Searching for a guide

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hashim_b
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Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:00 pm

Hello,

I am reading Gateless Gatecrashers now which has been very inspiring. I am interested in finding a guide.
I live on the west coast in the US, so I am in the Pacific time zone. Hope to hear from one of the guide's soon. Thank you!

Regards,
Hashim

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KevinD
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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:02 am

Hi Hashim,
Welcome to Liberation Unleashed!
I'm really glad you're getting something out of Gatecrashers, it's a great intro.
I'd be happy to help out--we're in the same time zone, so that works well.
Can you tell me a bit more about your journey, and how you found your way here?
Namaste,
Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:19 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks so much for replying! I was worried that no one saw my post.

I first got into the spiritual path about 20 years ago by reading Sathya Sai Baba's books, books on Buddhism etc. I have been meditating on and off for about 20 years, and studied different modalities in spirituality. A couple of years ago I took a class in Theta healing, and the teacher mentioned something about non-duality, which peaked my interest.
I started going to a local non-duality Satsang led by Gian Girardi, and the whole world of Advaita has really turned my perspective upside down. I started reading books by people like Tolle, Adyashanti and others, and listening to youtube satsangs of people like Mooji and Francis Lucille among many others.
I was led to your site by Gian Girard's teacher, Jim Dreaver. I heard about the Gateless Gate Crashers book in one of Dreaver's books and I knew I had to read it.

I am at a place where I feel like I understand the concepts of non-duality intellectually, but I don't know them experientially which is very frustrating. Whenever certain intense emotions or fears arise, or when I am met with challenging situations in life, I try to be conscious of observing and being present, but I still feel identified with the body-mind.

I somewhat understand the concept that "I" doesn't exist, but I don't KNOW it as a conviction. Whenever I talk to friends at satsangs, many of have already had awakening experiences, and sometimes I feel a despair that maybe I'll never have that experience.

I am hoping that by awakening to the SELF, it will help me to have clearer intuition in making life choices, and transcending the suffering that comes from being identified with the body-mind.
I am having problems in my career which I want more clarity on, and suffering from lower back pain (3 months of intense chiropractor work didn't help), which I have heard sometimes comes from being too identified with the mind-body.

I am hoping I can have a clear knowing, that I have gone past the duality.

I hope I haven't put you off with too much of my baggage, but this is where I am at, and would be truly grateful if you can give me some guidance.

Thank you!

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:58 am

Hi Hashim,

Wow, extensive meditation, Buddhism, the major non-duals, satsangs – you and I are gonna get along just fine. That’s very similar to my journey.
I am at a place where I feel like I understand the concepts of non-duality intellectually, but I don't know them experientially which is very frustrating.
We hear that a lot, Hashim, don’t worry. We’re here to help you experience first hand the illusion of a separate self.
As a matter of fact, you can put the books down (except for Gate Crashers if you want) for the duration of this guiding.


As we get under way, you and I will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realization that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

This process is a guided inquiry where specific areas can be examined.
I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

A few formalities.

1. You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
2. In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
3. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function; See these instructions

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too.
For the sake of your success, I ask that you be 100 per cent honest. If you can manage that, this process will be much more efficient.

So they don’t get lost in a sea of grey, my questions will appear in blue text.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

I read that you are hoping to have “clearer intuition in making life choices, and transcending suffering,” as well as clarity in your career and some freedom from lower back pain.

Please tell me, what are your other expectations from this experience?
How will it change you?
How will this feel?

Take your time and be as specific as you can.


You can press 'subscribe to this topic in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive an email every time I post here.


Best,
Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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hashim_b
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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:35 am

Hi Kevin,

Thank you so much for the reply! I understand and accept the rules of the site.
Please tell me, what are your other expectations from this experience?
I am hoping that I can know with a conviction that I am not this mind/body/ego.
Many advaitans say that when they realize this, "life gets more serendipitous". I am hoping I can attain that way of life, or realize that it has always been like that.
How will it change you?
Maybe my personality will not change, but I will be able to integrate all parts of my being in a balanced way. I will have a deep knowing that I am consciousness or the divine, instead of knowing it from book knowledge. And this body/mind can live in the world from that perspective and confidence, so it can be of service.
How will this feel?
Life will feel lighter, not so dense and heavy. I will have a deep knowing that I am always being guided in the right direction.
I have always felt like an outsider (which I am pretty used to by now), but I am hoping I can totally accept myself for who I am, and to others also.
In the past I would ask myself "would God want me to do this?" which I now know is nonsense, but I still have indecisiveness, so I am hoping that I will know deeply that all my choices come from consciousness.

Thank you so much for working with me!

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:19 pm

Hi Hashim,

Thank you for the honest and complete answers to the questions I asked.
I consider expectations, or lack thereof, to be one of the main foundations of which we will build upon, so I consider it pretty important.
You have mentioned quite a few, many of which I heard from others have occurred for them.
I am hoping that I can know with a conviction that I am not this mind/body/ego.
This is where we’re hoping to get through in this exercise we’re undertaking.

I want to stay with expectations for a bit, if that’s okay with you.
Firstly, I can tell you through my own direct experience, and the experience of many I’ve known, seeing through the illusion of a separate self presents itself differently for everyone.
There are similarities, which I won’t get into, as it would not be beneficial for you at this point.

The bigger issue here is the notion of having any expectations at all.
They are simply another form of wanting, and present a barrier to clear seeing.

As a matter of exercise, I’d like you to draw from your own “direct experience,” that which you sense directly.
Think of a time in your life where your expectations have proven to be a barrier. Write about it.



After that is done, I want you to take a look and see if you can sense the sticky nature of expectations, or how they form an attachment.
Write about that.


Remember, we’re talking from direct experience here, so that’s what we’re looking to see in your text.

Lastly, and only after all the above questions are answered fully, do you feel you can continue in this process with a complete absence of expectations? Explain.

Note: Find a place to answer these questions where you can truly be at peace. (Not from your iPhone while having lunch on a steel girder 150 feet above the ground, lol)
Find a spot and time at home where things are quiet.
Before you start writing, take some deep breaths, and be at calm.
Thank you so much for working with me!
Believe me, Hashim, my pleasure. It’s an absolute joy working with you.

Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:38 am

Hi Kevin,

I gave these questions some thought while I was at work.
As a matter of exercise, I’d like you to draw from your own “direct experience,” that which you sense directly.
Think of a time in your life where your expectations have proven to be a barrier. Write about it.
I have experienced a lot of being let down from my expecations, but one experience I could go back to is when my father passed away from cancer when I was 11. I prayed as intensely as I could to God and said affirmations that my father would not die, but he still did. This created a lot of turmoil inside of me towards God.

As an adult, I have experienced this for example when I have taken a spiritual online course, and had high expectations that by the end of it, I would be speaking to my higher self like it was nothing, but this did not happen.

I also make music, but I remember that when I would perform, if I had too high expectations, that the performance would not go well. If I felt more relaxed, and had an attitude of "it doesn't matter what happens", then the performance would be better, and I would enjoy myself.
After that is done, I want you to take a look and see if you can sense the sticky nature of expectations, or how they form an attachment.
Write about that.
When my expectations are too high for something that I want, even when I get it, it never lives up to the expectation. It's true of physical objects and also spiritual experiences. The more I yearn for something and have high expectations of it, it feels far away.

I think I may have a similar expectation towards awakening. In some of my meditations, I experienced a flash of nothingness (or maybe I was about to fall asleep). But I felt this deep fear inside me that I would disappear. I also remember feeling, "is this the pure consciousness that everyone talks about?" It only felt like complete emptiness or even darkness, rather than an "ocean of love" as many awakened people describe. Since it didn't feel like an ocean of love, I kind of dismissed it as being a false experience, or that I was dozing off.

On the flip side, when I was driving my car on the freeway one night, I remember just softening my focus, and having a flash realization that, "maybe all these cars, my body, and everything in the universe is working automatically?" I had no expectations when this happened.
Lastly, and only after all the above questions are answered fully, do you feel you can continue in this process with a complete absence of expectations? Explain.
Yes. I feel that only if I get rid of the expectation, will I be able to get "there". I am feeling now that, maybe through this interaction I will experience a shift, or maybe I won't, and either way is okay. But of course I would rather experience a shift!

Thank you!

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:21 am

I wanted to add another thought regarding expectations:

I felt that life without expectations, would mean that life would be so much more peaceful. There would be no emotional ups and downs of being able to meet or not meet certain expectations.

But then there is another part of me that says, if I have no expectations, my life would stay the same, with no improvements.

I don't know how I can reconcile these two ways of thinking.

Thanks.

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:32 am

Hi Hashim,

Excellent answers, all coming from the raw and authentic source of direct experience.
I hear you digging deep, which is exactly where we want you finding the answers to these questions.
Keep it coming. You’re doing great.

I have experienced a lot of being let down from my expectations, but one experience I could go back to is when my father passed away from cancer when I was 11. I prayed as intensely as I could to God and said affirmations that my father would not die, but he still did. This created a lot of turmoil inside of me towards God.
Thank you.
This is a very bold and gritty recount of a time that must have been extremely painful for you. I’m sorry for your loss.
It sounds as though expectations were certainly salt in the already painful wounds.

As an adult, I have experienced this for example when I have taken a spiritual online course, and had high expectations that by the end of it, I would be speaking to my higher self like it was nothing, but this did not happen.
This is what I was pointing to in the previous post.
Expectations themselves can often be an impediment to our spiritual progress, particularly when we are looking to see beyond the veil that our separate self is merely an illusion.
I also make music, but I remember that when I would perform, if I had too high expectations, that the performance would not go well. If I felt more relaxed, and had an attitude of "it doesn't matter what happens", then the performance would be better, and I would enjoy myself.
A great example of when expectations don’t get in the way of our progress. We just go with the flow, and whatever happens, happens. Almost always a more enjoyable experience.

I think I may have a similar expectation towards awakening. In some of my meditations, I experienced a flash of nothingness (or maybe I was about to fall asleep). But I felt this deep fear inside me that I would disappear. I also remember feeling, "is this the pure consciousness that everyone talks about?" It only felt like complete emptiness or even darkness, rather than an "ocean of love" as many awakened people describe. Since it didn't feel like an ocean of love, I kind of dismissed it as being a false experience, or that I was dozing off.
This is one of those moments where expectations can cause a distraction in seeing what is happening. Good noticing.
On the flip side, when I was driving my car on the freeway one night, I remember just softening my focus, and having a flash realization that, "maybe all these cars, my body, and everything in the universe is working automatically?" I had no expectations when this happened.
Wonderful. We’re going to get to this subject in a bit. It’s great you’ve got some direct experience of it.
So it seems as though we are getting a bit of a feeling of a trend occurring. When expectations lead the way, we are usually let down.
When we leave expectations aside, things usually turn out quite nicely.
Lastly, and only after all the above questions are answered fully, do you feel you can continue in this process with a complete absence of expectations? Explain.

Yes. I feel that only if I get rid of the expectation, will I be able to get "there". I am feeling now that, maybe through this interaction I will experience a shift, or maybe I won't, and either way is okay. But of course I would rather experience a shift!
Beautiful.


I felt that life without expectations, would mean that life would be so much more peaceful. There would be no emotional ups and downs of being able to meet or not meet certain expectations.
Indeed.
But then there is another part of me that says, if I have no expectations, my life would stay the same, with no improvements.
I guess it might be worthwhile giving the “no-expectations” approach a try to see if that’s true.

I think at this point, it’s probably okay for us to move forward.

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?


What does "I" point to?

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?

Great work,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:14 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the late night response!
If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.
Yes for sure! I would be honored!
What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?
To be honest, I would have to say I feel fear. The fear of losing everything I have done up to now, my efforts, my trials and tribulations.
But at the same time, it brings in a feeling of relief, a moment of peace. A feeling of being let off from the pressures of life.
What does "I" point to?
It seems to point to all the ideas and beliefs about this body/mind/ego identity. The "I" points to the fact that I'm half Japanese/Burmese and all the identity issues I have experienced with that, that I'm married, that I'm a vegan, that I like yoga, that "I" like music and film making, that "I" want to learn more about business, and the urge that I want to be able to do more in life.
I guess that if these ideas and beliefs are stripped away, then there is no "I". Without the beliefs, the universe feels like a gelatinous blob, and we're like the molecules in it.
When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
I would still have to still say that it refers to the feeling of being in this body and the thoughts. The ache I feel in my solar plexus, the feeling of breathing, the feeling of thinking these thoughts. The feeling of "I'm not awakened"...

I wish I could say "yes there is no me!", but I still feel this identification with this body/mind, that I am the one doing things, and I am the one thinking. I can surely feel the borders of my physical body. The mind seems to be somewhere in the forehead or the brain area, though I don't know where the ideas are coming from.

I feel ready to take it deeper. Thank you.

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:18 pm

Hi Hashim,


Everything is rolling along great, right now. Keep the digging.
Thanks for the late night response!
No problem. I’m back to work now, so a response a day is the more likely rhythm.

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?
To be honest, I would have to say I feel fear. The fear of losing everything I have done up to now, my efforts, my trials and tribulations.
But at the same time, it brings in a feeling of relief, a moment of peace. A feeling of being let off from the pressures of life.
Excellent. Fear is here.
I would probably be more concerned if it hadn’t shown up in some form. Fear is a common companion of this process, and I consider it a good sign.

You say you fear losing everything you’ve done up to now, "my efforts, my trials and tribulations."
As just a measure of being tidy: Please discuss what you believe those things belong to. Who is the owner when you say “my?”

What does "I" point to?
It seems to point to all the ideas and beliefs about this body/mind/ego identity. The "I" points to the fact that I'm half Japanese/Burmese and all the identity issues I have experienced with that, that I'm married, that I'm a vegan, that I like yoga, that "I" like music and film making, that "I" want to learn more about business, and the urge that I want to be able to do more in life.
Perfect.
I guess that if these ideas and beliefs are stripped away, then there is no "I". Without the beliefs, the universe feels like a gelatinous blob, and we're like the molecules in it.
I love this. It’s not an uncommon thing to hear.
Like the expectations, why not give it a try. If the awakened state is boring and mundane, you can always consider adopting a strong belief system again.

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
I wish I could say "yes there is no me!", but I still feel this identification with this body/mind, that I am the one doing things, and I am the one thinking. I can surely feel the borders of my physical body. The mind seems to be somewhere in the forehead or the brain area, though I don't know where the ideas are coming from.
Great stuff.
We’re getting to all of that.


When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


I feel ready to take it deeper. Thank you.
We’ll get there, you’re doing fine.
If this feels slow to you, I’m just trying to ensure we don’t miss anything in this examination.


Best,
Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:31 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the reply!
As just a measure of being tidy: Please discuss what you believe those things belong to. Who is the owner when you say “my?”
They are owned by the mind and ego, which I think of as being the "I". I guess if this baggage is released, it's not owned by anyone or anything. It's something that happened in the past, which is no longer here, and something that I'm just attaching myself to.
When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?
My initial response is that the "I" that is looking at objects, is this body and mind looking through these eyes. When I was driving home from work, I tried to feel into this question a little more. I had a little insight, which was that if there was no baggage attached to this "I", and there was no meaning or names attached to the objects like car, cat, trees etc, then there would just be seeing. But I had to really focus on that, and it started feeling like a mental exercise.
If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?
My initial answer is that I feel that there is a boundary between this body and the objects that I see. As I mentioned before, if there is no meaning or name attached to me or the object being seen, there is only just seeing, or "isness". But I can't say that it feels natural. From my experience I would have to say that there is still a physical barrier between my body and the object. I can touch my body and I can touch the object being seen, so they still seem to be separate objects.
Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
Normally in my car I like to listen to spiritual discourses, but I decided not to do that since I'm working with you, and I listened to some comedy. As I was listening, my mind would pick up things that were funny, and I would laugh.
When I listen to music, my body will get excited or feel certain sensations. Since my mind is attaching certain meanings to words or sounds, I have emotional and physical reactions to them.
When I ate my dinner today, I didn't feel like I was one with the food. The food is in front of me, and I am tasting it as I chew. The same separation with objects is felt with the other senses.

I hope I'm not getting stuck already, but that's my honest experience at the present moment.

Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!

Regards,
Hashim

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:46 pm

Hi Hamish,

Looking good so far, let's just go over some of the answers.

As just a measure of being tidy: Please discuss what you believe those things belong to. Who is the owner when you say “my?”
They are owned by the mind and ego, which I think of as being the "I". I guess if this baggage is released, it's not owned by anyone or anything. It's something that happened in the past, which is no longer here, and something that I'm just attaching myself to.
Quite right, there is no owner. There is no I to own anything. You say that’s something that happened in the past, I think if you look, it wasn’t happening then either.

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?
My initial response is that the "I" that is looking at objects, is this body and mind looking through these eyes. When I was driving home from work, I tried to feel into this question a little more. I had a little insight, which was that if there was no baggage attached to this "I", and there was no meaning or names attached to the objects like car, cat, trees etc, then there would just be seeing. But I had to really focus on that, and it started feeling like a mental exercise.
I’d like you to be aware of not only how your answering, but where the answers are coming from. “My initial response” has an academic feel to it. The matching answer was that the mind and body look through the eyes.
Then, when you were driving home from work, “I tried to feel into this question”— perfect, this is coming from direct experience. You had a little insight and there was nothing attached to this I.
Then, a focusing started happening followed by a mental exercise.
NB. Doing these while driving may not be the best idea for a couple of reasons.
As I said earlier, try to find a spot where you can be comfortable, and undisturbed. And I’ll add now, where you’re not being cut off in traffic. ;)



If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?
…I would have to say that there is still a physical barrier between my body and the object. I can touch my body and I can touch the object being seen, so they still seem to be separate objects.
I remind you to draw from “direct experience” in this, pulling up from your senses of sight, smell, touch and felt sense. Deep thoughts can take a break here.

So using your felt sense, go back again and describe the specific boundaries of what is being seen and an alleged seer? Describe that edge in detail for me. Are they sharp, or fuzzy? Are they static or moving? Are they contained within the body or beyond? Are they soft or firm, etc.?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.
Since my mind is attaching certain meanings to words or sounds, I have emotional and physical reactions to them.
Quite natural, not to worry about it. I went through this process five years after the shift and strong emotions still came up.
It’s just a natural side effect of giving this an honest shot.
When I ate my dinner today, I didn't feel like I was one with the food. The food is in front of me, and I am tasting it as I chew. The same separation with objects is felt with the other senses.
At this point, I’d like to ask you what is this “I” that is tasting as you chew?

I hope I'm not getting stuck already, but that's my honest experience at the present moment.
What is this “I” you feel may be getting stuck?

A feeling of bogged down may or may not come from time to time during this process.
Totally natural and expected.
If it was that easy, it would be in the next issue of Tricycle Magazine. ;)

Your approach is fine, we’re making good progress.
Keep digging as deep as you can, from a place where you have peace and quiet.
Please take advantage of your meditation practice, and settle in to the chair before answering the questions.
(The way I did it was I’d answer, then go sit. And then I’d come back to look what was written to make sure it felt authentic. I was often surprised at what changed. Not for everyone, but it worked for me.)

Metta,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby hashim_b » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:42 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks so much for your patient guidance in this.
Quite right, there is no owner. There is no I to own anything. You say that’s something that happened in the past, I think if you look, it wasn’t happening then either.
I don't seem to understand this as a conviction, that what I experienced in the past, did not exist there either. Can you help me so I understand that?
So using your felt sense, go back again and describe the specific boundaries of what is being seen and an alleged seer? Describe that edge in detail for me. Are they sharp, or fuzzy? Are they static or moving? Are they contained within the body or beyond? Are they soft or firm, etc.?
So I am looking at a cup. I see the white ceramic of the cup and some liquid in it. I can hold it in my hand, and I feel a border between the hard ceramic and my softer hands. The cup is outside of my body, so I feel a separation between between myself and the cup.
If I forget the word cup, and forget who I am, I can imagine that all of this is connected.
At this point, I’d like to ask you what is this “I” that is tasting as you chew?
There is an "I" that has certain preferences in food, and likes certain flavors. If I take that away, then I guess there is just the sensation of chewing and tasting.

What is this “I” you feel may be getting stuck?
The "I" is the ego/mind that feels that it is stuck, and feeling a fear that I may never understand this. There is something watching this "I" be stuck.

I tried to write as much I could but this is what came out. Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks.

Regards,
Hashim

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KevinD
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Re: Searching for a guide

Postby KevinD » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:40 pm

Hi Hamish,

I’d like to touch on some exercises in what we really mean by direct experience, rather than thought.
Direct experience (DE) arises from the senses, (feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing, taste and a general felt sense or intuition).

Follow me along here.
Cue up your favourite tune, but don’t play it yet.
Without it playing, I want you to think about how that song sounds, give it as much thought as you can.
Then, when you’re done, play the song.
Notice the difference of what was thought and what was felt?

Next, get an orange or lemon (or some other scented item).
Without smelling it, think of how that smells. Pull from memory everything you can about that smell.
Now, reach out and give that fruit a good whiff.
Notice the difference.

Repeat the same exercise with some object in front of you. Think of how that might feel.
Now, reach out and touch it.

Do the same with some item of food (oranges are my favourite).
Think about how that might taste. Draw from memory everything you can about it.
Now, grab a slice and taste it.
Notice the difference?

These are the sense at work. This is the direct experience we’re looking to draw from.
Do this as many times as you need to really get a sense of what we're referring to by Direct Experience.

Report back to me on the difference.

====================================

Now, about that last post.

Fear has come up again.
Once again, fear is a common companion of this process, and I would be more concerned if it was completely absent.

That said, it might be a good time to look at it.
Fear, of course, is just an energy, manifesting itself in our senses as something we call fear.

Now, as you consider that this I is just a thought, feel what comes up.
Sit in silence and feel where that energy called fear is residing. Feel the qualities of it.
(questions for yourself only)
Where in the body is this energy? How much space does it take up? Is it warm or cold? What are the edges like, fuzzy or hard? Is there pain with it? Is it heavy or light? Is it light or dark? Does it have a colour? Is it pulsating, or is it static? Is it changing? If so, in what way is it changing? Observe all of the qualities of this energy in every way you can.
Most importantly, watch with complete equanimity.
Look at is as a scientist would observe a microbe through a microscope, with detached fascination.
This energy is neither good nor bad, those are just a value judgements we put upon it.
I want you to keep watching that energy until it can be watched no more. It will either change to something else, or disappear.
In fact, if it changes to something else, watch that too using the same process. That can often uncover something else that’s interesting to look at.

Report back on how that worked out.

Now, let’s revisit.
This “I” that has been created since you were about two, the one that says you are Japanese/Burmese, vegan, yoga liker, music appreciator, film maker, one who is interested in business, how do you feel when it is pointed out that these are all just thoughts?
That the “I” only exists as a thought bubble?

If fear arises, please go back to the mindfulness exercise at the top, rinse and repeat. Please continue until this notion doesn’t feel locked down by fear.

Hamish, we have struck gold here. This is something we can work with.
Keep at it, whether it feels like it or not, we’re making progress here.
I would like you to take some time with this exercise, take all the time you need, but be vigilant.

Continue using the mindfulness exercise on fear or any other apparent emotion that arises.
Let me know tomorrow how it’s working out and if you need some more time with it.

In Metta,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj


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