Seeking the truth and request to be guided

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Aino
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Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:12 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
I've been on this path a long time, and thanks to my dearest friend I have now come to question the whole existence of the path itself. I'm lost, and I wish someone could guide me. I don't now what is and what is not.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
I'm looking for the truth. My expectations are pretty open, but I have to admit I'm a bit skeptic.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
All things "spiritual" and whatnot. Meditation, yoga, Buddhism... But now everything has been falling apart. I feel like all those things are fake, or more like they point to something but they are not THE thing. I dunno.
My quest for the truth also made me interested in science, which made me more skeptic towards everything. I don't want new beliefs. I want the truth. I'm also studying psychology, which makes everything even more complicated. Most of that stuff feels like made up stories too.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 9

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:01 pm

Hi Aino,

Welcome to the Liberation Unleashed Forum and thanks for introducing yourself. I am very happy to be your guide. From what you write it sounds like you've come to the right place.

To begin, firstly just some formalities.

Here is the agreement we will enter into:

If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too - http://www.liberationunleashed.com

Then please read and agree to the following:

1. If possible please post at least once a day, even if a short "still here" or "still looking". If you cannot post, or need more time, let me know. It is a good way to keep up the momentum.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Please answer only from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). It is impossible to understate the importance of this; in order for any Direct Pointing session to be successful, it is your responsibility to examine your experience as it is, instead of resorting to speculation and theory-forming. The only way to get to the Gate and beyond is by directly looking at your actual experience of reality.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

And also here's some practical info about using the site:

Please learn to use the quote function, see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:
1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) When writing long replies I'd recommend to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send as sometimes posts can got lost due to internet or website connection problems, computer crashing etc!

Does that all sound ok?

I'm UK timezone, what about you?

My name is Vali, how shall I call you?

Best wishes

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:09 pm

Dear Vali,

I'm sorry I haven't had the time to reply. Something unexpected came up, but it's done now! If you're still available, I'm ready to start and will be posting at least once a day from now on. Also I agree on other terms. You can call me Aino, and I'm GMT+2 for the timezone.

Kind regards,

Aino

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:26 am

Hi Aino,

Glad to have you on board and that what came up is done. So lets get started. Firstly I want to ask you more about your expectations for this process. In your initial post you say you are "looking for the truth". What are your expectations for when/if you 'find' this truth? How will this feel? How will this change you?

Warm wishes

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:30 pm

Hi Vali,

Thanks for being my guide!
In your initial post you say you are "looking for the truth". What are your expectations for when/if you 'find' this truth?
Well, if I look with DE, there are a lot of thoughts about expectations. Thoughts say there would be peace and joy and happiness and all that. My problems would just disappear, because I see they are not real. But these are just thoughts. I'd like to be open minded, but it's so hard at the moment! There is this voice in my head that wants to create problems and contradictions.
How will this feel?
I'd like to feel complete and at peace. But that probably won't happen. And if it does, it has nothing to do with awakening. So there's the thought that wishes for eternal bliss, and there's the thought that says I have no clue and it's okay.
How will this change you?
Again, like the above, it probably won't change me at all. But there are thoughts and wishes that say I'd like to be something else than I'm right now. I'd like to be more patient, more loving and more peaceful. I'd like to be positive and happy, not get angry and frustrated about petty little things.

In the FAQ section, there was this:
"If you hope to enter a life of unending bliss and only happy feelings, you’re going to be disappointed. Life will go on as before. All sorts of emotions will continue to arise. Yet, without the concept of a central self to stick to, how can there truly be suffering?"
And I'm having problems understanding it. There has been a lot of suffering in my life. I think it has been the driving force on my path, since I've always searched to end it. Still am. And I'd like to say that I get this, but I don't. It's so confusing, because the mind is producing conflicting thoughts that make no sense at all.

But I guess we're here to sort it all out, eh? Thanks again for helping me with this. I really do appreciate it!

With gratitude,

Aino

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:55 pm

Hi Aino,

Thanks for some honest replies here - this is really the best approach to help you here.
the thought that says I have no clue and it's okay
This is really great and is the best way to approach this guiding. Try to keep this in mind. Holding on to ideas about how an imagined future self will be can really get in the way of looking with direct experience.
It's so confusing, because the mind is producing conflicting thoughts that make no sense at all.
Agreed!
But I guess we're here to sort it all out, eh? Thanks again for helping me with this. I really do appreciate it!
You're welcome :)

Ok a new question.

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?

Look in direct experience for anything that arises and let me know. Any thoughts, emotions or sensations.

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:17 pm

Dear Vali,
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?
First there's the thought of confusion. Also a thought that the brain creates the illusion of "I". I exist only when the body and the brain are alive, but I die with them. With this thought comes the feeling of sadness, maybe a fear of death?

Then there is a thought loop: If "I" don't exist, it means "I" create all my suffering. When I see the truth, all my suffering will stop, because it didn't exist at all! And with this comes all the expectations again. Eternal bliss! But yeah, I see them just as thoughts. It still feels bad though, and thoughts can hurt.

Aino

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:17 pm

Hi Aino,
With this thought comes the feeling of sadness, maybe a fear of death?
Try re-reading the statement I wrote about there being no you and if fear arises again, stay with this for a while. Fear is fine and acts a kind of security system. So allow that to be there, notice where it is being felt, give it your respect and appreciation.

Now look and see, what is behind the fear?

Let me know what you see.

Kind wishes

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:15 pm

Dear Vali,

Today has been a dark day. Lots of negative emotions. I've tried to look, really look, but it's hard. There are judgements and negative thoughts arising constantly.
So allow that to be there, notice where it is being felt, give it your respect and appreciation.


How do I allow it to be? How can I respect and appreciate it? This question is for every negative emotion, because it's one of the biggest issues I've had. I've tried to just let the negative emotions be, but it doesn't help at all. It feels like they swallow everything when they arise. It's pure suffering. I try to look at them, feel them in the body, do whatever or not do anything, it's still just suffering. There's no way around it. How can I accept, respect and appreciate suffering?
Now look and see, what is behind the fear?
There is nothing behind the fear, nothing to be found. But I still feel it.

Aino

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:24 pm

Hi Aino,

Well done for having the courage to look at this despite it being tough.

Yes when there is strong emotion then a lot of difficult thoughts can also arise as well as uncomfortable sensations in the body. It's not easy but it's worth spending time with this. But also good to allow yourself time to take a break if too much and come back to it later. Take it at a pace that seems ok for you.

When you feel ready to look again, focus on one of the emotions you feel. Spend time looking at it and exploring it. Where is it? Is it in one place, if so where exactly? Does it have a shape? Does it have a beginning and and end? What is it? Is it thoughts or sensations or...? Does it remain static as a thing or is it changing? Look again, what is it now, where is it now? If thoughts arise and start creating stories just allow them to be there but try not to get lost in them and follow them, stay with the raw/direct experience.

It's easy to label emotions with a thought/word, for example fear. But if you drop the label and look past that, what is there? Without making any theories or stories about what is happening and why it's happening, try to describe what you see and experience when you look at this emotion.

Take your time,

Warm wishes

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:27 pm

Hi Vali,

Thanks. I'll takes some time to look. Will write again tomorrow.

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:12 pm

Great, thanks for checking in. Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:25 pm

Dear Vali,
When you feel ready to look again, focus on one of the emotions you feel. Spend time looking at it and exploring it. Where is it? Is it in one place, if so where exactly?
Most of my emotions are felt in the stomach/chest/throat area. It feels almost like pressure, but not quite.
Does it have a shape? Does it have a beginning and and end?
There is a feeling of shape, of the area where it's felt. If it's in the chest, the shape feels like the shape of chest but with blurred edges. Like it fades out where the body ends. It has a beginning and an end. Usually it starts more suddenly than it ends. Ending is more like slow fading away.

For example, I notice clearly when I get angry, it's a sudden rush, almost a burning feeling. When I get angry, there is no control. Everything happens. Words are coming out of my mouth on their own. The ending of anger is slow. It can take a long time to fade away. Only something unexpected or funny can turn things around fast.
What is it? Is it thoughts or sensations or...? Does it remain static as a thing or is it changing?
Sometimes the mind is blank of thoughts but emotions and sensations are still felt. It just doesn't make sense. I just feel sad and hopeless without any reason. Then I'll listen and look, try to see if there is something, some cause and effect. But nothing can be found. Often then I'll just feel even worse because I feel bad for no reason at all.

Emotions are constantly changing. Anger sometimes comes in bursts, its strenght fluctuating. Sadness often feels like waves, so does happiness. Emotions are tricky for me, because I feel them very strongly. I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, though here it's just a label, a story, and not that helpful I guess.
Look again, what is it now, where is it now? If thoughts arise and start creating stories just allow them to be there but try not to get lost in them and follow them, stay with the raw/direct experience.
The label of the feeling (for example anger, fear, sadness) is nowhere to be found. It doesn't exist. It's still felt in the body as sensations, and thoughts keep arising.
It's easy to label emotions with a thought/word, for example fear. But if you drop the label and look past that, what is there? Without making any theories or stories about what is happening and why it's happening, try to describe what you see and experience when you look at this emotion.
There is pain in the chest. Pain in the heart area and throat. Tears. Sometimes it's almost a choking feeling. Often my heart beats faster. There is a feeling of extreme discomfort.

Aino

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Desert Dog
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Desert Dog » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:57 am

Hi Aino,

Well done for looking at emotions and reflecting on them with such clarity and and truthfulness. This is really helpful. Lets stay with this a bit longer.

On Thursday you wrote:
Today has been a dark day. Lots of negative emotions. I've tried to look, really look, but it's hard. There are judgements and negative thoughts arising constantly.
So you label some emotions as negative and some positive. Do you know why?

Yesterday you wrote:
The label of the feeling (for example anger, fear, sadness) is nowhere to be found. It doesn't exist. It's still felt in the body as sensations, and thoughts keep arising.
You've seen that the labels for the different emotions are nowhere to be found. So when anger is there, actually there isn't any such THING as anger, but what can be observed are the different sensations in the body and perhaps some thoughts arising. So why is this negative? Another label.. When something is labelled as negative it often implies I don't want or I shouldn't have this, or I'm not worthy, I'm a failure because I have this. And then we try to push that away, push that emotion away.

Can you try looking again at emotions this time without labelling them negative and positive, and without trying to label them as 'anger', 'sadness', 'happy' etc. Observe what is there in direct experience. What do you notice? When you feel different sensations in the body try to simply stay with them, allow them to be there whether they are unpleasant/uncomfortable or pleasant/comfortable. Notice if there is a tendency or need to want to either hold onto them or push them away. Explore where that comes from. What happens to the sensations if allowed to simply be as they are without pushing them away, or holding onto them, and without the labelling of 'fear', 'happy', 'negative', 'positive' etc?

Warm wishes

Vali

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Aino
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Re: Seeking the truth and request to be guided

Postby Aino » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:04 pm

Dear Vali,

Thank you for your patience and help.
So you label some emotions as negative and some positive. Do you know why?
Because some emotions inflict pain and others (like happiness) can actually heal from pain. I don't like pain. Who does? Of course, the pain is just a label too but damn it hurts.
So when anger is there, actually there isn't any such THING as anger, but what can be observed are the different sensations in the body and perhaps some thoughts arising. So why is this negative?
The same answer as above. It's negative because I hurt, but also because others hurt. I can't help my pain, or the pain I cause to others. I can't look away either. I can just look. The pain still remains.
When something is labelled as negative it often implies I don't want or I shouldn't have this, or I'm not worthy, I'm a failure because I have this. And then we try to push that away, push that emotion away.
Yes, I know this very well. I've tried that for years. But trying to look at things as they are and letting them be is also trying to be something else, and I get frustrated when I can't do it. So it turns to negative in my mind also. Of course you can say "the pain just is, it's not negative or positive" but it doesn't matter because it's still there and it still hurts. I still yell at people because I'm in pain. I hurt myself more because I'm in pain. There is no control.
Can you try looking again at emotions this time without labelling them negative and positive, and without trying to label them as 'anger', 'sadness', 'happy' etc.
I can't today, I'm sorry. I'll try again tomorrow.

I can observe this girl here (me) talking nonsense to my boyfriend. I can observe the lies coming out of my mouth. Like "I hate this life, it's not worth living" and as soon as I hear myself say it, I know it's not true. But still those words just come. I can say horrible things. Do horrible things. When these days come, I just survive. Looking doesn't help the pain. I will just sob and lie in the bed whole day.

Is this how it's supposed to be? When I'm done with this, when I'm thru, will I still just sob and lie in the bed occasionally?

Aino


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