Truth and Freedom

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:49 pm

Thanks Ilona.
Sense of being is sense of being, does it need to be called anything? Does sense of being needs an identity? Or can it simply be?
I love this. Yes of course it can simply be. No identity needed, in fact it's freedom from identity.
Then what is that needs an identity? What is that feels naked, unsafe without an identity?
It's the story of Claire.

What is that is holding on to idea “I am in the body”?
This is more difficult. Don't I use all the senses in this body to experience? There is definitely a sense of location - where this body goes, I go. What this body senses I am aware of. If I'm not IN this body then I'm certainly connected to it in some way.
When the body dies, does a story die too?
Hmm, I keep rewriting my answer to this question. My first instinct was to say yes the story of Claire dies. However the story of Claire is a fantasy anyway. Even after the story of Claire is seen to be a fantasy, this body and this sense of being continue. But at some point this body will die, does the sense of being end there too? I have no way of knowing.

Much gratitude x

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Ilona
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:01 pm

Thank you for reply. Let’s explore, how you are connected to the body?
I just released a new video, watch it and take your time to examine how YOU see the body. Write what you notice.
Are you connected to the body?
https://youtu.be/hUZdval8UM4

With love.

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for your reply and for the link to your videos. I watched 'mind movies' a couple of weeks ago and loved it, but hadn't looked at the 'sense of being' series before now. I've now watched them all through once and am really excited about them. You've got such a lovely energy and a great delivery of this difficult to describe topic! I'm a psychotherapist and believe that the way you have presented this series would be so beneficial to many of my clients.
You've covered so much of what we've explored here and gone into more depth which has been really helpful to me. I particularly liked the video about mind, though have found all of them useful.
I can already see a change in perception about the body, but would like another day or two to explore this further and write my response if that's ok with you?

With much gratitude x

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:23 pm

Hi Ilona,

Hope you're well. Well I've had plenty of time to explore my connection to the body. I've written these notes over a few days so they may sound a bit disjointed.

I've explored the sensations of 'the body'. Realised that the sensations don't have an outline. They just spread out endlessly. I can witness the sensations. I am not in the sensations. I am everywhere. I am that which the sensations appear in.

Feelings seem to be held in the body. They fuel a sense of attachment to the body. Beginning to actively look for and put attention on these feelings, without language. Previously unconsciously avoided, resisted these feelings/contractions. Or overanalysed. Have felt a huge release. It feels like if I continue to invest time in releasing these emotions which have been stored in the body over all these years, then my attachment to the body will lessen.

Eyes and looking seems to be a bit of a sticking point. They give me a sense of location. Although also am aware that they are simply a tool for gathering raw data, which is then coloured by the mind. I've looked at the sensations of the eyes and within the head and am clear that I am not in them.

I decided to look again at the 'real me'. I've had several glimpses/experiences of this throughout my whole life, but no understanding what it really was. I've realised that the separate self or the mind has attached images to it. Very subtle images and feelings. It's attempted to make it into form. However, I'm starting to see that this sense of being has no gender or shape. It is impersonal, implying that it is not solely connected to me. I'm starting to really see that it is universal and the one consciousness. That it has been the seed within me all along, that it is present in every experience. And further, that it is present in everyone's experience.

I'm connected to the body because this is the vehicle through which I can experience life. However I'm not physically connected to the body at all. I feel very lucky to be have been blessed with this body, and feel an urge to care for it better and love it more than I have done in the past.

Despite these profound realisations, this knowledge feels like it has not completely sunk in as yet. I have to keep reminding myself of what I've discovered.

Much gratitude x

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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:24 pm

Wonderful, thank you for describing what you see.
Can you truly believe that you are a separated from life, from the whole entity with its own show, that is independent of what is happening around?
Is there a possibility for something to be separate from life?
And what is not happening on automatic, by itself?

These are some questions for you to explore.

Love.

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:17 pm

Hi Ilona,

The last few days I've experienced strong resistance - distraction, boredom, doubt, fear, confusion, frustration. My perspective seems to be constantly changing. I can go from experiencing peace and contentment to negative emotions in the blink of an eye. Every time I think that I need to write this response I feel lost and like I've gone backwards, that I just don't know what you're talking about anymore, that this is pointless. OR I decide to write about all the negativity I'm feeling and suddenly feel completely different, am totally aware that it was the ego talking and feeling all of this negativity, and that actually I feel wonderful.

Again I feel like I'm missing something vital. I've become aware of expectations concerning enlightenment. I'm expecting/hoping for/needing some tangible shift to occur. NOW! On the other hand I'm aware that this process cannot happen over night. Aargh! Backwards and forwards.
Can you truly believe that you are a separated from life, from the whole entity with its own show, that is independent of what is happening around?
I can see that as a biological organism this body and all bodies are simply part of life, like all the individual birds or trees etc.
Every form is interdependent. My body depends on the sun, the atmosphere, the trees, the whole ecosystem. It is all part of the whole. All made of the same thing. Tiny cells densely or loosely packed together, made of life itself. Interconnected.

Is it fair to say that we all start off as the same thing? The seed of life in each and every one is the same, but dependent on conditioning (genetics, upbringing, etc.) will grow into a unique being?
And what is not happening on automatic, by itself?
Although I can see on one level that we can't choose our thoughts (otherwise we would never choose negative thoughts) it's hard for me to accept that something isn't making the decisions. E.g. sometimes I can start thinking about something, realise that it is not a useful train of thought, so stop myself thinking about it. It's possible that the whole process is just happening without any control by me, but it doesn't feel like it.
Also it leaves me confused about this enlightenment journey. Why is it all happening? If everything happens by itself then why do I need a guide, or to constantly be consumed by the topic?
I've had so many insights over the past few months. Huge potentially life changing experiences, however essentially nothing has changed. I feel disheartened. I'm doubting the experiences. Despite feeling really excited just last week after watching your videos, I've started finding myself slipping back into old habits which I dropped when I first found this subject, such as wasting time playing meaningless games on my phone. It's like I got really close to something but now something in me has given up. The sense of control comes in when I ask myself 'should you not be doing something more useful instead?' It feels like I have to make myself stick with this subject at the moment. I'm feeling bored with it all. I'm thinking very familiar thoughts like 'you're never going to get this anyway' and a sense of despair. I'm tired. If I come from the perspective of 'I have no control' it all seems pointless and I think I'm obviously not supposed to get it anyway.

Why would all of this be happening automatically? Or why would I be choosing these thoughts if it isn't automatic? Neither makes sense to me.

That's just a small insight into the state of my mind at the moment! Hope you can make some sense of it!

With much gratitude x

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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:04 am

Thank you for honesty.

Let’s untangle this. Question why is useless. Drop it. It asks mind to explain life and whatever mind thinks at the moment is not truth. Mind can not wrap the whole in to a concept. It is part of the whole. It can not see the whole. Question why only gets the mind twisted into a pretzel. So you get to experience a lot of tension for no good reason. Instead of why as what? What is here right now? What do I see here now? What is the lesson of this experience that is happening right now. This question is going to lead you to this moment and here you can look, rather than think.

Right, this process is intense and it’s not meant to be pleasant. Seeing through beliefs can be painful and at the same time, that is the only way.

So hear this: there is no progress. There is nowhere to get, nothing to achieve. The desired shift is a dream about happy tomorrow. The shift can be so subtle, that can pass unnoticed, so don’t wait for anything.

Have you ever had an experience of looking for keys while you had them in your pocket, or looking for glasses while they were on your head? It does not matter how long and how many places you looked at, there was no progress. Finding what is not lost is simply noticing that you have never lost it. Same here.

You are looking for something and attention is away from what is here. So turn the attention to what is here. What are you noticing?

Pointlessness, tiredness, hopelessness look AT THAT, rather than for a way to get rid of that. See the difference?

So describe in full detail, what is here. Right now, as you are writing the answer. Show me what you are noticing.

Love.

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:55 pm

Excellent answer Ilona. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Yes it's definitely time to stop trying to work everything out. Driving myself crazy, mind loving every minute. Well played mind.
Yes I can see that a thought can only ever be a fragment of the whole, one angle/aspect. You can never cover every angle through thought.
Instead of why ask what? What is here right now? What do I see here now? What is the lesson of this experience that is happening right now. This question is going to lead you to this moment and here you can look, rather than think.
Brilliant. Gives the mind something useful to do which leads to no mind.
Right, this process is intense and it’s not meant to be pleasant. Seeing through beliefs can be painful and at the same time, that is the only way.
I'm up for intense and painful. I've done a lot of personal therapy over the years and have faced a lot. I do admit though that there has been some reluctance to go through it again. The thought of it makes me tired. Aahh! That's where the tiredness comes from. That and exhausting myself mentally with trying to figure this all out, day and night, for the past 6 months! Definitely time to let go.
Have you ever had an experience of looking for keys while you had them in your pocket, or looking for glasses while they were on your head? It does not matter how long and how many places you looked at, there was no progress. Finding what is not lost is simply noticing that you have never lost it. Same here.
Brilliant again! Stop trying so hard. Be present. Relax. Just be.
You are looking for something and attention is away from what is here. So turn the attention to what is here. What are you noticing? Pointlessness, tiredness, hopelessness look AT THAT, rather than for a way to get rid of that. See the difference?
Of course! Thank you.
So describe in full detail, what is here. Right now, as you are writing the answer. Show me what you are noticing.
Ok. Not sure what you're looking for here but I'll give it a go.

~ stillness, the essence of the room which is indistinguishable from the essence of me. Relaxation of the body. Sensations. Aliveness, tingling. Breathing pleasurable. Dog snoring. Electrical sounds. Mind Labelling. Long pauses. Blankness. Nothingness. Bliss. Seems to go deeper the more I just stop. Thought energy, brief but triggered a sensation, not important. Contentment. Ease. Love. Immense love. Gratitude to you Ilona. Gratitude to God. Life. Myself. Intense sensations and emotion. Observing. Attention drawn to tension in shoulders. Intermittent writing. Thought about how that is interrupting the flow. Lost in thought there for a bit. Happiness, warmth.

Next day.
~ looking around the room. Calm. Sound of rain. Sound of football on TV in other room. Sensations. Tightness in belly. Stillness. Breathing. Eyes closed. Dog barking. Family noises. Effort to turn attention inward. Tension in shoulders. Peace. Sip of tea. Warm, liquid, sweet. Relaxing. Tension easing. Excitement (sensations in body). Gratitude (felt in heart area). Love.

Wow. I've done this several times today. Each time I'm brought back to the present and it always ends up the same - realising that everything is well. Since receiving your reply I've felt like a weight has been lifted. My mind has been clear. I'm keen to try this when I'm less clear. I'm sure that won't be too far away!

I am so loving this whole process. Love noticing things happening without my control. Also noticing that the mind comes in to take the credit after pretty much everything.

Much love x

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Ilona
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:12 am

Wonderful, thank you for sharing! Yes, once you look at what is here now, happening, the attention can rest and you know, that all is well. Isn’t that amazing..


Is there ever not here right now?
Is there something to do to become present?
Is there someone that is or is not present?

What happens when attention goes to past or future stories?
Where is the exit from being sucked into them?

Here are some questions for you to play with. :)

Love

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:38 am

Hi Ilona,

Sorry it's taken me a while to reply. I still need an extra day to write my response. Hopefully I'll get it to you by the end of the day.

With love x

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:17 pm

Hi Ilona,

Sorry it's taken a while to respond. Every time I start pondering these questions I get distracted. I can not seem to focus on them for more than two minutes at a time. I've also realised that whenever I've thought about them I get lost in thinking about how best to word my response to them. I get tangled up in language, it lures me in to a thought stream.
I've had 2 attempts at responding now and am going to include bits of both for 2 of the questions because they both seem like parts of the whole, so I hope this makes sense.
Is there ever not here right now?
No.
Is there something to do to become present?
Ultimately I am always present, however it doesn't always feel that way. Often thoughts are about the past or future, seeming to take me away from the present. So exercises like 'what is here right now?', becoming aware of thoughts etc help to bring my focus back to the present.

Well, there are several exercises that I (appear to) use to become present - taking a moment; asking 'what is here right now'; dropping language; just be; non conceptual knowing; getting out of thinking, etc. BUT I'm wondering if all these activities are just happening by themselves anyway, and so maybe there is not actually anything for ME to do at all.
Is there someone that is or is not present?
Unfortunately there does still seem like there is someone. I have definitely identified the fantasy separate self, though possibly not completely. I can see that the character in the mind movie is definitely not me. I can also see that I often can function from this place without awareness for a time, until some part of me seems to wake up to it and I become present. But when I am present I also seem to feel a sense of 'me'. Is this just another deeper layer of the separate self? This present 'me' is definitely not the character that I find myself playing, it is more like the essence of me. Very calm, peaceful.

This is the question that keeps stumping me.
I feel like I'm fighting against an old, old belief that I am somebody. When I am truly aware of myself I know that I am not a person but I'm still experiencing life through this body. Ah! It brings up the attachment to the body again. I've realised that one of the questions you asked me a while ago 'Are you in the body?' was really difficult for me to answer but I eventually could see that I couldn't be in the body. I've seemed to forget that seeing.
Reminding myself of it now gives a different perspective to the question 'Is there someone that is or is not present?'.
Claire always feels not present. As soon as she becomes present, she disappears! Oh! I'm wondering if the 'I'm not present, I should be doing something to make myself present' thought/behaviour is actually a mind game in itself, that is distracting me from just being present?
What happens when attention goes to past or future stories?
It feels likes I'm sucked into a dream or movie. A thought or an image arises, is followed and identified with. A mind movie then plays where I'm the main character. This can happen at any time. It's like there's an invisible screen. Feelings get triggered.
Where is the exit from being sucked into them?
Recognising them for what they are allows me to distance myself from them now, and get out of them more and more quickly. Recognising that they are just thoughts and I don't have to believe them, or indulge them, helps. Getting out of thinking. Realising that I'm actually always present.

As you can see these questions have really tied me up in knots this week! Hope you can make some sense of this. If not just let me know and I'll have another try.

Much gratitude x

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Ilona
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:08 am

Thank you for reply. And sorry for delay in response.
Ultimately I am always present, however it doesn't always feel that way. Often thoughts are about the past or future, seeming to take me away from the present. So exercises like 'what is here right now?', becoming aware of thoughts etc help to bring my focus back to the present.
That’s right, bringing attention to what is here, what is happening is great. You say that it seems that thoughts about past and future are taking you away. That’s interesting, because thoughts about past and future create a sense of being away from present. And is that true? Is present moment gone, when you think about what happened yesterday? Look closer, because that’s the key. Think of what you did yesterday at the same time as now. Are memories appearing in the now or now is disappearing in the memory (in the image about the past)

It seems that you are the main character. But let’s look at the main character. Where is it? How is it showing up? What is the main character doing now?

Write what you notice.

Love

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:15 pm

Hi Ilona,

Thanks for your response.

You're absolutely right. Even thoughts about past or future are happening in the present. There is only ever the present.
It seems that you are the main character. But let’s look at the main character. Where is it? How is it showing up? What is the main character doing now?
Ok. The main character has to be part of the story. It is in my imagination. It shows up through thoughts - memories or fantasies about past or future; thoughts about who I am, who I should be, who I want/don't want to be; ideas about how life should be different or will be better when... (fill in the blank!). It also claims ownership and control of decisions, and therefore feels responsibility, guilt, shame, fear etc.
Right now there is no main character. Just this sense of presence, sense of being, experiencing, knowing. In fact it's clear right now that there is no main character outside of my imagination at all.

Thank you for this. Much gratitude x

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Ilona
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Ilona » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:08 am

Wonderful, yes, right here right not is presence, being, being aware of all that comes and goes.
Here is my latest video, hope it will help to drive the seeing home. https://youtu.be/-3BN8N1xBKk

Write what comes up after watching it.

Love.

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Cavebear
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Re: Truth and Freedom

Postby Cavebear » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:52 am

Hi Ilona,

The last few days it's felt like I've fallen into a black hole. All the negative thinking and feelings about myself and my life has returned with avengence. It feels like it is attempting to annihilate me. Unfortunately I've felt powerless to resist. A very tiny voice has said 'perhaps you should meditate' but there's been a huge rejection of all things non-duality/spirituality related.
I'm just becoming aware that this is an attack of the mind. Although I can now see a glimmer of light, I'm still in the battle. Even just writing this is helping and I can feel it losing its grip.

What do you make of this?

Thanks x


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