Way to Light

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LightEternal
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Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:06 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
for me is all theoretic. i´m don´t feel that way. i feel like a full blown separated self, with fears, angers and desires. to answer the question, speaking of no-self, it all comes to realize that all our ideas about ourselfs it´s just a collection of thoughts and concepts that we assume through life. we are awareness, not the body, not the mind

What are you looking for at LU?
a permanent experience of oneness. i have had dozens of spiritual experiences: strong presence, bliss, deep peace, joy, sense of being connect. but all of them temporary, some last hours, some last days and some even last weeks. but in the end i always come back to the reactive Me.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
to know if i´m following the right track. having direct pointers with a guide may help in my journey to see reality, avoid common traps and share my progress. the problem of being alone in the search is that i often feel stuck and not sure where to go next.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
i´m a spiritual seeker for 2 years. i meditate 30 minutes per day. i had practice a lot of self-inquiry in the past and read lot´s of books. my current book is "Selfless Self" from Sri Ramakant Maharaj and my current meditation is the meditation that he prescribes "i am brahman, brahman i am"

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

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jjm109
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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:13 pm

Hello LIghtEternal,

I'm Jim and I am happy to assist you with exploring the concept of the separate self. My role is to point by using exercises and questions, but it is up to you to do the looking, as you have to see what is being pointed at for yourself; that is why we are described as guides and not teachers. This is not about discovering what you are; it is about challenging concepts and beliefs so as to see and realize what you thought you are, is not as it is thought to be.

Whenever you are ready we can begin.

Sending Love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:36 pm

hello Jim, thank you very much for guiding me.

i´m more than ready :) let´s go

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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:53 pm

Hello LightEternal (shall I address you another way in future?)

First please review the links at the end of this post if you haven't already.

a permanent experience of oneness. i have had dozens of spiritual experiences: strong presence, bliss, deep peace, joy, sense of being connect. but all of them temporary, some last hours, some last days and some even last weeks. but in the end i always come back to the reactive Me.
Well no experiences are permanent, so this expectation can't be realized. There is just what's going on right now - which constantly is changing. Are there other expectations about no-self? What comes up for you when reading this?
9 (as response to question about beliefs
Can you identify any beliefs about 'self' that you're unwilling to change or question?

With love,
Jim
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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:37 am

Hi Jim, my name is Pedro. you can call me that, it´s better than LightEternal indeed :)
Well no experiences are permanent, so this expectation can't be realized. There is just what's going on right now - which constantly is changing. Are there other expectations about no-self? What comes up for you when reading this?
well no, that´s pretty much how i summon what no-self is all about. but although i know that these bliss experiences are temporary i´m always hoping that the next one will be permanent :). so in fact i have this expectation about duration from temporary to permanent. because in those moments all the criterias are acomplished, "ah, this is it, what a bliss". i don´t care about anything else, the past, the future, i don´t even care about enlightment :). the experience is so good that you think "well, it can´t be better than this, screw the rest" :D. but usually when i go to sleep, next morning all is lost, i lost peace and presence. so usually for me a typical week is like a rollercoaster, some times presence sometimes wandering mind, but suffering is much less, no doubt.
Can you identify any beliefs about 'self' that you're unwilling to change or question?
well, to be honest, i think there´s always something that i find scary, the all ideia of "there´s no one here", the joy of absence may seen liberating but at the same time, a little scary, because i know i still have beliefs about myself, specially that there´s an "I" here somewhere, and seeing that the "I" is a total scam and i´m left with the void, that´s a little scary, because that´s a pillar for me you know, like the chair where i´m sitting, i´m a afraid to lose the ground.

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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:02 pm

Hello Pedro,

It's good to have these expectations exposed. Any time you notice one, please write about it here.

It's time to look deeper at this "I" that seems to be having these expectations.
i don´t care about anything else, the past, the future, i don´t even care about enlightment :).
but usually when i go to sleep, next morning all is lost, i lost peace and presence.
i think there´s always something that i find scary
i know i still have beliefs about myself, specially that there´s an "I" here somewhere, and seeing that the "I" is a total scam and i´m left with the void, that´s a little scary
All these quotes share 1 commonality - a reference to some "I" that is referenced. Take some time and look deeply for this "I". What do you actually find in your experience? What is it that "finds" anything in experience?

With love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:50 am

Good morning Jim,

so in my morning meditation, i did has you asked, try to find the I. so i did a body scan with especial focus on the heart and the head (where i believe it should be more likely to find a personal center) but i didn´t find anything. just total blank.
has for what "finds" experience, i would say awareness, it seems for me that awareness is what searches and finds anything. but i notice something curious. it doesn´t seems that awareness is coming from the body, it feels more like awareness is outside the body, like an external shell, and them when i try to find the "I", awareness turns back to the body.
the more awareness focus on a particular part of the body, let´s say the head, the more alive the head feels, i didn´t find an I, just raw physical sensations, and the more i focus on them, the more alive they feel.

Jim, i want to ask you something, can the state of the body be an obstacle to finding Truth? states that change the quality of the awareness, like sleepiness, alcohol or drugs can prevent or retard the realization of no-self? that´s because i pretty much enjoy having a beer or a glass of wine and i don´t know if that is bad for my spiritual growth.

all the best
Pedro

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jjm109
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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:59 pm

Hello Pedro,
so i did a body scan with especial focus on the heart and the head (where i believe it should be more likely to find a personal center) but i didn´t find anything. just total blank.
Perfect! Nothing there. Is there any reaction to seeing that nothing is there? Can you say any more about this nothing/blankness?
as for what "finds" experience, i would say awareness
When you look at the awareness, is there anything there that can be found? We need a word to talk about it, but in your actual experience is there anything that is aware?
the more awareness focus on a particular part of the body, let´s say the head, the more alive the head feels, i didn´t find an I, just raw physical sensations, and the more i focus on them, the more alive they feel.
How is it to feel those raw physical sensations that name aliveness?
i want to ask you something, can the state of the body be an obstacle to finding Truth? states that change the quality of the awareness, like sleepiness, alcohol or drugs can prevent or retard the realization of no-self?
Only you can really answer this. I suggest you explore this over a period of a week or so by really noticing what happens to your awareness/perception with and without the substance or sleepiness. Does awareness change?

Sending love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:05 am

Perfect! Nothing there. Is there any reaction to seeing that nothing is there? Can you say any more about this nothing/blankness?
nothing is there, and quite frankly it feels like a very natural, obvious thing. in fact i would be surprised if i did find anything :D. the nothing is just what is, what is there is just open space, aware space. no one is behind the scenes.
but that´s what doesn´t make sense, how can not be an entity? i mean who´s in charge? who´s doing the choices? left/right, popcorn/chocolate, green shirt/blue shirt? there´s got to be something or else how could i live, survive, adapt, evolve...?
When you look at the awareness, is there anything there that can be found? We need a word to talk about it, but in your actual experience is there anything that is aware?
nothing is aware, no entity, no mechanism, the all process is invisible, anonymous, automatic, it just is. even if i want to be "not aware" i can´t. i´m always aware. only if i go to sleep i´m not aware :D, and even then sometimes i´m aware of the dreams :D
How is it to feel those raw physical sensations that name aliveness?
well, it feels like a kind of vibration, not smooth or painful, just tremors.
Only you can really answer this. I suggest you explore this over a period of a week or so by really noticing what happens to your awareness/perception with and without the substance or sleepiness. Does awareness change?
awareness doesn´t change. what change is what i´m aware of. in a clean mind i´m much more aware of what is (sounds, images, smells, etc...). but in a intoxicated mind i´m more aware of my thoughs, envolved by my thoughts, i easily enter and feed the stories in my head. and i know that´s not good. in fact everytime i got drunk i lost all presence after the hangover, sometimes for days.
i ask you because i´m doubtfull, i mean, some spiritual schools says - stay away from intoxicants, they will undermine your progress. others say - it doesn´t make any different how your body is, truth is always here and now.
but if i look in my own experience, i see it does make a difference. i bet if got drunk and high all the time i would never "see what is", i would always chase after some other moment, always following the next spiritual thought about how awakening should be. you answer well :), look within. so i guess i have to surrender to what i already know deep down, for this path i will stay away from mind numbing practices :). does it feel right?

i´m very happy that you are guiding me. it works so much better when you´re sharing the experiences, asking and answering questions. i feel i´m not alone and is great to have feedback instead of talking with myself :D. thanks Jim :)

all the best
Pedro

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jjm109
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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:21 pm

Dear Pedro,

Excellent responses - a lot to unpack there!
nothing is there, and quite frankly it feels like a very natural, obvious thing. in fact i would be surprised if i did find anything :D.
Exactly.
how can not be an entity? i mean who´s in charge?
Experience is telling you there is no entity. Mind/thought says your experience is wrong.
Let's look at thoughts themselves. Where do thoughts like "Who's in charge?" come from? Where do they go?
Here is an exercise that will dive more deeply into this:

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.
Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are
saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment
instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just
notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these
thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one
thought follows another thought’?

i bet if got drunk and high all the time i would never "see what is", i would always chase after some other moment, always following the next spiritual thought about how awakening should be. you answer well :), look within. so i guess i have to surrender to what i already know deep down, for this path i will stay away from mind numbing practices :)
Your own experience and questioning as you have done will point you to any answers you need on this topic in the moment. When you have the feeling you want to engage in the "mind numbing practice", ask your heart what it's really needs at that moment.

Sending love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:51 pm

Hi Jim,

yeah, direct experience says there´s no entity and there´s no need for one. logical thinking is what says that life without a driver is not possible. between the two i choose the first one, that´s what´s empiric, that´s what´s proof solid. althought i can´t compreende that but quite frankly i´m startin to get tired of searching sense to everything.

yesterday i remember an example, no-I seems like those bugs with 100 legs. if the bug´s mind ask "how can i coordenate all these limbs?" it will never find a logical, thought created answer. but in reality the bug functions with 100 legs, and pretty well. that´s what i feel, i can´t answer how come i function without an I, but i do function, in fact the less mind i use, the better i function.
Let's look at thoughts themselves. Where do thoughts like "Who's in charge?" come from? Where do they go?
i don´t know, they just pop in. they leave me edgy and they disappear.

this morning i did your exercise. what i found.

1- thoughts are completely caotic, they have no order of appearing and they cover a wide range of subjects. sometimes the subjets are connected, other times they have no relation between themselfs.
2 - i can´t find the source of thought, they just pop in my head. also i can´t prevent or predict their arrival.
3 -i can´t do anything to make a thought different from the one who is the present moment. when i´m aware of the thought he is already there. i´m too late.
4 - i can´t choose the thoughts. they run like a cascade in a random way.
5 - sometimes when negative thoughts appear, i feel aversion and i try to block them, but that process also seems automatic.
6 - sometimes thoughts pulls me in and i get seduced by the story. in those moments i can´t see that i´m in the story, the story is the reality of the present moment. until i see it´s illusion the illusion seems real.

big hug
Pedro

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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:02 pm

Dear Pedro,

Excellent looking!

Let’s look at thought and the content of thought a little more...

Write the word "I" on a piece of paper. Look at the word, is that YOU?
Speak the word “I” silently; be aware of any sensations or responses to this word. Are any
of these reactions in your body or mind by themselves YOU?
Now say the word “I” aloud. Is that sound YOU?
Is the combination of any of these, the word, the sound, the thought YOU?”
Is the thought, "I exist" you?
Is the thought "I" you?


Sending love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:22 am

good morning Jim,
Write the word "I" on a piece of paper. Look at the word, is that YOU?
no, not at all.
Speak the word “I” silently; be aware of any sensations or responses to this word. Are any
of these reactions in your body or mind by themselves YOU?
no, it doesn´t feel me. but the void silence that follows seems much more familiar.
Now say the word “I” aloud. Is that sound YOU?
no, that doesn´t feel me, nor triggers any particular reaction. in fact i tried others words like "dog" "cat", and they summon a similar neutral reaction.
is the combination of any of these, the word, the sound, the thought YOU?”
nop. once again, the silence that comes after seems much more warn, much more close to me.
Is the thought, "I exist" you?
no, it feels very alien to me, like a forced sentence.
Is the thought "I" you?
well, i have mixed feelings in this one. the thought "I" sometimes feels personal, me, other times it feels just another thought, another word. i´m being 100% honest :)

love,
Pedro

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Re: Way to Light

Postby jjm109 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:41 pm

Dear Pedro,

Very nice!
the silence that comes after seems much more warm, much more close to me
What do you mean by "close to me" in this context? That would imply there is a you somewhere.
What's it like to hang out with/in this silence?
i have mixed feelings in this one. the thought "I" sometimes feels personal, me
What exactly is this "feels personal"? A thought about I, a sensation in the body? Is that feeling an entity?

Here's an exercise to explore further this "sense of self"...
Let’s say that you have lost your keys and you swear that you left them in your coat. You
go to look and check all the pockets - the keys are not there. You swear they must be as
that was the last place you remember them. You have a vivid memory of putting them
there after you left the house. But when you check they are not there. At this point you can
keep believing that the keys are in your pocket, or you can admit you were mistaken. This
is just like that. You may see clearly that the self is an illusion but still feel a sense of self -
just like the keys. But feeling something to be true and seeing that it is or is not is different.
This is why we may find ourselves coming back to your expectations at the start and at the
end.
Now, I’d like to ask you to explore this SENSE of self very-very thoroughly. Not by thinking
about it, but by FEELING it.
Keep the focus of attention on the sense of self and inquire:-
Does the sense of self have a location?
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
If the answer is yes, how does the sense do this exactly?
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation?
Thought?


With love,
Jim
You are therefore located neither in the world of this,
nor in the world of that, nor in any place between the two.

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LightEternal
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Re: Way to Light

Postby LightEternal » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:07 pm

Hi Jim
What do you mean by "close to me" in this context? That would imply there is a you somewhere.
What's it like to hang out with/in this silence?
well, language is always tricky :D. in direct experience just by reading and saying "I" it doesn´t triggers a particular reaction, althought after that there´s the void again, and the void seems much more warm, more joyful than the word "I".
What exactly is this "feels personal"? A thought about I, a sensation in the body? Is that feeling an entity?
it´s like this: the thought "I" triggers a body response, like a vibration in the chest area. since it´s does triggers a response i assume there´s an entity there, a sense of self that indicates a self.
Here's an exercise to explore further this "sense of self"...
Let’s say that you have lost your keys and you swear that you left them in your coat. You
go to look and check all the pockets - the keys are not there. You swear they must be as
that was the last place you remember them. You have a vivid memory of putting them
there after you left the house. But when you check they are not there. At this point you can
keep believing that the keys are in your pocket, or you can admit you were mistaken. This
is just like that. You may see clearly that the self is an illusion but still feel a sense of self -
just like the keys. But feeling something to be true and seeing that it is or is not is different.
This is why we may find ourselves coming back to your expectations at the start and at the
end.
Now, I’d like to ask you to explore this SENSE of self very-very thoroughly. Not by thinking
about it, but by FEELING it.
Keep the focus of attention on the sense of self and inquire:-
Does the sense of self have a location?
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
If the answer is yes, how does the sense do this exactly?
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation?
Thought?Here's an exercise to explore further this "sense of self"...
Let’s say that you have lost your keys and you swear that you left them in your coat. You
go to look and check all the pockets - the keys are not there. You swear they must be as
that was the last place you remember them. You have a vivid memory of putting them
there after you left the house. But when you check they are not there. At this point you can
keep believing that the keys are in your pocket, or you can admit you were mistaken. This
is just like that. You may see clearly that the self is an illusion but still feel a sense of self -
just like the keys. But feeling something to be true and seeing that it is or is not is different.
This is why we may find ourselves coming back to your expectations at the start and at the
end.
Now, I’d like to ask you to explore this SENSE of self very-very thoroughly. Not by thinking
about it, but by FEELING it.
Keep the focus of attention on the sense of self and inquire:-
Does the sense of self have a location?
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
If the answer is yes, how does the sense do this exactly?
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation?
Thought?
i did this in my morning meditation :).

well, the sense of self appears when i search for the "I am/I exist" sense. it brings a feeling (the same feeling triggered by the thought I), to be found again in my chest area, like a strong vibration. i can define a shape exactly but it´s on my chest area and in the forearms. it doesn´t communicate anything, nor does anything. there´s just the vibrations. no image, no sound, no taste or smell, no thought, just bodily sensations.

love,
Pedro


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