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ANP100
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New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:25 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I now understand intellectually that all that is, is “I Amness” and that the idea of “me” is an illusion. However, I would actually like to experience this directly through the help of a guide. I want to experience the knowing of being the knowing in a non-objective way.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for a guide to point out the true nature of self in a way that can help me experience it. I’ve read information on this, books, content, etc., and have watched videos about this, but my goal is to experience this directly.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I’m hoping to connect with a guide who prefers to point me in the direction of self with as little words as possible. Ideally, my guided conversation would be very simple and direct.
Bottom line, honesty and directness is what I hope for.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I’ve been a seeker for a few decades now, have been interesting in Vipassana over the last few years and have found my way to Dzogchen recently.

I’ve taken Ayuhuasca a few times over the last few years in the hopes of experiencing something newer and deeper in terms of reality.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 11

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:33 pm

Hi,

my name is Nina and I'm happy to assist you.
My role is to point by using exercises and questions.

Is there a different name you want me to use during the exploration?


Please learn to use the quote function, here are the video instructions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ&app=desktop

Are you ready? Let's see if there's a me as you knew it...

All the best Nina
Now. Here. That.

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 am

Are you still interested in the exploration here?

Are you willing to question all your beliefs and assumptions
about awakening and to face your fears?
Do you have the courage to really delve into it deeply?
Is there a deep fire burning inside you that really wants to find out?
Is there anything somewhere that might get threatened?
Is there not a deep curiosity to find out what is really there?

Please answer with a clear yes or no.

All the best
nina
Now. Here. That.

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ANP100
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Re: New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:49 pm

Hi Nina,

Apologies for the delay. Please see my answers below in bold:
Are you still interested in the exploration here? - YES

Are you willing to question all your beliefs and assumptions
about awakening and to face your fears? YES
Do you have the courage to really delve into it deeply? YES
Is there a deep fire burning inside you that really wants to find out? YES
Is there anything somewhere that might get threatened? Probably, but that's ok.
Is there not a deep curiosity to find out what is really there? There is.

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:27 am

Hi ANP100,

thanks for the reply.

OK, here are some housekeeping guidelines:-

1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days,
just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on 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 meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word, it will save time in the long run!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration, in your own words could you please answer the 4 following questions:

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?

All the best

nina
Now. Here. That.

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ANP100
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Re: New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:26 pm

Thank you for taking this on, Nina. I agree to your stipulations and will refrain from all other practices for the remainder of this investigation.

My answers to your questions are below:
How will life change?
At the risk of sounding evasive, I'm really not certain how life will change. It's possible that without the "reality" of the "I" in the middle of my every waking thought and consideration, I'll probably suffer less and be more open to doing things "I" wouldn't do. I might also be able to experience "reality" as it truly is and not as "I" have been viewing it for the past 50+ years. I don't expect fireworks to go off though, as it feels more like a subtle shift as opposed to a massive movement.

How will you change?
Again, it's hard to say for certain, but if I had to describe it in terms of expectations as you suggested, I would hope to be a more peaceful and calming influence, specifically on my 3 kids and my granddaughter and to others more broadly too. There is also a hope that this shift will help in my decades-long battle with my weight/health. I feel very certain that the dynamics of the "I" is tied directly to my relationship with and abuse of food, which has gone on long enough.

What will be different?
Without my massive ego "guiding" my every step/action/reaction, I look forward to just experiencing life as it is and seeing how that goes. Not being led by guilt and shame will be nice too as there is no "I" to be ashamed of or "I" to feel guilty about.

What is missing?
True peace and stillness has been missing in my life for as long as I can remember.

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:20 pm

Dear APN100,

thanks for these detailed and honest answers.
How will life change?
At the risk of sounding evasive, I'm really not certain how life will change. It's possible that without the "reality" of the "I" in the middle of my every waking thought and consideration, I'll probably suffer less and be more open to doing things "I" wouldn't do. I might also be able to experience "reality" as it truly is and not as "I" have been viewing it for the past 50+ years. I don't expect fireworks to go off though, as it feels more like a subtle shift as opposed to a massive movement.

You have a quite realistic view on this point.
How will you change?
Again, it's hard to say for certain, but if I had to describe it in terms of expectations as you suggested, I would hope to be a more peaceful and calming influence, specifically on my 3 kids and my granddaughter and to others more broadly too. There is also a hope that this shift will help in my decades-long battle with my weight/health. I feel very certain that the dynamics of the "I" is tied directly to my relationship with and abuse of food, which has gone on long enough.

The abuse of any substance – it can be just anything – has mostly a deeper cause.
It is taken to suppress or overwrite a feeling or sensation that is too unbearable to face.
We are going here to look the tiger right into the eye; there is no instance to which things or experiences had happen. There is nothing like a me.

However it is inevitable to look at these suppressed feelings, to face them, to really get in touch with them.
Bypassing these feelings by just stating ‘there is no me’ doesn’t make it.

This can be a really demanding undertaking and sometimes it can be advisable to ask for professional guidance,
I mean a therapist, who can work in a one to one and person to person modus.

These feelings can be very unpleasant, but they won’t kill you. They had been there anyway all the time.
But they don’t want to be looked at. The defence mechanism of the me can be a really good protector.
And sometimes is has some valid reason to build up these defences; without them life in some
cases would not had been manageable.
My mother for example had to spent her childhood in Word War II and is so much traumatised that she still
can’t look at all the implication related.

Once these feelings had been truly faced they don’t need to pop up again and again and say: ‘I’m here,
please look at me, see me’, because it is totally OK for them to be there.
This is what it’s all about liberation.
The feelings, sensations, thoughts and any sense impression are just there for the sake of being there.
There is no me to whom all this is happening.
What will be different?
Without my massive ego "guiding" my every step/action/reaction, I look forward to just experiencing life as it is and seeing how that goes. Not being led by guilt and shame will be nice too as there is no "I" to be ashamed of or "I" to feel guilty about.


We might find that out.
What is missing?
True peace and stillness has been missing in my life for as long as I can remember

Peace and stillness are always there as a background static.
One is not used to look at it. They are also overlaid by mental noise.
That is why drugs can have a soothing effect on the mind. The thinking process has been forcefully drugged by anaesthesia, actually it had been poisoned in a rather destructive manner.

Thoughts are not supposed to stop and they won’t stop as there is nobody thinking these thoughts.
They are just like the chirping of birds outside.
They are there but it doesn’t matter.



Here is a little exercise you might practise sometime during the day:

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for a while.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling every thing into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.
Give it some time
Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects.
Just look at the seeing itself.
Observe the pure process of seeing.
This is direct experience (DE).

Please report me how you go with it.

All the best

suma
Now. Here. That.

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ANP100
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Re: New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:00 pm

Here is a little exercise you might practise sometime during the day:

Sit quietly and relax, take your time just looking at what is in front of you for a while.
Observe how the mind is dividing and labelling every thing into objects and is embellishing them with stories about what they are.
Give it some time
Then, stop watching the objects as labelled objects.
Just look at the seeing itself.
Observe the pure process of seeing.
This is direct experience (DE).

Please report me how you go with it.

All the best

suma
Thank you, Suma. That exercise was a lot more interesting and challenging than I imagined when first reading it.

The interesting part was to see how quickly/automatically my mind goes to labeling all that I see. Instead of just seeing an object, I immediately called it a book or a speaker or a whatever, instead of just seeing it. Another interesting realization was to see how my mind tends to separate items one from another as opposed to seeing a cohesive picture of all that is there.

The challenging part was to stop the aforementioned processes and just "see." I found myself trying to "will" myself into not labeling or dividing and just experiencing what is/was. In the process, I am now beginning to wonder how much of reality I have missed because of this mental tic, and, in all honesty, I'm also beginning to anticipate what I'll discover when I can just see what is. In the meantime, I will continue this exercise, as it's a pretty exciting discovery for me. Thank you again!

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:01 am

Dear APN100,

wonderful. You have a good grasp on direct experience.

Here is another exercise to get more familiar with it.
You can practice it easily as much as possible during the day.

Brake down daily activities simply into

colour/image,
sound,
smell,
taste,
sensation,
thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories
(which are all actual/direct experience) and report back how you go.

All the best

nina
Now. Here. That.

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ANP100
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Re: New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:07 am

Hi Nina,

In doing taking this exercise further, I found some resistance to it. Even calling something as generic as "sound" or "image" felt like a label, which I thought was interesting. There was this desire (for lack of a better word) to just want to experience things as they were/are without going through the extra step of calling it anything. I don't know if that means that I was doing the exercise incorrectly or not, but that was the overriding experience.

I'm also noticing that thought seems to be the most difficult of the perceptions to stop labeling. Seeing a cup or a spoon without calling it those names seems easier and more natural than seeing a thought for what it is and not wanting to give it some meaning/weight. More effort and awareness is definitely needed on my part for the latter, or so it seems.

That said, I'm also becoming more aware that "seeing," for example, is just happening. The same with hearing, feeling, writing, thinking, etc. All of these things are, without a doubt, actually taking place, but I'm not the one controlling them. At first, that was a bit unsettling, but I'm starting to get comfortable with it.

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:52 am

Dear APN100,
In doing taking this exercise further, I found some resistance to it. Even calling something as generic as "sound" or "image" felt like a label, which I thought was interesting. There was this desire (for lack of a better word) to just want to experience things as they were/are without going through the extra step of calling it anything. I don't know if that means that I was doing the exercise incorrectly or not, but that was the overriding experience.

This is really great.
I’m really glad you found that out. Yes, this exercise was about labelling.
If you have a good grasp on direct experience and are able to experience in an actual way
it is not necessary to label each sense impression.
This little task was just to help in the realisation how all the sense impressions come through
different doors. And that each sense door has nothing to do with the other.

In seeing there is only seeing, there‘s not smelling or hearing involved.
Same with all the other sense impressions; in hearing is only hearing, etc.
That said, I'm also becoming more aware that "seeing," for example, is just happening. The same with hearing, feeling, writing, thinking, etc. All of these things are, without a doubt, actually taking place, but I'm not the one controlling them. At first, that was a bit unsettling, but I'm starting to get comfortable with it.

This is really wonderful! A great realisation.
I'm also noticing that thought seems to be the most difficult of the perceptions to stop labeling. Seeing a cup or a spoon without calling it those names seems easier and more natural than seeing a thought for what it is and not wanting to give it some meaning/weight. More effort and awareness is definitely needed on my part for the latter, or so it seems.

So let’s have a closer look at thoughts:

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at them.
First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere,
several times throughout your day.
Close your eyes and just notice thoughts.
Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.

Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet”
or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise”
or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come.
So just observe this thought passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.
6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap.
It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:
Looking how they come and go, and observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible.
It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.


Let me know how you go.

All the best

nina
Now. Here. That.

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:31 am

Dear APN100,

How are you?
Is everything going well?

All the best

nina
Now. Here. That.

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ANP100
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Re: New to the forum

Postby ANP100 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:32 pm

Hi Nina,

Yes, all is well, thank you. Things have been a bit chaotic these last few days so I haven't had the opportunity to practice the last assignment as much as I'd like. However, I will take the time to do so over these next few days and reply by tomorrow night with results.

Best,
Alex

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suma
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Re: New to the forum

Postby suma » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:00 am

Dear Alex,

I'm waiting for your reply. : )
This forum works best to write on a regular basis.
If you prefer, regular can also mean once a week, if that suits better.

All the best

nina
Now. Here. That.


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