"Stuck" in searching

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Ellen
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"Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:47 pm

Hi there...

I'd like to get some help as I keep on searching or rather feeling that I haven't got "it". I realise this is a thought appearing. But I seem to be stuck on it. Hm, is that true? Sometimes, yes :-) I wish I didn't have that thought... Which is another thought. So... that's a bit hopeless. The thoughts themselves wouldn't matter so much if there weren't the hope to get "it" somehow. And I see that this is also simply what is happening. So I seem to go back and forth between grasping and relaxing. The relaxing is nice of course :-) But I'm not usually very open towards the opposite feeling. Except for sometimes - and then that's nice too. I wish it were always like this - and there I go searching again....

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:57 pm

Hi Elena. Thanks for posting.

Can you tell me what 'it' means to you? And what are your expectations for after you do get it?
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi Elena. Thanks for posting.

Can you tell me what 'it' means to you? And what are your expectations for after you do get it?
Hello Moonlight

Thanks for answering. Good questions!

"It" seems to sum up my entire quest for happiness and ease of being. So my hope seems to hinge on losing my belief in an "I", since that is what awakened people talk about. I imagine that life would be easier then and that I could enjoy it more. I've recently had moments where I felt at home like I never have before (or so it seemed to me in any case), I felt that my search was over. But it was soon back again.

Looking forward to your further questions,
Ellen

From what I've read about enlightenment etc.

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:40 am

Alright, Ellen, let's move ahead with this. But first there are a few things I'd like you to consider first.
1. I would like 100% honesty from you, as that's the only way this inquiry can work. Never mind what you think the answer should be, or what you've read, please write from your own experience.
2. Please try to focus and write at least once a day. There may be times when you don't want to, or distractions come up, but spend a little time on looking and writing every day.
3. Stay with me till you see. Even when it seems difficult.

Are you ok with the above? If so, let's move on!

What does an 'I' mean to you? Spend some time with this, and write as much as you want to.

Can you describe your 'at home' moments? What you felt then, as compared to how you are feeling now.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:50 am

Alright, Ellen, let's move ahead with this. But first there are a few things I'd like you to consider first.
1. I would like 100% honesty from you, as that's the only way this inquiry can work. Never mind what you think the answer should be, or what you've read, please write from your own experience.
2. Please try to focus and write at least once a day. There may be times when you don't want to, or distractions come up, but spend a little time on looking and writing every day.
3. Stay with me till you see. Even when it seems difficult.

Are you ok with the above? If so, let's move on!
Yes to all of the above!
What does an 'I' mean to you? Spend some time with this, and write as much as you want to.
An I is an I-dea, I've just noticed :-))
Thinking about an "I" in an abstract way makes it appear very abstract and even ridiculous - an imaginary problem.
So, from an experiential point of view:
As I sit and type that I sit and type, "I" is something like the focus of my attention. It seems to exclude all else. The "I" has to do everything, negotiate everything, deal with everything, fails, succeeds, is happy, is sad, worried, confused, curious, delighted and, and, and. Again, "I" don't mind the pleasant states. Sometimes, "I" can expand into everything and then everything is fine. When there's the opposite movement, this pinpoint "I" can feel desolate (for want of a better word) - isolated not necessarily in the sense of feeling lonely but alone. This concentrated form of "I" can feel strong and good. And it can feel burdened and like a prison.
So what does "I" mean to me? My life? Let's simply say: my life. Or: My experience of life.
These are my thoughts on this question for the moment...
Can you describe your 'at home' moments? What you felt then, as compared to how you are feeling now.
I pretended there was no "I". What I experienced was that resistance to experiences was either not there or melted away almost as soon as it was perceived. Only then did I notice how much resistance there usually is! It felt like such a relief - everything is and that's enough. I felt totally at home, at ease. So if something appeared in my consciousness with which I didn't feel immediately at ease, I could remind myself that there was no "I", no "me" and at once there was an opening up, a flowering of love. It's beautiful to live this way.

Compared to now it felt safe and like I had all the orientation I needed. In comparison I now feel a need to be always on the lookout for something better. Or simply for something.

Anwering your questions is very interesting... thank you!

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:18 am

Great! Let's enjoy our walk together to the gate!
An I is an I-dea, I've just noticed :-))
I like that: I – dea. And that is exactly what it is. I’m happy that you’re already writing from experience, rather than your thoughts about it. You are very close.

The label ‘I’ or the self points to nothing real. There are three categories of labels:
1. That which points to something real. Like the keyboard beneath your fingers. It is there as an object.
2. Those labels that point to something not real in itself, but a concept used for communication. Like government.
3. Those given to something imaginary. Like the tooth fairy. It doesn’t exist.

The real is that which remains even when you stop believing it.

The ‘I’ falls in the third category. It doesn’t actually exist, and it never did. It is just an illusion that we believe in, by default and by conditioning, until we don’t. Once we see through this illusion, it can never be ‘not seen’ again.
Look at your direct experience right now, as you’re sitting at the computer and reading this.

Where is the ‘I’ right now? Can you find the self if you look for it without thinking about what it is? Write whatever you find.
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:20 pm

The real is that which remains even when you stop believing it.
That’s a very good way of putting it – lovely in fact!
Look at your direct experience right now, as you’re sitting at the computer and reading this. Where is the ‘I’ right now? Can you find the self if you look for it without thinking about what it is? Write whatever you find.
Where is the „I“ right now? Right now: nowhere.
Can you find the self if you look for it without thinking....
To look for the „I“ I need to start thinking of it. If I’m not thinking of it other things fill my attention.
... without thinking about what it is
As soon as I start thinking about the „I“, identification with it occurs and thus a specific definition of what it is (= that’s what I think about it, that I am it).

So, putting together the present insights aided by your words:
The „I“ is not real because it’s not there when I’m not thinking of it.
When I think of it or about it it makes an appearance :-)

Now what...?

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:31 pm

To look for the „I“ I need to start thinking of it.
That's great, Ellen, you're actually seeing that the 'I' is just thoughts. There is not self in substance, it is a thought which is tacked onto our experiences, whether they be another thought, emotions, sensations, and so on. Hence the ownership of all experiences.

The mind and body exist. Emotions that arise exist. Thoughts exist. Sensations exist. It is only the separate self which does not exist.

Now, look at your thoughts as they arise. Where do they originate from? Is there a 'thinker' or do they happen on their own? Does looking require a 'looker'? Does breathing require a breather?
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:16 pm

The mind and body exist. Emotions that arise exist. Thoughts exist. Sensations exist. It is only the separate self which does not exist.
You mean to say that the separate self is not a thought or sensation? (Since you say, thoughts and sensations exist...)

Still, I think I have an inkling of what you might mean. It’s difficult to lay a finger on it though... Could you perhaps say it in some other way?
Now, look at your thoughts as they arise. Where do they originate from? Is there a 'thinker' or do they happen on their own? Does looking require a 'looker'? Does breathing require a breather?
Starting at the end first:
No, breathing doesn’t require a breather.
Looking happens without a looker, I sometimes notice that with delight.
The body (or awareness...) does that on its own.
Is there a thinker of thoughts? The thinker of thoughts would be a thought again... So maybe there is no thinker of thoughts either.
Do thoughts happen on their own? Yes, sometimes I’m aware of that. Most of the time however I feel I am thinking them. So you could say that’s another thought appearing, on its own. And then „I“ go and own it...
You could say „awareness“ does that on it’s own too, the thinking and the tacking of an owning „I“ onto experiences.
Where do thoughts originate from? I don’t know! Like the world they’re just there. Thoughts are there. The feeling of being trapped is there. The feeling of being „me“ is there. The idea that I think my thoughts is there.
„It’s only the separate self which does not exist.“ could mean that there are all these experiences, but not experiencer. Nothing separate from the experience.
I’ll dwell on that...

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:48 pm

Yes, the separate self is actually just a thought. Thoughts are real, but the CONTENTS of the thoughts are not necessarily real. One can have a thought about something true or real, or the opposite, no?

Life is happening. Our thoughts pass through like clouds in a sky, whatever the contents. Some of them hang around longer, some of them pass through quickly. The ‘I’ thought claims thoughts, like it claims emotions, sensations, experiences, etc. As you have seen, when all thoughts and stories are dropped, one is left with nothing except experiencing, a vibrant, impersonal aliveness. Then the mind steps in, with it's stories. it is like a labeling machine, with a constantly running commentary.

We are conditioned since infancy that we are individuals who must do better, be better, work harder, earn more money, all of it reinforcing our belief in our illusionary self. So much so that our belief becomes an unquestioned assumption.

Take a walk in nature, if possible. See how nature does not need a ‘controller’, a doer. How it just IS. Watch how animals behave. Do they have a self?
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:20 pm

Yes, the separate self is actually just a thought. Thoughts are real, but the CONTENTS of the thoughts are not necessarily real. One can have a thought about something true or real, or the opposite, no?
I never thought about this distinction. It's helpful, thank you!
Life is happening. Our thoughts pass through like clouds in a sky, whatever the contents. Some of them hang around longer, some of them pass through quickly. The ‘I’ thought claims thoughts, like it claims emotions, sensations, experiences, etc. As you have seen, when all thoughts and stories are dropped, one is left with nothing except experiencing, a vibrant, impersonal aliveness. Then the mind steps in, with it's stories. it is like a labeling machine, with a constantly running commentary.
I’m grateful for the simple pointer that some thoughts hang around a little longer. I experienced that this afternoon when there was a lot of wishful thinking about somebody I love and long for. This thinking felt obsessive. Looking at it as thoughts that hung around a little longer even retrospectively takes the stress out of the experience.

Later on for some reason I found myself in that „at home“ place again, for which your description of vibrant, impersonal aliveness fits quite well. There wasn’t any control over either of these experiences. And the mind as a labeling machine is quite a good image too, especially viewed against those times when it’s not working in that way.
We are conditioned since infancy that we are individuals who must do better, be better, work harder, earn more money, all of it reinforcing our belief in our illusionary self. So much so that our belief becomes an unquestioned assumption.
I find that a good description / view point, thank you.

I’ll take the suggested walk tomorrow, it’s late in the day now.

Thank you for walking alongside me so faithfully with your diligent answers and questions! I'm looking forward to more.

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:39 am

I'm coming back to your question where thoughts originate from. I answered that I don't know. Today I answer that they come out of nothing.

Same thing maybe. Anyway, I'll be going on a walk shortly :-)

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:42 pm

Take a walk in nature, if possible. See how nature does not need a ‘controller’, a doer. How it just IS. Watch how animals behave. Do they have a self?
It’s striking to look at nature that way. Yes, it just is.

Watching animals (or people, for that matter) I notice that any „self“ is something that I would attribute to them, i.e. just thoughts. It doesn’t diminish the being(ness) of the animal or person in the least if I don’t attribute a self to them. This leaves me free too.

Walking like that I felt very included somehow. And not „there“ as a doer / controller, but more as no-self seing everything – somehow in analogy to the way I was observing nature to be. In a sudden snowstorm my blue jacket changed its pattern, getting adorned by snowflakes. As snowflakes hurled past me horizontally there was a moment of knowing that I don’t change.

In such a moment it's not so much that I am included but that everything is included. And yet it doesn't touch anything. And touches totally and freely.

So that was the experience. Now I'm back to "me" as far as I can see :-)

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Moonlight
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Moonlight » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:41 pm

So, what is the 'me' that you are back to? What is it's role, what does it point to? If it is a thought, can a thought do anything?
Life...is all there is. Wonderfully ordinary, extraordinarily wonderful.
http://wakingfromdelusion.blogspot.com/

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Ellen
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Re: "Stuck" in searching

Postby Ellen » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:51 pm

So, what is the 'me' that you are back to? What is it's role, what does it point to? If it is a thought, can a thought do anything?
As I try answering your questions I notice that I have to delve into thought to describe what the „me“ I’m back to is.
It’s a story.
And all stories take time.
They occupy the senses.
The sense of „me“ is a story of struggle and achievement, failure and success, of shoulds and shouldn’ts, I love and I don’t love.
A story.
So „I“ am back in the story.
And that’s a story.
Stop.
Smile.
What were you asking?
Okay.
What is the „me“ that I am back to?
If I delve into the story, it’s a hard question to answer.
If I look right from the moment there’s no „me“. End of story. Enter the timeless.
What is the role of „me“, what does it point to? If it is a thought, can a thought do anything?
A thought can’t do anything. „Me“, I agree, is a thought. Also a kind of sensation – the way life feels when lived from this thought or belief.
„Me“ is a thought. This opens up something right now. Yes, a sense of – oh! - this „me“ is tacked onto experiences. I know you used this expression yourself above and I’ve heard it used somewhere else before too, but I didn’t really sense it the way I sense it now.
As to your question regarding the role of „me“ and what „me“ points to, I'm giving that a pass right now.
Thank you and good night!


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