It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

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Odethai
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It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:07 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I have "seen" it several times before in the previous 2 years. But it slips away. I wish to be done with the slippery nature of this and to be done altogether with seeking.

To clearly answer, I saw that there is no one in here...just vast emptiness, no-thing, no one, and a relaxation like I've never felt in this life.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for help anchoring this knowing so that it no longer slips away. I would like to live daily life from this knowing Experientially, not just as a memory of something I saw once. To go about my day to day life and tasks and relationships with this "seeing", this knowing.

I'm looking for peace in daily living... the end of seeking; the end of slipping; completion of my awakening, coming home -- and staying home ;)

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I don't know what to expect. I hope a guide might have better questions than the ones I'm asking myself. I hope I can describe where/when I feel stuck and they can help disentangle me. It'd be nice to find someone who understands where I am on the path and gently assists me. I was meeting with an awakened woman last year but her manner was uncompassionate and the result was an ego (here) that dug in even deeper. Embarrassing but true. I'd like a guide with a gentler manner than hers.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
1) is it true? (Beliefs, judgments, etc) 2 years +
2) physical pointing - recently
3) non-doership satsangs on YouTube by Roger Castillo -- 1 year off and on...
4) Sara Brach's ego relaxation techniques YouTube - emotional work, and more
5)accepting what is (practice) -- I've been at this one for a few years but was missing the point until a few months ago.

There may be more but these are what's coming to mind.

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

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:14 am

Hi Odethai,


My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

You and I will simply have a conversation, but this process is essentially an extension of your own inquiry. It is 'guided' so that specific areas may be examined.

I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
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.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660


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, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

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


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.


How can I call you?



Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:30 pm

Hi Vivien,
Thank you for offering to work with me. I've read everything you sent, watched the video and I'm happy to agree.

Please have a heads-up that I simply may not be able to log on every day, but I will do my best. There are days when I don't have a wifi connection. Also, I will be traveling to Portugal on business from May 21 - Jun 21, so we'll need to be mindful of the time difference, and I will be working from a location that is rarely has wifi. I can explain if needed. I will do the best I can during that time to connect, but I just want you to know in advance that if it's anything like my trip last year, I may be challenged.

How will life change?
Truth? I don't know.
My guess is that life won't change -- life will keep "life-ing".
How will you change?
Truth again? I don't know.
I have friends who are "awakened" and they appear to lack empathy and have low tolerance for those of us not yet "awakened." I am concerned that I will become like this…especially to my sister who has been a loving, accepting, supportive presence and best friend in my life.

But there are teachers, Tara Brach is one example, Miranda MacPherson is another, who appear to be very empathetic and/or compassionate. Mind you, I don't know them personally.

If it's anything like the glimpses I've caught of what we are, I will likely relax even more and have more peace in daily living. I can only say this because it's what has already happened here from healing and "seeing" what I've seen. So maybe that peace and relaxation will go even deeper, but even this I can't say for sure.
What will be different?
I don't know.
What is missing?
Knowing the seeking and integration is done.
How can I call you?
Can I private-message you my contact information via your email address or send it through your website?



Thank you again and I look forward to your guidance :]

Odethai

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:58 am

Hi Odethai,
Please have a heads-up that I simply may not be able to log on every day, but I will do my best. There are days when I don't have a wifi connection.
Thank you for letting me know.
Can I private-message you my contact information via your email address or send it through your website?
I’ve got your messages. I don’t have to call you on your real name if you don’t feel comfortable doing it in a public forum. I can call you Odethai, if it’s OK with you.
I have friends who are "awakened" and they appear to lack empathy and have low tolerance for those of us not yet "awakened." I am concerned that I will become like this…
But there are teachers, Tara Brach is one example, Miranda MacPherson is another, who appear to be very empathetic and/or compassionate. Mind you, I don't know them personally.
There are lots of misunderstanding about awakening out there. In Buddhism, they describe the process of awakening in four stages. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage, called Arahantship. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

So there might be some people label themselves as ‘awakened’, but more often than not, it doesn’t mean the final stage. Awakening is a process. So if someone lack empathy and have low tolerance it means that the illusion of the self is still active for them. Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
If it's anything like the glimpses I've caught of what we are, I will likely relax even more and have more peace in daily living. I can only say this because it's what has already happened here from healing and "seeing" what I've seen. So maybe that peace and relaxation will go even deeper, but even this I can't say for sure.
This might or might not happen. It depends on the intensity of triggers and traumas. But usually seeing no-self potentially could bring more peace and relaxation, but it doesn’t mean that agitation or suffering will never arise again.
V: What is missing?
L: Knowing the seeking and integration is done.
The seeking for the self could be done, but it doesn’t mean the sense of self will never arise again.

What do you mean by ‘integration is done’? – no self-referencing thoughts ever again? Or no all personal traumas being healed? Or what exactly?

Before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?

So, what we are going to do is that I’ll give you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

So, the first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:47 pm

Hi Vivien,

I would just like to see how this goes before using my real name or posting my real contact info on an open forum.

I didn't know about the 4 stages of awakening -- thank you for that. It makes some sense out of some of the "I'm more awakened than you" conflicts I read in the comments sections of the youtube videos I watch.
What do you mean by ‘integration is done’? – no self-referencing thoughts ever again? Or no all personal traumas being healed? Or what exactly?
What I'm referring to is that I've seen that there's no one here, and it was like, "OH, of course…there really is no one here, just like all the teachers say -- no structure, no past/future, no needs or desires or regrets…no one, nothing." And relaxation is an insufficient description, but it's the closest word I can use to describe what accompanied this realization, this seeing. And then the next day, I couldn't access it. I knew what I saw, but I couldn't See it the next day. I couldn't live from that knowing. It's a memory. I thought my seeking was over that night, and the next day there I was again, seeking…to "see" that void again.
Once in awhile I can see it again for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it's been very fleeting, very slippery. By "integration is done," I mean that this is no longer fleeting or slippery or just a memory of something I saw once. I mean that when I live from this seeing, and not from the fictional character the majority of the time (as opposed to now, living from the fictional character so much of the time)…this is what I mean by integrating. I guess I could've just said, I mean the later of the 4 stages you mentioned. :]

Maybe what I saw and experienced was not "It." If that's the case, I'm okay with that and let's get started moving me toward what "It" really is.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
Yes, when you mentioned that you guys guide people to just the first stage…I was hoping to go further. But I'm here to see if this can help me, so I'd like to continue anyway.
Other than that, no resistance.
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, in THIS moment, despite that I saw no one is here a few weeks ago, I have to be honest, I experience me, a person sitting here, typing these words to you. (see what I mean? check back in an hour or tomorrow and I'll have to say I don't believe I am a person, etc.)
What does the word "I" point to?
Me, this awareness that sees out of these eyes. Well, if I imagine a finger pointing to this "I" I could say it's pointing to nothing.
What makes this body 'yours'?
Wow. This question made things kind of screwy. I would've said "that no other consciousness is experiencing through this body." But that brought up the One Consciousness…that there's only ONE here appearing as many. hmm...

I guess the best way I can answer this today is to say that "I" wake up each day through/with this body…"I" don't wake up each day through/with your body or Donald Trump's body so it could be said this is my body. When this body has pain, it's experienced here, within this awareness, not there within yours. But I'm still being teased by the "One consciousness, One awareness" thing. ugh. help.
What makes this body "you"?
I don't feel this body is ME, it feels like it's mine, but not ME.

by the time I got through these questions, I feel very expansive and like there's no way I am a person sitting in a chair…that I'm everywhere, non local.
It's not my intention to confuse matters, nor to give you a play-by-play of every shift and whim. Just felt like I should mention it.
This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before the mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening.
I re-read your instructions, and I have to confess that I did take time to think about these answers above.
The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel, etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.
I am not this body.
I don't have control over this body...if I did, pain would never come, I would be as slender as I like :] I wouldn't age, etc.
I don't preform these functions, they happen.
The body was born and will die...I don't know what happens to this consciousness.


A little logistical question -- when I was using the quote thing, on the first 3 or 4 questions you sent me it was putting them in double quotes. I was editing them to single

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Vivien
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Vivien » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:59 am

Hi Odethai,
I would just like to see how this goes before using my real name or posting my real contact info on an open forum.
I think there’s been some misunderstanding. We will do our conversation only in this thread, so there is no need at all to share any of your personal information (like Skype name, etc). I only wanted to ask for a name to address you. But it’s totally fine with me to address you as ‘Odethai’. We don’t need to change that. I hope this helps.
A little logistical question -- when I was using the quote thing, on the first 3 or 4 questions you sent me it was putting them in double quotes. I was editing them to single
I only use double quotes when I want to quote both my question and your answer to it. Otherwise, I use only single quotation too. How you did it is all right. Only your last quote went off a bit, but I could read it. You can preview how the page would look before submitting it. There is a preview button next to the submit button.
What I'm referring to is that I've seen that there's no one here, and it was like, "OH, of course…there really is no one here, just like all the teachers say -- no structure, no past/future, no needs or desires or regrets…no one, nothing."
OK. Let’s address these one-by-one.

“No structure” – the structure of the psyche, or the structure of the personality doesn’t have to vanish. Actually, if it would happen we wouldn’t be able to function as humans. It’s enough to see that these structures are nothing else than structures, and they don’t belong to or are about a separate entity. The freedom is coming from seeing this, not by abolishing it.

“No past and future” – I’m not sure how clear is for you what past and future really are. But we will investigate it later. The notion of past and future are not problematic by themselves, since they are nothing else than thoughts appearing right here, right now. So they don’t have to stop appearing. The ‘problem’ comes when these mental constructs are taken as reality on behalf of a separate self. So freedom comes when the identification of these notions is seen through. But they don’t have to stop appearing. We need them to function in the world.

“No needs or desires or regrets” – All of these arise on behalf of the self. After seeing no self they still arise as the result of life-long conditionings, but when they looked at closely, it can be seen that there is nothing (no entity) behind them, so their grasps can lessen a bit with each looking. But it needs lots and lots of looking to decondition these deeply ingrained habits. But again, they are not problematic by themselves. Only when they are taken seriously and not seen for what they really are.

“No one, nothing” – the sense of self also not problematic by itself. Since it’s nothing else than bodily sensations. Only the identification of these sensations creates suffering. So these sensations don’t have to disappear, and they won’t, since they are part of the experience, and they are needed for the survival of the organism. It’s enough to see that these sensations are not ‘me’, or not the location of awareness.
And relaxation is an insufficient description, but it's the closest word I can use to describe what accompanied this realization, this seeing. And then the next day, I couldn't access it. I knew what I saw, but I couldn't See it the next day. I couldn't live from that knowing. It's a memory. I thought my seeking was over that night, and the next day there I was again, seeking…to "see" that void again.
It seems that you had a peak experience, which can come and go. We’re not after having certain experiences over others (although they can happen), but rather clearly seeing the fiction of the self. It does not involve having any special experiences, but rather a deep knowing which coming from seeing it clearly. It’s important to not attach these kind of peak experiences, because they are impermanent. And although they can be pleasant, they are coming and going.
Once in awhile I can see it again for a few seconds or a few minutes, but it's been very fleeting, very slippery. By "integration is done," I mean that this is no longer fleeting or slippery or just a memory of something I saw once.
We can go through the whole process to see if there is some remnant of believing in an inherently existing self.
Yes, when you mentioned that you guys guide people to just the first stage…I was hoping to go further. But I'm here to see if this can help me, so I'd like to continue anyway.
It’s relatively easy to guide to seeing no self, which is the first step of awakening. However, as someone goes deeper it gets harder and harder to point there, since those are beyond words, so cannot be effectively described. Furthermore, to get to the final stage can take years, and it’s rare compare to seeing no self. The reason for this is because it requires lots of work. And not just on work on the sense of self, but on psychological issues, triggers and traumas that hold us back (what I mentioned before). But I personally have been working a lot on the ‘sense of self’ itself, how the process of the illusion is created, and although it’s outside of the scope of the usual investigations in this forum, I can give you some pointers how to help break these habits of self-clinging A BIT faster and easer. But still, this is a work you have to do for yourself, and it takes lots of time to decondition the deepest habits of the human mind.

But let’s look at this differently. There is a more important question to ask:

Who is it exactly, who wants to have no structures?
Who is it, who wants no past or future?
What is it exactly that wants for needs and desires to stop appearing?
What wants to become ‘no one, nothing’?

Please look carefully and thoroughly when answering these questions.
Me, this awareness that sees out of these eyes.
This is a subtle form of identification: “I am awareness”. And this me-awareness has a physical location somewhere in the head. This awareness also can do things, like looking out the eyes. But is this really the case?

How is it known exactly, that the ‘I’ is equal to awareness?
Wow. This question made things kind of screwy. I would've said "that no other consciousness is experiencing through this body." But that brought up the One Consciousness…that there's only ONE here appearing as many. hmm...
Again, there is an identification with ‘One Consciousness’. I know, it’s a popular notion in Advaita circles, but let’s examine this a bit. I’d like to look it for yourself, and not just simply adopt what others might say.

What is the actual experience that there is “One Consciousness”?
What is the actual experience that there is a consciousness located in Odethai’s head, and that the same consciousness is located in Vivien’s head?
How is this known exactly, that those supposedly located consciusnesses are the same?
How is it known exactly, that consciousness is located anywhere?


We will investigate consciousness / awareness thoroughly later.
I guess the best way I can answer this today is to say that "I" wake up each day through/with this body…"I" don't wake up each day through/with your body or Donald Trump's body so it could be said this is my body.
This sentence assumes that there is SOMETHING inside the body/head, that could wake up and have experiences. But what if it’s not how it is?

What if awareness is just another illusion?
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness / consciousness is not what it SEEMS?
I don't feel this body is ME, it feels like it's mine, but not ME.
So if the ‘me’ is ‘awareness’, then it means that awareness owns the body. It seems like that this awareness you’re talking about is an entity. It seems that the belief in the separate self has be replaced by a subtle form of identification with awareness.
by the time I got through these questions, I feel very expansive and like there's no way I am a person sitting in a chair…that I'm everywhere, non local.
“that I’m everywhere, non local” – what does the word ‘me’ in this sentence refer to? To awareness?
OK, suddenly it has been seen that awareness isn’t localized in the body/head. But does this mean that this ‘non-localized awareness’ is you? Or it’s just is?
It's not my intention to confuse matters, nor to give you a play-by-play of every shift and whim. Just felt like I should mention it.
That’s all right. Actually, I’d like to encourage you to do so. It’s help me to see where you are at any given moment.

Vivien

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Odethai
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Re: It comes and goes...I'd like to be finished.

Postby Odethai » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:25 pm

Hi Vivien,
Who is it exactly, who wants to have no structure?
No one. I didn't say I don't want structure, I was doing my best to describe what I experienced that night which is difficult to do with the limitation of words.
Who is it, who wants no past or future?
No one. I've heard it before from some teachers that your past isn't here now, your future isn't here now, therefore, if you're honest, they don't exist, and that's what I experienced that night.
But, like you said, probably just a peak experience.
What is it exactly that wants for needs and desires to stop appearing?
No one. This is what the experience was like.
What wants to become 'no one, nothing'?
It's just what was experienced that night.
How is it known exactly, that the 'I' is equal to awareness?
I don't know. I would've answered 'Teachings, inquiry' but as I sit here, i don't know.
I guess it's not "known exactly."
What is the actual experience that there is "One Consciousness"?
I've seen this in plant medicine journeys. But I can see that I have no proof for this, except an experience in an enthiogenic trip.
What is the actual experience that there is a consciousness located in Odethai's head, and that the same consciousness is located in Vivien's head?
You're right, this is an assumption.
How is this known exactly, that those supposedly located consciousnesses are the same?
It isn't known. It was assumed.
How is it known exactly, that consciousness is located anywhere?
It isn't. But when asked by a past teacher 'how do you know you exist?' my experience was 'because I am here, now, aware.'
This sentence assumes that there is SOMETHING inside the body/head, that could wake up and have experiences. But what if it's not how it is?
Good, let's see What Is.
What if awareness is just another illusion?
Good! Help me see that. (by see, I hope you can infer what I mean...help me recognize/realize that)
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness/consciousness is not what it SEEMS?
Absolutely, it's why I'm here on this forum working with you.
"that I'm everywhere, non local" - what does the word 'me' in this sentence refer to?
OK, suddenly it has been seen that awareness isn't localized in the body/head. But does this mean that this 'non-localized awareness' is you? Or it's just is?
Felt like it was me, meaning it was being experienced here. Not me as an identity with a name and occupation, but just back to that consciousness/awareness/knowing thing.
You're asking me to consider that it's not mine, it just exists, and I've made up a story that it's me/mine? Is that correct?



I re-read the ground rules, noticed #4 and realized that I've been listening to others' teachings since we began. I'll put them away for the duration of your guidance.


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