I expect this identification to disappear and to be replaced by an identification with awareness or consciousness itself.
Yes, there is a strong identification with thought and body (and for many folk emotions too). This is normal. It would be suprising if there wasn't!

After the Gate your relationship with them is likely to shift but I wouldn't necessary expect all identification to drop......It is realistic to expect to be more identified with awareness although it won't feel like a self being identified with something, it will just be home.

Yes, fear of failure is normal too. I had that and a couple of other fears too. As long as you are honest and diligent there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to see that there is no separate self present.

It actually isn't there so our dialogue will be me getting you to search for it. You won't be able to find it and at some point the absence will be clearly seen / the penny will drop.

Anyway, you seem ready to begin.....

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth fully understanding what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer right now?

We are under way!

Michael

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:22 pm

Hi Michael,
So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer right now?
A thought comes to mind ‘where should I direct my attention to?’

Then ‘what sort of experiences would he be interested in?’

I feel pressure on lower back making contact with the bed.

I feel pressure between the back of my right ankle and the bridge of my left foot, as my right foot crosses over the left.

I notice the absence of thought.

I hear the buzz of traveling cars in the distance, then the sounding of a hooter.

Another thought ‘am I doing this right’

I feel my right forearm twitch.

I feel my stomach rumble.


How is that?

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:18 pm

Hi Nessie,

You are on the right track and seem able to notice sensation and thought. Well done.

If you re-read what you wrote you may notice that you initially feel something and then add an abstraction. For instance a sensation of pressure is noticed and then you start talking about left and right and ankles - this is all construction / interpretation. Is there rereally left and right; where does ankle end and foot or leg begin?

Repeat as an excercise (because it tunes you into direct experience, DE). If you can, try outside in nature as well as indoors.

So developing this let's take a step further....

Sitting quietly somewhere, become aware of the six senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and whatever is passing through the mind.

Focusing on sight say to yourself,
'I am seeing - a table, wall, lamp, whatever it is.

Then with sound 'I am hearing - traffic, the fridge' or whatever.
'I am touching - the floor, cushion, chair, as occurs.

Smell and taste are obviously subtler so don’t worry if you don’t notice anything and we'll come to questions directly about thoughts later.

Then do just the same without the 'I'

'Seeing table'
'Hearing a dog'.
'Smelling incense' etc
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"

Enjoy!

Michael

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:09 pm

Hi Michael,

If you re-read what you wrote you may notice that you initially feel something and then add an abstraction. For instance a sensation of pressure is noticed and then you start talking about left and right and ankles - this is all construction / interpretation. Is there rereally left and right; where does ankle end and foot or leg begin?
Having a little difficulty here; I understand, or I think I understand when you say that left, right and ankle is construction / interpretation; It’s a concept which we’ve labeled so we can communicate about it, but isn’t all language? E.g. table, wall, lamp, floor, cushion, chair, etc. What is the difference between these and left, right, and ankle?

What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"
The picture feels incomplete, like a piece of string that connected two things, but on the one side there is no longer anything to attach to.

The I itself feels hollow, it lightens, and sometimes it feels like it moves from the center of the head towards to what is being observed, like it’s being drawn to it.

This is extremely subtle, to the point of feeling like I’m imagining it.

The thought occurs to me that because your question presupposes that something happens to the I, my mind is now making something happen to the I; Not noticing what’s really happening, but noticing, because something must be noticed.

Regards,

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:19 pm

Hi Nessie,

Remember we just want to report from DE not think about experience.
I think I understand when you say that left, right and ankle is construction / interpretation; It’s a concept which we’ve labeled so we can communicate about it, but isn’t all language? E.g. table, wall, lamp, floor, cushion, chair, etc. What is the difference between these and left, right, and ankle?
Yes, all language is symbolic. However see if you can notice the proliforation after the first sensation.

Typically something is felt (perhaps our legs are crossed) so it may be a sensation of pressure. This is as fundamental as it gets. That was the first label. Then the thought may come that we are not comfortable, then the next that perhaps we should change position, and so on. Typically an initial label, then often something about whether we find it pleasant or not and then an entire proliferation / story can begin to run.

We aren't really focussing on thought right now but see if when you are mentally quiet if you can notice any of the above.

So,

Do carry on with being in DE - just sitting quietly and noticing sensation in the moment. It can be for short moments (not like long meditation sessions -that is not required) as it is very important that you get used to being in DE. It is in DE that the exploration occurs - rather than within thought.
The thought occurs to me that because your question presupposes that something happens to the I, my mind is now making something happen to the I; Not noticing what’s really happening, but noticing, because something must be noticed.
There is no preposition. Nothing happens to 'the I' because there isn't one. You just believe there is.
The I itself feels hollow, it lightens, and sometimes it feels like i tmoves from the center of the head towards to what is being observed ...etc...
Wow. You have found a self!

Do tell me exactly where it is. Within a mm or so.

Take your time. See it as a voyage of discovery.....

Enjoy the process,

Michael

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:52 am

Hi michael,
However see if you can notice the proliforation after the first sensation.
When all that is done is direct experiencing, a proliferation is not noticed, not until I try and describe it or make sense of it.

E.g. a sound is heard, but it has no meaning, then a picture appears in the mind of what the sound represents - a car, then a thought ‘is it a car or an car’s engine, is car direct enough’ then a another though ‘why not just rumbling, instead of engine, after all, I’m not really hearing an engine, that’s interpretation’ then ‘what is rumbling? All I can really say is that a sound is heard, and that is meaningless.

Please help, I don’t think I understand how to do this. What level of interpretation is allowed?
Nothing happens to 'the I' because there isn't one. You just believe there is.
That answers the question, i imagined it. How do I stop believing that there is an I? I have tried, but have thus far failed.
Do tell me exactly where it is. Within a mm or so.
I can’t, because I don’t know. I don’t know how to look or where to look, but I do sense that there is an I. Just like I sense there is oxygen in the air, even though I can’t tell you where exactly; because when I stop breathing, there is an intense desire to breath. In the same way I feel I an I that holds everything together.

Regards,

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:46 pm

Hi Nessie,

Thanks for your post.
When all that is done is direct experiencing, a proliferation is not noticed, not until I try and describe it or make sense of it.
Exactly! There is sensation that tends to be labelled. There may then be interpretation, analysis, an entire story could be developed.

E.g. a sound is heard, but it has no meaning, then a picture appears in the mind of what the sound represents - a car, then a thought ‘is it a car or an car’s engine, is car direct enough’ then a another though ‘why not just rumbling, instead of engine, after all, I’m not really hearing an engine, that’s interpretation’ then ‘what is rumbling? All I can really say is that a sound is heard, and that is meaningless.

Great that you are this mindful of what is going on. Well done. You were aware of initial sensation, the first label, and then thoughts exploring the first label - the carrying on of that is what I would then tend to call proliferation (in the form of analysis). When it continues we tend to depart from immediate esperience and begin to become lost in thought.....

You are doing fine - there is no need to agonise (if you are).

It is important that you are aware of what is being sensed - pressure when leaning againtst bed, sun on face or whatever and thought in the moment - Mmn the sun feels warm and lovely - or whatever. This is important as some folk are so over identified with thought that they cannot notice sensation.

I hope that helps. Just practice making the shift into - I guess you could call it - 'just being' or 'just noticing'.

That is where your inquiry will take place (rather than in thought. It turns out that one can't think oneself into seeing no self / Awakening).

Do tell me exactly where the self is. Within a mm or so.

I can’t, because I don’t know. I don’t know how to look or where to look, but I do sense that there is an I.

So sit quietly and relax (with eyes open or closed), tune in to the direct experience of the moment and try and locate this sense of 'I'.

Where is it?

What is it?
In the same way I feel I an I that holds everything together.

Similar really - What is this I that 'holds everything together'?

We are not looking at control yet but your statement begs the question:

What is present that needs to be held together?

Remember......... An exploration into experience. ........Curiosity is all that is needed......

You are raising interesting questions (it is your inquiry) so we just follow them through.....

Have fun! - enjoy looking and exploring.

You are now like Alice going down the rabbit hole; or Neo in the Matrix, choosing the red pill. You are going to explore what's true / real.

Exciting!

Michael.

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Nessie
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Re: I need help

Postby Nessie » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:36 pm

Hi Michael,
..try and locate this sense of 'I'.

Where is it?
It feels like it’s behind the eyes.
What is it?
It’s me, the one who sees, feels, hears, and thinks.
Similar really - What is this I that 'holds everything together'?
The one who sees, feels, hears, and thinks.
What is present that needs to be held together?
The center. Whatever is seen, is seen in relation to me. Whatever is heard is heard in relation to me. Whatever is felt is felt in relation to me. Whatever is thought is thought in relation to me. I am that center.

Regards,

Nessie

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi Nessie,

Thanks for your post.
The center. Whatever is seen, is seen in relation to me. Whatever is heard is heard in relation to me. Whatever is felt is felt in relation to me. Whatever is thought is thought in relation to me. I am that center.
Really? I know this is what we are brought up to believe but.....Is it what you find in DE?

You are right; there is seeing, hearing, feeling etc going on.

But can you find the 'I' that is doing it?

You believe it is situated behind the eyes (most folk do).

If I close my eyes, just be, and direct attention within the head (where you believe your self is) all that is experienced is a sense of vibrancy and knowingness. There doesn't seem to be an entity that could be called a self.

Try it.

Take your time, relax into your direct experience. What is present?

Michael

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MichaelD
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Re: I need help

Postby MichaelD » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:03 pm

Hi,

How are you doing?

Michael


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