Holly's Thread

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Holly
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Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:58 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I hesitate to say what I understand, I'm here because I truly don't understand. I sometimes see that the experience of now, via my senses, is really all there is, that I am not my thoughts, that what I believe to me is really just a series of caricatures that morph from one to the other often without me noticing. But I've yet to understand this.

What are you looking for at LU?
I've been meditating for almost 4 years. About 2 years ago I was able to understand a little more deeply that self is false, and since then, life hasn't been the same. Much of what was important to me before no longer means much to me and on some level, I know that much of what I do is false, but yet I still don't really get it. I feel stuck in a sort of limbo, where life seems false (but yet its better than it was before), but just kind of an angst because I know there is something I have to find, or figure out, and it feels like I can't rest until I do, that until then I can't do anything else in life. I hesitate to set goals or make plans because I know that in 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, everything will feel different than it does now, as I don't really know who I am, what I really care about, or what I really want. I feel like time has stopped and there is a bit of haze surrounding me. I feel like there isn't much worth actually doing. I know this sounds like depression. I've been depressed many times in the past, this isn't it. In fact I'm far more free and joyful that I was at any other time in my life. But still, it's like I'm stuck.

For a while after I came into this intense seeker phase I found myself unwilling to do much other than sit still and meditate. I have come out of that somewhat, and now find I enjoy some hobbies, but the general sense of inertia still exists.

Yet I also noticed I'm not being completely truthful with myself about wanting to find what I seek. Some part of me desperately wants to self realize but another part of me is hiding from it, holding back. For a while I didn't even want to see this because it felt so devastating, that I'm in some ways quitting my old life and yet I'm not actually willing to jump in? But now I can see that I'm putting things off. Not meditating as often as I could, or reading books about spirituality, or doing activities that I know will bring up emotions, and there is a voice in me saying "Maybe someday you'll get there, but not today. Today you can't. You're not ready. You don't deserve it." So, it seems I'm committing myself to the limbo I described. I need help to work with this. I need to check in every day and have help to move forward and not sabotage myself this way. I've read that it's close, that this very minute, I could be enlightened, and it seems I don't believe this. Its one of those things I believe for other people but not for me. Part of me wants to be enlightened this very minute but part of me is terrified and puts it off as something that might happen in 10 years if I'm lucky.

Also at this point I am getting to the point where I feel a little overwhelmed with what method to do. I practice meditation that I call "do nothing" meditation, just allow whatever comes up to be there. But even so I get a little confused. Should I just see emotions that arise and allow them to be? Or should I seek for a headspace of silence? Or should I see if I can move awareness to heart and see what that feels like? Should I just sit quietly, or should I read a text from Osho, should I watch a video from Adyashanti, should I put on music and dance? I'm not expecting that LU will tell me what to do every minute. But it would be helpful to check in and get some help about it. Because as much as I wish to let things flow and be as they will, I see that "I" desire very much to do what's going to be helpful to keep the process moving (despite what I wrote in the last paragraph. Guess I'm not very consistent haha.)

I think I need help to be fully honest. Having to actually verbalize to another person sort of starts that up, it's harder first of all to lie when you have to type it out and then know someone's gonna respond. But then again, I have a fear here too. I've noticed that when I'm talking to other people I can also spin a story that is even more believable for myself because I'm trying to convince both myself and them. In fact I've sabotaged many therapy sessions this way, spinning a story to myself and them about how amazingly better I'm doing when in reality I was always just as depressed as ever. My hope is that I will not do this because the topic of conversation won't be story of self, and that also the guide will help me to not do this.

Ultimately though I'm just looking for one thing. I want to see!!!! I want to be liberated. I want to understand. I want to stop seeking. All that I wrote above is just me trying to think of what I need help with. But liberation is really all I really want.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Its a lot to ask, really, that anyone be my guide. I've had a lot of conversations with spiritual people, many who I do believe are self realized, and who have continued quite far on the path to enlightenment. I find that these conversations are amazing, often eye opening and inspiring. Some of them have helped me to feel increased self love, some have helped me to understand further the concept of no self, at least intellectually.

What has often happened is that I'll have some kind of realization, perhaps something like "this moment is all there really is", and I'll feel for a few days that I'm releasing more control, getting into the flow, etc. But then, pain and fear come up. I try to stay with it, but eventually, it grinds me down, and my mind retreats away from awareness, watching for self, etc. Part of me starts to scream that I can't transition because I won't be able to handle the pain that will come with it. I don't mean to back off when this happens, I really don't...but inevitably I do. And at this point, the person who helped me initially isn't usually available anymore, or else I feel like I've already taken too much of their time already, and now it seems I've failed them...I sort of retreat from the help as well.

I think its these moments when I need help most of all. I'm not sure what exactly is the help I need. I don't know if I need someone to help me to be able to stay with the fear, or if I need to talk more about the fear so that I don't just turn away from it, or if I need to let it go for a bit and then have someone help me come back to it, I really don't.

I need someone to help me to be honest. I don't intend to be dishonest. But it's hard for me to discern it in myself.

I really don't know entirely what to expect. That's part of the beauty of it.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I was raised Mormon. I started to lose my faith in the religion around the age of 18. This was terrifying because faith, family, and culture were all tied together. In my early 20's I finally fully admitted to myself and to the people around me that I didn't believe anymore. I did this because I saw that lying to myself about whether I believed was killing me. Up through my 20's I slowly also lost the belief in the divinity of Christ and in god.

Once I lost all belief in god, I felt an intense gap in my heart that something critical was missing. I refused to investigate religion because I felt it was harmful. I toyed here and there with other aspects of spirituality, such as manipulating energy, wondering whether reincarnation might be real, wondering whether clairvoyance could be real, etc...but ultimately I just wasn't able to believe in anything in this avenue as well. So to me for many years it appeared that the gap in my heart would just have to remain a gap, because the "cure", religion, was a false cure, and in fact I thought there was no cure. I assumed that this longing for god was just a defect in myself and in humanity, that somehow evolution had doomed us to crave something that was fictional.

For my whole life I also suffered from intense depression which I treated somewhat successfully with medication. My life goals consisted of being a high performer at school or work (i.e. impressing my peers and managers), doing extreme exercise, trying to be sexier than everyone else, basically being hypercompetitive and hypercritical of myself. I was bursting from the seams with this combination of depression and trying to control myself and others perceptions that I was "the best".

About 4 years ago, I saw that I was starting to fall apart, and decided to give in to my extreme distrust of religion and take a class on meditation from some of the local Buddhists. After the first class, I went home to practice my first meditation on my own. I sat for probably 4 minutes, and felt an extreme emotion rise in me, it felt in some ways like a demon was trying to escape from my heart. I laid down and silent screamed for a little while. I felt almost immediately better. I had a few more meditations similar to this, and within a few months, I was able to get to dyanna states, though I didn't know what they really were.

Over the next year or two I also overcame my complete distrust of religion and decided to become a Buddhist. I started to realize that "spiritual" things could happen and it could just be physiology, it didn't have to be god, especially not a personal god like we get in Christianity. I enjoyed the Buddhist dharma and the new friends I made. I decided to take a study course. The course talked about ethics and I found myself getting angry about it. I don't know if this is the right space to go into why I disliked the discussion on ethics so much, but it was sort of a red flag for me that the dharma they were teaching wasn't actually what I was looking for. They also talked about what enlightenment is and I realized that they didn't really know, that whoever had written the text was not speaking from personal experience. This led me to go on an online search to see if I really did need to be an "ethical" person to be enlightened, and to also find out what enlightenment really is.

About this same time, things started to feel weird. It felt like I was sort of high a lot. Or sort of like things were melting. Oneness experiences. I was both exhilarated and terrified but didn't know what was going on really either. I tried to talk to some of the Buddhists about this but they didn't have much input for me other than "practice compassion". They didn't seem to want to really help me, and during this time period I actually backed off of the meditation because I was scared of what it was causing.

My online searching led me to a find someone who I believe is enlightened who offered me some insight that was truly eye opening, and it was interaction with him that pulled me into my intense seeking phase. I believe I covered what has happened since then in what I've already written above.

To date, my practice has been nearly all meditation. I'm not certain what you mean by seeking here, other than my knowing that I'm a seeker. I have not done much inquiry. I am not sure how to really do it.

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

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:20 am

Hi Holly

My name is Richard

How would you like to take a walk with me through experience and explore a little ?

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:23 am

Richard,

Thank you for your response. I would very much like to do that!

Holly


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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:50 am

Righto then, lets see where this takes us ! :-)

Thank you for your fascinating first post. It sounds like you've been on quite a trip and have already discovered a lot !

So, lets jump straight in and take a look at things. These questions might seem simple and obvious; it may even be familiar territory for you, but its worth making a good foundation for our inquiry so we can become clear and we are both on the same page.

So first, take a look at your experience, what do you find ? Here's a list : sound, taste, smell, the seen, felt sensaton/touch, emotions/feelings, thoughts. Did i miss anything ? Take a good look and check. Can you find anything that doesn't fit into one of those categories ? Or, is the list complete ?

Bye the way, there are no "correct" answers to the questions i ask. Just write down what comes up for you when you look to check it out. Let me know what you find, or anything that comes up in the way of responses, reactions or feelings. Everything is allowed and welcome. And that will help me come back to you with what is likely to be most helpful.

Happy hunting !

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:35 am

I read this post last night and was able to test out your question for a few hours before falling asleep.

The question being: Do I find anything in my experience other than the 5 senses, emotions, or thoughts.

First off, my mind thinks it "knows" the answer to this question...I mean of course there isn't anything else. But just having this knowledge essentially packaged up as a thought isn't getting me anywhere and I know I need to test my experience.

So I started to do that last night. At first, it was enjoyable. I noticed a few things happen that I realized I had thought were real but they were not. I can't remember what exactly, I noticed it most while talking to my husband. I would have some reaction and notice that it was just a series of sensations and thoughts but I was believing there was some extra thing there along side the reaction that wasn't actually there.

But then I started to become frustrated. I just got really mad. No reason why that I could really give that makes sense. But I just found the whole exploration frustrating and I really wanted to stop looking. It was an anger that felt like a tightness all through my stomach and chest, made me want to start screaming or something, hit something, just lash out. It was like the anger was trying to say it was a stupid exercise, a waste of my time, that looking won't do anything but waste my energy, why should I look. I should just stop looking and forget about it. The anger would kind of bubble up and then I'd kind of just forget that I was angry and that I was trying to watch my experience, just go into that zone of auto pilot thought for a few minutes, then I'd remember, oh yeah...I'm watching my experience. So I'd start to watch again, then get angry again, repeat, repeat, repeat. It went on for some time and finally I fell asleep.

During the day I kept remembering I want to look and I didn't get angry but I'd have automatic thoughts that kind of say the same thing...you're wasting your time. Why bother. Just forget.

But the thing is I can't forget, I don't forget, I remember again, over and over.

I also have a nagging thought that says essentially "you know enough to know that you don't have any control over anything, so why are you trying?" This is super frustrating because if I really did know this, I'd not need to come to this forum, and also because I keep trying, I can't stop trying. Its a compulsive thing that I can't stop. But it seems that as much as I can't stop trying, I also can't stop berating myself once I begin to try.

This cycle has been going on for a while now, maybe a year.

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:51 am

Hi Holly
First off, my mind thinks it "knows" the answer to this question...I mean of course there isn't anything else. But just having this knowledge essentially packaged up as a thought isn't getting me anywhere and I know I need to test my experience.
Its really good you are already clear about this
I noticed a few things happen that I realized I had thought were real but they were not. I can't remember what exactly, I noticed it most while talking to my husband. I would have some reaction and notice that it was just a series of sensations and thoughts but I was believing there was some extra thing there along side the reaction that wasn't actually there.
Great noticing !

Its very common for emotions to show up when we look into this stuff. Remember everything is welcome, anger, doubt, whatever comes up. Just be curious. Maybe there is another emotion behind or underneath the feelings of anger and frustration ? If the anger had something to say, what would it be ? Does it want something or have any particualar job to do ? Is it here for a reason ? You can ask it and see if there is an answer. Be kind and friendly, there is no need to fight. We are not trying to change or fix anything. Just looking and being curious, having a look to see what is there and is already the case. No need to try too hard, just soft and gentle, as if you are soothing a child.

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:45 am

Thanks. Today was a gentler day emotion-wise. What I noticed is that the question still comes into my mind "is there anything other than..." and it was clearer to me today during short stretches of time that "I" am a set of conditioned responses and not in control.

I had a moment of worry because I wasn't feeling as stressed out about making the realization. The thought that comes up is "If you don't feel stressed about it then how will you be motivated to seek it?" It was interesting to notice that I was seeking in spite of how I felt about it, in fact this seeking is also a conditioned response, somehow or other. So then, who is the one "deciding" to seek? Intellectually I notice its happening on its own and its no one.

I will practice again tonight and if anger comes up, I can ask it what it wants. But how do I do that? Just say to it "What do you want"?

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:23 pm

Hi Holly

Don't worry if anger and other emotions are not showing up at the moment, but if they do we just meet them with kindness and curiosity. Everything is allowed. No need to fight or try to make something happen. If you ask a question, just ask it normally as you would to a person and be curious to see if a response comes back. I know that might sound a bit strange ! Just go with it and be curious.
I had a moment of worry because I wasn't feeling as stressed out about making the realization. The thought that comes up is "If you don't feel stressed about it then how will you be motivated to seek it?" It was interesting to notice that I was seeking in spite of how I felt about it, in fact this seeking is also a conditioned response, somehow or other. So then, who is the one "deciding" to seek? Intellectually I notice its happening on its own and its no one.
Really nice noticing again. And you found some really good questions - who/what is doing or deciding ?

How is the "what is there apart from....?" going ? Are you satisfied (at least for the moment) with what you are finding ? What did you find ?

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:08 am

Hi Holly

Don't worry if anger and other emotions are not showing up at the moment, but if they do we just meet them with kindness and curiosity. Everything is allowed. No need to fight or try to make something happen. If you ask a question, just ask it normally as you would to a person and be curious to see if a response comes back. I know that might sound a bit strange ! Just go with it and be curious.
I had a moment of worry because I wasn't feeling as stressed out about making the realization. The thought that comes up is "If you don't feel stressed about it then how will you be motivated to seek it?" It was interesting to notice that I was seeking in spite of how I felt about it, in fact this seeking is also a conditioned response, somehow or other. So then, who is the one "deciding" to seek? Intellectually I notice its happening on its own and its no one.
Really nice noticing again. And you found some really good questions - who/what is doing or deciding ?

How is the "what is there apart from....?" going ? Are you satisfied (at least for the moment) with what you are finding ? What did you find ?
So I asked the anger what it wanted and the response I found was basically like a child or an animal if you poke it with a stick. It just doesn’t want to be made to wake up. It wants to stay asleep.

In doing the investigation, I had a question come up. What is knowledge? Is knowledge something that is me? Similarly, what is the body? When I really look I can see that the body moves all on its own and I wonder, is it an illusion that I’m doing it, and is my mind just claiming what the body does is me? When I really look I can see this. But the belief I control myself is still here and my mind believes it unless I take a step back and look.

Overall I want to continue and do more investigation. I’ve noticed that over the past few days it’s become more frequent that I see my thoughts as merely thoughts instead of seeing me in them. But also whenever I practice strong emotion continues to comes up. I remembered that “all is welcome” and then saw that I was believing the strong emotion is me. In fact I think somehow I was looking for anything that wasn’t sight, sound, taste, touch, or thought and not remembering that emotion is in the list too. The emotion just grips me and I believe the thoughts that come with it which are all telling me to stop investigating. I struggle to meet it with kindness or curiosity! I will try this.


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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:42 am

Hi Holly :-)
So I asked the anger what it wanted and the response I found was basically like a child or an animal if you poke it with a stick. It just doesn’t want to be made to wake up. It wants to stay asleep.
Interesting ! Next time anger comes up please ask it if there is any particular reason it wants to stay asleep. Does it have any worries or fears, does it feel more comfortable, is there some other reason ?
In doing the investigation, I had a question come up. What is knowledge? Is knowledge something that is me? Similarly, what is the body? When I really look I can see that the body moves all on its own and I wonder, is it an illusion that I’m doing it, and is my mind just claiming what the body does is me? When I really look I can see this. But the belief I control myself is still here and my mind believes it unless I take a step back and look.
This is really good that when thoughts about control come up, you can check your experience to see if this is actually what is going on. There are experiments you can do on this as well. Like holding your hand in front of you and turning it from palm up to palm down. When you do this you check to see if you find anyone doing it. But it sounds like, when you look you are already seeing this in everyday activitys.
With regard to thoughts about control coming back, you need to look at thoughts. Do you have any control over what thoughts appear and when they appear ? Are you thinking/doing thoughts or do they "do" themselves ?(this applies to all thoughts, not just ones about controling. Becoming clearer about thoughts will make a huge difference to your clarity.
Overall I want to continue and do more investigation. I’ve noticed that over the past few days it’s become more frequent that I see my thoughts as merely thoughts instead of seeing me in them. But also whenever I practice strong emotion continues to comes up. I remembered that “all is welcome” and then saw that I was believing the strong emotion is me. In fact I think somehow I was looking for anything that wasn’t sight, sound, taste, touch, or thought and not remembering that emotion is in the list too. The emotion just grips me and I believe the thoughts that come with it which are all telling me to stop investigating. I struggle to meet it with kindness or curiosity! I will try this.
Great ! So you are already becoming clearer about thoughts. Keep going with kindness, curiosity and welcoming if you can. They can be very helpful. Also very good to notice that you can experience emotions in 2 ways -you can observe them as well but don't be afraid to let them grip you sometimes, we don't want to start avoiding or pushing experience away. Something that you can try, which can be very helpful is when something feels difficult, like strong emotion, to look for the compulsion to have to do something/react in some way. Can you find it or pin it down precisely ?

Bye for now Holly, it's lovely to be working with you :-)

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:19 am

Hello Richard,
Interesting ! Next time anger comes up please ask it if there is any particular reason it wants to stay asleep. Does it have any worries or fears, does it feel more comfortable, is there some other reason ?
I will ask next time I see it. But the reason that comes up strongly is that I'm afraid being awake will be very difficult and effortful. I feel tired and run-down, like resting rather than being alert. When I'm attempting to "be aware", it feels like its a lot of work, and I don't know if I can keep up the level of work, and I find myself sort of just trying to muscle myself into awareness, and I just want to relax. On a level deeper than this, I'm afraid of pain. Since the seeking activities tend to bring up pain, I'm afraid when I feel the discomfort rising and rising, and think...I can't do this...I'm tired...I just wanna stop. And I sort of push myself to keep going. I know I should not push, and that I should allow all of this, and that most likely relaxing would not be akin to stopping. But I guess this is my conditioning - the belief that I have to suffer in order to get ahead. There are 2 things wrong with this belief, first the idea that I have to suffer, and second, the idea that this process is "getting ahead". In fact this belief has been fading for a while now but it's still there, even when I think its not, it affects me quite a bit.
With regard to thoughts about control coming back, you need to look at thoughts. Do you have any control over what thoughts appear and when they appear ? Are you thinking/doing thoughts or do they "do" themselves ?(this applies to all thoughts, not just ones about controling. Becoming clearer about thoughts will make a huge difference to your clarity.
No, I don't have any control. But still, this is an intellectual knowing. They fool me all the time. Today again it felt a little easier to disidentify with them. There were some thoughts that even as I disidentified, still felt very much me, and it was surprising to me how strong the attachment was. There were some other thoughts that I had a resistance to disidentifying because I liked what those thoughts were saying about me. However for the majority, its a great feeling to disidentify.
Keep going with kindness, curiosity and welcoming if you can.
I had the question today, "why am I thinking so much anyway?" The answer came - "Because its enjoyable for you!". What a surprise! Because I realize that perhaps the reason its so difficult to be aware of thoughts is that I think its a problem that they are there! Even though I've heard it said that they are not a problem and they should be allowed, still, I think they are a problem! It seems that its just a little easier now, because I'm a little more welcoming to the next thought and not wishing it would never show up.
Something that you can try, which can be very helpful is when something feels difficult, like strong emotion, to look for the compulsion to have to do something/react in some way. Can you find it or pin it down precisely ?
Absolutely this happens! During meditation my mind just sort of slides away from whatever it is into distracting thought. There is the constant compulsion to reach for my phone, or decide to pet the dog. I will watch to get more clarity around them.

Thanks so much for your help this week! It's great to have you as a guide :)

Holly

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:35 am

Hi Holly

Once you become clearer the seeking energy will naturally subside. You already are wiser than you believe you are, you seem to have seen most of what we are looking at and its more a matter of addressing doubting thoughts. Maybe some other stuff will come up to look at as well, we will see. Its good to check in every day if you can, but theres no rush, don't push yourself too hard. This can even be fun !
I find myself sort of just trying to muscle myself into awareness, and I just want to relax.
Try this simple exersise : stop trying to be aware for a moment............what happened ? Did you loose anything ? ;-)

Let me tell you a secret ! it doesn't take any effort to look and see, you are doing great, and will continue to do so, but you don't need to do the efforting to do it, it's optional :-)

Its true that it can be uncomfortable at times, this is where being kind, curious and gentle can help and ease things. Once we let go of trying to resist and control, the weather can pass through more quickly and cleanly. Which doesn't mean to say we always feel good but we are much less likely to make a problem out of it.
No, I don't have any control. But still, this is an intellectual knowing. They fool me all the time.
Don't worry about this, just keep checking and the confidence will come. As you noticed we never get control over thoughts so no point wasting effort on trying.
It seems that its just a little easier now, because I'm a little more welcoming to the next thought and not wishing it would never show up.
Exactly ! :-)

How are you getting on with the question "what is there other than sense experience, feelings and thoughts ?"
Absolutely this happens! During meditation my mind just sort of slides away from whatever it is into distracting thought. There is the constant compulsion to reach for my phone, or decide to pet the dog. I will watch to get more clarity around them.
Don't try and control, just notice it. You can even note it if that helps. "thinking" or "compulsion to reach for the phone" or whatever comes up, or happens, or you do. You can be curious about it all. No need to strive. How much effort is needed to pay attention ? (you could even ask the question, what does paying attention involve, if you like !)

Hope thats not too much !

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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:21 am

Richard,

Something really fun is happening, just over the past few days. I sort of talked about it already I think but its getting clearer. When the thought/compulsion comes up to seek, in the past, I've always sort of done the seeking with my thoughts. So my thoughts will start to say "Seek! You're not looking! Pay attention! You've lost it!" And then I sort of sift through feelings, somehow trying to change whatever I'm feeling into a feeling of "seeking". Does that make any sense at all?

But these past few days, I'm seeing more and more clearly that all of this seeking and trying to be what I seek is just another ego game, that none of it is real either! And when I remember this, I sort of just become the observer, but not even an observer, I don't know what it is. I know everyone always says its the witness, or its awareness...it feels like just kind of a...nothing. A sort of fuzzy nothing something that's nowhere. It can slide into this knowing more easily. I forget again of course. But it gets a little bit easier. And you're right, the effort isn't there in this, it's just what's happening.

And the other funny thing is, that when I see it like this, "I" feel more "real" than ever. More vibrant, more alive, more emotional. Today I was feeling bad because I'm not a very tidy person, and I've always thought "Someday, when you get your act together, when you get a little less lazy, you'll become tidy, then you won't have to be ashamed anymore". So this thought comes up all the time. Today I saw it and realized it was conditioned, and realized that actually, I don't have any control over whether I'm a tidy person or not, and in fact that's why I'm not tidy, some part of my mind wants to be but the better part of me really doesn't want to be. And so changing it is unlikely and while that's actually fine...it really hurt. The pain felt more vibrant than normal. But I could watch it change in real time, sort of reach a peak and then hold there for a bit, and then fade just a little, and then I forgot and it vanished and I'm sure it will be back. But the pain was somehow beautiful, even though I still didn't want to experience it.

Also, regarding putting forth effort, there is something about this that has been bothering me for a few months at least. One day I had a bit more of a "seeing" than usual, and during this time period, it was very very clear to me that I had no control AT ALL. So then, do I have any control over whether I am seeking, trying to be aware, trying to do any of this? Right now it feels so much like I still should "try", but I mean come on, if I'm being honest I just don't think "I" am able to. And ever since I saw this, to be up front, its been hard to "make myself" sit for meditation as much. I still do it, but not nearly as much. Maybe that's a "bad" thing, but what difference does it make? Maybe it means I'll never awaken, but I don't actually have control over whether or not I do, do I?
How are you getting on with the question "what is there other than sense experience, feelings and thoughts ?"


I don't think there is anything at all other than sense experience, feelings, or thoughts.

Thanks for the dialogue, this has been so great to be able to talk with you about this. And its really helping me, I love the questions you ask, they come up in my mind all through the day and this is what I need, help to stay focused, help to see in a new way, help to see where my blind spots are.

Holly

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richardcooper2k
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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby richardcooper2k » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:45 am

Hi Holly

Reading your last post i felt a big sigh of relief on your behalf :-)

Nice to notice it isn't really an observer. An observer position is seperate/ removed. I like your description "fuzzy nothing something thats nowhere". Some people say "the feeling of aliveness", other people call it presence, but whatever words you use, they can't capture it can they ?
And the other funny thing is, that when I see it like this, "I" feel more "real" than ever. More vibrant, more alive, more emotional.
Yes ! :-)

Nice how you saw how we don't have to make a problem out of "pain" if it shows up !

It might be interesting to do a little experiement and see what the difference is between hoovering (or whatever activity) and thinking about hoovering.
And ever since I saw this, to be up front, its been hard to "make myself" sit for meditation as much. I still do it, but not nearly as much. Maybe that's a "bad" thing, but what difference does it make? Maybe it means I'll never awaken, but I don't actually have control over whether or not I do, do I?
What expectations do you have about awakening ? How would it be different to what you are experiencing right now in this moment ? What is not awake ? Is your heart awake Holly ?
I don't think there is anything at all other than sense experience, feelings, or thoughts.
Now where is that thumbs up emoji ? :-)
When someone answers this question i ask them so which category or categories does the i or "me" fit into; but i think you have already found out that for yourself !

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Holly
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Re: Holly's Thread

Postby Holly » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:10 am

Richard,

Well I've felt so much at east the last few days but finding that "fuzzy nothing" isn't happening as often, kind of sad about it, but kind of not, I just feel like things are as they are, and yeah again, even this "thought" is a conditioned response, right? Its all right here, I just have to remember it.
It might be interesting to do a little experiment and see what the difference is between hoovering (or whatever activity) and thinking about hoovering.
Please forgive me, I'm not sure what you mean by hoovering. Do you mean, being the "fuzzy nothing" or not being it? Or you mean, the difference between doing anything at all versus thinking about it? This is something I've realized a few times. I do a lot of thinking about how things are supposed to be, or the way I should be viewing things, or the way I should be approaching this or that to make the realization, and then its like, hey...what about what you're feeling RIGHT NOW? What about just noticing what you really are RIGHT NOW? And this also seems like a good way to kind of cross the bridge a little bit. But I still always fall back into the thinking about it and not just allowing it.

And this leads me to address this question you asked:
What expectations do you have about awakening ? How would it be different to what you are experiencing right now in this moment ? What is not awake ? Is your heart awake Holly ?
I do have some expectations. (1) That its abiding, not wavering. As right now it's very much "aha" and then a lot of wavering. (2) That its effortless. Aside from this I probably have some lower level expectations, which get in the way because I "try" to force these expectations to occur, although I "know" that doing so is not actually helpful, and in fact I actually also know these aren't valid expectations (1) A feeling of sort of detachment, watching. (2) increased love (3) Feeling like I get it, like I understand. There are probably a lot more of these kinds of expectations.

Your question "how would it be different to what you are experiencing right now in this moment?" I think the answer would be exactly what you were alluding to - I'd be experiencing it and not thinking about experiencing it.

To be honest I don't know what you mean when you say is my heart awake. But I think maybe you mean, my heart is already awake. If I just allow, what I need is already here.

Let me know if I'm close on my guesses :)

Holly


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