Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

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Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:50 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
There is not a Self. The Self we may think with thoughts, emotions, likes, dislikes is largely a fiction although the thoughts emotions likes etc are real enough. It can get complicated because people say No self, Not-self, and True Self. I'm more in the Not-Self camp, I try not to take myself too seriously and have a sense of humor about it all.

What are you looking for at LU?
I like the LU books quite a bit and have recommended them to others.
I'm in Covid lockdown and would like to be part of a community and also possibly help others. I've thought about this for a while and now seems to be a good time since I'm very isolated. I don't believe in some airy-fairy Enlightenment. But there is openness, honesty, reflection, integrity, compassion and integrating one's life with the Dharma.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
A challenge in talking about the self and related issues to look inside and see if I really grok it. If possible, I would LOVE to be guided by Ilona. I can see myself taking a lot of time with the answers because I've read quite a bit and I don't want to spout off someone else's answer.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Before the outbreak I was in India and southeast asia on the dharma path. I am a dharma bum, eclectic, and I appreciate Buddhism, advaita, and yoga. If you added up my formal retreat time, it would be probably between 2-3 years .

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
9

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Ilona
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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:18 pm

Hi Nowherewolf. Nice name. :)
Lovely to meet you. Thanks for intro. You sound like dharma bro.
We can chat and you can start from telling me what is it exactly that you are looking for?

Looking forward to seeing this unfold.
Love

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:55 pm

Thanks Ilona for your quick reply.
We can chat and you can start from telling me what is it exactly that you are looking for?
I'm very happy to be able to talk with you!

I've read your books and so I'm familiar in a fairly passive way of the procedure. I am
looking to go through the procedure. I think I'm somewhat familiar with Not Self, although I can
benefit from going thru it again and seeing it, especially a lack of control. There's a difference between reading a book and going through the Procedure with the Founder !

I don't expect anything amazing to happen. I'm especially curious about what happens after
you've had some Insight. I use the term "Deconstruct the Self" and I believe I've been doing this for some
years.

I'm familiar with the Dharma community and I've read a lot, so I can parrot Ramana and other nondual authors. I like Jed McKenna -- he's great fun.

This last year I read Kurzban's "Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind. This book synchs well because it provides a scientific case that there is no "I". So I read and after a few years, I think I get it -- but do I grok it? Do I understand it on a deep, intuitive level? Does it influence my life? Is this it?

Sometimes I think the I is like a House of Cards -- once the I falls -- everything collapses.

However, have I really REALLY realized Not-Self? How would I know (for sure)? And how complete is it? I'm sure there's plenty of "I" fragments hanging out in places, in fact, I'm sure they are around and sometimes I let them take me for a spin. I just try not to take ego (re)formation too seriously.

I love Dharma, and as I mentioned, I've spent years in India and Asia primarily being a Dharma Bum. However,
I think the whole Enlightenment business is a Con! I'm very skeptical when it comes to Guru's. I don't think there's
some mystical one and done Enlightenment.

I think there's a lot of delusion in this field. I've used a mousetrap metaphor instead of The Gateless Gate and I look at myself regularly to see what Mousetrap I'm caught by -- thinking I'm delusion free would be the best delusion trap ever. Thinking I'm free when I'm not is the best jail cell.

We have to be aware that we can be wrong. We should want our beliefs to be true and that basically the closer our beliefs map onto Reality, the less we'll be bumping into hard objects. We should constantly be checking for new evidence and better arguments.

So perhaps my expectations are on a continuum. From Delusion to Post Awakening Insights and Stability of View.

I like Direct Pointing and I think it's amazing how a dialogue can move people and provide Insight.

So I would like to go through it and see how you do it.

I am grateful for this opportunity. Because of Covid, my life is even more isolated than it normally is.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:50 am

Wonderful. Thank you for answer. Let’s get going with this “process”

You say
However, have I really REALLY realized Not-Self? How would I know (for sure)? And how complete is it? I'm sure there's plenty of "I" fragments hanging out in places, in fact, I'm sure they are around and sometimes I let them take me for a spin. I just try not to take ego (re)formation too seriously.
Once it’s seen, it’s obvious. There never was anything separate from life happening. How complete it the seeing? Every moment is a test. Do you see this now? And how about now? And from this angle?
So if I say, there is no separate self as an entity in charge, no manager, no controller, no doer, no ego, no witness, no general manager of the universe, none as in zero — how does this land? Is there a reaction, a but...?

How does body react?

Write what comes up immediately upon considering this.

Love.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:26 am

Once it’s seen, it’s obvious. There never was anything separate from life happening. How complete it the seeing? Every moment is a test. Do you see this now?
It's not hard to see. It's simple. So simple it's unbelievable. I have doubts perhaps because of my character and also I wonder, if my seeing Not-Self is the same as sages seeing it. Ramana? I dunno... I'm not casting strong doubt about the legitimacy of what I experience, it is what it is, but I tend not to over estimate it either. How complete is the seeing ? I don't know. I can't put a figure on it. In some ways it feels pretty integrated.
And how about now? And from this angle?
LOL. Still no self. If I was sick, running a high fever, or very stressed, an "I" might come back. I was sick in India a few years ago and had terrible feverish nights and my mind took me where it wanted to take me.

Sometimes I've thought okay, things are going very well enough now, but I don't have many stressors in my life. There's no job, no family. I have been lucky enough to spend months at a Retreat center that fit me well, but still that's a bubble somewhat. What happens when I'm out and I'm dealing with a tuk-tuk driver who is trying to cheat me? Now though I've had those run-ins and I'm fine with how I handle it. Usually I always have exact change anyway so I can pay them what we agreed upon and say thanks and walk on.

I think what would be a real test would be the breaking up of a romantic relationship -- that's when there's a Big I ! A few years ago, I saw a young man on YouTube talk about how to get over the loss of love in a relationship by realizing there's No Self -- so there's nobody to break up with! I'm skeptical that this works. I thought this was the wrong tool for the job. If my wife of some years left me for another man I would be sad. At least for a few days. Until maybe a great new computer game came out and the Tinder matches start to come in. :-P

What happens if I knew I was going to die in six months? I may be okay with there's no self now -- but would there be "I grasping" knowing I am going to die? How would I react then?

I don't know. I think I'd be okay. I've meditated on Death. But there's no guarantees. It would be annoying to die unexpectedly because I still have some gift cards I haven't redeemed :-P

Sometimes it's not the big things that get to me and perhaps provoke an I reaction -- it's the small things. The big things are noticeable and blare a Red Alert. Small slights on the other hand, can go under the radar.

Seeing through the I doesn't make me immune from stressors in life. One of my favorite mantras is: "Whatever can happen to a human being, can happen to me, and I fully accept the reality of this."

Every moment is a test.
I like this. I have to think about this some. My initial reaction is that through causes and conditions every moment is created anew. We not only can't step into the same river twice, we can't even step into the same river once.



So if I say, there is no separate self as an entity in charge, no manager, no controller, no doer, no ego, no witness, no general manager of the universe, none as in zero — how does this land? Is there a reaction, a but...?
Right on! Preaching to the choir ! Of course.
How does body react?
There's a half smile, then a smile. I could laugh at it all, I've laughed in the past.

I'm totally okay with it. There's no resistance. There's nothing to be afraid of.

It's nice to check-in with the body. Thanks for mentioning it.

I read Jed Talks #2 this year. Jed talks about a "little bastard" inside of us, and although I get where he is coming from -- I didn't like this term as it reifies what doesn't need to be reified, the fictional self, which is what should be seen thru. So all those names -- I, Me, Manager, Controller, Witness, Little Bastard, etc etc -- are fictions. I want to part the curtain and see beyond. I want to live beyond. Some people see things as being then very deterministic but I feel this beautiful sense of freedom. And sometimes Wonder. I think having a sense of humor and sense of wonder are important. I appreciate them and it's nice to find them in others.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:24 am

Thank you for reply.
Interesting... you say that if you get sick or stressed the I can come back. How would that work? Was it ever here?

Let’s consider Santa analogy. Did you believe in Santa (or any other magical creature) when you were a kid? So once a kid realises that Santa is fiction, is it possible that Santa can come back?

The resistance to what is happening, the fight with what is, does it need an i? Does it come from I? Or does it bring a story about I? Is the little bastard hiding somewhere waiting for an opportune moment? Or is it fictional? Can it be both real and fiction?

How do you see?

Love

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:01 pm

Let’s consider Santa analogy. Did you believe in Santa (or any other magical creature) when you were a kid? So once a kid realises that Santa is fiction, is it possible that Santa can come back?

Not likely really, but technically it's possible, for example, dreams. Given dreams is a possibility, then feverish dreams. Or brain injury. I've heard stories, perhaps many apocryphal, where an atheist converts to a belief in God on their deathbed.

Things are impermanent, and are caused by causes and conditions. So given new causes and conditions things may change. I am sitting here typing this. In 10 seconds it's very likely I will still be here typing this. But maybe not. There's a new set of causes and conditions every moment. Perhaps an asteroid hits and in ten seconds I'm 300 feet up in the air wondering wtf.

There's stories of a hardcore Christian becoming an atheist but then joining with a cultish guru. Their belief in a sky god Daddy disappeared but then new causes and conditions put them in a cult. They saw thru one belief system, but fell prey to another. Like the Who says, New Boss Same As The Old Boss...

But your point is well taken. I do not disagree. You're right. Once the self is seen through, it collapses.

I think I am just being very cautious and dotting my I's, crossing my T's and perhaps being a bit too technical.

The belief in Santa once seen thru, is unlikely to ever return. It's gone. Poof.

The resistance to what is happening, the fight with what is, does it need an i? Does it come from I? Or does it bring a story about I? Is the little bastard hiding somewhere waiting for an opportune moment? Or is it fictional? Can it be both real and fiction?
There's no need for an I. Life goes smoother without it. It's fictional. I pondered yesterday the reverse also, okay what is life like with an I ? And I can go back some years and remember and compare. It felt more divided, there was more protection going on because of an I. I had to protect myself at work, in relationships, etc. It felt like Me vs. Them. It was complicated. Remembering it, it felt exhausting. There's like a mental chart for every person, what I can say, not say, ask for, give, etc. I also remember a lot of mental chatter, my mind ruminating, going this way and that, mental self-chat like an overtalkative parrot. That's largely gone.

Can it be both real and fiction?
There's no CEO I. But there's a Press Secretary brain module or Process that makes stuff up and tells a good story. This verbing, this process, is real enough. The stories, the process, are real. They may not be true. Most of the time I think they are not. Thoughts are not who I am. Sometimes though, a thought like "A cup of coffee would be nice!" -- and I've thought: "You know, you're right --it would be! Thank you for your input!"

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:38 pm

Lovely to read you, your words makes me chuckle a few times! Haha, press secretary brain module, what a great expression! What a great app, as well. Hearing all the news in a spot, without even requesting.

You said you can remember how it was before and it was tough. Same here. Wat is the biggest difference that you notice, now, from before?

And once you write the answer to above, how do you feel about that?

Is there anything missing?

Love.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:10 am

This is great.

You said you can remember how it was before and it was tough. Same here. Wat is the biggest difference that you notice, now, from before?
The sense of division, the stress of I vs. Everybody Else, the armor-wearing for protection.

If there was nothing really to worry about -- I would worry about Finances & Money -- because you can ALWAYS worry about that! I don't think I'm alone here. There's also the constant Mind chatter -- like always having a judgmental narrating parrot on one's shoulder commenting about EVERYTHING !

And once you write the answer to above, how do you feel about that?
Relief & Gratitude!

No fear -- I can take off the armor. Just relax. Things are fine.

(How do people possibly stand the Parrot !??)

Is there anything missing?
I've wrestled with this. I am usually critical of those who claim Specialness (Being Enlightened, claiming being an Arahat, Bhagavan, etc.). In Zen, there's koans and stories where people who have some Awakening ask this same question. Is this it? Is there anything more? The answer is No, it's just this. JUST THIS.

Sometimes I judge myself and then ask, well, why am I not a Ramana or like the Buddha?

I can't be the historical Buddha or Ramana. I am who I am. Which is fine. It's perfect, just as a newborn baby is perfect. Doesn't mean there's not growth and change available -- there is. I am a Nowhere Wolf Buddha. It sounds grandiose but then I live in a world of Buddhas! I try to have a sense of humor about it all.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:55 am

I like your sense of humour, awarewolf Buddha. And it’s so good, that you don’t need to try to be someone else. Just this is enough. And this is a mystery, life magic.

Ok, here is a question:
Are you ready for the final questions?

If not, what questions are still arising? No rush, really. Is there a clear and unambiguous yes? Or hmmm, I’m not sure?

Love.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:22 am

Are you ready for the final questions?
Sure. This has been fun and interesting.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:06 am

Sweet! Here they are :) these are standard questions and reply as it applies to you.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience. Also, through your inquiry, what is different now?

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Can you talk about decision, intention, free will, choice and control? What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

Please answer in full, when ready.

Much love.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:01 pm

Sweet! Here they are :) these are standard questions and reply as it applies to you.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There’s not. The Self is a fiction, like Batman. Never was.


2) Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience. Also, through your inquiry, what is different now?
Once the I concept is gone, many other things should fall like a House of Cards: nationalism, gender, culture for example.

The biggest disadvantage to the I/Me concept is the heavy Me vs. Them which appears for every person I met, and indeed, for every interaction, even for every line that’s said. That’s exhausting. A more subtle disadvantage but just as large or larger is the suffering that’s involved here.

A lot of stress may disappear as there’s no need for control or protection. Things are alright. I’m alright.

Sometimes I approach interaction with a beginner’s Mind. I realize an answer or response may be on several different levels. Or maybe there’s no need for a response. Just listening intently is powerful. Just being natural is also very good.


3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It’s clearer. I check myself for what I’m caught by regularly and for delusions. I realize I could be wrong. So it’s been nice to write here and be accepted. I have more self-confidence that my Insight into Not-Self is valid. I had some trouble writing about what it’s like with Not-Self, but it’s easier looking back some years and seeing things I did and said that I would not do today or say today.

Things are quieter in my mind these days. I’m happier. I dwell in equanimity mostly. I like the Tao and Zen approach of just going along with the Flow. Relax for easy power.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
Hard to say. I am skeptical. I check and recheck. I saw a quote from Dogen I liked the other day: "Ordinary beings take their delusions to be Enlightenment. Buddhas take their delusions to be Enlightenment." I liked that.

Many people claim some specialness. I am against this. Yet, here I was thinking I have achieved or realized something. I was able to come to terms with this paradox by accepting what is, just as a child isn’t that special for realizing Santa doesn’t exist! These few days I looked into my mind, pondered it, looked for the I, where it might still be holding out, and realized it’s gone.

I also like the view that this may be the end of one book, but another book starts. There’s still a lot more work to be done.


5) Can you talk about decision, intention, free will, choice and control? What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
I believe things happen because of causes and conditions. Control may be illusory, but I have the ability to do some things and not do others. I do not have the ability to walk thru walls. I have the ability* to have a chai or coffee later. The “choice” of which is a mysterious process that I may not be aware of all the intricacies. But that’s fine.

*Inshallah :-)

Someone asked me recently if I liked okra. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I didn’t like vegetables as a kid. Now I’m better but never got into the habit of eating some vegetables so I’ve never tried okra in a few decades. So I don’t know -- but that’s a wacky answer. I don’t want to lie and say I don’t like okra because with causes and conditions things could be different. What I did -- I say “I’m not an Okra fan.” though I had some fried okra at a restaurant and it was delicious. There’s a lot of things like that -- thoughts, likes, dislikes, emotions, concepts -- largely illusions really.

Free Will is interesting because a friend of mine said seeing through Free Will changes everything. I thought the opposite. I don’t believe in Free Will but the disbelief in it didn’t change anything for me. Decisions still get made. I pretend to choose whether to have a coffee or chai. LOL. It’s like I’m an actor playing a part and I’ll play it to the best of my ability. On the positive side, I tend to believe people are doing the best they can.

6) Anything to add?
Not really. I’m interested in Post-Awakening.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby Ilona » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:58 am

I do not have the ability to walk thru walls.
No? Maybe your app did not install properly :) everyone that see no self can walk through the walls. ;)

I know that language is tricky and very limited in the way we can describe this seeing. I want to ask you one question. You say you go with the flow mostly. Nice. Sounds like smooth ride. But is there an option to not go with the flow of life? Like you say you are an actor, that is playing the role, the best he can. What do you mean by that? Is there a choice to play or not to play? is there an actor that chooses what is the best?
How would you describe your experience?

Love.

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Re: Aware Wolf Thread Title Here

Postby NowhereWolf » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:38 am

But is there an option to not go with the flow of life?
Good point. Though We resist it, we fight it, We're hardly satisfied with what is. We want what we don't have and don't want what we have.


Like you say you are an actor, that is playing the role, the best he can. What do you mean by that? Is there a choice to play or not to play? is there an actor that chooses what is the best?
How would you describe your experience?
We play many roles in life. Nonduality isn't rejection of these roles. In the zen ox herding pictures the last picture is "Return to Marketplace" integration of dharma with life.

I like to go to retreats and I believe in cross-training. When I'm at a vipassana center, I try to do things the vipassana way. I talk the vipassana talk. Vipassana people like me and think I'm one of them. When I'm at a zen center, I do things the zen way. I walk the zen walk. Zen people like me and think I'm one of them. I' generally suck at yoga asanas, and at yoga ashrams I follow the rules and instructions. Yoga people see I'm *trying* :-P

Sometimes I've seen nondual people think because they've seen thru the illusion -- that the rules don't apply to them, they're beyond it all. I think this is a juvenile way of looking at it. Awakened people can follow rules, regulations, and be clean and polite. There may be no "I" and time is just a concept, and sure we're a unique bodhisattva with no need to eat with everyone else -- but I still endeavor to make meals on time :-)

I was told by one of Zen master Koun Yamada's German students, that at Koun Yamada's funeral, his family put up two large photos of him. One photo was of him at work and he's dressed as a hospital administrator. The other was of him dressed as a Zen master. Koun Yamada's hospital coworkers did not know Koun Yamada was a Zen master! There was no airs or ego to Koun Yamada. There was no enlightenment stink. At the hospital, he was an administrator. There was no zen calligraphy in his office or a zafu. Imagine that! -- Koun Yamada didn't answer his hospital employees with those snotty zen replies! He didn't illustrate his point with any zen stories. Him being a Zen master didn't just come up in conversation at work. Amazing! For me this is a greater miracle, a greater miracle certainly than gurus magically producing ash from their hands. What good is that?

I don't reject the role I may be given but I am open to new possibilities. Listening is important.

I don't think we should take ourselves too seriously. We should be ordinary. In the Zen circle, both the beginning and ending parts of the zen circle are the same: "Mountains are mountains and valleys are valleys."


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