Seeing

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seriousrick
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Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:09 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the persistent sense of a 'Cartesian' self - a stable, independently existing entity over time - is actually a complete fabrication. In the ongoing generation of narrative thinking, one moment is connected to the next and made all the more complicated by the ability to think into the memory of past, or imagined futures.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am interested in seeing the process of inquiry that has attracted so many members over a period of time. I have had other experiences where pointing through dialog led to more intense seeing, and would like to access some more of that.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
A partner that helps me to see the more subtle fabrications of mind as they arise, keeping distractions and illusions in check. An external questioner can help keep the 'edge' of enquiry up against any resistance or blind spots, holding space to create more readiness in letting go - at least as far as I understand it currently.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
1-2 years of self enquiry, 2 years of Zazen, and a few years of more zealous pursuit of higher consciousness and energy in much earlier days of my life.

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

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:54 am

Hello Rick,

Would you like me to call you Rick or something else? Thanks for your answers, if you are still seeking a guide I would be happy to help. A few bits of housekeeping first:

At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. 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 and such 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 and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ[/

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.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

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.

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?



Best wishes,

Nic

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:53 pm

PS - you can see when responses are posted by clicking on the spanner symbol and subscribing - then you will get an email when I respond.

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:58 pm

Hello Nic,

Rick is fine, thank you! But if I am being especially intense, perhaps we can fall back to Serious Rick. I have read all the provided links and I would like to continue.
How will Life change?
I have had many glimpses of freedom. At times even belly laughed at the recognition of no self, or seeing the huge tragicomic irony in believing my own thoughts! So, in a way, I already know that Life cannot change through this process. But I feel my lived experience can. If I am completely honest, I still often find myself being frustrated at 'having lost it', or elated that 'I found it again'. I realise there is a strong disclaimer against self improvement; I am actively in the process of trying to unlearn this tendency of mine. I feel like I am running out of roads in life, backed into a progressively tight corner where I simply must embody the freedom I know is possible! Identifying is so clunky and weighted by comparison, and apparently increasingly so.
How will you change?
I imagine myself living more freely, from moment to moment, progressively less inclined to fall into the illusion of self.
What will be different?
I feel like these questions are kind of a benevolent trap. My mind answered this with images of being at peace, immersed in the beauty of existence.
What is missing?
I think, in some ways, what is missing is a certain kind of consistency in how seriously my ego is taking the fact that I am quite regularly seeing completely through it. My lived experience is often of being thrown around; I'm either on spiritual mountain and admiring the view, or down in the puddles and floundering in the mud. It's really quite silly.

Thank you so much for freely giving your time; my heart is on fire for freedom - let's do this.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:46 pm

Hi Rick,

You are welcome! Let's do this, I will jump right in. I have a family demanding job so if there is ever a gap please don't worry, and in the same way I won't be too worried if you don't reply every day, but let's keep it as consistent as we can and maintain a momentum. I find it helps to look every day, and find ways to enquire during your day.

In your initial post I picked up on this -
I have had many glimpses of freedom. At times even belly laughed at the recognition of no self, or seeing the huge tragicomic irony in believing my own thoughts!
Yes it's a little absurd isn't it!

I found your answers to the initial questions and these fairly reasonable, there are a few points which might be worth picking up on before we begin the enquiry.
If I am completely honest, I still often find myself being frustrated at 'having lost it', or elated that 'I found it again'
I understand what you mean, but it would be interesting to really look at what happens here to give rise to the experience of losing it or finding it. There is not much to be gained by answering this from memory, as this whole process is about looking at what is here, and only what is here. Maybe next time you have this experience you could note down what happens?
Identifying is so clunky and weighted by comparison, and apparently increasingly so.
So what is identifying? What happens in identifying? Is there anyone identifying and is there anything to identify?

I think, in some ways, what is missing is a certain kind of consistency in how seriously my ego is taking the fact that I am quite regularly seeing completely through it.
Again, this might just be language - but this implies that there is an ego which is being seen through, and something else that is seeing through it, would you mind elaborating?

Best wishes,

Nic

PS I am not trying to catch you out to be smart, there is something that is preventing the seeing and we need to identify what it is. If it is something quite simple I want to find it now, but it is likely we will go through a bit of a process to get it all to fall away :)

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:08 am

So what is identifying? What happens in identifying? Is there anyone identifying and is there anything to identify?
As I sit here asking 'what is identifying', initially it looked like a stream of thoughts - those are 'me'. That I am a looker, but this looking requires effort. I can also see that this looking is happening; like attention moving against a background of awareness. When I feel into my body, which is a little tense this morning, it feels like 'mine'. There is a sense of grasping too, grasping for more spaciousness, grasping for how it felt last time I experienced that (yesterday on the beach, laughing into the wind).

In this moment, the tension feels like me. It is difficult to let it be there; I want my mind to be clear and open. I can see that this me-ness arises, and isn't completely solid, but if I do anything other than sit with my eyes closed and watch very quietly, it feels more solid than not solid. As I write this final sentence, there is also the sensation that there is looking and writing just happening, the self is just selfing, and none of what I wrote before matters very much.
Again, this might just be language - but this implies that there is an ego which is being seen through, and something else that is seeing through it, would you mind elaborating?
Yes, at least in this moment, it feels like I am a person, thinking and feeling, and my sense of I is moving from one moment to the next. There is also a quiet sense of a watcher. They do not entirely feel like the same thing, but its like my self is in the foreground, and awareness is in the background.

Throughout writing this, there is a self-critical thought along the lines of "you should be getting this by now". There is also like some kind of compulsion, moving away from fear. "Don't lose yourself; you won't be able to function in the world". Something along those lines. I have seen this voice before, and inquired into it. It is tenacious. Like a yappy little dog.

Thank you, Nic.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:46 am

Hi,

Nice looking.
Throughout writing this, there is a self-critical thought along the lines of "you should be getting this by now". There is also like some kind of compulsion, moving away from fear. "Don't lose yourself; you won't be able to function in the world". Something along those lines. I have seen this voice before, and inquired into it. It is tenacious. Like a yappy little dog.
Yes I expect this is a habit of thought that arises in other areas of life. You are here now, and we will get you there. Ultimately there is nobody to criticise, so self-criticism is like an illusion beating up an illusion. As for the fear of losing yourself, all I can say is that there is nothing to fear as it was never there in the first place. It is an idea or illusion that causes suffering, and experience on the other side is for most people more free and open, like the state you have tasted.

Fear and criticism are thoughts, just thoughts. Have you meditated and seen that thought is not real, ephemeral and often out of control?

Perhaps if you are experiencing tension in the body, you can use this for enquiry. Simply look at it, and see what is happening. Is tension to be found or is it a label thought adds? Where is the sense of 'me' in tension, precisely?

We will do more on the body but before we do I would like to do a few exercises on looking itself. It is really important for this enquiry that we learn to see the difference between what we think is going on and what can be found in direct experience (DE) This distinction is vital, and applies to all the senses, as sometimes in DE we cannot find assumptions or constructs, like a self!

An analogy - you dont know what coloured socks you are wearing, and you can try to work it out, thinking through, trying to remember getting dressed..or you can simply look.

So try this:

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for awhile.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling every thing into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.

Give it some time

Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects. Just look at the seeing itself. Observe the pure process of seeing. This is direct experience (DE).

Let mw know how you get on with this please.


Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:09 am

Have you meditated and seen that thought is not real, ephemeral and often out of control?
I have seen thoughts arise and fall away of their own accord. My experience, even now, is if I let thoughts be - without an agenda - they just move around, like a changing wind, with no obvious source or destination. When just looking, it seems quite obvious they are not controllable. Indeed, the thought that they are is just a long held belief, a need to secure/understand reality, make it known and safe. As I read those words, 'known and safe', I become aware that only the concept of 'known' is known, and 'safe' is an idea. It is an idea of the future, experienced in the now. It is fair to say that, over the years, I have been very preoccupied with 'working it all out'. If I enquire, 'what benefit is there to this?', the mind responds with 'to avoid failure'.
Perhaps if you are experiencing tension in the body, you can use this for enquiry. Simply look at it, and see what is happening. Is tension to be found or is it a label thought adds? Where is the sense of 'me' in tension, precisely?
An analogy - you dont know what coloured socks you are wearing, and you can try to work it out, thinking through, trying to remember getting dressed..or you can simply look.
If I simply feel the tension, and look at the label 'tension', I can see those things as well as a subtle 'pushing away'. The sense of 'me' in this tension...it is more like a kind of active bracing, that is being carried from moment to moment. If I am brutally honest with myself, I am identifying a 'looker'. 'Me' seems like the one who is looking, tracking. If I look more closely at that one, I cannot find where it begins or ends. And yet, anything other than direct looking brings about this 'person who is looking' experience again.
Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects. Just look at the seeing itself. Observe the pure process of seeing. This is direct experience (DE).

Let me know how you get on with this please.
I can see with DE, the objects of perception become more interesting. Alive, yet still. Surreal, with a kind of magical quality about them. I find that bringing my attention to these more fully seems to bring space to that tension I mentioned. There is more space, a feeling of each moment being new.

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:13 am

OH!

If I continue that 'outward' looking, but shut my eyes, it is possible to have that same 'freshness' to the experience of my inward experience. The contrast of that really brought in the sheer number of labels being applied to the inner; including that of the watcher, the watched, the memories those come with, the expectations those come with. Almost like all of those things, including identity, is 'hooked' onto those other labels.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:27 am

Fantastic - good work! Yes, I find that inner space is as unlimited as outer space, and no longer see a separation between inner and outer.
The contrast of that really brought in the sheer number of labels being applied to the inner; including that of the watcher, the watched, the memories those come with, the expectations those come with. Almost like all of those things, including identity, is 'hooked' onto those other labels.
Exactly - and now these glimpses (some of which you have had before) will gradually join together and become the normal experience.
If I simply feel the tension, and look at the label 'tension', I can see those things as well as a subtle 'pushing away'. The sense of 'me' in this tension...it is more like a kind of active bracing, that is being carried from moment to moment. If I am brutally honest with myself, I am identifying a 'looker'. 'Me' seems like the one who is looking, tracking. If I look more closely at that one, I cannot find where it begins or ends. And yet, anything other than direct looking brings about this 'person who is looking' experience again.
Good. So the 'me' in tension is like two poles, there is the 'me' in the sensation and body, and 'me' who is looking. Every time this sense of me comes up, just look into it and really look at what is causing identification or ownership.

Before we properly get on to this idea of a looker, or the body, I want to make sure this way of looking into DE is clear for you:

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:-

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
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

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and report back how you go.

Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:59 pm

That sounds like a very good idea, Nic. I will do this for the next 12-24hrs and report back.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:30 pm

Ok Ric, enjoy :)

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:30 pm

*Rick!

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:24 am

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and report back how you go.
I'm not quite sure how to describe this. Yesterday was very busy with work, but whenever I paused to notice direct experience, it was like I fell into the moment. This falling...I think it is the felt sense of sensing without the 'self' as the centre of that experience. That, in actual fact, that is how it IS. The adjustment is purely a re-orientation exercise. It is like landing IN my life; I normally don't have this experience outside of meditation or satsang really.

This morning I just lied in bed for an hour, listening to the fan. Occasionally I would hitchhike a thought train, but generally speaking they were directly experienced as images or sounds. As each one is seen, it breaks like a wave and gives rise to the falling sensation again. Of particular note is realising just how many mind labels have been created about the activity and expectations surrounding meditation; seeing these is an incredible relief.

Sometimes there is identity. Sometimes there is the falling. Other times it is like being in a waking dream, magical, mysterious and flowing. Even as I write this, I am noticing the fears telling me 'it won't last! we're coming back!!'. They will, but if every moment is a portal into seeing, then that doesn't really matter, does it?

The sense of self wavers, but held against the razors edge of direct experience, it is revealed as a label. To simply let go of everything, this is what has been so desperately sought after. But in as much as desperation feels like a self, it simply pushes direct experience further away!! It is both the rocket fuel and the barrier towards awakening!

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:52 pm

Beautiful, I love the way you describe your experience :) I am not sure you did the exercise with regard to activities, so it would be good to try this - describing experience without the selfing, eg 'I am tasting coffee' becomes 'tasting coffee.' I am touching the cup - sensations arise..

Also, try not to worry about desperation, or whether it will last or not. It will all happen in time, and it has its own momentum, like a seed flowering. These worries are only thoughts, and it is only thoughts that take you out of the experience you describe so well :) I know it seems as if these thoughts are feelings, because they seem so real and cause feelings to come, but they are just thoughts. An analogy that helped me is to think of two levels or dimensions of mind - the small mind filled with thought, and the open boundless mind of awareness. By expanding and living in the open dimension, thought is so much smaller, so much less likely to ruffle that awareness. It is literally just a case of opening out..or falling open.


OK, I am going to go with the flow, and follow the way the enquiry seems to be unfolding for you rather than impose a structure or agenda. It feels like you may not need the full enquiry, but if there are blocks they will become clear. It seems most alive for you in the senses at the moment, so that is what we will look at.

I want you to effectively do what you were doing, except with the following enquiry:

Seeing - usually there is a sense of separation between seer and seen. When looking at what is seen:
I want you to try to find that separation. Where does the seer become the seen, is there a boundary?
Can you actually find a separate witness? Can you find an inherent see-er? Can you find the eyes in DE?


In my experience, when doing this, thoughts arise to try to fill in, thoughts about brains and visual cortexes and eyes, but the is not DE. Try to really 'fall' into DE for this :)
Once this feels clear, let me know if there is a self anywhere to be found in the experience of seeing.


I look forward to hearing how this goes :)


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